June 27 - July 1, 2011

Hope for Orphan Disease Via Genetic Finding
MedIndia.net ‎
There is hope for people with a rare disorder called Chuvash polycythemia thanks to new research conducted at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center….  "It was thought that these two types of polycythemia would need treatments targeting different biochemical pathways," says William Kim, MD, one of the study authors and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Kim is an assistant professor of Medicine and Genetics at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Several States Forbid Abortion After 20 Weeks
The New York Times
These laws, passed in six states in little more than a year, ban abortions at the 20th week after conception, based on the theory that the fetus can feel pain at that point — a notion disputed by mainstream medical organizations in the United States and Britain…. “The suggestion that a fetus at 20 weeks can feel pain is inconsistent with the biological evidence,” said Dr. David A. Grimes, a prominent researcher and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

New abortion laws raise debate

United Press International
New abortion laws in many states strike at the foundation of abortion rules set out by the U.S. Supreme Court during the last 40 years, observers say. ..."The suggestion that a fetus at 20 weeks can feel pain is inconsistent with the biological evidence," said Dr. David A. Grimes, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "To suggest that pain can be perceived without a cerebral cortex is also inconsistent with the definition of pain," he said.

UNC research gives insight into immune system
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
The human immune system is a double-edged sword. While it is finely adapted to fighting potentially deadly viruses, such as the H1N1 influenza, the mechanisms it uses to fight pathogens can have negative effects such as inflammatory disorders or autoimmune diseases. A new finding by UNC scientists provides a window into how the immune system initially reacts to a virus invader, as well as how a subgroup of proteins plays a role in returning the immune system to a normal surveillance function. Their pre-clinical findings were published in the June 24 online edition of Immunity.

Chapel Hill camp helps young stroke victims
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Partial paralysis due to a stroke isn't just a problem for adults. Children can suffer strokes due to problems at birth or after a brain trauma. One Chapel Hill summer camp is trying to help those kids overcome their weakness. UNC Hospitals occupational therapist Holly Holland started the "Helping Kids with Hemiplegia Camp" at Scroggs Elementary School in Chapel Hill six years ago to provide experimental therapy for children.

Help Wanted: Grandparents Who Love to Cuddle
Nancy Elkins, 72, a grandmother of five who volunteers at North Carolina Children's Hospital, says, "Holding newborns was one of my goals of retirement...

Program Shrinks Time-to-Treatment for Heart Attack: Study
HealthDay News
..."The work being done to coordinate what happens in hospitals and ambulances can make a big difference in getting people quicker treatment and saving more lives," lead researcher Dr. Seth Glickman, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a journal news release. "But with that said, more work is still needed to expand the integrated systems across the country and to further reduce time to treatment," he added.

Mammograms can find breast cancer, true, but cost-benefit question remains
The Los Angeles Times
Mammograms can save lives. We knew that before, and we definitely know it now. A three-decade Swedish study — the longest mammography study ever — found that inviting women to get regular mammograms cut the risk of death during the study period by at least 30%. In the world of medicine, that counts as a big success....A 2007 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who have a false alarm on a mammogram suffer from unusually high levels of anxiety that can linger for years.

Ticks win in fight over budget
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The recent state budget cuts have discontinued funding for the only state effort to measure tick-borne disease risks by directly studying ticks. ...In terms of dollars, the program is a tiny casualty of the legislature's $2.5 billion cuts in state spending for the coming year. But the program's closing is "tragic for the state," says Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, president of the Tick-Borne Infections Council of North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that advocates for tick disease control and education. "They were the only resource the public had." (Dr. Herman-Giddens is an adjunct professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC.)

Survey finds 'staggeringly high rate of spanking' in North Carolina (Blog)
About a third of North Carolina mothers of children less than two years old say they have spanked their children in the last year, according to a new survey from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. ...“We were pretty surprised by the staggeringly high rate of spanking,” said Dr. Adam Zolotor, lead author of the study, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a core faculty member of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, in a press release.

UNC Health looks at WakeMed offer
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A committee set up by the UNC Health Care System to review Wake Med's $750 million, unsolicited bid to buy rival hospital Rex Healthcare is seeking public comments on the deal. ..."This is just one piece of a larger puzzle, but we felt it was important to hear from community members and patients that we serve," UNC Health spokeswoman Jennifer James said. The committee also will weigh such factors in its review as financial data, legal issues and quality of care.

"Mindfulness" may ease irritable bowel symptoms
Reuters (Wire Service)
A therapy that combines mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga may help soothe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, according to a U.S. study. Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found that, of the 75 women with the digestive disorder involved in the study, those assigned to "mindfulness training" -- a type of meditation -- saw a bigger improvement in their symptoms over three months than women who were assigned to a support group.

Conceiving Challenges: Previous Miscarriages And A Military Schedule (Blog)
"The Baby Project" National Public Radio
...Jesse came home from Haiti in April last year, the same month the OB on base sent me to the infertility clinic at Womack Army Medical Center. From there, I was referred off-base to the reproductive endocrinologist at the University of North Carolina.

UNC Hospitals qualifies for AHA recognition
The Chapel Hill Herald
UNC Hospitals recently qualified for the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Silver Performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes UNC Hospitals' commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients that effectively improves the survival and care of STEMI (st elevation myocardial infarction) patients.

Blue Cross, UNC Health reach accord
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the UNC Health Care System announced Thursday that they've agreed on terms of a new contract, avoiding potential disruptions for patients. Though such deals typically aren't earth-shattering news, contract negotiations among insurers and hospital systems have become more heated in recent years. The federal health overhaul and other changes in the industry are increasing pressure on both sides to keep costs down.
Related Link:

Burn Center, Cradle team up (Letter to the Editor)
The Chapel Hill Herald
...The night before the most recent "Challenge" was published, the Cradle was the site of "Healin' With A Feelin'; A Night Of Burnin' Love," a benefit for the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center. Heath loaned the club for a standing-room-only evening of four bands and a silent auction that raised thousands of dollars for the Burn Center. ...Dr. Bruce Cairns, a Chapel Hill High School classmate of Heath's and the director of the Burn Center, told the hundreds in attendance about the innovative and dedicated work of the center, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and is the largest such site between Baltimore and Miami. (Peter Kramer, Hillsborough)

Share This: