A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS May 7, 2015
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

BBC News
Great gut extinction: Has modern life destroyed our health?
A recent study found that people from an isolated tribe in Venezuela carried antibiotic resistance genes, even though they had no exposure to antibiotics. In addition, the study found that the tribes’ microbiomes were 40 percent more diverse than those of modern people. According to Dr. Gautam Dantas, antibiotics, processed foods and soap may have led to less diversity in the microbial composition. He said more research is needed to understand the effect of antibiotic resistance genes on the immune system and metabolism. Other outlets: Smithsonian, Associated Press (Sioux City Journal/Souix City IA), The Star, (Malaysia)
Related WUSM news release

Drugs show promise for some advanced lung cancers
A recent study found that two experimental drugs may help patients whose advanced lung cancer developed a particular mutation that makes their tumors resistant to the latest available treatment. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan said the two drugs are not “magic bullets,” but he added “in the long struggle against lung cancer, this is a significant step.” Both the study and editorial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ask Smithsonian: Are cats domesticated?
In an article looking to determine whether cats are domesticated, Dr. Wes Warren’s research is referenced. Warren and colleagues compared the genomes of domestic cats and wild cats and said there’s some debate over whether cats fit the definition of domesticated as it is commonly used. According to Warren, “Cats, unlike dogs, are really only semi-domesticated.
Related WUSM news release

Nipple-sparing mastectomy as good as full breast removal

Women with early stage breast cancer who chose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy had similar survival or recurrence rates to women who underwent full breast removal, according to research presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting. Not all women are candidates for the surgery. Dr. Julie Margenthaler said less than 5 percent of U.S. doctors offer the nipple-sparing procedure which is more challenging than a full mastectomy.

Shape Magazine
DNA-based personalized medicine may change health care forever
In an article highlighting potential benefits of personalized medicine, recent WUSM research on personalized vaccines for three melanoma patients is referenced.
Related WUSM news release

The Daily Mail   
How being slightly overweight is GOOD for your health: Fat tissue ‘boosts brain’s energy levels and affects metabolism and ageing’
New research in mice suggests that there may be a survival benefit to being slightly overweight. The findings suggest there is an optimal amount of body fat for maximizing health and longevity. According to senior author Dr. Shin-ichiro Imai,We still don’t know what that amount is or how it might vary by individual. But at least in mice, we know that if they don’t have enough of a key enzyme produced by fat, an important part of the brain can’t maintain its energy levels.” Other outlets: Health Canal
Related WUSM news release

Huffington Post
Could extra sleep improve memory for people with Alzheimer’s?
The Huffington Post directs the reader to the Medical News Today website to read the full report on research led by WUSM Drs. Paul Shaw and Stephane Dissel. The researchers – who published their findings in the journal Current Biology – found that the additional sleep restored the ability of all groups of flies to make new memories, regardless of the technique used to generate the extra sleep. Other outlets:
Medical News Today, Health Central, Medical Xpress
Related WUSM news release

How high-cooking temperatures can cause inflammation
When foods are cooked with high, dry heat, toxins known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are absorbed by the body and can trigger inflammation and accelerate aging. Recent research suspects that excessive AGEs could lead to arthritis, but no direct link has been found. WUSM rheumatology fellow Dr. Jonathan Miner, who wasn’t involved in the study, suggested that more studies are needed to understand how diet and AGEs affect arthritis.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch   (front page story)
New technology at Wash U maps human genome in days; large-scale studies now possible
New sequencing machines recently installed in The Genome Institute (TGI) will allow scientists to take on studies of unprecedented scale. According to TGI director Dr. Rick Wilson, “We have an opportunity to push genomics into the clinic and understand what causes disease and ultimately learn how to predict disease.”

KTVI-TV – Fox 2
First transgender kids club in Missouri
In the fall of 2014, SLCH helped a group of parents with transgender children under age 12 start a support program for their kids. Dr. Sarah Garwood also explained the importance of inclusion of gender identity questions in health screenings at the hospital. Other outlet:

Kansas City Star
One email ended the pain and saved the career of Royals pitcher Chris Young
Kansas City Royals pitcher Chris Young shared the story about his experience with thoracic outlet syndrome surgery that extended his career. Dr. Robert Thompson was his surgeon.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Treating gun deaths as public health crisis goal of Wash U initiative
Researchers at WUSTL launched a program that will treat gun violence as a public health crisis and will seek to generate new ideas, policies and safety measures to reduce gun deaths. Just as traffic fatalities have been steadily declining for decades, Dr. William Powderly said he thinks gun violence could follow a similar path given the right approach. Other outlets:
St. Louis Public Radio, KMOX-AM, St. Louis American, Associated Press, (Rolla Daily News), St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Letter to Editor
Related WUSTL news release

