July 5, 2019

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights for July 5, 2019

By Emily Blahnik

Washington Post, Closing the achievement gap, with help from the Mayo Clinic by Mikhail Zinshteyn — Amarachi Orakwue felt stifled during high school in Minnesota, having immigrated to the United States from Nigeria in 2010. She “stuck out like a sore thumb,” she said, as one of the few students of color in class. “I never thought about the concept of, like, ‘We want you to feel like you belong here,’ ” she said. “That was foreign. I didn’t even know that existed.” That changed when she enrolled at the University of Minnesota at Rochester, a 10-year-old public university that has been closing achievement gaps by following a playbook that prioritizes student engagement.…In a time of stubborn performance gaps between white students and students of color, and between rich and poor, this university of just over 500 undergraduates may offer a script for how to ensure that students from different backgrounds graduate at similar rates. It’s also posting these results in a field that sinks the ambitions and GPAs of many students elsewhere — health sciences. The university offers just two bachelor’s degrees — in health sciences and health professions — but both typically lead to instant employment or graduate school in related fields. And key to the university’s rise is its partnership with the Mayo Clinic, which hires a good number of the school’s graduates and provides research opportunities for others.

Washington Post, Medicare weighs whether to pay for acupuncture by Lenny Bernstein — Seeking ways to address chronic pain without narcotics, Medicare is exploring whether to pay for acupuncture, a move that would thrust the government health insurance program into the long-standing controversy over whether the therapy is any better than placebo…Medicare coverage “is long overdue,” said Tony Y. Chon, director of integrative medicine and health at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. “The opioid epidemic is going to be the momentum that’s really needed to push not just acupuncture but other kinds of non-pharmacological interventions to the forefront.”

NBC News, Can science explain what people see and feel during a near-death experience? by Erika Edwards — …Some outside experts were skeptical of the study, and in particular, the finding that one in 10 people have had a near-death experience. "If anything, I think it’s more likely that people are reporting sleep events erroneously as near-death experiences based on this study," said Dr. Donn Dexter, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a neurologist with the Mayo Clinic Health System. "You can be a scientist and still have strong faith," Dexter said. "With science, you have to have a theory, a hypothesis that you can prove false. You can’t prove somebody’s faith false."

CNBC, This CEO is trying to genetically modify pig organs for human transplant and turn more Sci-Fi ideas into common cures by Lori Ioannou — …There are 114,000 sick patients on the organ transplant list in the U.S., but about 8,000 people die every year waiting for the organs they need, according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing. Through Lung Biotechnology, it has forged an agreement to operate a lung restoration facility at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, by year-end. The facility will use ex vivo lung perfusion machines to assess and treat donor lungs prior to transplant. It will be a game-changer for people with lung disease.

NPR, Disease Watch: What Global Travelers Should Know In Summer 2019 by Christopher Elliott — M. Rizwan Sohail, a professor of medicine and an expert on infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, advises: "Travelers with preexisting medical conditions should get travel health insurance, take their medications with them and seek emergency care if they develop new symptoms. Those with heart conditions should probably see their doctor before traveling abroad to make sure they are fit to travel."

Prevention, What Is Alpha-Gal Allergy? How a Tick Bite Can Make You Allergic to Red Meat by Jessica Migala — If alpha-gal allergy is suspected, your doctor will do a blood test to measure the amount of alpha-gal antibodies in your blood. A skin test may also be issued, where your doctor or allergist will expose a small amount of your skin to red meat to see if any hives form, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Atlantic, The Power of One Push-Up  by James Hamblin — “Push-ups are another marker in a consistent story about whole-body exercise capacity and mortality,” says Michael Joyner, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic whose work focuses on the limits of human performance. “Any form of whole-body engagement becomes predictive of mortality if the population is large enough.” That is to say: Health is not simply about push-ups. There’s also nothing magic about grip strength or walking speed. But these abilities tend to tell us a lot.

