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

Expert Opinion: Medicare For All vs. Price Transparency

The cost of healthcare dominates today’s political discussion; the public consistently ranks it as the  number one issue they want government to address. So far, the discussion has centered on two polar opposite two avenues of approach: greater government control thorough various flavors of “Medicare for all;” and unleashing the forces of market competition through greater healthcare price and quality transparency. One of these two approaches ultimately is likely to prevail at the expense of the other.  Which one will is presently in doubt, but the resolution may not be long in coming. Medicare for All is a central theme… Full Story

How PTSD Changed the Way I Care For Pregnant Women

Appointments with my doctor make me nervous. That’s highly ironic because I’m a doctor, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist who regularly deals with high-risk pregnancies. But ever since developing preeclampsia during my first pregnancy eight years ago, the thought of having my blood pressure taken triggers flashbacks and anxiety. The silver lining is that my experience has changed the way that I care for patients. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 32 weeks after my blood pressure rose and I experienced headaches and blurred vision. The condition, which affects upwards of 10 percent of pregnant women, can lead to seizures or… Full Story

UT Southwestern’s Michael Serber is a D CEO Financial Executive of the Year

As an academic institution, medical center, and top-tier medical research organization, UT Southwestern has one of the more complicated funding sources one can imagine. A mixture of state funding, tuition, insurance and out-of-pocket expenses, donations, and other sources come together to fund UT Southwestern, and CFO Michael Serber is the man in charge of keeping the institution in the black. He won D CEO‘s Outstanding CFO for Large Nonprofits. Serber has been with UT Southwestern for 16 years, quadrupling the medical center’s top-line revenue from about $750 million to well over $3 billion per year. He has also been integral… Full Story

Obesity Alone isn’t a Problem – Your Fat’s Mood is What Matters

In 1995, Dr. Philipp Scherer discovered adiponectin, a hormone that circulates in the blood after being produced by fat cells. The UT Southwestern professor had essentially won the third leg of the Triple Crown of diabetes research. More than two decades later, he was awarded the 2017 EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence (which came with a cash award of close to $1 million) for his research explaining the relationship between body fat and Type 2 diabetes. We talked with him about what his research has taught him about the surprising nature of fat. What does what you’ve learned… 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

Virtual Reality Hypnosis is Improving Surgery Recovery

Virtual reality hypnosis is being explored as an option to treat postoperative pain and anxiety in children at UT Southwestern. A pilot study based in Europe analyzed 21 young patients and found that the hypnosis reduced anxiety, opioid consumption and vomiting in children after scoliosis surgery. The patients experienced 20 minutes of virtual reality hypnosis within three days of surgery, donning virtual reality goggles and experiencing beaches, underwater swims, hiking in the mountains, with soothing words and music which induced hypnosis. UT Southwestern reported the following results via release. “Only 20 percent required pain medication (IV morphine), compared with 62.5… Full Story

Magnets May be the Key to Treating Severe Depression

A clinical trial at UT Southwestern may change the way physicians treat depression with a treatment that has similar impacts to the often stigmatized electroconvulsive therapy. ECT has often caused temporary memory loss in its treatment of depression, but a new form of brain simulation may avoid the risks and have similar impacts. The new treatment, called Magnet Seizure Therapy, uses magnetic fields to reduce depression without cognitive side effects, meaning it could become a primary treatment for the severely depressed. UT Southwestern is partnering with the University of Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in a five-year clinical… Full Story

Southwestern Health Resources Network is No. 1 in the U.S.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the local Southwestern Health Resources Accountable Care Network a quality score of 100 percent after saving $30 million in 2017. The savings made it the top organization in CMS’ Next Generation Accountable Care Organization model. All 44 ACOs participating in CMS’ most high-risk model saved around $208 million in gross savings according to data from CMS. SHR is a joint effort from Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center whose network includes 30 hospitals and 4,000 physicians. The accountable care network manages nearly 69,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the region, and as CMS… Full Story

Remembering Dr. Adi Gazdar, Prolific Author and Award-Winning Cancer Researcher

Dr. Adi Gazdar, one of the world’s most cited authors whose collected cancer cells helped researchers around the world study the disease, died in late December. He was 81. Gazdar spent 27 years at UT Southwestern researching the basis of human cancers and their therapies. Prior to UTSW, where he held the W. Ray Wallace Distinguished Chair in Molecular Oncology Research, he worked at the National Cancer Institute for 23 years. “Adi Gazdar was one of the first great lung cancer ‘molecular pathologists’ who combined great experience in clinical pathology with the development and application of molecular techniques to help characterize… Full Story