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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Healthy soldiers, the latest cardiac innovations, and adult ADHD


“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Are today’s soldiers healthier than ever before? Bryant Webber, M.D., at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, discusses a new study that measures atherosclerosis in military personnel killed between 2001 and 2011. Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries harden due to plaque and fatty buildup. The percentage of soldiers with atherosclerosis has declined from 15 percent during the Korean War to 2.3 percent in the Iraqi War. Dr. Webber credits the decline in atherosclerosis to today’s army being composed of volunteers, not distributing cigarettes as rations, and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Repairing sick and damaged hearts: Marc Gerdisch, M.D., explains what heart valves do, what’s new with heart valve replacement, and how extracellular matrix can assist in repairing damaged valves. Dr. Gerdisch offers patients an alternative to open-heart surgery by performing noninvasive heart valve replacement by using a catheter. Although the noninvasive approach increases the risk of a stroke, it is effective for people who can’t handle open-heart surgery. Dr. Gerdisch was also one of the first surgeons in the world to use a new substance called extracellular matrix to restructure or repair parts of valves. When used in a valve repair, extracellular matrix can be replaced by native tissue. Dr. Gerdisch is the director of cardiothoracic surgery at St. Francis Heart Center Indianapolis and a clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center.

New treatment for uncontrolled hypertension: George Thomas, M.D., and a nephrologist at the Cleveland Clinic discusses renal nerve ablation, a new procedure for uncontrollable high blood pressure. According to Dr. Thomas, the kidneys are connected to the brain by sympathetic nerves, which control the fight or flight response. Sometimes these nerves stay switched on, which leads to uncontrollable high blood pressure. Renal nerve ablation is a noninvasive procedure that uses a catheter to go to the kidney arteries and apply pulses of radio frequency to the artery wall. The radio frequency targets the renal nerves. This procedure is only being done as part of a clinical trial and is not FDA approved. According to Dr. Thomas, this procedure is a promising and exciting advance in the field of blood pressure management.

Ask the Expert: Frances Prevatt, Ph.D., executive director of the Adult Learning and Evaluation Center at Florida State University and co-author of “Succeeding With Adult ADHD,” discusses adult attention deficit hyperactive disorder with host Barbara Lewis. According to Prevatt, adult ADHD is common among adults and is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed until later in life. Although adults may be able to see symptoms of ADHD within their daily lives, they must see a medical professional to get an official diagnosis. Prevatt says the key to managing adult ADHD is finding the right medication and dosage while also attending therapy or coaching.

Living with adult ADHD: Lisa Boester, a life coach and owner of Art of Life Coaching, is also an adult living with ADHD. Boester was first diagnosed with a mood disorder because she didn’t fit the criteria for adult ADHD. One she was given the right diagnosis and medication, and Boester says her life felt so much clearer, like things were finally in order. As a life coach, she helps her clients understand their ADHD while focusing on their symptoms and looking for structures to help them navigate everyday life.

“Sound Medicine,” co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is aired on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).