Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 18, 1976 · Page 135
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 135

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 18, 1976
Page 135
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Page 135 article text (OCR)

hearing tests, a patient listens to a series of sounds and, as the sound is progressively lowered, indicates whether he can hear it This sort of test is useless with most infants and little children. The Chicago scientists have developed a procedure called electrocho- chleography which requires no participation by the patient. It can determine the exact condition of his hearing while he sleeps. A very fine wire electrode is passed through the eardrum into the middle ear and a computer measures the patient's electrical responses to a complete range of sound stimuli. The test spots defective hearing in infancy and the child can get a hearing aid and special training. The Chicago test can also identify children who don't have hearing trouble. A few months ago, a 2-year-old boy was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital because he didn't seem to hear clattering dishes, the telephone, TV--in fact, any of the noises around him. Two ear specialists said that he was deaf. Drs. Naunton and Zerlin tested the child and found that his hearing mechanism was in perfect working order. His problem was emotional. He could hear, but he didn't want to. He had found an effective wa'y to shut out his parents' endless bickering. 5. CURE FOR TIC DOULOUREUX. Many medical authorities say that the pain of tic douloureux is the most terrible that humans can experience--stabbing, agonizing pains that shoot across victims' faces like jolts of burning electricity. Anything can set off the pains: eating, shaving, washing one's face. In the past, drugs have given merely short-term relief, and surgery has left the face numb. A new type of artificial wrist enabled William Hoag of Tucson, Ariz., to resume his work as a part-time organist. Now, there is a cure. Dr. Peter J. Jannetta, a distinguished neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, discovered that the pain of tic douloureux is due to the pressure of an artery at the base of the brain on the trigeminal nerve as it sweeps down to the face. Dr. Jannetta devised a surgical technique for removing this pressure. He inserts a minuscule plastic sponge between the artery and the nerve. The Jannetta operation has been successfully performed on 300 persons throughout the U.S. This writer watched Dr. Ronald I. Apfelbaum of New York City's Montefiore Hospital operate on a 61-year-old man who'd gone through the hell of tic douloureux for eight years. Working under an operating microscope, Dr. Apfelbaum made a two-inch incision behind the man's ear, exposing his brain. With beautiful delicacy, he pulled back the artery that was pressing on the trigeminal nerve and placed a diminutive plastic sponge between them. The operation lasted a scant two hours. Two days later, the man was happily sitting up in bed, his pain gone permanently. "I feel I've been reborn," he said. 6. EARIV TEST FOR EMPHYSEMA. Hospitals can now tell whether a child- even an infant in arms--is likely to develop emphysema or some other chronic obstructive lung disease 30 years later by means of a sensitive new blood test called Rapi/tex AAT, developed by Behring Diagnostics. Technicians take a small sample of blood from the child and measure the protein in it called alpha-1-antitrypsin. It has been discovered that children deficient in this protein are apt fo develop emphysema or other obstructive lung diseases. Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Cal., employs the test on children as young as six weeks of age. It strongly recommends the test for any child whose family has a history of emphysema. 7. COLLEGE FOR THE HANDICAPPED. All of the 700 patients at Coldwater Memorial Hospital on Franklin D. Roosevelt Island in New York City are severely disabled, confined to wheelchairs. Many are quadriplegics, unable to move their arms or legs a single inch. Some have been in the hospital for 40 years. To impart more meaning to her patients' lives, Matilda Lang, chief of rehabilitation counseling, operates an educational program in the hospital where patients can obtain high school equivalency diplomas. Afterwards, patients who are physically able can attend neighboring colleges. They are driven back and forth. Most important, Coldwater Hospital has pioneered a program that allows quadriplegic patients to attend college. An electrode in the ear of a sleeping child helps test hearing ability. Below are the method's inventors, Drs. Ralph Naunton (standing) and Stanley Zerlin. too, by remote control. A conference room at the hospital has been hooked up by telephone to various classrooms at nearby Queensborough Community College. By means of an amplifying system, the quadriplegics listen to a professor lecturing as well as the responses of his students. The patients can pose any questions they wish. They dictate their homework and examination papers to hospital aides. Already three quadriplegics have earrid bachelor's degrees, and a fourth will soon receive one. Herbert J. Larken, a 26-year-old patient, once a star athlete who lost the use of his arms and legs five years ago in an accident, is enrolled in this college program. He is majoring in psychology and hopes to become a youth counselor. "It's a real challenge for me," he declares. 8. THE HUMAN TOUCH. John W. Creasy, president of Danbury Hospital, a fine 351-bed institution in Danbury, continued

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