Immunotherapy Combinations Offer Hope in Glioblastoma By Gina Battaglia, PhD - Featuring Dr. Linda Liau. Immunotherapy has shown promise for treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common primary brain tumor in adults with historically poor prognosis, but experts agree that combination regimens have the greatest potential to achieve durable response. View OncLive Publication (PDF) >
National Cancer Institute Designates UCLA Brain Cancer Program a Site of Research Excellence $11.4 million grant will help to advance work in prevention, detection and treatment. The brain cancer program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Brain Tumor Center has been designated a Specialized Program of Research Excellence, or SPORE, by the National Cancer Institute, making it one of only five brain cancer programs nationwide to receive this national recognition and substantial research funding. Story on uclahealth.org >
Neuroscientist Harnesses The Power of Virtual Reality To Unlock The Mysteries of Memory By Elaine Schmidt - Featuring Dr. Nanthia Suthana. UCLA lab first to study how brain encodes memory during movement. We’re all familiar with the image of someone donning virtual reality goggles to enter a new environment while seated at their computer. At UCLA, Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot. Story on newsroom.ucla.edu >
Doctors, Not Insurance Companies, Should Take Medical Decisions By Stacey Worthy - Featuring Dr. Linda Liau. While a partisan debate unfolds over how to expand the number of Americans covered by health insurance, policymakers have all but ignored the hidden healthcare crisis facing millions who have already bought insurance. Insurance providers are increasingly refusing to cover prescribed treatments for many patients with chronic conditions, even when they have fully paid their premiums. Story on newsweek.com >
6-year-old St. Clair County Girl Has Life-changing Brain Surgery By Beaumont.org - Featuring Dr. Gary W. Mathern. On May 9, Bailey became the first patient to have a hemispherectomy at Beaumont Children’s. Pediatric neurosurgeon Karol Zakalik, M.D., performed the procedure under the watchful eye of Gary Mathern, M.D., a UCLA Medical Center neurosurgeon, considered a pioneer in modified hemispherectomies. Story on beaumont.org >
Can Dogs Predict Seizures? By Nicole Lou - Featuring Dr. Gary W. Mathern. Many epilepsy patients swear by dogs like Angel. “Any good detector has positive value,” says Dr. Gary Mathern, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. “But as a physician, a key unanswered question is whether the dogs really work.” Story on pbs.org >
A Maui Lawyer With Brain Cancer Was Given 17 Months to Live. That Was 5 years Ago By Chelsea Davis - Featuring Dr. Linda Liau. MAKAWAO, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui lawyer is using his personal cancer battle to give others hope -- and he's picking up some celebrity supporters. In the five years since Jamil Newirth has been diagnosed with brain cancer, he passed the bar exam, ran a marathon, and ended up on a jumbotron. Story on hawaiinewsnow.com >
Extra-TV Spotlights Legendary Leaders’ Visit to UCLA Neurosurgery Extra-TV (New York) aired a May 31 story featuring UCLA donor and business executive Charlie Norris and former Lakers player and coach Byron Scott. Coauthors of a recent book on leadership, the two men shared secrets to their success with faculty members and staff at a recent book-signing hosted by the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery. The network segment was syndicated by 40 affiliate stations nationwide, including NBC-TV (Los Angeles), NBC-TV (Boston), FOX-TV (Chicago) and ABC-TV (Washington, DC). Photo Courtesy of Reed Hutchinson Story on newsroom.ucla.edu >
Dr. Nader Pouratian -- Casa Colina presents: Research & Collaborative Partnerships for the Future / A Tribute to Courage Video: Casa Colina's Research Institute collaboration with UCLA, Cal Tech and the courageous Nancy Smith. View Video >
UCLA Surgeons Use Minimally Invasive Procedure to Cure Boy With Rare Form of Seizures By Elaine Schmidt - Justin Cho is an engaging 9-year-old. Although he’s somewhat shy, he is quick to smile and has an infectious laugh. “Justin has always been a happy child — very energetic and bubbly,” said his father, Robert Cho. “We assumed that giggling was just part of his personality.” What Robert and his wife, So, didn’t know was that the laughing fits he often had before bedtime were actually seizures and signs of a serious medical problem. Story on newsroom.ucla.edu >
