Making Headlines

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Making Headlines

Faculty members at the Feinberg School of Medicine 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 and that articles may be expired.

For more information on how to access news articles, click here.


Chicago Tribune October 30, 2009
Preventive Health Care Week: Unhealthy habits often hard to break
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/preventivemedicine/chi-why-we-balk-30-oct30,0,4730355.story

When it comes to improving our health, we all know what to do. Exercise. Eat right. Quit smoking. Drink alcohol only in moderation. And wash our hands …

“If your hands look clean and you don’t see others doing it and it’s not your habit, you are not likely to do it,” said Dr. Robert Kushner, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and a specialist in healthy lifestyles.

So despite research showing that hand washing reduces diseases such as cold, flu and diarrhea by 30 to 50 percent, many people fail to do it right — or at all.


Chicago Tribune October 29, 2009
Diabetes study: Interventions help prevent disease
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/diabetes/chi-diabetes-prevention-oct29,0,7847490.story

… On Wednesday, the latest encouraging results from the program were published in The Lancet, a medical journal. They found that interventions urging people to lose weight and get more exercise reduced the incidence of diabetes by 34 percent during a 10-year period.

… “It is striking that even a small amount of weight loss and increase in exercise has such a prolonged effect,” Dr. Mark Molitch, a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a statement.


MSN.com October 28, 2009
Suffering from chronic pain
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/pain-management/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100247588

For a frightening number of women, pain becomes a vexing, incapacitating burden.

… A possible explanation: Nerve cells are dying in these brain regions. “We think the suffering causes the loss of gray matter, because we showed that patients who were in chronic pain for a long period of time were worse off,” explains A. Vania Apkarian, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.


Chicago Tribune October 28, 2009
Preventive Health Care Week: Busting health product myths
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/preventivemedicine/chi-091028preventive-myths,0,5757271.story

… taking any single vitamin isn’t such a good idea, said Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The body needs a finely tuned balance of vitamins and minerals; taking just one can disrupt the metabolic system and lead to unanticipated health consequences. Of course, people with vitamin deficiencies may need supplementation and should consult their doctors, Van Horn said.


CNET.com October 27, 2009
Antidepressants don’t work for you? This could be why
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10384139-247.html

Depression researcher Eva Redei, Feinberg School of Medicine, presented research at the Neuroscience 2009 conference in Chicago this week that calls into question two tenets of depression science: that stressful life events are a major cause of depression, and that an imbalance in neurotransmitters triggers depressive symptoms.


New York Times October 25, 2009
The sex of athletes: One issue, many variables
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/sports/25intersex.html?_r=1&em

Track and field’s world governing body has begun trying to devise new rules about who can compete as a woman. This comes nearly two months after being presented with the case of Caster Semenya, the South African runner whose sex was questioned when she won the 800-meter world championship.

Written by Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.


Chicago Tribune October 25, 2009
Preventive Medicine Week: Making health care about health
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-preventive-health-bd25-oct25-,0,7578247.story

As a young cardiologist, Steve Devries noticed a disturbing pattern: His patched-up heart patients kept returning for repairs. It happened so often that Devries decided there must be another way to advance patients’ health.

Today, his thriving Chicago practice focuses exclusively on preventing disease, and Devries is far more likely to counsel patients about diet, sleep habits and exercise than to prescribe high-tech scans or cholesterol-lowering drugs.


The Times of India October 24, 2009
Why anti-depressants don’t always work
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life/health-fitness/health/Why-anti-depressants-dont-always-work/articleshow/5157512.cms

The study led by Eva Redei, psychiatry professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (NUFSM), found powerful molecular evidence that quashes the popular dogma that stress generally triggers depression.

Her new research reveals that there is almost no overlap between stress-related genes and depression-related genes.


CBS News (National) October 21
Insecticides May Harm Female Immune System
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/21/health/webmd/main5405114.shtml

“The findings are fairly compelling” because they show the greater and longer the exposure, the greater the risk, said Dr. Darcy Majka, assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Now we have to go back to the bench. Which products pose a risk? Is skin exposure [to blame], or inhaling?” she said.

For now, Majka told WebMD, “The important thing is to follow the directions [on the product]and take other measures to limit chemical exposure.”


WGN-TV October 20, 2009
Dr. Laura Berman: Talking to your kids about sex
http://www.wgntv.com/news/middaynews/middayfix/wgntv-midday-fix-dr.-laura-berman-102009,0,2757119.story

Dr. Laura Berman has been working as a sex educator and therapist for over 20 years and is considered a leader in her field. She is the Director of the Berman Center in Chicago, a specialized healthcare facility for women and couples. She is also an assistant clinical professor of OBGYN and Psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.


Washington Post October 20, 2009
In athletics and elsewhere, the line between male and female can be hazy
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/19/AR2009101902875.html?hpid=sec-health

Alice Dreger, a professor at Northwestern University, said officials might decide based on an athlete’s upbringing: If she was brought up a girl, she should be counted as a woman. Or they could set a threshold for male hormones in an athlete’s blood — too much, and she would run with the men.

“To me, it’s no different than deciding where the foul line is,” Dreger said. “The line is not drawn by nature, it’s a line we draw on nature.”


WebMD October 20, 2009
Gum Disease Raises Arthritis Risk
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20091020/gum-disease-raises-arthritis-risk

Darcy Majka, MD, a rheumatologist at Northwestern University in Chicago who moderated a news conference to discuss the findings, tells WebMD, “This is a very important study — the first to show [a causal relationship]between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis.

“Unlike heart disease, where there are a lot of modifiable risk factors, we don’t have a lot of modifiable risk factors for RA,” she says.


Bloomberg News October 19, 2009
Prostate Cancer Recurrence Detected Early in Nanosphere Test
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=am.R2fzVTkyU

In an 18-patient study, the new method detected a protein specific to prostate cancer in 86 percent of blood samples compared with 25 percent for conventional tests, according to research published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The company attaches antibodies to the gold, producing what Nanosphere calls probes for “ultrasensitive” detection of proteins that may otherwise go undiscovered.

