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SPORTS AND MEDICINE-FOCUSED STORY IDEAS

March 18, 2010-Listed below are story ideas from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with a partial focus on the upcoming NCAA basketball tournaments. To pursue any of these, please contact John M. Lazarou,
410-502-8902 or jlazaro1@jhmi.edu

NCAA BASKETABLL TOURNAMENT COACHES, REFEREES, PLAYERS AND FANS: IT’S YOUR VOICE!
From the first tip-off of March Madness to the championship’s final buzzer, thousands of people will relentlessly scream and shout, placing tremendous strain on the voice.  While no one is recommending silence, the constant pressure on the vocal chords can cause great damage.  The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery says that nearly 7 million Americans suffer voice disorders and nearly 3 in 10 people have experienced voice problems.  Chronic hoarseness is an occupational hazard of coaches, teachers and broadcast journalists.  Lee M. Akst, M.D., assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and director of the Johns Hopkins Voice Center, can share steps to prevent and repair problems. 

ACL INJURIES AS COMMON AS THREE-POINTERS
March Madness means college basketball at its best, with the country’s most gifted players running, leaping and cutting with extra intensity. This puts players at risk for a host of injuries, but anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears of the knee are common. According to recent statistics from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, more than 100,000 ACL repairs are performed in the United States each year. The majority of these injuries occur in 15- to 25-year-old athletes, and about 70 percent of them happen in non-contact situations.  However, some simple safety measures can help prevent the problem. Michael Trice, M.D., assistant professor in the division of sports medicine at Johns Hopkins, can offer insight and training tips that will reduce the risk of knee injuries. 

WEEKEND WARRIORS, BEWARE: HOW TO TELL IF YOUR INJURY IS SERIOUS
Registrations for recreational softball, baseball, basketball and other sports leagues are in full gear as warm weather approaches.  “Weekend warriors” may ignore warning signs of injuries that need quick attention.  While some sport injuries are immediately evident, others can creep up slowly and progressively get worse.  Edward G. McFarland, M.D., director of sports medicine and shoulder surgery at Johns Hopkins, will explain the “good or bad pain” that can follow strenuous activity and how to handle pains sustained through the summer season.

HCM: THE SILENT KILLER OF ATHLETES
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), considered the leading cause of sudden death in athletes, is a rare and often inherited condition that causes thickening of the heart and can shows no symptoms until it kills. Missed diagnoses of heart conditions result in a disproportionate number of deaths among athletes, especially young African-Americans.  This condition was the cause of death for such well-known players as Loyola Marymount basketball player Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis of the Boston Celtics, Jason Collier of the Atlanta Hawks and Thomas Herrion of the San Francisco 49ers.  All of them died young from undiagnosed HCM. Autopsy reports also show that it claimed the life of collegiate basketball player Jeron Lewis.  Currently, the NFL is considering implementing a new heart-test requirement for college players in this year’s NFL draft.  Theodore Abraham, M.D., FACC, FASE, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as well as the director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, can discuss this sudden killer on several levels, including signs and symptoms, complications, treatment and prevention, types and differences of HCM, and methods of diagnosis.

 

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