What's New? 

November 16, 2005
 
Dear [fname],

Please, DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL Contact info is near bottom of this message.

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In This Issue:HappeningsSite NewsMeetingsChat Info
The differences and similarities between the various websites and CUSH
Effects of light on the adrenal glands
ACTHREL(R) (corticorelin ovine triflutate for injection) for the differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome
Dr. Harvey Cushing
Johns Hopkins Celebrates Its First Century of Brain Science
US Postage Stamps for Cushing's Awareness
Order Cushing's Awareness Silicone Bands for yourself, a family member or donate to a Cushing's patient at NIH
Last call to submit your recipes for a CUSH Cookbook
Upcoming Meetings in the Washington, DC metro area and San Francisco
Read all about them below.
News!
There has been some confusion lately on the differences and similarities between the various websites and CUSH.  Hopefully, this chart will help clear up the confusion:
 
Cushing's Help and SupportThe CUSH Organization
(Cushing's Understanding, Support and Help Organization)
Informational Websites


Paid for by MaryO, with some kind donations from people who use the sites.
Small profits from Cushing's Awareness Bracelets and iGive.com

Staffed entirely by MaryO

You do not need to be a CUSH member to take part in any of the website services

A non-profit organization
chartered in 2001
as a 501(c)(3).

Paid for by member dues and donations
Small profits from Cushing's Awareness pins

Staffed entirely by volunteer Cushing's patients.  Officers and representatives
http://www.cushings-help.com
(bios and informative articles)
http://www.cushings-support.com
(images and photos)
http://www.cushingsonline.com (email newsletters)
http://www.cushings-interactive.com
(store for bracelets and more)
http://cushings.invisionzone.com
/index.php (message boards, blogs and photo galleries)
http://www.CUSH.org
Weekly open chats
Occasional Guest Chats
Guest Chat Transcripts
Occasional Members-only Chats
A members-only area of the message boards
Message Board members have a special name decoration (~) signifying others that they are CUSH members.
Visitations with Cushing's patients at NIH by MaryO when possibleNational Conventions
Local meetings

You do not need to be a CUSH member to attend any of these meetings.

Cushing's Awareness Bracelets ; http://www.cushings-interactive.com/oscommerce2/index.php Cushing's Awareness pins  http://www.cush.org/pins.htm
Bi-weekly email newsletter Quarterly print snail-mail newsletter
Informational brochures and business cards to give to people who might need them. These also come with the Cushing's Awareness BraceletsSpreading the word about Cushing's. Cushing's Awareness Day; newspaper articles; TV interviews, etc

Brochures with a plastic stand for doctors' offices
Message Board Programs:
Holiday Card Exchange
Clothing Exchange
Hug-a-Cushie
Library
Weight Loss Support
The upcoming CUSH Cuisine cookbook
For more info contact: Mary O'Connor (MaryO) CushingsSupport@aol.com For more info contact:
CUSH Officers:
Sue Koziol (SuziQ)
SuziQ8846@aol.com
Lynne Clemens
lynnecush@comcast.net
Cathy Gifford
CLGifford@aol.com

Mary O'Connor (MaryO)
CushingsSupport@aol.com

or one of the Area Chairpeople.
 

 

Shared Services

T-shirts, caps, tote bags, mugs, teddy bears and other items with a Cushing's theme: Cushie Store
The toll-free number is for both CUSH and general Cushing's information. Your call may be returned by either MaryO or another CUSH officer CUSH has a section on the Cushing's Help and Support message boards to discuss its issues, set up meetings, fundraisers and such. However, the boards are not owned by, maintained by, or run by, CUSH.

 


  Last call to submit your recipes for a CUSH Cookbook!

It's time to gather up your favorite recipes, the ones you'd like to share with others, and send them to Cheryl Farrar for entry in our cookbook, CUSH Cuisine. For questions or comments, please visit this topic on the message boards: http://cushings.invisionzone.com/index.php?
showtopic=13732&pid=112309&st=0#entry112309

Cheryl's Address is:

Cheryl Farrar
2725 Cambridge Ct.
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

You can also email to her at: cheryl1957ann@sbcglobal.net

The link to the form for the recipes is:

Recipe Collection or fill out the info below.

