Forget managing chronic arthritis pain, prevent it from happening!

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MARINA DEL REY, California–According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 million American adults suffer from pain on a daily basis. More than 23 million of them report that they are in a lot of pain.

The majority of these people will have a poor health status, use more health care, and suffer from more disability as a result of their chronic pain. Oftentimes people don’t know how to successfully go about managing it, or preventing it from happening in the first place. One pain expert, Dr. Akash Bajaj, is helping patients beat chronic pain through Alpha Mac, or Alpha 2 Macro-Globulin treatment.

“The beauty of this new treatment is that it doesn’t just attack the pain that is there and make it stop, it prevents inflammation which is the cause of the pain from happening in the first place,” explains Dr. Bajaj, board-certified interventionist, pain specialist and medical director at Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions in Marina Del Rey, Calif. “Being able to stop pain is great, but when you can prevent it from happening, it just doesn’t get any better or more powerful than that.”

Chronic pain can result from a variety of issues, including sports injuries, poor lifestyle choices, traumatic injury, and arthritis, among other issues. Chronic pain is often the result of chronic inflammation. Being able to nix the chronic inflammation ultimately prevents the pain from ever happening. That’s exactly what the Alpha Mac treatment does. While many people are familiar with stem cell treatments and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments, the Alpha Mac treatment takes it one step further.

Popular treatments that people often use for arthritis joint and degenerative disc chronic pain only provide temporary relief, and then the patients are usually subjected to repeated exposure to harmful chemicals, such as steroids. The Alpha 2 Macro-Globulin treatment blocks or inhibits the inflammatory reaction, which decreases the body’s ability to create inflammation in the affected joints. Alpha 2 Macro-Globulin therapy, like PRP treatment, is a very simple in-office procedure.

“Millions of people suffer from pain every year. Pain can occur from sporting injuries, everyday activities or just from getting older,” says Dr. Bajaj. “Traditional treatments include steroid injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care or a combination of these as well as pain medications. While these are useful treatments the problem with them is there is really no end point in sight for the patient. Patients placed on medications may need to continue their use on an ongoing basis with the risk of developing side effects or even addiction. The same applies to physical therapy and steroid based injections.”

Now a new treatment is available that is natural, non-toxic and is derived from the patient’s own blood to eliminate pain. Alpha Mac therapy utilizes the body’s own healing properties to help decrease inflammation, which typically is the underlying source of the pain. Inflammation can affect virtually any area of the body including the joints, lower back, the neck or other areas.

The doctor takes a small amount of blood, which is processed through a centrifuge to extract the Alpha 2 Macro-Globulin. Then, the Alpha Mac is injected at the source of the inflammation. This leads to a decrease in chronic pain in joints and the spine that are due to arthritis, sports injuries, etc. Alpha 2 Macro-Globulin seeks out and removes pro inflammatory enzymes. The procedure works quickly, is not very painful, and provides effective chronic arthritis pain relief. Alpha Mac uses components derived from a patient’s own blood, primarily enzymes that act quickly to eliminate inflammatory chemicals, allowing the regenerative properties of PRP to work more quickly. Together these therapies, both derived from the patient’s own blood, are bringing superior outcomes compared to single modality approaches.

“I’ve been suffering from chronic pain for a number of years; one of the worst parts about it is the anticipation…waiting for the symptoms to rear their ugly head. Alpha Mac has changed my life, I no longer have to nervously wait for the onset of pain,” says David Graham, a 57-year old pro golfer. “Cutting it off at the pass has greatly improved my quality of life. I thank Dr. Bajaj for that.”

The procedure is performed by Dr. Akash Bajaj, who is an award-winning surgeon, and highly regarded pain management specialist. For more information on services provided or to book an appointment, visit their site at: remedypainsolutions.com.

About Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions
Founded and run by award-winning surgeon and pain management expert Dr. Akash Bajaj, the center is located in Marina Del Rey, Calif. They provide advanced solutions for those who suffer from all types of chronic pain. They also offer a minimally invasive, highly effective implant surgery for those with chronic back pain. Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions has won numerous awards, including multiple times winning Super Doctors award and the Best of Marina Del Rey award. For more information on services provided, visit their site at: remedypainsolutions.com.

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Billie Eilish’s Tourette Syndrome: Everything The Singer Has Said About Her Disorder Through The Years

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Billie Eilish wearing a burberry visor with long burberry nails and a burberry sweater.

By Samantha Wilson, Hollywood Life

Billie Eilish is an international pop icon, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, and she lives every day with Tourette Syndrome. Tourette’s is a rare nervous system disorder that presents with repetitive and uncontrolled movements (liking blinking or shoulder shrugging) or sounds, called “tics” The disorder starts in childhood; Billie, 19, has stated in the past that she’s had it her “whole life.” Here’s what you need to know about the “Bad Guy” singer’s experience with Tourette Syndrome:

While Billie has spoken openly about her experience with Tourette Syndrome, she hasn’t gone into too much detail. Aside from saying on Instagram that she “grew up” with the disorder (see below), she hasn’t revealed at which age she was diagnosed. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Tourette Syndrome, on average, presents in children between the ages of three and nine.

Billie also hasn’t elaborated on what her tics are, only that “certain things” can increase the intensity or trigger episodes. Fans who made compilations of her tics on YouTube gathered clips of the “No Time To Die” singer shrugging her shoulders, blinking rapidly, and looking upward. She told fans in the Instagram post revealing her diagnosis that she does think the videos are “low-key funny.”

Billie bravely revealed to her fans that she lives with Tourette’s after they started to notice her tics. They even made compilation videos of the 16-year-old, causing her to speak out on Instagram: “I would love to get this straight so everyone can stop acting goofy… I have diagnosed Tourette’s. I’ve never mentioned it on the internet because nobody thinks I’m deadass… as well as the fact that I’ve never wanted people to think of Tourette’s every time they think of me,” Billie wrote in April 2019.

“MY tics are only physical and not super noticeable to others if you’re not really paying attention (believe me, HAVING them is a whole different type of misery),” she continued. “My Tourette’s makes easy things a lot harder. Certain things increase and/or trigger the intensity of the tics. But it’s something I grew up with and am used to. My family and closest friends know it as a part of me. I’ve taught myself techniques to help reduce them when I don’t want to be distracting in certain situations. But again, suppressing them only makes things worse after the moment is over.

“Not gonna go into FULL detail but if you want to know more, I am an open book. Wasn’t planning on talking about this on here maybe ever, but it’s gotten to a point… lol. These compilations y’all been making of my tics are low-key funny even when y’all make fun of them n sh*t. I know you’re all confused so as to what it is, so just to let ya know… it’s Tourette’s.”

Click here to read the full article on Hollywood Life.

On a limb: Despite resistance, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility of a new mental health disorder

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Animated art of an individual gazing off into the distance while resting their head on their hands. The image is blue and yellow.

By Rebecca Sohn, STAT News

For Abby Williard, school always felt like a slog. Growing up in a small town in central Pennsylvania, Williard couldn’t seem to complete her schoolwork or stop daydreaming in class. Although she has anxiety and depression, she felt like something else was at play.

“I would cry in class because I just couldn’t handle it, I couldn’t take it,” she said.

At points, Williard gave up on trying to succeed in school: She nearly failed several classes and was so quiet that teachers would sometimes mark her absent. But one day when she was 16, years of confusion gave way to “a huge moment of clarity.”

Williard took note as her mother mentioned a file from her school psychologist during a counseling appointment. She watched as her mom handed the file to the social worker to make a copy, then stuck the papers back in her purse. Later that night, Williard rummaged through the purse to find the file, a psychological evaluation from when she was 12. On that file was a mysterious classification, one neither her mother nor her school’s psychologist had since talked to her about: sluggish cognitive tempo.

“I had never heard of that my whole life,” Williard, now 19, recalled.

Williard sometimes thought that she had ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — though she was never diagnosed — because she had trouble paying attention, but other symptoms, like hyperactivity, didn’t fit her well. As she researched sluggish cognitive tempo, or SCT, online, the symptoms seemed just right: a problem with focusing was there, too, but also daydreaming, slow or “foggy” thinking, and a general lack of energy.

“I was just like, oh, my gosh, that makes so much sense,” Williard said. “Everything just started to fall into place.”

