Making National News

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Making Headlines
Faculty members at the Feinberg School of Medicine and their colleagues in the life sciences at Northwestern University frequently are quoted or featured in national and/or international news stories. Here is a selection of recent media coverage. Links to the original stories are provided but please note that you may be required to register with the news organization to access them and that they may be expired.

Let Hospital’s Plans Fly
Chicago Sun-Times Editorial October 30, 2007

Children’s Memorial Hospital is already one of Chicago’s greatest treasures and wants to get even better. But hospital officials must learn to play nice with its new Streeterville neighbors: Provide real solutions to the parking crunch and traffic backups that will ensue when the new $1 billion hospital opens. That said, the city should quickly approve Children’s plans to move from its Lincoln Park home of 125 years. The move makes sense for two reasons: First, the hospital has outgrown its current home in Lincoln Park. Hemmed in by one of the ritziest neighborhoods in the city, there is no room to expand but plenty of need. Every year, hospital officials say, they have to deny care to a significant number of critically ill children because they don’t have the space for them. Also, the hospital buildings in Lincoln Park are showing their age.

The second reason is Streeterville is already home to NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Children’s has long served as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for NORTHWESTERN, but its three-mile separation from the school has made it harder to attract top doctors and researchers. Hospital officials believe moving downtown, close to the medical school, NORTHWESTERN Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, will cement Children’s place as a top-tier pediatric hospital.

Defibrillator Use Urged to Save Children’s Lives
Washington Post October 29, 2007
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102901069.html

(HealthDay News)—The emergency defibrillators now commonly found in airports and other public places that have saved thousands of adult cardiac arrest victims can also save the lives of children. That’s the new position of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is reminding its members—and other physicians as well—that the devices can safely be used on children younger than 8 years old.

Dr. Steven E. Krug, chair of the academy’s committee on pediatric emergency medicine and professor of pediatrics at NORTHWESTERN University Feinberg School of Medicine, said, the “overall incidence of ventricular fibrillation has been underestimated. It used to be thought that it was fairly uncommon in children. We now know that a fairly significant number of children have arrhythmias that need defibrillation.”

Fainting in Public
NBC News Transcripts October 24, 2007

MEREDITH VIEIRA, cohost: …You know, fainting is bad enough for anyone, but when it happens on TV, it can be a bit embarrassing. That’s something Marie Osmond now knows all too well, but it turns out she’s in good company. Here’s NBC’s Lee Cowan…

COWAN: …to US attorney generals, to the lesser known but no less played clips of that poor kid at the spelling bee

Dr. RUSSELL ROBERTSON (Family Medicine Chair, NORTHWESTERN University): Talk about your proverbial sack of potatoes, that’s what happens. You’re down.

COWAN: Dr. Robertson says fainting can be a sign of heart problems, but it’s usually caused by nothing more than anxiety or not drinking enough liquids.

Dr. ROBERTSON: The pump isn’t primed and so the fluid’s not going where it needs to go and your brain says, `Hey, I need some more.’

Posing a Problem
Chicago Tribune (Red Eye) October 24, 2007
http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/news/custom/coverstory/red-102407-yoga-main,0,1343218.story

Approximately 4,459 Americans went to emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and clinics last year for yoga-related injuries, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It’s enough to give the medical community some cause for alarm, according to a local spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Yoga, the way I think of it, is a way to discipline the mind and body,” said academy spokesman Dr. Michael Schafer, chair of NORTHWESTERN University’s orthopedic program. “It was never meant to be a cardiovascular type of program. … When people try to do too much too quickly, they can injure the big five: neck, shoulders, lower back, legs and knees.” Schafer said he has seen an increasing number of patients in his practice who suffer from yoga-related injuries. “I had a patient who tore the cartilage in their knee, and it did require surgical intervention,” Schafer said…

Many Misuse Asthma Inhalers
Chicago Tribune October 24, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-102407-inhalers,0,5060240.story

About a third of patients with asthma or chronic obstructive disease use their dry powder inhalers incorrectly, putting them at risk of developing dangerous complications from their disease, according to a study presented to chest physicians meeting this week in Chicago. Inhalers deliver medication to the lungs, reducing airway inflammation and airway muscle constriction. Unlike pressurized, metered-dose inhalers that use propellants to deliver a measured amount of medication, drug powder inhalers rely on the force of the patient’s inhalation to activate, deliver and manage the flow of medication to the lungs.

Dr. Leslie Grammer, director of the Bazley Asthma and Allergy Center at NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said errors occur with the pressurized inhalers as well. “I have had people do some really surprising things,” she said, “like not taking the cap off or spraying it on their neck.”

Focus on Care Plans, Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors
American Medical News October 22, 2007
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/10/22/hlsb1022.htm

…experts [also]say enough data exist on some of the effects of cancer treatment to allow changes in current treatment modalities that could prevent some effect from developing or being as severe. For instance, data presented at the breast cancer meeting suggested that preoperative anxiety and depression, along with inadequate pain control during treatment, increased the risk of long-term pain. Experts say this suggests a prevention strategy. “We need to continue to ask patients about pain, take this pain seriously and treat this pain seriously at the first sign,” said Judith A. Paice, RN, PhD, director of the cancer pain program at NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Freezing Eggs: A Delicate Race to Turn Back the Clock
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) October 21, 2007

Oct. 21—Sperm are different than eggs. They are easy to acquire, and they are never in short supply. And they can be frozen, which is a huge advantage when it comes to infertility. That last distinction, however, may soon change. Researchers say they are only a few years from figuring out how to freeze eggs. And if they do, it could revolutionize women’s reproductive lives as much as the birth control pill did 40 years ago. Egg freezing would not only allow women much greater freedom in choosing egg donors, but they could also preserve their own eggs, making the biological clock a thing of the past.

Researchers at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago recently won a five-year, $26 million federal research grant to study both how to freeze ovarian tissue and how to ripen immature human eggs outside the body. The grant, which will be shared among five research institutions, is dedicated to preserving fertility for young female cancer patients whose ovaries are often destroyed by radiation and chemotherapy.

Oprah Winfrey Suffers from Hypothyroidism
NBC News Transcripts October 20, 2007
Dr. Steven Lamm discusses symptoms of thyroid disease

AMY ROBACH, cohost: A public admission from Oprah Winfrey is casting new light on a disease that plagues as many as 14 million Americans. It’s called hypothyroidism. It’s a condition that can go undiagnosed for years unless you know what to look for. NBC’s Lee Cowan has more.

LEE COWAN reporting: She’s never been one to shy away from personal issues, whether it was her fears, her politics, or her weight. But now a different revelation. Oprah is sick.

OPRAH WINFREY: Going around from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what was wrong and finally figured out that I had literally sort of blew out my thyroid.

Dr. DAVID OYER (NORTHWESTERN University endocrinologist): Many of these symptoms are extremely common. And most of the time are due to something else.

Culture Bus Gives Alzheimer’s Patients Chance to Get Out and About
ABC7 October 21, 2007
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=community&id=5716957

One of the biggest challenges for people with early stage Alzheimer’s is keeping them socially active. The culture bus is one of the programs tailored to their needs. A partnership started six years ago between the Council for Jewish Elderly and NORTHWESTERN University Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center. They developed a social and cultural program for older adults with early stage Alzheimer’s. Although they only meet once a week, it keeps them healthy and busy. The culture bus meets every Tuesday at NORTHWESTERN Hospital.

This story was also carried on the following news outlet:
WLS-TV (Chicago) Oct. 20.

Getting the Lead Out
Chicago Tribune October 21, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sunday/home/chi-1021leadoct21,0,7432194.story

In a year filled with recalls and substandard or tainted consumer products (toys, cribs, children’s jewelry, pet food, seafood, toothpaste), the notion that dinnerware was somehow safe seemed naive. Historically, lead has been used in dinnerware’s paints and glazes—and still is. Dr. Mark Mycyk, medical director of clinical toxicology and toxicological research with NORTHWESTERN University Feinberg School of Medicine, thinks so. “If people are using dinnerware that has a lead content within FDA safe limits, they will be fine,” says Mycyk, noting that the single biggest reducer of Americans’ exposure to lead was the phasing out/banning of leaded gasoline, a decades-long process that started in the 1970s.

“The people who are getting sick from lead in 2007 are people who are working in lead industries or kids eating paint chips or dirt around the house. Poisoning from dinnerware is exceptionally uncommon.”

The Magic Power of Sleep
Reader’s Digest October 2007
http://www.rd.com/content/the-magic-power-of-sleep/;.app2_rd1

Sleeping better may help you fight off illness. “When people are sleep-deprived, there are higher levels of stress hormones in their bodies and an increase in inflammation, both of which can decrease immune function,” says Phyllis Zee, MD, associate director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago.

Rapturous Sociability—Armageddon Avoided—The Allure of Venus
Scientific American October 2007
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=FA3DF626-E7F2-99DF-3AE5D8537CA95819

SHYNESS: HOW NORMAL BEHAVIOR BECAME A SICKNESS by Christopher Lane. Yale University Press, 2007. Would Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson be given drugs today? In the 1980s a small group of leading psychiatrists revised the profession’s diagnostic manual, called the DSM for short, adding social anxiety disorder—aka shyness—and dozens of other new conditions. Christopher Lane, Miller Research Professor at NORTHWESTERN University, uses previously secret documents, many from the American Psychiatric Association archives, to support his argument that these decisions were marked by carelessness, pervasive influence from the pharmaceutical industry, academic politics and personal ambition. Lane shows how drug companies seized on the newly minted disorders to sell millions of dollars’ worth of psychotropic drugs. Some have dangerous side effects; some were already developed—treatments looking for a disease.

