Pancreas cell transplants help diabetics

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on June 10, 2016

Transplants of insulin-producing pancreas cells are a long hoped-for treatment for diabetes — and a new study shows they can protect the most seriously ill patients from a life-threatening complication of the disease, an important step toward U.S. approval.These transplants are used in some countries, but in the U.S. they’re available only through research studies. Armed with... READ MORE

A prom that has two generations dancing

By Alexis Bentz
Posted on June 07, 2016

When you hear the term “senior prom” you probably think of high school seniors dancing the night away in their school gymnasium. However, in this column, I’m going to talk about a different type of senior prom — one that brought together older adults and teens.The Jewish Council for the Aging (JCA)’s Interages program recently hosted a senior prom that could... READ MORE

New treatments for leukemia are studied

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on June 01, 2016

Nearly 19,000 new cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) will be reported this year in the U.S., according to American Cancer Society statistics.CLL affects mainly older adults, and the average age at the time of diagnosis is 71. It is rarely seen in people under 40, and is extremely rare in children. Yet CLL accounts for one quarter of all diagnosed cases of leukemia.Chronic... READ MORE

You can fight back when drugs are denied

By Eleanor Laise
Posted on May 26, 2016

You make a routine trip to the pharmacy to fill a prescription. But the pharmacist tells you your Medicare drug plan won’t cover the drug. You walk away with no medication — and no clear explanation about why you were denied coverage.More and more seniors are finding themselves in this confusing and potentially dangerous situation, patient advocates say.Questions about... READ MORE

Drug distribution can block competition

By Matthew Perrone
Posted on May 18, 2016

The same strategy that Martin Shkreli used to get away with a 5,000-percent price increase on an old drug is used by many other drugmakers to maintain sky-high prices on billions of dollars’ worth of medications.Before the price hike that made him infamous, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals had to ensure that no competitor would be able to launch a cheaper version of Daraprim,... READ MORE

Surprising benefits of worrying (for some)

By Srini Pillay
Posted on May 12, 2016

Everyone worries, but some people worry more than others. When worry is excessive, people may develop generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In fact, close to a quarter of people who go to their primary care physicians with anxiety suffer from the condition.In general, stressful events in childhood and adulthood, having strained economic resources, being divorced, and being female all put you... READ MORE

Montgomery County honors advocates

By Rebekah Sewell
Posted on May 05, 2016

Sarah Gotbaum, who has advocated for women’s issues for over 60 years, is one of two winners of the 2016 Path of Achievement Award.Photo courtesy of Sarah GotbaumSarah Gotbaum is the very definition of a firebrand. Now 91, the sociologist and social justice advocate has been a champion of women’s issues — from equal pay for working women to protecting the rights of retired ... READ MORE

New device reads for those who can’t

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on May 04, 2016

A recently released device can read aloud text on everything from restaurant menus to road signs — and even recognizes faces — to help those with visual impairments navigate everyday life. Users simply point to text, objects or faces, and the device tells them what it says or who it is.Called the OrCam, the device is a small, light and discreet smart camera that is mounted on... READ MORE

Surprise insurance fees after emergencies

By Matthew Perrone
Posted on April 27, 2016

As health insurance plans become increasingly complicated, more patients are facing unexpected fees when they step outside their plan’s coverage network. In many cases, patients don’t even realize they’ve received out-of-network care until they’re slapped with a bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars.Nearly a third of insured Americans who have financial problems... READ MORE

Ways to trick yourself into liking exercise

By Nicci Micco
Posted on April 19, 2016

You know that exercise usually makes you feel better, but sometimes life, or excuses, can get in the way. You can spend 20 minutes debating about whether it might rain, or focusing on all of the reasons why right now is not a good time to walk — or you could just lace up your shoes and go.When it becomes easier to talk yourself out of exercise than it does to just get out there,... READ MORE