<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Health Connection]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usFri, 06 May 2016 02:26:09 -0500Fri, 06 May 2016 02:26:09 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Conversation on Child Mental Health]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 19:48:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/20150505+ReidEwing.jpg

Caring for children's mental health takes a team approach: Family members, health care professionals and educators.

When that happens, a young person's life can blossom.

That's the goal behind National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, culminating in a town-hall event Thursday hosted at George Washington University and streamed live across the country.

Parents can tune in to the conversation that started at 7 p.m. -- and use social media to ask their own questions of the panel. (Tweet questions with the hashtag #HeroesOfHope.)

The event, organized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is called “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” It's aimed at families of young people who experience mental or substance use disorders.

The panel kicked off with a funny, honest reflection from Reid Ewing, the actor who plays Dylan on "Modern Family." He was recognized by the group for sharing his stories of battling body dismorphic disorder and other challenges.

"I didn't have many friends, and I didn't really have the ability to make friends," Ewing said. "When you are depressed it doesn't really work that way."

But, he said, support of family, therapy and medication helped him learn "how live as a happy person."

Others on the panel include youth, family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials and behavioral health professionals. Among them will be SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto, Center for Mental Health Services Director Paolo del Vecchio and National Council of Behavioral Health President and CEO Linda Rosenberg.

News4’s Aaron Gilchrist is moderating the event.

Meanwhile, communities around the nation are assembling watch parties and other events for Thursday night's event. Click here to find a watch party near you.

And don't worry if you miss the livestream -- the discussion will be available on demand, too.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[New Robot Surgeon Works on Its Own]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:50:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/160504-robot-surgery-mn-1506_64766b4b95b687114fdd1811d9967469.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

A new type of robot can perform tricky surgery as well as — and in some cases better than — human surgeons, NBC News reported. 

Researchers with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington said the new robot — called Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR — could be operated with minimal human supervision. That means it frees up surgeons for work that requires more thought. 

The team, led by Dr. Peter Kim of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, compared the robot to some existing systems and to human surgeons. It was reported to be slow, but accurate, and managed to sew together two ends of a tiny pig intestine.

Photo Credit: Carla Schaffer / AAAS]]>
<![CDATA[Infected Mosquitoes Can't Transmit Zika Virus: Study]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:22:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zika-GettyImages-506977656%281%29.jpg

Infecting mosquitoes with a strain of bacteria reduced their ability to transmit the Zika virus, according to Brazilian researchers, NBC News reported.

Mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria have been released in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam to help control dengue — and new findings are showing success with Zika. This raises hopes that it might block transmission of the virus.

The new study, by researchers at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and published in Cell Host & Microbe, takes advantage of the naturally occurring strain of Wolbachia, which live in insect cells and are found in 60 percent of common insects. The method involves inserting the bacteria into mosquito eggs, which pass the bacteria along to their offspring. 

After two weeks in the Zika study, mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia had fewer particles of the virus in their bodies and saliva - making them less able to infect humans with the virus. 

Researchers caution this strategy isn’t 100 percent effective and will not eliminate the virus. But it can be used as part of a control strategy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Errors No. 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:16:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SurgicalInstruments-GettyImages-511163598.jpg

Two medical experts said Wednesday that medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., NBC News reported.

Dr. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel from Johns Hopkins University said a count of all preventable deaths reveals that between 200,000 and 400,000 people a year die from these mistakes. 

Many health policy experts have been trying to call attention to the problem of medical errors for more than a decade. One problem is that mistakes are not usually put on death certificates. 

Cancer and heart disease are neck and neck as the top cause of death in the United States. In 2012, 24 percent of all deaths were from heart disease — 599,711 to be precise. And 582,623 deaths, or 23 percent, were from cancer.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Preschoolers With ADHD Need Therapy, Not Drugs: CDC]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:17:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-483106863.jpg

Too many preschoolers with ADHD still are being put on drugs right away, before behavior therapy is tried, health officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday that three in four young kids diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are put on medicines. New CDC data shows that's continued, even after research found behavior therapy is as effective and doesn't give children stomach aches, sleep problems or other drug side effects.

Why? Health insurance coverage for behavior therapy may vary from state to state and company to company. And in some areas, therapists are in short supply, some experts said.

On Tuesday, CDC officials doubled down on its previous recommendations, calling on doctors and families to try behavior therapy first.

ADHD makes it hard for kids to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. More than 6 million U.S. children have been diagnosed with it. 

"By the time a parent comes to meet with me, they are tired and worried," Dr. Georgina Peacock, a CDC developmental pediatrician who works with ADHD families. "They are concerned their child might jump down a flight of stairs, that the child could get lost in a grocery store, or that the child could be kicked out of preschool."

There's no blood test for ADHD. Diagnosis is a matter of expert opinion.

Studies have shown medications like ritalin help older children with ADHD. That success has fed a trend to treat younger kids the same way, but there's been less study of how effective and safe the drugs are for preschoolers.

In behavior therapy, a therapist trains parents — commonly over eight or more sessions — how to guide a child's behavior through praise, communication, routine and consistent discipline. However, it can take longer and demand more of parents.

In its new analysis, the CDC looked at insurance claims data for children ages 2 to 5. About a third of ADHD diagnoses in children are made by age 6, and many of those children have more pronounced symptoms.

The CDC found 75 percent of the children were on medicine. That was true both of Medicaid-covered children in low-income families, and kids covered by private insurance.

In contrast, only around half of children had received psychological services that might include behavior therapy training, the CDC found.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CRF Frozen Foods Recalls 358 Fruit, Veggie Products]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 18:26:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-518961258.jpg

CRF Frozen Foods said Monday it's expanding its voluntary recall of frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables after several people have become sick with listeria infections.

Eight people have been sickened by the strain of listeria since September 13, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday afternoon. Two of those people died, though listeria infection was not listed as the cause of death in either case. 

The initial recall issued on April 23 included 15 frozen vegetable items, but the expanded recall covers 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, including Trader Joe's, Emerald Farms, Safeway Kitchens and Parade. 

It includes all frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods' Pasco, Washington, facility since May 1, 2014, the company said in a recall notice. 

