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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 14 Published in house by the RI ARA

April 8, 2018 E-Newsletter

All Rights Reserved RI ARA 2018©

ALEC Is Talking About Changing the Way Senators Are Elected and Taking Away Your Vote .A proposed resolution advocates for overturning the 17th Amendment so Republican-controlled state legislatures could pick senators. The United States Senate is an undemocratic institution. Just do the math: Progressive California Senator Kamala Harris was elected in 2016 with 7,542,753 votes. Yet her vote on issues such as health-care reform counts for no more than that of conservative Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi, who was elected in 2014 with 121,554 votes. This is an absurd imbalance. In fact, the only thing that would make it more absurd would be if voters were removed from the equation altogether. Say “hello” to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the corporate-funded project to impose a top-down right-wing agenda on the states. ALEC is considering whether to

adopt a new piece of “model legislation” that proposes to do away with an elected Senate. The idea of reversing 104 years of representative democracy and returning to the bad old days when senators were chosen via backroom deals between wealthy campaign donors, corporate lobbyists, and crooked legislators, is not new. The John Birch Society peddled the proposal decades ago. But with the rise of the “Tea Party” movement, the notion moved into the conservative mainstream. Then–Texas Governor Rick Perry argued in 2012 that the direct election of senators “took the states out of the process.” Several Republican senators apparently agree, with Utah Senator Mike Lee referring to the 17th Amendment as “a mistake” and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake saying, “I think it’s better as it reinforces the notion of federalism to have senators appointed by state legislatures.”

What was once a fringe fantasy is being taken ever more seriously by conservative strategists. Last year, ALEC published an article by a so-called “subject matter expert” arguing that the popular election of senators is “disenfranchising the States.” The article made an oldschool states’ rights argument for taking the power to choose senators away from the people and giving it to the politicians who sit in state legislatures. ALEC has yet to formally embrace the theory, but last month it circulated a “DRAFT

Section 1. The seventeenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Section 2. Senators shall be elected exclusively by the State legislature, upon a majority vote of legislators present and voting in a joint session. If a vacancy shall exist for more than one hundred-eighty days, then the Governor shall appoint the Senator to serve the remainder of the vacant term. This procedure may not be modified by state initiative or referendum. Section 3. State legislatures RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING may issue instructions to, or CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT recall, their Senators at any time. RESTORING ELECTION OF U.S. If this project is approved by SENATORS TO THE ALEC members, the LEGISLATURES OF THE SOVEREIGN STATES.” That resolution will become part of resolution is among the ALEC’s agenda for the states— items expected to be considered advanced by conservative at this week’s annual meeting legislators who have established of the influential group… a pattern of rubber-stamping ALEC’s “model legislation.” The resolution gets right to the point: .Read More

Federal Spending Bill Now Law, Includes Increased Funding for Key Programs  Increases investments in the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and other non-defense Last week, Congress passed discretionary programs and the President signed serving older adults and legislation to fund the federal people with disabilities. government for the remaining  Maintains important progress six months of fiscal year 2018 recently made to reduce (FY18). The spending package, prescription drug costs for known as an omnibus, addresses people with Medicare. several of Medicare Rights top  Safeguards the Affordable priorities:

Care Act’s consumer protections and rejects proposals that would destabilize the health care system. Medicare Rights thanks lawmakers for their efforts to prioritize older adults and people with disabilities in the final FY18 spending bill. Looking ahead, we will seek to build upon these investments in FY19, and will continue work to

advance our goals that were not addressed in the bill, including the BENES Act and an extension of the Medicaid Money Follows the Person program. Read the final bill.

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

Medicaid Work Requirements Would Impact Older Adults who are “determined by the state to be medically frail” and people with “acute medical conditions validated by a medical professional that would prevent The Commonwealth Fund them from complying with the recently released requirements” of a work a report analyzing different demonstration. CMS also notes proposals by states to impose a that federal law may require work requirement for Medicaid states to modify work benefits and how those requirements to reasonably proposals would impact older accommodate qualified adults and people with individuals with disabilities. disabilities. To date, 12 states However, the guidance does have proposed conducting not include any expectation to demonstrations that add work exempt older adults from work requirements to Medicaid, and requirements. The the Centers for Medicare & Commonwealth Fund argues Medicaid Services (CMS) has so that “[a]ge exemption from work far approved proposals from requirements should be carefully Kentucky, Indiana, and considered given that lowArkansas. Among other policy income working-age adults are changes, these demonstrations significantly more likely than would tie Medicaid benefits to a those with higher incomes to minimum work requirement. report being in fair or poor In policy guidance on work health or having at least one of requirements released in five chronic conditions, January, CMS stated that it including hypertension, heart expects states to exempt people disease, diabetes, asthma, or

