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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 24 Published in house by the RI ARA

June 17, 2018 E-Newsletter

All Rights Reserved RI ARA 2018©

Annual Trustees Reports Show Social Security’s Finances Remain Strong The Social Security and Medicare trustees released their reports on Rich Fiesta the programs' trust funds on Tuesday, and they show that Social Security remains strong and will be able to continue making 100% of its payments to its beneficiaries through 2034. After that, it will still be able to make 79% of its payments to beneficiaries for 75 years without any changes. The estimates are mostly unchanged from 2017 projections.

The report led Alliance leaders and other seniors advocates to comment that expanding Social Security is a more logical solution than ever for the nation’s looming retirement crisis. Sixty-six percent of voter s ar e mor e likely to back candidates who support expanding and increasing Social Security benefits, compared to only 18% who are less likely. “We certainly can afford to

expand Social Security - the funds are there,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “It is a matter of making it a priority.” “Social Security becomes a more important part of millions of American families’ retirement plans every year," added Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta in a statement. "We call on our elected leaders to safeguard and expand Social Security benefits, provide a

more accurate formula for costof-living adjustments, and lift the cap on earnings for the wealthiest Americans." “In addition, Congress should stop preventing the Social Security Administration from spending just a few tenths of a percent more of its surplus on administration, so that it can restore the hours of field offices and open new locations,” said Fiesta. “Since 10,000 Americans are turning age 65 every day and disability backlogs are shamefully high, this is a necessary change.”

Trustees’ Medicare Report Demonstrates a Need to Rein in Prescription Drug Costs The reports contained evidence that that the tax and other policies of the GOP have Robert Roach, Jr damaged the financial prospects of Medicare. The Medicare report projected that the trust fund specifically

dealing with hospital insurance, or Medicare Part A, will face a shortfall in 2026, three years earlier than 2017 projections. "The economic growth promised when the tax bill passed is not expected to manifest," said Fiesta. "The GOP policies are hurting the economy, leading to lower overall payroll tax revenue. That

reduces the number of years that full Social Security and Medicare benefits can be paid." The trustees also reported that the repeal of the individual mandate under Obamacare will lead to higher costs for hospitals covering uninsured patients, increasing the amount that Medicare will have to pay out. “We need to make changes

that will strengthen Medicare for the future while reducing costs to retirees,” said President Roach. “Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their medications, and lowering prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug corporations would go a long way toward improving Medicare’s financial future.”

Social Security COLA Could Top 3% In 2019 The annual Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2019 could top 3 percent, according to a new estimate released by The Senior Citizens League. A 3 percent COLA would be the highest since 2012, when the COLA was 3.6 percent. The COLA for 2018 is 2 percent, after there was no COLA in 2016, and just a 0.3 COLA in 2017. The estimate is based on consumer price index data through April 2018. “Our

estimate could change, because we still have several months of CPI data to go before the COLA is announced in October,” says The Senior Citizens League’s Social Security policy analyst Mary Johnson. A 3 percent COLA would increase the average Social Security benefit of $1,300 by about $39 per month. “After the past nine years of COLAs averaging just 1.2 percent, one would think people living on Social Security would be

dancing in the street,” Johnson says. “But that’s not likely,” she says. “In reality, retirees are experiencing cost increases in common household expenditures that are growing several times faster than 3 percent,” she says. Here’s a chart illustrating ten of the fastest growing costs for people over 65. “The trend of retiree costs growing faster than the COLA has been consistent over the past 8 years, and our research

indicates this will continue in 2019,” says Johnson, who studies the loss in buying power of Social Security benefits. According to The Senior Citizens League’s annual survey of more than 1,130 retirees, conducted between January and March of 2018, household spending rose by more than $79 per month in 2017 for 55 percent of survey participants….Read More

