Florida teen with autism spotted ‘dodging’ rush-hour traffic rescued by ‘hero’ strangers

Amanda Miller had just started making dinner when she noticed her 17-year-old son, CJ, was missing. She left the teen with autism “content” in her room watching YouTube videos as she boiled water.

Three minutes later, when she went to check on the boy, she saw a window open with the screen popped out. The concerned mom from Jacksonville, Florida, went into panic mode, running out to her backyard to see if CJ’s father saw him leave.

“We had no idea which way he had gone,” Miller told Fox News. “Our biggest fear seems he has no fear of the dangers of a moving car.”

CJ’s dad took off in his car and Miller started on foot, circling the neighborhood in hopes of finding the teen, who is non-verbal.

CJ boy 2

CJ, 17, has autism and is non-verbal, his mom, Amanda Miller, says.

 (Amanda Miller)

“He struggles to communicate with us in his everyday life,” said Miller, adding that she constantly keeps an eye on him. “He is an amazing boy who at 17 can communicate at a 2 to 3-year-old age level.”

Local police joined the parents in their search, dispatching a description of CJ to officers. 

A woman found Miller’s cell phone near a creek on the side of the road and called the mom. CJ apparently took it with him.

“Our panic got much worse as we were worried he may have gotten attracted to the water,” Miller said. “His father went to the bridge at the creek and was down by the water searching for CJ’s footprints.”

Miller waited with police at a nearby Home Depot as they took over the search — ready to deploy a helicopter and release K-9 officers.

At the 2-hour mark, police got a call from Good Samaritans Susan Bolton and Jason Gaston, who informed officers they found a special needs boy “dodging” cars in the middle of Interstate 295 in Jacksonville.

CJ family

Amanda Miller

 (Good SamaritansJason Gaston (left) and Susan Bolton (right) pose for a picture with Amanda Miller and her son, CJ.)

“[CJ was] wandering in the highway looking up at the sky without a care in the world,” a GoFundme page to raise money for the family described in a post. “[Gaston] witnessed a truck almost hit the child doing 70 mph and he went into survival mode.”

The pair both stopped their vehicles to block traffic in order to save the teen. Bolton escorted the boy back to her van while Gaston reported the incident to local police, who arranged for CJ to be transported home to reunite with his parents.

“He was delivered to us safely and we were more than relieved,” Miller said. “We were shocked to find out the horrifying details and the many close calls that CJ had with traffic.”

When Miller opened the police door, she asked CJ where he was going.

“Orlando … Mickey Mouse,” CJ replied.

“He loves Disney world had been asking for Orlando for weeks,” Miller explained. 

Since the incident on April 18, Miller said she personally reached out to Gaston and Bolton to thank the “heroes” for saving her son.

“It’s all about awareness and kind hearted heros that I can say are now our family,” Miller said, adding that she’s planning to purchase a GPS device to track her son’s whereabouts as well as installing alarms on all of the windows inside of her home.

Source link

Drug epidemic ensnares 25-year-old pill for nerve pain

WASHINGTON (AP) – The story line sounds familiar: a popular pain drug becomes a new way to get high as prescribing by doctors soars.

But the latest drug raising red flags is not part of the opioid family at the center of the nation’s drug epidemic. It’s a 25-year-old generic pill long seen as a low risk way to treat seizures, nerve pain and other ailments.

The drug, called gabapentin, is one of the most prescribed medications in the U.S., ranking ninth over the last year, according to prescription tracker GoodRx. Researchers attribute the recent surge to tighter restrictions on opioid painkillers, which have left doctors searching for alternatives for their patients.

Those same forces are changing the drugs that Americans abuse, according to experts.

“We’re basically squeezing people into other drugs because the prescription opioids are becoming a lot harder to get,” said Dr. Richard Dart, who tracks drug abuse through a national data network owned by the state of Colorado.

While prescriptions for opioids like Vicodin and Oxycontin have been falling since 2012, health regulators have seen increased overdoses with unexpected medications, including the over-the-counter diarrhea drug Imodium.

The Food and Drug Administration is now studying patterns of prescribing and illicit use of gabapentin and will soon share its findings, said Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

“One of the lessons from this whole opioid crisis is that we probably were too slow to act where we saw problems emerging and we waited for more definitive conclusions,” Gottlieb said. “I don’t want to be sitting here five or 10 years from now lamenting that we didn’t take more aggressive action.”

Many doctors aren’t aware of gabapentin’s potential for abuse, particularly among those with a history of misusing drugs, said Rachel Vickers Smith of the University of Louisville.

People tracked in her research describe gabapentin as a “cheap high” that is almost “always available.” They report mixing the drug with opioids, marijuana and cocaine to enhance the high, with effects ranging from “increased energy” to a “mellow” numbness.

Medical journal articles estimate that between 15 and 25 percent of opioid abusers also use gabapentin. And emerging research suggests combining gabapentin and opioids heightens the overdose risks.

Gabapentin, on the market since 1993, has long been considered nonaddictive and is not tracked as closely as riskier drugs like opioids. But calls to U.S. poison control centers show a stark rise in abuse and overdoses.

The abuse rate increased nearly 400 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to poison center data analyzed by the RADARS research group within the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, a state-owned health system. The group’s work is funded by drugmakers and government agencies, though they don’t participate in the analysis or publication of the data.

In some parts of the U.S., the rise in gabapentin abuse has led to new restrictions and surveillance.

