Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

FDA Regulators in November approved Pfizer’s Xeljanz treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, which is now poised to compete with Abbott Laboratories’ top-selling Humira. Pfizer’s pill is for patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who did not benefit from or were unable to tolerate the standard oral treatment, methotrexate. Xeljanz can be used by itself or in combination with methotrexate and certain other treatments.

The F.D.A. approved a 5-milligram dose of Xeljanz, given twice a day. The agency said further safety data was needed to assess a 10-milligram, twice-daily dose, that Pfizer had also put before regulators. 



William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Identity theft-guard your Medicare card!

In a Wall Street Journal Q&A  about seniors protecting their identity Some readers made color copies of their Medicare card after eliminating the entire Social Security number. Others made copies after eliminating the last four digits.

For more tips on how to reduce your chances of identity theft, check out the website of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (privacyrights.org). Look under "Fact Sheets" for Fact Sheet 17.

Here is one suggestion from that fact sheet that's worth considering: "If you feel you must carry your health insurance or Medicare card with you at all times, try this. Photocopy the card and cut it down to wallet size. Then remove or cut out the last four digits of the [Social Security number]. Carry that with you rather than the actual card. But be sure to carry your original Medicare card with you the first time you visit your health-care provider. They are likely to want to make a photocopy of it for their files."

Read more about this in the Wall Street Journal at  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444327204577617712596855668.html?mod=rss_Retirement_Planning

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dying and Medicare

Everyone should read Joe Klein's article in Time magazine on How to Die. This writer is very well known as a national political writer but he faced dealing with the Medical Science Industry, Medicare and Death with Dignity. This is true life story about the issues he dealt with in coming to grips with his parents passing and the important decisions he needed to make. Take a look at the video link. You are going to want to read the article and have your children read it as well.

Joe Klein interview

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Everest Teaches About Disease

A team of Mayo Clinic scientists recently accompanied climbers to Mount Everest to study the effects of high altitude. And researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver, are planning a high-altitude research trip to Bolivia with 24 study participants. For four weeks starting April 20, Mayo Clinic researchers were in Nepal taking physiological measurements of 10 climbers' hearts and lungs, as well as conducting sleep studies and cognitive performance tests on them. 

By studying the climbers, six of whom reached the summit, the researchers hope to gain insight into heart failure, lung disease and sleep apnea—all conditions related to a low-oxygen, or hypoxic, state. The longer people spend at extreme high altitude, the longer their bodies lack the needed amount of oxygen and the lower their energy—stresses similar to those caused by the diseases.

The proportion of oxygen in the air—21%—is constant whether at sea level or on the highest peak, but at lower altitudes there is more air pressure to force oxygen into tissue. At higher altitudes, where atmospheric pressure is lower, oxygen enters the body less readily, leading to the hypoxic state.
 
The research also might lead to new ways of controlling the body's response to low oxygen in other contexts, such as one day helping limit growth of certain solid-tumor cancers, which need oxygen and blood vessels to grow, Dr. Roach says.

Altitude research already benefits patients with medical conditions and vice versa. Asthma inhalers like albuterol, which work by stimulating beta-receptor cells in the lungs, were first used to treat high-altitude climbers. Conversely, several heart-failure medicines are now in use to treat altitude sickness or help with acclimatization, researchers say.

Read more about this in the New York Times at New York Times online article


William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.




Wednesday, May 9, 2012

F.D.A. Staff Raises Concerns About Arthritis Drug

Federal regulators said Monday that an experimental pill being developed by Pfizer to treat rheumatoid arthritis raised “serious safety concerns” and was linked to a higher risk for lymphoma, a form of cancer, and serious infections. Pfizer has identified the drug, known as tofacitinib, as one of the most promising and lucrative prospects in its drug pipeline.

The briefing documents, prepared by F.D.A. staff members and released Monday ahead of the meeting, also found that although tofacitinib did ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and the physical functioning of those who have it, the studies didn’t definitively show that the drug stopped the disease from progressing. 

Read about in the New York Times in an article by Katie Thomas at   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/health/fda-staff-raises-concerns-about-arthritis-drug.html?partner=rss&emc=rss


William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lower Your Risk of Diabetes, Eat Breakfast

In a study published in the current issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed 29,000 men for 16 years, tracking their diets, exercise, disease rates and other markers of health. About 2,000 of the men developed Type 2 diabetes over the course of the study. 

Those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher risk of developing diabetes than those who did not. The heightened risk remained even after the researchers accounted for body mass index and the quality of the subjects’ breakfasts.Other studies have also found a link between skipping breakfast and greater risk of Type 2 diabetes. While it is not clear why the relationship exists, some scientists suspect that a morning meal helps stabilize blood sugar through the day.

