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Activity by danasparks


12 hours ago by danasparks · View  

In the Loop: Staying Young in the Age of Aging

Aging mother with adult daugher

This article appeared November 19, 2015 In the Loop.

You can't beat the clock. No matter who you are and what you do, you're going to get older. The hours keep ticking by. And if you're like us, that brings a couple questions to mind: "What is getting older going to be like?" And, "Is there anything that can be done to make it better?" NaBREAKTHROUGH_AGING_PR_DIGITAL_PC1tional Geographic's new television series "Breakthrough" will explore those very questions (and more) in a segment titled "The Age of Aging" on Sunday, Nov. 29. (Put it on your fast-changing calendar and download and view a segment of the program on Mayo research.)

The segment is directed and narrated by Ron Howard (yes, that Ron Howard) and has a strong Mayo Clinic connection. It includes interviews with retired residents living in Rochester. And it will feature the latest research developments from the Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging. That includes work being done to "extend the healthy years of lifespan," a phrase researchers in the Center on Aging use to refer to "the period of life when individuals are independent and free" from the aches, pains and struggles of chronic health conditions.

"There are so many questions to be made around the question of aging," Howard says in a promotional trailerfor the segment. "It's, on one hand, wonderful to imagine living long, feeling better, being productive well into the golden years. But also important in taking a look at our moment to recognize that it's a struggle."

Read the rest of the story.

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16 hours ago by danasparks · View  

Mayo Clinic Minute: E. Coli Facts

raw baby spinach leaves
Watch this Mayo Clinic Minute

E. coli outbreaks around the nation have many people asking questions. What is it? Who is at risk? Mayo Clinic emergency medicine specialist Dr. David Claypool says it's a common bacteria that can be spread through contaminated food or water. Reporter Jeff Olsen has more E. coli facts in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. [TRT 1:00]  Download the script.

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1 day ago by danasparks · View  

Talking Turkey: From the Grocery Store To the Table

roasted turkey on platter

Former Mayo Clinic chef Richard Johnson shares his expertise and demonstrates how to take a turkey from the grocery store to the table, including how to properly select, thaw, prepare, roast and serve a turkey. The above video is an overview and the links below take you to specific turkey tips:

Journalists: All tip segments are in broadcast quality video and are available to download for re-purposing on your various platforms.

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3 days ago by danasparks · View  

An Answer to Chronic Pain Through Community

Kylee Swensrud, chronic pain patient, with her dog
This patient story originally appeared Dec. 10, 2014 in Sharing Mayo Clinic.

Kylee Swensrud doesn’t want to talk about the bad stuff. About how the chronic back pain she’s been living with for the past few years caused emotional distress and drove a wedge between her parents, or the weight it placed on her older sister over concern for her. And she especially doesn’t want to talk about how it rendered a vibrant, outgoing teenager essentially lifeless.

“I don’t want to focus on how negative all of this was,” Kylee, now 19, says. “But I do want people to understand that I literally had no life. It truly was like a living hell. It was just this giant, rolling ball of ick.”

The culprit came suddenly and without warning when Kylee’s lower back gave out one day during ballet. “They thought it was just an injury,” she says. “Nothing was noticeable as a trigger point, so they just told me to rest and do some physical therapy.”  Read the rest of Kylee's story.

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6 days ago by danasparks · View  

#ThrowbackThursday: Visitor Recalls Early Mayowood Days

early history of Mayowood on the hill outside Rochester
This article first appeared June 1966 in the publication Mayovox.

George B. Storey is in the insurance business in Washington, Illinois. He visits the Clinic every few years and sometimes (though not so often any more) he meets old friends.

Mr. George StoreyThe old friends are fewer now because Mr. Storey is 87 and the years he spent in Rochester were between 1908 and 1913 when he was farm manager for Dr. C. H. Mayo.

“Dr. Charlie owned about 600 acres when I came and he bought several more farms while I was here,” Mr. Storey recalls. “He used to say ‘I’m going to own enough land so that when I take a walk I won’t have to walk on anybody else’s property.’”

Each farm had a foreman but Mr. Storey had overall charge. He remembers a Kentucky-bred horse he used to ride over the acres to keep an eye on things.

Mayowood was built he thinks about 1909. Storey himself had a house by the creek and two of his five children were born there. He built a dam on the creek to improve the fishing.

“Dr. Charlie had a free day a week and he always spent it on the farm. He’d say, ‘Storey, let’s take a walk,’ and we’d visit as many of the farms as we could and talk to the men working there.

“You never had to explain things to him, or wait for him to decide. He’d look you right in the eye and make up his mind on the spot. [...]

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6 days ago by danasparks · View  

In the Loop: Many Caring Hands Make Compassionate Work


This story appeared November 10, 2015 In the Loop.

The patient was scheduled for surgery at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus the next day. Her nurse, noticing the woman seemed "very anxious" about her procedure, contacted Mayo's Volunteer Services department and suggested a hand massage might help calm her nerves. "The woman indicated she was at a tipping point after dealing with cancer since 1984 in many parts of her body," volunteer Jeri Zimmerman says. "She mentioned she believed God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but she felt she was there."

Before beginning the hand massage, Zimmerman asked if the woman had a prayer shawl. She didn't, so Zimmerman offered to bring her one at the end of her shift. "She then lay back, closed her eyes, and relaxed while I completed the massage," Zimmerman says. Read the rest of the story.

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Mon, Nov 16 at 2:14pm EST by danasparks · View  

FREE WEBINAR: 5 Ways to Decrease Stress During the Holidays

holiday stress written on a chalkboard

Tuesday, November 17th at 1 pm ET

Mayo Clinic is hosting a free, interactive webinar on
obtaining greater fulfillment and less stress during the holidays.
Create space for happiness and gratitude this holiday season!

Brooke Werneburg and Jamie Friend, resiliency specialists and certified wellness coaches at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, will discuss the practice of gratitude and how it can influence your mindset, increase feelings of being connected and alter your expectations.  Give yourself the gift of a new perspective on stress management this holiday season.  A live question and answer session will follow the presentation. Sign up today to ask questions and to receive email reminders. Learn more about the webinar on Mayo Clinic Connect.

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Sun, Nov 15 at 3:55am EST by danasparks · View  

Tracking Down an Elusive Answer

Scott Borden Family photo, wife and little girls holding stuffed animals and pom-poms

This patient story originally appeared May 8, 2015 in Sharing Mayo Clinic.

In February 2015, Scott Borden boarded a plane in sunny Palm Beach, Florida, and flew into wintertime in Rochester, Minnesota. His trek north, in the opposite direction of most midwinter travelers, was born of frustration and determination.

For about a year, Scott had been battling a medical condition characterized by high blood pressure and low potassium levels. Although his doctors suspected an adrenal gland disorder, no clear cause for his symptoms could be found. At age 37, a professional with a young family, Scott wasn't content to accept the treatment options presented to him.

"To keep my blood pressure under control, I had to take a lot of medication," says Scott. "It caused significant side effects: retaining fluid, swelling, achiness, headaches. It was pretty rough. I couldn't just live that way indefinitely. I needed to find out what was going on." Read the rest of Scott's story.

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Fri, Nov 13 at 5:49pm EST by danasparks · View  

Something to Think About ~ Happier Spaces

sunshine coming through the trees, person taking nature walk

WATCH Happier Spaces

"When you are surrounded by sunlight, greenery, pets and other signs of life - you become happier.  Some scientists call it Biophilia - our natural affiliation for life."
- Dr. Amit Sood

Amit Sood, M.D., is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

Click here to read previous blog posts. Follow Dr. Sood on Twitter @AmitSoodMD

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Thu, Nov 12 at 1:09pm EST by danasparks · View  

#ThrowbackThursday: Silver Mine Is Time-and-Money Saver for X-ray

silver mine


This article first appeared December 1953 in the publication Mayovox.

Did you know that the Clinic has a silver mine in the basement? It is located just around the corner from the Stockroom, in the old Engine Room. A maze of pipes and tanks and controls, it bears little resemblance to a conventional silver mine. The fact is, however, that this is one of the most efficient “mines” anywhere, producing silver that is 90 to 95 percent pure.

The “mother lode” of this silver mine is up on the third floor of the 1928 Building, in X-ray’s Dark Room. Here is how it all works, explains Ray K. Runge, in charge of this operation for the Section of Diagnostic Roentgenology.

As you know, x-rays are indispensable tools for medical diagnosis. With such other diagnostic tools as laboratory tests, x-ray examinations provide Clinic physicians with information needed to diagnose patients’ illnesses. X-rays, to be of greatest value for this purpose, must be (a) of top quality, and (b) available for physicians as quickly as possible.

Background for Silver Mine

The continuing search for quality plus speed in x-ray processing is the background for the silver mine in the basement of the Clinic, Runge explains. Just a few years ago, an x-ray film required 86 minutes from the time it entered the Dark Room until, processed and dried, it was ready for use.  In 1947, when the bulk of the present x–ray system was introduced, refrigerated dry air and mechanical handling of the films cut the time needed for processing x-rays to 73 minutes. [...]

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Wed, Nov 11 at 12:34pm EST by danasparks · View  

In the Loop: Visit a Vet Program Salutes Those Who Served

Blue Angels pilots visits patient in hospital bed

This story appears this week In the Loop.

