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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 2, 2015) — An umbrella term for impaired lung function, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes a number of diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and some types of asthma. More than 12 million Americans were diagnosed with COPD in 2011, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate twice that number suffer from undiagnosed cases.
Patients with COPD experience reductions in lung function, which interfere with their ability to perform routine activities. Modern medical therapies and disease management practices for COPD can delay lung impairment and improve the patient’s quality of life. According to Dr. David Mannino, at least a third of Americans living with COPD discover their diagnosis after experiencing late-stage disease exacerbations. At this point, lung deterioration eliminates the possibility of intervention.
“Undiagnosed and untreated COPD can lead to detriments in quality of life, and basically people start doing less because they have difficulty breathing,” Mannino, a professor in the UK College of Public Health, said. “Many people attribute this difficulty of breathing to just getting older when, in fact, they may have a disease that is potentially treatable. With the appropriate therapy and interventions, our patients can live near to normal lives and do many of the things that they would like to do.”
Mannino collaborated with a national team of public health experts to develop a novel tool intended to hasten the process of detecting and diagnosing cases of COPD in moderate to severely impaired patients. Maninno, professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Public Health, led a team of researchers charged by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Heart, Lung and Blood Institute with designing a direct and timely process for identifying cases of COPD in the primary care setting. As the presenting author on the project and principal investigator on the grant awarded by the NIH, Maninno reported on the findings from a study examining the effectiveness a five-step diagnostic tool during a meeting of the European Respiratory Society in Amsterdam on Sept. 29.
The three-year trial tested the diagnostic effectiveness of a simple patient questionnaire, as well as two common methods for diagnosing COPD: a peak flow examination and spirometry. A peak flow procedure measures the amount of air pushed from the patient’s lungs and a spirometer calculates the air capacity of the lungs. The experimental design tested all three methods, with an additional condition of peak flow used in conjunction with the questionnaire, in patients with clinically-significant COPD and patients with mild or no COPD. Study results supported the five-series questionnaire paired with the peak flow condition as the most effective of the three diagnostic approaches.
The tool poses five simple “yes or no” questions related to the patient’s lifestyle. Questions ask about pollutant exposure in workplace environments, frequency of respiratory infections, energy levels, and occurrences of pneumonia. The tool did not ask about smoking history. Once tested in more populations, Mannino believes this tool can enable health providers to diagnose COPD in a matter of seconds, but will also help proactive patients find out whether they are suffering from COPD symptoms before a doctor’s visit.
“What we would like to see is that this tool be used certainly in primary care practices,” Mannino said. “There is the potential that this is something that could be used by individuals to screen themselves and sort of give them something to talk about with their physician.”
While smoking is a significant predictor of COPD, it is not the sole cause of the disease.
Previous screening methods to diagnose COPD relied on the smoking history of patients, as well as patient cough and sputum, as the primary determinants of a diagnosis. According to Mannino, COPD is caused by a number of factors, including surrounding environments and occupational hazards. Mannino said high rates of smoking parallel with high rates of COPD in Kentucky, but a number of other factors, such as coal mining, environmental dust and poverty, put Kentuckians at a high risk of COPD.
A 2011 survey reported 9.8 percent of Kentuckians have received a diagnosis of COPD from their doctor. Oxygen therapies and medications can help alleviate symptoms of COPD at an early stage.
In the next stage of the project, Mannino and colleagues will test the effectiveness of the five-question tool in different populations.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
The American Society of Virology, comprised of over 3,000 members from around the globe, was founded in 1981 to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration for investigators of human, animal, insect, plant, fungal and bacterial viruses. ASV sponsors a large annual meeting, promotes communication about virology research to the broader community, and represents virologists on national and international scientific councils. Dutch will serve as the ASV president-elect for 2015-2016 and ASV president from 2016-2017.
Dutch is a professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and associate dean of Biomedical Education in the UK College of Medicine. She was named a UK University Research Professor for 2015-2016.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2015) — Register now for the inaugural International Society of Neurogastronomy symposium, which will be held at the University of Kentucky on Nov. 7, 2015. Featuring speakers like "Mind of a Chef" host and restauranteur Ed Lee and the father of neurogastronomy, Dr. Gordon Shepherd, the symposium will explore the concept of brain and behavior in the context of food.
The term, "neurogastonomy, was coined by Dr. Gordon Shepherd, professor of neurobiology at Yale University — first in 2006 in an article in Nature and six years later in an eponymous book. While Shepherd has been interested in the concept from a research perspective, UK neuropsychologist Dan Han and a group of neuroscientists, chefs and food scientists are enthusiastic about making it a clinical translational science, with applications in cancer, stroke and brain injury, (which can destroy the sense of taste) and disease like diabetes and heart disease.
The day's format differs from the typical symposium, featuring brief presentations modeled after the popular TED talks and punctuated with breaks for tastings and a contest where food from regional and national chefs will be judged by patients with taste impairments.
For more information about the symposium and how to register, click here.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2015) – Scott. M. Lephart, Ph.D., dean of the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences, and colleagues have received a $4,188,000 grant from the Department of Defense to support research on injury prevention and performance optimization in U.S. Special Forces. The award, the largest ever received by the College of Health Sciences, coincides with the establishment of the new UK Sports Science Research Institute (SSRI).
The award allows Lephart to continue providing leadership of one of the six U.S. Special Forces research projects he launched during his 27-year tenure at the University of Pittsburgh.
“The award permits our crucial work with Special Forces to continue and aligns with the long-term aims of the project under the newly established SSRI,” said Lephart, who also serves as Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Research at UK. “This is the beginning of a reinvigorated research enterprise at the UK College of Health Sciences, as well as the addition of a vital asset to the research efforts of UK HealthCare and the University.”
The planned 6,000-square-foot SSRI will be a multidisciplinary scientific center focused on contemporary approaches to prevention and treatment of sports injuries and concussions, performance optimization, musculoskeletal health and rehabilitation, metabolism, and neuro-cognition. Scheduled for completion in summer 2016, the SSRI will be located on the UK campus.
“This grant brings a unique opportunity to the University and to the Commonwealth,” said UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto. "SSRI's purpose meshes well with the university's commitment, as a land-grant institution, to the Commonwealth and its people.”
Eight new faculty members will join UK to work with the SSRI. Two of the faculty members are based in Lexington: John Abt, Ph.D., director of the SSRI; and Nicholas Heebner, M.S., A.T.C., SSRI laboratory manager. Other faculty members, including Josh Winters, Ph.D., and Scott Royer, M.S., who will operate the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operation Command (MARSOC) lab at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
MARSOC is the Marine Corps’ arm of the U.S. Special Forces. Through concentrated and specialized training and education, MARSOC develops and maintains agile combat athletes, organized in small, adaptable teams of Marine Raiders.
MARSOC Marines must complete a two-phase assessment and selection process, starting with a 21-day course that begins and ends with an intense physical evaluation. Those who move forward from phase one proceed to a nine-month course meant to transform a Marine into a Critical Skills Operator (CSO) or Special Operations Officer. Approximately 100 Marines are selected as CSOs each year.
Musculoskeletal injuries are common during the demanding training, as well as during combat. The short-term and long-term effects of such injuries include loss of active duty time, financial impacts and the adverse effects on the overall health of military personnel. The aim of the research is to develop strategies for injury prevention and performance optimization, similar to those used with athletes, but adapted to the specialized needs of military personnel.
“These Marines are training to become small teams of elite warriors expected to be at peak performance in extremely dangerous and unpredictable situations,” Lephart said. “There is absolutely no room for sustaining a preventable injury. That’s why our work is so mission-critical for the Special Forces.”
The SSRI staff will conduct a variety of field studies focused on the physical demands on MARSOC Marines during the nine-month course. For example, SSRI researchers will identify common injury patterns among MARSOC Marines and develop clinical trials with their human performance personnel to test training programs targeted at injury prevention.
“The SSRI’s work with MARSOC has the potential to inform and improve their resiliency, and ultimately improve their mission outcomes,” Lephart said.
The SSRI’s reach will extend beyond military personnel. The SSRI will provide outreach
opportunities incorporating applicable strategies on injury prevention, human performance, sports nutrition and overall wellness to recreational and competitive youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and senior athletes, coaches, parents and other health care providers.
Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs, predicts that SSRI's impact will extend far beyond the realms of tactical warriors and professional athletes. “The bottom line – the SSRI is a powerful merger of research, outreach and collaboration, enhancing UK HealthCare's efforts to address chronic disease and poor health in Kentucky,” Karpf said. “The SSRI is dedicated to research excellence, community outreach, and collaboration – all directed toward one outcome: optimal health through healthier lifestyles.”
Media contact: Laura Dawahare, Laura.Dawahare@uky.edu, (859) 257-5307
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) - UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging (SBCoA) is hosting its fifth annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging and Dementia on Nov. 20-21. This two day program will offer sessions for both scientific and community audiences. Clinicians and researchers from the University of Kentucky and other institutions will come together to share current findings, trends and the latest updates on dementia and aging disorders, particularly as related to Alzheimer’s disease.
The Markesbery Symposium is in honor of the late Dr. William R. Markesbery, the founder and long-time director of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and an internationally renowned expert on aging and dementia.
On Friday, Nov. 20, the scientific session will be held in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium. Scientists and physicians will discuss their latest research findings through lectures and poster sessions. Featured speakers include Dr. Sam Gandy of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Dr. Ronald C. Petersen of Mayo Medical College - Mayo Clinic. SBCoA faculty Steve Estus, Liz Head, Dick Kryscio and Mark Lovell will present updates on their research studies.
On Saturday, Nov. 21, the community session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Bluegrass Ballroom at the Lexington Convention Center. A continental breakfast will be provided. Dr. Peterson, who treated former President Ronald Reagan and singer/songwriter Glenn Campbell, will be the keynote speaker. SBCoA faculty Erin Abner, Donna Wilcock, Greg Jicha, Steve Scheff also will present their study findings and answer questions from the audience. SBCoA director Linda Van Eldik will offer closing remarks.
The symposium is free and open to all, but registration is required. For more information or to register for the symposium please visit: http://medicine.mc.uky.edu/conference/; phone 859-323-6040; or email email@example.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2015) – Six of the eight patients who recently took part in UK HealthCare's first kidney donor chain learned who their respective recipients or donors were for the first time yesterday. The kidney donor chain was the first of its kind performed at UK HealthCare and the longest donor chain to date in Kentucky.
"UK HealthCare has been performing kidney transplants since 1964, but this is really a milestone for us and for the Commonwealth," said Dr. Roberto Gedaly, chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery at UK HealthCare. "We're thrilled to come together today to celebrate our first successful kidney donor chain with donors, recipients, and many of the staff who made this complicated series of procedures possible."
Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else. When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger.
While patients will be placed on the transplant list to receive a donor kidney, it may take weeks, months, or even years for an appropriately matched kidney to be found. While waiting for a match, patients may undergo dialysis multiple times a week, but their health usually continues to decline, leading to renal failure and eventually to death.
By participating in the donor chain, patients are likely to receive a kidney much sooner than if they had waited for one to become available via the transplant list. They also have the benefit of receiving a kidney from a live donor.
"Research shows that patients who are able to receive a kidney from a live donor have much better outcomes than those who receive a kidney from a deceased donor," said Dr. Stephen Strup, chief of the UK Division of Urological Surgery. "That's not always a possibility for many patients, and even if they have a willing donor, they're not always a good match. But with kidney donor chains gaining in popularity, it opens up a lot of doors for these patients."
Finding the appropriate patients for the donor chain was made possible with assistance from Nephrology Associates of Kentuckiana and the UK Transplant and Specialty Clinic at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville, Ky., who both refer patients for transplant and provide pre- and post-op care to patients in the region.
UK HealthCare performed the 8-person chain in-house over the course of two days, backed by a team of surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, pathologists, lab technicians, and many other staff from the UK Transplant Center and the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
Four donors and four recipients participated, hailing from central and eastern Kentucky, Louisville, and southern Indiana. The chain was initiated by one altruistic donor who was willing to give her kidney to anyone who needed it: Nicki Coulter, a former nurse from Bloomfield, Ky.
"I used to be a nurse, and I just felt like this was something I needed to do," Coulter said. "I was blessed with good health and a good support system in my family. So I decided to do it!"
Altruistic donors are rare, though they have become more frequent in recent years. As kidney donor chains gain popularity in the U.S., these donors now have the potential to save multiple lives through the donation of a single kidney.
