Week in Review: Nov. 9

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

Gluten-free Fix? What to Know About an Experimental Treatment That Could Let Celiac Disease Sufferers Eat Gluten

People who suffer from celiac disease must eat a strict, gluten-free diet but a new treatment currently being tested could, if clinical trials work and it's approved, change that. The treatment, called Nexvax2, could change people's immune response to gluten so that it no longer triggers a damaging, inflammatory reaction in the body. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Nexvax2 hopes to help people with specific immune recognition genes that make up around 90 percent of the celiac patient population, according to ImmusanT, Inc., the Massachusetts company behind the vaccine. Via ABC News.

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How Does Coffee Affect Your Brain? The Drink Can Protect Your Health In So Many Ways, Study Says

If you've ever wanted to give your brain a bit of a boost in preparation for a big test or an important presentation at work, chances are you turned to a cup of coffee (or three) to give your mind that extra kick. “Studies associate coffee drinking with a decreased risk of depression, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and liver cancer." Via Elite Daily.

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A Social Media Survival Guide for Scientists

Having a presence on social media may even lead to opportunities, exposure, and impact beyond scientific circles. A recent study suggests that scientists with more than approximately 1000 Twitter followers reach a broad audience, including educational organizations, media, and members of the general public—people who are unlikely to dust off an academic journal to read your research. Some academic institutions are starting to realize the benefits of social media and are rewarding their scientists for engagement. Via Science.

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What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?

Give people a sugar pill, they have shown, and those patients — especially if they have one of the chronic, stress-related conditions that register the strongest placebo effects and if the treatment is delivered by someone in whom they have confidence — will improve. Tell someone a normal milkshake is a diet beverage, and his gut will respond as if the drink were low fat. Take athletes to the top of the Alps, put them on exercise machines and hook them to an oxygen tank, and they will perform better than when they are breathing room air — even if room air is all that’s in the tank. Wake a patient from surgery and tell him you’ve done an arthroscopic repair, and his knee gets better even if all you did was knock him out and put a couple of incisions in his skin. Give a drug a fancy name, and it works better than if you don’t. Via NY Times.

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Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adults Lowest Ever Recorded

The number of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes has reached the lowest level ever recorded, according to new government data. However, despite the progress, health officials say too many Americans are still using tobacco products. According to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI), an estimated 14 percent of U.S. adults — about 34 million people— reported smoking cigarettes "every day" or "some days" when they were surveyed in 2017. That's down from 15.5 percent in 2016. The figure has declined a whopping 67 percent since 1965. However, the latest data showed that about 47 million, or 1 in 5, Americans still use a variety of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which are increasingly popular among young people. Via CBS News.

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Mayo Clinic News

Battle of the Badges

The latest "Battle of the Badges" competition kicked off in September. Law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics are going head-to-head to see who can give the most blood before the end of December. So far, the fire department is leading the race. You can help your favorite team win by donating blood on their behalf at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program. "Everybody that's coming in and donating today, they are providing this safety net of blood that our community is going to be using as early as this weekend,” said Justin Kreuter, the Medical Director of Mayo Clinic’s Blood Program. Via KAAL.

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Mayo Researchers Correlate Specific Antibody with Relapse of Neurological Disorder

For patients who have been diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), Mayo researchers have found a direct correlation between a specific antibody, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein—also known as MOG, and an increased risk of recurring attacks in these individuals. Mayo Clinic neurologists Sean Pittock, M.D., and Sebastian Lopez, MD, have found that when patients test positive for the MOG antibody, they have an increased possibility of another ADEM episode. The study was published in JAMA Neurology. “Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis—often called ADEM—is a rare neurological disorder where inflammation occurs, usually in the brain, spinal cord, or sometimes the optic nerves,” says Dr. Pittock, director of the Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Laboratory and the Marilyn A. Park and Moon S. Park, M.D., director of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology. “Oftentimes, ADEM occurs in patients after a viral or bacterial infection, and it tends to occur more often in children than in adults.” Via MD Linx.

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Mayo Clinic Recognized for Meritorious Surgical Outcomes

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized Mayo Clinic as one of 83 ACS NSQIP participating hospitals that have achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2017. As a participant in ACS NSQIP, Mayo Clinic is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that assesses patient safety and can be used to direct improvement in the quality of surgical care. The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score in either an “All Cases” category or a category which includes only “High Risk” cases. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2018 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2017 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes. Mayo Clinic has been recognized on both the “All Cases” and “High Risk” Meritorious lists. Via AZ Big Media.

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Yoga and Meditation Practice Increases Among Adults and Children in the U.S.

Yoga and meditation have been shown to provide physical and mental health benefits, and it seems that people are catching on to that fact, as a new report shows that more adults and children have been practicing the two over the last five years. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga is able to reduce stress, improve fitness and help people manage chronic conditions. Meditation helps people to gain a new perspective on stressful situations, focus on the present and reduce negative emotions. Via ABC News.

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Pertussis Infections on the Rise

Reported cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, have been on the rise since the 1980s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Whooping cough is becoming more common, unfortunately, for a variety of reasons – maybe declining vaccination rates or waning immunity from our previous vaccines," says Dr. Tina Ardon, a family medicine specialist with Mayo Clinic. 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.