Week In Review — July 18

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.


After Lapses, C.D.C. Admits a Lax Culture at Labs,

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spent much of Wednesday completing a report that would let the public see, in embarrassing detail, how the sloppy handling of anthrax by scientists at its headquarters here had potentially exposed dozens of employees to the deadly bacteria. Via NY Times.

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Got a rash? iPad, Other Devices Might Be the Cause  

Unexplained rash? Check your iPad. It turns out the popular tablet computer may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals. Recent reports in medical journals detail nickel allergies from a variety of personal electronic devices, including laptops and cellphones. But it was an Apple iPad that caused an itchy body rash in an 11-year-old boy recently treated at a San Diego hospital, according to a report in Monday's Pediatrics. Via AP.

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Alzheimer's Rate Falling in the United States, Studies Show

The number of new cases of dementia has been declining in recent decades in the United States, Germany and other developed countries, a trio of new studies shows. In one U.S. study, researchers found that compared with the late 1970s, the rate of dementia diagnosis was 44 percent lower in recent years. The sharpest decline was seen among people in their 60s. Via HealthDay.

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Stroke Incidence, Mortality Drop, But Not Across the Board

Stroke rates are dropping among men and women, and in both blacks and whites, and stroke-related mortality is also falling in these groups, a new study shows. The not-so-good news is that the declining stroke rates apply only to younger people and reduced mortality rates only to older age groups. Via Medscape.

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Vasectomies Linked with Prostate Cancer Risk

Men who undergo a vasectomy may have an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer, a new observational study suggests. Researchers tracked nearly 50,000 men over 24 years, and found those who had a vasectomy were about 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive or potentially fatal prostate cancer than those who had not had the procedure. Via Live Science.

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Key to Detecting Alzheimer's Early Could Be in the Eye

Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed primarily by clinical examination using memory tests and questions about how a patient is functioning. But researchers are attempting to devise tools, particularly using biological markers, to improve the detection of early stages of the disease, said David Knopman, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and a member of the Alzheimer's Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Mayo Clinic Takes Top Spot on Best Hospitals List 

Mayo Clinic in Rochester earns the top spot on a prestigious list of the nation's top hospitals. U.S. News and World Report ranked Mayo Clinic number one on its yearly list of the nation's best hospitals…"Oh, awesome. They know everything and if they don't know it they know where to get it,” said Peg Lesmann, who traveled to Mayo from North Dakota. "It's very well organized and run, everyone has been very friendly,” said Wayne Davis. "I’ve never seen anything go like clockwork, it's perfect," said Mary Bailey, patient at Mayo Clinic…"The fact that we're recognized for providing outstanding care in the community of outstanding health care organizations around the country, we're just very proud of that and I have to say, I think there's a little bit of a spring in our step today,” said Dr. John Noseworthy, Mayo Clinic CEO. Via KAAL.

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Should You Be Taking A Probiotic? Do Probiotics Work?

Maybe? “There’s been a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggest [taking a probiotic] could help a lot, but it’s hard to frame it in a scientific way,” says Nicholas Chia, PhD, associate director of the micobiome program at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota. Via Elle.

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Mayo Conducts Evacuation Drill

For the first time Wednesday, Mayo Clinic conducted an evacuation drill of an entire building. Nearly 2,000 employees were evacuated from the Hilton Building on Mayo Clinic’s campus…“There was a significant amount of planning that went into this event. It has involved many areas of the Mayo Clinic including the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, as well as facilities, security and emergency management,” said Dr. Melissa Snyder. Via KAAL.

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Alzheimer Researchers See Protein as Target for Drugs

A protein discovered less than a decade ago appears to play a role in whether symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease emerge, suggesting another avenue for exploration in efforts to find a treatment… “This injects new vigor in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Keith Josephs, the lead author and a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in a telephone interview. “The world has focused on two proteins, beta amyloid and tau. TDP-43 is going to be the new kid on the block.” Via Bloomberg.

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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.