Loyola University Medical Center will be the first and presently the only hospital in Illinois to offer a non-invasive technology that will test for coronary artery disease.  More than 16 million adults in the U.S. have coronary heart disease. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and reduced blood flow to the heart are a few symptoms. Reduced blood flow to the heart muscles can cause angina (chest pain). Blockages are sometimes treated with cholesterol lowering drugs or asperin and sometimes a blockage may require surgery to prevent a heart attack.  "FFRCT provides superior patient care and helps guide treatment strategies with a single, non-invasive study that is low risk and provides accurate information," said Mark Rabbat, MD, FSCCT, an assistant professor in the departments of Medicine and Radiology of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. CT scans create a digital 3D model of the arteries leading to the heart. A simulation of blood flow is shown through a color-coded map that helps physicians determine if proper blood flow is flowing to the heart. Easy, non-invasive testing is great news for patients and medical professionals.  "FFRCT is a game changer," Dr. Rabbat said. "For the first time, we have a single comprehensive, non-invasive diagnostic test that offers both an anatomic assessment and the functional significance of coronary artery disease. We're proud to be the first hospital in Illinois to offer this revolutionary technology to our patients."
Almost anyone who has stay in a hospital overnight or even for more than a few hours knows how noisy of an enviroment it can be. Recent research shows that noisy enviroments can also spike blood pressure levels and prolong recovery time. It also has a long term effect on the hospital staff working near or with patients. Hospital noice is the most common complaint during hospital stays and understandably so with wheelchairs, gurneys, squeaky carts, IV alert sirens, beeping monitors, and a buzzing 24 hour staff right outside your door.  "In hospital enviroments where noise levels are often double what they should be according to the World Health Organization's standard decibel guidelines for patient rooms, the difference is significant," says Mojtaba Navvab, Ph.D., associate professor of architecture and design at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.  Navvab is partnering with U-M Architecture, Engineering and Construction, which plans spaces across three U-M campuses, on room acoustic research, and collaborated with Physicians Peter M. Farrehi, M.D., and Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, M.D., on the noise reduction study.  "This architecture design could complement on-going strategies for addressing noise," says Farrehi, study co-author and cardiologist at the U-M Health System. "The panels help diffuse sound, rather than attempt to eliminate the sounds generated in a modern hospital environment."  Hospitals like U-M Health centers promote quiet hospital environments for the best quality of care and recovery time for the patient. Rest and relaxation is a vital part of recovering from illness, post operation, etc. By providing complimentary ear buds, headphones, and ear plugs. They also establish quiet hours in all inpatient areas. Cell phone use in hallways and waiting rooms is heavily discouraged, they also provide a host of other quiet culture policies like scheduling floor cleaning that does not conflict with sleeping hours.   
A new vaccine is awaiting approval from the FDA that makes the typical, multiple, vaccine process a little easier. The vaccine on average will lower infant vaccinations by 1-4 fewer injections. Many parents and caregivers dread vaccinations, this could potentially make that routine appointment a little easier, as well as easier for the infant.  The combination vaccine is presently named "DTaP5-IPV-Hib-HepB" and protects against the following: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemphilus influenza type B (hib) and hepatitis B. A similar combination vaccine is available in Europe and over the last decade has provided more timely immunizations. "It has gotten complicated because there are so many vaccines, which is good news because there are fewer sick children. Having combination vaccines is more good news - it makes things simpler without compromising protection," Gary Marshall, M.D., professor of pediatrics said. "Hopefully, this vaccine combination will improve coverage rates. Studies show that when you use combination vaccines, more kids get vaccinated on time and by two years of age more are fully protected. When you make it easier, you get better coverage." "Once it is licensed, we can take pride in having brought this new vaccine to the pediatric community and having done our part to simplify the routine immunization schedule," Marshall said.   Source: University of Louisville Author: Amanda McCuen/
Headaches are one of the most common inconveniences and can have a variety of triggers. Most commonly headaches are triggered by dehydration, stress, and coffee.  Here are 3 tips to avoid headaches before they happen: Drink Water: Dehydration causes headaches, and most Americans are not drinking enough water. Drink your eight ounce cups of water every day to drastically lower your risk of headaches. Relax: Stress is on the rise, according to the American Psychological Association. So its no wonder we get headaches so often. Put aside time every day to do something you enjoy. Some low stress, rewarding options are taking a yoga class, volunteering for a local charity or finding companionship in a pet. Avoid Coffee: Coffee is one of the largest headache triggers, but most people like to begin their day by drinking at least one cup. Instead, try some peppermint or ginger tea - both of which you can also drink to cure a headache if it sneaks up on you.   Headaches aren't pleasant, but these prevention techniques will make your days better - not only by improving your health but by increasing your happiness.
