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.
Some may be completing a course of antibiotics. Some may have a new diagnosis of diabetes and need help learning to manage their disease. Others could be recovering from a fall that caused a broken bone. A variety of Medicare patients spend from five to 20 days in the Transitional Care Unit before they are discharged from Upstate University Hospital. What these older patients have in common is the goal to return to their homes. Medical director Sharon Brangman, MD (at left in photo), says patients on the Transitional Care Unit receive the same type of care they would receive as traditional hospital patients, “but with a different set of goals to help make sure they can get home and stay home.” Nurse Amy Rottger (at right), the unit manager, explains that patients get dressed each morning and share a common dining area as they work toward returning to their typical routine.
The autoimmune diseases known as lupus are hard to diagnose, unpredictable and affect many more women than men, explains Upstate rheumatologist Hiroshi Kato, MD. Lupus causes the immune system to attack the body’s healthy tissues and organs, and while its cause is unknown, it appears to involve both genetic factors and environmental triggers, Kato says. Close monitoring by a rheumatologist is usually necessary to help control the disease, he notes.
Psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, shares what evolutionary psychology can teach us about the human drive to survive in this week’s “Check Up from the Neck Up” essay..
As scientists have documented the importance of breast-feeding to a baby’s current and future well-being, more American women are opting to breast-feed, says Jayne Charlamb, MD, director of breast health and breast-feeding medicine at Upstate. She says the majority of infants born in America receive some breast milk, but she and other experts would like more babies to be breast-fed for at least six months. Babies who are breast-fed have a lower risk of developing ear infections, some leukemias and obesity. In addition, breast-feeding helps mothers lose their pregnancy weight and adjust their glucose regulation.
Most men with prostate cancer can be treated successfully through surgery and/or radiation, but when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, a systemic approach using medication is often prescribed, says Bernard Poiesz, MD, a professor of medicine at the Upstate Cancer Center. He describes both advances in and limitations of treatments for metastatic prostate cancer, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which stimulates the body’s immune system to attack the cancer.
Asking whether someone is contemplating suicide can be a way to let that person talk about his or her troubles and perhaps find some relief or hope, crisis intervention experts say. Cheryl Giarrusso (at left in photo) and Stephanie Lewis (at right), who both work for the Contact Community Services Crisis Intervention Services program, say a common misconception about suicide is that people should avoid mentioning the word to someone who is suspected of being suicidal. They describe warning signs, the role of social media and how ordinary people can help. Contact runs a 24-hour hotline (315-251-0600) to help prevent suicides as well as community training.
Gastroparesis — a complex condition in which food does not empty out of the stomach properly – can cause nausea and vomiting and eventually lead to a patient barely eating in order to avoid the associated pain. Divey Manocha, MD (at right in photo), an Upstate gastroenterologist, and one of his patients, Rhonda Ferry (at left) of Liverpool, offer a scientific as well as a personal glimpse of the disorder, which often strikes young and middle-aged women and can change a person’s life. Manocha also explains the testing — including manometry — that patients with this and other digestive diseases undergo at his laboratory and the multidisciplinary approach to treatment.
June 26, 2016
Jayne Charlamb, MD, explains why more mothers are breast-feeding their babies. Bernard Poiesz, MD, discusses medications to treat advanced prostate cancer. Upstate graduate Stanley Burns, MD, tells about his historical collection of medical photographs and his work advising TV shows.
Upstate psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, examines the research into gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando in this week’s “Check Up from the Neck Up” essay.