May 22, 2018

Local history: Polio epidemic claimed 13 lives in Tuscarawas County in 1927

An epidemic of polio - a once feared disease that has almost been eradicated in the 21st century - stuck Tuscarawas County with a fury in the summer of 1927, claiming the lives of 13 people in the space of two months and sickening hundreds, most of them children.
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. 
In the 1920s, it was known as infantile paralysis.
The epidemic apparently began in July with the death of Edith Reichman, 7, of Gnadenhutten. But it made itself known more fully in August when it hit the Twin Cities. On Aug. 13, Carl K. Hamilton, 5, of Dennison, died from the disease. At that time, Uhrichsville had six cases of polio and Dennison had four.
Two days after the boy’s death, the Uhrichsville Board of Health adopted a resolution making it unlawful for persons under age 16 to attend movie shows or congregate in public places or in streets.
By Aug. 17, the epidemic had spread to Dover with the death of Francis Jefferson Watson, 4. “Symptoms of infantile paralysis were not discovered in the child’s illness, however, until shortly before death, a Dover physician announced Thursday,” the Dover Daily Reporter said.
By Aug. 22, five people had died of the disease in Tuscarawas County, as well as one person in Coshocton County and one in Holmes County.
The following day, the Dennison Board of Health placed the south side of town under quarantine, with an inspector appointed to patrol the neighborhood.
“The move is the most drastic made yet in the fight against infantile paralysis in Tuscarawas County, but the Dennison board felt justified in taking the course because it had been reported that requests issued by the board recently regarding the keeping of children at home for the present had been ignored in a number of cases,” the Uhrichsville Evening Chronicle reported.
Dover Mayor P.J. Groh later modified that order, permitting parents to take their children under age 14 on automobile rides, provided they did not make visits with their children or attend theaters or public gatherings.
Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner Joseph Blickensderfer visited Newcomerstown at the end of August to investigate a report of a new case there. He left orders closing the Ritz and Grand theaters, and authorities were instructed to prevent crowds from congregating in pool rooms, bowling alleys, confectionery stores or other business places. The order also prohibited holding Sunday school and other public church meetings.
As of Sept. 14, there were 54 cases under quarantine in Tuscarawas County, including 13 in New Philadelphia, five in Newcomerstown, four in Dover, four in Gnadenhutten, three in Wainwright, three in Tuscarawas, two in Dennison, one in Uhrichsville, four in Franklin Township, four in Rush Township and two each in Union and Mill townships. Seven other townships - Auburn, Clay, Goshen, Lawrence, Perry, Sandy and Warwick - had one case each.
The epidemic led to the cancellation of many popular gatherings around the Tuscarawas Valley, including the annual Chili picnic and homecoming in Coshocton County and the Smyrna Fair in Harrison County. Even the Ku Klux Klan postponed its Konklave at the Tuscarawas County Protestant Home Farm west of New Philadelphia. Klansmen from 15 counties were expected to participate.
The opening of schools throughout the area was delayed to the middle of September because of the epidemic.
The disease claimed the lives of more than just children. On Sept. 20, Cyrus Domer, 36, of Sugarcreek, died of polio.
The last victim in Tuscarawas County, Max Eugene Horn, 11, of New Philadelphia, died Sept. 27. With the arrival of cooler weather in October, the epidemic began to ease and finally came to an end. But the Dover Daily Reporter noted that the number of cases had been as high as 55 at one time during the outbreak.
Jon Baker is a reporter for The Times-Reporter and can be reached at

