Podcast 2007 Show Notes
#0041—September 21, 2007
Schmalfeldt: Coming up on this edition — Bill Schmalfeldt has a chat with Joe Balintfy, host of the new "i on NIH" video podcast — and Dr. Harrison Wein, editor of NIH News In Health. We'll talk about their various projects — and the annual NIH Relay Race. Wally Akinso has some news about the upward trend of bipolar diagnoses in young people and adults. You've heard the old saying about snow on the roof and fire in the furnace, right? Well, there's some new NIH research that backs it up! Stay tuned. And guess which institutes at the NIH won an Emmy Award. But first, we're wrapping up "Keep in Circulation" week with some awareness info about a disease you probably don't even know anything about.
Schmalfeldt: From the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. this is NIH Research Radio.
Schmalfeldt: Welcome to episode 41 of NIH Research Radio with news about the ongoing medical research at the National Institutes of Health — the nation's medical research agency. I'm your host Bill Schmalfeldt. Coming up on this edition — I'll have a chat with Joe Balintfy, host of the new "i on NIH" video podcast — and Dr. Harrison Wein, editor of NIH News In Health. We'll talk about their various projects — and the annual NIH Relay Race. Wally Akinso has some news about the upward trend of bipolar diagnoses in young people and adults. You've heard the old saying about snow on the roof and fire in the furnace, right? Well, there's some new NIH research that backs it up! Stay tuned. And guess which institutes at the NIH won an Emmy Award. But first, we're wrapping up "Keep in Circulation" week with some awareness info about a disease you probably don't even know anything about. That's next on NIH Research Radio.
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Focus on PAD
Schmalfeldt: It's a common disease that can put you at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, as well as a variety of other serious complications. And chances are you've never heard of it. That's why the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health is devoting "Stay in Circulation" week-September 17 through the 21st-to focus on raising public awareness of peripheral arterial disease.
Desvigne-Nickens: Clearly, peripheral artery disease is a very common and important disease, and it's treatable and preventable. So this is a real opportunity for people to understand atherosclerosis-a process that afflicts five percent of people over the age of 50 and triple that percentage if you're talking about people over 65. So it's a very common disorder for which a little knowledge can go a long way for treating the disease so that you avoid complications.
Schmalfeldt: That was Dr. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens, program director with the Heart Failure and Arrhythmia's Branch at the NHLBI's Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. To put it simply, peripheral arterial disease-also known as PAD-occurs when a fatty material called plaque builds up on the inside walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the head, internal organs, and limbs. Blocked blood flow can cause pain and numbness. It also can increase a person's chance of getting an infection, and it can make it difficult for the person's body to fight the infection. If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause tissue death. In fact, PAD is the leading cause of leg amputation. A person with PAD has a six to seven times greater risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (otherwise known as a "mini stroke") than the rest of the population. If a person has heart disease, he or she has a 1 in 3 chance of having blocked arteries in the legs. Dr. Desvigne-Nickens said early diagnosis and treatment of PAD, including screening high-risk individuals, are important to prevent disability and save lives.
Desvigne-Nickens: There are many patients that don't have symptoms. So if they have a history of this disease in their family, they should make sure that their physician is checking their risk factors and making sure they don't have peripheral arterial disease.
Schmalfeldt: Dr. Desvigne-Nickens said PAD treatment may stop the disease from progressing and reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. For more information about peripheral arterial disease, log on to www.nhlbi.nih.gov. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
Schmalfeldt: Wally Akinso has this report about a rising trend in diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Rates of Bipolar Diagnosis in Youth Rapidly Climbing, Treatment Patterns Similar to Adults
Akinso: The number of visits to a doctor's office that resulted in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents has increased by 40 times over the last decade, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Over the same time period, the number of visits by adults resulting in bipolar disorder diagnosis almost doubled. Treatment patterns for the two groups were similar. Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health discusses the rising trend.
Insel: To understand what a 40 fold increase means you have to recognize that first of all you're starting with a very low base rate. In 1994-1995, this diagnosis was used very, very really in children; only about 25 out of every 100,000 youths under the age of 19 were given this diagnosis in 1994,1995. Nevertheless it raises the question of is it simply a matter of under diagnosis in past which is now been corrected or is this diagnosis being over used today in such a way that children are getting treated with often powerful medications who really don't need to be on them. And those are questions that this paper really doesn't answer. It only provides the observation of this increase. And it ends by saying that it's not really clear what is the source for this 40 fold increase.
Akinso: While the increase in bipolar diagnoses in youth far outpaces the increase in diagnosis among adults, Dr. Insel said the researchers are cautious about interpreting these data as an actual rise in the number of people who have illness or the number of new cases each year. He added that this study reminds researchers of the need for research that validates the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and other disorders in children.
Insel: The message that I would take from this is that we need to have much better tools; we really need a tool kit, to validate the diagnosis of bipolar disorder both in adults and children. In the way this diagnosis is being used in children, it's now probably far broader when it's being used in the community than what we would like to see based on the very strict research criteria that we would use for the diagnosis. And some of that is to be expected because they're a lot of children who are in great distress and sometimes that distress involves problems with mood and problems with impulse control. They may not have bipolar disorder but they have something and so we have to get much more precise about how we use diagnosis for children to be able to know what really will be the best interventions for them.
