Back to sleep policy sets good example

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For 20 years, parents have been advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics to put babies to sleep on their backs, to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s especially important for a baby born prematurely, whose SIDS risk is four times greater than that of a full-term baby.

Pre-term infants are routinely hospitalized, sometimes for months. During that time, nurses position babies on their sides and tummies for medical and developmental reasons.

The problem, says a researcher from Upstate’s College of Nursing, is that parents are liable to replicate practices they see in the hospital.

Sherri McMullen, PhD, an assistant professor of nursing, recommends the babies be transitioned to sleep on their backs before they are sent home “so that both the infant and parents are comfortable prior to discharge and use this position after discharge,” she wrote with a colleague in the journal Advances in Nursing Science.

“Twenty-four hours is not enough time before discharge for an infant to be transitioned to their back,” McMullen said. “Educating the parents about sleep safety and modeling correct practices for positioning the infant before the family leaves the hospital is essential.”

The researchers acknowledge that a balance must be found that allows enough time for the infant to become acclimated to the supine position without impacting neurodevelopment. They say hospital policies that promote a “back to sleep” transition can potentially help protect babies from SIDS after discharge.

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

 

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Regenerative medicine teaches the body to repair itself

Reyna Martinez-De Luna, PhD, and Michael Zuber, PhD, at the Center for Vision Research in the Institute for Human Performance.

Reyna Martinez-De Luna, PhD, and Michael Zuber, PhD, at the Center for Vision Research in the Institute for Human Performance. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN

Imagine your grandfather develops trouble with his vision. Straight lines appear distorted. The center of whatever he looks at turns blurry and dark. His color perception diminishes. You bring him to a doctor, in hopes that he doesn’t go blind.

What will the doctor do to help?

A solution is not clear yet, but Michael Zuber, PhD, believes it may one day be possible. He’s part of the exciting field known as “regenerative medicine,” learning how to prompt the body to grow new tissues and organs to replace those that wear out and die.

Like many vision researchers across the country, Zuber and his colleague Reyna Martinez-De Luna, PhD, embrace the goals of the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, to regenerate neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system, in response to the increasing prevalence of blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Zuber and Martinez-De Luna, who work in the Center for Vision Research at Upstate Medical University, focus on the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. They want to find a way to prompt regeneration in the retina to prevent blindness due to injury or disease.

This slice of a frog retina  is stained with antibodies that recognize rods (red), cones (green) and cell nuclei (blue). Frogs have the same retinal cell types as the human retina. FROM THE LAB OF MICHAEL ZUBER, PhD.

This slice of a frog retina is stained with antibodies that recognize rods (red), cones (green) and cell nuclei (blue). Frogs have the same retinal cell types as the human retina. FROM THE LAB OF MICHAEL ZUBER, PhD.

Animals other than mammals can regenerate retinal cells when the original cells die, but somehow that ability was lost through evolution, Zuber says. The African clawed frog that he studies is one of the animals that has retained the ability to regenerate. If the retina is surgically removed from a tadpole or from an adult frog, it grows back in as little as a month. The newly regenerated retina contains the same architecture and cell types as the original retina.

Research in the field of regenerative medicine has concentrated mostly on reprogramming stem cells into retinal neurons that can be used to restore vision.

Zuber and Martinez-De Luna are taking a different approach. They want to identify the signals and molecules that instruct the retina how to replace its lost or dying cells.

To accomplish this goal, they are studying the African clawed frog because this non-mammalian vertebrate regenerates retinal cells. These frogs have what scientists call intrinsic progenitors, a pool of cells that constantly produce new cells as needed. In addition, the frogs’ mature cells have the ability to turn themselves into a different cell type in a process called transdifferentiation.

For a review paper in the Journal of Ophthalmic Vision Research last year, Zuber and Martinez-De Luna summarized the current knowledge of endogenous mechanisms of regeneration in frogs and how understanding those mechanisms could lead to new approaches for repairing the human retina. “The mammalian retina has the potential to initiate a program of regeneration under favorable conditions,” they wrote.

