Dec. 9 - 13, 2013

International Coverage

Medics should plan ahead for incidental findings
http://www.nature.com/news/medics-should-plan-ahead-for-incidental-findings-1.14362
Nature
Doctors, researchers and companies should expect to find information they were not looking for in genetic analyses, imaging scans and other tests, concludes a report from the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues...“They get to the heart of what needs to be done, and there is a need to codify this,” says James Evans, a geneticist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, of the panel's recommendations.

National Coverage

Big Data Solves Healthcare Obstacles
http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/brand-connect/wp/2013/12/11/big-data-solves-healthcare-obstacles/
Washington Post
Big Data technology helps turn this raw information into healthcare insights, so doctors and patients can make better decisions.
At UNC Health Care, these technologies are helping doctors speed up test results for patients, reduce re-admission rates, and engage directly with patients as part of their care plan. By combining medical data with analytics and natural language processing software — which makes sense of “unstructured” data the way humans do — UNC Health Care can sift through and analyze data scattered across medical charts, doctors’ notes, research studies and more.

Can the ‘Trust Hormone’ Make It As A Treatment For Schizophrenia And Autism?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/12/12/biotech-wunderkind-plans-to-launch-love-chemical-oxytocin-as-treatment-for-schizophrenia-autism/
Forbes
Martin Shkreli, the 30-year-old hedge fund manager turned biotech CEO, is curled up in a chair in his 22nd floor Manhattan offices, looking like a teenager with his shaggy hair, red polo, and bright blue sweater cardigan…“Especially in autism, I think there will be an awful lot of off-label use,” says Cort Pedersen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who conducted one of three trials that showed a benefit from oxytocin use in schizophrenia.

Screening Decisions Must Balance Potential Benefits with Potential Patient Harms
http://www.newswise.com/articles/screening-decisions-must-balance-potential-benefits-with-potential-patient-harms
Newswise
Screening to detect medical conditions has become standard practice for many diseases, but insufficient attention has been paid to the potential for harm, according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina.
“I think guideline groups, just as they are systematic about thinking about benefits, need to be systematic about thinking about harms. We should not implement a screening program until we know enough to have a clear understanding of both benefits and harms,” said lead author Russell Harris, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health, and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Harris worked with a number of co-investigators at the UNC Research Center for Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services in the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.

Fat Jokes in Children’s Movies Are A Lot More Common Than You Think
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/fat-jokes-childrens-movie_n_4427670.html
Huffington Post
"At least you don't look like some kind of bloated roadside piñata! You really should think about going on a diet!" cries Puss in Boots in "Shrek The Third."…Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found at least one instance of stigma about fat people in an overwhelming majority -- 70 percent -- of the children's films they analyzed. Twenty percent of films also contained stigma about underweight people.
Related Link: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131209/Childrens-movies-offer-discordant-presentation-about-food-exercise-and-weight-status.aspxhttp://www.hngn.com/articles/19169/20131209/movies-like-kung-fu-panda-and-toy-story-3-send-mixed-messages-to-kids-about-eating-habits-and-obesity.htm
http://news.health.com/2013/12/12/kids-movies-deliver-mixed-messages-on-eating-obesity/
UNC News Release:http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2013/december/kids-movies

Personal gene tests face sharper scrutiny after 23andMe
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-gene-tests11-20131211,0,2717954.story
Chicago Tribune
23andMe Inc.'s clash with U.S. regulators over the direct sale of its gene analysis service to consumers signals stiffer oversight of thousands of tests in an industry predicted to increase fivefold in size…Genetic tests are in increasing demand to diagnose or determine disease risk and help make treatment decisions, especially in cancer. Increased regulation is needed to make sure tests like 23andMe's fulfill their claims, said James Evans, a geneticist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Can The “Trust Hormone” Make It As A Treatment For Schizophrenia And Autism?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/12/12/biotech-wunderkind-plans-to-launch-love-chemical-oxytocin-as-treatment-for-schizophrenia-autism/
Forbes
Martin Shkreli, the 30-year-old hedge fund manager turned biotech CEO, is curled up in a chair in his 22nd floor Manhattan offices, looking like a teenager with his shaggy hair, red polo, and bright blue sweater cardigan…“Especially in autism, I think there will be an awful lot of off-label use,” says Cort Pedersen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who conducted one of three trials that showed a benefit from oxytocin use in schizophrenia.

Wachira: U.S. aid key to fighting spread of infectious diseases
http://www.chron.com/default/article/Wachira-U-S-aid-key-to-fighting-spread-of-5059501.php
The Houston Chronicle
Why should we be concerned with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa when we can't even get our health care system working? That is a valid question…Another encouraging note for the organization's work is recent research undertaken by the University of North Carolina demonstrating that treating HIV-positive patients with antiretroviral therapy early in their disease - rather than later - greatly reduced the infectious nature of the disease.
(The author, Beth Wachira, born in Kenya, lives in Houston and works as a systems consultant. She is a volunteer for RESULTS, a grassroots organization working to end poverty.)

