kevinpunsky

Kevin Punsky @kevinpunsky

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Mayo Clinic

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Activity by Kevin Punsky @kevinpunsky

kevinpunsky

5 days ago by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic finds myocarditis caused by infection on rise globally

closeup of heart monitor with the text word alertJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Myocarditis, an assortment of heart disorders often caused by infection and inflammation, is known to be difficult to diagnose and treat. But the picture of who is affected is becoming a little clearer. Men may be as much as twice as likely as women to develop severe and possibly fatal reactions. And the risk of sudden cardiovascular death in the young is relatively high. Myocarditis accounts for about 5 percent of sudden cardiovascular infant deaths and up to 20 percent of sudden cardiovascular death in adolescents. And the chronic disease is responsible for up to 45 percent of heart transplants in the U.S.

This assessment of the global state of myocarditis, published Nov. 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, points to the need for advanced therapies and prevention strategies, says Leslie Cooper Jr., M.D., cardiologist and chair, Cardiovascular Department, on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida.

Along with Dr. Cooper, who is an internationally recognized expert on myocarditis, researchers from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland contributed to the study. Dr. Cooper also authored the myocarditis section for the 2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, which was published Oct. 7 in the Lancet, and the American Heart Association scientific statement on specific dilated cardiomyopathies, which was published Nov. 3 in Circulation. Cardiomyopathies, which often feature enlarged hearts and heart failure, can result from myocarditis.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Cooper are available in the downloads.

Dr. Cooper reported in the Lancet global disease study that cases of myocarditis have increased from about 1.5 million annually to 2.2 million cases from 2013 to 2015. Although the exact incidence of myocarditis in the U.S. has not been reported, it is estimated that several thousand patients — most of them 40 or younger — are diagnosed.

In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology study, he found that the rate of myocarditis and associated death is much higher in men than in women. This is likely due to testosterone-driven inflammation.

Early diagnosis is key to preventing long-term heart damage from myocarditis, Dr. Cooper says. If chronic disease results, scarring in the heart can promote heart failure. Although standard therapies are used to control symptoms of heart failure, new investigational therapies soon may enter clinical trials, and new management of the disorder is being discussed, Dr. Cooper says.

“We are on a quest for advances in treating this disorder,” he says.

Myocarditis is a difficult disorder to diagnose and treat, Dr. Cooper says. The most common cause of myocarditis is an infection ― usually viral ― that can damage heart muscle chronically or acutely in otherwise healthy people, Dr. Cooper says. Infections that affect the heart differ around the globe. In the U.S., a dozen common pathogens can be responsible. An example is coxsackie virus, which up to 70 percent of U.S. residents have been exposed to by the time they are 30. “But only 1 to 2 percent of people with acute coxsackie virus infection develop cardiac symptoms,” Dr. Cooper says.

Myocarditis has other causes, including autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins, and adverse reactions to medications. The most clinically important symptoms of the disorder are shortness of breath, which can indicate the start of heart failure, and chest pain ― a sign of heart inflammation, he says.

To prevent the disorder from worsening in children, Dr. Cooper suggests that aerobic exercise be limited for several weeks after a suspected coxsackie virus infection, and “if a child or adolescent develops breathing difficulties or chest pain with evidence of myocarditis, my recommendation is to avoid competitive sports for at least three months,” Dr. Cooper says.

A cardiac MRI within two weeks of symptom onset is 80 percent effective in diagnosing cardiomyopathy, but diagnosis is difficult at more chronic stages.

Most people (60-70 percent) with acute cardiomyopathy from myocarditis get better. About 10-15 percent develops irreversible chronic disease due to scars in the heart created by the infection, Dr. Cooper says. These patients are treated with standard heart failure therapies, but 20 percent die during the decade following infection due to heart failure.

“I see patients everyday with this disorder,” Dr. Cooper says. “We are on the cusp of trying more tailored treatment, and it can’t come soon enough.”

There was no funding support or relationships with industry for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology study, which Dr. Cooper led.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Wed, Nov 2 at 9:57am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Single mutation in recessive gene increases risk of earlier onset Parkinson’s disease

Abstract DNA, futuristic molecule, cell illustration.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A collaboration of 32 researchers in seven countries, led by scientists at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, has found a genetic mutation they say confers a risk for development of Parkinson’s disease earlier than usual.

The major study, published in Brain, is important because the risk comes from a single mutation in the PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) gene. Investigators had believed that this rare form of Parkinson’s developed only when a person inherited mutations in both PINK1 alleles (one from each parent).

“We know that if you have mutations in both copies of PINK1, age at onset of Parkinson’s will usually be younger than 45. This study showed that if a person inherited a specific mutation in just one PINK1 gene, the disease could develop at about age 55 or so. By contrast, the most common, nonfamilial forms of Parkinson’s develop at about age 65,” says the study’s senior investigator, Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

Genetic studies had suggested that a single mutated PINK1 allele might confer an outsized risk of the developing the disease. It took a “very effective synergetic” effort of clinical, structural and cell biologists, along with geneticists and data from thousands of affected patients, to show how it led to earlier disease development, Dr. Springer says.

“It took a real international collaboration to solve this puzzle,” he says.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Springer are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

PINK1 works with another gene, PARKIN, to ensure that mitochondria in neurons remain healthy. The mitochondria are the cell’s power plants, and many brain disorders, including Parkinson’s, are characterized by disruption in energy production in neurons.

When functioning, proteins from both genes work together to ensure the safe disposal of damaged mitochondria from the cell. They do this by producing a protein marker that labels damaged mitochondria that need to be destroyed. This procedure is part of an elaborate “quality control” system for mitochondria.

“The mitochondria are like a cell’s nuclear power plant that provides fantastic energy when they are running well,” Dr. Springer says. “But, when something goes wrong, the result can be catastrophic for the brain cell, causing neurodegeneration.”

Mutations in both PINK1 alleles (or copies) or in both PARKIN alleles mean that the PINK1-PARKIN pathway cannot function, and damaged mitochondria accumulate in a neuron, leading to its death.

This study showed that a specific mutation (p.G411S) in one copy of PINK1  substantially impairs this same pathway by inhibiting the protein produced from other healthy PINK1 allele. “This rare mutation has an outsized effect, and the remaining levels of functional PINK1 protein are not enough to cope with damaged mitochondria,” Dr. Springer says.

The findings could have implications for other neurodegenerative disorders, many of which feature mitochondrial damage, he says.

The study had started with genetic findings when one of the lead authors, Andreas Puschmann, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Neurology, Skåne University Hospital, Sweden, was a visiting scientist at Mayo Clinic. Additional structural and cell biological data then provided the sought-after mechanism to explain the observed phenomenon.

In addition from scientists in the U.S. and Sweden, researchers from Poland, Norway, Ireland, Ukraine and Australia participated in the study.

Dr. Springer is partially supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [R01 #NS085070 ], the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, Center for Biomedical Discovery, Marriott Family Foundation, and a Gerstner Family Career Development Award. Dr. Puschmann is partially supported by the Swedish Parkinson Academy, the Swedish Parkinson Foundation (Parkinsonfonden), governmental funding for clinical research within the Swedish National Health Services, and the Bundy Academy (Lund, Sweden).

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Tue, Oct 11 at 9:17am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Trove of Alzheimer’s patients’ molecular, clinical data available

Alzheimer disease, neuron network with amyloid plaquesJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has described as a pioneering effort, a research team at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has made public a treasure trove of data aimed at accelerating development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease.

The data, a description of which is published in Nature Scientific Data, “implicates a number of genes that are likely to be involved in disease pathways, providing researchers with many testable hypotheses,” says the study’s senior investigator, neurologist and neuroscientist Nilufer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D.

The study details whole-genome genotype and gene expression patterns on 2,655 individuals, including people with dementia and those without it. The data includes more than 842 million datapoints and clinical information that will enable researchers around the world to study what is different about Alzheimer’s brains and what can be done to prevent, treat or stop the disease, Dr. Ertekin-Taner says.

“By making available these very large, high-quality molecular and clinical data sets, we are inviting other investigators to mine the information and test their notions of how best to develop treatment,” she says. “Release of this data represents a novel type of sharing paradigm.”

Publication of the data and its description in the supporting study are, in part, a product of a 2013 $7.5 million grant from the NIH aimed at bringing together large data and expertise from different groups to understand Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in a way that advances prevention and treatment.

“The complexity of the human brain and the processes involved in development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease have been major barriers to drug development,” says Suzana Petanceska, Ph.D., program director in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. “It is key to make these invaluable datasets widely accessible and usable by the larger research community to speed up the generation of knowledge needed for successful therapy development.”

Journalists, sound bites with Dr. Mariet Allen are available in the downloads below.

This multiteam study is led by:

  • Ertekin-Taner, Mayo Clinic
  • Steven G. Younkin, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida
  • Nathan Price, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology

They are all co-authors on the study, along with 26 researchers from these institutions and Sage Bionetworks in Seattle. The Nature Scientific Data is the first paper from this multicenter group. This team is one of six other multi-center teams participating in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project, a large-scale team science effort applying open science principles to discover the next generation therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease.

The study’s lead researchers, Mariet Allen, Ph.D., and Minerva M. Carrasquillo, Ph.D. —both assistant professors of neuroscience on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus — are responsible for heading analyses of the two key kinds of data included in this trove, says Dr. Ertekin-Taner.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

Dr. Carrasquillo is the first author of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to examine genetic variation in different individuals to see if these variations were associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The data from this study, which was previously released and published in Nature Genetics in 2009, also are included in this study.

“All the key GWAS data from our study for Alzheimer’s is available, which will enable other research groups to ask questions we might not be asking and to use the genomic data to validate findings on specific genes,” she says.

Dr. Allen leads studies that look at the correlation of gene expression levels with genetic variants within the whole genome — a study known as an eGWAS. Protein-coding genes first express molecules known as messenger RNAs, and an eGWAS looks at the quantity of mRNAs that is linked to different genetic variants. The premise is that genetic variants that influence the expression of mRNAs encode critical molecular members of disease pathways, which also influence disease risk.

In 2012, Dr. Allen, working with Dr. Ertekin-Taner, published a large eGWAS on Alzheimer’s disease and made the data public. The researchers compared results of the GWAS and the eGWAS looking to see if “any gene variant that has an effect on Alzheimer’s has that effect through differences in gene expression,” says Dr. Allen. They also looked to see when mRNA expression is not altered and if a gene variant linked to the disease exerts influence on expression of nearby genes.