Study: Nanodiamonds Deliver Chemo Drugs
United Press International October 15, 2007
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science/2007/10/15/study_nanodiamonds_deliver_chemo_drugs/6071/

A U.S. study suggests nanodiamonds are effective at delivering chemotherapy drugs to cells without the side effects seen with current drug delivery agents. The NORTHWESTERN University study is said to be the first to demonstrate the use of nanodiamonds—a new class of nanomaterials—in biomedicine. In addition to delivering cancer drugs, researchers said the model could be used for other applications, such as fighting tuberculosis or viral infections. Materials currently used for drug delivery can cause inflammation, a serious complication that can predispose a patient to cancer, block the activity of cancer drugs and promote tumor growth.

“There are a lot of materials that can deliver drugs well but we need to look at what happens after drug delivery,” said NORTHWESTERN Assistant Professor Dean Ho, who led the study. “How do cells react to an artificial material left in the body? Nanodiamonds are highly ordered structures, which cells like. If they didn’t, cells would become inflamed. From a patient’s perspective, this is very important.”

This story also appeared in:
Nanodiamonds Show Potential for Cancer Drug Delivery
Cancer Research (UK) October 16, 2007
http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/newsarchive/2007/october/18319004

CNN October 19, 2007
Nanodiamonds delivering drugs
http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/10/19/nanodiamonds.drugs/index.html

DAILY MAIL (London) October 30, 2007
Could Tiny Diamonds Help Beat Cancer?

Coming to Your Doctor’s Office: Small Ultrasound Scanners to Spot Hidden Artery Plaque
Associated Press October 16, 2007
http://www.milforddailynews.com/health/x1583098072

What if your doctor could swipe a wand over your neck and reveal whether you have hidden heart disease? That is now possible in places other than the sickbay of the starship Enterprise. Miniature ultrasound machines are starting to make their way into ordinary doctors’ offices, where they may someday be as common as stethoscopes and EKGs. A pocket-sized one weighing less than 2 pounds hit the market recently.

Dr. Robert Bonow, cardiology chief at NORTHWESTERN University and a past American Heart Association president, recently got an ad in the mail for screening at a shopping center near his Glencoe, Ill., home. He worries about the accuracy of such testing. Suppose the scanning is 90 percent accurate, and the normal rate of heart disease is 10 percent, he said. That would mean 20 out of 200 people would have heart disease and 180 would not. But the scan would tell 18 people they had it when they didn’t, and would miss heart disease in 18 who did.

Online Checkup
Chicago Tribune (RedEye Edition) October 15, 2007

Congested and fever-stricken at his Wicker Park home, Eli Howayeck clicked on the link to consult with his doctor online about his symptoms and what he should take for them—all without the hassle of taking time off work, driving to the doctor’s office and sitting in the waiting room. Less than 24 hours later, he had an e-mail from his doctor with attached prescriptions for antibiotics, which he forwarded to the pharmacy near his home. “There’s no question the young population overwhelmingly loves to have this access and this as an option,” said Dr. Lyle Berkowitz, associate professor of clinical medicine at NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “They do their banking online. They make reservations for travel online.

This is another part of their life they want to access on the Internet, and it makes sense,” said Berkowitz, who also is the medical director of clinical information systems for NORTHWESTERN Memorial Physicians Group. “The doctors who use it a lot find that it actually makes their life easier because there’s less phone tag. They clearly state what they want the patient to know,” said NORTHWESTERN’s Berkowitz. Patients can refer back to the written message instead of remembering what the doctor said at the office, he said. “It’s clearly not for long, complicated issues. It’s for isolated, minor problems,” Berkowitz said.

‘Take Two Aspirin, and Call Me in the Morning’
Omaha World-Herald (NE) October 15, 2007

They may have trouble with hearing, vision or memory or have other conditions that can worsen with age. According to the most recent federal statistics, 29 percent of adults 65 and older have health literacy—the ability to understand medical information—below a basic level. The result can be more emergency room visits and more hospitalization. A study reported this year by researchers at NORTHWESTERN University’s School of Medicine illustrated the dangers of poor health literacy. The study, involving patients 65 and older, found that those who couldn’t understand basic written medical instructions were much more likely to die within six years than those who could understand the information.

Patients who aren’t able to understand medical instructions have a harder time managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, said NORTHWESTERN professor Michael Wolf. Such illnesses worsen if they aren’t managed. Even seemingly simple dosage instructions can be confusing. “Take two tablets twice daily” might be interpreted as “Take two tablets per day,” Wolf said.

Americans Get Less Sleep Than They Think
ABC News October 15, 2007
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=3724882&page=1

Getting enough sleep? Probably not. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Medicine finds that people tend to overestimate ­ not underestimate ­ the amount of sleep that they get. “What is innovative and nexpected is that the older adults overestimated their sleep, rather than underestimated it,” said Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the sleep disorders center at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago, Ill.

“Physicians should take into account that people overestimate their sleep time,” Silva said. Zee agrees, and added that doctors often rely on subjective reports. “So, doctors need to be cognizant that older adults may be overestimating, and if they are actually getting less sleep, it may be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular, metabolic conditions that have been associated with short sleep duration.”

