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The Marcia Dunn The Marcia Dunn and Jonathan Sobel Department of Neurology at HSS is dedicated to the treatment and study of mobility disorders. Our team consists of eight board-certified neurologists with subspecialty training in neurophysiology, neuromuscular disease and movement disorders. We are actively engaged in research to advance our understanding of the causes of and treatments for mobility disorders as well as in training the next generation of physicians in this discipline.
Despite the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized significant achievements in 2020 to provide care that exceeds our patients’ expectations while discovering new ways to advance our knowledge through research.
Patient care continued uninterrupted throughout the year due to the rapid adoption of telehealth. At the peak of the pandemic in New York City, we increased the number of telehealth patient encounters by over 2000 percent. Thanks to the dedication of our infusion personnel, we were able to continue our lifesaving therapies in our infusion center.
Additionally, we maintained a busy program of research in 2020. We called upon our experienced clinical trials team to create and implement a therapeutic trial for COVID-19 patients using intravenous immunoglobulin, the first COVID-related trial to receive IRB approval at HSS. This trial eventually became an international multicenter trial that is still ongoing to assess the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin in controlling COVID-19 symptoms.
The group also continued its investigations of multiple potential therapies for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), myasthenia gravis, and neuropathy. In 2020, we continued to add many new therapeutic trials to our research agenda to assess new therapies for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis and chronic inflammatory demyelinating peripheral neuropathy (CIDP).
Clinical care and therapeutic trials in PLS. Floeter MK, Warden D, Lange DJ, Wymer J, Paganini S, Mitsumoto H. ALS and Front Degen. Online ahead of print.
Effect of Ezogabine on cortical and spinal motor neuron excitability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomized clinical trial. Wainger B, Macklin EA, Vucic S, Mcilduff CE, Paganini S, Maragakis NJ, Bedlack R, Goyal NA, Rutkove SB, Lange DJ, River MT et al. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Nov 23:e204300. PMID: 33226425
Management of primary lateral sclerosis. Zhao Z, Lange DJ, Wymer JP. Curr Treat Options Neurol 22, 31 (2020). doi.org/10.1007/s11940-020-00640-6
Post-concussion vulnerability to transient global amnesia. Garvey MD, Miller CJ, Kim EU, Skulikidis G, Shetty T. Front Neurol. 2020; 11:517863. PMID: 33262736
We look forward in 2021 to expanding our ability to detect and treat those patients whose mild or moderate change in cognitive ability may pose greater risks for them in the perioperative and postoperative settings. We plan to do that through the recruitment of additional neurologists as well as neuropsychologists to better measure ongoing problems. Expansion of therapeutic trials to help patients with concussion and development of potential therapies for patients with persistent post-concussive symptoms are another area of focus. In addition, we plan to explore the role of the immune system in degenerative diseases well as the development of novel therapies to improve the lives of those whose nervous system dysfunction is causing problems with mobility.