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Dennis Douda @ddouda

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Fri, Jan 6 at 5:06pm EST by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Peanut allergy prevention

Peanut butter in a jar.

There’s been a major shift in strategy for preventing potentially deadly peanut allergies. After a decade and a half of being told to keep peanuts away from small children, parents now are being told the opposite. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division within the National Institutes of Health, now recommends exposing infants to peanut protein as young as 4 to 6 months old.

Research shows the prevalence of peanut allergies among U.S. children multiplied roughly four-fold in the 10 years following a 2000 recommendation of peanut avoidance for infants and toddlers. Two percent of U.S children now are believed to be allergic to peanuts.

“I think the initial guidelines back in 2000 were based on people thinking, ‘well, let’s try this,’ without a lot of scientific evidence to support it,” says Martha Hartz, M.D. , the division chair of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology in the Mayo Clinic Children's Center. The latest revisions to the guidelines were influenced by the 2015 Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study, which concluded that regular peanut exposure before age 5 reduced the threat of developing an allergy by more than 80 percent in high risk infants.

Dr. Hartz praises the new recommendations for offering very specific instructions for safely introducing peanut exposure, depending on a child’s degree of allergy risk. “Any parent with a child that already has a food allergy, if they can prevent it in their other children, they’re going to be interested.” 

If your child tests positive for a peanut allergy, Dr. Hartz says to ask for a referral to see an allergist. She says she's hopeful the revised guidelines will lead to a dramatic reduction in peanut allergies in the years to come. Dennis Douda reports.

WATCH: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Dec 25, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: A chemist's historic holiday discovery

A black and white photo of chemist edward kendall in a lab.Thyroid problems affect up to 10 percent of women and 3 percent of men. That helps explain why levothyroxine, a synthetically made thyroid hormone, is the most commonly prescribed medication in the U.S. And it was a Christmas Eve discovery at Mayo Clinic that made it possible. Here’s Dennis Douda with this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Dec 23, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

A Christmas gift for thyroid patients

a woman holding a little girl near the Christmas tree and putting up ornaments
Some medical discoveries stand the test of time. The case of a dedicated Mayo Clinic chemist is a prime example. Feeling that he was on the verge of a breakthrough that could help countless people, Dr. Edward Kendall spent Christmas Eve 1914 locked away in his lab. What he accomplished by Christmas morning was a gift to millions of thyroid patients, one that is still improving lives a century later. Dennis Douda has this inspiring story.

Watch: A Christmas Gift for Thyroid Patients

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Dec 1, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's researcher hopeful, despite new drug's failure

cover of Mayo Clinic book on Alzheimer's disease
Many patient advocates were disappointed recently when a major pharmaceutical company announced its clinical drug trial attempting to slow the advancement of Alzheimer's disease had failed to show significant benefit.

The trial used Eli Lilly's drug solanezumab, an antibody, to try to target the building blocks of amyloid plaques in the brains of the those with Alzheimer's. The destruction of these plaques, which are a key player in the disease, had the potential to provide stabilization for Alzheimer's patients. This goal, however was not reached in the phase III clinical trial.

"The question comes up, 'Is amyloid still a viable target in Alzheimer's disease?' and I think the answer is still yes," says Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic. "The [solanezumab] trial may have failed for one or two or more reasons, but one being that we're still attacking the disease too late the process. We're attacking when some plaques are already in the brain, and that may be too late."

Watch: Dr. Ronald Petersen discusses solanezumab and Alzheimer's research.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality sound bites are in the downloads. Dr. Petersen is also available for interviews. Expert Alert: Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., discusses future of Alzheimer’s research after drug trial fails

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Nov 30, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Seeing Alzheimer's in a new way

Alzheimer disease, neuron network with amyloid plaquesAlzheimer’s disease is one of the most feared illnesses. Besides being the sixth leading cause of death, it’s the most common cause of dementia – often robbing people of their memories and dignity. But technology is now giving researchers new ways to find it sooner and, perhaps, zero in on much more effective ways to treat the condition.

One recent advance is the ability to see specific protein components forming in the brain with positron emission tomography, or PET scans. “If we look at Alzheimer’s disease from its basic definition, it is the presence of the neuritic plaque made of amyloid in the brain and the presence of the neurofibrillary tangle comprised of tau in the brain,” says Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic.