But SCT is not an officially recognized diagnosis. It’s currently what’s called a clinical construct — a term used in psychology to define a group of behaviors. Since its emergence nearly four decades ago, the study of SCT has been led by a small group of researchers, chief among them a controversial psychologist and ADHD expert who is adamant that SCT is a separate disorder potentially affecting millions of children and adults. If SCT became an official diagnosis, proponents argue, it could make it easier for those with symptoms of the construct to get the help they need, whether that be assistance in school or work or a medication that is more likely to work for them. But many researchers say the study of SCT, which is still in its early stages, can’t yet support a formal diagnosis. Critics dismiss the construct as fatally flawed and argue that SCT is an outgrowth of misdiagnosis of ADHD that could result in many being prescribed inappropriate medications.

While SCT remains in categorical limbo, Williard and others aren’t waiting for a scientific consensus. Many have found validation in a growing online community for SCT — a Facebook group counts more than 800 members, while an SCT community on Reddit has over 4,000. In their view, SCT has negatively shaped their lives, affecting everything from their mental health to their ability to pursue a fulfilling career. And in the absence of approved treatments, members crowdsource potential therapies.

“It really was nice to find other people that were like me,” said Williard.

The leading advocate for SCT, clinical psychologist Russell Barkley of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, has been working for years to get the construct recognized and investigated by other psychologists. He’s written extensively on SCT, both in academic journals and online resources; given numerous talks on the construct; and has developed a rating scale for SCT in children and another for adults.

In the 1980s, a debate emerged among ADHD researchers as to whether two subtypes of ADHD, called predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and predominantly inattentive, could actually be separate disorders. Ever since, some researchers have examined that predominantly inattentive subtype and found that related characteristics — those eventually associated with SCT, like drowsiness, daydreaming, and lack of energy — seemed to be different than those associated with ADHD. The name sluggish cognitive tempo, Barkley said, comes from a 1984 dissertation and a related 1986 study that tested a teachers’ rating scale to identify traits associated with student behavioral concerns. One of these was “sluggish tempo” and seemed to define a distinct group of students.

Stirred by an influential 2001 paper on differences between predominantly inattentive ADHD and its other subtypes, Barkley argued in a related commentary that some people with symptoms of this inattentive subtype were very different than others with ADHD, which he thought could indicate that the inattentive subtype was a distinct disorder. Over time, he said he and others found that what distinguished these people were their SCT symptoms, and that it could be SCT, not inattentive ADHD, that was separate. By 2013, he had developed rating scales for SCT in both adults and children, which includes symptoms like losing one’s train of thought and tending to stare off into space.

“I’m willing to go out on that limb, as I did in the year [2001],” Barkley said in an interview. “If this pattern continues the way it is right now, this will be a new disorder.”

But Barkley is one of the few, if not the only researcher who is willing to call SCT a disorder. Even Stephen Becker, an associative professor of pediatrics at the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and a frequent collaborator of Barkley’s, believes it is too soon.

“I think there’s just a huge amount of research that needs to be done to support a new mental health disorder,” said Becker. “It’s still quite a small field.”

Click here to read the full article on STAT News.

Amanda Seyfried opens up about panic attacks: ‘It feels like life or death’

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Amanda Seyfriend smiling away from the camera in a black silver and blue button up shirt at a movie premiere

By Blake Harper, Yahoo! Life

In an interview with Sunday Today’s Willie Geist, actress Amanda Seyfried spoke candidly about how she has experienced panic attacks and the toll they have taken on her.

“Yeah, it feels like life or death,” the Oscar nominee, 35, told Geist when asked about the experience of having a panic attack during her “Sunday Sitdown” interview. “That’s what a panic attack is, really. Your body just goes into fight or flight. The endorphin rush and the dump that happens after the panic attack is so extraordinary. You just feel so relieved and your body is just kind of recovered, in a way. It’s so bizarre because it’s physiological but it starts in your head.”

She added, “It never goes away.”

A panic attack is defined as a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety that triggers physical reactions despite no actual threat of danger. They are surprisingly common in the United States, as an estimated 2.4 million Americans have at least one panic attack in a given year.

