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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘medical’

Israeli Military Medics Rescue Palestinian Arab Girl in Hebron

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

An Israeli military medical team rescued a Palestinian Authority Arab girl Thursday in Hebron who suddenly went into respiratory distress.

The team, serving with the Border Guard Police, responded to an emergency call from the family who said the child was having trouble breathing, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Upon arrival paramedic Sgt. Shai Chen also found that the girl’s pulse was irregular. He quickly hooked her up to oxygen, speaking to calm her down as he did so.

“I told her I was with her and that everything is fine,” he said, adding that he was able to stabilize her condition after she started receiving oxygen.

The Arab family thanked the medic and the emergency response unit for its quick assistance. “We were given care and slowly her breathing returned to normal,” family members said.

Fighters on the scene transferred the child for further treatment by medics from the Red Crescent emergency service, who arrived later.

“The entire family thanked us,” a spokesperson for the Border Guard Police said. This is not the first case in which a paramedic has provided primary care and life-saving intervention for local Arabs. In recent months, battalion medic Sgt. Krissy Lidor saved the lives of three residents.

Israel-Japan Researchers Teaming on Autism and Brain Research

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Israeli and Japanese researchers are teaming on a project to learn how autistic spectrum disorder develops in the brain.

The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders has been steadily rising; in most parts of the world rates as high as 1 percent are reported, including in the United States. In Israel, previously reported prevalence rates have been in the 0.2 percent rage and were  based on parental reporting of diagnosis. However, they too appear to be rising.

The scientists met together at a conference that convened following a visit to Israel by japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A group of leading Japanese scientists arrived at the Weizmann Institute of Science late last week  to attend the Advances in Brain Sciences conference, which was  was jointly hosted by Weizmann in Rehovot and the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan.

Weizmann’s conference co-organizer Dr. Ofer Yizhar is currently involved in the collaborative research project with RIKEN researcher Toru Takumi. The joint project is aimed at determining which neural mechanisms are involved in autistic spectrum disorder behaviorisms, Yizhar explained.

“Takumi creates mice that have a genetic defect which mimics autism,” he explained, “while my optogenetics lab can work with these mice, turning neurons in the brain ‘on’ and ‘off’ with light.”

There were a number of other presentations at the conference as well.

Keynote speaker Professor Shimon Ullman (Weizmann) spoke on visual recognition, a subject that crosses the boundaries between neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Ullman has worked with RIKEN’s Dr. Manabu Tanifuji for a number of years. “Scientificc and personal connections have deepened over the years,” he said, “and we are currently planning the next steps of joint work in the future.”

In 2010, prevalence rates for autistic spectrum disorders in Israel were found to be 0.65 percent in eight year old children, and 0.48 percent in children ages 1 to 12, per 1,000 children, according to an article published in 2013 in the Journal of Autism and Development Disorders.

The article, entitled ‘Prevalence and incidence of autism spectrum disorder in an Israeli population, listed the findings of a study of records from the Maccabi Health Maintenance Organization (HMO / kupat holim) Child Neurology and Development, Child Development Center, Jerusalem and Shfela District.

Canada-Israel Autism Research Symposium was also held for the first time last March at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, jointly sponsored by the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Hub at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada and the Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University.

New Diagnostic for Pro Football Players Suffering from Mild ‘Unreported’ Concussions

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

According to a Ben Gurion University of the Negev research group, professional football players for the first time have been found to have brain damage from mild “unreported” concussions. Published in the current issue of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Neurology, the Ben Gurion study could improve decision-making about when an athlete should “return to play.”

The new, enhanced MRI diagnostic approach was, for the first time, able to identify significant damage to the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of professional football players following “unreported” trauma or mild concussions.

Dr. Alon Friedman at the Ben-Gurion University Brain Imaging Research Center discovered the new diagnostic approach. “Until now, there wasn’t a diagnostic capability to identify mild brain injury early after the trauma,” he said.

