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Summer Secrets: Fitness Trends

NBC Today

Kicking off a week-long series on all the ways to work out, TODAY lifestyle and fitness correspondent Jenna Wolfe looks at the strengths and weaknesses of running as exercise, pointing out that only part of your body benefits from running, and she suggests ways you can do more.

Little Research Is Done in Africa by or for Nurses

New York Times

The research is limited, said Elaine L. Larson, a Columbia nursing professor and co-author, because many articles are done by doctoral candidates with no grant money, or by nurses working on projects supported by Western donors who focus on AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and a few other diseases.

Obituaries Shed Euphemisms to Chronicle Toll of Heroin

New York Times

Now, addicts, law enforcement officers and policy makers are all pushing to treat drug abuse as a disease and a public health crisis, not a crime or moral failing, and families are confronting addiction publicly in new ways, through rallies, online and in unvarnished obituaries. “This is part of a trend toward a greater degree of acceptance and destigmatization about issues pertaining to mental illness, including addiction,” said Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

How Trauma Shapes The World We Know

NPR

Eric Kandel, in early work on memory for which he won the Nobel Prize, showed that a snail that has been roughly poked will become hypersensitive. The lightest touch will cause it to recoil as if from violent contact. If it is touched again and again, however, it will, over time, habituate; it de-sensitizes — meaning, eventually, it will hardly respond at all, even to vigorous touch.

Tell It About Your Mother

New York Times

‘Psychoanalysis needs to change its culture,’’ says Andrew J. Gerber, a psychoanalyst and an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. ‘‘There is an aspect of psychoanalysis that feels faith-­based. You believe it because we told you to believe it. Because Freud said it. Because I, as your supervisor, told it to you. Because you experienced it in your analysis. And while I wouldn’t say those aren’t valid reasons to have an idea, they’re not reasons to continue to believe the idea is true in the face of other evidence.’’

Building a Better Valve

New York Times

Dr. Martin Leon of Columbia University Medical Center replaced Mr. Kissinger’s valve almost a year ago. “I am more energetic, people tell me I look better, and I feel much less tired,” Mr. Kissinger said. He described the procedure as easier and less debilitating than the open-heart bypass surgery he had previously. “There’s no comparison.”

Unused Embryos Pose Difficult Issue: What to Do With Them

New York Times

“But if I ask what they’ll do with them, they often have a Scarlett O’Hara response: I’ll think about that tomorrow,” said Dr. Mark V. Sauer, of Columbia University’s Center for Women’s Reproductive Care. “Couples don’t always agree about the moral and legal status of the embryo, where life begins, and how religion enters into it, and a lot of them end up kicking the can down the road.’’

 

See What Diseases You’re at Risk For Based on Your Birth Month

TIME

“Whenever I present our work, I have to allow for laugh time,” says Nicholas Tatonetti, a scientist at Columbia University Medical Center. Not a common practice for a serious academic researcher, but then again, Tatonetti studies something quite unfamiliar to those more accustomed to the intricacies of biological and molecular explanations for the human condition. “I study the month people were born in, to see if that changes their risk of developing disease in their entire lifetime,” he says.

Transplant surgeons save children’s lives in Venezuela

Associated Press

Dr. Tomoaki Kato of New York’s Columbia University Medical Center began performing the transplants in Venezuela a decade ago after he was contacted by Dr. Pedro Rivas Vetencourt, a surgeon at Caracas’ Policlinica Metropolitana. The Japanese-born physician says that back then he couldn’t even locate Venezuela on a map. But he and Rivas Vetencourt have now performed 50 pediatric transplants with living donors in the South American country, gradually building a large team of medical professionals.

Study Questions Use of Whole-Brain Radiation to Treat Cancer

Wall Street Journal

Whole brain radiation was first used in 1954 and has long been a standard strategy for brain metastases, said Andrew Lassman, chief of neuro-oncology at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. Though doctors have curbed its use in recent years amid concerns over its deleterious effect on cognitive function, whether the treatment or recurrence of metastases is worse for the patient has remained controversial, he said.

Study: Many Cancer Patients Could Be Spared Brain Radiation

Associated Press

Doctors probably will use the combo less frequently because of this study, but certain patients still may benefit from it, said Dr. Andrew Lassman of Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The work should spur research on different ways to give radiation that may not harm thinking skills as much.

New Mothers Get A New Kind Of Care In Rural Nigeria

NPR

Those aren’t the only obstacles. Local clinics are often abandoned dispensaries with “no staff and no stuff,” says Sally Findley, a demographer and professor of population and family health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. And because Jigawa is a sharia state, women refuse to see male doctors.

Many Probiotics Contain Traces of Gluten, Study Says

TIME

“We see a lot of patients [with celiac] and we have a lot of patients who have it and don’t feel better,” says Dr. Peter Green, professor of medicine and director of the Celiac Disease Center. “We found previously that about 25% of celiac patients use supplements or non-traditional medical products, and probiotics were the largest and most frequently consumed. Those people [who used probiotics] had more symptoms compared to people who weren’t taking these supplements.”

Depression may double stroke risk in older adults

Reuters

At the same time, it’s possible that depression produces changes in the nervous system that lead to an overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol, said Dr. Olajide Williams, director of acute stroke services at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Excess cortisol can narrow the blood vessels and raise blood pressure.

Exposed to dangerous radiation? Telltale signs are in your blood

Science

It’s “an interesting paper” and significant that miRNA analysis can predict survival, says David Brenner, a radiation biophysicist at Columbia University Medical Center. In case of an accident or attack, he says, “it would help focus potentially scarce medical resources on those people who needed them most.”

Precision medicine: How individualized care may reduce cancer deaths

FOX

“We know cancer is a result in changes to the genes— so we are able to take a patient’s cancer, sequence all the genes in the cancer, sequence all the genes in the human body, and compare them to find out which ones (genes) changed,”Dr. Andrew Kung, chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center, told FoxNews.com.

New Fixes for Worn Knees

Wall Street Journal

The precise order of growth proteins is critical to coaxing the stem cells to regrow a working meniscus, rather than scar tissue, as the scaffold is resorbed, says Jeremy Mao,director of tissue engineering at Columbia and lead researcher on the project.

New Treatments for Thinning Hair for Women

New York Times

Some treatments in development hold particular promise for women. Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and Columbia University professor of dermatology, is hoping to begin clinical trials in a year or two on a procedure in which she dissects hair-follicle stem cells, grows them in the lab until she has several million, then injects them into the scalp, where, a very small study done with a human skin model has shown, they induce new hairs.

A Clam Cancer Outbreak, Spread by One Set of Cells

New York Times

As Dr. [Stephen] Goff and his colleagues, Michael J. Metzger at Columbia and Carol Reinish and James Sherry at Environment Canada, reported in the journal Cell, it was not a virus hopping from clam to clam but the cancer cells themselves. They may last only hours in seawater, but that is long enough to reach other clams and infect them.

Faster, Taller Youth League Pitchers May Face Greater Risk of Injury

U.S. News

Other factors that can contribute to fatigue and overuse, and then lead to injury, are year-round baseball, throwing too many pitches in a single game and throwing too many innings in a game or season, said Dr. Christopher Ahmad, the New York Yankees’ head team physician and professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

Experts Say They Lack Tools to Identify Suicidal Pilots

Wall Street Journal

Guohua Li, director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, described current medical standards for airline pilots as “outdated, inadequate and inconsistent,” especially regarding mental health assessment. “These standards need to be updated, strengthened and made internationally compatible.”

An Oncologist’s ‘Biography Of Cancer’ Adapted Into A Documentary

NPR

The documentary is based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Emperor Of All Maladies: A Biography Of Cancer” by our guest Siddhartha Mukherjee. As an oncologist immersed in the daily care of patients, he wanted to pull back and research the history of cancer to better understand the illness he was confronting and treating. Dr. Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. Terry Gross interviewed him when his book was published in 2010.

Evidence of xylitol’s cavity-preventing benefits lacking

Reuters

Dr. Burton Edelstein, chair of the Section of Population Oral Health at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York City, agreed that more research is needed on xylitol’s potential to prevent cavities. He cautioned that lack of evidence is not evidence against xylitol, however. For example, Edelstein and colleagues estimate in a new report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association that money might be saved by giving mothers xylitol products because they cut the transmission of bacteria that cause tooth decay from mother to child.

 

Nutritionists warn diners to be wary of Buffett’s ‘junk-food’ portfolio

Reuters

“His attitude toward this kind of food is a little worrisome,” said David Seres, MD, director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, adding that he thinks such investments send the worst kind of message to America. “He is not what I would call an ideal role model in eating and his attitude toward nutrition in general.”

Statins can be stopped toward the end of life

Reuters

While it’s typically difficult to draw conclusions when looking for deaths among a group of people, Dr. Andrew E. Moran from Columbia University Medical Center said it’s appropriate for this trial. “Because the survival is so poor in these very ill people, it’s not unreasonable to recruit a fairly small sample size because the probability of adverse events and death is very high in these patients,” said Moran, who was not involved with the new study.

 

Wheat tries to get in on the gluten-free food craze

CBS News

Though celiac disease is four to five times more common now than 50 years ago, only about 1 percent of the world’s population is believed to suffer from it, and just a fraction of those have been diagnosed. Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center, says more than 80 percent of people with celiac disease don’t realize they have it.

Edwards’s Newer, Smaller Heart Valve Lowered Death Risk in Study

Bloomberg

“When you look at the key outcomes of death and stroke, there’s been a significant reduction in both those outcomes with this generation of the device,” said [Susheel] Kodali, director of the Heart Valve Center at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “This is the device people are waiting for.”

Invest in American Science

THE HILL

Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and epidemiologist, and assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, is a Soros fellow. 15 other Soros fellows signed the op-ed.

What Autopsies Can Teach

Wall Street Journal

“Autopsies in general are on the downswing, but brain autopsy is increasing. People are scared and want to do something,” says Arlene Lawton, a registered nurse who runs the brain donation program at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. She says families often call about donating when a loved one is in the terminal stages, which is too late. Patients must be able to undergo memory and neurological tests while still living, she says, so researchers can correlate their symptoms with brain changes after death.

Teaching doctors how to engage more and lecture less

Washington Post

While empathy courses are rarely required in medical training, interest in them is growing, experts say, and programs are underway at Jefferson Medical College and at Columbia University School of Medicine. Columbia has pioneered a program in narrative medicine, which emphasizes the importance of understanding patients’ life stories in providing compassionate care.

Untreated Dental Decay Is Falling Among Children

New York Times

Teeth are dynamic. If they demineralize at a quicker rate than they remineralize, you get a cavity, said Dr. Burton Edelstein, a professor of dentistry and health policy at Columbia University. Conversely, it is possible to remineralize a decaying tooth by arresting the disease process, he said.

Study on Chronic Fatigue May Help With Diagnoses

New York Times

“There are biological markers that can be detected in the blood soon after the onset of the disease, and this has very important diagnostic implications,” said Dr. Mady Hornig, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and lead author of the new study.