high cholesterol. And risk increases with age. By age 50, 70 percent of people below 200 percent of the federal poverty level report fair to poor health or having one or more chronic conditions; this percentage climbs to 83 percent by age 55.” Approaches vary among the proposals submitted so far. Three states have proposed to eliminate the work mandate for people age 50 and older. Other states maintain the requirements to age 65, but point to the “medical frailty” exemption to allow them to make case-bycase determinations. In its guidance, CMS defines the term “medically frail” only in broad terms, and does not distinguish from the existing definition in other federal regulations that identify expansion Medicaid beneficiaries who are entitled to Original Medicaid rather than a more limited package of benefits that a state might offer to the broader expansion population.

Under that definition, the overwhelming majority of older poor adults could be designated as medically frail. To date, four states — Maine, Mississippi, Utah, and Wisconsin — indicate that they intend to use a definition of medically frail that restricts the designation to people who cannot work at all—a standard that mirrors eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance. Whether CMS will permit such an extreme variation on the current standard, remains to be seen. The Commonwealth Fund calls upon CMS to more clearly define the acceptable limits of these work requirements, and to reduce the administrative burden on states and beneficiaries, as well as the stress and risk to beneficiary’s health, by requiring that states categorically exempt at least some older adults. Read the report.

Staying Alive: How To Fight An Opioid Addiction Rule No. 1: Stay alive. If you or a loved one wants to beat an opioid addiction, first make sure you have a handy supply of naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose and save your life. “Friends and families need to keep naloxone with them,” says Dr. David Kan, an addiction medicine specialist in Walnut Creek who is president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. “People using opioids should keep it with them, too.” More than 42,200 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016, victims of a crisis that’s being fueled by the rise of a powerful synthetic opioid called fentanyl, which is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. Rock stars Princeand Tom Petty had

fentanyl in their systems when they died. People can become addicted to opioids through long-term use, or misuse, of prescription painkillers. In most cases, that leads to heroin use, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. If you’re ready to address your own addiction, or that of a loved one, know that you may not succeed — at first. You probably won’t be able to do it without outside help or medications. And you’ll probably have to take those medications for years — or the rest of your life. “Getting over a drug addiction is a process. There are going to be ups and downs,” says Patt Denning, director of clinical services and training at the Center for Harm

Reduction Therapy in San Francisco and Oakland. “We need to hang with people while they’re struggling. It might take awhile.” That’s why Denning and others suggest you start with having naloxone on hand, which can help you stay alive through the process. Last year in San Francisco, about 1,200 potentially fatal overdoses were reversed by regular folks administering naloxone, not doctors, police or paramedics, Kan says. Naloxone, which can be administered as a nasal spray or injection, is available without a prescription in more than 40 states, including Califor nia. Ask your pharmacy if it stocks the drug. Needle exchange programs also offer the medication at no charge,

Denning says, as do some public health clinics. Rehab Alone Doesn’t Work People addicted to opioids face staggering relapse rates of 80 to 90 percent within 90 days if they try shortterm rehab or detox programs that wean them off the drugs without assistance from medications, says Richard Rawson, a UCLA psychiatry professor emeritus. Rawson warns that rehab can also increase the risk of an overdose, because your body’s tolerance to opioids is lower after you withdraw from them….Read More

