- News Releases
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The public is invited to enjoy four Rosemary and Meredith Willson Harmony for Mayo Program concerts in October. Performances will be on Mondays from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. The schedule is: Oct. 1: No concert, Mayo Clinic Heritage Days Oct. 8: Lehto & Wright will perform a Celtic and American folk rock concert in Barbara Woodward Lips Atrium, subway level, Rochester Methodist Hospital, Charlton Building, 10 Third Ave. NW. Their music is a mix of traditional and modern styles as they interpret Irish, English and American folk traditions with contemporary guitar-based arrangements. The group has performed at the New London Music Festival in New London, Minn., the Minnesota Folk Festival and the Black Hawk Folk Festival in Wisconsin. Players include singer John Wright on acoustic guitar, bass guitar and bass pedals; vocalist Steve Lehto on acoustic and electric guitars and the mandolin; and Matt Jacobs on drums and percussion. The band issued its seventh full-length studio release, "November," this year, featuring songs by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. Oct. 15: Michael Monroe will play an acoustic folk and reggae concert in Lips Atrium. Monroe produced his first album, "Summer Rain," in 1980. In 2003, he collaborated with photographer Jim Brandenburg to create the instrumental soundtrack for the award-winning documentary, "Chased by the Light." His latest work, "Live at the Cedar," was recorded in 2008 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Monroe lives and records music at his solar-powered log cabin on the north shore of Lake Superior. The Star Tribune has called him a "rich-voiced eco-folkie." Oct. 22: Mary Jane Alm will perform a jazz, blues and pop concert in Lips Atrium. Alm was inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame in 2007 for work that spans more than two decades. Her latest recording, the 2011 release "Me and the Wild Blue," features original works and songs by Joni Mitchell, Kevin Bowe and Pamela McNeill. Her song, "Love Waits," registered No. 2 on ReverbNation's Hot Country music ratings list. Alm, a Twin Cities musician, has performed in China, Russia, Poland, Mexico and Bermuda. She won an Emmy Award for her work with The Music Workshop for Kids musical group. Her band includes Boyd Lee on acoustic guitar and vocals, Gordy Johnson on bass, Scooter Nelson on percussion and vocals, and Brian Peters on guitar and pedal steel. Oct. 29: The City of Tomorrow wind quintet will perform a classical concert in Lips Atrium. The quintet highlights new and forgotten masterworks, such as Franco Donatoni's "Blow." Members of the quintet have performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and Ensemble Dal Niente. The quintet took its name from a poem by Billy Collins, former U.S. poet laureate, that describes an optimistic vision of the future. Members include Elise Blatchford on flute, Andrew Nogal on oboe, Camila Barrientos Ossio on clarinet, Laura Miller on bassoon and Leander Star on French horn.
TUBA CITY, Ariz. — September 24, 2012. Residents of the largest city in the Navajo Nation in need of emergency medical care for a stroke may benefit from a Mayo Clinic "telestroke" program that will now be available at Tuba City Regional Health Care. A recent agreement between Tuba City Regional Health Care and Mayo Clinic in Arizona means the service will start in Tuba City as early as November. Tuba City is located in north central Arizona within the Painted Desert. Most of the area's population belong to the Navajo and Hopi tribes. "This telestroke partnership between our physicians and Mayo Clinic means our Navajo and Hopi patients can now have immediate high-tech, state of the art stroke care," said Joseph Engelken, CEO of Tuba City Regional Health Care. Mayo Clinic was the first medical center in Arizona to do pioneering clinical research to study telemedicine as a means of serving patients with stroke in non-urban settings, and today serves as the "hub" in a network of 11 other "spoke" centers, all but one in Arizona. Tuba City Regional Health Care will become the 12th hospital to be part of the telestroke service from Mayo Clinic. When Mayo Clinic began its stroke telemedicine program in 2005, statistics revealed that 40 percent of residents in Arizona lived outside an area with immediate stroke expertise. In telestroke care, the use of a telestroke computers located in a rural hospital lets a stroke patient be seen in real time by a neurology specialist at Mayo Clinic located in Phoenix. The Mayo stroke neurologist, whose face appears on a computer screen, consults with emergency room physicians at the rural sites and evaluates the patient. Patients showing signs of stroke can be examined by the neurologist via computer, smart phone technology, portable tablets or laptops. In addition to assessment of the patient, the neurologist can view scans of the patient's brain to detect possible damage from a hemorrhage or blocked artery. A major benefit of the collaboration is that patients with stroke symptoms who meet the criteria can often be administered clot-busting medications within the narrow window of time necessary to minimize permanent injury to the brain. "Excellent, capable emergency physicians at Tuba City Regional Health Care can ring the telestroke hotline and be instantly connected with Mayo Clinic's stroke experts," said Bart Demaerschalk, M.D., Professor of Neurology, and medical director of Mayo Clinic Telestroke. "Urgent and immediate virtual care can be provided to patients — collaboration between