Study: Spanish conquistador brought Alzheimer's gene to Colombian town | Amyloid buildup might cause cognitive problems by restricting blood flow | Kidney cancer drug from Bristol-Myers gains expanded FDA approval
November 24, 2015
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Study: Spanish conquistador brought Alzheimer's gene to Colombian town
A gene mutation that causes an early onset form of Alzheimer's disease in a large number of residents in Yarumal, Colombia, has been traced to a 17th century Spanish conquistador. Researchers sequenced the genomes of 102 people in the region and found 74 who carried the gene mutation E280A. They then used identity-by-descent analysis to find that the mutation came from a common ancestor about 375 years ago. "It's hard to explain why all these people would share such a large chunk of DNA if there hadn't been a common founder," said researcher Ken Kosik, an author of the study published in Alzheimer's and Dementia. New Scientist (11/19)
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Clinical News & ResearchAdvertisement
Amyloid buildup might cause cognitive problems by restricting blood flow
A study in the journal Brain found that disruption to cerebral blood flow caused by the accumulation of amyloid plaques could be the reason for memory loss in people with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that blood flow regulation by astrocytes may be disturbed by misfolded amyloid proteins, as they build up and an exoskeleton forms around the blood vessels. The result is reduced pliability of vasculature, possibly reducing flow and causing some of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's. release (11/23)
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A Buyer's Guide to Web CMS
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Industry Report
Kidney cancer drug from Bristol-Myers gains expanded FDA approval
Bristol-Myers Squibb gained FDA approval for the expanded use of Opdivo, or nivolumab, as a treatment for previously treated renal cell carcinoma patients. The decision was backed by data showing the drug prolonged patient survival, compared with an older drug. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/The Associated Press (11/23)
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2 preferred provider organizations agree to cover Biocept's cancer tests
Three Rivers Provider Network and Fortified Provider Network have agreed to provide reimbursement coverage for Biocept's Target Selector liquid biopsy tests for melanoma, gastric, lung and breast cancer biomarkers. The deal gives members of the two preferred provider organizations access to the assays. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (11/23)
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News from the Field
Doctors remain divided over the traditional white coat
Physicians continue to debate whether the traditional white coat can harbor infectious microbes, even though there is no study data to indicate the attire increases infections. Some physicians have given up wearing a white coat and keep their arms bare to prevent spreading infection, but others question whether any other type of clothing is cleaner and are concerned that debating proper attire may take the focus off of safety measures such as hand-washing. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (11/19)
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Health Policy
CMS proposes new rules for ACA exchanges, health plans
The CMS proposed creating standardized health insurance plan options for the federally run marketplace, allowing states to use the sign-up system and counting some out-of-network charges toward out-of-pocket maximums. The proposal also encourages states to set network-adequacy rules or adopt a federal adequacy rule. Bloomberg (11/20), USA Today (11/21)
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Grants and Funding
Van Andel professor wins grant for cancer research
Van Andel Research Institute assistant professor Hui Shen has received a Liz Tilberis Early Career Award for her research into ovarian cancer. Shen is studying the differences between cell types to determine which cells ovarian cancer originate in. She is one of six recipients of the three-year award, which is worth $150,000 annually. (Michigan) (free registration) (11/21)
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Advancing Health Care
Secure text messaging system boosts patient satisfaction at N.J. health system
The three-hospital Inspira Health Network in New Jersey has successfully improved the quietness in its facilities through the implementation of the Practice Unite platform that allows staff members to page doctors and request consults using secure text messages. Patient satisfaction has increased at the three hospitals since the system was deployed, with one hospital nearing 100%. Health Data Management (11/23)
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NRC seeks information regarding I-131 patient release
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking information from the public regarding sodium iodine-131 patient release practices and standards.
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2016 SNMMI Mid-Winter and ACNM Annual Meeting abstract submission deadline is next week
Don't miss the opportunity to submit your abstract for the 2016 SNMMI Mid-Winter and ACNM Annual Meeting, Jan. 28-31 in Orlando, Fla. Abstracts are being accepted on the following topics: Aspects of Clinical and Basic Science in Nuclear Medicine, Correlative Imaging in Nuclear Medicine and Radiology, Nuclear Pharmacy and Physics, Nuclear Cardiology, Radionuclide Therapy, and Quality and Safety in Nuclear Medicine. Submission deadline is Thursday, Dec. 3. Submit today.
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It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse."
-- Adlai Stevenson II,
political leader and diplomat
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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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