November 3, 2017

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights

By Karl Oestreich

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

Editor, Karl Oestreich;  Assistant Editor: Emily Blahnik


Emergency declaration is key to curbing opioid epidemic, experts say
by Wayne Drash

President Donald Trump's declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency Thursday is a key step in curbing the problem, as it helps redirect funds and ease state laws for those fighting on the front lines, according to public health experts and medical professionals. … "InCNN Logo practical terms, I believe this declaration of public health emergency will unify the country and our leadership in a nonpartisan way around finding solutions to this growing problem in the US," said Dr. Halena Gazelka, an anesthesiologist who chairs the Mayo Clinic's Opioid Stewardship Program. "As state, federal and private funds are directed at curbing the primary issues (of) supply and demand, hopefully we'll see a rapid decrease in the overdose deaths and related health issues."

Reach: has 29.7 million unique visitors to its website each month.

Additional coverage: WGNO ABC

Context: Halena Gazelka, MD. is a Mayo Clinic antheisoligist.

Contacts:  Kelley Luckstein, Duska Anastasijevic


NBC News
Can Science Solve Football’s Concussion Crisis?
by Ryan Basen

Football is facing a major crisis — and not because some NFL players keep taking a knee during the National Anthem. It’s because a growing NBC MACH Tech Newsbody of research shows that on-the-field collisions put players at risk for brain injury and a devastating neurological disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). One recent report found CTE in 110 of 111 former NFL players studied. … "There's not going to be one magic rule change, one magic helmet design, one magic dietary supplement that’s going to make concussions go away," says Dr. Michael Stuart, co-director of sports medicine for the Mayo Clinic. But, he says, "There is hope. I really do think there have been tremendous strides."

Reach: NBC MACH is a a technology, science and innovation news vertical from NBC which covers robotics, the technology industry, artificial intelligence, space, and how technology will impact life and culture in the future.

Context:  Michael Stuart, M.D. is co-director, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center.

Contact: Rhoda Fukushima Madson


Noseworthy: When Mayo thrives, patients and communities do as well
by John Noseworthy

For more than 150 years, the city of Rochester has attracted presidents and kings, farmers and teachers from all 50 states and more than 140 countries seeking hope and healing at Mayo Clinic. There is no other world-class medical center that has had the privilege of being located in a mid-sized city over the course of three centuries. While growing a destination medical center in southeastern Minnesota presentsLogo for Post-Bulletin newspaper challenges, Rochester is a remarkable place because of our enduring collaborations. We at Mayo Clinic are not alone in our mission of healing. The people of Rochester and neighboring communities are our indispensable partners, welcoming and caring for visitors at the most vulnerable times in their lives….

Reach: The Post-Bulletin has a daily readership of more than 32,000 people and more than 442,000 unique visitors to its website each month. The newspaper serves Rochester, Minn., and Southeast Minnesota.

Context: John Noseworthy, M.D., is president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. A strong Mayo Clinic depends on a strong community. And in Rochester, a strong community depends on a vital Mayo Clinic. That was the message John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO, shared with local business leaders at a community luncheon on Oct. 25. Dr. Noseworthy shared highlights from Mayo's 2016 Societal and Economic Health Report, which revealed that Mayo contributed $28 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015 and created 167,000 jobs nationwide through business expenditures and activity. "You may be interested in results closer to home," Dr. Noseworthy said. "Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System are responsible for 92,000 jobs in the state of Minnesota. About 40,000 of those are our own employees." An additional 37,800 jobs have been created within a 24-county region in southern Minnesota because of Mayo's presence, he said. "Together with state/local government and our community partners, we're securing the future of Minnesota's global health care economy," Dr. Noseworthy noted. You can read more here.

Contact:  Karl Oestreich


Doctor at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville working to see if stem cells multiply faster in space
by Kaitlyn Chana

A local doctor is turning to space to see if stem cells will multiply faster in zero gravity so he can better treat stroke patients. Medical Director for Transfusion Medicine Dr. Abba Zubair of Mayo Clinic told us stem Action News Jax Logocells are not easy to grow because they’re designed to keep their numbers. “We are looking for ways to grow cells, and we’ve tried everything. We have to think out of the hat,” Zubair said. After more than three years of planning and preparation, and with technical assistance provided by the Center for Applied Space Technology, Zubair was able to take his theory to space. “We think gravity might play a role. It impacts how we look, our shape and height,” Zubair said.

Reach: WAWS-TV/30 is the Fox affiliate. WTEV-TV/47 is the CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida.

Context: Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D.'s research seeks to identify and characterize normal and cancer stem cells using immuno-phenotyping, molecular and cell culture techniques. You can read more about his research here and here.