Investigators found that there is significant overlap among disease GWAS and eGWAS variants, especially in brain regions that are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and that many risk variants for these disorders influence brain levels of genes nearby.

The new release of data includes these and additional expression data generated from the 2013 grant.

All of the associations and the raw data are published on the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) Knowledge Portal and available to qualified researchers.

Other study co-authors are:

  • Fanggeng Zou, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Curtis S. Younkin, Mayo Clinic
  • Jeremy D. Burgess, Mayo Clinic
  • Julia Crook, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Xue Wang, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Daniel Serie, Mayo Clinic
  • Thuy T. Nguyen, Mayo Clinic
  • Sarah Lincoln, Mayo Clinic
  • Kimberly Malphrus, Mayo Clinic
  • Gina Bisceglio, Mayo Clinic
  • Ma Li, M.S., Mayo Clinic
  • Yan Asmann, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Neill R. Graff-Radford, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Dennis W. Dickson, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Cory Funk, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology
  • Benjamin D. Heavner, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology
  • James A. Eddy, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology
  • Hongdong Li, Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology
  • High-Seng Chai, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Chen Wang, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Ben Logsdon, Ph.D., Sage Bionetworks
  • Mette A. Peters, Ph.D., Sage Bionetworks
  • Kristen K. Dang, Ph.D., Sage Bionetworks
  • Lara M. Mangravite, Ph.D., Sage Bionetworks

Tissue donation and samples from Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus and the Sun Health Research Institute Brain and Body Donation Program of Sun City, Arizona, were used in this study.

Data collection on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was funded by National Institute on Aging grants P50 AG016574, R01 AG032990, U01 AG046139, R01 AG018023, U01 AG006576, U01 AG006786, R01 AG025711, R01 AG017216, R01 AG003949, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant R01 NS080820, CurePSP Foundation, and support from Mayo Foundation.

Allen, M et al. Human whole genome genotype and transcriptome data for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Sci. Data 3:160089 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.89 (2016).

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Tue, Aug 2 at 12:10am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic Ranked No. 1 in Florida by U.S. News & World Report

Scenic view of Mayo Clinic Florida campus
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic is ranked No. 1 in Florida and the Jacksonville metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of top hospitals published online today.

In addition to the Florida ranking, Mayo Clinic’s Rochester, Minnesota, campus was named the best hospital in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals. The Rochester campus also took the No. 1 spot in Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic’s campus in Arizona was ranked No. 1 in that state and in the Phoenix metro area.

“The rankings reflect the dedication of our exceptional staff in providing outstanding care and service to our patients,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “Mayo Clinic is a special place because of our employees, and I congratulate each of them on this honor.”

Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus ranked nationally among the top 50 hospitals in eight specialties:

Mayo Clinic in Florida was highly ranked above the national average in Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Nephrology and Urology.

Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus provides diagnosis, medical treatment, surgery and care for more than 105,000 patients each year in 40 specialty areas. Mayo has 5,531 employees in Florida and contributes more than $1.6 billion to the Florida economy.

Mayo Clinic is celebrating 30 years in Florida. In 1986, Mayo Clinic brought its team approach to caring from Rochester to the Southeast when it opened a clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, the nearly 400-acre campus offers a medical destination for patients from all 50 states and 140 countries.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

Journalists: B-roll of the Florida campus and sound bites from Dr. Farrugia are in the downloads.

 

“The No. 1 ranking is outstanding news for Jacksonville and Northeast Florida,” says Dr. Farrugia. “Mayo Clinic’s 150-year legacy in medicine includes 30 years in Florida. We are proud that Mayo is the medical destination for people from throughout our state and the Southeast who come to us with the most complex medical conditions.”

Many outside agencies rate quality in health care, and Mayo Clinic is the only health care organization that consistently ranks among the top providers nationwide, regardless of the quality measure used.

This is the 27th year that U.S. News & World Report conducted a rankings list, which encompasses 16 medical specialties. U.S. News analyzes data for 5,000 medical centers to determine the rankings, which were announced today on the U.S. News website. In the 2016 rankings, Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus tied for No. 1 in the state.

Additional Resources

Arizona News Release: Mayo Clinic Ranked No. 1 in Phoenix and Arizona by U.S. News & World Report

Minnesota News Release: Mayo Clinic Ranked No. 1 Hospital Nationwide by U.S. News & World Report

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Mon, Jul 25 at 10:30am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic Scientist Receives Pre-eminent International Award for Alzheimer’s Research

Guojun Bu, Ph.D. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Guojun Bu, Ph.D., a neuroscientist on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, will receive the 2016 MetLife Foundation Major Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease ─ one of the most prestigious awards given annually to the top scientist in this field of study. The award was presented to Dr. Bu today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Bu and his medical research lab have produced more than 220 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited more than 10,000 times. Colleagues and other Alzheimer’s researchers say his team’s contributions to Alzheimer’s research rank among the most significant in the field.

“We are very proud of Dr. Bu and his outstanding research team,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “At Mayo Clinic, we are grounded in research, so that we can continually advance the science of healing. Our world-class physicians and scientists strive every day to work toward solving the most complex and deadly health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.”

