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Popular Lecture Series for Public Begins

The ever-popular Medicine for the Public lecture series, sponsored by the Clinical Center, kicks off its 21st season on Sept. 23. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are held at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.

The series features physician-scientists working at the forefront of medical research at NIH. Lectures aim to help laypeople understand the latest developments in medicine, new therapies, diagnostic procedures and research.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and 50 years of public support for NIH programs in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and blood research, three of this season's MFP lectures will focus on NHLBI-related research advances.

Here's what's on tap:

Sept. 23, "Multiple Sclerosis: A New Understanding" -- Dr. Henry F. McFarland, chief of the Neuroimmunology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, will review factors influencing multiple sclerosis and the signs and symptoms of the disease. He'll lay out the diagnostic tests available, who is most vulnerable, treatments, and recent research findings.

Oct. 7, "Vision and Aging" -- Today, there are more than 32 million Americans age 65 or older, and this number is growing. With aging, however, comes an increased risk of eye problems that can seriously affect the lifestyle and independence of the older individual. Dr. Robert Nussenblatt, scientific director of the National Eye Institute, will outline the four major eye disorders that can affect vision later in life. These are glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

Oct. 14, "Genetics of Lung Disease: Insights into Asthma, Emphysema, and Cystic Fibrosis" -- About 12 million Americans have asthma. Nearly 2 million suffer from emphysema. About 1,000 new cases of cystic fibrosis -- the most common fatal genetic disease in the United States -- are diagnosed each year. By identifying the genes associated with these serious lung diseases, researchers can pinpoint susceptibility and, ultimately, develop new treatments and cures. Dr. Joel Moss, chief of the Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch, NHLBI, will talk about recent advances in these areas.

Oct. 21, "Hormones and Heart Disease After Menopause" -- Heart disease is a leading killer of women over 60, yet until recently it was considered a man's disease. Dr. Richard Cannon, deputy chief for clinical services in the Cardiology Branch, NHLBI, will address the roles hormones play in heart disease and what lifestyle factors are involved in maintaining a healthy heart. He will also discuss the dark side of hormone replacement therapy as well as current research efforts.

Oct. 28, "New Perspectives for Bone Marrow Transplants" -- Dr. John Barrett, chief of NHLBI's bone marrow transplant unit, will explain what bone marrow transplants are, how they cure diseases, and what lies on the horizon for this life-saving treatment.

There is no lecture on Sept. 30. For more information on topics or speakers, call 496-2563.

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