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People with Mild Cognitive Impairment May Die at Higher Rate Than People Without Condition

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Duska Anastasijevic

human mind concept with leaves blowing away from treeROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic research studying the relationship between death and the two types of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggests that people who have these conditions die at a higher rate than people without MCI. The research was released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting  in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

For the study, 862 people with thinking problems and 1,292 with no thinking problems between the ages of 70 and 89 were followed for nearly six years. Over the course of the study, 331 of the group with MCI and 224 of the group without MCI died. Those who had either type of MCI had an 80 percent higher death rate during the study than those without MCI.  People with MCI with no memory loss had more than twice the death rate during the study than those without MCI, while people with MCI with memory loss had a 68 percent higher death rate during the study than those without MCI.
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Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the April 2014 Issue

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Ginger Plumbo

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter April 2014 (for journalists only).

How the placebo effect enhances healing

illustration of blue and white pill capsule with Placebo written on itResearchers are working to better understand the placebo effect, how it works and how it can be harnessed to improve therapies. The April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers what’s known about this phenomenon and how it may work to improve health.

The placebo effect is most evident in medical research. It’s a person’s belief that an inactive treatment is working just as well as the presumed active therapy being studied. Well-intentioned medical advances, when compared to the placebo treatment, sometimes derive most of their benefit from positive expectations rather than the therapy itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Mayo Clinic Finds Biomarker for Fuchs Dystrophy, and More

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Bob Nellis

Presentations at Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Close-up high-tech image of human eye. Technology concept

ROCHESTER, Minn. — April 23, 2014 — Mayo Clinic ophthalmology researchers have found a likely indicator of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Following up on a genome-wide association study, Keith Baratz, M.D., and others discovered no single genomic variant that caused Fuchs, but found that a repeated noncoding trinucleotide sequence correlated with the condition in patients 68 percent of the time.
The findings will be presented on the afternoon of May 4 at the
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual conference in Orlando, Fla. (Poster 1003-A0392) Read the rest of this entry »

On the Road with Mayo Clinic: Next Stops – Phoenix and Scottsdale

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Dana Sparks

 150th Mobile Exhibit banner with truck

 Bringing the Story of Mayo Clinic to the People in a One-of-a-Kind Exhibit

Mayo Clinic takes its story to the public in a free exhibit 

Look for this truck on your U.S. and Canada travels April through October

Follow #MayoClinic150 

Route 66 gas tank sign on 150th Mobile Exhibit trip

Watch this animation to see what's inside.

Click here to view the road trip itinerary.

Click here to learn more about the mobile exhibit.

Please click here, to find out more about Mayo Clinic's 150th Anniversary. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Eisenman, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs,
507-284-5005, Email:

WATCH: 'In The Loop' reporter Hoyt Finnamore and photographer Elizabeth Harty trek through the desert this week, looking for the traveling truck. Read more:  In The Loop.

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Why Do Some People with Alzheimer’s Disease Die Without Cognitive Impairment, While Others Do?

Posted on April 23rd, 2014 by Duska Anastasijevic

A Third Protein Provides Clue

Since the time of Dr. Alois Alzheimer himself, two proteins (beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau) have become tantamount to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). But a Mayo Clinic study challenges the perception that these are the only important proteins accounting for the clinical features of the devastating disease.

In a large clinico-imaging pathological study, Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrated that a third protein (TDP-43) plays a major role in AD pathology. In fact, people whose brain was TDP positive were 10 times more likely to be cognitively impaired at death compared to those who didn’t have the protein, showing that TDP-43 has the potential to overpower what has been termed resilient brain aging. The study was published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica.

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Violinist Still Making Music After DBS Surgery (pkg)

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Dana Sparks

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial Logo
You may remember the story, a few years ago, about the professional musician who played the violin during his brain surgery? That journey began at Mayo Clinic when a surgical team implanted electrodes in his brain to stop a tremor that could have ended his career. Today, more than five years after his deep brain stimulation surgery, Roger Frisch continues to be one of the world's foremost violinists.  [TRT 4:07]

Journalists: The full package and additional b-roll are available in the downloads. To access the script, click here.   

