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Child Abuse & Brain Development – This Week on Sound Medicine


Sound Medicine airs at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22, on WFYI, 90.1 FM. For the airtime on a public radio station near you, check the Sound Medicine website. 

Child abuse disrupts nerve tissue development. A study by Harvard researcher Martin Teicher, M.D., Ph.D., may reveal why victims of child abuse are at greater risk for depression, drug addiction and other mental health problems. Dr. Teicher speaks with Sound Medicine’s Steve Bogdewic, Ph.D., about his data, which show that abuse in childhood may disrupt the development of nerve tissues that may reduce the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with emotions and memory. Dr. Teicher directs the developmental biopsychiatry research program and laboratory of developmental psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital in Boston. He also is associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Concussion symptoms can linger. Researchers are still learning about concussions, sometimes called mild traumatic brain injuries, and their long-term effects on children. Brain injury expert Keith Yeates, Ph.D., of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, says that concussion symptoms can last up to a year in children. Dr. Yeates discusses his study with Sound Medicine’s Dr. Steve Bogdewic.

Wii exercise study disappoints. Initially, experts thought that Wii video games like boxing and tennis could help kids get more exercise. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. A study out of Baylor University found that kids who play so-called “active” video games don’t get any more exercise than gamers who sit to play. Sound Medicine’s Kathy Miller, M.D., asks exercise physiologist Jeffrey Sledge, Ph.D., to explain the surprising results. Dr. Sledge teaches at the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was not involved in the Wii study.

Safer baseball bats. Updated NCAA rules require a new, less-powerful type of aluminum bat for high school baseball players. To learn how they work and why they’re necessary, Sound Medicine’s Dr. Steve Bogdewic meets with an expert on baseball physics, David Peters, Ph.D. Peters is a professor of engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

Smartphone application for calorie counting. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but is it also worth a thousand calories? There’s an app to answer that. Purdue University engineering professor Edward J. Delp, Ph.D., created a smartphone application that lets users photograph their food for a calorie count. Dr. Delp explains how it works to Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D. Delp is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University. 

Also this week, Jeremy Shere, Ph.D., explains why popcorn is the new health food. Dr. Shere also provides details about the mysterious uptick in autism diagnoses.

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health Physicians and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Listen to Sound Medicine on the following Indiana public radio stations:
WBSB (Anderson), WFIU (Bloomington, Columbus, Kokomo, Terre Haute), WNDY (Crawfordsville), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend), WNIN (Evansville), WBOI (Fort Wayne), WFCI (Franklin), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion), WBST (Muncie), WBSJ (Portland), WLPR (Lake County) and WBAA (West Lafayette).

The show also airs on these out-of state public radio stations:
KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KPOV (Bend, Ore.), KEOS (College Station, Texas), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KFTW (Fort Worth, Texas), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KPBX (Spokane, Wash.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), WLRH (Huntsville, Ala.) and WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio).