Is a Common Bacteria a Trigger For Multiple Sclerosis?

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Researchers have discovered a potential link between the microbe C. perfringens and the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study suggests that an epsilon toxin from the bacteria might degrade the blood-brain barrier, initiating the debilitating symptoms of MS. This breakthrough sheds light on the potential environmental trigger of MS and paves the way for therapeutic innovations.

The study hints at the prospect of developing a vaccine or alternative treatments in the near future.

Key Facts:

  1. The epsilon toxin produced by C. perfringens may break down the blood-brain barrier, possibly initiating MS.
  2. People living in regions with high sheep populations, where C. perfringens is prevalent, have a higher incidence of MS.
  3. 61% of MS patients had high levels of epsilon-toxin-producing C. perfringens in their guts compared to 13% of healthy individuals.

Source: Rockefeller University

Viagra could slash risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%: study

By Brooke Steinberg: Complete Post through this link…

Viagra could cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%, according to a new study.

Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that Viagra (sildenafil), a drug most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, blocks an enzyme found in the brains of those who suffer from the disease.

The study looked at more than 27,000 people over 65, comparing half of the participants who had been prescribed sildenafil with half who had not. Findings showed that Viagra suppresses a protein called PDE5.

In Alzheimer’s patients, PDE5 is “significantly increased” in the part of the brain that manages memory.

“We found sildenafil was significantly associated with a 60% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” study author Xingyue Huo told The Sun.

Smart assistive lamps ​reduce falls in care home by 84 percent

By Sarah Sarsby: Complete Post through this link…

An AI-powered lamp has reduced the number of falls in a care home in Cumbria by 84 percent, with a 28-fold increase in response time when a fall occurs.

The Nobi Smart Lamp, developed by Nobi, is an AI-powered piece of assistive technology that aims to revolutionise fall detection and prevention in care homes globally, including in the UK.

If a resident falls, the lamp detects this immediately and speaks to the resident, asking if they are okay.

In the event of no response or a call for help, the lamp is pre-programmed to send a message to either caregivers or family members. In the event of an emergency, the emergency services are notified with the lamp having the ability to open the door for them.

The technology has been in use since May 2023 as part of a pilot that is being funded by NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) at the Hartland House care home in Cumbria. The lamps are already having a “significant” impact on the lives of residents and care staff.

Nobi Lamps detect 100 percent of falls and offer preventative measures that have led to a huge reduction in falls at Hartland House, according to Nobi. ​

Deborah Gent, the adult social care digital lead for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB, said: “We have been very happy with preliminary results from the pilot programme with Hartland House and the Nobi lamps.

Cold Case Solved: Raynaud’s Mystery Solved With New Genetic Findings

By QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Click through for the full post…

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London’s Precision Healthcare University Research Institute (PHURI) and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have identified the genetic causes of Raynaud’s phenomenon (also called Raynaud’s syndrome and Raynaud’s disease). Their findings, published today (October 12) in Nature Communications, could lead to the first effective treatments for people with Raynaud’s.

Understanding Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) is a heritable condition that affects blood circulation. It’s a vasospastic condition, which means that small blood vessels near the surface of the skin have spasms that can limit blood flow. People with Raynaud’s often experience pain in their fingers and toes, often alongside changes of color in their skin, due a lack of blood flow during attacks when they’re cold or emotionally stressed. In more serious cases, it can cause severe pain or ulcers.

Around 2-5% of the population is affected by Raynaud’s. Despite it being a common condition, it’s under-investigated and little is understood about the genetic cause of the condition.

New Research Reveals That People Who Play This Sport Have a 240% Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

By UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Click through for the full post…

Golf is a game open to all, bridging the gap between different generations, abilities, and backgrounds. It offers an ideal mix of physical activity, social interaction, and outdoor enjoyment.

However, reconsider before you prepare to swing. Recent research from the University of South Australia reveals that golfers are at a heightened risk of skin cancer compared to the overall population.

Conducted with global partners, the study shows that one in four golfers had received a skin cancer diagnosis, indicating a 2.4 times greater risk of the disease.

The study is the first to explore the prevalence of skin cancers among an Australian golfing population.

Lead researcher, Dr. Brad Stenner says the findings highlight the importance of being sun-smart on the green.

“Playing golf regularly has a range of excellent health benefits – from helping you stay fit and active, to keeping you in touch with friends,” Dr. Stenner says.

“For example, if you walk an average golf course, you’re walking at least five to seven kilometers every game, often more Add a bag of golf clubs and maybe two to three rounds a week, and you can see just how good golf is for your endurance, muscle tone and wellbeing.

“While there are clear health benefits of engaging in golf, this study explored the risks of playing golf as golfers tend to play for four or more hours in the sun, using various sun protection strategies.

