“Americans are feeling depressed right now, and a report is out from the University of Michigan that provides some specifics. Two out of three people say they don’t have any energy, can’t sleep or feel hopeless, and 53 percent worry their money will run out.”

MEDICAL NOTES 20-21


Medical Notes this week…


Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths because the cancer has usually spread to other parts of the body by the time it’s detected. Now scientists have come up with a blood test that screens for a panel of biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. In a trial on 47 patients published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the test was 92 percent accurate in detecting the most common form of pancreatic cancer. Doctors say the test still needs validation in a larger trial.

Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States in both men and women. But a new study in the journal Acta Biomaterialia shows that heart valve blockages in men and women may be caused by completely different factors. Doctors have discovered that mineral deposits in damaged heart valves are totally different in both composition and shape. Researchers say the deposits also form slower in women. It’s one more reason why scientists say more female subjects need to be included in biomedical research.

Americans are feeling depressed right now, and a report is out from the University of Michigan that provides some specifics. Two out of three people say they don’t have any energy, can’t sleep or feel hopeless, and 53 percent worry their money will run out. We’re coping with the stress in a variety of ways. Twenty-two percent say they’re drinking more than they did before the pandemic, and a little less than 15 percent are smoking pot more often. 

And finally… with doctors and nurses having to wear personal protective gear to step into the intensive care unit, they can’t go back and forth like they used to, and that can create communication problems. One solution at some hospitals? Baby monitors. The Emory University School of Medicine says staff outside the ICU can hear everything that goes on inside, and can press a button to talk if needed. Families can also use the baby monitors to speak with hospitalized loved ones.

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