Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 21, 1996 Form

In Brief:
Medical News

Iron supplements improve teens' learning

A clinical trial by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center found that when teen-age girls who have iron deficiency (but are not anemic) took iron supplements, they performed significantly better on verbal learning tests than girls who took a placebo.

This finding could help the estimated 25 percent of adolescent females in the United States who are iron deficient.

"Teen-age girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," said Ann Bruner, of the Division of General Pediatrics and lead author of the study, which appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of Lancet. "Girls who exercise and those who eat foods lacking or low in iron have an increased risk of developing iron deficiency," she added.

Previous research has shown that iron deficiency anemia impairs performance on developmental tests in infants and tod- dlers. After treatment with iron supplements, many infants show some developmental improvement. Bruner says that more studies need to be done to determine if iron deficiency can affect students' general academic achievement.

Other questions to be answered include how best to test for iron deficiency and which adolescents have the highest risk of developing it.

Hopkins helps Hollywood in fight against brain cancer

Johns Hopkins, Miramax Films and actors Drew Barrymore and Baltimore native Edward Norton are teaming up to raise funds for brain cancer research. On Oct. 30, the new Woody Allen film, Everyone Says I Love You, will premiere at Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre with proceeds benefiting the Hopkins neurosurgical oncology team through the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The team is led by Henry Brem, a professor of neurosurgery and an internationally known scientist and clinician. Brem helped pioneer the first new treatment for brain cancer in 20 years--a time release wafer that delivers cancer-killing chemicals directly to the brain after a tumor is surgically removed. About 20,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumors each year in the United States.

Tickets to the premiere, which Barrymore and Norton are expected to attend, are $75 per person. There will be a champagne reception at 7:30 p.m. at the theater, located at 5904 York Road, just south of Northern Parkway. The screening is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m.

For ticket information, call (410)955-4990 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also are available at Louie's Book Store Cafe and Bakery in Mount Vernon, just south of the Peabody Conservatory.

Other News

Mural reflects center, community aspirations

Last February, the Community Mediation Program located at Hopkins' Safe and Smart Center--on Greenmount Ave. north of 33rd Street--proposed that a mural be painted on the northern exterior wall of the building to reflect the goals of the program, the center and the Waverly community. On Oct. 12, the vision became reality, as Baltimore-based muralist Bob Hieronimus' work--"A Little Help From Our Friends"--was unveiled before a large crowd.

The international figures depicted in the mural were chosen for their role in mediation or for breaking barriers in society and setting new limits for the human spirit. Liu Gang, the organizer of the Chinese student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989--who recently fled to the United States--is featured in the mural and was among the guests at the ceremony.

Other guests representing those pictured in the work included the widow of Baltimore's Hall of Fame Negro League baseball pitcher Leon Day, the adopted son of author Rachel Carson and the great-grand-niece of Harriet Tubman.

Human Resources VP schedules open office hours

In an effort to continue to make the university a highly productive, supportive and inclusive place of work, vice president for human resources Audrey Smith encourages you to share ideas and provide feedback regarding HR policies and programs through open office hours. You can visit Smith on the Homewood campus from 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in room 617N of the Wyman Park Building.

Beginning in November, staff in East Baltimore can visit Smith from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in room 102 of the School of Medicine's Administration Building. For more information, call (410)516-8113.

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