What We're Reading: Advocates Want Schizophrenia Change; Health Tech Show; Warning on Chinese Spies

Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson or Alzheimer disease, instead of as a mental illness; the annual Consumer Electronics Show, which begins this week in Las Vegas, has become an increasingly popular place for health technology firms looking for publicity in the $7 trillion global medical industry; the Trump administration warned scientists doing biomedical research at American universities that Chinese spies may be trying to steal and exploit information.

Classify Schizophrenia as a Brain Disease, Advocates Tell Congress

Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson or Alzheimer disease, instead of as a mental illness, Politico reported. The Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America is among those pushing Congress to include schizophrenia in a new CDC program that aims to collect data on the prevalence and risk factors of neurological conditions in the United States, a move that could reduce stigma and lead to more funding for a cure. The problem is that the CDC only has enough money to study a finite number of conditions, putting disease advocacy groups in competition with each other.

Consumer Electronics Show Has Health Tech Focus

The annual Consumer Electronics Show, which begins this week in Las Vegas, has become an increasingly popular place for health technology firms looking for publicity in the $7 trillion global medical industry, STAT News reported. This year brings a particular focus on chronic disease, but some experts warn that the real-world results of digital health products have not caught up to their promises. Companies will feature products targeting heart monitoring, diabetes, and nonopioid management of chronic pain.

Chinese Spies Looking to Steal Academic Health Research, US Says

The Trump administration warned scientists doing biomedical research at American universities that Chinese spies may be trying to steal and exploit information, The New York Times reported. Scientists and universities receiving National Institutes of Health funding need to tighten their security procedures and take other precautions, said a panel of experts commissioned by the agency to investigate “foreign influences on research integrity.”