Disability News Weekly Roundup -10/28-11/1

Health:

Science Daily—Negative Consequences of Noise on Overall Health

The combined toll of occupational, recreational and environmental noise exposure poses a serious public health threat going far beyond hearing damage, according to an international team of researchers writing today in The Lancet.

Science Daily—Low Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy Associated with Preterm Birth for Non-White Mothers

African-American and Puerto Rican women who have low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are more likely to go into labor early and give birth to preterm babies, research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health reveals. The study, the largest to date to look at the association between vitamin D and preterm birth, is now available online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The New York Times—Protecting Children from Toxic Stress

For more than a decade, researchers have understood that frequent or continual stress on young children who lack adequate protection and support from adults, is strongly associated with increases in the risks of lifelong health and social problems. It’s been called “toxic stress.”

Policy:

ABC News—Social Security Benefits to Go up by 1.5 Percent (the AP reports)

Social Security benefits will rise 1.5 percent in January, giving millions of retired and disabled workers an average raise of $19 a month to keep up with the cost of living. Since 1975, annual Social Security raises have averaged just over 4 percent. Next year will mark only the seventh time the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) has been less than 2 percent. This year’s increase was 1.7 percent. There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low.

Reuters—Don’t Let Religious Beliefs Impede Kids Care: Doctors

Pediatricians and child abuse agencies should step in when parents’ religious beliefs keep kids from getting necessary medical care, doctors said Monday. In a policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics also said states should repeal any exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws.

Science:

Science Daily—New Imaging Research Shows Increased Iron in the Brain in Early Stages of MS

While it’s been known for over a century that iron deposits in the brain play a role in the pathology of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), new imaging research from Western University (London, Canada) helps to answer the question of whether these accumulations are a cause or consequence of the disease. The study led by Ravi Menon, PhD, of the Robarts Research Institute found iron deposits in deep gray matter, suggesting the accumulation occurs very early in the disease course. The researchers also found evidence casting further doubt on the controversial liberation therapy for MS. The research is in early publication online in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Science Daily—Drug for Artery Disease Showing Promise

An estimated 8-10 million Americans suffer from peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a chronic, debilitating condition that often results in a reduced quality of life, disability due to limb loss/amputation, and/or death. The first clinical trial in the United States to study the use of drug coated balloons (DCB) for femoropopliteal artery disease found the procedure is promising for safety and efficacy at six months.

US News—Walking Speed a Good Gauge of MS Disability, Study Says

Measuring the walking speed of multiple sclerosis patients can help doctors assess progression of the disease and the severity of disability, a new study suggests. The study included 254 MS patients who were timed as they walked 25 feet. Those who took longer than 6 seconds to walk that distance were more likely to be unemployed, to have changed jobs because of MS and their walking ability, to use a cane, and to require help with daily activities such as cooking and house cleaning…

ABC News—More Study Urged on Concussions in Young Athletes (the AP reports)

A new report reveals big gaps in what is known about the risk of concussion in youth sports, especially for athletes who suit up before high school. The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council on Wednesday called for a national system to track sports-related concussions. Wednesday’s report said among people 19 and younger, 250,000 were treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other sports- or recreation-related brain injuries in 2009, up from 150,000 in 2001.

Sports:

CNN

Video

—Christina Macfarlane speaks with Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger about the accident that changed his life as he prepares for Sochi 2014 Paralympics as part of the Austrian Disabled Ski Team.

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