A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS June 30, 2015
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

Associated Press/New York Times
Lasers, magnetism allow glimpses of the human brain at work
In an article highlighting brain research past and present, Drs. Marcus Raichle and David Van Essen commented. Raichle said that activities such as trying to recall somebody’s name make a very small difference in the brain’s overall energy consumption. Van Essen explained that the Human Connectome Project still is in its early phases, but is mapping out what parcels of tissue do what jobs in the brain’s cerebral cortex. The brain maps that show up in text books are about as sophisticated as 16th-century maps of the Earth. The connectome project should bring the maps up to the equivalent of 18th- or 19th-century Earth maps, he said.
Other outlet: Washington Post

Los Angeles Times
Obese Americans now outnumber those who are merely overweight
Recent research from Washington University found that nearly 75 percent of men and 67 percent of women are overweight or obese. The study also found that African-American men and women were more likely to be extremely obese. “This is a wake-up call to implement policies and practices designed to combat overweight and obesity,” study co-author Dr. Lin Yang. Other outlets: CBS News, Time, CBC (Canada), Washington Post, Health Day, Yahoo!, The Guardian, Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh), HealthKTVI-TV Fox 2, CBN News
Related WUSM news release

Washington Post
Weary of the needle jab, diabetics yearn for new form of insulin
Dr. Janet McGill commented on a new form of insulin that is inhaled rather than injected. McGill, the principal investigator on Afrezza clinical trials, said that since the drug is inhaled, “it matches [natural body] dynamics of food intake and absorption well.”

Associated Press/U.S. News & World Report
Johnson & Johnson starts project to prevent Type 1 diabetes
In a collaboration with immunologist and WUSM professor Dr. Emil Unanue and his colleagues, researchers at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals will explore how specific immune system cells are involved in the initiation and progression of Type 1 diabetes.

New York Times
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland to stay in office while ‘advanced’ cancer is treated
In an article detailing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s recent cancer diagnosis, Dr. John DiPersio explained that 50 percent to 70 percent of patients with stage 4 B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survive three years after diagnosis, depending on age and symptoms.

ABC News  (Australia)
Sleep deprivation: Six ways being tired can damage your life
“When we looked specifically at the worst sleepers, those with a sleep efficiency lower than 75 percent, they were more than five times more likely to have preclinical Alzheimer’s disease than good sleepers,” said Dr. Yo-El Ju.

Good Housekeeping
10 items medical pros always carry in their emergency kits
In anticipation of summer travel, Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann recommended items parents should add to their standard first-aid kits.

Everyday Health
10 essential facts about MERS
Dr. Steve Lawrence explained that MERS is primarily an upper respiratory illness and symptoms can range from a mild cold to pneumonia and respiratory failure. He added that there is currently no risk in the United States at this time and no cases in the United States.

Toronto Sun  (Canada)
Scientists find way to disrupt brain tumour stem cells
A group of scientists at WUSM say they have discovered a way to attack the root of some of the deadliest brain tumours. WUSM neurosurgeon Dr. Albert Kim explained the process.
Other outlets:
Headlines & Global News, Pioneer News (Vermont)
Related WUSM news release

Daily Mail  (UK)
Always getting cystitis? It could be because your urine’s too acidic, study reveals
Recent WUSM research found that the acidity of a person’s urine may influence how well bacteria can grow in the urinary tract, enabling it to flourish. Dr. Jeffrey Henderson explained the study. Other outlet:
Science 2.0
Related WUSM news release

Al Jazeera America
TechKnow: Can high-tech goggles revolutionize cancer surgery?
Dr. Sam Achilefu explained the technology behind the ‘cancer goggles’ he developed to help surgeons see cancer. Dr. Julie Margenthaler explained how she uses the goggles in surgery.
Related WUSM news release

St. Louis Public Radio
Despite battle with cancer, triathlete Teri Griege continues to inspire others
Story about triathlete Teri Griege and her battle against colon cancer. She also was chosen as NBC’s 2011 Inspirational Athlete. Griege is still in treatment for her cancer, undergoing maintenance chemotherapy every other week. She wants to make it clear that cancer today can be a chronic disease and that’s how she looks at her condition.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
High-tech helmets, turf and tethers may be in NFL’s near future
At a briefing for Capitol Hill staffers, Dr. Matthew Matava described enhanced medical innovations that have been put in place or soon will be, including sideline doctor-and-trainer access to online medical records, and X-rays and video.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital critical care transport team does flight training
July 1, SLCH will become the first freestanding children’s hospital to offer emergency scene response services. Transport team manager Brandie Tieken was interviewed.

KSDK-TV Show Me St. Louis
The MomDocs on summer lawn safety
The SLCH MomDocs participate in a live monthly panel on Show Me St. Louis. Drs. Kathleen Berchelmann, Kirstin Lee and Beth Schickler, PNP, suggested ways to keep kids safe while doing lawn work in the summer

FDA orders food companies to phase out artificial trans fats
Katie Lambert, RD, LD, clinical dietitian at BJH, explained the dangers of artificial trans fats and suggested foods to avoid.

WFMZ-TV (Allentown, Pa.)
Health Beat — Saving Sal: His son to the rescue
Dr. Riwan Romee explained that half-match stem cell transplants are now an option for patients without a donor who is a full match. The procedure now is available at a few centers across the country. Romee said this will be extremely helpful for minority patients, especially African-Americans, in which the likelihood of finding a full-match donor is less than 20 percent.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis police officers donate to hospitals that treat child gunshot victims
The police officers who responded to the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy in March donated $1,000 in the child’s memory to SLCH. The officers brought the little boy to the emergency department at Children’s Hospital.. Drs. Bo Kennedy and Kim Quayle accepted the donation. Similar stories on KSDK and KMOV (not published online).

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thousands pack downtown for Komen breast cancer race
Dr. Ron Bose walked the Komen Race for the Cure course with his wife and daughters, ages 11 and 8. Bose is a recipient of two Komen grants for his research on HER2-positive breast cancer. Saturday was his eighth Komen race.

Rising temperatures increase risk for overheating in older adults
Dr. Mark Levine explained that the aging body has a harder time regulating internal body temperature due to medications for high blood pressure, sweat glands that have become inefficient and decreased blood circulation. He also suggested tips to help seniors reduce the risk of heat-related problems.

Innovative research probing causes of preterm birth funded by the March of Dimes
Since 2004, the March of Dimes has committed more than $28 million to the Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) grants. The 2015 PRI grantees include Dr. Sarah K. England, who is studying the role of a newly discovered channel (tiny opening) in the membrane of uterine muscle cells in initiating uterine contractions. Currently, the triggers of the onset of labor at or before term are unknown.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Letters to the editor: Contraception, sex education do more to reduce number of abortions
In a letter to the editor in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reader Nicki Werner referenced the WUSM Contraceptive CHOICE Project: “In 2012, researchers at WUSM led the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, which showed a marked decrease in abortion rates in St. Louis when people were given access to free, long-lasting contraceptives.” It is important that comprehensive sex education be brought to public schools across Missouri. This will educate teens not only about abstinence but also about contraception and STI prevention.

LaCrosse Tribune  (LaCrosse, Wi.)
Doctors tackle geographic disparities in liver transplants
In an article highlighting geographic disparities in allocating livers for transplant, Dr. Will Chapman offered suggestions on how to alleviate the problem.

Possible new treatment for rare and severe form of diabetes
Researchers from WUSM have identified an enzyme that prevents the cell death that can lead to Wolfram syndrome. “We believe the enzyme we identified may provide us with a target to protect many types of cells from a death cascade that leads to these different, seemingly unrelated disorders,” said principal investigator Dr. Fumihiko Urano.

MD Magazine
Protein that clears brain of debris may be link to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease progression
A protein found on the surface of brain cells may be able to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and other similar diseases, according to two independent teams of researchers from WUSM. Includes comments by Dr. Marco Colonna, first study author, and Dr. Laura Piccio senior author of the second study.

Baxter Bulletin
Mountain Home couple hears from organ-donor family one year later
Diana Anderson was very ill with nonalcoholic cirrhosis and her only hope was a liver transplant. She received a liver at BJH in June 2014. One year later, she is healthy and exchanging letters with her donor family, whom she hopes to meet someday.

All Africa
Nigerian-born scientist wins award for his cancer-seeing glasses
Dr. Samuel Achilefu won the 2014 St. Louis Award for developing imaging technology in cancer diagnosis into wearable night vision-like goggles so surgeons can see cancer cells while operating.
Other outlets:
The Guardian, NAIJ.com (Nigeria), CPAfrica.com
Related WUSM news release

Mountain News  (Lake Arrowhead, Ca.)
New hope for cancer patient
In an article highlighting a Lake Arrowhead woman’s cancer treatment and her acceptance into a WUSM breast cancer vaccine clinical trial, Dr. William Gillanders commented. “We can say with confidence we were able to generate an immune response in almost all the patients who were vaccinated,” Gillanders said. “And there is preliminary evidence that the vaccine may have an impact on breast cancer progression.”

Medical News Today
Study of cholesterol in cells offers clues on infertility and early puberty
Recent research from WUSM found that cholesterol plays a vital role in the growth of cells and is an essential building block in their production of steroids and hormones. The findings also should prompt further investigation into how hormone-like chemicals in our environment might affect puberty and fertility, according to study author Dr. Daniel Ory. “There are environmental cues that might be involved,” he said. “We need to work with our colleagues in fertility research as we think about future directions for this work.” The research was published in Cell Metabolism.
Related WUSM news release

Sunderland Echo (UK)
Boy born with cerebral palsy fighting fit after surgery in America
A young boy from England traveled to America to undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy with Dr. T.S. Park. The procedure has drawn hundreds of families from multiple countries to SLCH. Other outlets: CHCH, (Canada)
Herald Sun (Australia)


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Jessica Church

Washington University
School of Medicine
Media Relations



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