The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 5/11/2017

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects neurologists.

— The US FDA has approved a new treatment for ALS — edaravone. The drug had been previously approved in Japan, where patients receiving the infusion saw less decline in daily functioning. 

— Research that tied 38 new genes to autism has been corrected to reflect a statistical flaw. After the correction, only 1 of the genes maintained its significance in the disorder. 

— Former NIHM director Tom Insel, MD has left his post at Google to start his own company that will focus on inferring people’s mental health status through their smartphone use. 

— Researchers have identified 2 molecules closely tied to glioblastoma, specifically cell division. The researchers hope the new findings can help direct the development of new therapies. 

— Veterans with blast-related concussion may continue to experience residual mental health effects and declines in quality of life for at least 5 years after injury, according to research published in JAMA Neurology. 

— How low is low enough? That’s what PTC Therapeutics is asking itself after it priced Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug Emflaza at $35,000 per year after previous owner Marathon came under harsh scrutiny. 

— The NIH has launched an intensive study in people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome that will include an extensive battery of testing as well as an exercise challenge to help better understand the cause or causes behind the mysterious disease. 

— A newly discovered light-sensing molecule integral to setting circadian rhythm in fruit flies may have implications for degenerative retinal disorders.

— Watch the video below from Mayo Clinic to learn more about acoustic neuromas from neurotologist Dr Peter Weisskopf.