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"Mini-Med" School Welcomes Community Members to Learn More About Health Issues

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

 Pamela Amelung, MD

The University of Maryland School of Medicine’s annual "Mini-Med School" opened with a breath of fresh air for its 150 participants – literally. In the opening session, Pamela Amelung, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, discussed asthma and what those coping with the disease can do to avoid asthma attacks.


"Mini-Med School" is a series of five free classes to help Baltimore residents improve their health. The program, which began on September 6th, is conducted by top physicians and researchers from the School of Medicine and is offered to all community members. 


About 17 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, which can be controlled with medication and by avoiding behaviors that can trigger attacks. For example, Dr. Amelung said asthma sufferers should avoid secondhand smoke and take steps to eliminate dust mites and mold in their homes.  


The second topic of the evening was dementia, presented by Adeleke Ogunmefun, MBBS, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Ogunmefun reviewed the symptoms of dementia, explained how dementia affects the brain and spoke about how the impact on families.


Dr. Ogunmefun also explained the differences between Alzheimer's, vascular dementia and dementia that is related to other medical conditions, such as syphilis or HIV. He warned that the prevalence of dementia would continue to rise as the population in our country ages, but stressed that new research is being conducted every day on ways to treat dementia.


A wide range of health issues will be covered in this year’s Mini-Med School series:


Sept. 13:         Diabetes & its Complications and Hearing Loss

Sept. 20:         Importance of Vaccines and Smoking Cessation

Sept. 27:         Sickle Cell Anemia and HIV/AIDS

Oct. 4:             Advances in Radiology and Graduation

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