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July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q and A: Eye infections common, especially in children

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My grandson had a virus with flu symptoms. Then one of his eyes got very red, but it wasn’t itchy or mattered shut. When my daughter took him to the doctor, she was told it was the virus settling in his eye. But it wasn’t pink eye. What’s the difference between this type of eye infection and pink eye? Are the treatments different?

ANSWER: The two conditions you mention are both eye infections,
and they are actually also both forms of little boy with conjunctivitis or pink eyepink eye. The difference is that the type of infection your grandson had is caused by a virus. The other is caused by bacteria. Viral eye infections typically do not require any treatment. Bacterial eye infections are usually treated with antibiotic eye drops.

Eye infections are common, especially in children. As in your grandson’s case, they often happen when a child has a cold. Both viral eye infections and bacterial eye infections are called conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

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July 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Announcing Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Online: Smart Technology Empowering Employee and Group Health and Wellness

By Brian Kilen

A digital, individualized Mayo Clinic approach to better health through lifestyle and behavior change   

Rochester, Minn. — Mayo Clinic announced today a new health engagement platform called Mayo Clinic Healthy Living online. Designed for employers and other groups to help members improve and stay healthy, the platform focuses on lifestyle areas where change can have the most beneficial effect on overall health. As a result, this new solution promises positive results, not only for the individual, but for the employer/client in terms of controlling health care costs and optimizing performance and productivity. The science underpinning the platform draws upon the expertise of Mayo Clinic and leverages the new Mayo Clinic Healthy Living program as a learning lab to research and measure outcomes to improve health and wellness.

Hagen_Philip_13MMayo Clinic Healthy Living online is at the forefront of the next generation of digital wellness and lifestyle behavior change tools. The program is designed to engage members by leveraging new technologies, connectivity to remote devices, data-driven user personalization, incentive capabilities, and user-driven responsive design, all underpinned by evidence-based approaches validated though the medical practice and research at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic research was used to identify areas with the most potential to improve health. The platform focuses on diet and nutrition, physical activity, and weight management, with plans to build out stress, sleep and resiliency offerings. “What we are doing with this tool is bringing Mayo expertise outside the walls of the clinic. People are struggling with their wellness goals, and we want to use technology to provide the support necessary for wellness and disease prevention,” says Philip Hagen, M.D., M.P.H., medical director for Mayo Clinic Healthy Living online. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Housecall Banner blue and white pile of prescription drug bottlesTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Menopause hormone therapy: Pros and cons
Hormone therapy can provide effective relief from menopause symptoms. Talk with your doctor to weigh your personal risks and benefits.

Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options
With so many types of sunscreen out there, it can be hard to know which to choose. This Q&A with a Mayo Clinic dermatologist can help.

Buying prescription drugs online Ordering prescription medications online can save you time and money, but not all pharmacies are licensed. Stay safe with these do's and don'ts.

EXPERT ANSWERSfood allergies sign that says 'no peanuts' next to peanut butter jar
Are there any effective alternative treatments for food allergies?
Find out which alternative treatments have shown promise for treating food allergies.

Acute hepatitis C infection: Is it serious?
Acute hepatitis C infection precedes chronic hepatitis C. Find out how acute hepatitis C develops and what the diagnosis means.

Thirdhand smoke: What are the dangers to nonsmokers?
Toxic tobacco residue clings to walls, carpets, clothes, cars and other surfaces.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Thorough evaluation needed to determine if surgery an option for patient with emphysema

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father, 68, has advanced emphysema. Medication for it doesn’t seem to help as much as it used to. We’ve heard that volume reduction surgery is sometimes used in cases like his. What does this surgery involve? What are the benefits? How do we find out if he’s a good candidate for it?medical illustration of damaged lung with emphysema

ANSWER: Lung volume reduction surgery can help treat some severe cases of emphysema. The procedure involves removing part of the damaged lung tissue, so the remaining healthy tissue can work better. But it is only appropriate in a small number of cases. A thorough medical evaluation would be necessary to see if your father might be a good candidate for lung volume reduction surgery.

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, that damages the lungs’ air sacs, called alveoli. The alveoli are clustered like bunches of grapes. In emphysema, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and eventually break down. That creates one larger air space instead of many small ones. This decreases the surface area of the lungs and lowers the amount of oxygen that reaches the bloodstream.

