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

UT Southwestern Researchers Identify Rare Genetic Diseases with New Technique

Local scientists are using a new technique to find the causes of rare genetic diseases in children, which will allow providers to identify treatment options more quickly. The approach, which is being implemented by researchers at Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, uses DNA sequencing and chemical analysis to find mutant genes that create defective metabolic pathways in patients. Around a quarter of pediatric hospital admissions come from diseases with a genetic basis, causing metabolic issues and the inability to break down sugars, proteins and fats in food, which can result in chemical imbalances, death, or permanent disability… Full Story

UTSW’s GammaPod Makes Breast Cancer Treatment More Precise

UT Southwestern Medical Center is home to the world’s second GammaPod, which delivers high doses of radiation to a targeted area for treating breast cancer. The technology allows patients to have fewer treatments in less time. A CT scan reveals the tumor’s location, and the GammaPod uses vacuum suction like a breastfeeding pump that immobilizes the breast so that the radiation can target the cancer to within three millimeters without damaging healthy tissue. Radiation is administered while the patient is laying face-down, avoiding radiation that may penetrate the heart or lungs.  Rather than the four to six weeks of treatment… Full Story

When a Liver Mutation is a Good Thing

Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern have found that not all liver mutations are created equal. A liver mutation was previously thought to be an indicator of cancer or another disfunction, but researchers using gene sequencing have found that some adult liver mutations promote regeneration after liver damage. “Mutations that arise in normal cells are most often viewed through the lens of cancer. While certain mutations can represent steps toward the development of cancer, other mutations may actually promote tissue healing without causing cancer,” said Dr. Hao Zhu, an Associate Professor at CRI and of… Full Story