Marijuana is usually thought to be linked with promiscuous teenagers, but using the illicit drug is now getting more popular with some of the people from the baby boomer time of the 60′s and 70′s. From 2002 to 2008, the amount of people aged 50 and older using marijuana went from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent, according to surveys from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The most extreme rise in use was seen in the 55- to 59- year- olds, whose marijuana use more than tripled from 1.6 percent in 2002 to 5.1 percent. It is expected that there will be more increases in use as the 78 million boomers who were born between 1945 and 1964 get older. Many boomers tried it decades ago. Some have been smoking it ever since and others are trying it again now that they are in retirement, either for fun or as a way to help with the aches and pains of getting older. One lady interviewed said that marijuana has helped her get better sleep than using pills ever did. Another man who suffered from degenerative disc disease and arthritis said that he was amazed at how well it worked after previously turning to all kinds of drugs for his crippling pain. He now claims that he is virtually pain free.
All this said, Dr. William Dale, chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center, warns that older people who use marijuana are at possible risk for falling if they get dizzy. He also said that smoking increases the risk of heart disease and it can lead to cognitive impairment.
Two very natural abilities have now been found to be related to each other. Science has now established that these two abilities are linked in the brain. This is so profound because it could mean a more efficient way to treat strokes.
In the studies, they found that language and instrumental music overlap each other in the brain’s processing area. Researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science indicated that intensive musical therapy could help improve speech in stroke patients. Also, researchers said that music education could help children with developmental dyslexia or autism to speak better.
Harvard Medical School associate professor of neurology, Gottfried Schlaug, told the meeting that people who have previously suffered a severe stroke on the left side of their brain causing them to be unable to speak, can sometimes learn to communicate by singing. He said that “music making is a multi-sensory experience, activating links to several parts of the brain,” Schlaug said. He then proceeded to show a video of a patient who could only make sounds be able to say “I am thirsty” by singing the words. Another patient in the video was able to sing “happy birthday” after they were previously unable to speak at all.
Even though these findings are very positive and uplifting news for many, Schlaug warns that this work is specifically for people who’ve had a severe stroke on the left side of their brain and the therapy can be extensive and time consuming.
More good news came from Nina Kraus, the director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, when she reported that new studies indicate that musical training improves the brain’s ability to do other activities. An example she gave was that musicians are better at finding the voice of a friend in a noisy restaurant, because the musically trained brain becomes more skillful at detecting patterns in sounds. She also said that children who play an instrument may be able to “better process speech in noisy classrooms and more accurately interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by subtle changes in the human voice.” She went on to say that when people are first learning to talk and when they speak to babies they frequently use musical patterns in their speech.
“People’s hearing systems are fine-tuned by the experiences they’ve had with sound throughout their lives. Music training is not only beneficial for processing music stimuli. We’ve found that years of music training may also improve how sounds are processed for language and emotion,” Kraus said.
There are three key elements that can substantially affect the cost of individual health insurance. These are the deductible, the coinsurance percentage and the co-pay benefit.
The deductible is the amount that the insured pays before they can receive the policy benefits. Of course higher deductibles will mean lower premiums’ but it will usually take longer to reach your deductible if you choose this type of plan.
Coinsurance is a percentage that you may be required to pay once you have paid the deductible. It can range anywhere from 50% to 0%. You will need to pay this percentage until you get to your annual “out of pocket limit”. Higher coinsurance percentages normally mean you will pay lower premiums.
Co-payments are what many are asked to pay at a doctor’s visit or when a prescription is filled. It is a flat amount that you pay at the time of service or when the medication is received.
Once you have paid your annual deductible and out-of-pocket limit, the co-pay is waived for the rest of the year. Usually the co-pay benefits are an optional feature since they have a big influence on the premium.
Each individual or family should consider their current health situation, need for prescription medication and frequency of doctor visits so they can get the plan that best fits their needs. An agent from http://nchealthcarecoverage.com will be glad to take the time to help you find the policy that best fits you and your family’s needs. Or if you prefer, you can call (800) 797-0327 to talk to a friendly agent 24/7.
If you or your family hardly ever has to see the doctor other than for an annual check up, a plan that has a higher deductible and coinsurance percentage without a co-pay benefit may substantially reduce your overall health care costs.
The U.S. swine flu epidemic is not over, but it is hopefully coming to an end.
Federal health officials aren’t quite ready to announce that the threat is gone and the outbreak has ended, but they did report that for the fourth week in a row, no states have reported widespread flu activity. Since October, U.S. cases have been decreasing since the end of October.
One expert said that the epidemic is almost over and there are some indications that lead many to believe that there will not be another wave during the year.
One reason for the decline in the epidemic is that the virus hasn’t shown any signs of mutating. Also, the vaccine against it seems to be very effective. Now, about half of the U.S. population have some immunity because they have been infected with it or received a vaccination.
There is also good news from the World Health Organization, which is observing an international decline and is discussing what measures to take to announce that the pandemic is over. Experts are not sure if it will continue to slow for the rest of the winter, but they are pretty sure it will.
The Harvard School of Public Health released a poll which found that 44 percent of Americans believe the outbreak is over.
Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that most states are continuing to have just occasional flu activity. This said, only three states had zero reports, and a CDC official warned that the swine flu is still here and is probably going to keep infecting people.
Around 15,200 have died from the swine flu since it reared its ugly head in April. Most of the deaths were in the U.S. This is a much lower amount than originally feared. The U.S. and Mexican governments have been commended for their actions by experts. Scientists have also been praised for their quick development of an effective vaccine.
A new study that analyzed more than 5 million births found that a woman’s chance of having an autistic child increases as she gets older. On the contrary, the risk might just be less for older dads as indicated in earlier studies. Even though a father’s age can add to the risk, the maternal age is where the majority of the risk is found, according to researcher Janie Shelton, of the University of California at Davis.
It was found that mothers who were older than 40 were almost 50% more likely to have an autistic child than those who were in their 20s. The risk for 40 and older fathers was 36% higher than for men in their 20s.
This said, one of the experts said that the study shows that the risk of a woman over age 40 having a child with autism was still less than 4 in 1000.
The new research indicates that the father’s age seems to make the most impact when they pair up with young mothers. For children who had mothers younger than 25, autism was twice as common if the fathers were older than 40 than if they were in their 20s.
These new discoveries do not agree with current research which found that the father’s age was even more significant than the mother’s. Researchers and autism experts are saying that the new study is more believable, mostly because it is so much larger.
In general, it is known that older mothers are in jeopardy of facing more risks for having children with genetic disorders, and genes are believed to have an impact on autism.
This new study was released February 8, 2010 in the journal Autism Research.
A University of Wisconsin researcher who has also studies the influence of parents’ age on autism, pointed out that it is critical to note that the increased risks are very small and most babies are born to older mothers without developing autism.