Disability News Weekly Roundup Monday, Jan 20 – Friday, Jan 31

Health:
Automated system could efficiently identify high-risk osteoporosis patients (Science Daily)
An automated system that identifies high-risk osteoporosis patients being treated for fractures and can generate letters encouraging follow-up is an effective way to promote osteoporosis intervention and prevent future fractures, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The researchers identified patients with fractures who were seeking medical help at the emergency department of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. They then analyzed treatment codes to find fractures that seemed to be from bone fragility, resulting in 103 patients being identified and sent follow-up letters.

Early rehabilitation important for recovery after severe traumatic brain injury (Science Daily)
Early rehabilitation interventions seem to be essential for how well a patient recovers after a severe brain injury. It might even increase the chances for long-term survival, according to researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conclusion was based on studies with 280 Swedish and Icelandic participants who were followed up 1 to 11 years after their brain injury.

Exercise to Age Well, Whatever Your Age (The New York Times)
A new study suggests that becoming physically active in middle age, even if someone has been sedentary for years, substantially reduces the likelihood that he or she will become seriously ill or physically disabled in retirement. The study included 3,454 men and women aged 55 to 73 years in Great Britain.

Policy:
U.S. Will Finance Devices to Track Children With Autism (The New York Times via Associated Press)
The United States Justice Department will pay for voluntary-use GPS tracking devices for children with autism or other conditions that put them at risk for fleeing their caregivers. This decision follows the death of a 14-year-old boy with severe autism who walked away from his school in the Queens borough of New York City and whose body was found miles from where the boy was last seen.

9 Broadway theaters to gain disabled accessibility (The Washington Post via Associated Press)
Nine historic Broadway theaters will be accessible to people with disabilities under an agreement signed by the federal government and the Nederlander Organization, a major theater chain. The deal will reportedly eliminate hundreds of barriers to accessibility. A similar deal was reached in 2003 with Shubert Theaters, which also operates several Broadway houses.

Sports:
Showing Deaf Players They Fit In, Too (The New York Times)
Wearing hearing aids and with the use of his lip-reading skills, Seattle Seahawks fullback fielded questions from reporters at Super Bowl media day. Most of the questions were about his hearing loss. One reporter asked, “What can you say to all of the people in the world who are hard of hearing and who look up to you?”

Technology:
Reading Brain Waves to Control Music Player, Just About Anything Else (MedGadget)
Researchers at University of Malta have developed an EEG-based system that detects steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs), electrical signals produced by the brain, in response to the user looking at flashing buttons on a screen, and that allows the user to control a music player. The technology can be easily converted to operate just about any other device besides a music player, including televisions, powered wheelchairs, and anything else that normally uses buttons as an interface.

Passive Artificial Pancreas Nearing Trials (MedGadget)
A researcher at De Montfort University in the U.K. has developed the De Montfort insulin pump, an innovative device which requires no power supply and contains no electronic components. The pump, which is the size of a wristwatch and is implanted in the abdomen, uses a chemical closed-loop system for regulating the delivery of insulin, an approach which requires no electronics, minimizing rejection of the implant. Human trials of the pump are due to commence in 2016.

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