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Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 07 Published in house by the RI ARA

February 18, 2018 E-Newsletter

RI ARA 2017© All Rights Reserved

Senator Whitehouse Cheers Passage of Agreement Ending Cycle of Budget Showdowns & Unlocking $6 Billion in Opioid Funding Measure paves the way to increase funding for troops, infrastructure, medical Senator Whitehouse research, community health centers, and more Washington, DC – Today, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) hailed passage of a bipartisan budget agreement that ends the cycle of stopgap funding measures of recent months and paves the way to fund our military and boost investment in key priorities for Rhode Island. The agreement comes with a commitment for a $6 billion increase in funding to fight the ongoing opioid and mental health crises. It will also boost medical research, improve key tax credits to help limit carbon pollution, and invest in vital water and transportation infrastructure. “This agreement is a win for Rhode Island,” said Whitehouse. “It moves us beyond the funding showdowns of the last six months, and sets a course to overhaul the federal budgeting process and restore fiscal sanity. It paves the way for $6 billion in additional funding to battle the opioid crisis in Rhode Island and around the country, as well as increases funding for our troops and a range of Rhode Island priorities. And it includes my bipartisan legislation to combat climate change by putting a dollar value on reducing carbon

pollution. I hope we can carry the bipartisan spirit of this agreement forward as Congress takes up the important work of bringing relief to Dreamers.” Whitehouse is a lead author of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, sweeping bipartisan legislation designed to curb the opioid public health crisis and save lives. As a result of the legislation, Rhode Island has received $3 million over three years to create ten Centers of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorders. The Centers provide rapid access to treatment and comprehensive services for people struggling with opioid addiction. “In 2016, President Obama signed into law my bill to combat addiction and promote recovery, fundamentally changing the way the federal government deals with addiction,” Whitehouse continued. “The agreement we passed today will lead to more funding for substance abuse education, expanded medication-assisted treatment, better prescription drug monitoring programs, and help states like Rhode Island to implement their opioid battle plans. I am so proud we’ve secured this help for Rhode Islanders fighting to prevent opioid addiction and support those on the long, noble path of recovery.”  In addition to the increase in opioid funding, the bill includes important commitments on a range of

Rhode Island priorities Whitehouse has been fighting for: It ups by $20 billion federal infrastructure investment to fix and improve roads, bridges, and ports. It closes the prescription drug doughnut hole for seniors, completing a process set in motion by an Affordable Care Act provision championed by Whitehouse. It includes Whitehouse’s legislation to spur investment in next-generation carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, putting a dollar value on the reducing carbon pollution driving climate change. It creates a process to examine federal budget reforms—a move Whitehouse has been advocating as a member of the Senate Budget Committee. Earlier this year, the Senate passed Whitehouse and Senator David Perdue’s bipartisan amendment to the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution highlighting the need for a new budget process. It extends the biodiesel credit benefiting companies like Rhode Island’s Newport Biodiesel. It includes a significant increase in funding for community health centers,

which provide care for over 160,000 Rhode Islanders.  It increases investment in medical research carried out at Rhode Island hospitals and universities. Having cleared Congress, the legislation now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law. ”The bill increases discounts that pharmaceutical companies must give seniors enrolled in the Medicare Part D drug plans, by making the so-called “doughnut hole” smaller. This was a policy that was part of the Affordable Care Act, but the new legislation would speed up implementation by one year. RI ARA Statement: “Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and seniors are particularly hard hit,” said John A. Pernorio, President of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans. “The provision in the budget deal that closes the so-called donut hole a year earlier for Medicare beneficiaries will be a welcome bit of relief for more than 5 million older and disabled Americans. The budget deal closes the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole beginning in 2019 (previously 2020)