They are studying how new rods, the cells responsible for night vision, regenerate after the original rods are eliminated and how retinal degeneration caused by prolonged rod death affects this regeneration. Some of the questions they are exploring include:

— How long does it take for rods to regenerate after they are eliminated?

— Where do the regenerated rods come from? Do they come from the retinal pigmented epithelium or from the intrinsic pool of progenitors present in the frog retina?

— What are the cellular and molecular events that define the critical point beyond which regeneration is no longer possible?

“Understanding how animals such as the frog can regenerate new retinal cells will help us to identify the reasons our own retina cannot repair itself, and in the long term lead to new therapies for replacing retinal cells in patients who have lost their vision due to damage or disease,” explains Zuber.

It’s a scientific challenge they are up for. Ultimately, Zuber and Martinez-De Luna are optimistic that their work will help find a regenerative solution, some day giving doctors a way to help patients who face blindness.

 

The retina is the light sensing tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals that are interpreted as visual images by the brain. Animals that have backbones, called vertebrates – which includes humans, as well as frogs – have the same types of retinas, comprised of six major neurons, or nerve cells, and one glial cell: ganglion cells, horizontal cells, cone photoreceptors, rod photoreceptors, amacrine cells, bipolar cells and Muller glial cells. The retinal pigmented epithelium is the pigmented cell layer outside the neural retina that supports photoreceptor function. Whether due to age or an inherited condition, retinal diseases that lead to blindness usually affect a particular cell type first. Death of one type of cell leads to subsequent loss of other neurons in the retina, progressive retinal degeneration and, often, blindness. EYE DRAWING COURTESY OF ABIGAIL ZUBER AND ADAPTED FROM AN EYE DIAGRAM FROM THE NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE. THE RETINA SCHEMATIC IS COURTESY OF ANDREA VICZIAN, PhD.

The retina is the light sensing tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals that are interpreted as visual images by the brain. Animals that have backbones, called vertebrates – which includes humans, as well as frogs – have the same types of retinas, comprised of six major neurons, or nerve cells, and one glial cell: ganglion cells, horizontal cells, cone photoreceptors, rod photoreceptors, amacrine cells, bipolar cells and Muller glial cells. The retinal pigmented epithelium is the pigmented cell layer outside the neural retina that supports photoreceptor function. Whether due to age or an inherited condition, retinal diseases that lead to blindness usually affect a particular cell type first. Death of one type of cell leads to subsequent loss of other neurons in the retina, progressive retinal degeneration and, often, blindness. EYE DRAWING COURTESY OF ABIGAIL ZUBER AND ADAPTED FROM AN EYE DIAGRAM FROM THE NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE. THE RETINA SCHEMATIC IS COURTESY OF ANDREA VICZIAN, PhD.

 Hear the researchers talk about regenerative medicine in an interview for the HealthLink on Air program.

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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Extra, extra! Researchers experiment with acting roles

Paula Trief, PhD (left), and Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD, in costume for the movie "Irrefutable Proof."

Paula Trief, PhD (left), and Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD, in costume for the movie “Irrefutable Proof.” 

BY STEPHANIE DEJOSEPH

Watch carefully when “Irrefutable Proof” hits the big screen next year, and you may recognize a pair of women dressed as members of a religious order. Two diabetes researchers from Upstate got roles as non-paid extras in the psychological thriller that was filmed in January in Syracuse.

Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD, is a longtime friend of the film’s writer and producer, Richard Castellane. When he sought extras, she and colleague Paula Trief, PhD, signed up.

They assembled costumes from their own closets, “and the makeup artists made sure we looked like old ladies,” Weinstock said. The filming of the movie took place over several weeks at Syracuse University, the Onondaga County Courthouse in downtown Syracuse, the Landmark theater, the Regional Market, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and Highland Forest. The film is now in post production.

“It was fascinating to see how complex the movie process is, and to see some of the behind-the scenes work,” Weinstock said.

Trief admitted she once fantasized about performing musical comedy on Broadway, “even though I can’t dance, and my singing is just so-so.”

