Oregon Health & Science University


About OHSU Health

Your family’s well-being is important to us. That’s why OHSU’s Health magazine brings you the latest research news, expert advice and event listings to help you stay current and keep your family healthy. Our magazine is intended to educate and inform: If you have urgent medical issues or in-depth questions, please talk to your health care provider.

Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us at editor@ohsu.edu

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We want to hear from you!

At Health magazine, we are committed to supplying high-quality, informative and engaging content, and want to ensure we’re producing the best publication for you.

That’s why we’ve developed a brief reader survey to help us understand what you’d like to learn more about, what content is working for you, and what you’d like to see changed.

Our web-based survey is easy to use, takes about five minutes, and is completely confidential. Once completed , you’ll be entered into a prize drawing with the chance to win items like Fitbits, 60-minute massages and OHSU merchandise.

We look forward to your feedback. To complete the survey, please visit www.ohsuhealth.com/survey.  

Research News

A possible new way to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease?

Recently, a study from OHSU researchers examined aquaporin-4, a protein in the brain that may lead to medication to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Aquaporin-4 is part of the body’s glymphatic system that allows cerebral-spinal fluid from outside the brain to wash away proteins that build up within the brain. These proteins tend to accumulate in the brains of some suffering from Alzheimer's, a process that may play a role in destroying nerve cells in the brain.

Using brains donated for scientific research, researchers discovered a correlation between the amount of aquaporin-4 among older people who didn’t have Alzheimer's versus those who did. In in the brains of those without Alzheimer's, aquaporin-4 was well-organized, lining the brain’s blood vessels. Within the brains of people with Alzheimer's, aquaporin-4 appeared disorganized, which may reflect an inability to efficiently clear away wastes.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

OHSU’s Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center is recognized as a national leader in dementia care and research, and is committed to serving the needs of people throughout the Northwest.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs shown to cut risk of a first heart attack or stroke

High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Statins, drugs that lower fat levels in the blood and prevent cholesterol forming, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Statins are most effective at lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, but can also help lower triglycerides (blood fats) and raise HDL, or “good” cholesterol. They are also effective even in those without elevated cholesterol levels.

Recently, an analysis of data led by the OHSU Pacific Northwest Evidence-Based Practice Center showed that using statin drugs provided prevention benefits without significantly increasing the risk of serious side effects in people who have not had a previous heart attack or stroke.

The analysis was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) conducts systematic reviews of health care topics for federal and state agencies, professional associations and foundations. And if you’re concerned about heart disease, the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute’s Center for Preventive Cardiology offers experts from all areas of cardiovascular disease prevention.

Can genetic diseases be treated in the womb?

A study by OHSU researchers suggests it may be possible to treat genetic disease before a baby is born by delivering gene-altering therapies through a type of reverse amniocentesis.

Using mouse models of Usher syndrome, in which children are born deaf with balance abnormalities and vision loss, the research team developed a synthetic molecule called an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO). The ASO was made to destruct or correct a type of RNA, a kind of molecules in a cell that influences when, where and how the cell’s genes are expressed. The research showed this treatment could be delivered safely and efficiently through the amniotic cavity to the fetus.

The study was published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

Upcoming Events

Request reasonable accommodation for these events at 503-494-2834 or hsmktg@ohsu.edu.

Ask the Health Experts

Join us for informative talks about some of today’s top health concerns. Learn the latest developments in treatment, prevention and detection from the leading professionals in the field. Light refreshments will be served at all seminars.

Complementary Treatments for Back Pain
Brooke Buzzi, Certified Advanced Rolfer, Kimberly Mauer, M.D., Jordan Graeme, D.C., M.S.H.N.F.M.
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, 7 p.m.
Find out about how various types of back pain treatments can help relieve your pain. Comprehensive Pain Center experts will discuss Rolfing® Structural Integration, minimally invasive medicine treatments and chiropractic therapy.

Rehabilitation After Total Joint Replacement
Lindsay Brown, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S.
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, 7 p.m.
Do you need a total hip or total joint replacement? You’ll likely need physical therapy after surgery. Learn about the different kinds of exercise prescriptions, therapies and home exercises that can help get you active once again.

Living with Heart Failure
Virginia Hebl, M.D., M.S.
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, 7 p.m.
Advances in treatment are helping people with heart failure live longer, fuller lives. Learn more from a team of experts in cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation, pharmacy and nutrition.

Wrist and Thumb Arthritis
Omar Nazir, M.D.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, 7 p.m.
If you have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, writing, grasping and holding items can be painful. Learn about the latest treatments and ways to help manage your symptoms.

Exercise is Medicine – Keeping Active & Well
Ryan Petering, M.D.
Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
Does getting older have to mean slowing down? Not necessarily. Learn about how to prevent, manage and treat sports injuries at any age.
3303 S.W. Bond Ave., Portland, OR 97239

How to Stay Sharp as We Age
Katherine V. Wild, Ph.D.
Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2017, 7 p.m.
TBD - Basic differences between healthy brain aging and dementia. Research-based strategies for maintaining brain health.

Scoliosis and the Adult Spine
Jason Chang, M.D.
Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2017, 7 p.m.
Adults can face a unique set of challenges when living with scoliosis. Find out about the latest research and treatments, and how they can help. 

