URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/podcast/transcript031615.html

NLM Director’s Comments Transcript

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine Winter 2015: 03/16/2015

Picture of Dr. Lindberg

Greetings from the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus.gov

Regards to all our listeners!

I'm Rob Logan, Ph.D. senior staff U.S. National Library of Medicine for Donald Lindberg, M.D, the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Here is what's new this week in MedlinePlus.listen

The new edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine covers healthy aging, living with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as atrial fibrillation.

The cover features comedian and game show host Howie Mandel, who explains he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, during a routine checkup. Mandel says (and we quote): ‘I found out by chance at a physical that I had to do before starting a new TV show’ (end of quote)

Mandel, who helps raise awareness about atrial fibrillation through the National Stroke Association’s Fibs or Facts campaign, reports (and we quote) ‘Now that I’ve learned about it, and know what the signs are and can manage it, I feel healthy’ (end of quote). NIH MedlinePlus magazine adds atrial fibrillation occurs when electrical signals do not travel through the heart in a normal pattern.

While the risk of atrial fibrillation increases as a person ages, NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports patients can live normal, active lives. In some cases NIH MedlinePlus magazine adds treatment (that may include medications, procedures, and/or lifestyle changes) may restore normal heart rhythms.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine reports the risk factors for atrial fibrillation include: high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. A complete list of major risk factors as well as symptoms are provided — with some information about several current clinical trials with the potential to assist atrial fibrillation patients.

In a separate section, NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains how exercise promotes healthy aging. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes four types of therapeutic physical activity include: exercise that builds endurance, fosters strength, helps with balance, and increases one’s flexibility.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes how smart food choices foster healthy aging and provides some suggestions about nutrition for seniors. The tips include: eat more fruit and try some fruit you have never tasted from time to time, vary veggies and include some that are red, orange, and dark green.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine additionally contains a special section about living with Alzheimer’s Disease. The section includes a new publication from the National Institute on Aging that provides tips on caring for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease. The guidebook for caregivers can be ordered by calling 1-800-438-4380, and is available for download in the ‘start here’ section of MedlinePlus.gov’s Alzheimer’s Disease health topic page.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes as many as five million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease, which is the most common cause of dementia among seniors. NIH MedlinePlus magazine explains Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys a patient’s memory, thinking skills, and potentially the ability to carry out daily living tasks, such as bathing, or dressing oneself.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine updates some information about the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. The section lists some of the medications to treat Alzheimer’s for patients with mild, moderate, and severe symptoms. NIH MedlinePlus magazine notes future medications currently in clinical trials may include drugs that assist the brain’s capacity to deter Alzheimer’s impact. Other trials include assessments of the impact of more cognitive training, a healthier diet, and exercise to deter an Alzheimer’s patient’s decline.  

As always, NIH MedlinePlus magazine provides a helpful list of phone numbers (many of them a free call) to contact NIH’s array of institutes and centers.

NIH MedlinePlus magazine is distributed to physicians’ offices nationwide by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine. You can subscribe or find the latest edition online by clicking on ‘Magazine,’ which is on the bottom right side of MedlinePlus.gov’s home page.

Previous editions of NIH MedlinePlus magazine are available at the same site. A link to NIH MedlinePlus Salud, which provides other health information and resources in Spanish, is available there as well (see the top right of the page). The web version of NIH MedlinePlus magazine includes links that visually supplement the information in some articles.

Before I go, this reminder… MedlinePlus.gov is authoritative. It's free. We do not accept advertising …and is written to help you.

To find MedlinePlus.gov, just type ‘MedlinePlus.gov’ in any web browser, such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Explorer.  To find the improved smartphone version of Mobile MedlinePlus.gov, just type ‘Mobile MedlinePlus’ in the same web browsers.

We encourage you to use MedlinePlus and please recommend it to your friends. MedlinePlus is available in English and Spanish. Some medical information is available in 43 other languages.

Your comments about this or any of our podcasts are always welcome. We welcome suggestions about future topics too!

Please email Dr. Lindberg anytime at: NLMDirector@nlm.nih.gov

That's NLMDirector (one word) @nlm.nih.gov

A written transcript of recent podcasts is available by typing 'Director's comments' in the search box on MedlinePlus.gov's home page.

The National Library of Medicine is one of 27 institutes and centers within the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A disclaimer — the information presented in this program should not replace the medical advice of your physician. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease without first consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

It was nice to be with you. I look forward to meeting you here next week.