News Article | December 22, 2016
BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--People with kidney failure in Baltimore and the surrounding area can now access dialysis treatments and a full spectrum of enhanced kidney care services at eight new care centers, all through a collaboration between Fresenius Kidney Care and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. With convenient locations in Baltimore, Dundalk and Lutherville-Timonium, the collaboration also includes Maryland’s only center dedicated to treating children with chronic kidney disease. “These new facilities have features that will enhance our patients’ dialysis experience,” said Bill Valle, executive vice president of Fresenius Medical Care North America and president of Fresenius Kidney Care. “Our vision behind these centers aligns the values we share with The Johns Hopkins Hospital to improve the quality of life of every patient, every day. We are excited to join forces with one of the leading and preeminent institutions in the United States in our effort to empower patients throughout their individual journeys so they can continue living life, doing what is important to them and thriving.” Fresenius Kidney Care is the nation’s premier network of dialysis facilities and is a business unit of Fresenius Medical Care North America, the nation’s leading provider of integrated renal care services. The new centers feature state-of-the-art offerings including overnight dialysis, individual media systems and heated, reclining massage chairs to enhance the patient experience. The new facilities are part of the network that achieved the country’s largest number of top-rated Five-Star dialysis centers, based on the Dialysis Facility Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System issued by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Fresenius Kidney Care’s latest Five-Star rating builds on a track record of success. Each year since 2006, the company has helped patients live longer and spend less time in the hospital, improving mortality rates of its dialysis patients and lowering the average time spent in a hospital setting by two-and-a-half days. The Johns Hopkins Hospital physicians will oversee the management of the centers’ medical operations. Dr. Paul Scheel, division chief of the nephrology department at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and vice president of the Johns Hopkins Physicians, will work alongside the medical directors of the new hemodialysis facilities. “Chronic kidney disease is a considerable, but unrecognized health issue in this country,” said Dr. Scheel. “We are pleased to be a part of this initiative, dedicated to providing optimal dialysis services to our patients.” An outpatient pediatric hemodialysis unit will be located at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the only dialysis center in the state of Maryland dedicated to treating children with chronic kidney disease. The center, located at 1800 Orleans Street, will also have an area dedicated to serving patients receiving in-center dialysis and another for people who are on home dialysis. The other seven dialysis centers are: Dialysis is a medical treatment for individuals with kidney failure and end stage renal disease that uses sophisticated medical machines to replace many of the kidney’s essential functions required for survival. The dialysis process filters harmful wastes, salt and excess fluid from an individual’s blood, restoring a normal, healthy balance. The majority of patients receive treatment at a dialysis center three times a week, with each session lasting approximately four hours. Today, more than 450,000 people in the United States are on dialysis. Fresenius Kidney Care, a division of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), provides dialysis treatment and services to nearly 200,000 people with kidney disease at more than 2,200 facilities nationwide. Fresenius Kidney Care supports people by helping to address both the physical and emotional aspects of kidney disease through personalized care, education and lifestyle support services so they can lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Fresenius Kidney Care patients have access to FMCNA’s integrated network of kidney care services ranging from cardiology and vascular care to pharmacy and lab services as well as urgent care centers and the country’s largest practice of hospitalist and post-acute providers. As a leader in renal care technology, innovation and clinical research, FMCNA’s more than 67,000 employees are dedicated to the mission of delivering superior care that improves the quality of life for people with kidney disease. For more information about Fresenius Kidney Care, visit www.freseniuskidneycare.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/FreseniusKidneyCare and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FreseniusKC. Fresenius Medical Care North America is the premier health care company focused on providing the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. Through its industry-leading network of dialysis centers, outpatient cardiac and vascular labs and urgent care centers, as well as the continent’s largest practice of hospitalist and post-acute providers, Fresenius Medical Care North America provides coordinated health care services at pivotal care points for hundreds of thousands of chronically ill customers. As the world’s largest fully vertically integrated renal company, it offers specialty pharmacy and laboratory services, and manufactures and distributes the most comprehensive line of dialysis equipment, disposable products and renal pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit www.FMCNA.com.
