Class Act

Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

April 19, 2013
Did Abraham Lincoln Have Marfan Syndrome?

By Anna Krigel

Faculty Peer Reviewed

The iconic image of Abraham Lincoln is ubiquitous in our lives, from his small face on the penny to his large figure looming over the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Lincoln fascinates historians because of his significant role in American history when our nation was bitterly divided, but he intrigues physicians because of his remarkable stature. A reporter once described the 16th president as a “tall, lank, lean man considerably over six feet in height with stooping shoulders, long…

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Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

April 12, 2013
Have a Cow? How Recent Studies on Red Meat Consumption Apply to Clinical Practice

By Tyler R. McClintock

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“Red Meat Kills.” “Red Meat a Ticket to Early Grave.” “A Hot Dog a Day Raises Risk of Dying.” Such were the headlines circulating in popular press last year when the Annals of Internal Medicine released details of an upcoming article out of Frank Hu’s research group at the Harvard School of Public Health . Analyzing long-term prospective data from two large cohort studies, researchers found that individuals who ate a serving of unprocessed red meat each day…

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The Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Incretin Hormones and Glucose Homeostasis

April 4, 2013
The Effect of Bariatric Surgery on Incretin Hormones and Glucose Homeostasis

By Michael Crist

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Until recently, little thought was given to the important role played by the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum in glucose homeostasis. The involvement of the gut in glucose regulation is mediated by the enteroinsular axis, which refers to the neural and hormonal signaling pathways that connect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract with pancreatic beta cells. These pathways are largely responsible for the increase in insulin that occurs during the postprandial period. In 1964 McIntyre and colleagues first reported the phenomenon…

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How to Get Your Patient a Kidney

September 28, 2012
How to Get Your Patient a Kidney

By Ilina Datkhaeva

Faculty Peer Reviewed

We give hope to patients with advanced kidney disease that a transplant will save them from their Monday, Wednesday, Friday trips to the dialysis unit. But how certain are we that they even qualify to be a recipient? And if they do, are they going to live long enough to get their new lease on life?

Kidney donation has received its fair share of publicity recently, from the allocation of organs to illegal immigrants to Good Samaritans…

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What Is Andropause? Is Testosterone Supplementation the Answer in Older Men?

September 20, 2012
What Is Andropause?  Is Testosterone Supplementation the Answer in Older Men?

By Kylie Birnbaum

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Women have long bemoaned menopause and its physiological, psychological, and sexual effects. Fortunately, hormone replacement therapy has provided relief for symptomatic women. Less attention is paid to men, who also experience declines in their sex hormones. Decreased testosterone may explain many symptoms experienced by elderly men, such as poor sexual function and libido, decreased bone mineral density, fatigue, and decreased muscle mass and strength. Should physicians treat elderly men with testosterone replacement therapy?

Late-onset hypogonadism, or “andropause,” is the…

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Vancomycin Resistance in Staphylococcus Aureus: A Dangerous Dent in Our Armamentarium?

September 13, 2012
Vancomycin Resistance in Staphylococcus Aureus: A Dangerous Dent in Our Armamentarium?

By Bryan Stierman

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Staphylococcus aureus, first discovered in the 1880s, is one of the most widespread human pathogens. It is also a commensal organism, with about 20% of the population permanently colonized and 60% of the population intermittently colonized. There is a wide variety of potential diseases that may develop when S aureus further invades the body, necessitating the use of antibiotics. Since the introduction of antibiotics into clinical practice, S aureus has developed unique ways to combat them. The evolution of…

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Atherosclerosis

August 17, 2012
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Atherosclerosis

By Michael Malone

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been popularized in recent years as beneficial nutrients with cardioprotective effects. Omega-3 PUFAs are so named because of a double bond between the 3rd and 4th carbon of the polycarbon chain. They are “poly-unsaturated” with hydrogen atoms, as their carbon chains contain multiple double bonds. Three omega-3 long chain PUFAs are typically discussed in the context of medical therapy, the first being alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an essential precursor omega-3…

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Medicine’s Favorite Default Diagnosis: Non-compliance

August 2, 2012
Medicine’s Favorite Default Diagnosis: Non-compliance

By Robert Keller

Faculty Peer Reviewed

In a small examination room on the Ambulatory Care floor of a large hospital in Brooklyn, I greet Ms. S, a 53-year-old Jamaican woman, as she walks through the door and plops herself down in the chair across from me. Having spent 20 minutes perusing her chart, I know that she suffers from morbid obesity, uncontrolled hypertension (blood pressure 165/95), and terrible diabetes (A1c 13.8%). I have already concluded that her worsening condition over the past 5 years, despite…

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Bystander CPR: How Much Does It Help?

July 18, 2012
Bystander CPR: How Much Does It Help?

By Andrew L. Weinstein

Faculty Peer Reviewed

You have just completed a certification course in basic life support and are competent at performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using chest compressions, a CPR mask, a bag-valve mask with impedance threshold device, and an automated external defibrillator (AED), all interventions recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve circulation following a sudden cardiac arrest. On your way home from the training center you see a man collapse and rush over to find him unresponsive, not breathing, and…

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How Bad is Binge Drinking, Really?

July 12, 2012
How Bad is Binge Drinking, Really?

By Patrick Olivieri

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Alcohol is a well-established part of our culture,as a social lubricant or a way to wind down at the end of the day. Recently, however, binge drinking (4 or more drinks for a woman, 5 or more drinks for a man) has been rapidly increasing, with as many as 32% of Americans reporting at least occasional bingeing. Additionally, men have been shown to binge drink 30% of the time when they go out socially.It is well known that alcoholism…

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Gout: A Disease of the Blessed or a Blessing in Disguise?

June 8, 2012
Gout: A Disease of the Blessed or a Blessing in Disguise?

By Krithiga Sekar

Faculty Peer Reviewed

“The patient goes to bed and sleeps quietly until about two in the morning when he is awakened by a pain which usually seizes the great toe, but sometimes the heel, the calf of the leg or the ankle… so exquisitely painful as not to endure the weight of the clothes nor the shaking of the room from a person walking briskly therein.”

—Thomas Sydenham  (1683)

Gout, an excruciatingly painful but relatively benign form of arthritis in the…

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BiDil: The Future of Medicine or a Return to a Dark Past?

May 31, 2012
BiDil: The Future of Medicine or a Return to a Dark Past?

By Christopher David Velez, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Given the traumatic and often criminal role that medicine and the larger scientific community played in some of the most shameful acts of the 20th century, it is natural that the consequences of these collaborations have continued to reverberate to the present day. The chills sent down our spines can be sparked from reading treatises purporting to demonstrate the undeniable genetic evidence of racial superiority, or from the revulsion towards the degrees of complicity needed for the…

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