September 2013
Blog

September 2013 posts

Cholesterol and stroke awareness

September is also National Cholesterol Awareness month!

Do you know your numbers? It is important to know your cholesterol levels as they influence your risk of stroke.  Talk to your provider today to find out where you stand!

Do you have trouble remembering “good” cholesterol versus “bad” cholesterol?  An easy way to keep them straight is to think HDL = happy (“good” cholesterol) and LDL = lousy (“bad” cholesterol).  Check out the American Heart Association’s Meet the Fats for memorable information about cholesterol.

How does cholesterol affect stroke risk?  Build-up of cholesterol plaque within your arteries increases your risk of stroke by blocking normal blood flow.  This reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area.

How can you improve your cholesterol numbers?

PSBJ report details stake in Exchange enrollment for Swedish, hospitals

A recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal details the critical role hospitals are playing in helping King County’s uninsured enroll in health care coverage through the state’s new Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange). In the piece, Swedish’s Tom Gibbon, Medicaid Expansion/Exchange Initiative Leader, highlights how Swedish is helping patients by:

Swedish Neuroscience Institute Seeks Participants for Trial of an Investigational Technology to Treat Essential Tremor

One of only four sites in U.S. to treat neurological disorder
 

SEATTLE, Sept. 26, 2013 – Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) is looking for patients willing to participate in a study of an investigational technology to treat essential tremor, a common neurological disorder, with sound rather than surgery.

An estimated 10 million people in the U.S have essential tremor (ET), which causes a rhythmic shaking or trembling of hands and arms but can also affect the head, legs and other parts of the body. It affects one out of every 25 adults over 40 and can be confused with but is different from better-known Parkinson’s disease, which is actually much less prevalent. ET produces disabilities that hamper basic daily activities and worsens over time, with severely affected patients unable to feed or care for themselves.

Dr. Ryder Gwinn, the Principle Investigator for the study at SNI who has utilized other treatments for patients with essential tremor, said focused ultrasound could be an option for many of these patients. For example, medication has been shown to be ineffective for up to half of all ET patients.

Cancer Awareness and Community Events

Nearly every month of the year has been recognized as a cancer-related awareness month. Cancer awareness months provide the perfect opportunity to share information about specific types of cancer in order to increase knowledge about symptoms, screenings and treatment options, to reduce the stigma of cancer, and to help raise funds for cancer research.

Whether you show your support by wearing a cancer awareness color or ribbon, discuss cancer-related information with family members and friends, or attend a community event or fundraiser, your voice counts. We encourage you to help spread the word and express the importance of education, prevention, early detection and treatment:

Brain Aneurysm Awareness: Spreading the Word

September is National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month and across the country, those affected by various forms of the disease raise awareness through fundraising and visibility events. Bringing a voice to the disease may seem daunting in a sea of awareness ribbons and weekend community walks—but  Swedish had the opportunity to focus a spotlight on Seattle as host for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation’s Annual Symposium. This Massachusetts-based organization is the nation’s only not-for-profit profit organization solely dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysms. Swedish Neuroscience Institute physicians teamed up with other elite physicians from across the country and others in the medical community, in addition to volunteers and Brain Aneurysm Foundation members to learn more about advances in research for the disease.

One unique component to this important event was the attendance of members of the Swedish Cerebrovascular Support Group. The group, established in 2012, brings together patients, family members and caregivers to share their experiences, with the goal of alleviating fears and concerns through education and group discussions...

Proteomics identifies protein changes in multiple sclerosis and CIS

A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE found differences in protein levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) among people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).

Using the relatively new field of proteomics, researchers were able to identify each individual protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—86 total—and compares their levels among people with relapsing MS, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and healthy individuals. People with RRMS had different levels of 20 proteins compared to people with CIS. Seventy five percent of those proteins related to neurons (rather than myelin). Changes were particularly notable for proteins related to neurons in participants with CIS.

This study is one of many MS studies coming from the relatively new field of proteomics. This field uses ...

Transgender Breast Augmentation

For many transgender patients, breast augmentation is an important step in establishing a feminine identity. This procedure allows men to present themselves as women more easily in public and private. The genetic male's chest anatomy differs from genetic females, and this has to be taken into account by plastic surgeons performing this operation.

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