Disability News Weekly Roundup -11/11-11/15
The New York Times— Adding Pounds, Then New Knees
Figures from a new national database of knee replacement patients strongly suggest that obesity is the most likely reason for knee replacement surgeries in younger patients. The data also showed that younger patients had the same levels of disability from their knee pain before the surgery as did older patients. Younger patients were equally likely to have other serious medical conditions such as diabetes and pulmonary disease as their older counterparts, and were more likely to smoke.
MedPageToday—FDA Panel Gives Mixed Message on Lemtrada
An FDA advisory committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday that alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) has been shown to be adequately effective for the treatment of relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). However, that 12-6 vote by the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee was balanced by a separate vote — 14-2, with two abstentions — that Genzyme, the drug’s sponsor, has not provided substantial evidence of improvement in disability…as well as concerns about bias that may have been introduced into the study because of unblinding of patients and physicians to the treatment regimen.
Science & Research:
Science Daily— Baby Boys at Higher Risk of Death, Disability in Preterm Births
Groundbreaking global studies on preterm birth and disability carried out by almost 50 researchers at 35 institutions and launched in association with World Prematurity Day finds baby boys are at a higher risk of death and disability due to preterm birth than baby girls. These disabilities range from learning problems and blindness to deafness and motor problems, including cerebral palsy.
Science Daily— Gene Linked to Common Intellectual Disability
University of Adelaide researchers have taken a step forward in unraveling the causes of a commonly inherited intellectual disability, finding that a genetic mutation leads to a reduction in certain proteins in the brain.
Science Daily— Impulsivity, Rewards and Ritalin: Monkey Study Shows Tighter Link
Scientifically, impulsivity can appear as a choice for a small but immediate reward over a larger one that requires some delay. When the monkeys were given a dose of methylphenidate, the active ingredient of the common ADHD drug Ritalin, they chose the delayed reward more frequently. The impulsive monkey actually showed the same preference for delayed rewards as the unmedicated, calm monkey.
CNN—Head impact sensors: On-the-field placebo or danger?
The issues raised by impact sensors are like an on-the-field version of the placebo effect. Does having a light or some other indicator — even if its efficacy is under question — fundamentally change how children play the game? Does it begin conversations about head injury on the field that might not otherwise be had?
Washington Post—NASCAR Driver Trevor Bayne Says MS Diagnosis Won’t Slow Racing Career (video link)
The youngest winner in Daytona 500 history wasn’t sick and he wasn’t suffering from any of the symptoms—nausea, fatigue, double vision and numbness in his arm—that had sidelined Bayne for five races in 2011. He just wanted an answer. Bayne finally got it in June when doctors confirmed that the 22-year-old Bayne has multiple sclerosis, a diagnosis he revealed publicly Tuesday.
CNN—Haunted by the Newtown massacre, police officer faces firing over PTSD (video link)
A Newtown, Connecticut, police officer haunted by the horrific images of the mass shooting at an elementary school there said Monday that he could lose his job after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Joe Aresimowicz, the House majority leader in the state General Assembly, said Connecticut covers mental health care for long-term disability claims only if the diagnosis is accompanied by physical injuries
CNN —A wounded warrior, walking tall
On Veterans Day, former Army special ops officer Gary Linfoot took a brisk stroll around the Statue of Liberty.That’s remarkable because Linfoot is a paraplegic–injured while on one of his many tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s possible because of a kind of wearable robot–a full-body apparatus developed by California-based Ekso Bionics. Built-in sensors detect the user’s weight shifts and initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs and make up for deficits in neuromuscular function.
Fox News —Dr. Manny: We must stop bullying people with autism
People need to understand that individuals on the autism spectrum are going to face challenges as they try to incorporate themselves into the fabric of a working environment. Fortunately, many industries today are starting to focus on creating employment initiatives for this population.