“Scientists have discovered a gene in cancerous prostate tumors that indicates when someone is at high risk of their cancer spreading.”
“‘Currently, when a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer, physicians can determine how advanced a tumor is but not whether the patients’ cancer will spread,’ says Antonina Mitrofanova, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions and a research member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
“‘If we can determine whether a patient’s cancer is likely to spread at the time of diagnosis, we can start them on a targeted treatment plan as soon as possible to decrease the likelihood of their cancer spreading.’
“The researchers identified the NSD2 gene using a computer algorithm developed to determine which cancer genes that spread in a mouse model are most relevant to humans. When they turned the gene off in mice tumor cells, it significantly reduced the cancer’s spread.”
Continue reading this article at Futurity.org, click here.
“Hospitals Stopped Readmitting So Many Medicare Patients. Did That Cost Lives?” – The New York Times
“A new government program was supposed to prevent certain Medicare recipients from cycling in and out of hospitals. Now experts worry some older patients are being denied necessary care.”
Credit: Craig Frazier
by Paula Spahn
“It was a well-intended policy. Almost all parties agree on that much.
“A decade ago, when Medicare beneficiaries were discharged from hospitals, one in five returned within a month.
“Older people faced the risks of hospitalization all over again: infections, deconditioning, delirium, subsequent nursing home stays. And preventable readmissions were costing Medicare a bundle.
“So the Affordable Care Act incorporated something called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which focused on three serious ailments with high readmission rates: heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia.
“The A.C.A. penalized hospitals — withholding up to three percent of Medicare payments — when readmissions within 30 days exceeded national averages.”
Read this New York Times article in its entirety, click here.
“Irisin, a hormone that is released during exercise, may improve brain health and lessen the damage that occurs during Alzheimer’s disease.”
by Gretchen Reynolds
“A hormone that is released during exercise may improve brain health and lessen the damage and memory loss that occur during dementia, a new study finds. The study, which was published this month in Nature Medicine, involved mice, but its findings could help to explain how, at a molecular level, exercise protects our brains and possibly preserves memory and thinking skills, even in people whose pasts are fading.
“Considerable scientific evidence already demonstrates that exercise remodels brains and affects thinking. Researchers have shown in rats and mice that running ramps up the creation of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain devoted to memory formation and storage. Exercise also can improve the health and function of the synapses between neurons there, allowing brain cells to better communicate.”
Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.
“What it’s like living on a Greek island where people live longer than just about anywhere else” – The Washington Post
“Christos is 82 years old and is known locally as the strongest man in the village. He surveys his magnificent garden, which he built by himself. (Lily Bungay)”
Here’s a spectacular photographic “story” about the lives of people who live on the small island of Ikaria in the Mediterranean.
“Many of us hope to live long, fruitful and healthy lives. And some of us, in the end, are more successful at that pursuit than others. But there are several regions around the world that have been found to foster those kinds of lives more than others. At least, that’s what New York Times best-selling author and National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner determined after studying the work of two researchers. In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Gerontology, Gianni Pes and Michael Poulain identified Sardinia as the region with the highest concentration of male centenarians. Buettner, along with a team of researchers and demographers, found other regions where they determined that people lived longer, including Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Loma Linda, Calif.; and a small, out-of-the-way Greek island called Ikaria.”
Click here to view the photos and read the narratives in this Washington Post piece.
Aging may not be the way many think it is. These articles tell different stories.
“Jonas Mekas, now 96, lived through another eventful year. – Credit: Edu Bayer for The New York Times”
“These 4 New Yorkers Are Experts in Living. What Do They Know That We Don’t? In 2015, we began following six people over age 85. Last year the four remaining showed that old age is not what you think.” – The New York Times
“More than half of older Americans lack the skills to gather and understand medical information. Providers must simplify, researchers say.”
by Paula Span
“Every time her parents pick up a new prescription at a Walgreens in Houston, they follow Duyen Pham-Madden’s standing instructions: Use the iPad she bought for them, log onto FaceTime, hold up the pill bottles for her examination.
“Her mother, 79, and father, 77, need numerous medications, but have trouble grasping when and how to take them.
“The label may say to take one pill three times a day, but ‘my dad might take one a day,’ said Ms. Pham-Madden, 56, an insurance purchasing agent in Blue Springs, Mo. ‘Or take three at a time.’
“So she interprets the directions for them, also reminding her mother to take the prescribed megadose of vitamin D, for osteoporosis, only weekly, not daily.”
Continue reading this important article at The New York Times, click here.
M. SPENCER GREEN/AP
by Karen Weintraub
“Nearly 30 years after it began, a study of prostate cancer patients shows both that the disease will not cause harm to the majority of men who have it, and that aggressive treatment is warranted for men with an intermediate risk of spread.
“The nuanced results come from a new update to a landmark study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, that has followed 695 Swedish men since they were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between October 1989 and February 1999.
“The study’s duration and insights into one of the most common forms of cancer make it ‘arguably one of the most important publications of the year,’ said Dr. Adam Kibel, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and chief of urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who is not involved in the research.”
Three paralysed men, who were told they would spend the rest of their lives in a wheelchair, are able to walk again thanks to doctors in Switzerland.
“An electrical device inserted around the men’s spines boosted signals from their brains to their legs.
“And it also helped damaged nerves in the spinal cord to regrow.
“The researchers hope that this unexpected bonus will enable some paralysed people ultimately to regain independent movement.
“BBC News has had exclusive access to the patients in the clinical trial, the results of which are published in the journal Nature.
The first patient to be treated was 30-year-old Swiss man David M’zee, who suffered a severe spinal injury seven years ago in a sporting accident.”
Though this article comes from the Australian version of The Conversation, “Everyone has their own idea of what quality of care and quality of life in residential aged care may look like. The Conversation asked readers how they would want a loved one to be cared for in a residential aged care facility. What they said was similar to what surveys around the world have consistently found.“