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ROCHESTER, Minn. — In a reversal of two decades of medical reports, a Mayo Clinic study finds the frequency of nerve damage called diabetic polyneuropathy is similar in prediabetic patients and healthy people. Physicians should seek explanations other than prediabetes for patients who have painful small fiber polyneuropathy, the researchers say. The study was published in the March issue of Diabetes Care. Diabetic polyneuropathies, or DPN, are commonly associated with diabetes and chemical derangements related to high blood sugar. The neuropathies can injure nerve fibers throughout the body, but usually affect the feet and legs. The nerve damage can create sensory, motor and bodily function problems. DPN can be painful and life-threatening. "It is highly unlikely that impaired glucose or associated metabolic derangements cause polyneuropathy, at least not to the high frequency previously reported," says lead author Peter J. Dyck, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist. The five-year study, "Impaired Glycemia and Diabetic Polyneuropathy: The OC IG Survey," tested nearly 550 people representative of a community of older patients of Northern European extraction. Of these, 150 individuals were healthy subjects, 174 had prediabetes indicators, and 208 had newly developed type 2 diabetes. The study concluded that typical or atypical (a painful small-fiber variety) DPN was not more prevalent in prediabetics than in healthy people.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Medical records are an invaluable tool in treating patients. When a caregiver has ample information regarding a person's medical history, treatments are more effective and efficient. Unfortunately, few people have complete medical records — due, in large part, to a lack of any universal repository tools for keeping those records. Mayo Clinic, along with its partners in a program called the Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community, is working on solutions to this problem. They are showcasing their work through demonstrations at the 12th annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference & Exhibition (HiMSS), from Feb. 20 to 24 in Las Vegas. In May 2010, southeast Minnesota was one of 17 areas nationwide selected for funding by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative called the Beacon Community Program. The initiative sought to fund health care entities looking for ways to use technology to improve the efficiency and delivery of health care while cutting costs. The Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community was created through collaboration among Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health System, Olmsted Medical Center, Winona Health, Allina Hospital Owatonna, and 11 county public health departments in the region. Now, less than two years after receiving funding, the group has been asked to share its work at the HiMSS Conference, using technology and processes it developed to show how health information can be transferred between its member institutions in real time. Two scenarios are being showcased at demonstration kiosks in the HiMSS exhibition hall. The first scenario demonstrates the generation and exchange of a "Continuity of Care Document," or CCD. In this scenario, a test patient visits Mayo Clinic after being seen at Olmsted Medical Center for diabetes mellitus. Using Health Information Exchange (HIE) technology, Mayo Clinic retrieves a CCD from the patient's visit to Olmsted Medical Center. The document contains information such as immunization records, known allergies and medications being taken, and the results of any tests done during the prior visit.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Hospitalization for underage drinking is common in the United States, and it comes with a price tag — the estimated total cost for these hospitalizations is about $755 million per year, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Researchers also found geographic and demographic differences in the incidence of alcohol-related hospital admissions. The findings were published online today in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Of the roughly 40,000 youth ages 15 to 20 hospitalized in 2008, the most recent data available, 79 percent were drunk when they arrived at the hospital, researchers say. Alcohol abuse and addiction and drinking-related emotional problems were among the diagnoses. Among all U.S. teens, roughly 18 of every 10,000 adolescent males and 12 of every 10,000 females were hospitalized after consuming alcohol in the year studied. In all, 700,000 young people in that age group were hospitalized for various reasons, including non-alcohol-related conditions, in 2008. "When teenagers drink, they tend to drink excessively, leading to many destructive consequences including motor vehicle accidents, injuries, homicides and suicides," says researcher Terry Schneekloth, M.D., a Mayo Clinic addiction expert and psychiatrist. Underage drinking is common in the United States: 36–71 percent of high-school students report having consumed alcohol at least once, although the prevalence of heavy drinking (more than five drinks in a row within the preceding two weeks) is lower (7–23 percent). "Alcohol use necessitating acute-care hospitalization represents one of the most serious consequences of underage drinking," Dr. Schneekloth says. "Harmful alcohol use in adolescence is a harbinger of alcohol abuse in adulthood." The average age of those with alcohol-related discharges was 18; 61 percent were male. Nearly a quarter of the alcohol-use disorder hospitalizations included an injury, most commonly traffic accidents, assaults and altercations.