This is your brain on drugs

Chalk one up for the Canadians, eh. Bob & Doug McKenzie would be so proud. Researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University and the Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics recently published, in NeuroImage, a paper that introduces and validates the concept of the personalized Therapeutic Intervention Fingerprint (pTIF), which predicts the effectiveness of potential interventions for controlling a patient’s disease evolution. Think personalized medicine from a brain perspective. Using pTIF subtypes, drugs can be designed for a patient’s unique gene expression profile and phenotypic brain characteristics, which is a major advancement in personalized medicine. For some cool images go here. Their first focus is on Alzheimer’s disease patients. So, don’t be a hoser, stop watching anti-drug commercials, and enjoy the McKenzie’s 12 Days of Christmas song.

National health system bracketology

If you’re one of the estimated 60 million Americans who fill out a NCAA basketball bracket each year, then this story will resonate with you. But, you’re about to feel much worse about your health system. The New York Times decided to play bracketology with the health systems from Canada, Britain, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia and the U.S. by having five experts pick which system was better in head-to-head match-ups, with the winner advancing. In the end, Switzerland won, with Germany as a close second. France defeated the US in round two by a 3-2 vote. This writer is quick to acknowledge there are many different lenses through which a system can be evaluated. InsightCity readers, what do you say? Bring on the comments.

The North Remembers

If you don’t get that reference, you’re doing TV / life wrong. A report from The Globe and Mail states that Canada’s federal government is considering action against U.S.-based Purdue Pharma over “potentially illegal activities in the marketing of OxyContin in Canada.” InsightCity covered instances of U.S. states going after Purdue (see Ohio and Washington), but a neighboring country’s federal government getting involved means the trouble is far from over. In 2007, Purdue paid out $634.5 million in the U.S. to settle similar charges, and the Canadian government wants a similar outcome for their opioid crisis dating back 21 years. As in Westeros, there’s a situation brewing with the neighbors in The North. New episode of Thrones this Sunday at 9pm…HBO, give me free stuff.