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Journalists Discuss New Alzheimer’s Drug, Women’s Alcohol Use, the Hip-Hop and Opioids Link

KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the FDA’s approval of a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease on WAMU’s “1A” on Wednesday.

  • Click here to hear Rovner on WAMU

KHN correspondent Aneri Pattani discussed the increase in alcohol use and misuse by young women on NPR’s “All Things Considered” on Wednesday.

  • Click here to hear Pattani on NPR
  • Read Pattani’s “Women Now Drink as Much as Men — And Are Prone to Sickness Sooner“

KHN freelancer Harris Meyer discussed the FDA’s approval of a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease on Newsy on Tuesday and WCPN’s “The Sound of Ideas” on Wednesday.

  • Click here to watch Meyer on Newsy
  • Click here to hear Meyer on WCPN
  • Read Meyer’s “FDA Weighs Approval of a Lucrative Alzheimer’s Drug, but Benefits Are Iffy“

KHN social media manager Chaseedaw Giles discussed opioid use and hip-hop music on NBC Lx’s “First Look” on Tuesday.

  • Click here
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Biden Kept His Promise to Increase Covid-Testing Capacity, Even as Demand for Testing Drops

Promise: “Double the number of drive-through testing sites, invest in next-generation testing, including at home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.”

Before vaccinations were widely available, covid-19 tests were considered one of the few tools to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

That’s why then-candidate Joe Biden promised during the 2020 presidential campaign to boost the United States’ testing capacity as one way he would “beat covid-19.”

Specifically, Biden’s campaign website promised that, if elected, he would “double the number of drive-through testing sites” and “invest in next-generation testing, including at-home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.”

KHN has teamed up with our partners at PolitiFact to analyze Biden’s promises during the 2020 presidential campaign. Now that Biden has been president almost five months, we checked how he has … Read the rest

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Study in China finds that retirement may accelerate cognitive decline, even for those with stable income

People who retire early suffer from accelerated cognitive decline and may even encounter early onset of dementia, according to a new economic study (Note: opens PDF) I conducted with my doctoral student Alan Adelman.

To establish that finding, we examined the effects of a rural pension program China introduced in 2009 that provided people who participated with a stable income if they stopped working after the official retirement age of 60. We found that people who participated in the program and retired within one or two years experienced a cognitive decline equivalent to a drop in general intelligence of 1.7% relative to the general population. This drop is equivalent to about three IQ points and could make it harder for someone to adhere to a medication schedule or conduct financial planning. The largest negative effect was in what is called “delayed recall,” which measures a person’s ability to remember something … Read the rest

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Our 200th Episode!

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The Food and Drug Administration found itself in the hot seat this week when it approved a controversial new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease with scant evidence of its effectiveness.

Meanwhile, as health policy watchers wait for the Supreme Court to rule in a case threatening the Affordable Care Act, the Biden administration is reporting that a record 31 million Americans have health insurance as a direct result of the health law. And President Joe Biden seeks to gain goodwill overseas as he announces the U.S. will provide 500 million doses of covid vaccine to aid international health efforts.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of … Read the rest

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DARPA-funded nonsurgical neurotechnologies push the frontier of brain-machine interfaces

Credit: J Robinson and Rice University

Rice University Charges Into the Future with Magnetics and Bioimplants (All About Circuits):

Advances in self-generating drug delivery systems, brain-to-brain communication, and injury mitigation technologies are just some of the newest research coming down the pipeline from Rice University.

Several research projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) N3 program might herald a future of highly advanced human-machine interfacing that expands the capabilities of soldiers and first responders.

This article will first overview the DARPA program and the basics of these three programs. Then, a look at the common electronics technologies that are being used in biotechnology at Rice University. Keep reading excellent article HERE, over at All About Circuits.

