November is Diabetes Awareness month. Did you know that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new, irreversible blindness in adults from industrialized nations for people aged 20-74? Globally, 93 million people suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy alone. Four primary eye diseases are linked to diabetes: cataracts, glaucoma, macular edema and the most common- diabetic retinopathy. Duration of diabetes, poor glycemic control and hypertension are the highest risk factors for diabetic eye disease. Diabetes affects the eye in specific ways.
First, high blood sugar can cause swelling in the lens of the eye. This can be a temporary condition. Over time, diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina and can cause blind spots, blurred and double vision, “flashing lights”, floating spots and decreased vision. Visual acuity can also fluctuate. Decreased vision, however affects daily living. There are four stages of Diabetic Retinopathy and eye exams for diabetics include more specialized test than a routine annual comprehensive eye exam. There are no treatments available to restore lost vision. However, there are treatments that can minimize further damage and aid in coping with the damage including: lasers, medicine, surgery and vision-related rehabilitation.
In this segment and as part of Diabetes Awareness Month, Dr. Janelle Davison, a local optometrist that specializes in clinically complex eye care will provide a general overview of how diabetes affects the eye, diabetic eye diseases, treatments and preventive strategies for diabetic patients to maintain their vision. Listeners can visit: www.brillianteyesmarietta.com, www.visionaware.org or www.diabetes.org for more information.
Dr. Janelle Davison
- BS in Biology from Xavier University in LA
- Doctor of Optometry from Pennsylvania College of Optometry
- Specialist in clinically complex eye disease
- Currently in private practice at Brilliant Eye Vision Center in Marietta, GA
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month and unfortunately, the US ranks first in the increasing number of deaths associated with neurological disease, including Alzheimer’s Disease (dementia). Today, over 5.4M Americans suffer from some degree of Alzheimer’s and this number is expected to double between now and 2030. Did you know that Alzheimer’s affects twice as many patients as heart disease and three times as many patients as cancer in the US? Estimated annual expenditures for 2010 for Alzheimer related treatments were $200B. Yet- this disease, for which there is no cure or proven treatments to delay or stop the disease is almost absent from mainstream media-perhaps because there are not many profitable remedies.
Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease that disrupts the way electricity passes through our brain and also affects the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Over time, the brain, quite literally, shrinks due to nerve cell death. Risk factors for Alzheimer’s include: age, family history, genetics, head trauma and some lifestyle factors. The primary symptoms for Alzheimer’s is memory loss that disrupts daily life (this is different than normal aging memory changes). Diagnosis is made through a complete medical assessment that may include a physical exam, neurological tests, mental status tests, blood work and brain imaging. There are several stages of Alzheimer’s and patients do not all progress at the same rate. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and no treatments that have proven to delay or stop the progression. Treatments focus on symptom management for sleep disturbances and memory loss.
Most distressing to families of patients with Alzheimer’s are behavior changes such as irritability, depression, anxiety, sleep changes, verbal outbursts and delusions. There are also many “myths” surrounding Alzheimer’s like- do flu shots, aluminum or Aspartame lead to the development of Alzheimer’s? Can only older people get Alzheimer’s?
In this segment, Dr. Monica Parker, a board certified family medicine physician and gerontology specialist and Ms. Suzette Binford, the Program Director of the Atlanta Chapter of the Alzheimer Foundation, will provide a general overview of Alzheimer’s Disease and some tips on “life after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Listeners can visit: www.emoryhealthcare.com and www.alzfdn.org for more information.
Dr. Monica Parker
- MD obtained from University of Nebraska
- Residency completed at University of Mississippi
- Board-Certified in Family Medicine, Gerontologist
- Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Geriatric Medicine at Emory University
- Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from The Citadel
- Program Director, Alzheimer’s Foundation, ATL Chapter
Most of us think of dentistry as routine: teeth cleaning, period Xrays for cavities, fillings and the occasional crown or root canal. However, there is an a very specialized area of dentistry that handles such issues as hospital dentistry, dentistry for special needs children (autism, Down’s Syndrome and developmental delays) and dental trauma. These skilled dentists receive rigorous additional training in oral-maxillofacial surgery. It is rarely thought of until it is needed. Many of these procedures are performed in a hospital setting to care for medically compromised patient or patients with adjunct and compiled medical conditions. They treat patients requiring reconstructive surgery, implants, injuries to the head, face and neck.
Please join us as Dr. Albert Baawo educates us about the world of “specialized” dentistry! Listeners can learn more at www.tooth11.com.
Dr. Albert Baawo (DMD)
- DMD obtained at Medical College of GA
- Served as VP of N. GA Dental Society
- Internship at Emory University (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)
- Private practice in Buckhead
The male role in contraception has been thought of as relatively simple, when in fact, it is actually quite complicated. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 15% of couples are infertile (frequent , unprotected sex of childbearing age with no pregnancy in one year). Research estimates show that 7.5-10% of all males of reproductive age are infertile. Male infertility is a major cause of no conception in 50% of childless couples. Male infertility can be defined as abnormalities in sperm production, maturity or delivery that impedes the establishment of pregnancy.
The male reproductive cycle involves testosterone secretion that is the common link between the pituitary gland and the testes. To achieve a pregnancy from the male component the following is needed: 1) healthy sperm 2) enough sperm is carried to the semen 3) the sperm is correctly shaped for motility and 4) no ejaculation problems. Causes for male infertility include varioceles (swelling of veins that drain the testes-42%), obstruction, infection, chromosome abnormalities, hormone imbalances, tumors, ejaculation problems, anti-sperm antibodies, sperm duct defects, some chronic diseases, environmental causes (exposures) and lifestyle causes (weight, stress, smoking and drug use). Male infertility evaluation often includes a semen analysis, an extensive medical history, a physical exam, lab testing and ultrasound examination.
Treatment of male infertility usually focuses on correction of the underlying problem or using treatments to help with the infertility. Possible treatments include: surgery, medications and assisted reproductive technologies such as sperm retrieval, sperm donation and cryopreservation. The process of identifying and treating male infertility can be stressful for the individual and couple. Costs can be high and this treatment is typically not covered by health insurance. The outcome is often unknown for some time period and stress can be high. There are many coping strategies and support groups for psychosocial support.
In this segment, Dr. Michael Witt, a board certified urologist and male infertility specialist (one of the few in the southeast) will discuss the a general overview of male infertility. Listeners can visit: www.rba-online.com and www.resolve.org for more information.
Dr. Michael Witt
- MD obtained from Oregon Health Science University
- Completed residency in urology at Boston University Hospital
- Fellowship in male infertility completed at Baylor College of Medicine in TX
- Board-certified in urology
- Featured on CNN, The Learning Channel, named one of Atlanta’s Top Doctors
- Now in private practice at Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta