Kinga Szigeti, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of UB’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center, has been awarded a $2.35 million grant from New York State to establish a Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease in Western New York. Dr. Szigeti and Dr. Bruce Troen, Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, share co-principal investigator roles on the grant. The funding will be directed to provide state-of-the-art medical care and educational programs in Western NY for this most common form of dementia. Educational programs will be targeted to numerous audiences including primary care providers, patients, caregivers, and future medical professionals. Given Western NY’s disproportionate numbers of older residents, the grant is of particular importance for our region. Some 10 grants were distributed across the state. For more information please see http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2016/02/029.html.
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.