Dr. Bu, the Mary Lowell Leary Professor at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, was given the award for his breakthrough discoveries focused on the cell surface receptor called LRP1. Dr. Bu researched the receptor’s role in liver function and discovered that one of its binding partners is apolipoprotein E, or ApoE. When it was discovered that carriers of a gene for the protein called ApoE4 were at significantly greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life, Dr. Bu studied the biology of ApoE and its receptors as they relate to the pathology of Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

“It is a tremendous honor, and I’m truly grateful to receive the MetLife Award,” says Dr. Bu. “This recognition also affirms the tremendous work by my lab colleagues who have worked diligently with me over the years to find new ways to understand and treat this deadly disease.”

Mayo Clinic is a world leader in research to advance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Research at Mayo Clinic produces discoveries that translate to new diagnostics, treatment and prevention strategies for some of the most complex neurological diseases. Prior recipients of the MetLife Award on staff at Mayo Clinic are Dennis W. Dickson, M.D.; Clifford R. Jack Jr., M.D.; Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D.; and Steven G. Younkin, M.D., Ph.D.

The MetLife Foundation established the awards in 1986 to recognize and reward scientists demonstrating significant contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The awards are administered by the American Federation for Aging Research, which manages the award selection process and presentation. Dr. Bu’s award carries a $100,000 institutional grant and a personal prize of $25,000.

“MetLife Foundation is proud to present this award to Dr. Bu for his exceptional scientific research contributions, which help bring us closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias,” says A. Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “His outstanding contributions, recognized around the world, have helped us better understand this devastating illness.”

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Tue, Jun 14 at 10:00am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic Neuropathologist Awarded International Professional Society’s Highest Honor

Dr. Dickson holding a dissected brainJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dennis W. Dickson, M.D., a neuropathologist at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, will receive the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP), an international society of physicians and scientists who study, diagnose and treat diseases related to the brain, nerves and muscles.

The honor — the Award for Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology — recognizes a member who has made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge in neuropathology as well as service to AANP, where Dr. Dickson once served as president and as chair of the Program Committee. The award will be given to him June 17 at the AANP’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

Dr. Dickson is a neuropathologist who focuses on studies of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He is director of the Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research, the Robert E. Jacoby Professor of Alzheimer’s Research, and co-director, Dorothy and Harry T. Mangurian, Jr., Lewy Body Dementia Program.

He also oversees the Mayo Clinic brain bank. For more than 20 years, he has built one of the largest and well-characterized brain banks in the world — a resource that has benefitted research of many scientists and clinicians.

Dr. Dickson was born in Iowa and earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and his medical degree from the University of Iowa, where he also spent a post-sophomore year in anatomic pathology and neuropathology. He completed residency in anatomic pathology and neuropathology at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1986, where he was the director of Neuropathology for 10 years before arriving at Mayo Clinic.

One of his first research papers described monoclonal antibodies specific to neurofibrillary pathology in Alzheimer’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare parkinsonian disorder. Dr. Dickson went on to develop the world’s largest brain bank for PSP and related disorders.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

Studying donated brains has led to a number of discoveries, including new genes and genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, PSP and other major neurodegenerative disorders, such as Lewy body dementia, frontal lobe dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. More recently, he studied the frequency of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the Mayo Clinic brain bank with a research fellow, Kevin Bieniek, Ph.D., and found it only in brains of former athletes involved in contact sports.

In addition to providing a final diagnosis, neuropathologic findings provide closure to the family and feedback to the physicians involved in care of the patient. They also help elucidate the molecular pathology of these disorders, which will eventually lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these disorders, according to Dr. Dickson.

Dr. Dickson has been nationally and internationally recognized with awards, such as the Metropolitan Life Award, Saul R. Korey Award from the AANP, the Fred Springer Award from the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, the Alfred Meyer Award from the British Neuropathological Society and the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology. In 2015, he was named a Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Tue, Jun 7 at 10:24am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic First to Implant Device to Solve Fecal Incontinence

FENIX Device implanted around the anal canal in a closed position

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A clinical team on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus is the first to offer four patients with long-term fecal incontinence a new and potentially long-lasting treatment — a small band of interlinked magnetic titanium beads on a titanium string that successfully mimics the function of the anal sphincter.

At this point, Mayo Clinic is the only medical center that has surgically implanted this device, known as the Fenix Continence Restoration System. In December 2015, the system received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval under a humanitarian device exemption, which requires approval for patient use by a hospital’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB at Mayo Clinic is the first and, as yet, the only center to approve use of the device.

The issue of fecal incontinence, or accidental bowel leakage, is not unusual. It can affect more than 20 percent of women over 45, says Paul Pettit, M.D., a female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery specialist at Mayo Clinic. “The condition can be debilitating due to social isolation, depression, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.

“If a patient does not improve through use of less invasive techniques, our only option has been a colostomy,” says Dr. Pettit, who performed the four surgeries. “This device now offers a new option that restores function, and we are happy to be able to offer it.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

FENIX Device: a small, flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores in a circle

The magnetic attraction between the beads then brings the device back to the closed position to prevent unexpected opening of the anal canal that may lead to accidental bowel leakage.

The operation itself lasts about 45 minutes and requires an overnight hospital stay.

Most patients with fecal incontinence — a syndrome that involves unintentional loss of solid or liquid stool — are women, and often the cause is childbirth, when the muscles and nerves near the anus are damaged, Dr. Pettit says.

When the system is implanted, the string of magnetic titanium beads is placed around the anal canal in the closed position. Increased intra-abdominal pressure opens the beads to allow for passage of stool. The magnets then spontaneously close.

The device works immediately after surgery and does not require any activation by the patient or adjustments by a physician, according to the manufacturer, Torax Medical Inc., in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mayo researchers and clinicians who worked with Dr. Pettit on clinical use of the system are Heidi Chua, M.D., Anita Chen, M.D., and Chris DeStephano, M.D., M.P.H.

Sound bites with Dr. Pettit are available in the download section. 

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Thu, May 26 at 11:30am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Researchers Identify Best Drug Therapy for Rare, Aggressive, Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic tumor illustrationJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Each year, about 200 to 400 Americans develop pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma, a rare form of pancreatic cancer that has no effective standard of care. A study involving researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida and Rochester campuses has found that the chemotherapy drug oxaliplatin is effective in stopping the growth of this cancer. Their discoveries were published May 10 in the Journal of Translation Medicine.

Researchers used tumor tissue biopsied from a patient whose cancer spread to the liver to develop the first patient-derived tumor xenograft, or avatar mouse model, which enabled testing of a number of drugs.

Oxaliplatin stopped tumor growth after only three treatments, and the tumor did not grow back after treatment ended.

“We showed the tumor growth was inhibited by a number of drugs, but oxaliplatin was the standout drug,” says John A. Copland III, Ph.D., a cancer biologist and the study’s principal investigator. “Our hope is that information gleaned from our study will provide new options for patients diagnosed with this rare form of cancer.”

Patients live an average 49 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma. They only live about 14 months once the cancer has spread, or metastasized.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746,
[email protected]

Sound bites with Dr. Copland are available in the download section. 

Oxaliplatin inserts itself into DNA, which results in the death of multiplying tumor cells – particularly if those cells carry a DNA repair mutation. The study found that the patient tumor used in this research had a mutation in the DNA repair gene BRCA-2.

This indicates physicians may want to test patients with pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma for DNA repair gene mutations to provide a more highly individualized medicine approach toward treatment.

“This may be a breakthrough for this rare cancer,” says Gerardo Colon-Otero, M.D., an oncologist and study co-author. “Genomic testing for DNA mutations can now be performed, and, if the results are positive, those patients are candidates for platinum-based drugs, such as oxaliplatin.”

Lead author Jason Hall, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic research fellow, also showed that the tumor began to re-express markers of normal pancreas tissue.

“This is most likely the explanation for the very prolonged response,” says Dr. Hall. “Perhaps we should explore more chemotherapy drugs that can kill cancer cells as well as revert them to a more normal state.”

Additional Mayo Clinic study co-authors are:

Additional co-authors are:

  • Adam C. Mathias, B.S., of Delta Synthetic Co., Ltd.
  • Louis K. Dawson, B.S.; William F. Durham, M.S.; Robert J. Mullin, Ph.D.; Aidan J. Synnott, Ph.D.; Daniel L. Small, Ph.D.; Julia Schüler, Ph.D. ,Kenneth A. Meshaw, Ph.D.; of Charles Rivers Discovery Services
  • Daniel von Hoff, M.D., of TGen

The study was supported in part by National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute Grant R01CA136665 (Dr. Copland) and a generous gift from a grant for Rare Cancers from Dr. Ellis W. and Dona Brunton (Dr. Colon-Otero and Dr. Copland).

Competing interests:

  • Copland and Marlow received royalties from the patient-derived tumor xenograft model licensed to Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
  • Mathias was an employee of Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., and now is employed by Delta Synthetic Co., Ltd.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://mayoclinic.com or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

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kevinpunsky

Tue, Apr 5 at 9:58am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Florida Scientist to Receive International Award for Advances in Dementia Research

Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D.JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., a neurogeneticist on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, will receive one of the highest honors in neuroscience: the 2016 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases.

The $100,000 prize is an internationally recognized tribute for advancing dementia research. It recognizes major contributions to the understanding of the causes, prevention, treatment and cure for Pick's, Alzheimer's and related diseases.

Dr. Rademakers’ research laboratory has made several significant discoveries in the molecular genetics of some of the world’s most devastating neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as Parkinson’s disease-related syndromes.

“The physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic are proud of Dr. Rademakers’ achievements on behalf of our patients and patients everywhere,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO, Mayo Clinic.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

In 2011, Dr. Rademakers’ laboratory identified that an unusual mutation of the C9orf72 gene is the most common cause of ALS and FTD. This explained the disease in more than 30 percent of ALS patients, and about 25 percent of FTD patients who have other family members with dementia or ALS. Her laboratory has since discovered several genetic factors that help explain why some people with the C9orf72 mutation develop ALS, while others develop FTD.

“Winning the Potamkin Prize is a great honor for me,” says Dr. Rademakers. “I feel fortunate to be in the company of many of my colleagues who have also won this award. It could not have happened without the work of all of the people in my laboratory, and so I hope they see this as recognition of their achievement, as well.”

The identification of the C9orf72 mutation was not the first contribution of Dr. Rademakers to unraveling the genetic basis of FTD and related diseases. In 2006, her laboratory played a key role in the discovery of mutations in the progranulin gene, another major cause of FTD. Her laboratory developed a highly predictive blood test to detect progranulin mutations in dementia patients and provided important insight into the regulation of the progranulin protein.

