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November 22, 2012     The Perkins Journal
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Health &L ng " 401 S. Main St. | Thursday, November 22, 2012 405"372"1647,80( - Fax 405.372.7752 Carbs, not turkey, behind Thanksgiving sleepiness It Seems like two things of the Thanksgiving bird peoples sharing a feast that happen every Thanksgiv- ing. First, everybody gets sleepy after indulging in a big meal. Then somebody blames it all on tryptophan, a chemical found in turkey that's reputed to have nap- inducing powers. Not so fast, says Okla- homa Medical Research Foundation President Stephen Prescott, M.D. "Although tryptophan is a key ingredient in making a brain chemical associated with relaxation and sleep, it's probably not what is inspiring Uncle Jeff to take a nap on the couch." Turkey does contain tryptophan, an amino acid that's essential for produc- ing serotonin, which regu- lates mood and can induce sleepiness. But a serving doesn't contain any more of the amino acid than other forms of protein. "The turkey coma is just a myth," said Prescott. If any- thing, the culprit is probably sitting next to the main dish, he said. "Eating carbohy- drate-rich foods like dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, and stuffing causes a chain reaction that ends with the creation of the sleep-caus- ing chemical melatonin in the brain." So if you want to stay awake for afternoon foot- ball, don't worry about the turkey; just take it easy on the carbs. Indeed, the first Thanksgiving meal is thought to have consisted of more protein and fiber and less sugar and starch, with the colonists and native might have contained lob- ster, cod, bass, deer, rabbit, chicken, squash, beans, chestnuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots and eggs. "Variety is the spice of life, but it's also important to intestinal health," Prescott said. "When we eat just a few foods over and over again, we're depriving our bodies of essential nutrients. That can lead to irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders." To get the right mix of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and fatty acids, it's important to eat a wide range of foods, he said. No one has to eat them all in one sitting--moderation is still a good idea--but the first Thanksgiving meal does have the kind of diversity that would be healthy in the long run. "Mixing up your diet is a smart and delicious way to improve your health," he said. "And even your doctor will understand if you end the meal with a slice of pumpkin pie. After all, it is Thanksgiv- ing." The Mounting Toll of Diabetes in Oklahoma As financial t011 of disease costing $595 billion in this represents more than style. That means attaining tive officer of Continental Kingdom mounts, Harold Hamm Dia- betes Center urges Oklaho- mans to take steps now to protect themselves In a state hard hit by diabetes financially and physically, new statistics showing diabetes rates have tripled in Oklahoma may come as no surprise; but physicians and scien- tists said it points to the need for better prevention, new treatments and more research. A report this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals dra- matic increases in diabetes nationwide. Oklahoma saw the biggest jump in 15 years. Its rate climbed to 10 percent. "Oklahoma is at the center of the growing diabetes epi- demic," said Dr. Timothy Lyons director of Research and Scientific Programs at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. "Diabetes costs our state more than $3 billion in healthcare expenditures, and the economic toll is mounting." The International Diabetes Federation predicts that by the year 2030, 552 million people will have diabetes, healthcare expenditures. "Just as alarming is the rapid growth of Type 2 dia- betes in children," said Dr. Kenneth Copeland, direc- tor of Children's Programs at the Diabetes Center. "Because this is an aggres- sive disease in children, we need to be equally aggres- sive in both treatment and prevention or we will see the projected healthcare costs related to diabetes increase exponentially. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop. Type 2 diabetes later in life." Copeland and Lyons both pointed out that the economic toll is great, but so too are the human costs of diabetes. State health department data shows 304,500 adults living in Oklahoma have been diagnosed with diabe- tes, but it's estimated that another 124,000 have diabe- tes and don't know it, An- other 608,000 Oklahomans are estimated to have some .form of impaired glucose tolerance, often referred to as pre-diabetes. In total, one in three Oklahomans. Oklahoma ranks in the top four in the nation in diabe- tes prevalence, and diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death in Oklahoma, whereas it is the seventh leading Cause of death nationally. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates two to four times higher than adults without diabetes. One third of adults with diabetes over the age of 40 have diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetes increases the risk for neu- ropathy, stroke, kidney failure and other health issues. Copeland said turning the tide on this health crisis starts with each Oklahoman learning his or her risk for the disease and taking appropriate steps to protect themselves from the dam- aging, even deadly, effects of diabetes. "We know that the best way to beat diabetes is to never get it. With Type 2 diabetes, there are things you can do," he said. "It starts with a healthy life- and maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet filled with nutrient-rich foods and getting an adequate amount of physical activity each week." Lyons agreed, saying the recommendations are not new, but the need to encour- age more Oklahomans to begin to follow them is more critical than ever. "The number of people with diabetes in Oklahoma continues to rise. We are moving in the wrong direc- tion, and the consequences are dire. If we do not turn this around, we will see more people losing limbs, vision, kidney function and even their lives to this disease." On a positive note, Lyons pointed out that new treat- ments and technology have helped improve the care provided to those living with diabetes. Still, more research is needed. That is why Harold Hamm Diabetes Center earlier this year announced a new International Prize for dia- betes research, funded by an endowment established