Spring 2018

Making headlines


Brain food for baby

Good nutrition early in a child’s life is crucial to long-term brain development, says Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics in the U’s Medical School. 

“If you miss the opportunity to meet developmental milestones during the first 1,000 days of life, then there’s not an opportunity to go back and revisit them,” she told Time in January. 

Schwarzenberg was a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition, which recommends a diet rich in protein, zinc, iron, folate, other vitamins and minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids to promote optimal brain growth. 

Laser-focused treatment

WCCO highlighted in January Peter Carvalho, who became the first in Minnesota to have brain surgery using the ClearPoint Neuro Navigation System, a minimally invasive, MRI-directed technique. 

“The ability to ‘look inside’ the brain through the MRI eliminates the need for a big incision or removing a significant portion of the skull,” says Clark C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Medical School’s Department of Neurosurgery and holder of the Lyle French Chair in Neurosurgery. 

Chen used the ClearPoint device to insert a laser probe into Carvalho’s tumor and then delivered heat to destroy it. 

The right call 

More than 12 million adults in the United States receive a medical misdiagnosis each year. 

Andrew Olson, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics in the Medical School, and colleagues have proposed a new framework for improving that statistic, whereby health care delivery systems would identify conditions prone to error and measure how frequently those conditions are misdiagnosed. 

The approach, covered in the Star Tribune in February, is similar to those used in other areas of patient safety, in which serious, well-defined events are tracked and reported. Olson hopes the new framework will reduce the harm a misdiagnosis may cause.