Media inquiries: Please contact Mary Destri at 415-353-7882.
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March 19, 2014
Chemist says omitting MSG cured daughter’s autism
San Francisco Chronicle /

Katherine Reid, a Bay Area biochemist with a daughter who was autistic, believes she may have found an antidote to the neurodevelopment disorder – and it’s as simple as changing a person’s diet.

Because there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved medical treatment for the core symptoms of autism, people have turned to homeopathic remedies, probiotics, invasive therapies and alternative diets. It has become increasingly popular for parents of children with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to turn to gluten- and casein-free, or dairy-free, diets in hopes that it will make a difference. Read more.

March, 2014
Can ADHD Be Prevented?
Scientific American Mind

From the start, Tzippora Gold was a smart and loving little girl, with a strong independent streak and tons of energy. During infancy and toddlerhood, her family noticed nothing amiss. But when Tzippora entered preschool, she did not listen to the teacher or sit in a circle. “I had never in my life thought that a three-year-old could get sent to the principal’s office,” recalls her mother, Sara Gold of New York City, a graphic designer. “But she was. I pulled her out in the middle of the year because they couldn’t handle her. And this was supposed to be a top-of-the-line preschool.” Read more, including quote by our neurodevelopmental pediatrician Dr. Sanford Newmark (fee for full article).

February 26, 2014
Death Cafe: Talk about dying and eat cake, too
Sacramento Bee

…By creating a safe, sanctioned place to share our thoughts, we can demystify dying and make it easier to face, says Shelley Adler, a University of California-San Francisco medical anthropologist who held the first San Francisco Death Cafe this past spring. On Saturday, Adler will hold her third discussion at the guesthouse of the Zen Hospice Project, where she is director of education. Read more.

February 25, 2014
Death Cafe: Talking About Death — While Eating Cake
KQED State of Health

In a dimly lit room decorated with several Buddhas and a large red-and-white Zen illustration, twenty-nine people sat in a circle. Some were eating chocolate bundt cake. It was an unusual setting to be discussing the topic at hand: death and dying. These death cafes have sprung up around the world to address the taboo subject head-on. Organizers hope that increased awareness of death will help people make the most of their lives. Read more.

February 19, 2014
The Search for Well Being: Treating the whole person in the new healthcare era
Humankind Radio Program aired on NPR’s KQED

Segment 2: Here’s the story of a frightening situation that could happen to any of us. When a California attorney, Deb Graceffa , started experiencing strange symptoms an initial diagnosis pointed to a potentially crippling illness. But high-tech testing and conventional medicine failed to arrest her symptoms, which continued to worsen. After trying numerous doctors, she was referred to a respected physician, University of California medical professor Rick McKinney, who is deeply experienced in integrative care. His approach differed from the others’ and led to a fairly rapid diagnosis requiring minor, mostly natural treatments that gave rapid relief. We hear from the physician and grateful patient about the nature of their communication. More

February 13, 2014
Who Needs Stimulants for ADHD?
Scientific American Blog

In 1970, 150,000 U.S. children were taking stimulant medications. By 2007, that number had risen to 2.7 million, according to pediatrician Sanford Newmark of the University of California, San Francisco. In the video embedded in this post, titled “Do 2.5 Million Kids Really Need Ritalin?” Newmark analyzes the reasons behind the rise in prescriptions, which follows the sharp climb in diagnoses for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He also makes a case for fewer scripts, detailing the downsides of these medications and suggesting alternative remedies for ADHD, including changes in diet, supplements, as well as parenting, school and lifestyle interventions. Here are some highlights of Newmark’s talk, along with time stamps indicating when to watch. Read more.

January 23, 2014
Let’s Eat Cake and Talk About Death
UCSF Synapse

Cake and death are the foundation of “Death Cafés,” according to UCSF anthropologist Dr. Shelley Adler, PhD. At these gatherings, diverse strangers come together in small groups, eat cake and talk about death and dying.

Although it may sound like a macabre coffeehouse inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the recent rise of the Death Café is actually part of a revolt against the taboo of death.

“Death is such an equalizing aspect of life,” Adler says. “It’s a fundamental experience for everyone, regardless of gender, race or class. Yet most people seem afraid to mention it, as if by naming it, we will hasten its arrival. As a result, end-of-life decisions can become traumatic, and quality of life is reduced.” Read more.

January 17, 2014
Nutrition and Supplements During Cancer Treatment and Beyond
The Cure Panel Talk Show

We are excited to host Dr. Donald Abrams on our talk series on Cancer and Nutrition. Dr. Donald I. Abrams is a cancer and integrative medicine specialist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Mount Zion. Abrams provides integrative medicine consultations for cancer patients and has completed research in complementary and alternative therapies including mind-body treatments, botanical therapies, medical use of marijuana and traditional Chinese medicine herbal therapies. In addition to his role at the Osher center, he is chief of Hematology and Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital.

Dr. Abrams will be discussing Nutrition and Supplements During Cancer Treatment and Beyond with myeloma survivor/advocate Pat Killingsworth, breast cancer survivor/advocate Beverly McKee and nutritionist Dr. Smriti Parikh. Listen to the podcast.

January 6, 2014
Study: Meditation’s Effects Similar to Pills for Depression

Meditation has been used for centuries, but its benefits have been primarily anecdotal, whether it’s a Tibetan monk blocking out pain to walk across hot coals or a college student meditating to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have applied scientific analysis to the practice and found that mindfulness meditation programs, which promote heightened awareness, can help with common mental health problems. …

Dr. Kevin Barrows, director of mindfulness programs at the University of California, San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, said the study’s findings were “not surprising, but affirming.” He said that meditation often receives unfair criticism because studies on its effectiveness do not always meet the rigorous scientific standard of research. Read more.

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