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: HEALTH JACK GOOD

OUR COMMUNITY’S

IS IN

I’ve lived in the Brainerd Lakes area my whole life. I’ve been a patient, a board member and a neighbor of St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Those experiences have given me the opportunity to see how this amazing hospital contributes to our community on so many levels. As a patient, I’ve experienced firsthand the compassionate care that St. Joseph’s provides to its patients. And, as a lifelong member of the community, I’ve heard time and time again from people who have had similar experiences to mine. The world-class facilities and technology at St. Joseph’s are a big part of its success, but the people are what make this hospital special. The staff has always been deeply committed to putting patients first, and it shows in so many ways.

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HANDS.

The Business of Healing I have a bit more insight than most people into how St. Joseph’s operates. I served on its board of directors for six years, and also served for another six years on its foundation’s board. I’ve been on the finance committee of the Benedictine Health System. I know how hard everyone works, from the administration on down, to make sure St. Joseph’s continues to serve the community at the highest level possible. I know how they recruit the best doctors, and maintain their incredible staff. I know the deep feelings they have for their patients. I also know the important role St. Joseph’s plays in our region’s economy. As a provider of over 1,000 rewarding jobs, it’s by far the area’s largest employer. A $26-million expansion and renovation project is infusing millions in construction services and material costs into the community, and could add many more new jobs when construction is completed this year.

As the owner of a local business, I have a great deal of respect for St. Joseph’s because the people there do business the same way I do. They listen to their customers, and they take care of them in every way they can.

Jack Ruttger Owner, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge

Where patients come first. sjmcmn.org


Imagine... • Never sharing a pizza with a friend • No beer or Big Macs® • Dry, tasteless bread at $5.00 a loaf • Finding nothing to eat at dinner parties or business meetings • Thinking twice about licking a stamp • No communion wafers • Reading labels on makeup, medications, all food items and toothpaste

Just a normal day... if you have Celiac Disease What is Celiac Disease? CMYK

Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, the individualʼs immune system responds by attacking the small intestine. Undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to numerous other conditions; osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and cancer just to name a few.

What are the symptoms? Symptoms are unique to each individual but may include the following: anemia, joint pain, fatigue, weakness, irritability, inability to concentrate, infertility, osteoporosis, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal gas, bloating, growth problems in children, abdominal distention, cramps, headaches, and depression.

How common is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease affects 2.2 million Americans-more than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, autism, Chronʼs disease, and Parkinsonʼs disease combined. However, most people with celiac disease are unaware that they have it. This is partially due to the mistaken belief that Celiac Disease is a rare condition. Many doctors do not know how to evaluate patients for celiac disease, so they donʼt test for it. Americans at risk for celiac disease continue to consume gluten in their diets, increasing the damage caused by celiac disease and impacting their present and future health.

Brainerd Lakes Area Celiac Group meets the 2nd Thursday of every month. St. Francis church basement at 7:00 p.m. For a meeting schedule or additional information about meetings, please contact: Jennifer Chock AD SPACE COURTESY OF: 825-9525 chock@charter.net or Sena @ 829-1290 Karel @ 829-5946 Sharon @ 546-5469

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get their parents to buy it for home use. In West Virginia, almost 43 percent of the nearly 6,000 children screened for heart disease risk were considered overweight or obese; more than 25 percent were obese. “We are in a crisis in terms of childhood obesity not only in West Virginia but in America,” said Linda Carson, a professor in WVU’s School of Physical Education who is coordinating the study. Prescreening tests on the overweight children have already raised concerns. Researchers expected to find problems with blood pressure and cholesterol, but they also found that blood flow to the arteries was being disrupted. The condition can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Researchers at Syracuse University in New York also have been looking at the potential for improved cardiovascular and physiological effects among children using the game. And at Penn State, researchers are studying how much energy children use playing games like Dance Dance Revolution. In West Virginia, Robrietta Lambert, a physical education teacher at Franklin Elementary in Pendleton County, believes she already knows what all the studies will find. She has been using the video game in her classes since last fall. “It improves cardiovascular health as well as eye-hand coordination,” Lambert said. “Kids who don’t like other things bloom on this. If they don’t like basketball, jumping rope or ball activities, they like this.” Players stand on a 3-foot-square metal mat with an arrow on each side — pointing up, down, left and right. Arrows scroll up the television screen to the beat of more than 100 tunes chosen by the player. As an arrow moves across the screen, the player steps on the corresponding arrow on the platform. Hidden songs are uncovered as players improve their speed and scores. Sounds easy enough, but throw in combinations of multiple arrows, add the quick speed at which veterans play, and the game is as challenging as an aerobics class. Most beginners are flushed in the face after one or two songs. At Morgantown High School, one of the 20 pilot sites, curiosity about the flashing lights and upbeat music draw students inside Maxine Arbogast’s health class. The game, which was first introduced as an arcade game in Japan, is attracting the sedentary and the seasoned athlete alike. Senior Stephanie Bellman, 18, said she was already getting addicted after only a few days. “I like how it creates a good mood,”she said. “Even when you mess up you laugh.”

For more information PEIA: www.westvirginia.com/peia WVU: www.wvu.edu DDR and weight loss www.getupmove.com DDR fan site www.ddrfreak.com Konami Digital Entertainment - America http://www.konami.com/usa

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At the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIMIS) at the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center on the medical campus at Crosby, the more than 100 different minimally invasive procedures our surgeons perform improve the quality of life for people across the region and across the state.

From simple “same day” outpatient procedures to life-saving weight loss surgery, small-incision joint replacement, sports injury repair, advanced gynecologic surgery and sight-saving eye surgery, our staff of 10 highly-talented, campus-based surgeons routinely work wonders that simply weren’t possible only a few years ago. Behind our surgeons and

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K.D. Jones, 11, of Campbells Creek, W.Va., danced at his home to control a video game. Jones is one of 85 children being recruited by the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency to participate in an athome study using the video game Dance Dance Revolution to increase physical activity.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Joyce Jones said. “But I can only do it about two times for every four times he does.” The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency, which covers 215,000 state workers, teachers and their dependents, believes it is the first insurance provider to use the game to cut costs. Konami Digital Entertainment America, which distributes the Japanese game in the United States, knows of no other state or insurance agency using the game for its health benefits. “Today’s kids are tomorrow’s members,” said the insurance group’s Nidia Henderson. “Obesity claims last year cost us $77 million. We have to curtail those costs.” The insurer is providing a game console, dance pad and software for the six-month, $60,000 study. West Virginia University is providing the medical screenings and tracking results. The students, all children of PEIA-covered employees, are required to meet with researchers, play the game a prescribed amount of time, wear a pedometer and maintain a log. They get to keep the game software and pad. So far, about a dozen kids have started playing the game. They will be re-evaluated after three months and again at the end of the study. PEIA is also funding part of a two-year pilot project with the state Education Department to put the game in 20 schools for use in physical education and health classes. They hope children who play it at school will

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5. our other physicians is an This is state-of-the-art entire medical campus health care at one, 9. dedicated to enhancing easy-toThe Medical Campus At Crosby every aspect of human reach, life. From prenatal care to end-of-life easy-to-deal -with location. dignity and compassion, we’re here to help you From the miracles of and your family live as healthily as you can for as minimally invasive surgery long as you can. to superb primary care To find out more, call 1-888-546-4343 physicians and support or 1-218-54-MIMIS, or visit our website at services, this is the medical campus at Crosby, www.mimismn.org. where we’re dedicated to you. Every day.

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14211 Firewood Dr. Baxter

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Table of contents DISEASE: Coping with Alzheimer’s

CHIROPRACTICS: Study could link ADHD, back adjustments ON THE MOVE: Dental clinic on wheels

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DANCE: Video game helps kids lose weight WANTED: Rural Minnesotans who chew tobacco LINKS: Breast cancer and hormone therapy HIGH TECH: Telesurgery

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COVER STORY: Color deficiency

From the editor More than four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, a disease that eats away at the brain until a person can’t function anymore. In the story, “Coping with Alzheimer’s,” I interviewed three people whose spouses have the disease. I cannot fathom how hard it would be to have your spouse, someone you’ve been married to for more than 40 years, not remember who you are. All of the memories you’ve created together are gone. The eyes of the person you know and love look back at you with an empty stare. For family members, watching a loved one battle Alzheimer’s must be torturous. Area hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities offer support groups for patients and their family members who are dealing with various diseases. Sharing struggles and other experiences with people who have been through the same thing can make coping easier. This issue of HealthWatch also includes stories about a dental clinic on wheels and an eye doctor who can’t see most colors. Story ideas are appreciated. Please email me (heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com) if you have a subject you’d like to see covered in an upcoming issue. Heidi Lake Editor

Who we are Publisher — Terry McCollough Advertising — Gloria Vande Brake Editor — Heidi Lake Graphic Desinger — Cindy Spilman

For advertising opportunities call Gloria Vande Brake at (218) 855-5825.

E-mail your comments to heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com or write HealthWatch is a quarterly publication to: of the Brainerd Dispatch Heidi Lake Brainerd Dispatch Read HealthWatch online at PO Box 974 www.upnorthhealthwatch.com Brainerd, MN 56401

Cover photo/Nels Norquist The number 45 is hidden in a mass of color in a colorblind test book.

