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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Alternative blood pressure therapies, the new prosthetics, and flying doctors


INDIANAPOLIS — The award-winning “Sound Medicine” announces its program for Aug. 11, including detailed information about alternative therapies to help lower blood pressure, and advances in translational medicine.

Can alternative therapies lower blood pressure? According to the American Heart Association, alternative therapies may help lower blood pressure for those who don’t tolerate or respond to traditional medications. Alternative therapies include aerobic exercise, slow-breathing exercises, resistance training, and isometric handgrip. However, Robert Brook, M.D., cautions that they should be used in conjunction with a blood pressure management plan recommended by a primary care physician; alternative therapies should not replace traditional methods for those who respond well to them. Traditional therapies include exercise, weight management and a low-sodium, well-balanced diet. Dr. Brook is an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.

How are prosthetic limbs changing? The injuries incurred by today’s soldiers have increased the demand for functional prosthetic limbs. Clunky plastic and wood prosthetics have been replaced by highly engineered limbs made of advanced plastic and carbon fiber composites. Matt McClellan, visits “Sound Medicine” to discuss recent advances in prosthetics. According to McClellan, today’s prostheses are efficient and have come a long way in materials and componentry, and recent innovations such as hydraulics and microprocessors have made living with a prosthetic more comfortable. McClellan is the president of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists and the owner of Prosthetic-Orthotic Associates in Tyler, Texas.

What is translational medicine, and how is it changing the medical field? Translational medicine has been defined as all the knowledge it takes to a get a molecule from the laboratory bench to the pill bottle on the bedside table. Wade Lange is the CEO and president of ImmuneWorks, an Indianapolis-based bio-tech company. ImmuneWorks is using translational methods to develop treatments for serious autoimmune diseases of the lung such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or scarring of the lung, for which the only current treatment is a lung transplant. ImmuneWorks has developed a treatment to stabilize the lungs of those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is currently in its second clinical trial. In the past, pharmaceutical companies developed therapies by examining molecules in their laboratories, then testing them in animals and people. Today, pharmaceutical companies, physicians and medical researchers have begun collaborating to develop new therapies that rely on knowledge gleaned from patient care and scientific discoveries. According to Lange, the promise of translational medicine is bringing together doctors and researchers to create new ways to treat and cure common diseases.

How has health care been serving rural Australians for 85 years? In Australia, many people live a day’s drive away from any type of medical facility. So what happens when people need emergency or immediate medical attention? The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Jandakot, Western Australia, is dispatched to take care of the emergency. The service is the only lifeline to immediate medical care in rural Australia. More than 1,000 physicians, nurses, and midwives are employed by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and handle emergency situations for over 270,000 patients across rural Australia. Field producer Maeve Frances details the ins and outs of delivering medical care by air.

“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.

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, Sound Medicine  airs 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).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.