It’s not easy to discontinue sleep meds

By Harvard Health Letter
Posted on January 11, 2015

Do you take a drug to help you sleep every night? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans rely on prescription sleep medications, called sedative hypnotics.“People believe they can’t sleep without them, and they stay on them for years,” said sleep expert Dr. Lawrence Epstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. But you can wean yourself off the drugs ... READ MORE

Stem cells safely reverse some vision loss

By Maria Cheng
Posted on January 04, 2015

An experimental treatment for blindness that uses embryonic stem cells appears to be safe, and it improved vision in more than half of the patients who got it, two early studies show.Researchers followed 18 patients for up to three years after treatment. The studies are the first to show long-term safety of an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans.“It’s a wonderful first step, ... READ MORE

90-year-old caregiver among nation’s best

By Rebekah Sewell
Posted on December 10, 2014

On an average day, 90-year-old Mary Hartsock wakes up around 5 a.m. and works up to eight hours as a caregiver.She began her career working for the in-home care company Right at Home at the age of 79, when most of her peers were either already retired or retiring. She currently works for the branch of the company in Frederick, Md.In her 11 years with Right at Home, Hartsock has never been... READ MORE

How quickly will you recover from surgery?

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on December 02, 2014

One of the big frustrations of surgery: There’s little way to know if a patient will be a fast or slow healer — someone who feels back to normal in a week, or is out of work for a month with lingering pain and fatigue.Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that right after surgery, patients’ blood harbors clues about how fast they will bounce back — and... READ MORE

Smell the flowers or unwind at Wellness Park

By By Bill Marchese
Posted on November 17, 2014

Like a green lung in the arid desert, Wellness Park in Palm Springs offers a breath of fresh air, a bench under a shade tree, the soft scent of flowers and plants. You can hear the breeze in the trees and watch butterflies flutter by.Wellness Park, at the corner of Via Miraleste and Tachevah Road at the north end of Ruth Hardy Park, is a block from the Desert Regional Medical Center. The... READ MORE

Review Medicare options before Dec. 7

By Kimberly Lankford
Posted on November 12, 2014

Falling leaves and pumpkins are signs of autumn — along with Medicare’s open enrollment season, when those with the health program can switch plans.As your list of seasonal chores grows, you may be tempted to stick with your current Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription-drug plan. But that plan may no longer be your best option.Insurers are boosting premiums and other... READ MORE

A tick bite can cause allergy to red meat

By By Marilynn Marchione
Posted on November 03, 2014

A bug can turn you into a vegetarian, or at least make you swear off red meat. Doctors across the U.S. are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick. This bizarre problem was discovered only a few years ago, but is growing as the ticks spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts of the United States. In some cases, eating a burger or a... READ MORE

SilverSneakers takes sting out of exercise

By Jamie Lee Pricer
Posted on October 19, 2014

“It gets me up and going in the morning, it’s like going to school,” says Bob Brelsford, who describes his age as somewhere on the upside of 65.The Palm Springs resident settles in an armless chair in the midst of a dozen more senior-age exercisers who carry on a stream of chatter as they choose gear for the hour — hand weights separated by color from a pile on the... READ MORE

We need to eat more protein as we age

By Densie Webb, Ph.D., R.D.
Posted on October 14, 2014

Say the word “protein,” and it conjures up everything from Paleo and Atkins diets for weight loss, to soy protein for heart health, and whey protein for muscle building.At the other end of the protein spectrum are claims that too much can harm your kidneys, or that the key to good health is to avoid animal protein and focus on eating only plant protein.The science behind how... READ MORE

Study explores Parkinson’s genetic roots

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on October 07, 2014

One million people in the United States (five million worldwide) suffer from Parkinson’s disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease second only to Alzheimer’s in numbers of people affected.Motor symptoms of PD include tremor, stiffness and/or slowing of movement, and walking problems. Parkinson’s can also affect neurological and mental health. While they vary from person to ... READ MORE