Regional Coverage

Few neonate label changes result from pediatric studies
http://www.familypracticenews.com/news/practice-trends/single-article/few-neonate-label-changes-result-from-pediatric-studies/afc8a97c52e4a35cd095b2136564792d.html
Family Practice News
Federal policy that encourages the study of drugs in pediatric patients has led to few pharmaceutical label changes that include new information on drug effects in neonates, in a study published Dec. 9 in JAMA Pediatrics…Dr. Matthew M. Laughon of the department of pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his colleagues looked at drug studies between 1997 and 2010 that included neonates as a result of legislation encouraging this type of research.
Related link:http://www.livescience.com/41810-newborns-drugs-studies.html
UNC Release:http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2013/december/physicians-often-fly-blind-on-medication-dosing-in-premature-infants

Researchers use new map of human brain to study dementia
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-12-human-brain-dementia.html
MedicalXpress
Researchers at the University of Georgia are developing new maps of the human brain that promise to help in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia...Liu and his colleagues will work in partnership with the Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to obtain brain scans of patients diagnosed with MCI.

State & Local Coverage

UNC starts support group for fathers widowed cancer
http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2013/12/10/3447451/unc-starts-support-group-for-fathers.html
Chapel Hill News
Their tragedies came back to haunt them at the oddest moments… But they and five other men found help in what’s believed to be one of the nation’s first support group for dads who have lost partners to the disease...Convened in Chapel Hill by UNC Hospitals’ Comprehensive Cancer Support Program, the group started in 2010 after staff noticed a confluence of young mothers’ deaths at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.
Related Link: http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2013/12/10/3447452/father-writes-book-blog-about.html

President Obama’s shoutout shocks NC doctor
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/12/09/4532696/president-obama-quotes-nc-family.html#.UthAbBCwLAN
In late October, Dr. Sam Weir awoke one day at his usual early hour, made a cup of tea and sat down at the computer in his Hillsborough home…“I went to the website to check it out for myself,” said Weir, a family physician and faculty member at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine….So on Tuesday last week, between seeing patients, Weir watched the president’s speech. Sure enough, Obama quoted from Weir’s email.

Local Entities Confront Obamacare Mandates
http://www.johnlocke.org/acrobat/cjPrintEdition/cj-dec2013-web.pdf?__utma=1.1160383079.1386696094.1386696094.1386696094.1&__utmb=1.2.10.1386696094&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1386696094.1.1.utmcsr=google%7Cutmccn=%28organic%29%7Cutmcmd=organic%7Cutmctr=%28not%20
Carolina Journal
With a few notable exceptions, government agencies in North Carolina do not take a major hit from Obamacare mandates in the coming year. But that could change in 2015, when large employer requirements kick in for organizations such as the UNC system, where as many as 10,000 temporary employees could be affected.

UNC AIDS researcher gets emotional at ‘Moral Monday’ trial
http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/12/11/3453305/unc-aids-researcher-gets-emotional.html
News & Observer
Dr. Charles van der Horst has been around the world as an internationally known AIDS researcher and says he’s seen poverty and limited medical care in Third World countries that can move an observer to tears. On Wednesday, the physician from UNC Hospitals got choked up on a witness stand in Wake County District Court while describing his motives for joining one of the demonstrations this summer outside the General Assembly chambers.  

UNC, Duke compete in health care, too
http://www.hendersonvillelightning.com/business/2305-unc-duke-compete-in-health-care-too.html
Hendersonville Lightning
A Duke-Carolina rivalry is playing out on a higher stakes platform in the North Carolina mountains.
UNC, which has a management partnership with Pardee Hospital and a primary care teaching relationship with Mission Hospital and Pardee, can look east and west from North Justice Street to see Duke advancing.

Tempur Sealy looks at latest sleep science developments
http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/570162-Tempur_Sealy_looks_at_latest_sleep_science_developments.php
Furniture Today
Tempur Sealy International is working with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science program, which it says shares Tempur Sealy's dedication to advancing the science of sleep.

UNC School of Medicine: Poverty influences children’s early brain development
http://www.mountainx.com/article/54856/UNC-School-of-Medicine-Poverty-influences-childrens-early-brain-development
Mountain Xpress (Asheville)
Poverty may have direct implications for important, early steps in the development of the brain, saddling children of low-income families with slower rates of growth in two key brain structures…That’s the conclusion of a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, published online Dec. 11, 2013 by the journal, PLOS ONE.
UNC News Release: http://uncnews.unc.edu/2013/12/12/poverty-influences-childrens-early-brain-development/

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