Wake Forest Baptist In The News Archive

A Call for a better high blood pressure diagnosis

Clinicians should be able to use a newly researched diagnostic tool based on the hormone renin to identify different forms of hypertension and prescribe medicines and treatment, says Curt D. Furberg, MD, PhD, professor of public health sciences and a national authority on drug effectiveness and safety. 

Brenner Given Fun Center for Patients

Brenner Children's Hospital has a new Fun Center mobile entertainment unit, a gift of Wyndham Worldwide in collaboration with the Starlight Children's Foundation, to benefit sick children at the hospital. Accepting the gift was Jon Abramson, MD, chief of pediatrics at Brenner.

Allergy Expert Offers Summer Advice

The onset of summer can also mean the onset of life threatening illnesses for millions of people via plants or insects. Mark Dykewicz, M.D., director of Allergy and Immunology, provides helpful tips and advice to avoid problems.

Among The Best

U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center among the nation's best in 8 categories.

Cancer     Ear, Nose & Throat
Gynecology     Heart & Heart Surgery
Kidney Disorders     Neurology & Neurosurgery
Pulmonology     Urology

PTRP in Major New Deal for Downtown Winston-Salem

WFUBMC CEO Dr. John McConnell, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, city and county officials, and WFUBMC leadership announce an $87 million project in the Piedmont Triad Research Park.

Pain and meditation

Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. “This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” said Fadel Zeidan, PhD, lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Salvia Research News

The controversial drug salvia got a lot of attention last month when teen pop sensation and television star Miley Cyrus was filmed smoking the herb at a party. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School are going to study whether it can be used as a potential treatment for an array of neurological disorders, including addiction. In this story on ABCNews.com, David P. Friedman, Ph.D., professor of physiology and associate dean for research, is quoted about potential effects on the adolescent brain. 

Why Memory Lane Is Such a Mortifying Stroll

Dr. Ashok Hegde, an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy, was quoted on MSNBC.com regarding his research about why the brain holds on to certain memories, especially in extremely happy or tragic situations.

60 Minutes Highlights Wake Forest Research

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and its director, Dr. Anthony Atala, were featured on CBS’s “60 Minutes”. Watch the segment online.

GMA Features Sports Medicine Specialist

Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum, assistant professor of family and community medicine and sports medicine fellowship director, appeared on ABC's Good Morning America with Dr. Tim Johnson recently to discuss concussions and brain injury in children who play sports. 

Wake Forest Baptist In The News Archive

WFUBMC In The News Archive

Switching May Not Be The Answer

The CDC says American-made cigarettes may contain higher doses of carginogens. While that may be the case, WFUBMC tobacco intervention expert Dr. John Spangler says switching to overseas brands may not be the answer.

High Profile Stroke Raises Questions

The 41-year-old son of Vice President Joe Biden suffered a minor stroke. WFUBMC neurologist Dr. Cheryl Bushnell says there are many factors that could come into play.

Setting a Record at WFUBMC

Don Moss is untouchable when it comes to volunteering. With 47,000+ hours to his credit and counting, the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center volunteer has established a new Guinness World Record for most volunteer hours worked. 

Many Cancer Survivors Forgoing Care, Study Shows

National Public Radio and other major news outlets highlight the findings of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researcher Kathryn E. Weaver's newly published study.

Cutting Emergency Department Costs

ScienceDaily and other national news outlets have featured the findings of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researcher Chadwick Miller. His study may help reduce hospital admissions and treatment costs for patients entering the ED for treatment of chest pain. 

Region's First Transoral Robotic Surgery Performed

Western North Carolina’s first transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a minimally invasive, endoscopic technique for removal of early stage tumors of the tongue base, tonsil and larynx, has been performed at Wake Forest Baptist by surgeon Josh Waltonen, MD, of the Department of Otolaryngology, and all three patients who underwent the first procedures are recovering well, without the complications that follow traditional surgery.

Invading Cancer Cells

Researchers have created a "designer protein" that can not only target a cancer cell, but can also invade that cell and attack its DNA. Lead researcher Waldemar Debinski, MD, PhD, says his findings open a new door in cancer research.