This story was also carried on the following news outlet:

Capital Times (WI) October 13, 2007
Docs failing to treat sleep problems?
http://www.madison.com/tct/news/251002

Thinking Beyond Pink Ribbons
Chicago Tribune October 14, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/q/chi-1014_qc_breast_xxxxxoct14,0,3534789.story

Advocates for breast cancer awareness have done such a good job linking the pink ribbon to the cause that some think it has become a little too familiar. So this October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, some supporters are spinning the color wheel in a different direction, or creating pink products that you wouldn’t necessarily tie up with a sweet bow. Here are some of our favorite out-of-the-ordinary efforts. Want your support to hit as close to home as possible? The Chicago-based AmazingCosmetics brand has launched the “Amazing Woman” kit, with 100 percent of the net proceeds going to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, a partner of NORTHWESTERN Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of NORTHWESTERN University.

The Pain Just Kept Coming
Chicago Tribune October 14, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/q/chi-1014_health1_r_d_noct14,0,5712273.story

Studies indicate that genetics accounts for about 50 percent of the risk for RA. Smoking is the only known modifiable risk factor. Given the lack of controllable risk factors, “more important than prevention is awareness,” said Dr. Darcy Majka, assistant professor of medicine in the rheumatology division at NORTHWESTERN University. “Controlling the disease at the outset to prevent permanent loss of function is the best preventive medicine.”

Improving Drug Labels
CBS Radio Network Oct. 12.

Michael Wolf, MD, assistant professor of health care studies, comments on the importance of improving drug labels.
This story was also carried on the following news outlets:
WBBM-AM (Chicago), KNX-AM (Los Angeles), WTOP-AM (Washington, D.C.), KYW-AM (Philadelphia),WCBS-AM (New York), WWJ-AM (Detroit) WOR-AM (New York), WWJ-AM (Detroit), WKJK-AM (Louisville), KRLD-AM (Dallas), KRLD-AM (Dallas), WCBS-AM (New York)

DNA Files: Who Owns Our DNA?
“848” (WBEZ) Oct. 10.
http://www.wbez.org/CityRoom_Story.aspx?storyID=13902

William Catalona, professor of urology, and Rex Chisholm, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine, address the question of who owns DNA once it is catalogued in a gene bank.

Report Questions Generic Antidepressant
MSNBC October 12, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21142869/

The FDA does not require generic drugmakers seeking approval to do clinical trials of their drugs on hundreds or thousands of people as is required for brand drugs. Instead, the agency requires lab data and “bioequivalence” testing in about 24 to 36 healthy volunteers showing that the drug appears in the bloodstream in a similar manner to the brand, says Walsh.

Dr. Sidney Weissman, a member of the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago, says that while he hasn’t heard complaints about generic Wellbutrin XL himself, the findings are cause for additional investigation. “Is the FDA method for approving these different methodologies adequate?” he says. “I, for one, am concerned,” Weissman adds. “This raises questions for me on the reliability of FDA testing for these types of drugs.”

Arthritis Takes Toll in Workplace
Chicago Sun-Times October 12, 2007
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/600204,CST-NWS-hurt12.article

A federal study is documenting the terrible toll arthritis is taking in the workplace. About one in three adults who have arthritis say it affects the amount or type of work they can do—or whether they can even work at all. Age and obesity are leading risk factors for arthritis, and the population is getting older and fatter. “This is the beginning of something that’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said NORTHWESTERN University rheumatologist Dr. Rowland Chang. The Arthritis Foundation advises patients to control their weight, stay physically active and modify their jobs if possible to reduce bending and lifting.

Name That Drug: Many Patients Can’t
Reuters October 11, 2007
http://www.reuters.com/article/health-SP-A/idUSN1143671620071012

CHICAGO (Reuters)—Most doctors rely on patients to give them an accurate account of what drugs they are taking, but a new U.S. study published on Thursday suggests many patients get it wrong. About 40 percent of 119 patients taking blood pressure medication in three community health centers could not accurately recall what drugs they were taking. That number jumped to 60 percent for those with low health literacy, a measure of their ability to read and comprehend health-related materials, researchers at NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found.

This story was also carried on the following news outlets:

WPTV-TV Oct. 12. Reference to research by Stephen Percell, MD, assistant professor of medicine, on the ability of patients to name the drugs they take.

WLS-TV (Chicago) Oct. 12, WVIR-TV (Charlottesville), WLWT-TV (Cincinnati), WWBT-TV (Richmond), KTRV-TV (Boise), KUSA-TV (Denver), WSYM-TV (Lansing), WWLP-TV (Springfield), KETK-TV (Tyler), KFDX-TV (Wichita Falls), KNDO-TV (Yakima), KYTV-TV (Springfield), WBRE-TV (Wilkes Barre), WEEK-TV (Peoria), WICU-TV (Erie), WMTV-TV (Madison), KSDK-TV (St. Louis), WAND-TV (Champaign), WPTV-TV

National Review of Medicine October 30, 2007
“Um, it starts with a ‘z’…”
http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/news_in_brief/2007/nb4_issue18_oct30_pg2.html

Runner’s Heart Defect Usually Not Fatal
Associated Press October 9, 2007
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/09/ap/health/main3350573.shtml

(AP) The heart problem blamed in the death of a Chicago marathoner is rarely dangerous and people who have it shouldn’t stop exercising, heart experts said. The condition is a birth defect that affects 2 to 5 percent of the population. Many people don’t know they have it until a doctor hears a distinctive “clicking” through a stethoscope.