About 70,000 men a year undergo surgery to remove diseased prostates and 40 percent will have their cancer return, according to C. Shad Thaxton, the lead author. If the test works in larger studies, doctors may be able to diagnose recurrence of the disease several years earlier than what now is the norm, the researchers said.


U.S. News & World Report October 19, 2009
PSA ‘Nanotest’ May Spot Prostate Cancer’s Return After Surgery
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/10/19/psa-nanotest-may-spot-prostate-cancers-return.html

A new test that could revolutionize the treatment of men following prostate cancer surgery has worked well in a small, early trial, researchers report.

… it will be “a number of years” before the assay, or test, undergoes the larger-scale testing and vetting needed for approval of its use in medical practice, said Dr. C. Shad Thaxton, assistant professor of urology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, one of Mirkin’s collaborators in development of the test.


WebMD October 19, 2009
New Test Checks for Prostate Cancer Return
http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20091019/new-test-checks-for-prostate-cancer-return

Researchers say they have developed a highly sensitive prostate specific antigen (PSA) test that may identify prostate cancer patients who are likely to relapse after treatment.

In a small study, published this week in the journal PNAS Early Edition, the test proved to be 300 times more sensitive than commercially available PSA tests.


U.S. News & World Report October 18, 2009
Video Games Can Play Havoc With Kids’ Joints
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/10/17/video-games-can-play-havoc-with-kids-joints.html

Dr. Eric Ruderman, an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said the findings suggest that video game playing may not be good for children’s developing muscles and tendons. But because the children weren’t examined, he added, the cause of the pain, the potential for long-term damage and how much playing time is safe for a child remain unknown.

“Parents need to monitor what their children are doing,” Ruderman said. “Two or three hours a day, irrespective of pain in their hands, is too much time for a 7- or 8-year-old to be playing video games.”


Journal of Pediatrics October 16, 2009
Intravenous Sildenafil in the Treatment of Neonates with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
http://www.jpeds.com/article/PIIS0022347609005605/abstract?rss=yes

Published research by Robin Steinhorn appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics.


New York Times October 16, 2009
Medicine’s Elusive Goal: A Safe Weight-Loss Drug
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/business/17obesity.html?_r=2

“We have so few treatments available to help individuals manage their weight,” said Dr. Robert F. Kushner, clinical director of the obesity center at Northwestern University, “that anything added to the toolbox is going to be helpful.”


Futurity.org October 11, 2009
Chemo combo fences in breast cancer
http://futurity.org/health-medicine/chemo-combo-fences-in-breast-cancer/

Seth Corey, a researcher from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discovered the new drug combination that seems to strengthen the breast’s “fence” to prevent cancer from metastasizing.

“This is an entirely new way of targeting a cancer cell,” says Corey, the Sharon B. Murphy-Steven T. Rosen Research Professor of Cancer Biology and Chemotherapy.

Working in the lab with women’s breast cancer cells, Corey found that when the leukemia drug dasatinib is combined with the breast cancer drug doxorubicin, the potent mix inhibits breast cancer cell invasion by half. Corey is the principal investigator of the study, which recently was reported in the British Journal of Cancer.


UPI.com October 9, 2009
Chemo cocktail may block breast cancer
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2009/10/09/Chemo-cocktail-may-block-breast-cancer/UPI-54941255115607/

A U.S. researcher says he has found a way to “fence in” cancer in the breast so it does not spread.

Dr. Seth Corey of the Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the pediatric oncology program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, said lab tests showed a “chemo cocktail” combining a drug normally used to treat leukemia — dasatinib — with a common breast cancer drug — doxorubicin — inhibited breast cancer cell invasion by half.


Scripps Howard News Service October 1, 2009
Snoring has nightmarish implications

… But when snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that causes breathing to be interrupted repeatedly during the night due to airway obstructions, it can signal some dire consequences…

Even a temporary onset of apnea, which often occurs in pregnant women, can cause problems. Researchers at Northwestern University reported last summer that women who were frequent snorers during pregnancy were about four times more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those who did not snore…


WLS-TV (Chicago) October 1, 2009
Dr. Vincent Cryns, associate professor of medicine and director of the Breast Cancer Survivor Comperhensive Care, Empowerment and Education Program (SUCCEED), discusses the program.


Orthopedics Today October 2009
Orthopedic surgeon is ready to embark on mission to the space station
http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.asp?rid=44170

Surgeons have an intimate view into the workings of the human body. As the first orthopedic surgeon in space, Robert L. Satcher Jr., MD, PhD, will also be privy to a view of the world that few have experienced.

“Everybody says that the views of the earth, the stars and the moon escape description,” Satcher, a faculty member at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told Orthopedics Today. “Most people say that it changes their perspective of life and our planet. I am looking forward to that.”


USA Today September 30, 2009
Treating diabetes shows benefit to babies
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-09-30-diabetes-pregnant_N.htm

Treating mild gestational diabetes cut the risk of having an extra-large baby and resulting complications such as a C-section, researchers report today.

Treatment also lowered rates of pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. There were no stillbirths or newborn deaths at all in the study…

New international guidelines for diagnosing gestational diabetes, which have not yet been published, will expand the number of women with the condition, says Boyd Metzger, professor of metabolism and nutrition at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine…


Reuters September 30, 2009
US firms can gain from wellness programs – report
http://www.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUSN3041617120090930

U.S. companies could reduce health costs and boost productivity with programs that address risk factors for heart disease among workers, a report published on Wednesday said…

“Companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program,” said Mercedes Carnethon of Northwestern University in Illinois, who led the study.

The report noted that more than 130 million Americans work, making the workplace a huge forum for wellness programs. But over half of workers have no access to such programs…


Bloomberg September 30, 2009
Bayer, Onyx pill doesn’t slow breast cancer in ctudy (Update2)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601100&sid=afuPeum3kz80

Bayer AG and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Nexavar cancer drug failed to slow the progression of breast cancer in the second of four studies that combine the medicine with different types of chemotherapy.

The pill in combination with chemotherapy drug paclitaxel showed a “positive trend” toward helping women live longer without their disease getting worse though the results weren’t statistically significant, the two drugmakers said in an e- mailed statement today. Bayer and Onyx didn’t say how long it took the women’s tumors to progress.

