Sunday, July 30, 2017

Former NFL Player Turned Into The Top Neurosurgeon!

Journey from National Football League player to a Harvard Medicine as a neurosurgeon trainee 

When Myron Rolle, 30, begins his neurosurgery residency at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in June, he will be making history.
Before him, "there hasn't really been anybody who I saw doing NFL and neurosurgery," the 6-foot-2 former NFL player said in an interview with CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Now, Rolle will be treating patients and training amid concerns and contention within the medical field about the safety of American football. He wants to help his two worlds -- medicine and football -- find common ground, he said.

 Not until "toward the end of my career, I started to think about concussions and what the effects of repetitive concussions can do," he said.
"Football has done so much for me, given me friends, family, given me life lessons that now I can use in the operating room or just as a leader," he said. "I would hate to see it go, and I would love to see it around."

 A blow to the head, such as what might be experienced during a tackle in a football game, can cause a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury.
Rolle believes he has a duty to talk to younger players about safely playing the sport he loves.
"The fundamentals have to be emphasized: tackling the correct way. Having the right equipment. Making sure that you don't have very violent practices or contact practices," said Rolle, who sees brain injuries in sports and pediatrics as specialties of interest.

"I will tell you in person, 'Yes, play, but be careful; be safe, and understand some of these things that need to go into it for you to enjoy it,' " he said.

The tight-knit Rolle brothers
Rolle's interest in both neuroscience and football started at a young age, with help from his four older brothers: Marchant, Marvis, Mordecai and McKinley.
He was in the fifth grade when he read the book "Gifted Hands" by Dr. Ben Carson, which sparked his interest in medicine. Since then, Rolle said, neurosurgeon Carson has become something of a mentor.
Their father, Whitney Rolle, said Myron's oldest brother, Marchant, gave Myron the book.
"That kind of propelled him into that area," Whitney said. 

While Marchant gave Myron books to read, his third oldest brother, Mordecai, taught him the game of football.
Dr Myron holding his MD degree
Myron quickly excelled on the field, and McKinley, the brother closest in age to Myron, often trained with him. Now, McKinley is a high school football coach and teacher in Florida, where he also serves as Myron's business manager.

Closing dura after resecting a left parietal brain tumor. W/ chief resident Dr Raj Mukherjee!

      Growing up, Whitney said, Myron's older brothers not only encouraged him to pursue his dreams, they also had his back.
When the boys were children, "they put dishwashing liquid in the aquarium, and let me tell you, the entire living room was in bubbles," Whitney said, chuckling at the memory.
At the time, Whitney repeatedly asked his sons who was behind the bubble prank. No one answered.
"I threatened them. I told them I was going to punish them, and they would not tell on each other. Nobody would squeal," Whitney said. 

"As much as I was being tough on them, I was in the back of my mind smiling to see how they just stick together," he said. "I've always enforced that they care for each other. They support each other."
Whitney and his wife, Beverly, moved with the oldest three boys from the Bahamas to the United States in 1980, when Whitney was transferred to work at Citibank.
Then came two more sons. 

By the time Myron was born in 1986, the family had settled into a middle-class life in New Jersey.
He points to his parents, and the sacrifices they made to provide for him and his brothers, as a source of his motivation today.
"When I was younger, trying to afford football camps, my parents would sometimes have to miss bills," he said. "They sacrificed these things for me because they saw I had a goal.
"My repayment for that sacrifice is to continue to move forward, be the best I possibly can be, whether that's on the football field when I played or now as a future neurosurgeon."

From suiting up to scrubbing up

Among all of Rolle's efforts to be the best he can be, he points to November 22, 2008, as the day when he felt the most proud.
On that day, Rolle -- then a student athlete at Florida State University -- had to be in Birmingham, Alabama, to interview as a Rhodes Scholar finalist. At the same time, he was expected to play in a game against the University of Maryland in College Park.
Dating back to 1904, Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and among the most prestigious international fellowship awards in the world. Each year, only 32 American students are selected as Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree at the University of Oxford in England.

To interview, Rolle took a quick flight to Birmingham. After he completed the two-hour interview, he said, he waited another hour or so to receive the results.
"The judges came out and said that I won the scholarship," Rolle said, but he didn't have much time to celebrate. He still had a game to play.
"I got on a plane from Alabama to Maryland, got to the game around the second quarter," he said.
McKinley, the brother closest in age, was in the press box when Rolle arrived at the stadium in Maryland. Their other family members were in the stands.
"I just remember there was so much emotion going through our family at that time," McKinley said.
When Rolle arrived at the stadium, he received a standing ovation. Then, on that chilly November night, his team won the game, 37-3.

Rolle postponed his NFL career for a year to complete his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, where he earned a master's degree in medical anthropology.
He then went on to play safety for the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring in 2013 to attend the Florida State University College of Medicine. He graduated on Saturday.
"I'm glad that I walked into my purpose," Rolle said. "I'm glad that I walked into something that was a smooth transition from football."


