In The News

NIH unveils FY2016–2020 Strategic Plan

December 16, 2015

Detailed plan sets course for advancing scientific discoveries and human health.

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2014-2015 NIH Alzheimer’s disease progress report available online

A new online report provides an easy-to-read overview of recent National Institutes of Health-funded research advances and initiatives in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH, the annual report — 2014-2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Advancing Research Toward a Curediscusses research momentum under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, describes research opportunities, and summarizes scientific advances in several areas:

  • Understanding the biology of Alzheimer’s, related dementias, and the aging brain
  • Identifying genetic influences on risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s, the most common form
  • Detecting the earliest Alzheimer’s-related brain changes, including further development of biomarkers to track the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Understanding gender and racial differences in the impact of Alzheimer’s
  • Stepping up translational research enabling the design and testing of new drugs
  • Testing in clinical trials potential new therapies to prevent, delay or treat Alzheimer’s
  • Finding better ways to support caregivers

The report includes searchable tables of NIA-funded clinical trials that are testing promising interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, age-related cognitive decline, delirium and dementia-related psychiatric conditions and symptoms—agitation, apathy and depression.

Read the report online: 2014-2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Advancing Research Toward a Cure

CDC issues guidelines on opioid prescribing for chronic pain

The CDC has released draft guidelines on prescribing opioids for chronic pain days after the National Center for Health Statistics reported a 16.3% jump in opioid overdose-related deaths in 2014. The guidelines, which don't apply to pain associated with serious diseases or end-of-life care, call for primary care providers to be more conservative when prescribing pain drugs, such as prioritizing physical therapy and other non-opioid treatments. When opioids are needed, prescribers should use the minimum effective dose and short-acting versions of the drugs. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (12/14)

Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise, More Action Needed to Reverse Troubling Trends

December 10, 2015
By: Richard Frank, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS

New CDC data shows the overall number and rate of drug overdose deaths increased notably between 2013-2014, driven in large part by continued increases in heroin deaths and an emerging increase in deaths involving illicit synthetic opioids. These new data reaffirm that we have not seen the peak of the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic and highlights the need for continued action to prevent opioid misuse and dependence to save lives.

Drug overdose death rates have never been higher. Data shows 18,893 overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers in 2014, which is an increase of 16%, or 2,658 deaths, compared to 2013 data. Prescription opioid-related overdose deaths are increasing in part because deaths involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and tramadol, increased by 79% from 2013-2014, totaling 5,544 deaths in 2014. Heroin-related deaths have more than tripled since 2010. Heroin-related death rates increased 28% from 2013-2014, totaling 10,574 deaths in 2014. Heroin is often cut with fentanyl – with or without the user’s knowledge – in order to increase its effect.

The opioid epidemic touches all of us. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s home state of West Virginia, for example, has the highest drug overdose death rate of any state in the country. These statistics reflect what we’re seeing across America, in communities large and small and among people from all walks of life - a rising tide of opioid abuse and overdose.

READ MORE: Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise, More Action Needed to Reverse Troubling Trends

Management and Outcomes of Binge-Eating Disorder

Research Review - Final – Dec. 9, 2015

Formats
View PDF (PDF) 7.1 MB

This report is available in PDF (7.1 MB) only. People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this file. For additional assistance, please contact us.

Nonpharmacological Versus Pharmacological Treatments for Adult Patients With Major Depressive Disorder

Research Review - Final – Dec. 8, 2015

Formats
View PDF (PDF) 5.8 MB

This report is available in PDF (5.8 MB) only. People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this file. For additional assistance, please contact us.

USPSTF Releases Fifth Annual Report to Congress

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) has released its “Fifth Annual Report to Congress on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services.”

In 2015, the USPSTF continued to fulfill its mission of improving the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screening tests, counseling about healthy behaviors, and preventive medications. These recommendations help primary care clinicians and patients to decide together whether a preventive service is right for each patient’s needs.

In this annual report, the USPSTF has prioritized evidence gaps related to women’s health. Research in these areas would generate much needed evidence for important new recommendations to improve the health and health care of women in the United States.

Please click here to read the complete USPSTF report.

Blog: Continuing the shift from volume to results in American healthcare

Nearing the one year anniversary of the Administration’s announcement for the future of the Medicare program, including clear goals and a timeline for shifting Medicare payments from volume to value, CMS is actively working to turn the vision into reality. In a blog post posted today, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator, Chief Medical Officer, and Director of the CMS Innovation Center, Dr. Patrick Conway, reflects on the progress towards transforming our healthcare system into one that is better, smarter, and results in healthier people. Additionally, Dr. Conway reflects on the five year anniversary of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and the Center’s (CMS Innovation Center) continued contributions to encourage paying for healthcare quality over quantity of services provided.

To learn more about these efforts to continuing the shift from volume to results in American healthcare, visit the CMS Blog.

Chartbook on Effective Treatment

National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

This Effective Treatment chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). This chartbook includes a summary of trends across measures of effective treatment from the QDR and figures illustrating select measures of effective treatment. A PowerPoint version is also available that users can download for presentations.

Access here: http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/nhqrdr/2014chartbooks/effectivetx/index.html

NIH researchers link single gene variation to obesity

October 29, 2015

Variation in the BDNF gene may affect brain’s regulation of appetite, study suggests.

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