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May 21, 2018

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May 16, 2018

New cannabis patch for fibromyalgia pain and diabetic nerve pain treatment

May 4, 2018

New App Could Make Cannabis Use Safer

‘Am I Stoned’ app designed to help users understand their impairment 

Article ID: 692768
Released: 16-Apr-2018 9:00 AM EDT

Newswise — Although cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been shown to impair memory, reaction time and attention, it is difficult to assess this impairment in a natural setting. Researchers have developed a prototype app called ‘Am I Stoned’ that could help cannabis users understand how the drug is affecting them through a series of phone-based tasks.
Elisa Pabon, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, will present results from initial testing of the app at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting during the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting to be held April 21-25 in San Diego.
“One of our long-term goals is for the app to improve the safety of cannabis use by making individual users more aware of their impairment,” said research team leader Harriet de Wit, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “By gathering data from users in the field, the app will also contribute to the overall scientific knowledge in terms of how cannabis affects users.”
As a step towards developing a mobile phone app that could be used in a natural environment, the researchers examined the usefulness of various tasks in assessing impairment in a controlled laboratory environment. They asked 24 healthy non-daily cannabis users to consume a capsule containing a placebo or 7.5 or 15 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in cannabis that makes people high. The study participants then completed standardized computer-based tasks known to detect impairment as well as app-based tasks on an iPhone, which could be used for briefer assessments outside of the laboratory. Neither the participants nor the researchers knew who received the placebo and who received THC.
The researchers successfully detected impairments from THC using three of the four computer tasks and one of the iPhone tasks. The study also showed that users were generally aware of their impairment.
“The effects of THC on performance may be subtle, so we need highly sensitive tasks to detect impairments,” said Pabon. “It is likely that the computer tasks, which took 15 to 20 minutes to complete, were more sensitive to THC impairment because they provided more opportunity to detect a drug effect.” 
Although the app is not intended to predict a person’s ability to drive or engage in activities that may cause harm, the researchers do plan to use what they are learning to develop an app that people can use to assess their own performance. This would require a person to complete the tasks when sober to provide personalized baseline information that could be used in the future to assess their level of impairment after using cannabis.
The researchers plan to use the findings from this study to improve the sensitivity of the app-based tasks to detect THC-induced impairment so that they can eventually deploy the app in a more naturalistic setting.
Elisa Pabon will present the findings at 12:30–2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Exhibit Halls A-D, San Diego Convention Center (poster C60 825.10) (abstract). Contact the media team for more information or to obtain a free press pass to attend the meeting.
This study was funded by National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Images available. 
About Experimental Biology 2018
Experimental Biology is an annual meeting comprised of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors from five host societies and multiple guest societies. With a mission to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping clinical advances, the meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for exchange among scientists from across the United States and the world who represent dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research.
About the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)
ASPET is a 5,000 member scientific society whose members conduct basic and clinical pharmacological research within the academic, industrial and government sectors. Our members discover and develop new medicines and therapeutic agents that fight existing and emerging diseases, as well as increase our knowledge regarding how therapeutics affects humans.
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Mental, Not Physical, Fatigue Affects Seniors’ Walking Ability

Article ID: 692772
Released: 16-Apr-2018 9:00 AM EDT

Newswise — Low “mental energy” may affect walking patterns in older adults more than physical fatigue. 
New research about the relationship between walking ability and self-reported mood will be presented today at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego.
Researchers from Clarkson University in New York observed a group of older adults (average age 75) while they performed physically and mentally tiring tasks. The volunteers performed the physical task—a timed walking test at normal speed for six minutes—before and after the cognitive components. LED sensors embedded in the five-meter walking track captured gait speed and stride length. The cognitive portion of the test consisted of several math subtraction activities and visually identifying specific numbers and sequences on a computer screen. The volunteers reported their mood, motivation and energy levels after both the physical and cognitive tests. Vocabulary used to capture the participants’ mood included “a list of mood components such as tense, worn out, energetic, confused [and] lively,” explained Abigail Avolio, first author of the study.
The research team used a well-known correlation formula (Pearson correlation coefficient) to determine the relationship between self-reported mood and physical performance. There was no change in gait in relation to mental fatigue in the first 30 seconds of the follow-up walking test. However, walking speed and stride length later in the test period decreased significantly in people who reported more cognitive fatigue, but not in response to lagging physical energy levels.
More study is needed “to further evaluate why feelings of physical energy and fatigue are not related to gait,” the researchers wrote.
Abigail Avolio, an undergraduate student at Clarkson University, will present “Impact of mood after cognitive fatigue on gait in older adults” on Tuesday, April 24, in the Exhibit Hall of the San Diego Convention Center.
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.
About Experimental Biology 2018
Experimental Biology is an annual meeting comprised of more than 14,000 scientists and exhibitors from five sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies. With a mission to share the newest scientific concepts and research findings shaping clinical advances, the meeting offers an unparalleled opportunity for exchange among scientists from across the United States and the world who represent dozens of scientific areas, from laboratory to translational to clinical research.
About the American Physiological Society (APS)
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

