House lawmakers passed 38 bills aimed at combating the opioid-abuse epidemic last week, including measures that would give the National Institutes of Health more authority to study nonaddictive painkillers and prevent opioid smuggling through international mail. The House expects to pass this week at least another 19 opioid measures and a legislative vehicle that would wrap in all of the opioid bills passed by the chamber, with the goal of sending the bills to the Senate this summer.
Australian company Medibio is developing mobile apps and wearable devices to enable earlier diagnosis of mental health problems through collection and analysis of heart rate during sleep, breathing, mood changes and more. The company, whose cloud-computing platform spots indications of mental illnesses using machine learning, is looking to apply for FDA approval of a clinical decision support tool after it finishes a clinical trial.
The CDC says H7N9 avian influenza has great potential to cause a pandemic, and Jonathan Van-Tam, the UK's deputy chief medical officer, says it could cause an international health crisis. Most of the 1,600 people infected with the viral strain in China since October 2016 came in contact with infected poultry, and the CDC said travelers to China who come in contact with infected poultry could spread the virus internationally.
The American Medical Association's first policy addressing the use of augmented intelligence in health care urges federal policymakers and health care stakeholders to focus on "user-centered design," and the policy calls for the AMA to set priorities for AI tools to improve physician satisfaction and patient outcomes. "Combining AI methods and systems with an irreplaceable human clinician can advance the delivery of care in a way that outperforms what either can do alone," said AMA board member Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld.
Adults with type 2 diabetes who received 200 mg of fenofibrate daily had a significant improvement in LDL and HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels at two and four years, compared with those on placebo, according to a study in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. Researchers evaluated 422 adults from the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes study and found no changes in carotid intima-media thickness among those who had dyslipidemia or metabolic syndrome on fenofibrate, compared with the placebo group.
A draft of the Fiscal Year 2019 funding bill for the HHS that was released Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee includes $38.3 billion for the NIH, including funding for the All of Us, Cancer Moonshot and Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies research initiatives. "These funds will greatly benefit numerous medical research programs, combat opioid abuse and support the search for cures for many cancers and diseases," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
Premature babies are at higher risk for patent ductus arteriosus, when a blood vessel that connects the aorta and pulmonary arteries fails to close after birth. Surgeons are treating the condition with expandable plugs that can be threaded through 1-millimeter veins, using ultrasound and X-ray imaging to guide the procedure.
Employees respond best to a culture that supports them through rough patches and reminds them why their work is important, writes Julie Zhuo of Facebook. "I can't recall an example of groundbreaking work coming from an environment of stress, anxiety, and fear of failure," she writes.
A study in Diabetes Care showed that patients with type 2 diabetes and persistently high N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide concentration or those who developed high NT-proBNP levels over six months had a significantly higher risk for heart failure or cardiovascular mortality than those whose NT-proBNP levels remained low at both time points or whose high baseline NT-proBNP concentration subsequently dropped. Researchers analyzed data from the EXAMINE trial and found an independent association between NT-proBNP at baseline and the development of major CV events, particularly heart failure hospitalization.
Researchers used a cohort of 24 patients with type 2 diabetes, ages 18 to 75, and found those who consumed drinks with 10 grams of allulose experienced modest reductions in postprandial blood glucose responses to the oral glucose tolerance test and no effect on insulin secretion or resistance, compared with no significant effect on outcome measures among those who consumed fructose drinks. The findings in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism revealed that allulose may be used as a useful sugar substitute as it showed a "linear dose-response gradient over 0g to 10g in individuals with type 2 diabetes," researchers said.
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