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Several USDA officials recently saw firsthand how the technology works. Tim Ryan, USDA deputy undersecretary, and Steve Wenzel, USDA state director, were among about a dozen people who watched a live demonstration of a minimally invasive surgery at the hospital using telesurgery. The demonstration was performed by Dr. Sayeed Ikramuddin, a surgeon at Fairview-University Medical Center in Minneapolis, who performed a gastric bypass surgery on a patient. The spectators watched the surgery being done at Fairview on one of the monitors in the operating room in Crosby. Drs. Howard McCollister and Paul Severson, directors of the minimally invasive surgery department at CRMC, led the demonstration. McCollister said the USDA grant allowed the hospital to get things rolling. McCollister said they train with surgeons from around the world through telesurgery. The technology also is beneficial to patients in the area, he said. “People in this area have been here forever and don’t want to drive to the cities,” McCollister said. ���They want to stay home and

“People in this area have been here forever and don’t want to drive to the cities. They want to stay home and they can have sophisticated surgeries here.” —Howard McCollister Co-director of the minimally invasive surgery at CRMC they can have sophisticated surgeries here.” Tom Reek, chief executive officer at CRMC, said the technology has helped the hospital recruit surgeons to the hospital. Reek said the hospital performs more than

100 different types of minimally invasive procedures. “Telesurgery has opened the world to us,” said Reek. Wenzel said the grant money for the Crosby hospital was a good investment. He said it has brought many medical opportunities to the hospital and it has created economic development in the area. He said telesurgery keeps residents in the area, whether they are patients or medical professionals. The hospital employs more than 600 people, including nearly 100 employees in the minimally invasive surgery area. After watching the demonstration, Ryan said taxpayers were getting a good return on their money. “It’s good to see that we are hitting the mark,” said Ryan of this grant program.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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Brad Adams, an optometrist at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in Baxter, is color deficient and has trouble seeing certain colors, such as brown and green. Dr. Tim LeMieur (left); Tim Ryan, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Steve Wenzel, USDA state director; Dr. Paul Severson; and Dr. Howard McCollister discussed the details of telesurgery capabilities in an operating room at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center.

Local hospitals receive grant for telesurgery

Story/Jennifer Stockinger Photo/Steve Kohls

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CROSBY — For the past three years surgeons at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby have been able to consult with surgeons from around the world through telesurgery, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA granted $500,000 to hospitals in Crosby, Aitkin and Moose Lake to purchase telesurgery equipment. Crosby installed the equipment in its minimally invasive surgery department. This type of surgery is done through small incisions, using specialized techniques and technical equipment.

Color deficient eye doctor still diagnoses patients

Story/Jennifer Stockinger Photos/Nels Norquist

BAXTER — It’s not easy for a color-deficient optometrist to test patients for color deficiency. With a colorblind test, if a person can read the number hidden in a mass of color on each page of the test, they are not color deficient. When Brad Adams, an optometrist at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in Baxter, tests patients for color deficiency they could rattle off any number and Adams would not see it. Because Adams cannot read the

numbers on the test, he has them memorized. The colorblind test is a book of 10 pages of different numbers. Each page has printed dots of different chromaticity to produce patterns that can be identified as numbers by a person who has no trouble seeing color. Adams does not hide the fact he is color deficient from his patients. After he finishes the colorblind test with his patients he usually says, “I can’t read the numbers anyway.”

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The colorblind test is a book of 10 plates. The plates have printed dots of different chromaticity to produce patterns that can be identified as numbers by a person who has no trouble seeing color. The numbers seven (left) and 45 are shown in this test.

Being color deficient does not conflict with Adams’ optometry career. He said the biggest problem he has is when a patient asks how colored contacts look on them. He has to refer the question to somebody else on staff. Adams said not all optometrists test their patients for color deficiencies. He said he conducts the test more out of curiosity. He said half of his younger patients don’t know they have a color deficiency and 5-10 percent of his patients fail the test. Adams sees more colors than just black and white. Adams can see about 25 colors while the average person can see about 200. Adams said a person who is color deficient has trouble seeing different hues. “Pastels are harder (to see) and I don’t get to see the fantastic colors from the fireworks,” said Adams. “Yellows are more saturated.” Colorblindness or a color deficiency is typically a genetic condition. Adams said there are rare cases where a person can become color deficient from an eye disease. It is also rare for a person to be truly colorblind, where they cannot see colors at all, Adams said. About 8 percent of males and about a half percent of females have some sort of color

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deficiency. Males are more likely to be born with the color deficiency because it is caused by defects in the “X” chromosome. Males have an “X” and a “Y” chromosome and if the “X” chromosome is defective they will have a color deficiency. Females have two “X” chromosomes and each chromosome must be affected in order for them to be colorblind or have a deficiency. A female whose “X” chromosome is defective is a carrier of the eye condition. Adams said his mother is a carrier of the color deficiency. Adams and his brother both have color deficiencies and his two sisters could be carriers. Adams said his wife, Kim, does not have a color deficiency, but their two daughters, Elle, 14, and Madison, 9, are carriers. Many types of color deficiencies are caused by a defect in any of the three cone cells on the retina. Each cone represents the colors red, green and blue. Adams said most people with a color deficiency have abnormal red and green cones and have trouble seeing green and brown, purple and blue and brown and maroon. Adams has the color deficiency called

deuteranomalous where green is the weaker color. People with deuteranomalous people have a hard time discriminating the difference in hues in red, orange, yellow and green. Adams said the main thing he has trouble with is matching his clothes because he can’t see the fine lines between matching colors. He said he has a hard time with greens and browns, blues and grays, and navy and black. “I have an olive green shirt that I think is a light chocolate brown,” said Adams. Adams said he basically remembers what shirt and pants combinations he can wear. His wife also helps him pick out clothes. “I joke around with him that I’ll make him pick out his own clothes,” said Kim. Brad Adams said when he used to wear neckties a lot he labeled each tie to show what shirt it matched. Adams said when he is grilling steaks or other meat he has to ask his wife to check the middle of the meat to make sure it is done. “We cook our steaks quite well,” he said. Adams did not find out he had a color deficiency until he turned 18. He was trying to get into the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland and

Uhlman has only seen two or three patients on hormone therapy who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Uhlman said it is hard to say if those women developed the cancer from being on hormone therapy or if they would have developed the breast cancer anyway. “Breast cancer is so prevalent in our society,” she said. “One patient was only on hormone therapy for a couple of months when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t think she developed it from being on the hormone therapy. “Plus lots of cancers lay dormant in our body and when we add estrogen it can trigger that cancer.” Dr. Tim Yeh, hematologist and medical oncologist at BMC, said the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer from being on hormone therapy may be small, but to the woman who gets the tumor it is a big deal. “I see women who were on estrogen who developed breast cancer who are fighting for their lives,” said Yeh. “But we don’t know for sure if they got the breast cancer from the hormone therapy. They could have developed it anyway.” Yeh said if a woman lives to age 85, her risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 11 percent. Yeh sees about 240 patients a month and 25 percent of his patients have breast cancer. He sees one or two new patients a week who have breast cancer. However, Yeh said the numbers can be deceiving. He said breast cancer is a cancer that can be managed for a number of years, so he sees many of his patients regularly. A patient with lung cancer may die sooner after being diagnosed, said Yeh. Yeh said the Women’s Health Initiative study is a good study and women considering hormone therapy should carefully read it and do research to make an informed decision. Yeh said the patient and the physician need to take a hard look at hormone therapy and the patient should have good reasons if they decide to go on it. Yeh said many patients will go on hormone therapy because that has been the popular treatment. “We have to avoid popular perception,” said Yeh. “Anyone who takes estrogen for problems needs to carefully weigh the benefits and the risks.” Yeh agreed with Uhlman that patients should take the smallest dose of hormone therapy as possible for the shortest amount of time. Yeh also said it should be carefully monitored. “It (breast cancer) hits home hard when they see me,”said Yeh. “The risks of breast cancer may be small (when on hormone therapy), but the risks are real. You don’t want to be the one.” Wilson said hormone therapy has been a lifesaver for her. When Wilson had a hysterectomy her symptoms were severe and she said, “I wasn’t going to be without it (hormone therapy).” Wilson first tried the patch and Premarin to try to alleviate her symptoms. She said she didn’t get the full effects of the patch and Premarin gave her headaches and she was always tired. For the past two years, Wilson has been on a low dose of Cenestin, an oral pill, and she has not had one problem. “I feel healthier than ever before,” said Wilson. “I don’t have any mood swings and I lost the weight I gained on the other hormones. “My doctor recommends that the dose be lowered so I would eventually be off, but I want to stay on it because I have been so healthy.” Wilson said her biggest fear is getting breast cancer. She fears getting off the hormone therapy and experiencing the menopausal symptoms again. Her symptoms included hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain and heavy cramping. JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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Doctors weigh in on hormone therapy and breast cancer links

CMYK

Story and photo/Jennifer Stockinger Is there a link between hormone therapy and breast cancer? This is one of the main questions that crosses the minds of many women going through menopause who are considering hormone therapy. When Tammy Wilson of Staples went on hormone therapy nearly five years ago the thought of getting breast cancer crossed her mind, but it did not stop her. “I wasn’t too worried about it,” said Wilson. “I know others on hormone therapy who didn’t get breast cancer so I guess I was not afraid of it.” Hormone therapy, also called hormone replacement therapy, is a form of drug therapy in which a person is given estrogen and/or progesterone to supplement the declining levels of the hormones that occur in the body during menopause. Women on hormone therapy have a small chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, a hormone-dependent disease where estrogen can stimulate the growth of tumors. Dr. Carol Uhlman, obstetrician at the Brainerd Medical Center who specializes in women going through menopause, said the number of patients on hormone therapy who have been diagnosed with breast cancer was smaller than she initially thought. Uhlman said after reading a national study published in a 2004 magazine called Managing Menopause, she found out more specifics of the connection between breast cancer and hormone therapy. The magazine released a study about hormone therapy that was gathered by the Women’s Health Initiative. The study can be found online at www.whi.org. The study reported 41 in every 10,000 women on hormone therapy taking estrogen and progestin will develop breast cancer, while 33 in every 10,000 women who were not on hormone therapy and took a placebo pill will develop breast cancer in a given year. The study also found that the breast cancer found in women on hormone therapy and the cancer found in women on a placebo pill had similar characteristics. However, the tumors in the women on hormone therapy tended to be larger and more spread throughout the body. Uhlman said the amount of risk a woman has depends on what type of hormone therapy she is on. She said a woman who had a hysterectomy and is taking an estrogen-only hor-

