Vital Record http://news.tamhsc.edu Your source for health news from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Tue, 25 Nov 2014 22:52:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Taking an active role in your health: How to communicate with your health care provider http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=taking-an-active-role-in-your-health-how-to-communicate-with-your-health-care-provider http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=taking-an-active-role-in-your-health-how-to-communicate-with-your-health-care-provider#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:47:01 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22068 With any relationship, communication is key—and the relationship with your health care provider is no exception to this golden rule. Understanding and becoming involved with your own health and treatment plan starts with talking to your health care provider. There are several helpful tips you can use to become more involved with your overall health]]>
Physician communicating with patient with the help of a tablet.

Asking questions is the first step towards taking a more active role in your treatment and health.

With any relationship, communication is key—and the relationship with your health care provider is no exception to this golden rule. Understanding and becoming involved with your own health and treatment plan starts with talking to your health care provider.

“Recently, there has been more emphasis placed on collaboration between patients and their health care providers,” said Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., regents and distinguished professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, who researches patient-provider interactions and their impact on health outcomes.

But maybe you’re unsure how to open that channel of communication with your primary care physician at your next appointment. To help you understand where to start, Ory offers several helpful tips you can use to become more involved with your overall health:

Make a list

“People often make an appointment when they are worried about something. By making a list of concerns to focus on beforehand, patients can make the appointment go more smoothly and will be able to remember everything they wanted to discuss,” Ory said.

Your appointment is your time to focus on the problems that concern you. Making a list can help keep you on track during the appointment. Ory also suggests that you prioritize the items on your list to make sure that you address the most important aspects first.

Track the duration and severity of symptoms

If you find that your symptoms are worse at a certain period of the day or after an activity such as eating or exercising, sharing that information will help your health care provider better diagnose and care for you. “It’s also important monitor how long your symptoms last,” Ory suggested.

In the event that you think your medication is causing your problems, bring it up with your physician before deciding to stop taking it.

Have an updated medication list

“It’s always important to have an updated list of medications,” Ory said. “Especially, if you have multiple health providers.”

Having and sharing a list can help ensure that all of your providers are aware of what medications you take. This allows physicians to screen for any potential interactions that may be causing your symptoms.

There are many medication forms available for use, but here are a few things you should be sure to include:

  • Generic and brand name of the medication
  • Dosage
  • Instructions for use (e.g. three times a day with food, once in the morning, etc.)
  • Date you started the medication
  • Date you stopped the medication (if applicable)
  • The reason for the medication

Your medication list shouldn’t just include prescribed medications, be sure to list any over the counter drugs or supplements you use.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions—even uncomfortable ones

“Trust is always incredibly important in patient-provider relationships,” Ory stated. You should be comfortable asking questions about anything that concerns you or that you don’t completely understand. Never be embarrassed to ask for clarification on a subject—it’s important to have a complete understanding of your health and any wellness plans your physician suggests.

If you have concerns or questions about an uncomfortable topic, but don’t know how to broach the subject, Ory suggests that you rely on a family member or friend for help. Whether it’s just rehearsing what you want to say or asking a friend in a similar situation to accompany you, family and friends can be a great support system. The crucial thing is to make yourself comfortable with asking your care provider for help, and to always be honest with your answers. Asking questions is often the first step towards taking a more active role in your treatment and health.

It’s important to remember that your health and treatment plan should be a collaborative effort. “Discussions about a patient’s health are a two-way street,” Ory advised. “Patients need to be able to speak about their problems freely and physicians and other health care providers address their concerns and develop a treatment plan with the patients’ help. Collaborative plans are more likely to be followed and better health outcomes achieved.”

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Mehta receives NIOSH grant to revise endurance prediction model for the changing U.S. workforce http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-receives-niosh-grant-to-revise-endurance-prediction-model-for-the-changing-u-s-workforce http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-receives-niosh-grant-to-revise-endurance-prediction-model-for-the-changing-u-s-workforce#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:34:37 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22072 Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D. awarded a research grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, to develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce]]>
Researchers will develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce.

Researchers will develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce.

With one in three adults considered obese and approximately another 40 percent overweight, accommodating heavier employees has simply become a fact of life in the workplace, from large-scale factories to corporate cubicles.

