Category: Health Fitness

Biden health concerns persist as he makes first appearance after ending campaign

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President Joe Biden was seen boarding Air Force One in Delaware on Tuesday, marking the first time he has been seen in public since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 17. 

The president is headed to Washington, D.C., where he is scheduled to make a speech to the American public on Wednesday night.

Biden’s personal physician, Kevin C. O’Connor, D.O., released the latest update on the president’s health on Monday, July 22, in which he stated that the president had completed his 10th dose of Paxlovid and that his symptoms have “almost resolved completely.”

DOCTORS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT BIDEN’S APPARENT COGNITIVE ISSUES DURING DEBATE: ‘TROUBLING INDICATORS’

There has been a renewed emphasis on the president’s health — both physically and cognitively — in recent weeks, stemming from his concerning performance at the June 27 presidential debate and culminating in his July 21 announcement that he is ending his campaign for re-election.

Cognitive concerns

The first presidential debate of 2024 left many Americans, and even some traditional Democratic allies, wondering about Biden’s mental fitness for office based on what appeared to be his unclear train of thought and lack of coherence.

President Biden boards Air Force One as he departs Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, on July 23, 2024. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

“President Biden’s performance in [the] debate reignited longstanding discussions about his cognitive abilities and his overall leadership capacity,” Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurosurgeon who specializes in cognitive function, told Fox News Digital after the debate.

“Biden struggled to maintain a coherent narrative, often losing his train of thought mid-sentence, and providing vague, rambling and undecipherable answers to highly critical questions,” Osborn continued, expressing his professional opinion.

AFTER BIDEN DROPS OUT OF RACE, DOCTORS REVEAL WHY THE DECISION MAY HAVE BEEN BEST FOR HIS HEALTH

The doctor, who has not treated the president, also called out Biden’s frequent pauses, struggle to find words and reliance on the notes he was writing as points of concern. 

“President Biden lacks the mental sharpness required for the highest office in the land … especially amid [today’s] current national and international crises,” Osborn said.

The neurosurgeon also mentioned that the 46th president has undergone multiple surgeries for brain aneurysms.

Joe Biden with sunglasses on after dropping out of the 2024 election

President Joe Biden gestures as he boards Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, on Tuesday, July 23, 2024. (Ken Cedeno/Reuters)

There is a famous saying in neurosurgery, Osborn noted: “When the air hits your brain, you’re never the same.” 

The doctor said, “It is medically probable that when he took office in 2020, he was afflicted by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a gateway syndrome to Alzheimer’s disease, and potentially Parkinsonism (not necessarily Parkinson’s disease itself).”

Health’s potential role in Biden’s exit?

After Biden’s announcement on Sunday that he was dropping out of the 2024 presidential race, doctors shared their thoughts about what that action meant in terms of his ongoing cognitive health. 

Given signs of his “ailing cognitive status, President Biden’s decision to step down from the race seems prudent,” said Osborn.

JOE BIDEN WITH COVID AT AGE 81: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE RISK THE VIRUS POSES TO OLDER ADULTS

“By stepping down, President Biden can prioritize his health and potentially mitigate further cognitive decline, while also ensuring the leadership role is filled by someone fully capable of handling the demanding responsibilities of the position.”

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, also told Fox News Digital that he believes Biden’s decision may be best for the president’s health.

Joe Biden

The first presidential debate of 2024 left many Americans wondering about Biden’s mental fitness for office based on what appeared to be his unclear train of thought and lack of coherence. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

“The stress of the race could have definitely made cognition worse — but it will progress anyway if there is a cognitive issue, and fitness is a big concern,” the doctor told Fox News Digital on Sunday. 

Siegel has said on multiple occasions that he has not examined or treated the president and that he cannot make any definitive diagnoses.

Tested positive for COVID

The president tested positive for COVID-19 on July 17, sparking concerns about the risk the virus poses to older adults.

The White House released an announcement of Biden’s positive COVID test, noting that the president had been vaccinated and boosted and was “experiencing mild symptoms.”

split image of joe biden and dr. marc siegel

Dr. Marc Siegel joined “Fox & Friends” on Friday, June 28, to discuss concerns sparked by Biden’s performance at the June 27 presidential debate against former President Trump. (Kevin D. Liles for The Washington Post via Getty Images; Fox News)

His upper respiratory symptoms included “rhinorhea (runny nose) and non-productive cough, with general malaise,” according to a statement on the White House’s website.

Doctors shared their concerns about the potential long-term effect COVID could have on Biden.

CDC RECOMMENDS ADDITIONAL COVID VACCINE FOR ADULTS 65 AND OVER

“Post-COVID syndromes and long COVID have been shown to affect underlying neurological conditions,” Siegel warned. 

“This can also come from recurrent COVID.”

“By stepping down, President Biden can prioritize his health and potentially mitigate further cognitive decline.”

Osborn noted that the virus has been shown to have potential long-term effects on cognitive function, often referred to as “brain fog.” 

“These effects can include difficulties with memory, attention and executive function,” he said. 

“In someone with pre-existing cognitive issues like President Biden, contracting COVID-19 could exacerbate these symptoms – via neuroinflammation – and lead to a more rapid decline.”

Joe Biden stepping off of Air Force One

President Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on July 17, 2024. (Susan Walsh/AP)

As of July 22, Biden had received his 10th dose of Paxlovid.

“His symptoms have almost resolved completely,” O’Connor, the president’s doctor, wrote in a July 22 briefing. 

“His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature remain absolutely normal. His oxygen saturation continues to be excellent on room air. His lungs remain clear.”

Health as a qualifying factor

Along with meeting the official requirements for president, Siegel and Osborn agreed that whoever holds the office should also be physically and cognitively healthy.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP     

“It is extremely important,” Siegel told Fox News Digital. “We have a right to it as a country.”

