The Journal Record Health Care Briefs: August 9, 2011

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The Journal Record Health Care Briefs: August 9, 2011


Record, Journal, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Lindvall named executive director

Bert Lindvall has joined Laser Spine Institute in Oklahoma City as executive director.

Since November 2010, Lindvall has served as client coordinator, managing all clinical operations, for Laser Spine Institute/Aspen Back and Body in Aspen, Colo.

Erickson joins Sanford Children's Clinic

Heidi Erickson, a pediatrician, has joined Sanford Children's Clinic in Duncan.

She specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Khan joins OU Children's Physicians

Osman Khan, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, has joined the staff of the University of Oklahoma Children's Physicians.

He is board-certified in pediatrics and board-eligible in pediatric hematology-oncology.

Khan completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa., where he also completed his residency. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship with the division of Endocrinology at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C., after serving as a research assistant for the Division of Pediatric Oncology.

Zhao joins OU Physicians

Pathologist Lichao Zhao has established a practice with OU Physicians.

He is also an assistant professor with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

Zhao is board-certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He completed a fellowship in cytopathology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. He served as co-chief resident of anatomic and clinical pathology at the OU College of Medicine.

Zhao earned his doctorate in immunology from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and his medical degree from Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.

Benefit from diabetes drug studied

Research at the University of Oklahoma's Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center may reveal why a commonly prescribed diabetes medication also protects against heart problems in people with diabetes.

Previous research had shown the drug Metformin reduced the incidence of heart attack in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, it wasn't clear why this occurred. Now, research by Zhonglin Xie and his colleagues at the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center provides answers.

The research team focused on a specific enzyme that regulates cellular energy in the heart and is known to be inhibited in people with diabetes. When this happens, heart cells lose their ability to undergo a cellular "house cleaning" process called autophagy.

"This results in accumulation of abnormal proteins and damaged cell parts, which causes heart cell death and impaired heart function," said Xie, a Diabetes Center researcher and assistant professor in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center's Department of Medicine.

Xie found that chronic Metformin treatment enhances cardiac autophagy in diabetic laboratory models, thereby protecting and preserving heart function.

Although the medication reduces blood sugar levels only in people with type 2 diabetes, the team found that the beneficial effect of Metformin on the heart is evident with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that Metformin treatment may be useful in preventing and treating heart failure in people with both types of diabetes, Xie said.

Xie cautioned that more research is still needed. It is not yet known what dosage of Metformin and what duration of use would be required to provide optimum benefit in patients with diabetes.

The research was published in the science journal Diabetes.

It was funded with $214,787 in grants from the National Institutes of Health, along with support from the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association and Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. …

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