News

Oral health fair for adults with diabetes in tri-county region set for March 19

Event for residents of Bullitt, Henry and Shelby Counties with or at-risk for diabetes

Improving oral health literacy is one goal of a University of Louisville health fair aimed at serving residents of Bullitt, Henry and Shelby Counties who are at-risk for diabetes or have been diagnosed with the disease.

The oral health fair will be held Tuesday, March 19, from 10 a.m.-noon at the UofL School of Dentistry, 501 S. Preston St. University of Louisville dental and nursing school faculty and students will provide oral exams, blood pressure screenings, diabetes risk assessments and oral health education.

Dental care is one of the most unmet health needs in the United States. Oral disease can affect general health, and it can be easy to overlook the implications of poor oral health. Diabetes, for example, can increase the incidence and progression of gum disease; likewise gum disease can affect glucose control in people with diabestes.

UofL is a partner of the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) Diabetes Coalition, which serves residents of Bullitt, Henry and Shelby Counties who are over age 50 and at-risk for Type 2 diabetes.

The tri-county region has been identified as having high incidence of diabetes. The coalition effort is aimed at reducing diabetes-related inequalities in vulnerable populations such as older adults, minorities and low-income residents.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded KIPDA and UofL a five-year grant to help reduce the prevalence of the disease within the three counties.

Tiki Barber selected ‘Official Celebrity Emcee of the 2013 Julep Ball’

Derby Eve event benefits James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL
Tiki Barber selected ‘Official Celebrity Emcee of the 2013 Julep Ball’

Tiki Barber

NFL great Tiki Barber has been selected as an Official Celebrity Emcee of the 2013 Julep Ball, set for Derby Eve, May 3, at the KFC Yum! Center.

Barber co-hosts the daily national morning show "TBD In The AM" on the CBS Sports Radio network. He spent a decade with the New York Football Giants and holds almost every Giants' rushing record – first in total yards, rushing yards and rushing attempts and second in rushing touchdowns.

"I am thrilled to be part of The Julep Ball and lend my support to the fight against cancer being waged in Kentucky at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center," Barber said. "I am looking forward to a great ‘party with a purpose' as The Julep Ball is known."

Fulfilling that purpose is carried out every day at the Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The mission of the cancer center is to generate new knowledge relating to the nature of cancer, and to create new and more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and therapy, while delivering medical advances with compassion and respect to cancer patients throughout the state and region.

In addition to participating with The Julep Ball, Barber also is scheduled to attend the Kentucky Oaks Pink Friday on Friday, May 3 and the 139th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.

At The Julep Ball, Barber will join other local and national business leaders, horse industry professionals and celebrities from sports, music, cinema and television. Entertainment will be provided by the World's Greatest Party Band, the B-52s. The celebrity red carpet entrance will return, as will dancing until the wee hours of Saturday morning following the B-52s concert. Special moments of The Julep Ball again will come when the scientists and patients at the forefront of cancer treatment and delivery are honored and saluted for their efforts.

The event is already more than halfway sold out so party-goers should get their tickets now. The full evening's entertainment is $500 per person while dance-only tickets are $150 per person. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Brown-Forman, Republic National Distribution Company of Kentucky, Power Creative, Kroger, LG&E, Ingrid Design, Raymond E. and Eleanor H. Loyd, Hilliard Lyons, KentuckyOne Health, Tafel Motors, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Advanced Electrical Systems, Montgomery Chevrolet, AT&T Kentucky, BKD, Republic Bank, Stites & Harbison, Heuser Clinic and Publishers Printing. Media partners are Louisville Magazine, NFocus, the Voice-Tribune, WHAS11 and 102.3 The Max.

About Tiki Barber

Barber joins Marshall Faulk and Marcus Allen as the only players in NFL history with at least 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 yards receiving in a career. He retired ranking third all-time in yards per carry with 4.7 and 10th all-time in total yards from scrimmage with 15,632.

Prior to being drafted by the Giants in 1997, Barber excelled both academically and athletically at the University of Virginia. He graduated in from UVa's McIntire School of Commerce with a concentration in management information systems and was named to the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. On the football field, Barber left the Cavaliers as their all-time leading rusher. UVa retired his jersey, No. 21, in 2007.

Barber has been active in media and journalism for most of his professional life. In 1999, he began his broadcasting career working for WFAN radio, which led to stints at WCBS-TV, Sirius Satellite Radio, the YES Network, Fox News, NBC News and Sports and MSNBC. In January 2013, he began his latest media endeavor as co-host of CBS Sports Radio's new national morning show, "TBD In The AM," available on more than 250 stations across the country with in excess of 10 million listeners.

Barber is also an entrepreneur, co-founding Thuzio.com, an e-commerce marketplace that facilitates transactions between local athletes, and other public individuals, with consumers looking to book various experiences.

Active in the community, Barber is a board member of the Fresh Air Fund, the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, the Advisory Board for the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Board of Managers of the University of Virginia Alumni Association. He also is a member of the Leadership Council for the Robin Hood Foundation.

Barber has long been an advocate for the underserved and is a staunch supporter of literacy campaigns. He released his memoir, "Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond," in September 2007. He also has co-authored, with his twin brother, Ronde, three successful children's books and six young-adult novels.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program and the University of Louisville Hospital. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.

University of Louisville researchers sign global licensing agreement

UofL Bucks for Brains researcher delivers for the Commonwealth
University of Louisville researchers sign global licensing agreement

Suzanne Ildstad, M.D., is shown with research coordinator Thomas Miller in her Institute for Cellular Therapeutics lab.

The University of Louisville today announced that researcher Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, representing Regenerex LLC, has entered into a license and research collaboration agreement with Novartis to provide access to stem cell technology that has the potential to help transplant patients avoid taking anti-rejection medicine for life and could serve as a platform for treatment of other diseases.

The University of Louisville and Regenerex LLC announced the research collaboration agreement which will significantly enhance the university’s Institute for Cellular Therapeutics’ ability to carry out cutting edge research related to the Facilitating Cell, a novel cell discovered by Ildstad, a professor of surgery and director of the institute at UofL as well as CEO of Regenerex. Underpinning this collaboration is an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement between Regenerex and Novartis.

Ildstad published results in a March 2012 Science Translational Medicine demonstrating the efficacy of this process, known as Facilitating Cell Therapy, or FCRx which is currently undergoing Phase II trials. Five of eight kidney transplant patients were able to stop taking about a dozen pills a day to suppress their immune systems. It was the first study of its kind where the donor and recipient did not have to be biologically related and did not have to be immunologically matched.

In a standard kidney transplant, the donor agrees to donate a kidney. In the approach being studied, the individual is asked to donate part of their immune system as well. The process begins about one month before the kidney transplant, when bone marrow stem cells are collected from the blood of the kidney donor using a process called apheresis. The donor cells are then processed, where they are enriched for developing “facilitating cells” believed to help transplants succeed. During the same time period, the recipient undergoes pre-transplant “conditioning,” which includes radiation and chemotherapy to suppress the bone marrow so the donor’s stem cells have more space to grow in the recipient’s body.

One day after the kidney is transplanted into the recipient, the donor stem cells engraft in the marrow of the recipient and give rise to other specialized blood cells, like immune cells. The goal is to create an environment where two bone marrow systems co-exist and function in one person. Following transplantation, the recipient takes anti-rejection drugs which are decreased over time with the goal to stop a year after the transplant.

In 1998, Ildstad was one of the first recruits to the University of Louisville under the Commonwealth’s Bucks for Brains initiative, advanced by former Gov. Paul Patton. As the Jewish Hospital Distinguished Chair in Transplantation Research, Ildstad brought a team of 25 families from Philadelphia to join the University of Louisville. In the following years the team has continued to examine the facilitating cell (FCRx) platform technology for the treatment of kidney transplant recipients as well as considering its potential for the treatment of red blood cell disorders, inherited metabolic storage disorders of childhood, and autoimmune disorders.

“Being a transplant recipient is not easy. In order to prevent rejection, current transplant recipients must take multiple pills a day for the rest of their lives. These immunosuppressive medications come with serious side effects with prolonged use including high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, heart disease and cancer, as well as direct damaging effects to the organ transplant,” Ildstad said. “This new approach would potentially offer a better quality of life and fewer health risks for transplant recipients.”

“In 1997, the University of Louisville was given a mandate to become a premier metropolitan research university that transforms the lives of the people of Kentucky and beyond,” said Dr. James Ramsey, president of UofL. “Dr. Ildstad was among the first faculty members hired utilizing seed funds from the state to help us attract highly talented researchers through the Bucks for Brains program. Regenerex demonstrates the potential for that vision to be realized bringing new jobs to the city, adding to the revenue from the Tax Increment Financing district and providing funding to UofL in support of our academic mission.”

The collaboration provides for investments in research, as well as milestones and royalty payments from Regenerex to the University of Louisville in connection with commercialization of the FCRx technology. The therapeutic potential for the technology is wide ranging. The collaboration also involves a sponsored research agreement to support a multi-year collaboration between Regenerex, UofL and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research to pioneer new applications of the technology.

“The ‘holy grail’ of transplantation is immune tolerance, that is making the body recognize a transplanted organ as ‘self’ and not reject it as foreign tissue, but without the need for immunosuppressive drugs with their numerous serious side effects,” said Dr. David L. Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “Dr. Ildstad and her team may well have solved this puzzle.”

Ramsey noted that in addition to the supreme efforts of the research team, it would not have been possible for the work to move forward without the support of the state, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, Jewish Hospital Foundation, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and the National Stem Cell Foundation.

“It is immensely rewarding for our donors to know they helped move potentially life-changing therapies closer to being available for people in need worldwide,” said Paula Grisanti, chair of the National Stem Cell Foundation.

