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Jul 9, 2009 · Diagnosing Nick's Mysterious Illness

Melissa Shultz and her son, Nick

Melissa Shultz, a freelance writer living in Plano, Texas, wrote an article for Newsweek online about her son Nick’s mysterious illness and his diagnosis and treatment at Mayo Clinic.

Fatigue set in a day after Nick’s dizziness started. Swollen glands followed close behind. Our general practitioner ordered blood work, including studies for mononucleosis and Lyme disease. When everything came back negative, we tried steroids for Nick’s swollen glands and a round of antibiotics in case he had a bacterial infection. When the dizziness and fatigue persisted we wondered aloud if the culprit might have been the flu shot he received eight days prior. It was presumed he had viral labyrinthitis (an inner-ear disorder) that would pass in a week or two.

When it didn’t, and his tonsils grew exponentially, we tried a different antibiotic. All the while, he was perched in a makeshift bed on our first floor—an overstuffed chair and aging ottoman with a twin sheet stretched to its limit. Suffering from extreme vertigo, Nick was unable to walk up the stairs to his bedroom. He could not lift his head without looking as if he were drowningand mostly slept the days away. School became someplace his friends went.

By April, I was losing hope when a teacher of Nick’s who had been coming to our home to work with him, reminded me of the Mayo Clinic. I knew it was a place where doctors are paid with a salary, not per patient, and where the concept of teamwork is embraced. I made a number of calls, wrote up my own report detailing his illness, coordinated with several doctors’ offices to have all his records forwarded, and within a month, we were on our way from our home in Texas to Minnesota….

Read the full story of Nick’s experience at Mayo Clinic here.

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Jul 9, 2009 · Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Expert in HBO Online Production

Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., head of Mayo’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, is featured in an HBO-produced feature on Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Dr. Petersen, a national expert in dementia, is focused on finding ways to make the earliest possible diagnoses for MCI. Dr. Petersen diagnosed President Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s disease.

Here is the video:

Karl Oestreich is a consultant in Public Affairs, Mayo Clinic Rochester

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Jun 22, 2009 · Mayo Clinic Physician Participates in Launch of “Rock Stars of Science” Campaign

Dr. Ron Petersen, the director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, participated in the recent launch of the “Rock Stars of Science” campaign in GQ Magazine. The Rock Stars of Science campaign (ROCK S.O.S.) is sponsored by GEOFFREY BEENE GIVES BACK® and GQ Magazine to spotlight the need for greater funding for medical research and to make science a more attractive career choice for tomorrow’s stars. For more information about ROCK S.O.S., visit:

The Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research Center includes some of the world’s leading researchers working together to predict Alzheimer’s Disease, improve diagnostic techniques, identify high-risk individuals, and develop tools to aid in the search for preventative treatments and an eventual cure. For more information about research at Mayo Clinic, visit: To learn how you can support research at Mayo Clinic, visit:

Karl Oestreich is a communications consultant in Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic Rochester

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May 22, 2009 · Cindy’s Story: Finding Answers at Mayo After Nearly a Decade of Health Issues

After spending most of the last decade in and out of physicians’ offices looking for solutions to her medical problems, Cindy Hansen turned to the Mayo Clinic for answers. She was very tired and very ill, but her symptoms weren’t related to any specific illness. Cindy was told that she might have fibromyalgia, hyperthyroidism, Lyme disease or Lupus or Diabetes.

The McKinney, Texas resident finally made an appointment last fall at Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville to have a complete medical evaluation after her primary care doctor in Texas encouraged it.

“It was the happiest day of my life when I got a call from the Mayo Clinic in Florida telling me that I could be seen there,” Cindy said recently when she was visiting family and friends in Minnesota.“We didn’t get shuffled around and we received an immediate response after seeking an appointment online through the Mayo Clinic’s website.”

Cindy and her husband Dave packed their bags and headed for Jacksonville not knowing what lay ahead, but confident that their journey was leading them on the right path. It was on their fourth day there, Cindy says, that she received “the diagnosis.”

After ruling out a number of medical conditions, Kevin Landolfo, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon, revealed the news. Cindy had three clogged arteries and would need to undergo further tests to determine whether her arteries could be opened with stents or whether she would need to have bypass surgery.Cindy reveals the treatment route she needed to take and recalls her experience as a Mayo Clinic patient in the following video clip.

This post was written by Karl Oestreich, communications manager in Public Affairs.

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