3D Printing is reaching new heights according to sources from the FDA as well as WebMD, and the clinical trials of a new medication being tested for epilepsy. In a recent report from Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, the agency has developed a 3D printed tablet for epilepsy that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid. The tablet is called Spritam and is the first 3D printed drug to be approved for sale in the U.S. and it is expected to be available early next year, in 2016. “For the last 50 years we have manufactured tablets in factories and shipped them to hospitals and for the first time this process means we can produce tablets much close to the patient,” Dr. Mohamed Albed Alhnan, a lecturer in pharmaceutics at the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, explained in an interview with BBC News.  Nearly 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with epilepsy, including 460,000 children according to and the numbers continue to rise. The financial expense and physical care some patients need can be overwhelming to the family and/or the caregiver, 3D printing can make the frustration of being able to obtain prescriptions easier and possibly even approach new, more effective medication technology. 3D printing is already a leading technology in the development of medical devices.  There is still a long road ahead for 3D printing pharmaceuticals. From developing printers that can print a higher quantity pharmaceuticals at a time all the way down to the specific benefits of 3D printing like drugs that can be personalized using different layers to create a more effective release of the medication into the body, a more person specific medication experience.    “The uniformity of dosage control with this type of manufacturing method is at least as good, if not far better, than conventional manufacturing” said Michael J. Cima, PhD., Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Autism services are growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S., mostly due to a rising need as the rates of Autism grow every year. Autism can affect individuals on a very broad scale, some individuals live independent lives and are gainfully employed in positions that vary from store clerks to physicians. There is a also a growing need for services for individuals who are unable to live on their own, but even greater is the need to diagnostic services for autistic adults. As we face the rise in numbers there is also a very high number of adults undiagnosed who could greatly benefit from a diagnosis. Autism is not only a label, it is also a means to services. Without that "label" often times getting any type of medical service is unwarrranted if there is no supporting diagnosis.  A new tool has been developed in diagnosing autism in adults that will allow the patient to report repetitive behaviors and other autism related symptoms. Whereas before, not only where there little to no adult autism diagnostic tools, but Dr.'s rely heavily on family or caregiver input when diagnosing an adult which makes a clear diagnosis difficult to rely on. Now the patient can weight in on this diagnosis and express the personal account of what they are experiencing.  "Many measures used for research and diagnosis of autism rely on parents, teachers, or caregivers to report the behaviors of individuals with the condition," said Professor Sue Leekam, Cardiff University's chair of Autism and Director of the Wales Autism Research Centre.  "What our research has done is develop a test where individuals can report on their behaviors, for both research and clinical purposes, ensuring we get a fuller picture of the way that these behaviors affect people," she added. The next phase of the research will be to trial the test on people of all ages with autism before implementing its use in clinics across the UK. 
