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NLM Director’s Comments Transcript
NIH MedlinePlus Magazine Winter 2013: 03/04/2013

Picture of Dr. Lindberg

Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D. senior staff National Library of Medicine for Donald Lindberg, M.D, the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Here is what's new this week in MedlinePlus.listen

The new edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine covers lung cancer treatment and prevention, living with osteoarthritis, as well as information about autism spectrum disorders.

The cover features former Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino, his wife and now-adult son, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at age three. Dan and Claire Marino recall their shock at the time of their son’s ASD diagnosis. They add the Marino family’s collective experiences fostered the creation and growth of the Dan Marino Foundation, which creates opportunities for children and young adults with ASD and special needs.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes in the past two decades, the Dan Marino Foundation raised more than $39 million to fund the Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center, the Marino Autism Research Institute, and the forthcoming Marino Vocational College. These initiatives strive to enhance the quality of life for youngsters with ASD and special needs as well as prepare them for independent careers and lives.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes ASD is a group of brain developmental disorders with symptoms (such as communication challenges, social interaction difficulties, and repetitive behavior) that often begin before age three. About one in 88 children has ASD. NIH MedlinePlus magazine adds boys have a four to five times greater risk of ASD compared to girls.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine finds recent research enables an earlier diagnosis of children with ASD, which enhances treatment. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes ASD treatment options include: behavioral therapy, medications that assist to counter possible depression, and a range of individually tailored options. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes there is no ASD cure and there is no overall, recommended treatment.

A special section in NIH MedlinePlus magazine also helps adults live with osteoarthritis. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which impacts joint pain and stiffness.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (the tissue that protects the ends of bones) begins to erode. The section features a review of some common medications for osteoarthritis and provides an overview of some related research that is underway. The latter includes tissue engineering, which grows cartilage.

In order to live with osteoarthritis, NIH MedlinePlus magazine suggests several treatments including: exercise, weight control, acupuncture, and a combination of heat and cold treatments for affected areas.

The winter 2013 edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine additionally provides a helpful overview of lung cancer treatment and prevention. NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports about 160,000 Americans died and 226,000 persons were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports early detection via screening procedures, such as Ultrasound and CT scans, often fosters better health outcomes for lung cancer patients.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine reviews some of the common therapies for lung cancer patients including: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. NIH MedlinePlus magazine also provides an array of questions for a lung cancer patient to ask health care professionals. For example, for radiation therapy NIH MedlinePlus magazine suggests patients ask:

  • how will I feel during treatment?
  • will I be able to drive myself to and from treatment?
  • how will we know the treatment is working?

In an overview of related research findings, NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes a recent study suggests some Asian women who have never smoked may have a genetic susceptibility to lung cancer. Another recent study suggests nicotine replacement therapy for former smokers is not associated with lung cancer’s development.

As always, NIH MedlinePlus magazine provides a helpful list of phone numbers (many of them a free call) to contact NIH’s array of institutes and centers.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine is distributed to physicians’ offices nationwide by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine. You can subscribe or find the latest edition online by clicking on ‘Magazine,’ which is on the bottom right side of MedlinePlus.gov’s home page.

Previous editions of NIH MedlinePlus magazine are available at the same site. A link to NIH MedlinePlus Salud, which provides other health information and resources in Spanish, is available there as well (see the top right of the page).

The web version of NIH MedlinePlus magazine now includes links that visually supplement the information in some articles.

Before I go, this reminder… MedlinePlus.gov is authoritative. It's free. We do not accept advertising …and is written to help you.

To find MedlinePlus.gov, just type in 'MedlinePlus.gov' in any web browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Netscape, Chrome or Explorer. To find Mobile MedlinePlus.gov, just type 'Mobile MedlinePlus' in the same web browsers.

We encourage you to use MedlinePlus and please recommend it to your friends. MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish. Some medical information is available in 43 other languages.

Your comments about this or any of our podcasts are always welcome. We welcome suggestions about future topics too!

Please email Dr. Lindberg anytime at: NLMDirector@nlm.nih.gov

That's NLMDirector (one word) @nlm.nih.gov

A written transcript of recent podcasts is available by typing 'Director's comments' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

The National Library of Medicine is one of 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

It was nice to be with you. I look forward to meeting you here next week.