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Beirut, Lebanon

Saint Joseph University is a private Catholic research university in Beirut, Lebanon, founded in 1875 by the Jesuits. It ranks as the best to second best university in Lebanon, subsequently among the top academic institutions in all of the Middle East. Its alumni include numerous Lebanese presidents, ministers, philosophers, intellectuals, clerics and beyond. As Lebanon's oldest and main French medium university, while promoting Lebanese culture, admission openly disregards any ethno-religious affiliations, encouraging trilingualism of French, Arabic and English. Additionally, it is known for its university hospital, Hôtel-Dieu de France.The 12,000 students enrollment is organised with 1873 academic staff and 500 personnel distributed in 12 faculties, 24 institutes and schools across 5 campuses in Beirut, with regional university centres in Sidon, Tripoli and Zahlé, as well as one foreign situated in Dubai. The university is the only one in the Middle East to adhere to the European ECTS university academic credits system, yet officially recognised by and in accord with the higher education law of Lebanon. It maintains some 150 various international agreements. Wikipedia.

BACKGROUND:: To determine the anatomical and functional outcomes and possible complications after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with silicone oil (SO) tamponade in primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. METHODS:: This is a prospective observational study. Overall, 62 consecutive patients who underwent surgical repair by PPV and SO injection for primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment between January 01, 2006 and April 30, 2012 were followed. In general, PPV was chosen over scleral buckling when a significant cataract or a vitreous hemorrhage prevented adequate fundus visualization. Silicone oil was chosen over gas tamponade in patients living at 1,000 meters above the sea level, where SF6 or C3F8 tamponade could not be performed because of the risk of acute increase of intraocular pressure (IOP). One thousand centistokes SO was used in all eyes. At all visits, patients had a detailed ocular history and thorough bilateral evaluation, including best-corrected visual acuity, anterior segment examination, and IOP measurements by aplanation and fundus examination. Outcomes were assessed at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and every 6 months thereafter. Increased IOP was defined as an IOP of more than 21 mmHg. RESULTS:: Anatomical success rate, final best-corrected visual acuity, IOP elevation, cataract formation, and other complications were the main outcome measures. This study included 62 eyes of 62 patients (41 men and 21 women) that underwent retinal detachment repair by PPV and SO injection. The age at the time of intervention was 57.6 ± 10.5 years (mean ± standard deviation; range, 34–79 years). All patients were whites. Mean follow-up was 24.5 ± 17.3 months (range, 6–70 months). Anatomical success rate defined as retinal reattachment 6 months after SO removal was 93.5%. Final BCVA was improved in 55 eyes (88.7%), with a mean of 4 Snellen lines, unchanged in 5 (8.1%), and worse in 2 eyes (3.2%), with a mean of 3 Snellen lines. Mean duration of SO tamponade was 5.12 ± 2.37 months (range, 2–12 months). From the 30 eyes that were still phakic after vitrectomy, 24 eyes (80.0%) underwent cataract surgery within a period of 7.37 ± 3.00 months (range, 2–13 months). Thirty-five eyes (56.5%) had an increase in IOP during the follow-up period. Thirty-one patients had transient ocular hypertension requiring topical treatment during the immediate postoperative period (one month). Only 1 eye (2.9%) required filtrating drainage surgery for IOP control. No eyes developed optic neuropathy secondary to IOP elevation. CONCLUSION:: Pars plana vitrectomy with SO injection seems to be a safe and efficient surgical approach in the treatment of primary uncomplicated rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in patients living in high altitude (>1,000 m). Also, PPV and SO injection are associated with good anatomical and functional outcomes in our series. Reattachment rates are high, and rates of proliferative vitreoretinopathy are low. Cataract formation and elevated IOP represent frequent but successfully controlled complications. © 2016 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.

