Medical Science & Technology

Healthcare systems are establishing different methods to treat patients with medical science and technology. With all of the new breakthroughs and ideas, it may be hard to keep up to date on the most recent news.  Ketchum’s healthcare marketing leaders will help you to keep up such as discussing new trends, interesting facts, effects of research, Health IT, and healthcare communication. The posts can be opinions from the author regarding various subjects or even current news. With a wide variety of topics to be talked about, the discussion can be endless among both you and the authors.

Recent Blog Posts

Harriet Farmer's picture

First Gene Therapy Wins Backing in Europe – the Start of Things to Come

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At €1 million a pop, expectations are high.  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:134:]]
But European regulators have given the initial thumbs up to Glybera (alipogene tiparvovec), the western world’s first gene therapy, paving the way for approval by the European Commission.

The treatment is for a rare type of pancreatic disorder in which patients have damaged copies of a gene which is essential for breaking down the fat content in foods.  Affecting one person in a million, the disease causes a build up of lipids in the blood stream, leading to abdominal pain and potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas.

The decision marks an important advance for gene therapy, a field which has been hotly debated for many years due to shortcomings of previous investigational therapies.  Approval for Glybera, which was previously rejected on three occasions, will make it the first gene therapy to be available outside a clinical trial in Europe or the US.  China approved a gene therapy for head and neck cancer in 2004. Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Music: Are We All In It for the Dopamine Rush?

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Attending performances last season of Verdi’s
Simon Boccan[[wysiwyg_imageupload:90:]]egra and La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, I was thinking about research published online in Nature Neuroscience  that reported an “anatomically distinct dopamine release during [both] anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music.” 

Scientists at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute, their intriguingly-named Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology  and at the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research  used positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe that when subjects listened to music they selected for themselves as “triggering an emotional response,” different parts of the brain were activated to release dopamine by anticipation and by the actual experience of listening to the music.  Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Reducing Hospital-acquired Anemia

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How many times have you gone to a hospital only to have the patient  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:86:]]
you’re visiting complain that the staff was constantly (a relative term) drawing blood?  While this is often an important diagnostic test (as in monitoring blood chemistry or a blood –borne infection), sometimes the test itself becomes a hazard.

A recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine of acute heart attack patients found that blood loss from diagnostic phlebotomy (blood draws) is itself a risk factor for hospital-acquired anemia in acute heart attack patients.  This study surveyed the practices at 57 hospitals treating a total of 17,676 acute heart attack patients and found that 20% of the patients overall developed moderate to severe hospital-acquired anemia and that the incidence of moderate to severe hospital-acquired anemia was significantly greater at hospitals that had higher mean total blood draws.  Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

A Blockbuster for Melanoma and Beyond?

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Yervoy, the new Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) medication for inoperable or metastatic melanoma approved on March 25 is clearly an achievement for the company and illustrates the challenges facing pharmaceutical companies trying to fill their pipelines with promising agents.  As Andrew Pollack described the process in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), the novel mechanism of action was discovered at Berkeley in the mid-1990s, but as the inventor said, “The idea was so new it was hard to get somebody to take it.” It was ultimately licensed to one company that sublicensed it to another, that partnered with BMS and was subsequently purchased by BMS.   Meanwhile, the first company to license it was acquired by yet another company that sold its rights to the drug to the sublicensing company.  Most recently, BMS has partnered with Roche to investigate the combination of Yervoy and Roche’s investigational vemurafenib in patients with a specific type of late-stage melanoma.

Yervoy is not chemotherapy and it’s not a monoclonal antibody blocking a malevolent pathway.  Rather,

Molly Borowitz's picture

Weekly Digest: Parkinson’s, Restless Legs, and Violet Eyes

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Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease detectable in sleep patterns

 As reported by LaboratoryEquipment.com, a recent large-scale evaluation of the socioeconomic costs of Parkinson’s disease revealed that the condition’s earliest symptoms may be detectable in REM sleep. A group of Danish researchers affiliated with the University of Copenhagen found that Parkinson’s sufferers experienced problematic changes in their work and health statuses up to eight years before they were diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder. One of those changes was the sleep disorder RBD (REM sleep Behavior Disorder), in which the brain fails to prevent muscle movement during REM sleep. Read full post »