Seyfried has been transparent about her mental health in the past. She began seeing a psychiatrist in her late teens due to anxiety about unfounded health concerns, and found that it helped her manage her anxiety, as well as her obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“A mental illness is a thing that people cast in a different category [from other illnesses], but I don’t think it is,” Seyfried told Allure in 2016. “It should be taken as seriously as anything else. You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Prince Harry has a new job dedicated to mental health, employee coaching

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Harry and Meghan Markle seated side by side during an interview while smiling at one another laughing

By Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY

More than a year after first stepping back from his official duties with the British royal family, Prince Harry has a new job with an American employee coaching and mental health organization.

BetterUp, Inc. announced Tuesday the Duke of Sussex would be joining their team as its first chief impact officer, in a role in which he’ll aim to “lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations.

“My hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence,” Harry wrote in a blog posted Tuesday to the company’s site. “I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritising our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us. As the Royal Marine Commandos say, ‘It’s a state of mind.’ We all have it in us.”

He added: “Being attuned with your mind, and having a support structure around you, are critical to finding your own version of peak performance. What I’ve learned in my own life is the power of transforming pain into purpose.”

BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux told the Wall Street Journal Harry’s role would be “meaningful and meaty” and that the royal would spend some time in the organization’s San Francisco office once it’s safe to do so, though he won’t directly be responsible for any employees. When asked about Prince Harry’s compensation for the role, a representative for BetterUp directed USA TODAY to Robichaux’s WSJ interview, in which he declined to comment.

Harry has spent the past few years championing mental health services and opening up about his own struggles. Last May, he joined forces with the British Ministry of Defence to launch HeadFIT, an online platform of resources to help troops deal with mental-health problems, including consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Prince Harry’s bio on the organization’s website mentions the couple’s foundation, Archewell, and notes he is “focused on driving systemic change across all communities through non-profit work as well as creative activations.”

Click here to read the full article on USA Today.

Hearing aids disguised as earbuds

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pair of hearing aids close up

Hearing aid innovation leader Signia recently announced the general availability of its latest game-changing hearing aids, Signia ActiveX, that enhance human performance by providing high-tech hearing support in a discreet earbud form factor.

The all-new hearing aids feature breakthrough signal processing technology for optimized hearing in any environment,while its earbud design ensures enhanced hearing without the stigma.

Unlike traditional earbuds, Signia Active’s proven hearing technology is laser focused and tailored to the wearer’s unique needs, making hearing in any situation precise and personalized.

Whether filtering out specific, distracting background noise or focusing in on a conversation, Signia Active optimizes one’s human performance through enhanced hearing in any situation.

Signia Active hearing aids can be popped in for parts of one’s day when in need of a hearing boost, or worn all day long for non-stop hearing performance and comfort anytime, anywhere.

“Consumer trends in product design and functionality are increasingly impacting the hearing industry; no longer is it sufficient to provide consumers with a high-performing hearing aid that fails to meet modern design standards,” stated Dr. Tish Ramirez, Vice President of Professional Relations and Product Management. “Signia Active introduces a breakthrough device that shatters the traditional definition of a hearing aid and provides consumers with a way to level-up their hearing performance without sacrificing personal style.

Tish Ramirez, Vice President of Professional Relations and Product Management, headshot
Tish Ramirez, Vice President of Professional Relations and Product Management
Standard consumer earbuds simply play back content, while over-the-counter “hearables” also amplify the sounds surrounding the wearer. However, neither are programmed by a hearing care professional to meet the wearer’s unique hearing needs. Signia Active is quickly and easily fit by a hearing care professional to create a sound profile that’s perfectly tailored to the wearer’s hearing ability and needs.

Signia Active: A new era in hearing technology

Signia Active provides customized technology with advanced hearing support in the functional design of an earbud. Backed by Signia’s proven hearing technology, wearers can gain the performance edge they need to perform exceptionally no matter where they are.

Whether walking in a crowded street, working in an open-plan office, or dining in a busy restaurant, high-levels of ambient noise make holding conversations a significant challenge –even for those with mild hearing loss.

