July 24, 2016
Respiratory therapist Theresa Hankin goes over the dangers and new regulations of e-cigarettes. Neonatologist Michelle Bode, MD, explains the effect of a mother’s opiate use on her baby. Gastroenterologist Divey Manocha, MD, talks about digestive diseases with one of his patients.
July 17, 2016
Neurologist Amy Sanders, MD, explains mild cognitive impairment. Infectious disease specialist Timothy Endy, MD, tells about the Zika virus. Two pancreas transplant recipients share their experiences with diabetes and kidney disease.
Upstate psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, discusses how to change a habit of negative predictions by pausing and choosing how to make a better life, in this week’s “Check Up from the Neck Up” essay.
Mild cognitive impairment is when some brain processes are not functioning the way they should at one’s age. This state, short of full-on dementia and not serious enough to interfere with daily life, might involve problems with memory, language use, reasoning, or visual and spatial abilities, says Upstate neurologist Amy Sanders, MD, who runs a clinic that tests for the condition (call 315-464-4243 for information). Sanders touches on screening methods, the role of memory, the relationship to dementia and tips to keep the aging brain healthy.
For the first time in their lives, Patrick Nolan, 52 (at left in photo), and Harry Tynan, 39 (at right), are doing what most people take for granted: living without having to constantly check their blood sugar or inject insulin. Each man was diagnosed as a child with Type 1 diabetes and has spent his life dealing with the disease and the kidney damage it can cause. Each man has also received a kidney transplant, and each recently received a transplanted pancreas at Upstate, in effect curing their diabetes. “I’m reliving my youth again. … I just wake up and go, ‘Wow!’“ says Nolan of Syracuse. “It’s a complete change just to look forward and not have to do injections,” notes Tynan of Oswego. “I’m ready to pick up the insulin pen, and I don’t have to.”
Electronic cigarettes, promoted as producing water vapor instead of smoke, actually produce an aerosol with tiny particles that could cause lung problems, says Theresa Hankin, a respiratory therapist at the Upstate Cancer Center. The tobacco-derived liquid in e-cigarettes and related devices contains highly addictive nicotine and traces of elements including heavy metals, Hankin notes. Although some tout the devices as a way to quit smoking, many people end up using both kinds of cigarettes. She notes that much research needs to be done and that the Food and Drug Administration has just begun to regulate the e-cigarette or “vaping” industry, which has been marketing its products to young consumers.
Education and awareness underlie the best ways to prevent drowning, says Robert Newmyer, MD, a pediatric critical care physician at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Learning the basics of swimming and water safety is most important, and learning CPR too, if possible, explains Newmyer, who is a former lifeguard and swimming instructor. Other points he discusses include checking for potential hazards in a swimming area, the buddy system, the limits of lifeguards, the concept of “dry drowning” and how children perceive risk.
Upstate doctors are now offering a pancreas transplant option for some patients with diabetes, the most common cause of kidney failure. A pancreas transplant may be a proactive way for many with diabetes, especially the more severe cases, to avoid kidney failure, says Rainer Gruessner, MD (at right in photo), Upstate’s transplant chief and professor of surgery. His colleague, surgeon Mark Reza Laftavi, MD (at left), director of Upstate’s Pancreas Transplant Program, describes the dangers diabetes poses to the kidneys and other organs. Gruessner and his team offer pancreas transplants — separately or combined with kidney transplants — and says a pancreas transplant can improve the lives of some patients with diabetes and also halt or reverse some complications. For pancreas transplants, a deceased donor’s organ is implanted in the recipient, who retains his or her original pancreas, which continues to produce digestive enzymes. The new pancreas immediately begins producing insulin.
July 10, 2016
Transplant surgeons Rainer Gruessner, MD, and Mark Laftavi, MD, discuss the pancreas transplant program. Pediatrician Robert Newmyer, MD, talks about drowning and water safety. Urologist Srinivas Vourganti, MD, tells how the “breast cancer gene” increases a man’s risk of prostate cancer.
July 3, 2016
Geriatrician Sharon Brangman, MD, and nurse Amy Rottger explain the role of transitional care. Representatives from Contact Community Services Crisis Intervention Services discuss suicide prevention. Rheumatologist Hiroshi Kato, MD, provides an overview of lupus. Also, a Check Up From the Neck Up and a selection from The Healing Muse.
A growing number of babies are born to mothers who took a narcotic of some kind during pregnancy, and that puts the babies at risk for developing neonatal abstinence syndrome, says Michelle Bode, MD, an Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital assistant professor and Crouse Hospital neonatologist. Within the first week of life, a baby who was exposed to prescription or nonprescription opioids in the womb may become irritable, have trouble feeding and develop a shrill cry, she says. The baby is likely to have a longer-than-normal hospital stay, which impacts on bonding time with his or her mother. Bode points out that for mothers who watch their babies go through withdrawal, “the shame and guilt is immense.”
A gene mutation linked to breast cancer appears to play a role in some prostate cancer as well, according to a study co-authored by Upstate urologist Srinivas Vourganti, MD. The study looked mostly at the BRCA2 genes, which, when mutated, can lead to breast cancer. When they occur in close relatives, these mutated genes raise the risk of breast cancer for women as well as prostate cancer for men, the study shows, and those prostate cancers tend to be more aggressive. Vourganti explains how a medical student conceived the idea for the study, its implications for African-American men in particular, and how the knowledge might help shape future screenings and treatments.