A new link between migraines, opioid overuse may be key to treating pain

About 10% of the world population suffers from migraine headaches, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. To alleviate migraine pain, people are commonly treated with opioids. But, while opioid treatment can provide temporary pain relief for episodic migraines, prolonged use can increase the frequency and severity of painful migraines.

Researchers have tried to understand how opioids cause this paradoxical increase in pain for a decade, but the mechanism remained elusive — until now.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues discovered that a peptide — small chains of amino acids that can regulate many behaviors and brain signaling pathways — links together migraine pain and pain induced by opioid overuse.

Full story at Science Daily

Muscle in Middle Age Might Help Men’s Hearts Later

Middle-aged men who maintain their muscle mass may lower their risk of heart disease as they get older, a new study suggests.

Beginning in the mid-30s, muscle begins to decline by about 3% each decade. Previous studies found that muscle mass is associated with heart attack/stroke risk, but those studies focused on people with heart disease.

In this new study, the researchers wanted to examine if muscle mass in middle age might be associated with long-term heart health in people without heart disease.

The study included more than 1,000 men and women, aged 45 and older, who were followed for 10 years. During that time, 272 participants developed heart disease, including stroke and minor stroke.

Full story at US News

Many patients with iNPH develop Alzheimer’s disease, too

Up to one in five patients treated for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, iNPH, also develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital. The researchers were able to predict the development of Alzheimer’s disease by using the Disease State Index, DSI, that combines patient-specific data from various sources. The results were published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

In iNPH, the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is disturbed for an unknown reason, leading to a slightly elevated brain pressure and dilation of the brain ventricles. Symptoms of NPH include gait deviations, impaired short-term memory and urinary incontinence. Patients with iNPH often have changes in brain that are related to Alzheimer’s disease.

The study followed patients with iNPH after they had received treatment for their disease. They were treated with shunt surgery, in which excessive CSF is led from the brain ventricles to the abdominal cavity by using a CSF shunt. Shunted NPH patients who had undergone brain tissue biopsy in connection with their surgery were selected for the study. The objective of the biopsy was to detect changes that are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease.

Full story at Science Daily

Exercise after the age of 60 may prevent heart disease, stroke

A study finds that increased activity over the age of 60 can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In 2015, 900 million Trusted Source people, globally, were over the age of 60. By 2050, the World Health Organization (WHO) expect that number to reach 2 billion.

While it is common for people to become less active as age takes a toll on one’s physical capabilities, a study just published in the European Heart Journal finds that either maintaining levels of activity or becoming more active at this stage of life is important for reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke.

The researchers found that study participants who reduced their levels of exercise over time had a 27% greater likelihood of developing heart and blood vessel issues. Those who became more active reduced their risk by as much as 11%.

Full story at Medical News Today

Improving trauma pain outcomes

Improving acute pain management after traumatic injury remains a priority for policymakers and clinicians as rates of injury and subsequent pain-related disability rise nationally. Yet, innovations in trauma pain management remain understudied.

A 7-year prospective cohort study from the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (CMCVAMC), University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania examined the relationship between regional anesthesia (RA) administration and patient-reported pain-related outcomes among Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom service members sustaining a combat-related extremity injury. The study, done in collaboration with the Department of Defense — Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM), found that when integrated into combat casualty care, early use of RA is associated with sustained pain benefits throughout rehabilitation and recovery.

Full story at Science Daily

For Older Adults, More Exercise Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Regular exercise lowers older adults’ risk of heart disease and stroke, even if they have health problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes, researchers say.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 1 million people aged 60 and older in South Korea. The study participants’ health was checked in 2009 to 2010, again in 2011 to 2012, and they were followed until the end of 2016.

People who were inactive at the start and then became moderately to vigorously active three to four times a week by the 2011-2012 health check had an 11% reduced risk of heart disease, the findings showed.

Full story at US News

Meditation Reduced The Opioid Dose She Needs To Ease Chronic Pain By 75%

There’s new evidence that mind-body interventions can help reduce pain in people who have been taking prescription opioids — and lead to reductions in the drug’s dose.

In a study published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers reviewed evidence from 60 studies that included about 6,400 participants. They evaluated a range of strategies, including meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical hypnosis appear to be the most useful for reducing pain,” says study author Eric Garland, a professor at the University of Utah. The reductions in dose were modest overall, he says, but the study is a signal that this approach is beneficial.

Full story at NPR

Anticoagulant benefits for atrial fibrillation decrease with age

The net clinical benefit of anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation (AF) — one of the most important causes of irregular heartbeats and a leading cause of stroke — decreases with age, as the risk of death from other factors diminishes their benefit in older patients, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

The multi-institutional study of nearly 15,000 AF patients found that the anticoagulant warfarin was not beneficial after age 87 and another, apixaban, after age 92. As a result, physicians should consider all mortality risks, such as cancer and end-stage kidney disease, when recommending anticoagulants to older adults with AF, the researchers said.

The study is online Nov. 11, 2019, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes (CCQO), to coincide with a presentation at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019.

Full story at Science Daily

Expanding Access to Transportation for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Last week, ACL represented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the Access and Mobility for All Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). In addition to speeches and panel discussions, the summit featured technology demonstrations by local Assistive Technology Act programs and the approval of a strategic plan for the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) – an interagency partnership to coordinate the efforts of federal agencies funding transportation services.

Of particular significance to ACL’s grantees and partners, the summit included an announcement of new funding to promote inclusive transportation and a discussion about harnessing ACL and HHS program funds to meet “matching” requirements for several grants from the USDOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

New Funding Opportunity 

FTA has announced the Mobility for All Pilot Program. The $3.5 million grant program is available to states and tribes who can partner with community-based organizations as sub-applicants, The program will fund projects that enhance transportation connections to jobs, education, and health services for older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low income. 

Full story at Administration for Community Living

NADRC Webinar: The Power of Social Connection: Memory Cafés and Tête-à-Tête

This webinar from the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center (NADRC) will showcase the Memory Café model, how the model has been applied in Florida, and how a Memory Café network concept helps to promote and replicate the program. Presenters will discuss tips for successful program implementation, drawing from a case study of Massachusetts’ 100-member network of Memory Cafés.

Presenters will also discuss how the inter-professional healthcare team at Florida Atlantic University partnered with a faith-based organization to create Tête-à-Tête, a culturally responsive Memory Café−inspired activity. Presenters will share lessons learned on how to reach minority individuals living with dementia. They will also offer strategies and success stories from a nurse-led community partnership model of specialized care and support services.

Register at Administration for Community Living