Health http://wkyufm.org en Kentucky Researcher Creates Nasal Spray that Could Lower Number of Overdose Deaths http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-researcher-creates-nasal-spray-could-lower-number-overdose-deaths <p>A nasal spray developed a Kentucky researcher is designed to reduce the number of heroin related overdoses. The invention by University of Kentucky pharmacy professor Daniel Wermeling has been fast-tracked by the Food and Drug Administration and is in its final round of clinical trials.</p><p>Wermeling’s goal was to create an easier way to administer the drug Naloxone, which can reverse potentially fatal heroin overdoses. He has been working on the nasal spray since 2009, with support from a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, with additional funding from the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp.</p><p>If the F.D.A gives final approval to the product, it could be available by prescription as early as next year.</p><p>Wermeling believes the nasal spray will be a much easier way to treat patients, as opposed to injecting them with the drug. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:54:30 +0000 Stu Johnson | Kentucky Public Radio 52269 at http://wkyufm.org Poll: Kentucky Sees Second Biggest Drop in Number of Those Without Health Insurance http://wkyufm.org/post/poll-kentucky-sees-second-biggest-drop-number-those-without-health-insurance <p>The percentage of people without health insurance in Kentucky has dropped at the second biggest rate in the nation.</p><p>According to a Gallup poll released this week, the &nbsp;number of uninsured dropped from over 20 percent in 2013 to about 12 percent as of July 2014, reflecting an eight-and-a-half percent decline since the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. The only other state to experience a sharper decline was Arkansas, whose uninsured rate dropped about 10 percent.</p><p>The states rounding out the top five after Kentucky are Delaware, Washington and Colorado.</p><p>Gov. Steve Beshear touted the news in a press release, attributing the new data to the state’s implementation of the ACA via kynect, the state’s health insurance exchange.</p><p>The poll also reported that the rate of uninsured in 21 states like Kentucky that expanded Medicaid coverage under the ACA and set up their own &nbsp;exchanges declined “more significantly” than those states that did not.</p><p>As of July, over 520,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in health care through the state exchange, with three-quarters of the newly insured enrolled in Medicaid. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:05:06 +0000 Jonathan Meador 52250 at http://wkyufm.org Poll: Kentucky Sees Second Biggest Drop in Number of Those Without Health Insurance CDC to Provide Kentucky $1 Million to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse http://wkyufm.org/post/cdc-provide-kentucky-1-million-combat-prescription-drug-abuse <p></p><p>Kentucky will receive over $1 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat prescription drug abuse.</p><p>The money will be spread out over three years and used to enhance the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. Kentucky has the third highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation, and has <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/while-number-drug-overdoses-kentucky-levels-heroin-deaths-increase" target="_blank">recently seen a surge</a> in the number of deaths related to heroin.</p><p>The funding was announced Tuesday in Paintsville by CDC Director Thomas Frieden. He was joined by Rep. Hal Rogers, a Somerset Republic who represents the state’s 5<sup>th</sup> District. During his announcement, Frieden lauded efforts made by the commonwealth to crack down on the illegal prescription drug trade.</p><p>In recent years, state lawmakers have passed legislation cracking down on pill mills, which are clinics that abuse their prescription-writing authority for people seeking pain medication for recreational use. Kentucky also requires controlled substance prescribers to use KASPER, the state’s prescription monitoring program.</p><p>The CDC says the number of KASPER reports has more than tripled since those laws went into effect, and there has been a nine-percent decline in the amount of controlled substance dispensing in the commonwealth. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 19:51:44 +0000 Kevin Willis 52202 at http://wkyufm.org CDC to Provide Kentucky $1 Million to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse Fort Campbell Hospital Makes Room to Treat Retirees http://wkyufm.org/post/fort-campbell-hospital-makes-room-treat-retirees <img class="wysiwyg-asset-image-wrapper inset" data-caption="U.S. Army Captain Sharika Labrie from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital administers a flu vaccine to retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Troy Johnson during Retiree Appreciation Day in 2010. In 2004, BACH had to quit seeing retirees on a regular basis because so many doctors and nurses were deployed." data-attribution="Credit Army Medicine / Flickr" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wkms/files/styles/card_280/public/201408/blanchfield-army-community-hospital.jpg" alt="" /><p style="margin-bottom: 14px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: 'Open Sans', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px;">While VA hospitals are dealing with long wait times, Fort Campbell’s health system has excess capacity. Blanchfield Army Community Hospital has reopened its facilities to a limited number of retirees for the first time in a decade. Enrollment was cut off to veterans in 2004 because so many doctors and nurses were deployed to the Middle East.<p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 13:44:23 +0000 Blake Farmer 52182 at http://wkyufm.org Fort Campbell Hospital Makes Room to Treat Retirees Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain http://wkyufm.org/post/scientists-say-childs-play-helps-build-better-brain <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z_hMYGAQ6k</p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:43:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 52171 at http://wkyufm.org Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain American Ebola Victims Being Treated with Drugs Created in Owensboro http://wkyufm.org/post/american-ebola-victims-being-treated-drugs-created-owensboro <p></p><p>An experimental drug used to treat two Americans infected with the Ebola virus was created in Owensboro.