“These encouraging data warrant further investigation,” lead scientist William Gradishar, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University, said in the statement, adding that women with advanced breast cancer often lack treatment options…


Associated Press (also in Forbes) September 30, 2009
Onyx, Bayer: Nexavar study needs further analysis
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/09/30/business-health-care-us-onyx-pharmaceuticals-study_6948856.html

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bayer said Wednesday that Nexavar demonstrated “positive” trends in a midstage breast cancer study, though the companies did not say whether the drug met its key goals.

About 237 women participated in the clinical trial, which combined Nexavar with the chemotherapy treatment paclitaxel. The companies said a complete data analysis is expected in an upcoming scientific meeting…

The study was sponsored by Northwestern University. It is the second of four studies from Onyx’s breast cancer treatment program…


St. Petersburg Times September 30, 2009
If medical coverage extends to all, will there be enough primary care doctors?

http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/medicine/article1040321.ece

The national health care debate has policymakers and medical authorities worried about what comes next: If today’s uninsured millions could get regular care, would there be enough doctors to serve them?

Some experts say that by 2025, the nation could be short by as many as 44,000 adult general care physicians — which includes the traditional family doctors who handle everything from annual checkups to helping manage chronic conditions…

“If something does happen where an additional 30 to 40 million people have access to some form of insurance, we do not have the primary care work force to be able to respond to that need,” said Dr. Russell Robertson, the council’s chairman and a professor of family medicine at Northwestern University. “This is a serious, serious concern.”…


MSN.com September 30, 2009
Workplace wellness really seems to work
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/diabetes/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100245786

“Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a [workplace wellness]program,” the statement’s lead author, Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release from the heart association.

“Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee’s total health,” she said. “An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict.”


US News & World Report September 30, 2009
Workplace wellness really seems to work
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/09/30/workplace-wellness-seems-to-really-work.html

“Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a [workplace wellness]program,” the statement’s lead author, Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a news release from the heart association.

“Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee’s total health,” she said. “An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict.”


Los Angeles Times September 28, 2009
Dosage danger for Tamiflu
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-tamiflu28-2009sep28,0,3283816.story

Prescriptions for the drug are often written with doses in fractions of a teaspoon, but the dropper packaged with the drug is marked in milligrams, requiring a difficult conversion of units, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Ruth Parker of the Emory University School of Medicine.

“It’s an egregious error that there is a conflict in the prescription labeling instructions and the dosage device that comes in the exact same box,” said co-author Dr. Michael Wolf of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s incredibly confusing to parents.”…


HemoOnc Today September 25, 2009
Discussing oncofertility: The oncologist’s responsibility
http://www.hemonctoday.com/article.aspx?rid=44036

The future of ovarian tissue freezing, according to Teresa Woodruff, PhD, Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, director of the Oncofertility Consortium at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, involves taking the follicles from the tissue and growing them completely in vitro to produce a mature egg that can be fertilized and then transferred back to the patient.

“In that case, the theoretical advantage would be that you could have an embryo and no residual cancer cells, but of course it is still very experimental,” she told HemOnc Today. Woodruff and colleagues are currently working on this technique.


HealthDay News September 24, 2009
Letter Warns About Tricky Dosing With Liquid Tamiflu for Kids
http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=631327

Doctors warn that parents across the country could give the wrong dose of Tamiflu to their children as treatment for the H1N1 swine flu because the dosing instructions don’t always coincide with the measurement markings on the syringe that comes with the liquid medication.

The warning letter, penned by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Emory University in Atlanta and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also urges doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for this potential dosing mismatch and to help parents figure out exactly how much Tamiflu to give their child…


Chicago Sun-Times September 24, 2009
Mix-up may lead to wrong dose of Tamiflu for kids
http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/health/1788036,CST-NWS-flu24.article

Parents could be giving their kids the wrong dose of Tamiflu to treat swine flu because the markings on the syringe included with the drug may not match the prescribing instructions, scientists warned in a letter published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dosing instructions may be in teaspoons, while the syringe markings are in milligrams, leaving parents to try to decipher the correct dose, the letter said. This could lead to kids getting too much or too little of the drug…

The letter’s authors, from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Emory University, urged pharmacies to ensure dosing instructions on the box and syringe are in the same units.


Health.com September 24, 2009
Letter Warns About Tricky Dosing With Liquid Tamiflu for Kids
http://news.health.com/2009/09/24/letter-warns-about-tricky-dosing-liquid-tamiflu-kids/

Doctors warn that parents across the country could give the wrong dose of Tamiflu to their children as treatment for the H1N1 swine flu because the dosing instructions don’t always coincide with the measurement markings on the syringe that comes with the liquid medication.

The warning letter, penned by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Emory University in Atlanta and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also urges doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for this potential dosing mismatch and to help parents figure out exactly how much Tamiflu to give their child.


US News & World Report September 24, 2009
Letter Warns About Tricky Dosing With Liquid Tamiflu for Kids
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/09/24/letter-warns-about-tricky-dosing-with-liquid.html

Doctors warn that parents across the country could give the wrong dose of Tamiflu to their children as treatment for the H1N1 swine flu because the dosing instructions don’t always coincide with the measurement markings on the syringe that comes with the liquid medication.

The warning letter, penned by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Emory University in Atlanta and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also urges doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for this potential dosing mismatch and to help parents figure out exactly how much Tamiflu to give their child…


MSN.com September 24, 2009
Letter Warns About Tricky Dosing With Liquid Tamiflu for Kids
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/cold-and-flu/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100245471

Doctors warn that parents across the country could give the wrong dose of Tamiflu to their children as treatment for the H1N1 swine flu because the dosing instructions don’t always coincide with the measurement markings on the syringe that comes with the liquid medication.

The warning letter, penned by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Emory University in Atlanta and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also urges doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for this potential dosing mismatch and to help parents figure out exactly how much Tamiflu to give their child.


Atlanta Journal Constitution September 24, 2009
Letter Warns About Tricky Dosing With Liquid Tamiflu for Kids
http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-auto/healthnews/flu-/631327.html

Doctors warn that parents across the country could give the wrong dose of Tamiflu to their children as treatment for the H1N1 swine flu because the dosing instructions don’t always coincide with the measurement markings on the syringe that comes with the liquid medication.

