The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 8/17/17

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.

— Two House Representatives are going after multiple sclerosis drug makers, accusing them of “shadow pricing.” The tactic suggests that drugmakers are raising the cost of older MS drugs to keep pace with newer treatments.

— New Hampshire is the latest state to sue Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, over deceptive marketing practices that the suit claims is significantly responsible for the state’s opioid crisis. 

— Furthering the argument, a recent ICER report found that for the majority of abuse-deterrent opioids, “no real-world evidence published … demonstrate improved health outcomes or reductions in the risk of abuse.”

— A new report from the Global Council on Brain Health puts out the fire surrounding popular “brain training” games, noting that claims made by companies are often exaggerated and that quality and duration are important factors.  

— Is there a brain cancer curse in Major League Baseball? The recent death of Darren Daulton has resurfaced concerns that a link exists between past pros and glioblastoma. 

— A report in JAMA Neurology confirms that Zika infection increases the incidence of a range of neurologic syndromes, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, encephalitis, and transverse myelitis

— A small startup is at the forefront of brain-machine interfaces after getting the attention of the Pentagon. 

— New research suggests that a non-invasive, high-definition retinal scan may be a good option for diagnosing and monitoring Alzheimer’s disease. Watch the video below to learn more about the development of the technology.