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#PWChat Schedule

#PWChat Schedule

Physician’s Weekly and other industry experts host these weekly chats that bring patients, doctors, and other experts together to discuss a myriad of topics. Each week, the chat will focus on one specific subject. Our audience is encouraged to join the conversation by simply searching, “#PWChat” on Twitter, clicking on LATEST to follow along, and using #PWChat in all replies and comments. Upcoming Chats! On February 28 at 3:00pm Eastern, we will discuss whether anything has changed in the last 30 years in the areas of Communication & Integration in Emergency Medicine with Matthew Loxton, MKM, CKM. In early March, we will discuss the use of 3D printing in medicine with Lars Brouwers, MD. At a to-be-determined date, we will discuss the myth surrounding radiotherapy in older cancer patients with Meredith Giuliani, MBBS, FRCPC, MEd. At a to-be-determined date, we will discuss a TBD topic with Art Founger, MD. At a to-be-determined date, we will discuss paradigm shifts needed in healthcare with MGMA President and CEO, Dr. Halee...
Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain, Study Suggests

Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain, Study Suggests

Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call. Hyung Suk Seo, M.D., professor of neuroradiology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to gain unique insight into the brains of smartphone- and internet-addicted teenagers. MRS is a type of MRI that measures the brain’s chemical composition. Related Articles New Handheld Spectral Analyzer Uses Smartphone to Detect Disease The Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power, Study Shows Presence of Smartphone Cuts Available Cognitive Capacity Smartphone Device Analyzes Semen to Assess Male Fertility The study involved 19 young people (mean age 15.5, 9 males) diagnosed with internet or smartphone addiction and 19 gender- and age-matched healthy controls. Twelve of the addicted youth received nine weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, modified from a cognitive therapy program for gaming addiction, as part of the study. Researchers used standardized internet and smartphone addiction tests to measure the severity of internet addiction. Questions focused on the extent to which internet and smartphone use affects daily routines, social life, productivity, sleeping patterns and feelings. Click here to read more about this...
Mycobacteria Can Sense Presence of Proteins that Cause Disease, According to New Study

Mycobacteria Can Sense Presence of Proteins that Cause Disease, According to New Study

Tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria use a select group of proteins known as virulence factors to transmit the disease, which infects roughly one third of the world’s population and causes 1.7 million deaths annually. Those proteins are cargo transported by molecular machinery, a microscopic gateway that promotes the survival of bacteria in the host.   A new study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that mycobacteria can sense when this molecular machine is present. “We’ve seen this in other types of bacteria but never in mycobacteria before,” said Patricia Champion, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, which led the study. “Unlike other bacteria, which can detect the cargo proteins directly, mycobacteria can sense the transport machinery in the membrane and tune the levels of cargo proteins it transports accordingly.” During the study, Champion’s team took aim at that machine and disabled it. Scientists have long known that this type of machinery is essential to cause disease in the host, but when knocking out one of the protein components, the team observed a surprising result. The entire structure fell apart. Click here to read more about this...
Value-Based Payment Modifier Program Fails to Deliver

Value-Based Payment Modifier Program Fails to Deliver

A prototype Medicare program designed to improve value of care by paying more to physicians who perform better on measures of health care quality and spending has failed to deliver on its central promise and, in the process, likely exacerbated disparities in health care delivery, according to findings of a study published Nov. 27 in Annals of Internal Medicine.   The Value-Based Payment Modifier program, which ran between 2013 and 2016, inadvertently shifted money away from physicians who treated sicker, poorer patients to pay for bonuses that rewarded practices treating richer, healthier populations. This unintended consequence stems from the program’s failure to properly account for differences across various patient populations in clinical and social risk factors for poor outcomes, the researchers note. Related Articles Value-Based Payment Modifier Not Tied to Practice Performance Preadmission Functional Impairment Ups Medicare Costs Bundled Payment Initiative Doesn’t Cut Readmission in COPD CMS Releases Resources to Help With Payment System The researchers say that these findings bode ill for the program’s successor — launched in early 2017 — because its basic design is similar to the failed, earlier iteration of the model. Click here to read the full press...
Beating Heart Patch is Large Enough to Repair the Human Heart

Beating Heart Patch is Large Enough to Repair the Human Heart

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have created a fully functioning artificial human heart muscle large enough to patch over damage typically seen in patients who have suffered a heart attack. The advance takes a major step toward the end goal of repairing dead heart muscle in human patients. The study appears online in Nature Communications on November 28, 2017. “Right now, virtually all existing therapies are aimed at reducing the symptoms from the damage that’s already been done to the heart, but no approaches have been able to replace the muscle that’s lost, because once it’s dead, it does not grow back on its own,” said Ilya Shadrin, a biomedical engineering doctoral student at Duke University and first author on the study. “This is a way that we could replace lost muscle with tissue made outside the body.” Related Articles AHA: Methamphetamine-Related Heart Failure on the Rise Heart Murmur Disappearance on Standing Can Rule Out Pathology Eating More Nuts Associated With Lower Heart Disease Risk AHA: Drinking Coffee May Cut Risk of Heart Failure, Stroke Current clinical trials are testing the tactic of injecting stem cells derived from bone marrow, blood or the heart itself directly into the affected site in an attempt to replenish some of the damaged muscle. While there do seem to be some positive effects from these treatments, their mechanisms are not fully understood. Fewer than one percent of the injected cells survive and remain in the heart, and even fewer become cardiac muscle cells. Heart patches, on the other hand, could conceivably be implanted over the dead muscle and remain active for a long time, providing...
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