Pebble Beach, CA Hope For Those With ALS, AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, seems similar to Alzheimer’s disease but attacking the body rather than the brain.  There is no cure for either disease, and the ailment just continues to progress and leave you more and more debilitated.  However, USA Today recently ran an article about three promising themes:

  1. A new drug—developed in part with money from the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge—increased the average survival of patients in clinical trials by 7.5 months.
  2. A first-ever clinical trial is testing multiple ALS treatments at once; and
  3. Record levels of federal research funding are planned for this year.

Many are hopeful that Amylyx’s AMX0035 which got a $2.2 million grant from the $111 million Ice Bucket Challenge, will be approved by the FDA.  Findings for AMX0035’s Phase 2 trial were so promising that the ALS community is pushing the FDA to fast track approval.  They have gone so far as to ask the FDA to skip a Phase 3 trial, the only time in history that the ALS Association has asked the FDA to do so.  However, it’s a long-shot.  If you or a loved one are struggling with ALS, contact the Monterey Chapter of ALS here:

http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=14647&NONCE_TOKEN=D30086CF168CADF46857EB53C986C9EA

Pacific Grove, CA Hope For Those With ALS, AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, seems similar to Alzheimer’s disease but attacking the body rather the brain.  There is no cure for either disease, and the ailment just continues to progress and leave you more and more debilitated.  However, USA Today recently ran an article about three promising themes:

  1. A new drug—developed in part with money from the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge—increased the average survival of patients in clinical trials by 7.5 months.
  2. A first-ever clinical trial is testing multiple ALS treatments at once; and
  3. Record levels of federal research funding are planned for this year.

Many are hopeful that Amylyx’s AMX0035 which got a $2.2 million grant from the $111 million Ice Bucket Challenge, will be approved by the FDA.  Findings for AMX0035’s Phase 2 trial were so promising that the ALS community is pushing the FDA to fast track approval.  They have gone so far as to ask the FDA to skip a Phase 3 trial, the only time in history that the ALS Association has asked the FDA to do so.  However, it’s a long-shot.  If you or a loved one are struggling with ALS, contact the Monterey Chapter of ALS here:

http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=14647&NONCE_TOKEN=D30086CF168CADF46857EB53C986C9EA

Carmel, CA Feeling Depressed? Try A Senior Geropsychologist

If you are feeling down and depressed, you should see a counselor and, in particular, one that specializes in treating seniors.  Called a Geropsychologist, this specialty first arose in 2010, according to the American Psychological Association.  There are few of them around, unfortunately, with only 3% of licensed psychologists cite this as their primary or secondary specialty.  The nearest one is in Santa Cruz, Lily Rich, although she does do both in-home visits and video calls.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/elderly-persons-disorders/california/246342?sid=6002314487532&ref=10&tr=ResultsProfileBtn

Identifying Colon Cancer Just Got Easier

Medtronic’s GI Genius, which was recently cleared by the FDA in order to help doctors identify precancerous polyps.  Although you will still need to have a colonoscopy, the AI tool should make doctors more accurate.  “We’re all humans,” said gastroenterologist Michael Wallace.  After back-to-back procedures, he admits, “We get tired.”  Wallace consulted with Medtronics on the new technology and told a reporter, “We really have the opportunity to completely wipe out colon cancer in anybody who gets screened.”  The tool, called GI Genius, has analyzed more than 13 million videos of colonoscopies in order to teach it how to recognize polyps.

https://www.wired.com/story/ai-help-wipe-out-colon-cancer/?bxid=5d9650350564ce3ac11dd859&cndid=1617543&esrc=AUTO_PRINT&mbid=mbid%3DCRMWIR012019%0A%0A&source=EDT_WIR_NEWSLETTER_0_DAILY_ZZ&utm_brand=wired&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_mailing=WIR_Daily_041221&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl&utm_term=list1_p4

Carmel, CA Hope For Those With ALS, AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, seems similar to Alzheimer’s disease but attacking the body rather the brain.  There is no cure for either disease, and the ailment just continues to progress and leave you more and more debilitated.  However, USA Today recently ran an article about three promising themes:

  1. A new drug—developed in part with money from the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge—increased the average survival of patients in clinical trials by 7.5 months.
  2. A first-ever clinical trial is testing multiple ALS treatments at once; and
  3. Record levels of federal research funding are planned for this year.

