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Dartmouth Medicine Fall 2005

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Fall 2005 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Tobacco on the silver screen: Tobacco companies can't pay to get their products in movies anymore. But that doesn't mean cigarettes aren't still showing up there. A Dartmouth study showed that tobacco brand placements have hardly dipped at all in PG-13 movies. See page 5.

To Serbia, with love: Serbian émigré Veljko Popov, an M.D.-Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, has been working for three years to bring ultrasound technology—via e-mail—to his hometown in Serbia. It's a way to give something back to the people he left behind. See page 20.

On the trail of health disparities: Native American military veterans appear to have a 50% greater risk than Caucasian veterans of dying within 30 days of surgery, according to a just-published study. The Dartmouth surgeon who did the research—herself a Navajo—is already at work on a follow-up study to pin down the reason for a perplexing paradox in the findings. See page 8.

When glass beads are more valuable than diamonds: Tiny glass beads embedded with a radioactive isotope are part of a new treatment for an inoperable form of liver cancer; it offers survival at least as long as the traditional therapy but with many fewer side effects. See page 26.

Screening moms in the pediatrician's office: A recent Dartmouth study showed that pediatricians' offices are a good place to pick up on maternal depression, since mothers with young children are often there. And the study also determined the most effective way to do the screening. See page 7.

A better biomarker for heart disease?: A pilot study suggests that a substance released from the heart wall when it's under stress—B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP)—may be an even better predictor than cholesterol of impending heart disease. See page 4.

Everybody's talkin' at me . . . : And the problem is that in health-care settings, talking can be an unreliable way of communicating critical information. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center's director of nursing research has written about the pitfalls of oral communication—and about some ways to minimize the perils. See page 31.

This is brain surgery: Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Dartmouth, does complex operations on the brains of children. She loves the liveliness of her little patients—and sets high standards for their care. See page 64.

Artwork with real meaning: Nine works of art were recently donated to Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center—all of them pieces done especially for the facility by artists whose lives have been touched in some way by cancer. The hope is that the artistic creativity may spur on the scientific creativity of the researchers who labor in the center's labs. See page 72.

To pursue any of these stories, contact the Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Media Relations Office at 603-653-1969 or MedNews@Dartmouth.edu.

Dana Cook Grossman
Editor

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College