On 'Sound Medicine': New cholesterol drugs, risks from free medical equipment, and music therapy

  • April 30, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS -- The "Sound Medicine" program for May 4 includes segments about new cholesterol-lowering drugs, dementia care decisions, and music therapy for adolescent cancer patients.

Are new cholesterol-lowering drugs coming soon? Several pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a new cholesterol-lowering medication that provides a safe alternative to statins. The new drugs include a PCSK9 inhibitor, which reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol, or "bad cholesterol," in the bloodstream. Michael Davidson, M.D., the director of preventive cardiology at the University of Chicago, discusses how PCSK9 inhibitors work to lower LDL cholesterol, the potential side effects of drugs using such inhibitors, and how soon we can expect these medications to hit the market.

Can legumes help lower cholesterol? A recent study found that one serving of legumes per day helps lower LDL cholesterol. Legumes are fibrous vegetables that are low in fat and contain no cholesterol; well-known legumes include beans, lentils and chickpeas. Marissa Moore, MBA, RDN, explains why legumes help reduce LDL cholesterol; what constitutes a serving of legumes; and how listeners can work legumes into their everyday diet.

Why be wary of free medical equipment? Durable medical equipment companies bombard the airways with advertisements for free motor scooters, braces, heating pads, etc. Yul Ejnes, M.D., a professor at Brown University's medical school, recently published a blog post on the dangers that free medical equipment can pose for patients and physicians. Dr. Ejnes discusses the ramifications of patients applying for and physicians signing off on free equipment that patients don’t actually need.

What should caregivers consider when making dementia care decisions?  Family members and caregivers of those with dementia often face the difficult decision of putting their loved one into a care facility. Deirdre Johnston, M.D., B.Ch., joins "Sound Medicine" to advise listeners about when it’s time to put a loved one into a care facility, how to keep them safe until they can be transitioned, and why it’s so important for family and caregivers to take care of themselves. Dr. Johnston is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Can music therapy help adolescent cancer patients? A recent study published in the academic journal Cancer found that adolescents who are undergoing cancer treatment develop coping skills by participating in a musical creative outlet.  As part of the "Patient Listening" series, Richard Frankel, Ph.D., explores this study and discusses what’s next for the researchers who study musical therapy for cancer patients.

"Sound Medicine" covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It's also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, "Sound Medicine" airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

"Sound Medicine" is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.), KEOS (College Station, Texas), HPPR (High Plains Public Radio), which includes: KCSE (Lamar, Colo.), KZNK (Brewster, Kan.), KZCK (Colby, Kan.), KZNZ (Elkhart, Kan.), KZAN (Hays, Kan.), KZNA (Hill City, Kan.), KGUY (Guymon, Okla.), KJJP (Amarillo, Texas), KTXP (Bushland, Texas), KTDH (Dalhart, Texas), KTOT (Spearman-Perryton, Texas).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.

Mary Hardin
Sydney Willmann