Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Informative Comments on Health Care Reform by California Nurses Association

Once again, Medical News Today publishes a timely and informative comment about the recently House passed Health Care reform bill. Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, issued a statement on November 9th noting some of the strengths and shortcomings:

Of all the torrent of words that followed House passage of its version of healthcare reform legislation in early November, perhaps the most misleading were those comparing it to enactment of Social Security and Medicare.

Sadly no. Social Security and Medicare were both federal programs guaranteeing respectively pensions and health care for our nation's seniors, paid for and administered by the federal government with public oversight and public accountability.

While the House bill, and its Senate counterpart, do have several important reform components, along with many weaknesses, neither one comes close to the guarantees and the expansion of health and income security provided by Social Security or Medicare.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chelation Therapy Drug Treatment & Children with Autism

Medical News Today reports two small studies involving 65 children from ages 3 - 8 suggests that a drug approved by the FDA for treatment of lead poisoning may help children with autism who have a problem with heavy metal toxicity. These studies used a drug known as DMSA which was reported to increase the excretion of several toxic metals, including lead, with no adverse side effects.

These two studies also suggest that using DMSA might improve some of the symptoms of autism such as language, cognition, and sociability, although formal, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are still needed.

Paul's comment: Small studies are useful to help suggest areas needed for appropriate follow-up trials. At the same time, much of what has plagued the autism community in the past are small, open studies or anecdotal references that send parents desperate to find that "magic bullet" trying yet one more treatment that may help a handful of children but are totally ineffective for the vast majority of those afflicted with autism. We stopped years ago desperately seeking the magic bullet for our son, but that decision has left me ever plagued by the thought "what if?"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One summary of latest House Healthcare bill

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy has issued a summary of the "Pelosi" health care reform bill, HR 3962. Medical News Today has "an AMCP staff summary of some of the key provisions of interest to the Academy." See http://tinyurl.com/ya69j25

Down Syndrome Births Decline

Patti Dudek posted a note about the decline in Down Syndrome births, primarily due to abortions, on her blog: http://tinyurl.com/ylx39oq The main point is that many of the abortions result from lack of information about Down Syndrome and not having an opportunity to meet families that have a Down Syndrome member.

Follow Patti's blog. It is always quite informative.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

National Resource Directory for Veterans Useful for Others, Too

I recently came across a Resource Directory as a result of a feed from disability.gov. The title of the particular page that addresses adaptive technology for automobiles is "Where Can I Learn About Adapting Automobiles for Disabilities." (Available at http://tinyurl.com/y8q5syf) Although nominally for "Wounded, Ill, and Injured service members," this site has a wealth of information that would be useful to almost everyone in the disability community. If you are part of the disability community, whether disabled, yourself, a family member, or volunteer, or a person who works with the disabled, please take some time to explore this wonderful site. You might also go to the government's Disabilities Web Site and choose one of the alternatives on the right-hand side of the page to stay updated.

As long as I am making reference to one Resource Directory, another Resource Directory can be found at by the Center for Infants and Children with Special Needs (at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center). This is a fantastic resource to find help for anyone, child or adult, who has a disability. (Available at http://tinyurl.com/ycagagj)