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he failed his color vision test. “They told me I was color deficient and I was like, ‘Wow,’” said Adams. “Before this I assumed I saw the same colors everyone else did.” When Adams found out about the color deficiency, he said he was more disappointed that he did not get accepted into the academy. He said he always wanted to be a Navy pilot. Forced to switch career paths, he attended the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1989. He said he wanted to be in a health-related career, but was not sure which field. Adams eventually decided optometry school was for him and he attended the Southern California College of Optometry where he earned his degree in 1993. His first job as an optometrist was for the Navy in Pensacola, Fla., where he practiced for three years. He then wanted to look at working for a private practice. He looked at practices in Iowa, where he was born and raised, and in other places in the Midwest. Adams said his college roommate worked at a Wal-Mart Vision Center in Mankato and told him there was an opening at the Wal-Mart in Baxter. Adams said his plan was to take the position in Baxter, while continuing his search for

before she recommends hormone therapy she consults the patient about natural ways to try to get rid of the symptoms, such as eating healthy and exercising. She also looks at the patient’s family history. Every woman is different and one type of hormone therapy may work on one person, but may not work on another, Uhlman said. Hormone therapy comes in several different forms, including patches, gels and pills, such as Premarin. Side effects of hormone therapy include bleeding, breast tenderness, facial rash, nausea and blood clots. Once a patient and physician decide to use hormone therapy, Uhlman said she recommends patients be on it for no more than two years. Uhlman said many women are against using Premarin because the pill is made out of horse urine. Other prescriptions include Prempro, Estradiol and Gynodiol. “What usually drives patients’ prescriptions is their insurance,” said Uhlman. “It’s expensive and a person can pay about $30 to $40 a month.”

There are many types of color deficiencies, depending on a person’s cone cells on the retina. Of the three cones, one cone represents the color red, the second cone represents green and the last cone represents blue. Anomalous trichromasy — This is the most common form of color deficiency and it is least severe. This is where there is a shift in the sensitivity in one or more of the cones. A person’s ability to discriminate between colors is reduced, but does not eliminate color perception. Protanomaly — One out of 100 males will be found with protanomaly. A person with this form of color deficiency has trouble seeing red. This person would say that the color violet looks like another shade of blue. Deuteranomaly — One out of five males will be deuteranomaly. A person with this form of color deficiency has trouble seeing green and identifying the differences in hues of red, orange, yellow and green because the colors appear shifted toward red. private practices in other places in the Midwest. He started working for the vision center in Baxter in 1996 and after a few months Adams stopped his job search. “They treat me so well here it would be

Watch for our new location! Coming in July!

Dr. Carol Uhlman (left), obstetrics doctor at Brainerd Medical Center, performed a thyroid test on Tammy Wilson of Staples. Wilson has been on hormone therapy for nearly five years.

mone therapy has a lower risk of developing cancer. A woman who has not had a hysterectomy and still has her uterus cannot take estrogen alone because of the added progestin in her body. Uhlman also said the shorter amount of time a woman is on hormone therapy, the better her chance of not developing breast cancer. Women usually go on hormone therapy when they go through menopause or have had a hysterectomy. Hormone therapy is a method of therapy to alleviate menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disruptions and depression. Uhlman said women typically experience the same menopausal symptoms as their mothers. Some women have their menstrual cycle end and they never experience any menopausal symptoms. Uhlman said about 10-15 percent of her days are spent consulting women on menopause and of those, 5-10 percent of them are on hormone therapy. Uhlman said

Types of color deficiencies

Dichromacy — Persons who are missing a cone have dichromacy. This person cannot see a difference between red, orange, yellow or green. Protanopia — One out of 100 males suffer from protanopia and their brightness of red, orange and yellow is reduced. Reds may be confused with black or dark gray. Violet, lavender and purple are indistinguishable from various shades of blue because their reddish components are dimmed. Deuteranopia — One out of 100 males suffer from deuteranopia, which is similar to protanopia, but without the abnormal dimming. Red, orange, yellow and green mean very little to this person. Achromatopsia and blue cone monochromacy — This is a total loss of all color vision. This person must wear dark sunglasses in the daylight or in bright indoor conditions because their vision comes from their rods, not their cone cells. Source: WebExhibits, an Online museum hard to leave,” said Adams. “I have a good crew here.” JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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The HealthPartners Research Foundation recently completed a pilot study in which 40 percent of snuff and chew users who worked with phone coaches quit successfully. The group that only received a self-help quit manual had a 25 percent quit rate. "Our pilot study results showed we can have a significant impact on helping snuff and chew users quit, with minimal intervention," said Boyle. "We saw an impact even among heavy users of snuff." A recent statewide survey found more than 100,000 snuff and chew users in Minnesota. The ChewFree Minnesota quitting program is aimed at two groups of tobacco users who are often overlooked: Rural residents and nonsmokers. "We want to focus outside the metro area where surveys show snuff and chew use rates are almost double those in the metro area,� said Boyle. “The ChewFree quitting program also provides a resource to snuff and chew tobacco users who typically have fewer quitting resources than do cigarette smokers." The study, which is free to participants, will be conducted entirely by phone and mail. Research participants will also be asked to complete surveys to help evaluate the quitting program. For more information about this study, or to take part in the study, call Chris Enstad at 1-888-SNUFF-FREE (1-888-768-3337).

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Researchers seek snuff and chew users who want to quit

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BLOOMINGTON — The HealthPartners Research Foundation is looking for snuff or chewing tobacco users in rural Minnesota who are interested in quitting. Researchers will study how phone coaching works for individuals quitting chew. The study is named ChewFree Minnesota and is open to all Minnesota adults who live outside the Twin Cities metro area. The Brainerd area is in a region of the state that has the highest rate of snuff and chew use in the state. The rate, about 13 per-

Coping with Alzheimer’s

cent of men, is more than double that of the metro area and the nation as a whole. "Many people mistakenly believe that chewing tobacco and snuff have few risks," said Dr. Raymond Boyle, of the HealthPartners Research Foundation. "Regular users are at significant risk for oral cancers and addiction. Recent studies show that almost three-fourths of daily snuff or chew users have non-cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth. Snuff and chew users also experience significant gum recession and bone loss surrounding the teeth."

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Lila Handeland (left), John Handeland, Edward “Bud” Range and Lois Range relaxed at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Lila Handeland and Bud Range suffer from Alzheimer’s.

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It starts out with simple things — forgetting an old friend’s name or putting a glass in the wrong cupboard — but when Alzheimer’s strikes, the outcome is inevitable. Watching your spouse’s mind deteriorate to the point they don’t even know who you are can be devastating.

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Lois Range said her husband, 77-year-old Edward “Bud” Range, doesn’t know who she is when she visits him at Bethany Good Samaritan Village in Brainerd. In the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, he hasn’t been able to walk or talk for several years. “It’s like he’s dead already,” Range said of her husband, who she visits daily. Doris Anderson can relate to Range’s thinking. Anderson’s husband, Hal, 78, also suffers from Alzheimer’s. “The person you used to know and love is gone,” she said. Hal Anderson used to write a weekly column, “Hiking with Hal,” published in the Dispatch until about five years ago. In 2000 Hal was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today he accompanies Bud Range at Bethany. The progression of the disease varies from person to person. Kathy Dobson, director of social services for Lakewood Health System, said the average age of onset is the 70s, but people typically develop Alzheimer’s symptoms before that. Dobson said people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often try to hide their symptoms from friends, family members and doctors, sometimes not getting diagnosed until years later. “Some people are good at covering up their symptoms,” she said. “They’re scared, and it’s embarrassing.” Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, medication is available to slow the progression of the disease. Dobson said symptomatic people should see their doctor immediately because many treatable illnesses resemble Alzheimer’s.

John Handeland carries tea bags in his pocket so he’s prepared to make his wife her daily cup of tea when he visits her at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Lila Handeland was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Like many other 11-year-old boys, K.D. Jones loves sports. But at 5 feet, 175 pounds, he found his weight and his asthma an obstacle. His doctor wanted him to lose 50 pounds, and he is hoping a new health study using a video dance game will help him get down to 125 by the end of summer in time to play football. Jones is one of 85 children in an at-home study trying the popular Dance Dance Revolution video

game to boost their activity. The study is being done by West Virginia’s public employees insurance group in hopes it will lead to better health and lower costs. Jones lost about 10 pounds by changing his diet. Now, after two weeks playing the game, he has lost another 10. “I feel a lot better,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to play basketball now.” His enthusiasm has his mother, who also struggles with her weight, giving the game a try. Continued on Page 28

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Symptomatic Alzheimer’s patients start with forgetting small things — names of people, names of objects, things they’ve done — and progresses into anxiety and personality changes. John Handeland and his wife, Lila, loved camping. Over the years, they’ve visited all 65 state parks in Minnesota. “All of a sudden (Lila) didn’t want to go anymore,” John Handeland said. Lila Handeland used to be sociable, according to her husband, but after Alzheimer’s hit, she became introverted. “She used to talk constantly, and all of a sudden she didn’t want to be with a group of people,”John Handeland said. The Ranges were also avid campers until Bud Range’s anxiety set in. “We’d get there and he wouldn’t come out of the camper the whole time,” Lois Range said of her husband. “Or we’d get somewhere and he’d want to go home right away.” Dobson said people with Alzheimer’s don’t like to travel because they get disoriented if they’re outside their usual element. “They need a routine. Otherwise it becomes more obvious something is wrong,” Dobson said. As the disease progresses, people get disoriented easier. Range said her husband used to get lost in their house, so she resorted to putting yellow tape on the carpet so he could find his way from the bedroom to the bathroom and blue tape to other rooms in the house. “Bud got to the point where he couldn’t remember how to use a shovel or mow the lawn,” Lois Range said. “Or he’d go to the cemetery to walk around and would forget to come back. I’d have to look for him.”

