Fixing Vertigo With a Turn of the Head

One minute you’re fine, the next minute everything is spinning. It happened recently to a coworker who woke up one morning and found that any little movement sent the room spinning and her stomach lurching. She couldn’t even get out of bed. Her doctor told her she had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) — a type of dizziness common among older adults, and for which there is an amazingly easy fix. BPPV was also the subject of a recent New …

Prescription Drug Costs Soar, Doubling in 7 Years

Thanks to drug manufacturer price hikes, the average cost for a year’s supply of a prescription drug has jumped to more than $11,000, or about 75 percent of the average annual Social Security retirement benefit and half the median income of someone on Medicare. This latest bad news for older patients’ pocketbooks come from a new AARP Public Policy Institute report, which shows retail prices for widely used medications increased at six times the rate of general inflation in 2013. …

Baby Powder Lawsuit Raises Questions About Talc

En español | A $72 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers of a potential cancer risk from talc in baby and bath powder has raised questions about the safety of using these items, especially for feminine hygiene. Jurors in St. Louis awarded the money to the family of a woman who said her fatal ovarian cancer was due to using the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower powder for decades. Enter to win a Volvo …

What Is the Zika Virus Risk for Older Adults?

The severe birth defects in babies born to women suspected of having the Zika virus have received most of the attention about this disease in the news, but the virus also poses a risk to older adults. Researchers have been studying a link between the mosquito-borne virus and developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a post-infection complication that can lead to temporary paralysis in adults. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed that link based on two U.S. cases of Guillain-Barre …

Sex Helps Boost Brainpower

Love might be good for the heart, but it turns out that sex is good for the brain, especially as we age. And, in fact, a healthy sex life seems to benefit men’s and women’s brain’s differently, a new study finds. Researchers at Coventry University in England studied 6,800 men and women 50 and older and found that those who were sexually active scored higher on cognitive tests than those who were not. (Sexual activity included intercourse, masturbation, petting or …

6 Foods a Top Food Poisoning Expert Won’t Eat

Think of every major outbreak of foodborne illness in the past 23 years and Seattle attorney Bill Marler was involved, representing victims who were hospitalized or, in several tragic cases, died from eating tainted food. He and his firm, Marler Clark, not only have won more than $600 million for their clients, but Marler has become a de facto expert in the complexities of our food safety system, from the science of tracking an outbreak to dealing with recalcitrant restaurant …