Discoveries of genetic targets such as C9orf72 and progranulin form the basis of diagnostic testing and therapies, and help gain insight into how diseases develop – and how to prevent them. “Being able to provide new leads that could result in treatment strategies for patients with these devastating diseases is the most rewarding part of research,” says Dr. Rademakers.

Sound bites with Dr. Rademakers are available in the download section. 

“We congratulate Dr. Rademakers and her research team on advancing our understanding of dementia,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “At Mayo Clinic, world-leading research informs everything we do. We are grateful that, for the fifth time, the Potamkin Prize recognizes a current Mayo researcher’s commitment to advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementias.”

Mayo Clinic is a world leader in research to advance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Research at Mayo Clinic produces discoveries that translate to new diagnostics, treatment and prevention strategies for some of the most complex neurological diseases of our time. Prior recipients of the Potamkin Prize on staff at Mayo Clinic are Steven G. Younkin, M.D., Ph.D.; Ronald C. Petersen, M.D., Ph.D.; Clifford R. Jack Jr., M.D.; and Dennis W. Dickson, M.D.

Dr. Rademakers is the Mildred A. and Henry Uihlein II Professor of Medical Research in Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, the Mayo Clinic Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She also receives support from the ALS Therapy Alliance, the Florida Department of Health's Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer's Disease Research Program, and the Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research.

The Potamkin Prize is awarded annually by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Brain Foundation. Dr. Rademakers will receive the award on April 18, 2016, at the world’s largest gathering of neurologists – the AAN’s 68th Annual Meeting, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Thu, Mar 31 at 10:25am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Way to Prevent Accumulation of Amyloid Plaque, a Hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease

Illustration of a healthy brain and Alzheimer's brainJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic researchers led a laboratory study that found a new way to prevent the accumulation of amyloid plaque – a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease – by eliminating a class of molecules called heparan sulfates that form on brain cells.

“Just as a carpet covers a floor and can hold dirt, molecules called heparan sulfates can cover brain cells and trap and hold amyloid peptides, which can then form into clumps called plaque,” says Guojun Bu, Ph.D., a molecular neurobiologist on Mayo’s Florida campus.

The research study deleted the Ext1 gene in laboratory mice using genetic engineering technology. This, in turn, prevented heparan sulfates from forming on the surface of brain cells. The surface was smoother – think tiled floor versus carpet – and this enabled the brain to efficiently clear out amyloid, says Dr. Bu, associate director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

“Our study proves heparan sulfates as the basis for a cascade of events leading to the formation of amyloid plaque, which is an early and essential pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Bu.

The research is published in the March 30, 2016, edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

The researchers also studied donated brain tissue of people who had Alzheimer’s disease during their lifetime. The researchers found increased amounts of heparan sulfates in brains from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, compared with individuals who did not have the disease. This further backed the finding that an abundance of heparan sulfates is a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

The study also has implications for preventing tau tangles, another hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, because tau tangles develop later in the process of disease’s development, says Dr. Bu, the Mary Lowell Leary Professor of Medicine.

“Amyloid plaques typically accumulate in the brain for many years before patients develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Bu. “Our laboratory is now developing tests to identify compounds that could block heparan sulfates from interacting with amyloid and forming plaque. The goal is to prevent or stop Alzheimer’s disease from occurring.”

Preclinical laboratory testing must occur before any drug could be tested with patients.

The Mayo Clinic team collaborated on the research with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California and Washington University in St. Louis. Brain tissue was provided by the University of Kentucky Alzheimer’s Disease Center Neuropathology Core.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

In addition to Dr. Bu, Mayo researchers involved in the study are:

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Mayo Clinic is a world leader in research to advance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Research at Mayo Clinic produces discoveries that translate to new diagnostics, treatment and prevention strategies for some of the most complex neurological diseases.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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kevinpunsky

Wed, Mar 30 at 2:30pm EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic’s Colon Cancer Awareness Campaign Wins ASGE Award

medical illustration of colon, polyp and colonoscope

Promoting the use of colonoscopy through visual graphics, a team of gastroenterologists on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus has won the Community Outreach Award from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

The award is for designing an infographic that grabs readers’ attention in a manner that is easy to understand and effective in promoting colorectal cancer awareness and prevention. The illustration equates road safety signs to signs to follow to ensure personal health. For example, a yellow roadside caution sign says this in text next to the sign: Screen earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer.

Drs. Bhaumik S. Brahmbhatt and Michael B. Wallace will receive the ASGE award at the ASGE’s 75th-annual meeting in San Diego in May. ASGE will feature the graphic in a booklet and on the organization’s website. ASGE also will use the graphic in information campaigns designed to increase colon cancer prevention awareness.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

infograpic

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

 

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kevinpunsky

Tue, Mar 29 at 10:00am EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic Invests $100 Million in Destination Medical Center in the Southeast

wide shot of Mayo Clinic Florida campus with blue sky and water in foregroundJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Advancing its position as the premier medical destination center for health care in the Southeast, Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida will invest $100 million in major construction projects building on its 150-year history of transforming health care and the patient experience.

This summer, Mayo Clinic will begin constructing an innovative destination medical building that will provide integrated services needed for complex cancer, as well as neurologic and neurosurgical care. Initially rising four stories, the 150,000-square-foot building has the potential for 11 more stories. More than 126,000 patients are expected to visit the first year the building opens.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

“Mayo Clinic is proud to be out front leading the way to shape the future of health care,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida. “With our vision to be the destination medical center of the Southeast, we are making significant investments in people, facilities and technology to meet the needs of all of our patients, especially those who come to us for help with complex medical problems.”