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Edward “Bud” Range doesn’t know who his wife, Lois Range, is even though she visits him daily at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Bud Range, 77, has lived at Bethany for the last two years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

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Range, Handeland and Anderson shared stories of their spouse’s battle with Alzheimer’s and had to laugh at some of their memories. Doris Anderson remembered telling her husband she refused to drive with him anymore because his driving skills were lacking. John Handeland remembered scouring the house for a missing water pitcher, later finding it in the wrong cupboard, behind the pots and pans. “You have to laugh or you’ll cry otherwise,” Doris Anderson said. Over time, Alzheimer’s attacks the brain, causing problems with physical function and memory, eventually leading to death. Dobson said in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, people lose the ability to eat and drink. “They don’t grasp the ideas of chewing and swallowing,” she said. Dobson said people usually enter a care facility or nursing home in the middle stages of the disease. Family members often find it difficult to care for an Alzheimer’s patient when they need help with personal care (washing or brushing their own teeth), or they start wandering. “The scariest thing for families is when they realize their (loved one) isn’t safe any-

more,” Dobson said. John Handeland knew he couldn’t continue caring for his wife at home when she started wandering. He couldn’t get any sleep because he was so worried his wife would wander off in the middle of the night. “I had to spend 10 hours a day with her just to keep her in bed,” he said. “It’s frustrating because there’s nothing you can do to help them.” Dobson said people with Alzheimer’s usually end up in long-term care or nursing homes, but assisted living and foster homes are among other options for people in the beginning stages of the disease. “There will be more and more options out there, especially when the baby boomers get older,” Dobson said. Watching a family member’s health deteriorate and putting them in a long-term care facility can be difficult. Handeland, Anderson and Range attend an Alzheimer’s support group at Bethany twice a month to talk about their experiences and pain. “You learn from each other. You’re not the only one going through it,” Range said.

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Scientists believe that whatever triggers Alzheimer’s disease begins to damage the brain years before symptoms appear. When symptoms emerge, nerve cells that process, store and retrieve information have already begun to degenerate and die. Scientists regard two abnormal microscopic structures called “plaques” and “tangles” as the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid plaques are clumps of protein fragments that accumulate outside of the brain’s nerve cells. Tangles are twisted strands of another protein that form inside brain cells. Scientists have not yet determined the exact role that plaques and tangles may play.

Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

The greatest risk factor associated with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age. The older a person is the greater the risk of developing the disease. A family history of Alzheimer’s is also a known risk. When all people of the same age are compared, those who have a parent or sibling with the disease are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than individuals who do not. The likelihood of developing the disease increases as the number of affected relatives increases.

HEIDI LAKE can be reached at 855-5879 or Source: Alzheimer’s Association heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com

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The legislation says as long as the hygienist works under the contract of a dentist who authorizes and accepts responsibility, the hygienist can perform limited procedures. “The purpose of this legislation is to provide a greater scope of services to a greater number of people, especially in rural areas,” said Carol Embertson of the Minnesota Dental Association. Following months of research and planning, Wilson found a company in Columbus, Ohio, to build her clinic, and in October 2004 she drove it home to Deerwood. To get the word out about the lakes area’s only mobile dental clinic, Wilson sent letters to administrators at area schools, nursing homes and group homes. Although business isn’t quite what she expected, Wilson is confident her business venture will succeed. “I’ve never really failed at anything,” she said. “Right now it’s growing at a pace I can keep up with, but I do hope it gets bigger.” Wilson works full time as a hygienist at The Smile Center and hits the road about once a week in her mobile clinic. Currently, she visits schools in Pierz and Crosslake where she treats about 10 students on a typical day. Julie Woitalla, district nurse for Pierz schools, said about 50 Pierz students, pre-

school through 12th grade, signed up for the program. “I was surprised more students didn’t sign up, but it’s probably because the program is in its first year,” she said. “I hope to bring it into the schools annually.” Because nursing home patients take longer to move from their rooms to the handicapped-accessible dental truck, only about seven patients are treated per visit. Wilson goes to nursing homes in Aitkin and Crosby. To qualify for dental care from Lakes Area Mobile Smiles, patients must have either MinnesotaCare, medical assistance or have no insurance at all. With MinnesotaCare or medical assistance, patients don’t pay anything, and Wilson is reimbursed from the state of Minnesota. Uninsured patients are charged

the same discounted rates the state pays. “My fees (for uninsured people) are set at what the state would be charged through Minnesota Care or medical assistance,” Wilson said. Because she isn’t a dentist, the procedures Wilson performs are limited. All patients must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian before they can be seen. Wilson works in collaboration with Dr. Jerry Utley at The Smile Center. She said she often talks with Utley, asking questions and showing him questionable spots on Xrays. Services provided at Lakes Area Mobile Smiles include teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, X-rays, sealants and oral hygiene instruction. Overall, patients receive a limited oral evaluation, where any potential problems are recorded and given to a parent or guardian. “I have seen a lot of students, especially in the high school grades, who have not had preventive care because their parents couldn’t afford it or they just didn’t go,” Woitalla said. “If the kids get good preventive care, we won’t have (dental) problems.” HEIDI LAKE can be reached at 855-5879 or heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com

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Inside Rebecca Wilson’s 28-foot truck is a dental office suited with a dental chair, X-ray equipment, sterilizer and all the tools regular dental offices have. Wilson is also a hygienist at The Smile Center in Deerwood.

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and bring them to the dentist,” said Rebecca Wilson, owner of Lakes Area Mobile Smiles. “We have everything you’d have in a dental office, except on a smaller scale.” Wilson, a registered dental hygienist, has worked at The Smile Center in Deerwood for nearly four years. When she heard about the approval of state legislation giving hygienists the ability to start their own clinic, a light bulb went off in Wilson’s head. “There’s always been a small entrepreneur part of me,”she said. “My dad was a business owner and I guess it rubbed off on me.”

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Local chiropractors study links between adjustments, lifestyle, ADHD

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Story/Renee Richardson Photo/Nels Norquist

Jim Davis, chiropractor at Lakes Chiropractic, worked with a young patient at the office in Brainerd.

Can chiropractic adjustments combined with increased exercise, better diet and a healthier lifestyle act as an alternative to drugs for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? A study involving two lakes area doctors of chiropractic hopes to help shed more light on the subject. The doctors of chiropractic — Jim Davis, Lakes Chiropractic of Brainerd, and Murray Smith, Cuyuna Family Chiropractic of Crosby — hope to publish study findings this winter. Davis said the study showed children under care had a 54 percent decrease in their ADD/ADHD behaviors during the study. Davis said they are not claiming chiropractic care is a treatment for attention deficit disorder or ADHD. But they are studying the effects of a child’s spine corrections for what are commonly called pinched nerves along with increased exercise, better dietary choices and a healthier lifestyle on ADHD. “We are combining all those things into one treatment,” Davis said. The chiropractic care looks at how pinched nerves affect the body’s ability to move and how they interfere with the body’s nervous system. Davis suggested thinking of the body’s movement as a windmill that turns and charges a battery. “Movement charges our brain,” he said.

Exercise is readily linked to greater physical and mental health. Davis said the cerebellum is the brain’s quarterback, coordinating movement that in turn fires the brain itself. The cerebellum is the part of the brain concerned with fine motor coordination and body movement, posture and balance. The cerebellum is attached to the rear portion of the brain stem. Davis likened the vertebrae to a circuit breaker panel. If the vertebrae can be thought of as a circuit breaker in the body, a misaligned vertebrae can act as a short circuit that interferes with the body’s wiring or nerves. Davis reported a pinched nerve may be caused by trauma or bad posture. Other causes may include mental stress and anxiety or toxins, which can include a poor diet, Davis said. Whether chiropractic care along with increased exercise, better diet and a healthier lifestyle can be an alternative to medications for ADHD is not confirmed. Studies that look at how people are affected by this type of treatment is one way to add to the medical community’s knowledge. Davis and Smith hoped to have 30 patients participate in the study between the two offices. They do not charge those taking part in the study. Smith said the goal is to increase research knowledge on the subject and be able to publish those findings. For Davis, an important study aspect included an ability to look at alternatives to solving the puzzle of ADHD that do not rely only on prescribing drugs to children. “Let’s try everything possible first before we put them on a very powerful drug they may have to stay on for the rest of their lives,” Davis said. Davis said 90 percent of Ritalin, the drug often used to treat attention deficit disorder, is consumed in the United States, which represents 5 percent of the world’s population. In order to qualify for the study: • Patients had to be medically diagnosed with ADHD. • They must be 17 years old or younger. • They must have a vertebral subluxation, commonly called a pinched nerve, which can interfere with the communication and function of the body’s nervous system. • They must agree to follow a six-month adjustment schedule, take supplements and change their diet to the best of their ability. • They must fill out appropriate questionnaires. Examination of the diet includes looking at the role food allergies or food sensitivities can play in producing hyperactive symptoms. The Lancet medical journal study of 185 children reported that 116 of them showed marked improvements when placed on a hypo-allergenic diet supplemented by calcium, magnesium and zinc along with multiple vitamins. Davis reported studies have shown ADHD symptoms also were reduced by supplementing essential fatty acids, with sources that include fish oils. Davis and Smith have about 15 patients involved in the study and are still seeking additional participants. RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.