This is a special report produced for the Mayo Clinic 150th Anniversary Collection of Stories. To view other stories and learn about Mayo Clinic's sesquicentennial, please click here.
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Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center Will Hold an Open House April 22

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Kelley Luckstein

In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and to celebrate the recent accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance, the new Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center will hold an open house April 22. The center serves as a resource for area community groups to respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective, efficient and put the needs of the child victim first. The center provides a child-friendly, safe haven for the abused victim and the family to receive medical attention and participate in the investigation in a single location rather than sharing the story multiple times to different people and at different locations.

The incidence of child abuse in our community is alarming. In 2012, Olmsted County received 1,632 reports regarding child safety or well-being. Of these, 612 reports were screened for concerns of abuse and neglect and 488 assessments or investigations were completed.

WHO: The Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Program, working together with child advocacy organizations in the surrounding communities, formed the new Mayo Clinic Child and Family Advocacy Center. A multidisciplinary team of medical and mental health providers, law enforcement, victims’ advocates, attorneys, public health and child protection officials from the surrounding communities will now be able to provide services in one location to victims of child abuse.

The center will serve the surrounding regions as well as Mayo Clinic Health System sites needing these services.

WHEN: Tues., April 22, 3-5 p.m., a brief program will begin at 3 p.m. and feature community leaders involved in the center:

  • Daniel Broughton, M.D., pediatric consultant, founder of the Child and Family Advocacy Center
  • Mark Ostrem, Olmsted County attorney
  • Arne Graff, M.D., Medical Director, Child and Family Advocacy Center

WHERE: The event will be held at the Mayo Clinic Child Advocacy Center: 2720 N. Broadway, Rochester, Minn., 55906

NOTE: Members of the media should RSVP to Kelley Luckstein at 507-284-5005.

Tuesday Q & A: Mildly low level of testosterone typically doesn’t require treatment

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by lizatorborg

I am a 52-year-old man. I recently had blood work done that showed my testosterone levels are slightly low, falling just below the “normal” range. Should I talk to my doctor about getting treatment even if I don’t have any symptoms? What are the side effects of prescription testosterone?

ANSWER:Hand with white pen drawing chemical formula of testosterone on blue wall
A mildly low level of testosterone alone, without any signs or symptoms, typically does not require treatment. But it would be a good idea for you to talk with your doctor in more detail about this test result. In some cases, low testosterone may be a sign of an underlying medical concern, or it could be a side effect from medication.

Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles. Testosterone helps maintain men’s bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength and mass, red blood cell production, sex drive and sperm production. The normal range for testosterone is wide, and men’s testosterone levels usually change throughout their lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Study IDs Surgical Patients at Risk of Dangerous Lung Disorder

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Sharon Theimer

close-up of man wearing a respiratorROCHESTER, Minn. — Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a leading cause of respiratory failure after surgery. Patients who develop the lung disorder postoperatively are at higher risk of dying in the hospital, and those who survive the syndrome may still bear its physical effects  years later.  A Mayo Clinic-led study is helping physicians better identify patients most at risk, the first step toward preventing this dangerous and costly surgical complication.  They found nine independent risk factors, including sepsis, high-risk aortic vascular surgery, high-risk cardiac surgery, emergency surgery, cirrhosis of the liver, and admission to the hospital from a location other than home, such as a nursing home.

The findings are published in the journal Anesthesiology.

“This is a very common reason for needing an extended course of breathing support after surgery, and approximately 20 to 25 percent of patients who develop the syndrome will die from it,” says first author Daryl Kor, M.D., a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist.  “It’s well-documented that those who develop this syndrome stay in intensive care longer and in the hospital longer, and the impact of the syndrome can persist for many years.” Read the rest of this entry »

Heroin Use and Fatalities Rising May Be Due to Cost, Other Opioid Use

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Dana Sparks

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hall-Flavin are available in the downloads.

