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For April, 2010

April 30 - Dr. Feldman’s stem cell trial featured on CNN, Crain’s Detroit

CNN reports the first FDA approved clinical trial for fetal stem cells in adults. Dr. Eva Feldman of U-M worked with a team of neurologists and with Neuralstem Inc. to develop the protocol for delivering the stem cells into the spinal cord of patients. The Phase 1 clinical trial is taking place at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Crain’s Detroit Business covers Dr. Feldman’s plans to begin work on trials for Alzheimer’s patients.
See UMHS news release from last fall.

April 29 - Dr. Green alternative medicine for study on Science Daily

A U-M study found 1 out of 3 patients with chronic pain use alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic visits for pain relief, reports Science Daily. Race and age played a large role in the use of the alternatives. Carmen R. Green, M.D., of U-M, said this pattern may be due to alternative medicine therapies usually attracting individuals with higher education levels and income, or the pattern could be a result of differences in insurance coverage. See UMHS news release.

April 29 – Dr. Hu quoted in Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun reports that exposure to lead in the environment is associated with a sharply increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Howard Hu, M.D., professor of Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Internal Medicine at the U-M Schools of Public Health and Medicine, is a co-author of the study. "In addition to spurring additional public health measures to reduce exposure to lead, mechanistic and clinical research is needed to determine if opportunities exist to conduct targeted screening and treatment that can further reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease for the potentially millions of adults who have elevated lead burdens accumulated from historical exposures," Hu says.

April 29 – Marzonie and Mozdzierz in Therapy Times on feeding specialists

Anita Marzonie, M.A., CCC-SLP, pediatric speech-language pathologist at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Trisha Mozdzierz, O.T.R., a specialist in the neonatal intensive care unit at U-M, published an article in about feeding specialists and intervention in the NICU. The authors reported that the feeding challenges of preterm infants include a number of critical periods during embryonic development that may be interrupted. It is important for the feeding specialist to be familiar with gestational development since it directly impacts feeding and creates unique challenges. The Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Team at U-M is comprised of both occupational therapists (OTs) and speech language pathologists (SLPs) who have specific training in the field of feeding and swallowing.

April 28 - Dr. Burant quoted on about weight loss

Though obese men generally have better self-esteem than obese women, both sexes may expect more from weight loss than what it can actually provide, reports According to Charles Burant, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U-M Metabolomic and Obesity Center, weight loss “puts a spring in people's step. But to say it puts a strut in their step might be going too far.” Studies have shown that weight loss could lead to patients’ disappointment from the loss not meeting expectations, chronic frustration and weight regain.

April 28 - Dr. Wolf’s study about neck cancer therapy on UPI, WJJ Radio

By studying the immune cells of patients with head and neck cancer, doctors can choose a more individualized treatment, reports and WWJ Radio. Gregory T. Wolf, M.D. of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, led a study that shows the levels of an immune cell are higher in head and neck cancer patients whose tumors are linked to the human papillomavirus. “This study suggests we can look in the microscope, measure the level of these immune cells and select a treatment that is going to be potentially less toxic and most effective at curing the cancer,” Wolf said. See UMHS news release.

April 27 - Noah’s Neuroblastoma Endowment Research Fund on WDIV Local 4 news

Diana Biorkman, mother of the late Noah Biorkman, presented the U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital with a $75,000 check to establish Noah’s Neuroblastoma Endowment Research Fund this morning, and was be reported by WDIV Local 4 News. Noah wished to celebrate Christmas in early 2009 and more than 1 million people sent holiday cards, gifts and monetary donations. Noah was 6 years old when he died from neuroblastoma, a cancerous tumor that develops from nerve tissue. See UMHS news release.

April 27 - Dr. Blayney quoted in Washington Post on oral chemo meds

Patients are denied access to oral chemotherapy drugs or are required to pay thousands of dollars a month for cancer pills, reports the Washington Post. Reimbursements cover IV chemotherapy as a medical benefit, but consider oral chemotherapy as part of a patient's drug plan, which is far less generous. Patients with cancers like chronic myelogenous leukemia have no other options. "Gleevec is the treatment for CML: There is no IV alternative," said Douglas Blayney, M.D., of U-M.