Please note: We are allowed 2 lines with 35 characters each so we'd like to publish everyone's board names along with their real names and state or country.

Thanks!

(Please type or print clearly and proofread before you send it to Cheryl)

Category: 1. Appetizers/Beverages
2. Soups/Salads
3. Veggies & Side dishes
4. Main Dishes
5. Breads/Rolls
6. Desserts
7. Cookies & Candy
8. This & That

Category: ______________________
Recipe Title:__________________
Submitted by: _________________
phone # _______________________
State/country__________________
e-mail _______________________

Ingredients: (Use abbreviations: pt. qt. pkg. env. c. tsp. T. oz. lb. gal. doz sm. med. lg.)
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________
________________________________________



Directions:______________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

Up to 10 recipes per person please, all recipes may not be used if we receive several of same type. We are going to try to have recipes submitted by Nov 15th, if at all possible so that we can get them typed and to the publisher by mid January to get the best discounts....but it all depends on you!


News:
We welcome your articles, letters to the editor, bios and Cushing's information.
Submit a Story or Article
to either the snailmail CUSH Newsletter or to an upcoming email newsletter at
http://www.cushings-help.com/newsletter_story.htm

Note: These articles are provided in furtherance of the mission of Cushing's Help and Support to help people with Cushing's or other endocrine problems, their friends and families through research, education, support, and advocacy. These news items are intended to serve as background concerning its subject for patient-physician discussions and discussions among Cushing's Help and Support Message Board Members.

These articles contain information by authors and publishers that is subject to the Copyright Act of 1976, and "fair use doctrine" therein, effective on January 1, 1978 (17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.). Cushing's Help and Support makes no representation that the information and any of the views or comments contained in these articles are completely accurate or current. Cushing's Help and Support takes no responsibility for any of the content.

Adrenalfrom http://www.xagena.it/news/medicinenews_net_news/
d6f1dd034aabde7657e6680444ceff62.html


Effects of light on the adrenal glands

A report, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, has found powerful effects of light on the adrenal glands, a finding that might explain the broad benefits of bright light therapy for a variety of conditions, including sleep and depressive disorders.

The body's two adrenal glands sit atop each kidney, where they secrete hormones that regulate stress response and metabolism.

The researchers found in mice that light sparks a cascade of gene activity in the adrenal gland through its effects on the suprachiasmatic nucleus ( SCN ).

Located in the brain region called the hypothalamus, the suprachiasmatic nucleus is the seat of the circadian clock, the body's internal clock that regulates the roughly 24-hour cycle of biological processes.

The gene expression changes accompany a massive surge of the steroid hormone corticosterone in the animals' blood and brain. That hormonal response increased with light intensity.

Glucocorticoids -- including cortisone in humans and corticosterone in mice -- play many roles throughout the body, including metabolic response to starvation, antiinflammatory immune response, and the timing of circadian rhythms in peripheral organs. Therefore, light-induced secretion of glucocorticoids may play a key role in physiological changes in the body and the brain evoked by light, reported study author Hitoshi Okamura of Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan

First introduced in the early 1980s for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, bright light therapy has been applied to many sleep disorders, including jet lag syndrome and shift work sleep disorder.
Shift work sleep disorder, which affects people who frequently rotate shifts or work at night, is often accompanied by metabolic symptoms, including hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

" In these patients, light therapy improves not only psychiatric status, but also disordered hormones and metabolisms," Okamura said. " However, effects of light had only been established on melatonin, and the remaining powerful and broad effects of light on body metabolism and hormones remained to be clarified."

The researchers examined the activity of the clock gene Per1 in the organs of living animals.

The team found that nighttime light exposure induced Per1 expression in the adrenal gland. Further analysis of the gland revealed numerous changes in the activity of almost 200 genes, followed by the delayed release of corticosterone.

When the researchers severed the SCN, light's effect on the gland was lost, indicating that the phenomenon is closely linked to the circadian clock, they said.