Dr Myron removing diagnostic hardware from the head of a patient with epilepsy

He has already become something of a family doctor, McKinley said. If a relative suffers an injury or illness, it's likely Rolle will be summoned for help.
"I know he's going to be one of the best neurosurgeons in the world," McKinley said. "Myron has worked for everything and has earned everything that has happened to him."
McKinley recalled moments when he would walk downstairs in the middle of the night and see Myron studying at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning.
"He studied for this, and he has prepared for it," McKinley said.
After interviewing Rolle, Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, said that such a strong work ethic will be needed in his future.
"There's no question Myron will probably be working harder than he's ever worked in his life for the next seven years, despite having been in the NFL and training as a professional athlete," Gupta said. "I think, however, it is all about immersing yourself in your task, and Myron has shown that he's nearly superhuman at doing that. I think he unquestionably has a bright future as a neurosurgeon."

Source: CNN News 
 More interested story made from the Myron's journey to his new profession is also available at SB Nation 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

South African Child Declared 'Cured' From HIV Completely!

A child who was born with HIV has been “functionally cured” of the virus for the last nine years. The South African child has been able to live for almost a decade without taking any medication for the disease, in what is only the third case of a child remaining in remission without detectable levels of the HIV virus for some time.
The child was first treated back in 2007, and as part of a trial was randomly assigned 40 weeks of antiretroviral drugs along with 143 other babies. Once the treatment was completed, the virus remained undetectable in the child's bloodstream and has remained so ever since. None of the other children showed the same results.

Reported at the International Aids Society conference in Paris, the case has been compared to that of the “Mississippi Baby”, who back in 2010 was treated for HIV infection from birth until she was 18 months old. After a year of no medication, the HIV virus was still undetectable. By 2014, unfortunately, tests revealed that the virus had re-emerged.

Researchers were disappointed that the “cure” did not last in the Mississippi Baby, so this time around they are urging significant caution. They are not suggesting that the child is fully cured, and have actually been able to detect the virus in a tiny reservoir within some cells of the immune system. But because the child is not showing any symptoms of infection with HIV, it seems the child may instead be “functionally cured".

“Further study is needed to learn how to induce long-term HIV remission in infected babies,” director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony S Fauci, told The Guardian. “However, this new case strengthens our hope that by treating HIV-infected children for a brief period beginning in infancy, we may be able to spare them the burden of lifelong therapy and the health consequences of long-term immune activation typically associated with HIV disease.”

The doctors are still uncertain as to what is actually going on in the immune systems of these children. There are known cases in which some people – particularly among sex workers – are in effect naturally immune to the virus. These people have not become infected with the virus, despite being exposed to it on a regular basis.
The interesting thing about this latest child, however, is that it does not share the same genetic markers as these immune people, suggesting that there is some other form of immunity that is occurring. The team hope that by studying the child further, they can expand their knowledge of how to coax the body into controlling and fighting the virus. This could lead to better drugs or even the holy grail of a vaccine.

Source: IFL Science 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

African Scientist Targetting To Kill Cancer Cells Using High-tech Glasses That Help Surgeons Visualize Them During Surgery.

Dr. Samuel Achilefu, professor and Ghief of the optical radiology lab at Washington University School of Medicine, was honored with the 2014 St. Louis Award for his contributions to cancer treatment research.
Born to Nigerian parents during the Biafran War, he helped developed high-tech glasses that help surgeons visualize cancer cells during surgery. He is the 87th recipient of the award, established in 1931 by leading philanthropist David Wohl.
Here are some facts about the scholar…

  • Samuel Achilefu, PhD was age five years old when the Biafran civil war forced his family to move to a safer area in Nigeria and start life anew. 
  • His first sojourn abroad was on a French government scholarship, and postdoctoral training in oxygen transport mechanisms culminating in his PhD in molecular physical and materials chemistry at the University of Nancy, France. 
  • Achilefu came to St. Louis in 1993 to join the nascent Discovery Research Department at Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. In 2001, he joined Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University. 
  • He lives with his wife and two teenage children. 
  • On Jan. 14, the scientist received the St. Louis Award at the Eric P. Newman Education Center. The honor, awarded almost every year since 1932, recognizes area residents whose achievements reflect positively on the community. Achilefu was recognized for leading a team that developed high-tech goggles.

 According to Washington University in St. Louis, Achilefu’s ‘cancer goggles’ are designed to make it easier for surgeons to distinguish malignant cells from healthy cells, helping to ensure that no stray tumour cells are left behind during surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. The glasses could reduce the need for additional surgical procedures and the subsequent stress on patients, as well as time and expense. The system uses custom video technology, a head-mounted display and a targeted molecular display that attaches itself to cancer cells, giving them a ‘glow’ when viewed through the eye gear.

Achilefu, who is 53, in his acceptance speech said: “They basically have to operate in the dark”.
“I thought, what if we create something that let’s you see things that aren’t available to the ordinary human eye.”
Our efforts start with two words: ‘What if? These words may sound simple, but they embody the belief that each person has the potential to make a difference, if only he or she can take the time to understand the problem.”

Before surgery, imaging tests involving big, high-tech machines can create detailed pictures of a person’s cancer, Achilefu said: “but when a patient is in the operating room, it’s like walking in the dark.”

