A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:
Want to live to 90? (video), CBS 60 Minutes
Dr. Claudia Kawas of UC Irvine found the research equivalent of a gold mine when she discovered that 14,000 residents of a retirement community formerly know as “Leisure World” (now Laguna Woods) had filled out detailed questionnaires about their diet, activities, vitamin intake, etc.
See additional coverage: The Fiscal Times
Stanford, UCSF target better drug development in new FDA partnership, San Francisco Business Times
Stanford University and UCSF will work together in a first-on-the-West-Coast center aimed at streamlining drug development and regulatory approval, the institutions said Monday. The center, backed by an initial $3.3 million grant from the Food and Drug Administration, will work on three central areas: boosting preclinical safety and efficacy tests, improving clinical trials and evaluation, and pulling together various data sets to speed and better focus new drug development.
This segment about performance-enhancing drugs spotlights the role of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in its efforts to detect and stop athletic doping. Dr. Anthony Butch, lab director and a professor of pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is interviewed.
Hospitals and union make deal to avoid ballot measure fight, Los Angeles Times
California hospitals have reached a deal with the state’s largest healthcare union to avoid an expensive and potentially nasty ballot measure fight this fall that would have cast a harsh spotlight on high medical costs and executive salaries.As part of Tuesday’s agreement, the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West dropped proposed ballot initiatives to limit hospital charges and cap what nonprofit hospitals pay their executives. In return, the California Hospital Assn. and a majority of the state’s 430 hospitals approved a new “code of conduct” that may make it easier for the union to organize workers. The agreement seeks to eliminate the negative campaigning and bitter attacks between these longtime adversaries. Tuesday’s agreement also calls for a $100-million fund that will be used in lobbying for increased hospital reimbursements from Medi-Cal. Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara, is quoted.
Did California just save 2,300 lives by expanding Obamacare? Let’s do the math, California Healthline
This story about the impact of expanding health insurance coverage cites Ken Jacobs of the UC Berkeley Labor Center and quotes Gerald Kominski, professor of health policy and management and director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
IBM partners with universities on Watson projects, The Associated Press
Watson is going to college. Students at seven of the country’s top computer science universities will get a chance to try out IBM’s famous cognitive computing system as part of new classes set for next fall. The partnership between Armonk, New York-based IBM and the universities, which was set to be announced Wednesday, will let students use the “Jeopardy!” champion to develop new cognitive computing applications for a variety of industries ranging from health care to finance. The schools currently signed up for the program include UC Berkeley.
Creating video games to improve mental health, San Francisco Chronicle
The game seems pretty simple. An alien-looking creature stands on a block of ice that’s flowing down a river. Here’s what sets the game apart: It was designed by scientists at UCSF looking for a new way to treat serious symptoms of depression. The article quotes Patricia Arean, a clinical psychologist at UCSF who is studying the potential mental health benefits of video game play in older adults. Scientists at UCSF’s new Neuroscape lab already are working with video game developers to help design games that are fun and engaging – and marketable. The lab, which opened in March at the Mission Bay campus, was created to encourage scientists to push brain discoveries into practical prevention and treatment tools for patients. The story quotes Dr. Adam Gazzaley, director of the UCSF Neuroscience Imaging Center and head of the Neuroscape lab. Joaquin Anguera, a UCSF neuroscientist who designs cognitive training games, also is quoted.
Smart seniors might have this gene variant, San Francisco Chronicle
A gene variant that scientists already knew to be associated with longer life also seems to make people smarter, and may help offset the effects of normal cognitive decline in old age, according to a team of San Francisco researchers. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Cell Reports, are encouraging news for the roughly 1 in 5 people who have the genetic trait, which is a variant of the klotho gene. ”What we’ve discovered is a cognitive enhancer,” said Dr. Dena Dubal, an assistant professor of neurology at UCSF and lead author of the study, which was done with researchers from the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes. “This may represent a new way to treat problems of cognition in the brain.”
Swapping young blood for old reverses aging, National Geographic
In what could have profound implications for understanding the process of aging, a trio of scientific papers published May 4 show that infusing elderly mice with the blood of young mice can reverse many of the mental and physical impairments of growing old. A study conducted by Saul Villeda at UC San Francisco, Tony Wyss-Coray at Stanford and their colleagues is highlighted.
Health care, and patients, go south — to Mexico, Kaiser Health News/USA Today
Xochitl Castaneda, director of the health initiative of the Americas at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Public Health, comments on why many legal immigrants from Mexico return to their home country for medical care. The story also quotes David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the UCLA School of Medicine, and Steven Wallace, who is associate director the UCLA center and has studied why Mexican immigrants seek care in Mexico.
UC Davis opens clinic for kids with drug-resistant infections, Sacramento Business Journal
The UC Davis Children’s Hospital opened a clinic Tuesday for pediatric patients with antibiotic-resistant staph infections.
Celebrating Mother’s Day will mean something extra special for a Pomona mom who has her newborn to thank for saving her life. Getting pregnant with a third child was a pleasant surprise for Karalayne and Dennis Maglinte — a little sister for their two sons. Baby Emlee was a blessing in many ways. After itchiness during pregnacy, Karalayne sought medical help. An endoscopic ultrasound revealed the unthinkable: Pancreatic cancer. Dennis and his wife felt heartbreaking uncertainty about their family’s future. Dr. Aram Demirjian and his colleagues at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange carefully weighed all of Karalayne’s options. Timing was crucial. They had to decide whether to remove the pancreatic tumor or wait until the baby is born.
Old path to a new destination (audio), KQED Radio
Jirayut Latthivongskorn will be the first undocumented UCSF medical student, but his path there is a familiar immigrant story.