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Local chiropractors study links between adjustments, lifestyle, ADHD

CMYK

Story/Renee Richardson Photo/Nels Norquist

Jim Davis, chiropractor at Lakes Chiropractic, worked with a young patient at the office in Brainerd.

Can chiropractic adjustments combined with increased exercise, better diet and a healthier lifestyle act as an alternative to drugs for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? A study involving two lakes area doctors of chiropractic hopes to help shed more light on the subject. The doctors of chiropractic — Jim Davis, Lakes Chiropractic of Brainerd, and Murray Smith, Cuyuna Family Chiropractic of Crosby — hope to publish study findings this winter. Davis said the study showed children under care had a 54 percent decrease in their ADD/ADHD behaviors during the study. Davis said they are not claiming chiropractic care is a treatment for attention deficit disorder or ADHD. But they are studying the effects of a child’s spine corrections for what are commonly called pinched nerves along with increased exercise, better dietary choices and a healthier lifestyle on ADHD. “We are combining all those things into one treatment,” Davis said. The chiropractic care looks at how pinched nerves affect the body’s ability to move and how they interfere with the body’s nervous system. Davis suggested thinking of the body’s movement as a windmill that turns and charges a battery. “Movement charges our brain,” he said.

Exercise is readily linked to greater physical and mental health. Davis said the cerebellum is the brain’s quarterback, coordinating movement that in turn fires the brain itself. The cerebellum is the part of the brain concerned with fine motor coordination and body movement, posture and balance. The cerebellum is attached to the rear portion of the brain stem. Davis likened the vertebrae to a circuit breaker panel. If the vertebrae can be thought of as a circuit breaker in the body, a misaligned vertebrae can act as a short circuit that interferes with the body’s wiring or nerves. Davis reported a pinched nerve may be caused by trauma or bad posture. Other causes may include mental stress and anxiety or toxins, which can include a poor diet, Davis said. Whether chiropractic care along with increased exercise, better diet and a healthier lifestyle can be an alternative to medications for ADHD is not confirmed. Studies that look at how people are affected by this type of treatment is one way to add to the medical community’s knowledge. Davis and Smith hoped to have 30 patients participate in the study between the two offices. They do not charge those taking part in the study. Smith said the goal is to increase research knowledge on the subject and be able to publish those findings. For Davis, an important study aspect included an ability to look at alternatives to solving the puzzle of ADHD that do not rely only on prescribing drugs to children. “Let’s try everything possible first before we put them on a very powerful drug they may have to stay on for the rest of their lives,” Davis said. Davis said 90 percent of Ritalin, the drug often used to treat attention deficit disorder, is consumed in the United States, which represents 5 percent of the world’s population. In order to qualify for the study: • Patients had to be medically diagnosed with ADHD. • They must be 17 years old or younger. • They must have a vertebral subluxation, commonly called a pinched nerve, which can interfere with the communication and function of the body’s nervous system. • They must agree to follow a six-month adjustment schedule, take supplements and change their diet to the best of their ability. • They must fill out appropriate questionnaires. Examination of the diet includes looking at the role food allergies or food sensitivities can play in producing hyperactive symptoms. The Lancet medical journal study of 185 children reported that 116 of them showed marked improvements when placed on a hypo-allergenic diet supplemented by calcium, magnesium and zinc along with multiple vitamins. Davis reported studies have shown ADHD symptoms also were reduced by supplementing essential fatty acids, with sources that include fish oils. Davis and Smith have about 15 patients involved in the study and are still seeking additional participants. RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.

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A dental office on wheels. Now that’s something you don’t normally see cruising down the highway — unless you live in the Brainerd lakes area. On the outside, it looks like a large white delivery truck. But on the inside many patients can’t believe their eyes. It looks and even smells like a regular dental office, the only difference being it’s housed inside a 28-foot truck. Lakes Area Mobile Smiles is a drivable dental office providing convenience to students and nursing home patients. “Some parents don’t have time to pick up their kids from school

and bring them to the dentist,” said Rebecca Wilson, owner of Lakes Area Mobile Smiles. “We have everything you’d have in a dental office, except on a smaller scale.” Wilson, a registered dental hygienist, has worked at The Smile Center in Deerwood for nearly four years. When she heard about the approval of state legislation giving hygienists the ability to start their own clinic, a light bulb went off in Wilson’s head. “There’s always been a small entrepreneur part of me,”she said. “My dad was a business owner and I guess it rubbed off on me.”

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Range, Handeland and Anderson shared stories of their spouse’s battle with Alzheimer’s and had to laugh at some of their memories. Doris Anderson remembered telling her husband she refused to drive with him anymore because his driving skills were lacking. John Handeland remembered scouring the house for a missing water pitcher, later finding it in the wrong cupboard, behind the pots and pans. “You have to laugh or you’ll cry otherwise,” Doris Anderson said. Over time, Alzheimer’s attacks the brain, causing problems with physical function and memory, eventually leading to death. Dobson said in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, people lose the ability to eat and drink. “They don’t grasp the ideas of chewing and swallowing,” she said. Dobson said people usually enter a care facility or nursing home in the middle stages of the disease. Family members often find it difficult to care for an Alzheimer’s patient when they need help with personal care (washing or brushing their own teeth), or they start wandering. “The scariest thing for families is when they realize their (loved one) isn’t safe any-

more,” Dobson said. John Handeland knew he couldn’t continue caring for his wife at home when she started wandering. He couldn’t get any sleep because he was so worried his wife would wander off in the middle of the night. “I had to spend 10 hours a day with her just to keep her in bed,” he said. “It’s frustrating because there’s nothing you can do to help them.” Dobson said people with Alzheimer’s usually end up in long-term care or nursing homes, but assisted living and foster homes are among other options for people in the beginning stages of the disease. “There will be more and more options out there, especially when the baby boomers get older,” Dobson said. Watching a family member’s health deteriorate and putting them in a long-term care facility can be difficult. Handeland, Anderson and Range attend an Alzheimer’s support group at Bethany twice a month to talk about their experiences and pain. “You learn from each other. You’re not the only one going through it,” Range said.

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Scientists believe that whatever triggers Alzheimer’s disease begins to damage the brain years before symptoms appear. When symptoms emerge, nerve cells that process, store and retrieve information have already begun to degenerate and die. Scientists regard two abnormal microscopic structures called “plaques” and “tangles” as the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid plaques are clumps of protein fragments that accumulate outside of the brain’s nerve cells. Tangles are twisted strands of another protein that form inside brain cells. Scientists have not yet determined the exact role that plaques and tangles may play.

Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

The greatest risk factor associated with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age. The older a person is the greater the risk of developing the disease. A family history of Alzheimer’s is also a known risk. When all people of the same age are compared, those who have a parent or sibling with the disease are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than individuals who do not. The likelihood of developing the disease increases as the number of affected relatives increases.

HEIDI LAKE can be reached at 855-5879 or Source: Alzheimer’s Association heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com

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The legislation says as long as the hygienist works under the contract of a dentist who authorizes and accepts responsibility, the hygienist can perform limited procedures. “The purpose of this legislation is to provide a greater scope of services to a greater number of people, especially in rural areas,” said Carol Embertson of the Minnesota Dental Association. Following months of research and planning, Wilson found a company in Columbus, Ohio, to build her clinic, and in October 2004 she drove it home to Deerwood. To get the word out about the lakes area’s only mobile dental clinic, Wilson sent letters to administrators at area schools, nursing homes and group homes. Although business isn’t quite what she expected, Wilson is confident her business venture will succeed. “I’ve never really failed at anything,” she said. “Right now it’s growing at a pace I can keep up with, but I do hope it gets bigger.” Wilson works full time as a hygienist at The Smile Center and hits the road about once a week in her mobile clinic. Currently, she visits schools in Pierz and Crosslake where she treats about 10 students on a typical day. Julie Woitalla, district nurse for Pierz schools, said about 50 Pierz students, pre-

school through 12th grade, signed up for the program. “I was surprised more students didn’t sign up, but it’s probably because the program is in its first year,” she said. “I hope to bring it into the schools annually.” Because nursing home patients take longer to move from their rooms to the handicapped-accessible dental truck, only about seven patients are treated per visit. Wilson goes to nursing homes in Aitkin and Crosby. To qualify for dental care from Lakes Area Mobile Smiles, patients must have either MinnesotaCare, medical assistance or have no insurance at all. With MinnesotaCare or medical assistance, patients don’t pay anything, and Wilson is reimbursed from the state of Minnesota. Uninsured patients are charged

the same discounted rates the state pays. “My fees (for uninsured people) are set at what the state would be charged through Minnesota Care or medical assistance,” Wilson said. Because she isn’t a dentist, the procedures Wilson performs are limited. All patients must have a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian before they can be seen. Wilson works in collaboration with Dr. Jerry Utley at The Smile Center. She said she often talks with Utley, asking questions and showing him questionable spots on Xrays. Services provided at Lakes Area Mobile Smiles include teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, X-rays, sealants and oral hygiene instruction. Overall, patients receive a limited oral evaluation, where any potential problems are recorded and given to a parent or guardian. “I have seen a lot of students, especially in the high school grades, who have not had preventive care because their parents couldn’t afford it or they just didn’t go,” Woitalla said. “If the kids get good preventive care, we won’t have (dental) problems.” HEIDI LAKE can be reached at 855-5879 or heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com

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Inside Rebecca Wilson’s 28-foot truck is a dental office suited with a dental chair, X-ray equipment, sterilizer and all the tools regular dental offices have. Wilson is also a hygienist at The Smile Center in Deerwood.

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Symptomatic Alzheimer’s patients start with forgetting small things — names of people, names of objects, things they’ve done — and progresses into anxiety and personality changes. John Handeland and his wife, Lila, loved camping. Over the years, they’ve visited all 65 state parks in Minnesota. “All of a sudden (Lila) didn’t want to go anymore,” John Handeland said. Lila Handeland used to be sociable, according to her husband, but after Alzheimer’s hit, she became introverted. “She used to talk constantly, and all of a sudden she didn’t want to be with a group of people,”John Handeland said. The Ranges were also avid campers until Bud Range’s anxiety set in. “We’d get there and he wouldn’t come out of the camper the whole time,” Lois Range said of her husband. “Or we’d get somewhere and he’d want to go home right away.” Dobson said people with Alzheimer’s don’t like to travel because they get disoriented if they’re outside their usual element. “They need a routine. Otherwise it becomes more obvious something is wrong,” Dobson said. As the disease progresses, people get disoriented easier. Range said her husband used to get lost in their house, so she resorted to putting yellow tape on the carpet so he could find his way from the bedroom to the bathroom and blue tape to other rooms in the house. “Bud got to the point where he couldn’t remember how to use a shovel or mow the lawn,” Lois Range said. “Or he’d go to the cemetery to walk around and would forget to come back. I’d have to look for him.”

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Edward “Bud” Range doesn’t know who his wife, Lois Range, is even though she visits him daily at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Bud Range, 77, has lived at Bethany for the last two years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

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Lois Range said her husband, 77-year-old Edward “Bud” Range, doesn’t know who she is when she visits him at Bethany Good Samaritan Village in Brainerd. In the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, he hasn’t been able to walk or talk for several years. “It’s like he’s dead already,” Range said of her husband, who she visits daily. Doris Anderson can relate to Range’s thinking. Anderson’s husband, Hal, 78, also suffers from Alzheimer’s. “The person you used to know and love is gone,” she said. Hal Anderson used to write a weekly column, “Hiking with Hal,” published in the Dispatch until about five years ago. In 2000 Hal was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today he accompanies Bud Range at Bethany. The progression of the disease varies from person to person. Kathy Dobson, director of social services for Lakewood Health System, said the average age of onset is the 70s, but people typically develop Alzheimer’s symptoms before that. Dobson said people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often try to hide their symptoms from friends, family members and doctors, sometimes not getting diagnosed until years later. “Some people are good at covering up their symptoms,” she said. “They’re scared, and it’s embarrassing.” Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, medication is available to slow the progression of the disease. Dobson said symptomatic people should see their doctor immediately because many treatable illnesses resemble Alzheimer’s.

John Handeland carries tea bags in his pocket so he’s prepared to make his wife her daily cup of tea when he visits her at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Lila Handeland was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2000.

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Dancing off the pounds Study tries video dance game as weight-loss effort for kids

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Like many other 11-year-old boys, K.D. Jones loves sports. But at 5 feet, 175 pounds, he found his weight and his asthma an obstacle. His doctor wanted him to lose 50 pounds, and he is hoping a new health study using a video dance game will help him get down to 125 by the end of summer in time to play football. Jones is one of 85 children in an at-home study trying the popular Dance Dance Revolution video

game to boost their activity. The study is being done by West Virginia’s public employees insurance group in hopes it will lead to better health and lower costs. Jones lost about 10 pounds by changing his diet. Now, after two weeks playing the game, he has lost another 10. “I feel a lot better,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to play basketball now.” His enthusiasm has his mother, who also struggles with her weight, giving the game a try. Continued on Page 28

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Researchers seek snuff and chew users who want to quit

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BLOOMINGTON — The HealthPartners Research Foundation is looking for snuff or chewing tobacco users in rural Minnesota who are interested in quitting. Researchers will study how phone coaching works for individuals quitting chew. The study is named ChewFree Minnesota and is open to all Minnesota adults who live outside the Twin Cities metro area. The Brainerd area is in a region of the state that has the highest rate of snuff and chew use in the state. The rate, about 13 per-

Coping with Alzheimer’s

cent of men, is more than double that of the metro area and the nation as a whole. "Many people mistakenly believe that chewing tobacco and snuff have few risks," said Dr. Raymond Boyle, of the HealthPartners Research Foundation. "Regular users are at significant risk for oral cancers and addiction. Recent studies show that almost three-fourths of daily snuff or chew users have non-cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions in the mouth. Snuff and chew users also experience significant gum recession and bone loss surrounding the teeth."

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Lila Handeland (left), John Handeland, Edward “Bud” Range and Lois Range relaxed at Bethany Good Samaritan Village. Lila Handeland and Bud Range suffer from Alzheimer’s.

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It starts out with simple things — forgetting an old friend’s name or putting a glass in the wrong cupboard — but when Alzheimer’s strikes, the outcome is inevitable. Watching your spouse’s mind deteriorate to the point they don’t even know who you are can be devastating.

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The HealthPartners Research Foundation recently completed a pilot study in which 40 percent of snuff and chew users who worked with phone coaches quit successfully. The group that only received a self-help quit manual had a 25 percent quit rate. "Our pilot study results showed we can have a significant impact on helping snuff and chew users quit, with minimal intervention," said Boyle. "We saw an impact even among heavy users of snuff." A recent statewide survey found more than 100,000 snuff and chew users in Minnesota. The ChewFree Minnesota quitting program is aimed at two groups of tobacco users who are often overlooked: Rural residents and nonsmokers. "We want to focus outside the metro area where surveys show snuff and chew use rates are almost double those in the metro area,� said Boyle. “The ChewFree quitting program also provides a resource to snuff and chew tobacco users who typically have fewer quitting resources than do cigarette smokers." The study, which is free to participants, will be conducted entirely by phone and mail. Research participants will also be asked to complete surveys to help evaluate the quitting program. For more information about this study, or to take part in the study, call Chris Enstad at 1-888-SNUFF-FREE (1-888-768-3337).

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Doctors weigh in on hormone therapy and breast cancer links

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Story and photo/Jennifer Stockinger Is there a link between hormone therapy and breast cancer? This is one of the main questions that crosses the minds of many women going through menopause who are considering hormone therapy. When Tammy Wilson of Staples went on hormone therapy nearly five years ago the thought of getting breast cancer crossed her mind, but it did not stop her. “I wasn’t too worried about it,” said Wilson. “I know others on hormone therapy who didn’t get breast cancer so I guess I was not afraid of it.” Hormone therapy, also called hormone replacement therapy, is a form of drug therapy in which a person is given estrogen and/or progesterone to supplement the declining levels of the hormones that occur in the body during menopause. Women on hormone therapy have a small chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, a hormone-dependent disease where estrogen can stimulate the growth of tumors. Dr. Carol Uhlman, obstetrician at the Brainerd Medical Center who specializes in women going through menopause, said the number of patients on hormone therapy who have been diagnosed with breast cancer was smaller than she initially thought. Uhlman said after reading a national study published in a 2004 magazine called Managing Menopause, she found out more specifics of the connection between breast cancer and hormone therapy. The magazine released a study about hormone therapy that was gathered by the Women’s Health Initiative. The study can be found online at www.whi.org. The study reported 41 in every 10,000 women on hormone therapy taking estrogen and progestin will develop breast cancer, while 33 in every 10,000 women who were not on hormone therapy and took a placebo pill will develop breast cancer in a given year. The study also found that the breast cancer found in women on hormone therapy and the cancer found in women on a placebo pill had similar characteristics. However, the tumors in the women on hormone therapy tended to be larger and more spread throughout the body. Uhlman said the amount of risk a woman has depends on what type of hormone therapy she is on. She said a woman who had a hysterectomy and is taking an estrogen-only hor-

24

he failed his color vision test. “They told me I was color deficient and I was like, ‘Wow,’” said Adams. “Before this I assumed I saw the same colors everyone else did.” When Adams found out about the color deficiency, he said he was more disappointed that he did not get accepted into the academy. He said he always wanted to be a Navy pilot. Forced to switch career paths, he attended the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1989. He said he wanted to be in a health-related career, but was not sure which field. Adams eventually decided optometry school was for him and he attended the Southern California College of Optometry where he earned his degree in 1993. His first job as an optometrist was for the Navy in Pensacola, Fla., where he practiced for three years. He then wanted to look at working for a private practice. He looked at practices in Iowa, where he was born and raised, and in other places in the Midwest. Adams said his college roommate worked at a Wal-Mart Vision Center in Mankato and told him there was an opening at the Wal-Mart in Baxter. Adams said his plan was to take the position in Baxter, while continuing his search for

before she recommends hormone therapy she consults the patient about natural ways to try to get rid of the symptoms, such as eating healthy and exercising. She also looks at the patient’s family history. Every woman is different and one type of hormone therapy may work on one person, but may not work on another, Uhlman said. Hormone therapy comes in several different forms, including patches, gels and pills, such as Premarin. Side effects of hormone therapy include bleeding, breast tenderness, facial rash, nausea and blood clots. Once a patient and physician decide to use hormone therapy, Uhlman said she recommends patients be on it for no more than two years. Uhlman said many women are against using Premarin because the pill is made out of horse urine. Other prescriptions include Prempro, Estradiol and Gynodiol. “What usually drives patients’ prescriptions is their insurance,” said Uhlman. “It’s expensive and a person can pay about $30 to $40 a month.”

