A summary of important health news from the past week.
By: Fortune Reuters
The first pill with digital tracking capabilities has been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. The Abilify MyCite technology was invented by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. This system helps patients track if and when their medication was taken and is therefore designed for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar 1 disorder and an add-on treatment for adult patients with depression.
There have been several Hepatitis A outbreaks that have taken place across the U.S., but there is a national shortage of the vaccine needed to combat it. The virus has affected people in Michigan all the way to people in California and Colorado. The CDC has been working closely with public health officials across the country to target the vaccines toward at-risk populations and coordinating services with vaccines manufacturers.
Protein key to cancer cells' ability to spread identified
Researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario have identified cadherin-22, a protein that helps cancer cells bind together, as one possible mechanism for cancer metastasis. The research team found that hindering the growth of cadherin-22 decreased the adhesion and invasion rate of cancer cells by up to 90%.
This past week, a patient with Hunter syndrome received an experimental in-body gene-editing procedure meant to cure him of his disease. The treatment involved placing a gene editor with copies of the corrected gene into the patient's bloodstream. Researchers are hopeful that this first-of-its-kind treatment will prove successful.
Childbirth is killing black women in the US, and here's why
Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die in childbirth in the U.S. than non-black women. Further, the U.S. has a higher maternal mortality rate than other developed countries. Researchers have proposed a range of possible reasons for this high rate, including age, obesity, and better methods of capturing maternal mortality rates. However, there remains very little insight into the racial divide.
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