Ralph Benedict, PhD, Professor of Neurology who directs the neuropsychology program for the Univ. at Buffalo Dept. of Neurology, has received the 2016 International Neuropsychological Society’s Arthur Benton Award. The award recognizes investigators who “have made a substantive, independent contribution to research in the area of brain-behavior relationships as indexed by the impact of their research, number of citations, quality of journal, productivity and recognition by their peers.” Dr. Benedict is an international authority in the cognitive dysfunction that arises from multiple sclerosis. For more information, please see http://medicine.buffalo.edu/news_and_events/news.host.html/content/shared/smbs/news/2016/02/benedict-award-ms-5571.detail.html.
Norah Lincoff, MD, Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology and director of the neuro-ophthalmology program for the Dept. of Neurology at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has again travelled to Nicaragua for an annual medical mission to improve the eye care of the country’s rural population. This year’s mission, run by the non-profit organization Hopeful Ways, enlisted some 30 physicians from Buffalo, Boston, Miami, and Canada. A total of 2700 Nicaraguans from the Juigalpa district were cared for between January 27 and February 5. In addition to checking visual acuity and providing prescription eyeglasses and safety eyewear, ophthalmological surgery is provided at no cost to the patients. Procedures include cataract extraction and pterygium resection. Kudos to Dr. Lincoff and her fellow volunteers.
Melissa Rayhill, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Univ. at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of the headache program for the Dept. of Neurology, has had her research profiled in an editorial in the leading subspecialty journal, Headache. Roberts-2016-Headache__The_Journal_of_Head_and_Face_Pain. Dr. Rayhill’s work raised questions in regard to the transparency and reliability of headache studies in peer-reviewed journals. Although her study found that only one quarter of trials published between 2005 and 2014 were properly registered in public databases, she and her research team did find that in the most recent years there have been improvements. Still, only 5% of all headache trials over the decade satisfied the three standards of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editiors. That is, trials should be prospectively registered, there should be no unacknowledged post-hoc outcomes in the publication describing the results, and all a priori primary outcomes should be reported in the manuscript.
Arie Weinstock, MD, Professor of Neurology and Division Chief of Child Neurology at Univ. at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is conducting medical marijuana studies in refractory forms of epilepsy. The two studies are being supported by GW Pharma, a British pharmaceutical company that manufactures Epidiolex, which consists mostly of cannabidiol, one of the main, non-psychogenic components of marijuana. New York State is also providing the agent through its compassionate use program to 100 children and young adults with treatment-resistant seizures. Twenty of them will be followed through UBMD Neurology and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Earlier studies have suggested that cannabidiol added to other regimens is safe and effective in reducing seizures in this population. However, these have been open label studies, and the current clinical trials are more rigorous, using the randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled methodology required for registration with the FDA. For more information see http://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=6811.
The Dept. of Neurology boasts several physicians who have been named to the Castle Connolly Top Docs list for 2016 published in the January 2016 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 (Ophthalmology)
Child neurology: Drs. Thomas Langan, Sarah Finnegan and Arie Weinstock
Four of the eight adult neurologists and three of the four child neurologists recognized in the Buffalo area as Top Docs were members of the department. In addition, Buffalo Spree profiled Dr. Szigeti and her research work in Alzheimer’s disease on page 76 of the issue.
Haris Kamal, MD, Co-Chief Resident for the 2015-16 academic year for the UB Dept. of Neurology, has received the American Society of Neuroimaging Resident Travel Award for the upcoming ASN annual meeting to be held in Orlando, FL from January 14-17, 2016. Dr. Kamal’s accepted abstract is entitled, “Neuro-Behcet’s disease masquerading as brain abscesses on MRI.” Co-authors on the paper include Dr. Karanbir Singh, who graduated from the residency program in June 2015, M.U. Hafeez, A. Bushra, and faculty members Drs. Nicholas Silvestri, Program Director of the Adult Neurology Residency Training Program and Gil Wolfe, Irvin and Rosemary Smith Professor and Chair of the department. Dr. Kamal was one of only two residents nationally to receive a travel award for the meeting.
Ralph Benedict, PhD, and Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, both Professors of Neurology at Univ. at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, have recently received recognition for their investigative accomplishments. Dr. Benedict, who directs the neuropsychology division for the Dept. of Neurology, will receive the International Neuropsychology Society’s 2016 Mid-Career Arthur Benton Award that recognizes substantive independent contributions to research into brain-behavior relationships as indexed by research impact, number of citations, quality of journals and recognition by peers. The award will be presented at the society’s international meeting in early February in Boston. Dr. Weinstock-Guttman, who directs the Jacobs Multiple Sclerosis Center for Research and Treatment, has been elected to the Board of Directors for ACTRIMS, America’s Committee for Treatment and Research in MS, the nation’s leading investigative organization for the disease. She will serve on the board through February 2019.