The warning letter, penned by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Emory University in Atlanta and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York City and published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also urges doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for this potential dosing mismatch and to help parents figure out exactly how much Tamiflu to give their child.


Los Angeles Times September 23, 2009
Dosing confusion for liquid Tamiflu?
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/09/dosing-confusion-for-liquid-tamiflu.html

Confusing directions on liquid suspensions of the antiviral drug Tamiflu may inadvertantly cause parents to give their children either too little of the drug, impeding the child’s recovery, or a toxic overdose, physicians warned today in a letter published in the online version of the New England Journal of Medicine. Prescriptions for the drug are often written with doses in fractions of a teaspoon, but the dropper packaged with the drug is marked in milligrams, requiring a difficult conversion of units, said Dr. Ruth Parker of the Emory University School of Medicine, lead author of the paper.

“It’s an egregious error that there is a conflict in the prescription labeling instructions and the dosage device that comes in the exact same box,” said co-author Dr. Michael Wolf of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “It’s incredibly confusing to parents.”…


National Public Radio September 23, 2009
Careful With Tamiflu Dosing In Kids
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/09/careful_with_tamiflu_dosing_in.html

When it takes two health professionals 30 minutes and a bunch of algebra to puzzle out the proper dose of the flu drug Tamiflu to give their sick six-year- old, how’s the average parent supposed to make sense of medication labels?…

A spokesperson for Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, told us in an email that the company sent out its own round of letters to health providers Wednesday, and is “working with the U.S. CDC and FDA to provide appropriate information to address the dosing concerns.”

None too soon, says Michael Wolf, a health literacy expert at Northwestern University and a co-author on the NEJM letter.


AAFP News Now September 23, 2009
Primary Care Physician Shortages Can Be Traced Largely to Pipeline Issues, Says FP
http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/professional-issues/20090923medpac-pcps.html

“When you look at other nations with comprehensive policies with regard to universal access to health, the ratio of generalists to (sub)specialists is about 50/50,” said Russell Robertson, chair and professor of the department of family and community medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “(These nations) also generally have a higher per capita number of physicians than we do. This is part of what is framing where we are.”


MSNBC.com September 23, 2009
Chat live with Dr. Laura Berman on Thursday
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32986301/ns/today-parenting_and_family/

Dr. Laura Berman, who has written a guide for how parents can have healthy dialogue with their kids about sex, answers readers’ questions about how to handle some uncomfortable parenting dilemmas.

Dr. Laura Berman is the director of the Berman Center in Chicago, a specialized healthcare facility dedicated to helping couples find fulfilling sex lives and enriched relationships. She is also an assistant clinical professor of OBGYN and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has been working as a sex educator, researcher and therapist for 18 years.


Tehran Times September 23, 2009
Exercise can extend survival even in oldest old
http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=203792

Dr. James Webster, a professor of geriatric medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the study can’t completely rule out that participants who were able to exercise were already healthier than the others, and thus likely to live longer.


Associated Press (also in the Chicago Tribune) September 22, 2009
Conference addresses urban violence, public health
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-violence-healthco,0,1248855.story

Best-selling author Alex Kotlowitz will discuss urban violence and its impact on community and children’s health at a free conference in Chicago.

Friday’s event starts at 9 a.m. at Northwestern University’s medical school. It features three panels of experts and neighborhood activists. They’ll discuss the health effects of urban violence and reasons why more hasn’t been done to eliminate it.


Discover Magazine September 21, 2009
Body Attacks Self; Body Protects Self
http://discovermagazine.com/2009/sep/21-body-attacks-self-body-protects-self

New studies show promise for using a person’s own stem cells to protect them from autoimmune disorders like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

What if researchers could reboot a misfiring immune system? That is the intriguing possibility raised by stem cell transplant specialist Richard Burt (Feinberg School of Medicine). He is pioneering a new treatment for autoimmune disorders, one in which patients’ immune systems are suppressed and then replaced with an infusion of their own immune stem cells, filtered out from their blood. These then grow into all types of blood cells, including the white blood cells of the immune system.


WTTW-TV (Chicago) September 21, 2009
Karla Satchell, associate professor of microbiology- immunology, discusses safety procedures in labs that deal with diseases following the death of a University of Chicago researcher.


Medical News Today September 18, 2009
Top Research Advances Highlight New Approaches To Cardiovascular Risk Prediction
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/164372.php

The Best PAD Research Award in Vascular Medicine went to Mary M. McDermott, MD, professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Dr. McDermott and her colleagues were recognized for their work on the research study, “Asymptomatic Peripheral Arterial Disease Is Associated With More Adverse Lower Extremity Characteristics Than Intermittent Claudication,” published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (Circulation. 117:2484-2491, 2008).


Miller-McCune September 17, 2009
How Much Does It Hurt?
http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/how-much-does-it-hurt-1432

…Yet many conversations between doctor and patient yield less-than-scientific answers — intangible descriptions, such as the amount of pain a person is in or how much a drug amplifies his drowsiness. Because researchers employ incongruous tools to measure the unmeasurable, a group of clinical studies devoted to a disease might seem like they were written in different languages.

To address this problem, David Cella wants to create the Rosetta Stone of medical symptoms. The chair of the department of medical social sciences at Northwestern University’s medical school is leading PROMIS, a government-funded program aimed at standardizing the way patients talk to doctors about their bodies and minds. It has the ambitious goal of re-engineering the way clinical research is performed in the United States…


WGN-TV (Chicago) September 17, 2009
Medical Watch: Dr. Seema Venkatachalam
http://www.wgntv.com/news/middaynews/middayfix/wgntv-12mw-091709,0,562361.story

Dr. Seema Venkatachalam, OBGYN with the Northwestern Specialists for Women and clinical instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, clears up misconceptions and demystifies some of the most common women’s health myths.