" The surge of blood corticosterone after light exposure indicates that environmental signals are instantly converted to glucocorticoid signals in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid," Okamura reported. " The present light-induced corticosterone release may entrain metabolically peripheral clocks to the environmental light-dark cycle through its prevailing receptors located in virtually all cells in the body."

The findings could prove of great clinical and physiological interest, wrote Ueli Schibler and Steven Brown in an accompanying commentary.

" If a light-induced pathway were also operative in humans, a question that could readily be examined by recording blood cortisone levels after light exposure, it would be tempting to speculate that cortisone-mediated synchronization of peripheral circadian clocks would be one of the beneficial effects light therapy has on patients with seasonal affective disorder, " Schibler and Brown said.

" It might also explain why bright light therapy can aid patients with other disorders -- such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder -- not typically associated with the circadian clock," they continued.

Source: Cell Metabolism, 2005


XagenaMedicine2005
Diagnosing Cushing'sfrom http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/11-14-2005/0004214996&EDATE=
 

This is a small part of the article: 

"Ferring also markets MENOPUR(R) (menotropins for injection, USP), BRAVELLE(R) (urofollitropin for injection, purified), REPRONEX(R) (menotropins for injection, USP) and NOVAREL(R) (chorionic gonadotropin for injection, USP) in the U.S. to infertility specialists and their patients. Ferring offers the Q.CAP(TM), the first and only needle-free reconstitution device, for use with its fertility treatments.
   
Other products include ACTHREL(R) (corticorelin ovine triflutate for injection) for the differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome and generic desmopressin acetate in injectable and rhinal tube forms for the treatment of diabetes insipidus and primary nocturnal enuresis.

The Ferring Group specializes in the research, development and
commercialization of compounds in general and pediatric endocrinology, urology, gastroenterology, obstetrics/gynecology and infertility.  For more information, visit http://www.FerringUSA.com.
"

Dr. Harvey Cushingfrom: http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-yalebrains1112.artnov12,0,1633047,print.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

Got Brains? Show 'Em Off


By KIM MARTINEAU
Courant Staff Writer

November 12 2005

NEW HAVEN -- In 1902, Dr. Harvey Cushing sent a pituitary cyst to the pathology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital for analysis.

But the tumor got lost.

Cushing vowed to never let it happen again. He started to save and catalog the tumors himself, dropping them into gallon jars of formaldehyde. The neuropathology - meningiomas, gliomas and others - accumulated by the hundreds as his career flourished. Cushing would become the father of brain surgery and the "Cushing Brain Tumor Registry," as his collection is called, would become an odd footnote in an extraordinary legacy.

Sometime after Cushing's death, in 1939, the tumors and brains were shuffled off to a bomb shelter in the bowels of a medical school dormitory at Yale University, where Cushing had finished his career. There the orphaned collection stayed, visited occasionally by curious medical students.

"It was just a bunch of old brains," said Dr. Dennis Spencer, Yale's chief of neurosurgery. "People forgot about them."

Cushing's contributions are now being revisited and his specimens may at last claim their place in medical history. A Toronto historian has just published a biography of Cushing and Yale has put Cushing's diaries, photographs and even his surgical scrubs on display in the medical school rotunda. As for the brains, Yale hopes to soon put them on permanent exhibit, joined by Cushing's haunting patient portraits.

A pioneer in neurosurgery, Cushing perfected techniques for cutting the brain while controlling bleeding and thwarting infection. He became an expert on the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones and regulates growth, making him an early authority in endocrinology - a specialty Cushing derisively called "endo-criminology" for its quack practitioners. A rare hormonal disorder even bears his name - the ultimate medical glory - after he traced the disease to a pituitary tumor.

Michael Bliss' new biography, "Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery," puts it all in context. Cushing's innovations came at a time when movies had no sound, telephones and light bulbs were just coming on line and the sun still did not set on the British Empire. There were no CT scans or MRIs to capture images of the brain, and X-rays were little help in illuminating the soft folds of gray matter below the skull.

