Chorine Adewale, a second-year medical student, analyzed data from a Chicago-based LGBTQ healthcare provider and found some patients may not be properly diagnosed because criteria don’t account for trans and gender non-conforming patients.
Feinberg’s Robert J. Havey, MD Institute for Global Health hosted the 11th annual Global Health symposium on December 2, celebrating global health research, education and outreach efforts from Feinberg global health investigators, faculty, students and community partners.
Medical students and disability advocates gathered at the second Disability Advocacy Coalition in Medicine Interprofessional Virtual Conference to address ableism in medicine and medical education.
Investigators have identified previously unknown sets of epigenetic changes in pediatric brain tumors, which could serve as novel therapeutic targets and provide alternative treatment options.
Five physician assistant students have been awarded scholarships from the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program.
Brian Mustanski, PhD, has been named director of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research.
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Many people struggle to sleep through the night due to congestion, coughing, sneezing and other allergy-like symptoms. Chronic nasal congestion is a common problem affecting almost one in four Americans, a recent survey found. Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in dust around your house. They live in bedding, mattresses, furniture with upholstery, carpets and more. In fact a mattress can accumulate so many dust mites that, “believe it or not, (its) weight doubles in 10 years,” said Sai Nimmagadda, MD, associate professor of allergy and immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. About one in five people have allergies, and of that population, about half of them likely are allergic to dust mites, according to Nimmagadda. The main signs of dust mite allergies versus other kinds that Nimmagadda has observed are congestion and postnasal drip. Symptoms like an itchy throat or water eyes are often more related to pollen allergies. Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, allergy and immunology, and preventive medicine, said you should find out if you actually have a dust mite allergy before spending time and money trying to combat it.
It’s no secret that the holidays are stressful. Last year, the American Psychiatric Association polled over 2,000 adults: 41 percent reported an increase in worrying during the season. This year, 31 percent said they expected to feel even more stressed than they did in 2021. The reasons are plentiful: social obligations, gift-giving woes, family tensions, travel challenges, financial concerns and the lists go on. We asked experts to provide a few solutions to our holiday stressors. Setting boundaries is important to determine what is important to you. Once your priorities are sorted, you’ll need to get comfortable saying no. Inger E. Burnett-Zeigler, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, recommended three different ways of declining. You can simply say “No,” because “‘No’ is a complete sentence,” she explained. You can say, “No, not right now,” and suggest a different timeline, or you can say, “I can’t do this, but I can do that.” Planning in advance for travel is another way to reduce stress around the holidays. “Of course, no matter how much you prepare, travel comes with some uncertainty. But accepting the stress that arises may actually help you handle it, said Michael Ziffra, MD, a psychiatrist at Northwestern Medicine. Try writing down your top five worries ahead of time, a technique often used in cognitive behavioral therapy, he said. Beside each worry, explore how likely it is that your concern will happen and how bad it would be if it did. This practice can help replace worst-case scenarios in your mind with situations that are more realistic, Ziffra said.
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) “season” this year is notable for a number of reasons, including the relatively early and large spike in cases that is challenging the capacity of children’s hospitals nationwide. But the spotlight on pediatric cases is overshadowing how this virus also raises risk for people 65 and older. RSV in older Americans “remains under-recognized by both physicians and especially the public.” The symptoms of RSV in younger and older people are often similar. “Many things are the same, especially the prominence of severe cough and airway disease,” says Richard G. Wunderink, MD, a professor of medicine in pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. But because children have smaller airways than adults, the inflammation caused by RSV can cause more trouble in younger patients, Wunderink says. Clearing increased mucus can be more difficult, for example. That much mucus can plug the child’s airway and even cause a lung to collapse. This condition, known as atelectasis, “is a major reason for admission to pediatric ICUs,” Wunderink says. In contrast, he says, “Adults have bigger airways, so we don’t see as much mucus plugging and atelectasis.”
The coronavirus, flu and RSV are all circulating at such high levels that hospitals are overwhelmed. Health experts warn it’s best not to fly if you have any symptoms. Not only do you risk getting the passengers around you ill, but the environment on board could make you feel even worse. Respiratory illnesses affect your sinuses and Eustachian tubes, which connect your middle ear to your throat. Both are air-filled chambers, so when you’re on a plane, the pressure inside needs to equalize with the cabin pressure after takeoff and upon landing. When you’re sick, those tubes become inflamed and narrow, making equalizing pressures more difficult. Jeffrey A. Linder, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said the “calculus has changed” in recent years to reduce the need to travel while ill, thanks to the ability to quickly test for covid and the proliferation of remote work. “If you can’t get your symptoms under control with over-the-counter medicines, you should try to avoid flying,” Linder said.