Researchers looking for long COVID symptoms find only 7

By Frank Diamond: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tally of 19 possible long COVID symptoms comes with the caveat that it’s “not a comprehensive list.”

Yale Medicine counts 22 symptoms, while the Mayo Clinic lists 10. And Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) puts the number at 16.

These lists can be made even longer. For instance, the NHS has “high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat and changes to sense of smell or taste” as one symptom. Mayo lists “difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness when you stand, pins-and-needles feeling, loss of smell or taste and depression or anxiety” as one symptom.

Narrowing down exactly what symptoms point to long COVID would be a start, and researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) think they’ve done just that by slimming the field of long COVID symptoms down to just seven: fast-beating heart, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint pain and obesity.

Their study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases said that “understanding the population and subgroup risks for long COVID associated with outcomes, including lingering and chronic never-before-experienced symptoms and new medical diagnoses such as those reported here, is important for clinicians and researchers so that clinical guidelines for treatments and symptom management can be more appropriately developed for the growing number of adults affected by COVID-19.”

Opinion: People With Disabilities Deserve Better Health Care. We All Do.

BY TARA LAGU: For Complete Post, Click Here…

IWAS A RESIDENT working in an underresourced health clinic when, one afternoon, my triage paper indicated that my next patient needed a Pap smear. I walked into the room and found a woman sitting in a wheelchair.

Although I smiled and tried help her feel welcome, I felt nothing but panic.

During medical school, I had not been trained to care for people with disabilities. Now a resident, I didn’t even know to ask whether the clinic had access to a height-adjustable exam table. What I did know was that, because of my lack of experience and prior training, there was no chance I could perform a Pap smear for this person today. I apologized for the inconvenience and arranged an appointment for the patient at a women’s hospital on a different day and with a different doctor.

When I became a researcher, this experience, and others like it, led me to explore the disparities in care that patients with disabilities face. Through those studies, I have come to strongly believe that these disparities aren’t just a problem for patients who need sign language interpreters or accessible tables – they’re simply some of the most egregious cases of what all patients face in the United States health care system.

In 2013, my research team and I called a random sample of doctors from four U.S. cities, each time posing as a doctor making an appointment for a patient who used a wheelchair. Of the subspecialists we called, 20 percent said they could not accommodate such a patient. Some lacked adequate training or staff or equipment; a few said that their building was simply inaccessible, even though access to health care settings is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

More recently, we conducted focus groups with physicians to better understand the barriers that exist to caring for people with disabilities. Physicians in our recent study spoke with surprising candor, revealing in some cases profound biases toward people with disabilities. Undark reported on that study in November, which described doctors who reported using excuses in order to avoid treating people with disabilities. Some told prospective patients their caseload was full, or that they didn’t accept their insurance. Others were more straightforward, and simply told patients, “I am not the doctor for you.”

The attitudes and behaviors expressed by doctors in our recent study are inexcusable, unethical, and possibly illegal under the ADA. They also highlight why many patients with disabilities struggle to find doctors who will care for them, and suggest an urgent need to address disparities in health care access and quality.

But these dramatic examples not only provide a window into the U.S. health care system’s failures towards people with disabilities — they also reveal just how broken the system is for all patients.

More Antipsychotics Given for Dementia During Pandemic

By Kate Kneisel: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Maybe the use of them has absolutely nothing to do with any need of the resident, but the desire of staff to knock the residents out and make their jobs easier…

Rates remained high into 2021, despite lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Antipsychotic drug prescribing rates among people with dementia increased markedly during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a multinational database study showed.

Notably, those rates did not return to prepandemic levels after the acute phase of the pandemic had ended, Kenneth K.C. Man, PhD, of University College London School of Pharmacy, and colleagues reported in JAMA Psychiatryopens in a new tab or window.

In U.S. Medicare data, the likelihood of dementia patients getting prescribed antipsychotics after the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions rose 43% (95% CI 1.20-1.71) compared with the same period in 2019.

While new diagnoses returned to normal in most of the databases, incidence in the latter months of 2021 remained below the prior 3-year mean in the U.S. data.

The researchers suggested that disruptions in dementia diagnosis services and increased mortality among those who were or would have been diagnosed with dementia were likely behind the changes.

Direct Care Worker and Behavioral Health Workforce Employee Discussion Group Survey

From MDHHS: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has engaged Public Sector Consultants (PSC), a nonpartisan public policy firm based in Lansing, to conduct an analysis of Michigan’s behavioral health and direct care workforces.

PSC is conducting small-group discussions with behavioral health or direct care professionals as well as leadership at places that employ these professionals, such as hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, aging service providers, and more. Please complete this brief questionnaire and, if you qualify, you will be invited to join a 90-minute group discussion. If you are selected, you will be invited via email to participate. If you participate in one of these focus groups, you may qualify for a stipend.

MDHHS outlines improvements in protecting children in state’s care

From MDHHS: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today shared an update on the transformation it has made to the child welfare system that has resulted in improved safety for children and families since the inception of a federal lawsuit.

