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 23, 2014
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

USA Today
Schizophrenia is eight different diseases, not one
New WUSM research looked into the genetic roots of schizophrenia, finding that the mental illness is comprised of eight different disorders, not one. Study author Dr. C. Robert Cloninger said the discovery sets the stage for developing better ways to diagnose and treat schizophrenia. The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Other outlets: CNN, Newsweek, Smithsonian, Yahoo News (UK) Daily Beast, Australian Broadcasting Network, The Scientist, The Australian (newspaper)
Aljazeera America, Bioscience Technology, ScienceDaily, Fox Weekly,
Wall Street OTC   Related WUSM news release

ABC-TV / Good Morning America
Respiratory virus hitting children hard in the Midwest
ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Richard Besser reported live from the SLCH emergency department. He interviewed Dr. Fahd Ahmad about how the medical staff handled the overflow of patients experiencing respiratory symptoms from enterovirus 68.

ABC-TV / World News Tonight
St. Louis hit hard by enteroviurs 68
ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Richard Besser spent the day in the SLCH emergency department interviewing families and Dr. Angela Lumba as the hospital handled a spike in respiratory illness caused by enterovirus 68. Other outlets: KTVI-TV Fox 2, KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5, KSDK-TV Show Me St. Louis

Reuters Health / Fox News
Sheets, towels, TV remotes key reservoirs for MRSA contamination
Surfaces in households of children with MRSA infections often are contaminated with the same strain of bacteria, according to new findings. Contamination was found most frequently on bed linens, TV remote controls and bathroom hand towels. Dr. Stephanie A. Fritz reported the findings in JAMA Pediatrics.
Other outlet: Daily Mail (UK)

ABC News / Good Morning America
Man survives rare cancer thanks to new ‘targeted’ therapy
Traditional cancer drugs are indiscriminant, attacking not just cancer cells but every living cell in the body. Molecular targeting agents are designed to hone in on specific cancer mutations. “Many cancers revolve around novel proteins that are highly active and constantly stimulated so that the growth of cancer is stimulated,” said Dr. Elaine Mardis. “These new targeted drugs seek out these novel proteins and shut them down.”

The Atlantic
NFL’s hazy logic on marijuana
A story about the National Football League’s more lenient marijuana policy for players mentions a 2011 survey of retired NFL players conducted by WUSM and ESPN. That survey found that more than three-quarters of the respondents had misused opioids during their professional careers and that 7 percent had misused prescription pain killers within the past 30 days, an abuse rate four times higher than in the general population.

Washington Post
Think you’re healthy? You may be carrying around viruses you don’t even know about
A recent study found that on average, healthy people carry about five types of viruses in their bodies without exhibiting symptoms of illness. The study, published in BioMed Central Biology, is the first comprehensive analysis to describe the diversity of viruses in healthy people. “Most everyone is familiar with the idea that a normal bacterial flora exists in the body. Lots of people have asked if there’s viral counterpart, and we haven’t had a clear answer. But now we know there is a normal viral flora, and it’s rich and complex.” Other outlets:
Canada Journal, Boston.com, TechTimes, Bioscience Technology,
Times of India, The Health Site   Related WUSM news release

New Scientist
Shattering DNA may have let gibbons evolve new species
Gibbons have strange, scrambled DNA, and some biologists said that could explain how new gibbon species evolved. Dr. Wesley Warren of The Genome Institute said it is almost as if the genome exploded and was then pieced back together in the wrong order. To understand why, Warren and his colleagues have now produced the first draft of a gibbon genome.

Associated Press / WTSP-TV (Sarasota, FL)
Study: Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes
Artificial sweeteners may alter the way the body handles sugar in some people, according to a preliminary study conducted mostly in mice and published in the journal Nature. Dr. Yanina Pepino, who was not involved in the study, said the researchers make a convincing case that sweeteners hamper the body’s handling of sugar by altering gut bacteria. “It provided strong data suggesting we need do to more research,” she said. Other outlets: Diabetes Insider, Outbreak News Today

Scientific American
Garbled DNA might be good for you
Even though each cell in your body contains a replica of the DNA in the fertilized egg that began your life, mutations, copy errors and editing mistakes began modifying that DNA as soon as your zygote self began to divide. Molecular geneticist Dr. Ira Hall has studied mechanisms of DNA rearrangement for years, and he said the DNA changes may explain how a limited set of genes in the brain codes for a great diversity of cells.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Talking to kids about traumatic events
Pediatric neuropsychologist Dr. Gabriel Araujo said difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, and headaches are signs of stress in children. She suggested children be encouraged to stick to their routines, talk about their feelings, and if talking is tough, express themselves through art or play.

