In The Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Instrumental in making music

By In the Loop

OboeSurgery760The oboe is an instrument with a clear and penetrating sound that sometimes rises above the rest. The same could be said of Mara Reed, a young musician whose passion for the oboe and determination to continue to play it brought her to the surgical suite of pediatric otolaryngologist, Shelagh Cofer, M.D., for a very important concert with a small, yet very critical (and critically important) audience.

Mara, an All-State musician had suffered frequent throat and sinus infections for many years, and when antibiotics were no longer effective in battling the infections, she had her tonsils and adenoids removed.  Unfortunately, that affected her ability to play her beloved oboe. According to a story on Mayo Clinic News Network, removing the adenoids can create a gap where air can escape. As such, Mara could no longer create the air pressure needed to play the oboe. It’s a condition that’s called velopharyngeal insufficiency, which, as Dr. Cofer explains, is “just a fancy word that means some air was escaping out the back of her throat and up and out through her nose when she was playing the instrument.” [...]

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Tags: Dr Shelagh Cofer, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Otolaryngology

July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

New protein shakes up the search for Alzheimer's clues

By In the Loop

DrJospehs760There's always a buzz around the Alzheimer's Association International Conference -- "the world's largest conference of its kind." One particularly buzzy story line coming out of this year's confab in Copenhagen traces back to researchers from Mayo Clinic. During the conference, Keith Josephs, M.D., took the stage to discuss the possibility of having put another piece of the Alzheimer's disease puzzle into place.

His research team's finding, according to this story on the Rochester Post-Bulletin's website, links a newly discovered protein in our brains called "TDP-43" with our risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The protein, according to the Associated Press, is "different from the amyloid and tau that make up the sticky brain plaques and tangles long known" to be the traditional "hallmarks" of Alzheimer's. And its discovery could give researchers a new target for developing drugs and treatments for the disease. It could also, according to AP, "help explain why many people have plaques and tangles in their brain yet show no symptoms" of Alzheimer's. [...]

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Tags: Alzheimer's disease, Dr Keith Josephs, Duska Anastasijevic, Research

July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
― Aldous Huxley

July 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Team Ginny - A show of support for one of their own

By In the Loop

TeamGinny760

Ginny Kelley with Drs. David Zapala, Larry Lundy and David Walker

If there’s comfort in knowing your care team, Ginny Kelley must have felt like she was visiting an old friend when, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in April, she went in for a double mastectomy and started chemotherapy. Because, well, the Otolaryngology nurse at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was going to see old friends, even if she might have had trouble recognizing a few of them.

Ginny tells us she had her surgery in “the very room where I work with Dr. (Larry) Lundy. I knew each of the staff members in the OR. It could not have been a better experience.” Not only that, but “the Oncology ward on the 8th Floor is a well-oiled machine! They are a professional and caring group of people.” She also notes that, “I have never once been worried during this experience.” That’s due in part to one of her surgeons, Sarah McLaughlin, M.D., telling her from the start that “this is treatable and curable.” [...]

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Tags: Breast Cancer, David Walker, Dr David Zapala, Dr Larry Lundy, Dr Ryan Hutchinson, Dr Sarah McLaughlin, Ginny Kelley, Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Oncology

July 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Behind the scenes with Gold Cross at Country Jam

By In the Loop

CountryJamGroup760What happens when 90,000-some country music fans descend on Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to show their love and appreciation for country stars like Jake Owen, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, and others? Why, Country Jam, of course -- "Wisconsin's premier country music festival." Behind the scenes, lots of folks are working to ensure those who attend this annual three-day concert event are able to do so safely and happily.  Not least among them are crews from our very own Gold Cross, who for 25 years now have been patrolling the festival grounds to make sure the music and fun continue to flow as smoothly as a warm summer breeze.

"It’s a pretty big deal,"Glenn Lyden, Public Affairs, tells us. "Gold Cross has paramedics roaming the concert grounds on bikes and a 'souped-up' golf cart that carries a stretcher. They're also in a command center trailer, backstage and pretty much everywhere."

To get a feel for what it's like to oversee the emergency medical care at an event like Country Jam, we checked in with Tom Fennell, Gold Cross supervisor in Eau Claire, who was kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes perspective on the lengths to which he and his team of 18 Gold Cross staff go to make sure everyone remains safe and sound. [...]

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Tags: Eau Claire, Glenn Lyden, Gold Cross, Tom Fennell

July 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

“Oh, we got both kinds (of music). We got country and western.”

- Claire at Bob’s Country Bunker in “The Blues Brothers”

July 22nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

What the Patient Care Fund is all about

By In the Loop

Apache Mall presents a check for the Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Patient Care Fund. Pictured above, Kerry Olsen, M.D.; Kim Bradley, Apache Mall; Cynthia Suhr; Jane and John Collins (Cynthia’s parents); and Carole Stiles, Medical Social Services.

Apache Mall presents a check for the Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Patient Care Fund. Pictured above, Kerry Olsen, M.D.; Kim Bradley, Apache Mall; Cynthia Suhr; Jane and John Collins (Cynthia’s parents); and Carole Stiles, Medical Social Services.

During planning for Mayo's Sesquicentennial, a survey went out to staff asking for their thoughts on how Mayo could best celebrate 150 years of patient care. The responses, according to Kerry Olsen, M.D., had nothing to do with cake, ice cream or parties, but had everything to do with helping those we serve each and every day. (Imagine our lack of surprise.) "The one thing we heard over and over again was, 'Do something to try to help our patients and their family members," Dr. Olsen says.

So Mayo did just that, creating the 150th Patient Care Fund, to support patients and families who need help with personal expenses (food, lodging and such) during their time at Mayo Clinic. The fund is, for lack of a better word, funded by donations from both patients and staff, as well as from Sesquicentennial merchandise sold in Mayo's gift shops. And by the upcoming Healthy Human Race, which will donate all net proceeds directly to the Patient Care Fund. And by local businesses, such as Apache Mall in Rochester, which earlier this month became the fund's largest contributor, when manager Kim Bradley handed a check for $25,000 to Dr. Olsen during a ceremony covered by several local media outlets. [...]

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Tags: 150th Patient Care Fund, Dr Kerry Olsen, Healthy Human Race, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Sesquicentennial

July 22nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Adventures in Mayo Clinic Ventures

By In the Loop

idea760When you think about entrepreneurs and breakthrough inventions, you might imagine someone tinkering with a gadget (perhaps a doohickey or thingamajig) in a garage. You might not, however, picture a Mayo researcher tinkering with peptides to fight hypertension, creating a tracking system for viruses, or fashioning a tool to make medical information easier to read for those with poor vision. But our friends at Mayo Clinic Ventures would like us to, and a recent article series in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal gets under the hood to explore why.

Mayo's efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and support startups is not only good for medicine, but as writer Katharine Grayson suggests, bringing new ideas to the marketplace also has the potential to “broadly impact Minnesota’s economy, with more Mayo business offspring growing up in (our own) backyard.” Jim Rogers, chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures, which commercializes Mayo Clinic technologies, tells Grayson that has meant a bit of a culture shift. And it’s required the assistance of efforts like the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator, which provides collaborative space for new companies, venture capital firms and entrepreneurs. [...]

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Tags: Dr Horng Chen, Dr John Burnett, Dr Randall Walker, hypertension, Infectious Diseases, Kah Whye Peng, Mayo Clinic Ventures, Oncology, technology

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