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For February, 2010

Feb. 26 - Dr. Schwenk talks to about antibiotics and children

An article reported that antibiotics don’t work for viruses and may put a child at risk for side effects. Thomas Schwenk, M.D., chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the U-M medical school, told the Web site that parents persist with their child’s doctor when they’re looking to heal their ailing child from the common cold. But, “asking for the wrong treatment may not be a one time deal. The inappropriate use of antibiotics leads patients to ask for them more often,” he said.

Feb. 25 - U-M medical team blogs from Haiti reports update from U-M Medical Team, Wolverine Team 1, currently serving on Navy relief ship, U.S.N.S. Comfort. On U-M's Haiti Relief blog, Team Medical Director Marie Lozon, M.D., said the team is working in a variety of areas and on patients from intake to post-operation to ward. The team has been praised by Navy leadership as “the most organized and cohesive group.”

Feb. 24 - Wicha to conduct cancer lecture at University of Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Max Wicha, M.D., director of U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, is to deliver a lecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He will discuss recent findings that show that standard cancer treatments may make the cancer worse in some instances. “The reason breast cancer and other malignancies return aggressively after treatment is that when tumor cells die under assault from treatment, they give off substances that can reactivate cancer stem cells,” Wicha said.

Feb. 24 - Dr. Ed Wilkins stops to help in 1-94 accident article tells the story of Edwin Wilkins, M.D., U-M reconstructive surgeon, aiding a 51-year-old Utah man after his involvement in a multi-vehicleaccident on I-94 in Ann Arbor. Wilkins said the man appeared to be near hypothermia, and although medical authorities say to never move traffic accident victims before first responders arrive, Wilkins knew how to proceed. “Unless people have trauma training, they should not move anyone hurt in an accident,” Wilkins said. The victim later applauded Wilkins for his help.

Feb. 22 - Dr. Bradford talks to about oral cancer

Carol Bradford, M.D., director of the head and neck oncology program at U-M Cancer Center, was quoted on about a new theory that links the human papillomavirus to head and neck cancers. “Now there’s a viral cause to oral cancer,” Bradford said. “It is not viewed as patients causing their own cancer.” The health Web site did an extended article on high profile oral cancer cases that included the NBA's George Karl and film critic Roger Ebert.

Feb. 22. Dr. Chen discusses health care costs on NPR

Lena M. Chen, M.D., M.S., clinical lecturer in internal medicine at U-M, discusses a study saying health care costs are not strongly associated with the quality of care, on NPR. The study examined Medicare patients in more than 3,000 hospitals, finding hospitals with lower costs had similar or slightly higher 30-day readmission rates compared to those with higher costs. Also, low-cost hospitals for some conditions provided better care than high-cost hospitals. The study was also reported by Science Daily. See UMHS news release.

Feb. 19 - Rogers' study shows untreated poor vision raises dementia risk

Scientific American quoted Mary A.M. Rogers, Ph.D., research director of the Patient Safety Enhancement Program of the U-M Health System and the VA, on her findings that untreated vision problems in the elderly raises the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Poor vision often prevents people from participating in the types of activities thought to reduce Alzheimer’s risk, such as socializing, reading, and physical activity. Early treatment of vision disorders could delay the onset of dementia, and of Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Rogers also talked to WWJ Newsradio 950 and Reuters Health. See UMHS news release.

Feb. 18 - Dr. Pitt co-writes editorial on correlation between heart disease and depression survey

According to a survey published in the European Health Journal, people with less positive affect are at a higher risk for heart disease than those with more positive affect, reports Science Daily, Canadian Press and Positive affect is the experience of pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment. Bertram Pitt, M.D., professor of internal medicine, co-wrote an editorial accompanying the study saying the link between cardiovascular disease to depression and depression to cardiovascular disease is a ‘vicious cycle’ and poses further research questions.

