WHSC News and 

WHSC News Releases for April

April 28, 2003 Washington Post Editor to Speak on Bioterrorism and "The Killer Strain"
Marilyn W. Thompson, the award-winning assistant managing editor for investigations at The Washington Post, will discuss the threat of bioterrorism and sign copies of her new book "The Killer Strain: Anthrax and a Government Exposed," in an appearance at Emory University on May 22.
April 25, 2003 Hydroxyurea Proven Useful In Relieving Pain Episodes Associated With Sickle Cell Disease
A study of 299 adult sickle cell patients, drawn from 21 referral centers nationwide, is especially promising because it shows hematologists now have an effective treatment -- the anticancer drug hydroxyurea -- to improve the quality of sickle cell patients’ lives, says one of the study’s 27 co-authors, James Eckman, MD, professor of hematology and oncology and medicine at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute and director of the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Grady Memorial Hospital. Hydroxyurea can also reduce a patient’s chances of dying from sickle cell, the study, published in the April 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests.
April 25, 2003 The 7th Annual Health Disparities Community Conference: Emory Conference To Teach Fitness & Wellness With Interactive Workshops
Gym shorts, sweatpants and t-shirts are the suggested attire for this year’s 7th Annual Health Disparities Community Conference, "Wellness…Making People Healthy." The event is sponsored by Emory Healthcare and will feature interactive workshops taught by fitness leaders in the local Atlanta area, including Lee Haney, former eight time title holder of "Mr. Olympia."
April 25, 2003 Calendar Listing: Free Screenings for Anxiety Disorders
If you or a loved one suffer from constant uncontrollable worry, hopelessness, sleep problems, anxiety attacks, phobias, obsessions, rituals, or poor concentration, it may be the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Emory University School of Medicine joins other institutions in the community and around the country to offer free screenings for National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day. Individuals will be screened by Emory clinicians, and free educational materials will be available. Douglas Lee, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, will be speaking on anxiety disorders at noon.
April 24, 2003 FDA Approves New Drug-Eluting Coronary Stent
A new weapon in the war on heart disease was approved by the FDA today -- Cordis Corporation's drug-eluting CYPHER stents. Used to prop arteries open following coronary angioplasty, these stents also release the drug sirolimus and have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of restenosis (reclogging of arteries). They are the first U.S.-approved combination drug and stenting device intended to help reduce restenosis of a treated coronary artery.
April 22, 2003 WCI Researchers Outline Mechanics of
Anti-Tumor Activity in Clinical Trial Drug

Inhibiting the growth and the angiogenic properties of cancer is an important modality for cancer treatment and research. Angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, supports the development of many diseases including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and others. In the case of cancer, angiogenesis is essential for the growth, progression and metastasis of a tumor and thus, agents that inhibit angiogenesis are attractive therapeutic options.
April 22, 2003 Emory Researchers Develop Rapid Test for SARS
Researchers in the Emory University School of Medicine announced Friday that they have demonstrated the validity of a rapid laboratory test capable of determining whether a patient has SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
April 18, 2003 Emory Scientists Identify Molecular Link Between Estrogen Receptors and Invasive Growth in Breast Cancer
Emory University School of Medicine scientists have discovered a link between estrogen receptors ­­ the molecules that bind the estrogen hormone to cells ­­ and invasive growth of breast cancer. The finding could help explain the mechanisms leading to breast cancer progression and could have important consequences for drugs that are aimed at blocking estrogen receptors. The research is published in the April 19 issue of the journal Cell.
April 17, 2003 Sepsis and Sepsis-Related Deaths Are on the Increase in U.S., According to Emory University and CDC Study
The incidence of sepsis — a severe, whole-body immune response to infection — has increased by an annualized average of 8.7% a year in the U.S. over the past 22 years, according to research by investigators at Emory University School of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study was conducted on discharge data from 750 million patient hospitalizations in 500 non-federal hospitals nationwide between 1979 and 2000.
April 16, 2003 Deep-Brain Stimulation Device Receives Special Exemption from FDA for Treatment of Dystonia
Patients with dystonia, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary and sometimes painful muscle contractions and contortions, can now more easily receive a treatment known as deep-brain stimulation (DBS) to control their movements. Late yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) for Medtronic’s so-called "brain pacemaker" for use in patients with severe and disabling forms of dystonia. The treatment, often called Activa® Therapy, has already received approval by the FDA to treat Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor, the two most common movement disorders.
April 15, 2003 Atropine Can Be Available for Easier Treatment of Mass Casualties, Emory Study Finds
In the event of a large-scale exposure to a nerve agent or organophosphate insecticide that might result in poisonings of many victims within a short period of time, a powdered form of atropine can be mixed with existing stocks of dilute liquid to rapidly and effectively treat large numbers of people, according to a study published in the April 2003 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
April 9, 2003 Uninsured Patients Pay More but Get Less in Cancer Treatment
Uninsured cancer patients receive only about half the health services of insured cancer patients, but pay nearly twice as much in out-of-pocket expenses, according to a study by Emory University health policy professors Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD and David Howard, PhD in the April issue of Health Affairs. Moreover, uninsured patients are less likely to be treated in accordance with accepted clinical guidelines, and experience worse outcomes. Dr. Thorpe says the results are "disturbing, but place an interesting face on the uninsured issue."
April 8, 2003 New Institute at Emory Offers Fast Track
for Urgently Needed Nursing Faculty

Creative efforts by nursing administrators to recruit more prospects into nursing are helping to ease the nursing shortage. But now, the state of Georgia and the surrounding region need additional faculty to accommodate the increasing enrollment at nursing schools. In response, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is introducing a new program aimed at preparing expert clinicians in less than three months to teach at academic institutions.
April 7, 2003 Student Volunteers Prepped for Outbreak Assistance with Local Public Health Department
When the DeKalb County Board of Health needed assistance with a gastrointestinal outbreak at a local assisted care facility in January, they called the volunteers of SORT – the Student Outbreak Response Team, made up of 16 students from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. It was an opportunity for academia and local public health officials to meet face to face.
April 7, 2003 Emory University Researchers Study Earliest Signs of Huntington's Disease
Researchers at Emory University are taking part in two large studies to investigate the earliest symptoms of Huntington’s disease (HD). Investigators hope to learn which tests are most effective in detecting the disease, and to learn more about how and when successive symptoms develop in the course of the disease.
April 7, 2003 CALENDAR LISTING: Emory University Researchers Study Earliest Signs of Huntington's Disease
Researchers at Emory University are seeking participants who are at risk for Huntington’s disease to take part in two research studies to investigate the earliest symptoms of the disease.
April 4, 2003 Emory Researchers Find Neurointensive Care Service Saves More Lives While Reducing Length of Stay in ICU
The establishment of a critical care unit for neurological and neurosurgical patients, with a dedicated team of specialists, reduces mortality and length of stay while providing better clinical outcomes in a tertiary care teaching center, according to a group of Emory University researchers. Owen Samuels, MD, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine, and director of the Division of Neurointensive Care at Emory oresented outcome data on the topic at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 55th Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 3.
April 4, 2003 Pertussis Vaccine Helps Reduce Transmission of Disease, According to Emory and Senegal Researchers
Vaccination for pertussis (whooping cough) is highly effective in reducing transmission of the disease from person to person, even in "breakthrough" cases in which a vaccinated individual still develops pertussis, according to research conducted by scientists at Emory University and in Dakar, Senegal. The finding should help resolve a long-standing debate about the effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing contagiousness of the disease in addition to conferring immunity.
April 4, 2003 Emory Researchers Study Use of Aggressive Insulin Therapy in Critically-Ill Patients in a Neurointensive Care Unit
Hyperglycemia – an excess of sugar in the blood – is often linked to worse outcomes in many types of cerebral injuries, according to both animal and human data. A group of Emory University researchers looked at the prevalence of hyperglycemia in critically-ill patients being cared for in a neurointensive care unit (NICU), a unit designated for the sickest neurological and neurosurgical patients, and compared two methods of achieving tighter glycemic control. This is the first study of its kind. The findings were presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 55th Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 3.
April 4, 2003 Emory Researchers Report Improvement in Advanced Parkinson’s Disease Patients Treated with Novel Cell Therapy — A Two-Year Follow-Up
An investigational surgical cell therapy tested to improve signs and symptoms in advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients is showing sustained benefit in motor function, two years following treatment. Emory University researchers report that participants, on average, experienced a 41 percent improvement (range 29-58 percent) in motor function when off other medications and, on average, a 39 percent improvement (range 35-40 percent) in quality of life measures.
April 3, 2003 Emory Eye Center Director Aaberg Elected to National Honor Medical Society
Thomas M. Aaberg, Sr., MD, director of the Emory Eye Center and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine, was recently elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Medical Society.
April 3, 2003 Georgia Tech and Emory University Name New Biomedical Engineering Chair
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have selected Larry V. McIntire, PhD,, a prominent biotechnology expert based in Houston, to chair their joint department of biomedical engineering. He will begin as chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in July, pending approval from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
April 3, 2003 Free Blood Pressure Screenings for Individuals in Metro Atlanta, In Recognition of Minority Health Month
High blood pressure can be prevented and controlled by maintaining a healthy weight; losing weight, if overweight; watching salt intake; not smoking; limiting alcohol to one or two drinks a day; exercising; and eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grains, fish and lean meats. If lifestyle changes do not control high blood pressure, medications also can help.
April 2, 2003 Great Teacher Lecture Series: "The Power of Sleep"
Sleep has been called nature's great restorative. Is there any medical truth in that old saw?
April 2, 2003 Emory Healthcare Withdraws As Provider for Aetna Health, Inc.
After more than eight months of negotiation, Emory Healthcare has made the decision to terminate its participation as a provider of health services for Aetna Health, Inc., effective December 31, 2003. Emory has participated in Aetna’s PPO network and its HMO network for over 10 years. The termination covers both plans.
April 1, 2003 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Names Dr. Stuart Zola Senior Research Career Scientist
Stuart Zola, Ph.D., director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, has been named a senior research career scientist (SRCS) by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The seven-year appointment, the highest honor the VA bestows on a Ph.D. scientist, provides continuing support for Dr. Zola’s memory and amnesia research at the Atlanta VA Medical Center (VAMC).
April 1, 2003 Seminar: "Stop Obsessing: Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy"
OCD affects almost 3% of the world's population and is a major worldwide health problem. Much has been learned in the past two decades about the treatment of OCD. At this free educational seminar Dr. Rothbaum, Emory clinical psychologist and researcher, will explain one of the most effective treatment options for OCD. Philip Ninan, MD, director of Emory's Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, will follow with questions from the audience.

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