Skip to main content

On ‘Sound Medicine’: E -cigarettes, car seats for pets, and eradicating the Guinea worm


INDIANAPOLIS — The award-winning “Sound Medicine” announces its program for Sept. 29, with a conversation about the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, the eradication of the Guinea worm, and new World Health Organization guidelines for HIV/AIDS treatment in young children.

Is e-cigarette usage on the rise? According to a recent study by the CDC, e-cigarette usage is rising among middle and high school students. E-cigarettes function as vaporizers that heat a nicotine solution and allow smokers to inhale a vapor, eliminating the harmful chemicals emitted by tobacco. The vapors come in over 200 flavors, including ones like cotton candy and orange cream soda that are attractive to kids. Neal Benowitz, M.D., discusses the potential ramifications of e-cigarette usage in teens, the long-term effects of usage, and potential FDA regulation. Dr. Benowitz is the chief of the division of clinical pharmacology at the University of California-San Francisco.

Can shamans help treat depression? A 2010 study found that the Hmong people are twice as likely to be affected by mental illness as the average American. The Hmong are based in Southeast Asia, but their largest population outside Asia is in Minnesota. Despite their predisposition to mental illness, many Hmong do not believe in mental illness and reject conventional Western treatment. Instead of being diagnosed with depression by a physician, many Hmong will seek out a shaman to see if there has been a loss of soul. Field producer Michael Holtz explores the methods of a modern-day shaman and how conventional medicine may be embracing holistic treatments for mental illness.

How will new HIV treatment guidelines affect children in Kenya? AMPATH, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare in Kenya, provides health care, food and employment for those affected by HIV. AMPATH is a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine that was formed to help control and prevent HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Rachel Vreeman, M.D., discusses the new World Health Organization guidelines for treating HIV in children, how children in Kenya will be affected by these guidelines, and the stigma associated with HIV in Kenya. Dr. Vreeman is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Has the Guinea worm been eradicated? Donald Hopkins, M.D., vice president for health programs at the Carter Center, helped eradicate smallpox. Now he is close to eliminating the ancient Guinea worm, a parasitic infection that is spread by drinking water contaminated with water fleas. The parasites mature in the abdomen and work their way to the surface after a year. The worms create painful lesions that release hundreds of thousands of larvae when submerged in water. “Sound Medicine” host Anne Ryder speaks with Dr. Hopkins about the Guinea worm and the Carter Center’s efforts to eliminate them.

Are car seats for pets necessary? Elizabeth Murphy, DVM, visits “Sound Medicine” to discuss the necessity of car seats for pets. Dr. Murphy advocates the use of pet crates and carriers, while cautioning drivers to fasten them securely with seat belts. Car seats for smaller dogs have become increasingly popular; however, Dr. Murphy says any form of restrained carrier works just as well.

“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.