FAU will launch the Dementia Prevention Initiative at the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health. It will take a genetics, biology and the molecular approach to the disease, as well as a personalized approach and precision medicine to reduce risk.
The belief is that the innovative approach developed at Florida Atlantic University turns the “one-size-fits-all” approach on its head when it comes to battling Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other related disorders.
This center is one of only a handful of centers around the world that focuses on dementia prevention.
Dr. James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., a world-renowned neuroscientist, designed the program to deliver a personalized prevention plan, tailored to each individual’s risk profile based on their genetic traits, biomarkers, socio-demographics, lifestyle choices, and co-existent medical conditions.
Galvin’s work supports the idea that there may be multiple pathways to develop neurological disorders –and therefore multiple ways to treat and prevent these diseases.
The photo above shows Catherine Robson, a nurse practitioner observing as Dr. James Galvin administers a test using to measure eye movement. is used as an early biomarker sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Planned Parenthood in South Florida is offering free HIV testing today at four locations.
“Many times people cannot afford the cost of an STD test and since Florida continues to lead the nation in new HIV infections, this is a great opportunity to get tested,” said Christina Noce, spokeswoman for the organization.
Testing is available at three locations until 5 p.m.:
Stuart Health Center at 1322 NW Federal Highway in Stuart.
West Palm Beach Health Center at 931 Village Boulevard, Suite 904 in West Palm Beach.
Wellington Health Center at 10111 Forest Hill Boulevard, Suite 340 in Wellington.
The Boca Raton Health Center at 8177 Glades Road., Suite 25 will offer free testing until 7 p.m.
HIV rates have been on the uptick in South Florida in recent years. Miami has had the second highest new rate of infection in the nation.
One reason, health officials say, is that the disease is no longer a death sentence but manageable through medication.
In a story last year, the Palm Beach Post reported that the increase is a dating landscape dominated by social hookup apps are not helping matters.
“These sites are just meant to hook up and have anonymous sex, and that is very, very risky,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, director of Palm Beach County’s Health Department for the story. “You have no idea what you’re getting or who you are getting, and those are just another component of the risky behavior that is occurring.”
A new study co-authored by researchers at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton found Americans in all age groups are less sexually active than ever.
Viagra? Hook-up apps? The reported new era of free love seems to have been greatly exaggerated.
Researchers from FAU along with those from San Diego State University and Widener University in Pennsylvania culled data from the General Social Survey of 26,620 American adults from 1989 to 2014. They published their results Tuesday in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Those particular archives sound like some interesting reading.
But anyway, when it comes to making whoopee, there was only bad news with results showing a drop in sexual activity along gender, race, region, work status and education level.
And what about that “marriage advantage?” That no longer holds true as the rate of sexual activity also fell among those who are married or living with partners. The group went from 73 trysts a year in 1990 to 55 in 2014. Single people said they were having more sex a year with an average of 59.
But those who are married don’t need a study to tell them what they already know.
Not surprisingly sexual activity declined with age. People in their 20s reported having sex about 80 times a year, while people 65-years and older reported hooking up about 20 times annually – which is still pretty impressive.
So if we compare generations, who is the friskiest? Researchers say it was those born in the 1930s, known as the Silent Generation. And who are the most chaste? You guessed it. The millennials.
The decline apparently, according to the study, is not associated with hours worked or pornography use either.
The study didn’t look into the popularity of Netflix. Admit it, you rather be watching the “Santa Clarita Diet” than making love.
Overall, two factors seem to be driving declines in sexual frequency.
Here’s Ryne Sherman, an associate professor of psychology at FAU and co-author of the study, delineating the act of love into the least romantic terms imaginable.
“First, an increase in the percentage of people who are unpartnered, which is interesting considering the availability of the Internet and Tinder age; and second, a decrease in sexual frequency among those who are partnered,” said Ryne Sherman, associate professor of psychology at FAU.
Maybe, our love-making has fallen because we are more likely to be living alone.
In 1986, 66 percent of American adults had a partner at home, but by 2014 those living with a partner was only 59 percent.
“While we don’t know for certain, we suspect that there are a number of factors that are contributing to this decline including putting off parenthood and parenting later in life, as well as the need for two-income families to make ends meet which can lead to fatigue,” said Sherman.
Oh yes, and there is this little silver lining:
“Also, people are generally less happy now and this may impact their overall satisfaction with their relationships or their marriage,” Sherman said.