Weinstock is medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center at Upstate and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the Department of Medicine. Trief is a professor and senior associate dean for faculty affairs and faculty development at Upstate. Neither has plans to pursue a second career in acting.

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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What to expect from a neurological exam

Untitled-1If you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming neurological exam, “take a deep breath, and try not to be scared,” said Larry Chin, MD. Realize that a referral to a neurologist or neurosurgeon simply means that your doctor is seeking advice.

Chin directs Upstate Medical University’s Department of Neurosurgery and also oversees the Gamma Knife Center and the Neuro-Oncology Program at Upstate University Hospital.

Before your appointment, write down your symptoms, any relevant problems that exist in your family and any recent illnesses you have had. Also, prepare a list of medications you take.

Depending on what the doctor finds, you may be asked to give a blood sample, or go for an imaging study. You may also be recommended for additional tests that stimulate the nerves and muscles of your body.

Chin said, “It’s all designed for the neurologist or neurosurgeon to help your doctor figure out if there is something that needs further treatment.”

At your exam, the doctor is likely to:

  • assess your mental status, test your memory and/or your ability to speak and understand;
  • assess your cranial nerve function by testing your eyesight and hearing and examining how you move your face;
  • conduct a motor exam to check the strength of your arms and legs;
  • conduct a sensory exam that may involve touching your skin or pressing it with a safety pin;
  • test your reflexes using a small rubber hammer tapped on your joints; and
  • assess your walking ability and coordination.

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

 

 

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Preventing the spread of HIV with a pill

Elizabeth Reddy, MD, leads Immune Health Services at Upstate. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN.

Elizabeth Reddy, MD, leads Immune Health Services at Upstate. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN.

Infectious-disease experts in the early 1980s were trying to make sense of clusters of gay men with unusual infections and failing immune systems. It was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Soon researchers identified the human immunodeficiency virus as responsible, and attention turned to finding a cure, or at least a vaccine.

Now, 35 years later, a pill exists that can halt the spread of HIV.

Truvada is a medication that is commonly paired with other medications to treat HIV infection. It is also being used — together with safe sex practices — to help reduce the risk of becoming infected. Used this way, the therapy is called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

“If people taking PrEP take the medicine regularly and it is detectable in their system, they have about a 90 percent reduction in acquisition of HIV. So it’s highly effective,” said Elizabeth Reddy, MD, medical director of Upstate’s Immune Health Services.

Just taking Truvada is not enough to protect someone from getting HIV, however. Condom use is important, as is limiting exposure by limiting the number of sex partners.

Gilead Sciences, the maker of Truvada, cautions that Truvada can cause serious liver problems, or a buildup of lactic acid in the blood, which would be a medical emergency. It can also worsen hepatitis B symptoms if a person suddenly stops taking Truvada. The medication can also cause kidney problems including kidney failure, bone problems that may make one prone to fractures, changes in body fat and changes to the immune system.

Reddy said that “for the most part, Truvada is extremely well tolerated. It has no side effects in most people.” Most side effects, including headache, abdominal pain and decreased weight, subside within a few weeks.

Truvada is designed for people who are healthy, uninfected, free of kidney disease and at high risk for HIV transmission. Those at highest risk in America are young men having sex with men, Reddy said.

With the proportion of new HIV infections in the United States increasing. Reddy said infectious disease experts believe Truvada is a crucial new weapon in the public health arsenal. If its use can reduce the number of people who become infected, we may finally begin to see the end of the epidemic.

How to obtain Truvada

Upstate’s  Immune Health Services is prepared to prescribe Truvada. Call 315-464-5533 for an appointment. Also, some primary care doctors in Central New York will prescribe the drug.

Before a person receives pre-exposure prophylaxis, a blood test must confirm that they are not infected with HIV. People taking Truvada for prevention are supposed to be tested regularly for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, which can increase a person’s risk for HIV.

Hear Reddy’s radio interview about Truvada. This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

 

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Why don’t we ever hear about heart cancer?

