Chronic pain experience inspires new surgical offering

U-M physicians work with local couple to bring peripheral nerve surgery to Ann Arbor


David L. Brown, MD, addresses the attendees and introduces A. Lee Dellon’s lecture, “Peripheral nerve surgery in 2015.”

After an accident, Sonya Persia went through several back, hip and neck surgeries, but new pain in her legs and feet never went away. Once Sonya and her husband Ray realized there are options beyond pain medication to improve her quality of life, they wanted to help others dealing with the same thing.

“Nobody knew what to do,” Ray Persia said, but they finally read an article about a procedure that fixes chronic pain caused by injury and/or compression of nerves.

The Persias traveled out of state for the surgeries, and now the couple from Highland, Mich., are advocates and donors, helping to bring the option of peripheral nerve surgery to patients at the U-M Health System.

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Blood-brain barriers greatly affect stroke


Blood-brain barriers protect the brain from trauma and illness and yet are a major problem in developing drugs to target neurological disorders

Most people aren’t aware that blood-brain barriers have an affect on how brains react to stroke and other assaults on the brain. We spoke with Dr. Richard Keep, Director, Crosby Neurosurgical Laboratories, to find out more.

What are blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barriers?

They are specialized interfaces between the bloodstream and the brain situated at the blood vessels of the brain (the blood-brain barrier or BBB) and at a specialized tissue called the choroid plexus that secretes the CSF that bathes the brain (the blood-CSF barrier).

What is the function of those barriers?

The brain needs a well-controlled environment to function properly and these barrier tissues help provide that by controlling the entry of molecules from blood to brain, by transporting important nutrients (such as glucose) into the brain, and by transporting waste products and potential neurotoxic agents from the brain. They also control the entry of white blood cells into the brain (regulate inflammation).  Continue reading

Uric acid and stroke therapy

More research is needed


Portion of CT scan of a brain that has experienced acute ischemic stroke

Portion of CT scan of a brain that has experienced acute ischemic stroke

A Spanish research team has recently found that giving uric acid (UA) with intravenous thrombolytic therapy (tPA) to patients with acute ischemic stroke could help improve outcomes, particularly in women. Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. William J. Meurer talked with us about the study and its implications for stroke treatment and research.

Do the results of the Spanish study mean that hospitals will start supplementing clot-busting tPA with uric acid (UA) when they treat ischemic stroke patients?

No. The main trial didn’t find UA to work when given to everyone. The Spanish researchers have generated an interesting hypothesis by observing that it worked in women. There is not strong enough evidence yet to change practice, but it’s an interesting area for future research.

How did the team conduct the research?

The researchers reexamined the results of their Efficacy Study of Combined Treatment with Uric Acid and rtPA in Acute Ischemia Stroke (URICO-ICTUS) trialContinue reading

Migraine: New paths to relief

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that about 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine. University of Michigan's Wade M. Cooper, D.O., talks about migraine triggers and solutions.

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that about 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine. University of Michigan’s Dr. Wade M. Cooper talks about migraine triggers, solutions and advances in treatments.

About 35 million Americans suffer with migraine. Are you one of them? If so, as director of the University of Michigan Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, I’d like you to know that there may be better ways for you to manage your migraines and new ways to treat them.

Migraines are those incredibly painful headaches that can last hours or even days, usually 4 to 72 hours. They may cause severe throbbing in the head as well as sensitivity to light, sounds or smells. Often, the person wants to curl up in a dark room and stay there until the pain and symptoms go away.  Continue reading

School success can depend on sleep

A young student in a study group suffering from the exhaustion of finals

If students are not doing well academically, bored in class or feel as if they may have ADD, they may be suffering from poor sleep or a sleep disorder.

According to the National College Health Assessment 2014, sleep is the third biggest barrier to academic success for college students, surpassed only by anxiety and stress.

In our Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, I have seen first hand the importance of identifying and resolving sleep issues. Sleep can have a major impact on grades. Poor sleep or a sleep disorder can mean the difference between dropping out of college or a successful semester. Improving sleep might help a student have the GPA that allows them to go to medical school or graduate school.  Continue reading

Labor Day swimmers: Remember to jump in feet first

More than a million Michiganders will head out to a pool or Great Lake this long Labor Day weekend, soaking up the 80-degree temperatures for perhaps the last time before the pool toys get packed away in favor of packing up the backpacks.

Jumping in a pool














Whether it’s a body of water your family swims in every summer, or you’re trying out a new Mitten State destination, it’s important to keep your safety vigilance in and around the water.

Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper, a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan Health System, focuses on just two words to convey the most important water safety tip: feet first. It’s not worth the risk to dive in if you have any doubts.

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