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February 19, 2009 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-02-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

Health & Fitness

RESEARCH

WSU's Hiller Center
Treats, Fights ALS

T

Researchers seek ultimate cure for Lou Gehrig's disease.

he best way to understand a disease is to moni-
tor its progression, says Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, director
of research with the Hiller ALS Center at Wayne
State University in Detroit.
"Our patients tell us what they're going through and we
begin to understand more, driven by a goal of enhanced
treatments and ultimately, a cure,' said Loeb, associ-
ate director of the Center for Molecular Medicine and
Genetics at Wayne State.
Founded in 2007, the Hiller ALS Center has developed
a unique approach in which its doctors simultaneously
treat patients while studying the genes and cells behind
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — Lou Gehrig's
Disease. The Hiller ALS Center is committed to patient
treatment and laboratory research, bridging the divide
between bedside and theory.
"We will be looking at every piece of tissue, every gene,
under the microscope and talk with patients and their
families from diagnosis through the progression of the

disease said Dr. Richard Lewis, director of the Hiller
ALS Center and associate chair of neurology at the Wayne
State University Medical School.
The Hiller ALS Center is a relative newcomer to the
field of ALS research. Loeb and Lewis are compiling a
database of the clinical evolution of the disease, learn-
ing from patients which muscles fail first and which
ones don't. Using neuroimaging and electrophysiology,
they will be correlating the patterns of disease with the
information obtained from studying the tissue samples.
Their most pressing initiative is a call for rapid autopsy
volunteers, since the most knowledge can be gleaned by
studying tissue within three hours of death.
"The hardest part of studying and working with ALS is
that, right now at least, you lose every patient eventually;'
says Loeb. "That makes the cause seem dismal to many,
but that is exactly why it's essential to make as much
progress as we can toward understanding and taking
command of this dreadful disease."

Recognizing Seniors

ORT Names New Board

In celebration of "Older Americans Month:' the Bessie
Spector Oldest Jewish American's Brunch will be held 11
a.m. Friday, May 8, at the Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield.
Sponsored by Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit's ElderLink, the brunch will honor Jewish
seniors 95 or older. If you know someone who qualifies,
contact Pat Mayer, (248) 203-1519 or mayer@jfmd.org ,
by March 23.
A complimentary brunch is provided for each honoree
and one guest. Additional reservations are available at
$20 per person.

Michigan Region ORT America has announced its 2009
region board of directors.
Co-presidents are Beverley J. Katz of Southfield and
Keith Lublin of Farmington Hills. They succeed Linda
Sahn and Randy Wertheimer.
Katz previously served on the board as first vice presi-
dent and chair of ORT's Connections Committee. She
is a doctor of optometry at Henry Ford Health Systems'
Optimeyes.
Lublin chaired fundraising for ORT's Rub-a-Dub event.
He is vice president at Level One Bank in Farmington
Hills.

13 M e R

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SPECIALISTS

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February 19 a 2009

Joining the executive board are vice presidents Roz
Blanck of Franklin, David Colburn and Brad "Bubbe
Urdan of West Bloomfield, Laura Gorosh of Birmingham
and Debbie Levin of Southfield.
The recording secretary is Marlo Scott of Birmingham
and the treasurer is Martin Katz of Bloomfield Hills.
Board members at large are Arlene Barris and Dr.
Hershel and Dorothy Sandberg of Bloomfield Hills,
Sandra Shecter, Andrea Beavers and Robbie Sherman
of Farmington Hills, Dana Burnstein, Harriet
Jacobson and Paula Lynn of West Bloomfield, Vicky
Levesque of Redford, Brian Hermelin of Bingham
Farms, Carole Walker of Commerce and William
Kohler of Detroit.

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Specialized Manual Physical
Therapy Can Help.

A36

As part of the Hiller Center's mission to work
toward a cure, foremost experts in the field will
meet on Saturday, March 7, at the Townsend Hotel
in Birmingham. Seminar topics will span the range
of issues facing this disease, from bench-top to
bedside.

Quick Clean

Baca Pain?
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For more information visit our website:
www.omptspecialists.corn
or call: 248.353.1234

ALS is a progressive disease of the central nervous
system, which causes the gradual degeneration of nerve
cells that control voluntary muscle movement. There is
no known cure for this disease, which affects more than
30,000 people in the United States. Approximately 5,600
new cases are diagnosed annually.
"This work is incredibly important:' said Lewis. "We
will work tirelessly to achieve total understanding of
this disease and hopefully, one day, hit on exactly what it
will take to cure it." 0

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