Contact:  Kevin Punsky

HuffPost, Making Sense of Probiotics and Prebiotics by Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine — They are everywhere – foods and supplements containing bacteria that claim to improve your gut health and overall wellness. Can these bacteria improve your digestion, boost your immune system and even combat disease? “Yes, they may in fact provide an overall health benefit, but we’re at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how the community of bacteria in the gut, known as the gut microbiome, affects health and disease,” explains Purna Kashyap, M.B.B.S.

USA TODAY, Ken Burns on why everybody isn’t a storyteller by Alex Biese — Ken Burns has something to tell young people today: having the technological capability to shoot video doesn’t automatically make you a filmmaker. “The ability to record material, which of course has never been simpler than it is right now — both video and audio and still photographs, we take them by the billions a day — doesn’t mean that you know how to tell a story,” said Burns, the Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. … Following the acclaimed "Vietnam War," Burns tells us his roster of upcoming projects includes a history of the Mayo Clinic scheduled for 2018, and he said he's two-thirds of the way through editing a "huge" series on the history of country music for 2019.

New York Times, American Indian Movement Founder Dennis Banks Dead at 80 — Civil rights activist Dennis Banks, who co-founded the American Indian Movement that pushed for indigenous rights during the 1960s and '70s, died in his native Minnesota, his family said on Monday. He was 80. Banks gained national recognition during the 1973 armed standoff between Native American activists and federal authorities at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Banks died from pneumonia at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, after open-heart surgery this month, his daughter Tashina Banks Rama told the New York Times. Additional coverage: Daily Mail, US News & World Report, Boston Globe, Reuters, Star Tribune, KTTC, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times

Wall Street Journal, Robot-Assisted Surgery Costs More But May Not Be Better by Sumathi Reddy — Patricio Gargollo, a pediatric urologist and surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, says the concerns are even greater in some pediatric robotic-assisted surgeries, because longer procedures mean children are under general anesthesia for a longer period. The impact of general anesthesia on young children’s developing brain is a continuing area of research. Last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning for the repeated or lengthy use of general anesthesia in children under 3 years old. Dr. Gargollo says that for some pediatric surgeries there is a benefit to robotic-assisted surgeries, such as when fixing kidney blockages. But he and others have published data showing there is a higher complication rate and lower success rate for robotic-assisted ureteral reimplants in children compared with the traditional, open-surgery method.

FOX News, Everything you need to know about breast cysts by Stella Katsipoutis — Not all bumps mean you have cancer. If you find one, you might be experiencing what doctors call a fibrocystic breast change, or a breast cyst. “It’s a term used to describe normal breast tissue that is nodular or lumpy on palpation [a fancy term for examination by touch] of the breast,” said Lauren Cornell, M.D., an internal medicine physician at the Robert and Monica Jacoby Center for Breast Health at Mayo Clinic. “When examined microscopically, the tissue has fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, and prominent fibrous tissue.”

PR Week, A day in the life of Mayo Clinic’s Amy Davis — There is no such thing as an average day at Mayo Clinic as there are a wide range of needs from internal and leadership communications to earned, owned, or social media to client communications or issues management. Time flies, and I often feel like I have my first cup of coffee and it’s already the end of the day. Every day, I am inspired by the amazing stories of hope and healing from our staff and patients about their experiences.

BuzzFeed, PSA: You Could Be Pooping Out Your Tattoo When You Get It Removed by Shannon Rosenberg — To better understand the process, I spoke with experts Dr. Hooman Khorasani, chief of the Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery Division at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Dr. Randall Roenigk, professor of dermatology at Mayo Clinic, who've both done their fair share of tattoo removals for a wide range of clients… A tattoo will be harder to remove based on things like: if it's older, if it's bigger in size, if it was done by hand (as opposed to professionally with a tattoo gun, where the ink is applied just below the skin), if it's in a place with poor blood circulation (ie. ankles, extremities, etc.), or if it includes multiple colors, Roenigk tells BuzzFeed Health. In these cases, a laser might not be able to do the job.

US News & World Report, Health Care Leaders Discuss Solutions to Industry Issue by Casey Leins — The opioid crisis was one of the main topics addressed Wednesday at U.S. News & World Report's annual Healthcare of Tomorrow Conference, where leaders met in Washington to discuss the industry's most pressing issues. In order to address the problem, the leaders said health care experts must deliver alternative solutions for their patients to deal with chronic pain, and doctors must follow the same guidelines in their prescription practices. "We need evidence-based approaches to see what works [in treating chronic pain]," said Dr. Wyatt Decker, Mayo Clinic's vice president and chief executive officer of the organization's clinic in Arizona. In order to discover the best treatment options, Mayo created three chronic pain treatment centers in a few of its flagship hospital centers, according to Decker.