"With a kidney chain, the altruistic donor then benefits not just one person, but a whole group of people," Strup said. "Having that one person step up and offer to donate a kidney anonymously to anyone who needs it allows us to start matching incompatible pairs through the chain."
UK HealthCare performed 90 kidney transplants last year, with 26 of those coming from living donors. Though most people are born with two kidneys, many people can live a normal, healthy life with one kidney. When donors give away their second kidney, the remaining kidney can increase in size and become more efficient to return the donor to normal renal function.
To perform the kidney donor chain procedures, the UK Transplant Center joined the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Kidney paired donation program and created new policies at UK HealthCare that were modeled after UNOS guidelines. With one successful kidney donor chain under their belt, the UK Transplant Center staff is already working on connecting the next chain.
"The gathering of these patients, donors and their families demonstrates the true depth and breadth of advanced subspecialty services at UK HealthCare," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "Caring for highly complex patients who come to UK from across the Commonwealth and beyond to provide the most advanced treatment and procedures by our specialized, expert team of health care providers is not only our mission, but our promise and commitment to the region we serve."
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2015) — Today, UK HealthCare will announce its first "kidney donor chain" and patients in the chain will learn who their respective donors/recipients were for the first time.
Kidney donor chains, also called kidney paired exchanges, occur when a living kidney donor is incompatible with their intended recipient. The donor may agree to donate their kidney to a different patient, provided that their loved one receives a kidney from someone else. When multiple pairs are involved, this causes a domino effect, with each recipient receiving a matched kidney from a stranger.
The recent kidney donor chain was the first of its kind performed at UK HealthCare and the longest donor chain to date in Kentucky.
Click below to watch today’s announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx8nxTK2Qu8
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Nursing opened its first faculty-run community health center to bill for patient services in historic downtown Wilmore, Kentucky, on Sept. 14.
Located beside the Sims Pharmacy on East Main St., the Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center provides health care services for common illnesses such as respiratory infections, allergy symptoms, sore throats and skin infections. Other services such as school, sports and pre-employment physicals, immunizations and health education and counseling are also provided. The clinic, operated by nurse practitioners in the UK College of Nursing, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and accepts walk-ins as well as appointments.
In addition to fulfilling a need for accessible basic health services in Jessamine County, the clinic provides a space where students from the UK College of Nursing can train under faculty in a clinical setting. In a recent report titled, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” the Institute of Medicine challenged the next generation of nurses to practice to the full extent of their knowledge and training. The new clinic accomplishes this objective by allowing students to see the range of health services a nurse practitioner is able to deliver in a small community.
“It’s nice for us to be able to demonstrate to our students how you practice to the extent of your license,” said Sharon Lock, professor, director of faculty practice and coordinator of the primary care doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the UK College of Nursing. “Some faculty members can practice here, and we can place our students here so they can see how a nurse practitioner-run clinic works.”
Family physician Dr. Phyllis Corbitt served the Wilmore community for more than 40 years. When Corbitt retired, the clinic building owner Hugh Sims, a graduate of UK, notified faculty members in the UK College of Nursing of the vacancy. The College of Nursing named their new clinic after Corbitt to honor her long-time service to the community and relational approach to health care.
Practitioners at the Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center collaborate with Dr. Sam Matheny in the UK Department of Family and Community Medicine on cases requiring more complex care. The clinic will operate under a limited services licensure and accepts most insurance providers.
“The clinic is not only an opportunity for community engagement, but it signifies our commitment for advancing integrative and collaborative UK HealthCare learning and working environments,” Janie Heath, dean of the College of Nursing and Warwick Professor of Nursing, said.
To make an appointment at the clinic, call 859-858-0339. The clinic is located at 317 East Main St.
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Adams, email@example.com
This article first appeared in the Sept. 20 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2015) — In the 1970s U.S. Congress banned tobacco ads to protect our impressionable youth from perceiving smoking as socially desirable.
Now, for the first time in decades, advertisements portraying the recreational use of tobacco products are reappearing in popular media. Advertisements present e-cigarettes and vaporizers as safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes. Tobacco control advocates fear this type of exposure will unravel decades of progress in America by renormalizing smoking.
Researchers know little about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. We do know nicotine, a highly addictive substance, has harmful effects on the adolescent brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more young people are trying e-cigarettes, and those who try e-cigarettes are twice as likely to express intent to smoke conventional cigarettes. About three out of four teen smokers will continue to smoke into adulthood.
