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ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://healthletter.mayoclinic.com/ or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter April 2015 (for journalists only). Exercise eases depression symptoms Increasing evidence shows that exercise can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers how exercise changes the brain and alleviates symptoms. Depression is linked to abnormally low levels of certain neurotransmitters ― chemicals in the brain that allow nerves to communicate with one another. Having less norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin in the brain results in lower nerve stimulation than usual, contributing to feelings of sadness and emptiness, loss of interest in normal activities, tiredness, anxiety and trouble thinking. Antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of these chemicals and bringing them back to normal. Exercise does the same thing. In addition, new evidence shows that exercise sets into motion changes that protect the brain against the damaging effects of stress and enhance resilience to depression. Exercise also has positive emotional and social effects that can help deal with stress and depression. Regular exercise helps: Regain a sense of control and boost confidence: This comes from learning new exercises, rising to new physical challenges and meeting activity goals. Minimize worries: Exercise can be a distraction from recurring worries. Cope in a healthy way: Exercise is a positive way to manage anxiety and depression. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on negative feelings or hoping symptoms will go away can lead to worsening symptoms.
Over the past decade, numerous studies have shown that many Americans have low vitamin D levels and as a result, vitamin D supplement use has climbed in recent years. Vitamin D has been shown to boost bone health and it may play a role in preventing diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. In light of the increased use of vitamin D supplements, Mayo Clinic researchers set out to learn more about the health of those with high vitamin D levels. They found that toxic levels are actually rare. Their study appears in the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. A vitamin D level greater than 50 nanograms per milliliter is considered high. Vitamin D levels are determined by a blood test called a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood test. A normal level is 20-50 ng/mL, and deficiency is considered anything less than 20 ng/mL, according the Institute of Medicine (IOM). MEDIA CONTACT: Sharon Theimer, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochester, Minn. – Terrence L. Cascino, M.D., of Mayo Clinic in Rochester was elected the president of ...
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Herceptin has been touted as a wonder drug for women with HER2-positive breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that is fueled by excess production of the HER2 protein. However, not all of these patients respond to the drug, and many who do respond eventually acquire resistance. A team of researchers led by Mayo Clinic has found a promising way to circumvent this obstacle. They identified a small site in the HER2 protein that enables it to form a molecular switch that sets off a cascade of events that turn normal cells cancerous. The researchers showed that disrupting this site can stem the growth of breast cancer cells, even more effectively than drugs currently used in the clinic. Their study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “This study is the first to look at the specific sequences for dimerization of HER2 as a possible anti-cancer target,” says the study’s senior author Ruth Lupu, Ph.D., a professor of experimental pathology and laboratory medicine and biochemistry and molecular biology at Mayo Clinic. “This finding could be beneficial not only for breast cancer, but also for other cancers with abnormal HER2 levels, such as ovarian, stomach and prostate cancer.” MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Lupu are available in the downloads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2w43FjsbpU
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic earned No. 3 on the 2015 DiversityInc Top 5 Hospitals and Health Systems list for its continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the fourth year that Mayo has earned a spot on the list. This year's rankings were announced at the annual DiversityInc Top 50 event in New York on April 23. “Mayo Clinic is beginning a deep dive into understanding unconscious bias and how it affects both our staff and the patients under our care,” says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., Mayo’s director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “Putting the needs of the patient first means asking difficult questions about where bias exists in medicine and then finding the most effective ways to intervene.” Companies named to the list are measured in four key areas: CEO/Leadership Commitment Talent Pipeline Equitable Talent Development Supplier Diversity Mayo Clinic’s workforce brings together people with diverse talents, experiences and beliefs to provide high quality, culturally appropriate care to its patients. Mayo Clinic continues to embrace diversity and inclusion by creating a welcoming environment where individual differences are valued, allowing each person to achieve and contribute to his or her fullest potential.