The CDC said seven people from three states became ill and were hospitalized due to listeria and some of these illnesses have been linked to consuming CRF products, CRF said in the recall announcement. That information was later updated.

"CDC also informed us that, sadly, two of these individuals later died, but that listeria was not the cause of death in either person," the company said. 

The CDC said Tuesday that six cases originated in California, and the two people found to have listeria infections who died were in Maryland and Washington State.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

All CRF products affected by the recall have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018. The products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. For a full list of affected products, click here. 

The products being recalled may have been purchased in all fifty states and the following Canadian Provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan. CRF had suspended operations at its Pasco facility on April 25, 2016, following the initial voluntary recall. The company also said all retailers who received the products have been contacted.

People who bought CRF products are advised to throw them away. They may also return them to the store where they were purchased for a refund. Consumers with questions may call the company's consumer hotline at 844-483-3866, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Mispackaged Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalled]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 15:28:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rocky-road-cookies-n-cream.jpg

Blue Bell Ice Cream is recalling select pints of Rocky Road ice cream that actually contain Cookies 'n Cream.

The Brenham-based creamery voluntarily recalled the pints after learning they contained vanilla ice cream with chocolate creme cookies instead of marshmallows and roasted almonds mixed with dark chocolate ice cream.

More seriously, Cookies 'n Cream "contains the undeclared allergens soy and wheat, which may present a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction risk to people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or wheat."

No illnesses have been reported.

"The pints can be identified as a Rocky Road pint with a Cookies 'n Cream lid, and contain Cookies 'n Cream Ice Cream. They can also be identified by the following code located on the bottom of the pint: 022918576," the Food and Drug Administration said in a news release Wednesday.

The mispackaged pints were sold in Texas and Louisiana through retail outlets, including food service accounts, convenience stores and supermarkets.

If you aren't able to eat the Cookies 'n Cream, or if you just really wanted Rocky Road, you can get a refund by returning the pint to the store from which it was purchased.

Last year, Blue Bell shut down operations at three creameries after a listeria contamination sickened 10 people between January 2010 and January 2015. Sicne resuming operations, Blue Bell has vowed to "reassess everything" to make sure their products are safe.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[US Not Ready for Zika Virus: Experts ]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 21:56:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_71939457309-zika.png

Zika virus is going to start spreading in the United States and the country's not ready for it, experts said Tuesday.

It probably won't spread much — most areas in the U.S. don't have the right conditions for widespread transmission of the virus — but even a little is too much, the officials said, according to NBC News.

"We have nothing at the national level other than advice from the CDC and most states do not even coordinate their programs at the county level very well," said Scott Weaver, of the University of Texas Medical Branch, at a news conference at the end of a meeting of Zika experts in Atlanta.

Once mosquito season starts, the U.S. could have small, local outbreaks.

"Very likely we will," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a separate briefing at the Pan American Health Organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Live Liver Donations Saving Lives]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 17:47:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/live+liver+donation.jpg

Last year, 359 liver transplants were made possible by live liver donation.

It’s a number that has grown over the past three years and experts say it may be evidence that more people are learning about what can be, for some, the only life-saving option.

Twenty-one-year-old Ashley Ray suffered from liver disease since age nine.

When she was 19, her liver failed.

“I deteriorated very fast, and Dr. Hemming said I wouldn’t have made it waiting on the transplant list,” said Ray.

Her uncle, Keith Garcia, found out he was a blood type match and he volunteered to donate half his liver.

“I felt confident that I would survive what the surgery entailed,” said Garcia.

Alan Hemming, M.D., chief of transplantation at UC San Diego Health says live liver donation allows patients to get transplants before they get too sick.

“It doesn’t take away the risk of transplantation, it just takes away the risk of dying on the waiting list,” Hemming explained.

In an eight-hour surgery, Hemming and his team removed 60 percent of Garcia’s liver and transplanted it into Ray.

Both halves of Garcia’s liver will grow back to nearly full-size.

“It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see my uncle standing on the other side with half of his liver inside me, keeping me alive,” said Ray.

Donors risk complications or death, but Garcia recovered quickly, returning to work in two weeks.

Despite the live liver option, the American Liver Foundation says about 17,000 people are on the waiting list to get a liver transplant.

Only a third of them will get a liver, and every year, as many as 1,700 people die waiting.

Doctors say because of the increased risk, live liver donation is still rare.

Less than 5 percent of liver transplants have a live donor.

Patients and their families should only make a decision about living donor transplantation after being fully informed of the risks and benefits from a physician.

To become an organ donor, a blood test will have to be done to determine if a donor’s blood and tissue types are compatible with the organ recipient.

All that’s needed to match is blood type to be a live liver donor.

A donor will also go through a thorough physical examination and psychological evaluation and several other tests to ensure that they in good health and that their liver can be safely divided.

Since the liver does not grow back as well in older people, donors must be less than 55-years-old.

To register to be an organ donor, click here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[CRF Frozen Foods Recalls 358 Fruit, Veggie Products]]> Tue, 03 May 2016 17:07:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-518961258.jpg

CRF Frozen Foods said Monday it's expanding its voluntary recall of frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables after several people have become sick with listeria infections.

Eight people have been sickened by the strain of listeria since September 13, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday afternoon. Two of those people died, though listeria infection was not listed as the cause of death in either case. 

The initial recall issued on April 23 included 15 frozen vegetable items, but the expanded recall covers 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, including Trader Joe's, Emerald Farms, Safeway Kitchens and Parade. 

It includes all frozen organic and traditional fruit and vegetable products manufactured or processed in CRF Frozen Foods' Pasco, Washington, facility since May 1, 2014, the company said in a recall notice. 

The CDC said seven people from three states became ill and were hospitalized due to listeria and some of these illnesses have been linked to consuming CRF products, CRF said in the recall announcement. That information was later updated.

"CDC also informed us that, sadly, two of these individuals later died, but that listeria was not the cause of death in either person," the company said. 

The CDC said Tuesday that six cases originated in California, and the two people found to have listeria infections who died were in Maryland and Washington State.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

All CRF products affected by the recall have the best by dates or sell by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018. The products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. For a full list of affected products, click here. 

