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The Morning Report provides a quick look at today’s medical news, research and features.  









Ebola Patients Cured and Released From Hospital
Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly have been cured of the Ebola virus and released from Emory Hospital in Atlanta. Brantly, 33, called his recovery “a miraculous day.” ”I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and reunited with my family,” he said.

Both patients were given blood and urine tests to determine whether they still had the virus. ”After a rigorous course of treatment and testing we have determined…that (Brantly) has recovered from the Ebola virus disease and he can return to his family, to his community, and to his life without any public health concerns,” Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit, said today.

“We are tremendously pleased with Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol’s recovery,” Ribner said. “All of us who have worked with them have been impressed by their courage and determination. Their hope and faith have been an inspiration to all of us.”

Ribner emphasized that though there is public fear and anxiety about Ebola, there is no threat to public health with the patients’ release. He also said that the decision to bring Brantly and Writebol to America for treatment would help push forward the research and knowledge about how to treat Ebola wherever it is contracted.

Brantly is the first-ever Ebola patient to be treated in the U.S. and the first human to receive the experimental serum known as ZMapp. According to reports, Brantly’s condition deteriorated so quickly that doctors in Africa decided to give him the drug in a last-ditch effort to save him. (ABC)

Is Breakfast Overrated?
For years, we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But scientific support for that idea has been surprisingly meager, and a spate of new research at several different universities – published in multiple articles in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – could change the way we think about early-hours eating.

In one study, researchers randomly assigned subjects to either skip breakfast, always eat the meal or continue with their current dietary habits. Sixteen weeks later, no one had lost much weight, only a pound or so per person, with weight in all groups unaffected by whether someone ate breakfast or skipped it.

In another study, researchers determined the resting metabolic rates, cholesterol levels and blood-sugar profiles of participants and randomly assigned them to eat or skip breakfast. Volunteers were then provided with activity monitors. After six weeks, their body weights, resting metabolic rates, cholesterol and most measures of blood sugar were about the same as they had been at the start, whether people ate breakfast or not.

The one difference was that the breakfast eaters seemed to move around more during the morning; their activity monitors showed that volunteers in this group burned almost 500 calories more in light-intensity movement. But by eating breakfast, they also consumed an additional 500 calories each day. Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast had not driven volunteers to wolf down enormous lunches and dinners – but it had made them somewhat more sluggish first thing in the morning. (NYT)

Doctor’s View: Keep Your Guns Out of My Practice
A doctor recently submitted an editorial to Physicians News about Florida’s restrictions on firearms discussions with patients:

“Physicians who genuinely wish to offer safety information can simply hand out firearms safety and safe storage brochures to all patients.” That was the advice of Marion Hammer, former head of the National Rifle Association and current Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida. And it’s good advice…so long as you love your guns more than your health.

In her recent article appearing in the Pensacola News Journal, Hammer spoke of a “political agenda,” implying an underlying conspiracy to rid the world of guns through the doctor’s office.  Well, the Court of Appeals has its agenda too, doesn’t it?  If that court were more liberal, the outcome would most likely have been different.  The point is that both sides of the aisle can accuse the other of political maneuvering.  None of that has anything to do with medicine.

Just as nothing is more precious to Hammer than her guns, nothing is more precious to me than my children.  And the children of my patients.  And their care is in jeopardy because of this law. Don’t tell me how to practice medicine.  If you don’t want to get good medical care from good doctors, then don’t go to the doctor.  No one is forcing you to seek medical care. It’s a choice (gun advocates probably don’t like to think of it as a “choice”).  Stick to the brochures.  I’m sure if you hug your gun hard enough, it will provide good medical care. In the meantime, let me do my job. (Full article at Physicians News)


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