Health Highlights: June 28, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. College Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt Dies

Legendary U.S. college women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt died Tuesday morning at age 64 from early Alzheimer’s disease.

Summitt spent 38 years with the University of Tennessee Lady Vols and was the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history. She led the Lady Vols to eight national championships before retiring in 2012, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement, Tyler Summitt said his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by loved ones.

“Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced,” Tyler Summitt said, the AP reported.

“Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.”

Pat Summitt was 59 when she announced in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, and coached one more season before retiring, the AP reported.

She detailed her struggle with dementia in a co-written book released in March 2013.

“It’s hard to pinpoint the exact day that I first noticed something wrong,” Summitt wrote. “Over the course of a year, from 2010 to 2011, I began to experience a troubling series of lapses. I had to ask people to remind me of the same things, over and over. I’d ask three times in the space of an hour, ‘What time is my meeting again?’ – and then be late.”

In 2011, Summitt started a foundation in her name to fight Alzheimer’s, and it has raised millions of dollars, the AP reported.

She is survived by son Tyler Summitt, who said a private funeral and burial will be held in Middle Tennessee. A public memorial service is being planned for Thompson-Boling Arena.


Dogs May Spot Low Blood Sugar in Diabetics: Study

Dogs could help protect type 1 diabetes patients against dangerous drops in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), according to researchers.

They believe dogs can detect higher levels of a chemical called isoprene in the breath of diabetes patients when they develop hypoglycemia, which can lead to shakiness, disorientation, fatigue, and seizures or unconsciousness if the condition lasts too long, United Press International reported.

The researchers at the University of Cambridge in England slowly lowered blood sugar levels in eight women with type 1 diabetes and tested the chemicals in their breath as their blood sugar levels fell. Isoprene levels rose significantly during hypoglycemia.

People cannot detect this chemical, but it’s likely dogs can, according to the authors of the study in the journal Diabetes Care. They said it may be possible to train dogs to detect the chemical in the breath of their owners and give them an early warning about falling blood sugar levels.

The researchers also said it may be possible to develop a breath test for blood sugar levels that is easier and cheaper than finger-prick tests, UPI reported.


Ikea Recalls Dressers, Chests Due to Tip-Over Danger

At least 27 million “Malm” chests and dressers have been recalled by Ikea because they can easily tip over onto children, causing serious injuries or death.

Three children have been killed after Malm furniture fell on them, NBC News reported.

Consumers with the recalled chests and dressers can get free repair kits to anchor the furniture to a wall, or they can get a refund, according to Ikea USA president Lars Peterson.

Ikea issued the recall despite a campaign that resulted in the company sending out 300,000 anchor kits.

Leave a Reply