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

Buying Humana Would Put Walmart In The Booming Medicare Senior Market and Texas where Walmart is strong and seniors abound. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night that Walmart was in “preliminary talks to buy” Humana, citing “people familiar with the Walmart is reportedly in talks matter.” The newspaper to buy Humana, a deal which described such a deal as “a would give the retail giant a dramatic shift for the retail health insurer and provider of behemoth.” medical care established in the But the shift wouldn’t be all booming market of senior that dramatic given Walmart citizens eligible for Medicare. has a long history of trying to Humana has one of the best- get into healthcare . Walmart has pharmacies, retail clinics known brands among health staffed by nurse practitioners, insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans , a fastand, at various times in the last growing form of coverage decade or so, has tried to buy popular among seniors. In and develop doctor practices and addition, Humana has been outpatient facilities. And the acquiring an array of doctor retailer already has a relationship practices and outpatient assets in with Humana. fast-growing retirement markets "Walmart and Humana have in the southern U.S. like Florida been killing it since the launch

of the Medicare drug benefit over a decade ago," Gorman Health Group executive chairman John Gorman said. "WalMart has pharmacies in hundreds of its stores and Humana is investing in a new line of primary care clinics. Imagine the two alongside each other in every WalMart. It's a deal aimed squarely at the senior market, and nobody does it better than Humana." A purchase of Humana would allow Walmart to tap into the health insurance and drug benefit business while at the same time acquiring a company that is growing a brand of doctor practices and outpatient facilities. Humana is particularly strong in offering health insurance and services to seniors. There are more than

10,000 Americans turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare every day. Health plans like Humana are already on the hunt to buy doctor practices with the staff, technology, information systems and providers to effectively manage the complex care of elderly Medicare beneficiaries, particularly as value-based care takes hold. Practices that provide effective treatment upfront in the doctor’s office leave more of the premium dollar for an insurance company to profit from or share with the providers. Increasingly, seniors are choosing Medicare Advantage plans like those offered by Humana. Currently, just under 35% of Medicare beneficiaries, or about 20 million Americans, are enrolled in MA plans.

Should You File for Social Security at 70 Even if You're Still Working? Though many workers today rush to retire in their early tomid-60s, an estimated 25% think they'll keep plugging away well into their 70s. And that's a good thing for a number of reasons. First, the longer you work, the more opportunity you get to sock away money for retirement. Similarly, working a few years longer than the typical employee means nottapping your nest egg during that time, thus stretching the savings you've already amassed. Though many workers today rush to retire in their early tomid-60s, an estimated 25% think they'll keep plugging away well into their 70s. And that's a good thing for a number of reasons. First, the longer you work, the more opportunity you get to sock away money for retirement. Similarly, working a few years longer than the typical employee means nottapping your nest egg during that time, thus stretching the savings you've already amassed. Waiting past 70 doesn't

make sense The reason it always pays to file for Social Security at 70 if you haven't done so already is that the delayed retirement credits you collect for waiting stop accruing at that age. In other words, if your full retirement age is 67 and you wait until age 70 to take benefits, you'll boost them by 8% a year over that three-year period for a total increase of 24%. But once you turn 70, that incentive goes away, which means there's no sense in waiting any longer. If you fail to file for Social Security at 70, in fact, you'll risk giving up money that's rightfully yours. Implications of working and collecting Social Security You may have heard that your Social Security benefits will be reduced if you attempt to collect them while still bringing home a paycheck, but that only applies in scenarios where you're working and receiving benefits prior to reaching full retirement age. If you're 70, it means you're

automatically past that point, and so whatever amount you're entitled to from Social Security, you'll get it in full. That said, being on Social Security doesn't exempt you from paying into the system. You'll still lose a portion of each paycheck to Social Security and Medicare taxes even if you're receiving benefits yourself (though if you're a higher earner, you might pay Social Security taxes on just a portion of your income). Furthermore, you should know that if you're still collecting a paycheck along with Social Security, those benefits might be taxed at the federal level. To see if this will apply to you, you'll need to figure your provisional income, which is your nonSocial Security income plus 50% of your yearly benefits. If that total falls between $25,000 and $34,000 and you're a single tax filer, or between $32,000 and $44,000 as a joint filer, then you could be taxed on up to 50% of your benefits. And if that total

exceeds $34,000 as a single filer or $44,000 as a couple filing jointly, then you could be taxed on up to 85% of your benefits. Also, depending on where you live, you might pay state taxes on your Social Security income as well. Most states that tax benefits offer some type of exemption, but if your earnings are high because you're working and collecting a paycheck, you may not qualify. Though working and collecting Social Security simultaneously does have some tax implications, once you turn 70, there's no reason not to claim the benefits that are rightfully yours. Yes, you may end up losing some of that money to taxes, but the same holds true for your regular paycheck. And financially speaking, it's better to get taxed on your income than have no income at all. …….MSN Money

