Genetics versus lifestyle — which is more influential when is comes to your health status? As with most debates, you can find arguments on both sides. But there’s good news for the millions of people with a family history of dementia who are afraid that it will inevitably impact their health. A just-released study says it’s possible to decrease your chances. Dementia is a condition of deterioration of cognitive functions such as attention, understanding, perception, memory, language, learning and higher reasoning. It is often accompanied by depression and apathy. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, with almost 6 million of them here in the U.S. In the study, researchers observed that the highest risk of developing dementia was among those with a high genetic risk and an unhealthy lifestyle. A lower risk of developing dementia was found among those with a high genetic risk and a healthy lifestyle. The habits that were considered healthy were not smoking, consuming alcohol only in moderation, exercising regularly and following a healthy diet. What’s interesting is the factors identified in this study are similar to the World Health Organization in their public health prioritization of dementia’s 12 suspected risk factors. Those factors are low levels of physical activity, smoking, a poor diet, alcohol overuse, decreased ability to think, low social activity, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, depression and hearing loss. With so much consistent information about dementia, there’s no excuse not to follow the recommendations. They also are the cornerstones of healthy living that can help lead to decreases in so many other diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and joint problems. Please email comments and your medical questions to [email protected] Remember: Your health is your most important asset. Guard it with your life.
Relaying a rumor, the lawmaker said the moratorium was in jeopardy. Federal court records describe an email Cooper sent to Cranford on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010, saying he had heard “from a source” that then-Gov. Cooper also wrote that the source was going to “snoop around” to learn more. Cranford forwarded Cooper’s email to Tom Goss, the nonprofit’s chief financial officer, “whose email response consisted of an expletive,” according to court documents. 22,000 in campaign contributions to Beebe’s re-election campaign. 2,000 checks from 11 people who were connected to the nonprofit — including executives, lower-ranking employees and their family members, the Democrat-Gazette determined. Four of the donors were Tom Goss, Bontiea Goss and two of Tom Goss’ sons. Tom Goss’ wife, Bontiea, was Alternative Opportunities’ chief operating officer. A fourth gave to other candidates outside Arkansas but never again in this state, the searches show. 5 million total over the entire election cycle.
3,000 — individually and through one of his lobbying firms. Tom and Bontiea Goss’ attorneys, in an emailed joint statement, said the Gosses never discussed the RSPMI moratorium with Beebe. They declined to answer several specific questions, including whether the donations were motivated by Cooper’s email. During an interview at his Searcy home in September, Beebe said he did not remember the donations and strongly denied that they could have been made in exchange for favorable action. Beebe said, adding that he didn’t know who the Gosses were at the time. Morril Harriman, who was Beebe’s chief of staff, said contrary to Cooper’s email mentioned in court documents, Beebe’s support of the RSPMI moratorium did not waver. A year later, Cranford again intervened when the moratorium seemed at risk. He lobbied other mental health treatment companies to help keep the freeze and reported his efforts to Human Services officials, according to agency emails obtained under an Arkansas Freedom of Information Act request. In September 2011, then-deputy Human Services director Janie Huddleston emailed Cranford after missing his phone call.
Huddleston declined interview requests. By December 2011, efforts to extend the RSPMI moratorium encountered legislative opposition. How about a three- to six-month extension, another legislator suggested. Agency officials argued for the full one-year extension, based largely on their unfinished work recertifying existing providers under new rules, emails show. The joint public health committee approved the extension, but three lawmakers objected, according to the emailed account. As she prepared for a second joint legislative committee vote on extending the freeze, Carlson told Cranford to “do it again today.” The panel on administrative rules and regulations approved the extension. Cranford also worked at that time for the state behavioral health care providers’ association and represented multiple individual firms. Carlson said of the lobbyist’s position. Carlson and other agency officials responsible for controlling Medicaid spending said they were reluctant to lift the moratorium without first changing the “incentives” that rewarded number of treatments rather than quality of services. So they defended the freeze to lawmakers.
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks
- Recurrent headaches
- Change the plan of care with a child’s doctor as needed
- 40th worst in obesity
- Serve fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk and water rather than sugary drinks
- How will you earn an income
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
But the state agency’s efforts to change the incentives repeatedly ran into influential providers and their lobbyists, according to former officials and legislative records. Often, resistance happened outside of public view. State Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Jonesboro, the former president of the Arkansas Behavioral Health Providers Association, said companies fought such efforts because the proposals were unnecessary, costly and ineffective. Existing rules were rigorous enough to root out fraud, he said. Aside from working to preserve the moratorium and the RSPMI program’s flaws, providers won other battles to water down or eliminate rules they didn’t like. Former state Rep. Hank Wilkins, D-Pine Bluff, in 2013 introduced a “shell bill” that was used as a negotiating tool to eliminate a Human Services agency-proposed scoring system that rated providers like Alternative Opportunities, according to charges filed against Cranford. Cranford addressed the strategy in an email to his Alternative Opportunities bosses. First, the House would pass the bill. Then, state officials would meet with Wilkins, Cranford and others to negotiate in exchange for ultimately killing the bill in the Senate. That’s exactly what happened, according to prosecutors, who called the resulting “brokered agreement” beneficial to Cranford, the nonprofit and other Cranford clients.
State agency officials viewed the color-coded scoring system as easier for consumers to understand. But their efforts to implement the measure died as part of the agreement. Alternative Opportunities/Preferred Family’s share of Arkansas’ Medicaid reimbursements grew steadily during the RSPMI ban. By fiscal 2011 the company became the state’s third-largest recipient of those funds, state data show. A year later, Alternative Opportunities ranked No. 1 in Arkansas Medicaid reimbursement and was still growing, even as its client roster fell from 11,000 to 6,500, according state data. 11 million in fiscal 2014, according to the tax forms. Its profits become difficult to track in later years because it didn’t break out figures after acquiring a second group of Arkansas clinics. 4.2 million in total revenue over expenses, including Dayspring and other subsidiaries. Dayspring also operated in Oklahoma, but its Arkansas Medicaid revenue accounted for about 7 of every 10 dollars that year.