Low vitamin K may reduce mobility in older adults

Older adults with insufficient vitamin K are likely to be at higher risk for mobility disability, according to new research.

Dietary sources of vitamin K include kale, spinach, broccoli, and other leafy greens. Some dairy foods also contain vitamin K.

The investigators who carried out the study say that their findings “suggest vitamin K may be involved in the disablement process in older age.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Nerve stimulation could provide new treatment option for most common type of stroke

Research led by a UCLA scientist found that a new nerve stimulation therapy to increase blood flow could help patients with the most common type of stroke up to 24 hours after onset.

A study of 1,000 patients found evidence that the technique, called active nerve cell cluster stimulation, reduced the patients’ degree of disability three months after they suffered an acute cortical ischemic stroke, which affects the surface of the brain.

Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of the UCLA Comprehensive Stroke Center, was the co-principal investigator of the study, which was conducted at 73 medical centers in 18 countries.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Move Forward Radio: Individuals Who Are Transgender Deserve Person-Centered Care – Just Like Everyone Else

Sometimes the journey toward better health must begin at the beginning—with an actual acknowledgement that there’s a problem, and a sense of self-worth strong enough to allow a person reach out for help. Just ask “Greg,” a transgender man who endured pelvic pain for years.

“My body was, for me, this thing that I fed, and got it in a car, and drove places, and it did the work I wanted it to do,” Greg said. “Because I spent so much of my life feeling betrayed by it, it was just this thing I didn’t want to pay attention to.”

Now available on Move Forward Radio: a conversation with Greg and Schoonover, the physical therapist (PT) who helped Greg see his body—and his connection to it—in a new way. The podcast is a must-listen for anyone seeking a better understanding of not just the challenges faced by the transgender population, but the importance of providers honoring the individual stories every patient brings to the clinic.

Full story at APTA

‘Sham’ sharing ministries test faith of patients and insurance regulators

Sheri Lewis, 59, of Seattle, needed a hip transplant. Bradley Fuller, 63, of nearby Kirkland, needed chemotherapy and radiation when the pain in his jaw turned out to be throat cancer. And Kim Bruzas, 55, of Waitsburg, hundreds of miles away, needed emergency care to stop sudden —and severe — rectal bleeding.

Each of these Washington state residents required medical treatment during the past few years, and each thought they had purchased health insurance through an online site.

But when it was time to pay the bills, they learned that the products they bought through Aliera Healthcare Inc. weren’t insurance at all — and that the cost of their care wasn’t covered.

Lewis and the others had enrolled in what Aliera officials claimed was a health care sharing ministry (HCSM) — faith-based co-ops in which members agree to pay one another’s medical bills.

Full story at news-medical.net

Eat walnuts to lower blood pressure, new study suggests

A new study suggests that eating walnuts might help people at risk of cardiovascular disease to lower their blood pressure — that is, if they consume them as part of a diet low in saturated fats.

The scientists, at Pennsylvania State University in State College, explain that their study is one of the first to investigate how the properties of walnuts may affect heart health.

The results of the research, which the California Walnut Commission part funded, now appear in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Walnuts contain a plant-based omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which scientists believe has beneficial effects on blood pressure.

Full story at Medical NewsToday

Study finds different amounts of physical therapy for stroke patients

Medicare-covered stroke patients receive vastly different amounts of physical and occupational therapy during hospital stays despite evidence that such care is strongly associated with positive health outcomes, a new study by Brown University researchers found.

The research team, led by Amit Kumar, an adjunct assistant professor at Brown’s School of Public Health, analyzed Medicare claims data from 2010 for approximately 104,000 stroke patients. They found that 15 percent of patients received no physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT), while on average stroke patients received 2 hours of therapy during their hospital stay. Some patients received almost 4 hours of therapy, but these tended to be patients with the longest hospital stays, Kumar added.

“For stroke patients, rehabilitation services are one of the most important components in providing treatment after they are stabilized in the acute setting,”said Kumar, who is also an assistant professor of physical therapy at Northern Arizona University. “This is the only treatment that helps patients regain activities for daily living, such as walking or using the restroom independently. So it’s really important to start physical therapy and occupational therapy as early as possible.”

Full story at news-medical.net

Clinical Trial Shows Promise of Stem Cells in Offering Safe, Effective Relief from Arthritic Knees

Stem cells collected from the patient’s own bone marrow holds great interest as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee (KOA) because of their ability to regenerate the damaged cartilage. The results were released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM).

KOA is a common, debilitating disease of the aging population in which the cartilage wears away, resulting in bone wearing upon bone and subsequently causing great pain. In its end stages, joint replacement is currently the recommended treatment. In the first clinical trial of its kind to take place in Canada, researchers used mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), collected from the patient’s own bone marrow under local anesthesia, to treat KOA.

The study was conducted by a research team from the Arthritis Program at the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, led by Sowmya Viswanathan, Ph.D., and Jaskarndip Chahal, M.D. “Our goal was to test for safety as well as to gain a better understanding of MSC dosing, mechanisms of action and donor selection,” Dr. Viswanathan said.

Full story at Business Insider

High-Intensity Interval Training Increases Injuries, Rutgers Study Finds

People who engage in high-intensity interval training are at greater risk for injury, especially in the knees and shoulders, a Rutgers study found.

These workouts, which combine aerobic exercising, weight lifting and calisthenics at maximum capacity, followed by periods of recovery, have been growing in popularity over the past decade, driven by the efficiency of the exercise to deliver fitness goals in less time.

The study, which appears in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, acknowledged that while this type of training is effective in improving cardio respiratory fitness, boosting energy and promoting lean muscle mass and fat loss, it also increases injury risk.

“These workouts are marketed as ‘one size fits all.’ However, many athletes, especially amateurs, do not have the flexibility, mobility, core strength and muscles to perform these exercises,” said Joseph Ippolito, a physician in the Department of Orthopaedics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Full story at rutgers.edu

Torn rotator cuff: Everything you need to know

A torn rotator cuff is a common injury that affects a person’s ability to lift and rotate their arm.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an estimated 2 million people in the United States will visit a doctor for a rotator cuff problem each year.

The rotator cuff is four muscles connected by tendons to the humerus, or upper portion of the shoulder.

When a rotator cuff tear occurs, one or more of the tendons detaches from the humerus. The tear may be complete or partial and can cause significant pain and restrict movement.

Full story at Medical News Today

A glove to treat symptoms of stroke

The most obvious sign someone has survived a stroke is usually some trouble speaking or walking. But another challenge may have an even greater impact on someone’s daily life: Often, stroke survivors lose sensation and muscle control in one arm and hand, making it difficult to dress and feed themselves or handle everyday objects such as a toothbrush or door handle.

Now, doctors and engineers at Stanford and Georgia Tech are working on a novel therapy that could help more stroke survivors regain the ability to control their arms and hands – a vibrating glove that gently stimulates the wearer’s hand for several hours a day.

Caitlyn Seim, a graduate student at Georgia Tech, started the project in the hope that the glove’s stimulation could have some of the same impact as more traditional exercise programs. After developing a prototype, she approached Stanford colleagues Maarten Lansberg, an associate professor of neurology, and Allison Okamura, a professor of mechanical engineering, in order to expand her efforts. With help from a Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Neuroscience seed grant, the trio are working to improve on their prototype glove and bring the device closer to clinical testing.

Full story at Medical Xpress