Head Injuries Can Alter Hundreds of Genes and Lead to Serious Brain Diseases, UCLA Biologists Report By Stuart Wolpert - Featuring Xia Yang and Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. The researchers identified for the first time master genes that they believe control hundreds of other genes which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, stroke, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression, schizophrenia and other disorders. Story on newsroom.ucla.edu >
Parents Encouraged to Update Their Approach to Treating a Child with a Concussion Vital Signs Winter 2017 - A lot has changed since the days when athletes who got their “bell rung” while playing contact sports would be sent back out onto the field. Today, concussions are taken much more seriously amid concern about their long-term effects. Publication on uclahealth.org > | View PDF >
Dr. Daniel Lu -- Paralyzed Patient Responds to a Spinal Stimulator Numerous news outlets reported Dec. 13 on the story of Brian Gomez, a young San Dimas man who broke his neck five years ago. Brian has regained some hand control due to an experimental device implanted In his spine by Dr. Daniel Lu, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Coverage included KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WCBS-TV (New York), WJBK-TV (Detroit), KSWB-TV (San Diego), STAT News, the U.K.'s Daily Mail, United Press International, Becker's Spine Review, Spain's Canarias 7, the Netherlands' RTL News, Futurism and Mass Device. A UCLA social media video on Brian's story has been viewed on Facebook nearly 8,000 times, liked 370 times and shared 133 times so far. The press release is also generating views on UCLA Newsroom.
Dr. Gary W. Mathern -- Honored For Lifetime Accomplishments In Epilepsy Gary W. Mathern, MD, will receive the William G. Lennox Award for lifetime accomplishments in epilepsy from the American Epilepsy Society. The award will be presented during the society’s annual meeting in Houston, Tex., December 2-5. Story on aesnet.org >
Wanted: Women’s Brains — to Jump-start Lagging Research on Female Concussions Drs. Chris Giza and Mayumi Prins provided interviews on behalf of UCLA in a STAT News article published today about how the nation's organ banks--created to study brain trauma--contain only a limited number of female brains, potentially skewing results. Story on statnews.com >
A Fat That Saves You From Sugar The 2016 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards -- You eat a lot of sugar, you gain weight. Most of us know that. But few of us realize that simple sugars like those found in a can of Coke can also damage thousands of genes in your brain, including those related to Alzheimer's, heart disease, and depression. That's exactly what UCLA professors Xia Yang and Fernando Gomez-Pinilla discovered in May. Luckily they also found some good news: An omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, which is found in fish, including tuna and salmon, reversed the damage. Story on popularmechanics.com > Additional Coverage: Uncommon Wisdom Daily | Teen Vogue | Consumer Affairs | Healthline News
Best In The West For over 20 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has recognized UCLA Neurosurgery as one of the top neurosurgery programs in the nation. UCLA Neurosurgery is ranked No. 8 in the country and No. 1 in Southern California >
Reuters Spotlights Exceptional UCLA Neurosurgeon Reuters profiled Dr. Linda Liau as the lead in a July 23 feature story and photo essay focusing on women in male-dominated fields as America nominates its first female presidential candidate. An updated version was published July 24 and fed to Reuters subscriber outlets worldwide.
Special Olympics Athlete Awards Gold Medal to Neurosurgeon People magazine published a July 21 story on Special Olympics athlete Edward Garcia, who gave away his latest gold medal to his neurosurgeon, Dr. Isaac Yang, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Yang listened to and performed surgery on Garcia, who suffers from hydrocephalus, when other ignored his pain. The story was also covered July 22 by Fox News, July 18 by La Opinion and July 15 by KCAL-Channel 9 and KCBS-Channel 2.
