Health

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Anyone who’s ever bought or lived in an older home knows there is always something to fix. In an ideal situation, it’s a patch here, some paint there, but older homes are sometimes plagued with environmental problems that can threaten the health of their occupants. These issues run the gamut from lead paint chips to mold to leaky stoves and furnaces. A new program in Lansing is now training assessors to not only document those defects, but to help improve residents’ health.

MSU studies home treatment for blood clots

Feb 16, 2015
Flickr/La Melodie

Blood clots have been in the news lately, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recovers from one in his leg. The governor was hospitalized for treatment, but what if clots were better treated at home? A new MSU study will look at home versus hospital care. 

Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with Dr. Paul Stein, a professor of osteopathic medical specialties in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, who is one of the study’s leaders.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

After the disease was declared ‘eliminated’ in the United States in 2000, measles is back. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control say there were 644 diagnosed cases of the disease in 2014.  That's more than in any year since 2000. So far this year, the number is at least 107, after five infants at a Chicago area day care center were diagnosed late last week.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

A new report from reproductive rights advocates says Michigan is doing poorly when it comes to protecting the health of women and children in the state. The study compared outcomes for women and children against abortion restrictions in every state. And they say that the states with the most abortion restrictions tend to score the lowest on health and well-being.

http://www.pedsresearch.org/

In 1973, a chemical plant in the small town of St. Louis, Michigan made a catastrophic mistake. Batches of polybrominated biphenyl, or PBB, were mis-labeled as a nutritional supplement. The chemical was then shipped to farms around the state to be mixed into animal feed. When the mix up was discovered a year later, hundreds of farms were quarantined. Thousands of animals were slaughtered.

Flickr - Kevin Ward

Last October, hockey legend Gordie Howe suffered a severe stroke. His family feared for the worst and assumed they only had a couple of months left with him. But after a trip to Mexico for an injection of stem cells into his spine, Howe has made a remarkable recovery. His son Murray told M-Live that the 86-year-old is now playing driveway hockey with his great grandkids again.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last week, Current State host Mark Bashore had a chance to witness and participate in a very interesting group exercise. It was his first encounter with guided imagery, a technique that tries to direct and focus the imagination using rich, descriptive sound cues.

http://www.mottchildren.org/

You’ve heard of blood banks, tissue banks and organ donation, But are you aware of breast milk banks? Likely not, because they are not widespread in the U.S.

http://jmc.msu.edu/

Before you register your kid in a public school, you have to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against diseases like measles and whooping cough. But parents can get vaccination waivers for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons, and an increasing number of Michigan parents are doing just that. Public health officials say that means preventable, but highly contagious, diseases are making a comeback.

http://www.epi.msu.edu/

The medical challenges associated with stroke have been in the news lately with hockey great Gordie Howe suffering both strong and mild strokes over the past few months. A new MSU study aims to improve the recovery of stroke victims.

Flickr - Ted Eytan

It’s been 30 years since scientists discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the height of the American AIDS epidemic in the 1980's and early 1990's, an HIV positive diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. Today, advances in treatment have greatly improved outcomes for people living with HIV, but the pandemic is far from over. We still have around 800 new infections every year in Michigan alone.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

From pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes to eggnog and Christmas cookies, the holiday season is filled with delicious food, but it isn’t exactly great for our waistlines. The holiday excess might already have you thinking about that New Year’s diet. Dr. Dave Tschirley thinks about diets all the time, but not for himself. He’s with the Food Security Group in MSU's Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. They’re studying how the diets of people in Africa are changing dramatically as the continent becomes more urbanized.

http://www.drkennethelmassian.com/

Important data recently shed light on the financial relationships between key members of Michigan’s medical community. Sunshine provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act require disclosure of the money paid to physicians and teaching  hospitals by drug and medical device manufacturers.

Flickr - Adrian Clark

Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.

