Nick Hanson (@nickhanson)
Activity by Nick Hanson
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Feb. 12, 2014 — Not only is heroin addictive and deadly, its use is increasing among Americans. That disturbing trend parallels the spike of opioid based prescription painkiller abuse in recent years, say Mayo Clinic experts.
Heroin, a drug that can be smoked, sniffed/snorted or injected intravenously, is highly addictive. For comparison, about 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become addicted. Close to 17 percent of cocaine users will. It’s 15 percent for alcohol. But for heroin, 25 percent or more of users will become addicted. That means roughly one in four users become addicts.
Journalists: Video of Dr. Hall-Flavin talking about heroin addiction is available in the downloads.
“Heroin is prevalent, it’s out there and it is deadly,” says Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and addiction expert. “But it doesn’t have to be. There is hope out there for people if they can get treatment.”
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Jan. 23, 2014 — The Minnesota Department of Health released its 10th annual Adverse Health Events report today and Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester reported only 29 events in 2013 — down from 38 in 2012. This decrease is primarily due to reductions in advanced-stage pressure ulcers and surgery-related events. Mayo's emphasis on pressure ulcer identification and prevention led to fewer pressure ulcer reports in 2013.The reporting system requires Minnesota hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to report whenever one of 29 serious adverse events occurs and conduct a thorough analysis of causes. In 2013, the number of events reported statewide was 258. Data was collected from Oct. 6, 2012 through Oct. 7, 2013.
Journalists: Rochester campus b-roll is available in the downloads.
“The data reflect the high dedication of our nursing and medical teams, as well as our strong detection and reporting efforts,” says Timothy Morgenthaler, M.D., Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and Patient Safety Officer in Rochester. “We are encouraged by these results and hope to see even further reductions in the coming year.”
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Dec. 11, 2013 — A recent Mayo Clinic study found that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are about twice as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — and chances are that it will include memory loss. The study was recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Researchers looked at about 2,000 people 70-89 years old in the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. About 1,600 were cognitively normal, 317 had mild cognitive impairment and overall, about 288 had COPD. COPD was found to be associated with almost two-fold higher odds of MCI, and the odds get worse the longer someone has COPD. Rates were similar among men and women.
Incidence of dementia progresses with age, and in the absence of any effective therapy for treatment or management of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, identification of risk factors is critical, says Balwinder Singh, M.D., first author of the study and a Mayo Clinic neurology research collaborator who is a psychiatry resident at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
“COPD is reversible in early stages, especially in smokers,” Dr. Singh says. “These findings are important because they highlight the importance of COPD as a potential risk factor for MCI and will hopefully lead to early intervention to prevent incidence or progression.”
MCI is a stage between normal cognitive aging and dementia. People with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk of progressing to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — People with epilepsy may have a new high-tech way to manage hard-to-control seizures. A new implantable medical device that delivers responsive neurostimulation has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The technology is designed to detect abnormal activity in the brain and respond and deliver subtle levels of electrical stimulation to normalize brain activity before an individual experiences seizures. The treatment is available at all Mayo Clinic sites.
The device is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in people 18 years of age or older with partial onset seizures who have undergone diagnostic testing that localized no more than two epileptogenic foci, are refractory to two or more antiepileptic medications, and currently have frequent and disabling seizures (motor partial seizures, complex partial seizures and/or secondarily generalized seizures).
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Oct. 16, 2013 — A string of public mass shootings during the past decade-plus have rocked America leaving policymakers and mental health experts alike fishing for solutions to prevent these heinous crimes. A Mayo Clinic physician, however, argues that at least one proposal won't stop the public massacres: restricting gun access to the mentally ill. J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and author of the editorial published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings today, argues several points including that mass shootings are carefully planned — often spanning weeks or months. There is plenty of time for a meticulous planner and determined killer to get a gun somewhere in that time, he argues.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Bostwick talking about the editorial, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Dr. Bostwick's editorial is a commentary on an essay in the same issue of Proceedings titled "Guns, Schools, and Mental Illness: Potential Concerns for Physicians and Mental Health Professionals." The authors focus on recent mass shootings and argue that these actions were not and could not have been prevented by more restrictive gun legislation. They further contend that a diagnosis of mental illness does not justify stripping Second Amendment rights from all who carry such a diagnosis, most of whom will never commit violent acts toward others.
Before reading the essay Dr. Bostwick — who is generally in favor of gun control — expected to disagree with its contents. Instead, he agreed.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic researchers have found a surprising occupational hazard for teachers: progressive speech and language disorders. The research, recently published in the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias, found that people with speech and language disorders are about 3.5 times more likely to be teachers than patients with Alzheimer's dementia.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Josephs talking about the study, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate — they can't find words to use in sentences, or they'll speak around a word. They may also have trouble producing the correct sounds and articulating properly. Speech and language disorders are not the same as Alzheimer's dementia, which is characterized by the loss of memory. Progressive speech and language disorders are degenerative and ultimately lead to death anywhere from 8-10 years after diagnosis.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Sept. 18, 2013 — A genetic mutation, known as GBA, that leads to early onset of Parkinson's disease and severe cognitive impairment (in about 4 to 7 percent of all patients with the disease) also alters how specific lipids, ceramides and glucosylceramides are metabolized. Mayo Clinic researchers have found that Parkinson's patients who do not carry the genetic mutation also have higher levels of these lipids in the blood. Further, those who had Parkinson's and high blood levels were also more likely to have cognitive impairment and dementia. The research was recently published online in the journal PLOS ONE.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Mielke talking about the study, visit Mayo Clinic News Network.
The discovery could be an important warning for those with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. There is no biomarker to tell who is going to develop the disease — and who is going to develop cognitive impairment after developing Parkinson's, says Michelle Mielke, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic researcher and first author of the study.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Sept. 9, 2013 — Talking to someone about depressed will increase the chances that they will act on it — true or false? False. The truth: When someone is in crisis or depressed, asking if he or she is thinking about suicide can help. Giving a person an opportunity to open up and share their troubles can help alleviate their pain and open a path to solutions. This is just one of many suicide prevention myths to debunk as we approach World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
Teens also likely to go undiagnosed, develop more severe medical complications
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Sept. 8, 2013 — Obese teenagers who lose weight are at risk of developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, Mayo Clinic researchers imply in a recent Pediatrics article. Eating disorders among these patients are also not being adequately detected because the weight loss is seen as positive by providers and family members.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Sim talking about the article, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
In the article, Mayo Clinic researchers argue that formerly overweight adolescents tend to have more medical complications from eating disorders and it takes longer to diagnose them than kids who are in a normal weight range. This is problematic because early intervention is the key to a good prognosis, says Leslie Sim, Ph.D., an eating disorders expert in the Mayo Clinic Children's Center and lead author of the study.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Aug. 29, 2013 — Michael J. Fox is back in the spotlight this fall in a new sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show" and spreading awareness about Parkinson's disease, a condition both he and his TV character have in common. Fox has been an outspoken advocate for Parkinson's disease research and awareness since disclosing his condition to the public in 1998.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For more information and downloadable audio and video from Dr. Hassan about Parkinson's disease, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and may cause shaking, muscle stiffness, slowing of movement, impaired balance or other symptoms. It impacts about 1 in 200 people, says Anhar Hassan, M.D., a Mayo Clinic movement disorders specialist.