Social Security Outlook Improves, but Disability Needs Urgent Action

The financial health of Social Security has improved slightly in the past year, with the system expected to exhaust its reserves to pay benefits in 2034, a year later than previously projected, according to the 2015 Social Security Trustees Report, released July 22. At that time, if Congress has taken no action, Social Security will have enough payroll taxes coming in to cover 79 percent of promised benefits for another 56 years, the report said. The annual report forecasts the …

Women With Memory Problems Decline Faster Than Men

Women are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s disease as men, but for years, doctors assumed that was simply because women lived longer. Now it appears there’s more to it. Emerging research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington this week suggests there may be biological differences that put women at higher risk — not just for developing the disease as they age, but for experiencing precipitous declines after surgery or general anesthesia. “Understanding these differences will help us …

Students Turning to Grandparents to Help Pay for College

How are families paying for college? Grandparents. Or, at least, grandparents and other relatives are kicking in more for a student’s education. The amount of money from relatives — often grandparents — and friends rose to an average of $1,247 this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. That’s according to Sallie Mae’s annual report, “How America Pays for College,” which is based on a survey of 1,600 parents and students. Student loan giant Sallie Mae found that families …

Loneliness Is Bad for Your Brain

Feeling lonely is dangerous for your brain health, according to a new study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference this week. Lonely older adults are not only more likely to experience declines in mobility and physical limitations; they are also more likely to have memory problems and are at higher risk for dementia, says Nancy Donovan, geriatric psychiatrist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Donovan and her colleagues studied 8,300 men and women 65 and older and found that …

New Ways to Predict Who Will Get Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers still don’t have a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, but they’re coming closer to being able to predict who will develop the disease that robs the minds of millions of Americans every year. One long-term study presented this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington found that a combination of memory tests, brain scans and body fluids can predict with about 80 percent accuracy whether a person without memory problems will develop the disease. Scientists at Johns Hopkins …

New Painkiller Warning: What Does It Mean For You?

Ten years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the widely used nonaspirin painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen — including over-the-counter brands such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve — may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But new evidence has convinced the agency that the warning on these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) needs to be tougher. The FDA is now strengthening the wording to say that NSAIDs increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, even …