Health

Reporting on health issues


A group of researchers at Cornell University has developed a new, faster test to determine whether bacteria are present in beach water.

A new option for women with early-stage breast cancer allows for a concentrated dose of radiation therapy to be given during surgery to remove a breast tumor.

Breast surgeon Lisa Lai and radiation oncologist Anna Shapiro explain the benefits of Intraoperative Radiation Therapy in this interview. It's one of the newer treatment options available at Upstate.

Also on “HealthLink on Air” this week: genetic home testing kits, plus the importance of dietary fiber. Tune in Sunday, July 15 at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. for more.

Some genetic abnormalities can be detected during gestation, some are recognized upon birth and others may go undetected because disorders caused by genetic abnormalities range in their severity and impact.

Dr. Robert Lebel, director of medical genetics at Upstate Medical University, talks about genetic abnormalities, including those that are inherited and those that occur spontaneously. Lebel holds appointments in several departments, including pediatrics, medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology and ethics.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Starting this month, geriatrics becomes its own clinical department at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. The change reflects a societal change with more and more older people needing specific attention.

Geriatrics had part of the Department of Medicine. This move puts it on the same level as other specialties, such as Surgery, Psychiatry and Neurology. Upstate Geriatrician Dr. Sharon Brangman will be the new department's inaugural chair, and said the new department will change the way older patients are cared for.

Suicide rates in the United States are on the rise for the first time in decades, going up 25 percent from 1999 to 2016. The increase is seen across different regions of the country, among different age groups, genders and ethnicities -- and especially among youth and people who are middle-aged.

What is going on?

In this interview, Dr. Robert Gregory helps explain. He is a psychiatrist and director of Upstate's Psychiatry High Risk Program.

upupa4me / Flickr

Today in our latest in health segment: two recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies that reflect different trends in pediatric health.

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Virtual reality, often pictured on the heads of avid gamers in the U.S., is finding a new purpose in an unexpected place: pediatric pain management.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gold, director of the Pediatric Pain Management Clinic in the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is the lead of a new study examining the effectiveness of virtual reality for kids undergoing painful procedures. He spoke with “Take Care” about the ways VR can be used to help children through typically painful, high-stress procedures.

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The past two decades have seen a spike in the use of technology, so much so that the internet has become prevalent even in the classroom. A psychologist and internationally known expert on internet addiction argues that parents and teachers should be more careful about how much time children are spending in front of screens.

Dr. Kimberly Young, author and founder of the Center for Internet Addiction in 1995, said technology and internet addiction is increasing, especially in children, which can hinder young minds’ development.

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Adversity isn't something that's exclusive to our youngest generation, but when it occurs early in life, toxic stress can have lasting effects. Things like divorce, death, substance abuse or sexual assault can create both mental and physical issues down the road.

Pediatrician Dr. Darcy Lowell is founder and CEO of Child First. Child First is an organization that helps struggling families build strong, nurturing relationships with the goal of healing and protecting children from the impact of trauma and toxic stress. Lowell spoke to us on "Take Care" about why this type of stress is toxic, its lasting effects and how to help our children.

Indiana Stan / Flickr

With the demand for schools to focus more on academics and less on gym class, many districts in the U.S. have cut back students’ physical education times or eliminated them completely. However, an author and authority on the connection between brain activity and fitness said the two goals of fitness and academic success are not mutually exclusive.

Dr. John Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and internationally recognized expert on neuropsychiatry, spoke with “Take Care” about the importance of physical exercise on brain development, especially when it comes to adolescents.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Upstate University Hospital is getting into the pharmacy business. A new pharmacy run by Upstate, has opened near the main entrance of the downtown Syracuse hospital. Pharmacy manager David Geloso said their goal is to fill all patients' prescriptions before they go home.

“Get them from sitting in a bed in the hospital and get them home to recuperate," Geloso said. "Once they are home and they want to stick with their pharmacy, they can have those prescriptions tranferred to their home pharmacy."

Muscular dystrophy is a group of disorders that causes progressive loss of muscle strength and a variety of complications. Most varieties, including the most prevalent, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, are diagnosed in young children.

Dr. Deborah Bradshaw, a neurologist who specializes in neuromuscular diseases, explains how patients are cared for through the multidisciplinary Muscular Dystrophy Clinic at Upstate, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Some people who stop taking antidepressants report withdrawal symptoms: nausea, fatigue, insomnia. In some cases, people say they felt as if they had the flu, and others report troubling zapping sensations in their heads.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Two to three women a week who walk into the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse with a diagnosis of hormone driven breast cancer will be affected by news this month that says it’s okay to safely skip chemotherapy in certain cases.  

New research suggests that the key to weight loss is the quality of a diet, rather than the quantity of food eaten.