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

How to Write and Update a Will – The Process You Need to Know While you can’t take your property with you when you die, you can direct how your assets will be distributed by making a will. Unfortunately, some people never get around to the task, and instead die “intestate” – a legal term dictating how all property greater than the sum of your enforceable debts and funeral expenses, in the absence of a will, is distributed. Surprisingly, almost half of all adults die without a will, according to a 2012 Rocket Lawyer survey. In such cases, state law determines who gets what – including custody of minor children. It is not just the poor and uneducated who die intestate. Celebrities such as Howard Hughes, Pablo Picasso, and Sonny Bono all failed to have wills, as did Swedish author Stieg Larsson, best known for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series of novels. As a consequence, distribution of their property to loved ones and business partners was delayed and expensive. Unfortunately, even those with the foresight to prepare a will often forget to update its provisions as their circumstances

change over the years – the birth and maturity of children, accumulation or divestiture of assets, or changes in personal responsibilities, for example. Therefore, the transfer of their assets may be inconsistent with their final wishes, overly expensive, and a source of emotional pain and frustration for their loved ones. In the worst circumstances, the estate passes (escheats) to the government, an undesirable result for almost all people. Creating a Will Some people elect to postpone or avoid writing a will because they falsely believe that taxes and administrative expenses may reduce the amount of funds (what lawyers call the “corpus” of the estate) that will be distributed to their heirs. However, a will does not complicate the distribution of an estate, but is intended to facilitate the passage of assets and maximize the benefits of the parties. Failing to write one only complicates matters for those who will be left to pick up the pieces. There are three primary ways to go about creating a will. 1. Do-It-Yourself The assumption that preparing a will requires the use of an attorney and attendant expenses

is incorrect. Creating a will can be as simple as writing or typing out how you want your assets to be distributed, naming the guardian or guardians of your minor children, and signing the document in front of witnesses. In some states, a completely handwritten will – legally known as a “holographic will” – does not even require witnesses. In the majority of states, the requirements of a valid will are as follows:  You must be eighteen years or older.  You must be of sound mind, with mental capacity to understand and express your desires.  The language of the document must clearly state it is your will.  An executor must be named.  The will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign and date the will. In lieu of witnesses, the signature of the maker can be witnessed and authenticated by a state licensed notary public. While there is no legal requirement that a will be notarized or recorded with authorities, doing so may safeguard against any claims that it is invalid and

generally ease the probate process. 2. Prepaid Legal Forms Rather than rely upon your own ability to correctly decipher the law and properly use legal language, many people use prepaid legal services and standardized, fill-in-the-blanks forms. Lawyers have historically used “boilerplate” language whose meaning is commonly accepted as the result of years of use and litigation. Designed to have limited flexibility in order to save legal fees, such options can be beneficial if your estate is modest and the transfer of your property at death is not likely to be contested. 3. Professional Advice Many people rely upon the advice of an attorney to cr eate or review a will’s details. Here are some reasons to seek professional advice:  The size of your estate is significant, or taxes may be due.  Management of distributed assets is complex or extensive, especially if assets are located in several states.  Your will is likely to be contested.  Children and guardianships are involved. ….Read More

Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and homedelivered meals may be among the new benefits added to Medicare Advantage coverage when new federal rules take effect next year. On Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expandedhow it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare

Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare offers. “Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Of the 61 million people enrolled in Medicare last year, 20 million have opted for

Medicare Advantage, a privately run alternative to the traditional government program. Advantage plans limit members to a network of providers. Similar restrictions may apply to the new benefits. Many Medicare Advantage plans already offer some health benefits not covered by traditional Medicare, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and gym memberships. But the new rules, which the industry sought, will expand that

significantly to items and services that may not be directly considered medical treatment. CMS said the insurers will be permitted to provide care and devices that prevent or treat illness or injuries, compensate for physical impairments, address the psychological effects of illness or injuries, or reduce emergency medical care. ...Read More

