Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 5, 1996

Medical News

Time factor explored with whiplashes

     Researchers may be making progress against whiplash, a
complex and often litigated syndrome involving physical and
psychological factors.

     A recent study in the journal Medicine found that 82 percent
of whiplash injuries disappear with little or no treatment within
six months. Those patients reporting long-term pain generally
were older, had more headaches and osteoarthritis before the
accident and reported more neck pain immediately after the

     While specific injuries cannot yet be identified in these
patients, the study suggests that a careful physical exam,
patient history and X-rays can predict who will have long-term
problems, said Donlin Long, chairman of Neurosurgery.

     "It's important to remember this is a real condition," Long
said. "But for the first six months, the only treatment needed
may be simply making the patient comfortable to reduce pain and
muscle spasm."

Muscle-strengthening exercises helpful in MS 

     Muscle-strengthening exercises may offer physical and
psychological benefits to people with multiple sclerosis,
according to two studies in which Hopkins researchers have

     Eight patients with mild to severe multiple sclerosis
underwent 12 weeks of a weight-training program called
progressive resistive exercise to strengthen their arms and legs.

     All the patients significantly improved their strength,
mobility, walking speed, stair climbing and agility, and reported
feeling better physically and psychologically after the training

     "We concluded that progressive resistive exercise improves
the performance of common daily activities in these people," said
Barbara de Lateur, a study co-author and director of physical
medicine and rehabilitation at Hopkins. "It has a positive impact
on their psychosocial, physical and overall well-being, and the
risks are minimal compared to the benefits."

Other News

Hopkins athletics starts information hotline

     Students, alumni, parents and fans of Johns Hopkins
athletics can now keep up with the Blue Jays by phoning the newly
created Johns Hopkins Sports Hotline. Launched by the Office of
Sports Information, the hotline can be accessed 24 hours a day by
calling (410) 889-6JHU. 

     The hotline will present callers with a menu of options,
including weekly varsity sports schedules, daily sports results
and highlights, men's lacrosse schedule and ticket information,
NCAA lacrosse information, Athletic Center building hours and
information, directions to Hopkins sporting events, media guide
and publication information, and information about alumni
athletic events. 

     The hotline will be updated daily as results are received.

Homewood blood drive hopes to draw 900 units 

     It's one of the simplest ways you can save a person's life.
It's also not a bad way to get some free juice and cookies.

     The Homewood campus's 1996 Red Cross Blood Drive is Feb.
13-14, and this year more than ever the Red Cross needs our

     "The Red Cross is desperate," said Peggy Jones, benefits
specialist at the Office of Human Resources, who has chaired the
Homewood Blood Drive since 1979. "Their shelves are getting
empty. They had to cancel a lot of drives during the blizzard,
and donations in general are falling for some reason. So it's
very important that we make our goals in 1996."

     Although last year saw a 12 percent increase in blood
donations over the prior year, the Homewood blood drive still
fell short of its 1995 goal. Jones said that although it began
with a strong attendance, by summer and fall, donations began

     She does not want history to repeat itself. This year, there
will be raffles and prizes designed to entice the 240 people
needed to make this year's blood drive goal of 900 units.

     Jones said another reason to donate blood is the Hopkins
Blood Assurance Plan, which began in 1969 and automatically
covers any Hopkins staff member's and their dependents' need for
blood at no cost to the recipient except for the cost of blood

     If you want to donate blood this month but are short on
time, the Office of Human Resources is taking appointments prior
to the Feb. 13 drive. In a departure from the past, those who
make appointments will be taken at the time of their appointment,
before walk-ins. That will keep the lines moving more quickly
throughout the day, Jones said, and busy employees and students
won't have to make large allowances of time while they wait to be
seen by a Red Cross worker.

     The hours of the Blood Drive are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 13
and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on  Feb. 14 in the Glass Pavilion. There
will also be drives in April, July, September and November. To
make an appointment, call (410) 516-8039.

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