A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS April 30, 2013
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

NBC Nightly News
Study to find possible Alzheimer’s breakthrough
Washington University scientists have chosen three drugs that could stop certain individuals from developing Alzheimer’s disease. Based on brain scans and other biomarkers, researchers will determine which work best and continue with those to see if they can prevent Alzheimer’s, or at least slow the progression. Drs. Randall Bateman and John Morris are featured. “We have a good chance to prevent brain cells from dying and hopefully preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia,” says Dr. John Morris. Related WUSM news release

USA Today
New drug gives growth to girl born with no bones
Janelly Martinez-Amador was born with the most severe form of hypophosphatasia – a disorder that prevents bones from forming. Dr. Michael P. Whyte entered Janelly in a clinical trial for a new drug, and 4 years later, she’s dancing. Other outlets: Daily Mail (UK) Related WUSM news release

Smithsonian Magazine
Microbes: The trillions of creatures governing your health
May 2013 issue
Necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, is one of the leading killers of preterm babies. At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, researchers studying NEC have analyzed every diaper of almost every very low-weight baby delivered there over the past three years. They don’t expect to find a single pathogen, some killer virus or bacteria, the way medical discovery typically happened in the past. Instead, says Dr. Phillip Tarr, they want to understand the back-and-forth among hundreds of microbial types in the newborn’s gut—to recognize when things go out of balance. Dr. Barbara Warner is also featured in this piece.

Business Week
Alzheimer’s: The costliest killer
Dr. Marc Diamond blames “grossly inadequate” research funding for making the peer reviewers who judge grant applications overly cautious. He’s investigating whether the tau protein in Alzheimer’s is like the misfolded proteins called prions in mad cow disease. “Initially we couldn’t get our papers published, and we couldn’t get funded,” Diamond says.

Wall Street Journal
Mysterious brain circuitry becomes viewable
“We can look at the brain and take pictures of it, but ultimately we want to know how all these connections and wires fit together,” said Dr. Michael Bruchas. Earlier this month, Dr. Bruchas and his colleagues made public their development of light-emitting diodes thousands of times smaller than those currently available commercially. Other outlets: Medical Technology Business/Europe. Related WUSM news release

Hot topics: Black women may gain more weight on contraceptives
Black women were the most likely to gain weight while using a long-acting form of contraception, such as a hormone implant or intrauterine device (IUD), in a small new study. Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, who worked on the study, cautioned against blaming the implants, injections and IUDs for the extra weight gain among certain women. “There are many other factors that are involved in weight maintenance, weight gain or loss other than contraception. And these other factors probably are more important than the contraceptive method,” Peipert says.

Reuters / Chicago Tribune
Magnetic therapy may not relieve ringing in the ears
Ringing in the ears – known as tinnitus – seems to be a hearing-related problem, but medications and magnetic stimulation targeting the brain’s auditory areas haven’t made the sound go away. “People want a pill to make it go away, but there isn’t anything like that,” says Dr. Jay Piccirillo. “There’s no cure for tinnitus.”

Associated Press
Missouri auger accident victim is a walking miracle
A man whose leg was trapped in a grain auger wasn’t expected to live, let alone walk again. Now, thanks to five reconstructive surgeries at BJH, he’s back to walking on his own two feet. Other outlets: Dexter Daily Statesman , San Francisco Chronicle , World News

The Washington Post
Pain and pain management in NFL spawn a culture of prescription drug use and abuse
Pain is the inescapable price of an NFL career, and a drug problem can easily become one too. Retired NFL players misuse opioids at a rate more than four times that of their peers, according to a 2010 study of 644 league veterans by WUSM. Even upon retirement, 15 percent of those who misused opioids during their careers continued to misuse, according to the study, even though they were no longer playing.
Related WUSM news release

Fox Business
How to stop driving
Although senior drivers don’t rack up many miles or speeding tickets, they are involved in accidents at a rate that rivals teenagers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Just because your father loses his license doesn’t mean he’ll stop driving,” says Dr. David Carr. It’s suggested that seniors come up with a plan before they stop driving that includes getting a state ID, inquiring about free transportation services, and deciding what to do with their car and insurance.

