Dennis Douda @ddouda
Activity by Dennis Douda @ddouda
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."
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
Alzheimer’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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.
Alzheimer’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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (0:58) is in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (3:43) is in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: This broadcast-quality video pkg (3:06) is in the downloads. Read the script.
The 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.Just 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (3:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.
Each 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.Because 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (5:41) is in the downloads. Read the script.
Up 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:09) without graphics is in the downloads. Read the script.
Up 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:58) without graphics is in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (2:33) without graphics is available in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:07) without graphics is in the downloads. Read the script.
May 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (2:55) without graphics is in the downloads. Read the script.
A 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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (1:10) without graphics is available in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (3:01) without graphics is available in the downloads. Read the script.
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.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (3:03) without graphics is in the downloads. Read the script.
Randy 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.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:03) is in the downloads. Read the script.
April is National Donate Life Month. On any given day, more than 120,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for lifesaving donor organs to become available.
Randy Marlow was 1 of more than 4,000 people in need of a heart transplant. He recalls being told that the odds were really stacked against him. A host of factors made finding a compatible donor extremely challenging. Still, his Mayo Clinic doctors told him, if he had the patience, they had a plan. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Journalists: A broadcast-quality video pkg (6:04) is in the downloads. Read the script.
Great medical care often involves integrative collaborations among several specialties – teams of doctors working together. The patient is a vital member of that team, as well. When melanoma put a lifelong athlete in a fight for her life, she says she found a team at Mayo Clinic that kept her in the game. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network. Watch Video
Journalists: Broadcast-quality videos, with and without narration, are in the downloads. Read the script.
Are You Due for Your Screening? Don't Put it Off!
Every person over the age of 50 is strongly advised to get a colonoscopy. It’s one of the best ways to detect colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States. In 2016, 135,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researcher and gastroenterologist, Paul J. Limburg, M.D., says research shows you can cut your risk by not smoking, exercising, losing excess weight, and eating a diet high in fruits, vegetable and whole grains.
Dr. Limburg says, even though colorectal cancer is the the second leading cause of cancer death, colonoscopy and other screening methods make it one of the most preventable cancers. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Watch the Mayo Clinic Minute.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is available in the downloads. (1:04) Read the script.