Injuries from overexertion or fatigue are a significant cause of worker disability, with U.S. employers spending in excess of $200 billion annually on obesity-related health conditions. Existing endurance prediction models provide ergonomists work guidelines to protect workers from injury by measuring the maximum amount of work an individual can perform at different levels of exertion. These models consider many factors, but not obesity.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was recently awarded a research grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a section of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce. The $72,750 grant is the first of a two-year research project that will be conducted by researchers at both the Texas A&M School of Public Health and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“Findings from a Liberty Mutual Research Institute study indicates that obesity is associated with a 25 percent higher risk of work-related injury, independent of all other relevant factors, such as age, work hours, and occupational hazards,” Mehta said. “Americans spend a significant part of our lives in the workplace and this presents an increased injury risk for the majority of the workforce that are overweight and obese.”

Researchers will collect data from individuals in Texas and New York with varying body types – average, overweight and obese. The proposed work will focus on examining individuals’ endurance times at different levels of physical work across three tasks that target commonly injured muscles of the upper body and trunk. The data collected from a diverse, widespread population will be more applicable to the general population and will assist the researchers in developing an accurate revised force-endurance model to reduce workplace injury for all workers in the future.

 

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A holiday feast that’s good for your teeth http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=a-holiday-feast-thats-good-for-your-teeth http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=a-holiday-feast-thats-good-for-your-teeth#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:16:32 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22064 There’s another thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: Many elements of the traditional Turkey Day fare nourish your health and smile]]>

tamhsc-thanksgiving-foodsThanksgiving — that tried-and-true American holiday with origins tracing back to autumn 1621 — is unique in that the modern-day version revolves almost entirely around a meal.

Lucky for us, much of the holiday spread has side effects other than causing pants to fit a bit more snugly after enjoying. Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries and even pumpkin pie are packed with nutrients ranging from phosphorous to vitamins A and C, translating to stronger tooth enamel, and even prevention of loose teeth and oral cancer.

So go ahead. Celebrate, and dig in — but for the sake of your health be sure to watch portion sizes.

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Infographic: Get the facts on Influenza http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-get-the-facts-on-influenza http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-get-the-facts-on-influenza#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:06:31 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22057 Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. The peak of flu season has occurred anywhere from late November through March. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from year to year]]>

Learn more about seasonal flu protection.

Flu statistics

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High childhood asthma rates spur research on prenatal air pollutant exposure in South Texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=high-childhood-asthma-rates-spur-research-on-prenatal-air-pollutant-exposure-in-south-texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=high-childhood-asthma-rates-spur-research-on-prenatal-air-pollutant-exposure-in-south-texas#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:47:29 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22054 An increase in industrial expansion and trade has led to higher air pollution along the Texas-Mexico border. Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County - among the highest in the state - and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue with an end-goal of developing intervention strategies to combat the adverse effects of air pollution. ]]>
Young girl with an inhaler.

Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County – among the highest in the state – and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue.

An increase in industrial expansion and trade has led to higher air pollution along the Texas-Mexico border. Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County – among the highest in the state – and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue with an end-goal of developing intervention strategies to combat the adverse effects of air pollution.

Natalie Johnson, Ph.D., Genny Carrillo, M.D., Sc.D., and public health graduate student Jairus Pulczinski, all with the Texas A&M School of Public Health, along with Josias Zietsman, Ph.D, P.E., of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and Patrick Breyssee, M.A., Ph.D., and Kirsten Koehler, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, will conduct a pilot project in McAllen, Texas, to gather additional information on the types and levels of prenatal air pollutant exposure.

The team will characterize pollutant exposure by monitoring amounts and types of traffic in the area. Using Environmental Protection Agency models, they will study dispersion of pollutants into the atmosphere, giving them a better understanding of the pollutant concentrations in South Texas.

With help from Rio Grande Regional Hospital OB/GYN clinics, the team will then measure personal air pollution exposures for 25 expecting women who will wear backpack monitors that will measure pollutant concentrations in various environments, including their homes, workplaces and outdoors. This information will help researchers determine the frequency with which pregnant women are exposed to pollutants, and when and where the exposure is highest. Finally, they will examine biological markers of pollutant exposure through blood, urine and hair samples. This will help the researchers determine how the pollutants physically affect those who are exposed to them on a regular basis.

“The data collected by this pilot research project will be used to characterize air pollution exposure in South Texas, which will assist in determining appropriate intervention options in the future,” Johnson said.

The study is part of the Texas A&M Healthy South Texas 2025 Initiative, an unprecedented effort to reduce preventable diseases and their consequences in South Texas by 25 percent by the year 2025. The initiative’s initial focus will be on diseases of highest impact in South Texas, including diabetes, asthma and infectious diseases, with the goal of improving the wellness of South Texans for generations to come.

This research project is supported through funding from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas Transportation Institute and Johns Hopkins University.

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Spotting Alzheimer’s early: The signs and risks http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=spotting-alzheimers-early-the-signs-and-risks http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=spotting-alzheimers-early-the-signs-and-risks#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:14:23 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22033 At first glance, many of the warning signs for Alzheimer's disease seem like they can be associated with normal aging – after all, who doesn’t forget things as they grow older? However, according to Dai Lu, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy with a research focus on Alzheimer’s, there is a significant difference between temporary lapses in memory and Alzheimer’s disease]]>
Older man sitting in a chair.

Alzheimer’s disease effects roughly five million Americans.

November is national Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and a good time to brush up on the basic facts of a disease that affects approximately five million Americans. Of those five million, 500,000 people die from complications with Alzheimer’s disease every year, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Luckily, knowing the warning signs and risk factors can help you catch the onset of the pervasive disease early.

The difference between the signs of Alzheimer’s and normal aging

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are ten early warning signs for Alzheimer’s that people should be aware of:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spacial relationships
  6. New problems with words in writing or speaking
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased judgment
  9. Withdrawal from social activities or work
  10. Changes in mood or behavior

At first glance, many of these signs seem like they can be associated with normal aging – after all, who doesn’t forget things as they grow older? However, according to Dai Lu, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy with a research focus on Alzheimer’s, there is a significant difference between temporary lapses in memory and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia affect much more than a person’s memory. They affect their ability to perform cognitive functions. It’s a much deeper effect,” Lu explained.

A person who is growing older may forget where they put their keys but can retrace their steps to find them, but a person suffering from Alzheimer’s forgets how to retrace their steps and their keys may be found in an unusual place, such as a candy jar or refrigerator.

“It’s the difference between forgetting to turn off the radio, and forgetting how to turn off the radio,” Lu said.

The risk factors

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is hard to diagnose until it progresses into its later stages, but knowing the risk factors can help you recognize if you or someone you know is predisposed towards developing it.

The risk factors for Alzheimer’s are:

  • Age – Most individuals with the disease are 65 or older. The chance of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after 65.
  • Family History – An individual with a family member who has Alzheimer’s is more likely to develop the disease. If more than one family member has been diagnosed, then the risk increases.
  • Head trauma – There may be a link between serious head injuries and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s in the future seems to be especially prevelant if the trauma is repeated or involves loss of consciousness.
  • Heart health – There seems to be a growing connection between brain and heart health. Individuals with conditions related to poor heart health (e.g., high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol) have greater instances of Alzheimer’s.

Some additional risk factors also include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Poor diet, lacking in fruits and vegetables

“In instances of family history, people can get tested to see if they have any of the genetic risks,” Lu advised. “We know that certain proteins like the Amyloid precursor protein (APP), Presenilin-1 (PS-1), Presenilin-2 (PS-2) and Apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE4) are all associated with hereditary Alzheimer’s.”

Lu’s research involves identifying drugs that can help inhibit the aggravations of such proteins, which tend to cause plaque to form in the brain and can lead to inflammation and a decrease in cognitive function of the brain. With genetic testing, individuals can be informed if they have any of these proteins, which put them at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Next steps

If you or someone you know begins exhibiting the early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia, Lu suggests that you make an appointment with a specialist to develop a treatment plan. Your primary care physician will be able to refer you to one, if you do not know of a specialist in your area.

During the appointment, the doctor will typically evaluate:

  • Whether there is impaired memory or cognitive skills
  • Whether changes in personality or behaviors are exhibited
  • The degree to which memory or thinking impairment has occurred
  • How cognitive problems affect the individual’s ability to function in daily life

“Currently, there are no drugs to stop or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but there are some medications that provide temporary relief. However, their benefits appear to diminish after six years,” Lu stated.

Many research labs, including Lu’s laboratory, are working on finding and developing drugs that can help halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. At present, Lu’s research involves identifying drugs to prevent the misfolding of certain proteins that, upon aggregation, can cause inflammation or other damage to brain cells and decrease cognitive function of the brain, which is one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.

So what can an average aging adult do in the meantime? Limit risk factors that you are able to, like avoiding activities that could increase the risk for head trauma. Remember to buckle your seatbelt in the car or wear a helmet whenever you participate in a sport. Participating more frequently in mentally challenging leisure activities, such as reading, playing games or musical instruments and involvement in social interactions can help stem the progression of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Leading a healthy lifestyle is key to healthy aging and may provide some form of protection against Alzheimer’s.