ROCHESTER, Minn. – Today Mayo Clinic announced two new applications for the Apple Watch that will help patients and providers manage schedules and visits. The Mayo Clinic app update is available on iTunes. The Synthesis app for providers is available to Mayo Clinic staff. “It is important that we interact with patients so that it seamlessly enhances their health care experiences. Whether this is through the Mayo Clinic app., remote monitoring, or the Apple watch, health consumer experience will continue to drive these technologies forward and Mayo Clinic will continue to lead with cutting edge technologies that benefit both our patients and staff.” says John T. Wald M.D., Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs. Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Wald are available in the downloads. MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Kilen, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayo Clinic expert demonstrates women have options that preserve the uterus ROCHESTER, Minn. — A 47-year-old African-American woman has heavy menstrual bleeding and iron-deficiency anemia. She reports the frequent need to urinate during the night and throughout the day. A colonoscopy is negative and an ultrasonography shows a modestly enlarged uterus with three uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths of the uterus. She is not planning to become pregnant. What are her options? Elizabeth (Ebbie) Stewart, M.D., chair of Reproductive Endocrinology at Mayo Clinic, says the woman has several options, but determining her best option is guided by her symptoms, the size, number and location of the fibroids, as well as where she is in her reproductive life span. These options are highlighted in a Clinical Practice article by Dr. Stewart in this month’s New England Journal of Medicine. “Uterine-conserving therapy should be an available option for women even if there is no plan for childbearing,” says Dr. Stewart, a uterine fibroid researcher. “Although myomectomy, a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids, is the traditional alternative to hysterectomy, there are other options for medical and interventional treatment. Before determining which alternative therapy may be an option, the symptoms caused by fibroids must first be assessed.” MEDIA CONTACT: Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005 or email@example.com Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Stewart are available in the downloads. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-6j-Lc2JqE
Embargoed: Do not release before 2:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, April 22, 2015 Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have discovered a key cellular mechanism that contributes to bronchoconstriction and inflammation in asthma. Their studies may lead to a novel, effective asthma therapy for patients. The findings appear in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, Cardiff University in Wales, King’s College London, the University of Manchester and the Open University in the United Kingdom, as well as the University of California San Francisco, showed that elevated extracellular calcium as well as other internal chemicals released in asthma can activate a “calcium-sensing receptor” (CaSR) on airway cells. The researchers found that CaSR expression is increased in asthma, and contributes to enhanced bronchoconstriction and inflammation that is typically seen in asthma. Importantly, they found that the effects of CaSR can be reversed by CaSR antagonists, also called calcilytics. Media Contact: Bob Nellis at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs: 507-284-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PHILADELPHIA — A team of Mayo Clinic researchers has succeeded in identifying the source of cancer in patients’ gastrointestinal tracts by analyzing DNA markers from tumors. The results open the possibility that doctors could one day be able to screen for cancer anywhere in the body with a noninvasive blood test or stool sample. Such tests, if they prove practical and feasible, could mean greater convenience for patients and saved lives through earlier diagnosis of cancer, especially rare and often lethal diseases such as pancreatic cancer or lung cancer. The researchers' findings will be presented on April 21 in a poster presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015 in Philadelphia by John Kisiel, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic. MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Kisiel are available in the downloads. https://youtu.be/DbDHEpZWteQ
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Heart transplant experts from Mayo Clinic presented findings from three recent clinical studies involving heart transplant patients. The presentations took place during the 2015 International Society of Heart & Lung Transplant (ISHLT) in Nice, France, April 15–18. Mayo Clinic physicians presented oral and poster presentations on 16 studies at ISHLT this year. The conference attracts 3,000 health care professionals from 45 countries who represent more than 15 different medical disciplines involved in the management and treatment of end-stage heart and lung disease. A few highlights of the Mayo Clinic-related research include: “Are psychosocial characteristics predictive of death and rehospitalization after destination left ventricular assist device?” This study examined psychosocial factors, such as drug use, depression and nonsmoking status to determine if they are associated with higher rehospitalization risk after a patient has received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The study concluded that drug use, depression and nonsmoking status are associated with higher rehospitalization risk after LVAD. These data may be helpful in stratifying and communicating risk to patients who are considering LVAD as destination therapy. Mayo Clinic researchers involved in this study include Shannon Dunlay, M.D., M.S.; Sarah Schettle, PAC; David Snipelisky, M.D.; Shashank Sharma; Sudhir Kushwaha, M.D.; John Stulak, M.D. Date of presentation: April 15
Wear blue and green, attend ‘Walk of Remembrance’ and flag ceremony to commemorate ROCHESTER, Minn. — Friday, April 17, is “Donate Life Day” in Rochester, an annual recognition to raise awareness about organ donation. LifeSource, Gift of Life Transplant House and Mayo Clinic Transplant Center are hosting a “Walk of Remembrance” and flag ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. on the Saint Marys Hospital campus. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Nearly 2,000 of those are children. Mayo Clinic has over 3,000 patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list. An average of 21 people die each day in the United States waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs. MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org April is National Donate Life Month, and events are happening across the country to increase support for organ, tissue and eye donation. In addition to the Donate Life Day event in Rochester, there are several other ways to participate or observe Donate Life Month:
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Prospective kidney transplant patients, families of adult and pediatric transplant candidates, and potential living kidney donors are invited to attend a free, public webinar about living-donor kidney transplants hosted by Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is a leader in kidney transplants, performing approximately 550 kidney transplants each year and has one of the largest living-donor kidney transplant programs in the United States. “As living organ donation, especially non-directed or ‘Good Samaritan’ donation, becomes more widely known and accepted, we want to provide more information about innovations in donation and transplantation,” says Mikel Prieto, M.D., surgical director of Kidney Transplantation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “We also want to provide a forum to answer questions for prospective donors, recipients, and their family members.” What: Free Webinar When: April 14 at noon CDT Topic: What Patients and Donors Need to Know About Living-Donor Kidney Transplants Host: Mayo Clinic Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program Register: http://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/interactive-webinar-what-patients-and-donors-need-to-know-about-living-donor-kidney-transplant/ MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: email@example.com