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In a new systematic review in JAMA Neurology, Michigan Medicine researchers found reason to further explore the surprising effects of zolpidem that have been observed outside the scope of its primary Food and Drug Administration approval.

"We saw a dramatic effect in a small amount of patients with a variety of conditions," says Martin "Nick" Bomalaski, M.D., an outgoing resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Most of the patients who responded to zolpidem for noninsomnia neurological disorders had either a disorder of consciousness or a movement disorder, Bomalaski reports.

That includes those in comas and vegetative states, and others with Parkinson's disease and dystonia.

The response rate in the reviewed articles was between 5 and 7 percent for patients with disorders of consciousness, and up to 24 percent or even higher for patients with movement disorders.

Another topic for more research is to assess whether the effects of zolpidem depend on the part of the brain that's injured.
In 2011, Claudio Aspesi, a senior investment analyst at Bernstein Research in London, made a bet that the dominant firm in one of the most lucrative industries in the world was headed for a crash. 

Reed-Elsevier, a multinational publishing giant with annual revenues exceeding £6bn, was an investor’s darling.

It was one of the few publishers that had successfully managed the transition to the internet, and a recent company report was predicting yet another year of growth.

Aspesi, though, had reason to believe that that prediction – along with those of every other major financial analyst – was wrong.
After 28 years  teaching and practicing critical care medicine, Dr. Paul Marik knows when a patient is at death’s door.

So in January 2016, when 53-year-old Valerie Hobbs came into his intensive care unit with a severe case of sepsis, he expected it would be for the last time.

Hobbs had been admitted to Virginia's Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for an infected gall-bladder that had led to septic shock.

Now, the confounding infection was causing her blood pressure to bottom out and her organs to fail. Marik’s best guess was that she would be dead by morning.
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes.

When populations shift, districts need to be redistributed – a complex and, in many countries, controversial task when political parties attempt to influence redistricting.

Mathematicians at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed a method that allows the efficient calculation of optimally sized voting districts.

When constituents cast their vote for a candidate, they assume it carries the same weight as that of the others.

Voting districts should thus be sized equally according to population. When populations change, boundaries need to be redrawn.
Patients are ditching opioids and instead using cannabis to treat pain, anxiety, and depression mostly in states where pot is legal, according to a new study.

Published in the Journal of Pain Research, the results show that 46  percent of people who used cannabis at least once within the previous 90 days used it as a substitute for prescription drugs that treat pain, anxiety, and depression.

The investigators surveyed nearly 3,000 respondents from all over the United States (as well as participants from Canada and Europe).

The findings serve as the latest bit of news demonstrating a growing trend of medical cannabis use for conditions traditionally treated with prescription medications.
SpaceX has successfully launched and landed the second Falcon 9 rocket in roughly 48 hours — giving SpaceX two wins in its “weekend doubleheader.” 

The rocket took off today from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 4:25 PM ET, and delivered 10 satellites into orbit for the communications company Iridium. It’s the company’s ninth launch of 2017, and, six months in, are the most completed by SpaceX in a single year.

The rocket’s 230-foot-tall first stage, which houses nine engines, then touched down on the drone ship called “Just Read the Instructions” floating in the Pacific Ocean. Musk warned earlier in the day that the landing might be tricky, and weather conditions were described as borderline.

Nevertheless, the rocket stuck the landing — marking SpaceX’s lucky 13th successful landing overall, and its eighth at sea. In fact, SpaceX hasn’t lost a rocket during an attempted landing since early last summer — today’s leaves their landing streak still going strong with nine successes.