‘Spike It to Cancer’ sand volleyball event benefits cancer center at UofL, Oct. 19

‘Spike It to Cancer’ sand volleyball event benefits cancer center at UofL, Oct. 19

<p align="left">Benefactors of a fund to support patients at the <a href="http://browncancercenter.org">James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville</a> are sponsoring a sand volleyball event to raise money for the fund.</p>
<p align="left">Earlier this year, Alex and Tommy Gift established the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund at the cancer center in honor of their late mother to help patients enjoy life while facing a cancer diagnosis. To benefit the fund, the Gifts are sponsoring “Spike It to Cancer,” a sand volleyball event at Baxter Jack’s sand volleyball complex, 427 Baxter Ave, from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.</p>
<p align="left">Admission is $20 per person and includes appetizers, snacks and soft drinks. Payment by cash, check or credit card will be accepted at the door.</p>
<p>“All proceeds from this event go to the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund that pays for extras provided to patients and caregivers, such as theater tickets or a night out on the town,” Michael Neumann, executive director of development, said. “We invite everyone to get a team together, sponsor a team or come watch the fun while they support a worthy cause.”</p>
<p>For additional details, contact Neumann at 502-562-4642.</p>

Do the bugs in our gut affect our brains?

UofL neurologist Robert Friedland, M.D., shares latest research on microbiota along with a prescription for ‘gene therapy’ in the kitchen at Beer with a Scientist, Feb. 15
Do the bugs in our gut affect our brains?

Gut-brain connection

We all are home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and more, referred to as the microbiota. These organisms evolved along with us, inhabiting various ecological locations in and on our bodies, and are important to our health.

Robert Friedland, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville, has conducted research showing that the microorganisms in the intestines can affect the brain, and may be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He will discuss this research and other valuable insights on microbiota at the next Beer with a Scientist event.

“These partner microbes have more than 100 times more genes than our own DNA. Since they are dependent upon our diet for their nutrition and sustenance, we can substantially alter the microbiota through alteration of food intake, performing a type of ‘gene therapy,’” Friedland said. “We will discuss the role of the microbiota in health and disease and review what people can do to lower their risk of cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases.”

Friedland is a clinical and research neurologist and has researched neurodegenerative diseases and other brain disorders associated with aging for more than 30 years. He is collaborating on research projects with investigators in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Feb. 15, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook. Upcoming dates for events:  March 15. 

UofL health science schools rise in 2018 U.S. News rankings

UofL health science schools rise in 2018 U.S. News rankings

Dean Toni Ganzel: "This ranking is a symbol that shows we continue to be on the right track in meeting the medical needs of our state, nation and world.”

 The University of Louisville School of Medicine and School of Nursing both jumped in U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings for 2018, with the medical school rising to its highest ranking in one category in three years.

The rankings were released March 14 and are available at www.usnews.com/grad.

In the category of “Best Medical Schools-Research,” the UofL medical school ranks 73rd, five points better than 2017 and 10 points better than 2016.

In the category of “Best Medical Schools-Primary Care,” UofL ranks 88th, a four-point drop from last year but still nine points higher than 2016’s ranking of 97th.

The UofL School of Nursing’s “Best Nursing Schools-Master’s” ranking saw a significant increase — 12 points — rising to 76th this year from 88th in 2017. The school ranked 68th in 2016.

Both schools’ leaders attribute the success to hard work by students, faculty and staff, and a shared commitment to improving standards and quality even as the university faces budget cutbacks.

“I am so gratified by this recognition of the effort put forth by everyone at the UofL School of Medicine,” said Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the medical school. “For the past four years, we have made significant investments in upgrading our instructional facilities, enhancing and modernizing our curriculum and strengthening wherever possible our research enterprise. This ranking is a symbol that shows we continue to be on the right track in meeting the medical needs of our state, nation and world.”

“We are thrilled our graduate program is recognized for excellence and rigor,” said School of Nursing Dean Marcia J. Hern, Ed.D., C.N.S., R.N. “Our graduates become nurse leaders who meet evolving health care demands by using evidence-based advanced practice knowledge to improve outcomes of diverse patient populations.”

In addition to medicine and nursing, U.S. News ranks graduate education programs annually in business, education, engineering and law. The magazine also periodically ranks programs in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, the health arena and other areas as identified by academic experts.

The rankings are based on two types of data, according to the magazine’s statement of methodology: expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students.

The chart below shows the U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools” rankings for UofL HSC schools over the past three years:

Category

College

2018 Ranking

2017 Ranking

2016 Ranking

Best Schools of Nursing - Master's

Nursing

76

88

68

Best Medical Schools - Primary Care

Medicine

88

84

97

Best Medical Schools - Research

Medicine

73

78

83

Prepared by the UofL  Office of Institutional Research & Planning

Rasheda Ali joins the fight to knock out Parkinson’s disease

Ali to be featured speaker at Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease, June 9
Rasheda Ali joins the fight to knock out Parkinson’s disease

Rasheda Ali

Rasheda Ali has made it her mission to help people better understand and manage Parkinson’s disease, a condition her father, Muhammad Ali, battled for more than 30 years. Rasheda Ali will be the featured speaker at Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease, a special event at the Muhammad Ali Center, Friday, June 9, organized to raise awareness of the disease and the most advanced treatments available.