US News & World ReportGroup to Study Concussions Resulting From Domestic Violence — A partnership of Phoenix-area health care and law enforcement organizations is launching a study into concussions caused by domestic violence. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says the study is intended to provide victims with better assessments of their conditions and appropriate care and to develop so-called best practices to help catch and prosecute the abusers…Other partners include the Mayo Clinic, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and Barrow Neurological Institute. Additional coverage: KPNX 12, What is low blood pressure, and how does it affect your health? by A. Pawlowski — When you get your blood pressure checked, doctors like to see a lower reading, within certain limits — generally between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg. But you could fall below the lower limit and still be healthy and feel fine. With low blood pressure, the numbers are mostly irrelevant unless you have symptoms, said Dr. Sharonne Hayes, director of the Women's Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Your heart loves a low blood pressure; your brain sometimes not so much,” Hayes told TODAY. “The challenge is that you need a certain amount of pressure to get the blood up to your brain.”

CNBC, More than 80 million Americans have this deadly disease, and many don't even know it by Susan Caminiti — As American waistlines continue to expand, a lesser-known obesity-related disease is quickly becoming more common. In fact, in its most serious form, the disease is estimated to become the leading cause for liver transplants by 2020, outpacing even hepatitis C. It's known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions that, as the name implies, affects people who drink little to no alcohol yet have more than 5 percent of their liver made up of fat cells. According to the Mayo Clinic, NAFLD affects an estimated 80 million to 100 million Americans.

CBC, Your "zombie cells" are aging you from within by Marc Beaulieu — Dr. James Kirkland, a gerontologist at the Mayo Clinic, who's also begun trials with senolytics confessed his concerns. "I lose sleep at night because these things always look good in mice or rats, but when you get to people you hit a brick wall." He's not sure we know enough to jump into human trials for a host of reasons. For starters, wounded rodents who'd been given senolytic compounds suffered one notable side effect: they healed slower. So, ostensibly you could look and feel ten years younger, but die if you nick yourself shaving (or some other more plausible side effect). While many would be willing to roll the dice with those odds, Kirkland says, "it's just too dangerous". The science is still so new, we should probably hold off on total zombie cell extermination just yet. What's more, senescent cells are metabolically active and still dutifully perform basic cellular functions which could mean we still need them in small doses. But the science isn't there yet.

HealthDay, High-Pesticide Produce Not the Best Recipe for Fertility by Dennis Thompson — ….Another pregnancy expert noted that people should also keep in mind that produce is exposed to much lower levels of pesticides than in the past, thanks to farming advances that use GPS technology to tightly control application of chemicals. "A lot has changed. There's a marked reduction in the insecticide that's put out," said Dr. Charles Coddington III, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology with the Mayo Clinic. "People really need to be attuned for the insecticide being there and make sure they wash and clean their vegetables, even though they get them from a nice upscale grocery store. Some may want to go to organic, and I could support that very easily."

Healio, Two weight-management hormones influence cardiometabolic markers in teens with obesity — A small group of adolescents with obesity who had low levels of the hormone spexin and high levels of the hormone leptin were significantly more likely to have higher concentrations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein and insulin, both markers for cardiovascular disease, according to findings from a pilot study. Spexin, a recently identified peptide, is encoded by the most down-regulated gene in omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue, Seema Kumar, MD, associate professor of pediatrics in the department of pediatric and adolescent medicine at the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues wrote in the study background. Endocrine Today reported on a related study by the researchers finding that adolescents with obesity may have lower levels of spexin compared with normal-weight adolescents. However, the physiological significance of spexin remains mostly unclear.

Healio, Underutilized test may improve treatment decisions, outcomes in colon cancer — Many patients with colon cancer do not receive a blood test that potentially could alter their treatment decisions and improve survival outcomes, according to study results. “The decision to give a patient chemotherapy after surgery is not a light one, and physicians must weigh the risks and benefits,” Kellie L. Mathis, MD, colon and rectal surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a press release. “We are currently using the blood test to help make these difficult decisions, and we suggest other physicians do the same.” The carcinoembryonic antigen test measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the blood. Higher levels of CEA are found with certain cancer types, particularly colon and rectal cancers.

Healio, Three clinicians elected to ASH executive committee — Agnes Lee, MD , and Joseph Mikhael, MD, will serve 4-year terms as ASH councilors….Mikhael is professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, deputy director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and associate dean at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. His research interests include multiple myeloma and other plasma cell disorders, education and communication skills in medicine, and pharmaco-economics. He has been an ASH member for 17 years.