Signia Active addresses these challenges with the true-to-life sound of Signia Xperience technology and its innovative Dynamic Soundscape Processing, which delivers enhanced sound and speech clarity in every situation, even when moving. Signia Active also features portable recharge ability, deliverin gup to 18 hours of use per charge, including up to 5 hours of streaming, or up to a full 21 hours without streaming. Its pocket-sized charging case provides easy carrying and charging on-the-go, so those with active lifestyles can perform optimally all day long. Signia Active also features a quick-fit technology that allows the earbuds to be popped in and out at one’s convenience, yet still remain firmly and comfortably in place.

The new hearing aids from Signia are available in two models: Signia Active and Signia Active Pro. Signia Active is a starter option for those in need of a hearing edge in noisy situations,while Signia Active Pro is for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. Both models are available in the color combinations of White and Rose Gold, Black and Silver, or All-Black.

The Signia app: Modern care around the clock at the tap of a finger
Through the Signia app (iOS and Android), wearers have access to hearing aid controls, streaming capabilities with multiple devices, tinnitus therapy, Signia Telecare for remote care support, the new Face Mask Mode for better speech understanding through masks, and much more.

The app also includes the Signia Assistant, which leverages artificial intelligence to continuously optimize the performance of the device by learning in real time the wearer’s individual preferences, for the most personalized hearing experience possible.

“Today’s consumers are increasingly focused on health, wellness, and overall performance optimization. This trend has spurred new wearable and bio-wearable product categories that are enabling consumers to live their best lives,” added Ramirez.

“Signia Active is for those who strive for peak performance across all areas of their lives, and continuously leverage new technologies to reach that state. Hearing is critically important to optimal performance –personally and professionally –and Signia Active ensures that you never miss a beat.”

For more information on Signia Active, visit signia.net/en-us/local/en-us/enhancing-human-performance-active/. For the press kit, click here.

About Signia

Signia is one of the world’s leading hearing aid brands. We aim to enhance human performance through iconic innovations and consumer-friendly designs that shape the hearing health market. Since its launch in 2016, Signia has regularly brought world-first hearing solutions to the market and is a pioneer in rechargeable hearing technology.

In addition to highly innovative hearing aids, Signia also delivers tools and apps to increase customer interaction and engagement at all levels of hearing aid management. Signia, and its hearing care professionals, enable hearing aid wearers to not just correct hearing loss but to gain an edge–to Be Brilliant.

Special Olympics Partners with WWE to Debut New Resources to Help Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities Stay Fit and Healthy During COVID-19

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WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre standing in the gym

Special Olympics is the biggest untold secret in healthcare. For over 20 years, the organization has been getting people with intellectual disabilities healthy and lowering their risk of deadly – and costly – conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.

As the only leader in health for people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is driving the global direction of health policies for people with disabilities through its life-changing health programming. Almost 300,000 athletes in 109 countries are currently participating in Special Olympics health and fitness activities, making inclusive health a reality for this vulnerable and marginalized population.

A new study from Jefferson Health examined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people with intellectual disabilities, which makes up 1–3% of the U.S. population. The study, published earlier this month in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Catalyst, found that intellectual disability was second only to older age as a risk factor for dying from COVID-19, and that people with intellectual disabilities are almost six times more likely to die from COVID than the general population.

Like other sports organizations, Special Olympics has cancelled in-person practices and competitions across the globe since the pandemic began. To ensure athletes, caregivers and coaches stayed informed on practicing COVID-19 prevention tips, Special Olympics has armed its community with ongoing education materials on staying safe during COVID. Over the last year, the organization has prioritized the development of at home fitness resources, including fitness videos and creating stress reduction challenges to help athletes stay fit and active during the pandemic.

The latest fitness resource available to Special Olympics athletes has been launched in partnership with WWE. WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre has teamed up with Special Olympics athletes to create a brand-new online workout called School of Strength: Class Is Now in Session. The workout was created for all ability levels in mind and explores fun nutritional tips and mindfulness strategies. The campaign also introduced Unified Fitness Kits, which include cones, an agility ladder, a resistance band, a jump rope, an exercise ball, an activity tracker, and printable exercise cards. The “fit kits” encourage Special Olympics athletes to keep their fitness levels up at home by taking advantage of basic exercise equipment available in the comfort of their living rooms and backyards. This newest addition to School of Strength builds off the success of the original School of Strength campaign released in March 2020, which was created in response to Special Olympics athletes’ requests for the development of more fitness resources that excite and inspire them to stay fit year-round, especially now, when they aren’t able to train or compete alongside their teammates.