News Article | November 1, 2016
SHAPE, the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (http://www.shapesociety.org), a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the mission of eradicating heart attacks, today announced the agenda of its first focus group meeting on prediction of near-future heart attacks using artificial intelligence. The meeting is led by Dr. Morteza Naghavi the founder and executive director of SHAPE and features leading cardiovascular researchers from around the world.. This will be the 20th scientific meeting held by SHAPE since 2001. Detailed agenda of the meeting is shown below. The First Machine Learning Vulnerable Patient Symposium A Focus Group Meeting on Developing an Artificial Intelligence-based Forecast System A Satellite Event in Conjunction with 2016 Annual Scientific Sessions of American Heart Association This event is open to public. Participation via GoToMeeting can be requested. Dinner will be served 7:30 PM. This is the 20th Vulnerable Plaque & Vulnerable Patient Symposium held by SHAPE since 2001. Welcome: Morteza Naghavi, M.D. Founder of SHAPE and Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force Opening Remarks: Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief, Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine Jagat Narula M.D., Ph.D. Chief of Cardiology, Mount Sinai West & St. Luke’s Hospitals Associate, Dean, Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D. Professor of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, Director of Machine Learning Laboratory University of Houston Topic: What is Machine Learning and How Can It Shape the Future of Healthcare? Invited Online Presentations: Two Examples of Machine Learning Studies in CVD Risk Assessment (10 minutes each) CVD prediction using support vector machine in a large Australian cohort. Dinesh Kumar, Ph.D. and Sridhar Arjunan, Ph.D. Biosignals Lab, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (2) Prediction of revascularization after myocardial perfusion SPECT by machine learning in a large clinical population Piotr Slomka, Ph.D. Chief Scientist, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Program, Department of Imaging Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Professor, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA Moderated Discussions on the Vulnerable Patient Project Machine Learning for Prediction of Near-Term CHD Events All investigators will be asked to give a very brief introduction of their study and how it can fit in Background: Imagine instead of the existing daily weather forecasts and hurricane alerts we were told the probability of a storm within the next 10 years! This is how heart attacks are predicted today. We teach our physicians to calculate the 10-year probability of a heart attack and sudden cardiac death based on their patients’ risk factors. Long term predictions do not trigger immediate preventive actions. Although some people develop warning symptoms, half of men and two-thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease (CHD) have no previous symptoms. Imagine if we could alert people months, weeks, or even days before a heart attack and trigger immediate preventive actions. The Idea: Use machine learning to create new algorithms to detect who will experience a CHD event within a year (The Vulnerable Patient). Algorithms will be based on banked biospecimen and information collected days up to 12 months prior to the event. We will utilize existing cohorts such as MESA, Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study, Framingham Heart Study, BioImage Study and the Dallas Heart Study. External validation to test for discrimination and calibration will be conducted using other longitudinal observational studies that provide adjudicated cardiovascular event information such as the MiHeart, JHS, DANRISK and ROBINSCA. Additionally, we will use machine learning to characterize individuals who, despite high conventional risk, have lived over 80 years with no CHD events (The Invulnerable ). We expect to discover new targets for drug and possibly vaccine development. We will make the algorithms available as an open source tool to collect additional data over time and increase its predictive value. Organizers: SHAPE as the originating and organizing center for the entire project, recruiting new studies and biobanks, conducting workshops with researchers from each study, fundraising, creating an open source platform community for future enhancement and collaborations. Stanford as the coordinating center for collecting data and samples, and basic science labs. Mount Sinai as the data review and publication center. Machine Learning Lab to be decided, either Google, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Amazon or wherever we find a strong industry partner or sponsor. Director, Cardiac Computed Tomography, Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Division of Cardiology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Imagine the new machine learning Vulnerable Patient detection algorithm (heart attack forecaster) is created and validated. If studies confirm the algorithm is able to detect the Vulnerable Patient with 50% or more certainty. In other words, 1 out of 2 patients classified as Vulnerable Patient goes to have an ASCVD event in the following 12 months. Now the questions are: A) What preventive actions would you take if your asymptomatic patient tested positive as a Vulnerable Patient? B) What preventive actions would you take if the patient was you?! (This question is meant to circumvent regulatory and financial limitations that may apply to your patients but may not hold you back). Moderators will invite comments from all participants in the meeting. Invited Key Opinion Leaders (Alphabetic Order) Arthur Agatston, M.D. Founder of South Beach