But Cushing had his faults, too. He worked up to 16 hours a day - a punishing schedule that took a heavy toll on his family. His critical, obsessive nature made him come off, at times, as unkind and egotistical. He used ethnic slurs to describe Jews and blacks and did not believe women should vote. Nonetheless, he showed extraordinary compassion to his patients and operated without regard to race or gender. "Open the skull and a brain is a brain is a brain," Bliss writes.

Cushing was one of the first brain surgeons to do more good than harm, and death rates fell from 90 percent to 10 percent during his era. His conservative, Puritanical values propelled Cushing to greatness, Bliss argues, as he brought caution and meticulousness to a field marked by sloppy hygiene and brash cutting. Raised in Cleveland, Cushing went to Yale, then Harvard Medical School, following his brother, to become the fourth generation of Cushing doctors.

At the turn of the century, Johns Hopkins Hospital was the pinnacle of American medicine and there, Cushing learned his trade. Hopkins' chief of medicine, Dr. William Osler, mentored Cushing, who would later win a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Osler. Later, Cushing traveled to Europe to see what he could learn from the top surgeons of his day, but instead came home disappointed by their techniques and shocked by what he saw as a callous disregard for patients.

At Hopkins, he successfully treated a patient with an agonizing facial nerve disorder. Cushing eventually moved on to brains. In 1910, he operated on his most famous patient, Leonard Wood, a top-ranking Army general who had become debilitated after bumping his head on a chandelier. Cushing cut away a potato-size tumor and, in the acclaim that followed, took a job as chief surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston.

Cushing started saving his brain specimens in 1902, after the pathology lab at Hopkins lost a pituitary cyst. He often had permission to keep the brains, but not always. His loyal assistant, Louise Eisenhardt, managed the collection while keeping score of Cushing's "wins" in a small black book. Eisenhardt surrendered the book after Cushing removed his 2,000th tumor - no longer worried he might cheat.

Cushing came to Yale in 1933 to head the neurology department, after reaching Harvard's mandatory retirement age. Eisenhardt and the brains soon followed. Cushing died six years later, at age 70, and his collection eventually landed in the subbasement of Edward Harkness Memorial Hall.

"That was 25 years ago," said William Collins, Yale's former chief of neurosurgery. "The neuropathology was starting to get moved around. I decided we were going to keep it."

One night in 1991, Christopher Wahl, a first-year medical student, broke into the "brain room" with some friends. The specimens were riveting but then he spotted the glass plate negatives. Thousands of them, stacked nearby. In the dim light, Wahl realized they were pictures of Cushing's patients. Some were nude. Many looked frightened. Some of those people, Wahl realized, must have certainly owned the brains in the nearby jars. "The hair stood up on the back of our necks," he remembered.

He brought the plates to Terry Dagradi, a photographer in Yale's media services. She still remembers the first image she printed: a man bowing his head to reveal a thick, throbbing vein. A skilled artist, Cushing had composed the picture beautifully. "They captured a time in medical history," she said.

Wahl cataloged the collection and wrote his thesis on it. But he ultimately chose orthopedic, rather than brain, surgery and now works in Seattle.

Fourteen years later, the brain room is mostly as Wahl found it, deep below Harkness, down a warm hallway lined with storage cages, crammed with old mattresses and anatomical models. Past the low-hanging pipes, through the padlocked doors, two ancient gurneys on bicycle wheels stand guard.

In the far corner, stacked onto tall shelves, are an estimated 800 brains. Gen. Wood's "meningioma" slumbers beside A. Machlachlan's "ganglioglioma." A dull smell of rot permeates the room. Yale hopes to put the brains on display, with Cushing's photos, once the basement of the original Yale pharmacy building is renovated.

Other Cushing ephemera are already on exhibit in the medical school rotunda. In addition, the surgeon's office has been reassembled in a small room off the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. His wooden desk is pockmarked with cigarette burns. A bronze cast of his right hand stretches out, as if to God. A flank of steak preserved in a jar of formaldehyde is a souvenir from Ivan Pavlov, the Russian physiologist, who autographed it from Cushing's operating room in 1929.

In writing his 1999 biography of Osler, Bliss pored through Cushing's papers at Yale and formed an idea for a sequel: a biography of Cushing. For two years, he sifted through Cushing's letters, diaries and patient records. He even ventured into operating rooms in Toronto and New Haven to study successors to his art.

