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Month: May 2018

Study Reveals Gaps in Follow-Up Care After Concussion

Media Advisory
Friday, May 25, 2018 What
Being discharged from a hospital trauma center after receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) does not necessarily mean that a patient has fully recovered. TBI can lead to long-lasting physical & cognitive symptoms, but a new study in JAMA Network Open suggests that many patients may not be receiving follow-up care.
Patients in the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) initiative, a large, long-term, NIH-funded study of patients who are treated at the emergency room for mild TBI or concussion, were surveyed about their care after hospital discharge. Follow-up care in this study referred to receiving TBI-related educational materials at discharge, a call from the hospital within two weeks after release, seeing a healthcare provider within two weeks, or seeing a healthcare provider within three months.
According to the findings, 44 percent of the 831 patients who completed questionnaires 2 weeks & 3 months after sustaining TBI reported seeing a doctor or other provider within three months. Of those patients, 15 percent visited a clinic that specialized in head injury. Approximately half of the patients saw a general practitioner and close to a third reported seeing more than one type of doctor.
Additionally, among the 279 patients with three or more moderate-to-severe post-concussive symptoms, 41 percent had not had a follow-up visit at three months after discharge. Approximately half of the patients were discharged without TBI educational materials.
Rates & components of follow-up care after TBI varied widely from institution to institution, even…

Self-Tuning Brain Implant Could Help Treat Patients with Parkinson's Disease

News Release
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 NIH BRAIN Initiative-funded research a key first step to improving deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms for 25 years, but limitations have led researchers to look for ways to improve the technique. This study describes the first fully implanted DBS system that uses feedback from the brain itself to fine-tune its signaling. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Technologies (BRAIN) Initiative & the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke (NINDS).
“The novel approach taken in this small-scale feasibility study may be an important first step in developing a more refined or personalized way for doctors to reduce the problems patients with Parkinson’s disease face every day,” said Nick B. Langhals, Ph.D., program director at NINDS & team lead for the BRAIN Initiative.    
Deep brain stimulation is a method of managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms by surgically implanting an electrode, a thin phone, into the brain. Traditional deep brain stimulation delivers constant stimulation to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia to help treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s. However, this approach can lead to unwanted side effects, requiring reprogramming by a trained clinician. The new method described in this study is adaptive, so that the stimulation delivered is responsive in real time to signals received from the patient’s brain.
“This is the first time a fully implanted device has been used for closed-loop, adaptive deep brain stimulation in human Parkinson’s disease…

Insufficient Vitamin D Linked to Miscarriage Among Women with Prior Pregnancy Loss

News Release
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 NIH study suggests the importance of preconception vitamin D in maintaining pregnancy. Among women planning to conceive after a pregnancy loss, those who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to become pregnant & have a live birth, compared to women with insufficient levels of the vitamin, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. This study appears in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
“Our findings suggest that vitamin D may play a protective role in pregnancy,” said the study’s principal investigator Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., in the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD).
The authors note that a few studies have shown that women who have higher levels of vitamin D before undergoing in vitro fertilization have higher pregnancy rates than those with lower levels. However, little research has been done on pregnancy rates & pregnancy loss in women attempting to conceive without assisted reproductive technologies.
The researchers analyzed data collected as part of the Effects of Aspirin in Gestation & Reproduction (EAGeR) trial, which sought to determine if daily low-dose aspirin (81 milligrams) could prevent miscarriage in women with a history of pregnancy loss. Blood levels of vitamin D were tested for roughly 1,200 women before pregnancy & again at the eighth week of pregnancy. Researchers defined a vitamin D level of below 30 nanograms per milliliter as insufficient.
Women who had sufficient preconception vitamin D concentrations were 10 percent more…

African Americans & Latinos are More Likely to be at Risk for Depression Than Whites

