Big Measles Outbreaks Worry Federal Health Officials

Federal health officials are worried about an unusually high number of measles cases occurring in the United States this year. There have been at least eight outbreaks so far this year involving 159 cases, the federal reported Thursday in its .  More.

Custom Video Game Makes Grandpa As Good At Multitasking As Grandkids

“Grandma may not be able to multitask quite as well as you can, but that doesn’t mean she can’t learn. In a new study, researchers developed a driving-based video game that helped 60-plus folks multitask better than twentysomethings who didn’t play the game. So much for so-called “digital natives”—seems it’s just a matter of getting the right practice.” More.

Half of those with high blood pressure don’t realize it, study says

A study of more than 140,000 adults finds about half of people with high blood pressure — or hypertension — don’t have a clue they have the condition. That’s worrisome, according to the study’s authors, as uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase risk for heart disease, strokes and early death.

“The findings are disturbing and indicate a need for systematic efforts to better detect those with high blood pressure,” study author Dr. Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton Ontario, said in a statement. More.

How Exercise Can Help Us Sleep Better

The NY Times reports: “according to a study published last week in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine…the influence of daily exercise on sleep habits is more convoluted than many of us might expect and that, in the short term, sleep may have more of an impact on exercise than exercise has on sleep.” Key finding: “Only after four months of the program had their insomnia improved.”   MORE.

Conflicting Evidence of Copper’s Role in Alzheimer’s

New research indicates that copper is one of the major environmental factors responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. This conflicts with research from earlier this year suggesting that the metal protects against this common form of dementia.  More.

Genetic Variation Can Affect Warfarin Doses for African Americans

A genetic variation that affects how some black patients respond to blood thinners could improve the effectiveness and safety of the drug, warfarin. More @ Science World Report.

Mind-Controlled Helicopter Performs Stunts In Incredible Test Flights – wheelchairs next?

“We envision that they’ll use this technology to control wheelchairs, artificial limbs or other devices,” lead author of the study and biomedical engineering professor in the University’s College of Science and Engineering, Bin He, said in the statement. “Our next step is to use the mapping and engineering technology we’ve developed to help disabled patients interact with the world.” More @ The Huffington Post.

Battling Cancer Together

JANE E. BRODY at the NYTimes writes: Honesty, communication and affection are crucial for couples in this prolonged ordeal.” See Battling Cancer Together

Hospitalized patients too often have no single physician in charge of their care

The Washington Post reports: “Coordinated care, touted as the key to better, more cost-effective care, is being encouraged through financial rewards and penalties under the 2010 health-care overhaul, as well as by private insurers. But experts say communication failures remain disturbingly common.

“Nobody is responsible for coordinating care,” said Lucian Leape, a Harvard health-policy analyst and a nationally recognized patient safety leader. “That’s the dirty little secret about health care.”

Advocates for hospital patients and their families say confusion about who is managing a patient’s care and the failure of caregivers to collaborate are endemic, contributing to an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths from medical errors each year. A landmark report by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 cited the fragmented health-care system and patients’ reliance on multiple providers as a leading cause of medical mistakes.”   More.