NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for February, 2015

UPMC: More, Balanced Research Needed in CTE

The current fears over Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE, appear to be both “misplaced” and miscalculated.

A UPMC research team, in a study published today in the online journal PLOS ONE, found in a review of all published scientific reports over the past eight decades that there exist just 153 unique case studies of this sports-associated repetitive head trauma condition. In fact, the team led by Joseph Maroon, M.D., found 262 individual CTE cases reported in the medical literature, though 113 of those (43 percent) were duplicated, or double-reported. The researchers added four cases reported in the media to reach a total number of 153 unique cases dating to the first pathologically diagnosed case, in 1954. Of that total, they found 69 in boxing and 63 in football, covering both the amateur and professional levels. (more…)

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Carlow Students Visit With Expecting Moms at Magee

carlowOnce in a while, an otherwise routine pregnancy develops a complication requiring hospitalization. Conditions ranging from uncontrolled high blood pressure to tears in the placenta can necessitate long-term hospital-provided care.

The days and weeks of hospitalization can be grueling on the expectant moms as well as their families. To help break up the monotony for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters, members of Delta Gamma Beta, Carlow University’s first sorority, on Jan. 30 dropped off goodie bags filled with crayons, coloring books and art supplies to families at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.  (more…)

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New ‘Live Like Lou’ Center Devoted to ALS Treatments, Cure


The newly created Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute has bold goals: find treatments – and even a cure – for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the devastating condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Today at the University Club, Pitt officials thanked Neil and Suzanne Alexander, an O’Hara township couple who are raising money for the center, which bears the name of a fund they established at the Pittsburgh Foundation in the wake of Neil’s 2011 diagnosis of ALS. Already, the Alexanders have pledged to raise $2.5 million, an amount that has been matched by Pitt, toward a $10 million goal.  (more…)

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The Death Doctor? No, I’m a Palliative Care Doctor

100689675Some people who know what I do don’t really know what I do.

They picture me floating through the hospital extinguishing lives, blowing them out one by one like candles down an endless corridor. They think I practice euthanasia, that my presence alone hastens death — that I consume hope and happiness like a black hole, compressing it all into nothingness. Some call me the Grim Reaper, others the Death Doctor. Some say I’m an agent of health care reform, the peddler of a secret government agenda.

The truth is, I’m none of these things. I’m a palliative care doctor.


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