Huge Studies Peer Inside Brain, Blood to Unlock Mysteries of Concussion By Usha Lee McFarling - Featuring Dr. Christopher Giza. An image of a concussed brain fills the computer screen, with shredded nerve cells lit up in red and orange. As Dr. Christopher Giza watches, the brain rotates. A time-lapse film shows the damaged cells cooling to green and blue as they slowly heal. This advanced imaging technique offers a rare look inside a traumatized brain and its complex recovery. Story on statnews.com >
UCLA Neurosurgery In the News 2015 Video on vimeo.com >
Formerly Conjoined Twins Give Back to Pediatric Patients KCBS-Channel 2, KNBC-Channel 4, KABC-Channel 7, KCAL-Channel 9, Univision, Telemundo, Estrella TV, KFI 640AM Dec. 14; La Opinion, HOY, Seventeen Magazine Dec. 15; ABC News online, CBS News online Dec. 16 and others featured the story of the formerly conjoined Guatemalan twins, nicknamed the Two Marias, who were separated in a landmark surgery at UCLA in 2002. The twins, now 14, returned to UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital this week to help decorate the rooms of pediatric patients who will be hospitalized over the holidays and to reunite with the doctors and nurses who helped care for them. Dr. Jorge Lazareff, the lead pediatric neurosurgeon; Dr. Henry Kawamoto, the lead plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and Dr. Barbara Van De Wiele, the lead anesthesiologist, were interviewed in the coverage.
Concussions End Student’s Playing Days, But Now He’s Trying To Help Others LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) Dr. Christopher Giza and Trey Fearn - Trey Fearn is a teenager who works with UCLA neurologists to help protect the valuable cargo inside the helmet. “I got a handoff and two of my teammates hit me from each side of my head, and then the next minute, it was just kind of black,” Fearn said of his first concussion. Fearn is now helping researchers at UCLA try to understand the long-term impact of concussions by participating in a study conducted by the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program. Christopher Giza, a neurologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, is working with Fearn and some members of the UCLA football team during the BrainSPORT study. “We do blood tests and brain MRIs,” Giza said. They test before any injuries and after they occur. Story on cbslocal.com >
Life-Changing Surgery Draws Coverage The story of an Indiana woman who suffered for seven months with a rare disorder that forced her to constantly hear the sounds of her eyeballs moving, heart beating and food digesting, was reported Sept. 22 by the lifestyle blog, Little Things, and Sept. 15 by Tech Insider, Business Insider and Avenue Post Online. Rachel Pyne underwent two surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to plug the tiny holes in her inner ears that caused the noises, as well as severe dizziness and balance problems. Her surgeons, Dr. Quinton Gopen, assistant professor of head and neck surgery, and Dr. Isaac Yang, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, explained the minimally invasive approach they developed to treat semi-circular canal dehiscence, which afflicts an estimated one in half a million people.
U.S. News Applauds UCLA Innovation US News & World Report published Oct. 15 an interview with Katherine Steinberg, director of UCLA's Health System's Institute for Innovation in Health. The article featured a photo of EVA the robot with Dr. Paul Vespa, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the neuro-critical care unit at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
What Parents Need to Know about Concussion Examiner.com and Health Canal reported Oct. 21 on tips to help parents prevent and reduce concussion in their children who play sports. Dr. Christopher Giza, director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, and a professor of pediatrics and neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, was quoted.
Fructose Sabotages Brain's Ability to Heal A new study by Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery and integrative biology and physiology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and College of Letters and Science, finding that processed fructose interferes with recovery from traumatic brain injury, was reported Oct. 6 by Nutrition Insight; Oct. 5 by CBS News, Yahoo Health, Red Orbit, and Physical Therapy Products; Oct. 4 by GeekSided; Oct. 3 by Psych Central and the Indo-Asian News Service; and Oct. 2 by Bioscience Technology, Medical Xpress, Science Blog and Laboratory Equipment. The IANS story was syndicated Oct. 3 by India's Business Standard, Times of India, New Kerala, Can-India News, Zee News, The Statesman and Free Press Journal. The CBS News segment aired on 14 affiliates, including Louisville, Ky., Flint, Mich. and Nashville, Tenn. Three ABC news affiliates and one Fox affiliate also aired the story.
