Tag Archives: neurologist

The Parkinson’s/Statin Paradox: New Analysis Raises Questions About Previous Findings

In 2013, a paper published in Neurology advocated a clinical opinion that statin use was protective against Parkinson’s disease (PD).¹ However, Xuemei Huang, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chair for research, Penn State Hershey Neurology, led a team in a prospective analysis of the connection between statins and PD in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, which strongly suggests the opposite finding.²

While the analysis was based on just 106 cases of the more than 15,000 patients enrolled in ARIC, Huang says, “The length of the study, measurement of cholesterol, and recording of patients’ statin history all combine to make top-notch data collection.” One especially interesting feature of the ARIC patient cohort is that the study began before statins were widely used, but continued for twenty years, marking a unique opportunity to analyze pre- and post-statin disease correlates. In addition, not only did Huang’s study find that statins may not confer a protective effect against the development of PD, but they may actually increase the risk of developing PD with long-term use.²

Changes in statin use

The changes of statin usage (A) and plasma total cholesterol levels in Atherosclerosis Risk in Community Study (ARIC) stratified by statin usage (B) and Parkinson’s disease (C) status.2

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Multi-Disciplinary Approach and Collaborative Research Spawn Innovations, New Fellowship in Peripheral Nerve Program

The peripheral nerve program at Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute uses nerve transfer procedures to treat complex cases. Division Chief of Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Kimberly S. Harbaugh, M.D., explains one option, “Oberlin transfer is a procedure in which the clinician harvests part of one of the nerves from the hand and transfers it to the nerve in the patient’s bicep muscle. In this way, we have been able to restore significant levels of elbow flexion.” This has multiple potential applications, even in patients with spinal cord injuries. A portion of the nerves that are still intact above the level of the injury can be transferred to areas below the injury. In this way, spinal cord injury patients may be able to reclaim some finger and hand function, leading to improved self-care options.¹

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Elias B. Rizk, M.D., M.Sc., details a recent case: “I had a male patient in his mid- 20s with a direct injury to his brachial plexus. He had been in a car accident, and in a state of semi-consciousness, he tried to release himself by using a pocket knife. He stuck it into his chest wall, severing one of the nerves to the arm. As a result, he lost his functional elbow movement. After six months, we elected to do an Oberlin nerve transfer to his bicep muscle. He had a very good recovery, with restoration of elbow flexion, and is now back to work.” Continue reading

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Advancing Quality of Care: At Home and Around the Globe

Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, has a global perspective when it comes to providing quality, multi-disciplinary care. This is best represented by the Institute’s expansive global exchange program among neuroscience clinicians and researchers, spanning four continents. Every neurosurgical resident is given the opportunity to hone his or her skills abroad, and almost half choose to do so. The primary exchange program is with the Bureau of Public Health in Tianjin, China, a formal relationship that began in 2006. Through a grant funded by Integra Foundation, eight Penn State Hershey Medical Center faculty members have studied there, while thirty-four exchange students have learned alongside Penn State College of Medicine faculty.

The exchange program functions as part of a developing program to encourage collaboration between clinicians and researchers at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Tianjin’s largest hospitals. These reciprocal relationships enable providers to share best practices and advanced technology to improve patient outcomes. From a clinical standpoint, foreign physicians can gain experience with virtually every neurosurgical procedure that is currently performed at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. In the research arena, groundbreaking studies are being conducted through the Center for Neural Engineering and Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery laboratory. Research is ongoing in neurodegenerative disease, brain iron deficiency, brain tumors, epilepsy, and brain-machine interfaces. Physicians from the US and China also collaborate on clinical trials, mutually benefiting with shared data from their genetically disparate populations. Continue reading

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Focus on Leadership, Citizenship Sets Department of Neurosurgery Apart

Robert Harbaugh, M.D., professor and chair of Penn State Department of Neurosurgery and director of Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, encourages all members of his department to take an active role in the field. “One thing we encourage in our residency training, aside from the usual missions of education, patient care, and research, is involvement in organized neurosurgery.” As they train new residents, Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery faculty members also encourage younger physicians to pass on their knowledge and adopt a citizenship role in the field.

Harbaugh himself holds multiple leadership positions, including president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons. He previously served as immediate past president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and director and member of the Advisory Council of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Harbaugh has traveled extensively to lecture on various topics, including his clinical specialty of cerebrovascular neurosurgery and his research work on computer modeling of intracranial aneurysms.


