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News Tips

Busiest Lung Transplant Program in the Country

In just 10 years, Norton Thoracic Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s has grown to be the busiest lung transplant center in the United States, having performed more than 500 life-saving lung transplants to date. The team at Norton Thoracic Institute specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the lungs, chest or esophagus. Having earned a reputation for excellence and innovation in caring for patients with complex and difficult thoracic problems, Norton Thoracic Institute also conducts groundbreaking research and trains young physicians to improve outcomes for patients in Arizona and beyond.

Barrow Creates First Mandated Concussion Education Program and Exam for High School Athletes

Barrow recently announced a major breakthrough in concussion prevention and research that is changing the face of high school sports. The Institute has created the Barrow Concussion Network, the nation’s most comprehensive concussion prevention, treatment and education program for young athletes. The network includes mandatory concussion education, voluntary pre-injury testing, post-injury medical resources to all Arizona high school students, and groundbreaking research on injured Arizona students. Arizona recently became the first in the United States to mandate all student athletes undergo concussion education and pass a formal test before play through a new program called Barrow Brainbook. The interactive education module is currently being evaluated for implementation in other states throughout the nation. The Barrow Concussion Network is a partnership between Barrow, A.T. Still University, the Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Interscholastic Association. 

Barrow Provides Treatment for Condition that Mimics Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease

Some individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease may not have these debilitating diseases. Instead, they may have a reversible condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). NPH is an accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid within ventricles inside the brain. Every day, the average adult produces approximately one pint of this type of fluid. In NPH, the fluid is produced in normal amounts but is prevented from being normally re-absorbed. The ventricles of the brain enlarge and as a result, brain tissue is damaged when compressed by the fluid-filled ventricles. Symptoms include gait, memory loss, and urinary incontinence. Because the same symptoms can characterize the aging process, NPH is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Barrow offers a surgical procedure in which a programmable shunt is implanted into the brain to drain the excess fluid causing many of the symptoms to disappear.

Magic and the Brain

Working with some of the world’s greatest magicians, two researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute are uncovering some of the mysteries of the mind. Harvard graduates Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde and Dr. Stephen Macknik have embraced the idea that solutions to brain disease may never be found in traditional methods. That’s why they turned to magicians like Penn and Teller to help them find answers. “If we are to make breakthroughs in terrible conditions like autism and dementia we must think outside the box and develop unorthodox science,” says Dr. Martinez-Conde. The researchers, who have spent seven years working with magicians,  believe that by examining how the brain reacts to magic tricks like misdirection and sleight of hand, they will better understand the neural underpinnings of perception.