The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 8/24/17

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.

— Several trials exploring the use of gene therapy for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy are about to start, using a micro version of the dystrophin gene. 

— The NIH is testing the use of robotic exoskeletons in patients with cerebral palsy. Early results suggest that the devices may help improve posture and gait.

— The European Stroke Organization has updated its guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral venous thrombosis. The guidelines have been endorsed by the European Academy of Neurology. 

— Amneal Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary recall of 13 lots of lorazepam oral concentrate after it was discovered that the droppers may have dose marking defects. 

— Despite strong concerns and effort by the FDA, a flawed study study of Sapepta’s controversial Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug eteplirsen remains published. 

— After 2 years of debate, President Trump signed the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, securing the agency’s user fee program through 2022. 

— Maine has implemented a law that limits opioid prescribing. While it required some tweaks, it seems to be working, motivating more physicians to offer alternative treatments. 

— Many carriers of the APOE4 gene have taken so-called Alzheimer’s prevention into their own hands as unproven strategies for slowing or preventing cognitive decline abound.

— Check out this grand rounds from the University of Colorado School of Medicine on physician-assisted suicide in neurology. They review the clinical, ethical, and legal factors of the argument.