The event begins at 5 p.m. Following Rasheda Ali’s talk and a buffet dinner, medical experts in Parkinson’s disease from University of Louisville Physicians will discuss the treatment and management of Parkinson’s disease.

“We want to make sure everyone with Parkinson’s disease has access to the best treatments available,” said Kathrin LaFaver, M.D., director of the UofL Physicians Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center and Raymond Lee Lebby Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research in the UofL School of Medicine. “We are dedicated to helping each Parkinson’s patient achieve the best quality of life regardless of race or socioeconomic status.”

There is no cost to attend Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease, but reservations are required. Register and learn more at http://bit.ly/2oHCvfT or call 502-582-7654.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that causes tremor, slowed movements and other physical and cognitive problems. Parkinson’s affects about 1 million Americans and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease and is the 14th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease is a kickoff event for Louisville’s first Moving Day® Walk for Parkinson’s disease, to take place on Saturday, June 10 at Waterfront Park. Moving Dayis sponsored by the National Parkinson Foundation to engage the community in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. It will feature a family friendly walk course, a kids’ area, a caregivers’ relaxation tent and a Movement Pavilion featuring yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Pilates, and other activities, all proven to help manage the symptoms of PD.

Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease 2017 also is part of the I Am Ali Festival, a six-week series of events commemorating Muhammad Ali’s six core principles. I Am Ali runs June 3 – July 15, 2017.

To learn more about UofL Physicians Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, visit http://www.uoflphysicians.com/parkinsons-disease-and-movement-disorders or call 502-582-7654.

UofL professor to receive education award from Society of Toxicology

John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., recognized for efforts to educate students and professionals
UofL professor to receive education award from Society of Toxicology

John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D.

University of Louisville professor of pharmacology and toxicology John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., will be honored by the Society of Toxicology with a 2016 Education Award in March, 2016.

Wise is being recognized for teaching and training the next generation of toxicologists on a variety of educational levels both in the classroom and in the field. He has taught high school students and their teachers, undergraduate students, graduate students and junior faculty members. Wise has participated in K–12 outreach and lifelong learning programs attended by older students. Wise and his wife, Sandra Wise, Ph.D., joined the faculty at the UofL School of Medicine earlier this year.

“The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology was thrilled to recruit Dr. John Wise Sr., his wife and research collaborator Dr. Sandra Wise, and other members of his research team to the University of Louisville,” said David W. Hein, Ph.D., chair of UofL’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “Professor Wise's research program transforms the excitement of a world class research laboratory experience to graduate, professional, post-graduate and undergraduate students. The very prestigious Education Award from the Society of Toxicology reflects the international impact of his research program and training accomplishments.”

In addition to on-campus instruction and lab work, Wise spends a good deal of time working in the field, testing wildlife for toxic exposures. He, his wife and their adult children spent three summers working aboard a sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico, obtaining tissue samples from whales to test for toxins resulting from the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Most recently, he has been collecting tissue samples from alligators around the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and investigating sea turtle populations on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island. Prior to his arrival at UofL, Wise was a professor of toxicology at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

“Whether it is our work in the tiny, microscopic world of a cell or out in the wild with some of the most amazing creatures on earth, being a scientist is always a thrill and a privilege, and the most important part of being a scientist is to share all of these discoveries with others and to be an educator,” Wise said. “We all thirst to know more, to understand more. We seek to be amazed and inspired by the world. For me, engaging others in my scientific quests, teaching them and learning from them, is a central part of being a scientist.”

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,800 scientists from academic institutions, government and industry. The SOT Education Award recognizes an individual who teaches and trains toxicologists and who has made significant contributions to education in the field of toxicology. The award will be presented to Wise at the 2016 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in New Orleans, March 13–17, in the form of a plaque and stipend. Wise is one of more than two dozen scientists from across the United States and abroad who will be honored at the event.

 

December 15, 2015

UofL scientists identify a critical pathway to improve muscle repair

TRAF6 ensures health of stem cells and may lead to improved stem cell therapies for DMD and other muscle wasting diseases
UofL scientists identify a critical pathway to improve muscle repair

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D. and Sajedah Hindi, Ph.D.

Researchers at the University of Louisville have discovered a mechanism involved in skeletal muscle repair that may enable clinicians to boost the effectiveness of adult stem cell therapies for diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The research, published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, describes the role of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), an adaptor protein and E3 ubiquitin ligase, in ensuring the vitality of stem cells that regenerate muscle tissue.

Specialized stem cells known as satellite cells reside in skeletal muscle in an inactive state. When muscle injury occurs, a complex chain of signals prompts the satellite cells to awaken and generate new muscle cells to repair the injury. Previous research had shown that Pax7 (a paired-box transcription factor) is essential to this regeneration. When Pax7 is missing or reduced, the satellite cells undergo premature differentiation, or lose their stem properties and their ability to regenerate injured muscles.

In their research, authors Sajedah M. Hindi, Ph.D., and Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., discovered that removing TRAF6 depletes Pax7, resulting in reduced muscle regeneration in both normal and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) mouse models. Hindi, a post-doctoral fellow, and Kumar, professor and distinguished university scholar in UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, believe this is because TRAF6 is upstream from Pax7 in the signaling process involved in muscle repair and orchestrates multiple signals controlling the muscle regeneration process.

