The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 7/6/17

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.

— A new study suggests that elevated levels of serotonin may serve as a forensic biomarker to help distinguish cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) from other sleep-related, unexpected infant deaths. 

— Check out this interview with clinical researcher Sarah Weckhuysen MD, PhD, whose recently received the Epilepsia Prize for Clinical Research for her work on the association of genetic mutations with the etiology of focal epilepsies. 

— Researchers have discovered the cause behind blood-brain barrier breakdown in patients with neuromyelitis optica. The finding may hold benefits for the development of therapeutics that penetrate the brain. 

— Top line results from the PROMISE 1 trial demonstrate a significant reduction in episodic migraine with eptinezumab.

— Indiana health commissioner Jerome Adams, MD has been nominated as the next Surgeon General. Dr Adams was at the helm when an HIV outbreak occurred in his home state, and has been an outspoken advocate of addressing the opioid epidemic. 

— Here is an updated list of how money raised with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been distributed.

— The FDA is taking action to improve market competition among prescription drugs and grant swifter access to low-cost alternatives. 

— The mental health of caregivers may have a significant impact on the mortality of patients with dementia, according to a new report. If your patient’s caregiver is struggling, this financial support guide may help. 

JAMA Psychiatry has curated a collection of essays and the art pieces that inspired them to demonstrate the connections between visual art and mental illness

— Check out the latest Mayo Clinic Neuro Chat below, featuring pediatric neurologist and neurosurgeons talking about spina bifida and fetal surgery.