"The children should not be the canaries in the coal mine," says Dr. Howard Weinberger, a professor emeritus of pediatrics who serves as medical director of the Central/Eastern Regional Lead Poisoning Prevention Resource Center.

Children currently undergo a blood test at ages 1 and 2 to see whether they've been exposed to lead. Weinberger explains on “HealthLink on Air” that he would rather be able to test the homes of children before they are exposed to see whether the homes pose a lead poisoning risk.

Registered dietitian nutritionist Maureen Franklin discusses a diet that is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as an ideal eating plan for all Americans. It's called the DASH Diet, which stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension."

Concerned Citizen YouTube Page

A top official at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse has resigned amid allegations he fabricated stories about his service with the U.S. State Department. 

Workman Publishing

Today in our latest in health segment: the ways in which we see ourselves.

Going gray is a natural part of most people's lives. There comes a time, often earlier in life than you'd think, where the pigment of your hair begins to change. So why all the fuss over covering it up? Some think that gray hair make them look older than they are. Some think that the color makes their complexion drab. But does it? We'll explore the idea of letting nature take its course when it comes to your hair.

Christine Hewitt

Yoga is depicted in pop culture as a physical exercise trend involving elaborate poses, performed with grace and beauty, mainly by upper-class white people in stretchy pants. That fact is very much on the radar of our next guest.

Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga teacher, author and advocate, argues that yoga is so much more than the manufactured images we see on Instagram. She shared her thoughts on the spiritual and mental effects of yoga and the positive emotional impact it has had on her life. These ideas are also explored in her book "Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body."

Take a look in the mirror. Are you beauty sick?

May 20, 2018
Sam Sanford / Flickr

In a society where celebrities’ weights make the covers of tabloids and every health magazine sells a new way to look beautiful, one author is working to turn that focus inward.

Renee Engeln is a professor in the department of psychology at Northwestern University and author of “Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women.” She spoke with us on “Take Care” to discuss why women are especially affected by society’s focus on physical beauty.

orionpozo / Flickr

Recent trends have shown more people over the age of 65 are returning to work after retirement or only partially retiring rather than stopping work entirely. An economist at Harvard Medical School said this practice -- known as "unretirement" -- is becoming increasingly common, and not because of economic straits.

Nicole Maestas teaches health care policy at Harvard and conducted a study in 2010 about retirement trends. On this episode, we talked about the desire to continue working later in life.

Autopilot is death and other truths of midlife

May 19, 2018
TEDxAmoskeagMillyard/Flickr

Media has long depicted a person’s 40s and 50s as the time of the dreaded midlife crisis, when they begin questioning their purpose in life and inevitably get a faster car or a younger spouse. Our guest today says this could not be farther from the truth.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty is a journalist -- she was a longtime correspondent for NPR. Her book, “Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife,” is part research project part memoir. She spoke with us about the myth of the midlife crisis on "Take Care" and how you can seize the opportunities presented by midlife.

Jim Smith Photography

Spring has finally sprung across upstate New York, and ticks carrying Lyme Disease are a known threat. But what is the bigger picture regarding the disease's dangers, and the medical establishment's response. This week, grant Reeher talks with author and investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfieffer, who has written a book called "Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change."

The epidemics of opioid and heroin abuse have killed many people, but using these drugs can also cause a variety of medical problems including life-threatening infections.

Dr. Timothy Endy, professor and chair of microbiology and immunology at Upstate and an expert in infectious disease, tells about an increase in the number of cases of endocarditis, a type of heart infection. He also shares a personal story about how addiction has affected his family and a charity they helped establish.

Cameron Harris/Flickr

The adage that a pear-shaped body is healthier than an apple-shaped body is prevalent in today’s health literature, but experts and research suggest that genes are to blame for the body types, and America’s cultural obsession with changing body shape is causing women in particular a lot of emotional and physical strain.

Three things you might not know about stroke:

Some patients can safely undergo surgery to have their knee joint replaced and go home the same day, says Dr. Timothy Damron, the vice chairman for orthopedic surgery at Upstate. Patients who are relatively healthy and motivated may qualify for the one-day procedure, he explains on “HealthLink on Air.”

Also on this week’s show: the function of the interstitium, plus the evolution of the diaper bank.

Tune in this Sunday, May 6 at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. or "HealthLink on Air."

Cindy Shelbey/Flickr

It’s not easy to keep up with the latest in health and wellness. Each day, new studies, research and developments in health make it difficult to pick out the most important information for you.

We’ll be sharing a few of the latest developments in health at the end of each episode of “Take Care” this year. As the year goes on, we may even revisit some earlier news to see where things stand months later.

David Marshall / WXXI News

Opioids can have devastating consequences for the people who abuse them, affecting their health, safety and freedom -- but it doesn’t stop there.

Drug abuse can ruin the lives of people who never touch the substances themselves.

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