Week in Review: Sept. 4

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.


Scientists Find New Way to Save the Brain’s Superhighways in Alzheimer’s Patients

In the first clinical trial involving gene therapy for an adult neurodegenerative disorder, dying cells in the brains of Alzheimer's patients sprouted new connections, according to a new study in JAMA Neurology. During a three- to four-hour surgical procedure, 10 patients were injected with genes modified to express nerve growth factor, which promotes axonal growth in certain cells of the brain. Via Washington Post.

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Fewer Americans Skipping Medical Care for Cost Reasons

During the first three months of the year, just 1 in 20 Americans said they did not get medical care they needed because they could not afford it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The findings, from the federal National Health Interview Survey, show that 4.4 percent of people interviewed from January through March said they had skipped medical care in the previous year because of its cost -- the lowest percentage in 16 years. Via Washington Post. 

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CVS Says its Ban on Cigarette Sales Has Reduced Smoking 

CVS Health Corp said its decision to stop selling tobacco products last year led to a 1 percent decrease in cigarette sales in some states where the drugstore chain has a sizeable presence. The September 2014 decision hurt sales, with general merchandise revenue at CVS pharmacies open at least a year falling 7.8 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the company said. Via Reuters.

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More ADHD Cases Being Diagnosed at Younger Ages

One-third of children in the United States have been found to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) before 6 years old, according to a new report. Though the statistics may sound alarming, researchers involved with the report say the data shows promising trends on how children with the neurobehavioral disorder are being diagnosed. Via CNN.

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Poor Sleep May Make You Prone to Colds

People who sleep six hours a night or less are more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus, a novel human experiment has found. For one week, 164 healthy volunteers were asked to wear a wrist sensor that tracked their normal sleep habits. They were then given nasal drops containing rhinovirus and quarantined in a hotel for five days under close observation to see how many got a cold. The findings support the theory that poor sleep blunts immunity. Via BBC News.

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Mayo Researchers Examine Risk Factors and Patient Outcomes Associated with Colorectal Cancer Operations

About 20 percent of colorectal cancer patients have cancers that have spread (metastasized) beyond the colon at the time of their diagnosis. The liver is the most common site for these metastases. The approach to treating primary tumors within the colon and metastatic tumors in the liver continues to evolve; however, it typically involves chemotherapy plus surgical removal (resection) of both types of tumors. Via Newswise.

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New Guidelines for Cancer Doctors Aim to Make Sense of Gene Tests

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued guidelines on how cancer doctors should approach the use of new genetic tests that screen for multiple cancer genes at the same time, including counseling patients about genes whose contribution to cancer is still poorly understood. The guidelines aim to educate doctors about the risks and benefits of new genetic tests, argue for regulation to assure quality and call for more equitable reimbursement of the cost of the tests from private and public insurers. Via Reuters.

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Mayo Clinic and Hootsuite Introduce Social Media Training Program for Health Care

Hootsuite, the most widely used platform for managing social media, and Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (MCCSM), announced an industry-leading social media credential for medical and health care professionals. This joint initiative is being launched at the first international Health Care and Social Media Summit presented by Mayo Clinic in Brisbane Australia, September 1-2. Via Sys-Con Media.

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What You Need To Know About The Most Common Types Of Arthritis

According to the Mayo Clinic, PsA includes five forms: symmetric, asymmetric, distal, spondylitis and arthritis mutilans. Symmetric PsA is the most common type, impacting 50 percent of PsA patients, and is similar to RA, impacting both sides of the body at the same time. Symmetric and asymmetric PsA can affect any part of the body. Meanwhile, distal PsA generally impacts the toes and fingernails, and spondylitis causes stiffness and pain in the neck and spine, explained the Mayo Clinic. Via Sunrise Senior Living.

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Telomerase Targeting Drug Demonstrates Benefit in Myelofibrosis Treatment

Imetelstat, a novel drug that targets telomerase, has demonstrated potential value in treating patients with myelofibrosis, according to the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "We observed that Imetelstat was active and induced morphologic and molecular remissions in some patients with myelofibrosis," says Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. "We also observed that Imtelstat demonstrated selective anti-clonal activity, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which we had not previously documented with other drugs." 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.