Week in Review: Jan. 6

mayo-clinic-diet-second-edition-bookThe 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

Where Does Alzheimer’s Treatment Go from Here?

In a disappointment to Alzheimer's patients and researchers, drugmaker Eli Lilly said in late November that a clinical trial of solanezumab, an experimental medication to treat the degenerative neurological condition, had failed. . . . Solanezumab is just the latest casualty in a decades-long parade of disappointing dementia drug trials. But the frustration brought by this particular failure could signal a shift in Alzheimer's research—a shift away from targeting accumulations of so-called amyloid protein in the brain, long considered by many in the field to be the crux of Alzheimer's pathology.Via STAT.

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Petroleum Jelly May Reduce Risk of Eczema

Applying inexpensive petroleum jelly to a new baby daily for the first six months of life may reduce the risk that the infant will develop eczema, which can be a lifelong torment, according to a new analysis. Two studies done in newborns with relatives suffering from atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, showed that rubbing moisturizer into their skin daily lowered their risk of developing the itchy, dry, scaly patches on their heads, arms and legs that characterize the disease. Via NY Times.

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New Peanut Allergy Prevention Guidelines Start in Infancy

Peanut allergy affects about 2% of the children in the United States, and those numbers appear to be growing. A serious peanut allergy can lead to anaphylaxis and, rarely, even death, which means some parents avoided introducing peanuts to their children. But, an expert panel published new guidelines about when to introduce some infants to peanut-containing foods as a way to prevent food allergies, a technique validated by the Learning Early About Peanut allergy, or LEAP, study. Via CNN.

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Scientists Have Discovered a New Organ in the Digestive System

Scientists have learned a lot about how the human body works, but our biology remains a mystery in many ways. Researchers have discovered what they’re calling a “new organ” within the human digestive system―a reminder of just how much uncharted territory remains to be discovered within us. The discovery of the body’s 79th organ prompted an update to the famous Gray’s Anatomy textbook, which is used by medical students around the world. People have known about the newly classified organ, known as the “mesentery,” for hundreds of years―Leonardo DaVinci even included it in an anatomical illustration. However, it was thought to be a fragmented structure consisting of separate parts until Dr. J. Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick in Ireland, found evidence that it was one continuous organ. Via Huffington Post.

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All French Citizens Are Automatic Organ Donors Now

In its recent reversal of its organ donation policy, France is now automatically assigning all its citizens as donors upon their death, unless they join an official register for opting out. The new law, which took effect January 1, presumes consent for organ removal and donation, although the family refuses or wishes otherwise. Prior to this measure, a person had to have a clear intent to donate or doctors must consult the family, who refused in nearly one-third of cases. Via Tech Times.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic News Network: 7 Tips to Combat Viral Coughs and Colds

The next time you go to see your health care provider for an upper respiratory illness, a cough, or cold, don't assume you'll get a prescription for an antibiotic. "Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, and they won't help viral illnesses like colds, flu, and most sore throats," says Emily Langer, P.A.-C., a Mayo Clinic Health System emergency medicine physician assistant. Even though colds are usually minor, they can make you feel miserable," says Langer. "It's tempting to try the latest remedy, but the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Rest, drink fluids, and keep the air around you moist. Remember to wash your hands frequently." Via Chicago Tribune.

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Here’s Even More Evidence That Fish Oil Is Good for You

In a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers reviewing 34 studies on EPA and DHA from food and supplements, as well as heart disease risk, found evidence of the benefits of omega-3 fats in reducing heart problems. Via TIME.

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The Real Brain Food Could Be Fresh Veggies and Olive Oil, Study Finds

A Mediterranean diet that’s loaded with fresh vegetables, fruit, and the occasional drink could help preserve your brain into old age, researchers reported. People got points for light to moderate drinking—in this case about a third of a drink per day to no more than three drinks per day on average for men and two drinks for women. David Knopman, M.D., a professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who was not involved in the study, said this could translate to real-life benefits. “Loss of brain volume is an inevitable part of the aging process,” Dr. Knopman told NBC News. “A bigger brain is in general better for you because at least in late life, it makes a person more resistant to the effects of brain diseases,” he added. Via Today.com.

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CardioBrief: Screen-and-Treat to Prevent Diabetes Doomed to Fail

Screen-and-treat strategies to prevent type 2 diabetes are doomed to failure, according to a large new systematic review and meta-analysis published in The BMJ. One expert who has spent a good portion of his career thinking about the complex questions raised by these sort of problems is Victor Montori, M.D., an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic. Asked to comment on the BMJ study, Dr. Montori agreed that screen-and-treat can be effective for a few patients, but any effort to combat the rise in diabetes will require a "massive" response that goes well beyond screening individual people. His provocative statement suggested that it will require a remarkable political transformation to achieve success in this area. Via MedPage Today.

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Mayo Clinic Diet Named Best Commercial Diet by U.S. News & World Report

The Mayo Clinic Diet has been named No. 1 in the Best Commercial Diet category in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Diets rankings. The Mayo approach offers a weight-loss and lifestyle program based on years of research and clinical experience. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.