Diet, Director of Wellness at Baptist Hospital and Professor of Medicine at University of Miami, FL Daniel Berman, M.D. Professor of Medicine at UCLA, Director of Cardiac Imaging and Nuclear Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Clinical Research, Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD Mathew Budoff, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Director of Preventive Cardiology, UCLA Harbor, Los Angeles, CA Adolfo Correa, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Science Officer, Jackson Heart Study, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS Rahul Deo, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA Raimund Erbel, M.D. Professor of Medicine, Chief of Cardiology and Director of West German Heart Centre, University Essen, Germany Sergio Fazio, M.D., Ph.D. Chair of Preventive Cardiology and Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR Zahi Fayad, M.D. Professor of Radiology and Medicine (Cardiology), Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY Philip Greenland, M.D., Professor of Cardiology, Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Center for Population Health Sciences, Chicago, IL Robert Harrington, M.D. Chair of the Department of Medicine, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA Harvey Hecht, M.D., Director of Cardiac CT Imaging Laboratory, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Ph.D. Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D. Professor of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX Stanley Kleis, Ph.D. Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX Tatiana Kuznetsova, M.D. Professor and Director, Hypertension and Cardiovascular Epidemiology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium Daniel Levy, M.D. Director of Framingham Heart Study, and Intramural Investigator, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD Roxana Mehran, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Director of Interventional Clinical Trials, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY Ralph Metcalfe, Ph.D. Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX Susanne Moebus, Ph.D., M.P.H. Biologist & Epidemiologist, Head of the Centre for Urban Epidemiology, University Essen, Germany Morteza Naghavi, M.D. Founder and Executive Chairman of the SHAPE Task Force, President of MEDITEX, Houston, TX Tasneem Z. Naqvi, M.D. Professor of Medicine and Director of Echocardiography, College of Medicine, May Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ Jagat Narula, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Dean for Global Affairs, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine, New York, NY Ulla Roggenbuck, Ph.D. Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, Germany Henrik Sillesen, M.D. Professor and Head of Dept. of Vascular Surgery, Rigs Hospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Robert Superko, M.D. Professor of Medicine and President at Cholesterol, Genetics, and Heart Disease Institute, Carmel, CA Pierre-Jean Touboul, M.D. Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology and Stroke Center, AP-HP Bichat University Hospital, Neurology and Stroke Center, Paris, France Nathan Wong, M.P.H., Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology and Director, Heart Disease Prevention Program, University of California, Irvine, CA Symposium Registration http://shapesociety.org/the-first-machine-learning-heart-attack-forecast-symposium/ About SHAPE The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) is a non-profit organization that promotes education and research related to prevention, detection, and treatment of heart attacks. SHAPE is committed to raising public awareness about revolutionary discoveries that are opening exciting avenues that can lead to the eradication of heart attacks. SHAPE's mission is to eradicate heart attacks in the 21st century. SHAPE has recently embarked on “Machine Learning Heart Attack Forecast System (Vulnerable Patient Project)” Project which is a collaborative effort between world’s leading cardiovascular researchers to develop a new Heart Attack Forecast System empowered by artificial intelligence. Additional information on this innovative project will be announced soon. To learn more about SHAPE visit http://www.shapesociety.org. Contact information: 1-877-SHAPE11 and info(at)shapesociety(dot)org. Learn more about the Vulnerable Patient http://shapesociety.org/the-first-machine-learning-heart-attack-forecast-symposium About SHAPE Task Force The SHAPE Task Force, an international group of leading cardiovascular physicians and researchers, has created the SHAPE Guidelines, which educates physicians on how to identify asymptomatic atherosclerosis (hidden plaques) and implement proper therapies to prevent a future heart attack. According to the SHAPE Guidelines, men 45-75 and women 55-75 need to be tested for hidden plaques in coronary or carotid arteries. Individuals with high risk atherosclerosis (high plaque score) should be treated even if their cholesterol level is within statistical “normal range.” If they have plaques, the so-called normal is not normal for them. The higher the amount of plaque burden in the arteries the higher the risk and the more vulnerable to heart attack. SHAPE Guideline aims to identify the asymptomatic “Vulnerable Patient” and offer them intensive preventive therapy to prevent a future heart attack. Knowing one's plaque score can be a matter of life and death. The SHAPE Task Force includes the following: Click below to learn about SHAPE Centers of Excellence http://shapesociety.org/centers-of-excellence/ Drs Naghavi, PK Shah, Daniel Berman, and Mathew Budoff members of the SHAPE Task Force explain how hospitals and community clinics can become a SHAPE Center of Excellence and establish themselves a leader in preventive health.
