What We're Reading: Right-to-Try Law Frustrations; Microbiome Links Explored; Measles Consequences

AJMC Staff

Families Hoping New Law Would Speed Access to Experimental Drugs Find That's Not the Case 

The man for whom the “right-to-try” law is named has been unable to get treatment, STAT News reported. Frank Mongiello, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has advocated to get dying patients access to experimental treatments, still has not been able to access any experimental therapies. Families hoping to get access described a lack of communication with drug makers and even the FDA, raising the question of whether, as detractors of the law said, it would give patients false hope.

Neuroscientists Warm to Idea of Microbiome Links to Brain Conditions

Neuroscientists who were once skeptics are now being persuaded by new studies that have turned up fascinating links between the microbiome and the brain, The New York Times reported. Scientists are finding evidence that the microbiome may play a role not just in Alzheimer disease, but also in Parkinson disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and other conditions.

Measles Outbreak in Northwest Could Take Months to Control

Public health officials are worried it could take months to contain the measles outbreak due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate in Clark County, Washington, the epicenter of the crisis. The Associated Press reported that the disease has sickened 35 people in Oregon and Washington since January 1, with 11 more cases suspected. Most of the patients are children younger than 10 years, and 1 child has been hospitalized. The vaccine eradicated measles after 1963, but the disease is spreading again due to lower vaccination rates resulting in part from misinformation circulating on the internet.
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