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UR Medicine




New Therapy Reduces Chronic Low Back Pain in Large International Study

Friday, June 19, 2020

A new study hasfound that tanezumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits nerve activity, provides relief in patients with chronic low back pain, one of the leading reasons why people seek medical care and the number one cause of disability worldwide.

"This demonstration of efficacy is a major breakthrough in the global search to develop non-opioid treatments for chronic pain," said John Markman, M.D., director of the Translational Pain Research Program in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurosurgery and lead author of the study which appears in the journal Pain. "There were also improvements in function linked to the reduction in pain severity."

This is the first study that shows long-term relief for chronic low back pain with a single dose of tanezumab delivered under the skin once every two months. The study was conducted in 191 sites across eight countries in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Researchers are increasingly finding that certain proteins circulating in the bloodstream heighten the sensitivity of cells in the nervous system to pain. One of these proteins, called nerve growth factor (NGF), may explain why some individuals experience more intense and chronic back pain. Tanezumab is an NGF inhibitor.

The patients with chronic low back pain enrolled in this study did not previously have relief with at least three different types of pain medication, including opioids, and were considered "difficult-to-treat." Patients with symptoms, signs, and x-ray evidence of moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis, a disorder commonly found in older patients with chronic low back pain, were excluded from the study.

Read More: New Therapy Reduces Chronic Low Back Pain in Large International Study

Bhalla: Still call 911 if you have stroke symptoms

Friday, May 15, 2020

There may be another reason to be concerned amid the pandemic -- but it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

The American Heart Association is raising the alarm about strokes, especially to at-risk patients who aren't getting the help they need due to fears about the coronavirus.

The organization is reminding people to call 911 if they're showing stroke symptoms, and to not let fears about COVID-19 get in the way of life-saving actions.

Dr. Tarun Bhalla, Director of the local Mobile Stroke Unit Program talked about how quick first responders still are during the pandemic and shared one local success story.

Read More: Bhalla: Still call 911 if you have stroke symptoms

Study by John Markman Points to New Way of Assessing Patient Pain

Monday, April 20, 2020

The professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology found that asking, "Is your pain tolerable" in conjunction with the traditional 0-10 scale can help doctors better understand whether treatment — including opioids — is necessary.

Read More: Study by John Markman Points to New Way of Assessing Patient Pain

Neurosurgery Updates - Update on STAR, Head For the Cure

Friday, March 20, 2020

The annual STAR Symposium has been postponed and rescheduled for October 30th 2020.

Head for the Cure Rochester has been postponed and rescheduled until September 6, 2020.

Check back for more updates and details as the events get closer.

The Department of Neurosurgery welcomes Gabriel E. Yacob, MD

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The department would like to welcome Gabriel E. Yacob, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery who will be starting for Neuromedicine Pain. Dr. Yacob will be practicing at our Hornell, Dansville and Wellsville locations.

Many Voices, Many Visions: Scientists and surgeons look to improve outcomes

Thursday, March 5, 2020