Forbes, America’s Best Employers for Women by Vicky Valet — Forbes teamed up with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked most by female workers with our annual ranking of America’s best employers for women. The list was compiled by surveying 40,000 Americans, including 25,000 women, working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees, and it features some companies whose appearance on the list, in light of recent events, might come as a surprise…14. Mayo Clinic.

KAAL, Childhood Cancer Survivor is Studying to Become Pediatrician by Talia Milavetz  — Fourth-year medical student Sara Segner is keeping busy. "I go into the hospital early, see patients and that kind of stuff. Basically, act as one of the residents would. Now that I'm in the fourth year I get to focus more on what I want to do, which is awesome,” she said. Her focus is pediatrics…Now, she is studying at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, and learning from some of the doctors who helped save her life. "Sometimes when I am on peds service I'll have to call a specialty service, and it will be the person who treated me on the other end of the phone, which is really funny," she said.

KIMT, Mayo Clinic moves away from Styrofoam in effort to be more eco-friendly by Annalisa Pardo — Mayo Clinic employees are going to start seeing some changes in the cafeterias, all in an effort to be more eco-friendly. Starting in July, Food Services at the hospital is getting rid of Styrofoam cups and replacing them with recyclable, plastic cups. Last year, Mayo Clinic Food Services in Rochester used 1.2 million Styrofoam cups, all of which couldn't be recycled. The hospital said more recycling bins will be in cafeterias to encourage staff members to recycle the new, plastic cups. "There is a direct link between environmental health and human health," Amanda Holloway, director of Mayo Clinic's Office of Sustainability, said. "So, obviously as a health care organization, it's important for us to put into practice those practices and processes."

Star Tribune, Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman to undergo cancer surgery by Mary Lynn Smith — Norm Coleman announced Tuesday that he will undergo surgery later this month to remove part of his lungs after cancer re-emerged there…Amid the humor, Coleman spoke of gratitude for his doctors, the Mayo Clinic, his family and his friends. But he also gave an unvarnished glimpse of cancer’s toll. Additional coverage: WCCO

Star Tribune, Lynx F Christmas-Kelly out for season with right knee injury — Minnesota Lynx forward Karima Christmas-Kelly will miss the rest of the season with an injury to her right knee. The Lynx said Monday that an MRI taken at Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis revealed the injury. The team says Christmas-Kelly will have surgery tomorrow.

KSAZ FOX 10, Junk food-heavy diet lowers sperm count, could cause permanent damage in men, study finds by Colleen Killingsworth — diet heavy in junk food could cause irreversible reproductive harm to men, according to new research from Danish and Icelandic scientists in conjunction with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health…The men who adhered most closely to the “Western” dietary pattern were found to have the lowest sperm counts, averaging 25.6 million less sperm per ejaculation than those with the healthiest eating habits. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy average sperm count is 39 million per ejaculation.

Mankato Free Press, Evidence lacking on memory supplement effectiveness by Brian Arola — Audrey Umbreit, pharmacy manager at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, said the tips to improve brain health overlap with recommendations for heart health. “Whatever is good for your heart in general is good for your brain, so having a healthy diet and exercising,” she said. She said patients ask about supplements all the time. Sales figures further indicate strong consumer interest in the products.

Fairmont Sentinel, Empowering kids: Program promotes local produce by Judy Bryan — Adults understand the joy of biting into vegetables fresh from the garden, but kids — well, not so much, but Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont and Rural Advantage have joined forces to change that. Their joint program, called the Power of Produce, enables children ages 4-12 years to purchase produce at Fairmont’s Farmers Market using free tokens, courtesy of the sponsors.