There are many types of color deficiencies, depending on a person’s cone cells on the retina. Of the three cones, one cone represents the color red, the second cone represents green and the last cone represents blue. Anomalous trichromasy — This is the most common form of color deficiency and it is least severe. This is where there is a shift in the sensitivity in one or more of the cones. A person’s ability to discriminate between colors is reduced, but does not eliminate color perception. Protanomaly — One out of 100 males will be found with protanomaly. A person with this form of color deficiency has trouble seeing red. This person would say that the color violet looks like another shade of blue. Deuteranomaly — One out of five males will be deuteranomaly. A person with this form of color deficiency has trouble seeing green and identifying the differences in hues of red, orange, yellow and green because the colors appear shifted toward red. private practices in other places in the Midwest. He started working for the vision center in Baxter in 1996 and after a few months Adams stopped his job search. “They treat me so well here it would be

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Dr. Carol Uhlman (left), obstetrics doctor at Brainerd Medical Center, performed a thyroid test on Tammy Wilson of Staples. Wilson has been on hormone therapy for nearly five years.

mone therapy has a lower risk of developing cancer. A woman who has not had a hysterectomy and still has her uterus cannot take estrogen alone because of the added progestin in her body. Uhlman also said the shorter amount of time a woman is on hormone therapy, the better her chance of not developing breast cancer. Women usually go on hormone therapy when they go through menopause or have had a hysterectomy. Hormone therapy is a method of therapy to alleviate menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disruptions and depression. Uhlman said women typically experience the same menopausal symptoms as their mothers. Some women have their menstrual cycle end and they never experience any menopausal symptoms. Uhlman said about 10-15 percent of her days are spent consulting women on menopause and of those, 5-10 percent of them are on hormone therapy. Uhlman said

Types of color deficiencies

Dichromacy — Persons who are missing a cone have dichromacy. This person cannot see a difference between red, orange, yellow or green. Protanopia — One out of 100 males suffer from protanopia and their brightness of red, orange and yellow is reduced. Reds may be confused with black or dark gray. Violet, lavender and purple are indistinguishable from various shades of blue because their reddish components are dimmed. Deuteranopia — One out of 100 males suffer from deuteranopia, which is similar to protanopia, but without the abnormal dimming. Red, orange, yellow and green mean very little to this person. Achromatopsia and blue cone monochromacy — This is a total loss of all color vision. This person must wear dark sunglasses in the daylight or in bright indoor conditions because their vision comes from their rods, not their cone cells. Source: WebExhibits, an Online museum hard to leave,” said Adams. “I have a good crew here.” JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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The colorblind test is a book of 10 plates. The plates have printed dots of different chromaticity to produce patterns that can be identified as numbers by a person who has no trouble seeing color. The numbers seven (left) and 45 are shown in this test.

Being color deficient does not conflict with Adams’ optometry career. He said the biggest problem he has is when a patient asks how colored contacts look on them. He has to refer the question to somebody else on staff. Adams said not all optometrists test their patients for color deficiencies. He said he conducts the test more out of curiosity. He said half of his younger patients don’t know they have a color deficiency and 5-10 percent of his patients fail the test. Adams sees more colors than just black and white. Adams can see about 25 colors while the average person can see about 200. Adams said a person who is color deficient has trouble seeing different hues. “Pastels are harder (to see) and I don’t get to see the fantastic colors from the fireworks,” said Adams. “Yellows are more saturated.” Colorblindness or a color deficiency is typically a genetic condition. Adams said there are rare cases where a person can become color deficient from an eye disease. It is also rare for a person to be truly colorblind, where they cannot see colors at all, Adams said. About 8 percent of males and about a half percent of females have some sort of color

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deficiency. Males are more likely to be born with the color deficiency because it is caused by defects in the “X” chromosome. Males have an “X” and a “Y” chromosome and if the “X” chromosome is defective they will have a color deficiency. Females have two “X” chromosomes and each chromosome must be affected in order for them to be colorblind or have a deficiency. A female whose “X” chromosome is defective is a carrier of the eye condition. Adams said his mother is a carrier of the color deficiency. Adams and his brother both have color deficiencies and his two sisters could be carriers. Adams said his wife, Kim, does not have a color deficiency, but their two daughters, Elle, 14, and Madison, 9, are carriers. Many types of color deficiencies are caused by a defect in any of the three cone cells on the retina. Each cone represents the colors red, green and blue. Adams said most people with a color deficiency have abnormal red and green cones and have trouble seeing green and brown, purple and blue and brown and maroon. Adams has the color deficiency called

deuteranomalous where green is the weaker color. People with deuteranomalous people have a hard time discriminating the difference in hues in red, orange, yellow and green. Adams said the main thing he has trouble with is matching his clothes because he can’t see the fine lines between matching colors. He said he has a hard time with greens and browns, blues and grays, and navy and black. “I have an olive green shirt that I think is a light chocolate brown,” said Adams. Adams said he basically remembers what shirt and pants combinations he can wear. His wife also helps him pick out clothes. “I joke around with him that I’ll make him pick out his own clothes,” said Kim. Brad Adams said when he used to wear neckties a lot he labeled each tie to show what shirt it matched. Adams said when he is grilling steaks or other meat he has to ask his wife to check the middle of the meat to make sure it is done. “We cook our steaks quite well,” he said. Adams did not find out he had a color deficiency until he turned 18. He was trying to get into the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland and

Uhlman has only seen two or three patients on hormone therapy who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Uhlman said it is hard to say if those women developed the cancer from being on hormone therapy or if they would have developed the breast cancer anyway. “Breast cancer is so prevalent in our society,” she said. “One patient was only on hormone therapy for a couple of months when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t think she developed it from being on the hormone therapy. “Plus lots of cancers lay dormant in our body and when we add estrogen it can trigger that cancer.” Dr. Tim Yeh, hematologist and medical oncologist at BMC, said the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer from being on hormone therapy may be small, but to the woman who gets the tumor it is a big deal. “I see women who were on estrogen who developed breast cancer who are fighting for their lives,” said Yeh. “But we don’t know for sure if they got the breast cancer from the hormone therapy. They could have developed it anyway.” Yeh said if a woman lives to age 85, her risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 11 percent. Yeh sees about 240 patients a month and 25 percent of his patients have breast cancer. He sees one or two new patients a week who have breast cancer. However, Yeh said the numbers can be deceiving. He said breast cancer is a cancer that can be managed for a number of years, so he sees many of his patients regularly. A patient with lung cancer may die sooner after being diagnosed, said Yeh. Yeh said the Women’s Health Initiative study is a good study and women considering hormone therapy should carefully read it and do research to make an informed decision. Yeh said the patient and the physician need to take a hard look at hormone therapy and the patient should have good reasons if they decide to go on it. Yeh said many patients will go on hormone therapy because that has been the popular treatment. “We have to avoid popular perception,” said Yeh. “Anyone who takes estrogen for problems needs to carefully weigh the benefits and the risks.” Yeh agreed with Uhlman that patients should take the smallest dose of hormone therapy as possible for the shortest amount of time. Yeh also said it should be carefully monitored. “It (breast cancer) hits home hard when they see me,”said Yeh. “The risks of breast cancer may be small (when on hormone therapy), but the risks are real. You don’t want to be the one.” Wilson said hormone therapy has been a lifesaver for her. When Wilson had a hysterectomy her symptoms were severe and she said, “I wasn’t going to be without it (hormone therapy).” Wilson first tried the patch and Premarin to try to alleviate her symptoms. She said she didn’t get the full effects of the patch and Premarin gave her headaches and she was always tired. For the past two years, Wilson has been on a low dose of Cenestin, an oral pill, and she has not had one problem. “I feel healthier than ever before,” said Wilson. “I don’t have any mood swings and I lost the weight I gained on the other hormones. “My doctor recommends that the dose be lowered so I would eventually be off, but I want to stay on it because I have been so healthy.” Wilson said her biggest fear is getting breast cancer. She fears getting off the hormone therapy and experiencing the menopausal symptoms again. Her symptoms included hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain and heavy cramping. JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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Brad Adams, an optometrist at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in Baxter, is color deficient and has trouble seeing certain colors, such as brown and green. Dr. Tim LeMieur (left); Tim Ryan, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Steve Wenzel, USDA state director; Dr. Paul Severson; and Dr. Howard McCollister discussed the details of telesurgery capabilities in an operating room at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center.

Local hospitals receive grant for telesurgery

Story/Jennifer Stockinger Photo/Steve Kohls

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CROSBY — For the past three years surgeons at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby have been able to consult with surgeons from around the world through telesurgery, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA granted $500,000 to hospitals in Crosby, Aitkin and Moose Lake to purchase telesurgery equipment. Crosby installed the equipment in its minimally invasive surgery department. This type of surgery is done through small incisions, using specialized techniques and technical equipment.

Color deficient eye doctor still diagnoses patients

Story/Jennifer Stockinger Photos/Nels Norquist

BAXTER — It’s not easy for a color-deficient optometrist to test patients for color deficiency. With a colorblind test, if a person can read the number hidden in a mass of color on each page of the test, they are not color deficient. When Brad Adams, an optometrist at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in Baxter, tests patients for color deficiency they could rattle off any number and Adams would not see it. Because Adams cannot read the

numbers on the test, he has them memorized. The colorblind test is a book of 10 pages of different numbers. Each page has printed dots of different chromaticity to produce patterns that can be identified as numbers by a person who has no trouble seeing color. Adams does not hide the fact he is color deficient from his patients. After he finishes the colorblind test with his patients he usually says, “I can’t read the numbers anyway.”

