News for Providers
Top stories summarized by our editors
10/22/2018

Australian researchers found that PET/CT of the temporal, maxillary, occipital and vertebral arteries yielded 92% sensitivity, 85% specificity, 61% negative predictive value and 98% negative predictive value in identifying individuals with giant cell arteritis. The findings, presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, suggest that PET/CT may be "a suitable first-line test for GCA," said researcher Anthony Sammel.

10/22/2018

Individuals with the APOE4 gene, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease, and chronic low-grade inflammation had increased odds of earlier dementia onset, compared with those with APOE4 but not inflammation, researchers reported in the JAMA Network Open. The findings suggest the Alzheimer's risk between APOE4 and non-APOE4 carriers without chronic low-grade inflammation may be similar, and anti-inflammatory therapies may be useful in curbing Alzheimer's, said researcher Dr. Wendy Qiu.

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Psych Central
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Alzheimer, Alzheimer's disease
10/22/2018

People with the herpes simplex virus 1 in the brain, especially those with the APOE4 allele, were more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, compared with those without either factor, according to a review in the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The findings also showed that antiviral treatments significantly reduced the number of those with HSV1 who developed Alzheimer's, but that result may be due to better overall treatment among those patients, said researcher Ruth Itzhaki.

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Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer
10/22/2018

Researchers found that squares of paper with a moderately thick layer of skin cream placed in a radiation beam path didn't have a higher absorbed radiation dose at the surface, but some increase was observed in papers with a very thick layer of cream, indicating that patients may moderately apply topical treatments before they undergo radiation therapy. However, the findings in JAMA Oncology showed that 91% of health providers prevented patients from using skin creams before RT and 83% of patients reported getting similar advice from their providers.

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JAMA Oncology
10/22/2018

Intellia Therapeutics has partnered with Regeneron to develop a CRISPR-Cas9 treatment that will allow scientists to alter mutations in patients with transthyretin amyloidosis by delivering the therapy to the liver to decrease TTR levels in order to treat ATTR. Preclinical nonhuman primate data was presented at the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy's annual meeting.

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FierceBiotech
10/22/2018

A report from Leavitt Partners showed that more than 50% of physicians surveyed said EHRs prevent them from providing high-quality health care to patients, and they were more likely to be pessimistic about the overall medicine practice, driven by the EHR system's lack of user-friendliness, the amount of work required for the EHR software and reduced time with patients. "As EMRs become more and more integrated into the delivery of care, having user-friendly platforms will become increasingly important," said Leavitt Partners' Kerstin Edwards, research manager, and David Muhlestein, chief research officer.

10/22/2018

The HHS' Office of Inspector General said providing incentive payments to doctors to raise the number of preventive screenings for Medicaid beneficiaries is not a violation of anti-kickback laws. The agency released the advisory opinion in response to a request by an insurer considering paying bonuses to physicians in its network to encourage early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment services for Medicaid members.

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Medicaid, OIG, HHS, Inspector General
10/22/2018

Babies with total serum bilirubin levels of 9 mg/dl to 17.9 mg/dl were significantly more likely to develop asthma, compared with those whose levels were 3 mg/dl to 5.9 mg/dl. The study in Pediatrics, based on data for 109,212 infants, found that levels of 18 mg/dl or higher weren't associated with increased asthma risk.

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Pulmonology Advisor
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pediatric asthma, asthma
10/22/2018

The American Academy of Pediatrics and four other health organizations issued a joint statement opposing the Trump administration's proposed public charge regulation that will deny permanent residency to immigrants who have applied for or received public benefits, which may prompt millions of Medicaid dropouts and thousands of needed health care refusals. The deferred care brought by the proposal may result in "more complex medical and public health challenges, [and] will also significantly increase costs to the health care system and US taxpayers," according to the statement.

10/22/2018

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada have released new guidelines encouraging pregnant women to get 150 minutes per week in moderate-intensity exercise. Experts say this can help reduce a pregnant woman's risk of depression and pregnancy-related illnesses by 25% or more, and the risk of developing gestational high blood pressure, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes by 40%.