The health benefits of sleep are well documented, yet many Americans suffer from conditions that damage sleep quality. One such condition, sleep apnea, affects more than 12 million Americans as they attempt to sleep every night. Recent research has drawn a link between heart disease and sleep apnea. People who have been diagnosed with heart trouble than people whose sleep is uninterrupted. A study of around 4,500 people over the age of 40 showed that men with sleep apnea were almost 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure than people without the disorder.

Sleep Apnea: The Symptoms and Your Options

The health benefits of sleep are well documented, yet many Americans suffer from conditions that damage sleep quality. One such condition, sleep apnea, affects more than 12 million Americans as they attempt to sleep every night. Recent research has drawn a link between heart disease and sleep apnea. People who have been diagnosed with heart trouble than people whose sleep is uninterrupted. A study of around 4,500 people over the age of 40 showed that men with sleep apnea were almost 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure than people without the disorder.

UPenn researchers have just concluded an extensive study which shows that a spinal fluid test can be 100% accurate in identifying patients with memory loss who will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study which will publish today in the Archives of Neurology shows not just that a test can determine that a patient in on track to develop Alzheimer’s but also how accurate that test can be. The new study was comprised of over 300 individuals in their seventies: 114 with normal memories, 200 with memory problems, and 102 with Alzheimer’s disease. The spinal fluid of each participant was analyzed for a protein fragment called amyloid beta, which is known to form plaque in the brain, and a protein called tau, which builds up in dying brain nerve cells. The researchers analyzed each sample blind to the clinical status of each subject and patients were not informed of the results of their spinal tap test. The results? Almost three quarters of patients with mild cognitive impairment (a precursor to Alzheimer’s) had the proteins in their spinal fluid and all of those patients developed Alzheimer’s within five years. 1/3 of those patients with normal memories had the proteins in their spinal fluid, leading researchers to suspect those individuals will develop memory problems.

Spinal-Fluid Test Predicts Alzheimer’s with 100 Percent Accuracy

UPenn researchers have just concluded an extensive study which shows that a spinal fluid test can be 100% accurate in identifying patients with memory loss who will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study which will publish today in the Archives of Neurology shows not just that a test can determine that a patient in on track to develop Alzheimer’s but also how accurate that test can be. The new study was comprised of over 300 individuals in their seventies: 114 with normal memories, 200 with memory problems, and 102 with Alzheimer’s disease. The spinal fluid of each participant was analyzed for a protein fragment called amyloid beta, which is known to form plaque in the brain, and a protein called tau, which builds up in dying brain nerve cells. The researchers analyzed each sample blind to the clinical status of each subject and patients were not informed of the results of their spinal tap test. The results? Almost three quarters of patients with mild cognitive impairment (a precursor to Alzheimer’s) had the proteins in their spinal fluid and all of those patients developed Alzheimer’s within five years. 1/3 of those patients with normal memories had the proteins in their spinal fluid, leading researchers to suspect those individuals will develop memory problems.

After weeks of negotiations, last Thursday the Senate granted $26 billion in aid money to states and school districts to halt layoffs of thousands of government employees, teachers, and emergency and law enforcement workers. A large chunk of these much-needed funds will go toward Medicaid programs in states whose administrators have been struggling to make ends meet (our friends at Aging and Disability in America posted on it last Friday). Another $600 million was allocated in the same bill to strengthening border security in vulnerable southern states. Of these funds $10 billion will go to help teachers who might otherwise be laid off because of cutbacks keep their jobs and $16 million will help states close budget gaps left by rising healthcare costs.

Medicaid Funding Passes Senate, House the Next Hurdle

After weeks of negotiations, last Thursday the Senate granted $26 billion in aid money to states and school districts to halt layoffs of thousands of government employees, teachers, and emergency and law enforcement workers. A large chunk of these much-needed funds will go toward Medicaid programs in states whose administrators have been struggling to make ends meet (our friends at Aging and Disability in America posted on it last Friday). Another $600 million was allocated in the same bill to strengthening border security in vulnerable southern states. Of these funds $10 billion will go to help teachers who might otherwise be laid off because of cutbacks keep their jobs and $16 million will help states close budget gaps left by rising healthcare costs.

Recently a twenty-four state compact meant to help nurses work in the neediest areas has actually opened the door for nurses being investigated for professional irresponsibility and negligence to elude the consequences of their misconduct and keep working. This ten year old interstate compact allows a nurse with a license obtained in their home state to work in any of the other twenty-three states.

