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On the Gateway: Health Matters

While COVID-19 dominated the health news cycle over the past year, research continued to uncover new ways to combat other illnesses.
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Health news during the past year has been overwhelmingly focused on stories about viruses, the global pandemic, and new hope in the form of vaccines. While COVID-19 dominated the news cycle, research continued to uncover new ways to combat illnesses that have been around much longer. Look to the Alumni Education Gateway to find information and resources on a number of health and wellness topics.

NEW CANCER TEST

The MyProstateScore test measures levels of cancer-specific genes in a patient’s urine, which could be a practical method to rule out more costly or invasive procedures. Jeffrey Tosoian, a Michigan Medicine clinical lecturer in urology, discusses the development, which was based on research from the U-M Rogel Cancer Center.

A NEW AGENT

The pembrolizumab immunotherapy agent may play a key role in treating patients with metastatic breast cancer whose tumors have a lot of mutations and have progressed despite treatment. Ajjai Alva, an oncologist at Michigan Medicine, weighs in on these findings and the recent FDA approval of the agent.

TREATING SLEEP APNEA

New research from Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Centers finds that older adults who receive positive airway pressure therapy as treatment for obstructive sleep apnea may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia.

KIWIS FOR CONSTIPATION

Constipation is a common symptom often related to a different health problem. Michigan Medicine professors William Chey and Shanti Eswaran, and clinical research manager Samuel Chey, teamed up to research several fruits as effective therapies for chronic constipation.

KIDS AND CROHN’S

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel condition. Many people’s symptoms may not reflect the actual inflammation in their bowels, which makes it difficult to know if treatments are working, especially in children. Researchers at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital have developed a new, simplified version of the colonoscopy score that may lead to better evaluations of treatment.

COVERING COUGHS

U-M mechanical engineering assistant professor Jesse Capecelatro discusses a new research project looking at the dangers of “close-proximity coughs.” The research will help discover better ways to mitigate hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic to better respond to future outbreaks.

POLIO PREVENTION

In August 2020, the World Health Organization certified Africa free from wild polio after four years of no cases being reported on the continent. Co-writing for Africa Portal, Utibe Effiong, MPH’14, provides a brief history of what it took to reach this point and what it will take to continue progress against other diseases.

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