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

Other Budget Inclusions: Medicare, Pensions, SS & Medicaid Medicare The package restores eight tax breaks known as “Medicare extenders,” including eliminating the Medicare funding cap on physical therapy, a long-sought health policy priority. The deal extends a number of special payment bonuses for different Medicare providers, many of which were once intended to be temporary, but get regularly continued. Those include extra payments for rural hospitals, a higher payment rate for ambulances, and increased payment rates to certain Medicare doctors. It preserves loan repayment programs for health providers who choose to work in underserved areas. The package expands pilot programs meant to test the value of in-home care for some Medicare patients. It would allow Medicare providers who are part of an accountable care

association to offer patients cash bonuses as incentives for healthy behaviors. Pensions The deal calls for creation of a congressional panel to find ways to keep more than one million union retirees and workers from losing big parts of their pensions. The panel would address the pension crisis affecting retired mine workers, those in the Central States Fund, and others by the end of calendar year 2018. The mine workers, Teamsters and Ironworkers have been advocating for the Butch Lewis Act, a proposal by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) named for a Cincinnati-area retiree and Purple Heart, Vietnam War veteran who died of a stroke after learning his pension plan might be cut dramatically. “Sen. Brown’s plan called for the issuance of government bonds that would serve to

protect union pension plans as they recovered financially. Eventually the government would be repaid under that plan,” said President Roach. “We strongly support legislation to protect retirees. However, the creation of this panel is a step in the right direction.” Funding for the Social Security Administration There is an agreement in place to give the Social Security Administration (SSA) a bump in funding in the omnibus, which will come later, so that seniors and other beneficiaries get better services from regional offices. However, details remain sketchy Plan to Limit Lifetime Medicaid Benefits Gathers Critics on Multiple Fronts Following the executive order allowing states to instill work requirements, at least five states (Wisconsin, Arizona, Maine, Utah and Kansas) are expected to seek approval from the Trump

Administration to impose a lifetime limit on the amount of time that Medicaid recipients can receive benefits. This dramatic policy change would limit health coverage even for people with health problems that impede their ability to work. Critics say that in addition to taking away needed health benefits, lifetime Medicaid limits will pose an enormous administrative burden by requiring states to track recipients’ employment, eligibility and disability status. Time-limiting health coverage also runs the risk of pushing sick people into costly emergency rooms where they’ll receive indigent care paid for by taxpayers. In Utah, Wisconsin and Kansas, the time-limited coverage would apply even to Medicaid enrollees who meet employment and work requirements

Hiking Medicare Costs for Some Undercuts the Medicare Promise Congress is trying to pass a new budget this week that includes many important Medicare provisions. One of these provisions is a worrisome extension of past practices: increasing the amount some people must pay for their Medicare benefits. The new budget deal would increase premiums for those with incomes above $500,000 per year. While it is true that such earners are a very small segment of the Medicare population and can afford to pay more, it is also clear that this continues a pattern of weakening the universality of the program. Medicare guarantees access to health care for older adults and people with disabilities if they have paid into the system. Some policymakers support turning Medicare into a completely means-tested or low-income program by raising premiums further or cutting benefits for

people above a certain income level. But this breaks the fundamental promise of the Medicare program—that those who contributed during their entire working lives are guaranteed access to health care later in their lives. Importantly, Medicare is already means tested in various ways. Unlike the Social Security payroll tax, the Medicare tax does not have a cap. This means that higher-income earners pay into Medicare no matter how high their incomes go. The more someone earns, the more they pay into Medicare. In addition, some higher-income earners have a 0.9% payroll surcharge during their working lives. This is on top of the higher payroll tax. The threshold for this additional Medicare tax is $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly. And there is already a higher

premium on those who earn more. Medicare Part B premiums as well as any Part D (prescription drug coverage) premiums are higher for individuals earning more than $85,000 per year, or $170,000 for a couple filing jointly. Together, all of these policies mean that higher-income people with Medicare pay more for their Medicare benefits than lowerincome people do. It is also important to recognize that the sicker a Medicare beneficiary is, the more expensive their care will be. For those with serious and chronic illnesses, middle incomes can already fall short and even higher incomes can start to become inadequate. Instead of looking to make people with Medicare pay more, the focus should be on bringing down the costs for everyone. By denying people the benefit they have been promised, this means testing undermines the

Medicare guarantee and chips away at the consistent, broadbased support for the program and may cause some to drop Medicare entirely. Medicare remains an overwhelmingly popular benefit, as consistently demonstrated in public opinion polls regardless of age, income level, or political affiliation. American families are supportive of preserving Medicare because they know its value—as a cornerstone of health and economic security. Further means testing would snatch some of that value away from people who are counting on Medicare to be there for them. This article made possible by generous support from the Retirement Research Foundation.