Health, Can You Get Herpes From Lipstick? This Woman Sued Sephora Claiming She Did by Sarah Klein — Herpes is spread through contact with someone with the infection, even if that person doesn’t have visible cold sores or genital lesions, says Pritish K. Tosh, MD, a Mayo Clinic infectious disease physician and researcher. In fact, many people carry the HSV-1 virus for herpes—nearly 70% of people worldwide—but most don’t have symptoms, says Dr. Tosh. That makes it tough to know exactly how a person with the condition became infected. “Most people are acquiring herpes from people who have no knowledge that they have the infection," he says. Those symptom-free carriers make it "difficult to pinpoint how somebody actually acquired the infection,” he explains.

Slate, I Got a Pumpkin Facial and Unfortunately It Did Not Involve Covering My Face With Raw Pumpkin Goo by Ben Mathis-Lilley — I was sold, in other words, even without knowing whether anti-inflammatory “pumpkin enzyme” could really make my face look good. And in fact, Dr. Rachel Miest—the medical director of aesthetic dermatology at the Mayo Clinic—subsequently informed me via email that it could. “Pumpkins belong to the family of Cucurbitaceae which includes cucurbita pepo,” Miest wrote. “This family contains multiple substances, particularly fatty acids and antioxidants, with the potential for anti-inflammatory effects.” She also confirmed that a study I’d located that specifically found pumpkin seed oil to have anti-inflammatory effects when tested on mice appeared to be credible, though she wisely noted that “it is always difficult to know how findings will translate to humans.”

Romper, Here's How You Can Use Massage To Calm Your Crying Baby by Alexis Barad-Cutler — When you place your baby on their back, the Mayo Clinic suggests trying to maintain eye contact with baby. (Note: Wait at least 45 minutes after a feeding before massaging, so as not to induce vomiting. If your baby has underlying health issues, speak to your baby's doctor first.) If you're in public you can't exactly get your baby naked, but at least remove their cardigan or jacket, and those cute shoes that you usually only get them to wear for an hour a day.They also advise that, as you're undressing your baby, that you say something along the lines of "now it is massage time."

Jacksonville Daily Record, Mayo Clinic, United Therapeutics Corp. to begin work on lung center by Karen Brune Mathis — Mayo Clinic and United Therapeutics Corp. can start construction on the foundation for their proposed lung-restoration center at Mayo’s Southside campus. Construction costs alone add up to $40.8 million for the project at 14221 Kendall Hinch Circle. Equipment and furnishings will boost that investment. Mayo Clinic and United Therapeutics are partnering to develop and operate the center, scheduled to open in spring 2019.

News4Jax, Mayo Clinic hosts Epilepsy Awareness Month event by Kent Justice — Mayo Clinic Jacksonville participated Wednesday night in the first day of Epilepsy Awareness Month. The neurology department offered what they call an awareness social, and invited me to emcee. At the well-attended for the event at Kinne Auditorium on the Mayo campus off San Pablo Road, doctors shared the latest techniques, research and findings.  Some patients explained the treatment they've received.  Many of the patients and their families and friends offered gratitude to the medical staff.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Choosing colorful, healthy foods — Dear Mayo Clinic: I notice a lot of food products, including cereals, no longer use artificial colors. Is this because food dyes are harmful?...A: There’s no solid evidence that artificial colors in food cause health problems. But there aren’t any health benefits associated with artificial colors, so removing them from foods isn’t a bad idea. When you consider color in your food, though, rather than focusing on artificial color, look to foods’ natural colors as a guide. Including food with a variety of natural colors can help you get a range of healthy vitamins and nutrients in your daily diet.

KJZZ, CDC: Costume Eyewear A Health Risk At Halloween by Heather van Blokland — The CDC says 46 million people wear contact lenses daily, and depending on the kind, can cause eye infections. An October study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly says as many as 80 percent of people who wear contacts suffer infections. Eric Kawulok is an optometrist with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. “And especially if they are not fit appropriately or if someone were to go and buy them over the counter, they could potentially damage the surface of the eye and lead to infections, ultimately permanent vision loss," Kawulok said.

Star Tribune, Minnesota police, led by Minneapolis, prepare to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl by Kelly Smith — Minnesota law enforcement is expecting a jump in solicited sex during the Super Bowl and is gearing up to crack down on trafficking before, during and after the big event. On Wednesday, with less than 100 days before the Feb. 4 game, Minneapolis police presented plans for coordinating efforts with about 20 other law enforcement agencies on stings to arrest traffickers and buyers, and to share information in a new online portal …The plan includes adding six shelter beds for juveniles and 10 beds for adults in prostitution. Street outreach teams will be increased. And the Mayo Clinic is developing a "gift registry" in December where people can donate items to shelters.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Mortsenson begins Rochester's Discovery Square project by Mark Reilly — M.A. Mortenson Co. this week will officially begin construction on Discovery Square, the 80,000-square-foot life-sciences building that's a key part of Rochester's multibillion-dollar Destination Medical Center project. The Post-Bulletin has an update on where things stand on Discovery Square. About 40,000 square feet has been leased so far, and three-quarters of that is going to the obvious tenant: Mayo Clinic, the health care giant that the DMC is being built around.