For more information please visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

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Texas A&M Health Science Center advancing Alzheimer’s disease research as coordinating center for new statewide grant program http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-am-health-science-center-advancing-alzheimers-disease-research-as-coordinating-center-for-new-statewide-grant-program http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-am-health-science-center-advancing-alzheimers-disease-research-as-coordinating-center-for-new-statewide-grant-program#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:29:53 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22040 The TARCC is comprised of six Texas medical research institutions, including Texas A&M Health Science Center, all working together to advance scientific initiatives aimed at halting the disease in its tracks. One such initiative is a new grant program administered by TAMHSC that encourages utilization of TARCC’s extensive patient cohort]]>
Geriatric nurse caring for an older woman

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.2 million people in the United States are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Texas in particular ranks third in the nation for the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases and deaths.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.2 million people in the United States are affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Of those people, more than 500,000 die each year because of this debilitating and incurable disease. Texas in particular ranks third in the nation for the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases and deaths.

In 1999 the Texas State legislature mandated that the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders establish a consortium of Alzheimer’s disease centers, leading to the formation of the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium (TARCC). Fifteen years later, the TARCC is comprised of six Texas medical research institutions, including Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC), all working together to advance scientific initiatives aimed at halting the disease in its tracks.

One such initiative is the new Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Disorders TARCC Investigator Grant Program (IGP), a part of the state-funded Darrell K. Royal Texas Alzheimer’s Initiative. The council selected TAMHSC to administer the grant that encourages utilization of TARCC’s extensive patient cohort through the award of five pilot grants of $50,000 each and two larger awards of $125,000 over a two-year period. The TARCC Investigator Grant Program, which specifically targets burgeoning scientists, aims to increase awareness and application of TARCC’s unique and expansive patient data and sample resources in order to stimulate new understandings of Alzheimer’s disease and advance related scientific discoveries.

“The Council has the utmost confidence in Texas A&M Health Science Center to design and administer this important allocation of Alzheimer’s disease research dollars in Texas. We are proud of our affiliation with TAMHSC and the benefit to all Texans that will come from this endeavor,” said Debbie Hanna, Chair Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.

Specifically, the grant program will leverage the TARCC’s Texas Harris Alzheimer’s Study that tracks a diverse group of patients diagnosed with AD and mild cognitive impairment, as well as healthy controls. The study facilitates collaborative AD research projects among the TARCC member institutions and promotes novel, basic and clinical research that develops new insights into mechanisms of AD. One of study’s strengths is that it follows the participants annually in conjunction with regular collection of standardized clinical, neuropsychiatric, and genetic and blood biomarker data and samples. The study is unique in its inclusion of the largest number of Mexican-American participants – the fastest growing population in Texas – ever involved in an ongoing Alzheimer’s research study.

“Given the comprehensive nature of the data collected, as well as the inclusion of Mexican-Americans, the Texas Harris Alzheimer’s Study is an invaluable asset to national AD research” said Farida Sohrabji, Ph.D., professor and associate department chair at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, who serves on the TARCC’s Steering Committee and will be responsible for coordinating launch and award administration of the grant program. “Although open to all researchers within the state, the program will target junior-level investigators to provide up-and-coming researchers with financial support to advance studies that utilize this unparalleled resource and spur multi-institutional, collaborative research throughout Texas.”

More information on the grant program and future announcements of application deadlines can be found at: http://www.txalzresearch.org/.

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Fast Facts: Anthrax 101 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=fast-facts-anthrax-101 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=fast-facts-anthrax-101#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:41:45 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22036 Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by a bacteria that can lie dormant in soil for decades. While anthrax occurs most often in humans handling animals (or animal products) infected with the bacteria, there have been several instances of anthrax being used as a bioterror agent. There has been a lull in anthrax coverage in recent years, but it remains an extremely dangerous bioterrorism weapon that should remain top of mind]]>
Gerald Parker

Gerald Parker, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president for public health preparedness and response at Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by a bacteria that can lie dormant in soil for decades. While anthrax occurs most often in humans handling animals (or animal products) infected with the bacteria, there have been several instances of anthrax being used as a bioterror agent. Most recently, anthrax was used in 2001 when letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two U.S. senators, resulting in five deaths and 17 individuals infected with the bacteria. While there has been a lull in anthrax coverage in recent years, it’s an extremely dangerous bioterrorism weapon that should remain top of mind. We sat down with Gerald Parker, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president for public health preparedness and response at Texas A&M Health Science Center, to find out some basics about the infectious disease.   