News Article | November 20, 2016
Dr. Sachin M. Shridharani, premier plastic surgeon of New York, New York has joined the prestigious Haute Beauty network. The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated with luxury lifestyle publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Sachin M. Shridharani as a prominent cosmetic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. Dr. Sachin M. Shridharani, a Johns Hopkins trained Plastic Surgeon based in New York City focusing on aesthetic/cosmetic surgery and complex reconstruction. Dr. Shridharani will share his skill and expert opinion with the Haute Beauty and Haute Living subscribers, educating readers on his industry and providing exciting and relevant news, tips, trends and insight relating to his specialties. Attended one of the few Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine (MD) accelerated track programs in the country. After graduating with honors and at the top of his class at the combined BA/MD program at the University of Missouri where he obtained his undergraduate degree (BA) and doctor of medicine (MD) with honors in an accelerated 6 year program straight out of high school, he was accepted into the esteemed Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland Integrated Residency Program in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery where he trained and served as Chief Resident under leaders in the field of Plastic, Reconstructive, Aesthetic, Craniomaxillofacial, and Hand Surgery. The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been ranked by US News and World Reports as the #1 hospital in America for 23 years. He went on to complete an Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the prestigious Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City where he focused exclusively on cosmetic surgery procedures and injectables like Botox and fillers. Dr. Shridharani has experience in developing 501(c)(3) non-profit medical organizations and was featured on the ABC TV show “Hopkins.” Furthermore, he has co-authored nearly 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in some of the most well respected medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has presented this research work at several national plastic surgery conferences throughout the United States. These innovative research interests have earned him many awards including the coveted Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland Plastic Surgery Resident Research Award, American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) Senior Resident Conference Best Aesthetic Paper Award, and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) Gaspar W Anastasi Award for Best Research Presentation. In addition Dr. Shridharani was awarded the prestigious Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland Plastic Surgery Residency Program Teaching Award for commitment to medical student and resident education. Furthermore, he has written a media-reviewed children’s book for children suffering from cleft lip and palate deformities and the family members who take care of them. Dr. Shridharani continues to develop his interests in aesthetic/cosmetic surgery pertaining to the face, breast, abdomen, and body contouring. These procedures include (but are not limited to): facelift (rhytidectomy), rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), tummy-tuck (abdominoplasty), mini-tummy tuck, “mommy-makeover surgery,” liposuction, fat grafting/transfer, botox, and dermal fillers. He is fully committed to treating each patient with the latest and safest personalized plastic surgery care in order to meet his patient’s goals and create beautiful natural results with concierge attention.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Becker’s Hospital Review to host the 8th Annual Meeting April 17-20, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency, Chicago, Illinois This event will feature 230+ Health System Executive Speakers including: CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale New Haven Hospital, Marna Borgstrom, MPH President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, Delos M. Cosgrove, MD President and CEO of Northwell Health, Michael J. Dowling President and CEO of Providence Health & Services, Rodney F. Hochman, MD President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Redonda Miller, MD, MBA CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, John Jay Shannon, MD President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Services, Johnese Spisso, MPA 38th Governor of California and Cultrual Icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger Comedian and Former Host, The Tonight Show, Jay Leno -View the Entire Agenda Here- 2,500+ Attendees from Hospitals and Health Systems Across the Nation Great topics and speakers focused on strategy, heath system alignment and growth, physician integration, improving profitability, ACOs & key specialties. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Abbott Nutrition Allscripts American Well AnalyticsMD athenahealth Biomerieux BIPI EmCare Emerus GE Healthcare Integrated Healthcare Strategies Intel Mallinckrodt McKesson Medical Surgical McKesson Technology Solutions Medecision Medline Medtronic Nuance OptionCare Prism Healthcare Partners Regent Sodexo Sunquest Information Systems Surgical Directions Surgical Theater Syncera TD Bank TriscendNP True Health Diagnostics VMG VMware Willis Towers Watson Yext Zotec
News Article | February 28, 2017