Debbie Daugherty was driving home from work shortly before Christmas a couple years back when she noticed a U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program truck. The soldiers collecting donations made her think of her father, a decorated veteran who served 30 years in the Marines, including tours in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He'd been having health issues, and had moved in with Daugherty. She decided to ask the soldiers for a favor.

"I did a U-turn, drove back to them, and asked if they'd follow me home, give me two minutes of their time, and say hello to my dad," says Daugherty, an operations manager at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "I thought they'd think I was crazy." Instead, "They said 'Yes, Ma'am,' and followed me home." That two-minute request stretched into a two-hour visit, during which Daugherty saw "a whole change in my dad's countenance. He just beamed." As did a light bulb in her head. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could bring that to our patients?'"  Read the rest of the story.

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Sun, Nov 8 at 7:00am EST by danasparks · View  

Experimental Nerve Graft Puts Former Green Beret Back on his Feet


This patient story was originally published August 26, 2015 in Sharing Mayo Clinic.

Others might have panicked, but former U.S. Special Forces Engineer Kevin Flike kept his wits about him when he was shot in the abdomen during a firefight in Afghanistan four years ago. Through the worst pain of his life, the Green Beret pushed forward. He radioed his injury to teammates and began assessing the wound, which appeared mortal to his unit’s medic.

“I wanted to remain calm because I knew if I wasn’t, it was going to make the situation worse,” says Kevin, who, at 27, was one of the senior members in his unit. As it was, the situation was bad. The bullet tore through his lower abdomen, breaking his hip, damaging his colon, and ripping apart his left femoral nerve.
Read the rest of Kevin's story.

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Fri, Nov 6 at 9:15pm EST by danasparks · View  

Something to Think About ~ Be a Better Friend: Six Ideas


WATCH Be a Better Friend

"The quality and depth of your friendships matter more than the number of connections." - Dr. Amit Sood

Amit Sood, M.D., is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

Click here to read previous blog posts. Follow Dr. Sood on Twitter @AmitSoodMD

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Fri, Nov 6 at 1:46pm EST by danasparks · View  

CNN Encore Presentation of Inspirational Film, GLEN CAMPBELL...I'll Be Me

Glen Campbell promo from CNN films

CNN Films Presents Saturday Nov. 7th, at 8 pm ET and 10 pm ET
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

Alzheimer's disease continues to encroach on singer-songwriter Glen Campbell's life. Instead of retreating to deal with the challenges privately, Glen and his family decided to share their struggle with documentary filmmakers. The 2014 production, called "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me", includes both heartwarming and candidly frank moments Mr. Campbell experienced during his visits to Mayo Clinic for care. Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, praises the Campbell family for their determination to raise awareness about the condition's impact on patients, as well as their caregivers. Dennis Douda has the story. [TRT 4:20]

Journalists: This video pkg. is available in the downloads.

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Thu, Nov 5 at 8:44pm EST by danasparks · View  

#ThrowbackThursday: New Mayo Clinics and the Decision to Expand Outside Rochester

photo of 1984 Mayo Clinic Rochester campus

Mayo Clinic Rochester 1984

This article first appeared June 1984 in the publication Mayovox.

Last month the Board of Trustees approved plans for Mayo to begin development of new Mayo Clinic group practices at distant sites. In the following interview, Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, chairman of the Board of Governors, explains the thinking behind this decision and some of its implications.

Why are we expanding outside of Rochester? 

Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, Mayo CEO from 1976 to 1987

Dr. W. Eugene Mayberry, Mayo CEO from 1976 to 1987

The rationale for expanding outside of Rochester encompasses several points. One is an altruistic reason. We have a sincere belief that we have a unique model for health care delivery here that has served people well. We feel we can be of even greater service to the public by extending our system beyond the reaches of this region.

Another point is the need for the institution to grow. We’ve always grown since our inception and growth has allowed us to be of a size to justify having all the necessary components of a tertiary, highly specialized national health care resource. We need to continue to grow in order to create new services, such as liver transplantation. If we don’t grow, anytime we provide a new service we would have to eliminate an existing service and that is very difficult. We need to grow to provide the programs in education and research that we have traditionally provided. And we need to grow because we don’t know how not to grow. We don’t have any experience in that.

Other reasons for expanding are related to changes ocurring in health care in America. Health care is increasingly going to be provided by large institutions, multi-system institutions. We think Mayo Clinic is the best poised institution in the United States to lead a physician-directed, multi-system practice of medicine in the United States. [...]

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Thu, Nov 5 at 11:08am EST by danasparks · View  

Fishing Takes a Back Seat While Physician Helps Injured Paddler


The story appeared this week, November 3, 2015, In the Loop

Robert Key, M.D., and his brother Tim were fishing on Caribou Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness shortly after sunrise on Sept. 21, when they spotted a member of their fishing party frantically waving them back to shore. Once ashore, they were introduced to Bette Braem, 56, who was no doubt happy to make the acquaintance of the family medicine physician from Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Braem tells the LaCrosse Tribune she heard "a snap" in her left leg while unloading a pack from her canoe the day before. Suspecting "something had fractured," her husband, Stuart, wrapped her leg in a bandage. Then the couple broke camp and paddled 3 1/2 miles across Caribou Lake in search of help. Not immediately finding help, Stuart set up a new camp while Bette kept her injured leg in the cool lake water to reduce the swelling.  Read the rest of the story.

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Wed, Nov 4 at 2:00pm EST by danasparks · View  

‘Liquid biopsy’ Promotes Precision Medicine by Tracking Patient’s Cancer

Circulating tumor DNA in blood could inform physicians on best treatments for individual patients

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Nov. 4, 2015 - A team of researchers, including scientists from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), has reported that analyzing circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) can track how a patient's cancer evolves and responds to treatment.

In a study published today in Nature Communications, Dr. Muhammed Murtaza  of TGen and Mayo Clinic, and colleagues, describe an extensive comparison between biopsy results and analysis of ctDNA in a patient with breast cancer. The researchers followed the patient over three years of treatment. "When patients receive thmedical illustration of DNA stranderapy for advanced cancers, not all parts of the tumor respond equally, but it has been difficult to study this phenomenon because it is not practical to perform multiple, repeated tissue biopsies," said Dr. Murtaza, Co-Director of TGen's Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics, and one of the study's lead authors. "Our findings empirically show that ctDNA analysis from blood samples allows us to detect cancer mutations from multiple different tumor sites within a patient and track how each of them responds," Dr. Murtaza said.

This type of blood test - known as a liquid biopsy - is less invasive, less costly and less risky than conventional tissue biopsies, which essentially are minor surgeries. Obtaining liquid biopsies could occur more frequently, too, thus providing physicians with up-to-date information about how a patient's cancer might be changing. This, in turn, could help in the selection of the best possible treatments to combat the cancer.

Read more in this news release from TGEN.

Read more about research in Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Murtaza are available in the downloads.


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Sun, Nov 1 at 9:15am EST by danasparks · View  

Marathoner and Ironman Michael Koetting Back in the Race After Donating Kidney

Michael Koetting running race

This patient story originally appeared August 13, 2015 in Sharing Mayo Clinic.

As an endurance athlete who has completed six Ironman triathlons and more than two dozen marathons, Michael Koetting does not fear physical challenges. So when he learned he could use his good health to help a stranger in need, he never hesitated.

In December 2014, Michael, 47, of Orono, Minnesota, donated one of his kidneys to an anonymous recipient. Mere months later, he is back on the road, clocking competitive times in the sports he loves. His experience shows that dedicated athletes can give the gift of life through organ donation without jeopardizing their fitness.

Many living donors choose to give an organ directly to a loved one or friend in need. But people can also donate to strangers through anonymous living donation, also known as good Samaritan, non-directed or altruistic donation. More than 122,000 people nationwide are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, a public-private partnership to increase the number of and access to transplants. Living donors can spare patients awaiting kidney, liver and bone marrow transplant a lengthy and uncertain wait for an organ from a deceased donor. Read the rest of Michael's story.

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Fri, Oct 30 at 5:05pm EST by danasparks · View  

Something to Think About ~ Five Depths of Gratitude

word cloud for gratitude, thank you, hope, give, forgiveness

WATCH: The Five Depths of Gratitude

"Cultivate deeper gratitude by being thankful for the simple and the ordinary. It will help you become happier and more resilient. Wish you peace, joy and love."  - Amit

Amit Sood, M.D., is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

Click here to read previous blog posts. Follow Dr. Sood on Twitter @AmitSoodMD

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Fri, Oct 30 at 3:57pm EST by danasparks · View  

Ruth Nearly Lost Her Life to Depression

Ruth Tibesar sitting on patio and speaking out about depression, sadness, suicide

Watch: Ruth's Story

Many people suffer from the deep sadness, loss of interest and hopelessness associated with depression. Ruth nearly lost her life to depression. But because she survived, she's determined to spread the message that even when things seem very dark, there is hope. She wants more people to talk about the stigma and struggles associated with depression.  [TRT 1:50]

Journalists: Broadcast quality videos of the package are available in the downloads, with narration and with natural sound only. Read the script.

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