KNUJ-Radio, OBGYN Services offered at Mayo Springfield — OB-GYN services are now being provided at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield by nurse practitioner Ginny Clementson. Women’s health and OB-GYN services include contraception, menopausal care, pelvic floor rehabilitation, pre- and postnatal care, and procedures such as biopsies. Clementson also practices at Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Mankato, Janesville and Le Sueur. Additional coverage: New Ulm Journal

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Mayo Clinic cancels local Dragon Boat Festival — Mayo Clinic Health System has canceled the annual Dragon Boat Festival that had been scheduled for Aug. 3 at Half Moon Beach in Eau Claire. "Due to the declining number of participants, we determined this event would not have achieved the intended impact this year," stated a Friday evening news release on the event's cancellation. Additional coverage: WQOW Eau Claire, WEAU Eau Claire

WKBT La Crosse, Local doctors: make sure you're ready before a big summer run by Alex Fischer — Dr. Andrew Jagim, the director of sports medicine research at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, said runners should be ready before taking on any 5Ks, half-marathons or marathons this summer. Jagim said when training you should start with shorter distances and work your way up. If you're going to be running in the heat, then you should be training in the heat according to Jagim. He said this will help your body adapt during the hotter phases of summer.

Men’s Health, This Guy Packed on Almost 50 Pounds of Muscle After Managing Crohn's Disease by Brett Williams — By the time he turned 25, Josh Gates had reached a breaking point. He could either figure out how to manage his Crohn's disease, an uncurable chronic inflammatory bowel disease that was sending him to the hospital "nearly every week" for dehydration from vomiting, or, in his estimation, he was going to die…Gates decided that he'd had enough and took his health into his own hands. He booked an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and the doctors there decided that surgery was the best treatment plan. In October 2017, he underwent a gastrojejunostomy, a procedure that connects the stomach and jejunum (part of the small intestine), and a 20-inch resection of his small intestine. He spent 10 days in the hospital to recover—then it was time to take back his life.

USA Today, Andy Cohen talks traveling with an infant: 'Way more stressful than it was before' by David Oliver — …Cohen, like many others, has been documenting his parenting journey on social media. His followers didn't react well back in February to a travel-related post, showing Cohen on a private plane with the days-old infant strapped in a papoose. According to an expert on the Mayo Clinic's website, air travel is OK for most infants, though parents should take proper precautions and consult a doctor when applicable.

WTOP, On 80th anniversary, Gehrig’s speech is still immortal in MLB by Andy Pollin — …Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS at the Mayo Clinic on his 36th birthday, June 19, 1939. The previous month, hitting just .148, he’d ended his record of consecutive games played at 2,130, telling manager Joe McCarthy that he was benching himself for the good of the team. Not long after the diagnosis became public, the wheels were set in motion to honor the “Iron Horse.”

New York Post, Could a mandatory keto diet improve US military performance? by Melissa Malamut — The US military is studying whether a ketogenic diet can help lower obesity rates — and boost soldiers’ physical and mental performance in the field.  Researchers at Ohio State University recently published the first-ever keto study that specifically used military members as subjects, and the results, published in the journal Military Medicine, showed a “remarkable weight loss and improvements in body composition” among its participants…But while the Mayo Clinic calls the research “exciting,” it notes that “there’s very little evidence to show that this type of eating is effective — or safe — over the long term for anything other than epilepsy.”

Mindbodygreen, Mayo Clinic Is Developing Genius New Way To Balance Blood Sugar by Gretchen Lidicker — The reasons for our very individualized responses to foods aren't simple; we have to factor in our age, gender, BMI, stress levels, sleep patterns, and even the makeup of our gut microbiome. The good news is that that's exactly what the Mayo Clinic is doing—and they're using that information to help combat diabetes. In a new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Mayo Clinic researchers proved that a specific test can predict an individual's post-meal blood sugar response for unique foods and food combinations.

Sports Illustrated, How Do You Say 'Cheesecake Factory' In Mandarin? Behind the Scenes of Life in the Chinese Basketball Association by Alex Prewitt — …Looming over all of this is a patience that quickly wears thin. Each CBA team is allowed to switch its imports up to four times before the playoffs, then twice more in the postseason. "If you're not performing at an incredible rate, you could easily be cut," says Bass. Some survive. Others, like Aldrich, are spit out. After suffering a grade-two MCL sprain in December, he flew home to Minnesota and started rehab at the Mayo Clinic.

