Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia

A new Mayo Clinic study in JAMA Neurology has some answers for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The population-based study found that patients with these diseases died about two years earlier than the general population. The highest risk of death was seen among patients with multiple system atrophy with parkinsonism at six years earlier. This high-risk group was followed by patients with Lewy body dementia, four years earlier; Parkinson disease dementia, 3½ years earlier; and Parkinson disease, one year earlier. “As doctors, we want to be able to counsel our patients appropriately when they ask, ‘What will happen to me?’” says Rodolfo Savica, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and a neurologist at Mayo Clinic. “Understanding long-term outcomes can help clinicians better inform patients and their caregivers about what to expect.”
Media Contact: Susan Barber Lindquist, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

A new resource that could change community and public health: Rochester Epidemiology Project’s Data Exploration Portal
The Rochester Epidemiology Project’s new Data Exploration Portal places regional disease prevalence and comparison data at the fingertips of health care providers, patients and community members, and health care researchers. It pulls from the database that includes nearly all health information for Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents back more than 50 years. Medical records from a large contingent of the residents of 26 surrounding counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin also are in the database, and now dental records are also included, and the first dental findings have been published.
Media Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann Young, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Skin cancer on the rise
New diagnoses for two types of skin cancer increased in recent years, according to a Mayo Clinic-led team of researchers. Their paper, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, uses medical records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project to compare diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — both nonmelanoma skin cancers — between 2000 and 2010 to diagnoses in prior years. The Rochester Epidemiology Project is a medical records linkage system and research collaborative in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Media Contact: Elizabeth Zimmermann Young, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

New study identifies way to treat sports-related concussions using telemedicine
Summer sport camps start soon. Neurologist Amaal Starling, M.D., can discuss closing the gap in providing medical care to athletes of all experience levels. She worked on a recently published study that used telemedicine technology (yes, robots) on the sidelines of Northern Arizona University football games to determine if a player needs to leave the game in real time. Additional information here.
Media Contact: Jim McVeigh, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 480-301-4368, [email protected]

Brain MRE with slip face imaging
New imaging technology invented and used only at Mayo Clinic offers an individualized approach to removing brain tumors while reducing the risks and potential for complications of surgery. Brain magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a new imaging capability that lets neurosurgeons see inside a patient’s head to measure a tumor’s firmness and the degree to which it is attached to normal brain tissue — without cutting into a patient’s skull. With this imaging, physicians can better plan and prepare for the surgery using the least invasive method that carries the lowest risk and potentially the best outcome for the patient. One of the most important benefits of the brain MRE technology is that it helps surgeons avoid unexpected complications that require follow up surgery. Prior to this imaging technology, it was not unusual to need more than one surgery to remove a brain tumor — regardless of whether it was a cancerous or noncancerous lesion. With this new brain MRE and slip interface imaging, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon was able to remove a hard, complex brain tumor through a patient’s nose. Prior to surgery, the patient was in constant pain, was going blind and thought she might die. Yet at age 73, (74 now), she was able to get through the surgery without complications and recover to the point of being able to travel and get back to hobby of making bead jewelry.
Media Contact: Susan Buckles, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Mayo Clinic’s new carillonneur looks to the future while honoring the past
Just the fourth person at Mayo to have the title carillonneur, 24-year-old Austin Ferguson is devoted to the history and future of this iconic instrument. Minnesota native and Nobel laureate Bob Dylan received a host of tributes on his 76th birthday this past Wednesday. One of the most unique, we're guessing, rang out from the top of the Plummer Building on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester. That's where Austin Ferguson marked the day by performing a selection of Dylan songs on Mayo's 56-bell carillon. (“Hurricane,” “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Make You Feel My Love,” in case you missed the show.) Ferguson, who became just the fourth carillonneur in Mayo Clinic history when he took over for Jeff Daehn in February, tells us he tries “to stay conscious of what's going on" when he decides what to play each day.
Media Contact: Kelly Reller, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]


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