- News Releases
ROCHESTER, Minn. — May is Arthritis Action Month, held to draw attention to the more than 100 forms of arthritis that afflict at least 50 ...
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers studying multiple sclerosis (MS) have long been looking for the specific molecules in the body that cause lesions in myelin, the fatty, ...
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic today announced that it has completed a multiyear implementation of a new laboratory information system for the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and Mayo Medical Laboratories. The new system, which connects Mayo laboratories in Arizona, Minnesota and New England, was developed in collaboration with SCC Soft Computer of Clearwater, Fla. Mayo Medical Laboratories, Mayo Clinic's reference laboratory, now has the most advanced laboratory information system in the market. The single system allows Mayo to manage testing in multiple locations, provides real-time location of a specimen, and enables continuous improvement in turnaround times and processes. The new laboratory information system helps Mayo Medical Laboratories to offer its clients broader ordering and resulting configurations (e.g., partial results, flagging, and richer test result details). Additionally, the system has helped Mayo Medical Laboratories process client specimens more efficiently to further improve turnaround times. "We are excited to take yet another forward step in the pathway of clinical excellence," says Franklin R. Cockerill, M.D., chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and president and CEO of Mayo Medical Laboratories. "Mayo is delivering on its commitment to provide the highest-quality, patient-focused laboratory medicine and pathology in the world. Our hospital and medical center lab clients, as well as patients worldwide, will benefit directly from the successful replacement of our entire laboratory information system." The SCC Soft Computer laboratory information system now manages all inpatient and outpatient collections in Minnesota and Arizona as well as the majority of laboratory testing in Arizona, Minnesota and Mayo Medical Laboratories New England. "SCC is proud to lead the modernization of the laboratory information systems at Mayo Clinic," says Gilbert Hakim, chief executive officer of SCC Soft Computer. "By putting forth continuous effort to stay ahead of trends in the health care field, SCC focuses not only on the improvement of existing software suites, but the development of new and advanced products as well. This works perfectly with an innovative partner like Mayo."
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — You think your computer has a lot of memory and if you keep using your computer you may, too. VIDEO ALERT: Click here as Dr. Geda explains the study. Combining mentally stimulating activities, such as using a computer, with moderate exercise decreases your odds of having memory loss more than computer use or exercise alone, a Mayo Clinic study shows. Previous studies have shown that exercising your body and your mind will help your memory but the new study, published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reports a synergistic interaction between computer activities and moderate exercise in "protecting" the brain function in people better than 70 years old. Researchers studies 926 people in Olmsted County, Minn., ages 70 to 93, who completed self-reported questionnaires on physical exercise, and computer use within one year prior of the date of interview. Moderate physical exercise was defined as brisk walking, hiking, aerobics, strength training, golfing without a golf cart, swimming, doubles tennis, yoga, martial arts, using exercise machines and weightlifting. Mentally stimulating activities included reading, crafts, computer use, playing games, playing music, group and social and artistic activities and watching less television. Of those activities the study singled out computer use because of its popularity, said study author Yonas E. Geda, M.D., a physician scientist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "The aging of baby boomers is projected to lead to dramatic increases in the prevalence of dementia," Dr. Geda said. "As frequent computer use has becoming increasingly common among all age groups, it is important to examine how it relates to aging and dementia. Our study further adds to this discussion."
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Southeast Minnesota Beacon Program, a federally funded health information technology research project, is reaching out to schools in the region to improve the management of asthma in school-aged children. Asthma is estimated to occur in 7 percent of school-aged children, although population-based studies in the Rochester Epidemiology Project show it could affect up to 12 percent. The Community Collaborative Asthma Project established a collaboration among Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Public Health, and the Rochester School District to identify and manage asthma cases using a shared asthma action plan. Although still in its pilot phase, during its first year the project discovered 700 cases in addition to the 1,100 self-reported cases known to school health staffs. Substantial evidence links poorly controlled asthma to poor childhood school performance and poor school attendance. The Beacon program is expanding the asthma action plan program in the 11-county region and will include parent-authorized, standards-based health information exchange (HIE) to increase reporting and accuracy of reporting and disseminate asthma action plans developed for children. Such care coordination among providers, parents/guardians and school nurses will help improve quality of life for school-aged youth with asthma. The following schools have been awarded Beacon funding: Elton Hills Elementary School (Rochester) Lincoln K-8 Choice School (Rochester) Kellogg Middle School (Rochester) Neveln Elementary School (Austin) Triton School District (Dodge Center) These schools will help the Beacon program collect data on Asthma Action Plans and will be early users of the software being created. The ultimate goal is to develop what Beacon leaders call a "cocoon of care" for children with chronic asthma, by coordinating efforts and information about student needs among their homes, health providers and schools. Research has shown chronic asthma affects a student's ability to exercise and take part in school activities and impacts self-esteem, school attendance and performance. More information is available on the Schools page of the Southeast Minnesota Beacon website.
ROCHESTER, Minn. and CHARLESTON, S.C. — Mayo Clinic and Benefitfocus, the country's largest benefits technology company, announced a new collaboration today at One Place, the company's biggest event for human resources, health care and technology leaders. "Touching more people in a meaningful way will require Mayo to build relationships and interact with people beyond the walls of Mayo's hospitals and clinics," says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. "The new collaboration with Benefitfocus will help do just that by making Mayo Clinic health and wellness resources available to Benefitfocus members." Mayo Clinic will provide new health and wellness products and services in the marketplace through the Benefitfocus HR InTouch technology platform. The collaboration will give Benefitfocus members access to the information and resources available through the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment and EmbodyHealth portal — tools that many Mayo employees take advantage of through the LiveWell program. The portal includes more than 3,000 Mayo Clinic articles on diseases, conditions, tests, procedures, health tips and healthy recipes. In addition, Benefitfocus will be selling Mayo Clinic's EmbodyHealth newsletter, Ask Mayo Clinic nurse line service, a customized version of the EmbodyHealth portal and Mayo Clinic books. "Mayo Clinic is a humanitarian, not-for-profit, integrated health care organization, committed to sharing what it knows with our patients and with people everywhere, Dr. Noseworthy says. "The relationship with Benefitfocus is a critical step in enhancing our ability to deliver Mayo-vetted knowledge broadly." "Our patients have told us they want more convenient access to Mayo Clinic care and expertise," says Paul Limburg, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions. "As a result of this relationship, we will be able to reach out in a new way and potentially help many more people who could benefit from what we have to offer."
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Obesity and the painful autoimmune disorder rheumatoid arthritis are each becoming more common, raising a logical question: Could one have something to do with the other? For women, it appears there is a link, Mayo Clinic researchers say. They studied hundreds of patients and found a history of obesity puts women at significant risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Their findings are published online in the American College of Rheumatology journal Arthritis Care and Research. WEB CHAT ALERT: John Davis, M.D., will be online May 1 from 11 a.m. to Noon CDT answering questions about rheumatoid arthritis as part of Arthritis Action Month. Go to the American College of Rheumatology's Facebook page to take part. VIDEO ALERT: Video sound bites from Eric Matteson, M.D., will be available for journalists on the Mayo Clinic News Network. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks tissues, inflaming joints and sometimes also affecting other organs and causing fever and fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to initially impact the hands and feet and then spread to the knees, ankles, hips and shoulders. It is more common in women than in men. Complications can include heart problems, lung disease, osteoporosis and carpal tunnel syndrome. To examine a potential link with obesity, researchers pulled medical records covering 1980–2007 from the Rochester Epidemiology Project and studied 813 adults with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 adults as the control group, matched by age, gender and calendar year. Height, weight and smoking status also were noted; roughly 30 percent of the patients in each group were obese and 68 percent were women. Rheumatoid arthritis cases rose by 9.2 per 100,000 women from 1985–2007, the study found. Obesity accounted for 52 percent of the increase. Smoking also is a substantial risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis, but smoking's prevalence remained constant over the years studied, ruling it out as an explanation for the rise in rheumatoid arthritis, the study found. More research is needed to determine how obesity may lead to rheumatoid arthritis. The exact nature of the link between obesity and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is not clear, says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., chair of the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "We know that fat tissues and cells produce substances that are active in inflammation and immunity. We know too that obesity is related to many other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and now perhaps to autoimmunity," Dr. Matteson says. "It adds another reason to reduce and prevent obesity in the general population."
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic and the Rochester Police Department are joining the Drug Enforcement Administration to hold a National Take Back Initiative event Saturday, ...
ROCHESTER, Minn. — In the limited time of an office visit, how can a primary care physician make the case to parents that their child should be vaccinated? During National Infant Immunization Week, a Mayo Clinic vaccine expert and a pediatrician offer suggestions for refuting three of the most common myths about child vaccine safety. Their article, The Clinician's Guide to the Anti-Vaccinationists' Galaxy, is published online this month in the journal Human Immunology. VIDEO ALERT: Audio and video resources are available for journalists at the Mayo Clinic News Network. "Thousands of children are at increased risk because of under-vaccination, and outbreaks of highly transmissible diseases have occurred" says lead author Gregory Poland, M.D., Mayo Clinic vaccinologist. "Primary care physicians have less time than most to explain the scientific case for vaccination. This article gives them the background and tools to debunk some of the major myths." Dr. Poland and Mayo pediatrician Robert Jacobson, M.D., review the three immunity-related misconceptions that they say "fuel patient and parental concerns, questions and fears about vaccines." Those myths are: Babies' systems aren't ready for the number of vaccines given today. Vaccines can cause autoimmune diseases. Natural immunity is safer and better. The Mayo experts explain that the number of active molecules in infant vaccines is far lower than ever before, so while vaccines are not only safe, each child is receiving a fraction of actual antigen compared to children in the past. Among other evidence, they point to a recent review of 1,200 articles by the Institute of Medicine that failed to find any autoimmune side effect from vaccines. They make the point that there is either no impact or that any relation to autoimmune conditions is not causative. Finally, they make the case that while natural immunity does protect as well, the risk of illness and death is far higher than with a vaccine. The article also includes background on the anti-vaccine movement and outlines the harm it has done by spreading inaccurate information. "We want to offer a user-friendly guide for doctors, but also issue a call to action," Dr. Poland says. "We can now show that children have died because of under-vaccination and that diseases have spread needlessly because of this trend." Dr. Poland says lack of vaccination has put many children at risk for diseases that are avoidable, including whooping cough and measles. He emphasized that the risk of death for measles is three in 1,000 without vaccination, while the risk of death from the measles vaccination is zero.