News Release
Thursday, May 24, 2018 A new study published in the May 2018 issue of Preventive Medicine shows that African Americans and Latinos are significantly more likely to experience serious depression than Whites, but chronic stress does not seem to explain these differences. Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NIMHD) was the Senior author of the study, which also found that African Americans and Latinos were more likely to have higher levels of chronic stress & more unhealthy behaviors. NIMHD is part of the National Institutes of Health.
To examine the relationship between unhealthy behaviors, chronic stress, & risk of depression by race & ethnicity, researchers used data collected on 12,272 participants, aged 40 to 70 years, from 2005 to 2012. These data were part of the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative health interview & examination survey of U.S. adults. This age range population was selected for this study to capture the effects of chronic stress over the lifetime of the participants.
“Understanding the social & behavioral complexities associated with depression & unhealthy behaviors by race/ethnicity can help us understand how to best improve overall health,” said Pérez-Stable.
The unhealthy behaviors examined were current cigarette smoking, excessive or binge drinking, insufficient exercise, & fair or poor diet. The researchers measured chronic stress using 10 objective biological measures, including blood pressure, body mass index, & total cholesterol. The researchers assessed risk for depression using results from the Patient Health Questionnaire…

Venous Thromboembolism

This study will assess a medicine called isoquercetin to see if it can prevent a venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients getting treatment for pancreatic, colorectal, & non-small cell lung cancer. To participate in this study, you must be at least 18 years old & must not have been diagnosed with VTE in the last two years. The study has nine locations in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.
This study is testing a six-week course of blood-thinning medicines for the treatment of venous thromboembolisms (VTE) to see if they are as effective as the standard treatment course of three months. To participate in this study, you or your child must be younger than 21 years old. This study has 54 locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Australia, Austria, Canada, Israel, & the Netherlands.
This study is comparing two treatments for blockages in veins of the thigh or back: a medicine delivered directly to the blood clot via a tube and standard blood-thinning medicine. The researchers will compare how well both treatments work to resolve the deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the short term & whether long-term outcomes differ at two years after the initial treatments. To participate in this study, you must be 6 to 21 years old. This study is located in Denver, Colorado.
This study will investigate physical activity habits…

National Library of Medicine Celebrates 10 years of AHCJ-NLM Journalism Fellows

The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)-National Library of Medicine (NLM) Journalism Fellows program—now in its tenth year—brings journalists to NLM for four days of training to enhance their use of some of the Library’s health information resources, such as PubMed, Genetics Home Reference, ClinicalTrials.gov, & MedlinePlus.
The program began in 2009 to assist the professional development of health & medical journalists by improving their ability to integrate NLM’s information resources within routine reporting, said Rob Logan PhD, who has coordinated the AHCJ-NLM Fellowship program for NLM. AHCJ annually selects the Fellows while the selection of topics and faculty for the overall program is a collaboration.
The 2018 AHCJ-NLM Fellows also received briefings about health care issues, such as health disparities & aging. For the fifth year, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute updated the AHCJ-NLM Fellows about pioneering health care issues, such as patient engagement & clinical effectiveness research. The program occurred between May 15-18, 2018.
In addition to NLM, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, & the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities provided faculty for this year’s program. Other NIH agencies, such as the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, & the NIH Office of the Director, participated in previous years.

The 2018 AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellows stand with NLM’s Rob Logan. From left to right, Jeff Ostrowski, Monica Braine, Teresa Boyle, Rob Logan, Joe Carlson, and Aimee Cunningham. (Not pictured: Lev Facher)

The 2018 AHCJ-NLM…

May 29, 2018: Accokeek Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Misbranding


  Food & Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations  

Greenbelt, Maryland — Jonathan Gonzales, age 50, of Accokeek, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead. The charges stem from a scheme to sell mislabeled drugs via the Internet.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur & Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack of the Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations – Metro Washington Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, beginning in 2009, Gonzales began selling products marketed as dietary supplements through eBay & his personal website, helptomakelifebetter.com.  Gonzales received these products from sources in China.
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to investigate Gonzales for multiple products and found that some of the products contained active pharmaceutical ingredients, in particular sibutramine and/or phenolphthalein. Sibutramine is a Schedule IV controlled substance & the active ingredient in Meridia, a prescription drug produced by Abbott & approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat obesity.  Abbott voluntarily stopped marketing Meridia at the request of the FDA after clinical data indicated an increased risk of cardiovascular adverse events, including heart attacks & strokes.  Phenolphthalein was an ingredient in some over-the-counter laxatives until 1999, when the FDA reclassified the drug as not generally recognized as safe & effective.
Upon discovery of the two drugs, the FDA sent Gonzales an e-mail with the results of their analyses of Gonzales’s products & noting…

