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Morning Medical Update: Party drug confiscation up 349%; Paralyzed man walks with brain and spine implants; What is ‘Disease X’?


The top news stories in primary care today.

morning desk doctor hands © Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

© Alena Kryazheva - stock.adobe.com

Party drug confiscation up 349%

United States law enforcement seizure of ketamine have risen 349% in the last five years, according to a study. This equals a total weight of 127 pounds in 2017 and about 1550 pounds in 2022. Although an ketamine overdose is unlikely, officials are worried about it being potentially mixed with fentanyl.

Paralyzed man walks with brain and spine implants

A Dutch man who was left paralyzed by a bike accident 12 years ago has taken his first steps using a stimulator on his brain and spine, which he is able to control with his thoughts. The device is worn in a backpack. “The technology is still in its infancy, although it is tremendous technology,” Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist and professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne said in an article.

What is ‘Disease X’?

The World Health Organization (WHO) keeps a list “priority diseases” that include Zika, Ebola, SARS, plus a final entry that reads “disease x”. The name is used as a placeholder for the next unnamed deadly disease. The WHO came up with the name in 2018. In 2019, COVID emerged. “The COVID-19 pandemic was not the first to wreak havoc on the world and it will not be the last,” wrote the authors of the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology article. “Thus, we need to prepare for the next outbreak as soon as possible.”

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