The role of president involves making complex and high-stakes decisions, often under significant pressure, Osborn noted. 

Dr. Brett Osborn

Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurosurgeon who specializes in cognitive function, has shared his concerns about Biden’s cognitive fitness. (Dr. Brett Osborn)

“Cognitive health is essential for clear thinking, effective communication and sound decision-making, all things President Biden lacks,” he said, sharing his viewpoint. 

Physical health is also essential, Osborn said, as the role also requires long hours, frequent travel and crisis management.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“A healthy president is better equipped to handle the demands of the office and to lead the nation effectively through various challenges,” he added.

In light of Biden’s announcement to exit the race, Siegel said the decision “should be accompanied by a full health disclosure.”

Three shots of Biden during the debate

Doctors have called for thorough health evaluations for presidential candidates, and sitting presidents, to ensure they can perform their required duties. (Getty Images)

He said, “They should admit to what they know and reveal full neurological results.”

The situation highlights the need for thorough health evaluations for presidential candidates – and sitting presidents — to ensure they can perform their required duties, according to Osborn. 

“Routine testing – physical and mental – should be made non-negotiable instead of being thwarted by the governing party,” he said. 

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

In response to outreach from Fox News Digital, the White House press office stated that “health was not a factor” in the president’s decision to withdraw from the race. 

“He looks forward to finishing his term and delivering more historic results for the American people,” said the White House in its statement. 

Listeria infection linked to deli meats kills 2, infects 28 across US, CDC warns

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Two people have died so far due to a listeria outbreak in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted on Friday.

Listeria is the third-leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the country, according to the health agency.

Twenty-eight people across 12 states have reported illness from listeria infection — with New York and Maryland reporting the highest number of cases.

LISTERIA OUTBREAK KILLS THREE ADULTS IN WASHINGTON STATE, HEALTH DEPARTMENT CONFIRMS

The first illness was reported on May 29, and the most recent was on July 5, per CDC data.

The two deaths occurred in Illinois and New Jersey.

Two people have died so far due to a listeria outbreak in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted on Friday. (iStock)

In many cases, the bacterial outbreak has been linked to people eating sliced meats purchased at deli counters, the CDC stated.

The bacteria is known to spread easily in delis and in environments where food is prepared.

No specific brands have been identified as of yet — and the CDC noted that officials are investigating.

Symptoms of listeria

The most common symptoms of infection include fever, fatigue and muscle aches. 

Some people also experience stiff neck, headache, balance problems, seizures or disorientation, according to the CDC.

HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT ILLNESSES THAT ARE MOST COMMON DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS

These symptoms are typically reported within two weeks of consuming contaminated food, but could appear before or after that time frame.

Who is at highest risk?

Those who are pregnant, are 65 years of age or older or have a weakened immune system are most vulnerable to listeria, the CDC warned. 

“This is because listeria is more likely to spread beyond their gut to other parts of their body, resulting in a severe condition known as invasive listeriosis,” the agency stated in the alert.

Pregnant nauseous woman

Pregnant women infected with listeria could potentially experience premature birth, miscarriage or stillbirth, the CDC warned. (iStock)

Pregnant women infected with listeria could potentially experience premature birth, miscarriage or stillbirth.

It is also possible for the infection to be passed along to the baby, which can be life-threatening.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“Other people with invasive illness – most commonly adults 65 years and older and people with weakened immune systems – usually have infection of the bloodstream (sepsis) or brain (meningitis or encephalitis),” the CDC states.

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For most people outside these high-risk groups, the infection is not likely to cause serious illness.

Deli counter

In many cases, the bacterial outbreak has been linked to people eating sliced meats purchased at deli counters, the CDC stated. (iStock)

For those at higher risk, the CDC recommends avoiding eating sliced deli meats unless they are reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F, then cooled before eating.

Refrigeration does not kill the bacteria, the agency noted.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

The CDC also recommends cleaning all containers and surfaces that may have come into contact with sliced deli meats.

Anyone who experiences listeria symptoms should contact a health care provider immediately, health officials advise. Most people recover with no treatment, but antibiotics may be given for serious cases.

Fox News Digital has reached out to medical experts for comment.

After Biden drops out of race, doctors reveal why the decision was best for his health

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FIRST ON FOX: After President Joe Biden’s announcement on Sunday that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race, two doctors shared thoughts with Fox News Digital about what this means in terms of Biden’s ongoing cognitive health. 

Looking back, some experts believe the path to Biden’s dropout began with what was widely described as a disastrous debate performance in late June, during which the president seemed to display an unclear train of thought and a lack of coherence.

“President Biden has shown signs of cognitive impairment for many years,” Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurosurgeon who specializes in cognitive function, told Fox News Digital on Sunday. He has not treated Biden or advised him. 

JOE BIDEN WITH COVID AT AGE 81: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE RISK THE VIRUS POSES TO OLDER ADULTS

“It is medically probable that when he took office in 2020, he was afflicted by mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a gateway syndrome to Alzheimer’s disease and potentially Parkinsonism (not necessarily Parkinson’s disease itself),” Osborn said. 

“And he has only deteriorated since then, as is typical of those with neurodegenerative diseases.”

‘Prudent’ decision

Given signs of his “ailing cognitive status, President Biden’s decision to step down from the race seems prudent,” said Osborn, expressing his professional opinion.

“By stepping down, President Biden can prioritize his health and potentially mitigate further cognitive decline,” said a neurosurgeon specializing in cognitive function. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

“In my opinion, he is unfit to run the country and is unsuitable for his duties as commander-in-chief,” he said.

“By stepping down, President Biden can prioritize his health and potentially mitigate further cognitive decline, while also ensuring the leadership role is filled by someone fully capable of handling the demanding responsibilities of the position.”

