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Category Archives: Medicine

HIV Or Anti-HIV Drugs Unexpectedly Protect Against Multiple Sclerosis

Neomatica: “A team of an Australian doctor and British researchers analyzed the medical records of over 5 million individuals and discovered that either HIV or anti-HIV drugs have a protective effect against multiple sclerosis (MS).  AIDS patients or people with HIV receiving treatment have a 60% less likely chance of receiving a diagnosis of MS.  Deeper analysis found that those on a treatment regimen the longest, for 5 years or more, had an 80% reduced chance of developing MS.  The discovery is remarkable for the fact that no curative or preventative treatments for MS exist and this unexpected insight may be one of the most interesting avenues. The researchers write

“If subsequent studies demonstrate there is a causal protective effect of HIV (and/or its treatment), and if the magnitude of it proves to be similar…this would be the largest protective effect of any factor yet observed in relation to the development of MS,”

The primary author of the study, Dr. Julian Gold of Prince of Wales Hospital in Australia, first observed casually that even though he treats patients with HIV and knows people with MS, he had never met a person with both.  He searched through medical literature, and found 700,000 studies on HIV/AIDS and 300,000 studies on MS.  Out of the approximately 1,000,000 studies, there was no reference to a patient who had both.  Eventually, he did find one person whose symptoms of MS began to diminish when he began treatment for HIV… The research was published on Aug 4, 2014 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryJ Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry doi:10.1136/jnnp-2014-307932  [Open Access - full text available to all]

 

Research Finally Revealed – Chemical Ingredient in Colgate Total Linked to Cancer

Bloomberg – “The chemical triclosan has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals. Regulators are reviewing whether it’s safe to put in soap, cutting boards and toys. Consumer companies are phasing it out. Minnesota voted in May to ban it in many products. At the same time, millions of Americans are putting it in their mouths everyContinue Reading

Drugs in space and sleepless in the shuttle – Study

MindHacks: “A fascinating study published in today’sLancet Neurology reports on sleep deprivation in astronauts but also describes the drugs shuttle crew members use to keep themselves awake and help them fall asleep. The study looked at sleep data from 64 astronauts on 80 space shuttle missions along with 21 astronauts on 13 International Space Station missions, and compared itContinue Reading

Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program

“The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (generally referred to as the Medicare Modernization Act, or MMA) substantially expanded the federal Medicare program by creating the prescription drug benefit known as Part D. In fiscal year 2013, Medicare Part D covered 39 million people. The federal government spent $59 billion net ofContinue Reading

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations – CRS

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Cynthia Brougher, Legislative Attorney. July 23, 2014 “One of the ongoing controversies related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the scope of exemption from certain health care coverage requirements, including the contraceptive coverage requirement. Though closely divided, the U.S. Supreme Court’sContinue Reading

Cancer Vaccine Exists, Goes Unused

The Atlantic: “Every 20 minutes a person in the U.S. is diagnosed with with a human-papilloma virus-associated cancer. Most of those cancers could be prevented with an HPV vaccine. But fewer than half of American children are given the vaccination, CDC officials announced yesterday.  If as many people got vaccinated against HPV as do against whoopingContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Coastal Zone Management, High Containment Labs, Medicaid, Special Education, U.S. Launch Enterprise

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT: Opportunities Exist for NOAA to Enhance Its Use of Performance Information, GAO-14-592: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. HIGH-CONTAINMENT LABORATORIES: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses, GAO-14-785T: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. MEDICAID: Assessment of Variation among States in Per-Enrollee Spending, GAO-14-456: Published: Jun 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. SPECIAL EDUCATION: Additional FederalContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Workforce, Helium Program, Medicaid Payment, Military Training, VA Disability Claims Processing

FEDERAL WORKFORCE: Human Capital Management Challenges and the Path to Reform, GAO-14-723T: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2014. HELIUM PROGRAM: BLM’s Implementation of the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, GAO-14-751T: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2014. MEDICAID PAYMENT: Comparisons of Selected Services under Fee-for-Service, Managed Care, and Private Insurance, GAO-14-533: Published: Jul 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 15,Continue Reading

NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report highlights effect of aging boomers

“While rates of smoking and excessive drinking have declined among older Americans, prevalence of chronic disease has risen, and many older Americans are unprepared to afford the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau commissioned by the National Institutes of Health. The report highlights those trendsContinue Reading

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

SCOTUSBlog – Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  “Linked with: Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell Autocam Corp. v. Burwell Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term 13-354 10th Cir. Mar 25, 2014 Tr. Jun 30, 2014 5-4 Alito OT 2013 Holding: As applied to closely held corporations, the regulations promulgated by theContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Climate Change Adaption, Nuclear Security, Prescription Drugs, Border Security

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: DOD Can Improve Infrastructure Planning and Processes to Better Account for Potential Impacts, GAO-14-446: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. NUCLEAR SECURITY: NNSA Should Establish a Clear Vision and Path Forward for Its Security Program, GAO-14-208: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Comparison of DOD, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D RetailContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Export-Import Bank, Medicare Fraud, Traffic Safety

AVIATION SAFETY: Additional Oversight Planning by FAA Could Enhance Safety Risk Management, GAO-14-516: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2014. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: Status of GAO Recommendations on Risk Management, Exposure Forecasting, and Workload Issues, GAO-14-708T: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2014. INFORMATION SECURITY: Additional Oversight Needed to Improve Programs at Small Agencies, GAO-14-344: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading