Health Check: See what Alzheimer’s does to the brain

Want to get an inside look at Alzheimer’s disease?

You can do that at Body Worlds Vital, a traveling exhibit that is currently on display at the Rhode Island Convention Center through this fall.

It’s an anatomical exhibit of real human bodies, including the lungs, coronary arteries and the brain.

“I’m stunned by how, really — I’m biased but I think it’s beautiful,” said Dr. Peter J. Snyder, chief research officer at Lifespan who focuses on Alzheimer’s disease. “I think the displays are really well constructed, well presented and have immediate visual information that is digestible for the public and important for people to see.”

He’s referring, in particular, to the part of the exhibit focused on this disease, which is often referred to as the long goodbye.

“It’s not only about the human body, but they have two brains on display here,” said Donna McGowan, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association chapter in Rhode Island. “One is the normal brain and one is the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”

Its goal, like Snyder’s, is to advocate for more research dollars. And, on a personal level, to help those living with this memory-robbing disease.

“We presently serve 23,000 Rhode Islanders that we know of that have the disease and 100,000 unpaid caregivers, home-based caregivers,” said McGowan.

“We need to get the word out. We need the public to be educated. We need to insure that enough resources are dedicated to the research that is fundamental to arriving at a discovery and treatment,” said Snyder.

“The risk factors include histories of head injury, history of obesity, metabolic disorders like diabetes and heart disease. These are all important risk factors,” Snyder said.

But he said there is some encouraging news.

“We have a lot of ongoing trials and planned trials and we need actually healthy aging volunteers and people with risk in their family to all participate in our research,” Snyder said.

You can help make a difference by purchasing tickets to Body Worlds through the Alzheimer’s Association. You’ll get a discount, and the Alzheimer’s Association will get part of that money.

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Love Patch? Have an iPhone or iPad? Download the Totally Amazing New Patch App!

Love Patch? Have an iPhone or iPad? Download the Totally Amazing New Patch App!

Are you as addicted to hyperlocal news as we are? Do you have an iPhone or iPad? Then the new Patch App — just selected by Apple in its “Apps We Love” section — is for you, and it’s now available for download from the App Store.

We’ve taken the best of Patch and packed it into a lightning fast, super-clean app that is loaded with features users have told us they want.

With the new Patch iOS App, you can:

  • Follow up to 10 Patch towns at once.
  • Customize push notifications and emails by Patch, in an easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Get all your unread stories in a single queue, to help you stay on top of the latest local happenings.
  • Navigate through Patch articles with a “swipe-able” interface.
  • Easily share stories to friends via social media or by email and SMS.
  • React to Patch stories with emoticons, including our favorite: So Patchy!
  • Share stories to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, or email/SMS to a friend!
  • Submit a news tip to your local editor with the click of a button.

We’re adding new features regularly — and working on an Android version too — all with the aim of keeping you in the know about everything happening nearby. Click the link below to download the Patch App now.

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13-Year-Old Girl Behind Clown Threats At Philly Schools, Cops Say

13-Year-Old Girl Behind Clown Threats At Philly Schools, Cops Say

PHILADELPHIA, PA — A 13-year-old girl has been identified as the individual behind the clown threats on several Philadelphia schools made over the weekend, police confirmed on Monday afternoon.

The juvenile, who attends a local school, said that the incident was a “prank only” which she and her friend concocted and that they had no intent to harm anyone, according to authorities.

The messages posted on social media threatened school shootings and general violence. It’s not yet clear what, if any, charges would be pressed. Information has been sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review, authorities said.

“The Philadelphia Police Department and The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of School Safety and Federal Law Enforcement partners will continue working in collaboration to investigate these social media posts and to ensure the safety of our children, our schools and the surrounding communities,” police said in a statement.

Police and the school district said on Sunday that multiple schools within the district had been mentioned in various clown-related threats on social media. The threats came during a rash of bizarre clown-related incidents around the state and country. Individuals dressed as clowns have been reported acting suspiciously, attempting to lure children into the woods, peeking into windows, walking on roadsides and performing a variety of other odd behaviors.

Police added that they do not believe that these threats are directly connected to the numerous other reports of strange clown behavior around Pennsylvania in recent weeks. Local police have urged individuals to report any suspicious activity directly to local authorities and not to share social media posts, which may be false or misleading.