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

Medicare Financial Outlook Worsens Medicare’s financial condition has taken a turn for the worse because of predicted higher hospital spending and lower tax revenues that fund the program, the federal government reported Tuesday. In its annual report to Congress, the Medicare board of trustees said the program’s hospital insurance trust fund could run out of money by 2026 — three years earlier than projected last year. A senior government official briefing reporters attributed the worsened outlook for Medicare to several factors that are reducing funding and increasing spending. He said the trustees projected lower wages for several years, which will mean lower payroll taxes, which help fund the program. The recent tax cut passed by Congress would also result in fewer Social Security

taxes paid into the hospital trust fund, as some higherincome seniors pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. The aging population is also putting pressure on the program’s finances. In addition, he said moves by the Trump administration and the GOP-controlled Congress to kill two provisions of the Affordable Care Act are also harming Medicare’s future. Those were the repeal of the penalties for people who don’t have insurance and the repeal of an independent board charged with reining in spending if certain financial targets were reached. Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said it was not surprising to see the three-year

shift in Medicare’s solvency since the trust fund operates on a narrow margin between revenue and expenses. He said the change to the ACA’s individual mandate penalties, which takes effect next year, is expected to lead to millions more people going without health insurance. That in turn will leave hospitals with higher rates of uncompensated care. Some of those expenses are covered by a special Medicare fund paid to hospitals with larger numbers of uninsured patients. The Medicare Part A hospital trust fund is financed mostly through payroll taxes. It helps pay hospital, home health services, nursing home and hospice costs. Medicare Part B premiums — which cover visits to physicians

and other outpatient costs — should remain stable next year, the trustees said. About a quarter of Part B costs are paid for by beneficiary premiums with the rest from the federal budget. The top Democrat on the House Ways & Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal (Mass.), blamed the Trump administration for Medicare’s deteriorating outlook. “Administration policies in President Trump’s first year have reduced the life of the Medicare trust fund by three years,” he said. “With their repeated efforts to sabotage the nation’s health care system, including their irresponsible tax law, congressional Republicans and President Trump are purposefully running Medicare into the ground.”...Read More

FOX is Scaring Americans With Lies About Social Security. The 2018 Trustees Report Reveals the Truth. In recent weeks, local news channels around the country aired at least 93 news reports sowing fear and lies about Social Security. These channels, most of which are affiliated with FOX Broadcasting Co., falsely claimed that a Social Security crisis is imminent. Absurdly, the segments said that the only way to prevent supposed benefit cuts in the near future is to cut benefits immediately. Fortunately, the Social Security Trustees just released their annual report, which exposes FOX’s fearmongering for what it is. The report reveals that Social Security is fully affordable. In fact, our nation can afford to expand Social Security’s modest benefits. As the trustees’ report reveals and the following graph shows, Social Security’s cost over the

next threequarters of a century and beyond is essentially a straight line: At its most expensive, in 2075, the cost is projected to be just 6.19 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That is a considerably lower percentage of GDP than Germany, France, Japan, Austria and most other industrialized countries spend on their counterpart programs today. This low percentage of GDP is not surprising, given how modest Social Security’s benefits are and how extremely

efficient the program is. Of every dollar spent, more than 99 cents is paid in benefits; less than a penny goes towards administrative costs. Moreover, unlike other government spending, Social Security is and, by law, must be fully funded. According to the new report, Social Security has

a large surplus. The program is 100 percent funded for the next 16 years. It is 93 percent funded for the next 25 years and 87 percent funded for the next half century. Its projected shortfall over the next three-quarters of a century amounts to just 1.0 percent of GDP….Read More

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

PBGC Projects that Multiemployer Pension Plans Will Be Insolvent by 2025 The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released its 2017 Projections Report that tracks the solvency of its singleand multiemployer pension insurance programs. The findings are grim for multiemployer pensions, which PBGC projects will become completely insolvent by the end of 2025. Over 10 million people are covered under PBGC’s multiemployer pension

insurance. On the other hand, PBGC’s single employer program is improving and projected to come out of its deficit by 2022. Once a multiemployer plan is past the point of saving, PBGC insurance kicks in and retirees are still guaranteed a small amount of their pension benefit, but could see their benefit checks deeply cut. If the PBGC insurance plan becomes insolvent, the amount each retiree receives will shrink even

