Brains and Gains 2013


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 (

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.

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




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.

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


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:

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

For information about the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, go to:

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:

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 Presents CME Course

UB Dept. of Neurology faculty presented a CME course, “Neurology Update for the Primary Care Professional,” on Saturday, March 14, 2015.  Some 70 providers attended the course which featured lectures on the approach to the neurologic patient, multiple sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, memory disorders, and neuropathic pain.  Dr. Nick Silvestri also discussed neurological ailments of U.S. presidents over time.  Other faculty who presented included Drs. Robert Sawyer, Channa Kolb, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Ping Li, Arie Weinstock, Renée Reynolds (neurosurgery), Kinga Szigeti, Ashkan Mowla, and Gil Wolfe.  The program was coordinated by Dr. Wolfe and Ann Daniels.  The department acknowledges the unrestricted educational grant support by Nufactor.  Look for another CME offering in early 2016.


Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology to Present Over 35 Papers at AAN Meeting

The Univ. at Buffalo/SUNY Department of Neurology will be presenting over 35 papers at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting to be held April 18-25 in Washington, DC.  Topics to be covered include Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and related syndromes, neuromuscular disease, neuro-ophthalmology, quality improvement, and stroke.  Department faculty listed as authors on the abstracts include Drs. Benedict, Ching, Dwyer, Fine, Hojnacki, Kolb, Mowla, Ramanathan, Silvestri, Szigeti, Teter, Weinstock-Guttman, Wolfe, and Zivadinov.  Neurology housestaff include Drs. Abdelhamid, Abdelrazek, Ahmad, Fiddler, Gaindh, Kamal, Masud, Singh, and Sofat.  Numerous research staff are also listed as authors including Katelyn Kavak and Kara Patrick.

Research Day 6.13.14a

Register for Neurology Update for Primary Care Professionals

The Department of Neurology, Univ. at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is presenting an update on neurology for primary care providers on March 14, 2015.  The morning and early afternoon course will take place in the Gates Vascular Institute building, Clinical Translational Research Center, 5th floor, on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus adjacent to Buffalo General Medical Center.  Topics include the approach to the neurological patient as well as management of common disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, memory disorders, multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain.  In addition, an account of neurologic problems affecting  Presidents of the United States through our country’s history will be presented.  CME credit of 4.75 hours is offered.  Registration costs are no more than $50.  Please access the pdf file below to register. UB Neurology CME Brochure 3.14.15

Buffalo Healthy Living Highlights Dept of Neurology/UBMD Neurology



Thomas J. Guttuso, Jr, MD

A special edition of Buffalo Healthy Living magazine, distributed in January 2015, highlights several UBMD clinical practices, including neurology.  The issue contains articles on the use of botulinum toxin (Botox) in treating headaches (as well as wrinkles) and reviews the pharmacological approach to treating neuropathic pain, a common problem in patients with peripheral neuropathy as well as other disorders that impact the sensory pathways in the nervous system.  Authors of the articles, found on pages 17&18, are Drs. Tom Guttuso, Nick Silvestri and Gil Wolfe.  The magazine issue is available online at

Nicholas J. Silvestri, MD

Nicholas J. Silvestri, MD

Gil I. Wolfe, MD, FAAN

Gil I. Wolfe, MD, FAAN

Neurology Update for Primary Care Health Care Providers

The Department of Neurology, Univ. at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will present an update on neurology for primary care providers on March 14, 2015, to be held in the Gates Vascular Institute building, Clinical Translational Research Center, 5th floor, on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus adjacent to Buffalo General Medical Center.  Topics will include the approach to the neurological patient as well as management of common disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, memory disorders, and neuropathic pain.  In addition, an account of neurologic problems affecting  Presidents of the United States through our country’s history will be presented.  Please check this site for further information about registration or call 716-859-7540

UB Stroke Neurologists Find Intravenous Thrombolysis Safe in Patients with Benign Brain Tumors

Ashkan Mowla, MD, Assistant Professor in the Univ. at Buffalo (UB) Dept. of Neurology, directed a recent study to examine the safety of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in stroke patients who had brain neoplasms.  Intracranial neoplasms (tumors) are currently a contraindication for IV tPA due to concerns for a risk of bleeding.  In the retrospective study of some 637 patients who received IV tPA through the UB stroke program, 13 were found to have intracranial neoplasms.  None of the patients suffered symptomatic intracranial bleeding or bleeding into the tumor.  The authors, including Dept. of Neurology faculty Peyman Shirani, MD, Robert Sawyer, MD, and Marilou Ching, MD, MPH, neurology residents Karanbir Singh, MBBS and Haris Kamal, MD, and stroke research coordinator Annemarie Crumlish, CCRC, will be presenting their findings at the International Stroke Conference in 2015.  A full-length manuscript in the International Journal of Stroke has been accepted for publication with Dr. Singh, a PGY-4 resident, serving as first author.


Ashkan Mowla, MD


Karanbir Singh, MBBS



UB Dept of Neurology Top Docs

The Dept. of Neurology boasts several physicians who have been named to the Castle Connolly Top Docs list for 2015 to be published in the January 2015 issue of Buffalo Spree magazine.  The recognition follows screening by a physician-led team of researchers on both the national and regional levels.  These are the physicians most highly regarded by their peers.  The physicians mentioned as Top Docs are:

Adult neurology: Drs. David Lichter, Robert Sawyer, Kinga Szigeti and Gil Wolfe

Neuro-ophthalmology:  Dr. Norah Lincoff (Opthalmology)

Child neurology: Drs. Thomas Langan (Pediatrics) and Arie Weinstock


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