Turn Up Your Favorite Song to Improve Medication Efficacy

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Listening to music may help boost the beneficial effects of medicine while helping to reduce some of the side effects. Cancer patients who listened to their favorite music while experiencing chemotherapy-related nausea reported a decrease in nausea severity and stress.

Source: University of Michigan

While listening to a favorite song is a known mood booster, researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that music-listening interventions also can make medicines more effective. 

“Music-listening interventions are like over-the-counter medications,” said Jason Kiernan, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing. “You don’t need a doctor to prescribe them.” 

While previous research studies have used music-listening interventions as a tool to treat pain and anxiety, Kiernan took a novel approach by studying the effects of music-listening interventions on chemotherapy-induced nausea. 

“Pain and anxiety are both neurological phenomena and are interpreted in the brain as a state,” Kiernan said. “Chemotherapy-induced nausea is not a stomach condition; it is a neurological one.” 

The small pilot study included 12 patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment who agreed to listen to their favorite music for 30 minutes each time they needed to take their as-needed anti-nausea medication.

They repeated the music intervention anytime nausea occurred over the five days beyond their chemotherapy treatment. The patients in the study provided a total of 64 events.

Unwarranted MedicalReexaminations forDisability Benefits

From the VA IG: Complete Post through this link…

Why the OIG Did This Review

The OIG conducted this review to determine whether Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
employees required disabled veterans to submit to unwarranted medical reexaminations.

VBA employees have authority to request reexaminations for veterans “whenever VA
determines there is a need to verify either the continued existence or the current severity of a
disability,” and when there is no exclusion from reexamination. While reexaminations are
important in the appropriate situation to ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent,
unwarranted reexaminations cause undue hardship for veterans. They also generate excessive
work, resulting in significant costs and the diversion of VA personnel from veteran care and

What the Review Found

VBA employees did not consistently follow policy to request reexaminations only when
necessary. The OIG team reviewed a statistical sample of 300 cases with reexaminations from
March through August 2017 (review period) and found that employees requested unwarranted
medical reexaminations in 111 cases. Based on this sample, the review team estimated that
employees requested unwarranted reexaminations in 19,800 of the 53,500 cases during the
review period (37 percent).

VBA employees requested reexaminations for veterans whose cases qualified for exclusion from reexamination for one or more of the following reasons:
· Over 55 years old at the time of the examination, and not otherwise warranted by unusual
circumstances or regulation
· Permanent disability and not likely to improve
· Disability without substantial improvement over five years
· Claims folders contained updated medical evidence sufficient to continue the current
disability evaluation without additional examination
· Overall combined evaluation of multiple disabilities would not change irrespective of the
outcome of reexamining the particular condition.

HOMEHEALTH NEWSTinnitus Takedown: Top Tips From a Hearing Specialist

By BRADLEY KESSER: Complete Post through this link…

Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by the perception of noise or ringing in the ears without an external sound source. Typically experienced as ringing, buzzing, hissing, or clicking, it can stem from various causes, such as age-related hearing loss, loud noise exposure, ear infections, or head injuries. Although tinnitus is often regarded as a symptom rather than a disease, it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

As a neurotologist – that’s an ear specialist – I have seen approximately 2,500 tinnitus patients during my 20-year career. That might sound like a lot, but it shouldn’t be a surprise – up to 15% of the U.S. population experiences tinnitus. That’s more than 50 million Americans.

Roughly 20 million of those have burdensome, chronic tinnitus, and another 2 million struggle with extreme and debilitating tinnitus. The condition seems to strike middle-aged people the most, but I have seen younger patients and even teenagers with tinnitus.

Much about this condition remains a mystery, but clinicians and researchers do know that loud noise can trigger tinnitus. Firearms, power tools, heavy machinery, MRI scans and blaring music from even a single rock concert are often the culprits. Just one loud noise exposure – what doctors call acoustic trauma – can kick-start tinnitus, although in most of those cases it’s temporary.

This is why many people in the military have tinnitus, perhaps acquired after exposure to loud gunfire or vehicular and aircraft noise. Indeed, more than 2.5 million veterans receive disability benefits for tinnitus.

Other factors that can cause or contribute to tinnitus include sinus infections, fevers, flu, emotional stress, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and some medications, like aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. When people stop drinking these beverages or taking the medications, the tinnitus typically resolves itself or, at least, is reduced.

Background noise often drowns out tinnitus, and many external sources will work. YouTube has many sound-generating videos that can help cancel out the uncomfortable sound, and some of these have black screens that will run all night. Free smartphone apps are available; for some people, air conditioners, fans, sound machines, television and radio can be effective at masking the tinnitus.

There are also sound-producing devices that fit in the ear to help counteract tinnitus. Programmed by an audiologist, these sound maskers emit a tone at the same pitch as the user’s tinnitus, helping to neutralize the internal sound. These devices are typically not covered by insurance carriers or Medicare.

For those with hearing loss, regular hearing aids may camouflage the tinnitus by bringing in background noise while at the same time helping patients hear.

