Migraine headaches? Consider aspirin for treatment and prevention

Migraine headache is the third most common disease in the world affecting about 1 in 7 people. More prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined, migraine headaches are among the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered by primary health care providers. Migraines also are associated with an increased risk of stroke.

There are effective prescription medications available to treat acute migraine headaches as well as to prevent recurrent attacks. Nonetheless, in the United States many patients are not adequately treated for reasons that include limited access to health care providers and lack of health insurance or high co-pays, which make expensive medications of proven benefit unaffordable. The rates of uninsured or underinsured individuals have been estimated to be 8.5 percent nationwide and 13 percent in Florida. Furthermore, for all patients, the prescription drugs may be poorly tolerated or contraindicated.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine have proposed aspirin as a possible option for consideration by primary care providers who treat the majority of patients with migraine. Their review includes evidence from 13 randomized trials of the treatment of migraine in 4,222 patients and tens of thousands of patients in prevention of recurrent attacks.

Full story at Science Daily

Older Americans Face Greatest Economic Insecurity in Northeast

SENIORS LIVING IN Northeastern states are among the most likely to lack sufficient financial resources to cover their day-to-day needs, according to a new report. Half of America’s senior population that lives alone – and nearly a quarter of those living in two-person households – struggle to make ends meet.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts—Boston’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, suggests Vermont, New York and Massachusetts have the largest percentages of seniors at least 65 years of age who don’t have enough income to cover their basic needs – defined by their ability to cover necessary expenses such as housing, food, transportation and health care without government support programs, loans or gifts.

Full story at US News

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

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

Number of Americans With Dementia Will Double by 2040: Report

Nearly 13 million Americans will have dementia by 2040 — nearly twice as many as today, a new report says.

The number of women with dementia is expected to rise from 4.7 million next year to 8.5 million in 2040. The number of men with dementia is projected to increase from 2.6 million to 4.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, the economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia will be more than $2 trillion. Women will shoulder more than 80% of those costs, according to a report released Tuesday at the 2019 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit, in Washington, D.C.

“Longer life spans are perhaps one of the greatest success stories of our modern public health system,” said lead author Nora Super, senior director of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging.

Full story at US News

Greater understanding of Alzheimer’s disease

Otago scientists have made an important discovery in understanding the role a particular protein plays to impair memory in Alzheimer’s disease, which could lead to more effective treatment in future.

Professor Cliff Abraham and Dr Anurag Singh from the Department of Psychology have identified that a protein in the brain — tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) — normally associated with inflammation, becomes abnormally active in the Alzheimer’s brain, impairing the memory mechanism.

The overproduction of this protein (TNFα) may be one of the reasons behind the disease-related impairments of memory formation in the brain.

“While TNFα has been linked previously with Alzheimer’s and memory studies, it has not been understood that neural overactivity can drive the production of this protein to inhibit memory mechanisms in the brain,” Professor Abraham, a Principal Investigator with the University’s Brain Health Research Centre, explains.

Full story at Science Daily

More Patients With Heart Disease Die at Home Than in Hospital

Nearly a third of U.S. heart patients die at home, which is more than the number who die in the hospital, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data on more than 12 million heart disease patients who died between 2003 and 2017. They looked at whether the deaths occurred in a hospital, home, nursing or long-term care facility, inpatient hospice, or elsewhere (outpatient medical facility, emergency department, or dead-on-arrival at the hospital).

The number of heart disease deaths in the hospital fell from nearly 331,000 in 2003 to nearly 235,000 in 2017. Home deaths, meanwhile, rose from almost 193,000 to over 265,000, accounting for about 31% of heart disease deaths in 2017.

Full story at US News