more. The number of large multiemployer plans that are on the brink of failure makes the situation worse. PBGC will have to guarantee more retirees a pension as significantly decreasing contributions are being paid into the plan. Currently, about 130 plans covering 1.3 million people are expected to become insolvent within twenty years. A bipartisan committee in Congress has been created to address the pension

crisis facing multiemployer plans and find solutions to ensure retirees get their benefits. “PBGC’s report shows that we must act now in order to prevent this crisis,” said President Roach. “Retirees and their surviving spouses depend on their pensions to survive. We must find a solution so that retirees who worked a lifetime for their benefits don’t see their checks cut down to nothing.” ...Read More

Administration Challenges ACA’s Preexisting Conditions Protection In Court The Trump administration is refusing to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, essentially arguing that federal courts should find the health law’s protection for people with preexisting conditions unconstitutional. The federal lawsuit hinges on the ACA’s individual mandate, or the requirement to get health coverage or pay a penalty. The mandate has long been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have. But that mandate was crucial to persuading insurers to offer plans under the ACA. It helped expand their risk pools while the law forced them to guarantee coverage to any customer.

Insurers were not allowed to raise costs for people with preexisting conditions. The administration’s brief, filed Thursday in federal district court in Fort Worth, Texas, takes aim at those links. Twenty Republican state attorneys general filed suit on Feb. 26, charging that Congress’ changes to the law in last year’s tax bill rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional. In the tax law, Congress repealed the penalty for people who fail to have health insurance starting in 2019. The attorneys general argue that a Supreme Court decision in 2012 saved the ACA from being declared an unconstitutional overreach of congressional power by declaring the penalty a

tax and pointing out that Congress has the power to levy taxes. Without the tax penalty, they argue, “the Court should hold that the ACA is unlawful and enjoin its operation.” The Trump administration Thursday did not go that far. Rather, it argued that without the tax to encourage healthy people to sign up, the parts of the law guaranteeing coverage to people with health conditions and charging them the same rates should be struck down as well. The administration called on the court to declare the provisions that guarantee coverage to be “invalid beginning on January 1, 2019,” when the mandate penalty goes away.

Here are five things to know about this latest in a long line of challenges to the health law:  If This Lawsuit Succeeds, Who Would Be Affected?  Is Anything Going To Change Right Away? What About Next Year?  How Is This Lawsuit Different From Previous Challenges To The ACA?  If The Trump Administration Isn’t Going To Defend The Health Law In This Lawsuit, Who Will?  If Nothing Is Going To Happen Right Away, Why Is This Such A Big Deal? ….Read more on the above five topics.

Worker protections seen at risk in Trump health care shift The Trump administration’s latest move against “Obamacare” could jeopardize legal protections on pre-existing medical conditions for millions of people with employer coverage, particularly workers in small businesses, say law and insurance experts. At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court. That includes the law’s unpopular requirement to carry

health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers. Two independent experts said Wednesday that the administration appears to be taking aim at provisions of the ACA that protect people in employer plans, not only the smaller pool of consumers who buy a policy directly from an insurer. The new Trump

administration position was outlined last week in a legal brief filed by the Justice Department in a Texas case challenging the Obama health law. Workers “could face the prospect of insurance that doesn’t cover their pre-existing conditions when they enroll in a plan with a new employer,” said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley said the administration does not

appear to have thought through all the consequences of moving against one provision of a health law that has many complicated interlocking parts. “The lack of care on the brief is jaw-dropping,” said Bagley, who supports the Obama health law but considers himself a “free agent” critic of both sides. “There is no question that the Trump administration has to clarify what the scope of its injunction would be and grapple with the consequences of mowing down parts of the ACA. ..Read More

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

Medicare Takes Aim At Boomerang Hospitalizations Of Nursing Home Patients “Oh my God, we dropped her!” Sandra Snipes said she heard the nursing home aides yell as she fell to the floor. She landed on her right side where her hip had recently been replaced. She cried out in pain. A hospital clinician later discovered her hip was dislocated. That was not the only injury Snipes, then 61, said she suffered in 2011 at Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Hamlet, N.C. Nurses allegedly had been injecting her twice a day with a potent blood thinner despite written instructions to stop.