DOCTORS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT BIDEN’S APPARENT COGNITIVE ISSUES DURING DEBATE: ‘TROUBLING INDICATORS’

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, said he believes Biden’s decision is best for the president’s health.

“The stress of the race could have definitely made cognition worse — but it will progress anyway, and fitness is a big concern,” the doctor told Fox News Digital on Sunday. He has not examined or treated Biden. 

dr. marc siegel on fox and friends

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, said he believes Biden’s decision to leave the 2024 presidential race was best for the president’s health. (Fox News)

Osborn also emphasized that remaining in the presidential race could have been “detrimental” to Biden’s mental and physical health. 

“Chronic stress releases cortisol, the dominant stress hormone of the body, which can negatively impact the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, leading to further deterioration,” Osborn told Fox News Digital.

“In my opinion, he is unfit to run the country and is unsuitable for his duties as commander-in-chief.” 

— Neurosurgeon Dr. Brett Osborn

Biden’s past brain surgeries could also have affected his cognitive function, according to Osborn.

“It is likely that the combination of the two brain surgeries and his [possible] neurodegenerative diseases, plus the added stress of the Oval Office, have markedly accelerated the deterioration of his already ailing brain,” he said.

Dr. Brett Osborn

“President Biden has shown signs of cognitive impairment for many years,” Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurosurgeon who specializes in cognitive function, told Fox News Digital. (Dr. Brett Osborn)

“Another term [was] not even a consideration, in my opinion. By 2028, he will categorically be a ‘nursing home patient.’”

In addition to cognitive concerns, the doctors also discussed Biden’s recent bout with COVID-19.

EXPERIMENTAL ALZHEIMER’S DRUG GETS FDA ADVISORY PANEL’S THUMBS-UP: ‘PROGRESS IS HAPPENING’

“Post-COVID syndromes and long COVID have been shown to affect underlying neurological conditions,” Siegel warned. 

“This can also come from recurrent COVID.”

Biden standing in the rain

“Another term [was] not even a consideration, in my opinion,” a neurosurgeon told Fox News Digital about Biden. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Regarding COVID, Osborn noted that the virus has been shown to have potential long-term effects on cognitive function, often referred to as “brain fog.” 

“These effects can include difficulties with memory, attention and executive function,” he said. 

“Post-COVID syndromes and long COVID have been shown to affect underlying neurological conditions.”

— Dr. Marc Siegel

“In someone with pre-existing cognitive issues like President Biden, contracting COVID-19 could exacerbate these symptoms – via neuroinflammation – and lead to a more rapid decline.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP      

Osborn also suggested that the president’s contracting COVID was used as an “exit strategy.”

“It accelerated his, but more likely their, decision to vacate his run for the presidency,” the doctor surmised.

Health as a qualifying factor

Along with meeting the official requirements — that the president must be a natural-born citizen, must be at least 35 years of age, and must have lived in the country for at least 14 years — both doctors agreed that the individual should also be physically and cognitively healthy.

“It is extremely important,” Siegel told Fox News Digital. “We have a right to it as a country.”

The role of president involves making complex and high-stakes decisions, often under significant pressure, Osborn noted. 

“Cognitive health is essential for clear thinking, effective communication and sound decision-making, all things President Biden lacks,” he said, sharing his viewpoint. 

“They should admit to what they know and reveal full neurological results.”

— Dr. Marc Siegel

Physical health is also essential, Osborn said, as the role also requires long hours, frequent travel and crisis management.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“A healthy president is better equipped to handle the demands of the office and to lead the nation effectively through various challenges,” he added.

Need ‘full health disclosures’

In light of Biden’s announcement to exit the race, Siegel said the decision “should be accompanied by a full health disclosure.”

He said, “They should admit to what they know and reveal full neurological results.”

biden cognitive split

In light of Biden’s announcement to exit the race, Siegel said the decision “should be accompanied by a full health disclosure.” (Getty Images | iStock)

The situation highlights the need for thorough health evaluations for presidential candidates – and sitting presidents — to ensure they can perform their required duties, according to Osborn. 

“Routine testing – physical and mental – should be made non-negotiable instead of being thwarted by the governing party,” he said. 

“The allowance of President Biden’s mental incompetence for four years is an embarrassment to the United States government, and the world has borne witness.”

In response to outreach from Fox News Digital, the White House press office stated that “health was not a factor” in the president’s decision to withdraw from the race. 

Biden is continuing his course of Paxlovid and his COVID symptoms have “significantly” improved, according to the president’s physician. 

“He looks forward to finishing his term and delivering more historic results for the American people,” said the White House in its statement. 

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

On July 21, the White House released the most recent health update from the president’s physician, Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor.

O’Connor also noted that Biden is continuing his course of Paxlovid and that his COVID symptoms have “significantly” improved. The doctor also stated that Biden’s vital signs are normal, and his lungs remain clear.

Ask a doctor: ‘Is it safe to swim underwater with my eyes open?’

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Hot summer days include plenty of pool or beach time for many people — but it’s important to stay safe while swimming.

While it may be tempting to open your eyes underwater, experts warn that prolonged exposure could put your vision at risk.

Fox News Digital spoke with Brian Boxer Wachler, M.D., an ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills, California, who is also a medical reviewer with All About Vision, an online resource, about what happens when people take a peek while swimming.

ASK A DOCTOR: ‘WHY ARE MY EYES OFTEN BLOODSHOT?’

A quick glance likely won’t be harmful, the expert said — but extended periods of underwater peeping could cause problems.

“Usually when people open their eyes underwater, the [eyes] begin to feel irritated and they will close their eyes pretty quickly,” Wachler said. 