“We have discovered a pathway by which the Pax7 and myogenic potential of satellite cells is regulated. The protein TRAF6 is a very important adaptor protein that is involved in multiple signaling pathways and its functions are important to maintain the stemness of satellite cells in adults,” Kumar said.

“In normal conditions, skeletal muscle is a self-healing tissue and can recover promptly from most trauma because of the satellite cells. But in disease conditions like muscular dystrophies, satellite cells can’t keep up with repeated cycles of injury and are ultimately exhausted or functionally impaired,” Hindi said. “Our next step is to see if this functional impairment is partially due to lack of TRAF6 signaling in satellite cells. If so, we are thinking we can take a patient’s stem cells, restore the TRAF6 activity, put them back and boost their regenerative potential.”

Kumar and Hindi believe their research ultimately will lead to improved treatments for muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy, ALS, cancer cachexia, diabetes, heart disease and others.

“Right now the problem in donor stem cell therapy is that we inject the stem cells into the patient but most of the stem cells don’t proliferate very well, so they repair very little part of the muscle,” Kumar said. “But if you have stem cells that are over expressing this protein TRAF6, they may proliferate longer and they may repair the muscle much more effectively.”

Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01AR059810, R01AR068313, R01AG029623 and F31AG046950.

IMAGES: TRAF6 fl/fl (top) are control injured muscle whereas TRAF6scko (bottom) are from satellite cell-specific TRAF6- knockout mice which show drastic deficit in muscle regeneration due to lack of TRAF6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2015

Diane Harper named ‘Thought Leader-Plus’ by MedPageToday.com

Diane Harper named ‘Thought Leader-Plus’ by MedPageToday.com

Diane Harper, M.D.

Diane Harper, M.D., the Rowntree Professor and Endowed Chair of Family and Geriatric Medicine of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has been named a “Thought Leader-Plus” by MedPageToday.com.

Considered a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy news coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals, MedPageToday.com has 1,076,142 unique visitors per month, according to its Cision media database profile.

As a Thought Leader-Plus, Harper is called upon to provide expert commentary on topics in her field -- primarily health care for women -- as well as topics that do not have a strict medical focus. Most recently, Harper was asked to comment on physicians making diagnoses of famous people without seeing them face-to-face.

“(Physicians) have trained powers of observation to aid us in diagnosing illnesses. But powers of observation alone can be inaccurate or inaccurately interpreted. Without having the person be a part of the shared person-doctor relationship, harmful misdiagnoses will occur. Speculation about someone's health, in the parlance of physicians, often causes more harm than benefit," she said in the article posted Sept. 13 in the wake of news reports about the pneumonia and dehydration diagnoses of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In addition to holding an endowed professorship and chair, Harper also serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health; a professor of bioengineering at the Speed School of Engineering; and a professor of epidemiology and population health and of health promotion and behavioral health sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Her expertise and primary research focus is prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to human papillomavirus. She joined the UofL faculty in 2013.

Harper was one of the United States clinician scientists leading the global research effort for prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to control cervical cancer.  She has been a lead author in the multiple Lancet publications and co-author of more than 100 additional articles on cervical cancer prevention.  She has helped establish U.S. national guidelines for the nomenclature of cervical cytology and the screening and management strategies for women with abnormal cytology and histology. She also has consulted for and published with the World Health Organization on the use of prophylactic HPV vaccines. 

She is currently a member of the NIH’s Population Sciences and Epidemiology Integrated Review Group of the Epidemiology of Cancer Study Section and an active grant reviewer for many national organizations. In February, she was appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an appointed panel that issues evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

 

UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

Nurse Practitioner Christine Kerr, left, confers with Drs. Chris and Connie Angellis in their clinic at the University of Louisville Physicians Outpatient Center. The Anggelises, both UofL School of Medicine alumni, recently returned to UofL to practice.

Thirty-four years after they met as students at the UofL School of Medicine, cardiologists Drs. Chris and Connie Anggelis have joined University of Louisville Physicians and the school’s faculty.

They started seeing patients in June at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center.

“I’m very excited about returning to the university,” said Connie Anggelis. “We went to medical school here, and we’ve been practicing in Louisville since. We toured the medical school during a class reunion, and it brought back great memories. We’ve been talking about doing this for a number of years.”

Chris said their return to the university “allows us to maintain our focus on patient care while giving something back to the community."  He said he enjoys teaching young doctors, “and hopefully some of them will stay in this community.”

For he and Connie, patient care is paramount.  “It’s more about quality rather than the number of patients you see,” said Connie. “I think doctors need to be able to spend adequate time with their patients. It allows us to educate them about cardiac issues. We also want to teach students to always put the patient first.”

Chris said their  goal is to be available and responsive to  patients’ needs. “We’re going to have multiple offices in different areas to accommodate them,” he said.

