UT Southwestern in the News — February 2009

 NBC 5 Dallas — Have we gone nuts over peanut allergies? (Feb. 20, 2009)
Concerns about peanut allergies have sparked widespread measures to protect people, but not everyone is convinced the policies are necessary. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla comments. Watch Video

HealthDay: Silent strokes more common in younger people than thought (Feb. 19, 2009)
"Silent strokes" rarely produce symptoms, but a new study suggests they may be at least five times more common than full-blown strokes in people under 65 years of age, and not uncommon in people under the age of 50. "We don't really have a way of ordinarily recognizing this sort of thing, but if it's part of the brain that's not directly involved with motion or our speech, it could impact memory or the mood of the person," added one expert, Dr. Norman Kaplan, clinical professor at UT Southwestern. Read More

UPI: Trendy colon cleaners may do harm (Feb. 18, 2009)

Listen to any number of media ads and one might assume it is necessary for pills or powders to clean a colon, but a U.S. expert says they may do more harm. "The lining of the gut regenerates about every seven days, so you probably don't need colon cleansers," Dr. Anne Larson, associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, said in a statement. Read More

Associated Press: Kids’ cholesterol study reassuring, doctors say (Feb. 17, 2009)
Fewer than 1 percent of American teens are likely to need cholesterol drugs, says a new study that offers some reassuring news on the childhood obesity front. Commenting on the study, cardiologist Dr. William Scott, a pediatrics professor at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Reuters: Most depressed teens recover with treatment: study (Feb. 13, 2009)
A majority of teenagers treated for major depression show lasting improvements, though it may take several months for the benefits to appear, a new study suggests. The study also suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant drugs are similarly effective over the long term, according to the investigators, led by Dr. Betsy D. Kennard of UT Southwestern. Read More

HealthDay: Key to Lyme disease virulence discovered (Feb. 12, 2009)
A protein that's essential for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease to become virulent has been identified by Dr. Michael Norgard, chairman of microbiology at UT Southwestern, and colleagues. The researchers said their finding may help lead to new methods of fighting the tick-borne infection. Read More

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/The Watchdog: Bill may cause postoperative shock (Feb. 9, 2009)
After her operation, Vicki Kempe asked for an itemized bill. Most of the items listed were in unfathomable medical codes — but one item jumped out: Pregnancy Test $143. That surprised her. The 57-year-old Hurst woman says she is done having children. A new study released last week by an area medical leader shows that managed-care plans do not always control hospital costs. Dr. Ethan Halm comments. Read More

KXAS NBC5 Dallas: Hope for Hearburn (Feb. 6, 2009)
A new treatment is available for people with severe "gerd" or chronic stomach acid. Doctors at
UT Southwestern are easing the pain for patients and cutting the downtime in half. Dr. Jayaprakash Sree is featured. Watch Video

KERA-THINK: Genetic testing and cancer (Feb. 4, 2009)
Is genetic testing and pre-assessment of risk an effective weapon in the current fight against breast cancer? We'll explore advances in risk assessment, prevention, diagnosis and treatment this hour with Dr. David Euhus, professor of surgical oncology and Linda Robinson, head genetic counselor at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Listen

UPI: Chemicals used to disrupt cancer (Feb. 4, 2009)
U.S. medical scientists have identified two chemical compounds that can possibly disrupt the growth of many types of cancer and degenerative diseases. UT Southwestern researchers screened a chemical library of 200,000 compounds to find the chemicals that can be used to study and possibly manipulate cellular pathways. Read More

Reuters Health: Death rates vary among trauma centers (Feb. 4, 2009)
Even after controlling for the severity of a traumatic injury, death rates vary significantly across similarly designated trauma centers, a study shows. Dr. Shahid Shafi from UT Southwestern and colleagues measured death rates at 15 designated Level 1 and 2 trauma centers in Texas, after controlling for injury severity and other patient characteristics. Read More

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: New treatment freezes damaged cells in esophagus (Feb. 3, 2009)
At UT Southwestern Medical Center, doctors are using cryoablation to treat Barrett’s esophageal dysplasia, a condition commonly seen in people who have persistent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD). The goal of cryoablation is to freeze the damage in its tracks, said Dr. Jayaprakash Sreenarasimhaiah, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern. Read More

CNN.com: Invention turns cell phone into mobile medical lab (Feb. 3, 2009)
Professor Aydogan Ozcan of UCLA has taken a typical Sony Ericsson phone, and by adding a few off-the-shelf parts that cost less than $50, he can get it to produce a remarkable image that shows the thousands of cells in a small fluid sample such as human blood. "What makes it quite valuable is that it is small and inexpensive," said Skip Garner, professor of biochemistry and internal medicine at UT Southwestern. Read More

USA TODAY: Texan becomes first Hispanic to lead a major school system (Feb. 2, 2009)
A Mexican-American surgeon will become the nation's first Hispanic to preside over a major university system when Dr. Francisco Cigarroa takes the helm at the University of Texas System, which faces financial woes and complaints about diversity. Cigarroa, a 51-year-old pediatric transplant surgeon and UT Southwestern Medical School graduate, looks at his new job as the system's new chancellor starting Monday as an opportunity to exceed expectations. Read More

The Dallas Morning News: Managed care plans do little to rein in costs, Dallas doctor's study says (Feb. 1, 2009)
New research by a UT Southwestern physician calls into question whether health insurers are adequately performing one of their main functions: containing costs. Dr. Ethan Halm, chief of internal medicine, found that private managed-care plans for Medicare do no better job of steering patients away from unnecessary surgeries than the traditional fee-for-service system, where the patient goes to any provider and the doctor or hospital bills Medicare directly. Read More