Brains and Gains 2013

UBMDNeurology

The feedback from this community outreach event in 2012 was very favorable.  We plan to do it again, updating the community on research and treatment developments in several areas of neurology.  The tentative date is Saturday, Noveember 2, 2013, beginning in the morning, again on UB’s North Campus. Topics will include stroke, memory disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuroimaging, and neuromuscular disorders.


UB’s Pediatric MS Center Shares in National Network Grant

The University at Buffalo’s Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center of Excellence will share in a $2.5 million National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant announced July 1.

“This renewed support advances research on the pediatric MS population that will provide important data to better understand the disease.”  Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD

Read more about it: HERE

Press release: National MS Society Press Release

Pediatric MS Center Research Photo

From left to right:
Dr. Gil Wolfe, MD FAAN, Dr. Joy Parrish, PhD, ABBP-CN, Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD and, Stephanie Mincer, President Upstate NY chapter NMSS

 


A New Image of Multiple Sclerosis

UB MED Collaborations

A New Image of Multiple Sclerosis: UB Neurologists reveal key role of thalamus in the disease.

by Ellen Goldbaum

Neurologists at UB and their international collaborators have found that measuring atrophy of the thalamus using routine magnetic resonance imaging can be an important tool in detecting, evaluating, and predicting the course of multiple sclerosis.

Read it here: Dr. Zivadinov page 26


Dr. Robert Zivadinov and Dr. Ralph Benedict present findings about the important role of the Thalamus in MS

Multiple Sclerosis research: The thalamus moves into the spotlight; Atrophy of the thalamus is an important predictor of clinically definite MS, study shows

By: Ellen Goldbaum

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A growing body of research by multiple sclerosis (MS) investigators at the University at Buffalo and international partners is providing powerful new evidence that the brain’s gray matter reflects important changes in the disease that could allow clinicians to diagnose earlier and to better monitor and predict how the disease will progress.

Over the past three years, the UB researchers and their partners around the world, supported by an active fellowship program at UB’s Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), have published journal papers and given presentations demonstrating that the thalamus region, in particular, is key to a host of issues involving MS.

“The thalamus is providing us with a new window on MS,” says Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, UB professor of neurology, BNAC director and leader of the research team. “In our recent studies, we have used large datasets to investigate the evolution of atrophy of the thalamus and its association with clinical impairment in MS, starting with the earliest stages of the disease. The location of the thalamus in the brain, its unique function and its vulnerability to changes wrought by the disease make the thalamus a critical barometer of the damage that MS causes to the brain.”

Zivadinov and UB professor of neurology Ralph Benedict discuss the new research in a video at (http://youtu.be/QhsaHeBjZrA).

At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology today, Zivadinov will discuss a study he performed in collaboration with colleagues from Charles University in Prague. The study found that atrophy of the thalamus, determined with MRI, can help identify which patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), a patient’s first episode of MS, are at risk for developing clinically definite MS. Such a tool would be immensely helpful to clinicians, Zivadinov notes.

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/03/028.html


Sen. Grisanti and UB researchers to advocate state funding for Multiple Sclerosis research

Media Advisory: State Sen. Grisanti and UB researchers advocate state funding for NYS Multiple Sclerosis Registry and Consortium

 

WATCH THE SUPPORT:

http://buffalo.ynn.com/content/647849/ms-researchers-look-to-albany-for-support/

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State Senator Mark Grisanti will join multiple sclerosis researchers at the University at Buffalo and patients to advocate for funding by New York State to maintain and expand the New York State MS Registry and the New York State MS Consortium, directed by Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB professor of neurology.

When: 1 p.m., March 15, 2013

Where: UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Center, 5 floor, above the Gates Vascular Institute, 875 Ellicott Street, Buffalo

Why: MS Awareness Week runs from March 11 to 17. The incidence of MS in Western New York is twice the national average. The disease costs New York State between $1.5 and $2.3 billion each year.  Support for the registry and consortium of 15 MS centers across the state will facilitate NYS research on MS, boost physician knowledge about the disease and improve the quality of life for the 30,000 New York State residents with MS.