The products being recalled may have been purchased in all fifty states and the following Canadian Provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan. CRF had suspended operations at its Pasco facility on April 25, 2016, following the initial voluntary recall. The company also said all retailers who received the products have been contacted.

People who bought CRF products are advised to throw them away. They may also return them to the store where they were purchased for a refund. Consumers with questions may call the company's consumer hotline at 844-483-3866, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Treatment Claims to Help Lose Inches Without Pain]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 22:47:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/laser+lipo.jpg

Strawberry Laser Lipo is a popular procedure in Europe that's gaining popularity in the United States.

The machine is the shape of a strawberry, hence the name, and it includes a belt of 10 fat-burning lasers.

Kassy Levels, of Dallas, said she lost five inches around her abdomen in one treatment.

"It inspires me to continue my healthy eating and continue to want to be my best," said Levels.

According to the manufacturer's website, when the laser paddles are placed on the skin, the cold red laser beams penetrate the skin just deep enough to reach the layers of fat.

From there, the website says, "pores form on the cells causing them to spill out. The water, Glycerol and fatty acids move into the interstitial space beneath the fatty layer in the skin. Then further water, fatty acids and Glycerol spill out. The adipocyte cells are therefore reduced in size."

Leah Euston, owner of Fit and Fancy Spa in Grapevine, has been offering the treatment to her clients for several months.

"It gets a lot of people to start eating healthier and working out. Some people just need to get those last few inches off," said Euston.

Euston said customers can lose up to seven inches in a 10-minute session.

Not everyone believes the claims, however.

Dr. Jay Burns, with the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, studies the science behind non-invasive slimming procedures.

"There's never been really any great, randomized, prospective studies on this," he said.

"It's really just a set of diode lasers. It's really much like a laser pointer, so scientifically it doesn't make a lot of sense," Burns added.

Still, customers say they like the instant results.

The FDA approved Strawberry Lipo as a method to temporarily reduce waistlines in 2013.

"With a good diet and exercise, you can keep that off for however long you want," said Euston.

The treatment costs between $200 and $300 per session, and four to eight sessions are recommended for ideal results.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Therapy Dogs Visit Mansfield Hospital Patients]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 18:16:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mansfield+therapy+dogs.jpg

Therapy dogs are now wandering the halls of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

The dogs and their handlers spend two hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays bringing smiles and comfort to patients.

The four-legged friends also reduce stress levels and help physicians, nurses, students and family members relax.

The dogs are highly trained registered therapy dogs that are utilized from Pet Partners.

"Being in the hospital is a stressful time. Patients are usually here in a time of crisis or a time of great need, and so there is a certain amount of comfort that can only be brought by a visit with a dog," said program director Laura Sweatt.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lewisville Reports Its First West Nile Case of 2016]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 16:18:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/west+nile1.JPG

The city of Lewisville is reporting its first positive West Nile virus mosquito trap of 2016, and ground spraying is set for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The sample was collected April 28 near the 2600 block of Lake Ridge Drive, in northeastern Lewisville, the city said in a press release Monday.

Lewisville is outsourcing its testing this year for the first time to Vector Disease Control International, saying that the private company has its own certified lab and technicians who can confirm test results quicker than the state health department.

Ground spraying is scheduled for a half-mile radius surrounding the 2600 block of Lake Ridge Drive, beginning at 9 p.m. on both Tuesday, May 3, and Wednesday, May 4.

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<![CDATA['Biggest Loser' Study Shows How Your Body Fights Against Weight Loss]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 16:17:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DannyCahill-138373183.jpg

Your body doesn't want you to lose all that weight. 

A study that followed 14 of the 16 contestants from Season 8 of "The Biggest Loser" six years after the season ended has detailed just how the body fights against efforts to keep off the pounds. 

"The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can't get away from a basic biological reality," Michael Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher, explained to The New York Times. "As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try and get you back."

The study, published by the medical research journal "Obesity," focused on resting metabolic rate (RMR), which slows with weight loss, and whether or not slowing of RMR persisted over long periods of time.

The study hypothesized that the degree of that metabolic adaptation would be correlated with weight gain. Virtually all of the contestants put significant weight back on in the last six years, but the troubling part for the researchers was that their RMR remained quite low, not returning to their pre-"Biggest Loser" levels.

Danny Cahill, who won Season 8, dropped from 430 pounds down to 191 pounds during the show. He is now back up to 295. But his metabolism now burns 800 fewer calories per day than would be typical for a man of his size, making it more difficult to maintain or reduce weight.

Dina Mercado had a similar experience. She was 248 pounds before "The Biggest Loser" and 173.5 pounds at the finale. She is now back up to 205, but is, like Cahill, burning calories at a reduced rate relative to her size. She should be able to metabolize an additional 437.9 per day.

The study concluded that "long term weight loss requires vigilant combat against persistent metabolic adaptation that acts to proportionally counter ongoing efforts to reduce body weight."

Photo Credit: NBC via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zika Birth Defects May Be 'Tip of the Iceberg': Experts]]> Mon, 02 May 2016 06:20:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_670850476149-zika.jpg

The explosion of cases of birth defects caused by Zika virus may be the "tip of the iceberg," experts said Sunday.

Many cases have probably been missed because babies looked normal when they were born, NBC News reported. But hidden birth defects are almost certain to turn up as the babies grow.

"The microcephaly and other birth defects we have been seeing could be the tip of the iceberg," Dr. Sonja Rasmussen of the CDC said at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore. Brazil has confirmed 2,844 cases of Zika in pregnant women.

But there is some good news coming out of the early observations of the yearlong epidemic in Brazil: Children are rarely infected with Zika.

Photo Credit: AP, file]]>
<![CDATA[A Look at How the Zika Virus Can Kill You]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:34:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/virus+zika+puerto+rico.jpg

The Zika virus is not usually thought of as a life-threatening virus, but it did kill a man in Puerto Rico. The man, in his 70s, is the first reported U.S. death from the virus, which is spreading across the Americas, according to NBC News. 