New research has found that women who undergo Gastric Bypass surgery or the Vertical Banded Gastroplasty may experience a change in their metabolism. In more unfamiliar terms, Gastric Bypass can change the Gut Microbiome. In this study the amount of weight the patient had lost since their surgery appeared irrelevent. It also appeared that the female patients are burning fewer carbohydrates and more fat, the scientists wrote in their research study.  "The findings tell us we need to warn patients who have Gastric Bypass Surgery that they will experience changes in the way their bodies metabolize alcohol," Acoording to Author M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science. "Consuming alcohol after surgery could put patients at risk for potentially serious problems, even if they consume only moderate amounts of alcohol." There is a large public and personal safety risk for women who have udergone this surgery and much awareness is needed to inform previous and future patients. This study reveals that women who have undergone the surgery will quickly exceed the legal driving limit once they begin drinking, more so than the average person and more so than even a obese female who has not had the surgery.  Funding for the research comes from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Center for Research of the National Institute of Health (NIH), grant numbers AA 020018, DK 56341, UL1 RR024992 and AA 11998; and by the Midwest Alcohol Research Center. Author: Amanda McCuen/
Author: Amanda McCuen/ Among school supplies, after school programs, sports, new school clothes, and the many other “Back to School” items on our minds sometimes the simplest of tips going in to the school year pass us by. Here are 6 simple tips for back to school health.      1. Hand Washing The golden rule of healthcare. Teaching children the importance of hand washing can go a long way, especially during the cold & flu season. Washing your hands prevents the spread of germs that we come in contact with daily.     2. Expectations While life often throws us a curveball it can be enough of a task to juggle everyones schedule, however, keeping children informed can open a world of understanding. While we often have in the back of our minds what is to be done the following day our children may not be privy to those plans. Much like adults, when you suddenly tell them their inlays are stopping by, children with higher stress or anxiety often experience far better behavior by simply knowing what to expect.    3. Lighten the Load “As a general guideline, don’t allow your child to carry a backpack that’s more than 15 percent of their own body weight,” says Dr. Muzzonigro, who practices in Pittsburgh. “Lugging around a ton of books and other supplies all day can eventually be problematic.”   4. Encourage Self Awareness Dealing with allergies can be frustrating, especially when a child has an allergy. Teaching children to be aware of their allergies, the prescriptions they take, and the things that tend to make them feel better can help not only ease your own mind but can also be very helpful to the child and school staff. Also teaching your child how to operate an Epi-pen could perhaps save their life if an allergic reaction occurs. “Unfortunately, there’s no cure for food allergies,” says Dr. Fiedler, who practices in Philadelphia, “and sometimes the only line of defense for a person experiencing anaphylaxis is an Epi-pen. Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening and can happen within seconds after being exposed to an allergen.”   5. Stress Eliminating unnecessary stress can often produce better health and less negative behavior. Children often experience health problems and negative behavior due to stress. Finding the root of the stress and working toward a solution together through compromise can also teach your child how to work together with others in the future. “Growing up can present many situations that are stressful to children,” says Robert E. Wilson, MD, PhD, president of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society and PAMED member. “There is pressure on students to succeed or adapt to new situations.” “One of our greatest concerns is when stress leads to anxiety, depression, or even suicidal thoughts,” says Dr. Wilson. “When stress becomes dangerous, it’s really important for parents, teachers, counselors, and their peers to pay close attention, and seek help for the student.” Dr. Wilson offers these tips for students to help manage stress:♦Get organized and take better control of the way your time and energy is spent.♦Control who you surround yourself with and what you are surrounded by♦Give yourself positive feedback♦Reward yourself by planning leisure activities♦Exercise.♦Eat Right   6. Keep All School Contact Information Current   All too often school staff is left to the responsibility of seeking medical help for children when a parent or caregiver cannot be contacted due to inaccurate contact information due to a change of phone number or address. 