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/03/018.html

Speakers will include:

· State Sen. Mark Grisanti, a member of the MS Legislative Alliance for the New York State Senate, and whose family has been affected by MS

· Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB professor of neurology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and director of the NYS MS Registry

· Murali Ramanathan, PhD, UB professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and MS researcher

· An MS patient

Press arrangements: Ellen Goldbaum of UB University Communications at 645-4605 and 771-9255 onsite.


ANNETTE FUNICELLO RESEARCH FUND Encourages Support for Pediatric MS Research

The_Mickey_Mouse_Club_Mouseketeers_Annette_Funicello_1956

Annette Joanne Funicello (1942-2013)

 

The ANNETTE FUNICELLO RESEARCH FUND FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES is calling Mousketeer and Beach Party fans to support multiple sclerosis research by world-renowned MS researcher, Robert Zivadinov of the University at Buffalo.

Your gift will be matched up to $7,500 by the Annette Funicello Research Fund.

Your support will allow Dr. Zivadinov and his team at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center to learn more about Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis.

To make a gift, go to: http://www.giving.buffalo.edu/funicello

For information about MS research at University at Buffalo by Dr. Zivadinov, go to:  www.BNAC.net

For information about the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, go to:  https://calfund.org/page.aspx?pid=638

If you want to distribute flyers for this excellent cause:  Funicello Fund Flyer


MS Study involving stem cells at UB Dept. of Neurology

Buffalo study offers hope to multiple sclerosis patients

Scientists in recent years have found a way to infuse stem cells into the brains of animals to repair damage to the central nervous system, offering some of the most encouraging news yet for multiple sclerosis patients.

Now, a key $12.1 million study soon will be under way in Buffalo and two other upstate medical centers that will for the first time begin to test the procedure in people.

The hope is that the stem cells will generate new myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds nerves like the insulation on a wire. Myelin is damaged in MS, leading to weak or lost signals between nerves. Eventually, the painful disease spreads in a slow, unpredictable path toward paralysis.

by: Henry Davis

Read about it: www.buffalonews.com

The state of New York has committed to fund the project through the stem cell fund.

Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, co-principal investigator on the study, is Professor of Neurology, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Director of the Baird MS Center at The Jacobs Neurological Institute. She is also the Director of the Pediatric MS Center of the Jacobs Neurological Institute, one of six centers of excellence established by the National MS Society. In addition, she also serves as Executive Director of the New York State Multiple Sclerosis Consortium (NYSMSC).

 


UB Neurology MS Poster Receives 5-Star Recognition at ECTRIMS

A scientific presentation by Univ. at Buffalo Department of Neurology faculty and staff, along with colleagues at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, received a 5-star award at the recent international ECTRIMS meeting on multiple sclerosis in Boston, MA.  The investigation, led by Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, who directs the Jacobs MS Center for Treatment and Research, found that Dicer, an RNase III enzyme that generates mature microRNA (miRNA) is downregulated in MS patient white blood cells.  Furthermore, Dicer messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels are enhanced in those MS patients who respond well to interferon β1A treatment.  The group of investigators, which included neurology faculty member David Hojnacki, MD,  also demonstrated that miRNA profiles differ between patients with relapsing-remitting MS and those that are in secondary progressive forms of the disease.  Specific miRNAs were also differentially expressed in response to IFNβ1a therapy.  The work extends and further defines the correlation between different miRNA profiles with disease activity and treatment response in MS, and could be the basis of predictive models for treatment selection and prognosis.

bwg mug

Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD

hojnacki

David Hojnacki, MD

 

 

 


UB Neurology Presents 25 Papers at International MS Meeting

  • Members of the Department of Neurology are presenting some 25 papers describing research in multiple sclerosis and related disorders at this year’s ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS meeting being held in Boston, MA from September 9-12, 2014.  Department of Neurology and other UB faculty, residents, and staff represented on the many presentations include Ralph Benedict, Allison Drake, Mike Dwyer, Osman Farooq, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, David Hojnacki, Mary Karpinski, Katelyn Kavak, Channa Kolb, Joy Parrish, Murali Ramanathan, Barbara Teter, and Robert Zivadinov.  Topics of the papers include cognitive reserve,  neuropsychological assessment, MRI measures of gray matter structures including the thalamus,  lifestyle changes, the risk of excess weight in childhood, and treatment advances in both adult and pediatric MS, as well as clinical isolated syndrome and other related diseases.