Features of the destination medical building include:

  • Two floors devoted exclusively to hematology and oncology care
    The new space more than doubles the size of the Hematology and Oncology Department and will be complemented by a 50 percent increase in staff. The number of clinical trials and Mayo’s capacity to serve patients also will increase.
  • A chemotherapy area
    This area offers patients privacy and comfort, as well as space for family members, a dedicated nourishment area and a patient library.
  • One floor devoted exclusively to neurology and neurosurgery
    The new building also doubles the space for the neurology and neurosurgical departments and will support the hiring of 12 new neurologists and neurosurgeons.
  • Patient care enhancements
    Patient care enhancements include an outdoor garden and meeting space for support groups.
  • Education enhancements
    The building includes space designed specifically for Mayo Clinic’s education efforts and the training of residents and fellows.
View of a cyclotron from the inside

The cyclotron, similar to the one pictured from Mayo’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota, will enhance Mayo Clinic in Florida’s clinical practice in the area of molecular imaging and provide patients with access to the latest advancement in prostate cancer staging and detection.

Another construction project on Mayo’s Florida campus that begins this year is a state-of-the-art positron emission tomography (PET) radiochemistry facility. The facility will house a radiochemistry laboratory and a cyclotron – a particle accelerator important in the production of radiopharmaceuticals. The facility will produce Mayo-developed choline C-11 used in certain PET scans. The scans are the latest advancements in imaging tests that “light up” prostate cancer wherever it is found and provide targets for therapy. Locating recurrent prostate cancer sooner may enable Mayo physicians to target the cancer more quickly, before it spreads even further allowing for more effective treatment.

“With the ability to produce choline C-11 PET scans, Mayo’s cyclotron will be unlike any other in the Southeast,” Dr. Farrugia says. “It will enhance Mayo’s clinical practice and play an important role in research.”

“Millions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. on producing cancer therapies that don’t help – often because physicians and medical personnel can’t see where the cancer has spread,” Dr. Farrugia continues. “The cyclotron and production of this imaging technology are great examples of how Mayo Clinic is leading the way in health care to produce better patient outcomes, reduce cost and advance scientific discovery.”

Over the next five years, Mayo Clinic will add about 40 physicians and scientists and 250 allied health employees to support the new destination medical building and PET radiochemistry facility. Mayo currently has 5,351 employees and contributes more than $1.6 billion to the Florida economy.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

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kevinpunsky

Thu, Feb 18 at 2:00pm EST by @kevinpunsky · View  

Surgery and Stenting Safe, Effective Lowering Long-Term Risk of Stroke

medical illustration of carotid stenting 16x9

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Stenting and surgery are equally effective at lowering the long-term risk of stroke from a narrowed carotid artery, according to results of CREST – a 10-year, federally funded clinical trial led by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida. The results are being published today online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

One of the largest randomized stroke prevention trials ever, CREST (Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial) conducted a study of 2,502 patients with an average age of 69 for up to 10 years at 117 centers in the U.S. and Canada. The centers were coordinated through Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, and the patient results were analyzed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746,
[email protected]

The study found the risk for stroke after either stenting or surgery (endarterectomy) was about 7 percent. The 10-year comparisons of restenosis (re-narrowing of the carotid artery) were low for both stenting and surgery – about 1 percent per year. Equal benefit was found for older and younger individuals, men and women, patients who had previously had a stroke, and those who had not.

“This very low rate shows these two procedures are safe and are also very durable in preventing stroke,” says CREST principal investigator Thomas G. Brott, M.D., a neurologist and the Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Professor of Neurosciences on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida. “Because Medicare-age patients with carotid narrowing are living longer, the durability of stenting and surgery will be reassuring to the patients and their families.”

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Brott are available in the downloads.

A carotid artery runs up each side of the neck. Plaque buildup can cause narrowing and hardening of the artery – a condition called atherosclerosis. This can reduce blood flow and cause clotting, which can result in a stroke.

Endarterectomy removes the narrowed segment of the artery surgically, while stenting uses a catheter to place a stent in the narrowed artery to widen it.

In 2010, phase one of CREST found stenting and surgery to be equally safe procedures, with fewer strokes among those who had surgery, and fewer heart attacks among those who received stents. Those results also were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“This second phase completes a story, and the results are very encouraging,” Dr. Brott says. “We have two safe procedures. We know now that they are very effective in the long run. Now the patient and the physician have the option to select surgery or stenting, based on that individual patient’s medical condition and preferences.”

Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, also noted that “the stroke rate in CREST was less than half of what was seen in similar studies from the late 1900s, which reinforces the benefits of modern medical control of vascular risk factors.”

Despite the results of CREST, the question of the best way to manage stroke risk has not been answered yet. Because of that, CREST-2 was launched in December 2014 to compare stenting and surgery to medical management. CREST-2, which is expected to end in 2022, is being funded by a $39.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“Carotid narrowing causes about 5 to 10 percent of all strokes in the U.S.,” Dr. Brott says. “Since there are about 800,000 strokes a year, we’re talking about 40,000 to 50,000 strokes a year. If we can find the best way to prevent those strokes, then we will have provided a service to those patients.”