Read about this in the New York Times at   http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/really-to-lower-your-risk-of-diabetes-eat-breakfast/?partner=rss&emc=rss
 
William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alzheimer Diagnosis Possible With Scan

A much-anticipated test developed by Eli Lilly & Co. that detects the presence of proteins in the brain that are related to Alzheimer's disease was approved Friday by the Food and Drug Administration. The test uses a chemical called florbetapir, known by the brand name Amyvid, which is a radioactive agent that tags clumps of a sticky substance called an amyloid. The chemical, which costs $1,600 per dose, then is detected using a brain imaging technique called positron emission tomography, known as PET scans.

For patients who already have some symptoms of cognitive decline, a positive scan suggests that moderate to frequent amyloid plaques are present in the brain, which is consistent with Alzheimer's disease. If the scan is negative, indicating no clumps or few clumps of amyloid, "that gives the clinician a clue that Alzheimer's is less likely to be the cause of those symptoms," said Daniel Skovronsky, who developed the agent and is the global brand-development leader for Amyvid at Lilly. 

Read about this in the Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304587704577332090297872490.html?mod=rss_Health


William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Teenagers With Asperger’s Learning to Drive

A study led by Daniel J. Cox of the University of Virginia found high levels of concern among parents of teenagers who were on the autism spectrum. They cited worries about their children’s ability to concentrate, understand nonverbal communication and tolerate the unexpected.

Cooperating with other drivers involves perhaps the hardest task for people with Asperger’s: reading nonverbal social cues. On the road, that happens through the “gestures’’ drivers make through the motion of their cars — by changing lanes boldly or hesitantly, for instance. Those motions amount to signals flashed from driver to driver so routinely that most people are hardly aware of the messages being sent about intention or mood.cooperating with other drivers involves perhaps the hardest task for people with Asperger’s: reading nonverbal social cues. On the road, that happens through the “gestures’’ drivers make through the motion of their cars — by changing lanes boldly or hesitantly, for instance. Those motions amount to signals flashed from driver to driver so routinely that most people are hardly aware of the messages being sent about intention or mood.


William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spread of Alzheimer’s--New Research

Alzheimer’s researchers have long known that dying, tau-filled cells first emerge in a small area of the brain where memories are made and stored. The disease then slowly moves outward to larger areas that involve remembering and reasoning.  The new studies indicate it may be possible to bring Alzheimer’s disease to an abrupt halt early on by preventing cell-to-cell transmission, perhaps with an antibody that blocks tau.

The studies, done independently by researchers at Columbia and Harvard, involved genetically engineered mice that could make abnormal human tau proteins, predominantly in the entorhinal (pronounced en-toh-RYE-nal) cortex, a sliver of tissue behind the ears, toward the middle of the brain, where cells first start dying in Alzheimer’s disease. As expected, tau showed up there. And, as also expected, entorhinal cortex cells in the mice started dying, filled with tangled, spaghettilike strands of tau. 

Researchers were able to develop genetically engineered mice that expressed abnormal human tau, but only in their entorhinal cortexes. Those mice offered the cleanest way to get an answer.

Over the next two years, the cell death and destruction spread outward to other cells along the same network. Since those other cells could not make human tau, the only way they could get the protein was by transmission from nerve cell to nerve cell. Researchers knew that something set off Alzheimer’s disease. The most likely candidate is a protein known as beta amyloid, which accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, forming hard, barnaclelike plaques. But beta amyloid is very different from tau. It is secreted and clumps outside cells. Although researchers have looked, they have never seen evidence that amyloid spreads from cell to cell in a network.

If tau spreads from neuron to neuron, the researchers believe, it may be necessary to block both beta amyloid production, which seems to get the disease going, and the spread of tau, which continues it, to bring Alzheimer’s to a halt. 


William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

 




 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nicotine Patch Helps Against Cognitive Impairment

A nicotine patch worn for six months can improve attention, memory and mental processing in people with mild cognitive impairment, a clinical trial has found. 

Researchers randomly assigned 67 otherwise healthy men and women with M.C.I. to wear a nicotine patch or a placebo patch for six months. The volunteers, nonsmokers whose average age was 76, took periodic tests of mental ability, mood and behavior. 

Those with the nicotine patch showed improvements in reaction times, attention and long-term memory, and more modest improvements in short-term memory. For subjects on the placebo, scores declined on those tests. 
 
 Mild cognitive impairment, or M.C.I., involves a decline in mental acuity that is noticeable but not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia. It is often a precursor to more severe disease. 

Read about this in the New York Times at    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/health/research/nicotine-patch-helps-against-cognitive-impairment-in-study.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.

  

Monday, January 2, 2012

4 Vitamins That Strengthen Older Brains

Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are associated with better mental functioning in the elderly, a new study has found. After controlling for age, sex, blood pressure, body mass index and other factors, the researchers found that people with the highest blood levels of the four vitamins scored higher on the cognitive tests and had larger brain volume than those with the lowest levels.

Omega-3 levels were linked to better cognitive functioning and to healthier blood vessels in the brain, but not to higher brain volume, which suggests that these beneficial fats may improve cognition by a different means. 

Higher blood levels of trans fats, on the other hand, were significantly associated with impaired mental ability and smaller brain volume.



William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.