Media Coverage

  • MS researchers in Buffalo and Boston join forces to understand the most severe, and humbling, cases [Buffalo News]
    The Buffalo News featured Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and professor of biomedical informatics in the Department of Neurology, in an article about how UB researchers are studying patients who have multiple sclerosis at a specialized nursing home in Massachusetts. Zivadinov and colleagues have spent time there gathering MRIs, blood samples and medical data of residents with severe MS, launching a clinical study to compare them with the same information from an equal number of more typical patients in Western New York. “This is probably a decade-long project,” said Zivadinov. “There are no best practices. There are no comprehensive studies. There isn’t even a consensus clinical definition of ‘severe MS,’” he said. “We need to do so many steps to even create outcomes and understand where we need to attack.”
  • Jacobs Center heads study to help early diagnoses of MS in African Americans [Spectrum News]
    Spectrum News reported on underserved patients with multiple sclerosis, especially African Americans, who have been found to have more disabling illness than whites with the disease. The story focused on an initiative of UBMD Neurology that is focused on providing better and earlier care to these patients through the education of providers. The story quoted Channa Kolb, MD, assistant professor of neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who said, “We’re going to educate primary care providers, we’re going to educate medical students, we’re going to educate medical residents all about neurodisparities and implicit and how to fight against this for all patients especially African Americans who have been so neglected.”
  • UB to study why some MS patients experience severity of disease [WKBW]
    WKBW-TV reported on the first-of-its kind UB study called Comprehensive Assessment of Severely Affected MS that will examine why 5-10% of multiple sclerosis patients develop severe disease. The story quoted principal investigator Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and professor of biomedical informatics in the Department of Neurology, who said: “These people have been really neglected for too many years.” He added: “The usual tests in Multiple Sclerosis, clinical ones want you to move, to walk, measure your walking ability, measure your cognitive ability. And so with this study, we had to first invent how to even examine these people — in some standardized way,” The study will follow 60 patients at a Boston residential facility and 60 Western New York patients.
  • UB neurologist discusses new research on link between Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis [Spectrum News]
    Spectrum News 1 reported on advances in multiple sclerosis, quoting Svetlana Primma Eckert, MD ’13, clinical assistant professor of neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who discussed a recent Harvard study that found that out of 900 military recruits who developed MS, almost all of them had been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV. Eckert said, “There’s almost a perfect storm that happens with EBV infection as well as certain predispositions.”
  • That Annual Salary? It's Not the Same for Women and Men Neurologists [Neurology Today]
    An article in Neurology Today about a new analysis of the 2019 AAN Compensation and Productivity Survey quotes Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, UB’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The article reports that women neurologists with 11 to 20 years of practice had a lower mean hourly wage than all men neurologists except those with five or fewer years of practice. “That's a pretty alarming statistic that I think should get attention,” Brashear said. Awareness of the gender-based pay gap in neurology has not eliminated it, which means leadership must step up efforts to address it, Brashear said. “It's really incumbent on the leaders of academic institutions to adopt practices that assess whether pay is comparable, to ask those tough questions, and then ask for action plans around them,” she said. “If there are pay inequities, fix them.”
  • ‘Good, not great’: Some long Covid patients see their symptoms improve, but full recovery is elusive [STAT News]
    STAT News interviews Svetlana Blitshteyn, clinical assistant professor of neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director and founder of the Dysautonomia Clinic, in a story on long Covid. Blitshteyn said the scientific community historically hasn’t addressed post-viral syndromes after flu, mononucleosis, enterovirus, or Lyme infections, all of which can prompt autonomic disorders. “It’s going to be a pandemic of long Covid,” she said. “We’re going to have a lot of people who are quite disabled and a lot of people with chronic illness.”
  • Worsening of Disability Evident in Older Patients Who Stop DMTs [Multiple Sclerosis News Today]
    Multiple Sclerosis News Today reports that while older multiple sclerosis (MS) patients whose conditions are stable commonly stop using disease-modifying therapies, a study indicates that for a significant number of them this decision can shortly lead to a marked worsening of their disease. “Our results raise important questions about the accepted practice of discontinuing medications once MS patients are in their 50s and 60s,” said Dejan Jakimovski, research assistant professor of neurology.
  • Elderly MS patients who discontinue medication experience exacerbation of their illness
    An article in Florida New Times quotes Dejan Jakimovski, research assistant professor at the Department of Neurology, on elderly MS patients who discontinue medication experiencing exacerbation of their illness. “Our results raise important questions about the accepted practice of discontinuing medication when MS patients are in their 50s and 60s,” said Jakimovski.
  • Uncovering the Mystery of Tachysensia [Psychology Today]
    An article on Psychology Today on tachysensia, a condition that can temporarily alter sensations of time and sound in troubling ways for people who experience symptoms, includes commentary from Osman Farooq, clinical associate professor of neurology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.
  • COVID-19 may affect long-term 'fight or flight' response in young adults [Medical News Today]
    An article in Medical News Today on the chances of COVID-19 affecting long-term “fight or flight” responses in young adults quotes Svetlana Blitshteyn, clinical assistant professor of neurology at the Jacobs School. “We have been seeing patients with lingering symptoms of fatigue, palpitations, brain fog and exercise intolerance for months after resolution of acute COVID infection,” Blitshteyn said.
  • Mechtler Comments on Jack Eichel’s Neck Injury [Buffalo News]
    Speculation has run rampant since Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel announced that he had a disconnect with the team about how best to address a neck injury that has sidelined him since March. People wonder: Should the Sabres keep him? If they trade him, where might he go? What should they expect in return for an NHL difference-maker drafted six years ago at age 18? “This is an unfortunate situation, but not an uncommon situation with athletes,” says Laszlo L. Mechtler, MD, clinical professor of neurology. “The approach to this should be dictated not by agents, patients or athletes, but by physicians who are specializing in this.”
  • New Treatments Could Transform the Way Migraine Headaches Are Treated
    Multiple outlets reported on an editorial published in JAMA co-authored by Melissa L. Rayhill, MD, clinical assistant professor of neurology, discussing new treatments for migraine headache. “There are so many good, migraine-specific acute treatment options now. For some patients, the quest to find something that works can take months or longer. Many will find a safe and effective acute treatment for their migraine headaches after just one visit to their physician’s office, though typically it may take a couple of medication trials over a few weeks to find a good fit.”
  • Migraine Prevention Drug Shows Rapid Benefits During Attack [Medpage Today]
    An article in Medpage Today on migraine therapies associated with improvements in short-term outcomes cites an editorial written in JAMA by Melissa Rayhill, clinical assistant professor and adult neurology residency program director for the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “The eptinezumab trial is the first study to report rapid, acute benefits of a CGRP monoclonal antibody started for prevention, thereby serving as a possible inflection point for how clinicians conceptualize the role of CGRP monoclonal antibodies as migraine therapies," according to the editorial Rayhill wrote with Rebecca Burch of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
  • The Ognomy Plan: $700K Raise Will Support National Expansion [Buffalo Inno]
    An report in Business First’s Buffalo Inno on Buffalo-based startup Ognomy raising $700,000 to develop home-based testing and treatment technology for sleep apnea, states that the technology is based on the research of Daniel I. Rifkin, MD, clinical assistant professor of neurology.
  • Concussion Recovery Longer in Kids With Occipital Headaches, Photophobia [Healio]
    A story reporting that concussion recovery is longer in kids with occipital headaches and photophobia quotes Osman Farooq, MD, clinical associate professor of neurology, who said: “There is a considerable amount of medical literature pertaining to concussion in adults, but far less literature and guidelines in kids and adolescents.”