“People Don’t Outgrow the Effects of Childhood Trauma Just Because They Become Adults” – Psych Central


by W.R. Cummings

“Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I passed a picture someone had posted, which said, ‘Stop blaming your parents for how you turned out. You’re grown now. Your mistakes are your own. Grow up. Forgiveness is important.’

“I think I understand where the creator of the post was coming from, but I also think they must’ve been very under-informed about what childhood trauma actually does to the brain. I’m sure the sentiment behind the statement was to encourage people to take responsibility for their own choices, to work hard to overcome obstacles, and to avoid leaning on emotional crutches.

“However, I can’t help but wonder about the life of the person who wrote it.”

Continue reading this article at Psych Central, click here.


“Seniors Have Nearly Doubled Their Cannabis Use, Says New Study” – Barron’s


by Bill Alpert

“An increasing number of states have licensed cannabis sales, so a couple of geriatrics researchers wondered how many of the new users are elderly. Plenty, it turns out, according to a study published Monday in the Internal Medicine imprint of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“In the four years ended 2018, the share of seniors who acknowledged cannabis use soared 75%, report Benjamin Han and Joseph Palamar from New York University. This rising usage should spur clinical research on older consumers, they say, because ‘older adults are especially vulnerable to potential adverse effects from cannabis.’

“Survey data collected by the federal government showed that the proportion of seniors reporting pot use rose from 0.4% before 2007, to nearly 3% by 2016. As legalization has spread to new states, Han and Palamar found, the share of people 65 or older using cannabis increased from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018.”

Read more; click here.

“After 40 years, the Alzheimer’s Association sees signs of progress against a devastating disease. Is it real?” – STATNews

Alzheimers-AssocA display at the headquarters of the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago. KRISTEN NORMAN/ FOR STAT NEWS

by Andrew Johnson

“In 1979, a man named Jerome Stone, frustrated with the lack of options and information about Alzheimer’s disease following his wife’s diagnosis, brought together experts and families affected by dementia to launch the Alzheimer’s Association. One of their goals: find a cure for the disease.

“Forty years later, an estimated 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with a new person developing the condition about every minute of every day. There is still no treatment that slows progression of the disease, let alone stops or reverses it. There are increasing doubts whether the prevailing theory explaining the foundation of Alzheimer’s is accurate.

“’I would have thought we’d be further along by now,’ Harry Johns, the association’s CEO, acknowledged in an interview at the group’s headquarters here.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety.



“How America developed two sign languages — one white, one black” – The Washington Post

In black sign language, a relic of segregation has become a sign of solidarity

black asl“A person signs the word ‘now’ in ASL.” (Washington Post photo illustration;iStock)


by Frances Stead Sellers

“Felecia Redd always communicates more than the words she hears when interpreting in sign language. She enlarges and dramatizes her gestures when conveying the soaring rhetoric of a black preacher. She shifts her facial expressions to reflect a speaker’s emotions and vocal styles.

“’I try to match them,’ said Redd, a sign language interpreter for 19 years.

“Redd, who is black but was taught to sign by white teachers, said she did what came naturally, not thinking about the racial aspect of her signing.

A 30-minute documentary changed that. ‘Signing Black in America’ describes how a distinctive black signing system, or Black ASL, has evolved, reflecting the historic isolation of members of the black deaf community and their contemporary sense of solidarity.

black asl 2“Interpreters demonstrate distinct signs for “well-dressed.”

“The signs are often larger, involving two hands when white signers use one, and gestured closer to the forehead than the chin. Some words are represented by completely different signs.”

Continue reading this article at The Washington Post, click here.

Infographic: “Addressing social determinants of health can improve community health & reduce costs”

“This infographic offers an overview of the social determinants of health, their implications for health outcomes and costs, and solutions to address unmet needs.

“How can a diabetic person manage their diet if they don’t know whether they will be able to afford their next meal? This is just one example of the profound influence of social determinants like food security on our health outcomes.