Globe and Mail September 17, 2009
Women and sports: The ugly paradox
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/women-in-sports-the-ugly-paradox/article1290326/

Figuring out a person’s sex can be wickedly complex. That’s why the International Association of Athletics Federations’ process for determining whether South African runner Caster Semenya is a woman called for a geneticist, an endocrinologist, a psychologist and others.

But even with all the tests in the world, the line that constitutes an “unfair advantage” is up for interpretation, says Alice Dreger, a bioethicist in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Figuring out who’s a female or male – or should compete as such – isn’t as simple as looking for XX or XY chromosomes.


MassLive/The Republican September 17, 2009
Life improves after 80 with a bit of exercise
http://www.masslive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/09/letters_life_improves_after_80.html

The study can’t completely rule out that participants who were able to exercise were healthier than the others, and thus likely to live longer. But Dr. James Webster, a professor of geriatric medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the link between octogenarian exercise and longevity appears valid.


The Hospitalist September 2009
Simulation sensation
http://www.the-hospitalist.org/details/article/327713/Simulation_Sensation.html

To Jeffrey Barsuk, MD, FACP, FHM, the concept of simulation-based mastery learning is simplistic to the point of genius. Give a hospitalist—or any other physician—a physical task and let them practice the procedure until they master it. Take care not to fall into the decades-old mind-set that repetition alone will achieve a threshold of competence. Test the competence with a rigorous assessment schedule, which will objectively determine if the skill is truly mastered…

“It’s very common sense,” says Dr. Barsuk, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hospital medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “But no one is doing this. People don’t know that simulators are so effective. At least in the medical profession, we’re probably behind the times in it. … We’re enthusiastic about it because we believe in it so much. We want to see how far it can go. With mastery learning, the sky’s the limit. You can simulate almost anything you want.”


Daily Beast September 16, 2009
Don’t Call Them Hermaphrodites
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-16/dont-call-them-hermaphrodites/

They prefer the term “intersex.” And now that a South African track star has thrust them into the spotlight, this surprisingly large minority group thinks their Stonewall moment just may have arrived…

“The term ‘hermaphrodite’ is stigmatizing and confusing,” says Alice Domurat Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University who is cited regularly by intersex individuals and advocates. “It usually suggests to people that someone has all the organs of males and females—but that is not physically possible. The medical profession came to a consensus about three years ago to get rid of all terms based on the root ‘hermaphrodite’ (including ‘pseudo-hermaphrodite’) because they are stigmatizing and confusing.”…


Washington Post September 15, 2009
Six Ways to Give Your Heart a Hand
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/14/AR2009091402192.html?sub=AR

Today fewer people are dying of heart attacks and strokes compared with 30 years ago. Yet the increasing prevalence of high blood pressure and the percentages of Americans who do not exercise or eat well, are overweight or obese, or have Type 2 diabetes indicate we’re heading in the wrong direction.

“High blood pressure is increasing, as are physical inactivity, unhealthy dietary habits, obesity and diabetes,” says Robert Bonow, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “That raises concerns about another wave of higher mortality in the future.”…


New York Times (Associated Press) September 14, 2009
Exercise can extend survival even in ‘oldest old’
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/09/14/us/AP-US-MED-Octogenarian-Exercise.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=jameswebster&st=cse

Even in the “oldest old,” a little physical activity goes a long way, extending life by at least a few years for people in their mid- to late 80s, Israeli researchers found. The three-year survival rate was about three times higher for active 85-year-olds compared with those who were inactive.

Getting less than four hours of exercise weekly was considered inactive; more than that was active…
Dr. James Webster, a professor of geriatric medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said the study can’t completely rule out that participants who were able to exercise were already healthier than the others, and thus likely to live longer.

Still, Webster said the link between octogenarian exercise and longevity appears valid. He was not involved in the study…


KTRS-AM (St. Louis) September 14, 2009

Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics, discusses the difficulties of determining sex in the case of runner Caster Semenya.


WebMD September 14, 2009
IV Drug Fights Flu as Well as Tamiflu
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090914/iv-drug-fights-flu-as-well-as-tamiflu

One IV treatment of the investigational flu drug peramivir works as well as five days of Tamiflu pills, suggests a large study that pitted one drug against the other.

An injectable flu drug is badly needed because many sick people can’t swallow pills and severe illness can slow the body’s ability to absorb oral medications, researcher Shigeru Kohno, MD, PhD, of Nagasaki University School of Medicine in Japan, tells WebMD…

Michael Ison, MD, an infectious diseases expert at Northwestern University in Chicago who moderated the session at which the findings were presented, says many patients find a single IV treatment more convenient than swallowing pills for days.

“That gives peramivir an important advantage,” he tells WebMD…


Los Angeles Times September 14, 2009
Antiviral drug found to reduce severity of mono
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-mono15-2009sep15,0,594568.story

Mononucleosis, the curse of high school and college students, doesn’t have to bring social and academic lives to a screeching halt, researchers reported today. Instead, the disease can be treated to shorten the duration of the illness and reduce the chance of transmission…

“I think there would be a lot of interest in treating mononucleosis if we found something that worked,” said Dr. Ben Katz, a pediatrics professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. In a study published in July in the journal Pediatrics, Katz found that about 10% of adolescents diagnosed with the illness still have symptoms — mostly severe fatigue — six to 12 months later…


WMAQ-TV (Chicago) September 14, 2009
Dr. George Chiampas, clinical instructor of emergency medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, comments on long-distance running in reference to Chicago Marathon.


WVON-AM (Chicago) September 14, 2009
Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics, discusses the difficulties of determining sex in the case of runner Caster Semenya.


Chicago Tribune September 13, 2009
A weighty issue indeed
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-perspec0913fatsep13,0,6756160.story

Know what happens to your body when it’s weighed down by fat? After it settles in the usual places, like your hips or your butt or your arms or your gut, fat invades and settles in your organs. Havoc ensues. Hearts get too big, arteries clog, organs falter and then fail. Diabetes, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, some cancers: all caused by or linked to fat.

“We’re not set up to store excess fat in a harmless way,” says Dr. Robert Kushner, a professor of medicine and director of clinical programs at the Comprehensive Center on Obesity at Northwestern University…


Cleveland Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com September 13, 2009
Doctors’ end of life decisions can be uncomfortable, but comforting
http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2009/09/endoflife_care_conversations_c.html

Most people welcome such conversations, said Dr. Linda Emanuel, director of the Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. A study she conducted in 1991 found that 89 percent of people wanted advance directives.