The mitral valve controls blood flow on the left side of the heart, allowing it to flow from the upper heart chamber to the lower one. In severe prolapse cases, the valve leaks blood backward into the upper chamber, forcing the heart to work harder. Over time, damage can occur. Rarely, someone with the condition can experience a sudden rupture in the delicate fibrous tissue that connects the valve to the heart muscle, leading to severe leakage of blood into the lungs, said Dr. Robert Bonow, chief of cardiology at NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

“That can be fatal, especially under extreme circumstances, such as exertion or hot weather,” Bonow said.

Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine, comments on high fructose syrup and childhood obesity.
Oct. 9. Carried on the following media outlets:
WALB-TV (Albany), WRCB-TV (Chattanooga), KSEE-TV (Fresno), WTWO-TV (Terre Haute), WSMV-TV (Nashville), WNYT-TV (Albany), KPLC-TV (Lake Charles), WGEM-TV (Quincy), WVTM-TV (Birmingham), CIC-TV (Calgary),

40 Bathroom Trips a Day?
Chicago Daily Herald October 8, 2007
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=51663&src=120

Originally, doctors thought interstitial cystitis was a rare disease afflicting postmenopausal women. They now believe it can affect any age group. A recent study estimated more than 700,000 people in the U.S. are affected, 90 percent of whom are women. Because of the pain and the limits imposed by remaining close to a bathroom, some people cannot work, care for their children or have sex. Some patients have committed suicide. That’s a common experience, said Dr. Peter Sand, director of urogynecology at Evanston NORTHWESTERN Healthcare and a professor at NORTHWESTERN University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Sometimes women are diagnosed with endometriosis, which can also cause pelvic pain. It typically takes women four years to get a diagnosis, Sand said. But that’s an improvement; it used to take six to eight years. Part of the problem is there is no sure-fire way to diagnose interstitial cystitis. A cystoscopy—in which a doctor uses a scope to look inside the bladder—can often find tiny hemorrhages that are a hallmark of the condition. But the appearance of the bladder can vary widely, Sand said.

8,000 Kids from Cook, Will, DuPage Part of Massive Study
Daily Southtown October 9, 2007
http://www.dailysouthtown.com/lifestyles/593702,100907massivestudy.article

It’s shaping up as one of the grandest studies in the history of medicine. One hundred thousand kids, including 8,000 in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties, will be exhaustively studied from before they are conceived until their 21st birthday. Federal officials have announced that NORTHWESTERN University will head up the $32 million Cook County portion.

The National Children’s Study will address some of the most perplexing issues in children’s health. For example,
What causes autism?
Why are so many kids fat?
Does in vitro fertilization increase the risk of birth defects?
If a mother experiences stress during pregnancy, will her child be more likely to have asthma?
Can exposure to pesticides cause cognitive and behavioral problems?
And how are computers, TVs, videos, cell phones, iPods and the Internet affecting kids’ health?

“This is an unprecedented study,” said NORTHWESTERN researcher Dr. Jane Holl. “For the first time, we will be able to answer some critical questions.”

This was also carried in the following media outlet:
WFLD-TV Oct. 5. Mention of landmark health study by Jane Holl, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, which will follow 4,000 children in Cook County.

Dietitians Warn Against High-Fructose Corn Syrup
WWBT (VA) October 9, 2007
http://www.nbc12.com/news/healthcast/10320907.html

Topping today’s Healthcast, a warning about a substance that’s found in just about every processed food in the grocery store but that few people know about. High-fructose corn syrup is a processed sweetener made from corn. It’s in hundreds of foods. Linda Van Horn is a research dietitian at NORTHWESTERN University and editor of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. “The mom really needs to be the defender of their children and their exposure to all these foods,” Van Horn said. She agrees with research that associates the rise of obesity-related health risks with the invention of high-fructose corn syrup in the early 1970s. “Between 1970 to 1990, there was a 1,000 percent increase in the amount of high-fructose corn syrup and certainly the predominant sweetening agent in all soft drinks,” Van Horn said.

