Headlines @ U.Va.
U.VA. FIRST TO PERFORM NEW ANEURYSM GRAFT
An artery in Malcolm Langston’s chest had bulged to the size of a small peach and if it had ruptured he probably would have died. But Langston still refused traditional surgery. Instead, the 72-year-old North Carolina man opted to wait a few weeks until the Food and Drug Administration approved a graft used in a less invasive procedure. Langston was the first person in America to have the graft implanted. The FDA approved the procedure, which was performed at the Medical Center on March 24. The traditional surgery for aneurysms in the chest requires a 9-inch incision; the ribs are spread open, sometimes one must be removed, and the damaged portion of the artery is replaced with prosthetic material. The surgery typically takes six hours and hospital stays average 10 days.
Treatment is much less severe, however, with the new graft. Dr. Michael Dake, chairman of the Department of Radiology, said the 90-minute procedure calls for a 2-inch incision in the groin. The graft is then threaded through an artery to the damaged area. Once in place, blood flows through the device, taking pressure off the aneurysm and causing it to shrink. Recovery time in the hospital is two or three days. Langston said he was able to get out of bed and walk around the day after the surgery. (Charlottesville Daily Progress, April 6)
DOING A BODY GOOD MAY NOT BE
Middle-aged men who drink a glass or two of milk each day may be increasing their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life, new research suggests. The ingredient or possible contaminent in milk responsible for this effect is unclear, but the current findings suggest it’s not the calcium. The new findings, which appear in the medical journal Neurology, support those of an earlier report linking high consumption of dairy products with an elevated risk of Parkinson’s disease among men, but not women. Together with his colleagues, Dr. R. D. Abbott from the Health System found that a total of 128 participants — in the study of 7,504 men — developed Parkinson’s disease. The risk of Parkinson’s disease increased as the amount of milk consumed each day rose. The final statistic showed that heavy milk drinkers were 2.3 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than nonmilk drinkers. (Reuters, April 6)
KAINE VISITS SABATO ’S POLITICS CLASS
When Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine came to the University on April 4,
he told students that the state should work with counties and cities to develop incentives or controls to discourage large lot sizes. Large lots are contributing to suburban sprawl, which in turn is causing the need for more highways.
Kaine, the presumptive Democratic candidate for governor, spoke to Larry J. Sabato’s “Introduction to American Politics” class. His likely Republican opponent, former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, will address the students on April 13.
The larger lots “made it hard for a teacher or a firefighter or a policeman to live in the jurisdiction where they work,” Kaine said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 5)