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HEALTH CARE NEWS

US Congress extends CHIP, funds opioid crisis response following temporary shutdown

Publish date: February 9, 2018

By 

Gregory Twachtman 

Oncology Practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congress, despite a second shutdown in less than a month, was able to pass a number of financial extenders to fund key health care programs.

The bipartisan spending bill (H.R. 1892), passed in the early morning hours on Feb. 9 by a 71-28 vote in the Senate (16 Republicans and 12 Democrats voted against it, and Sen. John McCain [R-Ariz.] was not present) and a 240-186 vote in the House (67 Republicans and 119 Democrats voted against and 5 representatives did not vote). President Trump signed the bill later that morning.

 

The spending bill and continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23 includes $6 billion to fund treatment for opioid addiction and other mental health issues, $2 billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health, and 4 additional years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The additional CHIP funding extends the program for a total of 10 years.

The funding bill also made a technical correction to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Medicare Quality Payment Program. It removes Part B drug reimbursement from the MIPS payment adjustment, so any positive or negative change to physician payments based on the MIPS score will only be applied to physician fee schedule payments.

The bill also repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created by the Affordable Care Act that would have the power to slash Medicare spending under certain budget circumstances. That board was never convened.

The funding legislation also accelerates closure of the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” the coverage gap in which beneficiaries must pay 100% of medication costs prior to entering catastrophic coverage.

Just over $7 billion was provided for community health centers and Medicare’s therapy caps were repealed.

While the funding bill was written in the Senate with bipartisan input and received bipartisan support, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held up votes over objections to the more than $1 trillion it will add to the nation’s debt, as well as for the fact that there was no opportunity to introduce and vote on amendments, leading to an hours-long government shutdown.

There also were concerns about two issues that could have derailed the vote in the House. Democrats wanted to add language to address immigrants brought to this nation illegally as children, while some Republicans did not want to increase the federal debt. However, there were enough votes to pass the funding legislation.

gtwachtman@frontlinemedcom.com

Altering Songbird Brain Provides Insight Into Human Behavior

Drotumdi O

 Previous Article  Return to Article List   Next Article >     Altering Songbird Brain Provides Insight Into Human Behavior     Article ID: 690939  Released: 12-Mar-2018 12:20 PM EDT  Source Newsroom:  UT Southwestern Medical Center    Add to Favorites         more news from this source                      Share                     VTA: Dopamine neurons that project to the brain’s basal ganglia reinforce a zebra finch’s song. The red axons of neurons express dopamine and green axons are genetically modified to express optogenetic channels that allow their activity to be controlled with light.           Birds-Closeup: A study demonstrates that a zebra finch’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly. The finding provides insight into how these neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.           Birds-Roberts: Dr. Todd Roberts, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience           VTA: Dopamine neurons that project to the brain’s basal ganglia reinforce a zebra finch’s song. The red axons of neurons express dopamine and green axons are genetically modified to express optogenetic channels that allow their activity to be controlled with light.           Birds-Closeup: A study demonstrates that a zebra finch’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly. The finding provides insight into how these neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.   Prev  Next      Audio  Songbird Podcast  MEDIA CONTACT   Available for logged-in reporters only   CITATIONS    Neuron    CHANNELS   Birds ,  Neuro ,  Behavioral Science ,  Cognition and Learning ,  Local - Texas ,  Local - Dallas Metro ,  All Journal News   KEYWORDS   Ut Southwestern ,  Songbirds ,  Neuroscience         Newswise — DALLAS – March 15, 2018 – Songbirds are providing insight into how a specific set of neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.  A study from UT Southwestern’s  Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute  demonstrates that a bird’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly.  Previous research has shown that when a song is performed without perceived error, certain neurons release dopamine to brain areas involved in motor control. The new study shows that by activating and suppressing these neurons, scientists can prompt the birds to change specific syllables in future performances.  “The results show unexpected precision in how these signals can guide the refinement of vocalizations. We expect this pathway plays a similar role in how people learn and adjust their speech,” said  Dr. Todd Roberts , Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and a Thomas O. Hicks Scholar in Medical Research.  The study published in  Neuron  focused on the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an integral part of the brain’s reward system that reinforces behaviors. Scientists in the  Roberts laboratory  used optogenetic methods to control the VTA neurons in zebra finches as they practiced their song.  The discovery is the latest in a string of findings from Dr. Roberts’ lab, which specializes in understanding how the brain functions during vocal learning. By mapping the neural processes involved as birds learn mating songs, scientists hope to someday use that knowledge to target specific genes disrupting speech in patients with autism or other neurodevelopmental conditions.  Among other recent projects, Dr. Roberts’ team last year  identified a network of neurons  that plays a vital role in learning vocalizations by aiding communication between motor and auditory regions of the brain. His lab is also leading an  ongoing study  funded by the federal BRAIN Initiative research program.  The  Neuron  study received support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the University of Texas BRAIN Initiative, the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.   About UT Southwestern Medical Center   UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.2 million outpatient visits a year.       SEE ORIGINAL STUDY       Permalink to this article               COMMENTS  |  COMMENTING POLICY   We recommend   Researchers ID Network of Neurons Crucial for Vocal Learning   Newswise   White House Funds Songbird Study to Unlock Mystery of Vocal Learning   Newswise   Bird Song Study Gives Clues to Human Stuttering   Newswise   Swartz Foundation Lecture: What Songbirds Can Teach Us About Learning and the Brain   Newswise   Songbirds Reveal How Practice Improves Performance   Newswise      Brain Key to Leptin’s Actions against Type 1 Diabetes   Diabetes In Control   Researchers Uncover Potential Breakthrough Cure for Type 1 Diabetes   Diabetes In Control   Register now for MedCity INVEST - Premier healthcare investing event in the Midwest   MedCity - INVEST Conference   Share your Insights and Learn How Readers Discover Content   TrendMD, Renew Publishing Consultants   Meet leading healthcare players and innovators at MedCity INVEST in Chicago   MedCity - INVEST Conference   Powered by TrendMD        View All Latest News

Previous Article Return to Article List Next Article >

Altering Songbird Brain Provides Insight Into Human Behavior

Article ID: 690939

Released: 12-Mar-2018 12:20 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: UT Southwestern Medical Center

Add to Favorites

more news from this source

 

 

 

 

Share

 

 

VTA: Dopamine neurons that project to the brain’s basal ganglia reinforce a zebra finch’s song. The red axons of neurons express dopamine and green axons are genetically modified to express optogenetic channels that allow their activity to be controlled with light.

 

Birds-Closeup: A study demonstrates that a zebra finch’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly. The finding provides insight into how these neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.

 

Birds-Roberts: Dr. Todd Roberts, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

 

VTA: Dopamine neurons that project to the brain’s basal ganglia reinforce a zebra finch’s song. The red axons of neurons express dopamine and green axons are genetically modified to express optogenetic channels that allow their activity to be controlled with light.

 

Birds-Closeup: A study demonstrates that a zebra finch’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly. The finding provides insight into how these neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.

PrevNext

Audio

Songbird Podcast

MEDIA CONTACT

Available for logged-in reporters only

CITATIONS

Neuron

CHANNELS

Birds, Neuro, Behavioral Science, Cognition and Learning, Local - Texas, Local - Dallas Metro, All Journal News

KEYWORDS

Ut Southwestern, Songbirds, Neuroscience

 

Newswise — DALLAS – March 15, 2018 – Songbirds are providing insight into how a specific set of neurons may guide the learning of vocal behaviors in humans.

A study from UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute demonstrates that a bird’s song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly.

Previous research has shown that when a song is performed without perceived error, certain neurons release dopamine to brain areas involved in motor control. The new study shows that by activating and suppressing these neurons, scientists can prompt the birds to change specific syllables in future performances.

“The results show unexpected precision in how these signals can guide the refinement of vocalizations. We expect this pathway plays a similar role in how people learn and adjust their speech,” said Dr. Todd Roberts, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and a Thomas O. Hicks Scholar in Medical Research.

The study published in Neuron focused on the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an integral part of the brain’s reward system that reinforces behaviors. Scientists in the Roberts laboratory used optogenetic methods to control the VTA neurons in zebra finches as they practiced their song.

The discovery is the latest in a string of findings from Dr. Roberts’ lab, which specializes in understanding how the brain functions during vocal learning. By mapping the neural processes involved as birds learn mating songs, scientists hope to someday use that knowledge to target specific genes disrupting speech in patients with autism or other neurodevelopmental conditions.

Among other recent projects, Dr. Roberts’ team last year identified a network of neurons that plays a vital role in learning vocalizations by aiding communication between motor and auditory regions of the brain. His lab is also leading an ongoing study funded by the federal BRAIN Initiative research program.

The Neuron study received support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the University of Texas BRAIN Initiative, the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.2 million outpatient visits a year.

 

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY

Permalink to this article

 

 

COMMENTS | COMMENTING POLICY

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Register now for MedCity INVEST - Premier healthcare investing event in the Midwest

MedCity - INVEST Conference

Share your Insights and Learn How Readers Discover Content

TrendMD, Renew Publishing Consultants

Meet leading healthcare players and innovators at MedCity INVEST in Chicago

MedCity - INVEST Conference

Powered by TrendMD

View All Latest News