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Alzheimer’s May Be Late-Stage Type 2 Diabetes: The Relationship Between Insulin, Amyloid Plaques, And Enzyme Destruction


By  | Dec 2, 2013 04
Science has known for years that Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes are connected, but new research from Albany University suggests the mechanism by which the association forms implicates Alzheimer’s as a product of late-stage diabetes, due to the way increased insulin production stops destructive amyloid plaques from getting broken down.
The research team presented its findings, which are still in the preliminary stages, at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego. Through their investigation, the team found that because type 2 diabetes — the most common form of the disease — causes people’s bodies to overproduce insulin, as a result of high blood glucose, the excess insulin trickles into the brain. Once there, it disrupts a key enzyme that normally erases amyloid plaques, a build-up of which scientists have suspected leads to Alzheimer’s. Without this erasure, the plaques accumulate and cognitive decline follows.
Read the full article at Medical Daily 
(http://www.medicaldaily.com/alzheimers-may-be-late-stage-type-2-diabetes-relationship-between-insulin-amyloid-plaques-and-enzyme)

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Drinking and Diabetes Don't Mix


By David MendosaHealth GuideThursday, November 07, 2013



Compared with some other stuff we put in our mouths, the trouble with alcohol might not seem to be a big deal for most of us who have diabetes. We all know, of course, that even a little alcohol can mean big trouble for those of us who can’t handle alcohol in moderation.

More than 30 percent of adult Americans have “experienced alcohol use disorders during their lifetimes,” according to a 2007 study in JAMA Psychiatry. That study also found that 17.8 percent have alcohol abuse problems and that 12.5 are alcohol dependent.

Our genes are responsible for about half of the risk for alcoholism, according to theNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The other half is our environment, which includes our friends.

If you were sure from your experience that you can handle a little alcohol and if you were a middle-aged or older man who didn’t have diabetes, a little alcohol might actually be good for you. That’s because the response of some people to different amounts of alcohol seems to be quite unusual. It’s not something that could be plotted on a straight line. Researchers call it a U-shaped or J-shaped curve, where among middle-aged and older men, abstinence seems to be a little worse than moderate consumption, while heavy consumption is much worse.

Read the full article at Health Central 

(http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/164009/drinking-diabetes-don-mix/)

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Depression in diabetes patients linked to dementia, study finds




(HealthDay)—Type 2 diabetes patients who suffer depression also have more significant mental decline than those without depression, a new study finds.
Diabetes and depression are common among older people and up to 20 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes have , according to background information in the study. In addition, both of these disorders appear to be associated with an increased risk of .
"Both depression and diabetes have been identified as  for dementia in general and Alzheimer's disease in particular," noted Dr. Marc Gordon, an expert not connected to the new study.
Researchers led by Dr. Mark Sullivan of the University of Washington, Seattle, tracked outcomes for nearly 3,000 people who had  and were at high risk for heart disease. The patients' thinking and memory (or "cognitive") abilities and levels of depression were assessed at the start of the study and the participants were followed for 40 months.
Read the whole article at Medical Xpress 

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Benefits Britain 1949


Benefits Britain … Karen.
Benefits Britain … Karen. Photograph: Channel 4

Benefits Britain 1949 (Channel 4) was another time-travel bootcamp. You know the type. The sub-genre of documentary that asks such bold questions as: how will modern schoolchildren cope spending a week as Victorian mudlarks? Or what happens when three dads try to live by the laws of 12th-century Russia? Or what will young mum Sarah learn when she agrees to give birth in Latin? Excuses, one and all, to bother and berate people on some flimsy historical premise until they burst out crying, and have the narrator conclude: "Well, I guess we've really learned something."
In for an old-school bothering this week were benefits claimants Karen, Craig and Melvyn. Karen had arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure. This year, after three decades of employment, she was judged incapable of working, and granted benefits of £155 a week. Wheelchair user Craig had spina bifida but was determined to find work. In the past three years he had sent out more than 1,000 job applications and received, in return, five interviews and not one job. Melvyn was 75 years old, a widower, and getting by on his state pension of £134 a week. And if you read all that and thought: "I'd love to see those three weeping," you were in for a treat.
Read the full story at the Guardian 

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Medicare: Cost-Saving Changes Coming For Diabetics


Medicare: Cost-Saving Changes Coming For Diabetics


WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare begins a major change next month that could save older diabetics money and time when they buy crucial supplies to test their blood sugar — but it also may cause some confusion as patients figure out the new system.
On July 1, Medicare opens a national mail-order program that will dramatically drop the prices the government pays for those products but patients will have to use designated suppliers. The goal is to save taxpayers money but seniors should see their copays drop, too.
Don't care about the convenience of mail delivery? Just over half of the 4.2 million diabetics with traditional Medicare coverage used mail-order last year, but starting July 1 beneficiaries also can get the new lower price at drugstores enrolled in the Medicare program.
"Those who like the face-to-face interaction with the pharmacist have that choice," stressed Jonathan Blum, Medicare deputy administrator. "We want to preserve both options."
It's the biggest expansion yet of a larger, and somewhat controversial, initiative that's predicted to save taxpayers nearly $26 billion over the next decade by cracking down on waste and fraud in the medical equipment industry. Diabetics aren't the only Medicare patients affected. Depending on where they live, patients who rent home oxygen gear and hospital beds, or who need power wheelchairs, walkers and certain other equipment also could see changes in their suppliers and lower prices as a pilot test of this so-called competitive bidding program expands from nine metro areas to a total of 100 on July 1. Medicare is supposed to apply the lower pricing nationally by 2016.
The diabetes initiative is the first to go nationwide — and Blum said it should put an end to unscrupulous practices such as shipping cartons of supplies to diabetics who haven't run out yet and billing Medicare for the cost.
The concern: Potentially hundreds of thousands of older patients may have to switch mail-order suppliers. The American Diabetes Association worries they won't get the word before their supplies run short — or might be pressured to switch to a cheaper brand of blood-sugar monitor and the matching supplies even though that's against the rules.
"We're sort of torn, truthfully," said Krista Maier, the association's associate director of public policy. "It will save the Medicare program money, which is good for its sustainability. The challenge is ensuring that beneficiaries' testing of their blood glucose isn't disrupted."
Here are some questions and answers about the program:
Q: What's the big change?
A: Until now, hundreds of mail-order companies could bill Medicare for the test strips, lancets and other supplies that diabetics use to measure and track their blood sugar. Under the new national program, Medicare patients can order from only 18 mail-order companies that won government contracts and will be subject to more oversight. (The change doesn't apply to Medicare Advantage patients.)
Check the list at www.medicare.gov/supplier or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. Some companies operate under multiple names.
Q: What if the new companies don't sell my brand?
A: Medicare's list shows different suppliers sell a mix of top-selling brands as well as generics — and you're not required to change your existing monitor. But you may need to shop around or get a doctor's note that specifies you need a specific type, so plan ahead.
Q: What's the price difference?
A: Medicare has paid about $78 for 100 test strips and lancets, just over a month's supply for someone who tests his or her blood sugar three times a day. Remarkably, that rate was higher than other insurers typically pay. Starting July 1, that reimbursement will drop to about $22. The patient copay is 20 percent, so it will drop from about $15 to less than $5.
Q: What if I want to buy at my local drugstore instead?
A: Ask if it accepts "Medicare assignment," meaning it has to honor the July 1 prices. Some large chains are reassuring customers that they're participating. But pharmacies that aren't enrolled in Medicare are allowed to charge patients more.
Read More at NPR

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