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#Measles #STIs #COVID #SleepApnea #Brain #WomensHealth The Med & Mic™ 1.29.24 – 2.2.24

#Doctor, did you speak to the #media about any of these topics this week? How did it go? 

>> Contagious diseases to keep an eye on

>> Hard to find devices

>> New brain insights

>> XX marks the spot

The Med & Mic™ 1.29.24 – 2.2.24

A medical news blog post

from the author of “Scoop, MD”

This Week In Medical News

  • In infectious diseases news…

Look Out for Measles

The CDC has urged doctors to be on the lookout for the rash and fever of measles. Two dozen cases were reported in December. Seven cases were brought into the U.S., and two outbreaks have occurred involving more than five cases each. Most of these were in unvaccinated children. (USA Today, E. Cuevas, 1.26.24)

An STI Paradox 

Syphilis cases rose by 9% in 2022. Paradoxically, cases of gonorrhea dropped by 9% for the first time in a decade. The total number of syphilis cases is at its highest since the 1950s. While syphilis is less common than gonorrhea or chlamydia, it is more dangerous, and can lead to paralysis, hearing loss, and dementia if left untreated. (AP, M. Stobbe, STAT 1.31.24)

The Latest COVID Booster

The latest COVID booster provides 54% protection against infection. The updated vaccine offers protection against the XBB.1.5 variant and also the JN.1 subvariant, which appeared after the vaccine was developed. JN.1 is the dominant virus circulating in the U.S. (STAT News, H. Branswell, 2.1.24)

  • In medical device news…

No Philips Sleep Apnea Machines in U.S.

In a tentative agreement with the FDA, Philips, a maker of sleep apnea machines, will not be selling these products in the U.S. Many of the machines were under recall because of potentially released gasses and bits of foam. The Dutch company first announced problems in mid-2021. The halt of sales does not resolve the 675 personal injury lawsuits filed against the company. (AP, M. Perrone, 1.30.24)

Wireless Brain Implant

A person has received a Neuralink brain implant designed to enable humans to wirelessly connect their brains to their phones and other devices. The FDA approved the research in people 22 and older with quadriplegia due to a spinal cord injury or people who are not able to control their muscles because of ALS. This controversial Elon Musk venture has raised questions about where humanity should draw the line with its integration with technology. (NPR, B. Chappell, 1.30.24)

  • In neurological news…

Alzheimer’s Related to Contaminated Hormone

In the U.K., five cases of Alzheimer’s disease have been identified in people who received cadaver-derived growth hormone injections as children. They are now 38 to 55. The hormone came from the pituitary gland at the base of the brain of the deceased individuals, however the extracts were contaminated with beta amyloid protein, a component of brain plaques and tangles seen with Alzheimer’s disease. The study’s authors say this shows that Alzheimer’s can occur with contaminated medical products. (NBC News, L. Szabo, 1.29.24)

SIDS Autopsies Show Inflammation

In a study of babies who had sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), molecular analysis of the spinal fluid showed evidence of inflammation. In one case, a specific virus was identified in the fluid and brain tissue. The researchers point out that the virus-related inflammation, not detected with standard autopsy techniques, could explain some cases of SIDS. (MedPage Today, J. Henderson, 1.29.24) 

  • In women’s health news…

An Unintended Benefit of the Morning-After Pill

Emergency room visits related to emergency contraception plummeted after the medication became available over-the-counter in 2006. There were 96% fewer visits from women seeking emergency contraception. Hospital expenses for these visits dropped from $7.6 million in 2006 to $386,000 in 2020. (HealthDay, D. Thompson, 1.30.24)

PCOS and Midlife Brain Function

Polycystic ovary syndrome, which affects 1 in 10 women, may affect brain function at midlife. In a study, 907 female participants were followed for 30 years. They completed tests on memory, verbal abilities, attention, and processing speed. Those with PCOS scored lower on attention, memory, and verbal abilities. PCOS has been linked to metabolic disease, such as diabetes and obesity. The researchers say the findings highlight the potential cognitive vulnerabilities in women with PCOS. (CNN, K. Rogers, 1.31.24)

Autoimmune Disease: the XX Possibility

Autoimmune disorders are more common in women, but why? Animal research holds some clues. A new mouse study suggests antibodies against a piece of RNA that keeps females from activating double X chromosomes may play a role. Males do not have this bit of RNA. Male mice genetically engineered to produce this snippet of RNA showed the same levels of autoimmunity as females. The research team is exploring whether the findings can be used to better identify autoimmune disease and monitor treatment. (STAT News, J. Wosen, 2.1.24)

Click the follow button to keep up on the medical news of the week. 

For more about preparing for media interviews, read Scoop, MD: the Doctor’s Guide to Media Interviews and Opportunities on Amazon Kindle Vella.

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

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