SAN CARLOS, Calif. & BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) and BioCardia, Inc. (OTC:BCDA) today announced that the first patient has been treated in the pivotal Phase III CardiAMP® clinical trial of a cell-based therapy for the treatment of ischemic heart failure that develops after a heart attack. The first patient was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital by a team led by Peter Johnston, MD, a faculty member in the Department of Medicine and Division of Cardiology, and principal investigator of the trial at Johns Hopkins. The investigational CardiAMP therapy is designed to deliver a high dose of a patient’s own bone marrow cells directly to the point of cardiac dysfunction, potentially stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanism after a heart attack. The patient experience with CardiAMP therapy begins with a pre-procedural cell potency screening test. If a patient qualifies for therapy, they are scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration. A point of care cell processing platform is then utilized to concentrate the autologous bone marrow cells, which are subsequently delivered in a minimally-invasive procedure directly to the damaged regions in a patient’s heart. “This cell-based therapy offers great potential for heart failure patients,” said Carl Pepine, MD, professor and former chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville and national co-principal investigator of the CardiAMP trial. “We look forward to validating the impact of the therapy on patients’ quality of life and functional capacity in this important study.” In addition to Dr. Johnston, the CardiAMP research team at Johns Hopkins includes Gary Gerstenblith, MD, Jeffrey Brinker, MD, Ivan Borrello, MD, Judi Willhide, Katherine Laws, Audrey Dudek, Michele Fisher and John Texter, as well as the nurses and technicians of the Johns Hopkins Cardiovascular Interventional Laboratory. “Funding the clinical trial of this cell therapy, which could be the first cardiac cell therapy approved in the United States, is an important step towards treatments,” said Dan Gincel, PhD., executive director of the MSCRF at TEDCO. “Through our clinical program, we are advancing cures and improving healthcare in the State of Maryland.” The CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial is a phase III, multi-center, randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled study of up to 260 patients at up to 40 centers nationwide, which includes an optional 10-patient roll-in cohort. The primary endpoint for the trial is a significant improvement in Six Minute Walk distance at 12 months’ post-treatment. Study subjects must be diagnosed with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or III heart failure as a result of a previous heart attack. The national co-principal investigators are Dr. Pepine and Amish Raval, MD, of the University of Wisconsin. For information about eligibility or enrollment in the trial, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov or ask your cardiologist. About BioCardia® BioCardia, Inc., headquartered in San Carlos, CA, is developing regenerative biologic therapies to treat cardiovascular disease. CardiAMP® and CardiALLO® cell therapies are the company’s biotherapeutic product candidates in clinical development. For more information, visit www.BioCardia.com. About Johns Hopkins Medicine Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the leading health care systems in the United States. Johns Hopkins Medicine unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. For more information, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org. About Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund The Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 was established by the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly during the 2006 legislative session and created the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. This fund is continued through an appropriation in the Governor's annual budget. The purpose of the Fund is to promote state-funded stem cell research and cures through grants and loans to public and private entities in the State. For more information, visit www.MSCRF.org. Forward Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, references to the enrollment of our Phase 3 trial, commercialization and efficacy of our products and therapies, the product development timelines of our competitors. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with developing new products or technologies, unexpected expenditures, the ability to raise the additional funding needed to continue to pursue BioCardia’s business and product development plans, competition in the industry in which BioCardia operates and overall market conditions, and whether the combined funds will support BioCardia’s operations and enable BioCardia to advance its pivotal Phase 3 CardiAMP cell therapy program. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and BioCardia assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements.
News Article | February 27, 2017
In a small phase I and II clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues elsewhere found that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet was a safe and effective treatment option for the majority of adults experiencing a relatively rare, often fatal and always severe form of epilepsy marked by prolonged seizures that require medically induced comas to prevent them from further damaging the body and the brain. In a report on the trials, published online Feb. 8 in Neurology, the investigators conclude that the diet is a "feasible" option for people with so-called super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE), the most severe seizure classification, in which up to an estimated 60 percent of patients die once they develop this type of seizure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5 million people in the U.S. have a seizure disorder. More than 150,000 people in the U.S. each year will develop refractory status epilepticus and, according to published studies, about half of those will develop super-refractory seizures. "From our past research, we know the ketogenic diet is effective in approximately one-third of adults with epilepsy who are resistant to traditional anti-seizure drugs," says Mackenzie C. Cervenka, M.D., associate professor of neurology and director of the Adult Epilepsy Diet Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "Because there isn't a standard treatment for super-refractory status epilepticus and those patients diagnosed have such a high death and disability rate, we decided we had to try something different to treat them and test its safety and value." For the study, the research team recruited 15 patients hospitalized with super-refractory status epilepticus at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The patients ranged in age from 18 to 82. Five were men, and six had a previous history of some form of epilepsy prior to developing super-refractory seizures. Super-refractory status epilepticus