stroke neurologists and physicians at the remote sites has resulted in 96 percent accuracy in diagnosing stroke." "Telestroke will enhance the quality of care we provide to our loved ones, by providing them with access to specialists without having to leave their family or home," said Joette Walters, Clinical Education Department Manager who oversees the Telemedicine Program at Tuba City Regional Health Care. "Stoke can be a devastating and life-altering diagnosis, where optimal treatment is contingent on a narrow timeframe, by providing this new service we have the potential to improve quality of life for our loved ones." To date, more than 1,000 emergency consultations for stroke between Mayo Clinic stroke neurologists and physicians at the spoke centers have taken place. Such comprehensive evaluation techniques, leading to appropriate life-saving treatment for stroke, have resulted in significant cost reductions in terms of ground and air ambulance transfer of the patient to another medical center. Dr. Demaerschalk explains that telestroke technology is not intended to replace face-to-face communication with patients. "But our research strongly suggests that the technology can enhance evaluation and treatment for patients in rural areas, as well as peer-to-peer collaboration among physicians," he says.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — September 24, 2012. Men who undergo surgical removal of prostate cancer can experience significant levels of anxiety one year after surgery, and higher levels of anxiety appear to be linked to poor sexual satisfaction and depression, say researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. Their recent study, published in the online edition of Psycho-Oncology, suggests that men who experience high levels of "cancer-specific anxiety" following surgery for prostate cancer could likely benefit from counseling designed to address their worries and improve their quality of life. "The 10-year survival for a man undergoing surgery to remove localized prostate cancer is greater than 95 percent. Given that the majority of men who undergo prostatectomy for prostate cancer will not die from their disease, we are concerned about what life will be like for these patients decades after diagnosis and treatment," says the study's senior investigator, Alexander Parker, Ph.D., an associate professor of epidemiology and urology. While prostate cancer can be a life threatening disease, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2.5 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive. "The odds of surviving for long periods of time following surgery for prostate cancer are very high," says surgeon and co-author Gregory Broderick, M.D., a professor of urology. "That means a lot of men are living as prostate cancer survivors and we at Mayo Clinic are committed to understanding factors that affect their quality of life, not just their quantity of life." Dr. Broderick presented these results at the joint meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America and the International Society for Sexual Medicine this summer in Chicago. Data from studies in patients with other cancer types have shown that anxiety can significantly affect an individual's quality of life. "Our study is the first to specifically show that those men with higher cancer-specific anxiety one year after surgery for prostate cancer are more likely to report lower levels of satisfaction with their sex life and higher levels of depressive symptoms," Dr. Parker says. In their study, the Mayo Clinic researchers examined findings on 365 men who, one year after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, completed a questionnaire designed to measure anxiety levels about the fact they have been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. The men also completed additional questionnaires to measure levels of erectile function, sexual satisfaction and depression.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — September 20, 2012. Core muscles — located around the midsection and pelvis — are critical to physical activities ranging from folding laundry and carrying groceries to serving a tennis ball or swinging a golf club. The September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers the importance of strengthening and maintaining core muscles. Twenty-nine pairs of muscles make up the core. They are sometimes described as a muscular box. The roof is the diaphragm, the large muscle below the lungs. The base includes the pelvic floor and girdle of muscles around the hips. The abdominal muscles are the front of the core box. At the back are the paraspinal muscles that support the spine, and the large gluteal muscles. This muscular box provides the foundation for moving the arms and legs. Core muscles support the body's shift in balance, providing a stable foundation for daily activities and exercise. A well-conditioned core reduces the risk of low back pain and helps maintain good posture. Exercises that focus on the body's midsection can strengthen the core muscles. One option is simply balancing on one leg while keeping the back and pelvis stable. Pilates, tai chi and yoga involve many core-building movements. A personal trainer or physical therapist also can offer exercise suggestions. To get the most benefit and avoid injury, it's wise to learn proper techniques.