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Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Pope biographer talks Holy Father’s upcoming US trip

    CHICAGO — His first trip to the US is just a month away; Pope Francis will visit three cities during the week-long journey to the states. His first stop will in Washington, DC includes an address to Congress. In New York City, he’ll visit Ground Zero and say mass at Madison Square Garden. And more than a million people are expected in Philadelphia, where the pope will celebrate the World Meeting of Families. The highly anticipated trip will also include […]

  • Eighteen holes of pain? Not anymore for some who undergo spinal fusion surgery

    Eighteen holes of pain. For some golfers, back problems destroy their game. But if they need surgery … there’s hope to get back on course. The swing is smooth and fluid. The shots fly … straight and on target. Yet Jeff Kellermann’s effortless stroke – driven by generous rotation from his core – seems unlikely, considering this is what his spine looks like on x-ray. It’s called a spinal fusion. Before surgery, the discs in Jeff’s lower back were worn […]

  • Uncovering traumatic memories in the brain

    CHICAGO — Figuring out how traumatic memories hide in the brain. The finding may help retrieve hidden memories. Doctors say they now know how to unlock the door to suppressed memories. Northwestern Medicine scientists have pinpointed a way to retrieve memories hidden in the brain. When a child or adult experiences trauma they store those memories. But even hidden deep in the brain, the memories can cause damage in the form of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. Now in lab […]

  • Treatment for spinal cord injuries give renewed hope for patients

    Renewed hope for patients with spinal cord injuries. An experimental treatment gets a second chance to show its promise. It was considered a significant step forward. Stem cells injected at the site of a spinal cord injury. The hope was to repair nerves damaged by trauma – and to help paralyzed patients regain function. Not long after, the drug company backing the research abruptly ended the investigation, shifting their focus to other medical therapies. But not all was lost — […]

  • A unique transplant for a unique patient

    He’s a familiar face for the siblings. Dr Craig Langman helps care for 24-year-old Brad Jordan and his older sister, Bri, who are primordial dwarfs. Dr Craig Langman, Lurie Children’s kidney specialist: “In the patients who have primordial dwarfism, the bone cells simply don’t work. And they’re pretty much stuck where they were at birth or in the end of the first year of life. They just don’t grow.” It’s a gene mutation that also causes their blood vessels to […]

  • Using dance therapy to heal the body and mind

    CHICAGO– Using movement to exercise the mind. For those suffering with memory problems and physical decline, dance helps bring them out of isolation and into the moment. Erica Hornthal, North Shore Dance Therapy: “People hear dance and they assume it’s going to be a dance class with a warm up and going across the floor.” But in Erica Hornthal’s weekly class at CJE Senior Life in Evanston, it’s less about mobility and much more about the mind. Erica Hornthal: “Even […]

  • Alternative to the dreaded shrill of the dentist drill

    A more soothing sound in the dentist’s chair. An alternative to the drill helps lessen patient anxiety and fear. The dreaded shrill of the drill … Dr. Michael Errico, dentist: “Traditional drill with the air driven turbine that you hear that high pitch whine that everybody gets a little anxious over.” The traditional tool still sits in Dr Michael Errico’s dental office, but he offers patients an alternative. Dr Errico: “This actually uses light energy, and what the light energy […]

  • What phone use can tell us about depression – and how it can help in treating it

    They hold all the information we need to navigate our daily lives. Smart phones give us weather and news updates, store our photos, music and phone numbers. And now our life line to the outside world can tell us what we’re feeling on the inside. They go everywhere with us, so it’s no surprise researchers at Northwestern Medicine utilized the mobile device to help them collect valuable information … no questions asked. David Mohr, PhD, Northwestern Medicine, preventive medicine professor: […]

  • Have faith, improve your health: How the Good Book helps you with good eating

    Having faith you will improve your health. Doctors get a little divine intervention in their efforts to educate the public and change health habits. It’s a typical Wednesday morning bible study at Third Baptist Church of Chicago. But the message for the group gathered today – eat more vegetables! Rev Alan Ragland, Third Baptist Church of Chicago: “It’s kind of like when you know better you do better.” The idea started with Reverend Alan Ragland, who asked health care providers […]

  • Ms. Ledbetter has students focus on the world around them

    NORTHFIELD — When we caught up with our June Teacher of the Month, she was sitting in the school auditorium taking in the last student assembly of the just ending school year. Toward the end  of the assembly, or chapel, as it is officially called, Sharon Ledbetter found herself on stage receiving a $1000 check from Saint Xavier University and a certificate naming her WGN TV’s Teacher of the Month for a job well done! Sharon Ledbetter is a Language Arts […]


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