Following is the November 2014 tip sheet of story ideas from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Family's Battle With Cancer Draws Nurse Into Run for Her
Brenda Durand, RN, followed in the footsteps of her mother, Bonnie, and became a nurse. But the two women had more in common than their careers. In 2004, Bonnie was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Two years later, Brenda's sister learned she had breast cancer, prompting the mother and her two daughters to undergo genetic testing. The results came back: All three women carried the BRCA 1 mutation, putting them at greater risk for breast and ovarian cancer. For the next six years, Brenda and her mom worked to raise funds for ovarian cancer research, with Brenda participating in Cedars-Sinai's annual Run for Her 5K Run and Friendship Walk. In 2012, Bonnie lost her life to ovarian cancer. But the loss of her mother has strengthened Brenda's resolve to fight harder against ovarian cancer, and on Nov. 9, she participated in the 10th annual Run for Her. She is available for interviews.
Lou Gehrig's Disease Study: Renewing Brain's Aging Support Cells May Help Neurons Survive
Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells - motor neurons - in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, leading to progressive weakness and eventual paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Patients typically survive only three to five years after diagnosis. Now, with publication of a study by investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, ALS researchers know the effects of the attack are worsened, at least in part, by the aging and failure of support cells called astrocytes, which normally provide nutrients, housekeeping, structure and other forms of assistance for neurons.
Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy May Heal Heart Damage Caused by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found that injections of cardiac stem cells might help reverse heart damage caused by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, potentially resulting in a longer life expectancy for patients with the chronic muscle-wasting disease.
Cedars-Sinai Study of Lou Gehrig's Disease Shifts 'Origin' Focus to Brain's Motor Neurons
Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, might damage muscle-controlling nerve cells in the brain earlier in the disease process than previously known, according to research from the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute. The findings could shift researchers' attention from the spinal cord to the brain's motor cortex as the disease's initial point of dysfunction.
New Alzheimer's Program to Focus on Prevention, Intervention, Research and Support
Seeking to stem the rapid increase of Alzheimer's disease, Cedars-Sinai has launched a new Alzheimer's Prevention Program to help identify patients at risk of developing the neurological disorder and to reduce the impact on those diagnosed with the slow-moving condition. The program represents a concerted effort by clinicians, researchers, patients, families, caregivers and community agencies to address an approaching "tsunami" of Alzheimer's care. Medical authorities expect the number of cases nationally to triple by 2050, inundating the healthcare system with patients and costing more than $1 trillion.
Sister to Sister®, Nation's First Organization Dedicated to Women's Heart Health, Donates Educational Content, Intellectual Property to Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
After 15 years of educating women about heart disease and providing more than 100,000 free cardiovascular screenings, Sister to Sister: The Women's Heart Health Foundation founded by Irene Pollin, MSW, announced today that the organization will cease operations on Dec. 31. Pollin also announced that the pioneering organization is donating its educational content and intellectual property to the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center