The five most-read posts on Scope this week were:
Moving toward a Down syndrome drug: A recent story in the New York Times Magazine describes the life’s work of Alberto Costa, MD, a Colorado scientist who began studying Down syndrome treatments soon after his newborn daughter was diagnosed with the genetic disease in 1995. Costa is currently conducting a groundbreaking human trial of a drug treatment for the cognitive symptoms of Down syndrome – he’s giving adults with the disease regular doses of the Alzheimer’s drug memantine.
Mobile phone app helps manage diabetes: Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found that a mobile phone app can help patients manage their Type 2 diabetes. Their study involved software that provides real-time feedback on blood sugar levels – if levels are too high or too low, patients are prompted to take the necessary steps to correct it.
More breastfeeding support needed in hospitals: Just in time for World Breastfeeding Week, the CDC has released a report (.pdf) showing that only a small percentage of U.S. hospitals – 4 percent - provide the necessary support for breastfeeding moms.
Image of the Week: World War II-era food wheel: This WWII-era chart, one of the many gems that appear in the National Archives’ ongoing exhibition on government involvement in the American diet, illustrates what the federal government once considered a balanced diet. Why meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and peanut butter comprise one food group and butter gets its own category seems difficult to comprehend today.
Alan Greene talks about Medicine 2.0 and the future of doctor-patient communication: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital pediatrician Alan Greene, MD, is a pioneer in web-based medical information. In this Q&A, Greene discusses how doctors can how the web and social media tools are changing the doctor-patient relationship and how he uses online communication to engage and empower patients.