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Mechanical retrieval of brain clots dramatically better for stroke than medical treatment alone, DAWN trial confirms (VIDEO/AUDIO)

CLEVELAND -- "This is really exciting for all of us," says Cathy Sila, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. "When this treatment works the way it's supposed to and works for the right patient, it really is a miracle."

Dr. Sila is talking about the results of the DAWN Trial, which studied one set of patients treated medically and another set treated by using advance neuroimaging followed by mechanical retrieval of the brain clot.

"There was a dramatic difference in the outcome between the two arms," Dr. Sila says. "Almost half of the patients (48.6%) who received the stent retriever device had a good outcome after three months after their stroke as opposed to only thirteen (13.1%) percent who were treated medically," Dr. Sila says.

The results proved so dramatic the trial was stopped after two years and 200 patients instead of the designed 500 patients. Dr. Sila says the advanced neuroimaging is a better indicator of who can benefit from clot busting than the amount of time after the stroke (last known well). She says previously 30 to 40 percent of patients didn't qualify.

"The procedure and the device itself has an upfront cost but, when you think that the vast majority of stroke care costs are in the lost ability to go back to work, the nursing home stays, the rehabilitation costs, and just the human costs of not being able to do what they did before."

UH Cleveland Medical Center was one of the sites for this multi-center global trail. The study was supported by Stryker, which produces the Trevo Retriever, a tiny stent-shaped medical device that is attached to a thin wire.

UH Discover the Difference Campaign Celebrates Reaching $1.5 Billion Goal (VIDEO)

CLEVELAND – University Hospitals (UH) has achieved its Discover the Difference: The Campaign for University Hospitals goal of $1.5 billion. This milestone represents the culmination of a multi-year effort made possible through the generosity of more than 83,500 donors – including individuals, corporations, foundations and government support – contributing nearly 185,000 gifts. Donor support ranged from $1 to $72.6 million. The final amount donated to the historic campaign: $1,511,586,803.

“The extraordinary success of the Discover the Difference campaign is a tribute to the enduring philanthropic spirit upon which University Hospitals was founded 151 years ago,” says Thomas F. Zenty III, CEO, University Hospitals. “The generosity of our community and continuous commitment to excellence paved the way to an unprecedented transformation into one of the top health care delivery systems in the nation.”

UH publically launched Discover the Difference: The Campaign for University Hospitals in 2010 with a goal of $1 billion. After community support far exceeded expectations, in 2012 the goal was increased to $1.5 billion. UH is the second health system in the country, and the only in Ohio, to accomplish such an ambitious campaign goal.

The campaign has been used to enhance and expand clinical care programs, establish new endowed funds, and complete capital projects including those identified in the Vision 2010 strategic plan: UH Ahuja Medical Center; UH Seidman Cancer Center; Center for Emergency Medicine and Marcy R. Horvitz Pediatric Emergency Center; and the Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

University Hospitals will hold a gala to thank its donors Saturday, May 13 at the Hilton Cleveland (100 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio). A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and program begins at 8:30 p.m.

Oral immunotherapy could be cure for peanut-allergic kids (VIDEO/AUDIO)

CLEVELAND -- Five-year-old Adam Schenker has been severely allergic to peanuts since he was 13 months old. So much so that even touching a surface area exposed to peanuts would cause him to break out in hives. Since November 2016, Eli Silver, MD, Allergist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s has been treating Adam with oral immunotherapy for his peanut allergies. This approach consists of giving peanut-allergic children very tiny amounts of peanut allergen as directed by a doctor. Over time, these small amounts of the allergen are thought to lessen the body's reaction to it. And that’s exactly what it’s doing for Adam. Recently, Adam was able to eat his first whole peanut, without experiencing any allergic reaction, just four months after treatment.
This type of therapy is in line with new guidelines out earlier this year by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommending parents give their children foods containing peanuts early and often, starting when they’re infants, as a way to help avoid life-threatening peanut allergies. Additionally, children with food allergies are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions including asthma and other allergies.

"It's really a constant every day risk," says Wendy Hanna, Adam's mother. "And so to be able to remove that I literally feel like it's life-saving because it's reducing this thing that's potentially lethal and is everywhere."


Can Ancient Technique Help with Modern Opioid Epidemic? (VIDEO/AUDIO)

CLEVELAND -- As the opioid overdoses reach epidemic proportion and the United States sees record numbers of deaths (33,000 in 2015, nearly half from prescription opioids), some physicians are turning to one of the world's oldest treatments for this modern problem.

“Acupuncture is about twenty-five hundred years old," says Christine Kaiser, MS, LAc, a licensed acupuncture therapist at University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network. "We know that when we put needles in the body, the brain releases natural opioids, called endorphins, so people perceive less pain.”

This ancient technique has taken on more significance as physicians and other experts are looking at ways to reduce opioid prescriptions despite an increased need for pain relief.

“Over a hundred million Americans complain of chronic pain," says Francoise Adan, MD, Medical Director of the UH Connor Integrative Health Network. “(The) American College of Physicians just published literally a few months ago a guideline to recommend acupuncture, massage, and mindfulness instead of the treatment of opioids.”

With opioid prescriptions reaching 250 million a year in the U.S., as many as 40 percent of Americans are turning to holistic, alternative, and integrative treatments to avoid the use of opioids. But while opioids are relatively inexpensive, advocates like Dr. Adan are urging Medicare and Medicaid to cover these treatments to potentially save lives.

Paralyzed man uses own arm again through brain-controlled muscle stimulation (BrainGate & FES) (VIDEO) EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:30 P.M.ET MARCH 28

--  Researchers in Cleveland have tested a system that decodes brain signals and transmits them to stimulators in the arm, allowing a man paralyzed from the shoulders down to regain movement in his hand and arm. The Lancet has published the first study to look at results for this new technology, researched by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Fifty-six-year-old Bill Kochevar of Cleveland had not used his right arm in eight years after a traumatic high spinal cord injury from a bicycle accident. In the study, he extended his arm, grasped a cup and brought it to his mouth and fed himself using a fork.
“Bill is the first patient ever who was fully paralyzed to move his fully paralyzed limb under his own control,” says Benjamin Walter, MD, Director of the UH Movement Disorders Program and Clinical Principal Investigator for the study in Cleveland. “It’s incredibly exciting. I can’t think of anything more amazing than being able to help someone who is paralyzed to be able to move again and move under their own free will, their own command, in a very natural way.”
A team of University Hospitals surgeons implanted two electrode arrays – each about the size of a baby aspirin – in the left motor cortex on the surface of the patient’s brain. The brain-computer interface (BCI) uses 96 hair-thin electrodes that sense the electromagnetic waves of neurons controlling the arm and hand. The team then implanted the 36 electrodes of the Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to animate muscles in the upper and lower arm. The BCI decodes the recorded brain signals into the intended movement command, which is then converted by the FES system into patterns of electrical pulses. These pulses trigger the muscles controlling the hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder, turning thought into action.
To prepare him to use his arm again, Kochevar first learned how to use his brain signals to move a virtual reality arm on a computer screen.
The study, published March 28th, is the first to restore brain-controlled reaching and grasping in a person with complete paralysis. The technology, which is only for experimental use in the USA, circumvents rather than repairs spinal injuries, meaning the participant relies on the device being implanted and switched on to move.
Lead author of the study is Bolu Ajiboye, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, and senior author is Robert Kirsch, PhD, Chair of CWRU biomedical engineering, and executive director of the FES Center.  

******Please courtesy the b-roll "
Case Western Reserve University."

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