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

RI ARA HealthLink Wellness News


‘Aggressive’ New Advance Directive Would Let Dementia Patients Refuse Food Treading into ethically and legally uncertain territory, a New York end-of-life agency has approved a new document that lets people stipulate in advance that they don’t want food or water if they develop severe dementia. The directive, finalized this month by the board for End Of Life Choices New York, aims to provide patients a way to hasten death in late-stage dementia, if they choose. Dementia is a terminal illness, but even in the seven U.S. jurisdictions that allow medical

aid-in-dying, it’s not a condition covered by the laws. Increasingly, patients are seeking other options, said Dr. Timothy Quill, a palliative care expert at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and longtime advocate of the practice. “Developing incapacitating dementia is certainly my and a lot of people’s worst nightmare,” he said. “This is an aggressive document. It’s a way of addressing a real problem, which is the prospect of advanced dementia.” The document offers two options: one that requests

“comfort feeding” — providing oral food and water if a patient appears to enjoy or allows it during the final stages of the disease — and one that would halt all assisted eating and drinking, even if a patient seems willing to accept it. Supporters say it’s the strongest effort to date to allow people who want to avoid the ravages of advanced dementia to make their final wishes known — while they still have the ability to do so. “They do not want their dying prolonged,” said Judith Schwarz, who drafted the document as clinical director for the advocacy

group. “This is an informed and thoughtful choice that needs a great deal of reflection and discussion.” But critics say it’s a disturbing effort to allow withdrawal of basic sustenance from the most vulnerable in society. “I think oral feeding is basic care,” said Richard Doerflinger, an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which opposes abortion and euthanasia. “It’s what they want here and now that matters. If they start taking food, you give them food.”...Read More

Ibuprofen could stop Alzheimer's, say researchers You may have taken ibuprofen today, be it to ease a headache or alleviate back pain. But there might be more to this common medication than pain relief; a new paper suggests that a daily dose of ibuprofen could prevent Alzheimer's disease. Researchers say that ibuprofen could ward off Alzheimer's if taken every day. Led by Dr. Patrick McGeer, who is the CEO of Aurin Biotech in Canada, the study describes how ibuprofen could reduce inflammationcaused by an Alzheimer's-related peptide.

The paper was recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It is estimated that around 5.7 million adults in the United States are living with the disease. This number is predicted to rise to almost 14 million by 2050. The search continues for the exact causes of Alzheimer's, but a sticky protein called betaamyloidis believed to play a role in the disease. Beta-amyloid can clump

together and form "plaques" in the brain. These plaques will interfere with brain cell communication, which can lead to memory loss, behavioral changes, and many other symptoms characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. In a study published last year, Dr . McGeer and colleagues revealed that a betaamyloid peptide — known as amyloid-beta 42 (Abeta 42) — is present in saliva, as well as the brain, and that levels of this peptide are higher in adults who are at greater risk of Alzheimer's.

Based on those results, the team suggests that a saliva test could be used to predict the risk of Alzheimer's disease years before symptoms arise. "What we've learned through our research," reports Dr. McGeer, "is that people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's exhibit the same elevated Abeta 42 levels as people who already have it; moreover, they exhibit those elevated levels throughout their lifetime so, theoretically, they could get tested anytime."

A Second Wave of Flu May Be On the Way, CDC Warns The bulk of this year’s deadly flu season was dominated by the H3N2 virus, an influenza A strain that is more severe and less receptive to vaccines than other types of the disease. As the season winds down, however, influenza B has overtaken influenza A, setting the scene for a possible second wave of flu, according to

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) data. While flu activity nationwide has dropped to just above nonflu-season levels, influenza B viruses were reported more frequently than influenza A viruses during the week ending March 17, according to the CDC. Influenza B infections, which commonly strike later in the season, may be especially

severe for young children, a CDC spokesperson told CNN. Even those who already got the flu this year may not be safe, since it’s possible to get sick with both influenza A and influenza B in a single season. The good news, however, is that influenza B viruses traditionally respond better to vaccines than influenza A viruses. By CDC estimates, this

year’s flu shot was 42% effective against influenza B, versus 25% effective against H3N2. And believe it or not, it’s still not too late to get a shot if you haven’t. The CDC recommends vaccination “as long as flu viruses are circulating” — and with 17 states still reporting widespread flu activity, that puts us squarely within that window.

