Rebranding: The Solution to Veggie Consumption?

Derek Ebot-Akoachere, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

 

An estimated 396 million adults in the world were found to be obese in 2005. This may increase to 1.12 billion in 2030 if current trends remain unabated. [1] The Food and Drug Administration is fighting to curb this health issue by food labeling and education campaigns. [2] People tend to rate foods they perceive as healthy to be less tasty [3] because they are labeled with less appealing descriptors, [4] which may render health-focused labeling counter-effective. This begs the question: what if healthy foods were labeled with more appealing descriptors?

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Is There a Link Between The Degree of Maternal Obesity and Congenital Malformations?

Derek Ebot-Akoachere, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

 

According to the United States Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health, obesity is a health issue of nationwide epidemic proportions, [1] Almost one-third of women of childbearing age are considered obese [2], and obesity is associated with many pregnancy complications including congenital malformations (CMF). [3] The relationship between obesity in pregnancy and CMF has been investigated, but there is little data associating increasing severity of obesity and CMF.

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Presenting Genomic Sequencing Information in Primary Care

Meron Mezgebe, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

Clinical exome and genome sequencing has been shown to provide advantages in molecular diagnosing to patients with rare genetic events and new mutations. Results presented in whole genome sequencing (WGS) provide more complex results than simpler gene- or gene panel-based testing. [1] With the limited access to genetic professionals, non-geneticist physicians and primary care physicians (PCPs) can present genomic information to patients. A study found that physicians appear underprepared, and perceived that they lack sufficient knowledge and confidence to incorporate genomic testing and pharmacogenetics testing into practice. [2] Furthermore, a qualitative analysis found PCPs to be concerned about their general genomic knowledge. [3]

Evaluation of highly heritable conditions [1], prenatal screening [4], and cancer treatment [5] through genome sequencing has been shown to be beneficial. However, the risk of anxiety and unnecessary medical costs might outweigh the benefits of sequencing for healthy individuals. [6]

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Type 2 Diabetes and Blood Glucose: Is There a Benefit to Testing?

Kyle Savio, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) has been considered a key component of managing diabetes, allowing patients a level of autonomy and safety through detection of inappropriate blood glucose trends that may spur insulin or diet adjustments. In insulin-dependent patients, SMBG has been associated with preventing hypoglycemia. [1] Type 2 diabetes is believed to account for 90–95% of all diabetes and its treatment may not typically utilize insulin until disease progression. Diabetes guidelines have not required the use of SMBG in type 2 diabetes patients unless they are insulin-dependent. [2]

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A New Standard in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? Alectinib vs. Crizotinib

Bhargav Patel, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterized by symptoms such as hoarseness, weight loss, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, and a prolonged cough. It may account for up to 85% of all lung cancer cases and is thought to be insensitive to treatment with chemotherapy. [1] Several treatment options, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, are available. Crizotinib acts to inhibit anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and is the standard of therapy to manage ALK-positive disease. Alectinib attempts to block ALK tyrosine kinase and could be a new treatment option due to its possible activity against the ALK mutations that confer resistance against crizotinib. [2]

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Development of another PCSK9 inhibitor for hyperlipidemia

Renzo Gonzalez, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

It has been shown that lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) will reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk. [1] Statins effectively reduce LDL-C levels, but individual responses may vary. [2-3] Bococizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9).  Unlike the two existing PCSK9 inhibitors Praluent® (alirocumab) and Repatha® (evolocumab), bococizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody, rather than a fully human one.  Fully human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have binding sites composed of fully human sequences, whereas humanized mAbs still contain trace amount of mouse sequences.  Given that bococizumab is a humanized mAb, the likelihood of forming antidrug antibodies is higher compared to the existing PCSK9 inhibitors. [4] These agents are very potent in lowering LDL-C, [5,6] but there is uncertainty in the variability and durability of its LDL-C lowering effect.

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How Much does Timing Matter when Treating Sepsis?

Reem Gebrekidan, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

Sepsis is characterized as a systemic detrimental response to infection which could lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Management of sepsis may include source control, fluid resuscitation, antibiotics, and vasopressors depending on hemodynamic stability after fluid resuscitation. [1] The Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) recommends initiating antibiotics within the first hour of sepsis recognition and a treatment bundle which requires administration of 30 mL/kg crystalloid for hypotension or lactate level of less than 4 mmol/L within 3 hours from admission. [2] It was stated that administration within 3 hours of emergency department triage and/or within 1 hour of shock recognition was not associated with significant improvement in mortality and might not be feasible. [3]

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