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — September 20, 2012. When severe chronic nerve pain doesn't respond to medication, surgery or physical therapy, implanted devices may provide relief, according to the September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. In one type of device, electrical pulses are directed along a nerve to block or override pain impulses traveling along the same nerve. Medication pumps are another option, dispensing medication directly into the fluid around the spinal cord. There are two types of electrical stimulation devices, and they may be used together. In spinal cord stimulators, a wire is placed within the spinal canal and connected to an electrical generator implanted beneath the skin in the abdomen. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, spinal cord stimulators may improve pain from failed back surgery, peripheral neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome, which results in leg or arm pain. More targeted than spinal cord stimulators, peripheral nerve stimulators are placed along nerves that branch off from the spinal cord. They may be used to treat leg pain after back surgery, post-herpetic neuralgia and some types of headaches. This newer technology hasn't been approved by the FDA. Implanted medication pumps are most often used to relieve pain from cancer or chronic back pain. The drug delivery system consists of a small flexible catheter placed in the spinal fluid. The catheter connects to a drug infusion pump implanted in the lower abdomen. The adjustable pump is programmed to dispense medication. It can be refilled by injection through the skin into the device. Drug delivery pumps are effective but have limitations. Patients may develop increasing tolerance to the pain medication. Most often, pain medication pumps are offered to patients with limited life expectancy or in other extreme situations.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — September 20, 2012. Pulmonary embolism occurs when critical blood flow to lung tissue is blocked in one or more arteries. It can be fatal without prompt treatment. The September issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter explains this condition, common symptoms, risk factors and treatment options. Normally, blood circulates freely through arteries and veins. When pulmonary embolism occurs — blocking an artery — it is usually due to a blood clot fragment from elsewhere in the body that travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. Most often, these dangerous clots form in the large veins of the leg or pelvis, a condition called deep vein thrombosis. Symptoms: They can vary widely, depending on how much of the lung is affected and the size, number and location of the clots. People with underlying heart or lung disease are more likely to have symptoms that may include: Sudden breathlessness, during activity or at rest Sharp chest pain that may become worse with inhalation Wheezing Clammy or bluish skin Rapid or irregular heartbeat Excessive sweating Weak pulse Some people have no signs or symptoms other than those linked to deep vein thrombosis. Those symptoms may include leg redness, swelling or pain. Risk factors: The danger of pulmonary embolism increases with age, especially after 60. Risk also rises with: Long periods of inactivity, due to hospitalization, bed rest, or even prolonged sitting during travel Certain medical conditions, including trauma and bone fracture, neurologic disorders that impair leg use, autoimmune disorders, some cancers and previous deep vein thrombosis Surgery, particularly orthopedic procedures involving the hip, knee or pelvis; major neurosurgery and cancer surgery Excess weight and smoking
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — September 20, 2012. To help Mayo Clinic design the most effective treatment possible for brain cancer patients, the JLG Brain Cancer Foundation is pledging to raise $250,000 to assist in the development of a brain tissue bank at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. It has already raised $145,000 toward that goal. The brain cancer tissue bank will include brain tumor tissues for all stages and types of brain cancers. "This vast tissue library will enable Mayo Clinic researchers to accurately identify the key molecular culprits in brain cancers — not just genes or proteins that influence cancer development, but the ones that make cancers more aggressive or resistant to therapies. Once found, these malignant forces can be stopped," says Jill Geehr, the daughter of Jacquie Lorraine Goldman, for whom the Foundation is named. Mrs. Goldman was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most virulent form of brain cancer, in 2008. She participated in several experimental drug trials over the course of treatment at Mayo Clinic, but lost her struggle 1.5 years after diagnosis — well above the normal survival, says Ms. Geehr. "We want to see that people diagnosed with brain cancer have options for treatment that are effective," she says. "Right now, most people who receive this diagnosis have an outcome that is pretty bleak." "Mayo Clinic is pursuing a transformative vision for brain cancer care. We can help," says Ms. Geehr. The Foundation's annual fundraising events are being held later this month. The second annual TASTE food and wine event is Thursday, Sept. 27 at TPC Sawgrass, and the Unlock the Cure JLG 5K Fun Run is slated for Saturday, Sept. 29, in Jacksonville Beach at The Beach Restaurant. Brain tissue samples that are now starting to be collected at Mayo Clinic "will be instrumental in developing a new understanding of the biology and treatment of brain malignancies like that of Mrs. Goldman's," says Kurt Jaeckle, M.D., the Mayo Clinic neuro-oncologist who treated Mrs. Goldman. "This Brain Cancer Tissue Bank never would have been possible without the kind donation and pledge of the JLG Brain Cancer Foundation," he says. "It is our hope that every person who has fought or continues to fight brain cancer will lead us closer to unlocking a cure," says Ms. Geehr.