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

This supplement may promote healthy arterial aging A small pilot study of older people suggests that taking a daily supplement of a nutrient that is present naturally in foods may improve artery health and blood pressure. A certain type of supplement may promote healthy arterial aging and reduced blood pressure. The researchers, at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that the supplement — called nicotinamide riboside —

mimics some of the effects of caloric restriction and activates several identical biological pathways. Studies of caloric restriction — which have been done mainly in rodents and fruit flies and not so much in humans — indicate that reducing daily calorie intake by a third may delay the aging process and lengthen lifespan. The new study found that taking nicotinamide riboside supplements significantly improved blood pressure in people with mild

hypertension, or elevated blood pressure. Should the results be confirmed in a larger clinical trial, the researchers think that they could have important implications in biomedicine, such as increasing treatment options for elevated blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure and stage 1 high blood pressure are now defined as a blood pressure of 120/80 or 139/89 millimeters of mercury, respectively, which — although is not high enough to justify

medication — is high enough to raise the risk for a heart attack or stroke. Currently, the recommended options for people with elevated blood pressure include changes to diet and increasing physical activity. Senior study author Doug Seals, who is a professor and researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology, and his colleagues report their findings in a paper due to be published in the journal Nature Communications….Read More

Older Americans Are Hooked On Vitamins Despite Scarce Evidence They Work When she was a young physician, Dr. Martha Gulati noticed that many of her mentors were prescribing vitamin E and folic acid to patients. Preliminary studies in the early 1990s had linked both supplements to a lower risk of heart disease. She urged her father to pop the pills as well: “Dad, you should be on these vitamins, because every cardiologist is taking them or putting their patients on [them],” recalled Gulati, now chief of cardiology for the University of Arizona

College of Medicine-Phoenix. But just a few years later, she found herself reversing course, after rigorous clinical trials found neither vitamin E nor folic acid supplements did anything to protect the heart. Even worse, studies linked highdose vitamin E to a higher risk of heart failure, prostate cancer and death from any cause. “‘You might want to stop taking [these],’” Gulati told her father. More than half of Americans take vitamin supplements, including 68 percent of those age 65 and older, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. Among older

adults, 29 percent take four or more supplements of any kind, according to a Journal of Nutrition study published in 2017. Often, preliminary studies fuel irrational exuberance about a promising dietary supplement, leading millions of people to buy in to the trend. Many never stop. They continue even though more rigorous studies — which can take many years to complete — almost never find that vitamins prevent disease, and in some cases cause harm. “The enthusiasm does tend to outpace the evidence,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of

preventive medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. There’s no conclusive evidence that dietary supplements prevent chronic disease in the average American, Manson said. And while a handful of vitamin and mineral studies have had positive results, those findings haven’t been strong enough to recommend supplements to the general U.S. public, she said….Read More

Why Disrupted Sleep Is A Consequence Of Growing Older As human beings age, changing sleep patterns are expected as a part of the process. In a national poll conducted in 2017, it was revealed that 46% of older adults faced trouble falling asleep one or more nights a week while 15% reported sleep problems for three or more nights a week. A new study from the University of Kent has found how aging reduces sleep quality

by impacting receptors in the brain. The paper titled 'Alterations in glutamatergic signaling contribute to the decline of circadian photoentrainment in aged mice' was published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. Gurprit Lall, of the University’s Medway School of Pharmacy, along with the rest of the research team identified an impairment in the resetting of the circadian clock in aged mammals. Circadian rhythm refers to the internal 24-hour

clock, also known as the sleep and wake cycle of the body. While the brain (specifically, the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN) controls the rhythm, it can also be influenced by external factors such as lightness and darkness. As a part of the study, the researchers gathered mice housed in groups of four and later, individually. Young mice were defined as ones aged between 1 and 2 months and aged mice were defined as ones aged between 14 and 18 months.

"Environmental room lighting consisted of white fluorescent strips providing approximately 250–350 lux at the level of the cage," stated the study. Researchers identified a difference between the mice with regards to the NMDA receptor, which is used to transmit light information and ultimately reset behavioral circadian rhythms. The ability was significantly reduced in aged mice compared to the young ones….Read More

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RI ARA April 8, 2018 E-Newsletter


RI ARA April 8, 2018 E-Newsletter

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