Potential New Treatment for Adult Asthma Patients

A drug commonly used to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may also be effective in treating patients with persistent, uncontrolled asthma. Stephen Peters, MD, PhD, director of research for the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy & Immunologic Diseases and lead author on the study discusses the research and what these findings could mean for adult asthmatics.

Key Factor in Breast Cancer Prognosis Identified

Researchers have discovered that a woman's level of ferroportin--a protein that regulates iron in cells--is strongly associated with breast cancer prognosis.

Tiny Livers Engineered in Lab

Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are the first to use human liver cells to successfully engineer miniature livers that function – at least in a laboratory setting – like human livers.  

Wake Forest Baptist Researcher Hopes for FDA Action Against Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center emergency physician Mary Claire O’Brien, M.D., who conducted groundbreaking research into the dangers of the manufactured alcoholic energy drinks, says the drinks are dangerous and their sale should be prohibited.


Rehabilitation is Key After Major Trauma

David W. Lacey, MD, medical director of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Services at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, was interviewed by Associated Press (AP) to provide insight on the value of a strong social network for rehabilitating patients like Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

Giffords suffered a gunshot to the head Jan. 8 in a shooting spree which has riveted the nation’s attention. Reports show that Giffords is improving steadily and has been moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital's rehab center in Houston. Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, has decided to command the upcoming flight of the space shuttle Endeavor.

Lacey is a physiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in rehabilitating and restoring optimal function to people with injuries such as brain injuries and major traumas.

Improving Leukemia Outcomes Through Research

Researchers are working hard to improve outcomes for patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). A study done at Wake Forest Baptist shows that the use of arsenic early in treatment significantly improves survival for these patients.  

Expert Explains the Condition ANCA-vasculitis

A condition called ANCA-associated vasculitis recently made headlines when Wake Forest University student-athlete Kevin Jordan suffered from the disease and needed a kidney transplant. Wake Forest's head baseball coach Tom Walter donated one of his kidneys on Feb. 7 in a successful surgery at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Barry I. Freedman, MD, chief of Nephrology, explains the condition.


Replacement Urine Tubes Engineered in the Lab

A team of researchers led by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has gained international attention for work to successfully replace damaged urine tubes in five boys with new tubes engineered in the lab. The work was reported Online First in the medical journal The Lancet. The success is another example of how the strategies of tissue engineering can be applied to multiple organs and tissues -- offering the potential to cure disease.

Can You Catch An Itch?

Sometimes Itching, like Yawning, Can be Contagious

Gil Yosipovitch, MD, and co-researcher Alexandru Papoiu, MD, PhD, of the Department of Dermatology, have been studying what’s known as “contagious itch.” Contagious itch is visually transmitted and anecdotal evidence suggests it occurs in daily life when we see other people itch and scratch. The researchers set out to systematically investigate contagious itch because the exact mechanism underlying this type of “itch transmission” is not well understood, and insights into what’s happening in the brain during this transmission are lacking.

Study Shows Polypill to be Safe and Accepted by Physicians and Patients in Developing Countries

A new study done by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provides evidence that a cardiovascular polypill may be a viable option for developing countries, where cardiovascular disease is strongly emerging and the demand for cost-effective, low maintenance treatment is high. 

Hookah Use Widespread Among College Students

While the number of young Americans who smoke cigarettes is declining, the popularity of the hookah is growing, researchers say. This is especially true among college students, whose misperceptions about the safety of smoking from a waterpipe may be cause for concern.

Teens and Acne

For many teens, acne is a bigger problem than a facial blemish. Research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that while most teenagers consider acne to be a cosmetic problem, many others report that acne has a significant impact on their self-esteem and quality of life, often leading to anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

“With this study, we found that acne is more than skin deep for those aged 13 to 18,” said Steve Feldman, MD, a professor of Dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist. “Depending on how the patient feels about it, acne can have a potentially large and negative impact on their lives or it can have a small affect.”

Face Transplant

The man who recently received the country’s second full face transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston was first treated at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center 10 years ago. Mitch Hunter suffered severe facial injury in an auto accident. As part of the initial reconstructive surgery, Joseph Molnar, MD, associate director of the Burn Center, had the foresight to preserve Hunter’s vasculature, which otherwise might have been lost. Due to the limited technology available at the time, the reconstruction results were quite limited.