Many are hopeful that Amylyx’s AMX0035 which got a $2.2 million grant from the $111 million Ice Bucket Challenge, will be approved by the FDA.  Findings for AMX0035’s Phase 2 trial were so promising that the ALS community is pushing the FDA to fast track approval.  They have gone so far as to ask the FDA to skip a Phase 3 trial, the only time in history that the ALS Association has asked the FDA to do so.  However, it’s a long-shot.  If you or a loved one are struggling with ALS, contact the Monterey Chapter of ALS here:

http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=14647&NONCE_TOKEN=D30086CF168CADF46857EB53C986C9EA

Telemedicine May Become The Norm Post Pandemic

Although many people have only used telemedicine, or virtual medicine, for the first time during the pandemic, this may become very popular going forward.  However, some worry that doctors appointments that are not done in person may not allow the physician to pick up on telltale physical clues which can be masked by the camera.  Body language can give a physician important clues to your health.  Despite the pro’s and con’s, I think that going forward most patients will feel a mix of physical and virtual appointments will be the best bet.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-telemedicine-changed-my-relationship-with-my-doctors-11616942876?mod=djemHL_t

Carmel, CA Seniors Turning To Telehealth Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

More and more seniors are turning to Telehealth programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  “When you’re not feeling well, having to get up, get dressed and drive all the way to the hospital and then get in line and then possibly get sick from someone else is not all that appealing,” Marla Jo Fisher, a writer, told AARP Bulletin (November 2020, page 44).  Medicare is expanding coverage of telehealth visits during the pandemic, changes which hopefully will remain in place.  The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that less than 1% of primary care visits in February were via Telehealth, a number which jumped to 43.5% in April.  California has a bill going into effect on January 1 requiring all insurers to pay for Telehealth visits.  If your doctor isn’t using Telehealth, talk to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CHOMP, on suggestions.

https://www.chomp.org/find-a-doctor/doctor-search-results/?termId=a826e4db-730c-e611-9cf8-005056a462a1#.X9fgodhKjcs

Pacific Grove, CA Senior Diabetics Take Note : Sleep Habits Can Alter Your Circadian Rhythms

Getting a good night’s rest is important to seniors, however, sleeping a consistent number of hours is important as well.  A review of studies which was published in Endocrine Review found that a sleep shift of even an hour was enough to decrease insulin sensitivity.  To get more helpful tips on diabetes, visit Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CHOMP’s, Diabetes and Nutrition website.  You will find useful information about support groups, classes and more.

https://www.chomp.org/locations/location-profile/diabetes-and-nutrition-therapy/#.X9F3p9hKjcs

Another useful resource is Community Health Innovations.  A full 45% of Monterey County residents have Diabetes or pre-Diabetes!

https://communityhealthinnovations.org/what-we-do/diabetes-prevention-management/

Pebble Beach, CA Tips For Seniors With Balance Issues—Particularly If You Have Diabetes

An article in Diabetes Forecast (September/October 2020, page 40), had a top for seniors who have balance issues—brush your teeth on one leg.  You would be surprised how a series of very short, but powerful exercises throughout the day can help your balance, tight muscles, and soothe aches and pains.  The article says this is particularly important if you have type 2 Diabetes.  To get more information on diabetes, visit Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CHOMP’s, Diabetes and Nutrition website.  You will find useful information about support groups, classes and more.

https://www.chomp.org/locations/location-profile/diabetes-and-nutrition-therapy/#.X9F3p9hKjcs

Another useful resource is Community Health Innovations.  A full 45% of Monterey County residents have Diabetes or pre-Diabetes!

https://communityhealthinnovations.org/what-we-do/diabetes-prevention-management/

Monterey, CA If Seniors Are Feeling Lazy, Try Giving Them Resistance Bands For Exercise

If you have a senior loved one who you are struggling to help with exercise, try resistance bands.  They are great to give them some exercise while watching TV or just sitting around.  You can find them on amazon.com and other web sites in the $10-$20 range.  An easy exercise is to put the resistance band under both of your feet and hold the handles at your sides with the palms facing up.  Then slowly curl your hands to your shoulders, keeping your elbows at your sides.  Then slowly lower to the starting position, repeating as many times as it feels comfortable. Although it may seem inadvisable to go to Carmel Beach or Ocean Avenue for some fresh air and exercise because of the coronavirus, at least take them for a walk around the neighborhood once in a while.  It’s good to get out of the house once in awhile!