Zika can lead to complications like immune thrombocytopenic purpura, as in the case of the man in Puerto Rico. In cases like these, patients can suffer internal bleeding. 

The virus can also cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, severe birth defects and other dangerous nerve conditions in adults. 

There is no specific treatment for Zika infection, and there’s no known way to reverse damage done to a developing baby. A vaccine is in the works, but would be years away from the market.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Approves First Commercial Zika Virus Test]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:38:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ZikaBloodTest-GettyImages-508017592.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first commercial U.S. test Thursday to diagnose the Zika virus, NBC News reported.

Quest Diagnostics will use the same method that government labs use to look for Zika virus in a patient's blood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing pregnant women with Zika symptoms, those who have traveled to areas where Zika is spreading while they are pregnant and women who have had sex with someone who has Zika.

Doctors can now order the test through Quest, which says it can get results in three to five days. Until now, patients who wanted the test had to go through their state or local health departments.  

A spokeswoman for Quest said most patients with a health plan may receive some coverage benefits. Uninsured patients can expect to pay $120 for the test, she said. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Battling Cancer Prepares For 'Wish' to be Answered]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 15:12:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tanya+Norris.jpg

Tanya Norris is in the battle of her life. The 44-year-old mother is fighting glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

"I'm just hoping that something will work, something will buy me a little time," Norris said. "So every day is a gift no matter what."

And a gift is what a Flower Mound-based foundation is hoping to give Norris and her family. 

Ally's Wish, an organization founded by four friends, aims to help young mothers facing terminal illnesses by granting them a wish. The goal is to help make a memory that will last a lifetime.

"We are all moms ourselves so we just want to help them create those memories with the kiddos, because for us that's what we decided we would want if we were put in this position as mom," said Missy Phipps, founder of Ally's Wish.

Norris hopes to take her daughter, Paige, to visit Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry.

"I just I know how much Paige loves music and I just thought that was at the top of my list," Norris said.

Ally's Wish is working on her plan now and hopes to have it finalized for a trip in June. 

"I'm excited about it, I think she'll really love it," Norris said. 

In two years, Ally's Wish has granted 18 wishes, and currently has requests for 9 others excluding Norris'. 

Ally's Wish funds 'wishes' through charitable donations, and is holding a gala to raise funds Saturday at Gilley's starting at 7 p.m.

More information, along with tickets, can be found on the Ally's Wish website.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Treating Liver Cancer with Tiny Beads]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:37:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Liver+cancer+treatment.jpg

Treating cancer that either began in the liver or has spread to the liver often involves months of chemotherapy and painful radiation treatments.

Now, a new procedure, one using tiny beads that carry a high dose of radiation directly to the cancer cells, may put an end to older, more painful treatment methods.

When Richard Dowling was diagnosed with liver cancer at 76, he figured doctors would focus more on his comfort than a cure.

“You don’t have much of a choice. Either you accept it or you don’t,” said Dowling.

Instead, his doctors recommended a new form of treatment that uses tiny beads, called microspheres, to deliver a powerful punch of radiation known as Y-90.

Dr. Charles Gilliland, director of interventional radiology at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital said, "It allows us to have a vehicle to deliver high dose radiation to a cancer inside the liver, without having the radiation go elsewhere in your body."

Gilliland said a catheter is inserted through a tiny incision in the groin and threaded through the arteries to a blood vessel in the liver.

"The more blood flow the tumor gets, the more beads with radioactive particles get deposited into the tumor," explained.

Dowling’s wife, Adrienne, said, "It gave him an extension on life and that’s really important and it’s critical."

It’s a one day, non-surgical procedure. In Dowling’s case the microspheres killed his liver cancer completely, but that’s actually not typical.

“Most of the time the tumor still wins. Most of the time it’s not a curative treatment, it’s an opportunity to give patients additional time,” Gilliland detailed.

Right after the procedure patients are told to stay three feet away from people and pets for three days as a precaution for the radiation in their body.

The only side effect is fatigue and a mild burning that goes away after a week.

<![CDATA[Teen Birth Rates Drop Among Blacks, Hispanics: CDC]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:55:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TeenPregnancyGettyImages-459016410.jpg

Birth rates among black and Hispanic teenagers have fallen dramatically over the past decade, but they’re still more likely to have babies compared to their white peers, according to a new report, NBC News reports. 

The birth rate among teens aged 15 to 19 dropped 61 percent, from 61.8 to 24.2 births per 1,000, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. 

The national teen birth rate declined 41 percent between 2006 to 2014 — and dropped by 51 percent among Hispanics, 44 percent among blacks and 35 percent among whites. But the rate remained about twice as high for Hispanic or black teens, when compared to white teens. The CDC said high unemployment rates, parents who have less education and high poverty levels are the reasons for the gap.

The CDC says most teens do not use effective methods of birth control. Many other researchers have shown that abstinence-only education does not reduce teen pregnancy rates.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cheaper & Designer Sunglasses Give Full UV Protection]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:07:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sunglasses-GettyImages-106750577.jpg

Cheap sunglasses and expensive designer eyewear deliver the same amount of UV protection, according to an investigation conducted by the “Today” show.

University of California, Berkeley optometrist Dr. Dennis Fong examined an assortment of cheaper and expensive sunglasses. His sensor found that both sets delivered full UV protection. 

"Bottom line is, at any price point you can get 100 percent UV protection," Fong said. 

The takeaway: Your eyes will be fully protected no matter what the price tag on your sunglasses says. Just look for the sticker that says “100 percent UV protection” or “UV 400.”

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Zika Was in Haiti Before Brazil: Study ]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 18:45:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ZikaMosquitoAP_791168702393.jpg

A new study shows the Zika virus was circulating in Haiti in 2014, long before it became obvious that it was spreading in Brazil, NBC News reported. 

The team checked out three mysterious infections in Haiti caused by the Zika virus. Their study raises questions about when and how Zika arrived in the Americas.

"We know that the virus was present in Haiti in December of 2014," said Dr. Glenn Morris, a professor of medicine and the director of the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute. "And, based on molecular studies, it may have been present in Haiti even before that date." 

Earlier this year, international experts used a "genetic clock" to show the Zika virus has changed. And it very closely matches a strain that circulated in French Polynesia in 2013. What's not clear is why it's now being seen to cause disease. Tests show it has mutated, but it's not yet clear if the mutations somehow make it more virulent.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens of H.S. Baseball Players Sidelined By Flu]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:51:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Centennial+High+School+baseball.jpg

Dozens of players from Wylie, Forney, Frisco Wakeland and Centennial high schools have been sidelined by the flu.

The Dallas Morning News reports Forney had six players out during a 10-day span. Frisco Wakeland had three starters out in its last game last week, and Wylie had a game with three players out.

At Frisco Centennial, baseball head coach Dan Walsh said 25 out of 54 players, from the varsity program down to the freshmen team, had the flu.

"It's something I've never seen as a player or as a coach," Walsh said. "To have so many players go down with the flu was just incredible."

As a precaution, a cleaning crew disinfected the team's locker room, Walsh said.

"We had them clear out their lockers, bring all of their stuff home and wash it individually," Walsh said. "They share water bottles. We cut that out for the week and we made sure to replace all of the old water bottles."

Although flu season is supposed to be winding down, doctors at Care Now, an urgent care clinic with 26 North Texas locations, are treating between 30 to 70 patients a day with flu-like symptoms.

"It's not unusual when you have kids work together, especially when they are athletes. It is very easy for them to give each other the flu," said Dr. Shawn Riley. "For kids, they're still not washing their hands when they need to. They share drinks and they don't cover their mouth when they cough."

Centennial High School will have a full roster available Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[US Health Care Costs All Over the Map: Study]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 17:23:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dfw-generic-health-1200-01.jpg

Health care prices vary in different parts of the U.S., according to a new study that digs into the pattern of costs around the country, NBC News reported.

The report from the Health Care Cost Institute finds prices for the same procedures vary even within the same state. 

Some differences make sense: Prices in Alaska are high because medical costs there are 2.6 times the national average. But other differences are hard to explain — a knee surgery in New Jersey costs $24,000, while the same procedure in Oregon can cost $43,000.

Unlike others, this report looked at the price people paid with private health insurance. Most Americans — more than 60 percent — are covered by private health insurance, usually through their employer, while 32 percent have government health insurance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Distracted Driving Program Aimed to Scare Teens Straight]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:41:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/hospital+room+plano.jpg

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is launching a new program aimed at allowing teenagers to experience the aftermath of a vehicle accident caused by distracted driving.

The Reality Education Driving program is a one-day hospital-based injury prevention program.

The program takes teenagers step-by-step through the grave consequences of distracted driving, similar to a scared-straight type program.

Parents can sign up their children for the two-and-a-half-hour experience and tour through the trauma center.

The hospital tour follows a trauma patient journey, going from the helipad with CareFlite to the emergency department, the laboratory and the chapel. Time is also spent with the physical medicine department and ends with a trip to the morgue.

"They don't necessarily understand the implications of one decision to text, one decision to reach down and turn the radio up, one decision to look the other way for a long time. Even eating while driving is a distraction, and they don't necessarily comprehend the full impact that that can affect," said Mickie Watson, trauma program manager at Texas Health Presbyterian Plano.

Carson Bolding, 17, volunteered for the program to allow NBC 5 to film the experience.

"It feels like it could happen to anyone once you've gone through it and see what happens," Bolding said. "I'm going to be much more careful and much more aware of what I'm doing because I would not want to be in the situation in real life, like actually have this happen."

The RED program serves as an educational sentencing alternative for juveniles, ages 14-20, identified through the court system.

These teenagers have exhibited risky traffic behavior, endangering themselves or others – such as speeding, non-use of seat belts, minors in possession/consumption of alcohol or driving while intoxicated – and referred to the program by the judge hearing their case.

More: RED Program Calendar RED Program Info

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Some Hispanic Children Less Likely to Develop Some Cancers]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:42:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/TLMD-CANCER-RAYOS-X.jpg A new study finds children with Hispanic mothers born outside the United States are less likely to develop certain types of cancers.

Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas County Prepares For Zika Virus]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:01:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zika+Virus3.jpg

During a briefing Monday, Dallas County public health officials updated their plans for the arrival of the Zika virus.

To date, six human cases have the virus have been reported in Dallas County.

Five of the cases involve people who traveled to countries affected by Zika.

The sixth person received the illness from a sexual partner.

The Dallas County Public Health Lab is responsible for 12 counties and has completed more than 200 specimen analysis, including several which have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control.

Several pregnant women have been tested for the possibility of Zika, but health officials declined to elaborate.

"Mosquito season hasn't officially started and if we've already processed over 200 specimens in our lab, that number could just continue to grow and quite frankly be outragous," says Erikka Neroes, public information officer for Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Symptoms related to Zika are rarely severe, but researchers have found a link between Zika and serious birth defects, including microcephaly.

The county will use mosquito traps designed to catch the aedes aegypti mosquito, which are the ones that carry Zika.

"Those mosquitoes can be very aggressive and they can bite multiple times, so they'll take a blood meals from possibly multiple hosts which can spread the disease really fast," says Spencer Lockwood of Dallas County Mosquito Control.

Residents in targeted neighborhoods, including those with a high population of people who travel to the Caribbean, Central and South Americas, have received door hangers reminding them of personal protection against mosquito bites.

Officials urge everyone to use mosquito repellent and dunks.

"Even if we don't have Zika, we still have West Nile virus, so you still to constantly be aware of mosquitoes and trying to prevent them," says Lockwood.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Subconcussive Football Impacts Can Cause Changes in the Brain]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:20:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brain+scans1.jpg

A recent study done in part by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center shows repeated impacts to the heads of high school football players can cause measurable changes in the brain, even if there was no concussion.

UTSW released the findings Monday, citing research from UT Southwestern Medical Center's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Researchers in the study followed about two dozen players who wore specially-outfitted helmets that collected data during practices and games. Each participating player had an MRI and participated in cognitive testing, which included memory and reaction time tests, both before and after the season began. Measurable changes in cellular microstructure in the brains of the players were charted before, during, and after the season.

"Our findings add to a growing body of literature demonstrating that a single season of contact sports can result in brain changes regardless of clinical findings or concussion diagnosis," said senior author Dr. Joseph Maldjian, Chief of the Neuroradiology Division and Director of the Advanced Neuroscience Imaging Research Lab, part of the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern.

The sample size of players was not large enough to draw any conclusions about the differences in the positions of the players on the field and "additional studies will be needed to determine what the deviations mean clinically for individuals," UTSW said.

"Studies like this are important to understand how and where long-term damage might be occurring, so that we can then take the necessary steps to prevent it," said first author Dr. Elizabeth Davenport, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Radiology and the Advanced Imaging Research Center at UT Southwestern.

In the news release, UTSW said "the findings contribute to a growing body of knowledge and study about concussions and other types of brain injury by researchers with the Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Among them:

  • In the first study of its kind, former National Football League (NFL) players who lost consciousness due to concussion during their playing days showed key differences in brain structure later in life. The hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, was found to be smaller in 28 former NFL players as compared with a control group of men of similar age and education.
  • A study examining the neuropsychological status of former National Football League players found that cognitive deficits and depression are more common among retired players than in the general population.
  • CON-TEX includes one of the nation's first registries of concussion patients ages 5 and older to capture comprehensive, longitudinal data on sports-related concussion and mild traumatic brain injury patients.
  • The Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair (TIBIR), a state-funded initiative to promote innovative research and education in traumatic brain injury, includes a comprehensive Concussion Network that delivers expert brain injury education to coaches, school nurses, athletic trainers, and parents about the risks of sports-related injuries.

The study will appear in the Journal of Neurotrauma and was conducted by a team of investigators at UT Southwestern, Wake Forest University Medical Center and Children's National Medical Center.

<![CDATA[More Kids Harmed by Ingesting Laundry Pods: Study]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:30:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453144893.jpg

Despite warnings about the dangers laundry detergent pods pose to children, calls to poison control centers continue to rise, NBC's "Today" show reported, citing a new study published Monday.

The study in Pediatrics shows a 20 percent increase in reports of children younger than 6 putting the brightly colored packets into their mouths, with serious and sometimes even fatal consequences.

Researchers analyzed data from 62,254 calls made in 2013 and 2014 to U.S. poison control centers. Calls increased for all types of detergent exposure, but the greatest jump was in the number of incidents involving highly concentrated laundry pods, followed by dishwasher detergent packets.

Study coauthor Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and his colleagues strongly recommend that parents not use laundry detergent packets if there are young children at home.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[ Young Texans Race For Pediatric Cancer Patients]]> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 16:41:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cancer_camp_cropped.jpg

An upcoming race through Dallas will benefit a summer camp for kids battling cancer.

The Young Texans RACE Against Cancer is happening Saturday May 7 in Dallas’ Trinity Groves.

All proceeds from the race benefit Camp iHope, a summer camp serving pediatric cancer patients from Medical City Children’s Hospital. The camp offers children battling cancer a traditional summer camp experience while still providing access to crucial medical care.

The 5K, 10K and kids fun run includes certified courses with chip timing. Every participant receives a technical t-shirt and the first 500 registered receive a finisher medal.

After the race, participants and families can enjoy a kids fun zone sponsored by Medical City and a beer garden sponsored by Four Corners Brewery.

Viewers who use discount NBC5 will receive a reduced registration fee.

To register, visit ytrac.org.

<![CDATA[Medical Marijuana Users Protest CBD-Only Laws ]]> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 04:41:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MedicalMarijuana-AP_613601499642.jpg

Many people who would benefit from the legalization of medical marijuana are beginning to rise up to protest the new laws, NBC News reports. 

They say “CBD-only” laws allow residents with specified conditions to legally use products derived from marijuana that contain cannabidiol (CBD), with low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces marijuana's "high." 

The law allows patients to orally ingest an oil derived from marijuana or hemp. But for patients who require whole-plant medical marijuana say they’re being forced to commit criminal acts to get relief for themselves or their loved ones. 

Seventeen Midwestern and Southern states started passing the laws two years ago. But some say they only help a small group of patients, and that the laws force residents to commit criminal acts to get relief for themselves or their loved ones.

"We're not lawbreakers and this shouldn't even be an issue," said Jennifer Conforti of Fayetteville, Georgia, who gives her 5-year-old autistic daughter, Abby, marijuana-derived oil with higher-than-allowed levels of THC to control dangerous biting episodes. "It should be a medicine that doctors go to when they need it."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Vision Problems Related To Device Use, Says Study]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:51:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/phone+screen+generic.jpg

Could your computer be making you blind?

A new study found a decline in vision in people who stare at some type of computer screen for several hours a day.

The Vision Council presented the study and found 60 percent of people use digital devices for five or more hours a day and 70 percent of Americans use two or more devices at a time.

It's leading to blurred vision, dry eyes, eye strain and long-term issues like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

When it comes to children and teens, the study found 65 percent spend two or more hours per day on a digital device, yet 77 percent of parents report being somewhat or very concerned about the impact of devices on children's eyes.

"We are noticing those children, younger patients, now are having problems their vision, having problems with their dry eyes, having problems with their macular. Not only the adults working on the computer but the fear factor is children are having problems. That never happened before," said Dr. Albert Pang, optometrist at Trinity Eye Care in Plano.

Read the entire study from The Vision Council here.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[UTA Student Humanizes Autism]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 15:19:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/david-dunn-uta-student.jpg

David Dunn was 12 when he went through what he calls the lonliest period of his life.

"I have Asperger's Syndrome. It's considered a form of high-functioning autism. It's on the autism spectrum. I've known I had it since I was 12. And for the longest time, I struggled with having it," he told NBC 5."It affected me in a really, really detrimental way."

Years later, he's coming to terms with the condition he now sees as less of a disorder and more of just who he is.

"On the one hand, you have this tunnel vision where you hyper-focus toward the subject you find interesting. It's made me mildly successful in my endeavors, and I'm appreciative of it, but reading social cues, maintaining relationships, making friendships, being introduced to new people, it's always gonna be a challenge," he said.