Robert Dunton, MD

“It’s not something we see very often,” said Robert Dunton, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Upstate University Hospital. He went on to provide this answer:

Benign tumors of the heart are probably more common than malignant (cancerous), but both are pretty rare. The most common of the benign tumors is known as a myxoma, but there is a whole host of other benign tumors. When you consider malignant tumors, they are either a primary heart tumor, or metastatic, meaning it spread to the heart from somewhere else. Usually it’s from somewhere else. It’s very unusual for the heart to have its own malignant tumor.

That’s probably because the heart is made up of specialized muscle cells. Although the heart is composed of other types of connective tissue, most of it is a very specialized muscle, and muscle, as a rule, is a rare place to have malignant tumors.

The predominant symptom is often one of breathing difficulties. Folks may feel short of breath, have what we all dyspnea. That’s because these tumors, when they’re inside the heart, can kind of roll around and get in the way and block blood flow for short periods of time, and the patient will feel those symptoms. Less commonly, folks will have either chest pains or palpitations, feel their heart skip a beat. Sometimes with myxomas, patients can have almost like a flu-like illness,  with fevers, muscle aches and pains.

These are diagnosed with cardiac echocardiogram, which can be done from the outside as well as the inside. If we do an echo of the heart from the outside, we’re limited because we have to look between the ribs. So there’s a probe that can go down the patient’s esophagus, and from the inside, there’s nothing in the way, so we get much better pictures. It’s called a trans-esophageal echo. Another test that’s really quite elegant is called cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, using the MRI machine. Sometimes we’ll use an MRI picture of the heart to further diagnose or plan what type of operation the patient may require.

Generally, most tumors in the heart have to be removed. The benign tumors, we remove because they can certainly, even though they’re benign, cause some significant problems. They can create blockage in terms of blood flow. In other words, they get in the way. They can create arrhythmias or heart irregularities, palpitations or other heart rhythm disturbances. One of the concerns we have about tumors inside the heart is that pieces of them can break off. They can go through the circulation and create injury. If a particle comes off of a tumor, it can go to the brain and cause a stroke or go to the kidney and cause kidney damage.

We remove malignant tumors to prevent those same problems, but also because malignant tumors can grow and get much worse and can also spread. Like any cancer, we would consider trying to remove it all. The problem is, in the heart we are limited as to how much tissue we can remove.

There are surgeons who have reported operating on a patient for a malignant tumor by actually removing the heart, like you would if your patient was going to have a transplant. They remove the heart, and on the table in the operating room, work on it to remove the malignant tumor, reconstruct things and then put it back in. That is called auto-transplantation. Some patients have even been treated with a transplant.

These are definitely unusual, but here at Upstate, we’ve seen four in the last 18 months. Three  had myxomas. The fourth had a primary tumor, meaning it developed in the heart, that turned out to be cancerous. So it’s not so uncommon that we don’t ever see it, and it has to be part of a physician’s diagnostic thinking.

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Black Bean and Avocado Enchiladas

iStock_000014807979LargeFor a nutritious meal high in fiber and protein, pair black beans with avocados. You’ll also get a healthy serving of B vitamins and folic acid.

Just remember that canned black beans, while convenient, are loaded with sodium. So, rinse them with water.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 ounce dried Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups diced avocado

12 6-inch corn tortillas

1 cup canned red enchilada sauce

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preparation

Heat oil in pan, and saute onions and garlic. Add the salt, spices and black beans. Cook until heated through. Place in a food processor and pulse to mash. Leave coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl and gently fold in diced avocados. Set aside.

Heat tortillas to make pliable either in a steamer, microwave or oven. Pour a quarter of the enchilada sauce into a baking pan and spread evenly. Roll 1/3 cup of filling into each tortilla and place seam down in the pan. Pour remaining sauce on top. Bake covered at 350 degrees until heated through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro.

Nutritional information

A two-enchilada serving includes:

375 calories

10 grams protein

48 grams carbohydrates

19 grams total fat

3 grams saturated fat

0 milligrams cholesterol

504 milligrams sodium

14 grams dietary fiber

RECIPE FROM MORRISON HEALTHCARE, FOOD SERVICE PROVIDER FOR UPSTATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

 

 

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A custom approach: Hormone replacement can include bioidenticals

She entered her late 50s, and suddenly Roxanne Eyler’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels started to creep up. A trainer at Ultimate Goal in Marcellus, she ate well and was physically fit but found she was gaining weight and awakening in the middle of the night.