MDHHS appeared virtually in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for the latest update, which has been tracking progress since a 2008 settlement agreement following a 2006 lawsuit. “I am delighted with the progress that has been made since we adopted the (corrective action plan) last April,” said Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. “I think the state has taken huge steps under (MDHHS) Director (Elizabeth) Hertel. Congratulations are in order for sure,” Judge Edmunds said, adding that more work needs to be done to address issues mentioned by federal monitors.

Specifically, the department emphasized in court how child safety has improved through the increased monitoring of and investment in congregate care facilities where foster and juvenile justice youth are placed. The update came nine months after MDHHS and federal court monitors unveiled new strategies to target 14 areas in the child welfare and juvenile justice system as part of a corrective action plan. “We maintain our steadfast focus on ensuring the safety of all youth receiving treatment in congregate care facilities through intensive improvements in oversight of the facilities where our children are placed,” Hertel said. “I am proud of the work we do and the improvements we have made as we continue to work toward excellence in our child welfare system.” Recent MDHHS actions that are producing results include:

Town Hall Series: Navigating the Community Mental Health System | Grand Rapids

From MHAM: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Thursday, February 16, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Register Online

Please select from one of the registration options below.

Would you like to learn more about how the community mental health system works? Would you like to learn more about how you can help your child/loved one or yourself access the community mental health system?  

  • If you are a parent of a child or adult child with a serious mental health condition, this is for you. 
  • If you are a member of the community such as a police officer, teacher, nurse, legislator, policymaker or doctor, you might be interested in this event. 
  • If you are a family member or friend of an adult or child with a significant mental health condition, this is for you.

Join us for this in-person event on February 16, 2023, from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Hope Network’s Education Center in the Motivation Conference Room, for this town hall session where we will be talking about the public mental health system.

Presenter: 
Marianne Huff, LMSW
CEO & President
MHAM

This in-person event is open to members and non-members and limited to the first 145 people.

Woman and her 2 sons die after walking freezing Michigan streets for days

By Dennis Romero: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Appalling lack of safety net….

A woman and two of her children were found dead in a field over the weekend after wandering the streets of Pontiac, Michigan, for nearly three days amid freezing temperatures, authorities said.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the deaths could have been prevented.

Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said at a news conference Monday, “This is a horrible, heart-wrenching tragedy.”

Psychedelics and Veterans’ Mental Health

by Bryce Pardo, Beau Kilmer, Rajeev Ramchand, Carrie M. Farmer: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Over the past 20 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of compounds often referred to as psychedelics to address such mental health conditions as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders. Public sentiment on psychedelic therapy is starting to shift as well. Multiple jurisdictions, including around a dozen cities, three states, and the District of Columbia, have already relaxed laws or policies related to these substances. Some companies are making major investments in psychedelic research, acquiring patents for future therapies, and shaping a new public discussion around psychedelics.

Veterans represent a sizable segment of mental health care consumers in the United States, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — the largest provider of mental health care to veterans — has already conducted research into psychedelic treatments. Given the rapidly evolving legal and policy landscape surrounding the use and supply of psychedelics, the federal government must consider how best to support veterans and their health care providers. If VA is not working on a directive to provide guidance to its patients and clinicians, it would be prudent to start these discussions now.

Antioxidant Supplement Linked to Deadly Heart Disease & Stroke, New Study Finds

By Desirée O: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Desirée O

Wed, December 21, 2022 at 6:52 PM EST·2 min read

Trust us, we’re well aware of the fact that making sure that you’re eating a proper diet isn’t always easy. That’s why it can sometimes be beneficial to add a few supplements to your regular routine. While taking supplements may be common, it’s important to note that you need to be careful when it comes to what you happen to be taking. As it turns out, some supplements might be doing more harm than good. In fact, a new study has found that the  beta-carotene supplements have been linked to serious and even potentially fatal health issues.

In the study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers took a look at data from 884 previous studies that involved 883,627 participants. While analyzing the effects of various supplements—including omega fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and others—they found that synthetic supplements formulated with the antioxidant beta-carotene were connected to a higher risk of both cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and all-cause mortality.

‘End this scam’: Calls erupt to ban private Medicare plans as scandals mount

By Brett Wilkinsand: For Complete Post, Click Here…

As yet another scandal involving Medicare Advantage made headlines this week, progressive U.S. lawmakers and advocates renewed calls to abolish the private health insurance program that a recent Senate report said is “running amok” with “fraudsters and scam artists.”

In a new Nationarticle written with health insurance reform advocate Wendell Potter, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) contend that one of the most confusing things facing elders while choosing their Medicare plans “is a scheme by private insurance companies to prey on seniors and profit off of the Medicare brand, all in the name of padding their corporate profits and shareholder returns.”

“The scheme is called Medicare Advantage. But in reality, so-called ‘Medicare Advantage’ is neither Medicare nor an advantage,” wrote the lawmakers, who earlier this year introduced legislation that, if passed, would ban private insurance plans from using the Medicare name.

“It’s actually just private insurance that uses the trusted Medicare name to trick seniors and people with disabilities into enrolling, then profits by denying coverage for necessary medical care,” Khanna and Pocan added. “It is long past time for Congress to end this scam and ensure that consumers get accurate information about their healthcare options.”