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — September 19, 2012. Mayo Clinic has assembled the nation's leading experts including professional sports league representatives to discuss the clinical and scientific aspects of concussions and the related growing public health concerns at the Symposium on Concussion in Sport, Sept. 28–29, at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The symposium will be held at the Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale, 13400 East Shea Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 29. Among the experts scheduled to present are concussion representatives from each of the major professional leagues: National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. The symposium is designed to help physicians recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, evaluate athletes, recognize when it is safe to return to play, and understand the short- and long-term neurological consequences of concussion. "Concussion is a major public health priority that transcends age, gender and sport," says David Dodick, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and director of the symposium. "The underreporting and recognition of concussion and the potential for short-term catastrophic consequences and disabling long-term neurological impairment from repeated concussions have prompted the passage of legislation in many states that requires the immediate removal from play of an athlete suspected of having a concussion; mandatory concussion education of all those who intersect with an athlete; and return-to-play clearance by a qualified health care provider."
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — September 17, 2012. An enzyme that could represent a powerful new tool for combating Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The enzyme — known as BACE2 — destroys beta-amyloid, a toxic protein fragment that litters the brains of patients who have the disease. The findings were published online Sept. 17 in the science journal Molecular Neurodegeneration. MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video resources, including an interview with Dr. Leissring, are available for journalists at the Mayo Clinic News Network. Alzheimer's disease is the most common memory disorder. It affects more that 5.5 million people in the United States. Despite the disorder's enormous financial and personal toll, effective treatments have not yet been found. The Mayo research team, led by Malcolm A. Leissring, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, made the discovery by testing hundreds of enzymes for the ability to lower beta-amyloid levels. BACE2 was found to lower beta-amyloid more effectively than all other enzymes tested. The discovery is interesting because BACE2 is closely related to another enzyme, known as BACE1, involved in producing beta-amyloid. "Despite their close similarity, the two enzymes have completely opposite effects on beta-amyloid — BACE1 giveth, while BACE2 taketh away," Dr. Leissring says. Beta-amyloid is a fragment of a larger protein, known as APP, and is produced by enzymes that cut APP at two places. BACE1 is the enzyme responsible for making the first cut that generates beta-amyloid. The research showed that BACE2 cuts beta-amyloid into smaller pieces, thereby destroying it, instead. Although other enzymes are known to break down beta-amyloid, BACE2 is particularly efficient at this function, the study found. Previous work had shown that BACE2 can also lower beta-amyloid levels by a second mechanism: by cutting APP at a different spot from BACE1. BACE2 cuts in the middle of the beta-amyloid portion, which prevents beta-amyloid production. "The fact that BACE2 can lower beta-amyloid by two distinct mechanisms makes this enzyme an especially attractive candidate for gene therapy to treat Alzheimer's disease," says first author Samer Abdul-Hay, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The discovery suggests that impairments in BACE2 might increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This is important because certain drugs in clinical use — for example, antiviral drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — work by inhibiting enzymes similar to BACE2.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — September 12, 2012. Today's researchers have a new set of tools to help uncover the roots of human disease and personalize prevention and treatment efforts. To take advantage of the emergence of faster, more affordable DNA sequencing technology, Mayo Clinic is establishing a biobank at its campus in Jacksonville. The Mayo Clinic Biobank is an extension of an effort that started at Mayo in Rochester, Minn. in 2007. Mayo Clinic in Florida has already begun enrolling volunteers in the Biobank, and expects to add at least 5,000 in the next five years, says Alexander Parker, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and Florida-based associate director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. "Our mission at Mayo is to improve understanding of human disease and translate this knowledge into better prevention and care for all populations," Dr. Parker says. "We are grateful to our participants in the Mayo Clinic Biobank for their willingness to provide the DNA samples and information that will support the next generation of scientific inquiry, and drive us closer to more individualized medical care for everyone." Participants who enroll