“A recent study found that people are more than two times more likely to go to the emergency room if they struggle with food insecurity, access to reliable transportation or community safety. Building healthier communities will require collaboration across sectors to provide solutions like school food programs, ride-sharing initiatives and early childhood education.” SOURCE: The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation

infographic social determinants

“We need to take steps toward building a consensus definition of biological aging” – STATNews

aging definitionADOBE

by Attila Csordas

“I’ve been committed to understanding the biology of aging since I was a teenager, and my education and career took aim at this problem from many angles. One aspect that still perplexes me is that there isn’t a good, easily communicable answer to this simple question: What is biological aging?

“When it comes to biological aging research or, to use a fancier term, translational geroscience, scientists finally have a pretty good understanding of the major components of aging. But there’s no consensus definition of it that consolidates the existing framework.

“Why do we need such a definition of biological aging? A good definition can grab the essential characteristics of an entity and put them to good use. Two examples illustrate this.”

Read this article in its entirety at STATNews, click here.


“Election 2020: The State(s) of Health Care Snapshots” – Kaiser Family Foundation

healthcare snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Polling indicates voter concerns range from the high cost of health coverage and prescription drugs, to protections for people with pre-existing conditions, to women’s health issues.

To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health status, and access to care. They also describe each state’s political environment.

Population and Income

  • Pennsylvania was the 6th largest state, with a population of 12,388,100 in 2018.
  • 27.8% of Pennsylvania residents had incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in 2018, which was smaller than the US share (30.4%).
  • 96.7% of Pennsylvania residents were US citizens in 2018, higher than the US overall (93.2%).

Click here to see more “fact sheets” and metrics.

Poverty issues: evictions and what it costs to achieve self sufficiency

FROM AN E-mail from Pennsylvania Post:

“What’s it like to be on the verge of poverty, without a home but still trying to take part in politics. Studies show that those who live in unstable financial and housing conditions vote less often. And in Reading, where the eviction rate is highest among the state’s top five cities, that could mean low turnout in a city that has recently experienced an uptick in eligible Latino voters.”

eviction ratesSOURCE: Evictionlab.org

“The high cost of living in Pa: If you and your partner live in city suburbs with two children, you have to make $88,000 a year if you want to live without government assistance, according to a Self-Sufficiency Standard compiled for 41 states by the University of Washington. That’s a shocking number for most Pennsylvanians, where the median income for the state is about $28,000 lowerThe Inquirer broke down the standard of living calculations for the county suburbs surrounding Philly.

“Lax Regulations And Vulnerable Residents ‘A Recipe For Problems’ In Eldercare Homes” – NPR

pc placesJune (left) and Mary Kelly with a photo of their mother, Marilyn Kelly. Marilyn was living at Our House Too, in Rutland, Vt., before she died.”James Buck/VPR/Seven Days

by Emily Corwin, Derick Brouwer, Andrea Suosso

“Some states call them assisted living facilities; others, residential or personal care homes. These state-licensed facilities promise peace of mind for families whose elders require long-term care. In Vermont and elsewhere, investigations into these homes have revealed lax oversight, injuries and deaths.

“Few understand the risks like June Kelly. Her mother, Marilyn Kelly, was energetic and loved to go fishing when she moved into Our House Too, a 13-bed facility that advertised its memory-care expertise. Over the next eight months, almost everything went wrong that could.

“Often, her daughters arrived to find their 78-year-old mom in a stupor. June arrived one day to discover Marilyn trying to feed herself but unable to find her mouth with her fork.

“‘She was in her pajamas, and there was excrement down her arm,’ she recalled.”


“Infographic: The Neurobiology of Suicidal Behavior” – The Scientist

Clues about the biological mechanisms that contribute to a person’s chance of contemplating or attempting suicide

suicide_infographic_neurobiological pathwaysNOTE: The findings shown in this graphic come from studies with very different approaches to investigating suicide. Some studies control for psychiatric disorders, others don’t; different studies focus on different brain areas; and many of the findings are preliminary.” © LISA CLARK

by Catherine Offord

“Scientists have identified several key neurobiological pathways with ties to suicidal behaviors. Research in the field addresses only a fraction of the complexity of this serious public health problem, and the literature on the topic is complicated by variation in study design, but the clues point to several interacting moderators of suicide risk. Three of the systems best-studied in relation to suicide are:”

Click here to read this article at The Scientist in its entirety.