(Business Standard) – A doctor and a paramedic have been arrested after an eight-month pregnant woman was allegedly wrongly administered medicine for abortion at a prominent private hospital here, leading to the death of her unborn child. “We have immediately registered a case and arrested the doctor, whose negligent act has caused this,” SP, South Jammu, Rahul Malik said. He said a Female Multi Purpose Health Worker (FMPHW) was also arrested in the case.
(Medical Xpress) – Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists have identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson’s disease, including six that had not been previously reported. The study, published in Nature Genetics, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and led by scientists working in NIH laboratories.
(Trib Live) – Hundreds of emergency patients across Western Pennsylvania became human guinea pigs in the past 16 years, enabling doctors to sharpen cardiac arrest, trauma and other crucial treatments in about a dozen clinical trials. Most of those patients have no idea they are research targets until they awaken, if they regain consciousness at all, doctors said. Clinicians enrolled about 2,000 ailing subjects without receiving the patients’ prior consent, a rare approach that medical scholars call a necessity of circumstance to strengthen emergency medicine and reduce fatalities.
(Science Alert) – The growth of an embryo from a single cell is an incredible process. The only problem is that it’s almost impossible to observe, even using a high resolution microscope. To solve this problem, scientists Fernando Amat, Philipp Keller and their colleagues at Janelia Farm, a Virginia research campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US, have developed software that tracks every individual cell in a developing embryo.
(Stuff.co.nz) – Thousands of embryos, sperm and eggs will be discarded in November as legislated time limits come into force this year on frozen storage. All sperm, embryos, eggs, ovarian and testicular tissue that have been in frozen storage for more than 10 years on November 21 will need to be discarded or hefty fines imposed on the clinics involved. The people who had placed items in frozen storage since before November 2004 are currently being contacted by clinics like Fertility Associates about the implications for their storage.
(Medical Daily) – Medical tourism has become a multi-billion dollar business over the past decade, with estimates ranging as high as 1.2 million Americans set to journey overseas this year in order to find the best prices on surgical procedures. Now a new analysis of medical claims data from Castlight Health suggests you might be wise to travel within the borders of the U.S. when seeking common medical services. Using historical prices and analytics, Castlight’s results show how much prices vary for the same services across cities — and also within them. “When it comes to choosing a healthcare provider, the consumer experience is akin to shopping at a store without any prices,” note the authors of the survey.
(Drug, Discovery, & Development) – To David Altshuler, the recent discovery of a genetic mutation that protects against type 2 diabetes offers hope in fighting more than just diabetes. It also illustrates how using the tools of genetics to hunt for “broken genes” can aid drug discovery, a process that itself is broken, Altshuler said, with new finds scarce despite billions spent on research.
(News-Medical) – A novel study shows that the age girls reach puberty is influenced by ‘imprinted genes’-a subset of genes whose activity differs depending on which parent contributes the gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted genes can control the rate of development after birth and details of this study were published today in the journal Nature.
(Medical Xpress) – Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute are one step closer to creating a viable cell replacement therapy for multiple sclerosis from a patient’s own cells. For the first time, NYSCF scientists generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells lines from skin samples of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and further, they developed an accelerated protocol to induce these stem cells into becoming oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system implicated in multiple sclerosis and many other diseases.
(The Telegraph) – Single women should not be allowed free fertility treatment because there are too many people on the planet already, ethics lecturers have said. A paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics says IVF treatment should be restricted in order to reduce carbon footprint and slow climate change, with single women and same sex couples advised to adopt instead. Bioethics experts said policy makers should think about human reproduction in the same way they think of other processes which impact on the environment – such as fracking – and ask whether it is good for the country.
(Rheumatology Update) – Australian researchers have achieved promising results in a trial of stem cell treatment for neuropathic pain. The Sydney group administered stem cells to 10 female patients aged 27 to 80 years, all of whom had been diagnosed with neuropathic trigeminal pain and had not responded well to other forms of treatment. For the study, the 10 women underwent liposuction, after which the lipoaspirate was digested with collagenase and washed with saline three times. Following centrifugation, the stromal vascular fraction was resuspended in saline administered via injections into the pain fields.
(ProPublica) – In the name of patient privacy, a security guard at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, threatened a mother with jail for trying to take a photograph of her own son. In the name of patient privacy , a Daytona Beach, Florida, nursing home said it couldn’t cooperate with police investigating allegations of a possible rape against one of its residents. In the name of patient privacy, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allegedly threatened or retaliated against employees who were trying to blow the whistle on agency wrongdoing.
(Washington Post) – The Food and Drug and Administration for the first time has accepted an application for a copycat version of what’s known as a biologic, which is a complex drug made from proteins of living organisms. These biologics are cutting-edge therapies that can be more effective than regular drugs made from chemicals — and, not surprisingly, they also can be expensive. For example, some biologics to combat rheumatoid arthritis, a disease affecting about 1 percent of the adult population, can cost more than $5,000 a week.
(Washington Post) – Months before Gilead Sciences’ breakthrough hepatitis C treatment hit the market, Oregon Medicaid official Tom Burns started worrying about how the state could afford to cover every enrollee infected with the disease. He figured the cost might even reach $36,000 per patient. Then the price for the drug was released last December: $84,000 for a 12-week treatment course. At that price, the state would have to spend $360 million to provide its Medicaid beneficiaries with the drug called Sovaldi, just slightly less than the $377 million the Oregon Medicaid program spent on all prescription drugs for about 600,000 members in 2013. It potentially would be a backbreaker.
(Associated Press) – The government has issued its first national estimate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, confirming the devastating disease is rare. A national search turned up about 12,000 cases. The numbers reported Thursday translate to 4 cases per 100,000 Americans – similar to estimates from Europe and some small U.S. studies.
(Scientific American) – For the past 20 years pregnant women with an increased risk of developing blood clots have often been prescribed a common blood thinner to prevent serious complications from the clots, including preeclampsia (high blood pressure in the mother), disruption of the placenta, low birth weight and loss of the fetus. The largest randomized clinical trial to examine the therapy finds that the drug—low-molecular-weight heparin—is not effective. The find, reported in The Lancet, is the result of a dozen years of analysis of patients across five countries.
(The Economist) – Some brain ailments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, leave visible scars in the organ’s fabric. These are the province of neurology. Others, such as schizophrenia, which leave no visible scar, belong to psychiatry. Erasing that distinction, by finding the biological underpinnings of psychiatric diseases, might let new treatments be devised. And that is the goal of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), a multinational alliance of researchers who, by pooling their findings, are able to gather the large numbers of patients needed for statisticians to spot, among the billions of DNA straws in each person’s genomic haystack, the needles of causation.