Twin Cities Business, Construction Work Set for $32M Lung Restoration Lab at Mayo’s Florida Clinic by Don Jacobson — The official green light has been given for the Mayo Clinic and partner United Therapeutics to begin construction work on a multi-million-dollar project to build a lung restoration center on the clinic’s Jacksonville, Florida campus, according to a published report. The Jacksonville Daily Record reported last week that city officials have signed off on a building permit to begin soil, foundation and structural concrete work for the project, in which Mayo and Maryland-based United Therapeutics Corp. (Nasdaq: UTHR) are combining forces with a goal to significantly increase the volume of lungs available for transplantation.

KAAL, Victims Center Sees Changes In 40 Years — It’s an organization that has helped thousands of people over four decades … many of them in their darkest hours. “I’d say that the mission really for our clientele really is growth and recovery," Tori Miller told us. “We have seen domestic violence victims, sexual assault victims, robbery, burglary, theft we really provide services to a variety of victimization" victim advocate Linnea Garness added.

Post-Bulletin, Halloween at the hospital: Staff, patients do it up in style by Brett Boese — Dozens of Mayo Clinic employees on Tuesday ditched their usual attire — suits and scrubs — to line the halls of Saint Marys Hospital in costumes. Their goal was to give pediatric patients an authentic Halloween experience. Mission accomplished, says Abi Tri. "My bag almost got filled up all the way, and I could barely carry it," said Tri, a 9-year-old Rochester girl dressed up as Harry Potter. Additional coverage: KTTC

Post-Bulletin, Heard on the Street: Rochester med tech firm expanding into China by Jeff Kiger — A young Rochester medical software firm spawned by Mayo Clinic is expanding its reach into China with a new agreement with a Beijing firm. Ambient Clinical Analytics, founded in 2013, announced today that is has signed a "cooperation agreement" with Meehealth, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bringspring Technologies Co. Ltd. Meehealth will sell Ambient Clinical's products in China. The two firms also will work together to create new products for China and other world markets.

Post-Bulletin, Celebration calls for sex recognition in research by Anne Halliwell — You wouldn't expect drugs intended for women's health issues to be tested on male mice, would you? Apparently, it's more common than you'd think. Dr. Chyren Hunter, keynote speaker at Mayo Clinic's recent Celebration of Women's Health, and a member of the Office of Research on Women's Health within the National Institutes of Health, called for sex to be recognized as a biological variable when studying disease. Anxiety and depression are twice as common in women as in men, she said, but when drugs to treat those conditions are tested in animals, the subjects tend to be uniformly male. "We want to really think about the models we are using," she said. "We need to change the way that we do research."

Post-Bulletin, Six things to know about Thursday's Discovery Square groundbreaking by Randy Petersen — Ceremonial shovels are set what's slated to be the first life science building in Destination Medical Center's Discovery Square subdistrict. The 89-square-foot building being constructed by Minneapolis-based Mortenson Co. will break ground at 1 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Second Avenue and Fifth Street Southwest. While other projects in the subdistrict have been completed or are in the works, the Mortenson building is the first dedicated to the effort of spurring economic development by attracting life science researchers and related businesses.

KTTC, Social media effort brings hope to Minnesota families facing PSP by Caitlin Alexander — It's a rare disease impacting families in our area, as well as the physicians who care for them. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) currently has no cure and appears in roughly three to six people per 100 thousand.  "One of his hallmarks is he's just a brilliant guy, and that's what's so kind of cruel about this," Jean Locke told KTTC's Caitlin Alexander. … Rick and some other PSP patients seek help in Rochester, Minn. at Mayo Clinic. "Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, or PSP, is known as one of the prime of life diseases, because it starts to affect people in the 50-80 year range," said Mayo Clinic Professor of Neurology Dr. Bradley Boeve.

KIMT, Nurse helps families touched by loss — Cindy Adamson, OB Nurse, is interviewed.

