The Connected Clinician: Top Stories of the Week for October 6

Stay connected and up-to-date in health care news with the Connected Clinician top stories of the week for the week of October 6.

This week was full of newsworthy stories in the medical space, especially from medical associations, from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences. As always, MD Magazine covered it all.

The FDA was busy this week, as the administration issued a couple approvals, including a new multiple sclerosis treatment. It also issued a compound risk alert warning of the risk of blinding and pushed out its new guidelines for getting generics approved more easily. In addition, NIH issued several grants to teams that are setting their sights on changing the medical landscape as we know it with new technology, and, of course, the Nobel Prize was awarded in a few categories to several research groups that have already made an impact on medicine as we know it.

Study Offers New Strategy for HIV Vaccine

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that clusters of sugar molecules known as glycans can be an anchor for antibodies that can inhibit HIV. The finding could be important because it gives vaccine developers a new strategy in the quest to create a vaccine that works against the virus that causes AIDS.

Breakthrough: CTE Biomarker Could Lead to Treatments

New details surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy are exponentially found, but continuously ominous. The neurodegenerative condition was first defined in the early 2000s when it began to be primarily diagnosed in deceased former National Football League players. Since then, more and more former football players have been linked to it via autopsy.

Effective Influenza Vaccine for Elderly Remains Elusive

A meta-analysis of studies examining seasonal immunization effectiveness in preventing hospitalization for severe influenza has found that less protection is achieved in the elderly, particularly against influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Having a frail condition besides chronological age is a significant factor in the increased vulnerability.

Potential Lipid Biomarkers for AMD Identified in Human Plasma

Researchers are getting closer to finding biomarkers of AMD, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease, by utilizing the metabolomic profiles of human plasma. Investigators explored patients with AMD to compare their metabolomics with those of study participants who did not have AMD. The researchers noted that ultimately, they aimed to help develop metabolic biomarkers for AMD in order to better understand the mechanisms of the disease.

In Movement Disorders, Benefits and Risks Depend on Tetrabenazine Isomer

The efficacy of tetrabenazine and valbenazine in treating movement disorders like TD stems from their ability to inhibit VMAT-2. Inhibiting this transport protein prevents neurotransmitter uptake into presynaptic vesicles and decreases the availability of dopamine. This decrease combats the dopamine super-sensitivity caused by dopamine-receptor antagonists that result in TD.

Once you're caught up for the week, don't forget to check out MD Magazine's ongoing coverage series reporting on the QuintiliesIMS US drug spending data, including adalimumab's impact on spending and the halt on HCV drug production.