“In the NFL, other professional sports and especially school sports, concern has grown about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts,” he added.

The paper describing the new diagnostic was published by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Soroka University Medical Center. It details using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for detection and localization of vascular pathology and blood-brain barrier breakdown in football players. 

“The goal of our study was to use our new method to visualize the extent and location of BBB dysfunction in football players using Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI) on a Phillips 3-T Ingenia. Specifically, it generates more detailed brain maps showing brain regions with abnormal vasculature, or a ‘leaky BBB,’ ” said Dr. Friedman.

Study participants included 16 football players from Israel’s professional football team, Black Swarm, as well as 13 track and field athletes from Ben-Gurion University who served as controls. All underwent the newly developed MRI-based diagnostic.

“The group of 29 volunteers was clearly differentiated into an intact-BBB group and a pathological-BBB group,” Friedman explains. “This showed a clear association between football and increased risk for BBB pathology that we couldn’t see before. In addition, high-BBB permeability was found in six players and in only one athlete from the control group.”

Friedman also indicated that repeated, mild concussive events might impact some players differently than others. This level of diagnosis of individual players can provide the basis of more rational decision-making on “return to play” for professionals as well as amateurs of any age, he pointed out. 

“Generally, players return to the game long before the brain’s physical healing is complete, which could exacerbate the possibility of brain damage later in life,” says Friedman.

A decade of research in the BGU Laboratory for Experimental Neurosurgery has shown that vascular pathology, and specifically dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), plays a key role in brain dysfunction and degeneration, and may be an underlying cause of neurodegenerative complications after brain injuries.  

The BBB is a highly selective permeable membrane that separates circulating blood from extracellular fluid. It protects the brain by preventing many dangerous substances from penetrating, and therefore is not meant to be damaged.

Medical researchers, including Friedman’s group at BGU, are working to discover ways to find drugs that will target the BBB and facilitate its repair, ultimately allowing for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain-related diseases.

The Ben Gurion University study was supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program and the Israel Science Foundation.

Suspected Ebola Patient Quarantined in Lebanon

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

A man suspected of being ill with the deadly Ebola virus has been placed in quarantine at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Lebanon.

The patient’s test results will not be released until the weekend, according to Health Minister Wael Abu Faour, who told reporters the results would be announced “as soon as they are issued.”

The Lebanon Daily Star quoted a report by radio station Voice of Lebanon that said the patient is a man in his 20s who had recently arrived from a West African country after a layover in France.

A health ministry source told the newspaper, however, that in the past several months 12 other patients had all tested negative for Ebola, which causes symptoms that are similar to those of malaria and other viruses.

Israel Gears Up for Deadly Ebola Virus as 2nd Case Confirmed in U.S.

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Israel is gearing up to deal with the threat of the deadly Ebola virus as a second case is confirmed in the United States just days after the first diagnosed patient died in Dallas, Texas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a special meeting this morning (Sunday, Oct. 12) to discuss the spread of the lethal virus.

More than four thousand victims have succumbed worldwide to the disease thus far. In the United States the first victim of the virus, Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan, died last Wednesday despite being treated with the experimental anti-viral medication brincidofovir.

This morning a second case of the disease was confirmed at the same medical center. A health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Duncan until he died, has now also tested positive for the same virus, according to confirmation of tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Duncan’s remains have been cremated, though it is not clear when, where or by whom. Potentially contaminated material has been removed from the apartment where he stayed prior to his admission to hospital, and incinerated at a hazardous material processing center.

Meanwhile, a nurse in Spain has also been diagnosed with the disease. Her pet dog was euthanized last week as a precaution, and her husband is being held in isolation at a hospital as well.

Last week Israeli ministry officials met in the prime minister’s office to discuss ways to deal with the possibility that Ebola might spread to the Jewish State. “It is a real possibility,” one doctor at an Israeli HMO told Jewish Press.com on Sunday, on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak with media.