St. Louis Public Radio
Washington University medical students honor their first patients
Towards the end of each academic year, students from WUSM’s first-year gross anatomy class hold a ceremony honoring their “first patients.” These patients are people who donated their bodies to the medical school for this purpose. The ritual began roughly a decade ago at the suggestion of Dr. Glenn Conroy and Dr. Jane Phillips-Conroy, who teach the class. The story also includes comments from medical students Jorge Zarate and Lyndsey Cole.

Casper Star Tribune (Casper, Wy.)
Liver transplant cures disease for 10-year-old Sheridan boy
In 2005, Gavin Maxwell was diagnosed with a disease called alpha 1-anti-trypsin deficiency, which initiated the decline of his liver function and caused shunts to develop in his heart. He received a liver transplant at SLCH March 2, 2015. “It’s pretty amazing how somebody can be dying from liver disease one minute and then four hours later have a new lease on life,” said Dr. Jeff Lowell, who led the transplant team.

St. Louis Public Radio/St. Louis on the Air
IDEA Labs develops culture of innovation at Washington University
IDEA Labs is a bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator at Washington University in which engineering and medical students work on unmet needs in healthcare to create entrepreneurial solutions. Cliff Holekamp, IDEA Labs advisor, Ian Schillebeeckx, vice president of communications, and Erica Barnell, WUSM student and team leader of IDEA Labs, visited St. Louis on the Air to talk about projects and their upcoming Demo Day.

KFSN-TV   (Fresno  CA)
Specialized glove helping stroke patients regain mobility
In a clinical trial, Dr. Eric Leuthardt is evaluating whether people who have had strokes can retrain the uninjured side of their brains to help restore mobility. Participants who have weakness in their hands use a brain- computer interface. Each wears a cap with sensors connected to a computer and a robotic orthotic hand, and the cap interprets the signals when the patient thinks about moving his or her fingers. The orthotic device then moves the hand. Leuthardt hopes that as each participant continues to practice this therapy, his or her brain will relearn how to move the hand.
Related WUSM news release

Excessive tanning leads to melanoma dangers
Dr. Lynn Cornelius and melanoma patient Heather Schulte explained that tanning beds are associated with an increased risk of melanoma and that the only safe tan is a spray-on tan.

KSDK-TV – NewsChannel 5
MomDocs panel: Redshirting kindergarteners
Drs. Kathleen Berchelmann and Dehra Glueck explained that there is “nothing magical” about when to send a child to kindergarten. The decision should depend upon the child’s readiness, which can be determined by parents with advice from the child’s pre-school teachers and pediatrician.

St. Louis Siteman Cancer Center Care Clinic to be open 24/7
Beginning in early May, 2015, the Siteman Cancer Center Care Clinic will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year making it the third clinic nationwide to offer such services. SCC operation’s director Rob Portwood said the hope is that cancer patients can avoid the emergency department when they need acute care.

KSDK-TV – NewsChannel 5

Shoot for Seamus’ focuses on most vulnerable babies
Tom and Sharon Johnston spent several weeks in the NICU at SLCH after their son, Seamus, was born at only 25 weeks gestation. He died April 23, 2009. Since then, the family has returned to the NICU every year with a team of professional photographers to provide families with professional pictures of their babies.

St. Louis Business Journal
Wash U researchers win grant to look deep into your eyes
Drs. Sheng-Kwei Song and Yong Wang received $3.1 million over five years to adapt two technologies to noninvasively visualize the optic nerve that resides inside the brain. This technology has implications for those with glaucoma and other optic diseases.

St. Louis Public Radio
‘Strategic affiliation’ would expand reach of BJC HealthCare to Belleville
BJC HealthCare is making plans to take over partial governance and share some costs and services with the operators of Memorial Hospital in Belleville. BJC CEO Steve Lipstein said some aspects of the deal still are up in the air, such as whether there will be any staffing changes. “The existing medical staff is very strong and very comprehensive. To the extent there are opportunities for Washington University physicians to be a part of this affiliation, (through BJC), that’s something we have not yet explored,” said Lipstein.