Stars and Stripes, Study: Blood transfusions aboard medevacs ‘critical’ to survival by Nancy Montgomery — Dr. Martin Zielinski, a trauma surgeon and the medical director for research at the Mayo Clinic Adult and Pediatric Trauma Centers in Rochester, Minn., said the study provided strong evidence justifying pre-hospital blood transfusions, though they are costly and present challenging logistics. “The military continues to be the thought leader of blood transfusion for hemorrhage,” Zielinski said in an email. “I agree with the authors that prehospital blood transfusions are beneficial and should be more widely incorporated, military and civilian alike.”

MedGadget, Highlights from Mayo Clinic’s Transform 2017 Event by Kenan Raddawi —Transform 2017, held a few weeks ago, was the tenth annual healthcare innovation conference hosted by the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI). Each year it brings together stakeholders from around the world to “challenge assumptions, collaborate, and share results to create the future of health care.” This year the conference focused on Closing the Gap Between People and Health, and more than 30 speakers led discussion on various topics, ranging from policymaking and healthcare spending to social determinants of health. In this article we aim to touch on some of the highlights.

Medical Xpress, How often does your heart skip a beat? The answer may explain why fewer blacks have AF than whites — In an accompanying editorial, Dan Sorajja, MD, and Win-Kuang Shen, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, commend the investigators for revealing this relationship. They also point out that a causal relationship still needs to be explained due to the many risk factors, genetic variants, and substrate contributors to AF. "With this novel finding, the disparity of AF incidence between whites and blacks receives a plausible explanation. However, the association of PACs and race-based differences in AF may just be an epiphenomenon. AF is a multifactorial disease with many roads to get there. What is the significance of more or less PACs in different races? Are PACs one of these roads leading to AF or just a sign along these roads? For now, these PACs appear to be a sign along the road to AF, and not a road itself," they conclude.

Parson Sun, A family matter: Wife donates part of her liver to her husband by Jamie Willey — Although the stakes were high, Victoria Broadwell didn’t hesitate to make probably the biggest decision of her life. “Not at all. I’d do it over and over again if I could,” she said. … Victoria already knew she and her husband shared the same blood type. She used an online tool provided by Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, to determine that she had the right size and build and was the right age, among other factors, to be a possible good match.

OncLive, Treatment Modalities Evolving in Pancreatic Cancer by Angelica Welch — Pancreatic cancer is poised to be one of the leading causes of cancer-related death over the next 10 years, according to Mark J. Truty, MD. Though difficult to treat, there has been recent progress in the treatment of patients with this disease, he adds. Neoadjuvant therapy approaches are currently being explored in clinical trials. For example, an open-label phase III study is exploring sequential neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by curative surgery compared with primary surgery alone for patients with resectable, nonmetastasized pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The primary endpoint of the study is 3-year survival rate.

WKBT La Crosse, Area couple shares baby daughter's heart transplant journey by Madalyn O’Neill — While other parents spend time doing normal activities with their children, Anthony and Mariah Fuchsel spend much of their time at the hospital. “Seeing parents take their kids to, like, the pumpkin patch -- we want to do that,” Mariah said. “It's hard as a new family anyway." The Fuchsels just moved to La Crosse in January and brought Hadlee Rose into the world in June, but in August, they took their then two-month-old baby to the doctor…Anthony and Mariah moved once again, this time from La Crosse to Rochester, where Hadlee receives treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

Fairmont Sentinel, Cancer screening can save lives by Judy Bryan — Last April, Diane Sharp needed a prescription renewed. Because her regular physician had moved, she needed to find a new doctor. “Every time you see a new doctor, they have to do an exam. I knew this was coming so I waited until the last minute,” said Sharp, who works in the finance department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. She looked at photos and biographies of all the providers at Mayo and settled on Heidi Stevermer, a family nurse practitioner. “I saw Heidi’s picture, and I thought she looked really nice and kind. I thought she’ll listen to me, and she’ll do what I want to do because I don’t go to the doctor. I thought I could kind of con her a little.” It had been at least 15 years since Sharp had had a mammogram. The only reason she had one then was because of a promise she’d made to a friend who had breast cancer…

La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse Mayo worker honored for excellence in interpreting that can be life or death by Mike Tighe —Talk about multi-tasking: Jennifer Carr’s job as a hospital interpreter requires her to listen to a doctor deliver a diagnosis to a patient who can understand only Spanish, with her own voice competing with the physician’s as she prepares to shift to patient’s response — all the while making sure she gets the medical terminology right. So skilled is Carr at her job at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse that she has received a rare honor given to just a handful of Mayo Clinic Health System’s 80,000 employees nationwide.