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May 1, 2018

Wheelchairs Prohibited in the Last Place You’d Expect

CreditStuart Briers
In March 2017, a woman met with the admissions coordinator at Madison York Assisted Living in Queens, inquiring about placement for her mother-in-law, who was using a wheelchair while recovering from hip surgery.
“Wheelchairs are not allowed in the facility,” the coordinator told her. “Walkers, canes, rollators, hemi canes, something like that is acceptable.” But, he went on, “we cannot accommodate a wheelchair-bound patient.”
In November, another woman seeking assisted living for her mother-in-law emailed the admissions coordinator at VillageCare at 46 & Ten in Manhattan. “We do not admit residents on wheelchairs,” the coordinator wrote back.
By phone, the woman explained that her mother-in-law had used a chair for decades and could transfer in and out without assistance. The coordinator wouldn’t budge. “We could not accept anyone in a wheelchair,” she said.

Excerpts from their recorded conversations are included in a federal lawsuit filed against those centers, claiming they discriminate against people in wheelchairs and are violating the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
“People were being threatened with eviction, or actually evicted, for even part-time use of a wheelchair,” said Fred Freiberg, director of the anti-discrimination group, which brought the suit after receiving complaints from residents and families.
“It’s outrageous. They were told, ‘If you’re going to use a wheelchair, you can’t live here anymore.’”

“Many states have similar policies, though with different language, like ‘must be able to self-evacuate,’ which is often interpreted to mean ‘no wheelchairs,’” said Susan Silverstein, a senior lawyer for the AARP Foundation, which is representing the plaintiffs. “Facilities often justify their policies by citing state laws that are ambiguous.”
Administrators of the facilities named in the New York lawsuit, including Elm York Assisted Living and Madison York Assisted Living, (which share ownership with the other residence in Queens), often cited state laws as reasons to exclude wheelchair users, according to the complaint.
And in this case, they appear to be correct. New York State regulations governing “adult care facilities” and Medicaid-funded assisted living programs, which all four facilities are licensed to offer, do prohibit residents who are “chronically chairfast and unable to transfer” or require assistance to transfer — even when, as in this case, the buildings have elevators.
Those 40-year-old policies predate the federal laws barring discrimination based on disability, but the state has not revised them.

Disabled by severe osteoporosis, the plaintiff lived at VillageCare for five years, until last spring when a urinary tract infection and its complications sent her to a hospital, then to a nursing home for rehabilitation.
After two months, according to the complaint, VillageCare told her she needed more assistance than it could provide, including help with “ambulation,” and told her she could not return. It began eviction proceedings, which her brother contested.
In December, the facility agreed to an in-person interview and assessment. The session — including cognitive tests, sitting and standing, and taking her shoes on and off — lasted four hours.
“It was grueling,” said her brother, who traveled from his Florida home to accompany her. “It was a very difficult thing, but my sister did it. She walked with her walker just fine.”
But VillageCare refused to readmit her, saying she needed assistance with activities of daily living, including “locomotion.” So she remains in a nursing home, where she is discouraged from walking at all, and worries that she may never go home.
“It’s very disheartening,” her brother said. “I keep telling her, ‘You’re going to be out any day,’ and I’ve been wrong.”

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