April 27 - Dr. Bolling quoted on WDIV Local 4, Science Daily and more

According to research at U-M, eating grapes could lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, reported Science Daily, WDIV Local 4 news, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Rats eating a grape-enriched diet had lower blood pressure, better heart function and reduced inflammation in the heart and blood than rats that did not. "The possible reasoning behind the lessening of metabolic syndrome is that the phytochemicals were active in protecting the heart cells from the damaging effects of metabolic syndrome," said Steven Bolling, M.D. See UMHS news release.

April 27 - Remy Brim in Science Daily on new cocaine toxicity therapy

Researchers have developed and tested a modified enzyme that can break down cocaine into inactive products nearly 1,000 times faster than the human body does regularly, reports Science Daily. Remy L. Brim and colleagues at U-M, in collaboration with Columbia University and the University of Kentucky, researched the potential of cocaine esterase (CocE) to block cocaine toxicity by eliminating cocaine. Brim will present this research at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting.

April 26 - Chad Abbott featured in The Daily Telegram

Chad Abbott, kidney transplant coordinator at the U-M Transplant Center, was recognized for his contributions by being named the transplant center’s employee of the year at a staff meeting in March, reports The Daily Telegram (Adrian, Mich.). He works with the paired kidney donation program helping would-be donors and recipients who are medical mismatches by finding other would-be donor-recipient pairs who also are medically mismatched but with whom cross donation is possible.

April 26 - Riba quoted on

Exercise often boosts the mood and it is becoming increasingly clear that it may be good treatment for depression or anxiety, reports U-M psychiatrist, Michelle Riba, M.D., prescribes exercise to depressed patients as part of a long-term plan for healthier living that includes sleep, eating and, in many cases, weight loss, according to the article. “Exercise can be especially important for patients taking antidepressant medications that cause weight gain,” Riba said. “I don’t think it will ever be the only treatment, but it may be a major part of preventing recurrences.”

April 23 - Dr. Hogikyan comments on hoarseness care in Scripps News

Norman Hogikyan, M.D., Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and director of the U-M’s Vocal Health Center, offers some practical advice for protecting the pipes in daily life, including staying hydrated, being noise aware and warming up before speaking to a group or singing. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, hoarseness is a disorder characterized by altered voice quality, pitch, loudness or vocal effort that impairs the ability to communicate or reduces quality of life related to the voice, reports ScrippsNews.

April 23 - Dr. Davis quoted in Health Day

Results of a national poll conducted for U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, show that one in five parents believe they would spank their child in some scenarios, reports HealthDay News. "It was a surprise to find how few parents listed spanking and paddling,” said poll director Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at U-M’s Medical School. “In fact, we were quite impressed that the vast majority of parents reported they would use discussion and reasoning with their children as a form of discipline, regardless of the age of the child.” See UMHS news release.

April 22 - Dr. Djuric’s research in Science Daily, Yahoo News

Combining telephone counseling calls with a daily written diet plan increases a person's success in improving fruit and vegetables consumption, reports Science Daily and Yahoo News. "People need more support than educational materials," says Zora Djuric, Ph.D., lead author of the study. "Sometimes it's difficult to find accountability within yourself to make changes, but if someone is checking up on you, you're more motivated to do the right thing." See UMHS news release.

April 22 - Dr. Pletcher quoted in Science Daily, NewScientist, Science Magazine

Scott Pletcher, Ph.D., of U-M and researchers from the University of Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine found specific odors that represent food or indicate danger are capable of altering an animal's lifespan and physiological profile by activating a small number of highly specialized sensory neurons, reported Science Daily, NewScientist and Science Magazine. Nematode worms and fruit flies that were robbed of their ability to smell or taste, for example, lived substantially longer. See UMHS news release.

April 22 - Sean Morrison quoted in Detroit News on embryonic research bill

The Michigan Senate passed bills Wednesday to prohibit the sale or purchase of human eggs and would require research facilities, to file annual reports listing how many human embryos they have stored and other data. Universities and other proponents of stem cell research, oppose the bills. "These bills would block medical research in Michigan that is legal throughout the rest of the country," said Sean Morrison, director of U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology in the Detroit News.

April 19 - Dr. Pescovitz featured in Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily features the University’s Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Ora Pescovitz, M.D., for an inside look at her personality and life. Pescovitz discusses her goals for UMHS and her passion for ensuring employees understand their impact on the organization, which she says she believes will help to drive each person to better results and help to move the organization further toward the top of the rankings.

April 19 - U-M research featured in Health Day, U.S. News

Researchers at U-M and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore found colon surgery patients are more likely to die if their procedure is performed at a teaching hospital, reported Health Day and U.S. News. The study is published in the April issue of the journal Archives of Surgery. See news release.

April 19 - Dr. Gruber’s gene test research in Science Daily

Sciency Daily reports a genetic test can help determine in which patients cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might have the most benefit in also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, a U-M study finds. Senior study author Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. and his co-authors say it's easy to know if statins are successfully lowering cholesterol, but their effect on colorectal cancer prevention is not as apparent. That's where a gene test would come in. See UMHS news release.

April 19 - Dr. Markel’s article in New York Times

Howard Markel, M.D., discusses Dr. Alexander Lambert’s announcement to a New York Times reporter in October 1909 that he had found a surefire cure for alcoholism and drug addiction. Markel’s New York Times article, called, “An Alcoholic’s Savior: Was it God? Belladonna? Or Both?” debates treatment for alcoholism.

April 19 - Dr. Lee quoted in

Researchers now believe that life expectancy will be worse than previously estimated due to an increase in Americans getting heavier at an earlier age, reports Dr. Joyce Lee, pediatric endocrinologist at U-M said, “our research indicates that higher numbers of young and middle-age American adults are becoming obese at younger ages and it’s very important to understand who the obesity epidemic is affecting.” Lee and researchers have found that blacks and women are especially hit hard by obesity.

April 16 - Morrison interviewed on 60 Minutes

Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D., member of both the U-M Medical School and the Life Sciences Institute, was interviewed for a story that aired on the CBS News program, 60 Minutes, about the risks of unregulated foreign stem-cell clinics. The piece, titled “21st Century Snake Oil,” was broadcast on Sunday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET as a double-length segment.

April 16 – Dr. Green’s research in Science Daily

U-M researchers found that black men with chronic pain are in poorer overall health than white men and are at higher risk for not being able to take care of themselves or their families, reports Science Daily. The findings are part of a body of work developed by Carmen R. Green, M.D., U-M pain medicine physician and anesthesiologist, on racial disparities in the pain experience. "We revealed that black men are at increased risk for the worst consequences of chronic pain and larger studies are needed to examine the pain experience in this extremely understudied population," Green says. See UMHS press release.

April 16 – Dr. Silveira quoted in New York Times and the Chicago Tribune

The New York Times reports that living wills make a difference at the end of life. “The goal is to assure patients that their autonomy is respected, as much as it is to alleviate family and loved ones of the burden of making a decision they’ll regret or wonder about forever.” says Maria J. Silveira, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at U-M and lead author of the study. Researchers at U-M combed through the records of over 4,000 individuals over age 60 and found that almost a third of these patients would eventually become too incapacitated to make the necessary decisions regarding medical treatment at the end of life. Chicago Tribune

April 15 - U-M ranks sixth in U.S News’ Best Medical Schools

U.S. News and World Report announced this morning the Best Medical Schools, placing U-M Medical School sixth overall tied with Duke University, University of Washington and Yale University. The findings are also reported in Record Update.

April 15 - Alzheimer's expert featured on WJR's Paul W. Smith show

Henry Paulson, M.D., Ph.D., associate Director of U of M's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and professor of neurology, was interviewed on WJR-AM 760 about a new study involving Alzheimer's and diet. Paulson says a diet filled with fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts may combat Alzheimer's and many other diseases.

April 14 - ABC12 reports U-M research on prosthesis

U-M researchers are developing a prosthesis that can feel hot and cold and detect pressure by using the nerves remaining in the arm, reports ABC12 News (Flint, Mich.). Paul S. Cederna, M.D., of U-M says, “…the brain forever will continue to send signals down those nerves, trying to tell the hand what to do, even if the hand isn't there." Cederna hopes to begin testing the prosthesis in people within three years.

April 13 - Crain’s Detroit quotes Marianne Udow-Phillips, Dr. Fendrick on research funds

Health services researchers in Southeast Michigan will compete for more than $600 million in federal funds starting as early as 2011 to study the effectiveness of medical technology, treatments and diagnostic procedures, reports Crain’s Detroit Business. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will appoint an independent agency - the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute - that will create an agenda to fund the comparative effectiveness research. Marianne Udow-Phillips said the studies will focus on how care is delivered.

April 14 - Football clinic for women to benefit U-M Cancer Center

University of Michigan football coach, Rich Rodriguez and his staff will lead the annual football academy of women, reports the Detroit News and The academy will benefit the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center by raising funds for the center’s Patient and Family Support Services. The event will teach women U-M football “secrets” through running offense, defense, passing, blocking and kicking drills. See UMHS news release.

April 12 - Dr. Graham-Bermann quoted in Fox News, Reuters, MSNBC, more

Kids who were spanked often were twice as likely as those who weren't to develop aggressive behaviors such as getting into fights, destroying things or being mean to others, reports Fox News, Reuters, Montreal Gazette and MSNBC. Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann of U-M said spanking makes children do what they're told in the short term, but doesn't work in the long term and may in fact be harmful.

April 12 - Drs. Brown and Hurvitz quoted on WWJ News Radio 950

U-M School of Kinesiology professor Susan Brown and Edward Hurvitz, M.D., the chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the U-M Medical School, have completed a study that looked at the effectiveness of a training program for adults with cerebral palsy who have upper limb and hand impairments using web cameras, the Internet, an at-home computer interface and trainers at the other end of the computer. WWJ News Radio 950.

April 11 - Dr. Fendrick quoted in Crain’s Detroit Business

A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., a U-M health services researcher and internist, has been promoting the concept of “value-based insurance design” for more than 10 years, reports Crain’s Detroit Business. While value-based insurance received only 28 words in the bill, it could yield enormous savings and employee health improvements for fully insured and self-funded employers, he said. See UMHS news release.

April 11 - Dr. Gold quoted in Free Press on parenthood

The Detroit Free Press reports 90% of couples experienced a decrease in marital satisfaction once their first child was born. Going from husband and wife to mom and dad plays a part in marital strain as does the uncertainty that comes with the new roles, says Dr. Katherine J. Gold, an assistant professor at U-M family medicine and obstetrics/gynecology.

April 9 -'s Depression Blog and others report Dr. Sen's research

The percentage of clinicians who meet criteria for depression appears to increase significantly during medical internship, reports, UPI, Yahoo News, and Forbes. Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at U-M, and co-authors found increased work hours, medical errors, genetic predisposition and receiving a medical education in the United States are among factors that appear to be associated with depressive symptoms among medical interns. See UMHS news release.

April 9 - U-M Medical School receives its largest research award, reports Free Press, more

The Detroit Free Press,, WNDU (Southbend), Michigan Daily, Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit News, WWJ News Radio 950 and more report the U-M Medical School received its largest research award to date, a $63 million award from the National Institute of Health. The grant is part of a larger package totaling $120 million awarded to the Southwest Oncology Group, which is based at U-M. See UMHS news release.

April 9 – Dr. Sandberg quoted in Detroit Free Press

David Sandberg, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Medical School Director, Division of Child Behavioral Health, was quoted in a Detroit Free Press article about mommy blogs. Experts are debating about how much private information parents should reveal online to others. "It's not a question whether a parent should reach out to other parents, it's what's the appropriate venue and which sorts of details are public and which should be kept private," Sandberg says.

April 9 – Dr. Smerage quoted in

The University of Michigan Medical School is receiving its largest grant ever, reports and Crain's Detroit Business. The $63 million grant is for the U-M headquartered Southwest Oncology Group. Among the projects being led by U-M faculty and completed through SWOG is a phase three clinical trial examining the typical treatment of women with breast cancer that's spread. Led by Jeffrey Smerage, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine-Hematology/Oncology, the study is examining whether physicians should recommend women switch to an alternative therapy immediately after learning chemotherapy isn't controlling their cancer. "We believe that identifying elevated circulating tumor cells will help us detect which patients are on ineffective therapy," Smerage says. See UMHS press release.

April 8 - Dr. Hollingsworth’s research on

According to Dr. John Hollingsworth's research, doctors who invest in an outpatient surgery center perform on average twice as many surgeries. reported the study, published in Health Affairs, found outpatient surgical owners operated on an average of twice as many patients as non-owners and, while caseloads increased overall during the study period, the increases were more rapid and dramatic among the outpatient facility owners. See UMHS news release.

April 7 - Dr. Lee’s generational shifts in obesity findings on Science Daily

Obesity trends shows Americans are getting heavier younger and carrying the extra weight for longer periods over their lifetime, reports Science Daily. "Our research indicates that higher numbers of young and middle-age American adults are becoming obese at younger and younger ages," says lead author Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H. The Washington Post also features the study on The Checkup blog. See UMHS news release.

April 7 - Dr. Jackson’s study in Grand Rapids Press

Middle school children who are physically active are more likely to demonstrate good social skills, which can influence healthy behaviors, reports the Grand Rapids Press. Co-investigator on the study, Elizabeth A. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., said that “these findings suggest that children who develop leadership and empathy toward others are more likely to care about their own health, perhaps adopting life-long healthy behaviors that can prevent heart disease.”See UMHS news release.

April 6 - Family medicine physician featured on CNN Health, CBS radio, more

The research of Katherine Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, was published in numerous media outlets Monday and Tuesday, including CNN, CBS radio, Michigan radio, Health Day, Reuters, WXYZ Detroit and the Detroit News. Gold's research found that couples are more likely to break up after the loss of a pregnancy and unmarried couples are at even higher risk. See UMHS news release.

Apri 5 - Dr. Pienta talks prostate cancer with Information Television

Ken Pienta, M.D., U-M professor of internal medicine and urology, talks to the Information Television Network about advanced prostate cancer and bone loss. The interview is featured on a PBS special of the series, Healthy Body, Healthy Mind.

April 5 - Listen for Gifts of Art director on WRCJ-FM Tuesday at 12:30

On Tuesday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m., tune in to WRJC-FM, 90.9 FM, the classical and jazz music station based in Detroit. They will be broadcasting live from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum for much of the day, and Elaine Sims, director of the Health System's Gifts of Art program, will be their guest for a live interview at 12:30 p.m. Sims oversees the program that brings visual art to the hallways and patient rooms of the medical campus, musical performances to lobbies, waiting areas and patient bedsides, and the Life Sciences Orchestra to the stage of Hill Auditorium twice a year. Learn more about WRCJ's visit to Ann Arbor here.

April 4 - Dr. Langa in Newsweek on seniors’ end of life care

According to researchers at U-M, 42 percent of Americans over the age of 60 end up having to make some kind of decision about their medical care and, of those, 70 percent are incapable of doing so, reports Newsweek. Dr. Kenneth Langa, the study's senior author, says he and his colleagues started research years ago, but got even more motivated as Sarah Palin inspired the 'death panel' controversy over the House’s health-care bill. See UMHS news release on the study.

April 4 - Physician discusses exercise in Detroit Free Press

Caroline Richardson, M.D., an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan, discussed research about how much women should exercise as they age in a Sunday Detroit Free Press article. Richardson said women should be exercising "150 minutes a week, that's a given."

April 2 - Dr. Tim Johnson interviewed on BBC Radio

BBC Radio conducted an interview with Tim Johnson, M.D., on the program Woman's Hour. Dr. Johnson commented on the crisis in maternal health in the U.S. based on an Amnesty International report. The portion on maternal health begins at minute 28 into the clip.

April 2 - Dr. Clemens in New York Times on bladder control

New York Times reports that the bladder protection brand Poise is embarking on its largest marketing effort in 18 years. J. Quentin Clemens, M.D., associate professor of urology at U-M, says that the brand’s claim that a third of women suffer from periodic bladder mishaps aligns with numerous medical studies. He says that the condition is more common in women, especially those with children, because childbirth may weaken bladder nerves and tissue.

April 2 - Dr. Jagsi quoted on radiation

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology at UMMS, was quoted in HealthDay,, MSN Health,, and BusinessWeek on radiation after mastectomy. Researchers from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center found that among women who they determined should receive radiation therapy, it was given to 78 percent of those who had mastectomy and 95 percent of those who had lumpectomy. "A substantial number of breast cancer patients are being undertreated," Jagsi says. "More attention needs to be paid to radiation after mastectomy."

April 1 - Health care reform expert quoted about new legislation

A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., was featured on WWJ-AM 95 radio,, Yahoo!News, and more after a concept he helped create, Value-based Insurance Design, was included in the national health care legislation. Fendrick is co-director of the University of Michigan's Center for Value-based Insurance Design.

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