Media Coverage

The work done by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty members (and even some students) is regularly highlighted in newspapers, online media outlets and more. Below you’ll find links to articles and videos of Feinberg in the news.

Hearing is a vital part of learning language. Important for a child’s speech development, it also influences literacy skills. For children born with significant hearing loss, listening and language ability are boosted by a device called a cochlear implant (which amplifies sounds and makes them more clear). “The literacy of deaf children on average in the era before cochlear implants was fourth grade, which is not functional literacy,” said Dr. Nancy Young, ­­medical director of audiology and cochlear implant programs at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern University professor.

Poor sleep quality can impair mood, performance and health, noted Kristen Knutson, an associate professor of neurology (sleep medicine) at Northwestern University. “We need to understand . . . how to mitigate these effects because people are not going to stop using (electronic devices),” said Knutson, who did not work on the German study.

To his toolbox of Botox, fillers and plastic surgery, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Murad Alam has added a new, low-cost, noninvasive anti-aging treatment: facial yoga. Dermatologists measured improvements in the appearance of the faces of a small group of middle-age women after they did half an hour of daily face-toning exercises for eight weeks, followed by alternate-day exercises for another 12 weeks. The results surprised lead author Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Long-term studies also haven’t proven how much routine screening can help reduce the number of adults with scoliosis who suffer from breathing problems, back pain, disability or reduced quality of life, the Task Force points out. Parents should still see a doctor if they’re concerned that their child might have scoliosis, said Dr. John Francis Sarwark, author of an accompanying editorial in JAMA and a researcher at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

No one knows precisely what purpose lp(a) serves in the body, though some scientists speculate that it may have a beneficial role such as helping to repair injured cells or preventing infections by binding to pathogens in the blood. But the downside of excessive lp(a) is clear: It accelerates the formation of plaque in the arteries, and it promotes blood clots. “It’s sort of a double whammy,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a cardiologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine who helped write the American Heart Association’s cholesterol guidelines. “Biologically, lp(a) both gets into the artery wall and causes damage there more easily.”

Looming over everything is the loss of the future that an older adult and his or her family imagined they might have, often accompanied by anxiety and dread. This pileup of complex emotions is known as “anticipatory loss.” “The deterioration of function, disability and suffering have their own grieving processes, but helping families deal with that isn’t built into the health care system,” said Dr. John Rolland, professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and author of “Families, Illness and Disability: An Integrative Treatment Model.”

Research by Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, has showed some negative consequences of the drug. Long-term use can negatively impact memory and brain development, particularly in younger users. But he too wants more decriminalization, not less.

Medicare says it performs spot checks, but Dr. Karl Bilimoria, director of the Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says more policing is needed for the rates to be credible. “In no other industry would this pass, where a program without an audit and [with] voluntary data reporting would be considered valid,” Bilimoria says. “We know guys are gaming.”

Michael Ison, MD, a professor of infectious diseases and organ transplantation at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, says regardless of the cause, treatment is similar. “What influenza-like illness is saying to us is that you have a virus likely affecting your respiratory system that is making you feel crummy and, currently aside from influenza, there aren’t good therapies for these other viruses, so we just treat the symptoms,” he says. An flu-like illness diagnosis can also mean your doctor thinks you have the flu but doesn’t see the point in doing an official flu test.“Flu testing may be helpful for some, but for the majority of people, you don’t need to expect to receive a test,” Campbell says. “Most people probably won’t require testing because it won’t change what your doctor recommends in terms of symptomatic care.”

A new study finds that facial exercises can erase some signs of aging in middle-aged women, a group of whom followed a routine lasting 30 minutes at least every other day for five months and saw as a result fuller upper and lower cheeks, according to the study. “Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Murad Alam, a dermatologist and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a press release. “The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.”

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