KCUR-FM Public Radio   (Kansas City)
Children’s Mercy study underscores value of genome sequencing for infants
A new study suggests that testing the complete DNA of critically ill infants can lead to significant changes in treatment strategy. Dr. Richard K. Wilson used a surfing analogy to describe the work as “out on the tip of the wave.” Wilson, who was not involved with the study, said using whole genome sequencing as a diagnostic tool for infants will probably become a standard practice for doctors and hospitals, but it won’t happen overnight.

STLMoms: Tips for cutting costs on medications
From allergies to colds, costs for-over-the-counter and prescription medications can add up quickly. Pediatrician Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann suggested teaching children to swallow pills, purchasing medications in bulk and joining rewards programs at local pharmacies to save money.

KWMU St. Louis Public Radio
Lessons on leadership in St. Louis and beyond
British professor Robin Hambleton works at developing innovative polices and leadership in cities throughout the world. Having gathering space and good public transit are both important qualities to creating an inclusive city and developing leaders. But who are St. Louis’s leaders? “It used to be major corporate leaders – Civic Progress – but it’s no longer the big industrial corporations,” said UMSL’s Todd Swanstrom. “It’s rather institutions like Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the major nonprofits.”

Why are girls diagnosed with autism less often than boys?
Dr. Natasha Marrus explained that girls with autism are diagnosed later and less often than boys, possibly because girls have different, less obvious symptoms compared to boys. She also explained WUSM research that is looking at siblings of children with autism, who themselves are at high risk because they have a sibling with autism, to see if they can find differences in brain development in children as early as 3 months old. The hope is that interventions can begin earlier.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Magazine
Q&A: A public health lens on police-associated violence
Biostatistician Dr. Melody Goodman spoke about her work on the social risk factors behind health disparities and the public health issues that have stemmed from the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice.

American Heart Association
Friends and social networks valued by heart-failure patients and health- care providers
The American Heart Association highlighted Dr. Katherine Reeder’s heart failure self-management research findings that showed 80 percent of the patients surveyed talked to a member of their social network, either a family member or trusted friend, about their symptoms prior to hospitalization. Reeder is a research assistant professor at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College and an adjunct professor with WUSM.

BioOptics World
Light, rather than painkillers, can activate brain’s opioid receptors
Recent research at WUSM found that it’s possible to activate opioid receptors with light instead of painkilling drugs. The discovery eventually may lead to new ways to relieve severe pain without the addictive properties and side effects posed by opiates. Dr. Michael Bruchas and graduate student Edward R. Siuda published the findings in the journal Neuron.
Related WUSM news release

EMS1.com (Online resource for EMS workers)
CA4 important considerations for victims of collapsed structures
The events in Nepal highlight the sudden nature of catastrophes and how medical professionals may be pressed into service with little to no warning. Dr. David Tan wrote a column aimed toward first responders emphasizing important assumptions to keep in mind when rescuing survivors in similar situations. Among the considerations: expect hypothermia and begin care as extrication is planned.

Neurology Advisor
Diabetes and the brain: The effects of hyperglycemia on brain health
Long-term exposure to hyperglycemia also may have significant and measurable effects on the brain, and greater efforts are needed to evaluate and monitor patients with diabetes for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to experts. According to Dr. Janet McGill, health-care providers need to be aware of early signs. “[Dementia] is a risk, and we need to get our patients into evaluation and treatment centers when we begin to see the problem,” she said.

Medical Xpress
Major pathway identified in nerve cell death offers hope for therapies
MD/PhD student Josiah Gerdts and Dr. Jeffrey Millbrandt have identified a major pathway in the death of nerve axons, which carry messages between nerve cells. The finding provides a foundation for developing treatments against neurodegenerative diseases and peripheral neuropathies.
Related WUSM news release

Edwardsville Intelligencer
Barnes-Jewish College honors volunteer’s commitment to nursing education
April 28, 2015
The Barnes-Jewish College Alumni Association recently bestowed Norma Stern with an Honorary Alumni Award at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College’s spring commencement ceremony.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (No link)
Barnes-Jewish Hospital Honors Two Physicians with Lifetime Achievement Award
April 30, 2015
Drs. Barry A. Seigel and James Delmez received the Barnes-Jewish Medical Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the association’s semiannual meeting this month at the Eric P. Newman Education Center. The award goes to physicians who have given 25 years or more of distinguished service to (BJH).

News North Wales

Appeal to help Prestatyn girl get her walking wish continues
Ava Evans and her parents hope to travel to St. Louis for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery with Dr. T.S. Park to relieve muscle spasticity in Ava’s legs which is caused by cerebral palsy. Kind-hearted members of her community have raised almost $2,000 toward the cost of the family’s trip. Other outlet: Auto Evolution.

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