“Now, we can see those two entities – the plaques and the tangles – in the living individual using some of our new imaging techniques,” Dr. Petersen says.

With more on how this works, here’s Dennis Douda with this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Nov 11, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: National plan to address Alzheimer’s disease

middle aged or older woman thinking, looking sad with head in hands 16x9Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Nearly 5½ million Americans have it. If effective medical treatments can’t be found, that number is projected to triple by 2050.

That’s why, in 2011, after unanimous approval by Congress, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act was signed into law. Ever since its inception, the director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ronald Petersen, has chaired the advisory council that helps set priorities for a national strategic plan of action.

“The advisory council advises the secretary of Health and Human Services on the content of the plan,” says Dr. Petersen. “And the plan itself is then used by advocacy organizations to go to Capitol Hill and lobby for increased funding for various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease – primarily research, but also for the delivery of care and services.” Dr. Petersen says the effort seems to be paying off. Here’s Dennis Douda.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Oct 6, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Rewards of cardiac rehab

Two hands holding a heart

Mayo Clinic research shows that most heart patients are not receiving the follow-up care that could help them heal faster and live longer. Cardiologist Dr. Randal Thomas says, "Nationally, only 20 to 25 percent of eligible patients receive cardiac rehabilitation services." Here’s Dennis Douda.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute  

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Oct 3, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Cardiac rehab: Smart for healing hearts

cardiac patient Ron Petrovich in rehabilitation workout gym

Heart patients are benefiting from amazing advances in technology, surgery and treatments. But Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Randal Thomas says most patients do not take advantage of a way to help them recover better and live longer: cardiac rehabilitation. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: Cardiac Rehab: Smart for Healing Hearts.  

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Sep 29, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

New outlook for Amber-Rose

rose
According to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, 33 children are injured in farming-related accidents every day. On average, a child dies in a farm mishap every three days. A Minnesota farm family knows just how easily the joys of childhood can be broken. But, with the help of a team of surgeons at the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, they are determined to help their little girl put the pieces back together. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: "A new outlook for Amber-Rose"

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Aug 16, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Still in the Running Thanks to Kidney Transplant

Olympian Aries Merritt jumping a hurdle on a trackThe 2016 Olympic games are underway. Gold medal hurdler Aries Merritt came within an eye blink of making the U.S. team to defend his title. Only a scant .01 seconds at the track and field trials in July kept him from making the trip to Rio. But, the fact he was even in the running is a major victory in itself.Olympian Aries Merritt in hospital with sister before kidney transplantJust one year ago, kidney disease threatened not just Merritt's career, but also his life. Mayo Clinic physicians figured out what was making him sick, and guided him through the kidney transplant that put him back in the race. His living donor hero turned out to be his own sister. Dennis Douda has his story.

Watch: Still in the Running Thanks to Kidney Transplant

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Jul 20, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

A Very Close Call for Mr. Hall: Aortic Aneurysm

medial illustration of stent procedureEach year, around the world, 175,000 deaths are attributed to aortic aneurysms. The aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body, carries blood directly from the heart. A variety of factors may cause the aorta to dilate like an overstretched balloon. If it should burst, it’s possible for a person to bleed to death internally in a matter of minutes.aortic aneurysm patient pictured with his wife outside their home 16x9Because aneurysms may be present without symptoms, most are discovered incidentally, while doctors are treating other conditions. In the case of one Minnesota man, his aneurysm was found during a pre-operative exam for carpal tunnel surgery. His achy wrist was not the only thing that may have saved his life. He was the first person in the U.S. to be treated with a new kind of stent that Mayo Clinic vascular surgeon Dr. Gustavo Oderich and his team are helping to develop for just such conditions. Here's Dennis Douda with the story of a very lucky man.

Watch: A Very Close Call for Mr. Hall: Aortic Aneurysm

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Jul 5, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Balloon Helps Fight Obesity

medical illustration of intragastric balloon for weight lossUp to one-third of the population is considered moderately obese. Many people could use medical help to lose weight, but don’t qualify for gastric bypass surgery. So, Mayo Clinic experts are turning to a number of less invasive — even reversible — options to improve patients’ health. Dennis Douda reports.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Jun 22, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Balloon Lightens Weight-Loss Burden

medical illustration of intragastric balloon for weight lossUp to one-third of the population is moderately obese, with a body mass index between 30 and 40. In the summer of 2015, Mayo Clinic doctors were the first in the U.S. to implant a new weight-loss device ─ an intragastric balloon ─ for those who need medical help, but don’t qualify for bariatric surgery. As the first results are being assessed, Mayo experts say the balloon has the potential to benefit millions of people. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: Balloon Lightens Weight-Loss Burden

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Jun 8, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Promising Application for Stem Cells: Crohn's Complications

stemcellfistulaplug550x309

New research at Mayo Clinic is bringing hope to hundreds of thousands of Crohn’s disease patients. Their extreme pain from complications is both physical and emotional and, for many, incurable. But, an innovation using the patient’s own stem cells seems to work extremely well in early testing. Eventually, researchers say, it may be used to treat Crohn’s disease in general. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: Another Promising Application for Stem Cells: Crohn's Complications

Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (2:33) without graphics is available in the downloads. Read the script.

a medical illustration of the rectum, anus and fistula

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Jun 8, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Melanoma Awareness

medical illustration of a melanoma skin cancer

With summertime upon us, here’s a healthy reminder to wear your sunscreen and keep an eye on changes to your skin. One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime. Diagnosed early, it is highly treatable. Even melanoma, which accounts for 75 percent of skin cancer deaths, often is cured when removed at its earliest stages. Dennis Douda has more.

Watch: Mayo Clinic Minute: Melanoma Awareness

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May 26, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Debra’s Story: 'Sun Tanning Not Worth It'

Debra Wagner sitting and receiving therapy for melanomaMay is Melanoma Awareness Month. It’s a good reminder to wear your sunscreen and keep an eye on changes to your skin — and to moles in particular. It’s estimated 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer, and melanoma accounts for 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.

Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: Debra’s Story: 'Sun Tanning Not Worth It'

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May 23, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: Helping Kids Make Strides to Better Health

Blount's Disease patient Amarachi Austin-OkohA girl from Nigeria says she has a new future ahead, after a life-changing trip to Mayo Clinic. The new Limb Lengthening and Regeneration Clinic, which incorporates many medical specialties, enabled doctors to restore her legs to normal, so that she might enjoy the simple steps that most take for granted. Dennis Douda reports.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

 

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May 19, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Spark of Discovery Ignites New Era of Cancer Therapies

radiological image of liver cancer
Former President Jimmy Carter made news around the world a few months ago when, after a battle with potentially deadly melanoma, he revealed he was cancer-free. Hearing that a so-called “miracle drug” was responsible, Dr. Haidong Dong could not help but smile. Discoveries in a Mayo Clinic lab years earlier had helped to make this therapy, and a new generation of similar cancer therapies, possible. “Lots of people work in these [research] fields for years, for decades,” says Dr. Dong. “They never give up and their persistence eventually makes a big difference.”

Dr. Larry Pease, the co-director of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, agrees. “Basically, at Mayo Clinic, what we’re interested in is meeting the unmet needs of the patients,” says Dr. Pease. “But, you know, from a biological perspective, one of the goals is to try to figure out how the immune system works.” Dr. Dong adds, “This is our responsibility: to find answers.” From the Mayo Clinic News Network, Dennis Douda has more on the story.

Watch: Spark of Discovery Ignites New Era of Cancer Therapies

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May 3, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Big Steps for Amarachi

young patient Amarachi being interviewed

To run, play tag and try the sport of basketball – those are the new activities a girl from Nigeria is looking forward to most, after a life-changing trip to Mayo Clinic.

"She is very happy, and we are too, quite frankly," says Dr. Todd Milbrandt, a pediatric surgeon at Mayo Clinic Children's Center. "She’s just a phenomenal young woman and a really motivated patient," adds orthopedic surgeon S. Andrew Sems, M.D., with the Limb Lengthening and Regeneration Clinic.

Step by step, doctors were able to restore her legs to normal, so that she might enjoy the simple steps that most take for granted. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Watch: Amarachi's Big Steps

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Apr 27, 2016 by @ddouda · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: The Long Wait for a Transplant

transplant patient Randy with hospital care nursesRandy Marlow knew he may have to be patient when he was added to the organ transplant waiting list. A shortage of donor organs is the reason more than 120,000 Americans are waiting for their second chance at life.

Randy's situation was particularly challenging, which meant much of his wait was spent in the hospital. Still, his Mayo Clinic team found creative ways to help the days pass. Dennis Douda reports.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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