New Techniques in Neurosurgery

27760An MRI in the OR? It just might be the wave of the future.

Imaging technology has made its way into the the operating room – giving neurosurgeons new insights and better options for patients. Brain tumors hiding beneath the opaqueness of the skull can now be seen in real time allowing the surgeon to not only design more direct pathways for treatment but also remove more of the tumor while protecting the delicate anatomy surrounding it.

A pioneer of this revolutionary technique, Dr. Clark Chen, joins our host Dr. David Grant to discuss how these new techniques not only benefit the surgeon but are creating better outcomes for the patient.

Watch Brain Tumors, Tractography, and Surgery in the MRI – Health Matters online now.

Explore more programs in the Health Matters series.

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Sexuality and Aging

8232As we grow older, sexuality takes on a broader definition. A good sex life — at any age — involves a lot more than just sex. It’s also about intimacy and touch, which can benefit us all.

Understandably, sex at 70 or 80 may not be like it was at 20 or 30 — but in some ways it can be better. Even if you have health problems or physical disabilities, you can engage in intimate acts and benefit from closeness with another person.

In this presentation, psychiatrist Dan Sewell debunks several myths about sex and aging, and gives us guidelines for discussing sex and maintaining healthy sexual function in later life.

Dr. Sewell currently fills a number of roles at UC San Diego which include: Medical Director of the Senior Behavioral Health Program, Director of the Geropsychiatry Fellowship Program, Co-director of the Memory Aging and Resilience Clinic, and Associate Director for the UC San Diego Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry.

Watch Sexuality and Aging and tune in for more programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

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Ananya Roy Discusses Poverty

8232A billion people live under conditions of extreme poverty.

UC Berkeley Professor Ananya Roy calls them the “bottom billion,” but she sees hope. As more people become aware about the nature of poverty, the bottom billion are starting to benefit from poverty alleviation efforts and market forces reaching them. While inequality is at an historic high, Roy sees a new common sense growing around these issues which is reason for optimism.

According to Roy, it is important to develop a more relational view of poverty – that inequity is an issue for all of us, regardless of our economic standing. “I’d like us to move further from asking, how can we help the poor? to asking how’s poverty produced? and how are wealth, power, and privilege produced? When we get to that last set of questions, we’re adopting… a relational understanding of poverty. It’s about our dependencies on the labor of the poor… and how we think about ourselves and our place in the world.”

Mark Juergensmeyer, Director of the Orfalea Center at UCSB talks with Ananya Roy about her path from her upbringing in Calcutta, India to her current position as Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. She is an expert in global poverty, particularly in urban centers, and shares her experiences with the undergraduate program in Global Poverty and Practice which she founded at Berkeley. As a teacher, she uses social and digital media in the classroom to engage and motivate her students. (You can watch Roy’s animated videos on poverty on GlobalPOV.)

Watch the entire interview with Ananya Roy.

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Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin?

8232In 2011, Dr. Sanford Newmark posed an important question: Do 2.5 million children really need Ritalin?

Nearly 3 years later, the number of children taking Ritalin has risen to 4.2 million.

Dr. Newmark, head of the Pediatric Integrative Neurodevelopmental Program at UCSF, specializes in the integrative and holistic treatment of children with autism and ADHD. While drugs such as Ritalin definitely serve a vital role in helping some children, he suggests that misdiagnoses, not allowing for normal variations in a child’s learning styles and abilities, and a growing “pill culture” may be causing doctors to over prescribe.

Instead, Dr. Newmark prefers an integrative approach that looks at the whole child in terms of friends, family, community, and school. In many cases, changes in diet, environment, and parental skills can have a significant positive impact on a child’s behavior – without the use of drugs.

“When we do make a diagnosis, it makes sense to explore non-pharmaceutical options before moving to psychostimulants. We have to be careful not to over diagnose ADHD and allow for many normal variations of learning styles and abilities.”

Watch Dr. Newmark in this UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine presentation:

Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin? An Integrative Approach to ADHD, 2014 Update

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Playing Solomon: How Much is a Life Really Worth?

8232Placing a dollar amount on a life or an injury may sound heartless, but such is the work of Kenneth Feinberg, and very few of us envy him the job. By the time an organization calls him, the tragedy itself is oftentimes long over with. Its victims, however, remain. And it is Feinberg’s job to figure out a way to quantify their loss.

A man well-versed in tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg is the go-to attorney when it comes to compensation funds. He mediated the 1984 class action lawsuit brought by 250,000 Vietnam War veterans against the manufacturers of Agent Orange, and oversaw the compensation funds for 9/11 victims, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, the 2012 Aurora movie theater mass shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Currently, Feinberg is working with General Motors to vet the claims that are now being made as a result of a defective ignition switch that has so far been blamed for at least 13 deaths. In January, Feinberg spoke with UC Hastings law professor Evan Lee about the challenges he’s faced in the UC Hastings College of the Law and California Lawyer presentation “Legally Speaking,” a series of in-depth interviews with prominent lawyers, judges, and academics.

Tune in and watch Playing Solomon: How Much is Life Really Worth? with Kenneth Feinberg

Watch other Legally Speaking programs.

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