Feb. 17 - Markel continues with King Tut press coverage

Fascination with the results of genetic tests on Egypt's most famous pharaoh continues. Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the History of Medicine was interviewed by numerous national and international media outlets as a result of his editorial accompanying the JAMA study detailing genetic testing conducted on King Tutankhamun. Dr. Markel was quoted by the New York Times, NPR's All Things Considered, Associated Press, HealthDay, Agence France Presse, CBC (Canada) and ABC (Australia), among others.

Feb. 17 - Dr. James Eckner develops simple test to spot concussions

Dr. James Eckner, of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was quoted by Reuters about a simple test to spot concussions. Using a cylinder attached to a weighted disk, athletes can be checked for sluggish reaction times. While it's unlikely to replace computerized cognitive testing, "it has the potential to add value in the initial sideline or training room evaluation of concussion where computerized testing is impractical, he says. The research was also covered by BBC News.

Feb. 16 - Dr. Matthew Greenhawt quoted on Allergic Nation article in Inside Higher Ed

Colleges across the nation are adopting changes in student dining halls in order to accommodate a growing numbers of college students with food allergies, reported Inside Higher Ed. Matthew Greenhawt, M.D., M.B.A, an allergist and clinical lecturer at U-M, says he anticipates “an explosion of kids about to arrive on college campuses who have food allergies.” According to a study done with UM students, he said many who knew they had allergies intentionally ate those foods, because they haven’t had severe reactions yet.

Feb. 16 - U-M study: smokers who have HPV-linked head, neck tumor risk more at risk for reoccurrence, reports LA Times, more

According to research of Thomas Carey, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology, current or former tobacco users may need a more aggressive treatment regimen than patients who have never used tobacco. Reported by the Los Angeles Times, Science Daily, UPI and more, current tobacco users with HPV-positive tumors in their heads and necks were five times more likely to have their cancer recur. Former smokers also have an increased risk of recurrence. See UHMS press release.

Feb. 16 - Dr. Innis appears on TLC show about progeria

Jeffrey Innis, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pediatric Genetics, will be featured in the TLC Documentary "6 going on 60," about progeria at 8 p.m. & 11 p.m. Feb. 18, and 1 p.m. Feb. 20 on TLC. Progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, is a rare, fatal, genetic condition of childhood with striking features resembling premature aging.

Feb. 16 - Howard Markel on Talk of the Nation

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, was interviewed on Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan about a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that King Tutankhamun died from complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria. King Tut ruled ancient Egypt during the 18th dynasty of Egypt's New Kingdom era, from 1333 to 1324 B.C. Markel, wrote an editorial for JAMA where he calls the study a potential Pandora's Box.

Feb. 15 - Dr. Chinnaiyan talks about prostate cancer study

Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D, professor of pathology and urology, was quoted in HealthDay News and on about a study revealing a genetic test that can differentiate aggressive prostate tumors that require immediate care from more slow-developing prostate cancers. The research found that the gene for an enzyme that is called, EZH2, is prominent in advanced prostate cancer. Chinnaiyan said of the study that it “provides a nice mechanistic link as to why EZH2 leads to metastatic cancer.”

Feb. 10 - Catherine Lord weighs in on autism and older moms study

Catherine Lord, Ph.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry, was quoted in a national story by the Associated Press on research linking autism to older moms. Lord who is director of the University of Michigan Autism and Communications Disorders Center said the said the University of California at Davis study is stronger than previous research focusing on paternal age, and "gives us a fuller picture of what is going on." The story appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Columbus Dispatch and on CBS News and NPR.

Feb. 10 - Stein research on glaucoma treatment reported by

Dr. Joshua D. Stein, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, was quoted in and other media outlets regarding a study, of which he was lead author, that showed people who take medication to treat glaucoma appear to outlive those who don't treat the eye disease.While the drugs may play a role in longer life, other factors may contribute, according to the study. “It’s important to know whether drug therapy is beneficial or detrimental to overall health,” Stein says. “But the fact that all the classes of glaucoma medications have the same benefit suggests that it might not be the medications themselves.” The study was also covered by Bloomberg Business Week.