Kimberly Carson, M.P.H., eRYT and Jeffrey Proulx
Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017, 7 p.m.

Learn more and register

Baby Talk, with OHSU Fertility Consultants

  • Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017
  • Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017

Financial sessions at 5 or 6 p.m.
Meet with fertility experts 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Considering fertility treatment? At OHSU, we offer a full range of fertility services. Want to learn about what choices might be best for you? Join us at an open house. Meet briefly with a fertility expert, get to know our staff, learn about financial options, and get your questions answered.

At OHSU, we offer a full range of fertility services. Join us at an open house. Meet briefly with a fertility expert, get to know our staff, learn about financial options, and get your questions answered.

OHSU Center for Health & Healing
10th Floor, Fertility clinic lobby
3303 S.W. Bond Ave., Portland, OR 97239

Learn more and register

Marquam Hill Lectures

What Goes Wrong with Brain Control of Balance?
Fay Horak, Ph.D.
Thursday, March 16, 7 p.m., Collaborative Life Sciences Building 3A003 A and B

Inside the Developing Brain
Damien Fair, Ph.D., P.A.-C.
Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m., OHSU Auditorium

Learn more and register

The OHSU Brain Institute presents:

The 2017 Brain Awareness Lecture Series: The Secret Life of the Brain
The workings of the brain remain mysterious.  Moral choices, the effects of physical touch, vivid dreams – we may not know how or why they happen, but they call can serve a purpose. 

March 20
The Criminal Brain
Octavio Choi, M.D., Ph.D. Oregon State Hospital; Oregon Health & Science University

March 27
Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind
David Linden, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

April 4
Sleep, Memory and Dreams: Putting it all Together
Robert Strickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

All lectures take place at the Newmark Theatre in Portland and begin at 7 p.m. 

Purchase tickets

Health Spotlight

Each issue, we bring timely health tips and information to help you and your family live healthier lives. Got a question or health issue you’d like our experts to address? Email us at editor@ohsu.edu.

Marijuana edibles: What you should know

On June 2, 2016, marijuana-infused edibles and extracts joined the list of recreational marijuana items that can be purchased in Oregon.

Although recreational marijuana is legal for adults, please remember that edibles can be more enticing to children than smokable marijuana. This is because edibles can resemble baked goods or regular candy.

According to the Oregon Poison Center, marijuana-related calls have increased yearly since 2013. Overall, the number of exposures has increased yearly in all age groups, including in children younger than six years old.

Marijuana that’s ingested is absorbed differently in the body than marijuana that’s smoked:

  • It takes longer for the effects to show up, and they can last longer than with smokable marijuana.
  • The amount of THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) can be hard to measure in some products.
  • THC may interfere with some medications.

If a child eats or drinks marijuana, or if an adult experiences adverse effects, please contact the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222, where toxicology experts will answer your call 24/7.

Information provided by Fiorella Carhuaz, C.H.E.S., public educator, Oregon Poison Center at OHSU.

Doing winter sports? Stay safe.

It’s snow season! While that’s exciting for many, it’s still important to stay safe, whether you’re on the slopes or on the street. Take a moment to consider some basics of winter sports safety from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) before bundling up and heading out.

Snowboarding and skiing

The National Ski Patrol recommends wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding. Safety and conscientious skiing and riding should be considered the most important factors to prevent injury.  Helmets provide a second line of defense against head injuries. Also, use proper ski and snowboard equipment such as properly fitted boots and adjusted bindings that attach the boots to the skis/snowboard. Bindings should only be set by a certified technician to help prevent injuries during a fall. Participants should ski on trails within their skill level and parents or adults should supervise young children during all winter downhill slope sports activities at all times.


Do not sled headfirst.  All participants should sit in a forward-facing position, steering with their feet or a rope tied to the steering handles of the sled. Avoid slopes that end in a street, gravel road, parking lot, river or pond. Make sure people at the bottom have cleared the slope path before allowing another sled to go down.

Information provided by Ryan Petering, M.D., OHSU Sports Medicine, 503-494-4000.

Need a Primary Care Provider?

Expanded services available on the west side this February

Starting in February, OHSU and its partners will offer worldclass primary care at even more west-side locations. From Beaverton to Orenco Station, we’re here for everyone from newborns to grandparents. Your personal health goals are our first priority: We work closely with you and your family to prevent and treat illness, and help you live your healthiest life.

New locations:

OHSU Tuality Healthcare Primary Care Clinic, Orenco Station
6355 N.E. Cornell Road, Hillsboro, OR 97124

OHSU Primary Care Clinic at Beaverton
15700 S.W. Greystone Ct. Beaverton, OR 97006

Make an appointment for you and your family at the OHSU location nearest you by calling 971-262-9150 or visiting www.ohsu.edu/primarycare.

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Fine Print

Health is a quarterly publication of OHSU serving the greater Portland area. Information is intended to educate and is not a substitute for consulting with a health care provider.

Got questions or suggestions? We’d love to hear your feedback: Email us.

If you would like to opt out of receiving the printed version of Health you can do so here.

Editor-in-chief: Heather Pease
Managing editor: Ashley Uchtman
Copywriter: Carin Moonin
Graphic designer: Megan Pugmire