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  • richardmitnick 8:26 am on July 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hadassah Medical Center, Israel 21c, , Rare heart surgery performed in utero to save sick baby   

    From ISRAEL21c: “Rare heart surgery performed in utero to save sick baby” 


    July 6, 2017
    Abigail Klein Leichman

    Hadassah Medical Center physicians performing in-utero heart surgery on July 4, 2017. Photo: courtesy

    In a risky and delicate procedure performed for the first time in Israel this week, an interdisciplinary team of Hadassah Medical Center physicians fixed a severe heart defect in a 28-week-old fetus in the womb.

    The medical team widened the baby’s aorta using a balloon technique similar to adult catheterization.

    “In the process of catheterization, under epidural anesthesia for the mother and anesthesia for the fetus as well — because we do not want him to feel pain — we inserted a very delicate needle through the mother’s abdominal wall, directly to the left ventricle of the fetal heart,” said Dr. Yuval Gielchinsky, head of fetal medicine at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem campus.

    The pregnant mother had approached Dr. Azaria Rein, director of Hadassah’s pediatric cardiology department, after tests showed her baby’s heart defect.

    “The diagnosis was a critical narrowing of the aortic valve, which is also accompanied by severe damage to the function of the left ventricle, which was barely able to contract and perform its function,” said Rein.

    The baby’s parents were told that without treatment, the left ventricle would likely degenerate and not be able to transfer blood to the baby’s body after birth. They decided to try the catheterization procedure.

    Gielchinsky said this specific complex surgery is performed in only a few medical centers around the world but had never been done in Israel before.

    “We are in a new medical era in the field of embryology and cardiology, which offers not only diagnosis but also prenatal care. The operation carries an increased risk to the fetus, but we believe that its success will greatly improve the baby’s chances of a healthy and long life.”

    The full success of the surgery can be assessed only after the baby is born, but the doctors were pleased with initial results. Fetal echocardiography shows that the function of the left ventricle in the baby’s heart has improved significantly.

    “The operation went through without complication,” noted Dr. Sagi Gavri, director of pediatric catheterization. “Immediately after the operation we saw an improvement in blood flow through the valve.”

    Other members of the surgical team included Dr. Simcha Yagel, head of OB-GYN at Hadassah, senior OB-GYN Dr. Nili Yanai and anesthesiologist Dr. Carolyn Weiniger.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    ISRAEL21c is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization and the publisher of an English-language online news magazine recognized as the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel.

    Our website offers a vast resource of more than 10,000 originally researched and produced articles, videos, images and blogs by some of Israel’s leading journalists, uncovering the country’s rich and diverse culture, innovative spirit, wide-ranging contributions to humanity, and democratic civil society.

    Every week we reach millions of people through our website, social media channels, and e-newsletter.

  • richardmitnick 6:29 am on July 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Israel 21c, Noninvasive brain stimulation through ultrasound,   

    From Technion via Israel 21c: “Noninvasive brain stimulation through ultrasound” 

    Technion bloc


    Israel 21c

    July 10, 2016
    Abigail Klein Leichman

    Israelis reveal a mechanism for accurate and individualized control of brain activity using ultrasonic waves.

    Image via Shutterstock.com

    Accurate and noninvasive artificial brain stimulation is one of the holy grails for neuroscientists looking to advance brain research and treatment.

    Ultrasonic neuromodulation – exciting the neurons using ultrasound waves – shows great promise as a way to complement or even replace treatments that require risky surgical insertion of electrodes through the skull.

    Researchers from the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have added critical new insights to the understanding of the mechanisms that enable ultrasonic neuromodulation to activate and suppress brain cells.

    In a study just published in the journal eNeuro, professors Shy Shoham and Eitan Kimmel and PhD student Misha Plaksin reveal that the ultrasound’s waveform pattern dramatically affects its interaction with neurons, and consequently certain ultrasound patterns have a different effect on different types of neurons.

    This understanding makes it possible to predict the outcome of complex interactions in realistic brain neural networks and to improve the use of ultrasonic neuromodulation in the noninvasive medical treatment of neurological diseases.

    “Right now, the brain is still something of a closed box,” said Shoham. “Ultrasound could help to pry open that box.”

    “Now, for example, for the first time at the Technion and in cooperation with InSightec [a pioneer in using ultrasound beams instead of scalpels] and Prof. Itamar Kahn of the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, we are using functional MRI technology to examine the effect of ultrasound on brain activity, so that we can both excite and monitor it without recourse to electrodes and other invasive means.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    Technion Campus

    A science and technology research university, among the world’s top ten,
    dedicated to the creation of knowledge and the development of human capital and leadership,
    for the advancement of the State of Israel and all humanity.

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