Bliss returned to New Haven this week to lecture and sign copies of his book. One of Cushing's last living students, Bill Daley, 88, approached Bliss eagerly. As an undergraduate, Daley cataloged Cushing's collection of rare books to earn his room and board at Yale, where he later became a neurosurgeon, too.

"Did you like the slides on the acoustic tumor?" Bliss asked.

Daley nodded enthusiastically. "Absolutely - having done a few myself!"

Despite the advances, neurosurgery remains a frontier, a "desperate game," as Cushing called it.

At the end of his career, Cushing operated again on Gen. Wood, whose tumor had grown back. This time, Cushing nicked a vein and his patient died that night.

Bliss was reminded of the desperation again, this week, as he watched a team of Yale neurosurgeons and their residents discuss a brain tumor they had removed from a 7-month-old boy.

Dr. Charles Duncan described his fight to pry the ferocious, bloody tumor from the boy's brain.

"What's the chance this child will see his second birthday?" someone in the room asked.

Duncan was not encouraging.

"We were happy to have him see today."

Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant

Dr. Harvey Cushingfrom: http://www.investors.com/editorial/
IBDArticles.asp?artsec=21&issue=20051110&view=1

Leaders & Success

Neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing

FOR INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 11/10/2005

Harvey Cushing knew that mastering the basics can help you conquer the big stuff.

Cushing's among the most renowned surgeons in the history of modern medicine. He worked at the frontier of neurosurgery and is considered the father of the specialty. He's credited with numerous advances in both surgical techniques and tools such as the Cushing clamp to tie off blood vessels.

Yet no matter how great his reputation grew, he understood that small steps are needed before you can run.

According to Michael Bliss, author of "Harvey Cushing: A Life in Surgery," though Cushing was already world famous when he began to remove tumors from the hard-to-reach suboccipital area of the brain, he started slowly.

His first steps were "very tentative; he had to learn such basics as how to secure the head and shoulders and how to anesthetize a patient lying face down."

He understood that, sadly, his success rate was likely to be extremely low at first. He kept careful notes and "doggedly recorded lessons from each failure." By studying failures, he turned them into victories.

"His judgment about how to attack acoustic tumors improved with experience, and his mortality rate fell from 40% in his first 10 cases in Baltimore to one of his most recent patients in Boston," Bliss wrote.

Cushing was a fourth-generation physician (older brother, Edward, was also a doctor), but it was at a time when medicine was still primitive. Harvard Medical School, the best in the country at the time, accepted students straight out of high school; operating theaters were still not aseptic. The development of the X-ray was announced the year he graduated from medical school.

Cushing didn't have the swashbuckling personality most often associated with surgeons. On the contrary, he tended to be extremely conservative. He studied his patients carefully, using all the diagnostic tools available at the time, and often would recommend against surgery.

While conservative in patient care, he was liberal in efforts to improve hospital procedure.

Even as a resident at Johns Hopkins, "Cushing immediately pushed for improvements in the hospital's procedures," bombarding his boss with suggestions for change.

Cushing demanded a high level of performance from himself; he was not above doing menial tasks. Once he came across a patient sitting uncomfortably on a bedpan. When the doctor he was with offered to run and get an orderly, Cushing demurred. The doctor remembered:

"He personally cleaned the patient and washed him, and then took the bedpan in his hands and walked down the center of the corridor of the private floor to the utility room where he washed out the bedpan and hung it over the drier."

Cushing would accept no less from those around him. At one point, he nearly got into fisticuffs with another surgeon he'd criticized for poor performance.

Though he was demanding, his staff agreed "that all of Dr. Cushing's demands were made in the interests of his patients."

Building Loyalty

He made a point of surrounding himself with good people, and when he found people he could rely on his anesthesiologist, his operating room nurse he kept them with him for years.

He was eager to try something new. He scoured professional literature for ideas and carefully weighed test results before attempting new procedures. Once convinced a new idea had a positive effect, he incorporated it into his routine. In this way, Cushing became the first to monitor patients' blood pressure during surgery with the newly developed blood pressure cuff .

Perhaps the most noted element of his approach to neurosurgery was that he didn't rush. It was more important to do it right. "A common theme of all his neurosurgical papers was the need to abandon the fetish for haste. These need not be hazardous procedures," Bliss wrote.

It was far more important to be meticulous, to pay attention to detail.

"Cushing always underlined the need to perfect every detail of the surgical experience," Bliss wrote. "There was nothing wrong with being slow and fussy, because fussiness was the concern for detail that made everything possible: 'The successful consummation of any critical operation often depends on seeming trifles . . . the scrupulous observance of surgical minutiae that makes possible the safe conduct of intracranial performances.' "

Paying attention to detail included everything from not shaving a patient's head until just before the surgery (to minimize the risk of infection), to assuring that the head is perfectly positioned.

Cushing emphasized this in training young surgeons, all of whom worked on live animals rather than cadavers. That sounds cruel, but, as Bliss wrote:

"Students working on dead bodies had no incentive to take asepsis and patient management seriously or to learn to control bleeding or treat tissue gently."

Knowledge was everything to Cushing. When John Turner, an 8-foot giant Cushing was treating for pituitary problems, died, his family refused a post-mortem. Cushing eventually persuaded a funeral home attendant to let him remove the giant's brain and pituitary gland so he could continue to study them.

Means To An End

Money was only a means to an end for him. At the peak of his career, Cushing earned about $8,500 annually as chief surgeon at Brigham Hospital and full professor at Harvard. Though a considerable sum at the time, he had to pay his personal staff out of that an amount two or three times his salary.

Yet he didn't complain: He made up the difference in his private practice. While his fees were considerable, he frequently waived them for physicians and their families, teachers and servicemen.

"He thought people who could afford to should pay at least part of the costs of their care, but when in doubt, he erred on the side of generosity," Bliss wrote.

During World War I, he served near the front lines. He was no prima donna: He did what had to be done. At home, he'd consider one major operation a day a good day. At the front, he was performing eight a day, on his feet for 16 hours.

Cushing wasn't one dimensional. He was a writer of considerable repute. In addition to his scientific writing (330 books and papers), he wrote a memoir of his war experiences and a biography of his mentor, William Osler, which won a Pulitzer Prize.

Pituitaryfrom: http://www.jhu.edu/~gazette/2005/07nov05/07brain.html

Johns Hopkins Celebrates Its First Century of Brain Science

Two symposia and a gala pay tribute to researchers and their contributions

By Joanna Downer
Johns Hopkins Medicine

What's in a name? At Johns Hopkins, a formal Department of Neuroscience was founded 25 years ago, but the institution's contributions to understanding and studying the brain started three-quarters of a century before that, in 1906.

The long history of brain sciences at Johns Hopkins and the many contributions of the institution's researchers are outlined in the Oct. 20 issue of Neuron by the first and only director the Hopkins department has ever had. Solomon Snyder took the reins of the fledgling department on July 1, 1980.

"There were enclaves of scientists and physicians studying the brain in various departments at Hopkins well before 1980," recalls Snyder, who came to Hopkins in 1965 for his clinical residency in psychiatry and never left. "But creating the department allowed people studying the brain in one way by studying what brain cells do, for instance to work in close proximity and share their knowledge with those using different techniques and approaches. Together with the three brain-centered clinical departments, Hopkins has an exceptionally robust environment in which to study the brain."

Snyder, Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, will be among those honored Nov. 11 at a gala dinner at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore and at the symposium Discovery and Hope: A Celebration of Brain Science at Johns Hopkins earlier that day. Snyder is expected to step down as department director sometime this year while remaining a full-time faculty member and head of his thriving research laboratory.

Two Nobel laureates, Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, and six others Cori Bargmann, Roger Nicoll, Carla Shatz, William T. Newsome III, Fred Gage and Huda Zoghbi have confirmed their participation in the symposium. Johns Hopkins neuroscientists Rick Huganir and Snyder will provide opening and closing remarks, respectively.

On the previous day, Nov. 10, the Department of Neurology will hold a symposium featuring Hopkins scientists and neurologists in honor of its upcoming 35th anniversary.