 “A limitation of surgery is that it’s not always clear to the naked eye the distinction between normal tissue and cancerous tissue,” Ryan Fields, MD, an assistant professor of surgery who has used the goggles with melanoma patients at Siteman Cancer Center, said last year. “With the glasses developed by Dr. Achilefu, we can better identify the tissue that must be removed.”

After receiving a PhD in molecular physical and materials chemistry at the University of Nancy, France, where he attended on a French government scholarship, and postdoctoral training in oxygen transport mechanisms, Achilefu moved to St. Louis, US in 1993 to join the nascent Discovery Research Department at Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. Currently, he serves as a Washington University School of Medicine Professor of Medicine.

Source: HowAfrica 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dr. Arpan Doshi Has Broken Previous Record as 'UK's Youngest Doctor' Just Only 18 days!

Arpan Doshi graduated with his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Sheffield on Monday - aged 21 and 335 days - and is due to start work as a junior doctor in York next month.

LONDON: An Indian-origin doctor is set to become the UK's youngest physician to start work at a hospital in north-east England.

Arpan Doshi graduated with his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Sheffield on Monday - aged 21 and 335 days - and is due to start work as a junior doctor in York next month.

He will beat the previous record for the youngest doctor to start work in the country by 17 days.
"I didn't realise I was the youngest person to qualify until a friend checked on the internet. I haven't even told my parents yet but I know they will be very proud," the Sun quoted India-born Doshi as saying.

Arpan originally went to a local school in
Gandhinagar, Gujarat, until he was 13.

Then his mechanical engineer father, Bharat, got a job in Aix en
Provence as part of an international Fusion project and the whole family moved to France.

Arpan, who speaks English, Hindi and Gujarati, continued his education at an English speaking International School.

"The following year I realised that I already knew a lot of what was being taught so I skipped a year," he recalls.

He started applying to universities just weeks after his 17th birthday and despite a rejection from one university, three others offered him places.

The University of Sheffield was so impressed with his credentials that they gave him a scholarship worth 13,000 pounds.

He received financial support from his parents and also took part-time jobs as a lunch supervisor at a local school and in the careers service to fund his degree.

"My dream is to become a heart surgeon but it is a very competitive field. It is not really a surprise I have ended up as a doctor," said Doshi.

The previous youngest doctor to qualify was Rachael Faye Hill, who received her medical degree from
Manchester University when she was 21 and 352 days in 2010.

Doshi is now set to overtake that record when he starts his two-year training as a junior doctor at York Teaching Hospital in August.

Source:  BBC News

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Oldest Practicing Physician Who Has Been In Service Since 1937 Dies at Age 105

Shigeaki Hinohara, honorary head of St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo — who continued practicing as a doctor even after turning 100 — died from respiratory failure on Tuesday, the hospital said. He was 105.
A well-respected figure, Hinohara had been suffering from medical conditions affecting his heart and other organs due to his advanced age, said Tsuguya Fukui, who heads St. Luke’s, at a news conference on Tuesday.

He was hospitalized in March when he became unable to eat, but he refused to be fed through a tube and was discharged a few days later, spending the rest of his days at home, Fukui said.
During his more than half a century as a physician at one of Tokyo’s leading hospitals, Hinohara pioneered comprehensive medical checkups, which have today become standard for many middle-aged Japanese, and advocated preventive medicine.
His 2001 best-selling anthology of essays, “Ikikata Jozu” (“How to Live Well”), has sold more than 1.2 million copies.

A charismatic figure, Hinohara was also known for calling on senior citizens to maintain an active social life. In 2000, he founded a group for healthy people over the age of 75 and urged them to contribute to society using their wisdom and experience.
He went on to receive the Order of Culture from the government in 2005.
Hinohara was a native of Yamaguchi Prefecture and a Christian, graduating from the school of medicine at Kyoto Imperial University in 1937 and continuing his studies at its graduate school. He then began working at St. Luke’s in 1941 as a physician.

Hinohara also studied at Emory University in the United States.
In 1992, he became the head of St. Luke’s, and in 1994, while working as the hospital’s director, he had the foresight to install oxygen tubes throughout the walls of the building — including hallways, lounges and the chapel — to prepare for mass casualties that could occur if an earthquake hit the capital.
The measure proved life-saving just a year later when the cult Aum Shinrikyo used sarin to attack subways in Tokyo, killing 13 people and injuring thousands.

The hospital was able to accommodate 640 patients within two hours and save the lives of all but one. Hinohara said this was possible because the hospital was prepared for such an emergency.
Hinohara was also a passenger on the Japan Airlines plane that was hijacked by Japanese Red Army members in 1970.

“The hijackers had dynamite strapped to them and we were terrorized, wondering whether the negotiations might break down,” Hinohara said as he recalled the ordeal in a 2008 interview with The Japan Times.
At the age of 88, he wrote a script for the Japanese musical “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf,” in which he also performed as an actor, dancing with children. The show, first performed in 2000, had a production off-Broadway in New York in 2010.

 Source: Japan Times