Week In Review — May 16

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

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Polio’s return after near eradication prompts a global health warning

Alarmed by the spread of polio to several fragile countries, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Monday for only the second time since regulations permitting it to do so were adopted in 2007. Just two years ago — after a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children — the paralyzing virus was near eradication; now health officials say that goal could evaporate if swift action is not taken. Via NY Times. 

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CDC wants to track down around 100 in MERS case

At Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Fla., doctors said two health care workers who were exposed to the MERS virus by a 44-year-old infected patient both have shown worrisome flu-like symptoms and one has been hospitalized, CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips reports. The original patient waited in a busy emergency room for four hours, and it took another eight hours before doctors moved him into isolation. Via CBS News.

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Drugs to aid alcoholics see little use, study finds

Two medications could help tens of thousands of alcoholics quit drinking, yet the drugs are rarely prescribed to patients, researchers reported on Tuesday. The medications, naltrexone and acamprosate, reduce cravings for alcohol by fine-tuning the brain’s chemical reward system. They have been approved for treating alcoholism for over a decade. But questions about their efficacy and a lack of awareness among doctors have resulted in the drugs’ being underused, the researchers said. Via NY Times.

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Labs are told to start including a neglected variable: Females

For decades, scientists have embarked on the long journey toward a medical breakthrough by first experimenting on laboratory animals. Mice or rats, pigs or dogs, they were usually male: Researchers avoided using female animals for fear that their reproductive cycles and hormone fluctuations would confound the results of delicately calibrated experiments… In a commentary published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the N.I.H., and Dr. Janine A. Clayton, director of the institutes’ Office of Research on Women’s Health, warned scientists that they must begin testing their theories in female lab animals and in female tissues and cells. Via NY Times.

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Antidepressant may hold promise for Alzheimer’s

Research shows a common antidepressant may cut production of one of the chief suspects behind Alzheimer's, a new avenue in the hunt for drugs to prevent the devastating brain disease. It's far too early for anyone worried about dementia to try the drug citalopram, which sells as the brand Celexa - and comes with side effects. "This is not the great new hope. This is a small step," cautioned Dr. Yvette Sheline of the University of Pennsylvania, who is leading the research with Dr. John Cirrito of Washington University in St. Louis. Via CBS News.

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Dr. John Noseworthy reflects on 150 years of Mayo Clinic success

Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy addressed the crowd at the Mayo Clinic's 150th Anniversary Gala Signature Event to thank all of the 60,000 employees of Mayo Clinic. In his speech he highlighted the tender care and human affection that Mayo Clinic doctors give on a day-to-day basis, rather than showcase the endless technological advances that Mayo Clinic has given to the field of medicine… "I think there is something very special about coming from these humble roots, knowing who you are, knowing what you came from, and never losing sight of the importance of focusing on the patients," said Dr. Noseworthy just allows us to continue to do good work." Via KTTC. 

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Mayo's mark: 5 innovations that changed health care

Dr. William Worrall Mayo likely wasn't thinking dynasty when he opened his small medical practice in Rochester in 1864. He certainly wouldn't have guessed that 150 years later his name would come to define medical excellence and innovation around the world… As Mayo marks a century and a half, MPR News asked Mayo Clinic museum director Matt Dacy to pick the clinic's five most-important medical contributions. Here are his choices…Patients first, Systems and procedures, Not for profit, Cortisone, 'Aeromedical' discoveries in WWII. Via MPR.

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Mayo Clinic moves ahead with regenerative medicine

It's been four years since Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy proclaimed regenerative medicine a strategic priority for the institution. In that time, researchers have moved Mayo into human clinical trials with potential treatments for heart damage and Lou Gehrig's disease…Mayo also opened its Regenerative Medicine Clinic. Director Dr. Andre Terzic said the new clinic has been able to educate patients "whether maybe there is a regenerative option" for their conditions. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Minn. woman's cancer in remission thanks to measles 

From her home in Pequot Lakes, Stacy Erholtz described what it's like to be a part of medical history. "I think it's already huge, it's huge in the making," Erholtz said. The Mayo Clinic announced a possible medical breakthrough Wednesday and Erholtz not only had a front row seat, she was the star. "My phone has exploded today," she said. For ten years, Erholtz has battled multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. She was out of options last summer when the Mayo Clinic chose her for an experimental procedure where they injected her with a large amount of the measles virus. Via Kare 11.

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Mayo Clinic researchers validate rapid sideline concussion test for youth athletes

A rapid, easy-to-administer eye movement test is showing great promise as a sideline concussion test for youth sports, a Mayo Clinic study finds…"Youth athletes are at a higher risk for concussion and a longer recovery time than adults," says Amaal Starling, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and a co-author of the study. "While the test has already been clinically validated for detecting concussion in collegiate and professional athletes, we wanted to ensure it was also validated in adolescents." Via Asian Hospital and Healthcare Management.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.