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

White House’s FY19 Budget Spells Serious Trouble for Seniors and People with Disabilities Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid not what Trumped Promised During 2016 Election Statement of Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, following the release of President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget: “The 2019 budget released today by the White House reflects the Trump Administration’s priorities and once again shows that the President did not intend to keep his promises to older Americans. Rich Fiesta “The health and well-being of seniors and retirees is clearly of little concern to this President. He would cut $237 billion from Medicare and even more from Medicaid. This budget would take health care away from people who need it most, including older and disabled Americans, and it does not go nearly far enough to protect consumers from skyrocketing drug prices. “If all of the health care measures in this budget were enacted - repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and enacting ‘something like Graham-Cassidy’, reversing Medicaid expansion, and block granting traditional Medicaid - 32 million Americans would lose health care coverage. “This budget may be dead on arrival, but seniors should understand what the Administration thinks of them and their needs. The members of the Alliance will be working hard to hold anyone who supports this budget accountable in the next election.”

Reed Warns President Trump’s Budget Would Be a Major Disaster for American People & U.S. Economy WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (DRI) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s irresponsible budget that cuts non-defense priorities from student aid to the State Department by $1.6 trillion over the next ten years, yet still adds at least $7.1 trillion to the debt: “This budget blueprint is a disaster. The Trump Administration is using the same phony accounting it did when it claimed that a $1.5 trillion tax bill would pay for itself or that Mexico would pay to build a border wall. “The President talks about a big infrastructure program, but most of that money is state, local, and private dollars that would be spent anyway. And

the federal share? That will largely be offset by the large cuts to the TIGER program and other discretionary grants at the Department of Transportation and other agencies. “According to the President’s own budget the unsound and unfair Trump tax bill is driving up the deficit at an alarming rate. But instead of curbing the tax bill’s loopholes and giveaways, he wants to slash non-defense funding by about 20 percent. “This budget would eviscerate clean air and clean water investments, cancel after school programs, cut student financial aid for college, and zero out programs like LIHEAP energy assistance for vulnerable families and seniors. It would

also eliminate the Economic Development Agency and Community Development Block Grants, which help communities invest in infrastructure and services such as Meals on Wheels. “The budget also calls for repealing the Affordable Care Act and massive Medicaid cuts that would cause millions of people to lose their health care and shift a heavier burdens onto cities, towns, and states. “The President’s budget would discontinue support for small businesses, manufacturing initiatives, and job training. And the Trump health cuts would be particularly devastating for selfemployed entrepreneurs. “And once again, President Trump wants to cut funds for

diplomacy and international engagement. He should start listening to his RI Senator own national Jack Reed security experts who warn that the loss of this type of soft power undermines U.S. security. “The Trump budget would be harmful to the American people, our economy, and our national security and should be resoundingly rejected by Congress. In fact, the budget framework signed into law last Friday was a bipartisan repudiation of the tack the Trump Administration has taken in the budget proposal submitted today."

Trump Just Proposed Cutting $1.7 Trillion From Social Programs To Pay For $1.5 Trillion In Tax Cuts: Report The Trump administration has unveiled a proposal that cuts $1.7 trillion from entitlement programs in the federal budget. The move comes after Republicans passed a tax cut law that is expected to strip $1.5 billion from federal coffers,

Bloomberg News editor Alex Wayne reported Monday. Wayne reported on Twitter that his publication had received confirmation that “Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget proposes $1.7 trillion in entitlement cuts over a decade.” revealing that $237 billion in Medicare cuts are included in the plan, he revealed.

The proposed budget comes just months after President Donald Trump signed a Republican-backed tax cut law that experts say will cost the country $1.5 trillion in revenue. “The bill is heavily weighted toward business, which would receive about $1 trillion in net cuts, or two-thirds of the total, according to calculations by the

Joint Committee on Taxation,” The New York Times said of the tax bill last year. “At its center is a proposal to permanently cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent — a change that is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $1.5 trillion over the next decade alone.” ...Read More

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

Winners and losers under Medicare drug plan in Trump budget Some Medicare beneficiaries would face Sen. Ron Wyden, higher D-Ore prescription drug costs under President Donald Trump's budget even as the sickest patients save thousands of dollars, a complex trade-off that may make it harder to sell Congress on the plan in an election year.

