Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Morning Drill: January 25, 2012

Good Morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Suit: Web site developer harassed Grayslake orthodontist

A Web site developer harassed patients and emailed the alma mater of a Grayslake orthodontist after the two became embroiled in a dispute about the design of a site, a libel lawsuit filed Wednesday claims.

The two-count suit claims libel and breach of contract. It seeks unspecified damages.

Dr. Michael Stosich hired Zenman Productions, Inc., to develop a Web site for his orthodontist practice, a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court claims. The contract called for Zenman to provide search engine optimization so the Internet site would be displayed on various search engines, including Google.

Stosich, whose practice is at 1275 E. Belvidere Road, Suite 100, paid the initial deposit and Zenman missed numerous deadlines and didn’t provide features Stosich wanted on the site, the suit said. The Web site went live Dec. 2, 2011, and did not appear during a Google search.

Zenman told Stosich that this was normal and that the search capability would be effective in six months, the suit said. Stosich hired a third-party developer who discovered Zenman imbedded a file that intentionally left the Web site unsearchable and blocked the site from the Web results of search engines.

Dental Exam Went Well? Thank Fluoride

I admit to being jealous of my sons for growing up in a time when vaccines spared them miseries like the measles, mumps and polio scares that marred my childhood. But I’m most envious of their freedom from the dental decay that forced me to spend countless miserable hours with my mouth propped open while the dentist did his best to stay on top of rapidly rotting teeth.

By my mid-20s, I had already lost one molar and all four wisdom teeth, and every remaining molar had been restored with fillings.

It’s not that I failed to brush my teeth or that I noshed constantly on sweets. It’s that my teeth lacked the protection of fluoride, which was introduced to New York City’s water supply in 1964, five years before my twin sons were born but 23 years too late for me.

More Americans Uninsured in 2011

More American adults lacked health insurance coverage last year than in any year since Gallup and Healthways started tracking it in 2008. The uninsured rate has been increasing since 2008, climbing to 17.1% in 2011.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index asks 1,000 American adults each day about their healthcare coverage and reports monthly, quarterly, and annual averages. The monthly percentage of uninsured adults increased to 17.7% in December 2011, tying July for the highest on record. The uninsured rate was 17% or higher in most months in 2011.

Gallup first documented an increase in the monthly percentage of uninsured adults in November 2008, rising above 16% for the first time in February 2009 and above 17% for the first time December 2010.

Myths and misses about Alzheimer’s Disease

Mark Twain, the American author and humorist once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  In my experience as a geriatrician, I’ve encountered many misunderstandings about this degenerative neurologic disease that devastates both patients and their families.  Countering these can help patients, families, professionals, and all those who have someone in their lives with Alzheimer’s disease.

There’s no difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  The confusion here is understandable, as Alzheimer’s disease is the cause of at least 60% – and perhaps a much larger proportion – of all those diagnosed with dementia.  Although the terms are used interchangeably, dementia is the umbrella which covers all diseases that cause cognitive decline in adulthood, including Alzheimer’s disease.  The next most common cause of dementia is vascular disease, such as occurs after multiple strokes or one very large one.  Other etiologies of dementia are Parkinson’s disease (and a similar entity called Lewy body dementia), trauma (e.g., head injuries from motor vehicle crashes or playing professional football), infectious diseases like syphilis and HIV, and miscellaneous causes like hypothyroidism and vitamin B12 deficiency.  Because there are a myriad of causes of dementia with varying treatments, it is imperative that families seek out experts to diagnose loved ones with suspected dementia.

Enjoy your morning!

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