Heroin is cheap, easily obtainable and on the rise as a killer across the nation. Because it is so cheap, heroin abuse is being seen in younger people and more people in the middle class. Experts say oxycontin use can easily lead to heroin addiction as it costs costs a fourth as much. Parents, friends and colleagues should be aware of the symptoms of heroin use, especially if they suspect or know that a person has used illegal drugs or prescription painkillers before:

  • The person shows a reduced sense of pain.
  • They appear to be sedated.
  • They are frequently depressed or seem confused.
  • If they are constipated.
  • If their breathing appears slow.

MEDIA CONTACT:Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

“Heroin is prevalent, it’s out there and it is deadly,” says Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and addiction expert. “But it doesn’t have to be. There is hope out there for people if they can get treatment.” 

A heroin overdose most often occurs when the heart stops or from lack of breathing, says Dr. Hall-Flavin. That’s because opiates suppress the brain stem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing and your heartbeat.

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Destination Medical Center (DMC) Selects Subconsultant Team

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Karl W Oestreich

Main Street Image for Destination Medical Center DMC

This artist rendition of Main Street is from the Rochester Downtown Master Plan.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (EDA) has selected the subconsultant team which will assist with the planning of the DMC Development Plan. The team includes:

  • Master Planner – EE&K, a Perkins Eastman CompanyDestination Medical Center DMC green and white logo
  • Infrastructure Planner – Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc.
  • Transportation Planner – Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates
  • Market Analysis and Economic-Fiscal Consultant – AECOM

“This world-class team of planners brings a broad base of experience with projects globally, nationally and throughout the state of Minnesota,” says Lisa Clarke, interim executive director, Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency.

The subconsultants were evaluated based on the selection process approved by the Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC). Selections were made based on the experience of the firm, capabilities of the team proposed, knowledge of the market, and strength of their response to the request for proposal among other factors.
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Monday’s Housecall

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

Eating and exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts
Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat can be important to how you feel when you work out. Consider these tips.

How do rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis differ?Person holding senior woman's hand with arthritis
Learn about the differences between the two most common types of arthritis.

Wisdom teeth removal: When is it necessary?
Many dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal to improve oral health.

Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?
There is no special psoriasis diet, but eating healthy foods is still beneficial.

Cinnamon rolls
Rolled ham and Swiss omelet
Nutty berry granola
Fruit smoothies

Can't sleep? Try daytime exercise
Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, for some people, exercising right before bed may make getting to sleep more difficult. If that's you, don't exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter.
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Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Dana Sparks


Montage of Mayo Clinic Radio pictures

April is Donate Life Month, which focuses attention on the importance of registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. Tune in Saturday, April 19, at 9 a.m. CT as we discuss organ donation with Good Samaritan kidney donor Philip Fischer, M.D., and director of the Mayo Clinic kidney transplant program Mikel Prieto, M.D. There is so much to learn about donating the gift of life! Join us!

Myth or Matter of Fact:  I'm not in the best of health, so I probably can't be a donor.

To hear the program LIVE on Saturday, click here.
Follow #MayoClinicRadio and tweet your questions.
Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment April 19, 2014 (right click MP3) 


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National DNA Day is April 25; Experts Available for Comment

Posted on April 17th, 2014 by Sam Smith

Digital illustration DNA structure

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Friday, April 25, is National DNA Day, the date which commemorates completion of the Human Genome Project, the national effort to identify and decode all 6 billion letters in human DNA. Since that time, medical researchers and practitioners have found new ways to apply genomics for everyone who needs healing, and thanks to staggering technological advancements and next-generation sequencing, the cost to sequence a patient’s genome has decreased from $3 billion for the first human genome in 2003 to approximately $1,500.

MEDIA: Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, is available for interviews and background about the future of genomic medicine, as well as information about the latest practices and transformative clinical trialsTo interview Dr. Farrugia contact Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Watch video on genome sequencing:


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Posted on April 17th, 2014 by Dana Sparks

Pomegrante fruit sliced in half

Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?

Laryngospasm: What causes it?

Detox diets: Do they work?

Resilience: Build skills to endure hardship

Narrow stools: Should I be concerned?