Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Summer 2008

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Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

At age 1, Tobias Kamath was diagnosed with autism.

Grappling with autism

Parents of children with autism often grapple with a bewildering array of questions and choices: “Did I do something to cause the disorder? Could it be genetic? What is it like to be a child with autism?" About 300 family members, caregivers and teachers of children with autism recently gathered on the Stanford campus to get answers from the people on the other front line of the war against the difficult disorder: researchers. Organizers of the first-ever conference, Recent Advances in Autism Treatment and Research, hope that this type of summit will become an annual event. Read Story »

Did you know?

There are 60,000 miles (97,000 km) of blood vessels in every human.

Sound Bites

“Viagra came out and all of a sudden sex was everywhere, but no one was addressing the female issues. Women wanted to know, ‘If my husband or my partner has a pill, why can’t I?’”

Leah Millheiser, MD, instructor in obstetrics and gynecology and founder of the new Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford, on addressing female sexual dysfunction

San Francisco Chronicle, March 31

“There are 40 drugs to treat heart attacks, but none to treat muscular dystrophy.”

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and of pediatrics, on how a growing band of researchers is trying to redefine how diseases are classified by looking at their genetic underpinnings. This reclassification may also help find drugs.

New York Times, May 6

“Seventeen to 20 percent of patients with depression who have underlying obstructive sleep apnea are currently undiagnosed.”

Carmen Schroder, MD, instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, on a possible link between depression and obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which a person is unable to breathe properly while asleep.

ABC News, April 4

“Studies have reported that there are biases in health care and that they are quite often unconscious; to deal with those unconscious biases, we need to diversify the work force and develop more culturally competent positions.”

Fernando Mendoza, MD, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for minority advising and programs, on doctor diversity. A recent UCSF study revealed that Latinos and African-Americans are drastically underrepresented among California doctors.

Stanford Daily, April 11

“When you put away sleep debt, you become superhuman.”

William Dement, MD, PhD, the Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor, on the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep.

Scientific American, May 6


Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

An inside look

State-of-the-art technology is paired with a patient-centric focus at Stanford Medicine Imaging, a new facility in Palo Alto. The outpatient center, which opened in June, will focus on serving patients and referring physicians from throughout the Bay Area with prompt, responsive and informative feedback on imaging studies. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Hand-held computers help promote exercise

Today’s younger generation may reckon that “ne’er the twain shall meet” where technology and their elders are concerned. However, ongoing research by Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, appears to be gradually dispelling that notion. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Designing tomorrow’s hospitals

As a licensed physician and architect, George Tingwald, MD, is one of only a handful of people nationwide with the dual designations of MD and AIA (American Institute of Architects), and he has devoted his career to creating innovative health care environments. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Create a long-term plan for cancer survivors

Stanford cancer specialist Sandra Horning says that as an oncologist and a cancer survivor, she appreciates the fog of a new cancer diagnosis as well as the need to coordinate care for survivors at risk for a wide range of late complications of treatment. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Health warnings on hard plastic

Bisphenol A—a chemical used to make hardened plastics—has been the subject of many recent news stories. Alan Greene, MD, an attending pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, answers some common questions about this substance. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Reunion brings out stories of survival

Ricky Bunch was a 16-year-old high school junior in December 2002—a lucky kid with a brand-new truck. With great enthusiasm, he took it out for a drive. Sixteen hours later, desperate friends and family found Bunch trapped, unconscious, hypothermic, with a brain injury, one leg nearly crushed, a lung collapsed. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Teen students get a sneak preview of medical school

It can be challenging to get into medical school, but it was no problem for a group of local students earlier this year. More than 150 teenagers, including many from East Palo Alto, Palo Alto and Redwood City, flocked to Stanford’s campus to play medical student for the day. Read Story »

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Why I volunteer at Stanford

Bob Upham moved to the Peninsula from the East Coast two years ago for a position at Yahoo!, where he is the director of business development for Yahoo! Geo and Maps. He has been a volunteer at Stanford Hospital & Clinics for the past year and a half and is currently a lead volunteer in the Emergency Department. Read Story »

Blood pressure still sneaks past many doctors

Despite the well-known dangers of high blood pressure, major shortfalls still exist in the screening, treatment and control of the disease, even when patients are getting a doctor’s care, according to a School of Medicine study. Read Story »


Learn more about health at seminars sponsored by Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. More »

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