Headliners

FIGHTING EFFECTS OF DIABETES: A study by KU researchers, including Rick Dobrowsky, professor of pharmacology and toxicology, has been widely cited, including an article in One India. KU-32, a drug developed at KU, has shown the ability to stop and even reverse diabetic peripheral neuropathy in mice. "The other side is eventually diabetes causes death of the nerves. DPN often leads to loss of feeling in the hands and feet, which can make diabetics susceptible to wounds and infections and often leads to amputations of toes and feet," Dobrowsky said.

POSSESSING PARALYSIS: David Ekerdt, professor of sociology, was quoted in a New York Times story about some senior citizens who amass so many possessions it prevents them from moving on to new locations, such as retirement housing. He urges family members to help in such situations. “Family members take a stronger role and begin to pre-empt the elder’s own decisions — I think out of concern for the elder’s health and safety,” he said.

AVOIDING PROSTATE CANCER: J. Brantley Thrasher, the William L. Balk Chair of the Department of Urology at the KU Medical Center, was quoted in a CNN.com story about a study that shows men with low prostate-specific antigen levels are less likely to develop prostate cancer. The American Urology Association suggests men get screenings for PSA levels beginning at age 40. "This can't be done in a vacuum," Thrasher, spokesman for the American Urology Association, said. "We need to let [patients] know this is an imperfect marker, but we're getting data that may help us in the future."

LACKING UNEMPLOYMENT: The research of Jean Hall, associate research professor, and Kathy Parker, faculty affiliate at the Center for Research on Learning, was cited in Science Daily. The researchers published an article showing that unemployment programs are lacking for individuals with disabilities. "The biggest problem is that these are one-size-fits-all programs," Hall said. "People with disabilities, because they are a smaller subset, don't get the kind of services they need. They are lost in the system."

EXERCISING AWAY ALZHEIMER’S: Research by the KU Alzheimer and Memory Program were cited in a recent Seer Press News article about exercise’s potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “According to program research assistant Robyn Honea of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, the brain of an Alzheimer’s disease patient is shrinking in the process. In addition, the part that would likely to deteriorate first is the hippocampus,” the article says. “The hippocampus is responsible for the cognitive development and the short-term memory in the brain. This is where the researchers saw an angle for a possible Alzheimer’s disease treatment and that is through exercise.”

BORING OLD FLU: Lee Norman, chief medical officer at KU Hospital, was quoted in a Kansas City Star article about the upcoming flu season. Swine flu is no longer considered a global threat, but officials are still urging people to get a flu vaccine. Norman said he expects this year’s vaccination season to much smoother than last. “There have just not been any major red flags go up yet,” Norman said. “We hoping for a boring, predictable, effective season.”


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Rafe Brown, herpetology, Natural History Museum curator
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