Volume 77
Number 4

Health for All

Fear of Flying

Flying II: High Anxiety

Virtual Vietnam

Uncovering the Past

Wired New World

Enigma: Physics Band

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates






























A New Brainer

Despite conventional wisdom that once you lose brain cells, you can’t get them back, Emory researchers have shown that several regions of an adult rat’s brain have the capacity to acquire new neurons.

This suggests that human adult brains may be able to replace neurons–brain cells that communicate with each other–lost due to injury or disease. The research team, headed by Marla Luskin, professor of cell biology, administered a growth factor into the brains of adult rats for two weeks. Two weeks after that, the scientists detected newborn neurons in several areas in the forebrain, the location of higher mental activities and the senses.

The research, which was supported by grants from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders of the National Institutes of Health, was published
in the September
issue of the Journal
of Neuroscience
Luskin hopes the findings may reveal novel ways of producing large numbers of new neurons to replace diseased or damaged cells in localized parts of the brain.

















































Brazil and
Peru, Bolivia is a country blessed with natural beauty, from the snow-capped Andes Mountains to the lush green tropics around the Amazon River. But it is also a country of deep-seated poverty and social unrest.

High in the steep hillsides of the altiplano, at fifteen thousand feet above sea level, is the town of Ambana, where twelve Emory students, faculty, and staff (including myself) spent the last two weeks of May on a Journey of Reconciliation, one of four such trips sponsored by the dean of the chapel and religious life. The other groups traveled to Cuba, Northern Ireland, and Native American reservations in Billings, Montana.

Our group came to Ambana to learn about reconciliation and to support the work of justice and the movement of hope being led by Andean Rural Health Care (ARHC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing preventive and curative health care to the underserved in Bolivia, Haiti, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley area of Texas and Mexico.

Even before our journey, Emory had been connected to ARHC’s work. The organization receives support from the United Methodist Church, and its current executive director, David Shanklin, is an adjunct instructor at the Rollins School of Public Health.

Our task for the week was to take down a cement brick three-room clinic with structural damage to prepare the foundation for a new two-story brick building, which would house a large conference room and provide living space for health workers who serve this rural community.

Our greater goals for the journey were to learn about the lives of Bolivians and to open our lives to the possibilities of hope and healing that come from engagement in the work of justice and peace.

In Ambana, villagers often lack nutritious foods and safe drinking water. There is an abundance of potatoes and corn but very little market for them, so farmers are unable to buy other vegetables, fruit, or meat. When children are malnourished, they cannot learn. When children are poor, they must leave school at age seven to work the fields with their families.

Each day several members of our team accompanied doctors and health workers as they made their daily visits into the community. As we walked down winding dirt paths, the doctors stopped and talked with each person we passed; they knew where everyone lived as well as the names and ages of the children.

These doctors’ vision of health is not one of simply providing medical services, but of relationship and community.

On one visit, I accompanied two doctors to a school several miles down the mountain from the health clinic. We came to give the children fluoride treatments and to talk to them about cleaning their teeth. One by one the children rinsed their mouths and gladly sat down with the doctor to receive their flouride treatment. After they saw the doctors, the children taught us Bolivian games.

On the way back, we stopped and talked with the family of one of the children. The doctors asked about their farming and their health. They gave us several sweet potatoes to take to the clinic with us. As we continued on our journey, we shared sandwiches with a woman and her young son. She had never come to the clinic so the doctors stopped to share some hospitality in hopes they could build a relationship of trust.

At the end of the two weeks, several students had renewed visions of their work along with a determination to use their education to provide health care to the disenfranchised, to teach children, and to empower the poor in their own communities, realizing that their own freedom would be found in bringing liberation to others. In this way, they would become true healers.


Lauren Cogswell, former Emory University assistant chaplain, is now associate pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Depression and high blood pressure make deadly combination

People who have high blood pressure and are sixty or older could be at increased risk for heart failure if they are depressed, according to a new study by an Emory researcher.

Jerome Abramson, a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiology and the study’s principal investigator, notes that previous studies have already shown an increased risk of heart attacks in people who are depressed.

“Heart attacks increase the risk of heart failure and we wanted to control for that to see if depression is a risk for heart failure,” Abramson explains. He and other researchers at the Emory School of Medicine worked with colleagues at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine on the study, which involved 4,538 people older than sixty in the Systolic Hypertension and the Elderly Program.

After controlling for age, sex, race, heart attack, diabetes, angina, smoking, and other independent risks for heart failure, the researchers found that depressed people, when compared to their non-depressed counterparts, had more than twice the risk of developing heart failure over the course of the four-and-a-half-year study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

One possible explanation is that people who are depressed do not comply with their doctor’s orders–they may skip medications and not eat well or exercise.

Also in Précis:

Crawford Long Hospital undergoes $270 million renovation

Doc Hollywood: The Musical

Growing Green: The Piedmont Project

Library augments literary holdings

A Race of Singers

The Poetry of Natasha Trethewey and Janet McAdams ’96PhD

Remembering Evangeline T. Papageorge ’29M

Emory’s “hidden history” revealed in Oxford Historical Cemetery

Faith Journey: Daniel B. Cole ’93C



© 2002 Emory University