A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS September 10, 2015
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

NBC News Today
Is diet or exercise best for weight loss? 4 reasons your workout doesn’t work
“Exercise is very important for improving someone’s cardiometabolic health and reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease, but it’s not a very effective intervention for helping people lose weight,” Dr. Samuel Klein told TODAY. “Diet is the key for getting people to lose weight — eating fewer calories.”
 Other outlet: KSDK-TV

Health Day
Pot and the developing brain: Mixed findings
Researchers at WUSM have concluded that marijuana use likely does not directly affect the size of the amygdala, a brain site linked with emotion, emotional behavior and motivation. “We found that while cannabis users had lower amygdala volumes than nonusers, that difference appears to be linked to other predisposing factors,” said senior author Arpana Agrawal. The research was published in JAMA Psychiatry. Another study by different
authors in the same journal found that marijuana use in the teenage years could increase kids’ risk for developing schizophrenia if they carry a high genetic risk for the mental illness. Other outlets: Time,
Yahoo!, WebMD, NBC news

Construction workers send get well message to toddler
Ironworkers on BJC’s Campus Renewal Project were inspired to send well wishes to children watching the construction from the windows at SLCH. Other outlets: Huffington Post, NBC Today, ABC News

Associated Press/Hanford Sentinel
CAScientists find how obesity gene works, a clue to treatment
Scientists have figured out how the key gene tied to obesity makes people fat, a discovery that could open the door to a new approach beyond diet and exercise. It’s a potential target for drug development, said Dr. Sam Klein. He called the work “an amazing study” and “a scientific tour de force.”

Big News Network (Australia)
Unsafe storage of e-cigarettes could be deadly for kids
New research shows that electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are especially dangerous for young children. The study found that more than a third of e-cigarette users did not lock up bottles of liquid nicotine. They also didn’t use childproof locks. If ingested, a teaspoon of this “e-liquid” can be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause nausea and vomiting that may require emergency care. “These are largely avoidable risks but because e-cigarettes are relatively new, many people – including pediatricians – are not aware of the dangers or the steps that should be taken to protect children from them,” said first author Jane Garbutt.
Other outlets: Daily Mail (UK), KMOX-AM, Science 2.0, The Health Site, Times Live (Johannesburg, South Africa), Malaysian Insider, Health Canal, WNCT-TV (Greenville, NC)
Related WUSM news release

Health 24
Probiotics don’t protect against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Probiotics don’t protect the intestines of critically ill patients against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a new study indicated. However, lead author Dr. Jennie Kwon said that further study should be done to see if other groups of people, such as those who are less ill, might be helped with probiotics. Other outlet: India TV News, Medical Xpress, Infection Control Today
Related WUSM news release

Study shows that quitting smoking after heart attack improves mental, quality of daily life
A new study shows that quitting smoking after a heart attack has immediate benefits. “Even in people who smoked and had a heart attack, we see fairly rapid improvements in important measures of health and quality of life when they quit smoking after their heart attacks, compared with people who continue smoking,” said senior author Dr. Sharon Cresci, The study was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Other outlets: Bangladesh News, India.com, The Health Site, Can-India News
Related WUSM news release

Inside Science TV
Why scratching makes us even more itchy
Researchers at the WUSM Center for the Study of Itch found that the pain of scratching and the sensation of itching go hand in hand, creating an irritating cycle. “When you evoke the pain sensation, you try to suppress the itch sensation,” said Dr. Zhou-Fen Chen. But when you scratch, the itch sensation becomes worse. Dermatologist Dr. Brian Kim added, “It’s likely just the thought of itching is one way by which your central nervous system triggers the sensation of itch.”
Related WUSM news release

Shootings taking a toll on first responders
Dr. Brad Warner and area first responders discussed the emotional toll of repeatedly caring for young victims of gun violence.

St. Louis area toddler with rare lung condition gets transplant, hope
Dr. Stuart Sweet explained a young child’s lung condition, his need for a transplant and the importance of organ donation.

Generic heart medication for ovarian cancer
Dr. Premal Thaker commented on a new study that showed a generic heart medication could prolong the life of ovarian cancer patients.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
After cancer diagnosis, couple turns to surrogate for baby
Drs. Matthew Powell and Kenan Omurtag explained how they worked together to preserve patient Karen Epley’s fertility after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer.

Technology allows sick children to take “field trips”
A partnership among SLCH, UMSL and the St. Louis Science Center allows hospitalized children to “tour” the Science Center using a robot.

Staying heart healthy
Heart expert Dr. David Brown explained how to proactively reduce the risk of heart disease.

Options for a healthy breakfast on the go
Eating breakfast is essential, especially for those with type 2 diabetes. Dietitian Katie Lambert shared quick and healthy ways to fit breakfast into the morning routine.

