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Seeking Stroke Survivors 

The UGA Kinesiology Department is conducting a study of stroke survivors who now have difficulty using their hand. The study will include: 

  • Two laboratory visits within 2 to 3 weeks 
  • Each session lasts 6 hours with a lunch break. 
  • $20 an hour compensation; travel costs if necessary 
  • Activities include hand function tasks, neurostimulation and an MRI. 

For more information, call Dr. Aisha Bushra at 706-542-4132 or email 

OTC gel for ED 

Men will soon have a new option for treating erectile dysfunction that supposedly works faster than regular ED medication – and will be available without a prescription. In June, the FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of MED3000 (Eroxon), a topical gel treatment for ED. U.S. prices are not yet known, but in the United Kingdom, where it’s already available, the cost is equivalent to about $32 for a four-pack. 

Three shots this fall 

Americans older than 75 or immunocompromised are being encouraged by the CDC to get not only their flu shots this year but also to get the new Covid vaccine and the one for R.S.V., a respiratory virus previously unknown to be so deadly. 

Last winter, the flu led to 58,000 deaths while R.S.V kills up to 10,000 people each year, most of them older.  The CDC is recommending Americans aged 60 and older get the R.S.V in consultation with their doctor. The CDC’s recommendations ensure that most Americans will not have to pay out of pocket for the vaccines. There are questions as to whether an individual should get all three vaccines at once; some physicians are recommending spreading them out to ensure one doesn’t affect the effectiveness of another.  

Forget the fries! 

UGA research suggests that eating high-fat foods changes the digestive tract’s range and populations of bacteria, which in turn alters the gut’s signaling to the brain. The result: People no longer recognize that they are full, causing them to overeat.  

“When we switch to a high-fat diet, we reorganize many of our brain circuits,” said Krzysztof Czaja, an associate professor of neuroanatomy at the College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Americans need larger blood pressure cuffs. 

To get an accurate blood pressure reading, the right size cuff is crucial. Because of rising obesity rates, a majority of people now need a large or an extra-large cuff, suggests a study in the American Journal of Hypertension.   

For the report, researchers measured the arms of a representative sample of more than 13,000 people – they found over half the men and one-third of women required a large (34 – 44 cm) or extra-large (more than 44 cm) cuff. Most home blood pressure machines come with variable-size cuffs that can be adjusted to fit arms 22 to 42 cm in circumference.  

Surprising causes of neck pain 

  • Binge-watching a TV show. Quick fix: use a horseshoe-shaped pillow when you lean back. If you lean to the side, use more pillows to fill the gap between your head and shoulders. And change your position every 15 or 20 minutes. 
  • Leaning forward at the computer or to hear someone. Quick fix: keep your back straight and tilt forward at your hips, get computer glasses, or increase the font size. Hearing? Get a hearing test.  
  • Wearing a flimsy bra. Wearing a bra with little support makes your muscles and ligaments do all the heavy lifting, which can pull your neck forward and stress the neck and shoulder muscles. Quick fix: get a better bra or a sports or posture bra.  
  • Sleeping in risky positions. Sleeping on your stomach causes you to rotate your head to the side. Sleeping on your side without the right support pushes your neck toward your shoulder. Quick fix: don’t sleep on your stomach and for side sleepers, if you can easily slide your hand in the space between your head and shoulders, you’re not getting enough support at night. Get a new pillow.  
  • Sitting comfortably. For some people that means “slouching.” Poor posture puts abnormal strain on the spine, including the neck and ligaments holding it together. Quick fix: Sit up straight; pull your chin back, lower your shoulders and arch your back. Sit on the edge of your chair to do the correction and then sit farther back.   
  • Looking at electronic screens, either up to a wall-mounted TV or down to a laptop or phone. Quick fix: Keep TVs, smartphones, and computer screens at eye level. Consider lowering your TV and elevating your computer screen or phone on a small stand.  
  • Lifting heavy dumbbells. Many people lift dumbbells that are too heavy. Your trapezius muscles in the back overcompensate and can cause neck pain. Quick fix: Use a lighter weight and proper form.  
  • Getting stressed. We carry stress in our necks by raising our shoulders and tensing our muscles. If you have underlying neck problems, it aggravates them. Quick fix: Try deep breathing, meditation, or a quiet walk.  

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