agebuzz weekly

April 13th, 2017

Good morning and welcome to agebuzz… Headlining today’s topics:

Back Again: Treating Lower Back Pain: For most of us, aches and pains are an inevitable consequence of getting older. And for many of us, those aches originate from our lower back. In fact, statistics show that lower back pain is one of the top reasons that we end up in a doctor's office, and it's the second leading cause of disability in the US. While lower back pain may indicate a serious medical problem, the majority of cases stem from what's called "mechanical back pain," i.e., things like muscle spasms, ligament strains or arthritis. Unfortunately, these are problems not easily treated- time, rather than pills, is often the best medicine. Recently, The American College of Physicians released new guidelines for treating lower back pain. So take out your heating pad, and read the recommendations Here. And find out more general information about back pain Here.

Test Case: Consumers Gain Direct Access To 10 Genetic Tests From 23andme: The future has arrived: with the simple submission of a saliva sample, you can now take a glimpse into your genetic make-up. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now authorized the genetic testing company, 23andme, to offer consumers direct access to genetic testing for 10 diseases, including Parkinson's and late-onset Alzheimer's, without having to go through a physician. The meaning of these test results, however, can be complicated and difficult to interpret without the expertise of a genetic counselor. The question for consumers then, especially for those who have a family history or concerns about these diseases, is should they seek out this testing, which is relatively affordable but not without controversy. Many major Alzheimer's groups do not support this type of consumer testing, and worry that consumers could become misinformed about their risk of disease with this new option. Is more information always better? Check out the pros and cons, by reading Here and Here.

Tea Time: New Research Points To Essential Benefits From Tea: Do you enjoy your morning cup of tea? Or perhaps the several cups of tea you drink throughout the day? New research from Singapore suggests that you're not only quenching your thirst, you may also be protecting your brain. Published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, this new study found that drinking black or green tea (but not fruit or herbal teas) can cut your risk of dementia by 50%. And for those at genetic risk for Alzheimer's, the results are even more striking. Scientists believe that with it's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities, brewed tea can protect your brain from vascular events such as strokes. So put the kettle on to boil, and read about this new research Here.

Appeals Court: Learn How To Appeal Your Medicare Part D Denials: Medications are a fact of life for most seniors, but with Medicare Part D, the costs of those medications can usually be managed- but not always. Sometimes, for example, Medicare denies coverage for a medication, which could lead to enormous out-of-pocket expenses if the decision stands. Luckily, there is an appeals process to Medicare denials, but it's only valuable if you know how to use it. On April 26th, the Medicare Rights Center is hosting a webinar to help guide you through the appeals process. For a modest fee, you can learn how to fight a denial and save yourself a lot of money- and aggravation. For general information on Medicare Part D, Click Here. And for more detailed information about how to sign up for this webinar, Click Here. 

Hit The Sack: The Connection Between Sleep And Aging: Here is an essential question: Is poor sleep a consequence of aging, or is poor sleep a contributing factor to aging? Turns out, it may be both. According to new research published in the journal Neuron, because certain brain mechanisms that promote deep sleep diminish as we age, we have trouble getting the sound and restful sleep that all of our major organs need in order to function properly. And we know that lack of sleep is associated with illnesses in the elderly such as heart disease and diabetes, not to mention memory decline. Either way, the message is clear- we need to try to get as much sleep as we can while we age, which is no easy task. Sleeping pills only sedate you, rather than promote the essential deeply restive sleep your body needs. While not every senior suffers from sleep deprivation, for those who do there are non-medication methods that can help, if you invest the time and commitment. Find out more about this new research Here. And if constant fatigue is your problem, lack of sleep may not be the only cause. Find out what else could be going on Here.

Fashion Plate: The Ageless Style Of Tziporah Salamon: Few women over 65 can claim to be style icons, but Tziporah Salamon is not like other women. The Israeli-born daughter of Holocaust survivors, she learned about the fashion world from her parents: her father was a master tailor and her mother was a dressmaker. Now a New Yorker, Tziporah's unique and stand-out style has been regularly featured on Advanced Style, the website of Ari Seth Cohen, and she's been photographed as a model for multiple fashion campaigns. She's now out with her own fashion book, published by Rizzoli. InThe Art of Dressing, Tziporah features both her own style and those of other, celebrated older fashion icons, many of whom have their own followers, especially on Instagram. Get the style advice you've been missing by checking out her website Here. And read about many of the other women celebrated by Tziporah Here.

THE LAST WORD: “First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me." Steve Martin