Neurology News

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  • April 22, 2014

    Heart/Stroke Association Honors UR Medicine for Highest Quality Care

    The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) has once again recognized UR Medicine and its Strong Memorial Hospital for achieving its highest standards of care for stroke, heart failure, and resuscitation.

    Strong Memorial Hospital has received the AHA/ASA Get With The Guidelines program's highest honor, the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for a fifth consecutive year. The hospital was also tapped for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals that have consistently and successfully reduced door-to-needle time – the window of time between a stroke victim's arrival at the hospital, the diagnosis of an acute ischemic stroke, and the administration of the clot-busting drug tPA.

    We are proud to earn this recognition, however we continue to work to improve time-to-treatment for people who are suffering a stroke. Early treatment is proven to preserve brain function and enhance recovery for each patient, said neurologist Curtis Benesch, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center.

  • April 2, 2014

    Researchers Set to Launch Phase 3 Trial for Parkinson’s

    A $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will support a new Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the drug isradipine as a potential new treatment for Parkinson's disease. The study is being co-lead by the University of Rochester and Northwestern University.

    Isradipine has been demonstrated to be safe and tolerable in patients with Parkinson's disease, said University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry neurologist Kevin Biglan, M.D., M.P.H., co-principal investigator of the study. This new study will determine whether the drug can be an effective tool in slowing the progression of the disease and could, thereby, complement existing symptomatic treatments and improve the quality of life of individuals with the disease.

  • March 28, 2014

    UR Medicine Helps Forge National Stroke Care Guidelines

    A new statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people recovering from a severe stroke receive tailored and coordinated care that optimizes quality of life and minimizes suffering. The statement – which was published today in the journal Stroke – represents the first attempt to establish a fundamental set of recommendations that can help guide physicians, patients, and their families through the difficult decisions that arise from this condition.

    The majority of stroke patients require access to some form of palliative care, said Robert Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Accomplishing this requires that a hospital’s system of stroke care and its team of providers place the patient and their family at the center of the decision-making process and build a plan of care that is based on their values and informed by effective and constant communication.

  • March 27, 2014

    Stroke Survivors Deserve Team Care

    Palliative care that minimizes suffering and improves quality of life should be provided to patients who've survived a stroke, experts say. The care should be a team effort involving patients, families, stroke specialists and health care providers such as neurosurgeons, neurologists, primary care doctors, nurses and therapists, according to the new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA).

    The majority of stroke patients need access to some form of palliative medicine," statement lead author Dr. Robert Holloway, chairman of the neurology department at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., said in an AHA/ASA news release.

    The stroke team and its members can manage many of the palliative care problems themselves. It encourages patient independence and informed choices, he explained.

  • March 10, 2014

    Biomarker Points to Alzheimer’s Risk

    A study involving Rochester-area seniors has yielded the first accurate blood test that can predict who is at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. This discovery – which appears today in the journal Nature Medicine – could be the key to unlocking a new generation of treatments that seek to head off the disease before neurological damage becomes irreversible.

    The biomarker – which consists of 10 specific lipids found in blood plasma – predicted with greater than 90 percent accuracy which individuals would go on to develop Alzheimer's disease or a precursor condition known as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The cost of the simple blood test required to detect these lipids is a fraction of other techniques and, unlike alternatives, it identifies risk early in the disease process before cognitive symptoms appears.

    The ability to identify individuals who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's before the clinical manifestation of cognitive impairment has long been a Holy Grail of the neuromedicine community, said Mark Mapstone, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and lead author of the study. Current efforts to develop a treatment for this disease are coming up short because they are probably being used too late. Biomarkers that can allow us to intervene early in the course of the disease could be a game-changer.

  • February 26, 2014

    Dr. Laurie Seltzer Receives Award from Journal of Pediatric Neurology for the 2013 Best Paper

    The Department of Neurology is pleased and proud to announce that Dr. Laurie Seltzer, DO, Senior Instructor of Child Neurology and Epilepsy recently received an award from the editors of Pediatric Neurology for the best paper submitted in 2013 by a resident or fellow. The paper, Intraoperative EEG Predicts Postoperative Seizures in Infants with Congenital Heart Disease was published online on December 23rd 2013 and will also appear in a forthcoming print issue of the journal. The research was supported in part by a NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (K12 NS 066098).

    In this prospective, observational study, Dr. Seltzer and her co-investigators reviewed preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative EEG of 32 infants who underwent cardiac surgery. Among 17 of the children, the surgery involved deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA). Specific intraoperative EEG patterns seen in two patients undergoing prolonged DHCA were predictive of postoperative seizure within 2 days after surgery. The results suggest that the intraoperative EEG may be used not only as a tool for monitoring current status during surgery, but also as a predictive tool to determine risk for postoperative seizure in infants undergoing surgery with DHCA.

    Dr. Seltzer’s accomplishment will be recognized at the 2014 Child Neurology Society Meeting in Columbus, OH.

  • January 28, 2014

    Strong Memorial Hospital Recognized for Advanced Stroke Care

    Strong Memorial Hospital has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. This designation, which has only been conferred on two other hospitals in New York State, places Strong among an elite group of institutions that provide highly-specialized complex stroke care.

    We are proud that the Joint Commission has recognized our dedicated team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, emergency department physicians, nurses, therapists, and staff, said neurologist Curtis Benesch, M.D., M.P.H., the medical director of the URMC Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center. This certification is a testament to their commitment to provide the highest and most comprehensive level of stroke care to our community.

  • January 11, 2014

    Goodnight. Sleep Clean.

    Sleep seems like a perfectly fine waste of time. Why would our bodies evolve to spend close to one-third of our lives completely out of it, when we could instead be doing something useful or exciting? Something that would, as an added bonus, be less likely to get us killed back when we were sleeping on the savanna?

    Sleep is such a dangerous thing to do, when you're out in the wild, Maiken Nedergaard, a Danish biologist who has been leading research into sleep function at the University of Rochester's medical school, told me. It has to have a basic evolutional function. Otherwise it would have been eliminated.

    To read more please see the NY Times article.

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