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What We're Reading: Crowdfunding Medical Care; Exercise and Brain Function; Maine Medicaid Expansion Fight
October 24, 2018
AJMC® in the Press, October 19, 2018
October 19, 2018 – AJMC Staff
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AJMC® in the Press, October 5, 2018
October 05, 2018 – AJMC Staff

What We're Reading: Crowdfunding Medical Care; Exercise and Brain Function; Maine Medicaid Expansion Fight

Five unproven or potentially risky treatments have raised millions of dollars through crowdfunding campaigns since 2015; just 10 minutes of mild exercise can have an immediate impact on brain function; the Maine Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief supporting a lawsuit accusing Governor Paul LePage of breaking the law by trying to block Medicaid expansion.

Campaigns Raise Millions of Dollars for Unproven Treatments

Five unproven or potentially risky treatments have raised millions of dollars through crowdfunding campaigns since 2015. According to STAT, there were more than 1000 campaigns for homeopathy or naturopathy for cancer, hyperbaric oxygen for brain injury, experimental stem cell therapy for brain or spinal cord injuries, and long-term antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease. The campaigns raised more than $6.7 million in total, but they had a goal to raise more than $27 million. While crowdfunding has benefited patients who might not be able to afford needed care, research has found therapies that offer false hope also profit from crowdfunding.

 

Mild Exercise Can Improve Brain Function

Just 10 minutes of mild exercise can have an immediate impact on brain function. Exercise that is not prolonged or intense can alter how parts of the brain communicate and coordinate and improve memory, according to The New York Times. In the study, 36 students either sat stationary or performed a gentle exercise that was less strenuous than brisk walking and only lasted 10 minutes during different visits to the lab. After each visit, the students completed a memory test, and the researchers found that the participants were better at remembering after the exercise and actually performed best on the more difficult parts of the test.

 

Maine AG Office Supports Medicaid Expansion Lawsuit

Despite Maine voters passing Medicaid expansion at the ballot box, the state’s governor is fighting against the outcome. The Maine Attorney General (AG)’s Office has now filed a brief supporting a lawsuit accusing Governor Paul LePage of breaking the law by trying to block the voter-passed law, which was supposed to have gone into effect July 2, reported the Press Herald. LePage’s administration argues that the state’s Department of Health and Human Services cannot implement a law that is not fully funded, but the AG’s office claims that argument is flawed. Arguments are scheduled for November 7.

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