Week in Review: Jan. 8

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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.


Industry News

Regular Use of Aspirin May Lower Men’s Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Add another disease to the list of ailments that may be thwarted by regular aspirin use—prostate cancer. Researchers reported that men who took at least three aspirin tablets a week reduced their risk of developing or dying from advanced prostate cancer. Via Wall Street Journal.

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New Advice for Weight Loss: Get on the Scale Every Day

The bathroom scale is not your enemy. In fact, if you want to lose weight or prevent new pounds from packing on — common goals for the new year – it could be one of your best friends, the latest research suggests. Via USA Today. 

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Sugar in Western Diets Can Increase the Risk of Cancer According to New Study

A new U.S. study has found that the high levels of sugar in the typical Western diet could increase the risk and spread of breast cancer. Previous studies have already looked at how sugar can play a role in the development of cancer; however, according to the team of researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, this is the first study to look at the direct effect of sugar consumption on the development of breast cancer and the specific mechanisms involved using breast cancer animal models. Via Yahoo! News.

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Lack of Deep Sleep May Set the Stage for Alzheimer's

There's growing evidence that a lack of sleep can leave the brain vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease. "Changes in sleep habits may actually be setting the stage" for dementia, says Jeffrey Iliff, a brain scientist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. The brain appears to clear out toxins linked to Alzheimer's during sleep, Iliff explains. And, at least among research animals that don't get enough solid shut-eye, those toxins can build up and damage the brain. Via NPR.

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How Training Without Helmets Could Reduce Head Injuries  

To protect the heads of football players, it might be advisable to have them occasionally practice without head protection, according to a counterintuitive new study of a successful Division I football program. Head impacts are frequent in football, as they are in many other contact sports. By some estimates, high school and college football players sustain 1,000 or more impacts to the head during a typical season and youth players, some as young as 6, can accumulate 100 head impacts a season. Via NY Times.

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Mayo Clinic News

Patients Leaving Hospitals Often Don’t Understand Care Plans 

Many patients leaving the hospital don’t understand follow-up care plans because the instructions are tailored to people with higher reading levels and more education, a recent U.S. study suggests. But the current study of discharge instructions given to about 500 trauma patients leaving the hospital found that only one fourth had the reading skills necessary to adequately understand their dismissal notes. Part of the problem is that these notes are written for two very different audiences – patients and families who need simple instructions and their doctors, who are accustomed to medical jargon, said senior study author Dr. Martin Zielinski, a trauma surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Via Reuters.

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Mayo Clinic Researchers Test Scrambler Therapy for Pain

Scrambler therapy is a pain management approach that uses a machine to block the transmission of pain signals by providing non-pain information to nerve fibers that have been receiving pain messages. HemOnc Today asked Charles L. Loprinzi, M.D., Regis professor of breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, about the safety and efficacy of scrambler therapy, as well as his ongoing research efforts. Via Healio.

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New Weapons in the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma

Few types of cancer research have witnessed more progress in the past decade than the fight against the blood cancer known as multiple myeloma. There are 10 multiple myeloma treatments on the market, including three that won Food and Drug Administration approval during a remarkable 15-day span in November. Other medications in the pipeline hold promise to meet patients’ hopes for even further gains. “Of all the cancers, in terms of progress in the last 10 years, multiple myeloma is at the top of the list,” says S. Vincent Rajkumar, professor of medicine and a hematologist/oncologist at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. Via Wall Street Journal.

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How RFID Technology Improves Hospital Care

When redesigning the new and expanded emergency room at the Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo leaders didn’t just want to add more rooms and square feet. They saw it as an opportunity to completely transform the operation to improve care and the patient experience and to lower costs. To that end, they decided to have a team study how care is delivered, identify the barriers to smooth operations, and fix the barriers. In other words, they created a living lab of the Clinic’s largest emergency department. Via Harvard Business Review.

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Reducing Stem Cell Dysfunction and Metabolic Disease

Mayo Clinic researchers have taken what they hope will be the first step toward preventing and reversing age-related stem cell dysfunction and metabolic disease. That includes diabetes, which affects 12.2 million Americans age 60 and older, according to the National Council on Aging. In this study, researchers discovered methods for reducing these conditions in naturally aged mice. Their findings appear in the online journal eLifeVia 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.