1. What is Anthrax?

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis, which produces dormant spores that can live in the environment, like soil, for many years. As a naturally occurring substance, anthrax commonly affects domestic and wild herbivores, who eat the naturally occurring spores while grazing. Although it is rare, it can cause serious illness in humans and, if left untreated, can lead to death.

Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions of Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, central and southwestern Asia, southern and Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. While human disease is rare in the United States, sporadic outbreaks do occur in wild and domestic grazing animals such as cattle and deer.

2. How it is contracted?

When spores get into the body of an animal or person they can be “activated” and turn into active, growing cells. After this occurs the bacteria begin to multiply, spreading out in the body, and producing toxins that cause severe illness. It is important to note that anthrax is not contagious person-to-person, like the cold or flu. However, there are multiple ways in which individuals can become exposed to anthrax spores, including: inhalation of contaminated materials, such as wool, hides or hair (inhalation); cuts and lesions on the body (cutaneous); and ingestion of undercooked meats from infected animals or drinking contaminated water (gastrointestinal).

Cutaneous anthrax is the most common form of the disease in humans, accounting for over 95 percent of all cases. Fortunately, cutaneous anthrax is also the least deadly form of anthrax, with a mortality rate of only 10-20 percent if left untreated. Gastrointestinal anthrax exhibits mortality rates from 25-75 percent in the absence of treatment, and untreated inhalation anthrax results in greater than 80 percent fatality.

Worth noting, those most at risk for being naturally exposed to anthrax spores are individuals who work closely with animals and livestock, or animal products contaminated with anthrax spores.

3. What are the symptoms of anthrax?

Initial symptoms, which are generally similar to flu-like symptoms (fever and chills, cough, nausea and vomiting and body aches), can take anywhere from one day to more than two months to appear and depend upon the type of infection. If someone has symptoms of anthrax, it’s important to get medical care as quickly as possible for the best chance of survival and a full recovery.

For a complete list of symptoms for inhalation, cutaneous and gastrointestinal anthrax, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

4. Is there a treatment?

Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics and antitoxins, but those who contract a serious case of anthrax will need to be hospitalized and undergo an aggressive course of treatment. Depending on the patient’s history and antibiotic sensitivity testing, the doctor will select the best antibiotics, therapeutics and supportive care for the patient.

5. Is there anything you can do to prevent the disease?

While there is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, it is usually not available for the general public. The vaccine is available for at-risk adults, whose jobs expose them to possible sources of anthrax including: certain laboratory workers, some people who work with or handle animals and animal products and some members of the U.S. military.

For the general public, preventative measures in the form of antibiotics are in order for anyone who has been exposed to anthrax spores to mitigate disease development. The manufacturer of the FDA licensed anthrax vaccine also recently filed an application with the FDA to use the vaccine in conjunction with antibiotics to prevent anthrax disease after suspected or confirmed exposure to Bacillus anthracis.

Dr. Gerald Parker, vice president for public health preparedness and response at the Texas A&M Health Science Center and principal investigator at the Texas A&M Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. Dr. Parker previously served as deputy assistant secretary of defense in Washington, D.C., leading chemical and biological defense; and former Commanding Officer of Fort Detrick.

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Cline wins CHOT student research poster competition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=cline-wins-chot-student-research-poster-competition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=cline-wins-chot-student-research-poster-competition#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:46:33 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22029 Kayla Cline, M.S., won the student research poster competition at a recent Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts]]>
Kayla Cline, M.S.

Kayla Cline, M.S.

At a recent Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health graduate student Kayla Cline, M.S., won the student research poster competition. Graduate students from Penn State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Northeastern University also participated in this competition.

Cline is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Health Services Research at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Cline’s research poster, “Economics and Potential Financial Model of the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH): Developing a Framework for PSH Design and Action,” outlined a research project with the American Society for Anesthesiologists to determine best practices in perioperative surgical care. The project will eventually set the standards of care for organizations seeking to obtain Perioperative Surgical Home status.

CHOT is an industry-university cooperative research center (I/UCRC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry members to conduct research supporting major management, clinical and information technology innovations within healthcare. CHOT, which is based at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, received renewed funding in May of this year from the NSF through 2019

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