It’s imperative that parents, mentors, teachers and youth are not misled about dangers of e-cigarettes through advertising.
No Regulatory Standards
The e-cigarette is classified in the U.S. as a tobacco product, not a tobacco cessation therapy. These devices came on the market in 2007 without any FDA testing and escaped many of the safety controls that protect consumers from potential harm.
FDA investigations are finding inconsistences with the chemical and nicotine content reported on the product’s label and what is actually in the e-juice. Both devices and e-juice can be customized. Currently, no government standards exist for the production process or ingredients used in e-cigarettes or e-juice.
Exposure to Highly Addictive Nicotine
Tobacco control advocates are especially concerned about the consequences of exposing teens to any amount of nicotine, which is highly addictive. Most people start using tobacco products before age 18. The younger a person is exposed to nicotine, the harder it is to quit later in life. Nicotine exposure can cause lasting harm to the brain and promote sustained use.
In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette users are exposed to 40 to 60 other chemicals found in e-juice. To date, no scientific evidence can fully explain the effects of those chemicals on the body when they are heated and inhaled.
Use for Illegal Substances
Youth are able to modify e-cigarettes for the consumption of illegal drugs. The devices can mask an illegal substance and facilitate smoking at school.
E-cigarettes are not innocuous devices. The unanswered questions regarding the safety of these devices and the detriments of exposing youth to nicotine aren’t worth the risk of trying them.
Audrey Darville is a tobacco treatment specialist at the University of Kentucky and an assistant professor in the UK College of Nursing.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky’s celebration of its 150th anniversary winds down, the UK College of Health Sciences is ramping up for its 50th anniversary in 2016. With new leadership in place and strategic partnerships solidifying, the College of Health Sciences is poised to make the next 50 years even more impactful for the Commonwealth.
The UK College of Health Sciences, originally called the College of Allied Health Professions, was one of the first 13 colleges formed following the passage of The Allied Health Professions Personnel Training Act of 1966, with Joseph Hamburg serving as dean. The original schools, including those at The Ohio State University, the University of Florida and the University of Pennsylvania, paved the way for allied health professions in the U.S.
The legislation was passed in response to growing demand for high quality health care and brought recognition to the wide array of health care professions beyond medicine, dentistry and nursing.
The act reads in part: “There has been increasing awareness of the necessity to develop linkages among academic, training, and service institutions and the various related professional groups so that dynamic educational programs can be offered that will attract able students and prepare them for satisfying careers.”
That statement still rings true for the UK College of Health Sciences, as it continues to innovate in the key areas of education, research and service. The college was one of the first at UK to offer a complete distance learning degree program. It began educating physical therapy students at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard in 1992 and physician assistant students in Morehead in 1996. More recently, the Medical Laboratory Science Program was re-established to educate students at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard.
The college prides itself on offering students a robust educational experience, which includes interprofessional, innovative learning opportunities, as well as the chance to go beyond the classroom with hands-on patient care, research, service and study-abroad opportunities.
The College of Health Sciences offers innovative programs, such as Human Health Sciences, which serve as the gateway to the health sciences professions, including medicine and dentistry. Its aim is to prepare career-ready professionals to enter health care fields that are in high demand.
Today, the college has more than 1,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs in Athletic Training, Clinical Leadership and Management, Clinical Nutrition (in collaboration with the College of Medicine), Communication Sciences and Disorders, Human Health Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program.
Researchers at the College of Health Sciences share a common vision – a dynamic, sustainable research enterprise that reaches into the community, improving the lives of Kentuckians and extending beyond its borders. Helping individuals attain the highest level of health possible is at the core of the college’s research. Areas of focus include the prevention of injury and disability due to exercise/sport participation, aging, chronic disease, or other adverse factors; rehabilitation after injury or illness; innovations in the treatment of voice, swallowing, and language disorders; and exercise; nutrition in the context of optimal health and performance enhancement; and military injury prevention and performance optimization.
Research is also a fundamental part of the educational experience at the college, as students have the opportunity to be involved in our ongoing research projects. The college also maintains a thriving undergraduate research program, which fosters the curiosity of undergraduate students by offering opportunities across a variety of topics for mentored, self-directed work. Additionally, the college is the first on campus to offer an undergraduate certificate in research, which is open to all majors.
