Ask the Doctor: Latest on COVID and possible summer mpox resurgence

Dr. Samuel Mathis, assistant professor of Family Medicine at UTMB Health, discussed a possible resurgence of mpox this summer and the effectiveness rates of the mpox vaccine. He also talked about how to tell the difference between cold, flu, and COVID-19, the record low hospitalization rates for COVID and if people should get COVID boosters in coming months.

Call for Docs to Combat False TikTok Misinformation on Rare Psych Disorder

"Healthcare professionals need to make engaging content to post on social media platforms like YouTube and especially TikTok, to reach wider audiences and combat misinformation about (dissociative identity disorder)," fourth-year UTMB student Isreal Bladimir Munoz tells Medscape.

What To Do When Your Pre-Pre-Teen Turns... Mean

What to do when 7 to 11ish year olds are moody, angsty and mean? UTMB’s Dr. Jeff Temple spoke to Scary Momy about how to help with the mood swings of the post-toddler and pre-pre-teen stage.

Brain has natural weapon to fight Alzheimer's, UTMB scientists find

People with Alzheimer’s disease who don’t also have dementia are protected by autophagy, a natural physiological process that removes toxic proteins from living cells, according to new UTMB research. “Those fortunate individuals are telling us there is a natural way for the human brain to protect itself against dementia,” UTMB’s Dr. Giulio Taglialatela told the Daily News.

COVID Shots Are Still One Giant Experiment

Unlike the last round of bivalent vaccines, the next Covid booster may only have main ingredient, reports The Atlantic. UTMB’s Dr. Vineet Menachery spoke to the magazine about his latest research on the efficacy of the vaccine.

A Vaccine for Birth Control?

In its ideal form, a contraceptive vaccine could prevent pregnancy without the messy side effects of some hormonal birth control. Deploying the vaccine primarily in under-resourced populations could also raise the specter of the eradication of fertility in society’s most vulnerable subsects. Dr. Lisa Campo-Engelstein, a reproductive bioethicist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, worries that even the vaccine’s ease of administration—an ostensible benefit—could be viewed as a downside: Administering a shot without a patient’s full understanding or consent is easier than coercively inserting an IUD or forcing a daily pill.

Thanks to experience and dedication, IMGs could address physician shortage

Dr. Moe Ameri, MD, MSc, a second-year resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said that international medical graduates make up about 25 percent of the U.S. health care work force, with many “going into primary care physician jobs,” including in underserved areas. “I think that IMGs tend to be tenacious in nature and have the ability to survive in underserved areas that might be lacking resources,” he said. “Their impact can be profound in addressing that shortage.”

I lived with a tremor disorder for decades

Reba Smith-Weede described her experience as a patient of Dr. Patrick Karas, a neurosurgeon at UTMB, and her deep brain stimulation treatment for essential tremors. “I wish I hadn't waited so long to get help, but I'm grateful each and every day for the miracle of deep brain stimulation.”

Rush University administrator named finalist for UTMB president

The University of Texas Board of Regents named a Rush University Medical Center physician as the sole finalist for the open job as the president of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Jochen Reiser, the chairperson in the department of medicine at the Chicago-based teaching hospital, was selected as the finalist for the open position in Galveston. Reiser is known for research on kidney disease, with a focus on molecular biology and genetics, according to his profile on the university’s website. He has also directed a National Institutes of Health-funded research laboratory on investigation into the kidney.

Learning to do handstands at age 30 healed my relationship to exercise after a lifetime of resenting it

It turns out that being active can actually be fun. With the right approach, it can feel less like work, and more like play. “There's an opportunity to make something playful because play isn't its own thing that exists,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lyons, of the University of Texas Medical Branch. “Play is basically an attitude towards everything or anything that happens.”

Guest commentary: Join us in honoring UTMB's residents and fellows

“If you visit our clinics or hospitals, you will likely encounter a resident or fellow,” wrote Dr. Thomas A. Blackwell, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and a professor of General Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “Please remember their hard work and dedication to helping you have the best health outcome possible.”

‘Walk to Save Black Men’s Lives’ pics and testimonials

“At the end of the day, it’s important to have people who look like you, who have a similar experience to you kind of advocating for you,” said Chinedu Onwudebee, Student National Medical Association, UTMB Galveston.

Red states pressured on gun violence

“It’s no surprise that politicians sort of blame mental illness,” said Dr. Jeff Temple, director of the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It’s a safe way to address the gun problem without talking about the real culprit.”

Why an outbreak of Ebola’s lethal cousin could help us test a new vaccine

There are several reasons why we haven’t yet come up with an approved vaccine for Marburg, said Dr. Robert Cross, a virologist at Galveston National Laboratory. One of the most salient is that “there really have not been that many outbreaks,” Cross said. “However, as we all know, when these outbreaks occur, they come with extremely dire outcomes, often with many dead.” It’s a blessing and a curse for public health researchers that Marburg outbreaks have historically been few and far in between, as a vaccine can’t be tested if people are never infected.

