A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS February 25, 2014
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

New York Times
Study suggests misplaced fears in longer childbirths
A study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that epidural anesthesia extends the second stage of labor longer than has been recognized. The finding indicates that doctors generally should wait to intervene if labor is progressing. “One of the messages of this study is, sit on your hands a little longer, don’t rush into an instrumental vaginal delivery or a cesarean, because really everything could be fine,” said anesthesiologist Dr. Barbara Leighton, who has researched the effects of epidurals on labor.

New York Times
Itching: More than skin-deep
Itching was long overshadowed by pain in both research and treatment and considered just a mild form of pain. Within the last decade, more research has been devoted to what causes itching and how to stop it. In 2011, WUSM opened the nation’s first center devoted to the research and treatment of itch. “Itch is now where pain was probably 20 years ago,” said Chief of Dermatology Dr. Lynn Cornelius. “It used to be lumped together with pain.” But now, she said, “the science has to lead to treatment.”
Related WUSM news release

Health Day
Experimental eyewear helps surgeons ‘see’ cancer, study says

Experimental glasses that improve a surgeon’s ability to see cancer cells during surgery may help reduce cancer patients’ need for follow-up operations. The technology includes custom video technology, a head-mounted display and a chemical that attaches to cancer cells and makes them glow when viewed with the glasses. “We’re in the early stages of this technology, and more development and testing will be done, but we’re certainly encouraged by the potential benefits to patients,” said surgeon Dr. Julie Margenthaler. Other outlets: Discovery News, Everyday Health,U.S. News & World Report, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (front page), Daily Mail (UK), KTVI-TV Fox 2,St. Louis Business Journal, Times of London (UK) Perth Now (Australia) iflscience.com,Iranian.com, SlashGear and 55 other outlets.
Related WUSM news release

USA Today
When a hysterectomy is a death sentence
Women whose cancer is spread or “upstaged” by having a hysterectomy with morcellation – a procedure that removes the uterus through an incision in the belly button by pulverizing the uterus and any growths on
it – may not even know that the surgery they thought was helping made their problem much worse. If a woman has a cancer that isn’t detectable in pre-operative screening, morcellation can spread cancerous cells through the abdomen. “And most women aren’t told of the risk,” said Dr. Brian Van Tine. Van Tine doesn’t perform the procedure, but he’s documented the upstaging in four of his patients over the last few years.

Weekend cheating might help dieters succeed
Nutritionist Dr. Susan Racette believes that planned indulgences, such as eating less healthily on the weekends, may help some dieters. “It can be motivating if they feel this is actually an allowance, and it can help [dieters] stay on track,” she said. Racette was the lead author of a 2008 study that found a pattern of weekend weight gains followed by weekday drops.
Other outlets: Yahoo! News
Related WUSM news release

New York Times
Letter to the Editor No-Cost Contraception
In a letter to the editor about no-cost contraception, OB/GYN Dr. Colleen McNichols wrote, “Providing contraceptive coverage without cost barriers allows women to make real choices – choices they can’t make now. These decisions should remain among a woman, her family and her doctor.”
Related WUSM news release

Atlanta Journal Constitution
Machine to aid cancer patients gets tryout
Two lung cancer patients at BJH are the first to receive radiation therapy with a device that allows for real-time clear imaging of tumors as treatment is delivered. The technology, called ViewRay, was developed by WU PhD doctoral graduate, Jim Dempsey, who brought his invention back to his alma mater for a clinical trial in 2011.
Related WUSM news release

Washington Post
Who says 60 is too old to figure skate? The sport offers health benefits, but be careful
Figure skating for exercise burns calories, strengthens core and lower leg muscles and is low impact. But what about falling and breaking a bone? Physical therapist Lynette Khoo-Summers encourages people who want to try ice skating for exercise to start slowly. And Dr. Heidi Prather, an orthopedist, said that of the skating-related ailments she treats, overuse injuries such as tendinitis in the knee, hip and ankle are more common than broken bones. San Jose Mercury News

ABC News
7 heart-healthy habits to try right now
Cutting cardiovascular risk doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. A recent WUSM study found that atrial fibrillation (AF) patients who did yoga in addition to taking medication reported half the number of heart quivers compared with patients who only took meds. While not a cure for AF, regular yoga practice – at least twice a week for three months – also improved the subjects’ heart health by easing anxiety levels and significantly lowering resting heart rates.

MSN Health / Health Day
Quitting smoking linked to better mental health in study
Quitting smoking may be as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health, a new WUSM study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 4,800 daily smokers in the United States who took part in two surveys conducted three years apart. Those who had an addiction or other mental health problems in the first survey were less likely to have those issues in the second survey if they’d quit smoking, the investigators said. Other outlets: U.S. News & World Report

Science Magazine
DNA Sequencing Firm’s Second Act Gets Mixed Reviews
Last month, Illumina introduced a million-dollar machine capable of sequencing 1,800 human genomes a year, saying that the technology would push the cost of sequencing a human genome below $1,000. However, the $1,000 estimate is based on running 10 machines at full capacity. “Not many places have a demand for 18,000 genomes a year, or the capacity to analyze that many sequences,” said Dr. Elaine Mardis, co-director of The Genome Institute. “I don’t know how you could sustain it.”

KABC-TV (Los Angeles, CA)
Breast cancer genes can affect men too
Men and women with a BRCA mutation have a 50-percent chance of passing it on. Women with the mutation are up to seven times more likely to develop breast cancer and at least 10 times more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Genetic counselor Khateriaa Pyrtel says many don’t realize men can pass a BRCA gene mutation to their daughters and women can pass it on to their sons. While there’s currently no standardized guidelines recommended for men to be tested for BRCA mutations, men from families with a strong history of breast and ovarian cancer should consider getting tested.

Psychology Today
How to Think Like a Neandertal
Neandertals roamed the earth from about 250,000 years ago to 50,000 years ago. They were fully capable of killing and processing the largest of land animals for food, clothing and shelter. If one were to analyze Neandertals using psychiatrist C. Robert Cloninger’s three personality temperaments, novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and reward dependence, it seems to stand out clearly that Neandertals were not ‘harm avoidant’ kind of people.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Front page)
Moms, don’t rush to C-section
Normal labor is substantially longer than what doctors have previously thought. Be patient—much more patient, say new guidelines released Feb. 20 aimed at reducing the U.S. cesarean delivery rate. “We have to look at the data we have now and the new research into what is normal. This is an attempt to put all those things together for providers to look at and think of potential ways they can alter their behavior and care to positively impact the C-section rate,” said Dr. Alison Cahill, who assisted with developing the guidelines. Other outlet: Fresno Bee

Local doctors perform new leg lengthening procedure
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. J. Eric Gordon is one of the first in the area to use a new bone-growing device to lengthen the leg of a 16-year-old patient. An infection in the patient’s knee had left one leg 2-1/2 inches shorter than the right leg. 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Seeing her granddaughter grow up was enough to try a new heart treatment
LuAnn Michaelis was the first person in Missouri to receive a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or S-ICD. The previous generation of ICD required two wires be placed in contact with the heart. The newer device requires a wire be placed just beneath the skin and above the breast plate; the electrodes do not touch the heart. “It’s effective at stopping a cardiac arrest, but the wire isn’t subject to the motions,” said Dr. Mitchell Faddis. “The energy isn’t as focused so the damage associated with the powerful discharge inside the heart isn’t there. So we think it’s going to be safer.”

Joplin Globe
Father of organ donor soon becomes recipient
Mark Darch knows what it’s like to be involved both with giving and receiving the gift of life. In December, he received new lungs. Less than six weeks earlier, his son, Jason, became an organ donor after being involved in a car accident. Now, Darch is doing well and Dr. Derek Byers is optimistic about his recovery. “He has really rebounded well, given how sick he was at the time of his transplant,” Byers said. “The biggest things we worry about are infection and rejection. But if we can stave off those episodes, I think he’s got a good prognosis.”

Ivanhoe Broadcast News
1-2-3 stages of Alzheimer’s
Recently, investigators found a way to “stage” Alzheimer’s Disease during a period they call “pre-clinical Alzheimer’s.” The data suggests that “the pathology starts anywhere from 10 to 20 years before any sign of clinical symptoms,” said neurology researcher Dr. Anne Fagan.
Related WUSM news release

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dr. David Kipnis was a legendary physician at Wash U.
Dr. David Kipnis, a pioneering physician-scientist and a legendary leader at Washington University School of Medicine, died Feb. 5, 2014, at the age of 86. For two decades he led the school’s department of internal medicine, and he founded the Clinical Research Center, the largest research center at the medical school.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Teens and Dating
Every year, 1.5 million high school students experience some form of physical abuse from a dating partner. Lisa Hadley, a specialist with the 454.TEEN parent help line offered advice on rules to set for safe teen dating.

