Skip to main content
Australia Edition
Friday, 24 September 2021

Midmorning With Aundrea - March 13, 2019

Credit: WCBI
Duration: 0 shares 2 views

Midmorning With Aundrea - March 13, 2019
Midmorning With Aundrea - March 13, 2019

Break away from your everyday with Aundrea Self!

Today, new research suggests that a quick eye test could help doctors diagnosis Alzheimer's disease.

And we take a look at the burden placed on those who rely on student loans to get them through college.

And the world's oceans are in danger of losing their coral reefs on which millions of sea creatures rely for their survival.

We travel to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia where researchers are coming up with a novel way to save the coral.

>>> well, that does it for us.

A w te t a new test that could detect alzeheimer's.

We'll tell you about it just ahead.

And, the cost of a college education and how long it takes to pay for it.

Plus, a trip to australia's great barrier reef.

Midmorning starts right now.

New sear new research suggests a quick eye test could one day help doctors diagnose alzheimer's disease.

Meg oliver shows us how twin sisters lead to a breakthrough for researchers.

97 year old scott hughes and her identical twin sister virginia were always close.

When virginia started having trouble with her memory and thinking, scott knew something wasn't right.

Virginia was later diagnosed with alzheimer's disease.

It was heartbreaking because she was so outgoing and loving.

// - she wasn't going to be who she was before.

And that is tragic to see in someone you love with one twin having alzheimer's and the other healthy, researchers at duke eye center studying the link between eye and brain health thought the sisters were a good case to examine.

They took images of their eyes and discovered the twin with alzheimer's disease had significantly decreased blood vessel density in the retina.

That finding spurred a new study of more than 2- hundred people.

Cognitively normal, healthy individuals do not have these changes in their retina.

Lead researcher dr. sharon fekrat says the eyes may be a window to our brain health.

These changes happening in the retina in the eye may actually mirror the blood vessel changes happening in the brain of individual's with alzheimer's disease.

Scott's sister virginia passed away 14 months ago.

Every night after dinner we had a conversation.

Sometimes she would be able to respond and sometimes she wouldn't but she always knew that sister was calling.

Scott says she's grateful she and her sister had a chance to contribute to research together.

Meg oliver, cbs news, new york.

Researchers say they plan to study people who have the gene for alzheimer's but don't have symptoms next to see they may be able to predict the development of the disease.

Every year the national sleep federation encourages the country to get their zzz's.

And this year, they are wanting us to "begin wit sleep," emphasizing the importance it has on our goals and relationships.

Meredith wood has more.

It's national sleep awareness week, where we focus on the importance of all the sleep you need... and of course it's right after the start of daylight saving time - when you lose an hour of it!

Each year, the national sleep foundation conducts a poll cataloging sleep patterns.

This year - it focused on how a regular sleep schedule affects pretty much everything in your life .

And surprise surprise, those who reported a more disciplined sleep schedule, said they felt healthier throughout the week.

In fact, people who stuck to their bedtime and wake time, were able to recover better when they did deviate every now and then.

And those who had a more erratic approach to sleep, were twice as likely to feel a physical effect when they stray from their pattern.

Those individuals were almost three times as likely to report emotional effects and feel less motivated.

So how much sleep do you really need?

According to the national sleep depends on your age.

Adults 26 to 64 should get 7 to 9 hours a night, while adults 65 and older need 7 to 8 hours.

For today's health minute, i'm meredith wood.

It's the latest product that promises a good night's sleep.

Weighted blankets apply soft pressure while you're sleeping to help you feel more snug.

Therapists have found them useful for patients with sensory processing problems. take a look.

Big retailers are cashing in on the growing popularity of weighted blankets.

But they are not new.

They've been helping children with autism and sensory issues for decades.

4-year-old simon jacko loves his snacks, his mom and his weighted blanket.

"there's definitely no something wrong with him, he is just wired a little bit differently," says his mo andrea, "we just have t figure out how to help him when he gets in these overwhelming situations."