in the Mayo Clinic Biobank are asked to grant access to their medical records, complete a 12-page lifestyle questionnaire and donate a blood sample, from which DNA is extracted and stored for future use. Participation in the Biobank is currently limited to people already receiving routine care at Mayo Clinic. It likely will eventually be opened to non-Mayo patients. More than 40 research projects are using genetic and health information housed in the Mayo Clinic Biobank to explore questions related to a range of human diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, hypothyroidism and cancers such as myeloma and leukemia, and cancers of the colon, breast, brain, lung, liver and kidney. Dr. Parker, a kidney specialist, says one study is looking at how frequently a genetic mutation found in kidney cancer patients occurs in healthy individuals. The Biobank makes it easier for researchers to perform studies because samples and information from many different people will be available in one place. Researchers can use the Biobank like a library. When they want to study a health issue they can use Biobank samples instead of finding new samples. "One of my goals is to understand how genetics interacts with the environment to affect a person's risk of developing kidney cancer," he says. "Now, through a simple query of the Mayo Biobank, we are able to rapidly identify control individuals who have no history of kidney cancer and gain access to their DNA and lifestyle data. This essentially reduces the time needed to do the work from years to months, which moves the process along at a faster pace." Other benefits of opening the Mayo Biobank in Florida include access to more diverse populations outside the Midwest and allowing for better design of studies aimed at disorders that have a higher prevalence in Southern states, such as skin cancer and kidney stones.
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — September 11, 2012. Pinal County residents in need of emergency medical care for a stroke may benefit from a Mayo Clinic "telestroke" program that will now be available at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center (CGRMC). A recent agreement between Casa Grande Regional Medical Center and Mayo Clinic in Arizona means the service featuring a portable, self-propelled robot will start in Casa Grande as early as October. Mayo Clinic pioneered clinical research in Arizona to study telemedicine as a means of serving patients with stroke in non-urban settings. Today, Mayo Clinic serves as the "hub" in a network of 10 other "spoke" centers, all but one in Arizona. Casa Grande Regional Medical Center will become the 11th hospital to be part of the telestroke service from Mayo Clinic. When Mayo Clinic began its stroke telemedicine program in 2005, statistics revealed that 40 percent of residents in Arizona lived outside an area with immediate stroke expertise. In telestroke care, a telestroke robot located in a rural hospital allows a stroke patient be evaluated in real time by a neurology specialist at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. The Mayo Clinic stroke neurologist, whose face appears on the screen of the robot, consults with emergency room physicians at the rural site and evaluates the patient. Patients showing signs of stroke can be examined by the neurologist who may use a computer, smart phone technology, portable tablets or laptops. In addition to assessing the patient, the neurologist can view scans of the patient's brain to detect possible damage from a hemorrhage or blocked artery. A major benefit of the collaboration is that patients with stroke symptoms who meet the criteria can often be administered clot-busting medications within the narrow window of time necessary to minimize permanent injury to the brain. "Excellent, capable emergency physicians at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center can ring the telestroke hotline and be instantly connected with Mayo Clinic's stroke experts," says Bart Demaerschalk, M.D., Professor of Neurology, and medical director of Mayo Clinic Telestroke. "Urgent and immediate virtual care can be provided to patients — collaboration between stroke neurologists and physicians at the remote sites has resulted in 96 percent accuracy in diagnosing stroke." Rona Curphy, President and CEO of CGRMC, says, "We are proud to bring this advanced service to our community, allowing our patients the benefit of immediate evaluation in the case of a stroke without requiring them to leave our community. We know that this technology will save lives and reduce the damage a stroke patient might experience by decreasing response times. In the case of a stroke, time is a critical component and telestroke medicine buys us time for our patients." To date, more than 1,000 emergency consultations for stroke between Mayo Clinic stroke neurologists and physicians at the spoke centers have taken place. Such comprehensive evaluation techniques, leading to appropriate life-saving treatment for stroke, have resulted in significant cost reductions in terms of ground and air ambulance transfer of the patient to another medical center. Dr. Demaerschalk explains that telestroke robot technology is not intended to replace in person, face-to-face communication with patients. "But our research strongly suggests that the technology can enhance evaluation and treatment for patients in rural areas, as well as peer-to-peer collaboration among physicians," he says.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the year-end online issue of Discovery's Edge, Mayo Clinic's research magazine. You may cite and link to this ...