CREST is funded by a grant (U01 NS038384-11) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institutes of Health. Additional support comes from Abbott Vascular, including donations of Accunet and Acculink systems that were equivalent to approximately 15 percent of the total study cost, to CREST centers in Canada and the U.S. that were at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs sites.

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About Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit mayoclinic.org or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

 

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kevinpunsky

Dec 2, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Evidence Suggests Amateur Contact Sports Increase Risk of Degenerative Disorder

Abnormal tau protein (brown) in a sample of the brain in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on the left and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on the right. In CTE, tau is deposited at the depths of brain folds (’sulci’), whereas in AD tau is deposited throughout the gray matter but not in the underlying white matter.

Abnormal tau protein (brown) in a brain sample in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), on left and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), right. In CTE, tau is deposited at the depths of brain folds (’sulci’), whereas in AD, tau is deposited throughout the gray matter but not in the underlying white matter.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Scientists have recently found evidence that professional football players are susceptible to a progressive degenerative disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by repetitive brain trauma. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a significant and surprising amount of CTE in males who had participated in amateur contact sports in their youth.

About one-third of these men whose brains had been donated to the Mayo Clinic Brain Bank had evidence of CTE pathology. CTE only can be diagnosed posthumously.

The Mayo study, published in the December issue of Acta Neuropathologica, links amateur contact sports — football, boxing, wrestling, rugby, basketball, baseball and others played while in school — with the development of CTE, which when severe can affect mood, behavior and cognition.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Journalists: Sound bites with study author Kevin Bieniek are available in the downloads. 

[...]

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kevinpunsky

Nov 12, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic awarded $5.3 million federal grant to study vascular risk factors in dementia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was awarded a $5.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify vascular risk factors in aging and dementia, and translate that knowledge into studying potential targets for treatment.closeup of young hands and older hands working on a puzzle

The grant is one of the first awarded as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which called for an aggressive and coordinated national Alzheimer’s disease plan. The first goal of the national plan is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

Guojun Bu, Ph.D., molecular neuroscientist, and Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist and neurogeneticist, are the principal investigators for the study. Both are based on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. Several additional investigators on Mayo’s Florida and Rochester, Minnesota, campuses, as well as Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, will be involved.

Jounalists: Sound bites with Guojun Bu, Ph.D., and Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, M.D., Ph.D., are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

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Oct 11, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic and St. Vincent’s HealthCare collaborate on cancer care services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus and St. Vincent’s HealthCare, a ministry of Ascension Health, are collaborating to bring Mayo Clinic’s nationally ranked cancer services to patients in a newly built medical suite on the campus of St. Vincent’s Riverside. The goal is to offer Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center’s programs and services to more patients directly in the community.

Construction of the 11,500-square-foot medical suite is expected to be completed in summer of 2016. Financial details of the agreement will not be disclosed.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with a local health system that is known worldwide for delivering superior cancer care,” says Michael Schatzlein, M.D., President and CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “Every year, thousands of patients travel across the globe to be treated by Mayo Clinic physicians, and, now, St. Vincent’s will offer our patients the same high-quality care right here on our Riverside campus.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected]
Kyle Sieg, St. Vincent’s HealthCare, 904-308-7992, [email protected]

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Sep 15, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo receives federal grant to test innovative triple-negative breast cancer vaccine

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have been awarded a $13.3 million, five-year federal grant to test a vaccine designed to prevent the recurrence of triple-negative breast cancer, a subset of breast cancer for which there are no targeted therapies.

The clinical trial, which will enroll 280 patients at multiple clinical sites, is expected to begin early in 2016.

The grant, the Breakthrough Award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program, will fund a national, phase II clinical trial testing the ability of a folate receptor alpha vaccine to prevent recurrence of this aggressive cancer following initial treatment.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Knutson are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected] [...]

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Aug 24, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Mayo Clinic researchers find new code that makes reprogramming of cancer cells possible

 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Cancer researchers dream of the day they can force tumor cells to morph back to the normal cells they once were. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy.

The finding, published in Nature Cell Biology, represents “an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer,” says the study’s senior investigator, Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Anastasiadis are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

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Jul 23, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

Researchers decode molecular action of combination therapy for a deadly thyroid cancer

ResearchJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In their bid to find the best combination of therapies to treat anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus demonstrated that all histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are not created equal.

In testing multiple HDAC inhibitors in combination with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, known to give some benefit for this aggressive cancer, they found that class II HDAC inhibitors signal through a newly discovered pathway to promote synergy with chemotherapy treatment.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Copland are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected]

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Jul 21, 2015 by @kevinpunsky · View  

U.S. News & World Report ranks Mayo Clinic No. 1 in Jacksonville, a leading hospital nationally in cancer and 3 other areas

Mayo Clinic in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. News & World Report again has named Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus to its annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals” published online today. Mayo Clinic is ranked No. 1 in the Jacksonville metro area, No. 4 in Florida and among the top 50 hospitals nationally in cancer, gastroenterology (GI) and GI surgery, geriatrics, and neurology and neurosurgery.

The Florida campus also was recognized as high performing in diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose and throat, gynecology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

“This honor reflects the deep commitment of our staff to provide the highest quality of care to our patients every day,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “Our employees are critical to the success of Mayo Clinic. I’m extremely grateful for their dedication and commitment to making the patient experience the very best it can be.”

Journalists: Sound bites from Dr. Farrugia are available in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, [email protected] [...]

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