Health Highlights: Oct. 18, 2021

How 1.3 million Americans ended up in conservatorships. Britney Spears’ long struggle to release herself from a conservatorship has shed light on a legal construct that’s meant to help people incapacitated with illness, but is too often abused by those placed in charge. Read more

A better way to treat breast cancer that’s spread to the brain. When breast cancers migrate to brain tissue, there’s often little doctors can do to help, because the body’s ‘brain-blood barrier’ prohibits drugs from reaching the brain. But researchers believe ultrasound might help open that barrier briefly. Read more

State anti-poverty spending pays off for children. A new study finds that money states earmark to alleviate poverty reaps dividends in fewer cases of child abuse, child deaths and placement in foster care. Read more

Another study finds mix n’ match COVID vaccine strategy works. As COVID-19 booster shots begin to receive approval in the United States, Swedish research finds that people who got the one-dose AstraZeneca vaccine gained better protection if they got an mRNA Pfizer or Moderna shot as their second dose, rather than another dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Read more