</p><p>Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol are reportedly showing significant improvement after being treated at an Atlanta hospital with a drug called ZMapp.</p><p>Compounds used in the drug are grown in genetically modified tobacco plants in an effort overseen by the Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing. <a href="http://www.kentucky.com/2014/08/04/3365612/drug-given-to-american-ebola-victims.html?sp=/99/322/&amp;ihp=1" target="_blank">The Herald-Leader reports</a> that KBP received a federal contract in 2007 to work on a drug that could treat those exposed to the Ebola virus.</p><p>An Ebola outbreak in west Africa has claimed nearly 900 lives, with many more victims infected. Brantly and Writebol, who were giving medical treatment to Ebola victims when they fell ill, are the first known humans to receive Z-Mapp.</p><p>A spokesman for the company that runs the Owensboro operation says production of the drug was already being ramped up for approval testing later this year, and that schedule may accelerate given the magnitude of the current Ebola outbreak.</p><p>KBP is also involved with the Owensboro Cancer Research program, which this week <a href="http://wkyufm.org/post/new-federal-grant-help-hiv-vaccine-research-effort-underway-owensboro" target="_blank">was given a federal grant </a>to further its research into a possible HIV vaccine using tobacco plants. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:33:03 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 52133 at http://wkyufm.org American Ebola Victims Being Treated with Drugs Created in Owensboro Oxytocin Isn't Lacking In Children With Autism, Researchers Say http://wkyufm.org/post/oxytocin-isnt-lacking-children-autism-researchers-say Scratch one more simple explanation for autism off the list. This time it's the idea that children with autism have low levels of oxytocin, often called the "love hormone" because it can make people more trusting and social.<p>"Our data blew that out of the water," says <a href="http://parkerlab.stanford.edu/about/kjp.html">Karen Parker</a>, a Stanford researcher involved in the most rigorous <a href="http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1402236111">study</a> yet of autism and oxytocin levels. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:41:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 52100 at http://wkyufm.org Oxytocin Isn't Lacking In Children With Autism, Researchers Say New Federal Grant to Help HIV Vaccine Research Effort Underway in Owensboro http://wkyufm.org/post/new-federal-grant-help-hiv-vaccine-research-effort-underway-owensboro <p></p><p>HIV vaccine research being conducted in Owensboro is getting a boost from a federal grant. The National Institutes of Health Monday announced a five-year, $14.7 million dollar grant for a project being led by the Owensboro Cancer Research program.</p><p>The goal is to create a gel-based vaccine that involves tobacco plants.</p><p>Researchers in Daviess County have been extracting a protein found in red algae, injecting it into tobacco plants, growing the tobacco on a massive scale, and then extracting the protein for use in a gel. Lab tests show the protein blocks HIV cells from entering uninfected cells.</p><p>Researchers have developed a gel using the protein that they hope can be used to stop the spread of HIV during sexual intercourse.</p><p>Owensboro Cancer Research program director Kenneth Palmer says the irony of using tobacco plants to possibly create a medical breakthrough isn’t lost on him. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:02:58 +0000 Kevin Willis 52085 at http://wkyufm.org New Federal Grant to Help HIV Vaccine Research Effort Underway in Owensboro Two Barren Countians Recovering from Legionnaires Disease http://wkyufm.org/post/two-barren-countians-recovering-legionnaires-disease <p></p><p>Health officials should learn this week where two Barren County residents recently contracted Legionnaires disease.&nbsp;</p><p>Teresa Casey is the Communicable Disease Coordinator for the Barren River District Health Department.&nbsp; She says water samples taken from a potential source are being tested in a lab in Louisville.&nbsp; She declined to name the facility, which she says voluntarily shut down its pool and hot tub.&nbsp;</p><p>"Legionnaires Disease is a bacteria naturally found in an environment usually in water sources," Casey tells WKU Public Radion.&nbsp; "It prefers warmer waters, so hot tubs, sprinkler systems, public fountains can be sources of Legionnaires Disease."</p><p>Casey says those with a weakened immune system are most likely to get sick from the bacteria, which can be deadly.&nbsp; Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, and most often results in pneumonia.&nbsp; Legionnaires Disease is treated with antibiotics and cannot be transmitted between people. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:19:24 +0000 Lisa Autry 52080 at http://wkyufm.org Two Barren Countians Recovering from Legionnaires Disease Skin Cancer Rates Rising, But Best Way to Reduce Risk is Still Avoiding Too Much Sun http://wkyufm.org/post/skin-cancer-rates-rising-best-way-reduce-risk-still-avoiding-too-much-sun <img class="wysiwyg-asset-image-wrapper inset" data-caption="" data-attribution="Credit wikimedia commons" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wkms/files/styles/card_280/public/201407/800px-Woman_applying_sunscreen.jpg" alt="" /><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A western Kentucky dermatologist says he sees multiple cases of skin cancer a day as the U.S. Surgeon General is warning of a steady increase of people with the disease.</span><p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:39:07 +0000 Whitney Jones 51964 at http://wkyufm.org Skin Cancer Rates Rising, But Best Way to Reduce Risk is Still Avoiding Too Much Sun