KATU.com (Portland, Ore.) September 13,2009
Study: 7 key genes predict brain cancer survival
http://www.katu.com/news/medicalalert/59180352.html

Scientists have found seven key genes in the type of brain tumor affecting Sen. Edward Kennedy that together can predict how aggressive a patient’s cancer will be….

…The study’s lead author likened those genes to organized crime bosses.

“You want to find the strategy to knock down the Mafia,” said Dr. Markus Bredel of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the research. “So you probably want to get the big bosses.”


New York Times September 12, 2009
Science Is Forcing Sports to Re-examine Their Core Principles http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/sports/13dreger.html

Sex, drugs and prosthetic legs. Who would have thought they could have so much in common? Yet all three are posing ever more challenges to sports officials, and all have at their root the same
conundrum: what is sport really about?

Restrictions on testosterone, on prosthetic limbs and on men competing in women’s sports are meant to protect athletes from unfair advantages. Some may say they protect against unnatural advantage.

The idea is that, at its essence, sport is about one human competing against another to see who is naturally the strongest, the fastest, the most skilled.

But athletes left the realm of the natural a long time ago. Running barefoot may be a growing fad, but no one expects all athletes to go without high-tech footwear. No one even expects them to all use the same type. And forget about telling teams they can’t use NASA-quality machinery and dietetics during training…

Alice Dreger is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern. She is writing a book on science and identity politics.


Associated Press (also in Chicago Tribune) September 11, 2009
Semenya’s eligibility no clearer despite media leak saying she has male and female sex organs
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-ap-ath-semenyas-status,0,7301285.story

South African runner Caster Semenya’s eligibility to compete as a woman is no clearer — even though reports say she has female and male organs. Semenya, who won the women’s 800-meter title at last month’s world championship in Berlin, has had a gender test, and the results given to track and field’s ruling body were leaked to Australian newspapers…

Alice Domurat Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University in Chicago, said it was not uncommon for someone to be raised as a woman even if they have both sets of sex organs.

“We are raised based on what adults think our sex is at our births,” Dreger said on her Web site. “Various conditions can lead to a baby being born with female genitalia (labia, clitoris, vagina) and internal male sex anatomy (including testes).”…


USA Today September 11, 2009
Semenya’s status no clearer despite media leak
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2009-09-11-3776936744_x.htm

Alice Domurat Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics at NORTHWESTERN University in Chicago, said it was not uncommon for someone to be raised as a woman even if they have both sets of sex organs.

“We are raised based on what adults think our sex is at our births,” Dreger said on her Web site. “Various conditions can lead to a baby being born with female genitalia (labia, clitoris,vagina) and internal male sex anatomy (including testes).”…


CNN, Curtis Sliwa Show (Syndicated) September 11, 2009
Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics, discusses the difficulties of determining sex in the case of runner Caster Semenya.


Newstalk 1010, The Rutherford Show (syndicated, Canada), CRFB -Toronto September 11, 2009
Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics, discusses the difficulties of determining sex in the case of runner Caster Semenya.


Globe and Mail September 11, 2009
Whispers of, ‘Is she or isn’t he?’ continue to chase sprinter
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/south-african-runner-a-hermaphrodite-reports/article1282796/

Whether she’s male or female, intersex or – according to the latest reports – a hermaphrodite, one thing should be clear to South African sprinter Caster Semenya: Privacy is no match for ignorance, bumbling officials and the burning desire to know…

“Having your sex called into question is a deeply humiliating and stigmatizing event,” said Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. “If athletes knew in advance what those rules were going to be, then that could all be settled out of the public eye.

And they could know whether they could pass the rules for competition.”

In an Aug. 22 essay in The New York Times, Dr. Dreger accused the track organization of relying on unstated, shifting standards for sex verification…


UPI September 9, 2009
Mentally ill not asked to quit smoking
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2009/09/09/Mentally-ill-not-asked-to-quit-smoking/UPI-74411252525504/

Many doctors don’t ask their patients with depression and anxiety to quit smoking fearing they will get worse, but that is a myth, a U.S. expert said.

Brian Hitsman, a tobacco addiction specialist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said people with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are the heaviest smokers in the country.
Hitsman designed and published an evidence-based plan for psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health providers to help their patients quit smoking.

Between 40 percent to 80 percent of mentally ill people are daily smokers, compared with fewer than 20 percent of mentally healthy people, Hitsman said…


The Oregonian September 9, 2009
New hope after a severe stroke
http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2009/09/ohsu_scientists_device_helps_s.html

Therapists have developed many ways to help stroke survivors recover the use of crippled limbs, but the existing treatments aren’t much use to patients who’ve had severe strokes and lost nearly all use of a hand or a foot…

The AMES devise works differently than any existing technology, says Dr. Zev Rymer, vice president for research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and a professor at Northwestern University.

“It is better seen as a rehabilitation training system, in that the vibration and motion is designed to reprogram inappropriate muscle activation patterns arising in stroke survivors,” Rymer says. “So it may not be limited in its effects to the same extent.” Rymer is overseeing clinical testing of the device in Chicago…


Ethiopian Review September 9, 2009
Rituximab Linked with Deadly Brain Infection
http://www.ethiopianreview.com/health/1677

A study is under way to examine the association between rituximab (Rituxan)—a common lymphoma treatment—and progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis (PML), a fast-moving and often fatal infection that attacks the white matter of the brain.

Hematologist and oncologist Charles Bennett, MD, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is leading the project. In a recent issue of the journal Blood (2009;113[20]:4834- 4840), he and his coinvestigators reported on 57 cases, spanning from 1997 to 2008, in which patients with lymphoma, anemia, or rheumatoid arthritis developed PML after taking rituximab.


RedOrbit September 9, 2009
Doctors worry about asking mentally ill to quit smoking
http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1750303/doctors_worry_about_asking_mentally_ill_to_quit_smoking/

People with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are the heaviest smokers in the country, but their doctors are afraid to ask them to quit. They assume that if their patients try to quit smoking, their mental disorders will get worse.

