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'RURAL TELEHEALTH' CAREGIVER PROGRAM TO BE OFFERED

There are an estimated 70,000 people living with alzheimer's and 271,000 caregivers in Kentucky,  providing care for their loved ones.In many of the rural areas, there are not enough resources to turn to. 

Caregivers often report burnout due to the demands of caregiving and lack of feeling equipped to handle the day to day challenges that are brought about by these brain diseases.Often caregivers and their diagnosed loved ones feel isolated because they may not be able to carry on with their normal day to day activities due to the disease.   

One program that may be helpful to families living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may be the Rural Telehealth program. The program brings people together that are going through similar situations caused by Alzheimer’s and related dementias. It is a support for families to see other caregivers and know that they are not alone.  Caregivers benefit from the education provided by expert presenters.

The interactive telehealth program happen quarterly in January, April, July, and October.  It is broadcast live from the University of Kentucky to rural parts of the state.  Topics have included Research Updates, Management of Behavioral Symptoms in Dementia, Caregiver Wellness, Staying Safe, The Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease, Late Stage Dementia, and many more.

On October 26th, the University of Kentucky Sanders Brown Center on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association will present the next Telehealth program: Question & Answer Session on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.   A panel of experts including a behavioral neurologist, social worker, gerontologist and program coordinator from the Alzheimer’s Association will answer questions from around the state.   The program will take place from 6:30pm-8:00pmEST at the Center for Health Education & Research located at 16 West 2nd Street in Morehead.

This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required by October 19th.  To register, please contact Hardin Stevens at 859-323-2997 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the University of Kentucky Sanders Brown Center on Aging

The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) basic and clinical scientists work together to improve the health of the elderly in Kentucky and beyond through research dedicated to understanding the aging process and age-related brain diseases, and education, outreach and clinical programs that promote healthy brain aging.  For more information call (859) 323-6040.

About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

Contact: April Stauffer, Alzheimer’s Association
859-266-5283, ext. 8179, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 2017

Big study finds Appalachia falling behind rest of the nation in health; rural areas often worse off

This county-by-county map of premature deaths, from the report, outlines in red the Appalachian region, where the rate is 25 percent higher than in the nation as a whole.This county-by-county map of premature deaths, from the report, outlines in red the Appalachian region, where the rate is 25 percent higher than in the nation as a whole.

By Melissa Patrick
Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

When it comes to health, Appalachia is falling farther behind the rest of the nation. So says a comprehensive report from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a Kentucky foundation, looking at a range of health measures in Appalachia.

"We can't underestimate the importance of accurate and timely data in understanding the issues that lead to the health disparities in Appalachia," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which co-sponsored the study.

The report, “Health Disparities in Appalachia,” not only paints a grim picture of the region's health status, but also shows that even in the areas of improvement, the region hasn't kept up with the rest of the nation, and continues to fall behind.

The researchers found that over the last two decades, Appalachia and the rest of the U.S. saw improvements in seven of the eight health measures examined: deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke; infant mortality, the supply of primary-care doctors, education levels and years of potential life lost. Poverty was the only measure that increased.

But when compared to the rest of the nation, Appalachia's improvements lagged behind in all but one of those measures: the number of primary-care physicians.

The greatest gap was in life expectancy, the most fundamental measure of a place's health. The report measured it in "years of potential life lost." Over the last two decades, the U.S. saw a 24 percent decrease in premature deaths, while the Appalachian region only saw an 8 percent decrease. The Appalachian rate was 25 percent higher than the nation as a whole.

A news release about the study noted that the nation's improvements have often outpaced those in Appalachia.

For example, in the 1990s, the cancer death rate in Appalachia was only 1 percent higher than the rest of the nation, but more recently it is 10 percent higher. The infant mortality rates were 4 percent higher in Appalachia in the '90s, but are now 16 percent higher.

“These data bring attention to the growing health gap between Appalachia and the rest of the country,” Hilary Heishman, senior program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in the release. “The U.S. can’t be healthy as a whole if we are leaving whole regions behind.”

The report also analyzed 41 health indicators and how the 420 Appalachian counties compared to the rest of the nation in those measures, as well as how parts of the region compared to one another.

One of the greatest differences between Appalachia and the rest of the nation is the number of deaths caused by injury, which are 33 percent higher in the region. Injury deaths include things like motor vehicle accidents, falls and drug overdoses.

Injury deaths were more than twice the national rate in Central Appalachia – 81.4 injury deaths per 100,000 people compared to 39.5 nationally. Central Appalachia is the most rural sub-region as defined by the Appalachian commission.

The premature death rate in Central Appalachia was much higher than the other sub-regions, 69 percent higher than the national average.

Appalachian suicide rates were also higher than the national rates by 17 percent, and were 31 percent higher in Central Appalachia.

“In measure after measure, the Central Appalachian region—including Eastern Kentucky—faces greater health challenges, and gaps are widening at a faster rate, than in the rest of Appalachia and the nation,” Chandler said in the news release. “Appalachia’s economic livelihood is absolutely dependent on improving these health measures."

The report also notes that Appalachia's rural counties have higher death rates than the region's large metro counties for each of the mortality measures, "signifying a stark rural-urban divide in the region": in rural counties, heart disease is 27 percent higher, cancer is 15 percent higher, COPD is 55 percent higher, injury is 47 percent higher, stroke is 8 percent higher; suicide is 21 percent higher, and diabetes is 36 percent higher. Premature death rates are 40 percent higher in rural Appalachia.

It comes as no surprise that many of the risk factors for poor health are also more prevalent in the Appalachian region, including fewer health care providers, higher rates of diabetes and obesity, higher rates of physical inactivity and higher smoking rates. The region also has lower incomes, higher poverty rates, more people on disability and lower shares of residents with some college education.

One bright spot is the Appalachian region's high rate of social associations, at 33 percent. This is a measure of the number of social organizations available and may very well end up being part of the solution to improving the region's health. "Greater levels of social relationships and interaction positively affect a number of outcomes, included those associated with both mental and physical health,” the report says.

The region also has lower incidence of chlamydia, lower prevalence of HIV, higher student-teacher ratios, and better diabetes monitoring among Medicare patients than the rest of the nation as a whole.

“This report begins to identify key health challenges confronting Appalachia,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl said in the release. “Now we need to understand the implications these findings have for Appalachia’s economy so we can continue working towards a brighter future for the region.”

This report is part of multi-part research project titled “Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots.” The next report will explore “bright spots,” Appalachian communities that have better-than-expected health outcomes given their resources, with the goal of identifying activities, programs or policies that other struggling communities could replicate.


Written by Melissa Patrick

Posted at 8/24/2017 12:01:00 AM

 

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 2017

UPDATE: On Aug. 10 President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. A White House statement said he "has instructed his administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic," the New York Times reports.

President Trump is giving "incredible attention" to the issue after first refusing to call it an emergency.President Trump is giving "incredible attention" to the issue after first refusing to call it an emergency.Among other benefits, "the emergency declaration may allow the government to deploy the equivalent of its medical cavalry, the U.S. Public Health Service, a uniformed service of physicians and other staffers that can target places with little medical care or drug treatment, said Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He said the DEA might be able to use the emergency to require prescriber education for doctors and others who dispense opioids," the Times reports.

Original post:

In a July 31 interim report, the bipartisan White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis asked President Trump to declare the opioid crisis that's killing more than 142 Americans every day a national emergency.

But after an Aug. 8 meeting with members of his administration and health officials, the president declined to do so — yet. "Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price later told reporters that declaring a national emergency is a step usually reserved for 'a time-limited problem,' like the Zika outbreak or problems caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Declaring a state of emergency allows the government to quickly lift restrictions or waive rules so that states and local governments don’t have to wait to take action. Price said that the administration can do the same sorts of things without declaring an emergency, although he said Trump is keeping the option on the table," Jenna Johnson and John Wagner report for The Washington Post.