It may be tempting to open your eyes underwater, but experts warn that prolonged exposure could put your vision at risk. (iStock)

When swimming in pool water, the chlorine can irritate the eyes, he warned.

Chlorine can cause damage to the outer layer cells that protect the cornea, Dr. Muriel Schornack, a Mayo Clinic optometrist in Minnesota, stated on the clinic’s website.

NEBRASKA BABY BORN WITH CATARACTS HAS 3 EYE SURGERIES TO SAVE HER SIGHT: ‘I JUST KEPT PRAYING’

As a result, the eye may become red, irritated or sensitive to light, the doctor warned. 

You may also notice blurred vision.

Man swimming underwater

Swimming in saltwater or untreated freshwater can potentially introduce bacteria into the eyes, a doctor said. (iStock)

“A lot of folks who are highly nearsighted or highly farsighted like to wear their contact lenses while they’re swimming — and if chlorine soaks into those lenses, now you’ve got a reservoir of chlorine on the surface of the eye that’s likely to do damage,” Schornack noted on Mayo Clinic’s site.

ASK A DOCTOR: ‘WHY AM I HEARING MY HEARTBEAT IN MY EARS?’

With saltwater or untreated freshwater, the effects can be even harsher, and can potentially introduce bacteria into the eyes, Wachler warned.

blue eye contact lens

For people who wear contacts while swimming, chlorine can soak into the lenses and cause problems, a doctor said. (iStock)

“Microscopic organisms are found in various bodies of water, and can be both beneficial and harmful,” he said.

Bacteria such as E. coli can thrive in contaminated freshwater, while saltwater teems with decomposers like Vibrio, according to the ophthalmologist.

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“Viruses like those causing hepatitis A can linger in polluted water,” he said. 

“Protozoa such as Giardia can cause diarrhea if ingested from untreated sources, while molds like Aspergillus may be found in damp areas around freshwater.”

Signs that you should see a doctor

If you’ve been swimming with your eyes open for an extended period, watch out for signs of irritation like redness, itchiness and a burning sensation, Wachler advised. 

Woman swimming

For those who want to look underwater while swimming, experts recommend wearing goggles to protect the eyes.

“You might also experience watery eyes or increased sensitivity to light,” he said. 

“These are usually temporary and go away on their own.”

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If you notice a thicker discharge, have trouble seeing or experience severe pain, it could be a sign of infection and warrants a trip to the doctor.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

For those who want to look underwater while swimming, experts recommend wearing goggles to protect the eyes.

Trump’s ‘miraculous’ survival, the public health impact, and cognitive testing

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Fox News Digital publishes an array of health pieces all week long on medical research, disease prevention, healthy eating, cutting-edge surgeries and more. Also featured are personal stories of families overcoming great medical obstacles.

Check out some of the top stories from this past week that you may have missed or have been meaning to check out. 

Also, see a full selection of health stories at http://www.foxnews/health

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Dive in here. 

1. Doctor discusses Trump’s ‘miraculous’ survival

After former President Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, Dr. Marc Siegel emphasized how rare it is for someone to be grazed by a bullet from a high-powered rifle. Click here to get the story.

The morning after former President Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt, Dr. Marc Siegel stressed how stunning it was that Trump escaped death, “especially since it’s next to the part of the brain that is absolutely uniformly deadly, over 95% deadly, if he’d been hit in the brain there.” (Fox News; Getty Images)

2. How Trump’s attempted assassination could impact public health

Fox News Digital spoke with two mental health professionals about how the attack on Trump — which left one man dead and three injured — can have a widespread psychological impact. Click here to get the story.

Trump mental health split

The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump on Saturday, July 13, sent shock waves throughout America and the world, affecting both public figures and private citizens alike. (Getty Images)

3. How do cognitive tests work and what do they reveal?

Ever since President Biden’s “terrible” presidential debate, doctors have been sharing opinions on potential signs of cognitive decline. Amid calls for testing, experts reveal what this really means. Click here to get the story.

biden cognitive split

After President Biden’s lackluster debate performance sparked renewed concerns about his mental acuity, people on both sides of the political spectrum have clamored for him to take a cognitive test.  (Getty Images; iStock)

4. Stiff person syndrome patients are one step closer to a new drug

Kyverna Therapeutics’ new drug, KYV-101, has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT), the company announced. Here is detail about the impact. Click here to get the story.

FDA stiff person split

Carrie Robinette, left, was diagnosed with stiff person syndrome in 2023. The FDA named KYV-101 a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) this past Monday. (Carrie Robinette; iStock)

5. Chemotherapy drug could have a surprising side effect, study finds

A cancer medication was linked to hearing loss in a study by the University of South Florida and Indiana University. Researchers and doctors spoke about the level of risk and offered guidance for patients. Click here to get the story.

Chemo - hearing loss

Among study participants, who averaged 48 years of age, 78% reported experiencing “significant difficulties in everyday listening situations.” (iStock)

6. More adults worry about Medicare, Social Security availability

Adults in the U.S. are more concerned than ever about whether Medicare and Social Security benefits will be available when they need them, according to a recent Gallup poll. Click here to get the story.

Medicare card

In response to a Gallup poll released last month, 75% of adults age 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability. (iStock)

7. Mayo Clinic discovers new type of memory loss

The newly identified syndrome is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but doesn’t progress as quickly and has a “better prognosis.” Cognitive experts shared what this means for dementia patients. Click here to get the story.

virtual volumetric drawing of brain in hand

Limbic-predominant amnestic neurodegenerative syndrome, or LANS, affects the brain’s limbic system, which helps to regulate emotions and behavior. (iStock)

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8. ‘Is it safe to swim underwater with my eyes open?’

In this week’s “Ask a Doctor” piece, an eye doctor explained the risks of swimming with the eyes open and offered tips to protect the eyes underwater. Click here to get the story.