“She said, ‘I just feel so tired,’” her daughter, Laura Clark, said in an interview. “The nurses were saying she’s depressed and wasn’t doing her exercises. I said no, something is wrong.” Her children also discovered that Snipes’ surgical wound had become infected and infested with insects. Just 11 days after she arrived at the nursing home to heal from her hip surgery, she was back in the hospital. The fall and these other alleged lapses in care led Clark and the family to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.

Richmond Pines declined to discuss the case beyond saying it disputed the allegations at the time. The home agreed in 2017 to pay Snipes’ family $1.4 million to settle their lawsuit. While the confluence of complications in Snipes’ case was extreme, return trips from nursing homes to hospitals are far from unusual. With hospitals pushing patients out the door earlier, nursing homes are deluged with increasingly frail patients. But many homes, with their sometimes-skeletal medical

staffing, often fail to handle post -hospital complications — or create new problems by not heeding or receiving accurate hospital and physician instructions. Patients, caught in the middle, may suffer. One in 5 Medicare patients sent from the hospital to a nursing home boomerang back within 30 days, often for potentially preventable conditions such as dehydration, infections and medication errors, federal records show. Such rehospitalizations occur 27 percent more frequently than for the Medicare population at large….Read More

How America Got Hooked On A Deadly Drug An inside look at how Purdue Pharma pushed OxyContin despite risks of addiction and fatalities. Purdue Pharma left almost nothing to chance in its whirlwind marketing of its new painkiller OxyContin. From 1996 to 2002, Purdue pursued nearly every avenue in the drug supply and prescription sales chain — a strategy now cast as reckless and illegal in more than 1,500 federal civil lawsuits from communities in Florida to Wisconsin to California that allege the drug has fueled a national epidemic of addiction.

READ THE DOCUMENTS Click here to dive into Purdue’s internal budget documents from 1996 through 2002, a 2001 sales bonus program and more. Kaiser Health News is releasing years of Purdue’s internal budget documents and other records to offer readers a chance to evaluate how the privately held Connecticut company spent hundreds of millions of dollars to launch and promote the drug, a trove of information made publicly available here for the first time.

All of these internal Purdue records were obtained from a Florida attorney general’s office investigation of Purdue’s sales efforts that ended late in 2002. I have had copies of those records in my basement for years. I was a reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which, along with the Orlando Sentinel, won a court battle to force the attorney general to release the company files in 2003. At the time, the SunSentinel was writing extensively about a growing tide of deaths

from prescription drugs such as OxyContin. We drew on the marketing files to write two articles, including one that exposed possible deceptive marketing of the drug. Now, given the disastrous arc of prescription drug abuse over the past decade and the stream of suits being filed — more than a dozen on some days — it seemed time for me to share these seminal documents that reveal the breadth and detail of Purdue’s efforts….Read More

Majority of Congress Failed to Support Retirees Last Year The Alliance for Retired Americans today released its 2017 voting record which scored every U.S. Representative and Senator on issues affecting current and future retirees. The annual report examined 10 key Senate and House votes in 2017, highlighting issues concerning the health and well being of retirees. Specific votes affected Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; prescription drug re-importation from Canada; the Affordable

Care Act; medical malpractice lawsuit caps; and tax cuts for wealthy Americans and corporations, combined with tax increases for lower-income and middle class families, that increase income inequality. “The record of the Republican Senate leadership was particularly bad on retiree issues, and many members fell in line behind their leaders and against seniors. Senate Majority Leader

Mitch McConnell (KY), Majority Whip John Cornyn (TX), Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (UT) and Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (WY) together took 40 votes on senior issues. Not a single vote could be considered pro-retiree,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “Our quality of life is under attack in Washington.” “Our Voting Record shows how committed each member of

Congress is to the needs of older Americans,” President Roach said. “It will help us to make informed voting choices in November.” Thirty-four members of the U.S. Senate achieved perfect scores of 100 percent in 2017, while another 40 received zeroes. In the U.S. House of Representatives, 178 members received perfect scores of 100 percent in 2017 while 191 received scores of zero.