This was also carried in the following media outlets:
WAGT (Augusta, GA) October 8, 2007 Common Sweetener Linked To Obesity http://www.nbcaugusta.com/news/health/10314397.html , KVLY-TV (Fargo), WGEM-TV (Quincy), KCBD-TV (Lubbock), KOAA-TV (Colorado Springs), WCYB-TV (Johnson City, TN), KGNS-TV (Laredo,TX), WUFT-TV (Gainesville, FL), KALB-TV (Alexandria, LA), KCYW-TV (Casper, WY), KJRH-TV (Tulsa), KOMU-TV (Columbia, MO), KRNV-TV (Reno), KSNT-TV (Topeka), KTVE-TV (Monroe, LA), WETC-TV (Wilmington, NC), WETM-TV (Elmira, NY), WGRZ-TV (Buffalo), WICU-TV (Erie, PA), WPBN-TV (Traverse City), WTRH-TV (Indianapolis), WVLA- TV (Baton Rouge), KVOA-TV (Tucson), WBIR-TV (Knoxville), WESH-TV (Orlando), WWBT-TV (Richmond), WYOU-TV (Wilkes-Barre.Scranton), KCRA-TV (Sacramento), KGET-TV (Bakersfield), KPVI-TV (Idaho Falls), KSBW-TV (Monterey), KSDK-TV (St. Louis), KULR-TV (Billings), KWQC- TV (Davenport), KXAN-TV (Austin), WBBH-TV (Fort Myers), WBOY-TV (Clarksburg), WEAU-TV (La Crosse, WI) WHO-TV (Des Moines), WIS-TV (Columbia, SC) WLBZ-TV (Bangor), WNDU-TV (South Bend), WREX-TV (Rockford), WTAP-TV (Parkersburg, WV), WVIR-TV (Charlottesville, VA), WWLP-TV (Springfield, MA), WOWT-TV (Omaha), WMTV-TV (Madison), WRC-TV (Washington), WVIT-TV (Hartford). Oct 8. Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine, comments on high fructose corn syrup and childhood obesity.

Depressed Teens Benefit from Drugs Plus Therapy
Reuters October 7, 2007
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=51673&src=120

A combination of drugs and therapy was more effective at treating depressed teens than either drugs or therapy alone, U.S. researchers said, offering a new model for treating troubled teens. Some 86 percent of teens who took the antidepressant Prozac and underwent therapy for 36 weeks responded to treatment.

“The combination is more effective and works more quickly that either cognitive behavioral therapy or fluoxetine alone, and there is the enhanced safety when you have the CBT incorporated into it,” said Dr. Mark Reinecke of NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, who worked on the study. “Fluoxetine accelerates the improvement process, and CBT safeguards against the risk of suicide,” Reinecke said in a telephone interview. “We now know what works for at least 80 percent of our patients.”

Small Scanners Find Hidden Heart Disease
Associated Press October 7, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-artery-scanners,0,635192.story

MADISON, Wis.—What if your doctor could swipe a wand over your neck and reveal whether you have hidden heart disease? That is now possible in places other than the sickbay of the starship Enterprise. Miniature ultrasound machines are starting to make their way into ordinary doctors’ offices, where they may someday be as common as stethoscopes and EKGs. A pocket-sized one weighing less than 2 pounds hit the market last week. Others are selling neck scanning directly to consumers. Dr. Robert Bonow, cardiology chief at NORTHWESTERN University and a past American Heart Association president, recently got an ad in the mail for screening at a shopping center near his Glencoe, Ill., home. He worries about the accuracy of such testing. Suppose the scanning is 90 percent accurate, and the normal rate of heart disease is 10 percent, he said. That would mean 20 out of 200 people would have heart disease and 180 would not. But the scan would tell 18 people they had it when they didn’t, and would miss heart disease in 18 who did.

Because of the false alarms, “you may be treating twice as many people as you have to,” he said. “If you’re dealing with 2 million people, that’s a lot of people who don’t need treatment.”.

Charting the Wonder Years
Chicago Sun-Times October 5, 2007
http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/health/589687,CST-NWS-kids05.article

It’s shaping up as one of the grandest studies in the istory of medicine. One hundred thousand kids, including 8,000 in Cook, DuPage and Will counties, will be exhaustively studied from before they are conceived until their 21st birthday. Federal officials on Thursday announced that NORTHWESTERN University will head up the $32 million Cook County portion.

“This is an unprecedented study,” said NORTHWESTERN researcher Dr. Jane Holl. “For the first time, we will be able to answer some critical questions.” The study will include 105 sites in 20 states. Researchers will begin enrolling 4,000 Cook County children in about 15 months and DuPage and Will county kids later on.

Too Little Magnesium Tied to Artery Troubles
PakTribune October 5, 2007
http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?191210

ISLAMABAD: Not having enough magnesium in your diet may increase your chances of developing coronary artery disease, study findings suggest. In a study of 2,977 men and women, researchers used ultrafast computed tomography (CT scans) of the chest to assess the participants’ coronary artery calcium levels. Measurements were taken at the start of the study—when the participants were 18 to 30 years old—and again 15 years later.

Coronary artery calcium is considered an indicator of the blocked-artery disease known as atherosclerosis. The researchers from NORTHWESTERN University school of medicine in Chicago were to present their study Saturday at the American Heart Association’s annual conference on cardiovascular disease, epidemiology and prevention.

Voters Favor Nationwide Trauma System
United Press International October 4, 2007
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Health/2007/10/04/voters_favor_nationwide_trauma_system_/9823/

CHICAGO, Oct. 4 (UPI)—Seventy-five percent of U.S. voters said they support the establishment of a nationwide trauma system—treatment at a verified trauma center, a survey found. Forty-six percent said they believe their own states are prepared for an emergency situation but 50 percent said they don’t believe the nation’s trauma centers are prepared to handle large-scale medical emergencies, the survey commission by American College of Surgeons found.