For more Health articles, visit foxnews.com/health

Health weekend recap 7-20

This week’s top health stories covered concerns about cognitive testing, the potential psychological impact of Trump’s attempted assassination, and a doctor’s take on Trump’s injuries. (Getty Images)

Joe Biden with COVID at 81: Here’s what to know about the risk the virus poses to older adults

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President Joe Biden’s testing positive for COVID-19 this week may spark questions about how the virus affects older adults in America.

Certain populations are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID — and older adults top that list, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Wednesday, the White House released an announcement of Biden’s positive COVID test, noting that the president had been vaccinated and boosted and was “experiencing mild symptoms.”

AMID SUMMER COVID SURGE WARNING FROM CDC, SHOULD YOU WORRY? DOCTORS WEIGH IN

His upper respiratory symptoms included “rhinorhea (runny nose) and non-productive cough, with general malaise,” according to a statement on the White House’s website.

Here’s what people should know. 

On Wednesday, the White House released an announcement about President Biden’s positive COVID test, noting that the president had been vaccinated and boosted and was “experiencing mild symptoms.” Biden is 81 years old. (Getty Images)

COVID prognosis for the elderly

More than 81% of COVID-related deaths affect those age 65 and older, the CDC states on its website — and the number of older people who succumb to the virus is 97 times higher than those who are 18 to 29 years old. 

Dr. Norman B. Gaylis, a Florida physician and COVID expert, agreed that adults over 80 years old comprise the highest-risk group for mortality, as they face “multiple significant risks.”

COVID VACCINE COMPANIES TOLD TO FOCUS ON KP.2 VARIANT FOR FALL SHOTS, PER FDA ANNOUNCEMENT

“COVID causes debilitating problems for the elderly, especially if there is a pre-existing neurological condition such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease,” he told Fox News Digital via email. (He has not examined or treated Biden.)      

A diagnosis of acute COVID can affect the ability of those in this age group to think properly, and often causes a condition known as “brain fog,” he said. 

“It is a problem, because the elderly are often more susceptible to COVID due to weakened immune systems,” he said.

Best practices after a diagnosis

When someone over age 80 tests positive for the virus, the first course of action is to go into some degree of isolation, Gaylis said.

“It is also important [that people] stay well-hydrated and be cautious not to overexert themselves,” he said. 

Paxlovid medication

Paxlovid, Pfizer’s anti-viral medication to treat COVID-19, is displayed in this picture illustration taken on Oct. 7, 2022. Doctors recommend that older adults seek “proactive treatment.” (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/Illustration)

If symptoms last more than 48 hours, the doctor calls for “proactive treatment.”

Take Paxlovid or approved nutraceuticals with zinc that boost the immune system,” he recommended. 

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If symptoms do not decrease after 36 hours — or if symptoms are severe — the patient should seek medical attention right away.

COVID test

More than 81% of COVID-related deaths affect those age 65 and older, the CDC says on its website — and the number of older people who succumb to the virus is 97 times higher than those who are 18 to 29 years old.  (iStock)

“With those in their 80s, it is crucial to check and make sure major organs are not being affected,” Gaylis said. 

Regarding Biden’s case of COVID, Gaylis said that only the president’s personal physician can speak to his condition and outlook for recovery. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER

“But we should certainly be more concerned about his condition than we would be with someone much younger — and because of his age, we also have to be aware of the risk of long-term health consequences,” he added.

“The elderly are often more susceptible to COVID due to weakened immune systems.”

As of Friday, Biden had completed his fourth dose of Paxlovid and “continues to tolerate treatment well,” according to an updated statement issued from the White House.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews/health

“His loose, non­productive cough and hoarseness continue to be his primary symptoms, but they have improved meaningfully from yesterday,” the statement said.

Biden will be 82 years old in Nov. 2024. 

Artificial intelligence detects cancer with 17% more accuracy than doctors in UCLA study

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Artificial intelligence is outpacing doctors when it comes to detecting a common cancer in men.

A new study from UCLA found that an AI tool identified prostate cancer with 84% accuracy — compared to 67% accuracy for cases detected by physicians, according to a press release from the university.

Unfold AI, made by Avenda Health in California — a software recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — uses an AI algorithm to visualize the likelihood of cancer based on various types of clinical data. 

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?

In the study, a team of seven urologists and three radiologists analyzed 50 cases where tumors had been removed, looking for signs of residual cancer. 

A few months later, the AI software performed the same analysis.

A new study from UCLA found that an AI tool identified prostate cancer with 84% accuracy — compared to 67% accuracy for cases detected by physicians. (iStock)

The “negative margin rate” — a medical term that describes the absence of cancer cells surrounding the removed tissue — was 45 times greater in AI-detected cases, so the chances of cancer being left behind was far less.

Ali Kasraeian, M.D., a urologist at Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, Florida, said he uses the Unfold AI technology in his consultations with patients about managing their prostate cancer.

AI COULD PREDICT WHETHER CANCER TREATMENTS WILL WORK, EXPERTS SAY: ‘EXCITING TIME IN MEDICINE’

“The AI takes the information that we currently have about a patient’s prostate cancer — like their pathology, imaging and biopsy results — and creates a 3D cancer estimation map,” he told Fox News Digital via email.  

“The results we get from Unfold AI tell us if a patient will be better suited for focal therapy or more radical therapy, such as radical prostatectomy, or radiation therapy, ensuring we optimize their cancer cure, the personalization of their cancer care, and their quality of life goals.”

“AI is our new diagnostic ally — but like any tool, it works best in human hands.” 

Based on these findings, the AI could lead to more accurate diagnoses and more targeted treatments, reducing the need for full-gland removal and the side effects that can come with it, such as incontinence and impotence, the researchers wrote.

