That’s News

By Kyle Miklik
Monday, September 26, 2022

Satiety-inducing Device Shows Promise for Obesity Treatment

Bariatric surgery is the most effective option for sustained obesity treatment. However, new research published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces may offer a promising minimally invasive alternative for those unable or unwilling to undergo surgery.

Researchers developed an intragastric satiety-inducing device (SID) consisting of a stent attached to a methylene blue-coated disc with an opening for food passage. The SID is placed via endoscopy in the lower esophagus and cardia. Once positioned, the disk is exposed to laser light to trigger the release of singlet oxygen, leading to the destruction of cells that produce ghrelin, also called the hunger hormone.

One week after treatment, pigs with the SID showed a two-fold reduction in body weight gain and ghrelin levels compared to controls. However, sustained effectiveness over the following weeks required repeated light treatment.

Pickle Juice for Cirrhotic Cramp Relief?

Though not a major complication of cirrhosis, cirrhotic cramps significantly impact quality of life. Pharmacological treatments can be expensive and often cause side effects. Research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests that an effective, low-cost, safe treatment may be hiding in plain sight.

Researchers hypothesized that the acidity of pickle juice would stimulate oropharyngeal nerves, increasing vagal tone and quickly halting cirrhotic cramps. In the study, adults with cirrhosis who had more than four cramp episodes the preceding month were instructed to sip either pickle juice or tap water at the onset of a cramp.

Both groups saw similar numbers of cramps treated during the 28-day study. However, those who sipped pickle juice reported a statistically significant number of aborted cramps and a decrease in cramp severity.

Is Prior Authorization Harming Your Patients and Practice?

Prior authorization (PA) is often touted as a cost-saving, evidence-based measure to improve care and streamline services. However, a 2021 AMA physician survey highlighting care and cost concerns for patients and providers revealed another finding.

More than 80% of physicians indicated patients had sometimes, often or always abandoned treatment due to PA. For patients who received treatment requiring PA, 93% experienced a delay accessing care. Furthermore, 34% reported a serious adverse event and 24% were hospitalized because of a PA delay.

In addition to negative clinical outcomes, 88% of physicians indicated the PA process was associated with a high or extremely high level of burden in their practice, with 40% reporting they have staff solely dedicated to PAs.