Eyler’s doctor wanted to prescribe a pill to lower her cholesterol. She wanted to understand why it was rising and what else was going on.

Roxanne Eyler trains at Ultimate Goal in Marcellus. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN

Roxanne Eyler trains at Ultimate Goal in Marcellus. PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN

She attended a lecture on hormone replacement therapy at the Marcellus Free Library. At the end, she decided to make an appointment with the speaker, certified nurse midwife Heather Shannon, who has an office at Upstate’s Community campus.

“She doesn’t rush me out of her office. She takes her time,” Eyler said of Shannon.

Shannon talked to Eyler about her lifestyle, nutrition, her energy level, mood, sleep habits and the symptoms she was having. Then she had saliva and blood samples analyzed.

Based on the results, she told Eyler to take a series of B vitamins, one pill at each meal.

“Within a week, I could not believe the difference that I saw,” Eyler said. The vitamins helped her gastrointestinal tract better absorb the nutrients from her food.

In addition, Shannon designed a bioidentical hormone preparation that Eyler would apply to her skin in the morning and evening. Such preparations are a combination of the estrogens, estriol and estradiol. The exact dose of each is customized to the patient.

“It’s a wonderful option, as long as you are a candidate,” Shannon said of the customized plant-based preparation that is available at pharmacies that compound medications. “If you are estrogen-dominant, we’re not going to give you extra estrogen. We’re going to give you a little more progesterone, and possibly some testosterone to help balance your hormones.”

Shannon said women taking bioidentical hormones have to be as concerned about the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease as women taking traditional hormone replacement. Also, patients are followed closely so that adjustments to the preparations can be made if necessary.

In Eyler’s case, she has been taking the vitamins and bioidenticals for a couple of years. Her cholesterol and triglyceride levels are in check, and she believes she is in better shape now than she was in her 30s and 40s.

Women make three principal types of estrogen:

Estrone is the strongest of the estrogens and is linked to breast and uterine cancer if levels are too high.

Estradiol, the second-strongest estrogen, is produced by the ovaries and requires certain nutrients at specific levels to be metabolized properly.

Estriol levels increase with pregnancy and create few side effects.

Hear an interview with Shannon about hormone replacement therapy.

Reach Heather Shannon at her office on Upstate’s Community campus or by calling 315-464-8668 or 492-5875.

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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Selecting stroke care: What’s the difference?

Neurosurgeon Satish Krishnamurthy, MD, left, with residents Meg Riordan, MD, and Ali Hazama, MD.

Neurosurgeon Satish Krishnamurthy, MD, left, with residents Meg Riordan, MD, and Ali Hazama, MD.

A comprehensive stroke center is typically the largest and best-equipped hospital in a given geographical area that can treat patients with any kind of stroke or stroke complication. Upstate University Hospital was the first hospital in the Central New York region to be certified as a DNV Comprehensive Stroke Center, encompassing the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education. (DNV stands for Det Norske Veritas, the name of a certification company that originated in 1864 in Norway.)

“Accreditation and certification in healthcare provide much more than recognition,” says Yehuda Dror, president of DNV Healthcare. “These programs help establish standards of excellence and best practices that directly impact patients’ lives.”

Here’s a look at the difference between primary and comprehensive stroke centers:

PrimaryStrokeCenters_mapPRIMARY STROKE CENTER

Patient care

Takes care of most ischemic strokes caused by blood vessel blockages.

Minimally invasive catheter procedures

Not required.

Specialized ICU

No requirement for a separate intensive care unit for stroke patients.

Neurosurgery

Access to neurosurgery within two hours.

Patient transfers

Sends complex patients to a comprehensive stroke center.

 

ComprehensiveStrokeCenters_mapCOMPREHENSIVE STROKE CENTER (This is Upstate.) 