AI MODEL COULD HELP PREDICT LUNG CANCER RISKS IN NON-SMOKERS, STUDY FINDS: ‘SIGNIFICANT ADVANCEMENT’

Joshua Trachenberg, PhD, is a professor of neurobiology at UCLA — and also a prostate cancer patient himself. After doctors found a slow-growing tumor on his prostate, they recommended removing the gland surgically — but he decided to explore other options.

“I got in touch with a team at UCLA, where I also am a faculty member, that was exploring alternate treatments to total gland removal,” Trachenberg, 56, told Fox News Digital via email.

Prostate model

The “negative margin rate” — a medical term that describes the absence of cancer cells surrounding the removed tissue — was 45 times greater in AI-detected cases, so the chances of cancer being left behind was far less. (iStock)

The UCLA researchers were testing an approach that uses ultrasound to heat tissue and is “focally guided” by MRI to destroy the cancerous tissue without damaging the rest of the gland, he said.

After some imaging scans, it was determined that Trachenberg was a candidate for the experimental therapy.

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“The 3D map created by Unfold AI enabled this team to identify precise margins, target the cancerous area and avoid any functional structures of the gland,” he said. 

“It was able to visualize my cancer and it gave me a much better understanding of my case.”

“It was truly able to visualize my cancer and it gave me a much better understanding of my case.”

Trachenberg is now cancer-free and was able to avoid a radical prostatectomy.

Man cancer treatment

“I would recommend to any prostate cancer patient who is told they need a radical prostatectomy that they take some time to look at all their options, [including] AI technologies,” said a doctor and patient (not pictured).  (iStock)

“So many men are afraid of treatment because of the risks associated with gland removal, and Unfold AI enables therapies that don’t put men through the meat grinder,” he said.

This type of AI technology gives Trachenberg hope for the future of prostate cancer treatment, he told Fox News Digital.

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“Too often, we are given only two options: Watch and wait for it to get worse, or take the entire gland out, which often leaves men with lifelong side effects that strain their physical health, emotional health and even their marriages,” he said.

“I would recommend to any prostate cancer patient who is told they need a radical prostatectomy that they take some time to look at all their options, [including] AI technologies.”

Potential risks, limitations

Dr. Harvey Castro, a board-certified emergency medicine physician and national speaker on artificial intelligence based in Dallas, Texas, was not involved in the new study but shared his insights on the potential risks associated with the technology.

Dr. Harvey Castro

Dr. Harvey Castro, a Dallas, Texas-based board-certified emergency medicine physician and national speaker on artificial intelligence, shared his insights on the potential risks associated with the technology. (Dr. Harvey Castro)

“The accuracy of AI depends heavily on the quality of the data it is trained on,” he told Fox News Digital. “Poor data can lead to inaccurate diagnoses.”

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Castro also cautioned against an “overreliance” on AI.

“While AI is a powerful tool, it should complement, not replace, the clinical judgment of health care professionals,” he said.

“AI is our new diagnostic ally,” Castro added. “But like any tool, it works best in human hands.” 

AI health care

“While AI is a powerful tool, it should complement, not replace, the clinical judgment of health care professionals,” an expert said. (iStock)

Privacy should also be considered when using this type of technology, according to Castro.

“Handling sensitive patient data with AI necessitates stringent data protection measures to maintain patient trust and confidentiality.”

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The cost of AI technologies can also be a significant barrier, added Kasraeian.

“I hope this study encourages us and future payers to make these innovations more accessible to urologists and, most importantly, to our patients.”

Most US adults worry about future of Medicare, Social Security, Gallup poll finds

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Adults in the U.S. are more worried than ever about whether Medicare and Social Security benefits will be available when they need them.

In response to a Gallup poll released in June, 75% of adults age 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability, according to a press release.

When it comes to Social Security benefits, 80% of survey respondents said the same.

HEALTH CARE IS ‘OVERWHELMINGLY COMPLEX’ FOR OLDER ADULTS, EXPERTS SAY: ‘EVER-INCREASING HURDLE’

Both of those percentages have increased since the last poll in 2022.

The data came from the West Health-Gallup 2024 Survey on Aging in America, which polled 5,149 adults 18 and older between November 2023 and January 2024.

In response to a Gallup poll released last month, 75% of adults 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability. (iStock)

The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important — 87% of adults 65 or older said they were the “highest priority” programs, twice as many compared to those between 18 and 29 years of age, according to the results.

The poll also found that more than half of Americans are “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to make voting decisions based on their support of programs that affect older adults — and among adults 65 and older, that figure rises to 77%.

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

Timothy Lash, president of West Health, a California nonprofit focused on health care and aging that partnered with Gallup to conduct the poll, said the findings showed the “magnitude of concern” people have about aging.

“High and rising concerns over the future viability of Medicare and Social Security and the high cost of health care dominate people’s thinking on aging,” Lash told Fox News Digital via email. 

Medicare card

The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important, the poll found. (iStock)

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

By 2034, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that adults 65 and older will outnumber children under 18 for the first time, he noted.

What can people do?

Those who are concerned should communicate with their policymakers and elected officials, Lash advised.

“A whopping two-thirds of Americans feel the country is not prepared to address the overall needs of its rapidly growing older population, and these concerns may influence who they vote for in upcoming elections,” he said.

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Among increasing concerns over health care affordability and the future of Medicare and Social Security, Lash said, “Americans need to look at who is going to rein in the high cost of health care and protect and strengthen safety net programs for future seniors.” 

As the aging population continues to grow, Lash emphasized the importance of addressing their needs and challenges.

“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America,” he added.

Seniors medical bills

As the aging population continues to grow, an expert emphasized the importance of addressing its needs and challenges. (iStock)

Whitney Stidom, vice president of Medicare Operations at eHealth in Salt Lake City, said she was not surprised by the Gallup poll’s findings.

