Device Offers New Hope for Epilepsy Patients


Dr. Marvin Rossi

A recently FDA-approved device has been shown to reduce seizures in patients with medication-resistant epilepsy by as much as 50 percent. When coupled with an innovative electrode placement planning system developed by physicians at Rush, the device facilitated the complete elimination of seizures in nearly half of the implanted Rush patients enrolled in the decade-long clinical trials.

That’s good news for a large portion of the nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. living with epilepsy whose seizures can’t be controlled with medications and who are not candidates for brain surgery.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures that disrupt the senses, or can involve short periods of unconsciousness or convulsions. “Many people with epilepsy have scores of unpredictable seizures every day that make it impossible for them to drive, work or even get a good night’s sleep,” said Dr. Marvin Rossi, co-principal investigator of the NeuroPace Pivotal Clinical Trial and assistant professor of neurology at the Rush Epilepsy Center.

The NeuroPace RNS System uses responsive, or ‘on-demand’ direct stimulation to detect abnormal electrical activity in the brain and deliver small amounts of electrical stimulation to suppress seizures before they begin.

Read the entire release for more information.

Devoted Student to Run in Support of Professor’s Mother

stk62716corA Rush University graduate student has committed to run 54 miles on Saturday in honor of her professor’s late mother, Kathleen Mai, who died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), an incurable lung disease that results in deep tissue thickening and stiffening. The 5k/10k run and walk will be held at the Danada Equistrian Track in Wheaton, Ill., on Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m.

The student, Sarah Brundidge, committed to run 54 miles—one mile for each year Mai lived—to raise funds for respiratory care research. The run is a fundraising event for the Kathleen Mai Research Fund, established to support student research projects in respiratory.

Mai’s daughter, Meagan Dubosky, assistant professor of respiratory care at Rush, established the fund along with the help of members from the respiratory care program’s student government. To date, more than $34,000 has been raised.

Children’s half-mile run/walk and Easter egg hunt to follow at 1 p.m. The last leg of Brundidge’s epic run will be around 2 p.m.

Fusion Technology Increases Prostate Cancer Detection Accuracy to 97 Percent

Dr. Ajay Nehra

Dr. Ajay Nehra

Urologists at Rush University Medical Center are the first in Chicago to offer a powerful new tool for visualizing and monitoring the prostate in men who have high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and in detecting prostate cancer more accurately.

The new technology combines or “fuses” magnetic resonance (MR) and ultrasound images uses electromagnetic tracking/guidance, similar to your car’s GPS system. A tiny tracking sensor is attached to an ultrasound probe and generates a small, localized electromagnetic field that helps determine the location and orientation of the biopsy device. A sophisticated computer program maintains the fusion of MR and ultrasound images, even when a patient moves.

“This is a new way of identifying and specifically targeting suspicious prostate lesions. We believe it may have the potential to be a new standard in prostate care,” said Dr. Ajay Nehra, chairman of urology at Rush University Medical Center.

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Alzheimer’s Disease May Be More Prevalent Among African-Americans

A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center reviews research that suggests that the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease among older African-Americans may be two to three times greater than in the non-Hispanic white population and that they differ from the non-Hispanic white population in risk factors and disease manifestation. The study results are published in the April issue of Health Affairs.


Lisa Barnes, PhD

“The older African-American population is growing at a rapid pace, and the burden of aging-related cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease will continue to present a tremendous challenge,” said Lisa Barnes, PhD. “This study highlights the importance of research among minority groups within the communities in which hospitals serve.”

Barnes is the primary author and director of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and professor of Neurological Sciences and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center.

“The lack of high-quality biologic data on large numbers of racial and ethnic minorities poses barriers to progress in understanding whether the mechanisms and processes of Alzheimer’s disease operate the same or differently in racial and ethnic minorities and, if so, how, particularly in the high-risk African-American population,” said Barnes.

In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 20 percent of the population ages 65 and older was a racial or ethnic minority member. Current projections suggest that by 2050, 42 percent of the nation’s older adults will be members of minority groups. Among those ages 85 and older, 33 percent are projected to be a minority.

Read the entire release for more information on the study.

Drug-Resistant Bacteria on the Rise Among Kids

Dr. Latania Logan

Dr. Latania Logan

Infections caused by a specific type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise in U.S. children, according to new study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. While still rare, the bacteria are increasingly found in children of all ages, especially those 1-5 years old, raising concerns about dwindling treatment options.

“Some infections in children that have typically been treated with oral antibiotics in the past may now require hospitalization, treatment with intravenous drugs, or both, as there may not be an oral treatment option available,” said Dr. Latania K. Logan, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rush University Medical Center.

The team of researchers led by Logan analyzed resistance patterns in approximately 370,000 bacterial cultures from pediatric patients collected nationwide between 1999 and 2011.

They found that the prevalence is increasing in a resistant type of bacteria, which produces a key enzyme, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), that thwarts many strong antibiotics, making them ineffective.

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Medical Students Meet Their Match on Friday


Dr. Jonathan Myers waits to deliver residency “match” results.

A group of 128 anxious fourth-year medical students from Rush Medical College will gather together at the Union League Club of Chicago on Friday, March 21, to learn where they will begin their residency training.

At 11 a.m., medical students across the U.S. simultaneously open envelopes containing information about their future in medicine. It is the culmination of a process that begins in the fall, when senior medical students apply to residency programs through a nationally computerized system. After interviewing at prospective programs, students electronically rank the programs in their order of preference.

Depending on a student’s chosen specialty, residencies last from three to six years and lead to eligibility for board certification in a primary care, or medical or surgical specialty. The residency is composed almost entirely of the care of hospitalized or clinic patients with supervision by more senior physicians.

This year marks the 176th anniversary of Rush Medical College and the 41th anniversary of Rush University. Rush Medical College is the first medical school in Chicago and was chartered in 1837, two days before the city of Chicago obtained its charter. It is part of Rush University Medical Center.

Media: Contact Rush Media Relations at (312) 942-5159 or page at 312-942-6000, enter PIN 1100, if you plan to attend or for more details.

Move to Family Birth Center Complete

birth center

The new Rush Family Birth Center opened Sunday, March 9, as babies, moms and families moved in. With labor and delivery, mother baby and neonatal intensive care all on one floor, this center is transforming the care offered to women and children at Rush.

Donning green shirts with “Family Birth Center” on the back, hundreds of Rush employees started their day at 5 a.m. on Sunday. These collaborative teams included nurses, patient care technicians, physicians, students, information services professionals, environmental services staff, transport team members, security officers, food and nutrition staff, engineering staff and many more.

Whether staff members were wheeling our youngest patients to their new private rooms in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), packing up items in crates or boxes, saying tearful farewells to the old space or high fiving in the halls, it was a day to remember and be proud of at Rush. Continue reading