Dunn is a senior at UT Arlington where is he studying broadcast communications. He wants to go into film criticism or editorial writing when he graduates in May.

A column in the Dallas Morning News in March showed his ability to express himself and humanize a disorder he thinks is laughed at too often.

"I’m lucky because I’m considered high functioning. I tell people, 'I have Asperger's. And they’re like, 'Really? I had no idea you had that?' And they’re shocked. People who are on the middle ground of the autism spectrum, where it’s visible, they don’t have a choice in hiding their condition, so why should I?" he said.

David expects autism to slow him down at some point.

"Some days it is gonna stop me," he said.

Yet he's determined to, "keep moving forward. That’s the only thing you can do. It’s the instilled human spirit in everyone. If you want to live your fullest potential, you have to do that regardless if you have Asperger’s or something else you’re fighting in your life."

His words of wisdom go on: "But everyone’s dealing with something. You have to push through it. If not for yourself, then for the person next to you."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[More Mothers Using Laughing Gas in the Labor Room]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:00:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/laughing+gas+machine.jpg

For a first-time mother, preparing for labor and delivery can be nerve-wracking, especially for moms-to-be who plan to give birth naturally.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is offering a new option that can ease labor pains but still provide a natural birth.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is now being used in labor rooms.

It's been a popular option in the mothers in Europe and now it's making a resurgence here in the United States.

Brittany Gray recently used it for her all-natural birth.

"I was coherent the whole time. It was amazing for me as a first-time mom to be able to use that and not have to be pumped up with all the chemicals and things," said Gray.

"It's a great option for women who don't want to have pain medication in labor but need a little something to help them get through the rough spots in labor," said Laurie Jones, nurse manager at the Labor Delivery department at Texas Health Fort Worth.

The half nitrous oxide, half oxygen mixture targets pain more on a mental level, than physical, relaxing moms and easing anxiety.

"It doesn't really take the pain away from her as much as she doesn't care as much about the pain," said Jones.

It's odorless and colorless and wears off in two to four breaths.

It's there when laboring moms need it.

"They can actually get out of bed, they can sit on the birthing balls, they can ambulate around the room and use it off-and-on as needed to cope with labor," said Gray.

She adds patients who have Vitamin B deficiencies, which can be common among strict vegans, would not be good candidates for nitrous oxide.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Irregular Periods May Raise Ovarian Cancer Risk: Study]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 11:59:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ovarian+Cancer1.jpg

Women who had irregular periods in their 20s were more likely to develop ovarian cancer decades later, according to a new study, NBC News reported.

Researchers reported in the International Journal of Cancer that women who had irregular periods at age 26 had double the risk of ovarian cancer by age 70 and triple the risk by age 77.

But researchers point out that it doesn't mean that every woman who has irregular periods is doomed to develop ovarian cancer. Of the 15,000 who participated in the study, over the next 50 years, only 116 developed ovarian cancer.

What the findings can do is offer new avenues for research into what causes ovarian cancer, a highly deadly form of cancer because most women don't even know they have it until it's spread.

Photo Credit: Ohio State University / MediaSource]]>
<![CDATA[Divine Surprise in Indiana Woman's Ultrasound]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:20:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Holy-Ultrasound.jpg

An Indiana woman was in for a divine surprise during a recent prenatal checkup.

The ultrasound picture appears to show more than just Aley Meyer's baby boy, she says it shows the image of Jesus on the cross.

Meyer says she didn't even notice until someone pointed it out to her about a week later.

"She was like, 'do you see this?' And I was like, 'see what?' And she pointed to it and she's like 'it looks like Jesus hanging on the cross.' And so we took a picture of it and blew it up on my phone to get a closer look and it is so much detail. You can see the hair and his legs crossed at the bottom and everything," she said.

In just a few hours the picture spread like wildfire on social media and went viral on Facebook.

"Everybody's just shocked," Meyer said. "Everybody's like 'I have to see that, I have to see that,' so I was having to drive this thing all over town, to show like my grandparents who don't have Facebook and things like that."

While Meyer is getting a kick out of the interest in the ultrasound picture, she also likes to think the image is a subtle message from above.

Meyers' grandmother bought her a crucifix which she plans to hang in the nursery for Baby Easton due in June.

<![CDATA[Weatherford Nursing Home's Alzheimer's Simulator]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:24:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Alzheimers+Simulator.jpg Peach Tree Place in Weatherford specializes in Alzheimer's care and hosted an exercise showing care givers what it's like to live with the disease.]]> <![CDATA[Researchers Use 3D Printer to Make Heart]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:59:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_heartvalve0419_1920x1080.jpg Researchers use a 3D printer to make an exact model of a patient's heart prior to a complicated surgery. KARE's Janel Klein reports.]]> <![CDATA[Cancer Support Community Honors Dewberry]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:53:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Deanna+Dewberry+Thrive.jpg

Our NBC5 Responds leader Deanna Dewberry was honored at a luncheon today for her work in cancer patient advocacy. Cancer Support Community of North Texas gave her the Thrive Award and named a scholarship in her honor.

"The ability to bring free cancer support to all those impacted by cancer has really been affected by her contributions to this community and the way that she leads her life, so she's wonderful." said Cancer Support Community CEO Mirchelle Louis.

The scholarship named in Dewberry’s honor will help CSC North Texas to provide free services to cancer patients, their families, and friends.

"When we are facing the toughest of times, when we are facing cancer, we have a friend in the fight," said Dewberry when accepting the award. "That's what Cancer Support Community is. It is that friend in the fight, that angel in the foxhole,that ram in the bush, that source of solace when you believed there was none. That’s why I love this organization."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Risks Of Elizabethkingia Bacteria In North Texas]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 18:24:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Elizabethkingia+petri+dish.jpg

State health officials are investigating the outbreak of a bacterial bloodstream infection in the Midwest that may be a factor in 20 deaths.

The outbreak of Elizabethkingia first appeared in Wisconsin and has now popped up in two nearby states, officials say.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that a patient there died of an infection with the bacteria Elizabethkingia anophelis – the same bacteria that has infected 59 people in Wisconsin and one person in Michigan.