“As we enter the last few months of the election [season], candidates from both parties should be clear that it’s not only seniors who care about the future of Medicare — younger people care, too,” Stidom told Fox News Digital via email.

“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America.”

In a March survey by eHealth, 78% of millennials and Gen Xers identified Medicare as a “top-three” voting issue, and 84% said they were willing to contribute more in payroll taxes to ensure its future, according to Stidom.

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“We are anticipating unprecedented volatility in the Medicare Advantage marketplace due to continued financial pressures within the entire health care industry, regulatory changes, and the inevitable sticker shock that consumers will see when their plan notices of change arrive in the mail come September’s annual enrollment period,” she said.

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To help avoid cost increases or loss of certain benefits in 2025, Stidom encourages seniors to review their Plan Notice of Change letters carefully as soon as they arrive — and to go over their options with a trusted, licensed adviser.

CMS

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Fox News Digital in a statement. (Getty Images)

“Don’t wait until the last minute to make selections for next year,” she added.

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When contacted by Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided the following statement.

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken many actions to strengthen Medicare while improving its sustainability, and has proposed enhancements that would extend its solvency while strengthening benefits. CMS is committed to protecting Medicare now and for future generations.”

9 safe hiking tips to follow in order to prevent tragedy on the trail

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Recent hiking-related deaths have spotlighted the need for safety protocols.

While experts agree that hiking is considered a good form of exercise, they stress the importance of being prepared before heading out on the trail, especially during the hot summer months.

Outdoor enthusiasts shared the following important tips to help prevent hiking hazards.

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1. Study the hiking area before your trip

Before heading out on a hike, familiarize yourself with maps, landmarks and any restricted areas or required permits, say trail experts.

Outdoor enthusiasts shared tips to help prevent trail hazards amid a flurry of recent hiking-related deaths this summer. (iStock)

“Research the terrain, trail difficulty, weather conditions and local wildlife,” Joey Coe, a trip leader for Backroads, a California-based travel touring company, told Fox News Digital. 

Coe also suggested saving a photo of the trail map on your phone to reference while hiking.

Although cell phones and mapping apps can be helpful, it is important to have a backup paper map in the event of a lost signal, according to Guy deBrun, a lecturer at the Hart School of Hospitality, Sport & Recreation Management at James Madison University in Virginia. 

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“Knowledge of how to use a paper map is imperative,” deBrun, who is also an instructor in wilderness first aid, told Fox News Digital in an email.

Hikers should also know the difficulty level of the planned route, according to the American Hiking Society, a nonprofit based in Silver Springs, Maryland. 

Snack on trail

Pack lightweight, high-energy foods such as nuts, dried fruit, energy bars and sandwiches, and avoid bringing perishable items unless you have proper storage, experts said regarding outdoor hikes. (iStock)

“It’s also helpful to identify possible emergency exit points,” Maggie Peikon, manager of communications with the American Hiking Society, told Fox News Digital via email. 

Online forums and trail reviews can also provide valuable information about the terrain, she added.

2. Set a ‘time plan’ for your hike

Whether you are setting off alone or with a group, let someone know your expected time frame for arriving at predetermined spots along the trail, experts recommend.

“Knowledge of how to use a paper map is imperative.”

One approach is to create a “time control plan,” which considers linear distance and elevation. 

A general rule of thumb is to travel two miles per hour, adding one mile for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. 

“Most novices fail to plan for elevation gain,” deBrun told Fox News Digital.  

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“One thousand feet of elevation gain adds one mile to your total mileage. So, if you are hiking five miles and gaining 2,000 feet, you [should] consider it seven miles. Divide by two miles an hour to estimate your time.”

It is also important to project the amount of daylight you will have during your excursion to avoid returning in the dark if you don’t have the necessary gear to hike at night.

3. Know your limits

It’s best to start small and build, starting with short, easy, well-marked trails that match your fitness level, experts agreed.

“Take breaks as needed, and don’t push too hard,” said Coe. 

Peikon added, “If you’re feeling too tired, or realize you’re not going to make it to your destination within the time frame you prepared for, turn around and err on the side of caution.”

Map and compass

Before heading out on a hike, trail experts recommend familiarizing yourself with maps, landmarks, and any restricted areas or required permits. (iStock)

It’s also important to stay on the trail, she said.

“Avoid taking shortcuts. Getting off the trail for any reason can easily result in becoming directionally disoriented and getting lost.” 

4. Maintain a safe distance when hiking

Aim to keep a distance of at least a few feet between hikers to avoid accidents and allow space for wildlife, experts advised. 

For people hiking in a group, it’s best to avoid taking up the whole trail width, according to the American Hiking Society.

WEAR SUNSCREEN THE RIGHT WAY THIS SUMMER BY UNDERSTANDING SPF AND THE PROPER APPLICATION PROCESS

Hikers going downhill should yield to those going uphill.

Also, be wary of potential poisonous vegetation in that region so you can keep a safe distance and avoid accidental contact, experts cautioned.

5. Prepare for weather conditions

Hikers should consider local weather patterns when deciding what to wear on a hike, experts told Fox News Digital.  

“In many mountainous areas, lightning storms regularly occur in the afternoon,” deBrun said. “Hikers should take this into account.”

Coe recommended dressing in layers to help adjust to changing temperatures. 

“Moisture-wicking, quick-drying materials are best,” he said.

Bear or bug spray

In areas where bears are prevalent, experts suggest packing bear spray to use in the event of an unexpected encounter.  (iStock)

Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and rain gear, experts advised.

For family hiking trips, it’s important to be aware of children’s body temperature. “If you are carrying a child, he or she may be cold while you are burning up,” Peikon said. 