In addition to downtown at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center, they will be seeing patients at offices in eastern Jefferson County (Jewish East and Jewish Northeast) and in Hillview in Bullitt County, where they have practiced in the past. They will also see patients at Jewish Hospital downtown.

“If a patient needs to be seen, we will see them when the referring doctor wants them seen,” Chris said.

Chris focuses on interventional cardiology and Connie on non-invasive cardiology, and both are passionate about preventive care, guiding patients on how to achieve health goals and do the little things to prevent big problems with their hearts later.

“An ounce of prevention can go a long way,” Connie said. “You would much rather see me before an event occurs, rather than after. I do my best to educate my patients.”

She said the combination of heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, and better education and prevention is needed.

“We have a long way to go in respect to prevention in Kentucky,” she said. “It’s about getting people to want to change their lifestyle. Preventive care can improve the quantity and quality of life.”

Medicine in the family

After meeting as students at the UofL School of Medicine, Chris and Connie double-matched for their residencies in internal medicine at Wake Forest and for fellowships in cardiovascular disease at Emory.

After their training was finished in 1990, they returned to Louisville. For them, it was returning home. But after 25 years in private practice together, they felt it was time to return to UofL.

“We received our medical education from UofL, and raised our children in this community,” Chris said.

All three of the Anggelis’ children are in health care: Their son, Nick, just finished dental school at UofL; one daughter, Lauren, is in the doctoral program for clinical neuropsychology at UofL; and another daughter, Emily, is in medical school at the University of Kentucky.

“We love our state and it is so nice to be back at UofL, where it all began for us,” said Connie.

Hats for Hope supports breast cancer patient care with Derby style

Twelfth annual event set for April 16 to benefit UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Hats for Hope supports breast cancer patient care with Derby style

Hats for Hope has raised more than $500,000 over the past 11 years to support breast cancer patient care through its signature pre-Derby silent auction cocktail event. The 12th Annual Hats for Hope in 2015 will feature approximately 300 new and gently worn designer Kentucky Derby hats as well as 100 auction packages including gift baskets, jewelry, gift certificates, trips and more.

Hats for Hope will be held Thursday, April 16, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Triple Crown Conference Center, 1776 Plantside Dr.

“We have more hats this year than ever, so people are sure to find a few favorites as well as gift packages and tickets to favorite sporting events. Tickets go fast, so it is recommended that ticket purchases be made early,” said Ann Mudge, 2015 event chair.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 the day of the event. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit hatsforhopelouisville.org.

Hats for Hope has grown from a small group of volunteers creating a corporate fundraiser to a premiere event and Louisville tradition to kick off the Derby season. The event celebrates survivorship, friendship, fun and fashion, with 100 percent of event proceeds supporting breast cancer patient care through the M. Krista Loyd Resource Center at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. The Resource Center provides a peaceful environment for cancer patients to learn, relax and heal emotionally. Last year, the event netted $60,000 supporting the cause.

In addition to the silent auction, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a complimentary specialty cocktail and a cash bar. Attendees also will enjoy trying on hats and posing for photographs with their friends on the Hats for Hope Pink Carpet. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of moving stories of hope and survival from cancer survivors.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Nationally, an estimated 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women this year and over 40,000 will die of the disease. Breast cancer does not only affect the patient but also has a devastating impact on the families of those whose loved ones are diagnosed with the disease. Supporting Hats for Hope helps reduce the burden this disease has on our community.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.

Recent journal article echoes UofL professor's concerns on e-cigarettes

A University of Louisville professor who is the lead author of the American Heart Association’s policy statement on e-cigarettes has raised the same type of concerns expressed in a recent New England Journal of Medicine showing that e-cigarette vapor can contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes.

Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, the Smith and Lucile Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville, chaired a 10-member American Heart Association panel of experts in formulating the association's first-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes released in August 2014. The article's findings echo the concerns raised by Bhatnagar and the group over what is still unknown about e-cigarettes.

Bhatnagar's voices his concerns in the video shown here.

"People need to know that e-cigarettes are unregulated and there are many variables that we don’t know about them," Bhatnagar says. "Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation’s youth, and could re-normalize smoking in our society.”

Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products, according to recommendations in the policy statement. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

 

The article, “Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols,” is available at http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMc1413069.

 

NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

Four of the NFL’s finest will join University of Louisville Head Football Coach Bobby Petrinoon the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

Two former UofL Cardinals now in the NFL – Eric Wood and Joe Johnson – will join EJ Manuel and Kyle Rudolph at The Julep Ball:

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson attended the University of Louisville for four years where he was a full time starter for three years and was honored as a first team “All American” in his last year as a Cardinal.  He chose to forgo his senior year in college and was drafted 13th overall in the 1994 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. Joe received a number of honors during his 10-year NFL career, including: Pro Bowl (1998 and 2000), All Madden Team (1998 and 2000), Comeback Player of the Year (2000) and All Rookie Team (1994). He was named to the New Orleans Saints Hall Of Fame in 2007.