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Though researchers are becoming increasingly aware of the long-term effects of head injury, few studies have looked at the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in all age groups, including males and females, taking into account both mild and serious events. In a recent study published in Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic researchers applied a new, refined system for classifying injuries caused by force to the head and found that the incidence of traumatic brain injury is likely greater than has been estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Brown describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog. "Even mild traumatic brain injuries can affect sensory-motor functions, thinking and awareness, and communication," says study author Allen Brown, M.D., director of brain rehabilitation research at Mayo Clinic. "In assessing frequency, we have likely been missing a lot of cases. This is the first population-based analysis to determine prevalence along the whole spectrum of these injuries." Researchers used the Mayo Traumatic Brain Injury Classification System, a new brain injury method that classifies head injuries along a more comprehensive scale than ever before. The categories label patients with "definite," "probable" and "possible" TBIs, providing a way to incorporate symptoms such as a brief period of unconsciousness or even an injured patient's complaint of dizziness or nausea. Using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a several decades-long compilation of medical records in Olmsted County, Minn., the team determined that TBIs occur in as many as 558 per 100,000 people, compared to the 341 per 100,000 estimated by the CDC. Researchers found that 60 percent of injuries fell outside the standard categorization used by the CDC, even though two-thirds of them were symptomatic. Mayo researchers found the elderly and the young were found most at risk for "definite" and "possible" injury, respectively, and men were more at risk than women. The findings reinforce ongoing efforts by the CDC to create a brain injury classification that more broadly encompasses traumatic head injury.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A new study from Mayo Clinic supports the idea that "what's good for your heart is good for your brain." The study, released today, suggests that eating too much may double the risk for memory loss in people age 70 and older. This research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28. VIDEO ALERT: Click here for a video of Dr. Geda explaining the study. "We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of mild cognitive impairment," said study author Yonas E. Geda, M.D., MSc, a neurologist and psychiatrist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He noted that 2,143 calories per day may double the risk of memory loss. While the relationship between cardiovascular problems and overeating are well known, the study further documents the similarities of cardiovascular risks and neurological risks such as mild cognitive impairment, Dr. Geda says. MCI is the stage between normal memory loss that comes with aging and early Alzheimer's disease. The study involved 1,233 people in Olmsted County, Minn., ages 70 to 89 and free of dementia. Of those, 163 had MCI. Participants reported the amount of calories they ate or drank in a food questionnaire and were divided into three equal groups based on their daily caloric consumption. One-third consumed 600 to 1,526 calories per day, one-third 1,526 to 2,143 calories and one-third 2,143 to 6,000 calories per day. The odds of having MCI more than doubled for people in the highest calorie-consuming group compared with people in the lowest calorie-consuming group. The results were the same after adjusting for history of stroke, diabetes, amount of education and other factors that can affect risk of memory loss. There was no significant difference in risk for the middle group.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — People with fibromyalgia can have difficulty getting a definitive diagnosis and finding an effective treatment plan. For many patients, the condition involves a confounding array of symptoms, including chronic pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and mood disorders. One factor associated with fibromyalgia symptoms is a patient's weight, according to a Mayo Clinic study published this month in "Arthritis Care & Research." "We see an association between body mass index with symptom severity and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia," says study author Terry Oh, M.D., of Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. "This was the first study to look at distinct groups of obese patients and determine how weight correlates with levels of symptoms and quality of life." The study assessed body mass index (BMI) in 888 fibromyalgia patients seen at the Mayo Clinic Fibromyalgia Treatment Program in Rochester. Obesity (BMI greater than 29) was common in about half of the patients, and one-fourth were severely obese (BMI greater than 35). All patients studied completed questionnaires describing their symptoms and ability to function. Symptom severity was more pronounced as obesity increased. Overall, groups of patients with greater BMI reported more severe fibromyalgia-related symptoms and lower quality of life. Severely obese patients reported significantly higher pain scores than non-obese and overweight patients.
PHOENIX — It's been said that marriage is good for your health — especially if you're a man. Research at Mayo Clinic in Arizona shows that's true when it comes to seeking care for stroke symptoms. A Mayo Clinic study, presented at the American Stroke Conference in New Orleans in early February, says that men experiencing a stroke call for emergency help quicker than women, especially if they are married. "Marriage has long been shown to offer health benefits and often more for men," said Joyce Lee-Iannotti, M.D., a neurology Fellow at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and author of the study. "The reasons are unclear, but it's been postulated that it can be societal roles, where women take on the roles of caregivers and advise their spouses to seek care, often putting their own health behind that of their children and husband." VIDEO: Dr. Lee-Iannotti explains the study. The study was a retrospective review of 209 patients with acute stroke symptoms brought by emergency medical services to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix over 15 months ending in November 2011. Researchers collected participants' age, gender, marital status, time of symptom awareness and time of emergency medical services dispatch. They compared the time from symptoms awareness to EMS dispatch between married and single participants and between men and women. Married men called within 28 minutes of symptoms compared to married women, who called an average of 67 minutes after their first stroke symptoms. Single men activated EMS earlier than single women, but the difference was not significant.