WQOW Eau Claire, Parents urged to watch out for croup cough with their children by Camille Walter — According to Mayo Clinic Health System, croup cough tends to go around during this time of the year. Pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System, Dr. Karen Myhre told News 18 croup is a swelling around the vocal chords and windpipe. Dr. Myhre said a typical cold, followed by a loud barking cough, are the most common symptoms of croup cough. "The problem really truly is right where your vocal chords are," Dr. Myhre said. "So, as an adult, we might lose our voice. Little kids can too, but then again their airways are more narrow than ours. So, we don't have the breathing problems necessarily like they do, because our airways are big enough, but they will sometimes have that difficulty getting air in, and that barking seal-like cough."

WEAU Eau Claire, Project SEARCH — Zan Degen, vice-chair administration from Mayo Clinic Health System and Tim Burns with the Eau Claire Area School District, discuss an upcoming open house for Project SEARCH with news anchor Judy Clark. The school-to-work program is designed to provide long-term, competitive employment opportunities for students with disabilities. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire serves as the site for the training program and also is the site for the free event on Nov. 6.

WXOW La Crosse, Making progress in the fight against breast cancer by Emily Young — The National Breast Cancer Foundation says that 1-in-8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. It doesn't just affect them but their family members and loved ones as well. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women…Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse and Onalaska are part of a study called Strive. The goal: To develop an early-detection blood test for breast cancer making early detection even earlier.

Hospitals & Health Networks, Adventist Health Pioneers Efforts to Relieve Physician Burnout by Blair S. Walker — A 2014 study conducted by the Mayo Clinic and the American Medical Association indicated 54 percent of physicians felt they were dealing with career burnout. An Adventist Health System doctor experiencing those pressures gets six free visits to Adventist’s PSS program. Afterward, a physician can pay for counseling through her health plan or on an out-of-pocket basis.

GEN, Chromatin Structure Key to Gene Expression by Caroline Seydel — Dozens of genetic variants had been identified that correlate with expression of TMEM106B, a gene associated with FTLD. “This was a completely unknown gene in 2010, and over the years it’s become a hot topic,” says neuroscientist Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., who studies FTLD in her role as a professor at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. People with FTLD have increased TMEM106B mRNA levels, and excess TMEM106B causes the lysosomes to malfunction, allowing toxic waste to build up in the neuron.

Healthcare Analytics News, MACRA Implementation Will be Difficult Without Meaningful Quality Measures by Ryan Black — Though there is widespread uncertainty about healthcare’s MACRA preparedness, one Mayo Clinic expert believes most institutions at least understand the bill. “Overall, at the general population level, I've been actually surprised as to how well people understand it,” Nilay Shah, PhD, told Healthcare Analytics News™. He is deputy director of research at Mayo’s Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.Still, understanding what the bill does and having a strategy to address it are two different things. For multi-specialty group practices (like Mayo Clinic), he said, the uncertainty was more pronounced.

Women’s Health, SIDS Is Every Mom’s Worst Nightmare – Here’s What You Need To Know About It by Korin Miller — Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS, is universally terrifying because of how random it seems. SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old, the Mayo Clinic says. About 3,500 infants die each year in the United States die from sleep-related deaths, including SIDS and accidental suffocation and strangulation, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

MedPage Today, Surgical Weight Loss; Low hs-cTNT Still Risky; VAD Before Pediatric Transplant by Crystal Pfend — Among those with NAFLD, women had more cardiovascular risk factors than did men. While women overall have an advantage over men in cardiovascular event risk, that differential narrowed almost to nonsignificance among women with NAFLD (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76-0.99) compared with the difference in the general population (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.71-0.83). "This is a signal we found; we need to follow people prospectively and see if this risk calculation needs to be modified for people with NAFLD," presenter Alina Allen, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said at the conference

MedPage Today, Pros and Cons of DOACs — Robert McBane, MD, a cardiologist, and Ariela Marshall, MD, a hematologist, both based at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discuss the new FDA drug watch list, specifically the direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs).

MobiHealthNews, Machine learning app Migraine Alert warns patients of oncoming episodes by Dave Muoio — After receiving positive feedback from participants of a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, Second Opinion Health released the first commercial iteration of its platform to users in early August, which so far only utilizes the smartphone and weather data to make its predictions. Although Bloch said that he is happy with this this initial release, which has been featured by Apple as one of the top paid medical apps, he is looking forward to the release of an updated version that will also implement the activity, sleep, and stress metrics collected by a wearable (currently limited to a Fitbit device, although Bloch said that the company isn’t ruling out other wearables). This version is what continues to be explored in clinical trials being conducted at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Southern California, which are being funded by global pharmaceutical company Allergan.

Burlington Times News, Sitting is the new smoking — Q: Sitting had been called the new smoking in an article I read that explained that inactivity is detrimental in the long term. How do I get more active when I’m sitting behind a computer all day? A: Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, coined the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” and found higher risks for more sedentary people to develop cancer, type II diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that peoples who sat more than six hours a day died earlier than their counterparts who limited sitting time to 3 hours a day or less.