Our aim was to unveil the cortical neural correlates of osseoperception, i.e. the tactile sensation perceived when loading a bone-anchored implant, by taking oral implants as a model. This was performed in a cross-sectional observational study with 9 volunteering patients and 10 age-matched controls. For each patient, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fRMI) recordings were made during punctate mechanical stimulation of either teeth or osseointegrated implants in the maxillary incisor area. During fMRI recordings, 1 Hz punctate tactile stimuli were applied either on a maxillary left central incisor, canine tooth or central incisor implant. A block design paradigm was used to stimulate, in 9 patients, maxillary left central incisor implants (I21-p) and maxillary left canines (T23-p). In 10 control subjects, maxillary left central incisors and canines (T21-c, T23-c) were stimulated. Random effect group analyses were performed for each stimulated site, and differences in cortical activity elicited when loading teeth or implants were examined using ANOVA. As a group, patients activated somatosensory area S2 bilaterally for both I21 and T23, while controls activated S1 and S2 bilaterally for T21 and T23. At an individual level, S1 was activated by 4/9 implants, mainly on the ipsilateral side. The stimulated implants activated a larger bilateral cortical network outside the somatosensory areas: in parietal, frontal and insular lobes, the main clusters being located in the inferior frontal gyri. Stimulation of T23 in patients resulted in an activation pattern intermediate between that of the implants and that of natural teeth. This study demonstrates that punctate mechanical stimulation of oral implants activates both primary and secondary cortical somatosensory areas. It also suggests that brain plasticity occurs when extracted teeth are replaced by endosseous implants. This cortical activation may represent the underlying mechanism of osseoperception.

Rami B.K.,Saint - Joseph University
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias | Year: 2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with no available disease-modifying drugs. However, it has been postulated that neurovascular damage is a primary occurrence in this disease. Neurovascular damage is the result of the presence of cardiovascular risk factor generating hypoxia, oxidative stress, and metabolic changes that activate the endothelial cells of the brain microvasculature in order to respond to the stress by the development of angiogenesis. This endothelial activation could lead to a secretion of many proinflammatory cytokines and growth factors, such as thrombin. Heparin and related oligosaccharides have been shown to be efficient in the improvement of symptoms of AD. Their efficacy may be limited by their nonselective inhibitory effect of thrombin's activity. Direct thrombin inhibitors, such as dabigatran, might be efficient in the treatment of patients with AD because of their high selectivity for thrombin's activity inhibition while having a safer side effects profile than heparin. © The Author(s) 2012.

Megarbane H.,Service de dermatologie | Megarbane A.,Saint - Joseph University
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

The IFAP syndrome is a rare X-linked genetic disorder reported in nearly 40 patients. It is characterized by the triad of Ichthyosis Follicularis, Alopecia, and Photophobia from birth. Other features such as short stature, intellectual disability, and seizures may develop in the first few years of life. Skin histopathology is non-specific and consists of dilated hair follicles with keratin plugs extending above the surface of the skin, decreased or absent sebaceous glands, and decreased desmosomes in number and size. The disorder results from mutations in the MBTPS2 gene that impairs cholesterol homeostasis and the ability to cope with endoplasmic reticulum stress. Follicular hyperkeratosis can be treated using topical keratolytics, emollients and urea preparations. A moderate response to acitretin therapy has been noted in some patients. Intensive lubrication of the ocular surface is essential. Life expectancy in patients with IFAP syndrome can vary from death in the neonatal period to normal surviving. Cardiopulmonary complications remain the major cause of death. © 2011 Mégarbané and Mégarbané; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rizk H.,Saint - Joseph University
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery | Year: 2011

Purpose of review: This review is set to revisit the pathogenesis of aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), the diagnostic method used, and finally the real impact of aspirin desensitization on chronic sinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) in aspirin intolerant patients. Recent findings: In AERD, increased baseline production of cysteinyl-leukotriene (Cys-LT) is associated with upregulation of Cys-LT receptors on nasal inflammatory cells. This is further aggravated by inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 by aspirin and other NSAIDs. New-found genetic markers need further study. Oral aspirin challenge is still the gold standard of diagnosis and can be safely conducted in a specialized outpatient clinic. Oral and endonasal aspirin desensitization show positive impact on CRSwNP course with decreased polyp recurrence, decreased number of hospitalizations, and decreased need for corticosteroids. Modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism and inhibition of intracellular biochemical pathways in key inflammatory cells involving anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 explain the clinical outcomes. Summary: Future studies should focus on establishing the lowest possible dose to maintain disease under check, allowing more widespread use of this underutilized and underrecognized treatment modality. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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