Combination Therapy May Be More Effective Against the Most Common Ovarian Cancer High-grade serous ovarian cancer often responds well to the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, but why it so frequently comes back after treatment has been a medical mystery. Now a team of UCLA researchers has discovered that a subset of tumor cells that don’t produce the protein CA125, a biomarker used to test for ovarian cancer, has an enhanced ability to repair their DNA and resist programmed cell death — which allows the cells to evade the drug and live long enough to regrow the original tumor.  It’s that regenerative ability and their resistance to carboplatin therapy that make the cells so dangerous, said Deanna Janzen, the study’s first author, and a senior scientist in the G.O. Discovery Lab at UCLA.  The study, which appears August 3 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, showed that pairing the chemotherapy with an experimental drug eliminates the deadly population of cells believed to be responsible for repopulating the tumor. The drug, birinapant, sensitizes the CA125-negative cells to the chemotherapy by restoring apoptosis, or programmed cell death, said Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, a senior author of the study and a UCLA gynecologic cancer surgeon. Combining chemotherapy and birinapant significantly improved disease-free survival in laboratory models of human ovarian cancer compared to using either therapy alone. This suggests that targeting the CA125-negative cells may improve outcomes in these high-grade serous cancers, the most common subtype of ovarian cancer, said Memarzadeh, who also is a UCLA associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the G.O. Discovery Lab. This is vital, since the cancer recurs in 80 to 85 percent of patients despite standard treatments.  Scientists had previously hypothesized that there was a population of cells that could not be reached using the conventional treatment of surgery followed by chemotherapy, but they had been mostly unable to identify them. Alarming findings “We found that these cells were like little time bombs, hiding from the chemotherapy and then later initiating tumor growth,” Memarzadeh said. “We think that by isolating the CA125-negative tumor cells we have uncovered this reservoir of carboplatin-resistant high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells.” In the five-year study, the research team first analyzed ovarian tumors gathered from patients at UCLA. Most of the cells that made up the tumors were positive for CA125, but the researchers found a small population that were negative and focused on those, Janzen said. The team wondered if the CA125-negative cells grew the same as those that were CA125-positive. The results were alarming. “The CA125-negative cells grew 700 times better than CA125-positive cells,” Janzen said. “It was very striking that the two cell populations had such different growth potentials. But what was more remarkable was that the CA125-negative cells were clearly resistant to the drugs normally used to treat serous cancers.” Memarzadeh, who also is a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, agreed. “For me, as a physician, this was frightening,” she said. “The chemotherapy drug killed the CA125-positive cells and left behind the cells armed with the capacity to regrow the tumor.” The test most widely used to detect recurrences of serous cancer works by measuring CA125 levels. As a result, Memarzadeh said, the test completely overlooks the cells that slowly regrow the tumor, which are CA125-negative. Once the researchers isolated the CA125-negative cells, they worked with UCLA collaborators to analyze the genes expressed in these cells. They discovered the ability of these cells to quickly repair the DNA damage done by the chemotherapy, and they found the cells’ “anti-death” protein. The DNA damage that killed the CA125-positive cells did not work on the CA125-negative cells because of the two protective mechanisms. “These cells reacted like hair does to chemotherapy,” Janzen said. “The treatment damages most of patients’ hair cells, causing the hair to fall out. But the cells responsible for hair growth live on, so hair regrows after therapy stops. Similarly, most of the tumor cells die in response to platinum therapy, but the CA125-negative cells survive and serve as a source of tumor re-growth once therapy ceases. The good news is that we found a small molecule drug being tested in cancers that activates apoptosis and we decided to test it in combination therapy.” Planning further study  Going forward, Memarzadeh and her team plan to conduct a clinical trial of the combination therapy in women whose tumors have high levels of the anti-death protein. She estimates that about 50 percent of women with ovarian cancer have tumors with this type of tumor and would qualify for the trial, which needs about $2 million in philanthropic funding before it could begin. The researchers also are seeking other potential drug targets in the 50 percent of patients who don’t have high levels of the anti-death protein, as well as biomarkers in addition to CA125 that could be used to screen for ovarian cancer. “We do a phenomenal job with surgery, peeling off as much of the tumor as we can see, and then we do standard chemotherapy, but the cancers still recur,” Memarzadeh said. “I think our study helps explain why this happens. If this combination of drugs proves effective, we may be able to improve outcomes for this deadly disease. I think it’s entirely feasible.” Ovarian cancer accounts for 5 percent of cancer deaths among women, and causes more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer. About 21,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and more than 14,000 will die of the disease. “This study provides evidence that CA125-negative high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells have stem properties and are inherently platinum resistant. The de novo platinum resistance of this tumor subpopulation can explain why these cancers consistently reappear after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy,” the study states. “On the basis of the promising preclinical results here, improving outcomes for this deadly malignancy could be achieved simply by supplementing existing therapies that work well against the majority of tumor cells with agents that sensitize the CA125-negative cells to carboplatin.”   The study was primarily funded by an American Cancer Society Research Scholar grant (RSG-14-217-01-TBG), the Ovarian Cancer Circle Inspired by Robin Babbini, the Leath L. and Marcia L. Millen Family Fund, the Phase One Foundation and the Lynn Cohen and the Gynecologic Oncology Discovery Lab Foundations. It was also funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute (R01CA183877), the Veterans Affairs Career Development Program, the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Advancing Translational Science UCLA Clinical Translational Science Institute (UL1TR000124) and the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation at UCLA.