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

RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News


Study: Suicide Rates On The Rise Across The US In the wake of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, a newly released study says suicide rates have increased nearly 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 20 years. Research shows suicides are up in almost every state across the country. In 2016, nearly 45,000 people took their lives. More than half did not have a known mental health diagnosis. “We found that many common life stressors were present in the period preceding the suicide, in relationship problems, financial and job issues, physical health concerns,” said Dr. Anne Shuchat, deputy director with the Centers for Disease Control.

Locally, suicide rates in Pennsylvania are up 34.3 percent, in New Jersey up 19.2 percent and in Delaware, there’s been almost a 6 percent increase. Signs and symptoms to look for include isolation, agitation, anger, alcohol or drug use and changes in sleep patterns. Experts say it’s important to have a conversation if you’re concerned about someone.

“Be quite direct and say, ‘I’m concerned about you, here’s what I’ve noticed,’ and if they’re expressing feelings of hopelessness, I would encourage anyone to ask the question: ‘When it gets that way for you, do you ever think of ending your life?’ And just like that, that will open up a space where they can talk about what’s really going on,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer with the

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The biggest increase in suicides was in North Dakota, where the rate jumped more than 57 percent. The CDC says there were a higher number of suicides in areas hard hit by the economic downturn, especially in rural areas in western states. Help is just a phone call way. The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK or text “TALK” to 741741.

Is Surgery Right for Your Older Loved One? AS PEOPLE AGE, SURGERY and anesthesia can take a greater toll on their bodies and minds. Recovery may take longer. In many cases, however, patients in their late 60s, 70s and beyond can do just as well postoperatively as much younger patients. To determine surgical risk, it's important to look at the whole person beyond his or her birthdate. Special considerations for older adults include possible

frailty, chronic conditions, current medications and mental health status. Where people live, how they function and their individual health goals all matter. For some older patients, watchful waiting may be preferable to invasive surgery. If you or a loved one is contemplating or preparing for surgery, here's what clinicians should look for. Old age alone is not to blame

for increased surgical complications. That was a major finding from a large review of 44 studies comprising more than 12,000 patients 80 and older who underwent elective surgery. However, frailty, smoking, mental impairment and depression increased the risk for experiencing complications in this age group, according to the study released January in the

journal BMC Medicine. A simple hand-squeeze test at the doctor's office is one way to tell whether a patient might be too frail for surgery. Using a device called a hand-grip dynamometer – typically used to test hand and forearm strength in athletes – in conjunction with a patient's body mass index, clinicians can quickly and precisely measure frailty, according to a study in the May 2018 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery….Read More

Organizing Paperwork: Tips for Caregivers Organizing paperwork is one way that a long-distance caregiver can be a big help. An important part of effective caregiving depends on keeping a great deal of information in order and up to date. Often, long -distance caregivers will need access to a parent’s or relative's personal, health, financial, and legal records. Getting all this material together is a lot of work at first, and from far away it can seem

even more challenging. But once you have gathered everything together, many other caregiving tasks will be easier. Maintaining current information about your parent’s health and medical care, as well as finances, home ownership, and other legal issues, lets you get a handle on what is going on and allows you to respond more

quickly if there is a crisis. If you do not see the care recipient often, one visit may not be enough time for you to get all the paperwork organized. Instead, try to focus on gathering the essentials first, and fill in the blanks as you go along. Talk with the older person and the primary caregiver about any missing information or

documentation and how you might help to organize the records. It is also a good idea to make sure that all financial matters, including wills and life insurance policies, are in order. It will also help if someone has a durable power of attorney (the legal document naming one person to handle financial and property issues for another)….Read More