Feb. 9 - RWJ scholar's diabetes research in today's New York Times

The New York Times quoted Dr. Donna Zulman, a VA researcher and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the U-M Medical School, in a Vital Signs story about communication between doctors and their patients with diabetes. Zulman reports in her latest study that doctors and their patients prioritize health concerns differently, and those differences were most significant if the patient was in poor health. While providers focus on diabetes and high blood pressure because of the serious long-term complications, Zulman said, “patients in poor health are more likely to prioritize symptoms they’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis.” Coverage also appeared in the, web site of the Dallas Morning News,, the official site of the American Diabetes Association, Science Daily and American Medical News. See UMHS news release.

Feb. 8 - Dr. Jeffrey W. Innis featured with patient, family on Fox 2

Fox 2 News Detroit reporter Deena Centofanti featured the story of Mott patient Taliyah Denard and her parents Tierra and Jamar Denard on the Fox evening news. One-year-old Taliyah receives treatment at U-M's Mott Children's Hospital for Pompe Disease. Jeffrey Innis, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pediatric Genetics, says despite sobering statistics, he's happy to admit because the enzyme replace therapy treatment is so new, he doesn't know what Taliyah's future holds. The inherited and often fatal disease occurs in only one out of 40,000 births and is the subject of a new movie playing in theatres across metro Detroit. Based on a true story, "Extraordinary Measures," featuring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, tells the story of a father with two children who have Pompe Disease and his efforts to find a drug/treatment for it.

Feb. 8 - Dr. Carmen Green interviewed on Public Radio Tuesday

Carmen Green, M.D., professor in the U-M Department of Anesthesiology, will be interviewed at 5 p.m.EST Tuesday, Feb. 9 on Southern California public radio. The live interview with LA Times writer Pat Morrison will focus on disparities in pain management.

Feb. 5 - Sports neurology expert quoted on

Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology and chairman of the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Section, was quoted in a story about the increased danger of concussions to teenagers. The story outlined a recent study released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy that revealed between 2005 and 2008, about 40 percent of teenage athletes who suffered a concussion were allowed to return to play too soon. Kutcher explained that fewer than half of high schools have access to athletic trainers, but “it’s the group we need to worry about the most.”

Feb. 4 - Dr. Matthew Davis quoted in New York Times’

Matthew Davis, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and public policy, is quoted in the New York Times’ column discussing the economic and social aspects of healthcare as an equal importance as biology, physiology and pharmacology. Davis, the lead author of a study suggesting medical students feel inadequately prepared with knowledge on the healthcare system, said, “When you have hundreds of insurance plans and thousands of insurance groups and different hospitals, you have to be really smart about the health care system."

Feb. 3 Michigan leads new study on hospital outcomes

Nicholas Osborne, M.D., Ph.D, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and John Birkmeyer, M.D, professor of surgery and expert on surgical outcomes, were quoted on The about hospital volume translating to better outcomes for patients. Read news release here.

Feb. 3 Hayward tells Forbes what patients should know about high cholesterol

Forbes magazine talked to Rodney A. Hayward, M.D., professor of internal medicine and VA researcher, for its article "Ten Questions about High Cholesterol." Hayward has led research on whether doctors use cholesterol-lowering statins the right way. Read news release here.

Feb. 3 - Surgeon reflects on Haiti mission

Hunson “Kaz” Soong, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Kellogg Eye Center, shared with The Michigan Daily the details of his recent mission to Haiti and how the disaster has affected him on a personal level. Soong, who had visited Haiti twice before and made close friends, helped with medical treatment and hopes to return to Haiti in March.

