Category: Health and Medicine

When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good – Three Takeaways

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Recently published research in The American Journal of Psychiatry shows that steroid therapies can cause neuropsychiatric damage.

Commonly prescribed medications such as prednisone can lead to erratic and self-destructive behavior among patients. Dr. Lewis Judd and Dr. Sherwood Brown, two of the paper’s authors, sat down with Nick Binkley of the Diana Foundation to share their findings in-depth. Here are three great takeaways from their discussion:

• Glucocorticoid treatment is associated with a seven-fold increased risk of a suicide or suicide attempt.

• Women appear more likely to develop depression during glucocorticoid treatment while men may be at greater risk for mania, delirium, confusion or disorientation.

• Despite the prevalence and potential seriousness of adverse effects, patients are often not warned about the risks before starting treatment.

To learn more and find out how patients and doctors can work together to reduce risk factors, watch When Drugs Do More Harm Than Good: Adverse Effects of Glucocorticoids on the Brain.

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The Ins and Outs of Genitourinary Cancer

8232Clinical practice informs basic science research, and that research in turn informs clinical practice. That is the key to advancing medical treatment. The field of oncology is an excellent example of this – discoveries in molecular biology and genetics have revolutionized clinical care for patients with cancer. New genomic technologies are allowing us to understand molecular changes that underlie cancer development, with the promise of more specific diagnoses and individualized treatment options.

In this new series from UC San Francisco, genitourinary cancers are discussed with an emphasis on how research and advances in technologies are impacting clinical care of cancer in the urinary tract and male genital tract – cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney, testis, and related organs.

Advanced Prostate Cancer

Bladder Cancer

Testicular Cancer

Palliative Care for People with Genitourinary (GU) Cancers

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Localized Prostate Cancer: Progress Toward Personalized Care

Browse all of the programs in The Ins and Outs of Genitourinary Cancer.

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Fighting Cancer with a Virus

8232Can cancer cells be killed without harming the healthy cells around them? A new clinical trial is testing that hypothesis using a treatment based on the vaccinia virus. Vaccinia has played a huge role in eradicating smallpox but is now taking on a new part in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Loren Mell, a radiation oncologist at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, explains how this treatment built on the vaccinia virus backbone may be the key to more effective cancer fighting tools. Dr. Mell and host Dr. David Granet discuss this current research and the importance of clinical trails for cancer patients. Dr. Mell is the Principal Investigator of many clinical trials at UCSD and oversees several nationally and industry-funded research grants.

Watch Fighting Cancer with a Virus.

Browse more programs in the Health Matters series.

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New Alzheimer’s Programs from the Brain Channel’s On Our Mind

Alzheimer's Disease - On Our MindWatch the latest Alzheimer’s Disease programs from the Brain Channel!

The Brain Channel’s flagship series On Our Mind is endeavoring in the next few months to take a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease. Join Dr. William Mobley as he meets with those on the front lines of this disease to discuss current and potential therapies, testing, clinical trials, neuropathology, public policy and so much more.

Online now:

1761Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
How do you know when memory problems become more than just problems? Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging but new tests and scientific insight are making the process simpler and more accurate. Michael Rafii, MD, PhD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss when to see a doctor, what to expect during the diagnosis process, and other valuable information for patients and their families.


1761Developing New Drugs for Alzheimer’s Disease
What does the future hold for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease? Steven L. Wagner, PhD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss the development of new drugs to aid in the fight. Wagner describes amyloid plaques as “the cholesterol of the brain” and is working to find a way to suppress its adverse effects.


1761Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease
By the age of 40, nearly all people with Down syndrome have the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Michael Rafii, MD, PhD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss why this occurs, the prevalence and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, potential treatment models and current research affecting this predisposed population.


1761Detecting Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier and Effectively
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease – before symptoms are visible – may be a key to stopping the disease’s progression. What warning signs are researchers looking for and what tools can they use? Paul Aisen, MD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss optimal assessments for diagnosing the disease, novel tools making earlier diagnosis possible, and the road map to developing drugs to slow, halt, and prevent Alzheimer’s.


Watch all the programs in this informative series and stay tuned for upcoming episodes.

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New Research Techniques for Preeclampsia Using Stem Cells

8232What is the placenta?

The placenta is “transient organ,” meaning it’s only a part of us during our life in the womb. Because it provides oxygen and essential nutrients during development, it plays a pivotal role for fetal growth. As Dr. Mana Parast says quite simply, “None of us would be here without it.”

Preeclampsia is a disorder of the placenta that complicates 5-8% of all pregnancies worldwide and is the leading cause of maternal death in the developed world. It’s also the leading cause of fetal growth restriction and there’s no cure except to deliver the baby. That makes preeclampsia the number one cause of induced preterm delivery in the United States. Babies that survive often spend months in neonatal intensive care and have many complications and increase risk for heart disease and diabetes later in life.

In this video, CIRM grantee Dr. Parast, a UCSD perinatal pathologist, discusses her use of the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technique to screen for drugs that might lead to a cure for preeclampsia. Also, Silvia Michelazzi, a preeclampsia survivor, and her husband Dr. Matteo Moretto-Zito share their daughter’s birth story.

Watch Modeling Preeclampsia with Stem Cells.

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