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

Consider an In-Patient Rehab Facility Before You Suffer a Fall AS A SAVVY MEDICAL consumer, you may already know which hospital you’d go to in an emergency or which doctor you’d turn to for a particular procedure. But many people never plan where they’d go for a few weeks or months of inpatient rehabilitation to recuperate from a fall. That choice may not even occur to a family until Mom, Dad or a spouse winds up in the hospital. “The case manager comes in and says, ‘Look at these facilities and tell us where you want to go so we can start our paperwork.’ The family and patients are overwhelmed,” says

Dr. Saket Saxena, a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic. But it may be time to give the scenario a little thought. This year 1 out of every 4 older adults will fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 20 percent of those people will suffer a serious injury, such as a broken hip or a head injury. While the best option is to go home after hospitalization for a fall, where you can rely on in-home or outpatient follow-up treatment, not everyone is well enough or has the support at home. It could

help to know which rehab facility would be best for your family, should you ever need to stay in one. What Are the Choices? In-patient rehab is meant to be a temporary transition stage between the hospital and your return home. “After a fall, your ability to walk may be compromised. You may not be able to carry out the activities of daily living. You may need physical therapy and occupational therapy in order to go home again. Or you may have a wound that needs to be

dressed every day,” explains Dr. Carla Perissinotto, associate chief for geriatric clinical programs at the University of California—San Francisco. There are two types of inpatient rehab facilities: acute care (in a stand-alone facility or within a hospital) and skilled nursing (beds within a nursing home that are intended for a short-term stay). Both have round-the-clock nurses and certified nursing assistants. Both kinds of facilities also have physical therapists and occupational therapists on staff. ...Read More

Aging and Your Eyes Are you holding the newspaper farther away from your eyes than you used to? Join the crowd—age can bring changes that affect your eyesight. Some changes are more serious than others, but for many problems, there are things you can do to protect your vision. The key is to have regular eye exams so you can spot problems early. How Can You Protect Your Eyesight? Have your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional—either an ophthalmologist or optometrist. People over age 60 should have dilated eye exams yearly. During this exam, the eye care professional will put drops in

your eyes to widen (dilate) your pupils so that he or she can look at the back of each eye. This is the only way to find some common eye diseases that have no early signs or symptoms. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, your prescription should be checked, too. See your doctor regularly to check for diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases can cause eye problems if not controlled or treated. See an eye care professional right away if you: Suddenly cannot see or

everything looks blurry  See flashes of light  Have eye pain  Experience double vision Have redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid Common Eye Problems The following common eye problems can be easily treated. But, sometimes they can be signs of more serious issues.  Presbyopia (prez-bee-OHpee-uh)  Floaters  Tearing  Eyelid problems Tips for Healthy Eyes

 Protect your eyes from too much sunlight by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a hat with a wide brim when you are outside.  Stop smoking.  Make smart food choices.  Be physically active and maintain a healthy weight.  Maintain normal blood pressure.  Control diabetes (if you have it).  If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focused on one thing, you can forget to blink. Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet for 20 seconds to prevent eye strain. …...Read More

Disrupted sleep-wake cycle might be measure for preclinical Alzheimer’s People with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease are known to have disrupted sleep. New NIHfunded research, published online Jan. 29, 2018, in JAMA Neurology, links a disrupted sleep-wake cycle to an earlier, preclinical disease phase, in which people have evidence of the disease but no symptoms. The study, by researchers at the

Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, suggests that a fragmented sleep-wake cycle might be explored as a biomarker for preclinical Alzheimer’s. For the study, 189 people (average age, 66 years) wore watch-like sensors for 7 to 14

days to collect data about their rest and activity levels. These participants also kept a sleep diary. In addition, they had positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, or both to look for any biological signs of Alzheimer’s, including abnormal levels of the proteins amyloid and tau.

The researchers found that cognitively normal participants who had biological changes related to Alzheimer’s were more likely than those without these changes to have fragmented sleep-wake cycles, with higherthan-normal periods of rest during the day and more periods of activity at night….Read More

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

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RI ARA June 17, 2018 E-Newsletter


RI ARA June 17, 2018 E-Newsletter

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