May 23rd, 2013
A thumb-sized sound processor worn behind the ear and held in place by a small, magnetized titanium implant inserted under the skin is now being offered at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center to people with single-sided sensorineural hearing loss and for those with conductive hearing loss who cannot wear conventional hearing aids.
“The Sophono Alpha 2 abutment-free, bone-anchored hearing system is for patients who cannot wear conventional hearing aids because of chronic ear infections or external auditory canal atresia, a condition where the ear canal is not fully formed or functional,” said Dr. Anil K. Lalwani, an otolaryngologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Other devices for these patients tether in place by drilling a hole in the skull and installing a screw (abutment) that pokes through the skin on the side of the head. Patients then have to wait three months before the device can be used and often suffer from chronic skin infection around the abutment. “The Sophono Alpha device, which is abutment-free, is cosmetically more appealing as no apparatus comes through the skin. As a result, there is no issue of constant wound care, as the hearing aid is secured in place by magnets,” said Dr. Lalwani, who is also professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and director of the Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery and of the Cochlear Implant Center, Columbia University Medical Center.
May 22nd, 2013
New data released at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association show that the NeuroStar TMS Therapy System® induced statistically and clinically meaningful response and remission in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) during the acute phase of therapy, which were maintained through one year of treatment.
At the end of acute treatment, 62% of patients achieved symptomatic improvement while 41% reported complete remission. At 12 months, 68% of patients achieved symptomatic improvement while 45% reported complete remission. Maintenance of benefit was observed under a pragmatic regimen of continuation antidepressant medication and access to TMS reintroduction for symptom recurrence.
“The durability of NeuroStar TMS Therapy demonstrated by this robust, real-world study is remarkable, as it’s not typical to see long-term benefit in patients who have treatment resistant forms of depression,” said Dr. Philip Janicak, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University, and Medical Director of the Rush Psychiatric Clinical Research Center. “The study reinforces the sustained efficacy of NeuroStar TMS Therapy in a majority of patients with depression who have not found relief through oral antidepressant medication.”
May 22nd, 2013
More than 40% of patients being treated for COPD at a federally funded clinic did not have the disease, researchers found after evaluating the patients with spirometry, the diagnostic “gold standard” for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“While there have been many studies of the under-diagnosis of COPD, there has not been a US-based study that has quantified the problem of over-diagnosis,” said Christian Ghattas, MD., MSc, a second-year medical resident at Saint Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio, who will present the research at ATS 2013. ”And yet, the cost of treating someone for COPD is high.”
A survey published in 2003 in Respiratory Medicine found the average cost of treating a patient with COPD in the United States was $4,119 per year.
Dr. Ghattas and Magdi H. Awad, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy at Northeast Ohio Medical University conducted their descriptive, retrospective study at Axess Pointe, a federally qualified health center in Akron, Ohio. FQHCs receive federal grants to support care for communities that have large numbers of uninsured and Medicaid patients.
May 21st, 2013
An experimental, lab-made molecule was able to stick to certain inflammatory proteins and reduce acute breathing problems among people with a type of moderate-to-severe asthma, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, coinciding with their presentation of the study in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.
Recent estimates suggest that 24.6 million Americans have asthma, and 10 to 20% of them don’t have optimal control of their symptoms despite modern medications, said senior author Sally Wenzel, MD, professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine (PACCM), Pitt School of Medicine, and director, University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC/University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Effective treatment of persistent, moderate-to-severe asthma has been challenging.
“We suspect that there are different underlying causes that lead to the clinical syndrome of asthma, so different treatment approaches are likely needed depending on what type of asthma a patient has,” she said. “A one-size-fits-all strategy might not, in fact, work for everyone.”
May 21st, 2013
Research on different types of IV connectors led a Johns Hopkins cancer center to pilot a “neutral pressure” IV connector, according to a scientific presentation at the annual meeting of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). Since the Hopkins poster was presented at the ONS meeting, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has adopted the IV connector hospital-wide.
In a four-month test, RyMed’s InVision-Plus® neutral connector reduced potentially deadly catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) by 33.3% at the Johns Hopkins center.
Preventing CRBSIs is a major medical concern because US patients suffer approximately 250,000 such infections a year. These often deadly infections have a mortality rate of 12% to 25% and cost an average of $56,000 to treat, according to the CDC.
According to the ONS presentation, a systematic literature review, conducted by the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, revealed that a neutral pressure IV connector can provide more protection against bloodstream infections than other connector types.
This review led the center to trial and then adopt the InVision-Plus® connector, (which RyMed calls its “zero fluid displacement” connector to distinguish it from other “neutral” connectors).
Clinicians decided this specific connector is better designed for infection prevention than other IV connectors, including others known as neutral, negative-pressure and positive-pressure. Positive-pressure connectors are already the subject of an FDA inquiry.