Emphysema cannot be cured. Medications and pulmonary rehabilitation are the main therapies for this disease. Medications including bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, oxygen and antibiotics often are used to help ease breathing problems and prevent flare-ups. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

MAYO CLINIC RADIO

By Dana Sparks

montage of Mayo Clinic Radio pictures

If you have shoulder problems the next Mayo Clinic Radio is for you!  On Saturday, July 26, at 9 a.m. CT, John Sperling, M.D., will join us to discuss the many causes of shoulder pain. What do you know about shoulder bursitistendinitis and something called Wiiitis? How are torn rotator cuffs diagnosed and repaired? We'll discuss a new option for patients with arthritis called reverse arthroplasty. Join us!

Myth or Matter of Fact: Rotator cuff tears can heal without surgery.

Follow #MayoClinicRadio and tweet your questions.

To listen to the program on Saturday, click here

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment July 26, 2014 (right click MP3) 

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July 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Future of Health Care Update

By Susana Shephard

FOHC Banner telemedicine word artIndividualizing Medicine 2014: From Promise to Practice Wait no more for the transition to genomic medicine as we look towards the future of health care. It’s here, and it’s changing the way doctors care for everything from cancer to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more at the Individualizing Medicine Conference scheduled for October 6-8 and hosted by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

Telemedicine and the Future of Health Care The future of health care is moving towards providing safe, quality care via telemedicine; however, the patchwork of state-by-state medical licensing rules inhibit the delivery of medical services through telemedicine. Patients should not have to take a road trip to access Mayo Clinic’s medical expertise and knowledge.

Modernizing the Clinical Trial System to Meet the Needs of the Patient The future of health care in the United States requires modernization of clinical trial regulations and processes. Sundeep Khosla, M.D., Dean for Clinical and Translational Science, principal investigator and director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), discusses the path to this reform, which requires study, analysis and policy change on the part of all the stakeholders — government, academic medical centers and private industry.

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July 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Pay it Forward with Random Acts of Kindness

By Dana Sparks

Blue and white banner logo for 'Living with Cancer' blog

Pay it forward with random acts of kindnessclose up of child's hand holding an older adult hand with kindness
Practice kindness and pass it on. You'll make someone's day, and when that person passes the kindness on, it multiplies.

Pediatric white blood cell disorders
Learn the basics about children's white blood cell disorders.

Fertility preservation: Understand your options before cancer treatment
Cancer treatment can have a major impact on fertility. Get the facts about fertility preservation options for men and women.

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July 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

THURSDAY CONSUMER HEALTH TIPS

By Dana Sparks

Fresh Fruits

Diabetes diet: Should I avoid sweet fruits?

White coat hypertension: When blood pressure rises at the doctor's office

Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts

Stopping blood loss: From the battlefield to the cornfield

Birth control pills: Harmful in early pregnancy?

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July 23rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network — Headlines 7/23/14

By Dana Sparks


Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines include:

  • Unruptured  brain aneurysm
  • Imaging for children
  • Functional foods improving health

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. Click here for script.

 

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July 23rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

21st Century Cures Roundtable on Personalized Medicine

By Dana Sparks

Dr. Frank Cockerill LIVE at Capitol Hill roundtable on personalized medicine


Frank Cockerill, M.D.
, chair of the Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, is participating in a roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee today, Wednesday, July 23, at 10 a.m ET.  

Click for LIVE stream.   Go to Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories for more information.

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July 22nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Study Suggests Caffeine Intake May Worsen Menopausal Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

By Ginger Plumbo

Study also shows that caffeine may help mood and memory in perimenopausal women

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new Mayo Clinic study, published online today by the journal Menopause, found an association between caffeine intake and more bothersome hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women. The study also showed an association between caffeine intake and fewer problems with mood, memory and concentration in perimenopausal women, possibly because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, mood and attention. The findings of this largest study to date on caffeine and menopausal symptoms are published on the Menopause website and will also be printed in a future issue of the journal.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu

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July 22nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q and A: Many conditions result in dementia, but Alzheimer’s is most common

By lizatorborg

Alzheimer's disease definition highlighted in dictionaryDEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? Are they hereditary?

ANSWER: Dementia is a broad term used to describe a group of symptoms that interferes with a person's thinking and the ability to function well in day-to-day activities. Many conditions can result in dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease is, by far, the most common. Because so many factors can lead to dementia, one cannot say that dementia, the syndrome, is hereditary. Rather, subtypes of dementia (for example, Alzheimer’s disease) may have inherited components. A rare form of Alzheimer’s disease is truly inherited, but that accounts for only 1 percent of the total disease. Typical Alzheimer’s disease, however, does have a tendency to run in families, and there are genetic tendencies.

Dementia is defined by its symptoms, with memory loss being one of the most frequent. Just because a person has some memory loss, though, doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has dementia. A diagnosis of dementia typically means a person is having problems with at least two brain functions. That may include, for example, memory loss as well as impaired judgment or problems with language. These may in turn lead to difficulty performing routine tasks, such as paying bills or driving to a familiar location without getting lost. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 21st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Housecall Banner blue and white

Heart attack word cloudTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Cancer causes: Popular myths about the causes of cancer
Myths about secret cancer causes may lead you to worry about your own health and the health of your family. Before you panic, take a look at the facts.

Heart attack symptoms: Know what's a medical emergency
Besides chest pain, do you know the signs of a heart attack? Watch for these symptoms.

Carbohydrates: How carbs fit into a healthy diet
Carbohydrates have numerous health benefits. In fact, your body needs them to function. But some carbs may be better for you than others.

EXPERT ANSWERSgreen leaves of a Ginkgo tree
Ginkgo biloba: Can it prevent memory loss?
Ginkgo biloba is said to prevent memory loss, but study results suggest otherwise.

Salt craving: A symptom of Addison's disease?
Excessive salt craving may indicate an underlying medical condition, such as Addison's disease

Late-day exercise: Can it cause insomnia?
For some people, exercising within a few hours of bedtime may cause problems getting to sleep.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter.

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July 21st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Study Says Widowhood May Delay Dementia

By Jim McVeigh

senior citizen, older woman sitting alone and looking out windowPHOENIX — A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that the care and support family members give to elderly widows following the death of their spouse may be a factor in delaying dementia.

The study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark last week was designed to evaluate the effects of widowhood in people with mild cognitive impairment - a precursor of dementia.  The thinking had been that widowhood would accelerate the development of dementia in people with MCI but the study showed the opposite.

Mayo Clinic researchers used data on more than 3,500 people from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database, which compiles information collected at various Alzheimer’s disease Centers in the U.S. The researchers found that of the 1,078 subjects who developed dementia, people who remained married developed dementia at a younger age than those who were widowed (83 years old versus 92 years).

MEDIA CONTACT: Jim McVeigh, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 480-301-4222, mcveigh.jim@mayo.edu.   Read the rest of this entry »

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July 21st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Four Tricks to Save Yourself from Ticks

By Dana Sparks

News from Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Summer fun often includes hiking, biking, and just enjoying the great outdoors. But hanging out in parks or walking on trails also invites ticks to hop a ride. Below are four tips from the Mayo Clinic Parasitology Laboratory for arming yourself against these unwanted visitors: 

1. Use repellants that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET or 20 percent picaridin: Bobbi Pritt, M.D., clinical microbiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, says that applying repellant to exposed skin and clothing will provide protection for several hours. “You can also wear clothing treated with permethrin to keep bugs away,” adds Dr. Pritt. 

2. Wear long sleeves and tuck pants into socks: Covering your body and sealing off “entry points” from little critters helps prevent bites. Dr. Pritt also suggests wearing light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks. 

3. Avoid areas where ticks are prevalent: When hiking, stay in the middle of the trail and avoid areas with high grass or leaf litter. 

4. Check yourself carefully for ticks, removing any right away using small forceps: When you get back from a hike or picnic, make sure you check yourself carefully for ticks. “Ticks can transmit important disease-causing organisms to humans and pets,” says Dr. Pritt, “It’s vital to remove any attached ticks right away using forceps.”

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Andy Tofilon, Mayo Medical Laboratories, 507-538-5245, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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