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Marijuana Permissiveness

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In a study carried out by RTI researchers and presented at the PAINWeek meeting, which also used NSDUH data from 2002 to 2012, showed that the culture around marijuana permissiveness might influence legalization. The study found that states that passed marijuana legislation had higher marijuana use rates 5 years before and in the last data year available before legalization compared with states that did not legalize marijuana. The authors noted that of the 23 states with medical marijuana laws, 5 have passed legislation that allows for the possession and recreational use of marijuana among those aged 21 years and older.

Commenting on this research for Medscape Medical News, Armando Villarreal, MD, assistant professor, neurosurgery, Rochester Neurosurgical Partners, New York, said that while the data seem to suggest that culture around permissiveness might affect legislation, other factors play a role a role in establishing that culture. "Among them are the unemployment rate, the median level of education, religion, and political ideals," he said. Less than half of all states have passed medical marijuana laws, and only 10% of the states now allow recreational use.

"So the idea that we are about to see a sudden influx of states that will legalize marijuana seems to me overreaching." Dr Villarreal, who gave a separate presentation on "the science behind marijuana as an analgesic" at the meeting, said physicians should become familiar with local laws surrounding use of marijuana because their patients will ask their opinion. But he stressed that prescribing marijuana should be influenced only by available scientific data and not by public opinion.

"Currently the data is scant, mainly due to federal government laws that make it extremely difficult to do good research. I believe there is an urgent need to change these laws so that better information regarding the therapeutic use of marijuana becomes available."

Patients Prefer Relief from Lower Back Pain Over Improved Mobility

Friday, September 11, 2015

diagramatic image showing back pain

A new study out today in the journal Neurology examines the question of quality of life for individuals with a common form of lower back pain called lumbar spinal stenosis. The findings show that, when asked to choose between treatments that reduced pain or would help them stand or walk, patients overwhelmingly chose pain relief.

There has long been a debate in the medical community over striking the right balance between pain relief and physical function, said John Markman, M.D., director of the Translational Pain Research Program in the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery and lead author of the study. While physicians have leaned toward the need to increase mobility, this study shows that patients have a clear preference for pain relief.

Read More: Patients Prefer Relief from Lower Back Pain Over Improved Mobility

UR Medicine Honored for Stroke Care

Friday, July 24, 2015

stroke guidelines

UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) highest award for stroke care, including a new designation that recognizes excellence in rapid care that can save lives and improve the quality of life of stroke victims.

In stroke care, time equals brain, said Curtis Benesch, M.D., medical director of the UR Medicine’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. This award recognizes the discipline and training that is required to provide appropriate and timely care to stroke patients and our team strives each and every day to provide the most comprehensive, cutting-edge care for patients from across upstate New York.

This award reflects the commitment of our team to providing the highest level of care possible for our patients who’ve suffered a stroke, said Babak Jahromi, M.D., surgical director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center. The outstanding group of nurses, therapists, and physicians that we have assembled are dedicated to this common goal.

Strong has been named a Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospitals commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients received the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieved 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

Read More: UR Medicine Honored for Stroke Care

VasoMark advances to the next phase!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The VasoMark Team

The VasoMark Team

A group of students from Neuroscience Graduate Program and Neurosurgery Residency Program have teamed up to compete in the National Institutes of Health Neuro Startup Challenge. This new effort offers pre- and post-doctoral students from biomedical, legal, and business backgrounds the opportunity to compete for licenses to patented technologies from the NIH portfolio.

The teams model a business around the intellectual property, and seek startup funding from partnering angel investor and venture capitalist firms in order to bring the proposed technology to the biomedical marketplace. The NGP and Neurosurgery team, named VasoMark, selected two patents for the development of a minimally invasive diagnostic for the detection of primary and recurrent malignant brain tumors. VasoMark successfully completed Phase I of the competition, where they developed a two-minute elevator pitch and executive summary describing their intended entrepreneurial use of the selected technology. They are currently developing a business plan and live investor pitch describing their business model, intended market, and future areas of expansion for their selected patents.

Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit Team Wins Award for Excellence

Thursday, January 29, 2015

manju award

URMC Board Chair George Hamlin presided over the recognition of the 2014 Excellence Award Winners at the Board meeting on Jan. 20. The awards, presented annually, laud the extraordinary efforts of our physicians, nurses, clinicians, and support staff. This year individuals and teams in 13 categories were recognized. Among them was the Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit.

Implementation of nurse-led daily rounds is making a significant impact on patient care thanks to the Board Excellence Award-winning team, the Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit. Introduced by Manjunath Markandaya, M.D., and created by nurse Catherine Gargan, RN, CNRN, the switch from physician-led rounds in the Neuromedicine ICU seemed like a natural transition. This change puts nurses, who are front-line caregivers, with the most up-to-date information on their patients in the lead during rounding. The nurse presents the patient to the residents, fellows, and physicians who are involved and often includes the pharmacist, respiratory therapist, and dietitian as well. Families are also welcome on rounds and they are grateful to be part of the process where they learn more about the care of loved ones and have an opportunity to ask questions of the entire care team. Rounds are more efficient under this new team approach and satisfaction scores for this critical care setting are higher.

The team was nominated by Associate Director of Adult Critical Care Nursing Kate Valcin and nurse leader LaShaunda Bradley. The departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery would like to extend their congratulations on this well-deserved award!