Last year, Kentucky became the first state to classify the drug as a “scheduled substance,” placing it among other high-risk medicines subject to extra restrictions and tracking. Gabapentin was detected in a third of fatal overdose cases analyzed by Kentucky medical examiners in 2016. Now, only health professionals registered with the federal government can prescribe the drug and patients are limited to five refills.

Ohio, Minnesota, West Virginia and several other states have begun tracking gabapentin through their prescription databases. Ohio took that step after gabapentin became the most dispensed drug in the state. State surveys of drug users also indicated it was “extremely easy to get” with a street price around $1.50 per capsule.

Alyssa Peckham, a researcher at Midwestern University in Arizona, believes a more comprehensive federal response is needed, including possibly reclassifying it nationwide. Like others, Peckham says gabapentin is not dangerous on its own, but can be when combined with opioids and other drugs that suppress breathing.

Still, there is little consensus about the next steps, or even the scope of the problem.

Michael Polydefkis, a neurologist at John Hopkins University who primarily treats seniors with nerve pain, says he has never seen patients deliberately misuse gabapentin.

And given recent restrictions on opioids by hospitals, insurers and government authorities, many physicians are wary of limiting any other medicines that can help treat pain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s prescribing guidelines endorse gabapentin as a good choice for nerve pain.

But there are questions about how much is being prescribed for proven uses – and to what extent patients are benefiting. A recent review of research by the Cochrane Group confirmed gabapentin’s benefits for several forms of nerve pain, but found little evidence of its effectiveness for more common muscle and joint pain.

Historically, the vast majority of prescriptions have been for uses not OK’d by the FDA as safe or effective.

“This drug was kind of unusual in that it was prescribed as a kind of miracle pill that could be used for anything,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, a researcher at Yale University’s school of medicine.

In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association, he called for new studies of gabapentin’s real-world use.

The freewheeling prescribing dates to years of aggressive marketing by the drug’s original manufacturer, Warner-Lambert. The company pleaded guilty and agreed to pay more than $430 million in 2004 to settle charges that it promoted gabapentin for a slew of unapproved uses, including migraines, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder and Lou Gehrig’s disease. While doctors are free to prescribe drugs for any use, drugmakers can only market their products for those uses approved by the FDA.

Warner-Lambert was bought in 2000 by Pfizer, which continues to sell gabapentin under its original brand-name Neurontin. Pfizer also sells a similar drug named Lyrica, a blockbuster medication approved for fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain and several other uses. Unlike gabapentin, Lyrica is a scheduled substance under federal law, in part due to reports of euphoria and other side effects suggesting “abuse potential.”

With tighter restrictions and a lone manufacturer, Lyrica has not seen the same problems as gabapentin.

“Pfizer recognizes the importance of preventing the misuse and abuse of our medicines and will continue working with regulatory authorities and health officials to monitor the safety of these medicines,” the company said in a statement.

___

Matthew Perrone can be followed on Twitter: @ AP_FDAwriter

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source link

Diet linked to menopause timing

(Reuters Health) – A UK study suggests that diets rich in certain foods may be a factor in the timing of menopause.

Researchers who studied more than 14,000 women found that those whose diets included lots of fish and legumes entered menopause years later, on average, than women who didn’t eat much of these foods.

Conversely, eating more refined carbohydrates, including pasta and rice, was tied to earlier menopause, the research team reports in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“Evidence shows that while an earlier menopause increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and depression, it also protects against breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer which makes it interesting to investigate whether diet, which is one of the modifiable behavioral factors, is linked to the onset of natural menopause,” lead author Yashvee Dunneram said in an email.

“Several studies have looked into the association between socio-demographic factors such as smoking, socioeconomic status, ethnicity as well as reproductive factors (parity, age at first pregnancy) and age at natural menopause,” said Dunneram, a researcher at the University of Leeds.

“Evidence shows a link between diet and timing of natural menopause as well,” she added. However, very few studies have investigated this association and the findings are also contradictory. “Our findings show that diet can be linked to the timing of natural menopause,” she said.

At the beginning of a long-term study in the UK, researchers examined health and diet information for 14,712 women ages 35 to 69, including 1,874 who were premenopausal and 914 who entered menopause during the next four years.

The average age at menopause, defined as going 12 months without a period, was 50.5 years, and half of women were 51 or older at natural menopause, researchers found.

After accounting for weight, smoking and other factors, each additional average daily portion of legumes was tied to nearly a year’s delay in onset of menopause, while each additional portion of oily fish was tied to a three-year delay.

More vitamin B6 and zinc in the diet were also tied to slightly later onset of menopause, while each additional average daily portion of rice or pasta was linked to onset 1.5 years earlier.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment and can’t prove whether or how eating particular foods might have influenced menopause timing. The authors speculate that antioxidants in certain foods could offset aging of ovaries, and different diets’ effect on body fat and insulin levels could also affect estrogen levels.

“Since this study does not prove any causality, we would not expect women to change their diet based on these findings,” Dunneram said.

“In my opinion, the study is very well done because it includes a large population and accounts for an important number of cofounders,” said Sandra Arevalo, a registered dietitian at Montefiore Hospital in New York City who wasn’t involved in the research.

“However, the quality of the food can change from region to region and I feel that it is necessary to extrapolate the research to other territories that include different foods origins and ethnicities to learn if the same results prevail for different populations,” Arevalo said in an email.

SOURCE: bit.ly/2FAAuu9 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, online April 30, 2018.

Source link

1 9 10 11