Yesterday, the last patient known to have Ebola in the United States was released from a New York City hospital. Dr. Craig Spencer was infected with the virus while working in Guinea with the group Doctors Without Borders. His case contrasts with that of Kacie Hickox, the nurse from Maine who recently fought legal efforts to have her movements restricted following a stint in West Africa treating ebola patients.

https://bmb.natsci.msu.edu

You probably wouldn’t think there’s much overlap between the scientists studying biofuel and those studying cancer. But new research from a Michigan State University professor could have important implications for both fields.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Unintentional drug overdoses in Michigan have quadrupled in the past decade. Much of that has been driven by an increase in opiate usage, including heroin. Many addicts start out hooked on prescription medication, but move to heroin because it is cheaper and more readily available. The problem touches an untold number of victims and their families.  Earlier this week, area leaders gathered at Michigan State University to address the growing problem.

http://neuroscience.msu.edu

An MSU researcher is part of a team that’s been looking at a possible link between Vitamin D deficiency and suicide attempts. The research was published this fall in the journal “Psychoneuroendocrinology.”

Flickr - NIAID

Lansing area leaders in health, government and transportation are taking what they call “comprehensive steps” to prepare for Ebola. Yesterday, officials representing the Ingham County Health Department, Sparrow and McLaren Health Systems, the city of Lansing and others briefed the media on what contingency plans they’ve been making.

http://mpnadvocacy.com

Myleoproliferative Neoplasms, or MPNs, are rare blood cancers that cause the body to produce too many blood cells. The symptoms often mimic other diseases, and people can go years without even realizing they have an MPN. But new diagnostic tools mean that the number of patients identified as having MPNs is increasing.

www.phd.msu.edu

What if your family history was fraught with men who died of heart attacks at an early age? Would you want to know if you, too, could be susceptible to heart disease in your forties? If you’re a new parent, would you want to know if your newborn son will develop say, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a rare, always lethal condition that affects only boys?  The answers, should you want them, could be found with the help of a genetic counselor.

Courtesy - Volunteers of America Michigan

Back in March, we told you on this program about a new venture between Sparrow Health System and Volunteers of America Michigan. That project was the creation of a new medical clinic near downtown Lansing to meet the needs of the region’s homeless population.

Flickr/Colm McMullan

“Is it a boy or a girl?” is usually one of the first questions out of a new parent’s mouth. But what happens when the answer is “We’re not quite sure?" A whole range of medical conditions fall under the term intersex, a diagnosis where a child’s sex is genetically or sometimes physically ambiguous.

www.laughthroughbreastcancer.com/

What is sisterhood? One Michigan woman’s experience suggests the path to acquiring a loving sister can be unexpected and extraordinary. Ruth Ebenstein belongs to a diverse group of breast cancer survivors whose mission is to support women with the disease who live in conflict zones.

Flickr/Paull Young

Michigan is bursting at the seams. We’re one of the most obese states in the nation, with nearly one third of Michiganders being classified as obese, and 65 percent who are considered overweight or obese. With all that extra fat comes substantial costs to society, from rising health care expenses to lost worker productivity to lower GPA's among youth.

Flickr - Brooke Singer

Starting in 2017, the state of Minnesota will ban the use of an antibacterial chemical in consumer products. Triclosan has been found in the waters and fish of the Great Lakes, and a number of health organizations in Canada are urging their government to ban the chemical as well.

Flickr - Kārlis Dambrāns

In a world where there seems to be an app for anything and everything, smartphone technology may now be expanding into the realm of mental health treatment. A team of University of Michigan researchers is developing a smartphone app that would help people living with bipolar disorder.

Flickr - European Commission DG ECHO

An outbreak of Ebola in Africa has health officials worried. Since February, almost 900 people have died in four west African countries. Two medical workers infected with Ebola have been brought to the United States for treatment amid concerns that Ebola could break out in the U.S.

Flickr - NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Residents of Toledo and northwest Ohio got the go-ahead to resume drinking city water yesterday. Since Saturday, more than 400,000 residents of the area had been warned not to consume or use the water after health officials determined unsafe levels of microcystin. The potentially deadly bacteria, which was likely created by an algae bloom in Maumee Bay on the west end of Lake Erie, can cause serious liver and nerve damage.

flickr - puck90

As enrollment in the state’s Healthy Michigan program continues, many of the state’s Community Mental Health officials have been sounding the alarm that they do not have sufficient funds to treat everyone who comes to them for help. In fact, there have already been scattered reports of people being cut off from state mental health services due to the shift in funding caused by the Medicaid expansion.

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