Articles Tagged with disability

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved a personalized cancer treatment that has the potential to have dramatic benefits for some types of cancer patients.

The therapy called Yescarta is a gene therapy, and involves the removal and genetic engineering of the immune cells of patients, so that they are better equipped to fight off the cancer cells.  This is the second gene therapy treatment for cancer approved by the Agency, and the first such therapy to be approved for the use of certain types of cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Experts believe that over the next few years, thousands of lives will be saved because of the treatment. There are, however, risks involved with the treatment and severe side effects attached. The therapy is also expensive, and it is likely to be used only in those cases where other treatment options have failed.

Persons who suffer from cancer may be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. To qualify for benefits, you must have paid into the Social Security system. Persons who suffer from certain types of cancer may qualify for expedited processing of their application. Several types of cancers are included in the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program which allows claims to be approved quicker. If your cancer is inoperable, is recurrent in spite of treatment, or is spreading across the body, you may qualify for expedited processing of your claim.

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Exercise is an absolute must for good health, but overdoing exercise, especially for some members of the population, could cause an increase in the risk of cardiac disease.

According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, white men who over-exercise have a risk of heart disease that is almost twice as high as those who exercise in moderation. Researchers studied more than 3,000 participants over a five-year period, and found that white men who exercised for approximately 7 ½ hours per week were more likely to report symptoms of cardiac disease, including clogging of the arteries. White men were 86% more likely to suffer from symptoms of coronary artery calcification over time as compared to black males.

This should not, however, be taken to mean that you should stop exercising. Exercise in moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle.

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Roughly 9% of all senior citizens in the United States suffer from asthma. As the numbers of people above the age of 65 with this condition increase, doctors are warning of a spike in the number of seniors who will find it difficult to function as a result of asthmatic symptoms.

Asthma can cause breathing difficulties in all patients, but in patients above the age of 65, the symptoms may be even more pronounced. That is due to a number of reasons.

  • Seniors often suffer from a number of age-related conditions that cause symptoms to exacerbate. Those conditions can include weaker lungs and rigid chest walls that make breathing even more difficult during an attack.
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Ignoring a sports injury, or returning to work too quickly after an injury, may actually increase a young person’s risk of developing arthritis later in life.

In fact, according to recent research conducted by the University of Iowa, joint damage at the site of an injury may evolve into further problems and actually be a predictor for arthritis down the line.  Furthermore, evidence of arthritis could emerge as quickly as within a decade of suffering the injury.

We generally think of arthritis as a condition that strikes older or middle-aged people, but often neglect the fact that sports injuries can actually trigger joint and bone damage in younger people that can result in future symptoms of arthritis. More than 27 million Americans currently live with arthritis. Those numbers are expected to increase as the population ages and the number of obese people in the population increases. More than 40% of people who suffer an injury to the ligaments, meniscus, or the articular surface of a joint will develop arthritis in the future.  For example, a history of knee injury increases your risk of developing arthritis in the knee by as much as 3 to 6 times.

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Researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota have announced that they are on the brink of a major cancer treatment breakthrough that could revolutionize treatment for the deadly disease. The federal government is soon expected to approve these evolutionary new cellular therapies that will specifically be used in the treatment of rare forms of blood cancer. According to the researchers, over a period of time, they expect the therapy to be approved for the treatment of other cancers as well.

The treatment involves extraction of the patient’s white blood cells, and putting these through a process of genetic engineering in a lab. These genetically modified cancer-fighting cells are then placed back in the patient’s body to fight cancer cells.  The researchers found that patients’ recovery patterns were enhanced by about seven times when they were put through the stem cell therapy as opposed to to traditional chemotherapy. Patients who benefited from the treatment found that their cancers disappeared.

If the federal government goes ahead with the approval, it would mean the first approval of a genetically modified treatment for cancer. If all goes well, this kind of genetically modified treatment could be a substitute for the toxic chemotherapy that most cancer patients dread.

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A drug used to treat patients who suffer from diabetes may have the unexpected side effect of helping reduce early symptoms in persons who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers at the University College London recently found that the drug exenatide, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in 2005 for the treatment of diabetes, also may benefit persons with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers studied the effects of the drug on diabetic patients as compared to a control group that was on a placebo. They found that the diabetic patients who were on the drug showed better motor function after treatment. Patients on the drug showed reduced signs of decline, compared to those on the placebo.

The study only included a limited number of participants, and the researchers acknowledged that larger group samples may further confirm the findings of the study.

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The upcoming trials of an inexpensive drug that is already used to lower high cholesterol levels will be watched closely by doctors as well as patients who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In 2014, trials found that MS patients who were administered Simvastatin showed significant reductions in brain atrophy levels, compared to those who were not given the drug. That was a smaller trial with just 140 participants, but a new larger trial that is due to begin soon will focus on more than 1,100 people, and will try to confirm the results of the earlier study.

The new study will specifically look at whether the administration of Simvastatin helps reduce the progression of MS in patients. Researchers are optimistic that the drug holds plenty of potential for millions of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers in the United Kingdom – where the trial will be conducted – and around the world.

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Individuals who are physically fit are less likely to suffer from a disability after a stroke.  According to new research, however, physical fitness does not necessarily mean lack of fat.  In other words, high body fat percentages are not necessarily predictors of a high risk of disability after a stroke.

According to research conducted at Harvard University, physical inactivity before a stroke is linked to a higher risk of becoming dependent, both before and after the stroke. Researchers focused on more than 18,000 people who had no stroke history. They were followed over a period of 18 years, and during that time, approximately 1,400 persons in the study survived a stroke.

The researchers found that three years after the stroke, people who had a very physically fit lifestyle that included plenty of exercise were 18% more likely to be able to perform independent tasks, such as bathing.  They were also 16% more likely to perform complex tasks, like managing their finances, compared to those who were not as physically fit before the stroke.

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Autism is a disorder that is usually present from birth, and affects a person’s communication abilities as well as their personal skills.

Typically, the disorder is diagnosed by the time a child is three years old. An adult who suffers from autism may qualify for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as well as Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. However, for adults to qualify for SSDI, they must have paid into the system. That means that they must have a work history, and must have worked in jobs in which they paid taxes into the Social Security system.

When an adult above the age of 18 files a claim for disability benefits for autism, the Social Security Administration will determine whether the person meets the criteria in Listing 12.10 Autistic Disorder. Under this section, a person must be able to show that they suffer from impairment in social interactions, communication skills, and restrictions in interests and activities. These impairments must be clearly measurable.  They must also restrict the ability to function in a work environment, limit social and personal relations with others, or must pose severe challenges in concentration.

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A recent study by leading researchers has found a potential connection between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Beautiful, healthy gums mean not just a perfect smile, but could also mean healthier joints for you. Those findings came from a study that was published recently in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.  Researchers from some of the best institutions in the United States, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, examined the gum fluid of people who suffer from periodontitis or gum disease, and found that the fluid contained high levels of a protein, which can trigger symptoms in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.

The findings of the study are far from conclusive. The researchers have no evidence to confirm that everybody who suffers from gum disease is at a high risk of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or that everyone who suffers from arthritis, will have the specific immune response to the protein found in the gum fluid. In spite of this, however, it’s good advice to keep your gums healthy.  Pay attention to oral hygiene, because other studies have also linked gum disease to a number of other conditions, including diabetes and stroke.