Robert Harbaugh, M.D.Robert E. Harbaugh, M.D., FAANS, FACS, FAHA
Director, Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Penn State Hershey Neurosurgery
Professor, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics
PHONE: 717-531-7487
E-MAIL: reh21@psu.edu
RESIDENCY: Neurological Surgery, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Penn State College of Medicine


 

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Penn State Hershey Medical Center Honored with Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award and Stroke Honor Roll

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has recognized Penn State Hershey Medical Center for its high-level care of stroke patients. The Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for the sixth consecutive year by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

The award is the highest level of recognition available for treatment of patients with stroke and recognizes Penn State Hershey for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the AHA/ASA for the treatment of stroke patients.

Penn State Hershey also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA.

Penn State Hershey is one of only seven Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Pennsylvania, the only one in Central Pennsylvania, and one of only seventy-eight in the country.

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Telestroke System Emphasizes Partnership with Regional Facilities for Improved Patient Outcomes

Penn State Hershey LionNet telestroke system

Open communication between participants enhances the success of the Penn State Hershey LionNet telestroke system.

Penn State Hershey Medical Center spearheads a sophisticated telestroke system, LionNet, expanding the capabilities of partner hospitals. By exposing more patients to specialized neurological care, LionNet can dramatically increase positive outcomes for patients with both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

Using advanced computer systems with webcams, LionNet allows a Penn State Hershey stroke neurologist or neurosurgeon to consult in real-time with an ED doctor at a partner facility. The specialist examines the patient remotely, reviews scans, and makes a recommendation regarding whether to begin intravenous tPA therapy or transport the patient for possible neurosurgical intervention at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

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Telestroke partnerships advance stroke care in local communities

LionNet Telestroke Team

L to R: Kevin Cockroft, M.D., Jennifer Humbert, R.N., and Ray Reichwein, M.D.

LionNet, Penn State Hershey’s regional stroke care network, offers real-time video consults with doctors in area emergency departments (EDs) and Penn State Hershey specialists, providing faster diagnosis and treatment of strokes for patients throughout central Pennsylvania.

“When patients come to an ED with suspected stroke, they need immediate evaluation by a specialist who can confirm the diagnosis and make treatment recommendations,” said Jennifer Humbert, R.N., Penn State Hershey LionNet coordinator. Continue reading

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Penn State Hershey named Comprehensive Stroke Center

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s designation as the only comprehensive stroke center in central Pennsylvania means that patients who require treatment beyond administration of the clot-busting tPA drug can get the care they need.

Several hospitals in the central Pennsylvania region have now become certified or primary stroke centers [see graphic for explanation on the differences between certifications].

Many hospitals have increased their rates of diagnosis and tPA administration as a result of a telemedicine partnership with Penn State Hershey.

Still, about a quarter of stroke patients need advanced interventions that only an academic or comprehensive stroke center like Penn State Hershey can provide.

CSCStrokeLogo

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New Faculty

Cathy Adams, D.O. Cathy Adams, D.O., Neurologist
FELLOWSHIP: Vascular Neurology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 2013
RESIDENCY: Neurology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 2009-Present
LOCATION: Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, Hershey, PA
Marcus Keep, M.D. Marcus Keep, M.D., Neurosurgeon
RESIDENCY: Neurosurgery, McGill University, Faculty of Medicine, 1994
LOCATION: Penn State Hershey Medical Group at St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading, PA
Elias Rizk, M.D. Elias Rizk, M.D., M.Sc., Pediatric Neurosurgeon
FELLOWSHIP: Neurological Surgery, Pediatrics, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, 2013
RESIDENCY: Neurology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 2009-Present
SPECIALTY: Pediatric neurosurgery and peripheral nerve surgery
LOCATION: Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, Hershey, PA
Simon Scott, M.D. Scott Simon, M.D., Neurosurgeon
FELLOWSHIP: Endovascular Neurosurgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2010
RESIDENCY: Neurosurgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2010
RESIDENCY: General Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2004
SPECIALTY: Neurovascular disease
LOCATION: Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, Hershey, PA
Rychi Wanchoo, M.D. Ruchi Wanchoo, M.D., Neurologist
RESIDENCY: Neurology, University of Texas at Houston, 2010
RESIDENCY: Family Practice, University of Texas at Houston, 2007
SPECIALTY: General neurology and multiple sclerosis
LOCATION: Penn State Hershey Neuroscience Institute, Hershey, PA

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