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Family Health History, Research, and the Holidays

Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2011, by with Comments Off

Family gatherings over the holidays are perfect for collecting important family medical history information.  Read more here.  Now is also the perfect time to discuss enrolling in research.  Please tell your family about the research we are doing at the John Ritter Research Program.

Sofia Gutierrez Brain Aneurysm Awareness Fund Raiser Event Was a Wonderful Success

Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2011, by with Comments Off

The community really turned out to support the Gutierrez family for this event.  Local businesses sold products and food, offered wellness checks and flu shots, and sponsored fun activities for kids.  The Blood Alliance was there accepting blood donations, and the fire department was on hand with fire engines, including a pink engine supporting breast cancer awareness and signed by hundreds of people.  A local helicopter emergency service got a lot of attention when it flew in and landed nearby for people to view.  There was an honor guard, a children’s choir, a live band, and a luminary ceremony.  A silent auction was also held.  All proceeds benefited the Sofia Alejandra Gutierrez Brain Aneurysm Research Fund at the John Ritter Research Program at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. 

Thank you, Monica and Omar Gutierrez, for planning and organizing this event, for your support of the research being done on intracranial aneurysms at the John Ritter Research Program, and for your tireless commitment to increasing public awareness that some individuals may be predisposed to these aneurysms based on their family history.

ACC/AHA Pocket Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with Thoracic Aortic Disease Now Available to Healthcare Providers

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011, by with Comments Off

The American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) Pocket Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with Thoracic Aortic Disease  are now available to physicians and other healthcare providers free of charge thanks to the Thoracic Aortic Disease (TAD) Coalition and a grant from W.L. Gore & Associates.  The 64-page booklet is based on the guidelines published in March 2010.

“It is vital that the guidelines, which were developed by nine leading medical associations, be incorporated into clinical practice because too many patients with aortic disease do not know they are at risk of a potentially fatal aortic dissection,” said Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, Director of the John Ritter Research Program at UTHealth.

Read more here.

Common genetic variants increase risk of aortic dissection

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011, by with Comments Off

Dianna Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D. director of the John Ritter Research Program, and her team of researchers at UTHealth, along with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, published the discovery of common genetic variants which predispose individuals to thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissection (TAAD) in the absence of a family history of the disease (called sporadic TAAD) or a genetic syndrome which causes TAAD.  The variants are located in the same region on chromosome 15 as the FBN1 gene; changes (mutations) in FBN1 cause Marfan syndrome.  The researchers hope an increased understanding of how mutations and variants in FBN1 lead to thoracic aortic disease will ultimately result in effective treatments for individuals with sporadic TAAD.


‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Features Patient With Aortic Dissection

Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, by with Comments Off

Last week’s episode of ABC’s popular television show, Grey’s Anatomy, featured a patient who came to the ER with chest pain.  His condition doesn’t seem serious until he suddenly takes a turn for the worse and they discover his aorta is dissecting.  The show’s website added some great information about aortic dissections in connection with this episode, helping to spread the word about aortic disease.

Check out the information here

The Dallas Morning News Runs Story on Aortic Disease Awareness

Posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, by with Comments Off

The Dallas Morning News interviewed Amy Yasbeck and Dr. Dianna Milewicz to help get the word out that aortic disease isn’t a “death sentence.”  The awareness created by Amy’s efforts and new research is helping to save lives.  Just ask Aaron Roberts, a man who survived aortic dissection.

Diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies of aortic dissection

Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010, by with Comments Off

Richard C. Holbrooke, well-known and respected diplomat, died Monday at the age of 69 after doctors performed surgery to repair an aortic dissection, a tear in his aorta. He most recently served as the Obama administration’s point man in the volatile Afghan-Pakistani war zone.

Amy Yasbeck & Dianna Milewicz Discuss the JRRP

Posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, by with Comments Off

Amy Yasbeck and Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD appeared on Fox News on Tuesday, December 7th in Houston, TX to discuss the John Ritter Research Program and Amy’s new memoir, With Love and Laughter, John Ritter.

Aortic Awareness in the Houston Area

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, by with (1) Comment

If you live in or around the great city of Houston:
Actress, writer and aortic health advocate Amy Yasbeck will appear at Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, to talk about her new memoir, With Love and Laughter, John Ritter (Simon & Schuster, 2010).

Earlier this year, Yasbeck established the John Ritter Research Program ( ) in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at UTHealth.

Aortic Awareness on CBS “The Talk”

Posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010, by with Comments Off

Aortic health advocate, actress, and widow of the late John Ritter, Amy Yasbeck, appeared on CBS’s “The Talk” to discuss her book, With Love and Laughter, John Ritter, and the importance of raising awareness of aortic disease. Watch the interview here:–amy-yasbeck-interview?tag=;thumb;18




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