A new device and procedure now offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center may be an alternative to taking blood thinners for patients who have the most common form of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm not caused by a heart valve problem.
Patients with atrial fibrillation often take blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke. But blood thinners are not always tolerated long term due to increased bleeding risks with other medical conditions. (more…)
“If it’s never on your radar screen, you’re never going to see it.”
That’s the philosophy that drives Dr. Lori Frasier in her efforts to better train pediatricians and other clinicians to be aware of clues that might suggest abuse.
Frasier is director of Penn State Center for the Protection of Children, division chief of child abuse pediatrics at Penn State Children’s Hospital and is board-certified in child abuse pediatrics. She will take her expertise statewide as she partners with the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance to provide new, state-mandated training of medically licensed professionals that will hopefully lead to better reporting of suspected child abuse. In 2014, 30 children died from abuse. (more…)
Why do many gastric bypass surgery patients develop alcohol and substance abuse problems? Do rare genetic variants influence antisocial drug dependence? Can a phone app reduce heavy drinking in college students? How can researchers provoke intense cravings during brain scans to help understand them better? Can we use such information to predict who is vulnerable to relapse and who is resilient?
These are just a few of the questions addiction researchers in the lab and in the clinic face today. And each of these topics will be in the spotlight on April 4, during the Second Annual Penn State Addiction Symposium. The meeting will bring together faculty, staff and students from across the university’s campuses to advance an understanding of the disease and explore new ways to treat it. (more…)
Like many mothers, Lorraine Schaeffer wanted to give her daughter every childhood opportunity possible, from play dates to participation in school and community activities.
Her epilepsy, however, stood in the way.
“I had to tell her ‘no’ so many times,” recalled the East Hanover Township resident. “It hurt me and I knew it hurt her even more. My daughter was getting ripped off in life because of my problem.”
The neurological disease had been Schaeffer’s nemesis since high school, when she experienced strange times of feeling like a “volcano” overtook her body and literally stopped her in her tracks. (more…)
Fourth-year medical students across the country discovered where they will spend their residencies in an annual tradition known as Match Day. For 136 students at Penn State College of Medicine, their Match Day event at the Hershey Country Club on Friday, March 18 included a countdown to the moment when they ripped open the envelopes that held their futures. Seconds later, the room erupted in cheers, hugs and tears.
The event is the culmination of a process that began months ago as students visited and evaluated residency programs – and the programs evaluated them. Each student learned today whether he or she was successfully ‘matched’ with the residency program of their choice.
Fifty-one of the graduates accepted residency appointments in primary care fields such as family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine, while the rest will focus on other specialties.
Click on the image to see a photo album of Match Day:
There’s an awful calculus that takes place in malaria stricken regions of the world.
Due to malnutrition, children in these areas often suffer from iron deficiency anemia, which can lead to serious cognitive and motor impairments. While iron supplementation may sound like an obvious solution, there’s been a big problem with it.
Studies in mice and humans suggest that iron promotes malarial infection, likely by increasing the number of red blood cells—the target for the Plasmodium parasites that cause the disease.
More blood cells mean more infection, which means more inflammation. When the disease spreads to the brain in cerebral malaria, this inflammation causes neurological and cognitive damage in survivors.
This conundrum has left health experts at odds with each other about whether children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions of the world where malaria is prevalent should get iron supplementation. More than 70 percent of malaria deaths occur in children under age 5. This year alone, according to the World Health Organization, the disease has killed more than 300,000 African children in this age group.
The future of medical education was the focus of discussion at a conference in Hershey this week. In conjunction with the American Medical Association, Penn State College of Medicine convened the 32 medical school members of the AMA’s newly expanded Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.
The AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative in 2013 to bridge the gaps that exist between how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered. The AMA has since awarded $12.5 million in grants to 32 of the nation’s leading medical schools to develop innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country. (more…)