Health Flash

Health Flash: 11.4.15

»new bph treatment
Urologists at SSM Saint Louis University Hospital are among the first in our area to offer a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the urethra that causes pressure on the prostate. Called a prostatic urethral lift, it relieves the pressure without cutting via a small stent in the prostate that lifts and holds the enlarged tissue, allowing urine to flow more naturally. The first to use the UroLift system at SLU Hospital were Drs. Sophia Ford-Glanton and Sameer Siddiqui on Sept. 6. The outpatient procedure allows patients to leave the hospital the same day, with no catheter or medications. More than 50 percent of men over age 50 are affected by BPH, which can lead to incontinence, kidney damage, bladder stones and other maladies.

»schizophrenia & brain anatomy
Using MRI scans, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that patients with schizophrenia showed various abnormalities in portions of the corpus calloseum, a bundle of fibers that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The study, reported in the journal NeuroImage, was led by chief investigator Dr. C. Robert Cloninger and helps explain why doctors suspect that schizophrenia is not one, but actually several disorders. “We know that not all patients with schizophrenia have the same issues, and this helps us understand why,” Cloninger says. The research found that different brain abnormalities were related to different aberrant behaviors, such as disorganized thinking, lack of emotion or delusions/hallucinations.

Apparently being a grandparent is good for your health! That is according to anecdotal information from SLUCare geriatrician Dr. Angela Sanford. She cites several factors, emotional and physical, to bolster the theory. Grandparents enjoy the love and adulation of their little ones, which makes them have greater feelings of self-worth. And, of course, they tend to be involved in physical activities together, from swing-pushing to throwing the ball around. All that results in less focus on the negative, especially the aches and pains of aging. Additionally, as the grandkids age, more cerebral activities like puzzles, chess, building things and even video games keep aging minds sharp. Taken all together, the level of activity seniors engage in when they are grandparents “triggers a whole cycle of well-being,” says Sanford.

»defibrillator implants & MRIs
SLU Hospital now offers the first implantable cardiovascular defibrillator (ICD) approved for use with MRI scans. An ICD is an electronic device implanted just below the collarbone used to help regulate life-threatening electrical problems with the heart. Until now, ICD patients have not been able to undergo MRI scans because of potentially negative interactions between the MRI and the device. “Previously, patients with ICDs would be simply unable to receive important screenings they needed for other medical issues,” says  Dr. Ali Medhirad of SLUCare. Studies have found that more than one-third of ICD patients are likely to need an MRI within four years of getting the implant.