Week in Review: August 28

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.


Concussions Can Occur in All Youth Sports 

Recent attention to long-term brain damage linked to multiple concussions among professional football players has prompted a much closer look at how children and adolescents who participate in sports can be protected from similar consequences. And with good reason. The young brain is especially susceptible to concussion, and sports-related concussions account for more than half of all emergency room visits by children aged 8 through 13, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Via NY Times.

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Snooze Alert: A Sleep Disorder May Be Harming Your Body And Brain

It's time for consumers to wake up to the risks of sleep disorders, scientists say. More than 50 million adults in the U.S. have a disorder such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea, according to an Institute of Medicine report. And it's now clear that a lack of sleep "not only increases the risk of errors and accidents, it also has adverse effects on the body and brain," according to Charles Czeisler, chief of the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Via NPR. 

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Scientists Unveil ‘Promising First Step’ to Universal Flu Vaccine

Scientists are one step closer to developing a universal flu vaccine to protect against all strains of the virus. Every year, scientists take an educated guess on which strains of flu will be circulating in a given season so that the annual flu vaccine can protect against those strains. Sometimes though, the vaccine does not protect against a particular strain and people can still get sick. But, two teams of researchers revealed that they’re getting closer to figuring out a way to create a vaccine that can protect against multiple strains for a long period of time. Via TIME.

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Study Questions Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements  

If your daily routine involves taking a fish oil pill for your brain health, you may want to rethink that. In the largest and longest in duration study of its kind, researchers found that taking omega-3 supplements did not slow cognitive decline, The Washington Post reported. The study included 4,000 participants at risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss among older Americans. They found omega-3 supplements had no statistically significant effect on cognitive function. Via Fox News.

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Blood Test Detects Cancer Relapse

A blood test may be able to save lives by finding cancers that have started to grow again after treatment, a study suggests. Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London found traces of breast cancer eight months before doctors would normally have noticed. In the trial, the test found 12 cancers out of the 15 women who relapsed. Experts said there was still some way to go before there was a test that could be used in hospitals. Via BBC.

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Mayo Biologists Find Way to Shut Off Cancer Cells 

A Mayo Clinic Florida researcher and colleagues have discovered a new mechanism to reprogram many types of cancer cells so they're benign and no longer grow. The discovery by Professor of Cancer Biology Panos Anastasiadis and his co-authors was reported in the prestigious journal Nature Cell Biology. It has not been tested in human tumors and still requires the development of a therapeutic deliver mechanism. But the findings introduce a new target for cancer treatments, an early component in the growth of tumors that it is universal to nearly all cancers. This is noteworthy as cancer is a generalized term for a wide variety of diseases with more than 400 different subtypes. Via Post-Bulletin.

Mayo Clinic To Develop Apps To Educate Consumers on Genomics

The Mayo Clinic is partnering with a gene sequencing technology provider to launch a genomic data hub focused on consumer education, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports. Under the partnership, the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine will develop a suite of applications to help consumers learn about their genetic data and other health information. Via iHealthBeat.

ASU and Mayo Clinic Researchers Develop Near Real-Time Test for Osteoporosis and Bone Cancer

Are your bones getting stronger or weaker? Right now, it’s hard to know. But a new test for detecting bone loss, being developed by Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic researchers, offers the possibility of near real-time monitoring of bone diseases. The technique, which measures changes in calcium isotope ratios, has passed an important hurdle by being tested on urine samples from NASA space shuttle astronauts. Via Sonoran News.

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New Study Provides Links Between Inflammation, Spread of Colon Cancer

A new Arizona State University research study has identified for the first time the details of how inflammation triggers colon cancer cells to spread to other organs, or metastasize. The findings appear in the latest issue of the journal Gastroenterology. Key contributors from DuBois’ Laboratory for Cancer and Inflammation at Biodesign include Dingzhi Wang, Lingchen Fu and Haiyan Sun; and Lixia Guo, from Mayo Clinic, Rochester. The findings will enable researchers to identify new drug targets for the prevention and treatment of colon cancer. Via Arizona State University News.

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Pain. Pill. Problem. Use and Overuse of Prescription Painkillers in Minnesota

Mayo Clinic experts participated in the Minnesota Moving Forward Together conference examining the use and overuse of opioids and painkillers in Minnesota. Michael Hooten M.D., a board-certified pain medicine specialist, and Keith Berge M.D., an anesthesiologist – both from Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus – attended the conference in Minneapolis, Tuesday Aug. 25. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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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.