The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 6/9/17

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.

— Don’t miss out on Neurology Advisor’s live conference coverage this week! Catch up on all the latest news recently reported at MDS 2017 and AHS 2017 right here. 

— In a first-of-its-kind move, the FDA has requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid medication Opana ER from the market, citing the ongoing opioid crisis and its links to an HIV, hepatitis C, and blood disorder outbreak. The drug was reformulated in 2012 in an attempt to curb abuse via the nasal passage; however this only lead to a surge in intravenous abuse of the drug. Back in March, an FDA panel voted 18-8 that the benefits of the reformulated drug no longer outweighed the risks, and recommended that it be removed from the market. 

— In another effort to get a handle on the opioid crisis, the NIH is leading a conversation focused on opioid use in pregnant women and children who experience withdrawal symptoms. 

— The NIH is hosting an event Friday, June 9 on advancements in neuromodulation for the treatment of depression. You can watch a webcast of the talk here

— The FDA has approved the first fluorescing optical imaging agent, Gleolan, as an adjunct for visualization of malignant tissue in patients with gliomas. 

New research suggests that a protein isolated from the venom of the Southeast Asian pit viper may contribute to the development of a new antiplatelet therapy.

— Researchers from Salk Institute have developed a statistical model that describes how neurons interpret visual information. The method may aid in the development of computer-simulated vision technology like that used for self-driving cars. Watch the video below to learn more.