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Top Five Reads of the Week

iPads Reduce Anxiety in Children Before Surgery: A study conducted by researchers in Lyon, France found that iPad use before surgery reduces anxiety levels in children as effectively as sedatives. iPad usage was also correlated with higher parental satisfaction and anesthesia induction quality. Hence, this study may lay the foundation for non-medical methods of reducing stress and anxiety in surgery patients. (EurekAlert)

Discovery of Genetic Marker for Congestive Heart Failure: Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center and Baylor College of Medicine published a study that establishes a strong genetic biomarker for congestive heart failure, a principal cause of death in the United States. The mutated gene, SLCO1B1, is said to be linked to an abundance of fatty acids, a major red flag for the development of heart failure. By screening people for this gene, the researchers hope that at-risk patients will be identified early, lowering hospitalization and death rates associated with heart failure. (ScienceDaily)

Increased Refusals to Vaccinate Children: Doctors are increasingly reporting parental noncompliance regarding vaccinations in children. In 2006, 75% of surveyed pediatricians noted that they had encountered vaccination refusals from parents, while in 2013, the percentage increased to 87%. The most prevalent reason for this refusal was an overarching thought that vaccines are unnecessary. To try and combat concerns about vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a guide titled “Countering Vaccine Hesitancy.” (STAT News)

Revised Treatment Recommendations for STDs: Due to increased antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) altered the official treatment recommendations for three bacterial sexually transmitted diseases – syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. While antibiotic resistance is a major setback for all three of these diseases, gonorrhea is currently the most urgent concern. The revised guidelines advise healthcare providers to halt usage of certain antibiotics, while beginning to employ “dual therapy,” or multiple antibiotics at once. (STAT News)

An Alzheimer’s Disease “Game-Changer”: Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, Biogen, may have opened the door to defeating Alzheimer’s disease once and for all. The company developed an experimental drug, aducanumab, that destroys deadly plaque buildups in the brain. On Wednesday, Nature published the results of Biogen’s most recent clinical trial, which showed increased reduction of plaque with higher doses of aducanumab. With the sample size of only 165, “the study has too few patients to prove that the drug actually works,” says CNN. However, with further research, this drug could very well be a “game-changer” in the war against Alzheimer’s. (CNN)

Anokhi Saklecha

Anokhi Saklecha

    Anokhi is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston and a student in the Medical Scholars program at the University of California, San Diego. She is extremely passionate about journalism and science and hopes to combine them in her future as a physician. In her free time, Anokhi loves dancing, baking, and hanging out with her friends.

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