Ohio State Navbar

Sign In

Archives

June 2019 (3)
May 2019 (6)
April 2019 (7)
March 2019 (6)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (7)
December 2018 (1)
November 2018 (1)
August 2018 (1)
June 2018 (1)
May 2018 (1)
February 2018 (1)
December 2017 (1)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (4)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (1)
March 2017 (6)
January 2017 (1)
December 2016 (1)
November 2016 (3)
October 2016 (3)
September 2016 (1)
August 2016 (4)
July 2016 (5)
June 2016 (9)
May 2016 (8)
March 2016 (2)
February 2016 (4)
December 2015 (4)
November 2015 (3)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (4)
July 2015 (7)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (7)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (2)
February 2015 (2)
January 2015 (2)
December 2014 (3)
November 2014 (8)
October 2014 (7)
September 2014 (3)
August 2014 (7)
July 2014 (4)
June 2014 (3)
May 2014 (1)
April 2014 (3)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (1)
December 2013 (6)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (1)
September 2013 (1)
August 2013 (9)
July 2013 (1)
June 2013 (9)
May 2013 (14)
April 2013 (13)
March 2013 (9)
February 2013 (8)
January 2013 (6)
December 2012 (7)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (9)
September 2012 (6)
August 2012 (12)
July 2012 (6)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (14)
April 2012 (7)
March 2012 (4)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (8)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (7)
October 2011 (9)
September 2011 (5)
August 2011 (3)
July 2011 (8)
June 2011 (1)
May 2011 (10)
April 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (9)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (3)
September 2010 (4)
August 2010 (6)
July 2010 (6)
June 2010 (6)
May 2010 (1)
April 2010 (3)
February 2010 (3)
January 2010 (2)
December 2009 (3)
September 2009 (6)
August 2009 (1)
July 2009 (2)

Categories


RSS Feed College of Medicine News


Unlocking Mysteries of Brain and Spine 

 

NeuroNeuroSxOS.jpgThe Ohio State University College of Medicine is again leading the way. The following story illustrates how Neurology and Neurosurgery, ranked 22nd nationally, demonstrate the shared value of Determination to lead the way in the neuroscience specialties.

The human brain has been described as the most complex structure in the universe. Working in concert with the spinal cord, it has more than 100 billion nerve cells and a quadrillion synapses relaying messages.

Tackling the mysteries of the brain and spinal cord is a daunting task. Yet, the physicians and scientists of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center's Neurological Institute exhibit extraordinary determination in unlocking knowledge to help people with neurological diseases such as brain tumors and Alzheimer's disease.

"It all comes down to the individual patients we diagnose and treat," says Doug Scharre, MD, interim chair for the Department of Neurology and co-director of the Neurological Institute. "We see them suffering. We're passionate about helping them and improving their lives. It's what drives the clinician, educator and scientist in us."

He notes that work on the human brain requires not only determination but also a great deal of collaboration among neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroscientists.

Improving Decision-Making in an Alzheimer's Patient

Dr. Scharre describes a recent study The Ohio State College of Medicine in which a neurosurgeon implanted electrodes into the frontal cortex of Alzheimer's patients' brains, and neurologists programmed a pacemaker to deliver deep brain stimulation. Their goal was to help restore patients' basic decision-making functions.

"At the end of our two-year study, two of three people in the study showed statistical improvement," he says. "One patient was able to plan an outing and handle money, make plans for an event and cook a simple meal. These may seem like minor improvements, but if the patient can't do it, the caregiver has to do it. After four years, the family still sees value in the stimulator."

Although the natural disease progression continues, the family has gained valuable time with their beloved family member.

Dr. Scharre continues, "It took great determination, but we were able to complete the study, publish it and inform others in the academic community."

He says it takes physicians, laboratory researchers, research coordinators, social workers, nurses, willing patients and many others to discover new treatments and cures.

The spirit of innovation and determination of Neurology and Neurosurgery teams is evident in many other pursuits throughout the Neurological Institute.

Developing New Treatment for People with a Deadly Inherited Disorder

Researchers at Ohio State College of Medicine have determinedly worked for years on a new drug called Spinraza®, which can help children, adults and infants with an inherited condition called spinal muscular atrophy. The disease causes loss of muscle tone, which leads to an inability to walk, eat and even breathe. In infants, it's the leading genetic cause of death.

For people with the disorder, a gene mutation causes lack of a protein that's essential for nerves to control muscle movement. Spinraza helps the body produce the necessary protein.

"We're taking this disease that has been a death sentence and changing the conversation," says Russell Lonser, MD, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery and co-director of the Neurological Institute. "The medicine has been available for about a year and is having fabulous results."

Dr. Lonser sees gene therapy as an area that has been 15 years in the making and is now starting to demonstrate its potential. In simplest terms, gene therapy is designed to reduce harmful substances in the brain and spinal cord or replace something that's missing.

"Our determination is focused on reducing the burden of neurological disease and treating the untreatable," he says. "We help make this happen by bringing in the best people in the country to do this work."

More Breakthroughs to Come

Both Dr. Scharre and Dr. Lonser anticipate relentless pursuit of answers surrounding devastating conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, addiction, pain and spinal cord injury.

As Dr. Lonser concludes, "It's an exciting time to be working in the neurosciences. We're trying to accomplish new first-in-human trials to improve lives of patients with neurologic disease. We're bringing experts together to make things happen. Moving forward, we think we're going to be first in the world."

This is part of a series describing how Ohio State employees are leading the way by embodying the Buckeye Spirit in everything they do through shared values of determination, innovation, inclusiveness, empathy, sincerity and ownership.

 

Posted on 12-Apr-19 by Jarvis, Blake
Tags: Research, Patient Care, Technology
 
Trackback Url  |  Link to this post | Bookmark this post with: