What We’re Reading: Expanding Fertility Benefits for Military; High “Tripledemic” Hospitalization Projections; MDMA Eases PTSD Symptoms


Senate and House Democrats again attempt to expand fertility treatments for veterans and active-duty personnel; CDC expects high hospitalization numbers due to “tripledemic” of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, and the flu; a study found that MDMA, also known as ecstasy, can reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Bill Reintroduced to Expand Fertility Services to Service Members, Veterans

Senate and House Democrats are trying again to expand fertility treatments for veterans and active-duty personnel whose military-related disabilities prevent them from conceiving without help, according to Military.com. After first attempting to do so in 2021, Sens Patty Murray (D, Washington) and Tammy Duckworth (D, Illinois), along with Rep Rick Larsen (D, Washington), plan to introduce bills for the second time that would cover fertility services for military family and veteran beneficiaries. These services would include allowing service members to freeze their gametes before deployment to a hazardous assignment and after injury or illness. It would also include making military and veteran spouses, parents, and surrogates eligible for reproductive technology treatments and expand adoption assistance to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

CDC Expects “Tripledemic” Hospitalizations to Remain High This Year

The CDC said on Thursday that it expects hospitalization numbers due to the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the flu to be similar to those of last year, which were higher than prepandemic levels, according to Reuters. Flu and RSV infections are expected to increase over the fall and winter months, but vaccines for all 3 viruses will be available this fall to protect against them. The CDC noted that higher vaccination levels across the population will help reduce hospitalization numbers and the risk of putting strain on hospitals across the nation. To aid in the reduction, the CDC recently signed off on the broad use of updated COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech SE that cover those 6 months and older in preparation for the country’s vaccine campaign.

MDMA Eases PTSD Symptoms, Study Says

A study found that the psychedelic drug 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA, also known as ecstasy) can reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to the Associated Press. The study measured symptoms in 104 people with PTSD who all received talk therapy and were randomly assigned to take either MDMA or a placebo during 3 sessions, each 1 month apart. The researchers found that, by the end of the study, 72% of the MDMA group no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD in comparison to about 48% of the placebo group. The company that sponsored the research said it plans to seek approval to market MDMA as a PTSD treatment when combined with talk therapy, but it first must receive approval from the FDA and have its classification changed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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