Miller School Neurology Faculty Tackle Wide Topic Range at AAN 2022
Members of the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine led and took part in a wide range of programs, presentations, panel discussions, and poster sessions at AAN 2022, the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting, held April 2-7 in Seattle. A virtual session was held April 24-26.
With 38,000 members, AAN is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals.
“Members of the Department of Neurology covered the spectrum of important and timely neurologic topics impacting not only patients but also neurologists — from headache and the effects of abnormal sleep patterns to global access disparities, academic neurology, and much more,” said Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAHA, FAAN, professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology.
Dr. Sacco, former AAN president, directed programs including the Quick Learning Session, which reviewed takeaways from the previous day, and “How to Delegate,” a review of leadership and teamwork and description of organizational structures that promote delegation and shared responsibility. He also co-chaired “Academic Neurology: What Is the AAN Doing to Help Academic Neurology.”
Among other highlights, division chiefs and experts with the department played a significant role at the conference and participated in media interviews. Having one of the largest neurology training programs in the country, the department also hosted a well-attended alumni reception.
Teshamae Monteith, M.D., associate professor of clinical neurology and chief of the Headache Division in the Department of Neurology at the Miller School, participated in the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch conference coverage and served in several prominent roles for the headache component of the meeting.
Dr. Monteith served as topic chair, a role that has the honor of organizing the poster categorization and platform sessions, coordinating abstract peer review and moderators, and overseeing selection of the abstract of distinction.
She also presented “Headache as an Early Symptom and Post-Acute Sequela of COVID-19 in Hospitalized COVID-19 Survivors.” As part of that research, Dr. Monteith, Ayham Alkachroum, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, and colleagues at the Miller School evaluated over 400 cases of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 for acute headache and assessed post-acute sequela of COVID-19, including headache in over 40 patients one year later.
The team found that headache was a relatively common acute symptom. Persistent symptoms and psychosocial impact were common in those who had new or worsening headaches, suggesting that headache is an early marker for post-acute sequela of COVID-19. The presentation was covered by NeuroDiem.
Dr. Monteith also co-authored a poster on research assessing the safety of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist atogepant as preventive treatment for migraine in subjects with or without cardiovascular risk factors, as part of the ADVANCE phase 3 trial. The authors found cardiovascular treatment-emergent adverse events were comparable among those in the atogepant and placebo treated groups in the presence of cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Dr. Monteith was also faculty director for the course “Introduction to Primary Headache Disorders: Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias and Other Primary Headaches, Including New Daily Persistent Headache, Cough, Exercise, and Thunderclap Headaches.”
“I spoke about specific headache types, including new daily persistent headache, primary exercise headache, and cough headache,” said Dr. Monteith.
Alberto Ramos, M.D., M.S., FAASM, FAAN, professor of neurology and research director of the Sleep Disorders Program at the Miller School, directed the program “Parasomnias Including REM Behavior Disorder,” reviewing the diagnostic criteria and latest treatment options of parasomnias, or abnormal behaviors during sleep, which have neurologic and non-neurologic health consequences.
“Our objectives included describing normal sleep variants, theories of REM sleep, and the influence of the pandemic on sleep patterns, as well as identifying risk factors and patients at risk for parasomnias,” said Dr. Ramos, who also provided an interview on sleep disorders to Healio Neurology.
Global Stroke Treatment Disparities
Dileep R. Yavagal, M.D., professor of clinical neurology and neurosurgery at the Miller School and UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, presented on the study “Access to Mechanical Thrombectomy for Large Vessel Occlusion Stroke: An MT2020+ Report on Global Disparities.”
In the study looking at use of this highly effective treatment for large vessel occlusion stroke in a global cohort of countries, Dr. Yavagal and colleagues found low worldwide access to mechanical thrombectomy and vast disparities among countries.
“Determinants of access are the country’s per capita gross national income, availability of reimbursement, and their [mechanical thrombectomy] operator and center indices,” according to the abstract. The study was also covered by Healio Neurology.
Alzheimer’s and Genetic Research
Genetic researchers with the Miller School’s prestigious John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics also presented data. Farid Rajabli provided an interview to MedPageToday on his team’s research, titled “African Locus Reduces the Effect of ApoE e4 Allele in Alzheimer’s Disease.”
“Our objective in this study was to identify areas of the genome that lower risk for developing Alzheimer disease in individuals who are the carriers of the disease risk gene ApoE4. We identified a protective locus for the ApoE4 gene that lowers the risk for African carriers of the ApoE4 gene to get Alzheimer disease,” said Dr. Rajabli.