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 and data from the National Safety Council estimated that in 2004 $99 billion in medical expenses were spent on unintentional injuries, said Dr. Thomas R. Russell, executive director of American College of Surgeons and a faculty member at NORTHWESTERN University medical school in Chicago. “The nation’s trauma system infrastructure is a patchwork quilt–it is underfunded, highly fragmented and ill-prepared to handle man-made or natural disasters,” Russell said in a statement. “We need a comprehensive effort to shore up America’s trauma care resources and fix problems that can threaten the health and lives of people in the midst of a crisis.”

Largest Study of U.S. Children Readies for Launch
Forbes (HealthDay News) October 4, 2007
http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2007/10/04/hscout608884.html

The largest study ever of the impact of environment and genes on the health of American children will be directed from 22 new centers across the United States, organizers said in a special news conference held Thursday. The first participants enrolled in the National Children’s Study should be recruited as early as next year, they added.

Some of the 22 sites approved today are Brown University, Providence, R.I.; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; NORTHWESTERN University, Chicago; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Hawaii at Manoa; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Rounds: Mistaken Lab Results and More
New York Times Blog October 3, 2007
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/rounds-mistaken-lab-results-and-more/

Today Newsday reports the case of a woman who had a double mastectomy for breast cancer, only to learn that her lab results were mixed up with someone else’s and she never had cancer at all. The mistake was due to lax labeling, but the story is a good reminder of why it’s so important to get a second opinion on pathology results. The risk of error varies depending on the body part and type of cancer. A NORTHWESTERN University study of 346 breast cancers resulted in second, more accurate diagnoses in 80 percent of cases, including major changes that altered lumpectomy or mastectomy plans for 8 percent of the women.

Helping Preserve Fertility
Newsday (Melville, NY) October 2, 2007

Oct. 2—Katie Trebing is believed to be the youngest girl to have an ovary removed and frozen for future use. Ovarian cryopreservation has been done for about a decade. The first—and so far only—birth in the United States after ovarian tissue was removed, frozen and later reimplanted, occurred in September 2005, to Ann Dauer, then 33. She had a baby girl she named Sienna. Dauer surprised doctors by getting pregnant naturally after the reimplantation.

“If our method works, a young woman, age 21 and entering law school or journalism school or medical school, could cryopreserve her ovary for later use,” said Teresa Woodruff, Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago. “Rather than take a chance with the biological clock, you could cryopreserve your ovary and use it when you are ready. You would be your own egg donor.”

While doctors have advanced the freezing technique, which originated in England, they are still working on the best way to reimplant the ovary so it might produce a pregnancy years down the road. Woodruff and her team are working on maturing eggs in the laboratory. The matured eggs would be fertilized in a petri dish and the embryo implanted into the woman’s womb.

Can Stem Cells Rescue Failing Hearts?
Science Magazine October 2, 2007
http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/1002/3

…Potency of stem cells is also an issue. Cardiologist Douglas Losordo of NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago, Illinois, reviewed published studies showing that certain stem cells, such as those from bone marrow, may be less potent when they come from a heart patient than from a healthy person. Menasché speculates that conditions such as diabetes or atherosclerosis can impair function of some bone marrow stem cells. Using cells from patients—most of what’s been tried so far—has other downsides, such as cost and complexity. Hare described the first-ever trial in heart patients to take a different tack and use donor stem cells. Led by Hare and sponsored by Osiris Therapeutics in Baltimore, the trial enrolled 53 people who got mesenchymal stem cells within 10 days of a heart attack. In the spring, Hare reported that there were no significant safety problems, such as mesenchymal stem cells developing into other organs.

Not Her Mother’s Hysterectomy
Washington Post October 2, 2007

Most gynecologists who don’t do minimally invasive surgeries tell patients that ” ‘in my hands, the best procedure is an abdominal hysterectomy.’ And that’s true,” explained Franklin Loffler, associate clinical professor of ob-gyn at the University of Arizona. “If they’re not comfortable doing another procedure, it’s not the best.” When it’s time for a hysterectomy, say some experts, too many women don’t go shopping. “If your family doctor told you that you have colon cancer, you are going to look for the best colorectal surgeon,” said Lauren Streicher, assistant professor of ob-gyn at NORTHWESTERN University Hospital and author of “The Essential Guide to Hysterectomy.”

But women usually feel comfortable with the gynecologist they’ve seen for years and guilty about looking around for another surgeon. “It’s an established relationship, almost like a family doctor,” Streicher said.

Drugs plus therapy works best for depressed teens
Reuters October 1, 2007
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN01317524

A combination of drugs and therapy was more effective at treating depressed teens than either drugs or therapy alone, U.S. researchers said on Friday, offering a new model for treating troubled teens. Some 86 percent of teens who took the antidepressant Prozac and underwent therapy for 36 weeks responded to treatment. The study, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, also confirms that medication alone raises the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in teens.

