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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Vaccines Vindicated

Posted by medliorator on February 12, 2009

A special vaccine court ruled against parents with autistic children Thursday, saying that vaccines are not to blame for their children’s neurological disorder.

The judges in the cases said the evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the parents’ claims — and backed years of science that found no risk.

“It was abundantly clear that petitioners’ theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive,” the court concluded in one of a trio of cases ruled on Thursday.

The ruling, which was anxiously awaited by health authorities, was a blow to families who have filed more than 5,000 claims for compensation through the government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Court Says Measles Vaccine Not to Blame for Autism [WSJ]

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Cancer Patient Becomes Doc

Posted by medliorator on January 24, 2009

“I wanted to work next to Dr. Mott and I wanted to train with him,” said Banka, a 28-year-old second-year oncology resident at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital. “We have a very special relationship.”

That relationship started in 1993 when a 12-year-old Banka was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right knee.

Mott and his former partner performed the surgery, removing the cancerous bone and replacing Banka’s knee with a prosthetic.

Mott continued to treat his patient throughout high school, college, and even periodically while Banka attended medical school at Michigan State University.

Shortly after Banka joined Henry Ford, Mott transferred to the hospital. They now work together occasionally.

“Going through this, I saw the ability the physicians had with, not only saving my life, but to give my life back,”

Doctor, former patient now colleagues in Detroit [Yahoo News]

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Smoking Cessation Meta-Analysis

Posted by medliorator on January 23, 2009

CMAJ.  2008; 179(2):135-44

We performed a meta-analysis to compare the treatment effects of 7 approved pharmacologic interventions for smoking cessation.

RESULTS: Six of the 7 pharmacotherapies studied were found to be more efficacious than placebo: varenicline (odds ratio [OR] 2.41, 95% credible interval [CrI] 1.91-3.12), nicotine nasal spray (OR 2.37, 95% CrI 1.12-5.13), bupropion (OR 2.07, 95% CrI 1.73-2.55), transdermal nicotine (OR 2.07, 95% CrI 1.69-2.62), nicotine tablet (OR 2.06, 95% CrI 1.12-5.13) and nicotine gum (OR 1.71, 95% CrI 1.35-2.21)… In our analysis of data from the varenicline trials that included bupropion control arms, we found that varenicline was superior to bupropion (OR 2.18, 95% CrI 1.09-4.08).

INTERPRETATION: Varenicline, bupropion and the 5 nicotine replacement therapies were all more efficacious than placebo at promoting smoking abstinence at 6 and 12 months.

Pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [Medscape]

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BMJ Video Channel

Posted by medliorator on January 17, 2009

BMJmedia YouTube Channel

showcasing videos created for the BMJ

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Cosmetic Eyelash Drug Approved

Posted by medliorator on January 16, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has green-lighted Latisse, which lengthens, thickens and darkens eyelashes when dabbed daily on the lash line on the lids with a disposable wand.

The med, called Latisse, should be available by March from a doctor or with a prescription from one. Price tag: $120 for a month’s supply.

The active ingredient in Latisse is bimatoprost, a compound derived from fatty acids that bind to receptors in the eyelashes that may be involved in the development and re-growth of hair follicles. Allergan has used bimatoprost since 2001 in Lumigan, an Rx eye drop that lowers eye pressure in people with glaucoma.

Latisse: New eyelash-lengthening drug approved [Scientific American]

Posted in News, Pharmacology | 2 Comments »

Top 10 Cities for Annual Physician Pay

Posted by medliorator on January 9, 2009

Family and general practitioners

  1. Syracuse, N.Y., $198,350
  2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., $195,810
  3. Wichita, Kans., $194,580
  4. Milwaukee, $193,840
  5. Greensboro, $187,590
  6. Tulsa, $187,030
  7. Jackson, Miss., $186,820
  8. San Jose, $185,250
  9. Columbus, $185,150
  10. Kansas City, $184,840

Lowest: St. Louis, $120,360

Surgeons

  1. Albuquerque, $212,850
  2. Atlanta, $211,050
  3. Springfield, Mass., $209,020
  4. Des Moines, Iowa, $208,570
  5. Buffalo, $206,680
  6. Boston, $206,390
  7. Toledo, Ohio, $206,110
  8. Jackson, Miss., $204,370
  9. Indianapolis, $203,070
  10. Albany, $202,850

Lowest: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, $131,330

Salaries in 24 high-paying occupations [bizjournals]

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Diagnosing ADHD with EEG

Posted by medliorator on December 5, 2008

he use of QEEG [Quantitative EEG] is based on findings that individuals with ADHD have a distinctive pattern of brain electrical activity that is often referred to as “cortical slowing”; this is characterized by an elevation of low frequency theta waves and a reduction of higher frequency beta waves in the prefrontal cortex. Theta wave activity is associated with an unfocused and inattentive state while beta activity is associated with more focused attention. Thus, an elevated theta/beta ratio reflects a less alert and more unfocused state.

In past studies, roughly 90% of individuals diagnosed with ADHD based on a comprehensive evaluation tested positive for this EEG marker. In contrast, about 95% of normal controls tested negative. Thus, while not a perfectly reliable indicator, the sensitivity and specificity of QEEG in identifying ADHD was extremely strong.

Neurofeedback/ Quantitative EEG for ADHD diagnosis [SharpBrains]

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Medical Students Rally for Disclosure

Posted by medliorator on November 23, 2008

some 40 students rallied recently on the steps of Harvard Medical School’s Gordon Hall. Along with some folks from Tufts and Boston University, they were waving signs and pushing for tighter conflict-of-interest policies vis-a-vis Harvard docs and pharmaceutical companies

One idea they’re pushing is to require faculty and students, while talking about drugs in the classroom, to disclose any ties to the makers of those drugs

Harvard Med Students Might Want to Look Up Charles Grassley [WSJ Health Blog]

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The Crestfallen Primary Care Physician

Posted by medliorator on November 19, 2008

A response rate of 4.4% suggests responder bias…

A survey released today by The Physicians’ Foundation depicts widespread frustration and concern among primary care physicians nationwide.

49 percent, or more than 150,000 practicing doctors– say that over the next three years they plan to reduce the number of patients they see or stop practicing entirely.

60% of doctors would not recommend medicine as a career to young people

National Survey Finds Numerous Problems Facing Primary Care Doctors [Physicians’ Foundation]

Survey Executive Summary (pdf)

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Harnessing the Energy of Contraction in Medical Devices

Posted by medliorator on November 13, 2008

The generator, developed at Southampton University Hospital in the UK, consists of two small liquid-filled balloons placed at separate locations within the heart and connected by a silicone tube containing a moveable magnet.

As the heart beats, it squeezes each balloon in turn, pushing liquid through the tube and forcing the magnet to move back and forth past a coil embedded in the tube. This generates electricity that can be used to recharge the battery.

Heart-powered pacemaker taps beats for energy [NewScientist]

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