Paralyzed Man Walks Again The Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 31 on a paralyzed man who is able to walk again with the help of a robotic exoskeleton being studied at UCLA by Dr. Reggie Edgerton, a professor of physiology, neurobiology and neurosurgery; and Dr. Daniel Lu, an associate professor of neurosurgery. Edgerton was quoted.
Huffington Post, TV News Cover Life-Changing Surgery The story of an Indiana woman who suffered for seven months with a rare disorder that forced her to constantly hear the sounds of her eyeballs moving, heart beating and food digesting was reported Sept. 4 by the Huffington Post U.K. and Sept. 8 by WCBS-TV (New York), WLNY-TV (New York), Fox News affiliates in Chicago, Kansas City and New Haven, and the Imperial Valley News. Rachel Pyne underwent two surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to plug the tiny holes in her inner ears that caused the noises, as well as severe dizziness and balance problems. Her surgeons, Dr. Quinton Gopen, assistant professor of head and neck surgery, and Dr. Isaac Yang, assistant professor of neurosurgery, explained the minimally invasive approach they developed to treat semi-circular canal dehiscence, which afflicts an estimated one in half a million people. MSN republished the Huffington Post piece.
Dr. Christopher Giza, director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program and a professor of pediatrics and neurosurgery at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children's Hospital, commented Sept. 3 in a Hollywood Reporter story about Concussion, a new film starring Will Smith that explores his character's discovery of the long-term effects of head trauma in professional football players. He also was quoted Sept. 4 and Aug. 27 in two ESPN articles exploring emerging technology to diagnose head injuries and new ways to improve football athletes' safety.
Media Fascinated by Patient's Life-Changing Surgery The story of an Indiana woman who suffered for seven months with a rare disorder that forced her to constantly hear the sounds of her eyeballs moving, heart beating, footsteps echoing and food digesting, was reported Sept. 2 by ABC News' "Good Morning America," KCBS-Channel 2, KCAL-Channel 9 and KFI 640 AM's Bill Carroll Show; and Sept. 1 by KTTV-Channel 11, KTLA-Channel 5, KIMT-TV (Rochester, Minn.) and the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Rachel Pyne underwent two surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to plug the tiny holes in her inner ears that were causing the noises, as well as severe dizziness and balance problems. Her surgeons, Dr. Quinton Gopen, assistant professor of head and neck surgery, and Dr. Isaac Yang, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, were interviewed about the minimally invasive approach they have developed to treat semi-circular canal dehiscence, which afflicts an estimated one in half a million people. The "Good Morning America" segment aired on 105 ABC affiliates nationwide, including locally on KABC-Channel 7.
Promising New Treatment for the Deadliest Form of Brain Cancer Examiner.com Sept. 1, MedicalXpress and News-Medical.net Sept. 2 and Bio Science Technology Sept. 3 reported on a discovery by UCLA scientists involving a chemotherapy drug and a technique called engineered adoptive T cell transfer, which involves extracting and growing immune cells in a laboratory, then reprogramming them to target glioblastoma or brain cancer. Once they are injected back into a mouse model, they produce an immune response that targets the brain cancer. Dr. Robert Prins, associate professor of neurosurgery, and Dr. Linda Liau, professor of neurosurgery and director of the UCLA brain tumor program, were quoted. Both are also members of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Tumor Immunology Program.
Woman Who Could Hear Her Own Body Sounds Get Life Back ABC News Videos - Rachel Pyne was diagnosed with a condition that enabled her to hear her entire body, including heart, eyes and bones.
ABC News - Video Story on yahoo.com >
Nature Explores the "Kill Switch"