Patient care

Takes care of brain aneurysms and all types of strokes, including ischemic and hemorrhagic, those caused by bleeding.

Minimally invasive catheter procedures

24/7 access to minimally invasive catheter procedures to treat stroke.

Specialized ICU

Dedicated neuroscience intensive care unit for stroke patients.

Neurosurgery

On-site neurosurgical availability 24/7 with the ability to perform complex neurovascular procedures such as brain aneurysm clipping, vascular malformation surgery and carotid endarterectomy.

Patient transfers

Receives patients from primary stroke centers.

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Dengue fever: Learning to reduce transmission

Studies in the urban coastal city of Machala, Ecuador, taught an international team of researchers, including some from Upstate, what’s necessary to reduce the transmission of dengue fever. The most vulnerable populations must be targeted, and local governments and community leaders must collaborate in order to establish a dengue early warning system.

Efforts to contain the viral disease – which is spread from the bite of an infected mosquito and not from person to person – have mostly focused on developing nations. But dengue fever has been transmitted in the United States, on Long Island, and experts believe it will become more of a concern.

Dengue fever is usually not fatal, but can cause severe pain behind the eyes, headaches, very high fevers and joint and muscle aches so severe that the virus was nicknamed “break bone fever.”

There are four strains of dengue. Once a person is infected with one strain, he or she is protected from that strain. However, a subsequent infection with one of the other three strains puts him or her at greater risk for a severe immune response, says Mark Polhemus, MD, an associate professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology at Upstate.

Social risk factors and climate seem to play a role in the spread of dengue, according to the research team’s findings, which were published in the online medical journals BMC Infectious Disease and BMC Public Health. A 2010 dengue outbreak in Machala occurred during an unusually hot and rainy season, the research article says. Researchers found that older people and those living in poor housing conditions were most affected by the outbreak.

“We found that social and political conditions have to be considered when designing dengue control interventions, especially for high-risk, marginalized populations,” says Anna M. Stewart Ibarra, PhD.

Anna M. Stewart Ibarra, PhD, traveled to Ecuador for her work on understanding the challenges of diagnosing and managing dengue fever. She is pictured with Regan Deming, summer research coordinator.

Anna M. Stewart Ibarra, PhD, traveled to Ecuador for her work on understanding the challenges of diagnosing and managing dengue fever. She is pictured with Regan Deming, summer research coordinator.

An assistant professor of medicine at Upstate, Stewart Ibarra is the Latin America Research Program Director in Upstate’s Center for Global Health and Translational Science.

Findings from the studies are intended to be used to develop dengue vulnerability maps and climate-driven dengue seasonal forecasts. This will allow Ecuador’s health minister to “target high-risk regions and seasons, allowing for more efficient use of scarce resources.”

Study seeks participants

Upstate researchers are looking for healthy adult volunteers to help find an effective vaccine for dengue fever.

Upstate’s Mark Polhemus, MD, directs the Center for Global Health and Translational Science, where two promising dengue vaccines have been evaluated over the past two years. Because animals do not contract the human forms of dengue, researchers seek humans between the ages of 18 and 45 who are willing to be injected with an attenuated, or weakened, dengue virus.

“Our goal is to be able to produce an uncomplicated dengue, a mild form of dengue,” Polhemus explains. If that develops consistently in the people who participate in the trials, the researchers will be able to use the attenuated virus for vaccine trials involving many people, in areas of the world where dengue fever is prevalent.

Volunteers will have to commit to about a month’s worth of medical appointments every other day at the center, with phone calls on alternate days. Those who become ill will be admitted to a room at Upstate University Hospital’s Community campus for care and monitoring.

“In all clinical trials, there is a level of danger,” Polhemus says. “But this sort of trial has been done before with dengue. This has been done before with other diseases. This virus is attenuated, and we have multiple safety measures in place to ensure that this goes well without complications.”

Learn more by visiting the center’s website at upstate.edu/cghats, calling 315-459-3031 or emailing trials@upstate.edu

Hear several interviews about aspects of dengue fever at www.upstate.edu/healthlinkonair by searching “dengue.”

This article appears in the spring 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

 

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