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Rituximab reduced risk for disease worsening in generalized myasthenia gravis

A single, 500 mg dose of rituximab was associated with greater probability of minimal myasthenia gravis manifestations and reduced the need for rescue medications compared with placebo, researchers reported in JAMA Neurology.
Although severity of myasthenia gravis varies, it is well-known that in patients with general symptoms, many experience substantial morbidity and life-threatening events, Fredrik Piehl, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and colleagues wrote.
Seeking to assess the efficacy and safety of rituximab compared with placebo as an add-on to

Algorithm that predicts viral etiology of diarrhea may curb inappropriate antibiotic use

Use of an algorithm-based tool to determine the likelihood of viral etiology for acute diarrhea in children did not significantly reduce antibiotic prescriptions in developing countries, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics.
However, as the algorithm-predicted probability of viral diarrhea increased, physicians did prescribe fewer antibiotics, researchers reported in a post hoc analysis.
According to a related press release, most children with diarrhea in developing nations receive antibiotics. “That means the vast majority of cases are treated inappropriately,” study author Eric

Quality of life in children with juvenile arthritis linked to caregivers’ quality of life

Higher health-related quality of life scores in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis correspond to higher career- and health-related quality of life scores for their caregivers, according to data published in Pediatric Rheumatology.
“Qualitative research has identified that caregivers face many challenges that affect their well-being, including balancing their child’s demands with their own psychological needs when feeling depressed or stressed, and accompanying the child to the frequent health appointments,” Luiza R. Grazziotin, PhD, of the Cumming School of Medicine

Pilot program improves wellness, work productivity of physician parents

CHICAGO — A small pilot program improved the wellness and work productivity of expectant and new physician parents by offering them coaching sessions and stipends for lactation support, a recent study found.
Speaking to Healio, lead author Josephine Li, MD, an endocrinologist in the diabetes unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and senior author Laura Dichtel, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said the inspiration for the program came from their own experiences, which they referred to as a vulnerable time for returning physician parents who are “often not

Socioeconomic disadvantages may explain disparities in health care utilization after TJA

Socioeconomic disadvantages may explain a proportion of disparities in health care utilization parameters after primary total joint arthroplasty that were previously assumed to be driven by race, according to published results.
“We need to avoid using race as a proxy for increased health care utilization or adverse outcomes and we need to start looking at the risk factors that drive those increased risks acknowledging that, depending on our geographical practice, different patient populations will have different conditions,” Nicolas S. Piuzzi, MD, director of research for the adult

Theta burst stimulation noninferior to TMS in reducing depression symptoms

In older adults with treatment-resistant depression, bilateral theta burst stimulation was noninferior to standard bilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in reducing symptoms, per a recently published study.
“Nonresponse to first-line antidepressant treatment in older adult patients contributes to diminished quality of life,” Daniel M. Blumberger, MD, of the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Psychiatry. “As a result, treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in

Second-generation customized technique may expand indications for cross-linking

MILAN — Second-generation customized cross-linking significantly improves vision in patients with keratoconus, according to Emilio Torres, MD, PhD, speaking at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting.
“In PACE, which stands for PTK-assisted customized epi-on cross-linking, we use more riboflavin and a greater amount of irradiation over specific areas of the cornea to selectively flatten them and regularize the cornea in a customized fashion,” he said.
The first patients treated so far at the ELZA Institute in Zurich showed good regularization and

Patient, physician education remains a barrier to home dialysis implementation

In order for patients to be ready to take on home dialysis, physicians must be properly trained and know how to prepare patients, according to a presenter at the International Conference on Dialysis.
“There certainly has been lots of attention on home dialysis editorials, and taskforces have written about the increase in Advancing American Kidney Health initiative in terms of increasing home dialysis adoption. As everyone's aware, there is a lofty goal of starting patients on preemptive transplantation as well as home dialysis therapy,” Christopher T. Chan, MD, FRCPC, director of

Officials weigh vaccine options as death toll rises in Ugandan Ebola outbreak

Officials have begun assessing Sudan ebolavirus vaccine candidates as case and death counts continue to rise in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Uganda that has now spread to two more districts in the country.
On Monday, the Ministry of Health in Uganda reported 36 cumulative cases — 18 confirmed and 18 probable — and 23 deaths, although only five are confirmed to be from Ebola. The Ministry reported on Sunday that of the cases recorded at the time, three were reported in Kyegegwa and one in Kassanda.
WHO previously said in a press release that it planned to deploy staff to the area,