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Health Sciences In The Media

  • Prevention - May. 11

    Neuroscientists explain how diseases, including Alzheimer's, are linked to hormones and stress. Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, the director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science, says a paradigm shift is happening in terms of how neuroscientists and doctors are thinking about women’s brain health. Rather than treating symptoms when women are older and cognitively too far gone, they need to take brain-health boosting steps now.

  • The FDA has given emergency use authorization to allow the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in teens as young as 12. Dr. Shad Marvasti, with the College of Medicine – Phoenix, believes the vaccine is safe for teens. "Everything that we know about the virus so far, particularly for teenagers which is why this age group was the next in line to be able to get data, they really do look a lot more like adults in terms of how they react to the virus. So, the same holds true for the vaccine," says Dr. Shad.

  • Lynn B. Gerald, a professor of health promotion sciences with the College of Public Health, is among 10 local physicians and health-care workers who will perform at the "Living Life to the Fullest: A Dance & Show to Benefit the American Cancer Society” May 15. The performers will dance to everything from waltzes and the foxtrot to tango, swing, jive and Latin styles such Bachata and the Cha Cha.

  • The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, housed at the UArizona College of Pharmacy, now serves as a go-to source for clinical and academic support for anything venom-related. “Pretty much all the hospitals in the state know to call us after a snakebite,” said Laura Morehouse, MPH, poison/drug education specialist at the college.

  • A new Arizona law could permanently expand statewide use of virtual and telephonic doctors' visits, which became more commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. "It catapults Arizona to the front of the line in terms of telehealth law nationally," said Dr. Ronald Weinstein, founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program at the University of Arizona and a president emeritus of the American Telemedicine Association. "It's huge."

  • UArizona College of Nursing faculty and students with first-hand experience of the human cost of COVID-19 ran a vaccination clinic last weekend.

  • Research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences shows that advanced-stage kidney cancer is more common in Hispanic Americans and Native Americans than in non-Hispanic whites, and that both Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in Arizona have an increased risk of mortality from the disease.

  • Thomasina Blackwater has earned her bachelor's, master's and medical degree from the College of Medicine – Tucson. She discusses her passion to help improve the pipeline for Native American medical students. 

  • WebMD - May. 6

    U.S. officials are poised to authorize the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, while some countries still struggle to vaccinate health care workers risking their lives daily. The situation presents a moral dilemma over “vaccine nationalism” — a principle rooted in the idea that a country should vaccinate its own population before moving on to other populations, says David Beyda, MD, chair of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism at the College of Medicine in Phoenix. “Giving it to kids is going to move us toward herd immunity. From an ethical perspective, the primary concern is getting as many people vaccinated here as possible,” he says.

  • Data from the CDC has found that five million people in the U.S., roughly 8% of those who received a first dose, have missed their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet many scientists see a glimmer of hope: 8% missed means 92% returned, which is surprisingly high. "I see that as a really amazing win," said Saskia Popescu, an infection prevention epidemiologist at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. "There's not enough credit that goes into acknowledging how national vaccination in the middle of a pandemic is a Herculean effort."

  • Healthline - May. 5

    A new study found people may benefit from taking blood pressure medication even if they don’t have hypertension. Dr. Joseph Alpert, a professor of medicine and a cardiologist at the College of Medicine – Tucson and Sarver Heart Center, said some people with mildly elevated blood pressure levels are given blood pressure-lowering medications. “Studies show that they have lower risk for stroke, for example, if we get their BP down to the new lower levels of BP,” Alpert said.  

  • "Everywhere we go, we take variants with us," said Dr. Shad Marvasti, director of public health, prevention and health promotion at the University of College of Medicine – Phoenix. "If anyone is infected with the variant in New York and the Midwest, any other part of the world, and they're coming to Phoenix, Sky Harbor, they're bringing the variant with them."

  • College of Nursing student Alexa Kingman and Sharon Hom, a clinical assistant professor, share their learning and teaching experiences during the pandemic.  

  • Tucson Weekly - May. 4

    While the UA POD may be decommissioning at the end of June, the pandemic is not over. As health departments battle vaccine hesitancy, the College of Public Health’s Mobile Health Unit is working to increase access to the vaccine for communities of color, building on their work in providing preventative care for these communities. Dr. Cecilia Rosales, associate dean of community engagement and outreach, discusses the MOVE UP initiative.

  • A new study found that COVID-19 survivors have a higher risk of death and health problems. Researchers also found that doctors are using prescription opioids to manage symptoms experienced by those long haul survivors. "So, the COVID-19 virus itself is very insidious. It has an umbrella of effects, including respiration, nervous system, mental health effects, metabolic disorders. So some of them also result in excessive pain and headache and myalgia among these patients," said Dr. Rajesh Khanna, a professor and co-director at the Center for Chronic Pain and Addiction at the College of Medicine – Tucson. 

  • Health Digest - May. 3

    While you may not think of sweat as a form of testing for health conditions, some researchers believe it could be as beneficial as routine bloodwork. One research team from the University of Arizona Health Sciences is working to find more evidence that molecules in sweat can provide information on your stress response levels, circulatory system, immune system, and nervous system. 

  • Thousands of New Mexico residents still haven’t registered to obtain coronavirus shots, though the state is among the leaders in the country in the percentage of those who have acquired them. Dr. Daniel Derksen, director of the University of Arizona's Center for Rural Health, said the vaccines are effective and carry little risk.

  • White people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at a higher rate than other racial or ethnic groups in Arizona, even though they have had the lowest overall rate of COVID-19 cases per capita during the pandemic. The misalignment is not caused by race alone, said Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. "It's not race, per se, but rather the conditions and structural inequities that these groups face. Some of it may be, they may be more likely to live in an area where there's a health care provider shortage. That kind of thing. So, it may be unrealistic to expect them to ever catch up fully."

  • Prevention - Apr. 29

    You might not think about it as much as you do eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep, but maintaining good circulation is one of the most important building blocks to keeping your health on the rails. “When you exercise, your muscles need greater blood flow, which supplies oxygen and other nutrients,” says Nachiket Patel, MD, a board-certified interventional cardiologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. 

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new guidance making it easier for more medical professionals to prescribe a common medication to treat opioid abuse. "It seems like less than a fifth of people with opioid use disorder are on methadone or buprenorphine or have access to it," said Dr. Melody Glenn, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine – Tucson's Department of Emergency Medicine. According to Benjamin Robert Brady, a researcher with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, a little more than 2,300 providers had received their waivers to administer buprenorphine in Arizona.