That is a myth, according to Brian Hitsman, a tobacco addiction specialist and assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also is a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

This population’s tobacco use and dependence need to be treated, he said. Hitsman has designed and published the first comprehensive, evidence-based plan for psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health providers to help their patients quit smoking. His paper appeared in a recent issue of The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.


Orlando Sentinel September 8, 2009
Cutting the Cord with your doctor
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/orl–tc-health-fire-doctors-0826090809sep08,0,6414489.story

Dr. Philip Greenland, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, fired his 89-year-old mother’s orthopedic surgeon after the doctor failed to visit the elderly woman in the hospital for three days or talk to her family.

“We were attempting to communicate with him and we couldn’t get an answer,” said Greenland, who wrote about the experience four years ago in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “I literally camped out for a whole day at the hospital, waiting for him to show up, and he didn’t.”

The last straw came when the surgeon went home, exhausted after being on call at several hospitals, without telling his partner anything about Greenland’s very sick mother. “I felt a combination of anger and disbelief,” Greenland said.


Chicago Tribune September 6, 2009
End-of-life care conversations can be complicated, but comforting
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-sun-endoflifesep06,0,6438844.story

Most people welcome such conversations, said Dr. Linda Emanuel, director of the Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. A study she conducted in 1991 found that 89 percent of people wanted advance directives…


Detroit Free Press September 6, 2009
Pfizer’s blockbuster drugs to recoup penalty
http://www.freep.com/article/20090906/BUSINESS07/909060523/1002/BUSINESS/Pfizer-s-blockbuster-drugs-to-recoup-penalty

Pfizer Inc. was slapped last week with a record $2.3 billion in fines for illegally marketing some drugs, but critics say even that eye-popping total is unlikely to end the sometimes- dangerous practice of promoting drugs for unapproved uses …

… For example, the standard treatment for years for severe psoriatic arthritis was methotrexate, but the drug actually was approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, said Dr. Eric Ruderman, a rheumatologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“If you had to stick to labeling, you couldn’t treat people,” said Ruderman, who has done some consulting work for Abbott Laboratories and received research grants from several drugmakers.


New England Journal of Medicine September 3, 2009
Should Coronary Calcium Screening Be Used in Cardiovascular Prevention Strategies?
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/361/10/990.pdf

By Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Dr. Robert O. Bonow

A 52-year-old man requests a coronary-artery calcium (CAC) scan for assessment of his risk of coronary events after seeing an advertisement from a local facility that offers the test. He has no symptoms of cardiac disease, has never smoked, and is not overweight, but he does not exercise regularly. His father, who was a heavy smoker, had a fatal myocardial infarction at . . .


Science News September 3, 2009
New Bond in the Basement
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/47013/description/New_bond_in_the_basement

The bond is a strong one. Covalent bonds, where atoms share electrons, “really up by an order of magnitude the force that the material can deal with,” says James Kramer of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. It isn’t clear what advantages a sulfur-nitrogen bond might have over a disulfide bridge, which is known for its strength. There are already disulfide bonds in the globule that eventually connects the chains, Kramer notes, so perhaps saving a lot of exposed sulfurs for later bonding would screw up the initial folding of the globule.

Research by Kramer and colleagues revealed the critical role of collagen in holding together the nematode C. elegans. Even when the genes for collagen IV were knocked out, the worm developed properly. But when it began to move, its muscles pulled apart, detaching from the skin.


Associated Press (also in Chicago Tribune) September 2, 2009
New Chicago center researches, treats brain tumors
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-braintumorinstitu,0,2724113.story

Patients with the disease that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy last week are one focus of the new Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute in Chicago.

The institute on Northwestern University’s downtown medical campus was jointly formed by Northwestern’s medical school, its cancer center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The institute combines research and treatment for brain and spinal tumors, including glioblastoma (GLEE-oh-blas-TOE-muh) the kind of cancer Kennedy had. Scientists there are seeking ways to improve survival chances. Most adults with glioblastomas live less than two years after diagnosis; Kennedy survived 15 months…


Newsweek September 2, 2009
The Long-Distance Runner: Lonely, or Just Independent?
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2009/09/02/the-long-distance-runner-lonely-or-just-independent.aspx

Team sports also help kids develop their social identity, notes Mark Reinecke, Ph.D., chief psychologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Our sense of worth is developed through what we accomplish and a sense of belonging. There’s a social aspect to team sports—the ability to collaborate and to feel positively about oneself because we’re part of a larger group.”


CBS News September 1, 2009
A Purpose in Life
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/09/01/couricandco/entry5279920.shtml

When I first read about 24 year old PJ Lukac in Chicago’s newspapers I was immediately moved by his story. Here was a young, bright, medical student with a promising future facing the most terrifying news from his own doctor -a malignant tumor lodged inside his brain…

There was no desperation in his voice and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It wasn’t until I spoke with his family and his co-workers at the genetics lab at Northwestern University that I came to understand that while PJ came through as reserved and shy, he was determined and passionate about making the most of the time he has left…

When Dr. Sanjay Gupta came along for the rest of the interviews, I had learned a lot more about brain cancer — especially the research taking place at Dr. Markus Bredel’s lab. Brain tumors are among the most complex of all cancers, but they’ve managed to find key genetic components that may one day allow doctors to target specific treatments tailored to each patient. They also provide an opportunity for patients to learn about the possible progression of the cancer…


CBS News (National) September 1, 2009
Cancer Researcher Fights for His Own Life
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/01/eveningnews/main5280491.shtml

Dr. Markus Bredel’s lab at Northwestern University is trying to unlock the DNA of brain cancer. He says that genetics play an important role when it comes to brain tumors because, “brain tumors are a genetic disease.”

Brain tumors have more than 100,000 genes, and Bredel’s lab has identified the 31 that enable cancer that’s been dosed with drugs or radiation to remake itself and continue to grow.

“That makes us very hopeful that in a couple of years from now we have clinical trials that test new therapeutics, which are based on the research we are doing,” said Bredel.


