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How MRIs can tell TBI-related dementia from Alzheimer's

Many dementia patients in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. are incorrectly thought to have Alzheimer's disease. One study says that around 21% of older adults with dementia are misdiagnosed this way, but the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 40% of dementias are due to other conditions than Alzheimer's. One of those conditions is a traumatic brain injury suffered earlier in life.

A UCLA study has found a way to tell apart TBI-related dementia and Alzheimer's using nothing more than a simple MRI scan. Researchers, hoping that an MRI, which can detect subtle abnormalities in those with neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, would do the same for a TBI, had 40 TBI patients with memory loss undergo the scan. They discovered a difference in how Alzheimer's and TBIs affect the brain.

Understanding what's behind the decline in traffic fatalities

Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that 2018 marked the second consecutive year where traffic fatalities were fewer than the years before them. There was a 2.4% drop in traffic fatalities in 2018. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contributes the 2.4% drop in traffic fatalities in part to advances in automobile technology. Newer vehicles are equipped with sensors that alert drivers to potential dangers, which may give drivers a chance to avoid the danger.

It seems like 2019 is following the same trend. The first six months of the year have seen 3.4% fewer fatalities than the previous year at the same time. Many see this as good news, but there is still a feeling among experts that there are too many preventable fatalities on the road. More than 36,500 people died on U.S. roads in 2018.

Critical components of most estate plans

Most people know that an estate plan gives loved ones a plan to follow for distributing assets after a family member passes away. While that is one important part, there are others that you should know about. These outline your plans before you pass away if you become incapacitated.

An estate plan can have several components. You should learn a bit about each to determine which ones are appropriate for your needs.

Why should you see a doctor after any car accident?

When car accidents occur, they often cause a variety of injuries. These days, many of us are so used to driving and riding in vehicles that we do not always realize just how dangerous these collisions can be, even collisions that seem relatively minor.

At the same time, our bodies use many complicated defenses to keep us safe in traumatic experiences, often hiding injuries from us. Many significant injuries that may occur in car accidents do not cause pain or discomfort at first, although these injuries are still quite harmful.

FMCSA considers HOS rule changes, training for teen truckers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been proposing several steps that could help the trucking industry in Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. For instance, it has been fielding comments on the proposal to revise certain hours-of-service rules.

One proposed change is to allow long-haul truckers to be on the road for 17 instead of 14 hours every day as long as they are off duty for 10 consecutive hours. Truckers currently have the option of splitting their 10 off-duty hours into eight- and two-hour periods, and one proposal would give truckers the option of splitting it into seven- and three-hour periods. Also, some are pushing for more flexibility in the 30-minute break requirement.

Fatigue study raises questions about hours of service revisions

The thought of a commercial vehicle weighing 40 tons and traveling at highway speed with a fatigued driver behind the wheel is enough to alarm even the most placid motorist, but the results of a study published recently in the Journal of Community Health suggest that this happens every day in Pennsylvania and around the country. A team of researchers from Ball State University used data from the National Health Interview Survey to analyze the sleep patterns of 150,000 American workers, and they discovered that fatigue is alarmingly common in many key industries.

The figures reveal that 35.6% of American workers get less than seven hours of sleep each night. However, that figure rises to 50% for law enforcement officers and members of the military, 45% for health care support workers and 41% among transportation sector employees. In 2010, only 32% of transportation workers were fatigued. The researchers say that factors contributing to America's sleep problems include workplace pressure and the dizzying array of entertainment options offered by modern electronic communications devices.

How AEB and other safety features can improve car safety

Drivers in Pennsylvania may or may not have advanced driver assistance systems in their cars, but they should at least understand the benefits that they bring. General Motors has a study out based on actual crash data rather than simulations and other tests, and the results are positive. ADAS can prevent crashes, but many features are not as effective when considered alone.

For example, rear-view cameras by themselves can reduce the number of back-up crashes by 21%. Rear park assist by itself brings the number down by 38%. When these two are combined with rear cross-traffic alert, the number of accidents is more than halved. Lastly, add reverse automatic emergency braking to the three features, and cars see 81% fewer back-up crashes.

What should you do if a dog attacks you?

Even though most dogs are "man's best friend," some of these animals are more dangerous than they appear. Depending on the circumstances, a dog attack can result in serious injury or even death.

If you find yourself the victim of a dog attack, there are four key steps you should attempt to take:

  • Obtain medical care: Once the dog is removed from the area, turn your attention to your medical care. In addition to first-aid, call 911 to request an ambulance. The responding paramedics can treat you at the scene, while also transporting you to a local hospital.
  • Exchange information: This may not be possible in the event of a serious injury, but if you're able to exchange information with the dog owner you should do so.
  • Talk to witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, such as a neighbor of passerby, exchange information with them as well. Their account of the incident can go a long way in helping you obtain compensation in the future.
  • Contact animal control: Once you file a report with animal control, the incident is in their hands. They'll launch an investigation with the goal of determining what went wrong and how to best take action.

Wills and trusts both common in estate planning

It is common practice in Pennsylvania for an estate plan to have a will along with one or more trusts. In most cases, one or the other of the instruments will be more important to the plan, and most of the person's assets will pass through it on his or her death. One of the major distinctions is that assets that are owned in the person's name typically pass via the will; in order to pass via a trust, the asset must first be put in the name of the trust.

Another important distinction between wills and trusts is that property held in a trust is typically not subject to the probate process while assets that transfer via a will must go through probate. The disadvantages of probate are that it can be costly in terms of time and money, and it is not a private process. It is not always expensive or costly, but it does allow for public scrutiny.

Reasons for Pennsylvania residents to redo their estate plans

Estate planning is a process that many people find uncomfortable, which explains why so many people wait as long as possible before trying to create a last will. It also explains why most people prefer not to think about their legacy once they have created a plan or will.

Unfortunately, pretending that your estate plan is infallible after a single planning session with an attorney is a very common mistake people make. As circumstances in your life and family change, you will likely need to revisit your estate plan and change or expand it. There are three common reasons that people have to make changes to their estate plan.

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