Andrea jacko knew something was different about her son after he was born, but it wasn't until he was a toddler that he was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.

"he was struggling a lot mor than other kids his age," say andrea, "he was having a lo more meltdowns over things that normal toddlers wouldn't have meltdowns about.

He's not crying because you took something away from him, he's crying because the wind was too windy or the sun was too bright or somebody blew a whistle and the kids were too loud and he would just throw himself on the ground and become hysterical."

Through therapy, simon and his parents learned ways to cope and found tools to help, like his blanket.

Weighted blankets are not new.

Therapists have been using them for years.

"it is kind of like just givin your body a big hug," say nicole meert, a pediatric occupational therapist with saint joseph health systems. meert uses weighted vests and lap blankets with some of her patients.

It is like deep- pressure therapy and helps relieve anxiety and calm children with autism of sensory disorders.

"its actually very comfortin for them.

Like getting a bear hug," says meert, "it is going release dopamine and serotonin which can make you happy and feel safe and secure.

It helps to slow the heart rate down so you can focus on what you are working on."

For kids like simon, they can make a huge difference.

"every time he took a nap every time he slept during the day, when he gets overwhelmed and just needs money mistakes can weigh you down.

What udenloan student loan debt is a huge problem for many graduates and their families.

College students graduate with an average debt of more than 28 thousand dollars.

Nationwide, student debt topped one- and- a- half átrillioná dollars at the end of 2018.

We spoke to meghan combs, who went to college to pursue an art career.

At age 32, she is ástillá struggling to pay for her education.

I just want to get this paid.

I'm so tired of this debt // meghan combs is burdened by the student loans she took out to pursue her dream of working in the arts i was 5 years old and i was drawing stick figures and i think the enthusiasm from my parents about my stick figures made me want to be an artist.

// they were both supportive from the start about choosing art.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, she owed just under $10,000 in student loans.

Combs was told in order to achieve her goal of being a museum curator, she needed a masters degree i was accepted in new york city // and so i thought "oh, this is goin to be great!

It is going to be so easy to get a museum job in new york city!"

/ so my dad // actually encouraged me to live off of my loans and to not work during grad school because he thought "yo need to devote 110% of your time and energy to this.

Combs took out $61,000 in loans, and has made nearly $27,000 in payments.

But because those payments were too small to cover the interest she now owes $66,000- more than her original loans.

I will say that i will shoulder some of the blame there because // i should've read the fine print on my loans after pursuing a career in the art world for 5 years without finding full-time work combs made a career change.

Now she now works at a tech startup, but, is still struggling to pay off her student loan debt.

I'm able to pay about $900 a month // that is really stretching me as thin as i can possibly go.

You may want to double check your new heating pad.

Retailers t-j maxx and marshalls are recalling some heating pads that are heated via u-s-b port.

The retailers say they can overheat while being used, making them potential fire and burn hazards.

More than nine- thousand heating pads were sold in the u-s and canada.

So far, there are no reports of injuries caused by the pads in the u-s.

Anyone who has the heating pads are asked to return them to any t-j maxx or marshalls for a full refund.

Saint patrick's day celebrations are going to be less spirited this year.

A new national survey expects americans will spend less money celebrating the irish this year.

But people will still have a good time and keep that green beer flowing.

- mary moloney has a closer look at where the money is going.

Nats: music parades, house parties and green beer... are you ready to "paddy" th saint patty's day?

Apparently this year-- people will be spending less green.

According to the national retail federation-- the average reveler plans to spend an average of 40- dollars for saint patrick's day.

The n-r-f says the march 17th celebration will bring in a total of 5-point-61 billion dollars to the economy.

That's below last year's total of nearly 6-billion.

According to the survey-- the biggest spenders will be 18 to 34 year olds.

The biggest portion of that spending will be on food and drinks.

