Never Too Late To Operate? Surgery Near End Of Life Is Common, Costly

At 87, Maxine Stanich cared more about improving the quality of her life than prolonging it.

She suffered from a long list of health problems, including heart failure and chronic lung disease that could leave her gasping for breath.

When her time came, she wanted to die a natural death, Stanich told her daughter, and signed a “do not resuscitate” directive, or DNR, ordering doctors not to revive her should her heart stop.

AstraZeneca spins off autoimmune drugs into new biotech company

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca is spinning off six early-stage experimental drugs into a new $250 million standalone biotech company focused on severe autoimmune diseases.

The spin-off of the three clinical and three pre-clinical biological compounds, announced on Wednesday, is the latest example of the British drugmaker pruning its non-core drug development work to focus on priority areas, notably in cancer.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said earlier this month that AstraZeneca had a drug pipeline that was “over-sized relative to the current size of our company”.

Coca-Cola defeats U.S. lawsuit over Diet Coke ads

(Reuters) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Coca-Cola Co’s advertising for Diet Coke misleads people into thinking that consuming the soft drink assists in weight loss, and that it actually causes weight gain.

The plaintiff, Shana Becerra, claimed that she and others would not have bought Diet Coke, which was launched in 1982, but for the word “diet” and ads such as one showing the soft drink being poured by a bare-chested man with a well-muscled torso.

New treatment shows promise to fight against serious inflammatory disease

February 27, 2018

Still’s disease is a serious orphan disease manifested by high fevers, skin and joint involvement, including paralysis, as well as damage to other organs such as the liver or spleen. It is caused by a deregulation of the immune system triggering an acute inflammatory response. Under the auspices of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), an international team has successfully tested a molecule inhibitor of interleukin-18, a protein involved in immune response. These encouraging results in terms of safety and efficacy are paving the way for a new kind of treatment, not only for Still’s disease, but other rare inflammatory diseases, too. Recently, a baby’s life was saved after the drug was administered as a last resort. Read the study in the specialist journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Following The Fire: Montana Scientists Seize Chance To Scrutinize Smoke Exposure

Jean Loesch and her family live in Seeley Lake, Mont., which saw the longest and most intense smoke from Montana’s wildfires last summer. Loesch has 10 children, adopted or in her foster care, and they are learning what it’s like to have lingering respiratory problems.

The smoke from the fires was so thick outside, Loesch said, the family couldn’t see the trees across the street, so they stayed inside. It was still really hard to breathe.

“These guys were miserable,” she said. “I think each one of them ended up having to go to the doctor.” Everyone needed inhalers.

Refusing To Work For Medicaid May Not Translate To Subsidies For ACA Plan

Work requirements for Medicaid coverage. Insurance plans that don’t meet health law standards. Changes to Medicare drug lists. As the ground continues to shift on health care coverage, I answer readers’ queries this week about these three different types of plans.

Twenty states sue federal government, seeking end to Obamacare

(Reuters) – A coalition of 20 U.S. states sued the federal government on Monday over Obamacare, claiming the law was no longer constitutional after the repeal last year of its requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine.

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the lawsuit said that without the individual mandate, which was eliminated as part of the Republican tax law signed by President Donald Trump in December, Obamacare was unlawful.

Free clinic opens for Yemenis impoverished by war

SANAA (Reuters) – Volunteer doctors are offering free medical services for a week at a clinic in the Yemeni capital Sanaa to treat people impoverished by a war which has killed thousands and wrecked the economy.

The initiative, dubbed “Breeze of Hope,” is the first by a group of nurses and doctors to conduct electrocardiograms, x-rays and other procedures that Sanaa residents cannot afford.

Yemen has been hit by three years of civil war between the internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement which controls the capital.

Trump’s Perfect Score On Brain Test Spawns DIY Cognitive Exam

When Donald Trump aced a cognitive test in January, scores of people tried to take it, too, based mostly on media reports that invited them to match wits with the president.

Casual users puzzled over line drawings of animals, while others wondered what it meant if they were bad at subtracting by sevens.

That was a mistake, according to the scientist who created the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA, a popular screening tool designed to spotlight potential problems with thinking and memory. The MoCA was never meant for general use and it requires a health professional to monitor the test and interpret the results.