New guidelines may reduce strokes in women
The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association recently released the first guidelines for avoiding stroke, the third leading cause of death among U.S. women. Neurologist Dr. Allison Zazulia explained that the biggest concerns for women include high blood pressure, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy and after delivery; atrial fibrillation and hormone replacement therapy.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
She lost weight to protect her heart and to have more fun with her daughter
Samantha Breeding, a surgical technician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, lost 90 pounds from March 2011 to Feb. 2014 and continues to lose weight steadily. “When you write down what you eat, you realize how those snacks add up,” she said. “It made me think a lot more about what I ate.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Senior Focus: Cancer in older adults
Oncologist Dr. Tanya Wildes, explains why cancer may pose special challenges for older adults.

St Louis American
BioSTL nets $100K diversity grant
BioSTL has received a $100,000 grant to identify and nurture high-potential women and minority bioscience entrepreneurs in St. Louis. The WUSM Office of Technology Management will assist the effort through expansion of a pilot program that aims to address the gender gap among students, postdocs and faculty involved in commercializing innovation.
Other outlets: St. Louis Business Journal

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Saving a life with hands-only CPR is so easy my 10-year-old could do it
Studies have shown that hands-only CPR is equally as effective as mouth-to-mouth CPR, and much easier to remember. People can learn the procedure by watching a one-minute video, or a 911 dispatcher can easily give instructions over the phone, said Dr. Doug Schuerer, director of trauma. “You can learn this at a health fair,” he said.

Big Red Concrete Trucks support local organizations
Breckenridge Materials, a St. Louis construction company, unveiled two new trucks that display the logos of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Go Red for Women in an attempt to raise awareness of the two causes. Other outlets: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Behind the story of RedDevil 4 with Eric Leuthardt
Neurosurgeon Dr. Eric C. Leuthardt, a pioneer in the field of neuroprosthetics, detailed the story behind his new science fiction novel, “RedDevil 4.” He sees the potential for a future in which neuroprosthetics are as common as cell phones.
Related WUSM news release

KMOX radio (no link)
T.J. Oshie’s father diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
During an interview with a Seattle television station, T.J. Oshie’s father, Timothy, disclosed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 49. Dr. David Holtzman said privacy rules prevent him from talking about Oshie’s case but says, “It’s very uncommon to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease below the age of 60.” In many cases, according to Holtzman, said such diagnosis is due to a genetic trait. “Which means many times a person inherits the disease directly from their parents through a gene mutation or a gene change,” he said. Additional KMOX story

Community Health Magazine
10 new technologies for heart health
February 2014
Dr. Edward Geltman said the growing use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) has created a ripple effect, with more companies producing them, giving people more options. The heart pumps are used in people who may be too old or sick to be good candidates for a successful heart transplant. “For people who don’t qualify for heart transplants but have a very sick heart, we can put the LVAD in and give them a boost,” said Geltman.“

The Ladue News
Cakeway to the West
St. Louis Children’s Hospital is among the area locations chosen to receive celebratory cakes in honor of the city’s 250th birthday.

WXEN radio
Care Note – Childhood Obesity
Drs. Rachael Juehring and Casey Pruitt shared advice on lifestyle influences and measures to prevent childhood obesity, as well as how to help a child regain a healthy weight.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Parents Talk Back
SLCH Mom Doc Kathleen Berchelmann provided advice to parents on approaching tragic subjects with children – like the recent kidnapping and murder of a 10-year-old in Springfield, Missouri – in her weekly online chat hosted by Post-Dispatch reporter Aisha Sulton.

South Wales Argus
Crosskeys youngster recovers from life-changing op
A 43-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in the United Kingdom traveled to St. Louis for surgery by Dr. T. S. Park, who is internationally known for a spinal surgery he pioneered called selective dorsal rhizotomy. The surgery severs spinal cord rootlets that cause spasticity, resulting in stronger, more relaxed movement.

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Jessica Church

Washington University
School of Medicine
Media Relations



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