More than 70-percent of people celebrating intend to wear something green and buy saint patrick's day themed items. for people under the age of 35-- 86-percent of women and 82- percent of men plan to step out in green.

In fact-- 30-percent of all surveyed partiers said they plan to buy new clothing for the big day.

Afterall... no one wants to get pinched!

For consumer watch-- i'm mary moloney.

Blinged out nails are one of the most popular beauty trends right now.

Hilary lane shows us some of the most outrageous looks.

Every few weeks, liz mina heads to jenny's spa in the bronx to get her nails done.

But this isn't your average manicure.

23:50:40 everyone knows you are fabulous just by your nails.

Mina was inspired to bling out her nails when cardi b burst on the scene.

The rapper is known for her extravagant nail designs.

Jenny bui is the mastermind behind cardi's creations.

9:28 bling.

A lot of bling bui created the nail look for cardi's grammy appearance and for her pepsi commercial that aired during the super bowl.

15:55:22 and that commercial is on all over the world.

How does that make you feel?

I am like shaking áálaughá the bling manicure has exploded in popularity.

A search on instagram will turn up millions of over-the-top- styles.

Style editor at elite daily theresa massoney says it sends a message.

15:29:03 manicures are a new way for people to express their creativity.

So with this trend especially, i think people are finding this as a way to showcase their fun personalities mina admits the extravagant look& isn't exactly practical.

23:51:38 eventually you will stab yourself in the eye once or rip a pair of stockings.

But she's happily adapted to the long nail lifestyle.

23:51:01 when you walk down the street how do you feel?


Super awesome.

You are just strutting and it just gives you an extra confidence boost and it makes you happy nothing like some bling to add some sparkle to the day.

Hilary lane, cbs news, the bronx new york.

A bling manicure can cost anywhere between twenty five and a few hundred dollars, depending on the style.

When we come back, couples say wedding vows are forever.

But what happens when one partner can't remember forever anstimed an estimated six million americans live with alzheimer's disease.

But one survey shows more than 50- percent of couples dealing with the condition have ánotá discussed their wishes related to having another relationship.

This was highlighted when the husband of lifestyle expert b- smith revealed he was in a ásecondá relationship, while he cared for her.

It is a set of circumstances our barry petersen is very familiar with.

Lifestyle guru and restauranteur - developed early onset alzheimer's six years ago.

Today, husband dan gasby is caring for his wife of 27 years& dan 123623 // when b and i realized what we're dealing with and she understood what the situation is she said to me // "i know what i have.

I kno where it's gonna take me.

Tell the story.

Tell the truth."

In january he spoke that truth... and let cameras into his home..

A home he shares with his wife and his ágirlfriendá&alex lerner&who also has a bedroom in the house, and helps with b's care.

Nats b and dan at home barry petersen: 11:39:23 if you wanted to have a relationship, alex, you could've chosen a lot easier paths.

Alex: 11:39:30 that's-- that's true.

Alex: 11:39:41 you know, i think i know.

I met dan when he was pretty much at his lowest.

And-- i remember going through a time in my life where i felt that way, where i was-- where i was pretty much at my lowest.

And i saw the pain in his eyes, i did.

And i reached out, and i thought, maybe this man just needs somebody to talk to.

You know?

Or as-- as humans, sometimes we just need a hug.

11:23:05 &we became people that loved each other.

I wasn't gonna hide.

It was natural, it was organic, it was-- not intentional, but we fell into each other.

Petersen 112849: does she still know who you are?

Dan: that's a complicated question.

She will call me dad, she will call me her brother gary or ron.

// then she'll say dan out of nowhere, then i say "who?"

"da over there".

/ there may be something in her mind that says that but then it's gone.

// 112626 it's like trying to drink water from a colander.

No matter how much you bring it to you, there's nothing there.

// you know 20 seconds, that's it and they don't remember and it's fleeting.

Something i experienced with my wife, jan.

After almost 25 years together, jan was now in assisted living.

