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Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Multivitamin

    How to find the right multivitamin for you

    CHICAGO — The multiple questions that lead to the right multivitamin. Two doctors put their heads together to give patients a more personalized formula. The shelves are loaded with them — a variety of vitamin supplements so overwhelming, how do you choose the right one? “We were both seeing a number of patients coming in very confused about what they should or shouldn’t be taking,” said internist and Vous Vitamin founder Dr. Arielle Levitan. For years, Levitan and endocrinologist Dr. Romy […]

  • Teacher of the Month: Alex Polanco

    In this computer driven world, our teacher of the month encourages his students to give their computers a rest — and get their hands dirty. WGN’s Teacher of the Month is Alex Polanco.  He’s an art teacher at Keller Junior High in northwest suburban Schaumburg. The Clay Project — dirty hands and all — is just one of many activities he uses to tap into his students creative abilities. Alex Polanco, Teacher of the Month: “I consider myself an acoustic art teacher, […]

  • The dangers of going gluten-free

    CHICAGO — Going gluten free? The protein found in wheat products does impact some. But if you don’t have a sensitivity and weight loss is your goal – you may want to think twice before you give it up. “Gluten free diets have become sort of a trend now and a big craze for weight loss, they feel like it’s a healthier diet overall,” said registered dietician Vicki Shanta Retelny. And some do feel better eliminating it from their diets. […]

  • Improving communication between body and brain — through exercise

    CHICAGO — Hitting the mat to help you perform better. It’s not a workout. M.A.T. is a muscle activation technique that will take away pain and enhance output. Look at her run: Janice Niederriter has competed in six marathons and countless 5k races. But after years of running, this 54-year-old’s body was breaking down. “I was having a lot of trouble running,” Niederriter says. Not only was Niederriter in pain, she started tripping on the course. And that had her really falling […]

  • Cracking the code of cancer cells

    CHICAGO — Personalized cancer care. Beyond a biopsy. Looking deep within a cancer cell to determine what went wrong — then stopping the chain of events that leads to tumor growth. It’s research that’s already making a difference in patients’ lives. Imagine being able to decode a cancer cell, determine why the cell has gone awry and why it won’t die. It’s a mystery some have already solved. “I’ve been practicing for over 25 years now, and really what we’ve […]

  • medwatch

    Gene replacement could replace need for life-long blood transfusions

    From the lab to the bedside – a breakthrough treatment makes its way to patients suffering with a devastating disease … one that requires life-long blood transfusions. Wanda Sihanath, gene therapy patient: “Pretty familiar, it’s just nice to see familiar faces.” It’s a familiar walk for the 19-year-old. Every month since the age of 14, Wanda Sihanath has come to the hospital for blood transfusions. Wanda Sihanath: “I adjusted to it pretty quickly.” Wanda was born with thalassemia. She was […]

  • December Teachers of the Month

    From the mock apartment to the kitchen, the curriculum at Turning Pointe Career College in west suburban Naperville is hands on. A product of the Turning Pointe Foundation, the career college is an innovative educational institution for post-secondary school students impacted by autism. Teachers Jason Crist and Amy Wagner help their students learn valuable life and social skills. The students’ job training takes place in a simulated drug store, where the shelves are stocked with actual products. They practice at the cash […]

  • A Santa’s workshop helps makes holidays easier for young patients and their families

    For many of the young patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital, the holiday will be spent at the hospital. But a makeshift Santa’s workshop – designed for parents unable to leave the bedside – delivers a little joy this Christmas. Just steps from the crowds shopping along Michigan Avenue, there’s a pop up winter wonderland on the hospital’s 11th floor. The room is overflowing with toys -– all donated, and all free for the taking. Just how many is anybody’s guess. […]

  • Stem cell transplant can be outpatient treatment for some

    Bringing a major medical treatment home. Patients once spent weeks in the hospital. Now they can get a stem cell transplant and go home. It means tackling a lot of hurdles, but this new idea is offering tremendous relief to patients. She passes the time with a little knitting … and a visit with her doctor. Then there’s a quick flush of the central line in her chest, placed this past summer before Rebecca Zoltoski began a four-month course of […]

  • Sparks really do fly when it comes to pregnancy – and it could help with in vitro

    When sperm meets egg, sparks fly … in a petri dish. It’s the first time scientists have witnessed the electrifying reaction during the fertilization process, and it’s not just explosive – it may help predict a patient’s success when undergoing in vitro. Dr Teresa Woodruff, Northwestern Medicine Ovarian Biology Researcher: “When fertilization happens, what you see is this enormous spark.” You can actually see it! The blast of light that marks the moment a sperm enters an egg. Dr Teresa […]


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