South American Family DNA Assists Alzheimer’s Research
A South American family has volunteered to be a part of research that could potentially lead to prevention of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s.
Every 67 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Most patients are 65 or older, but 5 percent of patients worldwide develop symptoms in their 40s, having a hereditary form of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s.
A family in Medellin, Colombia, have been studied since the 1980s. Of 5,000 members, a third carry a mutated gene. Now 300 of them are participating in drug trials aimed at preventing harmful beta-amyloid plaque from building up in their brains. This early intervention may stop the disease from devastation.
One young adult member of this family whose mom has Early-Onset preferred not to know if she carried the mutated gene. “What scares me is the future,” Natasha said. “If I am going to have children, will it affect them? I prefer not to know because I’ll end up thinking about the future before I have to.”
High Suicide Rates for Baby Boomer Men
Robin Williams’ suicide in August brought up much-needed public conversation and data about depression and risk of suicide.
Julie Phillips, a Rutgers sociology professor, has been researching national suicide rates. Although suicide rates are normally high in adolescence/young adulthood and also in old age, they usually remain low in middle age. However Phillips discovered that suicides among Baby Boomer men are on the rise, and these men are now 60 percent more likely to take their own lives than the previous generation.
Phillips attributes this increased risk to: recession with high unemployment for primary wage earners, major health problems affecting men at this age, the fact that more men live alone in this age group due to divorce, and that more Boomer men have stopped going to church.
Upscale Stylist Gives Free Haircuts to Those in Need
Mark Bustos is a stylist at a high profile salon in New York City, and he spends his only day off per week giving free hair cuts to anyone in need that he meets on the street.
In 2012 Bustos visited family in the Philippines and was inspired to give hair cuts to impoverished children there. “The feeling was so rewarding, I decided to bring the positive energy back to NYC,” he said.
After Jemar Banks received a new look and a boost of confidence, he asked Bustos, “Do you know anyone that’s hiring?”
Another haircut recipient was Jim, who was just released after serving 10 years in prison. “Every human life is worth the same,” Bustos said. “We all deserve a second chance.”
Bustos hopes his small deeds will inspire others to spread kindness.