Feb. 3 - Sports neurology expert quoted in Congressional Quarterly's research publication

Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, was quoted in the Jan. 29 edition of CQ Researcher, a Congressional Quarterly publication. The issue was devoted to whether the NFL is doing enough to protect players from injuries like concussions. Kutcher, who is chair of the American Academy of Neurology's sports neurology section, has been asked to serve on the NFL's concussion committee and recently testified at a Congressional committee on the subject.

Feb. 3 - Dr. Jeffrey W. Innis, patient, family to be featured on Fox 2

Fox 2 News Detroit reporter Deena Centofanti is featuring Jeffrey Innis, M.D., Ph.D., director of Pediatric Genetics, Mott patient Taliyah Denard and her parents Tierra and Jamar Denard on the Fox evening news show Monday night. One-year-old Taliyah receives treatment at U-M's Mott Children's Hospital for Pompe Disease, the subject of a new movie currently out in theaters. "Extraordinary Measures," which features Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, tells the story of a parent with two children who have Pompe Disease and his efforts to find a drug/treatment for it. The show will air at 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. (The date could change)

Feb. 2. - U-M Medical Professor’s son going to Olympics, featured in Record Update

Four U-M students are competing in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver as part of the U.S. Olympic Ice Dance team, reported Record Update. Son of Dr. Eric Bates, M.D., professor of internal medicine, Evan Bates and his partner, Emily Samuelson, along with Meryl Davis and Charlie White, were selected for the team after competing in the recent U.S. National Championships in Spokane, Wash. Dr. Bates and his wife, Wendy, traveled to Spokane to watch their son’s team place third in the championships and receive spots on the team.

Feb 2. - Study suggesting childhood obesity may contribute to delay of puberty in boys featured on ABC News, WJBK Detroit, Science Daily, more

UM Pediatric Endocrinologist Joyce M. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., is the lead author of one of the first longitudinal studies in the U.S. to examine the association between obesity and puberty in boys, reported ABC News, WJBK Detroit, Science Daily and more. “Although there have been a number of longitudinal studies looking at the link between body fat and puberty in girls, few studies have been performed in boys. The results of our study suggest that excess weight may lead to a later onset of puberty in boys. Our findings have important implications for understanding sex differences in physiological mechanisms of puberty,” said Lee. The study examined 401 boys in three categories--low, medium and high body mass index trajectories--and found those in the higher groups had a higher percentage of later onset of puberty compared to those in the lower groups.

Feb 1. - U-M research shows newborn disorder screening benefits outweigh risks, reports Science Daily

Although false positives from newborn screening for a metabolic disorder could cause unnecessary stress, monetary costs, treatment and dietary restrictions, U-M research concludes the benefits of diagnosing children early and preventing the risk of mental retardation, disability or death outweigh the costs, reports Science Daily. Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and the study's lead author said, "Our results show that newborn screening remains cost-effective after accounting for the measured loss in quality of life associated with a false positive screen." The research was published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Feb 1. - UM study finds vaccine development doubled in decade, reports WWJ Radio

The number of vaccines in development by manufacturers globally and the number of organizations working on new vaccines more than doubled from 1995 through 2008, reports WWJ Radio. The study, with lead author Matthew M. Davis, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases and internal medicine, found growth of the overall global vaccine industry primarily occurring in the numbers of biotechnology companies that are responsible for research on new vaccines early in development. “These findings indicate that the coming years may yield a remarkable number of new vaccines in the U.S. and around the world -- including vaccines against illnesses such as malaria, norovirus (diarrheal illness), Staphylococcus (skin infections), and HIV/AIDS," the study said. The study was published in Vaccine.

Feb. 1 - Chief risk officer quoted about medical errors in American Medical News

Rick Boothman, U-M chief risk officer, was quoted on about doctors and hospitals’ reactions following medical errors. “What holds us back is fear - not the result of bad experiences, but the result of people who’ve never tried it,” Boothman said. The article also outlines the medical error policy that U-M adopted in 2002 which includes apologizing, and offering compensation when appropriate.

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