The college has more than 7,500 alumni serving health care needs across the Commonwealth and beyond. In addition to the care its alumni provide, the College of Health Sciences provides expert clinical care in physical therapy and communication disorders.
The Division of Physical Therapy offers a clinic for runners and a student-managed physical therapy clinic. The Runners Clinic offers injury evaluation and treatment, as well as 3-D gait analysis to help prevent injury. Samaritan's Touch is managed by physical therapy students and faculty and provides services for uninsured or under-insured adults. The college also offers clinical speech-language pathology services through its Communication Disorders Academic Clinic, and the UK HealthCare Voice and Swallow Clinic and Speech-Language Pathology Clinic.
Moving forward, the college is working to develop a sustainable research enterprise, invest in strategic collaborations and support meaningful growth in its academic programs. The college is aligning its work with the trajectory of health care toward an emphasis on wellness and prevention.
“The common thread among our programs and our people is our mission,” Scott M. Lephart, dean of the College of Health Sciences, said. “We are driven by the desire to help people attain the highest level of health possible. Our work in education, research and service can be boiled down to one outcome: optimal health. The key is to help unlock the potential for optimal health in each individual we affect, indirectly or directly, through providing patient care, educating future health sciences professionals, and engaging in research aimed at the prevention of injury and disability.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2015) — A University of Kentucky study shows that withaferin A, a component of Withania somnifera (winter cherry) plant extract, may hold promise as a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Winter cherry extract was used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for thousands of years before it caught the interest of Subbarao Bondada, a University of Kentucky College of Medicine professor and researcher for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Because withaferin A shows promise in treating other cancers without the side effects associated with current treatments, Bondada’s laboratory tested it against lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and is known for being particularly aggressive.
Unlike other studies using withaferin A to treat cancer, Bondada’s study, published in the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, is the first to test the chemical against a blood cancer. Previous studies using withaferin A focused on cancers producing tumors that grow as a mass in tissue, more commonly known as solid tumors.
Katie McKenna, a graduate student in Bondada’s laboratory, found that withaferin A prevented the lymphoma cells from dividing and ultimately killed them. Specifically, they found withaferin A directly targeted a signaling pathway in the cancer it needs to survive.
“It may be possible to develop orally administered versions of withaferin A that could be used in lymphoma patients with fewer side effects than current chemotherapy regimens,” Bondada said.
Because withaferin A shows promise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Bondada’s team is now testing the chemical on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.
Bondada's group collaborated with University of Louisville Professor Ramesh Gupta, who aided in the isolation of withaferin A. This work was funded by the National Cancer Institute to the UK Markey Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health, Office of Vice President for Research for Core Research facilities and the Sabinsa Corporation and does not necessarily represent the views of these institutions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, 859-323-2399 or email@example.com
HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) ̶ University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center celebrated the 10th anniversary and the success story of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky at a special ceremony on Sept. 9. UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, John Sampson, UK HealthCare associate ambulatory director for clinical operations, Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO/medical director of the UK North Fork Valley Clinic, Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides, dean of the UK College of Dentistry, and Dr. Raynor Mullins, professor emeritus and retired chief of the Division of Dental Public Health at the UK College of Dentistry, gave remarks at the event held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard. As part of the day’s events, was the recognition of the accomplishments achieved in the first 10 years of the program, including a decrease in tooth decay rates of nearly 20 percent, cutting in half the urgent dental needs of children and improving treatment completion rates through local partnerships. When the program began, children in Eastern Kentucky had the worst oral health in the state and the second highest tooth decay rates in the nation. In 2005, UK’s North Fork Valley Community Health Center received the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels – one of only 40 in the world. A year later, the clinic applied for distinction as a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and was awarded their first HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) grant in 2006, funding that would be used to offer a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured residents of Perry and surrounding counties. Mobile dental services soon began in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, serving elementary school and Head Start children. Nearly 5,000 children were seen that first school year. “The baseline data was disturbing, especially when compared to national data and the HealthyPeople 2010 goals. A staggering 6 out of every 10 Head Start children and 7 out of every 10 of elementary school children had untreated tooth decay, and nearly 20 percent had urgent dental needs,” said Stone. “At nearly every Head Start center visited over the four-county area, at least one child in each center had all 20 baby teeth grossly decayed with multiple abscessed teeth. Compared to national data, the children in this service turned out to have the second highest untreated tooth decay rates in the nation, second only to the isolated Alaskan Native/Native American populations.” Slowly but surely, each school year, the tooth decay rates kept decreasing a few percentage points at a time, with an overall drop of nearly 20 percentage points to date, and the urgent dental needs have been cut in half, Stone said. “We have noticed this new generation is growing up with little to no dental anxiety,” Stone said. “They enjoy their dental visits on the mobile at their schools, and often ask if they can have another turn.” Through one-on-one as well as classroom-based oral health education, young patients better understand the importance of their baby teeth and they are teaching their own families about the importance of dental care. Additionally, school officials have seen that the children are able to concentrate and learn better in school and miss less school for dental visits and dental pain. Finally, children with healthy smiles are showing more self-confidence and self-esteem, which might possibly be the biggest obstacle children in poverty struggle to overcome. “As president of UK, but also as a dentist with a public health background, I am especially happy to know we are reaching out to children in the schools and daycares and providing them the preventive dental care they need to get a good head start on life,” said Capilouto. “Prevention is always the key to improving both oral and general health for all Kentuckians and to the many people here who have been instrumental in this program, I offer my appreciation and admiration for the great work that has been achieved. “The University is pleased to be part of this dental outreach program that offers children an opportunity for improved health, improved learning, ad improved lives as future citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) ̶ University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and the UK North Fork Valley Community Health Center celebrated the 10th anniversary and the success story of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky at a special ceremony on Sept. 9.
UK President Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Nikki Stone, director of the Eastern Kentucky Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, John Sampson, UK HealthCare associate ambulatory director for clinical operations, Fran Feltner, director of the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, Dr. Joe Kingery, CEO/medical director of the UK North Fork Valley Clinic, Dr. Stephanos Kyrkanides, dean of the UK College of Dentistry, and Dr. Raynor Mullins, professor emeritus and retired chief of the Division of Dental Public Health at the UK College of Dentistry, gave remarks at the event held at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard.
As part of the day’s events, was the recognition of the accomplishments achieved in the first 10 years of the program, including a decrease in tooth decay rates of nearly 20 percent, cutting in half the urgent dental needs of children and improving treatment completion rates through local partnerships. When the program began, children in Eastern Kentucky had the worst oral health in the state and the second highest tooth decay rates in the nation.
In 2005, UK’s North Fork Valley Community Health Center received the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a dental office on wheels – one of only 40 in the world. A year later, the clinic applied for distinction as a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and was awarded their first HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) grant in 2006, funding that would be used to offer a sliding fee scale to uninsured and underinsured residents of Perry and surrounding counties.
Mobile dental services soon began in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, serving elementary school and Head Start children. Nearly 5,000 children were seen that first school year.
“The baseline data was disturbing, especially when compared to national data and the HealthyPeople 2010 goals. A staggering 6 out of every 10 Head Start children and 7 out of every 10 of elementary school children had untreated tooth decay, and nearly 20 percent had urgent dental needs,” said Stone. “At nearly every Head Start center visited over the four-county area, at least one child in each center had all 20 baby teeth grossly decayed with multiple abscessed teeth. Compared to national data, the children in this service turned out to have the second highest untreated tooth decay rates in the nation, second only to the isolated Alaskan Native/Native American populations.”
Slowly but surely, each school year, the tooth decay rates kept decreasing a few percentage points at a time, with an overall drop of nearly 20 percentage points to date, and the urgent dental needs have been cut in half, Stone said.
“We have noticed this new generation is growing up with little to no dental anxiety,” Stone said. “They enjoy their dental visits on the mobile at their schools, and often ask if they can have another turn.”
Through one-on-one as well as classroom-based oral health education, young patients better understand the importance of their baby teeth and they are teaching their own families about the importance of dental care. Additionally, school officials have seen that the children are able to concentrate and learn better in school and miss less school for dental visits and dental pain. Finally, children with healthy smiles are showing more self-confidence and self-esteem, which might possibly be the biggest obstacle children in poverty struggle to overcome.
