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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska)

Activity by Duska Anastasijevic

Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Mon, Oct 27 2014 · View  

Multi-Million-Dollar Grants for Research in Dementia Striking Younger People

Projects will help advance research through collaborations and development of novel strategies for frontotemporal dementia

Rochester, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has been awarded two grants for large, five-year projects on frontotemporal dementia (FTD), characterized by degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. While rare, it may strike people in their twenties, even in their teens.

Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Tue, Oct 14 2014 · View  

New Guideline in Genetic Testing for Certain Types of Muscular Dystrophy

Knowing the specific subtype is important for getting the best possible careshutterstock_196951337

Rochester, Minn. – The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) offer a new guideline on how to determine what genetic tests may best diagnose a person’s subtype of limb-girdle or distal muscular dystrophy. The guideline is published in the October 14, 2014, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the AAN.

Researchers reviewed all of the available studies on the muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage, as part of the process in developing the new guideline.

Doctors should conduct a thorough evaluation of symptoms, family history, ethnicity, and results of physical exam and certain lab tests to determine what genetic tests may be more appropriate to order.

“The guideline should help physicians arrive at the right diagnosis quicker so patients will not need to take unnecessary test”, says Mayo Clinic neurologist Duygu Selcen, M.D., who was part of the multi-center research team led by Julie Bolen, PhD, MPH, from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is particularly important because the muscle diseases are often hard to diagnose”, adds Dr. Selcen.

Media Contacts:
Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Rachel Seroka, AAN,, (612) 928-6129 [...]

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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Thu, Aug 21 2014 · View  

Mayo Clinic Convenes Thought Leaders to Discuss Transforming Health Care Delivery

CFI Transform logo with many colors
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation (CFI) will hold Transform 2014, its seventh collaborative symposium focused on redesigning the way health care is experienced and delivered, Sept. 7–9 in Rochester. The symposium draws attendees from around the world looking to connect with colleagues inside and outside the health care industry.

Dozens of thought leaders from a wide array of backgrounds will share ideas and lessons on how to fast-track transformation amidst a rapidly changing environment. Topics include new models of care delivery that have a potential to disrupt the current health care system, the future of virtual health, the shift of the financial burden to the consumers and how to scale programs to large populations.

“We are delighted to welcome back some of the most creative and motivated people in the country to help us transform the way people experience health,” says Douglas Wood, M.D., Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation and the Transform symposium. “I hope that Transform 2014 will arrive to practical solutions to the challenges that health care is facing today, and will reframe the health care conversation with a positive vision. I look forward to the exchange of the ideas.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Journalist and commentator John Hockenberry will moderate the symposium discussions that include the following speakers: [...]

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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Wed, Apr 23 2014 · View  

Why Some With Alzheimer’s Die Without Cognitive Impairment, While Others Do?

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.

Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:


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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Mon, Jun 16 2014 · View  

July 4th Marks 75th Anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Seventy-five years ago, on July 4th 1939, baseball legend Lou Gehrig delivered the famous speech bidding farewell to the ballpark and his fans. Two weeks before Gehrig had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Accompanied by his wife, Eleanor, Lou left Mayo Clinic with the devastating diagnosis on June 20th 1939, a day after his 36th birthday. He died in June two years later, not quite 38 years old, of the rare neurological disease that would come to bear his name.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Journalists, the video package and addition b-roll are available in the downloads. To read the video script click here.

ALS is a type of progressive motor neuron disease that typically strikes at middle to later life and causes nerve cells in spinal cord, brain stem and brain to gradually break down and die. These nerve cells are responsible for muscle function so eventually, ALS can affect [...]

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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Mon, Jun 2 2014 · View  

Mayo Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Launch International Challenge to Detect Seizures and Treat Epilepsy

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Pennsylvania announce the launch of the Seizure Detection Challenge, an international competition inviting the best minds in “machine learning” to improve devices to track and treat epilepsy. Researchers from Penn and Mayo Clinic have designed the challenge, which is hosted by, an online community where data scientists come together to solve complex problems.

The unique data sets gathered during the challenge will be made freely available to researchers worldwide by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Pennsylvania and Mayo Clinic at the International Epilepsy Electrophysiology Portal to advance epilepsy research and treatment.


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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Wed, Apr 23 2014 · View  

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

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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Duska Anastasijevic (@duska) posted · Mon, Oct 28 2013 · View  

November Is Palliative Care Awareness Month: Mayo Clinic Experts Debunk Common Palliative Care Myths

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Palliative care, a specialized, multidisciplinary team approach to caring for seriously ill people and their families, is often errantly reduced to end-of-life care. This misconception has led to palliative care involvement being introduced late in an illness, often depriving patients and their families of comprehensive symptom control, support and assistance with complex decision-making throughout the course of their illness when it could provide the most benefit.


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Palliative care is ideally integrated earlier in the course of an illness as part of a comprehensive care plan, alongside disease-directed care. There is even convincing evidence that integrating palliative care earlier in the disease course improves quality of life, helps to minimize unwanted and unhelpful interventions, and may even help patients live a little bit longer. Palliative care is available to help clinicians care for patients and their families at any age and any stage of a serious illness. Studies show that the involvement of palliative care leads to more effective, efficient and less costly care, but not less care.

In a recent article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic physicians Jacob Strand, M.D., and Elise Carey, M.D., along with Mihir Kamdar, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital, shared 10 Things Palliative Care Clinicians Wished Everyone Knew About Palliative Care. These include:

    • Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of serious illness. In fact, evidence supports that the earlier palliative care is incorporated into the care plan, the higher the quality of life for the patient may be.


    • Palliative care can help address the emotional impact of serious illness on patients and their families. Palliative care focuses on a holistic approach to care, including a focus on family and caregiver support.


    • Palliative care teams assist in complex communication interactions surrounding a serious illness. Effective communication among patients, families and providers allows for higher patient satisfaction, stronger adherence to medical therapy and, ultimately, better health outcomes.


  • Palliative care enhances health care value. Research supports that palliative care involvement helps lower health care costs and reduce hospital readmissions, and pharmacy and laboratory costs, while improving the quality of life and patient and family satisfaction.



"Palliative care is a subspecialty of medicine in which we care for patients with complex and severe illness," says Dr. Carey. "It is really about taking care of patients and their families throughout the course of their illness, at any stage of the illness, even while they are getting life-prolonging or curative care."

Palliative care specialists focus on treating more than the disease; they focus on the whole person and his or her lived experience. "Persons receiving specialist palliative care are able to live better and longer and achieve their goals while living with their serious illness," says Cory Ingram, M.D., the medical director of Palliative Medicine for Mayo Clinic Health System. "This is done by an expert team approach to symptom assessment and management, supportive counseling, care planning, care coordination and crisis prevention. Not only do the patients live better, their family does too."

The following Mayo Clinic experts are available to comment on palliative care and its potential benefits to patients, families, caregivers and providers:




To schedule an interview with one of these palliative care experts, please call Duska Anastasijevic at 507-284-5005.



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