Health and Medicine

A fight to get access to lifesaving medication enters its second year at the state capitol.  It may be an uphill battle in this conservative state-- because the medication is derived from marijuana.

Last year, Virginia passed a law allowing Beth Collins to give her teenaged daughter, who suffers from severe epilepsy, the one substance that’s successfully treated her seizures -- an oil that comes from marijuana.

“I put it in a tiny dropper, put it under her tongue. Three times a day, she doesn’t like the taste, but it works,” said Collins.

 A difficult to treat brain tumor that occurs at the same rate in dogs, as it does in humans, will be the subject of canine clinical trials at the Vet School at Virginia Tech.  

Glioblastomas are rapidly growing brain tumors, which typically affect older adults.  They’re notoriously difficult to remove and hard to treat because they quickly develop resistance to chemotherapy.

The main drug used to fight them is known as T-M-Z.  Scientists from Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic did a study in which they added another drug to the mix called ACT 1.

It’s the time of year to sign up for health care. This year is the third that Virginians can shop around for policies through the Affordable Care Act -- or ObamaCare -- marketplace.

The question now is how many people will sign up again this year. Last year, 34-percent of those eligible for health-care through the marketplace participated. A number on par with the national average, says Massey Whorley, a healthcare policy analyst at The Commonwealth Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Richmond.

blogs.nejm.org

The recent death of an American Airlines pilot on a flight from Phoenix to Boston made headlines. Medical emergencies on board commercial flights are rare, but when they occur, treatment can be a real challenge.  A University of Virginia physician who, over the years, has been called to treat three patients on board commercial aircraft thought it might be helpful to write an article on the subject, and the New England Journal of Medicine agreed.  

www.campuskitchens.org

It’s a sad fact that we produce enough food in this country to feed everyone in it, yet hunger remains a problem for many. 

Virginia Tech is joining the effort to change that.  It kicks off its “Campus Kitchens” program Wednesday, September 30th.  It’s a carefully orchestrated volunteer effort to save still-fresh food, left over from student dining halls, and get it to people who need it.  

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