About DARPA’s N3 program:

Six paths to the nonsurgical future of brain-machine interfaces (DARPA):

Back in 2019, DARPA awarded funding to six organizations to support the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, first

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Hoy, las mujeres toman tanto como los hombres, pero sufren las consecuencias antes

Victoria Cooper pensaba que su consumo de alcohol en la universidad era como los de los demás. Shots en las fiestas, cervezas mientras jugaba al bowling. Tomaba más que otros y las resacas le hacían perder clases, pero así y todo pensaba que no tenía ningún problema.

“Según la imagen que tenía del alcoholismo —viejos embriagándose en un estacionamiento— yo pensaba que estaba bien”, dijo Cooper, que ahora está sobria y vive en Chapel Hill, Carolina del Norte.

Esa imagen de quiénes son los que sufren de alcoholismo, transmitida por la cultura pop, era engañosa hace más de una década, cuando Cooper estaba en la universidad. Y es aún menos representativa hoy en día.

Desde hace casi un siglo, las mujeres han ido cerrando la brecha de género en el consumo de alcohol, las borracheras y los trastornos que acarrea. Lo que antes era una proporción de 3 a 1, … Read the rest

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With Roots in Civil Rights, Community Health Centers Push for Equity in the Pandemic

In the 1960s, health care across the Mississippi Delta was sparse and much of it was segregated. Some hospitals were dedicated to Black patients, but they often struggled to stay afloat. At the height of the civil rights movement, young Black doctors launched a movement of their own to address the care disparity.


This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR, KHN and the Gulf States Newsroom. It can be republished for free.

“Mississippi was third-world and was so bad and so separated,” said Dr. Robert Smith. “The community health center movement was the conduit for physicians all over this country who believed that all people have a right to health care.”

In 1967, Smith helped start Delta Health Center, the country’s first rural community health center. They put the clinic in Mound Bayou, a small town in the heart of the Delta, in northwestern Mississippi. … Read the rest

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Debate: What is the role of financial advisors and platforms in detecting and addressing cognitive decline among older clients?

Baby Boomers’ Biggest Financial Risk: Cognitive Decline (The Wall Street Journal):

For baby boomers who manage their own nest eggs, a risk is looming that has nothing to do with stock prices or interest rates.

The risk is cognitive decline, which can rob them of their judgment, often without much warning. One big mistake—or a series of smaller ones—can go unnoticed by loved ones, and potentially ravage a lifetime of hard-earned savings.

To mitigate these risks, there are things baby boomers and others can do now to prepare for any problems. In addition, big do-it-yourself investing and trading venues like Vanguard Group, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corp. are strengthening some of the ways they detect possible signs of decline. Among other things, all three firms check for clients’ difficulty navigating security protocols or need for frequent password resets. In such cases, a designated family member might be informed.

Vanguard

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With Restrictions Tightening Elsewhere, California Moves to Make Abortion Cheaper


This story also ran on Los Angeles Times. It can be republished for free.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people.

State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses like copays and payments toward deductibles for abortions and related services, such as counseling. The measure, approved by the Senate and headed to the Assembly, would apply to most private health plans regulated by the state.

So far this year, 559 abortion restrictions have been introduced in 47 state legislatures, 82 of which have already been enacted, said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan research institute that studies abortion and reproductive health care. That’s already the third-highest number of abortion restrictions adopted in a year since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling … Read the rest

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In Missouri and Other States, Flawed Data Makes It Hard to Track Vaccine Equity

Throughout the covid-19 vaccination effort, public health officials and politicians have insisted that providing shots equitably across racial and ethnic groups is a top priority.


This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes KCUR, NPR and KHN. It can be republished for free.

But it’s been left up to states to decide how to do that and to collect racial and ethnic data on vaccinated individuals so states can track how well they’re doing reaching all groups. The gaps and inconsistencies in the data have made it difficult to understand who’s actually getting shots.

Just as an uneven approach to containing the coronavirus led to a greater toll for Black and Latino communities, the inconsistent data guiding vaccination efforts may be leaving the same groups out on vaccines, said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an epidemiologist at the University of California-San Francisco.

“At the very least, we need the same … Read the rest

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