Thanks, Sherm. Any other nuggets to cheer up us overworked, sex-deprived, depressed masses in loveless marriages?
The FAU study doesn’t answer this question, however:
Who are these people who tabulate how many times a year they have intercourse? What are they doing, putting notches on their bedpost? Is there a phone app? If not, should we invent one? Curious minds want to know, Sherm. We want to know.
It’s a classic case of cutting your nose off despite your face.
Employers who don’t offer their workers sick leave actually make us all sicker, according to a new study by Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Not only do workers who get ill end up coming to work and spreading diseases like the flu, the time they would take for preventative measures – such as a yearly physical – is not there.
The Affordable Care Act tried to remedy this by allowing the 20 million Americans now with insurance to get free preventative screenings. Yet, many do not utilize these lifesaving screening because they don’t have sick time to take to go to the doctor.
As a result, they are contributing to the nation’s soaring health care costs, which reached $3 trillion in 2014.
Researchers at FAU and Cleveland State University in their study in Preventative Medicine, illustrate the role of paid sick leave and how it contributes to overall public health.
Compared to 22 similarly developed countries, the United States is the only country that does not mandate employers to provide paid sick leave benefits or include paid sick leave in a universal social insurance plan.
“Our findings demonstrate that even when insured adults are provided with free preventive screenings, paid sick leave is a significant factor associated with actually using the screenings,” said LeaAnne DeRigne, Ph.D., lead author and an associate professor in the School of Social Work within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry.
“American workers risk foregoing preventive health care, which could lead to the need for medical care at later stages of disease progression and at a higher cost for workers and the American health care system as a whole.”
Key findings from the study reveal that American workers without paid sick leave had odds that were:
30 percent less likely to have had a blood pressure check in the last 12 months
40 percent less likely to have had a cholesterol check in the last 12 months
24 percent less likely to have had a fasting blood sugar check in the last 12 months
61 percent less likely to have had a flu shot in the last 12 months
19 percent less likely to have seen or talked to a physician or health care provider in the last 12 months
23 percent less likely to have had a Pap test in the last 12 months
Neuroscientists at Florida Atlantic University are studying an eyeless Mexican cave fish to understand how brains could evolve to require very little sleep just like this little creatures.
Think about how much stuff humans could get done if no sleep was ever required?
The researchers from the Boca Raton-based university just published in the Journal of Experimental Biology a study that provides a model for understanding how the brain’s sensory systems modulate sleep.
“Animals have dramatic differences in sleep with some sleeping as much as 20 hours and others as little as two hours and no one knows why these dramatic differences in sleep exist,” said Alex C. Keene, who helped write the study coming out of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
Living in a cave is no picnic, so the cave fish has evolved robust differences in how it feeds. They have evolved to sleep less while gaining enhance sensory systems. Researchers say this suggest that sleep loss is evolutionary and associated with the environmental and metabolic changes.
The cave fish is like Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches. There are more than 29 different populations and all have evolved individually.
“We were surprised to find that there are multiple independent mechanisms regulating sleep loss in different cave populations,” said James Jaggard, a graduate student at FAU working with Keene.
He said their research shows there appears to many different ways to evolve a brain that sleeps less. “We are going to search to identify these mechanisms,” Jaggard said.
For the study, the researchers recorded the cavefish under infrared light set up in individual tanks. Check the little guys out on this livestream by clicking here.
The Florida Health Department is seeking to revoke the medical license of a Boca Raton doctor who failed to properly treat the cancer of a Florida Atlantic University student, according to a story by Health News Florida.
Dr. Kenneth Woliner – an integrative medicine specialist with Holistic Family Medicine – repeatedly analyzed Stephanie Sofronsky’s blood and ordered iron shots, herbal supplements, and antibiotics while failing to treat her cancer with chemotherapy, the state claims.
Medical experts had already told Sofronsky that she had an 80 percent chance of beating Hodgkin lymphoma with chemotherapy.
Health Department prosecutors proved by “clear and convincing evidence” that Woliner committed medical malpractice and financially exploited his patient, Administrative Law Judge Mary Li Creasy wrote in April.
According to testimony from the patient’s mother, Martha Sofronsky, Woliner said he didn’t think Stephanie had cancer despite it being diagnosed by three different hospitals.
Woliner seemed more inclined to think Sofronsky’s symptoms came from allergies to mold and other substances, she said.
