April 25 - 29

Psychiatrists worried by surge in accidental overdoses of opioids
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Unintentional deaths in teens and adults due to overdoses of prescription opioid pain killers have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., according to an article in the April 19 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. ...To put that in perspective, Richard H. Weisler, adjunct professor of psychiatry at UNC and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Duke, noted that the number of 2007 U.S. unintentional drug poisoning deaths alone represents about 4.6 times as many deaths as all U.S. fatalities in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from the beginning of both wars through Feb 20.

Inflammatory bowel disease becoming more common
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...IBD has been called a "silent disease." "Let's be blunt," said Dr. Sandra Kim, a pediatric gastroenterologist at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "People just don't talk about intestinal disorders ... "They feel that somehow there's a shame to it. I want to help take away this perceived stigma. There's nothing to be ashamed of."

Preserving our 'chief strength and glory' (Opinion-Editorial Column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The University of North Carolina is unique in that its establishment paralleled our nation's founding: On July 4, 1776, our nation declared its independence, while later that year our state's first constitution called for the promotion of "all useful learning" in "one or more Universities." In 1789, the state joined in ratifying the federal Constitution, George Washington was elected the first president and UNC was chartered. (William W. McLendon, M.D., is a professor emeritus the UNC School of Medicine.)

Roses and Raspberries (Editorial)
The Chapel Hill News
Roses to Chase Jones, a senior at UNC and a catcher for the Carolina baseball team. During his freshman year, Jones was diagnosed with brain cancer. While his teammates were playing ball and enjoying dorm life, Jones was undergoing chemotherapy and surgery. ...So last year Jones and the rest of the team launched UNC BaseBald for the Cure, a fundraiser for the Lineberger Pediatric Oncology Program.

Simple test may be key to early diagnosis of autism
The Union-Tribune (San Diego, Calif.)
...UCSD was one of six sites that received the NIH grant to create a Center for Autism Excellence. The others were the University of Illinois, University of Washington, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina and UCLA.

UNC, Duke: Painkiller deaths are an epidemic
The Triangle Business Journal
Accidental overdoses of prescription painkillers accounted for more deaths in 2007 than heroin and cocaine combined, says a group of researchers from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center. About 27,500 people died from unintentional drug overdoses that year, most from prescription painkillers, leading researchers to officially call it an epidemic.

Bringing Partner Into Anorexia Treatment May Aid Recovery
HealthDay News
...In the meantime, the partners of people struggling with eating disorders "always want to help, but they don't know how," said (Cynthia M.) Bulik, who is director of the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program in Chapel Hill and a professor in the school's psychiatry department. "No matter what they say, they feel like it's taken wrong," she explained. "So finally I feel we're leveraging the power of the partnership."

Outsmart your food cravings
Prevention Magazine
...When you reach for food in response to negative feelings such as anger or sadness (like potato chips after a fight with your spouse), you inadvertently create a powerful connection in your brain. Remember Pavlov's dog? It's classic brain conditioning. "The food gets coded in your memory center as a solution to an unpleasant experience or emotion," says Cynthia Bulik, PhD, author of Runaway Eating and director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Face that same problem again, and your brain will likely tell you, "Get the Cheetos!"

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