Becker’s Hospital Review, 10 hospitals seeking pharmacy leaders by Alia Paavola — Ten hospitals and health systems posted job listings seeking pharmacy leaders in the last week…6. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.) seeks a senior pharmacy manager.

Becker’s Hospital Review, 6 CFOs name their greatest challenges by Kelly Gooch — 6. Jeff Froisland, CFO of Mayo Clinic's Phoenix, Ariz., campus: "Where I'm in the Phoenix market, I think it's the constant evolving nature of external disruptors, whether that be mergers, consolidations, horizontal or vertical. It really changes healthcare from that of patients can choose to go where they want to one where they're much more being steered into a certain decision-making process. So, it's a constant challenge for the organization to stay focused on, not just the internal operations, but what externally is happening in the market and our response to it."

Becker’s Spine Review, Mayo Clinic's Dr. Shawn O'Driscoll develops tool for measuring patient-reported outcomes by Alan Condon — Orthopedic surgeon at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Shawn O'Driscoll, MD, designed a new system for assessing patient-reported outcomes. Four insights…

Health Columnist, 3 Ways AI will Benefit Healthcare in 2019 by Peter Gunnell — As of now, we’re seeing signs of progress in healthcare with regards to AI and communication: Apple previously launched the ResearchKit and CareKit framework that enables specialists and developers to create medical apps to communicate with and monitor patients. This has brought about the development of applications like mPower that use finger tapping and ait analysis to look into patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Healthcare centers like the Mayo Clinic are already grasping the power of AI in communication with patients: other than making it possible to schedule meeting with doctors, the application can likewise deliver test results to patients and enable in-app doctor-patient communication.

Medpage Today, First NMO Treatment Approved by Judy George — "Untreated, this disease is devastating for patients," said Sean Pittock, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who presented PREVENT results at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting in May. "It can result in blindness or paraplegia in about half of patients within about 5 to 10 years." Unlike MS, disability in NMOSD is due to attacks, not disease progression between attacks, and each attack leads to more damage. "If we can stop attacks, we can stop disability in this disease," Pittock told MedPage Today.

Healio, COPD in nonsmokers, smokers share similar prevalence by US region — COPD diagnosis is determined by respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function testing that demonstrates fixed airway obstruction. This report would suggest that pulmonologists should consider a diagnosis of COPD in patients with first or secondhand smoke exposure. Pulmonary function testing can help to differentiate COPD from other respiratory disorders. This report demonstrates the continued need for public health strategies to reduce not only tobacco use but also secondhand smoke exposure… — Megan M. Dulohery Scrodin, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Healio, Simple tools used in cognitive assessment visits enable PCPs to diagnose dementia by Janel Miller — Dementia-related tools common to several medical societies and organizations that can be used by primary care physicians in diagnosing dementia, according to data presented at the American Geriatric Society Annual Scientific Meeting. “Access to specialty clinics is limited; there is a need to develop a high-value model of dementia care into primary care setting,” Kevin Ryan Parks, MD, geriatrics fellow at the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues wrote. Researchers noted clinical areas were PCPs said they had “low confidence.” They then used dementia tools from CMS, the Alzheimer’s Association and American Academy of Neurology to develop a sample cognitive assessment visit that addressed the PCPs’ knowledge gaps.

Healio, Nearly half of stem cell clinics lack physicians trained in advertised treatments — Among companies who advertise unproven, direct-to-consumer stem cell therapies and employ at least one physician, only about half claimed to treat conditions that matched the scope of their physicians’ training, according to data published in JAMA. “What we know about the backgrounds of clinicians has been largely anecdotal and no study has systematically examined the background qualifications of clinicians who offer unproven stem cell treatments,” Zubin Master, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic Biomedical Ethics Research Program, told Healio Rheumatology. “By knowing the residency and/or fellowship qualifications of physicians at each company, we were able to examine whether [at least one] physician has the appropriate training to provide stem cell treatments for the conditions that companies claim to offer.”