PHOENIX — Mayo Clinic in Arizona has completed more than 200 pancreas transplants since the program opened in 2003, performing the highest number of simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants annually in Arizona. The benefit of pancreas transplantation is normalization of blood sugar levels, thereby eliminating the need for insulin. In some cases, a pancreas transplant can slow the progression of diabetic complications. Mayo Clinic's first pancreas transplant took place on July 17, 2003, and the 200th transplant took place on Nov. 23, 2011. As of Aug. 31, 2011, according to data collected by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), Mayo Clinic in Arizona had performed 152 simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants and 41 pancreas transplants in the form of pancreas transplant alone, or pancreas-after-kidney transplant. Only two other medical centers in Arizona perform pancreas transplants, with Mayo doing the most simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants. In 2010, Mayo Clinic in Arizona was the second largest transplant center in the U.S. performing simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants. Mayo Clinic as a three-site organization (Arizona, Florida and Minnesota) has performed pancreas transplants for more than 20 years for patients having complex diseases such as diabetes. The first pancreas transplant (a simultaneous pancreas/kidney) was performed on Dec. 16, 1987, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Since then, a total of 403 pancreas transplants have been completed. At Mayo Clinic in Florida, 147 pancreas transplanted have been performed since the program opened in 2000.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic will "go red" to celebrate National Wear Red Day on Fri., Feb. 3. Joining in the efforts across the country, Mayo ...
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A research team led by investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida has found that a small device worn on a patient's brow can be useful in monitoring stroke patients in the hospital. The device measures blood oxygen, similar to a pulse oximeter, which is clipped onto a finger. VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including comments by Dr. Freeman about the new device, are available online. Their study, published in the Feb. 1 issue of Neurosurgical Focus, suggests this tool, known as frontal near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), could offer hospital physicians a safe and cost-effective way to monitor patients who are being treated for a stroke, in real time. "About one-third of stroke patients in the hospital suffer another stroke, and we have few options for constantly monitoring patients for such recurrences," says the study's senior investigator, neurocritical care specialist William Freeman, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic. "This was a small pilot study initiated at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, but we plan to study this device more extensively and hope that this bedside tool offers significant benefit to patients by helping physicians detect strokes earlier and manage recovery better," he says.
MINNEAPOLIS — Researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., are another step closer to developing a drug to combat fungal infections — one of the major problems confronting patients with compromised immune systems. The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics has awarded Mayo biochemist Zhiguo Zhang, Ph.D., and University medicinal chemist Michael Walters, Ph.D., a commercialization grant of $621,934 for the first year of a two-year period. The research team will use the grant for additional studies that will move their drug discovery toward the marketplace. The Need Finding new drugs to fight fungal infections is critical as the numbers of immuno-compromised patients rise due to HIV, organ transplants, and cancer chemotherapy treatments. In certain fungal infections, the mortality rate exceeds 50 percent and in some cases may be as high as 90 percent. Current drugs are becoming compromised as fungi become resistant to them.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Heart disease is the nation's No. 1 killer for both men and women. But what's most astonishing is that almost 80 percent of heart disease is preventable, and even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact. Based on an innovative yet simple "Eat 5, Move 10, Sleep 8" program, Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart For Life! provides the latest, clinically proven information on heart disease prevention and a step-by-step quick-start plan that breaks through the clutter and helps people understand exactly where to focus: Eat 5 or more vegetables or fruits per day. It's not just the protective nutrients they supply, but also that you'll have less room for junk. Move 10 extra minutes each day. Recent studies show that a sedentary lifestyle may increase your risk of heart attack as much as smoking does. It's as simple as standing instead of sitting as much as possible. Sleep at least 8 hours per day. Chronic sleep deprivation has devastating effects on your heart. It is not a luxury, it's a necessity. In addition, enjoy life. Discover what brings you joy and satisfaction. Your mental and emotional state influence heart health just as your genetic makeup and lifestyle habits can. "As soon you pick up the book, you can start making a difference in your heart health," says Mayo Clinic cardiologist, Martha Grogan, M.D. medical editor-in-chief of Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart For Life! "And, it's easier than you might think. For example, moving even 10 minutes a day for someone who's been sedentary can reduce the risk for heart disease by 50 percent." In this book, Dr. Grogan and a multi-disciplinary team of Mayo Clinic experts discuss key actions to jump-start heart health. The book also offers management strategies for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions; explains how the heart works and what can go wrong; and offers additional tools, tips and resources to overcome obstacles and support your heart disease prevention plan.