Monday Morning Round-Up #15

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

The antibiotic course has had its day via the BMJ

With little evidence that failing to complete a prescribed antibiotic course contributes to antibiotic resistance, it’s time for policy makers, educators, and doctors to drop this message, argue Martin Llewelyn and colleagues.

111 NFL brains – all but one have C.T.E. via the New York Times

Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist, has examined the brains of 202 deceased football players. Of the 202 players, 111 of them played in the N.F.L. — and 110 of those were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

A tiny part of the brain appears to orchestrate the whole body’s aging via Stat News

Why do we age? It’s a seemingly simple question that nonetheless scientists don’t have a great answer to. Some amount of aging seems to be controlled by our genetic makeup, while other evidence shows that our cells have an upper limit to how many times they can divide. But a new study points to a different player: a special population of cells in a tiny region of the brain. Middle-aged mice that got an infusion of stem cells to the hypothalamus — the hormone-releasing center of the brain — had less memory loss and longer lives than normal mice, indicating that the hypothalamus plays a role in whole-body aging.

Bad medicine: fake and substandard drugs endanger hundreds of thousands of people around the world via Bostonia

“Substandard” is the term most often used to describe medicines so poorly manufactured that they contain ingredients that are either toxic or have little or no effective ingredient. Sometimes the deficiency is deliberate, as in the case of falsified, or counterfeit, drugs, although the term “counterfeit” is also used to describe effective drugs made by unlicensed manufacturers. Researchers say that determining the financial impact of substandard or falsified medicines is challenging. In terms of impact on health, a recent study estimates the number of lives lost in children in 39 African countries because of poor-quality malaria medicines to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Which Metrics on Hospital Quality Should Patients Pay Attention To? via the New York Times

The relatively recent movements toward transparency and quality in health care have collided to produce dozens of publicly available hospital quality metrics. You might consider studying them in advance of your next hospital visit. But how do you know if the metrics actually mean anything?

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