The ALS ice bucket challenge, better known as #ALSIceBucketChallenge or #icebucketchallenge, was almost the perfect storm for viral fundraising. In my course, Designing Health Campaigns Using Social Media at Tufts University, we analyzed why the challenge went viral. Not surprisingly, given its popularity, my students had all heard about it and watched challenge videos. About half had done it. Some researched amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 30, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Data Confirm Anti-ALK Activity in Rare NSCLC. Objective responses occurred in 72% of patients with mutation-specific non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with crizotinib (Xalkori).
  2. Case Reports: PET Imaging in Dementia. In two cases of progressing dementia, PET imaging with amyloid and tau tracers helped to clarify the diagnosis ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 26, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Study: Minor Memory Problems Merit Attention. Patients who reported having lost a step mentally were at nearly triple the risk of being diagnosed with definite cognitive impairment later on, albeit with a lag of about 6 to 10 years.
  2. Chlamydia Still Common: CDC. Chlamydia continues to be the most ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 24, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Key Updates for Angina, NSTEMI. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released an update of their guidelines for unstable angina and non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).
  2. Metformin and TSH: Is There a Link? Metformin seemed to further diminish levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in diabetic ...

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Thanks to the popularity of medical television shows, most people have witnessed hundreds of fictional cardiac arrests in their lifetime. In most of these scenes, the patient loses consciousness, and the medical team rushes to the bedside: “He’s in v-fib.” “Get me the paddles.” The team performs urgent chest compressions for a few seconds.  Then they place the metal paddles on the victim’s chest: “Clear!”  Kathump. The patient’s heart is back to normal again, tragedy ...

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Back-to-school shopping, new sneakers and first-day outfits, sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks in oversized backpacks by the door: As a parent, these are the images I’ve come to associate with the start of every school year. But with my 20-plus-year history as a developmental pediatrician specializing in autism at Albert Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, I have an added association with the start of the school year: a particular type of ...

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a truly horrible illness. It is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disorder that leads to worsening muscle weakness. Weakness in the limbs initially makes handwriting sloppy and makes it hard to button clothes and eventually causes paralysis. Patients also develop weakness in the muscles that control swallowing and speech, eventually requiring them to use feeding tubes and computer text-to-speech software. Eventually the ...

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The ALS Association, and the British version, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, have made boatloads of money off of the ice bucket challenge. Originally the idea was that a person would challenge another person to donate money for ALS research and if they hadn’t done so in 24 hours, they would dump a bucket of ice water over their head. It turns out that people like dumping ice buckets over ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, August 7, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Return to Warfarin Okay After TBI? Restarting warfarin (Coumadin) after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) improved overall outcomes despite the bleeding risk.
  2. Dietitians Take Aim at Food Industry Sponsorships. Andy Bellatti has been troubled by some of the continuing education programs he's seen at the Academy of Nutrition and ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, August 1, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. The 40-Minute Office Visit. The State stopped by to see us the other day. Wow, that sounds ominous.
  2. FDA to Expand Reach on Diagnostic Tests. The FDA plans to take over regulation of "home brew" diagnostic tests developed and used within individual clinical laboratories.
  3. Lytics for Stroke ...

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