Ultra-Cheap Microscopes Could Save Millions of Lives Microscopes have been saving lives for decades by helping diagnose any number of deadly diseases, but in many parts of the world, they are in short supply.   That’s about to change. Technology is transforming smartphones, iPads and even paper into durable, ultra-portable microscopes that only cost a few dollars to make. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory created a small device that clips onto a smartphone or tablet, turning the camera lens into a microscope. They used a 3D printer to create the attachment, which holds an inexpensive glass bead that provides the magnification. Once attached, you can hold a standard glass slide with the specimen you want to magnify up to the bead and view on screen. There are three lens designs: 100X magnification for viewing salt crystals or the structure of a leaf, a 350X version that can identify parasites in blood (malaria) or protozoa in drinking water (cryptosporidium), and 1000X option that can identify anthrax spores. The blueprint for the attachment is available online, so if you have access to a 3D printer and about a dollar’s worth of materials, you can make your own.  Dr. Steve Lee, a scientist at Australian National University, has found a way to literally bake microscope lenses in an oven and attach them to smartphones. Think Shrinky Dinks, but using the same material found in contact lenses. To create the lenses, Lee places a drop of gel-like silicone polymer called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) on a glass slide and bakes it at 158 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s hardened. Lee places another drop of PDMS on the base. The slide is flipped over and baked again, using gravity to form a droplet. More drops can be applied to create the optimum lens shape. When finished, the lens slides into a small frame made by a 3D printer that fits over a smartphone’s camera lens. Though not very powerful (only about 160X), it can be used as a skin-examining dermascope to help diagnose diseases like melanoma. This tiny lens costs just a few bucks to create. If a 3D printer and smartphone are out of reach, there’s a low-tech option that you can assemble from a piece of paper for less than a dollar. Developed by a research team at PrakashLab at Stanford University, Foldscope is an origami-inspired optical microscope that can provide over 2000X magnification. It comes on a piece of paper, and you simply remove the parts and start folding. There are no written directions, so the design is pretty intuitive. Once assembled, you can use it to view common bacteria and parasites with standard glass slides. All that’s needed to make a Foldscope is a sheet of polypropylene paper with the microscope design, a 140X low-mag lens or 2,180X high-mag lens (depending on the application), a 3-volt button battery, a white LED, an electrical slider and copper tape.  Foldscope’s creators say their mission is twofold: to impact science education by enabling the dream that "every kid in the world should carry around a microscope," and to impact global health by developing disease specific instruments that are designed for diagnostics, are extremely robust and easy to use by health workers. The product is currently in beta testing with 10,000 users.    This article was originally published by the editorial team at XPRIZE, which designs and operates incentivized competitions to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.                   By Joni Blecher, XPRIZE contributor   SMITHSONIAN.COM    Read the Full Story at

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