Yahoo! News / San Angelo Standard Times
Boston Marathon explosions: Combat medicine put to use
After the Boston Marathon explosions, what amazed many observers was how fast the most seriously wounded were taken away. “They cleared the scene relatively quickly and seemed to do a really good job triaging and moving the most seriously injured out,” said Dr. David Tan. Other outlets: Herald Times (Bloomingdale, Indiana)

Dr. Grant Bochicchio talks about how hospitals deal with mass casualty situations
Dr. Grant Bochicchio joined First @ 4 Tuesday to talk about the challenges first responders face on the scene moments after a bombing.

St. Louis Beacon
Trauma researchers talk about horror and hope of Boston’s Marathon blast
Dr. Grant Bochicchio says that the lessons learned from years of traumatic injuries to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq have been put to good use in treating civilians injured by explosives at home, such as those injured in the Boston marathon bombing.

St. Louis hospitals prepared for disaster, chemical attacks
Dr. Douglas Schuerer commends Boston hospitals for their response to the marathon bombings. Keith Outlaw, RN, explains the ways BJH and the St. Louis medical community train for disaster situations.

The Nation (Nigeria)
Cancer deadly…but heart diseases are deadlier
To many Nigerians, cancer is a deadly disease, which has killed rich and poor alike. But, doctors say heart disease is deadlier, with many sudden deaths recorded daily. Dr. Christine Hoehner said long commutes can have a negative effect on people’s health and their risk for heart disease, noting that “people with longer commutes tend to be less physically active, even after the researchers took into account extenuating factors, such as age, race, educational levels and family size.”

Bury Free Press (UK)
All Jordan wants is to walk on beach
Seven-year-old cerebral palsy patient from the UK travels to SLCH for spinal surgery with Dr. T. S. Park. Other Dr. Park Patients featured in the News Post Leader, Dublin People, Daily Mail, Herald Scotland

Could turtle gene findings aid human health?
WUSM researchers recently sequenced the genome of the western painted turtle and said the findings might lead to treatments to repair tissue damage due to oxygen deprivation associated with heart attacks and strokes. “Turtles are nothing short of an enigma,” Richard Wilson said. “They may be slowly evolving, but turtles have developed an array of enviable features….we could learn a lot from them.” Related WUSM release

St. Louis Public Radio
Finding balance and dignity among the chaos of dementia
Host Don Marsh spoke with Dr. Marcus Raichle about a recent symposium at WU to help people struggling to find balance and dignity among the chaos of dementia. The symposium featured experts in the fields of patient care, psychology, philosophy, medicine, neuroscience, and family caregiving.

St. Louis Business Journal
Consumer Reports hospital ratings lower for teaching hospitals
According to the latest Consumer Reports hospital safety rankings, the scores of many teaching hospitals are lower than those of community hospitals. Nick McLaren, manager of public relations at BJH, comments on how efforts to reduce readmission rates are helping improve patient safety.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Speaker is reunited with nurse who inspired his message
They first met 20 years ago in the former Barnes Hospital Emergency Department after the car Marcus Engel was riding in was hit by a drunk driver. He says two words that emergency room technician “Jennifer” said to him, “I’m here,” are what helped get him through the first night of a long, life-changing journey and helped inspire his crusade to let others know about the importance of compassionate caregiving. But he didn’t even know her last name and they never saw each other again – until recently. Jennifer Aycock is now the clinical nurse manager at the Barnes-Jewish ICU.

The Frontline for Hope
Episode 5 of The Frontline for Hope, highlighting SLCH and WUSM physicians and caregivers, focuses on Dr. F. Sessions Cole, Dr. Cynthia Ortinau, Dr. Kate Farrell, Dr. Pirooz Eghtesady and Dr. Stuart Sweet.