Medscape, Clinicians at Stem Cell Clinics Often Lack Credentials by Ellie Kincaid — Many clinicians at centers that offer stem cell interventions without solid evidence for their effectiveness are not physicians, or are physicians practicing beyond the scope of their formal training, according to a research letter published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Zubin Master, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues identified 608 clinicians at 166 stem cell companies through online research in California, Florida, and Texas, where the companies are largely concentrated, and compiled information on their training. "About half of the companies did not have any physicians with the appropriate qualifications (based on residency and/or fellowship training) to offer a stem cell treatment for specific conditions they claimed to treat," Master wrote in an email to Medscape Medical News.

Medscape, Generic vs Brand-Name Levothyroxine: Same Cardiac Event Risk? by Marlene Busko — After an average 1-year of follow-up, rates of hospitalization for atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and stroke were similar in both treatment groups in the new study published in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  "There has been disagreement as to whether generic levothyroxine and branded thyroxine preparations are equivalent," says lead author Robert C. Smallridge, MD, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, in a press release issued by his institution. "These findings suggest that generic and brand levothyroxine therapy are similar as related to cardiovascular events risk." Nevertheless, "this is just one other piece of information in a very large group of patients, [and] it needs follow-up studies," Smallridge told Medscape Medical News.

Japan Today, Strobing stage lights could up risk of epileptic seizures — "If the lighting environment suddenly changes, someone may not have much time to reposition themselves if they are vulnerable," said Dr David Burkholder, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who wasn't involved in the study. "Nothing is completely reliable, but being aware of the potential for a problem, thinking ahead, and having a plan in place to reduce risk is important," he said.

Global News, What women need to know about getting their tubes tied by Arti Patel — According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a reversal procedure for tubal ligation, but only if the tube wasn’t fully removed. During the reversal procedure, blocked tubes are reconnected to the remainder of the tube. “This may allow eggs to again move through the tubes and sperm to travel up the fallopian tubes to join an egg,” the site noted. However, this doesn’t mean there is a guarantee that women can get pregnant after the reversal procedure. “Pregnancy rates following reversal of tubal ligation vary greatly depending on a woman’s age and other factors,” the Mayo Clinic added.

Infobae, Las mujeres que roncan podrían tener más riesgo de enfermedades cardíacas — Los hombres no son los únicos en quienes los ronquidos perturbadores pueden señalar la presencia de apnea obstructiva del sueño. El médico cardiólogo Virend Somers, de Mayo Clinic, señaló que una de cada 10 mujeres de mediana edad tiene apnea obstructiva del sueño, a diferencia de uno de cada cuatro hombres de mediana edad. Las mujeres diagnosticadas con apnea obstructiva del sueño pueden correr más riesgo de problemas relacionados con el corazón.

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Editors: Emily BlahnikKarl Oestreich

Tags: A.L.S., acupuncture, AI, Amanda Holloway, Amarachi Orakwue, Andy Cohen, artificial Intelligence, Audrey Umbreit, blood sugar, Chron's disease, COPD, dementia, Dr. Andrew Jagin, Dr. Angela Mattke, Dr. David Burkholder, Dr. Donn Dexter, Dr. Kevin Ryan Parks, Dr. M. Rizwan Sohail, Dr. Megan Dulohery Scrodin, Dr. Michael Joyner, Dr. Robert C. Smallridge, Dr. Scott Martinson, Dr. Sean Pittock, Dr. Shawn O'Driscoll, Dr. Tony Y. Chon, Dr. Zubin Master, Dragon Boat Festival, heat wave, Jeff Froisland, Karima Christmas-Kelly, keto diet, Levothyroxine, Lou Gehrig, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, Medicare, near-death experience, Norm Coleman, organ transplant, pig organs, Sara Segner, Seizures, sperm count, stem cells, strobing lights, sun health, sun safety, supplements, Uncategorized

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