MedPage Today, New SERM Shows Promise in Advanced Breast Cancer by Kristin Jenkins — Results from a phase I study in 38 patients with metastatic breast cancer demonstrated a clinical benefit rate (stable disease ≥ 6 months) of 26.3%. including a partial response by RECIST criteria in three patients who experienced progression during prior tamoxifen therapy, according to Matthew P. Goetz, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues.

MD Magazine, Mini-FMT Works to Cure C. difficile Patient by Rachel Lutz — Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Az., wrote that patients who undergo a total abdominal colectomy for fulminant C. difficile infection are part of a specific clinical challenge. For example, infection may recur following the procedure in the rectum or the small intestine… What is novel here is that this patient was treated by simply swabbing the rectal remnant with fecal material from a healthy donor,” study author Robert Orenstein, DO, told MD Magazine. “The dose of material needed for fecal microbiota transplantation in people with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection is not well established and based on empiricism. This case illustrates it may be possible to use our mini-FMT procedure to eliminate C. difficile in a patient where you cannot get the transplant to the site of infection via an intravenous, oral or endoscopic route. Though this rectal remnant pouchitis is uncommon, solutions have not been available.”

Healthcare IT News, EHR fatigue has frustrated doctors looking to cut clinical hours by Jeff Lagasse — The burden and bureaucracy of modern medicine, not to mention technological frustrations, inflict a toll on U.S. physicians and appear to be major factors influencing their intentions to reduce clinical work hours or leave the profession, according to new research by experts at the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic and Stanford University… Published in the new issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the findings show roughly one in five physicians intend to reduce clinical work hours in the next year. And about one in 50 physicians intend to leave medicine for a different career entirely in the next two years. The study’s authors highlight a correlation between the career plans of physicians and the growing problem of burnout, technological dissatisfaction and administrative fatigue among physicians.

Medical Xpress, Response to lenalidomide often suboptimal in MDS/MPN-RS-T — Maura Nicolosi, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues described the treatment of three patients with MDS/MPN-RS-T with lenalidomide. "While lenalidomide therapy does produce hematological responses in patients with MDS/MPN-RS-T, these are often suboptimal, without significant changes in bone marrow morphology and are often not durable. Newer, effective therapies are much needed for these patients," the authors write.

FOX 34 Texas, MediPines Acquires Oxistimulator Technology from Mayo Clinic — "These pain medications can cause severe side effects such as low oxygen levels or desaturations and cessation of respiration. We want to treat the pain accurately and to the best of our ability, but the pain medications can have side effects with sometimes devastating consequences," says Bradly Narr, M.D., chair of the Surgical and Procedural Committee and a former chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. Mayo Clinic is currently conducting a clinical study to assess whether the device significantly reduces desaturations for at-risk patients, and to demonstrate product safety with minimal side effects.

NDTV, Hot flashes or Night Sweating In Midlife May Increase Risk of Sleep Disorder In Women — For the study, 1,691 women from the Mayo Clinic completed questionnaires. Of these women, 24.9 percent were classified in the intermediate and high-risk categories for OSA. Most of these women were older in age and had a higher body mass index with greater incidence of hypertension. Women reporting severe hot flashes in midlife were at a higher risk for OSA--1.87 times higher than in women with mild or no hot flashes, revealed the analysis.

Alzforum, Among the Healthy, a Positive Amyloid Scan Prompts Questions About Risk — Most participants understood that a positive scan was not a diagnosis of AD, a fact emphasized in the A4 educational materials. However, about 12 percent believed they had an AD diagnosis or were at imminent risk of developing the disease. Richard Caselli at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix noted that this latter group could represent a significant number of people given the size of many prevention trials. He added that the finding concerns him because these participants received extensive education about amyloid scanning beforehand.

Alzforum, Can Biomarker Data Predict Individual Risk for Alzheimer’s? —“A strength of the current study is the cross-validation procedure conducted in the same cohort and the external validation in the ADNI cohort,” Kejal Kantarci at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, wrote to Alzforum (see full comment below). At the same time, Kantarci and others wondered if adding other variables might improve the model. Kantarci suggested looking at the effects of ApoE genotype.

Alzforum, PET Staging Charts Gradual Course of Amyloid Deposition in Alzheimer’s — “This study opens exciting new avenues for future research, and further points to the pressing question of what it means to have amyloid in the brain, especially in the earliest stages of Aβ accumulation,” wrote Gaël Chételat of the University of Caen-Normandie in France and Melissa Murray of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, in an accompanying editorial. They added that longitudinal data will be crucial to validate the staging model.

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