St. Louis Beacon
Treatments sought to counter inflammation in many diseases
Inflammation plays a role in many chronic diseases and may cause more collateral damage than previously thought. Drs. Douglas Mann, John Morris, Siobhan Sutcliffe, Fumihiko Urano share thoughts on how inflammation affects their specialties – heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes, respectively.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Controversial Cancer Procedure
Article details the two-part Sugarbaker procedure performed only on patients who have cancer that has spread to the lining surfaces of the abdominal cavity from the appendix, ovaries or gastric tract, and those who have a type of cancer that originates in the abdominal lining, called peritoneal mesothelioma. Dr. Matt Mutch explains that Siteman offers a modified version of the procedure and adds that the biology of the disease is a much more important factor in how patients do than what the physician does. “If we select them properly, (our procedure) is effective. But if you take all comers, the benefit is often a matter of months, so you’re putting patients through huge operations with huge hospitalizations that give a relatively short improvement in survival. However, if you select them properly you can benefit these patients for years.”

St. Louis Jewish Light
Barnes-Jewish finalizes plans for campus revamp
Rich Liekweg shares how the heritage of Jewish Hospital will be preserved after the building is demolished.

Topeka Capital-Journal
Madison’s Miracle
Twelve-year-old Madison Taliaferro was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age two. She and her mom moved to St. Louis from Topeka, Kansas, in June 2012, when she was placed on the lung transplant list. Madison had a successful double-lung transplant at SLCH in November and returned home in June. Her story is featured in The Frontline for Hope .

Woman celebrates second heart transplant recovery
Beverly Uhlmansiek received the gift of life a second time: 20 years after her first heart transplant surgery. Now, the Florissant, Mo., resident is encouraging others to join the organ donor registry.

Wiens family shows bravery in the face of Parkinson Disease
Almost three decades ago, Lynda and Bob Wiens moved to St. Louis from Canada. She was a nurse; he was a cardiologist. In the late 1980s, he diagnosed himself with Parkinson’s Disease, at a time when there was not much offered in the way of medication and treatment. “The advances made recently are really incredible,” said Dr. Joel Perlmutter, a neurologist and researcher at Washington University School of Medicine.

St. Louis Business Journal
BJC plans build out of former Highway Patrol land
BJC is planning to build a facility in Town and Country that will include pediatric services from SLCH and WUSM Physicians.

Missouri pharmacists staying alert amidst fraudulent prescription attempts
With prescription drug abuse on the rise, pharmacist Andrew Stolzer discusses the ways the BJH pharmacy team watches out for fraudulent activity.

Columbia County News-Times
Martinez boy returns home after lung transplant
Ten-year-old Sawyer Mobley was born with cystic fibrosis. He and his mom moved to St. Louis from Georgia in August 2012, when he was placed on the lung transplant list. Sawyer had a successful double-lung transplant at SLCH in January and returned home last week.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Healthy kids: Recognizing and treating concussions
Head injuries in children occur frequently. Many are of little consequence, but some cause concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Angela Lumba-Brown writes a column about how parents can recognize the symptoms of a concussion in their children.

The Southern Illinoisan
Transplant recipient grateful for donors, families
Patrick Tretter is an avid cyclist, gearing up for the Tour de Cure in June. The Carterville, Ill., resident is also a kidney/pancreas transplant recipient and encourages others to register to become an organ donor. Other outlets: KFVS – TV

io9 (website)
Scientists take the first steps toward remote mind control
In a new study published in Science, a research team co-led by Dr. Michael R. Bruchas developed a remote control device to stimulate neurons in mice that release the reward chemical dopamine. As a result, they changed the behavior of the mice, from a distance, in the absence of any tangible reward. Related WUSM news release

The Fish Site
Fish prone to melanoma get DNA decoded
In platyfish, melanomas typically develop as black splotches along the tail and fins,” says senior author Dr. Wesley Warren. “These fish are an ideal model for exploring the many unknowns of cancer, including how, when and where it develops in the body as well as its severity.” Scientists at Washington University, the University of Würzburg in Germany and Texas State University led an international team involved in sequencing and analysing the platyfish genome. Their findings are available online in Nature Genetics. Related WUSM news release

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Judy Martin

Washington University
School of Medicine
Media Relations



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Laura High

Barnes-Jewish Hospital



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