Chicago Sun-Times September 1, 2009
Training reduces girls’ sports injuries
http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/health/1746001,CST-NWS-health01.article

In 2006, researchers from Children’s Memorial and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine began tracking the injuries of nearly 1,500 female soccer and basketball players from 46 Chicago schools. The study concluded at the end of the
2008-09 school year.

Athletes who consistently did the KIPP warm-up exercises before practice were 14 times less likely to suffer a non-contact ACL injury than those who didn’t incorporate the moves into their warm-ups…


Asian News International September 1, 2009
High recurring heart attack, stroke rates prevail globally despite use of many medicines
http://www.dailyindia.com/show/331502.php

A presentation on the results from the international REACH (Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health) Registry was recently made by a researcher from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2009 in Barcelona on August 31…


Science Daily September 1, 2009
Surprising Rate Of Recurring Heart Attacks, Strokes Globally
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090831130051.htm

The results from the international REACH (Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health) Registry, presented by a researcher from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, examined data for 32,247 patients one and three years after they enrolled in the registry.

“We were surprised by the high rate of these recurring vascular events,” said lead author Mark J. Alberts, M.D., professor of neurology at the Feinberg School and director of the stroke program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “We know how to prevent vascular disease and the events that it produces. This points to the need for better prevention, better use of medications and a need to develop more potent medications. These are the number one and two causes of death throughout the world.”


Chicago Tribune August 30, 2009
Cutting the cord with your doctor
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/health/chi-tc-health-fire-doctors-0826aug30,0,948776.story

Dr. Philip Greenland, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, fired his 89-year-old mother’s orthopedic surgeon after the doctor failed to visit the elderly woman in the hospital for three days or talk to her family.

“We were attempting to communicate with him and we couldn’t get an answer,” said Greenland, who wrote about the experience four years ago in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “I literally camped out for a whole day at the hospital, waiting for him to show up, and he didn’t.”

The last straw came when the surgeon went home, exhausted after being on call at several hospitals, without telling his partner anything about Greenland’s very sick mother. “I felt a combination of anger and disbelief,” Greenland said.


Bangalore Mirror (India) August 28, 2009
Who will decide who’s a woman?
http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/36/2009082820090828165335218dd3a2486/Who

South African teenager Mokgadi “Caster” Semenya won the 800 metres race at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last week with what has been described as “a stunningly dominating run.” Unfortunately, her victorious debut in international sports has been clouded by controversy over her sexual identity…

According to the IAAF general secretary, “If it is proved that Semenya is not a female, she will be withdrawn and the medals revised.” The question is, of course, whether it is really possible to define what makes a woman. As Alice Dreger, professor of medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University, USA, points out, “Genes, hormones and genitals are pretty complicated. There isn’t really one simple way to sort out males and females. Sports require that we do, but biology doesn’t care… Biology does not fit neatly into simple categories…”


Voice of America August 27, 2009
Kennedy Death Puts Spotlight on Brain Cancer
http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-08-27-voa9.cfm

Senator Edward Kennedy, a legendary political figure in the United States, died on Tuesday after a year long battle with malignant glioma, the most common type of brain cancer among adults.

Researchers are trying to discover the cause so they can treat it better. Dr. Markus Bredel at Northwestern University analyzes the genetic makeup of brain tumors, specifically gene mutations within glioblastomas, an even more aggressive form of the disease. But there are hundreds of thousands of genes in the tumors’ genome.

“The difficult question is which of those many, many genes are actually important in the disease process and which are just simply bystanders to the process,” Dr. Bredel said…


ABC News August 26, 2009
Ted Kennedy’s Final Days
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=8155951

From diagnosis to death, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s battle with brain cancer was the last struggle of many during his long, eventful life.

His final years were marked by an instrumental endorsement of the nation’s first black president, the escalation of a legislative health care battle he had championed for decades, and the death of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. It was during the same time that Kennedy got a close-up look at the medical system he long worked to reform while spending time with doctors fighting his devastating terminal illness…

“With surgery his prognosis is better,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cozzens, associate professor of neurosurgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Evanston, Ill., the day of Kennedy’s surgery. “But remember that in individuals his age, despite the best treatment, half of patients are dead in one year.”…


WBZ (Boston) August 26, 2009
Jeffrey Raizer, M.D., associate professor of neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, comments on Senator Kennedy’s type of brain tumor.


Miami Herald August 26, 2009
South African runner’s gender test controversial, complicated
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1203887.html

The tests she undergoes will be vastly more difficult than anything she has confronted in competition, for her very identity is at stake. The gold medal she won in commanding style prompted the tests — had she finished seventh, no one would have ordered sex verification. But by the time the results come out, the gold medal will be an afterthought, if it isn’t already…

“Sex is sloppy,” said Alice Dreger, professor of medical humanities and bioethics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and author of Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, as well as an essay in The New York Times on Semenya’s situation. “Genes, chromosomes, hormones, genitals, internal reproductive organs — it is more complicated than we were led to believe in the seventh grade. A person can have one sex on the outside and another on the inside. There is a lot more variation in the human species than two types.”…


“848” WBEZ August 25, 2009
Teresa Woodruff, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, discusses her research on oncofertility
http://wbez.org/Content.aspx?audioID=36365


Chicago Tribune August 24, 2009
Flu fears and facts
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/chi-0824edit1aug24,0,3497825.story

Four months ago, swine flu swept across Mexico and then the globe so fast that it caught public health officials — and everyone else — by surprise. There was intense fear of what could be. Would this be a lethal pandemic and kill millions, as a different flu bug did in 1918?…

As a general rule, there’s far more benefit than risk in taking the vaccine, says Dr. John Flaherty, an infectious disease expert at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

So how worried should you be? “It is a new virus, and will probably be associated with more severe disease and more death than a usual flu,” Flaherty said. “But right now, I think we’ve got to approach it like we’re expecting a severe flu season and not necessarily ‘The Andromeda Strain.’ “…

Scripps Howard News Service October 1, 2009
Snoring has nightmarish implications October 28, 2009
Preventive Health Care Week: Busting health product myths
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/preventivemedicine/chi-091028preventive-myths,0,5757271.story


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