“Look at how the disease has traveled from Africa now to Europe. As diseases go, so too might this one,” she said. “It would not be unexpected for it to reach this region — and our country — as well. It’s just wiser to plan for it and always best when and if it never happens.”

The government decided to monitor travelers who arrive in Israel from the countries most heavily affected by the disease: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Israel’s health care system is also gearing up to provide services to anyone who may come down with the illness, or who may arrive here already infected or carrying the disease.

The prime minister summed up the meeting by saying, “The State of Israel is prepared in order to bar the possible entry of people with Ebola, as part of our effort to defend our borders against illegal migrants and terrorism. This is a global plague and we are cooperating with other countries in addition to guarding our borders; we are taking a series of steps to isolate those who are ill, if they arrive, and treat them, of course, in our healthcare system. We hope that this will not be necessary but we are prepared for any eventuality.”

Ben-Gurion International Airport Director Shmuel Zakai added, “We are beginning a very extensive deployment at all border crossings in order to locate and prevent the entry of travelers carrying the Ebola virus.”

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Arnon Afek also noted, “The healthcare system is monitoring the Ebola issue and is in contact with experts around the world. We are improving the preparedness of the healthcare system in order to be able to deal with any people stricken with Ebola should they arrive in Israel.”

In addition, three mobile clinics are being sent to hard-hit areas in response to a direct request by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Health Organization and a number of international aid organizations. Along with the three mobile clinics, Israel is sending a staff of medical experts who will train local medical personnel to use the equipment that is sent. They will also teach local staff to raise awareness in the local population and among others with a high potential for infection.

3 Wounded Syrians Treated in Nahariya

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

More wounded Syrians were brought Tuesday morning to be treated at Nahariya’s Western Galilee Medical Center.

Three victims of the Syrian civil war were added to the ranks of the hundreds who have received medical care in Israel in more than three years.

The patients were brought to the center in fair condition, suffering in varying degrees from injuries to the chest and limbs.

Western Galilee Medical Center has treated – and admitted – hundreds of patients injured as a result of the Syrian conflict.

So far at least 363 Syrians have been treated in Nahariya alone. More have been admitted at Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat.

New Cancer Drug Uses Immunotherapy to Treat Metastatic Melanoma

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Researchers have come up with a new treatment to fight metastatic melanoma – a fierce form of cancer that is particularly difficult to overcome. The new medication, called Keytruda, works on the body’s immune system and just received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Keytruda, produced by the Merck pharmaceutical firm in the United States, does not focus on destroying the cancerous tissue with chemicals, but rather initiates a different process in the body’s natural immune system, which then attacks the cancerous cells on its own.

The treatment mechanism is called “immunotherapy” and if it lives up to its expectations, the world of oncology could see a new revolution within just a few years. One of the clinical trials is being carried out at Tel Aviv’s Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer Medical Center.

Some 250 of newly diagnosed melanoma patients in Israel per year suffer from metastatic tumors. Malignant melanomas usually start on the skin but can also start elsewhere. Israel ranks among the 20 nations in the world with the highest morbidity rates for the disease, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

“The new drug creates real potential for curing one of the deadliest forms of cancer at the negligible cost of light and tolerable side effects,” commented Prof. Jacob Schachter, head of the Ella Institute for Melanoma at Sheba Hospital. “Moreover, it completely alters the working assumptions in oncology treatment, as its working mechanism is effective in the war against other types of cancer too. There’s no doubt today that the holy grail of oncology lies in immunotherapy, which helps the body’s immune system to destroy the tumor’s cells itself.

“At this stage, we can only imagine the therapeutic potential of a combination of a number of such drugs, each acting on a different system, and some of which are already at an advanced stage of development. Among doctors, too, the scope of the breakthrough has yet to be digested.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-israeli-drug-treats-metastatic-melanoma-cancer/2014/09/16/

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