“As president of UK, but also as a dentist with a public health background, I am especially happy to know we are reaching out to children in the schools and daycares and providing them the preventive dental care they need to get a good head start on life,” said Capilouto. “Prevention is always the key to improving both oral and general health for all Kentuckians and to the many people here who have been instrumental in this program, I offer my appreciation and admiration for the great work that has been achieved.
“The University is pleased to be part of this dental outreach program that offers children an opportunity for improved health, improved learning, ad improved lives as future citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2015) – UK HealthCare's Ashley Ackerman is one of eight finalists for the Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year award from the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB).
The award focuses on individual work towards innovation and safety in patient care and providing an excellent level of service for patients. Finalists were chosen from peer nominations followed by a detailed rating process. Ackerman was chosen for the top eight out of 585 total nominations for 2015.
At UK HealthCare, Ackerman serves as a senior specialty pharmacy technician for Specialty Pharmacy Services, focusing on patients' access to care and quality management for the group. She recently developed and implemented patient care services for the newly created Specialty Pharmacy areas of rheumatology and multiple sclerosis.
The winner will be chosen by popular vote and will receive a $1,000 honorarium along with travel and accommodations to attend a special evening event on Oct. 27 in Washington D.C. to recognize the CPhT of the Year for leadership, innovation, and excellence in patient safety.
Voting is open to the public and ends on Friday, Sept. 18. To vote for Ackerman, visit the PTCB voting page.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) – The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (REC), based at the University of Kentucky, received the A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education during the ninth annual MediStar Awards.
The center was among the health care leaders honored Sept. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Louisville. The MediStar Awards are the region’s premier venue for recognizing excellence in the business of health care. More than 250 attendees congratulated the honorees and celebrated their accomplishments in advancing health care in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
The A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education is presented to an organization that takes creative approaches to developing and implementing programs, which enhance the level of knowledge, education and career opportunity in health care. The Kentucky Regional Extension Center (KY-REC) serves 96 counties in Kentucky and assists physicians, other medical professionals and hospitals with electronic health record adoption, Kentucky Health Information Exchange participation, and achievement of meaningful use. The goal of this new initiative is to help more than 1,000 primary care providers in Kentucky with the switch to electronic health records. The goal of the program nationally is to help 100,000 physicians.
Other winners were:
More information about the event and honorees, as well as photos of the event can be found at www.MediStarAwards.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 8, 2015) -- Inflammation is on the research community's "Most Wanted" list as the possible culprit in many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists researching the causes for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other age-related dementias are equally curious about the role inflammation might play in disease onset, particularly since inflammation appears to play a role in accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain. Beta amyloid plaques in the brain are one of the hallmarks of AD, and presumably cause the damage that leads to memory loss and other deficits associated with AD.
A therapy called mE8c, currently in clinical trials, attaches to amyloid plaques and appears to help clear them from the brain, hypothetically an effective treatment for AD. But Donna Wilcock at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging shares the prevailing view in the science community that successful treatment for AD will most likely require a combination of drugs, each targeted at a specific part of the disease process.
She points to a second compound in clinical trials as a possible candidate for combination therapy. Called a BACE inhibitor, this compound blocks the production of new amyloid. Together, the two compounds might be more effective at slowing down or reversing AD than each one alone.
Eli Lilly and Company has awarded Wilcock a two-year, $198,000 grant to test her theory.
Wilcock pointed to this grant as an example of the importance of academic-industry collaborations. The compounds Wilcock will be testing are in the development pipeline and therefore difficult to obtain. Alternately, it can be difficult for companies — even larger ones like Lilly — to develop and maintain a broad range of testing capabilities.
"Our lab has expertise in studying the inflammatory response of the brain, something Lilly is particularly interested in exploring further," Wilcock said. "We have the experience and expertise necessary to implement a large scale study that will help them see whether a combination therapy approach modulates inflammation in a different way than either of the two drugs do on their own."
The potential impact of the work by Wilcock and her colleagues at Sanders-Brown is substantial, as there are currently more than five million Americans currently living with AD, and AD is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
"The financial costs of caring for Alzheimer’s patients are estimated to be $180 billion per year in the United States alone, to say nothing of the emotional toll on patients and their families," said Wilcock. "Any strides we can make -- even if only to delay disease onset by five years — will have considerable impact."
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