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Table of contents DISEASE: Coping with Alzheimer’s

CHIROPRACTICS: Study could link ADHD, back adjustments ON THE MOVE: Dental clinic on wheels

21 22 24 26

DANCE: Video game helps kids lose weight WANTED: Rural Minnesotans who chew tobacco LINKS: Breast cancer and hormone therapy HIGH TECH: Telesurgery

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7 11 16 18

COVER STORY: Color deficiency

From the editor More than four million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, a disease that eats away at the brain until a person can’t function anymore. In the story, “Coping with Alzheimer’s,” I interviewed three people whose spouses have the disease. I cannot fathom how hard it would be to have your spouse, someone you’ve been married to for more than 40 years, not remember who you are. All of the memories you’ve created together are gone. The eyes of the person you know and love look back at you with an empty stare. For family members, watching a loved one battle Alzheimer’s must be torturous. Area hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities offer support groups for patients and their family members who are dealing with various diseases. Sharing struggles and other experiences with people who have been through the same thing can make coping easier. This issue of HealthWatch also includes stories about a dental clinic on wheels and an eye doctor who can’t see most colors. Story ideas are appreciated. Please email me (heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com) if you have a subject you’d like to see covered in an upcoming issue. Heidi Lake Editor

Who we are Publisher — Terry McCollough Advertising — Gloria Vande Brake Editor — Heidi Lake Graphic Desinger — Cindy Spilman

For advertising opportunities call Gloria Vande Brake at (218) 855-5825.

E-mail your comments to heidi.lake@brainerddispatch.com or write HealthWatch is a quarterly publication to: of the Brainerd Dispatch Heidi Lake Brainerd Dispatch Read HealthWatch online at PO Box 974 www.upnorthhealthwatch.com Brainerd, MN 56401

Cover photo/Nels Norquist The number 45 is hidden in a mass of color in a colorblind test book.

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Several USDA officials recently saw firsthand how the technology works. Tim Ryan, USDA deputy undersecretary, and Steve Wenzel, USDA state director, were among about a dozen people who watched a live demonstration of a minimally invasive surgery at the hospital using telesurgery. The demonstration was performed by Dr. Sayeed Ikramuddin, a surgeon at Fairview-University Medical Center in Minneapolis, who performed a gastric bypass surgery on a patient. The spectators watched the surgery being done at Fairview on one of the monitors in the operating room in Crosby. Drs. Howard McCollister and Paul Severson, directors of the minimally invasive surgery department at CRMC, led the demonstration. McCollister said the USDA grant allowed the hospital to get things rolling. McCollister said they train with surgeons from around the world through telesurgery. The technology also is beneficial to patients in the area, he said. “People in this area have been here forever and don’t want to drive to the cities,” McCollister said. “They want to stay home and

“People in this area have been here forever and don’t want to drive to the cities. They want to stay home and they can have sophisticated surgeries here.” —Howard McCollister Co-director of the minimally invasive surgery at CRMC they can have sophisticated surgeries here.” Tom Reek, chief executive officer at CRMC, said the technology has helped the hospital recruit surgeons to the hospital. Reek said the hospital performs more than

100 different types of minimally invasive procedures. “Telesurgery has opened the world to us,” said Reek. Wenzel said the grant money for the Crosby hospital was a good investment. He said it has brought many medical opportunities to the hospital and it has created economic development in the area. He said telesurgery keeps residents in the area, whether they are patients or medical professionals. The hospital employs more than 600 people, including nearly 100 employees in the minimally invasive surgery area. After watching the demonstration, Ryan said taxpayers were getting a good return on their money. “It’s good to see that we are hitting the mark,” said Ryan of this grant program.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851.

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K.D. Jones, 11, of Campbells Creek, W.Va., danced at his home to control a video game. Jones is one of 85 children being recruited by the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency to participate in an athome study using the video game Dance Dance Revolution to increase physical activity.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Joyce Jones said. “But I can only do it about two times for every four times he does.” The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency, which covers 215,000 state workers, teachers and their dependents, believes it is the first insurance provider to use the game to cut costs. Konami Digital Entertainment America, which distributes the Japanese game in the United States, knows of no other state or insurance agency using the game for its health benefits. “Today’s kids are tomorrow’s members,” said the insurance group’s Nidia Henderson. “Obesity claims last year cost us $77 million. We have to curtail those costs.” The insurer is providing a game console, dance pad and software for the six-month, $60,000 study. West Virginia University is providing the medical screenings and tracking results. The students, all children of PEIA-covered employees, are required to meet with researchers, play the game a prescribed amount of time, wear a pedometer and maintain a log. They get to keep the game software and pad. So far, about a dozen kids have started playing the game. They will be re-evaluated after three months and again at the end of the study. PEIA is also funding part of a two-year pilot project with the state Education Department to put the game in 20 schools for use in physical education and health classes. They hope children who play it at school will

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get their parents to buy it for home use. In West Virginia, almost 43 percent of the nearly 6,000 children screened for heart disease risk were considered overweight or obese; more than 25 percent were obese. “We are in a crisis in terms of childhood obesity not only in West Virginia but in America,” said Linda Carson, a professor in WVU’s School of Physical Education who is coordinating the study. Prescreening tests on the overweight children have already raised concerns. Researchers expected to find problems with blood pressure and cholesterol, but they also found that blood flow to the arteries was being disrupted. The condition can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Researchers at Syracuse University in New York also have been looking at the potential for improved cardiovascular and physiological effects among children using the game. And at Penn State, researchers are studying how much energy children use playing games like Dance Dance Revolution. In West Virginia, Robrietta Lambert, a physical education teacher at Franklin Elementary in Pendleton County, believes she already knows what all the studies will find. She has been using the video game in her classes since last fall. “It improves cardiovascular health as well as eye-hand coordination,” Lambert said. “Kids who don’t like other things bloom on this. If they don’t like basketball, jumping rope or ball activities, they like this.” Players stand on a 3-foot-square metal mat with an arrow on each side — pointing up, down, left and right. Arrows scroll up the television screen to the beat of more than 100 tunes chosen by the player. As an arrow moves across the screen, the player steps on the corresponding arrow on the platform. Hidden songs are uncovered as players improve their speed and scores. Sounds easy enough, but throw in combinations of multiple arrows, add the quick speed at which veterans play, and the game is as challenging as an aerobics class. Most beginners are flushed in the face after one or two songs. At Morgantown High School, one of the 20 pilot sites, curiosity about the flashing lights and upbeat music draw students inside Maxine Arbogast’s health class. The game, which was first introduced as an arcade game in Japan, is attracting the sedentary and the seasoned athlete alike. Senior Stephanie Bellman, 18, said she was already getting addicted after only a few days. “I like how it creates a good mood,”she said. “Even when you mess up you laugh.”

For more information PEIA: www.westvirginia.com/peia WVU: www.wvu.edu DDR and weight loss www.getupmove.com DDR fan site www.ddrfreak.com Konami Digital Entertainment - America http://www.konami.com/usa

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Imagine... • Never sharing a pizza with a friend • No beer or Big Macs® • Dry, tasteless bread at $5.00 a loaf • Finding nothing to eat at dinner parties or business meetings • Thinking twice about licking a stamp • No communion wafers • Reading labels on makeup, medications, all food items and toothpaste

Just a normal day... if you have Celiac Disease What is Celiac Disease? CMYK

Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, the individualʼs immune system responds by attacking the small intestine. Undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to numerous other conditions; osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and cancer just to name a few.

What are the symptoms? Symptoms are unique to each individual but may include the following: anemia, joint pain, fatigue, weakness, irritability, inability to concentrate, infertility, osteoporosis, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal gas, bloating, growth problems in children, abdominal distention, cramps, headaches, and depression.

How common is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease affects 2.2 million Americans-more than multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, autism, Chronʼs disease, and Parkinsonʼs disease combined. However, most people with celiac disease are unaware that they have it. This is partially due to the mistaken belief that Celiac Disease is a rare condition. Many doctors do not know how to evaluate patients for celiac disease, so they donʼt test for it. Americans at risk for celiac disease continue to consume gluten in their diets, increasing the damage caused by celiac disease and impacting their present and future health.

Brainerd Lakes Area Celiac Group meets the 2nd Thursday of every month. St. Francis church basement at 7:00 p.m. For a meeting schedule or additional information about meetings, please contact: Jennifer Chock AD SPACE COURTESY OF: 825-9525 chock@charter.net or Sena @ 829-1290 Karel @ 829-5946 Sharon @ 546-5469

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TAKE IT FROM

: HEALTH JACK GOOD

OUR COMMUNITY’S

IS IN

I’ve lived in the Brainerd Lakes area my whole life. I’ve been a patient, a board member and a neighbor of St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Those experiences have given me the opportunity to see how this amazing hospital contributes to our community on so many levels. As a patient, I’ve experienced firsthand the compassionate care that St. Joseph’s provides to its patients. And, as a lifelong member of the community, I’ve heard time and time again from people who have had similar experiences to mine. The world-class facilities and technology at St. Joseph’s are a big part of its success, but the people are what make this hospital special. The staff has always been deeply committed to putting patients first, and it shows in so many ways.

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HANDS.

The Business of Healing I have a bit more insight than most people into how St. Joseph’s operates. I served on its board of directors for six years, and also served for another six years on its foundation’s board. I’ve been on the finance committee of the Benedictine Health System. I know how hard everyone works, from the administration on down, to make sure St. Joseph’s continues to serve the community at the highest level possible. I know how they recruit the best doctors, and maintain their incredible staff. I know the deep feelings they have for their patients. I also know the important role St. Joseph’s plays in our region’s economy. As a provider of over 1,000 rewarding jobs, it’s by far the area’s largest employer. A $26-million expansion and renovation project is infusing millions in construction services and material costs into the community, and could add many more new jobs when construction is completed this year.

As the owner of a local business, I have a great deal of respect for St. Joseph’s because the people there do business the same way I do. They listen to their customers, and they take care of them in every way they can.

Jack Ruttger Owner, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge

Where patients come first. sjmcmn.org


UpNorth HealthWatch May 2005