“Physical exercise, a nutritious diet and a strong mind are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. I’m proud to be part of School of Strength, so I can amplify this message to Special Olympics athletes around the world,” said WWE Superstar Drew McIntyre.

During the month of March leading up to World Health Day on 7th April, Special Olympics is continuing its “Revolution is Inclusion” five-year global campaign targeting health care professionals and the younger generation of Millennials and Centennials by demonstrating the power of inclusive health and fitness and raising awareness of the health disparities that exist for people with intellectual disabilities. The organization is making a prominent marketing and communications push to urge doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare professionals to learn how to better treat people with intellectual disabilities and offers specialized trainings for medical professionals to educate them on how to adapt their routine or office to treat people with intellectual disabilities. The campaign also seeks to attract a younger generation of supporters to teach them to adopt inclusion and be advocates for people with intellectual differences.

“Current research indicates that people with intellectual disabilities are almost six times more likely to die from COVID-19 and face serious inequities in many areas of health care resulting in premature deaths. We have been working hard to create at-home health and fitness opportunities for our athletes to help them stay committed to their health and fitness and stay safe while doing so,” said Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics. “We are thrilled to again partner with WWE for our School of Strength campaign and promote a shared focus on inclusive health, where every athlete has the ability to be healthy and fit. We look forward to seeing our athletes meeting and exceeding their fitness and wellness goals.”

Special Olympics Health, made possible by the Golisano Foundation, and in the United States in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is creating a world where people with intellectual disabilities have every opportunity to be healthy and can take full advantage of the same health programs and services available to people without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics has provided over 2 million free health screenings in over 135 countries and trained nearly 300,000 healthcare professionals. The organization is investing in a life-span approach, serving as health partners for every person with an intellectual disability throughout their life.

Special Olympics is committed to developing new resources and engaging with athletes during these unprecedented times. Our partners continue to support inclusive health alongside us. We encourage the public to take the inclusion pledge, symbolizing their commitment to overcoming the fear of difference and replacing it with the power of inclusion. We also call on members of the medical community to support a more inclusive medical practice for all.

Source: Special Olympics

 

 

Pandemic’s Toll On Mental Health Accentuated In Cities

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Graphic of people sitting by the windows of a red house

Covid-19 hasn’t been the only catastrophe sweeping the country this year. Health experts say Americans are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression made worse by pandemic-related stressors, including job loss, evictions, remote learning, travel restrictions and limits on gathering.

The contentious presidential election, increased racial tensions and natural disasters, in addition to Covid-19, added to Americans’ stressors, said Dr. Joshua Gordon, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

An NBC News analysis of a Census Bureau survey conducted Oct. 28 to Nov. 9 found that symptoms of depression and anxiety have been seen in all 50 states, with people in major metropolitan areas, such as San Francisco and Philadelphia, hit harder by mental health challenges.

More than 1 in 4 in the U.S. reported having felt anxious more than half of the previous seven days. For feelings of depression, the number was close to 1 in 5, a figure that has inched up since near the start of the pandemic. The numbers of calls and texts to prominent help lines have soared compared to previous years’ numbers, driven by Covid-19-related concerns.

Nationwide, 27.5 percent of Americans report having felt anxiety more than half the days of the previous week. The Census Bureau asked the country how often people feel symptoms of anxiety and depression. This map shows the share of residents of a state who reported having felt those symptoms four or more days in the previous week.

Nancy Liu, an assistant clinical psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said California residents found ways to take care of themselves with outdoor activities, such as walking and other exercise, before wildfires intensified this summer.

Anxiety in metropolitan San Francisco is among the highest of any region in the country. One of 3 people in the Census Bureau survey reported having felt nervous or anxious more than half of the previous week.

It wasn’t just the wildfires that added to residents’ stress burden — it was also the air quality, which forced people indoors, Liu said.

“These doors were being shut.It was like a wave after wave that just kept crashing,” she said. “It added this additional heaviness. I think a lot of people were feeling really stuck.”

Read the full article and see the analytics for depression and anxiety by the state at NBC News.

Detroit’s Covid vaccination queue is one of first to include people with ADHD, other disabilities

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Medical hands holds syringe and vaccine

While most Covid-19 vaccination clinics around the country are focused primarily on first responders, essential workers and seniors, the city of Detroit is now offering shots to residents who haven’t made vaccination priority lists almost anywhere else in the country.

Among them: Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, vision or hearing impairments, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“I was surprised to see that and very happy,” said Bonnielin Swenor, an epidemiologist and the director of the Disability Health Research Center at Johns Hopkins University “It means people in the disability community were listened to, were considered, and prioritization was revised in a way that is really remarkable.”

The city’s move will lead to more equity and access for people with disabilities that Swenor hopes other communities will emulate. “It has the potential to spark a really important change,” she said.

At the same time, the decision to prioritize people with conditions that aren’t necessarily known to increase the risk of dying from Covid-19 points to the difficult and delicate choices facing local and state policymakers in a country where vaccination criteria differ considerably from one community to the next.

In much of the country, two people with the same job, who are the same age and are in similar health, could face radically different odds of accessing the shots depending on where they live, where they get medical treatment and the political landscape in their state.

And within communities like Detroit, where people in their 20s with ADHD can now get vaccinated ahead of people in their 50s with chronic heart or lung conditions, it can lead to difficult questions about whose health should come first.

“These are the judgments that we are making every step of the way,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said during a news conference Wednesday as he announced that Detroiters 60 and older with serious physical health conditions could get vaccinated.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

TikTok Users Rallied to Design a Better Pill Bottle for People With Parkinson’s

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jimmy choi holding a pill bottle close up wearing red shirt

Necessity has long been the mother of invention, but thanks to cutting-edge technology and the power of social media, the leap from inspiration to reality can happen almost overnight. Choi is an amazing athlete. He also suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed at age 27 with early-onset symptoms, Choi uses fitness to battle his illness.

The four-season veteran of American Ninja Warrior has an impressive record that includes one ultra marathon, 16 marathons, 100 half marathons (and counting), plus numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and triathlons.

On top of that, he’s also raised close to $500,000 for Parkinson’s research, which he considers his greatest accomplishment.

In addition to his TV appearances, Choi is best known for

(Image credit – Good News Network)

showcasing feats of athleticism via social media to serve as both inspiration and positive reinforcement for fans as well as those facing similar health challenges.

While dealing with the big stuff rarely fazes him, little things—like something as simple as opening a prescription bottle—have left him stymied.

In a recent TikTok video, he shared that frustration with his followers. For Choi’s online team, it was tantamount to firing a starting pistol, and off they went on a race to find a working solution.

It started with designer Brian Alldridge, who came up with a Parkinson’s friendly pill bottle, but he didn’t have a 3D printer to make one. Alldridge passed the baton, posting his design and offering to share his files with anyone who thought they could bring his idea to life.

Read the full article at Good News Network.

Biden Plan Would End Subminimum Wage, Offer Stimulus Checks To More With Disabilities

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Joe Biden Giving a speech wearing Blue suit and tie

By Disability Scoop

In his first major undertaking, President-elect Joe Biden wants to do away with a decades-old option to pay workers with disabilities less than minimum wage while giving stimulus payments to more people in this population.

Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion proposal late last week to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout from it. The so-called American Rescue Plan includes $1,400 in direct payments to many Americans as well as funding to support vaccine distribution, reopen schools and support state and local governments while

(Photo Credit – Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)

also extending unemployment benefits and expanding paid leave.

Notably, the plan would provide stimulus payments for adults with disabilities who are considered dependents for tax purposes. These individuals have been disqualified from the previous rounds of direct payments issued by the federal government since the start of the pandemic.

The proposal also calls for eliminating subminimum wage for people with disabilities.

Under a law dating back to 1938, employers are able to receive special 14(c) certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor allowing them to pay individuals with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

But many disability advocates have been pushing for years to end the practice, which they say is outdated and exploitative. Some states and cities have already banned employers from paying subminimum wage and, as a candidate, Biden pledged to support a phaseout of the program.

Read the full article at Disability Scoop. 

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Upcoming Events

  1. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021

Upcoming Events

  1. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021