Easy-to-use toothbrushes and flossers

By Jim Miller
Posted on March 20, 2024

Dear Savvy Senior, I have arthritis and hand tremors that affect my grip strength and make brushing my teeth difficult. I’ve read that electric toothbrushes can help make the job easier. Can you make any recommendations? —Arthritic Alice Dear Alice, For those who suffer from arthritis or have other hand weaknesses or tremors, an electric toothbrush is an often turned to solution ... READ MORE

Organs and glands we can live without

By Robert H. Shmerling, M.D.
Posted on March 19, 2024

There was a time when pediatricians routinely recommended tonsil removal, even for healthy children — including me. As far as I can tell, I suffered no ill effects — plus, I got extra ice cream! That practice is no longer routine. But it does raise an interesting question: Why do we have body parts that can be safely removed? If they’re not needed, why do humans have them in the... READ MORE

VA studies ways to help veterans avoid falls

By Margaret Foster
Posted on March 18, 2024

Baltimore retiree and 30-year U.S. Army veteran David Webber has had so many falls, he said, “I stopped keeping track.” He’s fallen down stairs, while vacuuming, on a ladder and off a deck. One day he received a letter from Veterans Affairs asking for volunteers in a fall-prevention study. “I answered right away,” he said. After 12 weeks of exercise classes at the VA in Loch ... READ MORE

How do natural and added sugars differ?

By Howard LeWine, M.D.
Posted on March 15, 2024

Q: I’m trying to cut back on my sugar intake, but so many natural foods have sugar. What’s a good way to approach this? A: A healthy way to think about sugar is to consider its source. Natural sugars are found in whole fruits, vegetables, milk products and grains. Fruit and some vegetables contain forms of sugar called fructose, glucose and sucrose, while milk contains lactose,... READ MORE

Why autoimmune diseases strike women

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on March 13, 2024

Women are far more likely than men to get autoimmune diseases, when an out-of-whack immune system attacks their own bodies — and new research may finally explain why. It’s all about how the body handles females’ extra X chromosome, Stanford University researchers reported last month. This finding could lead to better ways to detect a long list of diseases that are hard to diagnose... READ MORE

Try growing healthy microgreens indoors

By Jessica Damiano
Posted on March 11, 2024

Microgreens have been popping up as garnishes at high-end restaurants, but they’re more than just a gourmet trick of the trade. The 2-to-3-inch seedlings of edible plants, which add a burst of color and flavor to food, are packed with nutrients and can make for a fun indoor gardening project. At an average retail price of about $30 per tray, the little nutritional powerhouses can... READ MORE

Who knew? A healthy gut helps your heart

By Julie Corliss
Posted on February 29, 2024

Your gut microbiome — a collection of trillions of microorganisms inhabiting your intestinal tract — has wide-ranging effects on your health. Your unique mix of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses reflects your genes, your age, the medications you take — but most of all, what you eat. Over the past two decades, numerous studies have explored how gut microbes and their breakdown... READ MORE

Warm up mornings with a fresh casserole

By Family Features
Posted on February 27, 2024

On a cool, crisp morning, it’s hard to beat an exciting twist on a breakfast classic. This French Toast Casserole is crisp on top while soft and moist in the middle, coming fresh out of the oven with the aroma of maple syrup and pecans that will have the whole house eager for a bite. It’s easy enough to make fresh in the morning but can also be prepared the night before — so all ... READ MORE

What to do about shaky hands, angina

By Howard LeWine, M.D.
Posted on February 23, 2024

Q: I have developed a tremor in both my hands. It gets worse when I get nervous. Is this the start of Parkinson’s disease? Can it be treated? A: It’s not surprising that you associate tremor with Parkinson’s disease. But it is much more likely that you have essential tremor, a very common disorder. Tremor is the shaky movements of your hands, limbs, head or voice that you... READ MORE

Drugs may reach brain faster with ultrasound  

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on February 15, 2024

Scientists have found a way to help Alzheimer’s drugs seep inside the brain faster — by temporarily breaching its protective shield. The novel experiment was a first attempt in just three patients. But in spots in the brain where the new technology took aim, it enhanced the removal of Alzheimer’s trademark brain-clogging plaque, researchers reported last month. “Our goal is to ... READ MORE