Tranexamic acid may not prevent hemorrhage after C-section

“The bottom line of the studies is that tranexamic acid does not decrease the risk or the necessity to receive blood products,” said Dr. Luis Pacheco of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “So as of now, our conclusion is that there is not enough data to recommend the use of tranexamic acid to prevent obstetrical hemorrhage, because it does not translate into clinically significant improvements.”

Why 9 is not too young for the HPV vaccine

Dr. Ana Rodriguez, an obstetrician, became interested in raising rates of vaccination against HPV after watching too many women battle a preventable cancer. She worked for several years in the Rio Grande Valley along the U.S. border with Mexico, an impoverished rural area with poor access to healthcare and high rates of HPV infection. “I would treat women very young — not even 30 years of age — already fighting advanced precancerous lesions secondary to HPV,” said Rodriguez, an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

4 common myths about Narcan, the ‘antidote’ to opioid overdose

A common objection to expanding naloxone access is that it acts as a safety net for people with addiction to continue their drug habits with few repercussions. But Dr. Kathryn Cunningham, director of the Center of Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch, said research has shown no evidence that naloxone leads to more drug use. Naloxone may actually convince people to find professional help because it gives them more opportunities to seek treatment and rehabilitation later in life. “You can’t seek medical services if you’re dead,” Cunningham said.

The wealth of your neighborhood can affect your chances of surviving a heart attack, study shows

Your chances of surviving a heart attack and of receiving life-saving treatment are better if you’re from a wealthy neighborhood, according to a new study in JAMA that shows mortality rates are 10 to 20 percent higher among patients in low-income areas than those with a high-income postal code. “In virtually all high-income countries, patients who reside in poor neighborhoods are less likely to receive recommended … heart attack treatments and are more likely to die than their compatriots or peers who live in wealthier neighborhoods in the same country,” said senior author Peter Cram, an adjunct scientist at ICES (formerly the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The Toronto Star also covered this story.

6 signs you’ve got a toxic mentor

The most important thing is to listen to and believe in yourself, says Dr. Jeff Temple, a licensed psychologist and the founding director of the Center for Violence Prevention at University of Texas Medical Branch. “If you feel drained or self-doubting or just plain gross after most interactions with your mentor, then that’s a pretty good sign that you’re in a toxic relationship,” he says. “Mentors should acknowledge the accomplishments of, and encourage, their mentees to do good work. If instead, your mentor is taking credit for, or denigrating, your work, then it may be time to question the relationship.”

Meet Ann and Dan: UTMB Angleton-Danbury welcomes robotic nursing assistants to hospital

The hospital recently introduced the medical-focused robots created by Diligent Robots named Ann and Dan— a play on Angleton Danbury — to its nursing staff. It is the first facility in southern Texas to have Moxi Robots, hospital officials said. “These robots are not just convenient. They are necessary,” said Dr. Beth Reimschissel, UTMB Health Angleton Danbury administrator. “Nurses love it. When we did our time-in-motion study, I think we counted over 300 times they were leaving their patients to do a task that takes no talent. If you ask any nurse or doctor, they do want more time with their patient and the patient wants more time with them.”

Three-Year Anniversary of the Pandemic; Plus, the Origins of COVID-19

Dr. Pei-Yong Shi, professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, explained the work his team did that contributed to the rapid development of the first COVID-19 vaccine in humans, the research done to understand the variants and the future strategy of the vaccine.

Creating a versatile vaccine to take on Covid-19 in its many guises

Collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston carried out experiments that showed a strong immune response in mice given the vaccine. The mice in this experiment did not die but were “humanized,” meaning that they had an HLA molecule found in human cells.

Texas City students to get a lesson in drunk driving

Public school students will see a gruesome depiction of the effects of drunken and drugged driving during an interactive presentation March 10. Texas City ISD, with the help of the University of Texas Medical Branch, will stage a live production to vividly portray the devastating effects of the common occurrence, officials said.

Focus on the right fatty foods

“It may come as a surprise for some that fat is an essential food,” wrote Dr. Sally Robinson in her column. Healthy fat is critical for a child’s growth and brain development.

What is the effect of religion on your health?

Numerous studies show how religious involvement affects our coping skills, improves the quality of life, decreases anxiety and depression symptoms, lowers suicide risk and can even add years to your life, Dr. Samuel Mathis wrote in his column.

Artificial intelligence says it's not after your job

Dr. Cody Dodd, a child psychologist who works in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch, spoke to The Galveston County Daily News about the pros and cons of artificial intelligence. “What we know is if you get good treatment that’s great, but what’s better is getting treatment from somebody that you feel understands you. Until we can get to the point where people can form relationships with AI, this is going to be very tough for AI to take a therapist’s job.”

Residents near the Jones Road Superfund Site call for more testing

Local environmental group THEA has partnered with researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in the area both inside and outside the EPA's official boundary. “The purpose of whatever we find whether good or bad is for them to be able to utilize that in requesting any additional services from EPA if necessary,” Dr. Lance Hallberg with UTMB previously told Houston Public Media.

All News Categories