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NMDARs (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors) serve as valves on nerve cells, controlling the flow of electrical signals in the brain. This special group of receptors is suspect in many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, stroke, and Parkinson’s. Biologists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and chemists from the University of Bristol have joined forces, creating a chemical compound to enable more precise investigation of NMDAR activity.

In the latest issue of Nature Communications, CSHL Professor Hiro Furukawa and colleagues detailed how they identified and perfected a chemical compound that inhibits, or stops the activity of certain NMDARs. By inhibiting some NMDARs while letting others function, researchers can now identify the roles different types of NMDA receptors play in both healthy and diseased brains.

Jue Xiang Wang, a graduate of CSHL’s Ph.D. program who helped lead the research, explained that the CSHL-Bristol team investigated how the novel compound UBP791 targets a pair of NMDAR subunits called GluN2C and GluN2D.

Full article at Science Daily

Assisted Living Administrator Continuing Education

In collaboration with ACL, the Evidence-Based Program Review Council is surveying organizations that have implemented approved evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs that meet ACL’s OAA Title III-D criteria.

As part of a re-review of all programs on the current Title III-D approved list, this survey aims to gauge satisfaction with these evidence-based programs:

  • Active Choices
  • Active Living Every Day (ALED)
  • AEA Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP)
  • AEA Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP)
  • Better Choices, Better Health (online Chronic Disease Self-Management Program)
  • Care Transitions Intervention (CTI)
  • EnhanceWellness

Full article at Administration for Community Living

Visit Care CEUs for nursing home administrator continuing education units

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY month – maybe. The divorce rate for people age 50 and up has doubled since the 1990s, in a time when divorce rates overall have fallen 18%. It appears that younger generations are contributing to that decline, marrying later when their career and finances warrant the commitment and being more selective in whom they marry. Of course, many millennials cohabit without the legalities of marriage, so the jury is out in terms of the stability of their overall relationships.

That said, boomers have given their kids one more thing to be infuriated about when mom and dad decide to divorce, start dating and – the horrors! – even have sex in their 50s and 60s. Living longer has caused many of these boomers to re-evaluate their lives. They’ve raised their kids, and now it’s their turn to have some fun … and “their” doesn’t necessarily include their partner. Plus, let’s face it: Women outlive men, so there are a lot of older women alone – and senior isolation is a real and dangerous thing.

Full article at US News

Hundreds of hospitals across the nation, including a number with sterling reputations for cutting-edge care, will be paid less by Medicare after the federal government pronounced that they had higher rates of infections and patient injuries than others.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday identified 786 hospitals that will receive lower payments for a year under the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, a creation of the Affordable Care Act. The penalties are designed to encourage better care without taking the extreme step of tossing a hospital out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which would drive most hospitals out of business.

Now in their sixth year, the punishments, known as HAC penalties, remain awash in criticism from all sides. Hospitals say they are arbitrary and unfair, and some patient advocates believe they are too small to make a difference. Research has shown that while hospital infections are decreasing overall, it is hard to attribute that trend to the penalties.

Full article at Kaiser Health News

Living near major roads or highways is linked to higher incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), suggests new research published this week in the journal Environmental Health.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia analyzed data for 678,000 adults in Metro Vancouver. They found that living less than 50 metres from a major road or less than 150 metres from a highway is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS — likely due to increased exposure to air pollution.

The researchers also found that living near green spaces, like parks, has protective effects against developing these neurological disorders.

Full article at Science Daily

If you want to slow down the aging process, it might not hurt to replace whole milk with skim, new research suggests.

The study of over 5,800 U.S. adults found that those who regularly indulged in higher-fat milk had shorter telomeres in their cells — a sign of accelerated “biological aging.”

The findings do not prove that milk fat, per se, hastens aging, stressed researcher Larry Tucker, a professor of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But the study does lend support to what U.S. dietary guidelines suggest for adults: If you’re going to drink cow’s milk, opt for low-fat or skim, Tucker said.

Full article at US News

It’s a question many aging Americans face: Is it time to replace my aching knee, or should I wait?

New research suggests that for far too many patients, the procedure is done either too late or too soon.

Much of the success of knee replacement surgery for knee osteoarthritis depends on timing, but a team at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found that 90% of patients who could benefit from the procedure waited too long to have it, while about 25% of patients who didn’t need it underwent the procedure too soon.

In most cases, “people are waiting and waiting to have the procedure and losing the most benefit,” said lead investigator Hassan Ghomrawi, associate professor of surgery.

Full article at WebMD

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) today announced a new partnership with CarePrepare™ to offer assisted living members access to state survey inspection data. NCAL is incorporating the data into the Association’s data tracking software, Long Term Care (LTC) Trend Tracker. 

“An assisted living community’s state survey is an important indicator of its overall performance, but it is even more meaningful when providers can see how their survey compares to the rest of the state,” said Scott Tittle, NCAL Executive Director. “When providers are aware of how their peers are doing, it further incentivizes quality improvement and survey compliance. We are proud to partner with CarePrepare™ to offer assisted living providers more information that will enhance the lives of residents and help providers stay competitive.” 

Survey inspection data varies among states, as each regulates assisted living and residential care communities. CarePrepare™ compiles the data from available state regulatory websites and through requests to state agencies. CarePrepare™ then classifies the raw survey findings into main categories and sub-categories to allow for a meaningful understanding of performance within the state. LTC Trend Tracker will offer aggregate results for up to eight main categories: administration, dietary, environment, life safety, quality of care, resident satisfaction, staff training, and other.

Full article at National Center for Assisted Living

New Zealand media reports on chronic pain are focusing on treatments involving opioids and cannabis at the expense of best practice non-drug treatments, researchers have found.

Chronic pain, defined as persistent or recurring pain present for more than three months, is the leading cause of disability worldwide and affects one in five New Zealanders.

The researchers analysed 240 news articles on chronic pain published in the New Zealand news media between January 2015 and June 2019. Their report is published in the latest issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Lead author Dr Hemakumar Devan, a Postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research at the University of Otago, Wellington’s School of Physiotherapy, says few of the news stories included information about non-pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain, despite these being the preferred option for most chronic pain conditions.

Full article at Science Daily

State military officials announced Wednesday that they’ll close an assisted living facility for veterans in southeastern Wisconsin this spring.

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs said it plans to close Fairchild Hall on the Wisconsin Southern Center’s Union Grove campus. The center is made up of a collection of WDVA and state Department of Health Services facilities.

WDVA officials said only 11 people are currently living in Fairchild Hall. They will be allowed to move to a WDVA nursing home on the campus. Fairchild staff will be given the opportunity to transfer to the nursing home.

Full article at AP News