 

EJ Manuel

EJ Manuel is the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Florida State University, where he led the Seminoles to their first 12-win season since the 1990’s.  He was named the MVP of the Gator Bowl in 2009 and the MVP of the Senior Bowl in 2013. Off the field, EJ is National Ambassador for Camp Kesem, an organization dedicated to helping children whose parents suffer from cancer and is an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research in honor of his mother who is a breast cancer survivor

 

Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph is a tight end in his fourth season with the Minnesota Vikings. A graduate of Notre Dame and the first tight end to start every game as a freshman, Kyle was the first tight end drafted in the 2011 rookie class. After his breakout year in 2012, earning Pro Bowl MVP honors, he is now regarded as one of the league’s best. Kyle joined his teammates in community outreach activities as a rookie, planting trees as part of Planet Purple Week and visiting University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital when the Vikings were part of the Adopt-A-Room program.

 

Eric Wood

Eric Wood is a University of Louisville alumnus who played for Coach Bobby Petrino at UofL and is the starting center and team captain for the Buffalo Bills. He was the team's second pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (28th overall). As a Cardinal, he earned Freshman All-American honors, All-Big East honors and Academic All-Big East accolades. Eric finished his collegiate career with 49 consecutive starts at center, the second-longest streak in school history behind Travis Leffew. Today, he is one of the five highest-paid centers in the NFL.

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

 

 

Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

Learn how you can help conservation and urban development co-exist
Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D.

From bees to birds to bats, species around the world are threatened at unprecedented rates. Many people feel powerless to help preserve local species because they think “real” nature can only be sustained in parks and reserves, but local urban park systems cannot do the job of maintaining native biodiversity alone.

About 120 square miles of plantable land in Jefferson County is residential property. However, much of this green space is planted in lawn, which is a food desert for many species of wildlife.

At the next Beer with a Scientist, Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D., will explain how residents in cities and suburbs can protect native species by weaving local nature into the very places where they live and work. She will describe Reconciliation Ecology, a concept in which habitats for wildlife are created within urban and suburban areas.

“I want people to know they can make a large difference in conservation of local species through their plantings at home,” Carreiro said. “They can use native plants to create food webs and friendly habitat for desired species, especially pollinators and birds. It's about keeping our common species common.”

Carreiro is associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville. Her work focuses on understanding how urban environments interact with natural components of cities and suburbs. This includes studying the effects of atmospheric nitrogen from fossil fuel combustion and other sources, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, restoration management and socio-cultural legacies in affecting plant and soil communities and ecosystem processes.

The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Nov. 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., who hoped to make science accessible to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

 

 

November 7, 2016

UofL oncology nurse recognized for compassionate care

Heather Hibbard, B.S.N., R.N., to be honored at luncheon, Feb. 28
UofL oncology nurse recognized for compassionate care

Heather Hibbard BSN, RN

Heather Hibbard, B.S.N., R.N., manager of the medical oncology and infusion center at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, is being honored for making a difference in the lives of cancer patients. Hibbard is one of seven health-care providers who will be in the spotlight at the Third Annual Commitment to Compassion Luncheon, sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Insider Louisville and the Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Hibbard uses her training as well as her personal experience to make life a little easier for cancer patients. Her father and grandfather were diagnosed with lung cancer within one month of each other, and passed away one month apart in 2013. Although it was a painful time for her, that experience helps her understand how to improve care provided to the patients at the Brown Cancer Center.

Hibbard says she wants to provide the kind of care for patients and families that she would want to receive. To help make things easier, she developed a lab and line room where patients can have their vitals and lab work done before seeing the physician. This reduced patient wait times by two thirds.

“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, but the patients need top-notch, nurturing and individualized care,” Hibbard said. “My one goal in life is to make a difference in cancer care – to give others hope that we are doing everything we can as an oncology center. I have a great group of people who want better care for their patients and I help them in reaching that goal.”

It is often little things that make a difference for patients.

“You don’t ever hear, ‘thank you for accessing my port,’” Hibbard said. “But you do hear ‘thank you for being gentle with me,’ ‘thank you for listening,’ ‘thank you for calling home health and getting things set up so my life is a little easier.’”

The Commitment to Compassion luncheon, emceed by television health and science reporter Jean West, will include recognition of the compassionate care honorees, a performance by the West Louisville Boys Choir and a panel discussion on “Innovative and compassionate care in West Louisville.” Reservations are available online.

Physician leader at UofL School of Medicine’s Madisonville campus honored by Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians

Physician leader at UofL School of Medicine’s Madisonville campus honored by Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians

William J. Crump, M.D.

The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) has recognized the work of William J. Crump, M.D., associate dean, University of Louisville School of Medicine Trover Campus. The organization recently awarded Crump the Distinguished Service Award, an award given to a family physician who has served in leadership roles with the KAFP and has advanced the specialty of family medicine.

Nominated by William Thornbury, M.D., Crump of Madisonville, Ky., is praised for his leadership and tireless effort promoting evidence-based medicine through the publication of scholarly work. Crump, who served as editor of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians Journal from 2006-2017, helped transform the journal into a peer-reviewed publication for the scholastic contributions of the Commonwealth’s family medicine community.

