Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 2011

Considering When It Might Be Best Not to Know About Cancer
The New York Times
...The cost of screening, said Dr. Russell P. Harris, a screening researcher at the University of North Carolina, “is one of the factors that is pushing toward a tipping point.” But, medical experts note, many people, including doctors, are confused by the changing message, which is understandable.

The Undead
"The State of Things" WUNC-FM
Dr. Barry Saunders holds a Ph.D in religious studies, in addition to being a physician. He’s seen the horrors that can happen in a hospital setting and those experiences help him relate to literature about the living dead. Saunders believes that in many ways, vampires, zombies and other creatures are cultural reflections of our society’s feelings about death and dying. In the spring, Saunders will teach a seminar course called “The Undead: Bodies In Between” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is an associate professor of social medicine. He joins host Frank Stasio with a preview of his class and his thoughts on why the living dead have never failed to fascinate us.

Yoga has small benefit for chronic back pain: study
Reuters (Wire Service)
...The report follows another recent study from Washington State that found modest and similar benefits from yoga and stretching classes in people with chronic back pain. "It gives us more confidence that the benefits seen with this class-based intervention seem to apply when it's done in different areas by different teachers," said Dr. Timothy Carey, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who has researched back pain but wasn't involved in either report.

Duke researchers find doctors can learn empathy
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Doctors care. Most care deeply about their patients. ...Many medical schools, including those at Duke and UNC Chapel Hill, now do teach physicians how to communicate with patients and how to lend an empathic ear.

UNC Rheumatology wins $3M grant
The Triangle Business Journal
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $3.25 million grant to the UNC Rheumatology/Thurston Arthritis Research Center. The funds will be used to finish a long-running osteoarthritis project in Johnston County. “The most exciting part of this new contract with the CDC is that we will be conducting follow-up on people in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project who have been with the study for up to 20 years,” says Dr. Joanne Jordan, director of UNC Rheumatology/Thurston Arthritis Research Center.

Breastfeeding tied to lower blood pressure risk-study
"Women who never breastfed were more likely to develop hypertension than women who exclusively breastfed their first child for six months or more," wrote lead researcher Alison Stuebe at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Hypnosis, even in "real world," may help IBS
...For many people, that's enough to bring symptom relief, said Olafur S. Palsson, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. But for people with tougher-to-treat IBS, psychological therapies -- namely, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy -- have proven effective in clinical trials. Palsson, who was not involved in the current study, researches and uses hypnosis therapy in treating IBS.

Purging Cells in Mice Is Found to Combat Aging Ills
The New York Times
...“I am very excited by the results,” said Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, an expert on aging at the University of North Carolina. “It suggests therapies that might work in real patients,” he said. Dr. van Deursen’s work is the first to show that removing senescent cells is beneficial. If confirmed, it “will be considered a fundamental advance by our field,” Dr. Sharpless said.

Ridding body of old "zombie" cells slows aging process, study shows
CBS News
It's not quite the fountain of youth, but Mayo Clinic scientists may have hit upon a way to slow the aging process. The key, they report in a tantalizing new study, is purging the body of senescent cells - old "zombie" cells that no longer work as they should. ..."I am very excited by the results," Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, University of North Carolina expert on aging, told the Times. "It suggests therapies that might work in real patients."

AHA and ACC Update Secondary Prevention Guidelines
...“Unless improvements are made in your behavior and medical therapy, the same blood vessel problem that caused your first heart attack or stroke can occur again – and may result in death – so long-term changes need to be initiated to get the vascular disease under control,” said Sidney C. Smith, Jr., M.D., chair of the guideline writing group and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The guidelines are important because increasing numbers of older adults are living with cardiovascular disease, and in clinical practice many patients are not getting indicated therapies, Smith said.

Fun...At A Hospital? UNC Health Care Holds Annual Fair
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
Friday, UNC Health Care will hold its 6th Annual Multicultural Fair at UNC Hospitals, to promote tolerance and celebrate Chapel Hill’s diversity. UNC Health Care internal communications specialist Ginger Moore says employees and outside vendors alike get involved in the fair. "We invite all employees," she says, "but then on top of that we have outside vendors who come in to sell handmade cultural crafts."

OA Affects Big Joints More in African-Americans
Arthritis Today
“We think of multiple OA often being hand and knee or hands and hips and knee, which is more the pattern of Caucasian women. So we could miss [cases] in African-Americans who actually have large, weight-bearing joints that are involved,” explains study author Amanda E. Nelson, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology at the University of North Carolina Thurston Arthritis Research Center in Chapel Hill.
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