In budget documents, the administration said its proposals strike a balance between improving the popular "Part D" prescription benefit for the 42 million seniors enrolled, while correcting design flaws that increase program costs for taxpayers. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is expected to testify on the proposal later this week in Congress. Trump has made bringing

down drug costs a top priority, but his administration's plan would create winners and losers. The high cost of medicines is the leading health care concern among consumers. Independent experts said the administration's plan will help beneficiaries with the highest prescription drug costs, an estimated 1 million of the sickest patients, those whose individual bills reach a total of more than $8,418 apiece.

But about 4.5 million seniors in the group just behind them could end up spending more of their own money. That's because the budget proposes a change in how Medicare accounts for manufacturer discounts received by patients whose total bills range between $3,750 and $8,418. They could wind up paying about $1,000 more. A senior Senate Democrat said the Trump plan missed the mark….Read More

Trump's budget hits poor Americans the hardest President Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require recipients of Medicaid and food stamps to

work. The Trump budget proposal would gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, by $17.2 billion in 2019 — equivalent to 22 percent of the program’s total cost last year. It calls for cuts of more than $213.5 billion over the next decade, a reduction of nearly 30 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy

Priorities. In addition, Trump is proposing a full-scale redesign of SNAP, which provides an average of $125 per month to 42.2 million Americans. For the last 40 years, the program has allowed beneficiaries to use SNAP benefits at grocery stores as if they were cash. Under the budget proposal, the Department of Agriculture would use a portion of those benefits to buy

and deliver a package of U.S.-grown commodities to SNAP households that receive $90 or more in assistance each month, using the government’s buying power to obtain common foods at lower costs….Read More

Trump’s Budget Proposal Swings At Drug Prices With A Glancing Blow President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal flirts with combating high prescription drug prices, but industry watchers say the tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid do little more than dance around the edges of lowering the actual prices of drugs. The White House’s proposal, which comes after Congress passed a two-year spending deal last week, though, sets the tone for the administration’s focus on prescription drugs. “Drug costs are a populist issue for the president,” and he’s made it clear to his staff that progress needs to be made this year, said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, a health care consulting firm. The proposal targets billions of drug spending cuts in the federal Medicare program, which provides health care for about 60 million people age 65 and older or younger patients with disabilities, and alters drug spending in Medicaid’s safety-net

program for nearly 70 million Americans. are too high in this country.” And the sheer size of the federal Highlights from the proposals include: government’s Medicare and Medicaid  Passing on the discounts and rebates programs means any drug pricing tweaks negotiated by pharmacy benefit that do get made are meaningful — just not managers, the financial middlemen necessarily groundbreaking. between insurers and drugmakers, to seniors who buy drugs through “The main question is, how far are they Medicare Part D. The seniors would actually going to go in dealing with the pay less out-of-pocket when buying underlying problem?” said Paul Van de their drugs but the proposal could Water, who spent nearly two decades in the potentially raise premiums because Congressional Budget Office and is now a insurers wouldn’t be getting the senior fellow at the Center on Budget and discounts. Policy Priorities. Most of the proposals for Medicare, for example, move money around  Ensuring that low-income seniors in Medicare don’t pay for generics and rather than force decreased prices, Van de capping out-of-pocket costs for Water said. beneficiaries who pass through the Alex Azar, the newly appointed secretary so-called doughnut hole, or coverage of Health and Human Services, said the gap, and hit the catastrophic stage. proposed budget supports the work his Beneficiaries typically pay a 5 agency is already doing to reduce the high percent coinsurance in the cost of prescriptions, “especially for catastrophic phase, but under the plan America’s seniors.” it would be decreased to zero. Just last month, the former Eli Lilly ...Read More executive told Congress during his confirmation hearings that “all drug prices

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News


Changing The Way We Look At Dementia In November, six people with Alzheimer’s disease and related types of cognitive impairment stood before an audience of 100 in North Haven, Conn. One by one, they talked about what it was like to live with dementia in deeply personal terms. Before the presentation, audience members were asked to write down five words they associated with dementia. Afterward, they were asked to do the same, this time reflecting on what they’d learned. “Without exception, the words people used had changed — from ‘hopeless’ to ‘hope,’ from ‘depressed’ to ‘courageous,’ from ‘empty’ to ‘fulfilled,’” said Erica DeFrancesco, a clinical assistant professor of

occupational therapy at Quinnipiac University who helped organize the event. The session, followed by an hour-long discussion about dementia, is part of a new grassroots movement in the U.S. aimed at educating people about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, dispelling the painful stigma associated with these conditions and enhancing public understanding. A centerpiece of that effort, known as “Dementia Friends,” began just over a year ago under the auspices of Dementia Friendly America, an effort spearheaded by 35 organizations across the country. Currently, more than 13,200 people are registered as Dementia Friends in the U.S., and organizations in 14 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland,

Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Wyoming) are hosting events to sign up more. Globally, almost 14 million people in 33 countries are involved in the movement, which originated in Japan. To become a Dementia Friend, most people attend an hour-long presentation focused on several themes: Disease vs. typical aging. Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are illnesses of the brain, not a natural consequence of aging. Scope of symptoms. Dementia triggers a wide array of symptoms, not just memory loss. Quality of life. People with dementia can live well, often for years. Maintaining identity and respect. People with dementia

retain a sense of self and aren’t defined exclusively by this condition. (Testimonials by people with dementia are sometimes, but not always, included.) “If we can change the way people look at dementia and talk about it, we can make a big difference in people’s lives,” said Philippa Tree, who spearheads a wellestablished Dementia Friends program in England and Wales, with about 2.3 million members, that has licensed its model to the U.S. “It’s about increasing awareness and empathy so that if you encounter someone in the community who needs some help, you have some basic skills,” said Meredith Hanley, project lead for Dementia Friends USA….Read More

How bilingualism may protect against Alzheimer's More and more research has been pointing to bilingualism as a viable means for delaying or preventing Alzheimer's disease. One study, for example, reported that being able to speak two languages could delay Alzheimer's by as much as 4.5 years. Its authors then suggested that bilingualism may contribute to the development of certain brain areas that control executive function and attention tasks. Whereas such studies only hypothesized that this was the case, a new study has used MRI data to examine brain regions associated with memory, which are known to be affected in Alzheimer's disease and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The research was led by Natalie Phillips, a professor in

the Department of Psychology at Concordia University in Quebec, Canada, and the first author of the study is Hilary D. Duncan, who is a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that not only evaluated the brain areas responsible for language and cognition, but that has also established a link between the appearance of these areas and the functioning of memory in a group of people with Alzheimer's disease. A further couple of aspects that set the new study apart from existing research, according to Prof. Phillips, is that the immigration status of the study participants was accounted for as a potential confounder, as well as the fact that the researchers used MRI data instead of

computerized tomography scans, which are considered less reliable. Bilingualism may offset brain damage For their experiment, Prof. Phillips and team examined the brains and memory function of:  34 multilingual participants with MCI  34 monolingual participants with MCI  13 multilingual participants with Alzheimer's disease  13 monolingual participants with Alzheimer's disease More specifically, the researchers looked at the socalled medial temporal lobes — which are key in memory formation — along with frontal areas of the brain. "In areas related to language and cognitive control," the authors report, "both

multilingual MCI and AD [Alzheimer's disease] patients had thicker cortex than the monolinguals. Results were largely replicated in our native-born Canadian MCI participants, ruling out immigration as a potential confound." "Our new study contributes to the hypothesis that having two languages exercises specific brain regions and can increase cortical thickness and gray matter density." "And," she adds, "it extends these findings by demonstrating that these structural differences can be seen in the brains of multilingual [Alzheimer's] and MCI patients."...Read More

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Cognitive decline: Is low blood sodium a risk factor? New research published in the

the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The authors suggest that addressing these low sodium journal Neuropsychologia reveal levels — which are known s that bilingualism makes medically as hyponatremia — changes in brain structure that could be valuable in halting are linked with resilience against cognitive decline as people age. Alzheimer's disease and mild Hyponatremia occurs when cognitive impairment. blood sodium levels fall below Low sodium levels in the 135 millimoles per liter (mmol/ blood have been linked to L). declines in cognitive function Studies have shown that low among otherwise healthy older sodium levels may be tied to an men in a new study, which has increased risk of attention now been published in deficits, falls, fractures, hear t

problems, and premature death. Medical News Today have previously reported the results of studies warning of the dangers of drinking too much fluid when exercising, as this can lead to exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH). Mild symptoms of EAH include dizziness, nausea, and puffiness, but more severe cases can be fatal. It is estimated that at least 14 athletes have died from EAH. Severe cases of hyponatremia have previously been associated

with neurological and cognitive problems, but studies have not pinpointed how different levels of sodium in the blood affect cognition in older adults. The authors of the new study, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, set out to investigate. Risk of cognitive decline increased The researchers behind the new study looked at data from 5,435 healthy men aged 65 and older, who were each followed for an average of 4.6 years….Read More

Vitamin B-3 could be used to treat Alzheimer's New research finds a compound that prevents brain damage in mice. The substance is a form of vitamin B-3, and the findings suggest a potential new therapy for Alzheimer's disease in humans. Vitamin B-3 has previously been proposed as an alternative for treating Alzheimer's disease. In an older study, large doses of nicotinamide — also referred to as B-3 — reversed Alzheimer's-related memory loss in mice. A new study, however, focused on the effect of nicotinamide riboside (NR), which is a form of vitamin B-3, on Alzheimer's-related brain damage in mice.

More specifically, the researchers — who were jointly led by Dr. Vilhelm A. Bohr, the chief of the National Institute on Aging's (NIA) Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, and Dr. Yujun Hou, a postdoctoral investigator in the laboratory — focused on how NR affects the brain's ability to repair its DNA, a function that is compromised in Alzheimer's disease. As the scientists explain, a deficiency in the brain's ability to repair its DNA leads to dysfunction in the cells' mitochondria — the energycreating organelles inside the cells — which, in turn, leads to neuronal dysfunction and lower neuron production. But NR is "critical for

mitochondrial health and biogenesis, stem cell selfrenewal, and neuronal stress resistance." Thus, Dr. Bohr and his colleagues wanted to explore the effects of NR supplementation in a mouse model of the neurological disease. The team added NR to the drinking water of mice that had been genetically engineered to develop the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative disorder. These included toxic buildups of the proteins tau and amyloid beta, dysfunctional synapses, and neuronal death — all of which resulted in cognitive deficits. The mice drank the water for 3 months, and their brains and

cognitive health were compared with those of control mice. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. NR promotes neuronal and cognitive health Compared with the controls, the NR-treated mice had less of the protein tau in the brain, less DNA damage, and more neuroplasticity — that is, the brain's ability to "rewire" itself when it learns new things, stores new memories, or becomes damaged....Read More

How fighting ageism may lower dementia risk New research suggests that the beliefs we hold about old age may influence our risk of developing dementia, even if we're genetically predisposed to it. We may not yet know what causes dementia, but we do know that genes play a key role. A certain gene, called ApoE,

is considered by many to be the primary genetic risk factor in late-onset Alzheimer's disease. However, not everyone with one or even two copies of this gene will go on to develop the condition. In fact, less than half of those with this genetic predisposition are actually diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. So, why do the remaining 53 percent stay healthy? Scientists

— led by Becca Levy, from the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT — set out to answer this question in their new study, which was published in the journal PLOS One. The new research investigates for the first time whether environmental — and therefore modifiable — factors such as beliefs around aging can influence the risk of developing dementia.

A nearly 50 percent drop in risk Levy and team examined 4,765 people who did not have dementia at the beginning of their study: 91 percent of the participants were white, and as many as 26 percent of them had an E4 variant of the ApoE gene — the variant most associated with Alzheimer's….Read More

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RI ARA February 18, 2018 E-Newsletter


RI ARA February 18, 2018 E-Newsletter