“The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of School Safety alerted both the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of Homeland Security Saturday upon learning of these disturbing social media posts,” said Lee Whack, a spokesperson for the school district. “The safety of our children and the communities surrounding our schools is a top priority for us and we are taking this matter seriously.”

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Police investigate fatal accident in Coventry

Police in Coventry are investigating the cause of a fatal accident overnight.

Both police and fire personnel from Western and Central Coventry Rescue responded to the area of 266 Hopkins Hollow Road just after midnight Sunday to investigate a report of a motor vehicle which had driven off the road and was in the woods.

While heading to the scene, Coventry Police received a second 911 call stating the vehicle was on its roof and was crushed.

The caller reported not hearing or seeing anyone around the vehicle.

Upon their arrival, Western and Central Coventry Rescue crews used the Jaws of Life to extricate the operator and lone occupant from the vehicle.

Western Coventry Rescue personnel began performing life saving measures and transported the 42-year-old male to Kent Hospital.

The male was later pronounced deceased at Kent Hospital.

The accident is currently under investigation by the Coventry Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Unit.

Police say drugs and alcohol do not appear to have played a factor in this accident, however speed may have.

Police are withholding the operator’s identity pending notification to his next of kin.

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Massachusetts state trooper struck by motorcycle, hospitalized

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WPRI) — A Massachusetts State Trooper was seriously hurt when he was struck by a motorcycle near Gillette Stadium following Sunday’s Patriots game.

Massachusetts State Police said the trooper was performing traffic control duties on Route 1 in Foxboro when he was struck by the motorcyclist just before 4:30 p.m. Police said the trooper was conscious but suffered potentially serious, though not life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Boston Medical Center for treatment.

The motorcyclist was also hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with unknown injuries. He has been identified as 25-year-old Jose Perez-Rodriguez of Everett. Police said he is expected to be arraigned and face criminal charges as soon as he is released from the hospital.

Preliminary investigations into the cause of the crash show troopers on foot were trying to stop Perez-Rodriguez, who was operating a 2009 Ducati, at a traffic post near the main entrance and the P6 lot at Gillette Stadium. In an attempt to flee from the troopers, the suspect drove against traffic, heading south in the northbound lane. A trooper attempted to stop the vehicle and the fleeing suspect at the entrance to the P8 lot, and was subsequently struck by Perez-Rodriguez.

Massachusetts State Police and the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section are currently investigating the incident which remains active at this time.

Photo courtesy WCVB TV.


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Two men indicted in unsolved 2008 double murder

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Two men have been indicted in a nearly nine-year-old cold case murder.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office announced Sunday that Keith Cox, 26, of Berkley, Mass. and Matthew Lander, 28, of Swansea, were both indicted in connection with the killings of two Taunton brothers in 2008.

Cox faces two counts of murder and two counts of armed robbery and is expected to be arraigned Monday in Fall River Superior Court. Lander faces two counts of murder and one count of armed robbery. His arraignment has yet to be scheduled.

The charges come nearly nine years after brothers Kevin and Shawn Vargas were found shot to death inside their Somerset Avenue apartment in Taunton in February of 2008. Kevin was 23 at the time, Shawn was 21 years old. Shawn’s 4- and 2-year-old sons were also found unharmed inside the apartment where the alleged murder took place.

State Police Trooper Christopher Dumont of the Bristol County District Attorney’s State Police Unit has been working on the investigation since the time of the crime.

“Although the case is eight-and-a-half years old, our office never gave up on pursuing every lead in this ongoing investigation,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn said in a statement. “I would like to specifically acknowledge Trooper Christopher Dumont of my office’s state police unit for his perseverance and thank the victims’ family for their patience during the past eight-and-a-half years. I know it has been very difficult for them.”

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said the investigation into the homicide is active and ongoing.

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Mass state trooper struck by motorcycle

The Massachusetts State Police are investigating an incident involving a trooper struck by a motorcyclist.

The trooper was struck while performing post game traffic control duties at a nearby Gillette Stadium in a parking lot on Route 1 in Foxborough. The accident happened around 4:25 pm following Sunday’s Patriots’ game.

The victim has been transported to Boston Medical Center with potentially serious injuries. Officials say he was conscious during transport. The motorcyclist, 25 year-old Jose Perez-Rodriguez was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is in Massachusetts State Police custody.

The extend of his injuries are unknown at this time and the charges he will face are subject to an ongoing investigation.

Perez-Rodriguez is expected to face criminal charges. The identity of the trooper has not been released.

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