Nurses Able to Circumvent System, Keep Working Despite Allegations of Misconduct

Recently a twenty-four state compact meant to help nurses work in the neediest areas has actually opened the door for nurses being investigated for professional irresponsibility and negligence to elude the consequences of their misconduct and keep working. This ten year old interstate compact allows a nurse with a license obtained in their home state to work in any of the other twenty-three states.

Unfortunately, a new problem has arisen for nurses and those who depend on their care. This year though there aren’t enough nurses out there to care for the sick, there are also many new RNs standing in unemployment lines. How can there be such a huge demand for nurses and simultaneously a crowd of nurses with nowhere to work?

Nursing Job Market Tough This Year

Unfortunately, a new problem has arisen for nurses and those who depend on their care. This year though there aren’t enough nurses out there to care for the sick, there are also many new RNs standing in unemployment lines. How can there be such a huge demand for nurses and simultaneously a crowd of nurses with nowhere to work?

WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest health insurance agencies, sparred off against the drug Boniva, which is marketed by Genentech. In 2009, WellPoint made it more difficult for beneficiaries to use Boniva, which is used to treat osteoporosis, after conducting a study on the drug. Sufferers of osteoporosis are primarily women, who experience weak bones and a greater risk of suffering bone fractures. Post-menopausal women have the highest risk of developing osteoporosis because they lose estrogen, a key element in strengthening bones.

Does Boniva Really Work? WellPoint Says No

WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest health insurance agencies, sparred off against the drug Boniva, which is marketed by Genentech. In 2009, WellPoint made it more difficult for beneficiaries to use Boniva, which is used to treat osteoporosis, after conducting a study on the drug. Sufferers of osteoporosis are primarily women, who experience weak bones and a greater risk of suffering bone fractures. Post-menopausal women have the highest risk of developing osteoporosis because they lose estrogen, a key element in strengthening bones.

As the health care debate raged onwards in 2009, the number of uninsured American adults rose by 3 million from 2008. Overall, approximately 46.3 million people in this country do not have health insurance covered. In Texas, over one out of every four people was uninsured in 2009, compared to the 15.4 percent nationally.

3 Million More Americans Uninsured in 2009

As the health care debate raged onwards in 2009, the number of uninsured American adults rose by 3 million from 2008. Overall, approximately 46.3 million people in this country do not have health insurance covered. In Texas, over one out of every four people was uninsured in 2009, compared to the 15.4 percent nationally.

According to Mike Lillis from THE HILL’S Healthwatch blog, a recent study by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) discovered that few seniors knew about and understood the ins and outs of health care reform. The NCOA distributed a 12 question survey to 636 seniors. No senior got all the survey questions right, indicating the widespread lack of knowledge about reform.

Response to The Hill’s Healthwatch Blog

According to Mike Lillis from THE HILL’S Healthwatch blog, a recent study by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) discovered that few seniors knew about and understood the ins and outs of health care reform. The NCOA distributed a 12 question survey to 636 seniors. No senior got all the survey questions right, indicating the widespread lack of knowledge about reform.

The country’s current health care reforms have underscored the country’s primary care physician deficit. By the time the reforms kick into effect in 2014, the majority of Americans will be insured. In Massachusetts, where all citizens must be enrolled in some health insurance plan, universal insurance has exposed the Commonwealth’s primary care shortage. The dearth of Massachusetts primary care physicians has often made it more difficult for residents to get the care they need. This same fate seems on the horizon for all on a national level.

We’re Running Out of Primary Care Physicians: What Are We Going to Do About It?

The country’s current health care reforms have underscored the country’s primary care physician deficit. By the time the reforms kick into effect in 2014, the majority of Americans will be insured. In Massachusetts, where all citizens must be enrolled in some health insurance plan, universal insurance has exposed the Commonwealth’s primary care shortage. The dearth of Massachusetts primary care physicians has often made it more difficult for residents to get the care they need. This same fate seems on the horizon for all on a national level.

A coalition of House Democrats is gearing up to propose legislation which revives the public option President Obama had originally hoped to carry through this year’s healthcare overhaul. The legislation House Democrats plan to introduce today would establish a government-administered insurance option available to consumers as part of The Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), has 125 co-sponsors and is similar to the public option originally passed by the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this year but adjusted to fit within the framework of insurance exchanges which eventually made it into the reform debate’s final product.

Public Option Not Dead On the Hill

A coalition of House Democrats is gearing up to propose legislation which revives the public option President Obama had originally hoped to carry through this year’s healthcare overhaul. The legislation House Democrats plan to introduce today would establish a government-administered insurance option available to consumers as part of The Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), has 125 co-sponsors and is similar to the public option originally passed by the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this year but adjusted to fit within the framework of insurance exchanges which eventually made it into the reform debate’s final product.