Price said the president is giving "incredible attention" to the issue. In a brief address to reporters, President Trump focused on preventative measures, saying that the best way to prevent opioid addiction is to prevent people from using drugs in the first place. "If they don’t start, they won’t have a problem. If they do start, it’s awfully tough to get off," Trump told reporters at the clubhouse at his private golf club, where he is on a 17-day working vacation. "So if we can keep them from going on — and maybe by talking to youth and telling them: 'No good, really bad for you in every way.' But if they don’t start, it will never be a problem."

President Trump won over rural voters in opioid-ravaged areas with promises to end the opioid crisis by increasing funds for treatment programs and building a border wall with Mexico to stop the flow of drugs into the country. But detractors say little of that has materialized. The border wall is years from completion, and funds for drug treatment may be effectively cut. "Republicans in Congress have proposed cutting Medicaid in ways that health-care advocates say would reduce access to drug treatment for many, and the president’s budget proposal calls for reducing funding for addiction treatment, research and prevention efforts. Several Republican lawmakers who did not vote for their party’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this summer said that the legislation would make it more difficult for their states to combat the heroin epidemic," the Post reports.

According to the bipartisan commission's preliminary report, declaring a national emergency could allow lawmakers to waive a federal rule that restricts where Medicaid recipients can receive treatment. The Department of Health and Human Services would also gain the power to negotiate lower prices with the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture overdose prevention drugs. The price on many such drugs has skyrocketed in recent years, hampering the ability of first responders in small towns with small city budgets to respond to overdoses.

Written by Heather Chapman Posted at 8/11/2017

 

A historic total solar eclipse will sweep across the nation next week.

Where will you be when the sun goes dark?

Click pic for siteClick pic for site

Whether you plan to travel to the center line in western Kentucky to experience the total solar eclipse or intend to view a partial eclipse at work with your colleagues in the central, northern or eastern parts of the state, make sure you have appropriate, certified solar glasses to protect your eyes.

Click HERE for details

 

MARKEY CANCER CENTER STUDY SHOWS ‘KILLER PEPTIDE’ HELPS ELIMINATE SOME CANCER CELLS

UK’s Vivek Rangnekar, left, and Ravshan Burikhanov. (UK Now Photo)UK’s Vivek Rangnekar, left, and Ravshan Burikhanov. (UK Now Photo)


By Allison Perry
Special to KyForward

A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that when therapy-sensitive cancer cells die, they release a “killer peptide” that can eliminate therapy-resistant cells.

Tumor relapse is a common problem following cancer treatment, because primary tumor cells often contain therapy-resistance cancer cells that continue to proliferate after the therapy-sensitive cells have been eliminated.

In the new study, published in Cancer Research, Markey scientists identified a Par-4 amino-terminal fragment (PAF) that is released by diverse therapy-sensitive cancer cells following therapy-induced cleavage of the tumor suppressor Par-4 protein. PAF caused death in cancer cells resistant to therapy and inhibited metastatic tumor growth in mice.

Additionally, the PAF entered only cancer cells, not normal cells, keeping healthy tissue intact.

The findings indicate that this naturally generated PAF could potentially be harnessed to target neighboring or distant cancer cells to overcome metastasis and therapy resistance in tumors.

“This new information could positively impact how physicians plan their treatments, so as to use the sensitive cells in the tumor to release this peptide to help eliminate the resistant cells,” said Vivek Rangnekar, principal investigator and Alfred Cohen Chair in Oncology Research with the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Medicine. “We are developing PAF against therapy-resistant tumor metastasis for which no other treatment options are available.”

Markey researchers Nikhil Hebbar and Ravshan Burikhanov from Rangnekar’s team were the first two authors on the study, which also involved a partnership with Dr. Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rangnekar’s team first announced the generation of the cancer-resistant Par-4 mouse back in 2007. Since then, his team’s work has spawned numerous research projects focusing on preventing and treating many types of cancer, including Markey oncologist Dr. Peng Wang’s clinical trial using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to induce Par-4 secretion.

Allison Perry writes for UK Now