Over the next 10 years, Molnar kept in touch with his patient even though Hunter had moved out-of-state. When the possibility of a face transplant became available, Molnar recommended Hunter and met him at Brigham and Women’s for the procedure.

Genes, Not Race, Determine Donor Kidney Survival

Researchers have discovered that the genetic makeup of kidney donors plays a major role in whether or not their donated kidneys will survive after being transplanted.

Some Leukemia Patients Resistant to Treatment

Researchers have found that a cellular mutation causes some patients with acute myeloid leukemia to be resistant to standard chemotherapy treatment. The finding, in mice, may one day help to spare patients with this mutation from harsh, toxic drugs, while also opening up new avenues of therapeutic research.

Predictor of Early Death in Diabetes

A simple, 10-minute CT scan could help identify which patients with diabetes are at highest risk of early death, according to researchers.

Cancer Center Expansion Begins

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has begun site preparation for the construction of a six-floor addition to its Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The $125 million project will add four inpatient floors, one day hospital floor, and one administrative floor, consolidating inpatient and outpatient services in a free-standing cancer hospital, the first such facility in the region.

Underage Drinking Research Cited in Parade Magazine Cover Story

The profound and lasting impact of Dr. Mary Claire O’Brien’s research into alcohol and energy drinks started about five years ago because of a patient she treated in the Emergency Department.

Her research has been used by state attorneys general, law enforcement agencies, college and university officials, and public health groups, who called upon the alcoholic energy drinks manufacturers to take them off the market, bringing the issue to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. Last November, the FDA essentially banned the drinks when it issued warning letters to manufacturers saying they were breaking the food safety law by marketing caffeinated alcoholic beverages. As a result, manufacturers have either taken the products off the market or reformulated them.

Dr. O’Brien’s research continues to be used to shed light on the dangers and problems associated with drinking, especially among young people, as is the case with this cover story in Parade magazine titled, “The Underage Drinking Epidemic,” in the June 12 issue. Parade is one of the most widely read magazines in America with a circulation of 32.2 million.

Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy

Infants born to mothers who received the influenza (flu) vaccine while pregnant are nearly 50 percent less likely to be hospitalized for the flu than infants born to mothers who did not receive the vaccine while pregnant. Dr. Kathy Poehling explains her recent research on maternal vaccines and answers common questions about the topic of vaccination during pregnancy.  

Soluble Fiber Strikes a Blow to Belly Fat

All fat is not created equal. Unsightly as it is, subcutaneous fat, the fat right under the skin, is not as dangerous to overall health as visceral fat, the fat deep in the belly surrounding vital organs. Dr. Kristen Hairston explains her recent research on the role of soluble fiber in reducing visceral fat.



Chantix Associated with Serious Side Effects

Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are committed to patient and drug safety. In a new study, investigators have found that the popular smoking cessation drug, Chantix, is associated with a 72 percent increased risk of serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and arrhythmia.

Women Less Likely Than Men To Fake Soccer Injuries

Soccer fans can now rest assured that women are less likely than men to fake on-field injuries, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. North Carolina Sports Medicine specialist Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum’s research indicates that apparent injury incidents for women are much less frequent than for men, occurring at a rate of 5.74 per match as compared to 11.26 per men’s match. The proportion of apparent injuries that were classified as “definite” was nearly twice as high for women, 13.7 percent, as compared to 7.2 percent for men.

Do You Have a High Risk of Dying from a Heart Attack?

Elsayed Z. Soliman, M.D., M.Sc., MS, director of the Epidemiological Cardiology Research Center (EPICARE) at Wake Forest Baptist, has conducted a new research study that indicates it may be possible to predict whether someone is likely to survive or die from a heart attack.

Dr. Soliman has been able to identify traits that can help determine whether or not a first heart attack will be fatal. They include hypertension, body mass index, heart rate and race. These findings could lead to early intervention for high risk patients.

