Vitamin D may not protect against neurodegenerative diseases | Repeated cognitive testing may delay MCI diagnosis | CRISPR-edited cancer cells target tumors then self-destruct
July 13, 2018
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Vitamin D may not protect against neurodegenerative diseases
Researchers found no clear evidence that vitamin D has a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or other neurodegenerative diseases, but they say exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, independent of vitamin D production, may have a neuroprotective benefit. The findings of the review, which included 73 studies, were reported in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
Medical News Today (7/12) 
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Clinical News & Research
Repeated cognitive testing may delay MCI diagnosis
Researchers at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine found that the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment diagnoses among middle- to late-middle-aged men who had previously received cognitive testing rose twofold after accounting for practice effects, which were significant in most cognitive domains. The findings in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring suggest that longitudinal studies involving older adults should be corrected for practice effects, researchers said.
Medical Xpress/News release (7/12) 
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CRISPR-edited cancer cells target tumors then self-destruct
Cancer cells can be altered with gene editing to target tumor cells and then self-destruct, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine. "The new twist here is the use of CRISPR-based technology to add resistance or sensitivity features to the parental cells," says cancer biologist Renata Pasqualini.
Science News (7/11) 
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Chemotherapy capsules directly target tumors
An experimental cancer treatment involves implanting heat-sensitive lipid capsules filled with chemotherapy drugs directly in tumors and remotely triggering activation with a focused ultrasound wave. Researchers reported in The Lancet that the method was well tolerated in patients with liver cancer, and biopsies showed higher concentrations of chemotherapy drugs in the patients' tumors.
New Atlas (7/11) 
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Industry Report
AbbVie seeks FDA nod for expanded use of Venclexta
A supplemental new drug application was filed with the FDA by AbbVie for Venclexta, or venetoclax tablets, in combination with low-dose cytarabine or a hypomethylating agent as a treatment for patients newly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, who cannot receive intensive chemotherapy. The drug was previously approved for patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Seeking Alpha (7/12) 
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Trial success moves Zogenix seizure drug closer to marketing
Zogenix's drug to treat Dravet syndrome, a rare childhood form of epilepsy, successfully reduced convulsive seizures by 62.7% in a second late-stage trial, meeting the trial's main goal. The pharmaceutical company says it will now focus on submitting applications for marketing approval in the US and Europe.
Reuters (7/12) 
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News from the Field
New SNMMI-TS president details priorities for coming year
Newly elected SNMMI Technologist Section President Norman Bolus said he intends to prioritize supporting advocacy efforts, boosting membership and examining opportunities to unite progress on SNMMI's quality initiative and value initiative goals. Collaboration with SNNMI-TS committee chairs to achieve SNMMI-TS strategic plan objectives will also continue, Bolus said.
University of Alabama at Birmingham (7/12) 
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Health Policy
Experts: New Supreme Court may not see broad ACA challenges
Some Democrats fear Judge Brett Kavanaugh could be a deciding factor in overturning the Affordable Care Act if approved as a Supreme Court justice, but legal experts say the court is more likely to see cases involving Trump administration efforts to whittle away at the law instead of a broad challenge. Cases that could reach the court could cover quality of insurance benefits, access to Medicaid and providing contraceptives to low-income women.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/12) 
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Advancing Health Care
Survey: Insider threats to health data security prompt greater worry
A study conducted by HIMSS on behalf of SailPoint of health care professionals showed that 43% of cybersecurity solutions providers consider insider threats a greater concern than external ones when it comes to health data security in their organizations. Among the survey's 101 respondents, the mean score for the level of concern over insider threats was 8.2, indicating an acute level of concern, and 3 out of 4 respondents said training and awareness are important to preventing insider security breaches.
Health IT Security (7/11) 
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The news summaries appearing in SNMMI SmartBrief are based on original information from multiple internet sources and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The items above are not selected or reviewed by SNMMI prior to publication. Questions and comments may be directed to SmartBrief at
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