Sofronsky died in February 2013, two years after seeking Woliner’s help. An autopsy by a Palm Beach County medical examiner attributed her death to untreated Hodgkin lymphoma. She was one year from graduation at FAU.
Woliner’s attorneys argue that Sofronsky was an adult who chose her course of treatment. They say Woliner wasn’t even her primary care physician.
“Dr. Woliner was engaged to investigate Sofronsky’s thyroid issues, not to diagnose or treat her cancer,” wrote George Indest III and Lance Leider of The Health Law Firm in Altamonte Springs.
To read the complete Health News Florida story click here.
Every year, almost 800,000 patients in the United States are intubated with a tube inserted in their body to help them to breathe during hospitalization.
More than 50 percent of these patients are awake and alert, but they are unable to communicate with nurses, physicians and their loved ones save for scribbling on a piece of paper — not exactly conducive to a patient in an emergency medical situation.
“Speak for Myself” was developed by Rebecca Koszalinski during her doctoral studies under the guidance of Ruth Tappen, an eminent scholar and professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.
Results of a pilot study of Speak for Myself, conducted at three hospitals in South Florida, was recently published in the journal Computers, Informatics, Nursing. It found there is a disconnect between what health care providers think patients want to communicate and what patients actually want to say.
“When patients are not able to clearly verbalize their needs, there is an elevated risk of misinterpretation and misunderstanding, which could lead to errors and unintentional poorer quality of care,” Tappen said.
“While writing boards and other traditional methods may be helpful, important information is often lost. Furthermore, allowing others to speak for the patient has its limitations.”
The app lets a patient communicate his or her level of pain using a scale from 1 to 10. It also helps them convey their physical needs such as suctioning, repositioning and requests to use the bathroom.
During the study, one patient using the device was able to help doctors learn that the nasogastric tube had become twisted and was causing severe pain. Another patient communicated her end-of-life decisions to stop treatment and disconnect the mechanical ventilation that was keeping her alive.
“It is accurate to assert that with enhanced communication, patients will have less frustration, their pain will be better controlled, and they will have a greater opportunity to participate in their own care, and this is all supported in our study,” Tappen said.
approximately 1,600 nursing students enrolled in programs at FAU’s College of Nursing.
But a new Florida Atlantic University study blows up that stereotype. In fact, Millennial appear to be as prudish as their great-grandparents.
The Boca Raton-based college found many Americans born in the 1990s in particular, are forgoing sex during young adulthood.
The FAU study, just published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, contradicts the widespread stereotype that Millennial are the “hookup” generation that use popular dating apps like Tinder and Grindr.
Millennials are no more promiscuous than their predecessors and are less likely to be having sex than young adults were 30 years ago, according to a survey of almost 27,000 people.
The generation did not report more sexual partners after the age of 18 than GenX’ers born in the late 1960s. In fact, 15 percent of 20- to 24-year-old Americans had no sexual partners since turning 18.
The only other generation that showed a higher rate of sexual inactivity were those born in the 1920s, said Ryne Sherman,, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at FAU.
“Many of the differences between the groups in the recent generations were also significant,” said Sherman. “For example, women were more likely to be sexually inactive compared to men, Whites more than Blacks, those who did not attend college more than those who did, and in the East more than the West.”
So why are Millennials not doing the deed?
For one, as the Pew Research Center observed, nearly one-third of today’s young adults are still living at home, largely because of economic factors like lower wages and social ones, like delayed age of first marriage.
“With more [millennials] living with their parents even post-recession, young adults may have fewer opportunities to have sex,” according to a story in The Daily Beast.
Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton is busting since graduating its first class of would-be doctors last year.
The latest is that it has received initial accreditation for university sponsored residency programs in general surgery and emergency medicine.
It’s a big deal for the up-and-coming medical school.
Spokeswoman Gisele Galoustian says the emergency medicine residency is the only such program in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The surgery residency program is one of only three programs between the two counties.
The six-year general surgery training program is based at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, the primary site for the program, as well as Bethesda Hospital East, Delray Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.
The three-year emergency medicine training program is based at Bethesda Hospital East, the primary site for the program, as well as St. Mary’s Medical Center and Delray Medical Center.
All five hospitals are member teaching hospitals in the FAU College of Medicine Consortium.
“FAU’s general surgery program has been approved for a total of 45 clinical positions and up to seven positions for a unique value-added year of scholarship and research, making this program one of the largest in the nation,” according to an FAU news release.