by Harold Hamm, founder, chairman, and chief execu- Resources, Inc. The Prize is a $250,000 award given every other year to an outstanding researcher or team of researchers whose work is focused on finding, a cure. "We're going to see this prize change how research- ers look at diabetes," said Hamm. "It will ignite a global fire of research focused on progress toward a cure for diabetes by encouraging the best scientists in the world to apply the latest advances in technology and medicine to this global pandemic." On World Diabetes Day, Diabetes Center officials announced the first panel of jurors who will decide the recipient of the first International Prize, which  will be awarded next fall. They are: Timothy Lyons, M.D. FRCP - Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, Univer- sity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center John Buse, M.D., Ph.D., CDE - University of North Carolina School of Medi- cine Edwin Gale, M.D. - Uni- versity of Bristol, United Barbara Howard, Ph.D. - MedStar Health Research Institute Paul Robertson, M.D. - University of Washing- ton Charles Stanley, M.D. University of Pennsyl- vania Perelman School of Medicine "The establishment of this prize is another example of the many ways in which the impact of Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is felt not only in Oklahoma and the region, but also across the United States and the world," said OU President David L. Boren. "Thanks to the leadership and continued support of Harold Hamm, the diabetes center has quickly risen to national and international prominence as one of the top comprehensive centers of excellence." To learn more about diabetes prevention, treat- ment and research, visit the Diabetes Center online at www.haroldhamm.org. To learn more about Harold Hamm Interna- tional Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes, visit www.HaroldHammPfize.org. OMRF discovery could change brain cancer surgeries Anew discovery by scien- cells in the surrounding the same under a microscope, Their work appears in the this, it will change the face of in Houston, Texas also col- tists a the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation could be key to improving brain cancer treamaent. The work could ben- efit patients suffering from glioma, a type of cancer that grows from glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. About 23,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant glioma each year and more than 13,000 will die, accord- ing to the American Cancer Society. Even with surgery and chemotherapy, patients with the most aggressive form typically have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 months after diagnosis. Standard therapy for glio- mas usually involves surgery that cuts away healthy brain tissue around a cancer, said OMRF researcher Rheal Towner, Ph.D. "Doctors use this approach to be safe and catch any diffuse cancer tissue," he said. "But when surgeons remove more of the brain itself, the result can mean problems with speech, balance and mobility, as well as impaired senses." A new discovery by Towner and Jonathan Wren, Ph.D., might help surgeons mini- mize collateral damage in glioma surgery. The OMRF researchers identified a gene called ELTD1, which can serve as a new "bio- marker"--a way to identify the cancerous cells. By using this gene as a mapping tool, surgeons could excise tumors while leaving more healthy brain tissue intact. The gene could be useful for early diagnosis of brain cancers and might help doc- tors plan more effective treat- ments--aU important factors for increasing patients' odds of survival. "Although they might look cancer cells have a different chemistry than healthy cells," said Towner, direc- tor of.OMRF's Advanced Magnetic Resonance Center Imaging Facility. "Our goal was to find a way to make those cells stand out." Using a computer algo- rithm to predict the function of genes, Wren found 95 genes that could become potential targets, then homed in on ELTD 1. In follow-up experiments, Towner found that the gene plays a role in the creation of blood vessels, which is vital to the growth of cancer cells. With help from OMRF scientist Florea Lupu, Ph.D., and Huntsman Cancer Insti- tute neurosurgeon Randy Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., the OMRF scientists were able to visualize and assess the levels of ELTD1 in both rodent and human gliomas. most recent edition of the scientific journal Neurosur- gery. Towner and Wren will continue testing the other predicted glioma biomarkers. "If we can find more tools like brain tumor treatment for the better," Towner said. Howard Colman, M.D., Ph.D., of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Brian Vaillant, M.D., of the Meth- odist Neurological Institute laborated on the research. Grants from the American Cancer Society, the J.E. and Leta Chapman Trusts, and the National Institutes of Health provided funding for the project. Marfan Syndrome Network Group to Meet The National Marfan Foundation's Oklahoma City Network Group will have its first meeting on December 1 at Mark Heitz Chevrolet in Norman (1221 Ed Noble Parkway). The network group, which will be led by Krystal Teal, will provide a forum for people with Marfan syndrome and related disor- ders to share experiences and information and provide peer support. Marfan syndrome is a potentially fatal connective tissue disorder that affects the heart, blood vessels, eyes, bones, joints and and tears are left undetected, lungs. It is often, but not the aorta may rupture, leading always, characterize d by a to sudden death. tall stature and dispropor- tionately long legs and arms. Other skeletal manifestations are curvature of the spine, a protruding or indented chest and loose joints. The most serious problem associated with Marfan syndrome is its effect on the aorta, the main artery carrying blood away from the heart. The aorta is prone to progressive enlarge- ment, which can lead to tears in the aortic wall that require surgery. If aortic erflargement At the first meeting, attend- ees will have an opportunity to meet each other and talk about future activities and get-togethers. It is open to anyone with Marfan syn- drome or a related connective tissue disorder, their family and friends. Members of the public who would like to learn more about the condition are also invited to attend. For more information, please contact Kristal Teal at 405-408-8810. .... ...... t , .i FIr I I[l!l II!' 'L'''m' ' .... " '