Eosinophilic Esophagitis: MedlinePlus Health Topic

What is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disease of the esophagus. Your esophagus is the muscular tube that carries food & liquids from your mouth to the stomach. If you have EoE, white blood cells called eosinophils build up in your esophagus. This causes damage & inflammation, which can cause pain & may lead to trouble swallowing & food getting stuck in your throat.
EoE is rare. But because it is a newly recognized disease, more people are now getting diagnosed with it. Some people who think that they have reflux (GERD) may actually have EoE.
What causes eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?
Researchers are not certain about the exact cause of EoE. They think that it is an immune system/allergic reaction to foods or to substances in your environment, such as dust mites, animal dander, pollen, & molds. Certain genes may also play a role in EoE.
Who gets eosinophilic esophagitis(EoE)?
EoE can affect anyone, but it is more common in people who
What are the symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)?
The most common symptoms of EoE can depend on your age.
In infants & toddlers:
Feeding problems
Poor weight gain & growth
Reflux that does not get better with medicines
In older children:
In adults:
Trouble swallowing, especially with solid foods
Food getting stuck in the esophagus
Reflux that does not get better with medicines
Chest pain
How is eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) diagnosed?
To diagnose EoE, your doctor will
Ask about your symptoms and medical history. Since other conditions can have the same symptoms of EoE, it is important for your doctor to take a thorough history.

New Issue of NIH MedlinePlus Magazine with Leeza Gibbons

The latest quarterly issue of NIH MedlinePlus magazine is now available online & in print.
TV host Leeza Gibbons talks about her experience as a caregiver for both her mother & her father. Gibbons shares how she overcame what she calls the common by-products of caregiving—“blame, shame, guilt, & resentment.”
In addition to covering caregiving, the issue also features—
Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo—The Grammy Award-winning musician tells about his recent battle fighting testicular cancer. Also covered: more personalized ways to diagnose cancer.
Traumatic Stress—New roads to recovery. NIH research looks for more individual treatment options.
Developing a Universal Flu Vaccine—It’s more important than ever.
10 Promising NIH Research Advances—A path to hope.
Are Pets Good for Your Health?—Learn what guinea pigs, fish, dogs, and horses have in common.
Through feature articles, personal stories, infographics, & more, NIH MedlinePlus helps explain how NIH turns “discovery into health.” This quarterly publication of NIH and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine gives readers news they can use.
Subscribe to NIH MedlinePlus. It’s free!

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Global Commodities Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites In Apricot with Pitt Watan Brand

Global Commodities, Inc. of Hicksville, NY is recalling 1lb and 0.5lb packages of WATAN DRY FRUITS Brand Natural Dried Apricot with Pitt, because it contains undeclared sulfites. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
The WATAN DRY FRUITS Brand Natural Dried Apricot with Pitt was distributed from January 2015 to December 2017. The product was distributed at retail stores in New York State.
WATAN DRY FRUITS Brand Natural Dried Apricot with Pitt is packed in clear plastic bags coded with Best Before Date: December 2018. The product is sold in two sizes; NET WT 1 LB, with UPC 088247504666 & .50 LB. The dried apricot is a product of Pakistan.
No illnesses have been reported to date.
The undeclared sulfites were found as a result of routine product testing conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Subsequently, inquiry indicated the problem was caused by a temporary breakdown in the company’s production & packaging processes. Production of the product has been suspended until the company is certain that the problem has been corrected.
Consumers who have purchased the recalled lot of WATAN DRY FRUITS Brand Natural Dried Apricot with Pitt are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company, Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, EST at (516) 396-0710 or 1-646-235-4154.
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