“We found that 27% of golfers – or one in four – had been diagnosed with skin cancer, as compared with 7% of the general population.

Michigan makes history, requires filtered water in all schools, daycares

By Jonathan Oosting: Complete Post through this link…

  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs filtered water laws for schools, childcare centers
  • Laws will require a filter bottle filling station or faucet for every 100 kids
  • Move comes seven years after Flint water contamination crisis

LANSING — Michigan will be the first state in the nation to require filtered drinking water at all schools and daycare centers under new laws signed Thursday by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

Facilities will have until the end of the 2025-26 school year to install at least one bottle-filling station or faucet filter for every 100 children under the laws, which aim to prevent lead exposure that, at high levels, can cause brain damage and developmental delays.

People with intellectual disability are often diagnosed with cancer when it is already well advanced

By Martin McMahon: Complete Post through this link…

Many people with intellectual disability are diagnosed with cancer when it has already spread (metastasized) and the odds of survival are lower.

Intellectual disability is a lifelong condition that occurs before adulthood where people have a reduced ability to understand new or complex information, learn new skills and cope independently. In the UK it is called “learning disability”.

Cancer has been reported as the cause of death about 1.5 times more often among people with intellectual disability than people without it. In a recent study, my colleagues and I found that cancer is the second leading cause of death in Ireland for people with intellectual disability who live in residential care homes.

Cancers tend to be found late in this cohort for a number of reasons. One of these is the attitudes of healthcare staff, who may be influenced by stigma, previous negative experiences and communication barriers.

Other problems include underestimating the severity of a person’s symptoms or assuming that the symptoms are to do with their intellectual disability rather than having a biological cause. For example, if a person sees a doctor because they are self-harming, the doctor might assume that it’s related to the patient’s intellectual disability rather than a sign of distress caused by other symptoms they can’t verbalise.

Many people in this population have a higher chance of developing cancer and having worse outcomes because they have more long-term health issues with high rates of obesityphysical inactivity, and mental health issues. They are more likely to be poorunemployed and lonely and their housing situation also tends to be precarious. Some studies have found that they are less likely to take part in cancer screening programmes.

New Study Questions Effectiveness of Xanax

By OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY: Complete Post through this link…

Study finds publication bias inflated the efficacy of commonly prescribed drug benzodiazepine by more than 40%.

New research reveals that the nation’s most widely prescribed type of sedative may be less effective than clinicians and scientists have been led to believe, based on publications in medical journals.

The study, which was published on October 19 in the journal Psychological Medicine, examined both published and unpublished data from five randomized controlled clinical trials reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alprazolam, known by the trade name Xanax XR. It is one of a class of sedatives known as benzodiazepines, widely prescribed since the 1970s to treat medical conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.

Associated Risks and Clinical Implications

In recent years, benzodiazepines have been associated with serious clinical risks, including dependence, withdrawal, falls, and cognitive impairment.

“Clinicians are well aware of these safety issues, but there’s been essentially no questioning of their effectiveness,” said senior author Erick Turner, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and former FDA reviewer. “Our study throws some cold water on the efficacy of this drug. It shows it may be less effective than people have assumed.”

Medicare Open Enrollment

From CMS: Click through for the full post…

When’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 – December 7.

What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.

How do people know if they need to change plans?

People in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan should always review the materials their plans send them, like the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If their plans are changing, they should make sure their plans will still meet their needs for the following year. If they’re satisfied that their current plans will meet their needs for next year and it’s still being offered, they don’t need to do anything.

When can people get information about next year’s Medicare plans?

Information for next year’s plans will be available beginning in October.

Where can people find Medicare plan information or compare plans?

1-800-MEDICARE or

Philips Kept Complaints About Dangerous Breathing Machines Secret While Company Profits Soared

by Debbie Cenziper, ProPublica; Michael D. Sallah, Michael Korsh and Evan Robinson-Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and Monica Sager, Northwestern University: Complete Post through this link…

Tainted CPAP machines and ventilators went to children, the elderly and at least 700,000 veterans despite internal warnings. Company insiders said the devices posed an “unacceptable” risk.

The first complaints landed at the offices of Philips Respironics in 2010, soon after the company made a fateful decision to redesign its bestselling breathing machines used in homes and hospitals around the world.

To silence the irritating rattle that kept users awake at night, Philips packed the devices with an industrial foam — the same kind used in sofas and mattresses. It quickly became clear that something had gone terribly wrong.

The reports coming into Philips described “black particles” or “dirt and dust” inside machines that pump air to those who struggle to breathe. One noted an “oily-like” substance. Others simply warned of “contamination.”

The complaints targeted some of the company’s most celebrated devices built in two factories near Pittsburgh, including ventilators for the sick and dying and the popular DreamStation for patients who suffer from sleep apnea, a chronic disorder that causes breathing to stop and start through the night.