What We're Reading: US Travel Ban Lifted; Discrimination Worsens Mental Health; Aduhelm Uptake Issues

The United States lifts travel restrictions for numerous countries, requiring proof of vaccination and in some cases negative COVID-19 tests; discrimination of any kind was associated with greater risk of mental health problems in young people; a controversial Alzheimer disease drug faces several uptake issues.

United States Lifts Travel Ban For Numerous Countries

As reported by the Associated Press, the United States lifted travel restrictions today for many countries, including Mexico, Canada, and most of Europe, which will allow air travel from these areas for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The new restrictions indicate that travelers will require proof of vaccination and in some cases a negative COVID-19 test, with bordering Canada and Mexico residents exempted from the latter. Notably, full vaccination status will be limited to people who underwent any of the shots approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization; that excludes travelers who received Russia’s Sputnik V or China’s CanSino vaccine.

Discrimination Tied to Worse Mental Health in Young Adults

According to a study published today in Pediatrics, discrimination of one’s body, race, age, or sex was shown to significantly increase risk of mental health problems in young adults compared with those who do not experience these issues. Reported by CNN, the 10-year analysis of more than 1800 young adults beginning at age 18 up to 28 showed that people who faced discrimination at least a few times per month were 25% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder and at 2-fold greater risk of developing severe psychological distress vs those who did not face or faced discrimination less often.

Controversial Alzheimer Disease Drug Facing Uptake Issues

The controversial Alzheimer disease (AD) drug Aduhelm was reported in an article by NPR to be facing several uptake issues related to its high cost, insurers’ reluctance to cover it, and persistent questions on its efficacy against slowing memory loss. As the first drug approved for AD since 2003, its use is intended for patients in the early stages of the disease, but so far sales have been markedly slower than expected–bringing in $300,000 for a drug that costs $56,000 a year. In addition to concerns related to the drug, COVID-19 was also cited as another factor limiting its use with patients more focused on seeking relief for depression, anxiety, and sleep problems tied to the pandemic.