This week’s Spotlight interview shines on our newest headache fellow, Mina Essak, DO. Essak talks to us about his work treating patients with migraines and facial pain in our Morreene Road Clinic, how he was swayed from primary care to neurology during his medical school rotations, and why in another life he would be a ski instructor. He also shares his passion for the outdoors and hopes for skiing in Banff this coming winter.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke University Hospital as the top hospital in North Carolina and the 23rd best across the nation for neurology and neurosurgery in its 2022-2023 hospital rankings. The annual rankings, which assessed more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide, analyze and integrate dozens of medical and surgical services.
This June, members of the Duke Neurology Department contributed to 12 new peer-reviewed journal articles as well as two new book chapters. Among other findings these studies uncovered retinal differences that may one day act as early biomarkers for cognitive impairment, population-based studies that will improve treatment for stroke and other conditions, and investigations of hydrogel scaffolds as potential therapies.
The Duke Neurology Department continued to grow and expand its missions of providing excellent clinical care, conducting research to improve our understanding of neurological conditions and how to treat them, and training the next generation of neurologists throughout 2021.
This October, members of the Duke Neurology Department contributed to 12 new peer-reviewed journal articles, advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, chronic pain, and other conditions. These articles include discussions of the best framework for neuroscience curricula for medical students, the discovery of an existing experimental drug which offers a new avenue for treating pain without potential addiction issues, and an examination of the viability of ketogenic diets as an alternative treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Several disorders cause chronic pain, including nerve injuries and bone cancer, but existing remedies can trigger uncomfortable side effects, or worse, addiction. So researchers from Duke University, including the Neurology Department's Yong Chen, PhD, and Wolfgang Liedtke, MD, PhD, and the University of California at Irvine teamed up to tackle this problem by searching for compounds that tackle pain in a new way—by targeting genetic switches that cause it.
Members of the Duke Neurology Department did their part for Stroke Awareness Month, contributing to eight new peer-reviewed studies published this May. But our other divisions didn’t hold back either, with thirteen other articles advancing our understanding of neuro-oncology, multiple sclerosis, headache, and other subjects.
Read about each of the studies published from members of the Duke Neurology Department below, and find links to the original journal articles as well.
Members of the Duke Neurology Department advanced the fields of clinical, translational, and basic neuroscience this April with 14 new peer-reviewed studies. Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD, was the senior author of a new study in Science that expands our understanding of the integrated stress response in the brain and how it influences learning and memory. Other studies include an analysis of demographic disparities in use of emergency medical services for stroke, the discovery that some skin cells can act as “pre-neurons,” and a national survey of clinical neurophysiology fellowships.
Gender has profound, complex effects across all fields of health, and neurology is no exception. Biological differences such as sex hormones across the life cycle affect the symptoms and onset of Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. Cultural mores mean that women do most of the caregiving for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, even as they are at greater risk than men for developing the condition. Even history plays a part, as for generations women have been left out of clinical trials.
Jaskiran "Kiran" Vidwan, DO, first became interested in both neurology and head and facial pain as a medical student, when a rotation with a headache specialist showed her the complexity of both headache conditions and the therapies used to treat them. Now, as our newest faculty member in our growing Headache and Pain Division she’s working with patients of her own to make sure they understand the nature of their conditions and receive the best possible care.