Thursday, May 18, 2017

Creating organs with 3-D printing, be wary of common heartburn remedies, and a senior health assessment

Posted By on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 2:44 PM


3-D print an organ
A team of Northwestern University 
click to enlarge A team from Northwestern has used 3-D technology to produce a prosthetic mouse ovary, with real implications for humans.
  • A team from Northwestern has used 3-D technology to produce a prosthetic mouse ovary, with real implications for humans.
researchers has successfully created a mouse ovary structure using a 3-D printer. The bioprosthetic ovary was created from a 3-D printed "scaffolding" into which immature eggs were placed. The ovary was implanted into an infertile mouse and the mouse ovulated, became pregnant and delivered healthy pups.

"This research shows these bioprosthetic ovaries have long-term, durable function," said Teresa K. Woodruff, a reproductive scientist and director of the Women's Health Research Institute at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. "Using bioengineering, instead of transplanting from a cadaver, to create organ structures that function and restore the health of that tissue for that person, is the holy grail of bioengineering for regenerative medicine."

Do commonly used heartburn remedies damage your kidneys?
People taking photon pump inhibitors, such as Nexium or Prilosec, for heartburn may find themselves at risk for kidney disease. In fact, “The risk of chronic kidney disease is as much as 50 percent higher in people who’ve taken the drug compared with those who’ve not — although no causative link has been proven and manufacturers insist they are safe,” according to a new report by Kaiser Health News. But while the FDA approved the drugs only for short-term use (a few weeks or months) many Americans are staying on them for years.

Are we better with age?

A new report on the health of Washington's seniors contains some good news: the state ranks 9th in the nation, up one place from a year ago. But the report identified challenges, including a 10 percent uptick in the number of seniors who smoke and a high prevalence of excessive drinking. On the plus side, there was a low prevalence of physical inactivity. The top three states for healthy seniors? Minnesota, Utah and Hawaii.

That uptick in smoking is a bummer, because smoking is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. In fact, strokes are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. according to the American Stroke Association. The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest in Post Falls is offering stroke education and risk assessments at a free Stroke Awareness Fair on Wednesday, May 24, from 1:30 to 4 pm. Dr. Madeleine Geraghty, stroke hospitalist at Deaconess Hospital and Rockwood Neurology Center, will discuss heart health and stroke prevention in a presentation at 1:30 pm. For more information, call 208-262-8700 or email stephenchun@ernesthealth.com.

Looking for more health-related information? Check out the current issue of InHealth.
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