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NEJM: Study Supports Minimally Invasive Procedure for Aortic Stenosis

Patients with a dysfunctional aortic heart valve who received a new, prosthetic valve through a minimally invasive procedure had similar outcomes at five years as those who underwent open-heart surgery, a new study shows.

The international multicenter study, with key contributions by the Cedars-Sinai heart team and published in The New England Journal of Medicine, offers a more complete picture to the ongoing dialogue comparing the minimally invasive heart procedure--called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR--to open-heart surgery.

"Our data at five years validate that TAVR is a good alternative to open-heart surgery in younger patients with aortic stenosis," said Raj Makkar, MD, Cedars-Sinai’s vice president of Cardiovascular Innovation and Intervention, associate director of the Smidt Heart Institute and the study’s senior author. "They support routinely offering TAVR,

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PET Scans May Predict Parkinson’s Disease And Lewy Body Dementia In At-Risk Individuals

In a small study, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that positron emission tomography (PET) scans of the heart may identify people who will go on to develop Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia among those at-risk for these diseases. The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and led by scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of NIH, may advance efforts to detect the earliest changes that years later lead to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

In 34 people with Parkinson’s disease risk factors, researchers conducted PET scans of the heart to gain insight into levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. They found that the scans could distinguish individuals who would later be diagnosed with Parkinson’s or Lewy body dementia—both are brain diseases caused by abnormal deposits o

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Why We Get Annual Flu Shots—and How Universal Vaccines Could Knock Out Viruses

The worst pandemic in the last century was caused by a coronavirus, which came as a surprise to many. Influenza was long thought to pose a greater risk. “Before 2020,” said Scott Hensley, PhD, a professor of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, “if you had asked any virologist what virus they worried about the most, the answer would have been almost exclusively flu.”

It would have been a reasonable assessment. Flu is a devious killer. Globally, it causes around 400,000 deaths each year. While we have decades of experience creating vaccines against the influenza virus, flu, ever-shifting, still catches us on the back foot each season. Year after year, it ducks and weaves to evade human ingenuity.

The viral strains responsible for pandemic outbreaks are generally new ones that first infected humans from an animal host—and these jumps can be hard to predict. Still, every year,

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Workplace Ostracism Is Clearly Associated With Healthcare Workers’ Job Satisfaction, Stress, And Perceived Health

Workplace ostracism refers to someone being excluded from social interaction in the workplace without any explanation. Published in Journal of Advanced Nursing, a recent study by the University of Eastern Finland shows that workplace ostracism weakened healthcare workers’ job satisfaction and perceived health, and increased stress. The study also explored the mediating effects of loneliness and self-esteem on the aforementioned factors. A key observation was that loneliness did not weaken job satisfaction as much as ostracism alone did.

“This finding speaks volumes of the crushing effects of workplace ostracism. Experienced loneliness weakens job satisfaction as such but, according to our study, ostracism is far worse,” says the lead author, Doctoral Researcher Sirpa Manninen of the University of Eastern Finland.

Previous studies on workplace ostracism in the healthcare sector have not

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