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Today's Geriatric Medicine
E-Newsletter    July 2023
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Editor's E-Note

Patients with diabetic gastroparesis often suffer from nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and an inability to eat or drink. At the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and AU Health System, Amol Sharma, MD, is treating patients with magnetic stimulation of a group of nerves involved in the communication between the gut and the brain.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at www.TodaysGeriatricMedicine.com, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at TGMeditor@gvpub.com. Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive
Relieving the Pain and Nausea Caused by Diabetic Gastroparesis

Magnetic stimulation of a group of nerves that are key to how our gut and brain communicate may help correct the conversation that goes awry in painful, debilitating diabetic gastroparesis, researchers say.

Patients come to Amol Sharma, MD, because their stomachs constantly hurt, they are always nauseous, and they can’t or won’t eat or drink. Sometimes they can’t get out of the hospital because of nausea and vomiting.

“Gastroparesis is suspected in about 2% of the population, which is about the population of Missouri, but only confirmed in 0.2% of the population, so it’s a rare disorder,” says Sharma, a gastroenterologist at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University (AU) and AU Health System specializing in neurogastroenterology and gastrointestinal motility.

It’s also not well understood, but physicians like Sharma are beginning to find that it’s a dysfunction in the two-way communication between the gut and the brain. More common problems like irritable bowel syndrome also are thought to be a disorder of this gut/brain interaction, he notes.

Sharma’s lab has developed a painless, noninvasive magnetic stimulation therapy called ThorS-MagNT, which they are using to target and reset the hyperactive firing of a small group of nerves at the midback, a sort of midpoint of communication between the stomach and the brain. He has good evidence from a small pilot study that one-hour sessions targeting this nerve group for five successive days can significantly reduce the disease’s debilitating symptoms.

Other Geriatric News
A Cognitive Approach to Mitigating Fall Risk Falls Short
According to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, while cognitive training may help some at high risk of falling, new research indicates it does little to help those at low risk of falling.

Moving to Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
A new study in an online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, has linked exercise to a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The research from Inserm Research Center in Paris, France, found that women who exercised most had a 25% lower risk of developing the disease than did those who exercised the least.

A Mouse Model for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Dresden, Germany, studied the role of environment and lifestyle on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Science Daily reports on the Biological Psychiatry study, which stresses the importance of examining the early stages of disease when interventions could prove most beneficial.

COVID-19 May Boost Cholesterol
Time magazine reports on a little-discussed common complication of COVID-19: cholesterol problems in people who’ve never had concerns about cholesterol. According to a study in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology of 150,000 VA Health System users, one to four of every 100 people infected with the virus may be affected.
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Improving Outcomes for Patients at Risk of Cognitive Decline
uMETHOD Health, a health tech company specializing in precision medicine for complex disease, has announced a collaboration with Quest Diagnostics on a new artificial intelligence–powered testing service, RestoreU, that aims to close care gaps and improve outcomes for patients at risk of cognitive decline due to dementia. It incorporates lab test results ordered by physicians from Quest and the patient’s health history, and uMETHOD’s artificial intelligence platform then assesses more than 50 risk factors and generates a care plan with evidence-based, actionable treatment recommendations. Learn more »
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