The first formal brain studies at Johns Hopkins started in 1906, when Harvey Cushing became the first director of Neurosurgery. His research established that hormones secreted from the brain's pituitary gland promote growth. Walter Dandy, who succeeded Cushing, figured out in 1918 that air could be used to enable X-rays of the brain. His technique remained the best way to see into the skull to identify brain tumors and other problems until the invention of computer aided tomography, or CAT, in 1972.

Around the same time as Dandy's work, the first director of the Department of Psychiatry, Adolph Meyer, was instituting an unprecedented science-based approach to the field. He established laboratories of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and a new field he dubbed "psychobiology." One of the early members of the Psychiatry Department was Curt Richter, who developed a precise means to measure aspects of a rat's life and used the system to determine the molecular and anatomical regulation of the "biological clock," the minimal daily requirement for vitamins and minerals, and the scientific basis for the lie detector test. W. Horsley Gantt, a member of the department at the same time, was a major figure in introducing Pavlovian psychiatry to the United States and used Pavlov's technique to establish models of mental illness in dogs.

In 1933, Phillip Bard came to Hopkins to be the fourth director of the Department of Physiology and to carry out research to identify the region of the brain that caused "sham rage" in cats. His work showed that this behavior could be caused by stimulating the posterior hypothalamus, a finding that helped create the idea that the hypothalamus and limbic system in the brain are responsible for emotions.

In the late 1930s, Bard helped recruit Chicago's Ralph Gerard to Hopkins because the latter had developed and used techniques to measure the electrical output of the brain. While at Hopkins, Gerard refined the techniques and used them to map areas of the brain responsible for detecting the sensation of touch.

Vernon Mountcastle, who succeeded Bard in 1964 as director of Physiology, in the late 1950s added to Gerard's earlier findings by using microelectrodes to more finely map excitation in the brain, which revealed the brain's "columnar" organization, now known to be a universal organizing principle of the brain.

Since those early years when the brain's "big picture" was still a blank canvas, research in the brain sciences at Hopkins has expanded to investigate questions both big and small. For example, researchers in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute on the Homewood campus are studying recognition, sensation and other "big" capabilities, while some on the East Baltimore campus are measuring electrical signals from individual neurons in a laboratory dish to study how they react to different stimulation.

Four major areas of investigation occupy the time of brain scientists at Hopkins: cellular and molecular neuroscience; systems, cognitive and computational neuroscience; developmental neuroscience; and neurobiology of disease.

Scientists working in the first area are looking into what roles different types of cells play in the brain, what genes and proteins allow brain cells of various descriptions neurons, astrocytes and glia to do what they do, and what molecules are involved in the cells' communications with one another. Snyder, for instance, uncovered in the early 1970s the natural docking place for opiates on brain cells and more recently identified key roles for two gases nitric oxide and carbon monoxide as messengers that help brain cells communicate.

Some of those studying systems, cognitive and computational neuroscience are using engineering and computer science to model certain capabilities of the brain, like the processes that allow us to reach for and touch a target, and others are interested in answering some of the most fundamental, long-standing questions of the brain. Huganir and his colleagues, through their efforts to understand the big question of how learning and memory occur, have actually created a forgetful mouse.

Scientists working in the area dubbed developmental neuroscience might study the protein and molecular cues that control and direct nerves' growth during early development in species from frogs to mice or what the cues are that tell a cell to become a nerve cell in the first place. David Ginty, Alex Kolodkin and others are identifying signals that direct nerves' initial growth, hoping that the knowledge might reveal ways to successfully regrow damaged nerves.

And, of course, scientists at Hopkins studying the biological problems underlying diseases of the brain and nervous system are trying to understand what causes these diseases with the hope that their knowledge will help lead to new treatments or even prevention. These scientists are probing genetic ties to diseases like bipolar disorder and Parkinson's disease, or looking for targets that might help prevent secondary damage that occurs after stroke, or trying to unravel the complex factors that lead to cells' death in diseases like muscular dystrophies and Alzheimer's disease. Akira Sawa recently uncovered a major role for the cancer gene p53 in controlling nerve cells' death in Huntington's disease, for example.

