avatar

From peer pressure to peer support

Easing the burden of hereditary colorectal cancer

colorectal cancer

Members of the Myers family share a hereditary high risk for colorectal cancer.

Learning to fit in and conform with other children is a rite of passage for most of us, but when someone is living with a genetic disorder and the life-long threat of cancer, those formative years can be fairly tough. Just ask Kevin Myers. He has an inherited genetic disorder that results in a very high risk for colorectal cancer. It is called familial adenomatous polyposis, or FAP.

“I was seven or eight years old when I became aware that my dad’s mom and brother had died from this cancer, and my dad was frequently having pre-cancerous polyps scraped out of his Continue reading

avatar

Concussion and gender: A difference?

Female_Athlete

New University of Michigan research shows that concussion does not hurt women athletes more than men.

Does concussion affect women differently from men? A new study from the University of Michigan sheds some light on the subject.

We talked with lead author Kathryn O’Connor, a Ph.D. student at University of Michigan’s NeuroSport Research Laboratory, to learn more about the study and her thoughts on gender differences in concussion. O’Connor recently presented the study results at the American Academy of Neurology’s Sports Concussion Conference.

Tell us briefly about your study.

Our work is part of the National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study (NSCOS) funded by the NCAA.

The research involved 148 Division I college athletes from 11 sports at the University of Michigan during a single season. Of the participants, 51 percent played a contact sport, 24 percent had experienced a concussion and 45 percent were female.

All participants had taken learning and processing tests along with other measures of the brain’s abilities, such as attention and working memory speed.  Continue reading

avatar

Lacrosse star plays on with pulmonary hypertension

Heart threat to young women often misdiagnosed

Blurry vision and chest pain during lacrosse training were the first signs of heart trouble for Katie Mezwa.

Blurry vision and chest pain during lacrosse training were the first signs of heart trouble for Katie Mezwa.

Katie Mezwa lives with a kind of high blood pressure that’s known to impact women who may otherwise appear healthy.

Rather than high blood pressure throughout her body, Katie has pulmonary hypertension which is high blood pressure in the loop of vessels connecting the heart and lungs. The heart ends up working harder to pump oxygen-rich blood to the lungs.

With shortness of breath as the main symptom the condition is easy to be misdiagnosed. Katie’s first sign of heart trouble:  blurry vision, fatigue and chest pain during a routine run with her lacrosse team.

A long path to answers included months of tests and appointments to find out why the active young woman had trouble performing. Continue reading

avatar

Radiation Oncology takes a patient and family centered approach

patients and families

Child life specialist Kristan Freitag strives to improve the patient experience during radiation therapy.

Patients who receive radiation therapy understand that the process often comes with anxiety. In order to best appreciate the wants and needs of patients and families, the Department of Radiation Oncology formed a Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) committee. The goal of the group, which consists of former radiation patients, family members and radiation therapy caregivers, is to offer patients and families the opportunity to reflect on their treatment and recommend potential ways to improve the experience for others. Continue reading

avatar

10-year-old boy worried about how Mott doctor may change his heart: Don’t make me a Michigan fan

Five years after being adopted from Russia, Toledo fourth grader becomes among first in Michigan to benefit from new device for congenital heart defect

After receiving care at Mott's Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

After receiving care at Mott’s Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka showed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.

“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.

No, he would wake up loving the Buckeyes just as much as he ever did, Dr. Grifka, assured him. The procedure would also mean he could better enjoy his favorite activities, like soccer, for many more years to come.

Continue reading

avatar

Still relevant: Why Michiganders should know the symptoms of leprosy

By Trilokraj Tejasvi, M.D.

Clinical Lecturer in Dermatology, Director of Teledermatology

You might associate the word “leprosy” with medieval or biblical imagery, but the bacterial disease is very real, though rare, today. It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae. It’s important we spread the word, because when diagnosed early, leprosy is easy to treat and cure.

I’ve provided care for thousands of leprosy patients in India, and now oversee one newly-diagnosed case here in Michigan. Most people are immune to leprosy (about 95 percent), but a small number of Americans still contract the disease every year, mostly in Gulf Coast states such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas, where many of Michigan’s snowbird residents travel in the winter.

Dr. Tejasvi speaks with Dr. McGeorge from Local 4 for an August segment on leprosy.

Dr. Tejasvi speaks with Dr. McGeorge from Local 4 for an August segment on leprosy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The increased number of cases so far in Florida this year might be related to the nine-banded armadillo, a small animal common in Florida that can spread leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. We should all avoid contact with armadillos, including hunting them or getting close enough to risk exposure to their secretions.

Continue reading