Akinso: This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
Schmalfeldt: When we come back, we'll talk to Joe Balintfy and Harrison Wein about the new NIH video podcast — and the NIH Relay. That's next on NIH Research Radio.
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Interview — Dr. Harrison Wein, NIH News in Health; and Joe Balintfy, "I on NIH" vodcast.
Schmalfeldt: I'm joined by a couple friends of mine here in the studio, Joe Balintfy, welcome Joe.
Balintfy: Thank you.
Schmalfeldt: And you've heard Harrison Wein on this podcast before talking about NIH News in Health. How are you doing, Harrison?
Wein: I'm good. And I'm glad after that you still have me back.
Schmalfeldt: I have ulterior reasons for having them on the podcast with us today. Joe, tell us about this little experiment we have here at the National Institutes of Health, the new vodcast, "i on NIH."
Balintfy: Well, Bill, it's basically based on the success of the podcast and it's also an attempt to reach out using new media. It's basically a video version of the podcast which is why we call it a vodcast. The name is "i on NIH" and it's once a month, full color video and it's a way to communicate and promote some of the great stories we have coming out of NIH. Much like what you do with the podcast, we're trying to emulate that in a video fashion.
Schmalfeldt: So you're the host of the vodcast. And Harrison, you're on the vodcast as well, if I may be so bold as to bring that up. You are "King of All Media" here an NIH.
Wein: I certainly am.
Schmalfeldt: Tell us a little bit about the segment you do
Wein: I do a review of NIH research, much like we used to do on the podcast. It's basically a review of some of the research that NIH is doing.
Schmalfeldt: And where do folks find the vodcast, Joe?
Balintfy: The same page where the podcast is, pretty close. There's http://www.nih.gov/news/radio/nihpodcast.htm and there's http://www.nih.gov/news/vodcast/nihvodcast.htm. And the thing to keep in mind is even if you don't have a video MP3 or MP4 player, you can watch the vodcast on your computer at home or at your office.
Schmalfeldt: And for folks with the fancy video iPods, like I have, it looks pretty good on the screen there.
Balintfy: Despite being told I have a face for radio, it's really quite a thrill to be such a big part of this program because there really is so much good news coming out of NIH.
Schmalfeldt: What are some of the stories coming up on the vodcast?
Balintfy: We do have an interview coming up with Dr. Fauci from the NIAID because he recently won a very prestigious public service award. We also have features about. well, a feature very close to you, Bill, about deep brain stimulation.
Schmalfeldt: A subject near and dear to my brain.
Balintfy: Yeah. We're looking forward to putting that together very soon. And holiday features will be coming up about, you know, making sure you eat right during the holidays. You know, there's so much stuff, the calendar's so full, it's really an exciting project.
Schmalfeldt: And Harrison, NIH News in Health? What's going on with that?
Wein: The latest issue is about child development. The cover story is on speech and language development. It's called, "Is Your Baby Babbling on Schedule?" You look for a lot of developmental things, like when they walk and all that. But there are also milestones for speech and language. So the cover story talks about looking out for them, and the inside story is about autism spectrum disorders, which have been in the news a lot more in the past couple of years - how to recognize them, what to look out for.
Schmalfeldt: Where do people find the NIH News in Health online?
Wein: It's at www.newsinhealth.nih.gov.
Schmalfeldt: There's also a printed version
Wein: Yes, we supply free print copies to libraries, community health clinics, senior centers. Just get in touch with me at newsinhealth.nih,gov, and you can also sign up to be on the listserv there,
Schmalfeldt: Now this is a happy, chance happenstance having both of you gentlemen here in the cavernous office studios of NIH Research Radio today. You fellas are involved in the greatest athletic event of the year here at the National Institutes of Health. And it's the big NIH Relay. And what's the team called?
Wein: "The Spin Doctors."
Schmalfeldt: So, the Office of Communications and Public Liaison went out and got together a team.
Wein: Five runners.
Schmalfeldt: So there's you, Joe, and who else is on the team?
Wein: Carla and Mary Alvarez, and John Burklow - who heads up our office.
Schmalfeldt: He's the boss. So, who's first in the relay?
Wein: We're going to wrestle for it.
Schmalfeldt: I have to ask you. Is John any good at this?
Wein: Oh, yeah.
Schmalfeldt: So we're not just having him on the team because he's the boss?
Wein: He's a very good runner. He did very well last year for us.
Schmalfeldt: Tell me about the t-shirt here, the team t-shirt.
Wein: We created a t-shirt that looks like a newspaper article, "The Spin Doctors." It starts, "After placing 75th out of 107 teams in the NIH Relay last year.
Schmalfeldt: That's how well we did?
Wein: That's how well we did.
Schmalfeldt: What are we shooting for this year? WEIN: .the highly esteemed Spin Doctors will get to show off their talents in the 2007 NIH Relay. We're shooting for at least 74th this year.
Schmalfeldt: We were 75th last year?