At its inception, Hopkins' Neuroscience Department was one of the first in the nation, and today it is the largest of the basic science departments at the School of Medicine, with 25 primary faculty. Another 78 Hopkins faculty have secondary or joint appointments in Neuroscience, including two dozen or so whose primary appointments are in the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery or Psychiatry. In the Department of Neurology, there are roughly 75 primary faculty; in the Department of Neurosurgery, 24. The Department of Psychiatry, founded almost 100 years ago, boasts 139 full-time faculty members with primary appointments.

At the Nov. 11 symposium, topics include the latest on our understanding of smell, vision, learning and memory, decision making and balance-eroding diseases called spino-cerebellar ataxias.

The separate Nov. 10 symposium, called Looking Forward: Tomorrow's Neurology, will include scientific presentations by nine Hopkins Neurology faculty members and three outside neurologists on topics ranging from the genetics of multiple sclerosis to new treatment options being developed for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophies and motor neuron diseases.

The Society for Neuroscience annual meeting starts in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Nov. 12.


Newest Bios:
To add or edit your bio, http://www.cushings-help.com/add_your_bio.htm
Adrenal Patients
Merlennaupdated
Merlenna is no longer on her medication, and NO MORE monthly checkups! If she is med-free in 5 months, she will be on the road to recovery and then be CURED!
Kailua, HI
RaymondRaymond was first diagnosed with Cushing's in 1983. He is now Addisonian. Belleville, Ontario
SuzanneSuzanne had a BLA (bilateral adrenalectomy) in May 2005.St. Austell, Cornwall UK
Cyclical Patients
SusieSusie has had ovarian cancer, surgery and chemotherapy followed by avascular necrosis in her hip, ankle and shoulder and underwent joint replacement surgery to fix it all. She has been diagnosed with Cushing's but the doctors have been unable to locate the source of excess cortisol. Shawnee, Kansas
Not Yet Diagnosed Patients
CarolineCaroline is not yet diagnosed but has a pituitary tumor. Pennsylvania
Cathy MCathy M is not yet diagnosed but has an endo appointment in December 2005Kenora, Ontario
EllenEllen's endocrinologist suspects Cushing'sToronto, Ontario
Kiwi2LassKiwi2Lass had sudden weight gain but is not yet diagnosed with Cushing'sNew Zealand
Pituitary Patients
Ann RAnn had surgery in 1979 for a Rathke's Cleft Cyst and has had panhypopituitarism ever since. She has symptoms of Cushing's due to the cortisone she takes.Rochester, NY
DebbieDebbie was  diagnosed with Cushing's after approximately 2 years of assorted "unexplained" ailments and is waiting for results of her Petrosal Sinus Sampling. Sonoma County, CA
Steroid Induced Patients
Robin    
To add or edit your bio, http://www.cushings-help.com/add_your_bio.htm


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The information you provide will be used to create a register and will be shared with the medical world. It would not be used for other purposes without your expressed permission. Note: This information will not be sold or shared with other companies.

Lynne Clemens, Secretary of CUSH Org is be the person responsible for the creation of this register. If you have any questions you may contact her at lynnecush@comcast.net. You do not have to be a member of CUSH to fill out this questionnaire, as long as you are a Cushing’s patient. We do not believe that the world has an accurate accounting of Cushing’s patients. The only way to authenticate accuracy is with actual numbers. Your help will be appreciated. Thank you."

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Upcoming Conventions, Meetings and Seminars:

December 15,  2005, Washington DC Metro Area, Third Thursdays, More info here

December 17, 2005, San Francisco, CA, More info here

June 24-27, 2006, ENDO 2006, Boston Convention & Exhibit Center. More info as it becomes available.

June 2-5, 2007, ENDO 2007, Toronto, Canada, Metro Toronto Center. More info as it becomes available.

More upcoming local meetings are listed here

Sign up for notification of local meetings. You need not be a CUSH member to participate.

Online Chats:
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This room is always open, and has convenient links so that you can get needed information while you're chatting.

I hope to see you tonight!


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