Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.
Never know what to say at New Year’s Eve parties? The Advancing the Science blog is here to help with this top-10 recap of our most popular medical research stories from 2019.
Everyone loves talking about their health. So keep this list queued up on your phone for quick reference and you’ll never run out of interesting scientific anecdotes.
Can breast cancer be prevented with a vaccine? Mayo Clinic immunology researcher Keith Knutson, Ph.D, thinks so. And he thinks it will happen during his lifetime. He also thinks it will be possible to prevent breast cancer from recurring by stimulating the immune system.
Gastroenterologists agree that removing a colorectal polyp is an important step in preventing colon cancer. But removing them can be tricky if they’re large and flat. A new minimally invasive approach, called endoscopic mucosal resection, makes it possible to remove large polyps without surgery.
In the first-ever clinical trial of its kind, Jared Ausnehmer had stem cells from his own bone marrow injected into his heart to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The therapy surpassed all expectations. Two months later, he was cleared to return to normal life and his favorite sport, basketball.
Death, ultimately, is inevitable. But for patients at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato’s Hospice Program, the process of dying is becoming more bearable for themselves and their families as a result of research studies aimed at understanding more.
"Even though it's the end of life, it's incredibly important for patients to have closure and resolution, and feel good about their life's story and what they're leaving with other people," says Greg Kutcher, M.D. "We need to better understand how to do that."
Oncology patients usually receive chemotherapy along with surgery to treat bile duct cancer. However, recently Mayo Clinic researchers found that patients who receive chemotherapy before surgery to remove their cancer were more likely to live longer than patients who received chemotherapy after surgery.
Low vitamin B12 levels can worsen some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. While it’s not clear why, there may be a relationship between B12 and a neurochemical that’s believed to be key to cognition and postural control.
McArdle's sign is a distinctive muscle weakness that affects patients with spinal cord disease and researchers are looking at it as a possible indicator of multiple sclerosis. The namesake of the "sign," M.J. McArdle, was a professor of neurology in London, and one of his patients with advanced multiple sclerosis needed to extend his neck and tip his head back to maintain a steady gait.
When patients are feeling tired and sick, it can be difficult to understand discharge instructions, particularly when they’re written in complicated medical language. Mayo researchers are working to change that by studying ways to improve readability and comprehension through the use of simpler language and other teaching tools.
If the eyes are the window to the world, Timothy Olsen, M.D. is building high performance window frames. The opthalmologist has set his sights on developing and bringing to market a first-of-its-kind implantable device for treating age-related macular degeneration.
For patients who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, fighting off a serious infection can be difficult and often is just not possible. And a team of Mayo researchers is starting to find out why. They hope that by understanding how bone marrow function is impaired in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients, they can develop unique strategies to boost bone marrow function or find alternate treatments that do not block or modify marrow function.
Tags: age-related macular degeneration, bile duct cancer, breast cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, colon polyp, colorectal cancer, end of life care, gastroenterology, Greg Kutcher, hospice, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Keith Knutson, News, oncology, Parkinson's disease, Timothy Olsen, vitamin B-12
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