Alzheimer’s Disease May Be More Prevalent Among African-Americans

A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center reviews research that suggests that the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease among older African-Americans may be two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic white population and that they differ from the non-Hispanic white population in risk factors and disease manifestation. The study results are published in the April issue of Health Affairs.

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Lisa Barnes, PhD

“The older African-American population is growing at a rapid pace, and the burden of aging-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease will continue to present a tremendous challenge,” said Lisa Barnes, PhD. “This study highlights the importance of research among minority groups within the communities in which hospitals serve.”

Barnes is the primary author and director of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and professor of Neurological Sciences and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center.

“The lack of high-quality biologic data on large numbers of racial and ethnic minorities poses barriers to progress in understanding whether the mechanisms and processes of Alzheimer’s disease operate the same or differently in racial and ethnic minorities and, if so, how, particularly in the high-risk African-American population,” said Barnes.

In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 20 percent of the population ages 65 and older was a racial or ethnic minority member. Current projections suggest that by 2050, 42 percent of the nation’s older adults will be members of minority groups. Among those ages 85 and older, 33 percent are projected to be a minority.

Read the entire release for more information on the study.

Drug-Resistant Bacteria on the Rise Among Kids

Dr. Latania Logan

Dr. Latania Logan

Infections caused by a specific type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise in U.S. children, according to new study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. While still rare, the bacteria are increasingly found in children of all ages, especially those 1-5 years old, raising concerns about dwindling treatment options.

“Some infections in children that have typically been treated with oral antibiotics in the past may now require hospitalization, treatment with intravenous drugs, or both, as there may not be an oral treatment option available,” said Dr. Latania K. Logan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

The team of researchers led by Logan analyzed resistance patterns in approximately 370,000 bacterial cultures from pediatric patients collected nationwide between 1999 and 2011.

They found that the prevalence is increasing in a resistant type of bacteria, which produces a key enzyme, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), that thwarts many strong antibiotics, making them ineffective.

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Medical Students Meet Their Match on Friday

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Dr. Jonathan Myers waits to deliver residency “match” results.

A group of 128 anxious fourth-year medical students from Rush Medical College will gather together at the Union League Club of Chicago on Friday, March 21, to learn where they will begin their residency training.

At 11 a.m., medical students across the U.S. simultaneously open envelopes containing information about their future in medicine. It is the culmination of a process that begins in the fall, when senior medical students apply to residency programs through a nationally computerized system. After interviewing at prospective programs, students electronically rank the programs in their order of preference.

Depending on a student’s chosen specialty, residencies last from three to six years and lead to eligibility for board certification in a primary care, or medical or surgical specialty. The residency is composed almost entirely of the care of hospitalized or clinic patients with supervision by more senior physicians.

This year marks the 176th anniversary of Rush Medical College and the 41th anniversary of Rush University. Rush Medical College is the first medical school in Chicago and was chartered in 1837, two days before the city of Chicago obtained its charter. It is part of Rush University Medical Center.

Media: Contact Rush Media Relations at (312) 942-5159 or page at 312-942-6000, enter PIN 1100, if you plan to attend or for more details.

Move to Family Birth Center Complete

birth center

The new Rush Family Birth Center opened Sunday, March 9, as babies, moms and families moved in. With labor and delivery, mother baby and neonatal intensive care all on one floor, this center is transforming the care offered to women and children at Rush.

Donning green shirts with “Family Birth Center” on the back, hundreds of Rush employees started their day at 5 a.m. on Sunday. These collaborative teams included nurses, patient care technicians, physicians, students, information services professionals, environmental services staff, transport team members, security officers, food and nutrition staff, engineering staff and many more.

Whether staff members were wheeling our youngest patients to their new private rooms in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), packing up items in crates or boxes, saying tearful farewells to the old space or high fiving in the halls, it was a day to remember and be proud of at Rush. Continue reading

Dr. Pete Batra Joins Rush as Head of Otolaryngology

Pete Batra_130917Dr. Pete Batra has been appointed chairperson of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He joined Rush in January from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he was an associate professor and co-director of the Comprehensive Skull Base Program.

Batra is an internationally recognized rhinologist who has given more than 150 invited lectures and presentations nationally and abroad on sinonasal and skull base disease. His research endeavors have resulted in more than 110 peer-review articles and book chapters.

“Dr. Batra is a leader in the field of otolaryngology-head and neck Surgery,” said Dr. Thomas Deutsch, dean of Rush Medical College and provost of Rush University. “He will be a major asset to Rush and we are fortunate to have his leadership.”

Read the news release.

Alzheimer’s Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Bryan James, PhD

Bryan James, PhD

A study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center indicates that Alzheimer’s disease contributes to nearly as many deaths in the United States as heart disease or cancer. The study, published today in Neurology, shows that the disease may be an underlying cause of five to six times as many deaths as currently reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s disease is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States following cancer, the second leading cause of death; and heart disease, the number one cause of death.

This data is reported on death certificates.

“Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are under-reported on death certificates and medical records,” said study author Bryan James, PhD, an epidemiologist with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “Death certificates often list the immediate cause of death, such as pneumonia, rather than listing dementia as an underlying cause.”

Read the news release or view the video below for more information on the study.

Patients Help Make St. Baldrick’s a Success

Caitlynn Riblet (middle), a patient at Rush diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, waits her turn to shave heads.

Caitlynn Riblet (middle), a patient at Rush diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, waits her turn to shave heads to raise money for cancer research.

High school sophomores have plenty of major life events to look forward to: learning to drive, prom and graduation among them. Caitlynn Riblet would like to check off beating cancer on her own milestone list.

Riblet, 15, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a particularly rare form of cancer, at Rush University Medical Center in mid-December. She was one of a handful of pediatric patients with cancer who participated in the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser at Rush today, shaving the heads of volunteers on the first floor of Rush’s hospital building, the Tower.

Riblet made the nearly two-hour trip with her family from Paxton, Ill. partly to participate in the event. She shaved heads of volunteers, including medical students and physicians, to help raise money for research while showing support for children with cancer, who often lose their hair during treatment.

“I’m excited — it’s nice to get out of my hospital room,” Riblet said. “It’s been a great experience to come out and help.”

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