can occur in people who already have a seizure disorder or in those without such a history. Nine participants were white, four were African-American, one was Asian and one was native Hawaiian. In general, after a patient has experienced 24 hours in a seizure and there have been multiple failed attempts to stop it with drugs, physicians will use general anesthetics to put a patient in a coma to protect the muscles, kidneys and brain from damage -- common side effects of prolonged seizure episodes. After 24 hours, the patient is awakened to see if the seizures return. If so, then the seizures are considered super-refractory. Then, the physician will put the patient back in a coma and continue to try other medications, but there is no standard treatment protocol at this point. Patients in the research population had taken an average of eight anti-seizure medications before physicians introduced a commercially prepared ketogenic diet. The diet contained a nutrient liquid composed of four parts fat to one part carbohydrates and protein combined in grams. Each patient received the diet through a feeding tube over 72 hours, with their calorie needs calculated based on weight, while in a medically induced coma. After 72 hours on the diet, the physicians tapered off their anesthesia to see if the seizures had stopped. If the seizures did not return at this point, patients continued with the diet for several days until they could eat on their own, at which time they were switched to a modified Atkins diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates as well. If a patient's seizures continued, he or she was kept on the feeding tube ketogenic diet, but additional anti-seizure medications were given as well. The rationale for the high-fat ketogenic diet, popularized by neurologists at Johns Hopkins over the past 30 years, is based on the fact that it accelerates the body's metabolism of fats, similar to fasting, which appears to alter the excitability of nerve cells in the brain. When most of a person's calories or energy come from fat, the body accumulates metabolic breakdown products known as ketone bodies. Ketones are easily measured in the blood and urine. After two days, all patients had detectible levels of ketones, showing that they were metabolizing fat -- rather than carbohydrates or proteins -- for cellular energy. One patient among the 15 was taken off the diet when family members requested to withdraw care and died. In 11 of the remaining 14, or 79 percent, who completed the full course of the ketogenic diet, super-refractory seizures stopped, with eight recovering within a week after the episode started. Five patients in the study died, including the one taken off the diet when the family requested withdrawal of care. Three of those who died weren't helped by the ketogenic diet, and the diet was stopped when they developed dangerous acid levels despite treatment with bicarbonate, the standard and best therapy for acidosis in this situation. The fifth patient improved with the ketogenic diet while hospitalized, but the diet was discontinued during rehabilitation in another facility. The super-refractory status epilepticus recurred and was treated anew with the ketogenic diet, but the patient succumbed to a heart attack not likely related to the diet, according to an independent panel. Ten of the 15 patients experienced adverse effects of the diet, which included constipation, weight loss, low blood sugar, high cholesterol in the blood and low sodium levels in the blood. Altogether, six of the 11 patients who completed the ketogenic diet course in the hospital eventually switched to a modified Atkins diet, which is easier to follow than the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet requires precise weighing and measurements of food and can be hard to maintain, says Cervenka. The modified Atkins diet limits patients to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day (not including fiber) and allows liberal amounts of fat. At the six-month follow-up for these 11 patients, four were still on the modified Atkins diet. Two patients who remained seizure-free tapered off the diet because they found it difficult to follow. Two patients reported their seizures reduced by more than 50 percent, two had ongoing seizures, one had experienced a single seizure and none experienced return of status epilepticus. The researchers caution that much further research will be need to support the idea that the ketogenic diet should be widely used in those with this severe form of epilepsy. "We can only state that it appears to work in some patients to halt status epilepticus and reduces the frequency of their seizures," says Cervenka. The researchers plan to carry out phase III randomized controlled clinical trials to determine the actual rate of effectiveness by comparing those treated with the ketogenic diet to a group tube-fed a normal, nonketogenic diet. "What we can say is that the ketogenic diet is promising for at least a subset of patients. Any safe means we have of getting patients off of anesthesia and out of a coma quickly will be welcome," says Cervenka. Additional authors on the study include Bobbie Henry-Barron, Eric Kossoff, Adam Hartman, John Probasco, David Benavides, Arun Venkatesan, Batya Radzik, Marie Depew, Filissa Caserta, Paul Nyquist, Romergryko Geocadin and Peter Kaplin of Johns Hopkins Medicine; Sara Hocker of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; Matthew Koenig, Eliza Hagen, Denise Dittrich and Tracy Stern of the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu; and Barak Bar of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The study was funded by philanthropic gifts from Chris Garrod, Dawn Griffiths and the Carson Harris Foundation. Cervenka receives grants from Nutricia and Vitaflo, and honoraria from the Neurology Center and LivaNova. Hocker consults for SAGE Therapeutics. Henry-Barron receives grants from Nutricia and Vitaflo. Kossoff received a grant from Nutricia and consults for Atkins Nutritionals Inc. Hartman receives royalties from Wiley, LWW and Taylor & Francis, and has a patent pending for a new therapeutic molecule for seizure treatment. Benavides receives funding from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Geocadin receives a grants from KeyTech Inc.