Wein: So we want at least 74th this year. Of course there are only 90 teams running this year.
Schmalfeldt: Really aiming for the stars this year, aren't we?
Balintfy: I can tell you a lot of teams are taking this very seriously. In the days leading up to this thing I've seen several teams out there practicing, including going over the baton pass and running around the race track so far. It's not something that we have done, but. It's not so much about competition, but it's about the camaraderie that it builds between us and NIH wide.
Schmalfeldt: Thank you gentlemen for coming in and gracing the podcast today. Joe Balintfy, whose smiling face you can see on the NIH vodcast - the video podcast, and go to www.nih.gov for information on how to find that and subscribe to it. And Dr. Harrison Wein who's also on the vodcast - what's that segment called again?Wein: The NIH News Desk segment.
Schmalfeldt: He's also the editor of NIH News in Health which you can also find online at.
Schmalfeldt: Thanks for coming in, gentlemen. And I'd say "break a leg", but one of you probably will.
Wein: That's probably a risky thing to wish.
Balintfy: Thanks for having us, Bill. It's always a pleasure.
Schmalfeldt: When we come back, we'll tell you all about the Emmy Award we just won here at the National Institutes of Health. That's next on NIH Research Radio.
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Two NIH Institutes Share Emmy Award for HBO Project
Schmalfeldt: Two institutes at the National Institutes of Health were honored at the 2007 Emmy Awards for their contributions to HBO's 14-part documentary, "Addiction." The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism won the celebrated Governor's Award given by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for helping tell the story about the science of addiction, its treatment, recovery, and its costs to families and society. The documentary series featured a diverse group of people who were battling alcohol or drug addiction, as well as addiction experts from around the country. HBO worked closely with NIH scientists to assure the scientific accuracy of the documentary. NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow, and Dr. Mark Willenbring, NIAAA's director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research were prominently featured in the documentary, as were numerous NIH grantees from around the nation. In February, Wally Akinso filed this report about a new NIDA publication, released in time to coincide with the HBO series.
Akinso: The National Institute on Drug Abuse has unveiled its first consumer publication dedicated to explaining the science of addiction. The 30 page full color booklet, "Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction", explains in layman's terms how science has revolutionized the understanding of drug addiction as a brain disease that affects behavior. Dr. Timothy Condon, NIDA's Deputy Director, said this new publication will help reduce the stigma attached to addictive disorders.
Condon: Well this booklet explains the scientific research that NIDA has supported over the last 20 or 30 years and how this research has really revolutionized our understanding of drug addiction essentially as a brain disease that results in compulsive behavior.
Akinso: The new publication was introduced during a press briefing for the upcoming HBO documentary called Addiction. Dr. Condon said the timing was fortunate.
Condon: This is very fortuitous that it's coming out around the same time as the HBO documentary that NIDA has been apart of. We think this will be a very important adjunct to information for the public; the lay audience to help them understand the science behind the disease of addiction.
Akinso: The 90 minute documentary airs Thursday March 15th. It was produced in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and NIDA, and will explore many elements of drug and alcohol addiction through the eyes of those who are addicted and the experts working to better understand and treat this disease. If you're interested in a copy of the booklet visit www.drugabuse.gov. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
Schmalfeldt: You might have heard the old saying, "There may be snow on the roof, but there's still fire in the furnace." Turns out that — for most older Americans — it's true! A majority of older Americans are sexually active and view intimacy as an important part of their lives according to research supported by the National Institutes of Health. The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project found that despite increased sexual problems that sometimes come with age, older adults —in general — are enjoying intimacy, and would love to talk about that part of their lives with their doctors - if their doctors would only raise the issue. Georgeanne E. Patmios is Acting Chief of the Populations and Social Processes Branch of the Behavioral and Social Research Program at the National Institute on Aging. She said if doctors want to know what's going on with older folks and their sex lives, a good way to find out is — just ask!
Patmios: Despite the aging of the population, we have known little about sexuality among older adults. And we also know that physicians have lacked nationally-representative information about older adult sexuality to talk about with their patients. We also know that older patients want to discuss these issues with their doctors, but doctors don't engage in this discussion.
Schmalfeldt: This project represents the first comprehensive, nationally representative survey to assess the sex lives of folks in their late 50s and beyond. Implications for health education efforts include preventing transmission of sexually transmitted diseases in this age group, as 15 percent of all newly diagnosed HIV infections are among Americans over age 50.
Schmalfeldt: And with that, we come to the end of this episode of NIH Research Radio. Please join us on Friday, October 5th when episode 42 of NIH Research Radio will be available for download. These stories are also available on the NIH Radio News Service website. www.nih.gov/news/radio. Our daily 60-second feature, NIH Health Matters is heard on radio stations nationwide, as well as on XM Satellite Radio, the HealthStar Radio Network and online at . If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free www.federalnewsradio.com to contact me. the info is right there on the podcast web page. That e-mail address: email@example.com — once again, our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm your host, Bill Schmalfeldt. NIH Research Radio is a presentation of the NIH Radio News Service, part of the News Media Branch, Office of Communications and Public Liaison in the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
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