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Wednesday, October 8, 2003
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Oct. 20 seminar examines thyroid disease in the elderly

ATHENS, Ohio -- The fall series of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine's Geriatric Education Series continues Monday, Oct. 20, with Frank Schwartz, M.D., director of the Appalachian Rural Health Institute Diabetes/Endocrine Center and associate professor of endocrinology, presenting "Thyroid Disease in the Elderly." The seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in conference room B-9 at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital.

The thyroid gland controls important body functions such as metabolism and fertility hormones. Disease of the thyroid gland can affect nearly every organ in the body. Schwartz will discuss the most common thyroid conditions in elderly patients, the different manifestations of thyroid disease in the elderly and the special precautions necessary for successful treatment.

"The main issue of thyroid disease in the elderly is that the signs and symptoms can be so subtle they're often missed," said Schwartz. He will concentrate on the most common thyroid diseases seen in the elderly and the differences in presentation and management.

Health-care professionals are invited to attend the seminar. Brown bags are welcome. For more information, call the Geriatric Education Center at (740) 593-2258. Each lecture in this series of Geriatric Medicine/ Gerontology seminars is held from noon to 1 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at O'Bleness, B-9.

This is the third seminar in the fall series. The first was Sept. 15 with Travis Campbell, physical therapist for Southeastern Ohio Sports Medicine, who presented "Safe Forms of Activity for People with Osteoarthritis." Erika Zettner, Ph.D., assistant professor at Ohio University's School of Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences, presented the second seminar, "Audiologists Role in Tinnitus Management," Oct. 6. The fourth seminar will be on Nov. 3, with Jen-Tzer Gau, M.D., Ph.D., presenting, "Constipation in the Elderly." The final seminar will be Nov. 17, with Julie Suhr, Ph.D., presenting, "Normal and Abnormal Cognitive Changes in the Older Adult."

"The seminars are designed for an interdisciplinary audience," says Ellen Peterson, R.N., OU-COM geriatric education coordinator. "Health professionals from the community regularly attend, in addition to interns, residents and medical students. The diversity of disciplines represented by the participants makes far an interesting exchange of ideas."

The sponsors of the seminars include OU-COM's Department Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology, the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center and Area Health Education Center, and the Consortium for Health Education in Appalachia, Ohio.

Peterson said the seminar series was started by a federal grant that established OU-COM as a contribution site to the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center in September 1994 and has supported many continuing education programs. Provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, the grant supports educational programs in geriatric and gerontology for physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, and health-care providers to 22 Southeastern Ohio counties.

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Media Contact: Writer/editor Kevin Sanders, (740) 593-0896

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