Cedars-Sinai medical tipsheet for Dec. 2004

12/08/04

MEDICAL TIP SHEET – DECEMBER 2004 - To pursue any of these story ideas, please call Glenda Collins at 310-423-2103. Thank you.

INNOVATIVE MINIMALLY INVASIVE SPINE SURGERY PROVIDES PATIENTS WITH AN ALTERNATIVE TO FUSION TO TREAT DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE

Although spinal fusion is a common treatment for low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, it limits the range of motion in the spine and may cause extra wear and tear on surrounding spinal discs. That's just one of the reasons that Cedars-Sinai is exploring innovative and minimally invasive surgical alternatives. One treatment approach, disc replacement with the Charite artificial disc - a prosthetic device that replaces a damaged or won out disc - was recently approved by the FDA and was tested at Cedars-Sinai. J. Patrick Johnson, M.D., Director of the Institute for Spinal Disorders at Cedars-Sinai is available for interviews.

NEW DIRECTOR OF COMPREHENSIVE TRANSPLANT CENTER BRINGS ADDITIONAL WORLD-CLASS EXPERTISE

Andrew Scott Klein, MD, MBA, is the new director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has been with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for more than 20 years and is well known for his involvement with the United Network for Organ Sharing, the national organization that sets transplantation policies. Dr. Klein is available for interviews on organ transplantation.

INTERNATIONAL HEART DOCTORS AND RESEARCHERS INVITE FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON TO JOIN CAMPAIGN FOR ERADICATION OF HEART ATTACK

A diverse group of international cardiologists and cardiovascular researchers, including P. K. Shah, M.D., Director of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has sent a formal request to former President Bill Clinton inviting him to help in the campaign for heart attack eradication. In an open letter to Clinton spearheaded by the Association for Eradication of Heart Attack (AEHA), the heart attack prevention experts say his visible involvement can save many lives by building upon the positive effects of the discovery of his heart disease and subsequent prevention of heart attack. Dr. Shah is available for interviews.

TEAM APPROACH TO REPRODUCTIVE DISORDERS PROVIDES EFFICIENT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

With the launch of the Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is rounding out its comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of women's reproductive disorders. A team of physicians and researchers is combining expertise and resources to offer an array of specialty services not generally available in one location. Dr. Ricardo Azziz and Dr. Margareta Pisarska are available.

WIFE AND MOM CELEBRATES FAMILY AND FIFTH CHRISTMAS FREE OF LARGE TUMOR CROWDING HER BRAIN

Although Marylou Ferry experienced increasingly debilitating headaches for years, a benign tumor that was crowding out the normal tissues and structures of her brain was not found until it was the size of a large orange. Neurosurgeons at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute removed the meningioma during a five-hour operation on May 4, 1999. Now, with a husband, two step-children, and two additions to the family, she anticipates her fifth tumor-free holiday season. Dr. Keith Black and the patient are available for interviews.

LAB STUDY DEFINES AND BLOCKS MECHANISM THAT LETS BRAIN TUMORS SIDETRACK IMMUNE RESPONSE

Because the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has been linked to many types of cancers, manipulation of the enzyme is considered an attractive anti-cancer strategy. Researchers now describe COX-2's harmful impact on key cells that result in the immune system's tolerance of deadly brain tumor cells. By blocking the enzyme's expression in gliomas before exposure to dendritic cells, COX-2's effects may be interrupted and a more effective immune response may be launched. Study results are published in the October 1 issue of the Journal of Immunology. Dr. John Yu and Dr. Keith Black are available for interviews.

FROM CANDLES TO CANDY, ORNAMENTS TO ALLERGIES, THE HOLIDAYS SERVE UP SPECIAL RISKS FOR KIDS –14 TIPS FOR AVOIDING HOLIDAY HAZARDS

With the holidays upon us, risks for children increase. "The highest incidence of household injuries occur at party times and during times of increased family activity," says Kate Perkins, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of the Children's Health Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Regardless of the holiday you're celebrating, it's in your children's best interest for you to be aware of risks and more importantly, of how to prevent accidents. Dr. Perkins is available for interviews.

A BAKER'S DOZEN: CEDARS-SINAI NUTRITIONIST OFFERS HOLIDAY WEIGHT MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS

Holiday celebrations offer an array of temptations for partygoers to abandon healthy nutrition habits, while high-calorie foods pose a special challenge for the many American children and adults who are struggling with the proverbial "battle of the bulge." The good news is that adults and children alike can enjoy the wonderful foods of the holiday season as long as they do so in moderation. Netty Levine, R.D., a dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center offers 13 tips to help the whole family avoid weight gain over the holidays.

TABOO ABOLISHED: SEX DURING MENOPAUSE DISCUSSED AT CEDARS-SINAI'S "RED HOT MAMAS®" MENOPAUSE SUPPORT GROUP

Experts estimate that half of all women going through menopause experience sexual dysfunction, and 80 percent of those women say they would like to discuss it with their physicians, but usually don't. The October 20 meeting of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's "Red Hot MamasTM" support group, focused on this important topic with the presentation, "Sex and Menopause: What's Age Got To Do With It?" Dr. Sheila Bolour is available for interviews on this topic.

SPECIALIST SUGGESTS PREGNANT WOMEN REQUEST INFLUENZA VACCINE TO PROTECT BOTH MOM AND BABY

Women who are expecting a baby should be considered high priority during this season when the Flu vaccine is in short supply, and should seek an influenza vaccine as soon as possible. Influenza vaccines do not have adverse effects on fetuses, and they have been shown to dramatically decrease health risks for mothers and their newborns, says Neil S. Silverman, M.D., a high-risk obstetrician who specializes in infectious diseases during pregnancy. Dr. Silverman is available for interviews.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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