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April 2013

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For more information about these items, or for other media requests, contact Cleveland Clinic's Corporate Communications at 216.444.0141.

April 2013

Kids and Migraines

Migraines do not just affect adults. Nearly ten percent of American kids ages 5-13 years old are said to suffer from migraines. Dr. A. David Rothner, staff physician at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery Department, says that migraines in young children typically develop right after school.

“They usually want to go straight to bed. They don’t want to play video games or even eat. When they go to bed, they want the lights off,” says Dr. Rothner.

He also says that a child experiencing a migraine may also be pale, have rings under their eyes and may become nauseous or vomit.

There are several tips to help alleviate migraines in children including over-the-counter medication, at least eight hours of sleep each night, drink lots of water, develop a cardio exercise program and eliminate caffeine.

To learn more about this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact Halle Bishop at 216.445.8592 or

Recognizing the Body Language of Stress

Our body language - the positions in which we sit, stand, and walk, really do show others what we’re feeling. Some of these positions hold tension and can even create pain in the body. Jane Ehrman, a behavioral health specialist at Cleveland Clinic, and Judi Bar, Cleveland Clinic’s lead yoga therapist, offer the following tips on how to avoid conveying stress through body language and how to relieve tension.

  • Shrugged shoulders to ears - Feeling intimidated or insecure? Make the conscious effort to drop your shoulders and breathe. Standing up straight will exude confidence and relieve neck and shoulder pain.
  • Clenched jaw - Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw usually means you’re holding back what you want to say. Relax your jaw by opening your mouth ever-so-slightly and take a deep breath inward.
  • Tight fists - Keep fighting hands in check and slowly open your fists several times in a row. Combine that with stretching out your fingers to help ease your anger and decrease the likelihood of word vomit (much like counting down from the number ten).
  • Loud sighs - Sighing is the natural way our bodies release anxiety and tension in stressful settings. Take a few moments to escape to a quiet place and breathe deeply (and evenly) to re-center yourself.

To learn more about this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact Bridget Peterlin at 216.444.5703 or

Learn about Personalized Healthcare

Personalized healthcare refers to the use of unique information about individuals to better predict and prevent disease and then target therapies. Such unique information includes not only molecular and genetic information but also behavioral and cultural choices, historical reports and personal preferences. What makes healthcare personalized is the ability to predict disease risk, offer precise care and the ability to personalize the experience of healthcare based on individual preferences.

Kathryn Teng, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Personalized Healthcare, says personalized healthcare really starts with knowing your family history and having a relationship with your primary care physician. “It’s not just about genetics,” says Dr. Teng. “It also refers to using your family history and all of your individual biological information to help make decisions about your healthcare including medications and doses and when to start certain preventive screenings.”

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Jenny Popis at 216.444.8853 or

Cleveland Clinic Supports “Return to Play” Law

As of April 26, Ohio’s new “Return to Play” law goes into effect, requiring coaches and referees to remove athletes from competition or practice if they show signs of a concussion.

The law – supported by Cleveland Clinic and other healthcare providers throughout Ohio – prohibits athletes from returning to play the same day they are removed; written clearance by a doctor or other licensed health-care provider is required before the athlete can return to practice or games.

Experts from Cleveland Clinic's Concussion Center are available to answer health-related questions pertaining to the new law, such as: What symptoms should coaches, referees and parents be looking for? What are the signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion or head injury? When is an athlete ready to return to play? When should they return to school?

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Tracy Wheeler at 216.444.4235 or

Simple Ways to Conserve Energy

Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day events and take action to protect the planet. Energy conservation not only makes sense but it also saves dollars. Julie Marth, Program Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Office for a Healthy Environment, offers several practical tips to help conserve energy throughout the year.

  1. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them on.
  2. Unplug gadgets and appliances when they’re not in use.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Wear layers of clothing for comfort instead of reaching for the thermostat.
  5. Power down your computer when not in use, including your monitor.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Jenny Popis at 216.444.8853 or

When and How to Transition your Baby to Solid Foods

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods to a baby no earlier than six months of age. Deb Lonzer, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and the Chair of the Department of Community Pediatrics for Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, reminds parents that this should be a gradual process and to allow time for your baby to learn how to swallow solid food.

“I tell parents they can make their own baby food using fruits, vegetables and healthy grains,” says Dr. Lonzer. “This can include brown rice, applesauce, pureed bananas, or pureed vegetables like squash, peas and carrots.”

Dr. Lonzer also notes it is important to test and see if your baby can handle the different textures of solid food.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Abbey Linville at 216.445.9274 or

Marathon and Running Injury Prevention

Race season is here and that means avid runners will begin extensive training, spending extra time at the gym, logging extra miles on their shoes … and on their body. Michael Bogden, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Cleveland Clinic and Team Physical Therapist for Cleveland State University, offers the following tips to develop an effective injury-prevention running plan:

  1. Cadence/Pace – Distance running is about efficiency. The goal is to be between 170-190 steps per minute. A long stride with a slow cadence is can increase the strain on your joints and muscles. You can significantly reduce your injury risk by simply taking smaller steps and increasing your turn over.
  2. Run Quietly – Research shows quiet running significantly reduces the amount of force through your joints and muscles, thus reducing injuries.
  3. Once every three weeks, take it easy – Don’t increase your mileage or pace more than two weeks in a row. You run the risk of wearing yourself out and then suffering overuse injury. At least once every three weeks slow your pace down and cut back on mileage. This will allow proper recovery and, in the end, you will be much stronger.
  4. Strengthening Exercises – Runners often do their strength training with both limbs at the same time. This can lead to strength imbalances as one side of your body does more work. Two exercises that make each side of your body work more independently are lateral step downs and quadruped alternating arm and leg extensions.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Laura Ambro at 216.636.5876 or

Avoid a Raspy Voice when Rooting for your Home Team

Baseball season begins this week and crowds will be heading to their home team's opener at the ballpark. But Dr. Tom Abelson, a voice specialist at Cleveland Clinic, says fans should be careful with their alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol and cheering loudly can dry out your vocal cords leaving you without a voice the next day.

Dr. Abelson offers the following tips to help avoid voice loss from a day at the ballpark:

  1. Drink a glass of water in between each beer to keep your pipes lubricated.
  2. Warm up your vocal cords. Try to avoid going full-blow on your first couple of “Hey batta, batta” cheers.
  3. Clap instead. Save your loudest cheers for the best plays, and clap for the others.
  4. Avoid smoking. Even social smoking outside the bars or ballpark could increase the likelihood that you will have a hoarse voice the next day.

To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Bridget Peterlin at 216.444.5703 or

The Scoop on Sweeteners

Since there are so many types of natural and artificial sweeteners, it can lead to confusion when deciding how to best satisfy your sweet cravings. Mira Ilic, RD, LD, registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic, explains that there are various natural sweeteners that should also be considered as options.

  1. Turbinado or raw sugar. Made from sugar cane juice, raw sugar is slightly less processed than white sugar and may contain a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
  2. Honey. Honey contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but the amounts are too small to be of any health benefit.
  3. Agave nectar. Extracted from a desert plant, agave nectar is popular for its low glycemic index and concentrated sweetness.
  4. Stevia. Found in a South American plant, Stevia does not raise blood sugar levels.
  5. Monk fruit extract. The extract from monk fruit grows on a vine and has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years.

Click here to read full article. To learn more about this topic or to coordinate an interview, please contact Bridget Peterlin at 216.444.5703 or