Cerebral Stops Prescribing Most Managed Substances

The online mental health company was under scrutiny for stimulants prescribed for attention-deficit disorders. Other news is about research on cancer, Parkinson’s and memory loss.

The Wall Street Journal: Cerebral Says It Will Stop Prescribing Most Controlled Substances

Online mental-health company Cerebral Inc. said it would stop prescribing almost all controlled substances, expanding an overhaul of its treatment practices in the wake of scrutiny over how it provided stimulants for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Kyle Robertson, Cerebral’s co-founder and chief executive, wrote in an email to staff on Monday afternoon that the company would stop prescribing controlled substances, excluding those in one category, for new patients effective Friday, and for existing patients in October, according to a copy of the email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The company said it would seek to taper existing patients off their prescriptions for controlled substances or transfer them out of Cerebral’s care to an in-person clinician. (Winkler, 5/17)

In cancer research —

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Froedtert To Offer Proton Therapy For Cancer Patients In Wisconsin

Proton therapy for cancer patients who require radiation therapy will soon be available in Wisconsin. Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin are partnering with Legion Healthcare Partners, a Houston-based for-profit health group, to begin offering the therapy in 2023. Froedtert & the Medical College will begin construction in early 2023 to house the new proton therapy system on the Froedtert Hospital campus in Wauwatosa. Health care officials would not say what they are building or how much it will cost. (Hess, 5/16)

Axios: Study: Benefits Of Prostate Cancer Blood Test Outweigh Harms

The blood test used to detect prostate cancer may be more effective at preventing deaths — particularly among Black men — than previously thought, according to a study in NEJM Evidence. Prostate cancer has one of the most pronounced disparities by race of any cancer, and Black men have historically been underrepresented in trials despite having double the risk of dying from it, the authors write. (Reed, 5/16)

In research on memory loss and Parkinson’s —

NPR: Scientists Find Spinal Fluids Rejuvenates Brain Cells And Helps With Memory Loss

A team at Stanford University has demonstrated a new approach to reversing memory loss — in mice. An infusion of spinal fluid from young mice reversed the memory loss typically seen in aging animals, the team reported this month in the journal Nature. A growth factor found in the fluid also improved memory, though to a lesser degree, says Tony Wyss-Coray, a neuroscientist and senior author of the study. “When we put the factor in the mice, they actually are better able to perform a memory task where they have to remember something that happened to them (a small electric shock),” Wyss-Coray says. (Hamilton, 5/16)

Press Association: Powerful Brain Scanners Offer Hope For Treating Some Parkinson’s Symptoms

Ultra-powerful brain scanners could offer hope for the treatment of previously-untreatable symptoms in Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests. Both Parkinson’s disease and a related disorder, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), are progressive brain diseases that not only affect movement but also damage motivation and cognition. Cognition refers to the mental processes that take place in the brain, including thinking, attention, language, learning, memory and perception. (Massey, 5/17)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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