UT Southwestern’s Gene Therapy Center Could be a Game Changer

The UT Southwestern gene therapy center should be up and running by the end of this year, and it may be an answer for the family of a young boy with a rare genetic neurological disorder who is running out of time. D CEO contributor Jason Heid shares the story in Texas Monthly.  When Joseph Hann was three, he began to lose his balance and vision, and after he experienced a grand mal seizure was diagnosed with a rare form Batten disease, which is almost always fatal in childhood. The disease attacks the nervous system, taking away a person’s ability to see,… Full Story

SMU Research is Fighting Cervical Cancer with Video Games

Gaming technology could be the key to saving women from cervical cancer in Africa. Although cervical cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, it is the killer of more women in Zambia than any other disease. In fact, one in five cervical cancer deaths worldwide occurs in sub-Saharan Africa. This is mostly due to a critical shortage of trained surgeons, which means that women who have been diagnosed often wait months to receive hysterectomies while their tumors grow and progress. But with the introduction of relatively simple video game technology, this may change. The game has the… Full Story

UTA Researchers Searching for More Precise Heart Failure Treatment

Three researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington are part of an $11 million project study to make heart failure treatment more precise for patients, nearly half of whom don’t receive effective treatment. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health to look at heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, also known as HFpEF, which is when the heart pumps normally but is too stiff to fill properly. Faculty members in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Mark Haykowsky, Michael Nelson, and Paul Fadel will be studying the process behind HFpEF patients’ difficulty, or sometimes inability,… Full Story

Study: Detecting Depression Rarely Requires Psych Visit

A UT Southwestern study shows that seeing a psychiatrist is not necessarily the most practical solution to diagnosing and treating depression. The research looked at 25,000 patients and concluded that primary care doctors can successfully detect and treat depression without additional help from mental health personnel, and arrives with guidelines asking for expanded depression screenings. “It’s difficult to do proper screening for depression in a busy clinical practice,” says founding Director of UT Southwestern’s Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, per release. “This study shows that primary care physicians can do this, and do it well,… Full Story

Texas Health Dallas Helps Improve Treatment for Cardiogenic Shock

Texas Health Dallas is one of only 60 hospitals in the US, and the only one in Texas, to participate in a study which hopes to improve the survival rates for patients suffering lethal complications after heart attacks. The initial findings of the study show that 72 percent of patients survive using the new protocols, whereas the typical survival rate from this complication, called cardiogenic shock, has historically hovered around 50 percent. Cardiogenic shock is when the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood into the body and is typically caused by damage to cardiac muscle from a heart attack. In… Full Story

Headington Companies and Aging Mind Foundation Team Up Against Alzheimer’s

With a huge boost from Headington Companies, the Aging Mind Foundation has raised over $2.5 million in the last five years for Alzheimer’s research. While the physical and emotional costs are invaluable, the financial burden of the disease is also growing. This year, 16 million Americans will provide 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care for those with Alzheimers and other dementias, valued at $234 billion. Over the next 40 years, the overall financial impact of the disease is expected to top $20 trillion. Six million Americans currently battling Alzheimer’s disease, almost two-thirds of whom are women. While deaths from heart… Full Story

Expansion of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery in North Texas

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services considers expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive heart surgery, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine authored by the Baylor Scott and White Plano Heart Hospital’s Dr. Michael Mack shows that results improve as TAVR centers increase surgery volume. TAVR involves inserting a collapsed valve through an artery near the hip and expanding it once it is in place in the aorta, and is becoming more common because of its reduced recovery time and risk compared to open heart surgery. The surgery was first used for older, more fragile… Full Story

UTSW Researcher Awarded for Decades of Circadian Rhythm Research

UT Southwestern Medical Center Neuroscience Chairman Dr. Joseph Takahashi has received the Gruber Neuroscience Prize for his work on the molecular and genetic bases of circadian rhythms in mammals. The international award honors discoveries that advance understanding of the nervous system. Takahashi discovered Clock, the first mammalian gene controlling circadian rhythm that regulates other genes. The prize includes a $500,000 award to be presented later this year. “Takahashi has made groundbreaking discoveries in the neurobiology of circadian rhythms,” the Gruber Foundation stated in its news release announcing the award. “His use of innovative approaches to observe clock oscillations throughout the… Full Story

New Rules for Safety Net Hospitals Reduce Readmission Penalties, UTSW Research Shows

In order to reduce health system costs nationwide, legislation created penalties for hospitals if patients are readmitted within a certain time frame after being treated, but new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center reveals that a rule adjustment  is causing penalties to drop for hospitals that treat riskier patients. Hospitals such as Parkland that care for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients are more likely to have patients who leave the hospital and go back to unstable environments where they can’t or don’t follow doctor’s orders closely, which can result in a return of symptoms. Patients may have transportation hurdles that keep them… Full Story

Texas Ranks 49th in the Country for Children’s Healthcare

Texas ranked near the very bottom when indicators of cost, quality and access were analyzed for children’s healthcare by WalletHub. The study revealed that children will cost around $230,000 to raise, and that while insurance rates have increased, costs have also risen nearly 20 percent between 2013 and 2017. The rankings rated each state and the District of Columbia based on health and access to healthcare, nutrition, physical activity and obesity, and oral health. Texas’ overall rank was 49 out of 51, and ranked 50 in access, 38 in nutrition, and 31 in oral health, ahead of only Louisiana and… Full Story