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, chills or a bacterial skin infection, health officials said.

"The organism is a very rare one. It hadn't been aggressive before. It's found usually in nature, in water reservoirs, both outside in nature and inside in hospitals, in pools, in things like that, and it has not ever caused an outbreak to the degree we're seeing now," said Edward A. Dominguez, medical director of organ transplant and infectious disease at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

"I don't think North Texans should be worried. This bacteria exists in all 50 states, but we don't know why this particular strain in two Midwestern states is more aggressive," Dominguez said. "My concern would be if someone who lives here travels to the infected area, then returns, has a medical episode and ends up in a local hospital here and transmits it to others."

"At this point, we don't know enough about the epidemiology of this strain about why it's causing death, but we may start to see more microbiology labs studying it. Still, we need to remain vigilant and be prepared," Dominguez added.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Hail 'Revolutionary' Stroke Treatment]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 18:26:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_strokes0419_1920x1080.jpg A new study finds more than 90 percent of patients who are able to undergo stent retrieval within two and a half hours of an acute ischemic stroke have minimal to no lasting disability.]]> <![CDATA[Dallas Scientists Make Gains in Autism Research ]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 10:49:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dr-craig-powell-utsw.jpg

North Texas is at the forefront of research into the causes of autism, potential treatments for it and caring for patients diagnosed with the disorder.

Much of the work happens at the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, a joint program between UT Southwestern Medical Center, Children's Health and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UT Dallas.

"This is indeed the feather in our cap," said Gregg Shields, a spokesman for UT Southwestern. "CADD combines multidisciplinary clinical diagnosis and care for autism in the same space as clinical research on autism and developmental disabilities. In addition to this clinical and clinical research endeavor, there are multiple laboratory research investigators working to identify novel treatments for autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities."

 "The idea is to understand what's going on in the brains of people with autism," said Craig Powell, M.D., Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. of Neurology at UT Southwestern. "We're going after funding to do a much bigger study, sort of like the Dallas autism study where every patient who comes through the center has the opportunity to participate in research, not research like an experimental drug -- but getting a sense of best outcomes."

Powell and the team are preparing to launch a clinical trial of an FDA-approved drug they believe could help patients with autism. The groundwork for the study was laid a decade ago when the Dallas scientists created the first mouse model of autism.

"We knew there was a strong genetic component to autism," said Powell. "Not the genetic component you think of where the mother has autism, and the father has autism, and it's passed down, but what we call de novo mutations, mutations that happen in the egg or sperm cells before the child is conceived."

The research proved "that there are probably a 1,000 different genetic mutations that cause autism. Each of them are rare; some of them less rare than others," said Powell.

In the mouse model, the scientists have gone from treating the symptoms to clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health for a specific rare, genetic cause of autism.

"This clinical trial is set to start in the next couple of years by a rare disease clincial research network funded by NIH," explained Powell. "And it's basically to put an FDA drug and use it for patients, not all patients with autism, but only those with the subset of autism caused this particular genetic mutation."

Which means it's not a one-size fits all treatment for a developmental disorder that affects 1 in 68 children.

"And we think by studying the mouse models of those specific genetic mutations, we can find treatments targets that are novel. And, we can move  those treatment targets from mouse models into patients. And, we are starting to do that now, "said Powell.

"We think this drug may be useful for 2, or 3, or 4, or 5 types of autism, but not for everyone with autism. so we believe in personalized medicine approaches; personalized, precision medicine we call it."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[CAD/CAM Uses Computer to Make New Teeth]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 22:53:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cad+cam+teeth.jpg

The stuff of science fiction is showing up in dental offices. Dentists and prosthodontists are using computers to make teeth, implants and dentures.

It's a process called computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, or CAD/CAM.

Irene Hasal has been through the wringer with her teeth. She had many procedures to fix problems and finally got implants. Within a month, her teeth were breaking.

Then, Dr. Mamaly Reshad, a prosthodontist at the Anacapa Dental Art Institute, told her about CAD/CAM. A computer scans the patient's mouth to make a custom image of what's needed.

"We put it inside the computer like a cartoon – an avatar – and from there, we create a tooth, a virtual tooth. The virtual tooth becomes a real tooth through a manufacturing process," Reshad said.

A computer-aided milling machine makes teeth out of a block of ceramic or composite resin.

Reshad used CAD/CAM for Hasal's whole procedure. It helped him to find the best placement for her implants and to make a prosthesis.

Hasal's case was complicated and took almost a year. But CAD/CAM can do one to two teeth in a morning.

"Now, because it's going through this avatar, the computer, it can be done almost instantaneously – the same day. At least within two hours," Reshad explained.

The result brought a perfect smile to Hasal's face.

"I can do anything I want now. They fit great, they're beautiful and my face is the proper shape. So I couldn't be happier," she said.

The CAD/CAM process takes much less time than a conventional procedure, which can take weeks. Reshad said on average, it costs about 30 percent less as well. But the procedure is not typically covered by insurance.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Texas is One Step Closer to Concussion Tracking System]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 18:30:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/basketballstudents.jpg

Texas may be one step closer to a statewide system to track concussions in school sports.

Sunday the University Interscholastic League voted to move forward in creating a concussion database that would track the number of concussions happening in school sports in Texas.

For months we know the UIL has help a number of meetings with medical experts at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to come up with a solution to better track how often concussions are happening.

Last fall, NBC 5 Investigates revealed records showing more than 2,5090 concussions in North Texas high school and junior high school sports during the 2014-2015 school year. The records came from 41 North Texas school districts.

Currently, the UIL doesn't collect data from all sports or even all schools. The UIL only collects a sample from some high school football teams.

The state is looking at a new program at UT Southwestern that's tracking concussions in kids and could be used to count how often it's happening in high schools across the state.

"There's so much we don't know, but it has to start with good data collection to find out what is the frequency, how often is this injury happening," said Dr. Munro Cullum a clinical neuropsychologist at UT Southwestern.

The proposed database would collect information on students required to go through the return-to-play protocol.

The UIL has another meeting in June.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>