May 29, 2016
Vascular surgeon Michael Costanza, MD, goes over the importance of screening for vascular diseases. Research scientist Stephen Glatt, PhD, discusses the genetic epidemiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Meaghan Greeley and Tiffany Brec from Vera House talk about strategies for stopping sexual violence.
May 22, 2016
Stephen Glatt, PhD, and Seetha Ramanathan, MD, talk about Mental Health First Aid. Nurse Cathy Narcavage-Bradley tells what new and expectant parents need to know. Jennifer Kelly, DO, explains the role of the endocrine system in osteoporosis. Psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, provides a “Check Up from the Neck Up.”
May 15, 2016
Upstate surgeon Scott Albert, MD, explains the new way of thinking about thyroid cancer. Upstate toxicologist William Eggleston tells of the dangers of hydrocarbons and commonly abused medications. Support group facilitator Christine Kowaleski discusses postpartum depression and psychosis with Central New York mother Heather Sherman.
The debate over whether nature (genes) or nurture (environment) contributes more to mental and other disorders is moving toward how nature and nurture interact. A genetically predisposed person might be “resilient” and never develop a mental disorder, perhaps because of environmental factors, says Stephen Glatt, PhD, an associate professor of neuroscience and physiology at Upstate. Fast-moving research in this area is also examining whether environmentally acquired traits could then be passed on to one’s children. Glatt is recruiting families with children ages 6 to 12 (both with and without mental health issues) for a large genetic study he is conducting.
The earlier a mental health problem can be identified and dealt with, the better. That is part of the reasoning behind increased funding to expand Mental Health First Aid, a longstanding program in Central New York, say Seetha Ramanathan, MD, (at left in photo) a psychiatrist with the state Office of Mental Health, and Stephen Glatt, PhD, an Upstate associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences (at right). The program, used worldwide, trains lay people to recognize mental problems in young people and direct them to services, while fostering empathy and lessening the stigma of mental illness.
Polio epidemics, which paralyzed and killed children and terrified parents before Jonas Salk, MD, developed a vaccine, are brought to life by a survivor of a 1953 outbreak. Janice Flood Nichols was a DeWitt first-grader when she and seven classmates were stricken. Three of them, including her twin brother, Frankie, died (the twins are shown on their last birthday before his death, and Nichols is shown at right in a recent photo). Nichols recovered, took part in the Salk vaccine trials of 1954 and today advocates for vaccination against polio and other diseases. She also touches on her mild case of post-polio syndrome, which can attack polio survivors decades later.
Where should a newborn sleep? How much weight should a pregnant woman gain? Is breastfeeding important? The answers to these questions – in its own crib in the parents’ room; probably about 25 pounds but check with your health care provider; and yes, very – are among the topics nurse Cathy Narcavage-Bradley fields as coordinator of Upstate’s Best Beginnings classes. The sessions help expectant and new parents learn about pregnancy, labor, delivery and newborn care.
Psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, provides a lesson in the importance of keeping friends and family close, just in case, in this week’s “Check Up from the Neck Up.”
In his “Check Up from the Neck Up” segment, psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, relates how he got himself back into the flow after a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Teenagers looking to get high are abusing easily available household products, says Upstate toxicologist William Eggleston. Hydrocarbons, found in aerosol sprays, are being inhaled and can lead to irregular heart rhythms and “sudden sniffing death syndrome.” Loperamide (brand name: Imodium), an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea drug, is being taken in megadoses for a heroinlike effect. Dextromethorphan, found in cough and cold remedies, acts like the drug PCP in high doses and causes agitation and combativeness. Eggleston, who sees drug overdose cases through the Upstate New York Poison Center, recommends keeping track of drugs around the house and disposing of old ones to help limit access and prevent abuse.
Countering sexual violence can start with a conversation to raise awareness and encourage people to speak out and intervene If necessary. This applies to college campuses as well as the larger society, say Meaghan Greeley (at left in photo) and Tiffany Brec (at right in photo) of Vera House, a Central New York agency that deals with domestic and sexual violence. In community sessions about sexual violence, Brec and Greeley encourage people to think about the culture’s and their own attitudes, the role of bystanders and how violent acts eventually affect society as a whole.
Many factors can put someone at risk for the bone-weakening conditions of osteopenia and the more serious osteoporosis, says endocrinologist Jennifer Kelly, DO. Among them are a woman’s postmenopausal drop in estrogen, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and endocrine diseases such as hyperthyroidism, says Kelly, clinical director of the bone density unit at Upstate’s Joslin Diabetes Center. She also describes the lifestyle changes and drugs recommended to treat osteoporosis.
Vascular disease, or diseases of the blood vessels, can lead to difficulty walking, heart attacks, strokes and gangrene, explains Upstate vascular surgeon Michael Costanza, MD. Changes in lifestyle habits often help: Don’t smoke, get reasonable exercise, follow a healthy diet, and control any problems with diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure. Costanza also addressed how vascular disease is diagnosed, who is likely to get it and the importance of screening.