Northwestern University professors Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD, Murali Prakriya, PhD, Linda A. Teplin, PhD and Teri W. Odom, PhD, have been selected as 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world.
A new way to significantly increase the potency of almost any vaccine has been developed by Northwestern scientists.
Northwestern Medicine investigators have discovered that specific calcium channels help regulate sex differences in the functioning of immune cells for neuroinflammation and overall neuropathic pain.
Feinberg has named two new associate deans: Kathryn Hufmeyer, MD, has been named associate dean for curriculum, and Linda Suleiman, MD, has been promoted to associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Shortages of mental health professionals across U.S. counties were associated with an increase in youth suicides, according to a Northwestern Medicine study.
The Northwestern Medicine Scholars program helps local high school students learn about potential careers in medicine as physicians and scientists through participating in hands-on training sessions, educational seminars and networking opportunities.
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It’s normal to have an occasional bout of constipation. Uncomfortable as it may be, this usually resolves within a few days. But the problem may be chronic if you have fewer than three bowel movements per week, you need to strain for at least a quarter of all your bowel movements, stool is often hard or lumpy and sometimes you feel like your bowels haven’t fully emptied. “Many older adults assume that constipation is just another inevitable part of aging, but it can be avoided through lifestyle [strategies and]occasionally medication,” says Christian Stevoff, MD, a gastroenterologist at Northwestern Medicine and assistant professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Chronic constipation might be more common in older adults, affecting about 26 percent of women and 16 percent of men over age 65, and 34 percent of women and 26 percent of men older than 85. Other factors, including insufficient fiber and too little physical activity, can also contribute. Medications such as opioids and certain antidepressants, blood pressure meds and Parkinson’s disease drugs are all potential culprits, Stevoff says.
A new threat has emerged in the United States’ illicit drug supply: an animal tranquilizer called xylazine. The drug is showing up in synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, leading to more overdoses and alarming side effects. Xylazine was created in the 1960s and is used in veterinary medicine to sedate animals during procedures or diagnostic testing, according to the DEA. Xylazine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human use. While it has been given in the past for household pets, the sedative is now typically used for larger animals like horse, sheep and elk. Anecdotal reports indicate using xylazine causes open wounds to “spontaneously develop,” said Maryann Mason, PhD, associate professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. These open wounds may lead to necrosis, or dead tissue, and eventually amputation of affected limbs, she said. There is no amount of xylazine that is safe for humans as humans are about 10 to 20 times more sensitive to xylazine than animals are.
For the first time in five decades, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade is being marked in a post-Roe world. On Sunday, the 50th anniversary of the court’s milestone ruling making abortion a protected, constitutional right, marches are taking place across the country amid uncertainty about the current state of reproductive rights. “Roe v. Wade, the case, has been overturned, but Roe is not dead,” Katie Watson, JD, an associate professor of medical education, medical social sciences and obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine said. “Roe is something larger than the case. It’s also a cultural phenomena that shaped the lives of all American women for 49 years. It’s also not dead in the sense that its principles have been carried forward in state legislation and in state constitutional analyses.” Watson further says, “American women aren’t standing still for this. They are not surrendering to this brutal hostage taking effort of their state governments to say, we’re going to force you to create another human being against your will. They’re literally moving. They’re literally getting out of Dodge, and seeking those abortions.”
One myth includes the idea that you should never feed peanut products to your children within their first few years of life. For years, experts told new parents that the best way to prevent their children from developing food allergies was to avoid feeding them common allergenic foods, like peanuts or eggs, during their first few years of life. But now, allergy experts say, it’s better to introduce peanut products to your child early on. If your baby does not have severe eczema or a known food allergy, you can start introducing peanut products (such as watered-down peanut butter, peanut puffs or peanut powders, but not whole peanuts) at around 4 to 6 months, when your baby is ready for solids. Start with two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter mixed with water, breast milk or formula, two to three times a week, said Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a professor of pediatrics and the director of the Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. If your baby has severe eczema, first ask your pediatrician or an allergist about starting peanut products around 4 months. “It is also important to feed your baby a diverse diet in their first year of life to prevent food allergies,” Dr. Gupta said.