“The combination is more effective and works more quickly that either cognitive behavioral therapy or fluoxetine alone, and there is the enhanced safety when you have the CBT incorporated into it,” said Dr. Mark Reinecke of NORTHWESTERN University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, who worked on the study. “Fluoxetine accelerates the improvement process, and CBT safeguards against the risk of suicide,” Reinecke said in a telephone interview. “We now know what works for at least 80 percent of our patients.”

New Prentice Hospital to converge women’s care
Chicago Tribune October 2, 2007
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tue_hospital10.2oct02,0,1316617.story

Medical care for women is not just about delivering babies but providing medical care at one location for all stages of their lives—at least that’s the concept behind NORTHWESTERN Memorial HealthCare’s $500 million Prentice Women’s Hospital, which opens Oct. 20. Prentice will continue to provide maternity care for more than 10,000 women and their newborns each year, but the new facility will also provide gynecologic and breast oncology and plastic surgery medical services that are unique to women.

In Prentice’s case, medical services that were available to women at at least four places on the NORTHWESTERN Memorial campus will be consolidated at the new hospital at 250 E. Superior St., just down the street from its current location at 333 E. Superior in the Streeterville neighborhood. The new hospital will be nearly three times the size of the current facility. “The care at the [new]Prentice will be all coordinated so the experts will come to the patients’ bedside,” said Dr. Steven Rosen, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of NORTHWESTERN University at NORTHWESTERN Memorial Hospital. “Historically, there are institutions where women see one of their doctors on one day and one another day and it can be in a different place.”

WMAQ-TV Oct. 1. Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine, comments on high fructose corn syrup in foods and the relationship to obesity.
http://www.nbc5.com/health/14201614/detail.html

HOW WOULD I … start from scratch?
Chicago Tribune September 30, 2007

…With caution: Part of how the human body responds to a bug or mosquito bite is to release chemicals that stimulate nerves to cause an itching sensation. Scratching feels good because it acts as a “counter-irritant” that over-powers the urge to itch, says Dr. Charles Zugerman, associate professor of clinical dermatology at NORTHWESTERN University. But relief is temporary because the foreign material left by the bug is still in the skin. Still, even though your body says, “Just scratch some more!” doctors and moms say no—it can lead to infection or other skin problems.

Discovery may aid cancer treatments; Those most in need could be identified
Chicago Tribune September 28, 2007

In a development that could greatly enhance doctors’ ability to tailor cancer treatment to those who need it most, researchers have identified a tiny molecule that makes breast cancer cells spread to other organs. Because the research is still in the realm of basic science, said Dr. William Gradishar of NORTHWESTERN University, “it’s an enormous stretch to say this has any applicability right now” to doctors or patients.

Five commonly misdiagnosed diseases
CNN.com September 27, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/conditions/09/26/ep.misdiagnosed.diseases/index.html

Experts who study malpractice cases and autopsy reports say certain diseases are misdiagnosed over and over again. It’s worth knowing what they are so you won’t be a victim.

Clogged arteries: Sometimes doctors tell patients they’re short of breath because they’re out of shape, when it’s actually coronary artery disease, says Dr. Robert Bonow, who’s also the chief of cardiology at NORTHWESTERN medical school.
Heart attack: Sound strange? How could a doctor miss a heart attack? Bonow says the big and obvious attack—the one where someone clutches his or her chest and falls to the floor, the one Bonow calls “the Hollywood heart attack”—isn’t always so clear. Sometimes the only signs of a heart attack are a sense of fullness in the chest, nausea and a general sense of not feeling well.

Alzheimer’s may be third type of diabetes
United Press International September 26, 2007

Findings by U.S. researchers support the idea that Alzheimer’s memory loss is linked to a novel, third type of diabetes. The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, showed a toxic protein found in Alzheimer’s patients—amyloid-beta derived diffusible ligand or ADDL—removes insulin receptors from nerve cells making them insulin resistant and stopping brain insulin signaling crucial for memory.

“We found the binding of ADDLs to synapses somehow prevents insulin receptors from accumulating at the synapses where they are needed,” research team leader William L. Klein, of NORTHWESTERN University, in Evanston, Ill., said in a statement. “Instead, they are piling up where they are made, in the cell body, near the nucleus. Insulin cannot reach receptors there. This finding is the first molecular evidence of why nerve cells should become insulin resistant in Alzheimer’s disease.” Klein said he believes the findings are a major factor in the memory deficiencies caused by ADDLs in Alzheimer’s brains and reveals a fundamental new connection between two fields—diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, which offers hope for therapeutics.

“We want to find ways to make those insulin receptors themselves resistant to the impact of ADDLs,” Smith said. “And that might not be so difficult.”

This story also appeared in:
Daily Telegraph (U.K.) September 27, 2007
Dementia “type three diabetes”

WBBM-TV Sept 27. Reference to research by William Klein, professor
of neurobiology and physiology, on the theory that Alzheimer’s
disease could be a form of diabetes.

Ivanhoe October 1, 2007
Could Alzheimer’s be a Form of Diabetes?
http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_channelstory.cfm?storyid=17236

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