News Article | December 9, 2016
The PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference will be hosted Dec. 10, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, offering local frontline clinicians the opportunity to obtain continuing education (CME/CE) in the field of pain management. The demand for supplemental training related to pain management has surged dramatically in recent years, with topics ranging from discerning the rapidly evolving regulatory environment to improving skills in areas such as medication risk evaluation and mitigation, pain assessment and diagnosis, and the delivery of individualized multimodal treatment. “The problem of pain is growing. Current strategies are falling short,” said Michael R. Clark, MD, MPH, MBA of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Now is the time to expand our skill sets to create more sophisticated solutions for every one of our patients.” Following the success of the annual PAINWeek National Conference hosted in September in Las Vegas, local area clinicians and allied healthcare practitioners involved in managing acute and chronic pain have access to this important training through the PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference series, provided by Global Education Group, a division of Ultimate Medical Academy. The full-day program in Santa Clara will provide busy clinicians and allied healthcare practitioners with six hours of relevant, practical instruction in the management of chronic pain, with course topics such as “When Acute Pain Becomes Chronic” and “Assessing and Managing Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain.” By attending PAINWeekEnd Santa Clara, participants can receive up to 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ to apply toward their State of California re-licensing requirement of 50 hours of CME every two years. PAINWeekEnd Santa Clara is also certified for 6.0 ANCC, AANP, and ACPE credits for nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists. For additional information about PAINWeekEnd and to view the complete agenda, visit painweekend.org. About Global Education Group Global Education Group (Global) focuses on producing partnership-based CME/CE for healthcare practitioners. The Global team works with a select group of medical education companies, associations, academic institutions and healthcare facilities to develop and accredit live healthcare conferences and workshops as well as online activities. With each partnership or joint providership, Global brings accreditation expertise, project management excellence and grant funding intelligence. Based in Littleton, Colorado, Global is accredited by the ACCME, ANCC, ACPE, AANP, AND CDR, ADA, and APA. Global is a division of Ultimate Medical Academy, a nonprofit healthcare school institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.
News Article | December 2, 2016
The PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference will be hosted Dec. 3, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa in Honolulu, offering local frontline clinicians the opportunity to extend their certified continuing medical education (CME) in the field of pain management. The demand for supplemental training related to pain management has surged dramatically in recent years, with topics ranging from discerning the rapidly evolving regulatory environment to improving skills in areas such as medication risk evaluation and mitigation, pain assessment and diagnosis, and the delivery of individualized multimodal treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in Hawaii there was an 83 percent increase in drug overdose deaths from 2006 to 2014, a growth rate more than double the national average of 37 percent. “The problem of pain is growing. Current strategies are falling short,” said Michael R. Clark, MD, MPH, MBA of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “Now is the time to expand our skill sets to create more sophisticated solutions for every one of our patients.” Following the success of the annual PAINWeek National Conference hosted in September in Las Vegas, local area clinicians and allied healthcare practitioners involved in managing acute and chronic pain have access to this important training through the PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference series, provided by Global Education Group, a division of Ultimate Medical Academy. The full-day program in Honolulu will provide busy clinicians and allied healthcare practitioners with six hours of relevant, practical instruction in the management of chronic pain, with course topics such as “Minimizing Pills and Maximizing Skills: Achieving Successful Opioid Cessation in Chronic Pain” and “Embrace 2016 Practice Changes and Patient Education: Overview of Critical Pain Management Practice Issues.” By attending PAINWeekEnd Honolulu, participants can receive up to 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ to apply toward their State of Hawaii re-licensing requirement of 40 hours of CME every two years. PAINWeekEnd Honolulu is also certified for 6.0 ANCC, AANP, and ACPE credits for nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists. About Global Education Group Global Education Group (Global) focuses on producing partnership-based CME/CE for healthcare practitioners. The Global team works with a select group of medical education companies, associations, academic institutions and healthcare facilities to develop and accredit live healthcare conferences and workshops as well as online activities. With each partnership or joint providership, Global brings accreditation expertise, project management excellence and grant funding intelligence. Based in Littleton, Colorado, Global is accredited by the ACCME, ANCC, ACPE, AANP, AND CDR, ADA, and APA. Global is a division of Ultimate Medical Academy, a nonprofit healthcare school institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. For additional information about PAINWeekEnd and to view the complete agenda, visit painweekend.org.