Even When You’re A Star Like Michael Douglas, It's Hard to Quit Smoking

Research from Kathryn E. Weaver, Ph.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, got a second wind recently when it was cited by news outlets covering the story of Michael Douglas. The actor, who recovered from stage four throat cancer earlier this year, has since been photographed smoking.

Weaver’s research set out to characterize patterns and context of smoking among recently diagnosed cancer patients and their family caregivers. She found that a substantial number of cancer patients continue to smoke after their cancer diagnosis which is concerning, but not necessarily surprising.

“Smoking is a very addictive behavior and it can be difficult to quit smoking,” Weaver said. “Many of our cancer patients do want to quit smoking and have tried many times in the past, but have been unsuccessful.”

Read more about Michael Douglas’ struggle: CBS and MSNBC

Read the cancer diagnosis news release here.

Visit the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Lab-Grown Anal Sphincters

Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine led a team that has successfully used human muscle cells to engineer functional anal sphincters in the lab. This breakthrough suggests a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence. The ultimate goal is to use a patient's own cells to engineer a replacement sphincter in the lab and to implant it into the patient. The photo shows the mold that is used to engineer sphincters.

View some of the media coverage of this research:

Learn more about fecal incontinence from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Wake Forest Baptist Health Sponsors Winston-Salem Open

Wake Forest Baptist Health was a platinum sponsor for the inaugural Winston-Salem Open and also provided sports medicine physicians for the care of the tennis players.

The week-long tournament was capped by an exciting finals match Saturday, August 27th, between Triad native John Isner and Julien Benneteau, with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

This event highlights the importance of the Medical Center’s single mission to improve the health of a region, state and nation. Our nationally recognized research in sports injury prevention, preeminent sports medicine physician training programs, and the advanced minimally-invasive treatments that we provide to athletes of all ages, benefit both amateurs and professionals alike.

Heart may hold key to unexplained nausea in youths

Heart rate and blood pressure regulation may hold the key to treating unexplained chronic nausea in children. In a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a drug commonly used to treat a condition known as orthostatic intolerance (OI), which causes dizziness and occasional fainting when patients stand for long periods, was shown to reduce debilitating chronic nausea in patients.

View some of the media coverage of this research:

Read the news release.

Hundreds Attend Upper Limb Spasticity Event

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Sept. 16, 2011 – More than 200 people from across the region attended an inspiring community event on Upper Limb Spasticity (ULS), hosted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Henry Winkler, best known for his role as “The Fonz” on “Happy Days,” shared several personal stories of his own mother’s struggle with ULS. He was joined by two national experts Allison Brashear, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest Baptist and Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center.

“ULS impacts approximately one million Americans and unfortunately is often not recognized or treated,” said Brashear. “As a result, community education and awareness at events where we can reach several hundred people are extremely important to patients and even health care professionals.”

The event also included powerful and moving testimonials from patients who battle the debilitating condition. Patients shared stories about their experiences with clinical trials, treatment options and living with ULS.

Calcium Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer for Some

For some men, the amount of calcium in their diets may be putting them at risk for prostate cancer. Researchers have found that a gene that codes for better absorption of calcium could be predisposing carriers to an increased risk of developing the disease.

  • Read about the study here.
  • Learn more about the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist, the cancers we treat, ongoing research and how to make an appointment.

Genes Associated with Breast Cancer Prognosis Identified

Wake Forest Baptist researchers have made a discovery that brings them one step closer to being able to better predict which patients have the best chance of surviving breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is working on several fronts to deal with this disease – from the laboratory where ground-breaking findings are taking place, to the clinical setting where patients are treated by a multi-disciplinary team whose mission is to care and to cure, providing support every step of the way.

Read about the most recent discovery by researchers who have identified a group of genes that may help with disease prognosis.

Learn about a clinical trial that’s testing a medical device that can help patients keep their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

See local media coverage about the Cancer Support Program.

Visit The Breast Care Center to learn more.

Tight Blood Sugar Control Does Not Improve Cognitive Decline for Older Diabetes Patients

Researchers have found that intensive control of blood sugar levels beyond standard targets provides no additional protection against cognitive decline in older people with diabetes than standard treatment.

Last Updated: 01-21-2013
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