WEEKLY NEWS TIP SHEET HEALTH TOPICS FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

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    Health-care providers and researchers with the University of Louisville are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information:

    BRACES ENHANCE SMILE’S HEALTH AND BEAUTY

    The benefit of braces is not only cosmetic. Orthodontic treatment straightens teeth, ensuring a good bite that makes it easier to chew and speak.

    In some cases, teeth are straight, but the upper and lower jaws may not meet properly due to heredity, injury, early or late tooth loss or thumb sucking. Correcting the problem can create not only a nice-looking smile, but a healthier mouth, according to Sunita Chandiramani, D.M.D., clinical associate professor of orthodontics at the UofL School of Dentistry. An abnormal bite can result in further oral health problems – tooth decay, gum disease, affected speech or chewing, abnormal wear to tooth enamel and jaw problems.

    Braces can be worn during adolescence or into adulthood, as long as teeth are healthy. Modern braces have become more comfortable and newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth, usually requiring fewer adjustments. Options include traditional metal braces, tooth-colored braces, braces that go behind the teeth and clear aligners.

    To make an appointment with UofL orthodontists, call 502-852-5625.

    EPIDURAL STIMULATION IMPROVES BLOOD PRESSURE AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY

    Researchers at UofL’s Kentucky Spinal Cord injury Research Center (KSCIRC) have found that spinal cord epidural stimulation (scES) can lead to improvements in low blood pressure for individuals with chronic, complete spinal cord injury. The research, published this week in JAMA Neurology, describes the improvements experienced by four research participants in blood pressure and heart rate regulation during and after receiving scES. All four participants had chronic, complete cervical spinal cord injury, persistent low resting blood pressure and blood pressure decrease when sitting up prior to implantation and training with scES.  SEE VIDEO STORY

    “From a quality of life perspective, orthostatic hypotension, or low blood pressure when sitting up, is truly life limiting,” said Glenn A. Hirsch, M.D., a cardiologist with the UofL School of Medicine and co-author of the study.

    Stefanie Putnam, one of the research participants, no longer loses consciousness multiple times a day due to low blood pressure thanks to epidural stimulation. Since receiving the epidural stimulator, she now is able to prepare and enjoy her own meals, drive herself and better enjoy combined driving competition with her horse.

    “I am an active member in my own life instead of merely existing. I am really living! Without the disruption of passing out or gasping for breaths in the middle of a task or having to stop and be back in my chair for two hours at a time, I can accomplish so much more. Now I can live my best life with energy to focus on my future.” Putnam said.

     

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    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.