KSAT-TV (San Antonio, TX
Eating away depression
In a story highlighting various foods that can have positive effects on people with depression, Dr. Charles Conway commented. Conway said while vitamins like omega 3-fatty acids and folic acid appear to help people with depression, dietary changes alone typically will not bring about a recovery from depression. For most patients, talk therapy and/or medication will give them enough relief to live a normal, happy life.

Other outlet: WNDU-TV (South Bend, IN)

WAAY-TV (Huntsville AL)
What do alcoholics, obese people and pregnant people have in common?
People who are dangerously overweight, pregnant or abusers of alcohol are all at risk for Wernicke encephalopathy, a syndrome caused by the lack of vitamin B1 that can cause brain damage and memory loss. Dr. Gregory Day explained that treatment with a vitamin B1 injection can reverse the effects but patients often are not getting the treatment they need.

Family optimistic about girl’s recovery after school bus accident in Cedar Hill
Dr. Mark Miller treated Paige Breckle for severe injuries she sustained after she was run over by a school bus in late June. Two months later, her outlook is good.

Pocono Record
 (Stroudsburg, PA)
How to spot symptoms of dry drowning
Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann explained that the term “dry drowning” is not medically accurate but it is most commonly used when a child takes in water into the lungs and has a severe, inflammatory reaction after the incident. Berchelmann said the condition is serious and symptoms include a persistent cough, behavior changes and vomiting after swimming.

St. Louis Public Radio
Don’t worry, be . . . satisfied? Exploring the science of happiness and well-being
Dr. Robert Cloninger joined a panel during the St. Louis on the Air program to discuss well-being and how depression, anxiety and other medical issues can be effectively treated.

Kansas City Business Journal
TedxKC reimagines the future: 5 takeaways
In an article highlighting important messages from the recent TEDxKC Tedx event in Kansas City, Dr. Audrey Odom’s talk is referenced. Odom’s lab is beginning clinical trials in Africa to identify the compounds present in the breath of children with malaria. The next step is to develop and commercialize the sensors for use in clinics, she said.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Severe poverty affects brain size, researchers find
Dr. Joan Luby commented on a study that added to mounting evidence that growing up in severe poverty affects how children’s brains develop, potentially putting them at a lifelong disadvantage. “[This study] provides a brain-based explanation for why children living in poverty are not performing academically as well,” said Luby, who was not involved in the research.
Other outlets: Portland Press Herald, Medical Xpress

Raycom News Network/KMOV-TV  
Eating healthily, less might lengthen lives, study says
Healthy people who ate less food while getting essential nutrients improved their blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance — indicators associated with a longer life. Dr. John O. Holloszy, principal investigator at the WUSM site, said, “As we continue to try to unlock the mechanisms that make calorie-restricted animals live longer, we are certain that eating smaller portions of healthier food is a good idea for all of us.”
Other outlet: Kansas City InfoZine

Health officials to launch survey of residents near Cold Water Creek
The St. Louis County Health Department is preparing to launch a major survey of current and former residents along the Cold Water Creek in North County to determine if they’re suffering from higher levels of cancer and other health issues. Washington University and Siteman Cancer Center are expected to help conduct the study, which is scheduled to launch in early 2016.

St. Louis Medical News
Vascular surgeon helps heart patients with limited options
Dr. Mohamed Zayed discussed the latest alternative to open heart surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that removes large, high-risk blood clots through a catheter-based system.

Pacific-Standard Magazine  
Five Studies: Why IUDs are poised to become the future of birth control
In an article highlighting the growing popularity of IUDs among younger women, the WUSM Contraceptive CHOICE project is referenced.
Related WUSM news release

Medical News Today
Relapse in leukemia tied to mutations that persist through treatment
For patients with acute myeloid leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival. Senior author Dr. Timothy Ley said it is important to know which patients have persistent mutations because they will need aggressive – yet potentially curative – therapy such as stem cell transplant while they are in remission. Doctors do not want to put patients through such an aggressive, expensive and risky procedure with potentially severe side effects if they are unlikely to relapse following conventional chemotherapy, he added. The research was published in JAMA. Other outlet: News Medical
Related WUSM news release

Neurology Today
IN THE CLINIC: Jonathan W. Mink, MD, PhD: On ‘Awakenings,’ and the pathways to his inaugural Oliver Sacks Award for Excellence in Tourette Syndrome
In a profile published in Neurology Today, Dr. Jonathan Mink mentioned WUSM neurologists Drs. William Thomas Thach and Joel Perlmutter as mentors who inspired him to pursue a career in research and treatment of pediatric movement disorders.


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Jessica Church

Washington University
School of Medicine
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