Precision Medicine Could Help Narrow Down Treatment For Depression, But It Will Be Tricky
Researchers want to use precision medicine to try to tackle depression in the way they use it to fight other diseases, but a lot of hurdles remain. “It remains to be shown that depression coalesces into neat subcategories, as opposed to being a fuzzy set,” said Dr. Steven Hyman, of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In other public health news: crowdfunding scams, artificial intelligence, healthy sperm, back pain, and brain fluid leaks.
Can Precision Medicine Do For Depression What It's Done For Cancer?
The idea of precision medicine for depression is quickly gaining ground — just last month, Stanford announced it is establishing a Center for Precision Mental Health and Wellness. And depression is one of many diseases targeted by All of Us, the National Institute of Health campaign launched this month to collect DNA and other data from 1 million Americans. Doctors have been treating cancer patients this way for years, but the underlying biology of mental illness is not as well understood. (Thielking, 5/9)
The Associated Press:
Duped Patients Crowdfund For Bogus Medical Care, Study Says
They're the tech-age version of donor jars at the diner: crowdfunding websites that aim to link ailing people with strangers willing to help pay for medical treatment. But new research suggests duped patients sometimes crowdfund to pay for bogus stem cell treatments. A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association focused on for-profit clinics that use direct-to-consumer advertising for costly unproven stem-cell treatments for conditions including chronic lung disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Treatments are often marketed as cures or with a promise for vastly improved health. (Tanner, 5/8)
Video Game Processors And Artificial Intelligence Take Scientists Inside Living Cells
A new application of artificial intelligence could help researchers solve medical mysteries ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's. It's a 3D model of a living human cell that lets scientists study the interior structures of a cell even when they can only see the exterior and the nucleus — the largest structure in a cell. The model was unveiled to the public Wednesday by the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle. (Hamilton, 5/9)
The New York Times:
Do Fathers Who Exercise Have Smarter Babies?
Exercise changes the brains and sperm of male animals in ways that later affect the brains and thinking skills of their offspring, according to a fascinating new study involving mice. The findings indicate that some of the brain benefits of physical activity may be passed along to children, even if a father does not begin to exercise until adulthood. (Reynolds, 5/9)
The Wall Street Journal:
Tiger Woods Takes Ibuprofen To Prevent Back Pain. Should You?
It was as casual as pulling out a driver. As Tiger Woods stood in the 10th tee box on the first day of the Masters, he removed a white bottle from his bag, poured two white pills into his hand and swallowed them. “It’s called ibuprofen,” Woods explained afterward. “My surgeon says to take it all day.” The mid-round medication has become a form of preventive maintenance for Woods, who has said he is feeling better lately than he has in several years. And for him, after four back surgeries, it appears to be working. His comeback continues in this week’s Players Championship. (Costa, 5/8)
The Washington Post:
Woman With A Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak — Not Allergies — Has Surgery At Nebraska Medicine
For years, Kendra Jackson battled an incessantly runny nose — sniffling and sneezing, blowing and losing sleep each night. Jackson said she initially thought she was getting a cold, then, as her symptoms persisted, doctors suggested it was likely seasonal allergies, putting her among the more than 50 million Americans who struggle with them each year. But the symptoms never cleared up, and, as the years went by, Jackson started to worry that it might be something worse. (Bever, 5/8)