Designing a new class of drugs to treat chronic pain

A UC Davis research team, led by Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy and Heike Wulff, will receive a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a novel class of peptides that are better at treating pain and don’t have the side effects of opioids. The grant is part of the NIH initiative Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL Initiative).

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Expanding Medicaid means chronic health problems get found & health improves, study finds

Nearly one in three low-income people who enrolled in Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program discovered they had a chronic illness that had never been diagnosed before, according to a new study.
And whether it was a newly found condition or one they’d known about before, half of Medicaid expansion enrollees with chronic conditions said their overall health improved after one year of coverage or more.

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UCI receives $1M from CDC/ATSDR to initiate study of the relationship between PFAS contaminated drinking water and health

The University of California, Irvine was awarded $1 million by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to participate in the first year of a major multi-site health study to investigate the relationship between drinking water contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and health outcomes.

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Study finds simple cardiac risk score can predict early problems with blood flow in the brain

The study shows that for those participants who do not have a history of heart disease or stroke that a simple cardiac risk score – a summary measure of factors such as blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, abdominal fat, and dietary factors – is associated with MRI-detected pre-clinical cerebrovascular disease like carotid artery plaque and silent strokes.

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FSU Researchers: Multifactor models reveal worse picture of climate change impact on marine life

Rising ocean temperatures have long been linked to negative impacts for marine life, but a Florida State University team has found that the long-term outlook for many marine species is much more complex — and possibly bleaker — than scientists previously believed.FSU doctoral student Jennifer McHenry, Assistant Professor of Geography Sarah Lester and collaborators with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) investigated how marine species’ habitats are likely to be affected by multiple factors associated with climate change such as ocean temperature, salinity and sea surface levels.

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Skin-Cells-Turned-to-Heart-Cells Help Unravel Genetic Underpinnings of Cardiac Function

A small genetic study, published September 30, 2019 in Nature Genetics, identified a protein linked to many genetic variants that affect heart function. Researchers are expanding the model to other organ systems and at larger scales to create a broader understanding of genes and proteins involved.

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Brave new world: Simple changes in intensity of weather events “could be lethal”

Hurricane Dorian is the latest example of a frightening trend. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, more severe and more widespread as a consequence of climate change. New research from Washington University in St. Louis provides important new insights into how different species may fare under this new normal. Faced with unprecedented change, animals and plants are scrambling to catch up — with mixed results.

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Using High Energy Density Material in Electrode Design Enhances Lithium Sulfur Batteries

To develop higher capacity batteries, researchers have looked to lithium sulfur batteries because of sulfur’s high theoretical capacity and energy density. But there are still several problems to solve before they can be put into practical applications. The biggest is the shuttling effect that occurs during cycling. To solve this problem and improve lithium sulfur battery performance, the researchers created a sandwich-structured electrode using a novel material that traps polysulfides and increases the reaction kinetics.

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AI System Accurately Detects Key Findings in Chest X-Rays of Pneumonia Patients Within 10 Seconds: Study Finds Promise of Faster Treatment

From 20 minutes or more to 10 seconds. Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare and Stanford University say 10 seconds is about how quickly a new system they studied that utilizes artificial intelligence took to accurately identify key findings in chest X-rays of patients in the emergency department suspected of having pneumonia.

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$350,000 Gift Made to Support Pediatric Palliative Care at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital

The Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce a gift of $350,000 from the Morris and Clara Weshnak Family Foundation, administered by Barry and Carol Anne Cawley Weshnak, in support of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Hackensack Meridian Health K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. The program helps children living with chronic illnesses and life-threatening medical conditions by working to improve the quality of life of these children and focusing on treatment of symptoms, pain and stress management, as well as offering comprehensive patient and family support.

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Johns Hopkins Researchers Advance Search For Safer, Easier Way to Deliver Vision-Saving Gene Therapy to The Retina

In experiments with rats, pigs and monkeys, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have developed a way to deliver sight-saving gene therapy to the retina. If proved safe and effective in humans, the technique could provide a new, more permanent therapeutic option for patients with common diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and it could potentially replace defective genes in patients with inherited retinal disease.

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New TAVR System Safe and Effective for High-Risk Surgical Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis

The Portico IDE study found that 30-day safety and one-year effectiveness outcomes of a novel self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) system for patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) at high or extreme-risk for surgery was noninferior to contemporary FDA-approved TAVR systems available in the United States.

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Three-Year COAPT Data Demonstrates Continued Safety and Effectiveness in Patients with Heart Failure and Secondary Mitral Regurgitation

The three-year results from the COAPT trial demonstrated that reducing severe secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR) with the MitraClip device safely improves prognosis in selected heart failure (HF) patients. In addition, those patients that crossed over and received the MitraClip after 24 months showed the same benefits as those who received the device at the beginning of the study. Two-year data were presented at TCT 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Five-Year Data Shows Similar Outcomes for TAVR and SAVR in Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis and Intermediate Surgical Risk

Five-year results from the PARTNER 2A trial found that patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) and intermediate surgical risk who underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) had similar rates of death and disabling stroke compared to those who had surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). However, TAVR using a transthoracic approach had poorer outcomes compared to SAVR.

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New Data Show that Patients with Left Main Disease Treated with PCI or CABG Have Similar Composite Outcomes at Five Years

Patients with left main coronary artery disease (LMCAD) typically have a poor prognosis due to the large amount of myocardium at risk. Revascularization with either percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) has been shown to prolong survival in patients with left main disease compared with medical therapy alone. Three-year data from the large-scale randomized ECXEL trial found no significant difference in the composite rate of death, stroke or myocardial infarction (MI) between the two treatments, with a reduction in 30-day major adverse events with PCI. These results were first reported at TCT 2016 and published in NEJM.

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Statins could increase or decrease osteoporosis risk — the dosage makes the difference

A study by the the Medical University of Vienna and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna shows for the first time a connection between the dosage of cholesterol-lowering drugs and the diagnosis of osteoporosis

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