Epi Department News

Brent among researchers looking to brain images to predict who will attempt suicide

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - With the help of a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Carnegie Mellon University's Marcel Just and EPI's DAVID BRENT will analyze the differences in brain scans of suicidal and non-suicidal young adults to detect those most at risk and develop personalized therapies. "It could give us a window into the suicidal mind that we don't have now," Brent said.  

Schulz talks taking care of frail, aging parents for older caregivers

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10 percent of adults ages 60 to 69 whose parents are alive serve as caregivers, as do 12 percent of adults age 70 and older. “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHULZ.  

PFAS expert Savitz interviewed by Detroit Public TV

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GREAT LAKES NOW - Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office declared two townships in Kalamazoo County a state of emergency due to elevated levels of the chemicals called “PFAS.” The amount is 20 times what the EPA says is unsafe. To find out more about PFAS contamination and what it can do to water and to the human body, Great Lakes Now talked with PFAS expert DAVID SAVITZ (EPI '82).  

Robin Leaf and Marnie Bertolet complete the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program

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Congratulations to Student Affairs' ROBIN LEAF and EPI's MARNIE BERTOLET, EPI professor, for completing the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP) and for being recognized at the recent Graduation Ceremony. DICP is designed to reinforce the University’s core values of diversity and inclusion through a series of six workshops open to all faculty and staff.   

Brent comments on the potential affect of suicide details reported by the media

REUTERS - How the media reports on suicides may impact whether others decide to kill themselves in the days following the original death, a study suggests. Stories can have a positive effect if they shed light on the role of mental health issues, according to EPI's DAVID BRENT.   

SuperCourse created to reduce the brain drain

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THE BORGEN PROJECT - The “Brain Drain” is the migration of professionals from one country to another in search of a higher standard of living. This has negative effects on developing nations. To increase the connectivity between professionals in developed and developing countries a revolutionary network has been developed at the University of Pittsburgh called SuperCourse. EPI's TREVOR ORCHARD is on the editorial board and Faina Linkov (EPI '05)... 

'Good cholesterol' may not always be good for postmenopausal women

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NBC NEWS - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' Higher HDL cholesterol may not always be as protective in postmenopausal women as we once thought, said SAMAR EL KHOUDARY, lead author and EPI professor. "High total HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women could mask a significant heart disease risk that we still need to understand.”  

Updated osteoporosis screening guidelines cover only women. That could hurt men, says Cauley

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - The emphasis on screening women for osteoporosis has fostered a sexist view of the bone-weakening disease. That’s harmful to men, whose bones also weaken with age. Men are twice as likely to die within a year of breaking a hip. In a journal editorial accompanying the guidelines, EPI's JANE CAULEY, said screening men is justified and should target those 70 and older “who have a high probability of fracture.”  

Pitt task force outlines framework for confronting nationwide opioid crisis

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PITTWIRE - Pitt is taking a leading role in tackling the public health crisis by strengthening its prevention, treatment and recovery programs to bring meaningful change to the lives of students. "While opioid abuse is lower on university campuses, we can't be complacent," said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Pitt Public Health was represented on the task by BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and project coordinator MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13).   

Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still used to predict cardiovascular disease risk,” said lead author and EPI's, SAMAR EL KHOUDARY (EPI '08).   

Pitt's opioid task force releases recommendations

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The task force, which includes officials and students, including BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), has recommended that the school mobilize its research and treatment resources to fight addiction through initiatives ranging from partnerships with local medical centers to an on-campus space devoted to student recovery.   

Naimi explains the epidemiological work being done at Pitt Public Health (video)

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Much of the work being done in epidemiology is about translating data into practice, explains EPI's ASHLEY NAIMI. One way of doing that is through causal inference. "Causal inference is not actually about providing causality from observational data. It’s about identifying the conditions that we need in order to infer causality.” He also discusses his work with aspirin and whether it can help with fertility and child birth.  

Power from the ground up: A garden in Larimer shows collaboration across fault lines

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PUBLIC SOURCE - At first, some were skeptical about the African Healing Garden in Larimer. Too often outside forces dropped projects into the neighborhood without knowing the people there. However, EPI's HEATHER ENG says the garden is a “bridge” for the people that live there. Sharing Facebook posts of its progress has "helped us all have something that we can talk about with enthusiasm and appreciation.”   

Brent on suicide rates climbing across the nation

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NY TIMES - Suicide rates rose steadily in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, increasing 25 percent nationally. Studies found that slightly more than half of people who had committed suicide did not have any known mental health condition. “The reason most suicide decedents don’t have a known mental disorder is that they were never diagnosed, not that they didn’t have one,” said EPI's DAVID BRENT.   

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