Updated to include YouTube link ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic will host His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a special presentation on Tuesday, April ...
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A single gene that promotes initial development of the most common form of lung cancer and its lethal metastases has been identified by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Their study suggests other forms of cancer may also be driven by this gene, matrix metalloproteinase-10 (MMP-10). The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE on April 24, shows that MMP-10 is a growth factor secreted and then used by cancer stem-like cells to keep themselves vital. These cells then drive lung cancer and its spread, and are notoriously immune to conventional treatment. The findings raise hope for a possible treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, the leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths. Researchers discovered that by shutting down MMP-10, lung cancer stem cells lose their ability to develop tumors. When the gene is given back to the cells, they can form tumors again. The power of this gene is extraordinary, says senior investigator Alan Fields, Ph.D., the Monica Flynn Jacoby Professor of Cancer Research within the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic in Florida. "Our data provides evidence that MMP-10 plays a dual role in cancer. It stimulates the growth of cancer stem cells and stimulates their metastatic potential," he says. "This helps explain an observation that has been seen in cancer stem cells from many tumor types, namely that cancer stem cells appear to be not only the cells that initiate tumors, but also the cells that give rise to metastases." Dr. Fields says the findings were unexpected, for several reasons. The first is that the cancer stem cells express MMP-10 themselves, and use it for their own growth. Most of the known members of the matrix metalloproteinase genes are expressed in the tumor's microenvironment, the cells and tissue that surround a tumor, he says. The enzymes produced by these genes are involved in breaking down the microenvironment that keeps a tumor in place, allowing cancer cells to spread, which is why other genes in this family have been linked to cancer metastasis. "The fact that a gene like MMP-10, which codes for a matrix metalloproteinase that has been linked to metastasis, is actually required for the growth and maintenance of cancer stem cells is very surprising. One would not have predicted that such a gene would be involved in this process," Dr. Fields says.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Forced body cooling known as therapeutic hypothermia has reduced in-hospital deaths among sudden cardiac arrest patients nearly 12 percent between 2001 and 2009, according to a Mayo Clinic study being presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The research is among several Mayo abstracts that will be discussed at the conference. The goal of therapeutic cooling is slowing the body's metabolism and preventing brain damage or death. It is believed that mild therapeutic hypothermia suppresses harmful chemical reactions in the brain and preserves cells. Two key studies published in 2002 found therapeutic hypothermia more effective for sudden cardiac arrest patients than traditional therapies. Mayo researchers analyzed a database covering more than 1 million patients and found mortality rates among in-hospital sudden cardiac arrest patients dropped from 69.6 percent in 2001 — the year before the studies appeared — to 57.8 percent in 2009, the most recent data available. "Because we reviewed such a large number of cases, we are confident that the reduction in mortality among in-hospital sudden cardiac arrest patients is significant and sustained," says co-author Alejandro Rabinstein, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "We continue to seek answers to the questions: Why did this trend develop, and how can we accelerate it," says co-author Jennifer Fugate, D.O. These measures are important because disease accumulates in the cortex over time, and inflammation in the cortex is a sign the disease has progressed. Other studies being presented at AAN include: Structured resident sign-out during shift changes improves patient care: In the study, junior residents in Mayo Clinic's General Neurology, Stroke and Neurologic Intensive Care Units spent the first half of their rotations using unstructured sign-out approaches and transitioned to a structured system for the second half. The residents reported that the standardized sign-out improved communication substantially, including information on pertinent past medical history, pending lab tests, recommendations on how to handle nursing and pharmacy calls, and up-to-date code status. Residents using standardized sign-out were also more likely to share test results with patients and their families prior to shift changes. This led to a significant increase in overall satisfaction with the sign-out process. "This study is particularly timely now, when residency programs are adjusting to new duty-hour restrictions established in 2010," says lead author Brian Moseley, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurology resident and Assistant Professor of Neurology. "When you have hand-offs because of the duty restrictions, unless the communication is good, there is a lot of opportunity for error," says Jeffrey Britton, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and study co-author. "This structured method seems to both prevent the error, but also make the patient and their family feel comfortable that this important communication is happening," says Dr. Britton.