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“Conversely, you may feel chilled while your child is warm from running around and playing.”

If multiple children are on the hike, dress them in bright, visible clothing so you can more easily spot them, Peikon said.

6. Wear comfortable, supportive footwear

Multiple hiking trip leaders suggested wearing sturdy, well-fitted hiking boots with good ankle support. 

“Break them in before your trip to avoid blisters,” Coe cautioned.

Kids hiking

If multiple children are on the hike, dress them in bright, visible clothing so you can more easily spot them, an expert said. (iStock)

Running shoes or trail runners can be appropriate, deBrun said, but hiking boots may be more appropriate in wet or rocky terrain.

7. Bring along essential equipment

Pack a compass or GPS, whistle, flashlight, a basic first aid kit and trekking poles (if needed), said experts.

Teach children to blow the whistle several times in the event they wander away from the group, they also advised. 

Pack a compass or GPS, whistle, flashlight, a basic first aid kit and trekking poles (if needed). 

“Be aware of your group’s medical needs and any potential allergies,” Coe said. 

Hikers might also want to consider taking a wilderness first aid course, he added.

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In areas where bears are prevalent, experts suggest packing bear spray to use in the event of an unexpected encounter. 

It’s also a good idea to check with local animal experts about how to navigate an encounter with wildlife.

8. Stay fueled and hydrated

Pack lightweight, high-energy foods such as nuts, dried fruit, energy bars and sandwiches, and avoid bringing perishable items unless you have proper storage, experts said.

Couple on a hike

Aim to keep a distance of at least a few feet between hikers to avoid accidents and allow space for wildlife, experts advised.  (iStock)

It is also important to leave no trace of food behind. 

“Carry out all trash and leftover food to avoid attracting wildlife and to prevent littering,” Coe advised.

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Packing enough water is essential.

“Bring at least half a liter of water for every hour you plan to be hiking,” Peikon said — even more when hiking in the heat.

Selfie hiking

Selfies can distract hikers from their surroundings, which can increase the risk of falls or cause them to miss a hazard, according to hiking experts.  (iStock)

Very few water sources are safe to drink without purification, deBrun cautioned.

“Research water sources and bring a water purification system for longer hikes,” he said.

9. Use caution with cellphones and selfies

Selfies can distract hikers from their surroundings, which can increase the risk of falls or cause them to miss a hazard, according to hiking experts. 

“It is always tragic to hear of fatalities due to selfies, which does happen every year in U.S. national parks,” Coe told Fox News Digital.  

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If you need to use your phone, stop walking and stay aware of your surroundings, he said.

“Use your phone only for emergency calls and navigation as needed,” Coe added.

Mayo Clinic finds new type of memory loss that’s often mistaken for Alzheimer’s

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Scientists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say they have identified a new type of memory loss.

Limbic-predominant amnestic neurodegenerative syndrome, or LANS, affects the brain’s limbic system, which helps to regulate emotions and behavior.

The syndrome is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but doesn’t progress as quickly and has a “better prognosis,” according to a Mayo Clinic press release.

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The researchers used data from more than 200 patients from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to create a set of criteria that can be used to diagnose LANS. 

Scientists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say they’ve identified a new type of memory loss. “This paper is putting our clinical expertise into a precise framework that others can use to care for their patients.” (iStock)

The criteria include factors like age, brain scans, memory loss symptoms and certain biological markers, the researchers noted.

The findings were published in the journal Brain Communications on Wednesday.

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David T. Jones, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and senior author of the study, said his team sees patients with symptoms of memory loss every day.

Before these criteria, analyzing brain tissue after a patient’s death was the only way to diagnose the syndrome.

“I’ve been seeing these patients for over a decade, where it’s clear what is going on is different from typical Alzheimer’s disease,” he told Fox News Digital via email. 

Woman with dementia

Limbic-predominant amnestic neurodegenerative syndrome, or LANS, affects the brain’s limbic system, which helps to regulate emotions and behavior. (iStock)

“This paper is putting our clinical expertise into a precise framework that others can use to care for their patients.”

Jones said that in many cases, “it’s clear there is an issue with memory, which is then diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease — but then a biomarker test or other test would show it was not Alzheimer’s.”

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Added the doctor, “Typically, the most a doctor could say was, ‘I know what you don’t have.’ Now we have answers.” 

Nick Corriveau-Lecavalier, PhD, the paper’s first author, further explained the difference between LANS and Alzheimer’s in the release.

“Typically, the most a doctor could say was, ‘I know what you don’t have.’ Now, we have answers.”

“Historically, you might see someone in their 80s with memory problems and think they may have Alzheimer’s disease, and that is often how it’s being thought of today,” Corriveau-Lecavalier said. 

LANS is a different syndrome that happens much later in life, he noted. 

“Often, the symptoms are restricted to memory and will not progress to impact other cognitive domains, so the prognosis is better than with Alzheimer’s disease.”

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The goal is for doctors to use these findings to create more personalized therapies for patients suffering from LANS, to better manage their cognitive symptoms, according to the researchers.

Rebecca M. Edelmayer, PhD, senior director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, reacted positively to the findings.

Brain scan picture

The syndrome is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, but doesn’t progress as quickly and has a “better prognosis,” according to a Mayo Clinic press release. (iStock)

“This research exemplifies the great need to develop objective criteria for diagnosis and staging of Alzheimer’s and all other types of dementia, and to create an integrated biological and clinical staging scheme that can be used effectively by physicians,” Edelmayer, who was not involved in the research, told Fox News Digital via email. 

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The hope is that biomarkers will eventually be available to help distinguish between different types of dementia, she said, but until then, this “clinical criteria” will help doctors offer a “more personalized approach” to care and treatment.

The research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.