St. Louis Public Radio
Analysis: Ferguson protests are about justice but also about health and economic disparities
While the demonstrations in Ferguson have focused on justice for all, they also are about quality-of-life issues, health disparities and resources for poor residents. “Many of my patients come from Ferguson, and many of the mental health services we provide are delivered to children in those areas,” Dr. John Constantino said. But he added that there is a shortage of psychiatrists to deliver the services, and there is an absence of funding for parenting education, prevention programs and transportation.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bed rest shows no benefit for moms-to-be
The nation’s society of high-risk obstetricians has issued a new guideline recommending against the routine use of bed rest in pregnancy to prevent preterm birth. “It’s hard to believe it’s true that something we’ve been doing for a long time is not good, but that really is the case with bed rest,” said Dr. Allison Cahill.

PCB contamination risk in schools
Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann explained that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals used in building materials in the 1930s and 1940s, can cause learning difficulties in high doses. However, she said, elevated doses found in most schools are not alarming enough to warrant removing the child from the classroom.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Treating childhood depression with play therapy
Researchers at WUSM now are enrolling preschoolers and young children in a study evaluating play therapy as a non-drug treatment for depression. Although the study is relatively new, Dr. Joan Luby said, “We are seeing dramatic declines in problematic behavior. Every single kid is improving.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Missouri’s 72-hour abortion waiting period to take effect next month
The Missouri legislature recently overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill extending the waiting period for having an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. WUSM OB/GYN Dr. David Eisenberg, medical director of Planned Parenthood in the St. Louis region — which operates the state’s only abortion clinic — said a wait that long could mean the difference between life or death for the mother. Some women develop severe preeclampsia, which left untreated can cause seizures, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and death. The only cure is to terminate the pregnancy.

KTVI-TV Fox 2 STL Moms
The proper way to install a car seat
It is estimated that 9 out of 10 parents stop using booster seats too soon, which can put their children at risk of serious injury in accidents. Car seat safety technician Jane Adler shared the safety guidelines for kids and car seats and demonstrated the correct way to install a car seat.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The harmful impact of spanking
In the wake of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson being charged with child abuse for spanking his son with a tree branch, Dr. Kim Sirl, pediatric psychologist, discussed the harmful effects spanking can have on a child’s development. She said it can impede emotional development, and create trust issues, as well as lead to aggressive behavior.

KSDK-TV News Channel 5
Pedal the Cause will benefit kids like Kris
Dr. Todd Druley is conducting research through the Children’s Discovery Institute, funded by Pedal the Cause donations, that he hopes will lead to better treatments, diagnoses and cures for childhood cancer.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hamm lends voice to Children’s Hospital TV Series
Actor and St. Louis native Jon Hamm will provide the voiceover for the 2014 season of “The Frontline for Hope,” the TV docuseries highlighting doctors, staff and patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The second season of the 6-part series premieres at 6:30 p.m. November 22, on KSDK and will air for five weeks afterward. The first season was narrated by Joe Buck.

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Hundreds gather for ride for a child
The ‘ride for a child’ picnic is a fundraising and team-building event for those participating in Pedal the Cause, the annual bike ride that raises money for cancer research at SLCH, WUSM and the Siteman Cancer Center.

Medical News Today
Investigating why asthma sufferers struggle with respiratory viruses
Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dr. Michael Holtzman concluded that a fundamental antiviral defense mechanism is intact in people with asthma, so the reason they struggle with respiratory viruses must lie elsewhere in the immune system.
Related WUSM news release

Nigeria: Fighting the angel of death – Ebola virus disease versus transfer factor
With an inadequate response from the immune system, the Ebola virus enters into the host cell and hijacks the genetic replication process. This leads to an unchecked exponential propagation of the virus. Virologist Dr. Gaya Amarasinghe discovered that once the host cells are expired, the new viruses burst out and re-infect other cells through the blood stream, continuing the destructive agenda.
Related WUSM news release

Medical News Today
‘Response to reward’ measured in nicotine withdrawal
Reporting in JAMA Psychiatry, WUSM researchers and colleagues found that nicotine withdrawal had a similar effect on reducing responsiveness in both human smokers and nicotine-treated rats. The study breaks new ground as it is the first smoking study of its kind to replicate experimental results across species. They say this cross-species analysis allows for greater generalizability and provides a more reliable way to identify neurobiological mechanisms.

West End Word
Pedal The Cause
Dr. William G. Hawkins and a team of doctors are developing cutting-edge cancer research made possible by funds generated through Pedal the Cause. The annual cycling challenge, which will be held Sept. 27 and 28 in downtown St. Louis, has raised more than $6.6 million in the past four years to accelerate life-saving cancer research in St. Louis.

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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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