“Perhaps the most enjoyable part of my role was getting students, residents and young faculty through their first manuscript effort, from bright idea to published product. They are our future,” Crump said.

Not only has Crump led the academy in his role of bolstering the scholarship for health improvement of Kentuckians, as an educator-physician Crump teaches medical students at the  UofL School of Medicine Trover Campus in Madisonville. Preclinical students have the opportunity to spend two three-week summer sessions at the campus, working with primary care preceptors. Up to 12 students are selected to spend their third and fourth years of training in Madisonville where they help meet health care needs of rural Kentuckians.

 

UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Kentucky Governor and First Lady lead program to draw attention to issue
UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Melissa Currie, M.D.

Melissa Currie, M.D., will be among the speakers who “Rally to End Child Abuse,” beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 30, at the Big Four Bridge Lawn on River Road.

Sponsored by the Family & Children’s Place, Kosair Charities’ Face It® Movement, and other Metro Louisville children’s organizations, the Rally to End Child Abuse kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

Currie will join a slate of speakers including Gov. and First Lady Matt and Glenna Bevin, Family & Children’s Place President and CEO Pam Darnall, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad, Kosair Charities Board Chair Jerry Ward and Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks.

Currie is medical director and chief of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine and program director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville. The division provides a standardized approach to the assessment of child abuse and neglect issues, providing medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation and follow-up of suspected cases of child physical abuse and neglect. The first board certified child-abuse pediatrician in Kentucky, Currie practices with University of Louisville Physicians.

The pediatric forensic medicine team serves as liaison between the hospital team and community partners such as law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the Department of Justice. The UofL Department of Pediatrics serves with Kosair Children's Hospital as the only statewide medical referral resource for child maltreatment assessments.

The “Rally to End Child Abuse” highlights progress being made in stopping and preventing abuse and healing child survivors and families. According to 2014 data, nearly 23,000 children suffered physical or sexual abuse or neglect in Kentucky. In Jefferson County, that number totaled more than 3,016 children. Abuse creates a lifelong impact in emotional and physical health, in relationships and in every facet of a child’s life through adulthood.

For more information, visit faceitabuse.org.

 

Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Hillview event on May 21 benefits UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Something of interest for the entire family – and the chance to help the fight against cancer – will be on tap at the “Cancer Awareness Show,” Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive.

Proceeds from the day’s activities will benefit research, community outreach and patient support programs of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

The event is comprised of three shows-within-the-show: a model train show including 9X9, 4X16 and 3X6 layouts; an arts and crafts show; and “Cruizin’ for Cancer,” a car, truck and motorcycle show and a model car show. Also included are a fire safety house sponsored by the Zoneton Fire Protection District; food and other vendor booths and prize and cash raffles. Representatives from Be The Match will be on hand to provide information about bone marrow donation. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center also will disseminate information on cancer prevention and treatment.

Admission is a cash donation to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center or canned goods to be donated to local food pantries.

“My vision is simple,” said show organizer Richard Luce Jr. “I want to get more information distributed about the multiple types of cancer and how we can prevent and treat it. I also want to support groups who help people dealing with cancer.”

The Hillview location on the southern side of Metro Louisville is by design, Luce said. “With the Hillview, Southern Jefferson County and Bullitt County areas growing, we need these types of events so people don’t always have to go to Downtown Louisville. The more we can help others with this disease (from throughout the region), the better we are.”

Like virtually every American, Luce has a personal connection to cancer. His father died from the disease in June 2013.

“Since my father’s passing, I have striven to improve cancer awareness,” Luce said. “We hear a lot about different types of cancers but how well informed are people about their personal risk and the importance of testing? Perhaps even more importantly, how can we help generate the necessary funding for cancer research and financial aid to those families affected by cancer?

“I am motivated to honor the memory of my father and to hopefully prevent others from enduring the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. In honor of my father’s memory, I have established the Cancer Awareness Show.”

Vendor spaces are still available, Luce said. A vendor space is $20 if paid by 5 p.m., March 31. The cost is $25 if paid from April 1 to the day of the show.

Sponsorships for the show also are available: Platinum, $1,000; Gold, $500; Silver, $300; and Bronze, $100.

For information on vendors, sponsorships or the show, contact Luce at Bigscoby4@yahoo.com, CancerAwareness15@yahoo.com or 502-802-8308.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.

Posted March 9, 2016

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

UofL brain researcher and Japanese collaborators demonstrate the importance of oral health in stroke
Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

Robert P. Friedland, M.D.

In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans). Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was a co-author of the study, published online this month in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

In the single hospital study, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of CMBs was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

“This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia.”

Multiple research studies have shown a close association between the presence of gum disease and heart disease, and a 2013 publication by Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., of the UofL School of Dentistry, revealed how the bacterium responsible for gum disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis.

The cnm-negative S. mutans bacteria is found in approximately 10 percent of the general population, Friedland says, and is known to cause dental cavities (tooth decay). Friedland also is researching the role of oral bacteria in other diseases affecting the brain.

“We are investigating the role of oral and gut bacteria in the initiation of pathology in the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Japan.”

 

Feburary 16, 2016