Some types of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications work.

Another approach is cognitive behavioral therapy – that is, talk therapy. This particularly helps those with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, a history of concussion or other traumatic brain injury. By reducing this underlying stress, people can learn to live with it rather than fight against it.

Revolutionary Twin-Bioengine Nanorobots for Gastrointestinal Inflammation Therapy

By CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: Complete Post through this link…

Micro/nanorobots with self-propelling and -navigating capabilities have attracted extensive attention in drug delivery and therapy owing to their controllable locomotion in hard-to-reach body tissues.

However, developing self-adaptive micro/nanorobots that can adjust their driving mechanisms across multiple biological barriers to reach distant lesions is still a challenge.

Recently, a research team led by Prof. Lintao Cai from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a twin-bioengine yeast micro/nanorobot (TBY-robot) with self-propelling and self-adaptive capabilities that can autonomously navigate to inflamed sites to provide gastrointestinal inflammation therapy via enzyme-macrophage switching (EMS).

This study was published on February 22 in the journal Science Advances.

Upper Peninsula Together with Veterans Initiative Created to Reduce Rural-Veteran Suicides

By Michael Rutledge: Complete Post through this link…

The Together with Veterans (TWV) initiative was first introduced on Rural Insights in August of 2020. This Veterans Administration (VA)-sponsored program was conceived as a veteran-centered program to reduce rural-veteran suicide rates, and Marquette was selected as one of the initial “hubs” to be started as part of the program.

The Upper Peninsula TWV group (UPTWV), as it has been named, is now operational and functioning not just in Marquette, but throughout the Upper Peninsula.

A volunteer steering committee conducted the initial training and coordination which needed to happen before the group could take shape, and there has been some presence of the group at numerous local veteran’s events to spread awareness over the past two years.

Recruiting community partners and other interested volunteers has also been the main focus of the group until late last year when James Yates, Improving Rural Enrollment, Access, and Health in Rural Veterans Project Manager (I-REACH) agreed to become the UPTWV coordinator, and the group is now fully operational.

The Truth About The Judge Rotenberg Centre

By Jillian Enright: Complete Post through this link…

Even if you believe their every claim, the place is still terrifying.

The Judge Rotenberg Centre (JRC) is a day and residential school located in Canton, Massachusetts licensed to “serve” (torture) children as young as five years old, all the way through to adulthood.

This so-called “educational” centre (their self-proclaimed title) uses electric shock devices on disabled and Autistic people in order to force compliance.

The JRC claims they only use these torture devices to stop “harmful” and dangerous behaviours (not that this would excuse it anyway), but there is extensive evidence from former staff and residents proving this is an outright lie.

There is even video evidence of a young man being shocked for refusing to remove his coat. I wonder how the JRC determined that being a little chilly is “dangerous” behaviour. (There are other videos which are even worse, but I cannot bring myself to watch them).

Some of the reasons people have been shocked with these devices are:

  • Getting out of their seat without permission
  • Refusing to eat food offered to them
  • Swearing and/or yelling
  • Covering eyes or ears
  • Repetitive hand motions in front of one’s eyes or face
  • Running away, or attempting to run away
  • Having bathroom accidents (urinating or defecating outside of a toilet)

Some of these are outside of people’s control, some of these are behaviours which signal a person is in distress, some are normal Autistic “behaviours”, and some are simply human beings making choices about their own bodies.

Study Finds “Staggering Increase” in Methamphetamine Deaths – And It Has No Signs of Slowing Down


A staggering 50-fold increase in deaths related to methamphetamine has been recorded since 1999.

The mortality rate due to methamphetamine use in the United States has seen a fiftyfold surge between 1999 and 2021, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study also highlights that a majority of these deaths also involved heroin or fentanyl.

“We looked at trends from 1999 to 2021 and we saw this staggering increase in methamphetamine mortality accompanied by a proportional increase in those deaths that also involved heroin or fentanyl,” said Rachel Hoopsick, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of kinesiology and community health who led the research.


Study Finds “Staggering Increase” in Methamphetamine Deaths – And It Has No Signs of Slowing Down

TOPICS:DrugsMethamphetamineMortalityOpioidsPublic HealthUniversity Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign


Meth Related Deaths Illustration

Many meth-related deaths are also tied to heroin and/or fentanyl, a new study finds. Credit: Michael B. Vincent

A staggering 50-fold increase in deaths related to methamphetamine has been recorded since 1999.

The mortality rate due to methamphetamine use in the United States has seen a fiftyfold surge between 1999 and 2021, according to a report published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study also highlights that a majority of these deaths also involved heroin or fentanyl.

“We looked at trends from 1999 to 2021 and we saw this staggering increase in methamphetamine mortality accompanied by a proportional increase in those deaths that also involved heroin or fentanyl,” said Rachel Hoopsick, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of kinesiology and community health who led the research.

Rachel Hoopsick

According to a new study led by U. of I. kinesiology and community health professor Rachel Hoopsick, a fiftyfold increase in methamphetamine deaths since 1999 may be the deadly result of the contamination or co-use of meth with opioids like heroin and fentanyl. Credit: Fred Zwicky

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 608 deaths due to methamphetamine use in 1999, however, that number skyrocketed to 52,397 in 2021. Researchers Hoopsick and R. Andrew Yockey from the University of Texas, Fort Worth, discovered that a significant portion of these deaths, 61.2%, also involved heroin or fentanyl. The alarming rise in methamphetamine-related fatalities, mainly between 2010 and 2021, shows no signs of slowing down, according to Hoopsick.

“We knew from behavioral studies that the use of stimulants, in general, as well as the use of stimulants with opioids, has been increasing over the past decade or two,” Hoopsick said. “But we didn’t know how deadly it was becoming. I think what is different now versus 10 years ago is we have a much more toxic unregulated drug supply here in the U.S.”

Parking Thoughts

by Andrew Pulrang: For Complete Post, Follow This Link…

A recent Twitter exchange I participated in briefly got me thinking about Accessible Parking, once referred to as “Handicapped Parking.” The conversation started with a wheelchair user sharing frustration at not being able to find an empty Accessible Parking space. It developed into a discussion of whether there might be better ways to organize and allocate designated Accessible Parking.

The exchange didn’t last long. And it was pretty civil and thoughtful. I bring it up only because even though I use Accessible Parking myself, it’s always been one of the disability issues I am least interested in.

That’s probably because I rarely feel deprived of it, since I don’t go places very much. It’s easy to be blase about an advocacy issue when doesn’t directly affect you too often. When I still traveled a lot for work, especially to bigger cities and government buildings to attend meetings and rallies for disability issues, my need for Accessible parking was far more frequent and acute. But even then availability always felt to me more like luck than a matter of justice. Now, where I live, and given my tendency to stay home unless absolutely necessary, I usually find Accessible Parking when I need it. Plus, the combination of time and, frankly, the work of the Independent Living Center in my hometown, where I used to work and am not on the board, means that most of the Accessible Parking I see and need to use is properly laid out and marked.

Also, for a variety of reasons I have never even been all that upset by improper use of Accessible Parking spaces, or convinced that it is widely abused by people who shouldn’t be using them. It’s wrong of course. It causes problems for disabled people, including me occasionally. But I just can’t get angry about it the way some people do, and the way I get angry about other disability issues.

But this Twitter conversation helped me realize one thing about Accessible Parking as a disability issue: it’s at least unambiguous and fairly easy to understand. As an exercise, I tried to break all of it down into its component parts. For example:

Why do some disabled people need Accessible Parking?

27 Tattoos Inspired by Living With Anxiety

By Juliette V.: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you live with an “invisible” condition like an anxiety disorder, (a condition characterized by persistent feelings of fear, as well as physical symptoms like panic attacks and heart palpitations), it’s easy to feel invalidated when your symptoms aren’t outwardly present for people to see. What appears to be “high-functioning” to others may feel like debilitating panic attacks, racing thoughts and struggling to get through the day.

For many people who live with mental illness, having a tattoo can be a visible reminder of not only their struggle, but of the hope they have from all they have overcome. We wanted to know what tattoos people have that are inspired by living with anxiety, so we asked our mental health community to share photos of their own tattoos that represent their anxiety journeys.

Here’s what they shared with us:

FDA approves Pfizer’s new nasal spray treatment for migraines

ByMallory Rowley: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from migraines, health experts say.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s newest drug on the migraine market, Zavzpret (zavegepant) — the first and only migraine treatment of its kind to be offered in nasal spray.

The drug has shown in clinical trial data to provide rapid pain relief in as fast as 15 minutes for migraine sufferers, with relief lasting up to 48 hours, Pfizer said.

Migraines are one of the most common debilitating medical conditions, said Dr. Leah Croll, a board-certified neurologist at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation.

“They often interfere with daily functioning, keeping patients away from their work and unable to enjoy time with their loved ones. The faster we can bring relief to people suffering with a migraine attack, the sooner we can give them back that lost time,” Croll told ABC News.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, migraines are a type of headache caused by activation of nerve fibers in the wall of brain blood vessels that cause recurrent attacks of moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain. CGRP, short for calcitonin gene-related peptide, is a chemical messenger in the brain that plays a role in pain modulation and inflammation.

Zavzpret works by blocking CGRP’s signals, according to Pfizer.

At least 60% of migraine sufferers also experience nausea, making pills difficult to swallow. By the time you take a pill, it’s often too late to quash a migraine because the digestive system shuts down, said Dr. Kate Mullin, a board-certified neurologist at the New England Institute for Neurology and Headache who helped conduct the trial for Zavzpret.

“You can’t absorb oral medications when you’ve got what’s called gastroparesis of migraine. Your gut pretty much falls asleep and is not in a place to absorb medications effectively for many migraine sufferers. A nasal spray helps bypass the gut altogether to optimize absorption,” Mullin told ABC News.