News Article | December 7, 2016
In what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept study of its kind, Johns Hopkins researchers have determined that large bags of blood products, such as those transfused into patients every day, can maintain temperature and cellular integrity while transported by drones. In a report about the findings, published ahead of print in the journal Transfusion in November, the investigators say the findings add to evidence that remotely piloted drones are an effective, safe and timely way to quickly get blood products to remote accident or natural catastrophe sites, or other time-sensitive destinations. "For rural areas that lack access to nearby clinics, or that may lack the infrastructure for collecting blood products or transporting them on their own, drones can provide that access," says Timothy Amukele, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the paper's first author. Drones also can help in urban centers like Baltimore City to improve distribution of blood products and the quality of care, he says. The Johns Hopkins team previously studied the impact of drone transportation on the chemical, hematological and microbial makeup of drone-flown blood samples and found that none were negatively affected. The new study examines the effects of drone transportation on larger amounts of blood products used for transfusion, which have significantly more complex handling, transport and storage requirements compared to blood samples for laboratory testing. For the study, the team purchased six units of red blood cells, six units of platelets and six units of unthawed plasma from the American Red Cross, and then packed the units into a 5-quart cooler two to three units at a time, in keeping with weight restrictions for the transport drone. The cooler was then attached to a commercial S900-model drone. This particular drone model comes equipped with a camera mount, which the team removed and replaced with the cooler. For each test, the drone was flown by remote control a distance of approximately 13 to 20 kilometers (8 to 12 miles) while 100 meters (328 feet) above ground. This flight took up to 26.5 minutes. The team designed the test to maintain temperature for the red blood cells, platelets and plasma units. They used wet ice, pre-calibrated thermal packs and dry ice for each type of blood product, respectively. Temperature monitoring was constant, keeping with transport and storage requirements for blood components. The team conducted the tests in an unpopulated area, and a certified, ground-based pilot flew the drone. Following flight, all samples were transported to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where Amukele's team used the institution's laboratories to centrifuge the units of red blood cells and check them for red blood cell damage. They checked the platelets for changes in pH as well as the number of platelets and the plasma units for evidence of air bubbles, which would indicate thawing. The team plans further and larger studies in the U.S. and overseas, and hopes to test methods of active cooling, such as programming a cooler to maintain a specific temperature. "My vision is that in the future, when a first responder arrives to the scene of an accident, he or she can test the victim's blood type right on the spot and send for a drone to bring the correct blood product," says Amukele.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Natural Transplants, Hair Restoration Clinic, is delighted to announce that Dr. Thomas Huebner has joined and been appointed Senior Physician at the Maryland Hair Transplant Surgery Facility. “We are extremely excited about Dr. Tom Huebner joining our team here at Natural Transplants. He completed extensive training in the hair restoration field and will be very successful and prominent figure in the hair transplant industry. I am not only proud to call him my brother but also a trusted colleague as well,” said Dr. Matt Huebner, Chief Medical Director of Natural Transplants. Dr. Thomas Huebner is a board-certified physician specializing in hair transplant surgery and diagnostic histopathology, including histopathologic classification of alopecia. He completed undergraduate training in Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland at College Park in 2005 prior to attending Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, where he received his Medical Doctorate (M.D.) degree in 2009. After medical school, Dr. Huebner completed 4 years of residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, with distinction as Chief Resident, at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Following residency, he spent 2 years completing intensive fellowship training programs in surgical pathology and gastrointestinal and pancreatobiliary pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Tom Huebner continues to be a practicing pathologist in the Washington DC Metro Area. A video background on Dr. Tom Huebner, hair transplant surgeon, is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pULoQIXYyfo Dr. Thomas Huebner, said, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining the already outstanding team of hair doctors at Natural Transplants. Having trained under the direction of Dr. Matthew Huebner, we are primed to provide the same high-quality results and deliver top-notch patient-first care at our Bethesda, Maryland Hair Transplant Surgery Facility.” To schedule a free hair restoration consultation with Dr. Tom Huebner call 844-327-HAIR (4247) or visit https://naturaltransplants.com/. About Natural Transplants Hair Restoration Clinic: Here at Natural Transplants, you’ll find the reason we have such happy patients is because of our patient-first philosophy. Not only do we believe in building honest relationships at our hair clinics, we approach hair transplantation by focusing on three specific factors: our hair implant techniques, patient care during hair loss treatment and competitive hair transplant costs. We believe that the process of hair loss treatment should be simple and easy-to-conceptualize while yielding world-class results with our High-Yield Unit Extraction℠ Method. Let us show you why we are different and the ONLY choice for your hair transplant surgery. We will ensure that your day is easy, relaxing and enjoyable. But don’t just take it from us—talk with our many happy hair transplant clients. Let us show you our Natural Solutions and Proven Results. Call 844-327-HAIR (4247) or visit https://naturaltransplants.com/ for more information.