B - whats his name?

Jan - mr happy& that's when i met mary nell wolff... who became jan's friend.

Mary nell: 123526 it broke my heart that a man who could love this woman so much couldn't remember, she could not remember who he was.

A year and a half after jan passed away... mary nell and i got married.

Mary nell: 12:12:42 people, who have been critical of our relationship, "you are on diagnosis away from knowing what your life will be, going forward."

Because no one's journey is the same.

No alzheimer's patient is the same- alex: 12:13:06 exactly.

Barry petersen: 12:28:08 --in-- all of this, that the hardest thing, for me, is people who don't know but decide that they can judge what i'm doing.

Dan: 12:28:22 please.

// dan: 12:28:27 yeah.

I mean, we've got the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

She's white, and i'm black.

Alex: 11:42:45 // so many people jump to conclusions and judgment, that don't even understand what alzheimer's is, and what it does to a person-- to the patient, the alzheimer's patient, as well as the caregivers.

Greg o'brien: 13:07:46 well, i-- i so respect what you're saying and-- and-- and respect you guys and what you're going through, because it's a definition of-- of-- of love and-- and-- with-- nobody, just like the disease, but nobody understands what a caregiver goes through.

They-- they don't-- they don't get that.

13:08:10 and-- and-- and this is where mary catherine's been so good to me.

Greg o'brien has early onset alzheimer's.

A lifetime journalist, he's written a book about what he calls&embedded in alzheimer's.

He and mary catherine raised three kids over their 42 year marriage.

She's gone from wife to caregiver.

Nats at home barry petersen: 13:02:50 // people think that caregiving is a daytime event.

Dan gasby: 13:02:59 oh.

Female voice: 13:02:59 oh, yeah.

Barry petersen: 13:03:01 it's-- it's an all-night event.

Barry petersen: 13:03:04 --sleep?

How do you recharge?

How do you rest?

Dan gasby: 13:03:06 i say one eye open and one ear open.

Alex lerner: 13:03:09 yeah.

Dan gasby: 13:03:09 i h-- i live in a nightmare and a daymare.

// 130224 why don't you come over after she dropped the glass, didn't know she broke it // and you don't know it's broken and you step on it and then your foot is bleeding and she's saying "are you okay?"

11:25:50 // everything i have to do is to mitigate her everyday irrationality, because she doesn't have that ability.

Maintain her dignity, and try to keep my sanity.

Greg o'brien: 11:58:34 well, yeah.

This disease-- people don't understand.

// this disease robs everything.

It-- it robs your brain, slowly, like, a sliver every day.

12:57:15 // i-- i-- i tell people that-- my-- brain is-- is-- like an iphone now, it's-- it's still a sophisticated device but-- it-- it-- it-- it has a short-term battery-- it pocket dials and it gets lost very easily- barry petersen: 12:30:29 this isn't what you signed up for, when you married the handsome, young man.

Mary catherine: 12:30:33 yeah.

Greg: 12:30:35 where-- where is that guy?

Barry petersen: 12:30:35 four-- four- mary catherine: 12:30:37 yeah, i didn't sign-- yeah.

I- barry petersen: 12:30:39 --four decades ago-- mary catherine o'brien: 12:55:14 --in our situation, even though greg is still very functioning-- we were the house that had the super bowl parties and the patriots and the red sox- alex lerner: 12:55:21 the fun house.

Mary catherine o'brien: 12:55:22 and we were the house, we were the house that everybody came to.

Mary nell wolff: 12:55:26 the party house.

Mary catherine o'brien: 12:55:26 the par--i mean, we just did 30-- 40 people-- summertime deck parties.

He can't do that anymore.

Dan gasby: 12:55:33 right.

Mary catherine o'brien: 12:55:33 and so our social life has really narrowed down to our very, very closest friends- dan gasby: 12:55:36 and people run away from you.

