Week In Review — Sept. 19

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.


Nine Suspected Cases of Enterovirus 68 Sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Doctors suspect there are at least nine Wisconsin cases of the respiratory and stomach virus that has hospitalized hundreds of children around the country. Samples of the nine suspected cases in the Madison area were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Test results should be back in about one week. Via Star Tribune.

Obama to Deploy 3,000 Troops as Ebola Crisis Worsens  

The United States announced on Tuesday it will send 3,000 troops to help tackle the Ebola outbreak as part of a ramped-up plan, including a major deployment in Liberia, the country where the epidemic is spiraling fastest out of control. The U.S. response to the crisis, to be formally unveiled later by President Barack Obama, includes plans to build 17 treatment centers, train thousands of healthcare workers and establish a military control center for coordination, U.S. officials told reporters. Via Reuters.

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Ice Bucket Challenge: When Success Creates Problems of Its Own 

Sometimes, more money can mean more problems. That is what the ALS Association is trying to avoid as the fall season brings an end to the Ice Bucket Challenge, a summer social-media sensation that fueled a record $113.3 million as of Monday in online donations to the nonprofit dedicated to fighting the rare, fatal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disorder popularly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease…And a rush of capital brings new stakeholders and higher scrutiny, ratcheting up expectations and putting a premium on communication and transparency. That is especially true when negative news can travel just as fast as ice-bucket challenges. Via Wall Street Journal.

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A Blood Test For Depression Shows The Illness Is Not A Matter Of Will

Screening for depression might soon be as easy as a blood test. A new test that identifies particular molecules in the blood could help doctors diagnose patients with clinical depression, according to a new study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry. The blood test can also predict which therapies would be most successful for patients, and lays the groundwork for one day identifying people who are especially vulnerable to depression -- even before they’ve gone through a depressive episode. Via Huffington Post.

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Lab Tests Confirm D68 Enterovirus Strain in Minnesota 

An unusually harsh strain of enterovirus has been detected in Minnesota and linked to a buildup of children suffering breathing problems and clogging pediatric hospitals, the state health department reported Wednesday. Lab tests confirmed that enterovirus D68 had infected at least one Minnesota child, who received hospital care for respiratory illness and is now recovering at home. The state is among at least 13 where the virus has spread. More than 130 illnesses, all involving children in the United States, have been linked to the virus, which is an unusual strain that is typically associated with summer colds. Via Star Tribune.

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Worldwide Study Demonstrates Accuracy of Genetic Analyses

Physicians envision a future in which genomic data from patients is heavily used to manage care — but experts have questioned the accuracy and reliability of these analyses. Now, a study by 150 researchers in 12 countries finds real strength and agreement across RNA genomic sequencing techniques and laboratories — as well as ways to improve what little variability exists to set a new high standard. Via Science Newsline.

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Study Reveals 'Smell Test' May Screen for Parkinson's Disease Patients

A recent study reveals that a smell test could someday screen for people who are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mayo Clinic said that the study, which was published in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, discovered that Incidental Lewy Body Disease (ILBD) patients with a decreasing sense of smell may develop PD. Via ABC 15.

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Experimental Virus Being Tested as Cancer Treatment

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic are starting a second round of human clinical trials to test if an engineered strain of measles virus is an effective cancer treatment. The trial follows a successful first round of tests where a woman went into complete remission after a massive dose of the virus eradicated cancer in her body. Ben Gruber reports. Via Reuters.

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IBM’s Watson to Compute Clinical Trials 

IBM’s cognitive computer has a new task for its massive "brain". The computer will be individualizing trial plans for cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic. Watson is already deployed to aid researchers and clinicians at several institutions. Now the “cognitive computer” is now, Fox News reports, helping oncologists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to review thousands of patient records to help sort individuals afflicted with cancer into appropriate clinical trials. Via Digital Journal.

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AMA Urges Overhaul of Electronic Medical Records

It's no secret that many physicians hate the electronic-medical-records systems they use, saying they are cumbersome, poorly designed and detract from patient care. Amplifying those concerns, the American Medical Association on Tuesday is calling for a major overhaul of EMR systems to make usability and high-quality patient care a higher priority…The Mayo Clinic is changing the layout of some exam rooms so that doctors don't have to turn their backs on patients while using EMR systems, said Christopher Ross, the Mayo Clinic's Chief Information Officer, who was on the AMA's advisory committee. But he said the Mayo Clinic is seeking to select a single EMS vendor from the three it uses today and that usability will be an important criterion. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Dr. Veldic Marin: Suicide Awareness


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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.