News for Providers
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/21/2020

The brain's cumulative global signal fluctuation lessens in strength as the day progresses, and the most prominent decreases are in visual and somatosensory brain regions, according to a study in the journal PLOS Biology. Researchers, who studied about 900 individuals who underwent functional MRI scans between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., hope the findings "will motivate fellow neuroscientists to give more consideration to potential effects of time of day on measures of brain activity, especially in other large-scale studies where subjects are often scanned throughout the day for logistical reasons," said senior study author Thomas Yeo.

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Axis Imaging News
2/21/2020

Researchers evaluated 189 women with clustered microcysts detected on breast ultrasound scans and found that 81% of the 196 lesions were monitored with imaging over 24 months, while 19% were biopsied, and that 73% of the microcysts with two years or more of imaging follow-up were unchanged, 18% were resolved and 8% had reduced in size. The findings, published in Radiology, showed that clustered microcysts had a very low malignancy risk, and "tissue sampling can be safely avoided," authors wrote.

2/21/2020

Researchers found that compared with cognitively healthy controls, individuals with Parkinson's disease had elevated hippocampal and thalamic iron accumulation associated with lower memory and thinking scores, as well as iron buildup in the putamen region associated with lower movement scores, indicating more advanced Parkinson's. The findings, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, suggest the brain iron buildup can be used in monitoring experimental treatment efficacy and prompt earlier diagnosis of Parkinson's and other brain diseases, researchers said.

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Medical Xpress
2/21/2020

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation is investing in Precision Molecular for the development of its macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor-binding PMI04 radiotracer for brain inflammation. Precision founder and CEO Martin Pomper said PMI04 can yield increased cell specificity, compared with other radiotracers targeted at activated microglia, and prompt earlier and more conclusive neuroinflammation detection.

2/21/2020

The FDA gave orphan drug designation to Retrotope's investigational drug RT001, which is being developed to treat the rare neurodegenerative disorder progressive supranuclear palsy.

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eMPR
2/21/2020

A new trend report from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists explains that pharmacists will continue to drive change by "demonstrating their value, securing compensation, and advocating for expanded roles." The report says that advancing technologies such as AI, personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics, and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams are opportunities for pharmacists to showcase their value as they expand their roles.

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Pharmacy Times
2/21/2020

Opioid escalation for treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain doesn't improve pain or functioning, a two-year study published in the journal Pain indicates. The study "supports an important change in the approach to long-term management of pain with opioids," the researchers concluded.

2/21/2020

To counteract the overdose crisis, a project in Vancouver, Canada, gives addicts access to opioids through a vending machine that looks similar to an ATM. The MySafe project is an attempt to reduce the growing number of opioid deaths in the city by giving addicts the option to obtain legal pharmaceutical-grade medications rather than obtaining drugs illegally.

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The Guardian (London)
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Vancouver
2/21/2020

The FDA released a table listing over 50 gene-drug interactions including those found in labeling and those supported by scientific evidence. The agency said the table isn't complete and won't "affect current regulatory requirements or policies, including FDA's policy regarding companion diagnostics."

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Regulatory Focus
2/21/2020

The FDA released a final rule revising its definition of the term biological product ahead of the transition of applications for insulin, human growth hormone and other biological products to biologics license applications starting March 23. "This transition will open new pathways for manufacturers to bring biosimilar and interchangeable versions of insulin and other transitioning products to market, facilitating greater competition in the marketplace," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

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Regulatory Focus