Mary catherine: 12:03:02 // so when we talk about why you do this and how you fall in love with someone, we-- we expanded-- we hoped we expanded the definition of what family is.

Mary nell wolff: 13:06:53// if nothing comes out of today, other than people sit down and say to the person they love, "what d you want if this happens to us?

Alex lerner: 13:07:14 exactly.

Mary nell wolff: 13:07:14 "how d you want me to go on?

Barry petersen: 11:58:18 // what do you want for mary catherine in the future?

Greg: 11:58:27 i want her to be happy.

Barry petersen: 11:58:32 another relationship?

Greg:/12:01:58 --i-- i want her-- to be happy.

I want her-- to marry a better person than me.

You know, i'm the most-imperfect guy in the world.

I think i've been a good father and-- and-- and i think, starting out to be a good grandfather.

But i want something better for her.

And i-- and i want her to be at peace and-- be there for the kids and the grandkids.

And-- 'cause i'm gonna be in heaven.

And i'm gonna be in a better place.

But i want her in a better place.

And so& i just don't want her to marry someone who's handsome.

That's all.

Dan: 120751 // and what you said greg is what my wife said to me.

" want you to go on" because i a fragile life.

Scientists set out to map the great barrier reef.

We'll tell thworls the world's reefs are increasingly under attack-- from marine "heat waves, that kill the coral, according to a new report out this month.

It's troubling news, since millions of creatures rely on them for survival.

Mark phillips traveled to australia's great barrier reef to look at a new approach to saving the coral.

There's a good reason marine scientist chris roelfsema studies coral reefs.

"billions o people are depending on coral reefs."

"you're not jus talking about things that are pretty to look at?"

"no, no, this i also food!

Just the food resource!

25 percent of all marine species depends on coral reef."

The reefs may be near the bottom of the ocean food chain.

But now, to study what's happening down there, scientists are going up.

They're using the hundreds of shoe-box sized, mini-satellites already in orbit& & to try to save the world's coral reefs.


All of them?

... ..

All of them, every one ... ..

How can you love something if you don't know how much you have?

The satellites circle over the north and south poles as the earth spins underneath, and send back pictures of every square inch of the planet, every day.

Including pictures of the hundred-and- fifty-thousand or so coral reefs.

It's a game- changer.

Until now scientists have had to visit individual reefs to monitor their health ..

... or lack of it.

"everyone go their seatbelts all secured?"

This group was heading to australia's great barrier reef ... ... as research, it's expensive.

It's time- consuming.

And it's incomplete.

What's the difficulty in trying to diagnose just what the health of the reefs is?

Is it just, there's so much of them and so few of you?

Yeah, i think you ... ... hit the nail on the head ... just the fact that there's so much reef out there, even when we're responding to something like a bleaching event, there's only a certain number of scientists splash emma kennedy has been studying the two recent bleachings here, when warming waters kill the coral leaving a white skeleton behind.

We'd never seen that back-to- back bleaching before.

The satellite products are really going to be able to help us, because we're going to be able to look at much bigger areas of reef from space.

And that's where the reef-mapping satellites come in.

... it's a really simple elegant solution ... lauren kickham runs the project launched by the late microsoft co-founder, and marine enthusiast, paul allen, which brings the satellite people and the marine biologists together.

...if you zoom in, you can see more details of that reef coming up ... the satellite pictures are processed by software chris roelfsema is developing to automatically color code what is coral?

What is sand?

What's healthy?

What's dying?

An on-line atlas will provide a daily, world-wide, coral health report.

"if we know tha the reef is under stress // then we maybe say, let's not go fishing there, let's not go having tourism there" if we didn't have what we have now, it would take trillions of dollars and a hundred years to map the world, and we just don't have that time.

It is a race against time.

Scientists are expecting another coral bleaching die--off as soon as this year.

Mark phillips, cbs news, on the great barrier reef.

We'll thatnd m that and more on the next midmorning.

Related news coverage


More coverage