ARMS Advocates for UB Neurology Research in MS

At an event held on July 16, 2014, Advancing Research in MS (ARMS), an advocacy group formed in March 2013, pledged to raise $75,000 for Dept. of Neurology investigations into the impact of aging on patients with multiple sclerosis.  The group has already raised funding for a data automation project directed by Ralph Benedict, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry.  During the ceremony, Dr. Benedict described how the data automation has contributed to published manuscripts describing the employment challenges encountered by patients living with MS.  Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, Professor of Neurology, outlined plans for the aging in MS studies.

ARMS board members include Rita Andolina, Elizabeth Jacobs, Kristy Mazurek, Jane Montgomery, Penny Pennington, KC Sacca, Linda Safran, and Pamela Jacobs Vogt.  In the photograph, ARMS board members are pictured with Drs. Benedict and Weinstock-Guttman.

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Neurology Residents Receive Award for Quality Improvement

The Dept. of Neurology residents, led by co-chief resident Pooja Sofat, MBBS, have again received a Graduate Medical Education Quality Improvement Award.  The 2014-15 recognition from the Univ. at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was awarded for the residents’ project entitled “Time is Brain: Preventing Delays in IV tPA in Acute Stroke Patients.”    The neurology department provides clinical support for what is the busiest stroke service in the State of New York.  Dept. of Neurology faculty member Dr. Nick Silvestri serves as Program Director for the residency training program, and Drs. Robert Sawyer and Marilou Ching provide senior level direction for the stroke program.


Dr. Lawrence Wrabetz Named Univ. at Buffalo Distinguished Professor

Lawrence Wrabetz, MD, Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry and Director of the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, has been named a University at Buffalo/SUNY Distinguished Professor.  Only one other faculty member of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences received the honorary title this year, which goes into effect September 1, 2014.  Dr. Wrabetz joined the Dept. of Neurology in 2011, after being recruited from the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy where he led the myelin biology program.  Dr. Wrabetz’s research focuses on the biology and pathophysiology of myelin disorders in both the central and peripheral nervous system, including leukodystrophies and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.  His laboratory studies several animal models to help understand how myelin, the protective coating lining the projections from neurons, is injured or fails to develop properly and what types of approaches may help reverse the process.  His institute is named for Hunter James Kelly, a Western New York boy whose life was impacted by Krabbe Disease, a form of leukodystrophy.

lwrabetz

Lawrence Wrabetz, MD


Dr. Guttuso To Study Anti-Seizure Medication in Morning Sickness in NIH-Funded Trial

Thomas Guttuso Jr,, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, is continuing his work studying gabapentin in countering morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum associated with earlier stages of pregnancy.  He will be conducting the first randomized, double-blinded study of the commonly used anti-seizure agent in a clinical trial supported by a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Guttuso is the Principal Investigator on the award.  In prior pilot work published in 2010, Dr. Guttuso, who also holds an appointment in the UB Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed that gabapentin, a relatively safe agent with essentially no drug-drug interactions or risk of congenital birth defects, reduced nausea and vomiting in women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum by 80-95 percent.  For more information see http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/06/025.html.

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Dept of Neurology Celebrates Annual Research Day and Graduation Banquet

The UB Dept. of Neurology held its annual Michael E. Cohen, MD, Residents Research Day and Graduation Banquet on June 13, 2014.  All graduating residents presented their research findings, while the PGY-3 level residents presented research plans.  The Research Day was coordinated by Dr. Robert Zivadinov and his staff.  Winners of the Research Day Awards were Rajesh Gupta, PGY4 and Chief Resident, and Karanbir Singh, PGY3.  The day’s program is attached.  2014 Research Day Program

Graduating residents were Cynthia Shin Beatty, Ahmad Abokhamis, Mahmoud Al Masry, Supriya Kohli, and Rajesh Gupta.  Graduating neurophysiology fellows were Alyssa Fiddler, Salomi Salins, and Novreen Shahdad, and neuroimaging fellow Maria Serviole Verde.  The incoming neurology chief residents for 2014-15 are Nour Abdelhamid and Pooja Sofat.

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