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Thank you Michael Burgess for meeting with @TAMUmedicine's Dr. Jim Lucas and Dr. Susan Bailey to talk about Military Medicine and our future in Fort Worth!
Texas A&M School of Medicine's very own Dr. Thomas Hutson, professor of medicine, spoke with CureToday about the latest kidney cancer treatments that have been effective yet risky. Newer kidney cancer medications, like Vortrient, have benefits in attacking cancer-supporting blood vessels but carry the risk of developing side effects like underactive thyroid and hypertension.

Dr. Hutson explains that “immunotherapies and (tyrosine kinase inhibitors) have shown success in treating metastatic cases by shrinking tumors and offering many patients remission and long-term survival,” but of course, have possible side effects, like cramping, joint pain, fatigue and rashes. If medication is found to create adverse and uncomfortable side effects that reduce the patient's quality of life, "a decision will be made about [lowering the dose or] stopping the medication." Reducing dosage is quite common and has been found not to change the progression of a tumor.

What Hutson and others within his field stress is an open dialogue between patient and practitioner. The oncology team must inform the patient about the possibility of developing side effects, and the patient must tell the group about any side effects they experience, even mild ones. Having all this information helps the team create the best treatment plan possible for their patients in which they reduce severe side effects and effectively treat persisting side effects.

Read more: tx.ag/JAP2O94
As individuals cut back on alcohol consumption in the new year, the addictive nature of the substance and the biological source of alcohol dependence is brought to the forefront of many minds. 

Researchers here at the Texas A&M University School of Medicine have discovered two types of brain cells, D1 and D2 neurons, in the dorsomedial striatum that may play a role in alcohol addiction. Jun Wang, MD, PhD, has found that D1 ("go") neurons motivate an individual to do something, such as drinking alcohol, and D2 ("no-go") neurons discourage an individual from doing something, such as stopping drinking alcohol.

He and his research team found that D1 neurons received input from the cortex, which is the area involved in decision-making and motivational behaviors. Additionally, they found that D2 neurons received information from the thalamus, which is related to behavioral flexibility, a process essential in preventing excessive alcohol consumption. 

Wang says, "excessive alcohol intake may enhance cortical information inputs to striatal 'go' neurons and suppress thalamic inputs to striatal 'no-go' neurons. Essentially, excessive alcohol consumption could be reduced by inhibiting cortical inputs and enhancing thalamic inputs."

Read more: tx.ag/ROnmi5Q
Researchers in the Neuroscience & Experimental Therapeutics department here at the Texas A&M University School of Medicine have published their hopeful findings on the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease in the scientific journal, Glia. With Eric Bancroft, Ph.D., leading the team within Rahul Srinivasan, Ph.D.'s lab, they are the first to propose that the relationship between dopaminergic neurons and a type of cell, astrocytes, is behind the death of neurons found in Parkinson's disease. 

Their research suggests that proteins secreted by astrocytes abnormally change dopamine neuron activity, leading to the death of dopamine neurons and the onset of Parkinson's disease. The protein secreted, S100B, interacts with potassium channels in dopamine neurons. The team believes this interaction can be blocked by drugs, slowing or potentially even stopping the death of dopamine neurons during the early stages of the disease. 

The next step in this impactful research is to apply their findings to drug development in hopes of creating a compound that prevents S100B protein from interacting with the potassium channels of dopaminergic neurons. 

Read more: tx.ag/MH7CwdV 

Image courtesy of Glia academic journal.
Texas A&M University School of Medicine graduate Dr. Keegan Bradley ('15) has been recognized as one of the Texas A&M University '12 Under 12' Young Alumni. This designation honors  12 Aggies who have graduated in the past 12 years and are excelling in business and service. 

Dr. Bradley has worked as an emergency medicine physician, medical director for multiple fire/EMS agencies, and motorcade physician for President Donald Trump during the 2020 Republican National Convention. 

In addition, Bradley has served on the @FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team, Texas A&M Task Force 1, and Region 2 Emergency Medical Task Force State Disaster Response Team. He has helped oversee and design the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in North Carolina and is a volunteer for the Bryan/College Station Spina Bifida Association. 

Congratulations, and keep up the amazing work!

Read more about Dr. Bradley: tx.ag/in2io8m
Here at the Texas A&M University School of Medicine, we offer MD Plus Programs; these 5-year, dual-degree options are perfect for building skills integral to becoming leaders in health care. Students get the opportunity to obtain their medical degree alongside a master's degree in the field of their interest.

The MD Plus program is only an additional year to the MD track, has competitive scholarships available to aid its cost, has 100% of its graduates matched with their first choice residencies, and has been found to increase satisfaction in income and career. 

Options include: MD + MBA, MD + MPH, MD + EDHP, MD + MS, and MD + STJR 

Learn more about the program: tx.ag/8h9PBDG
Learn more about the MD/MBA program: tx.ag/i4oGgHv

About Vital Record

A news publication of Texas A&M Health, Vital Record offers insight on the latest in health, medicine and scientific discovery from experts across our five schools and numerous centers and institutes.

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