Local Research, Global Results
Among the characteristics that distinguish an academic medical center is a strong commitment to research. At Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin physicians and scientists continually search for new ways to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and disorders. This commitment is an important advantage for patients who receive care here.
Below are just two examples of current research studies at Froedtert & the Medical College. For more information on our clinical trials, call 414-805-3666 or 800-272-3666.
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver DiseaseMedical College of Wisconsin gastroenterologist/hepatologist Samer Gawrieh, MD, is conducting a study of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a buildup of fat in the liver among people who drink little or no alcohol (fatty liver is also caused by excessive alcohol use). Severe forms of the condition, called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH, can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is diagnosed most often in people who are overweight or obese. The cause is unclear, but a genetic component is suspected.
The focus of the study is to identify adults who have NASH and identify the genes (via a blood test) that predispose them to the disease. Gene identification can help determine who may be at risk for developing NASH and possibly lead to the development of methods to alter the genes to stop disease progression.
PFO and MigrainesA congenital heart defect called a patent foramen ovale (PFO) may be the cause of migraine headaches for some people. Froedtert & the Medical College are participating in the Premium Migraine Clinical Trial, a national study to evaluate a new treatment for migraines.
The foramen ovale is a small, natural opening in the wall between the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart. This opening normally closes at birth. When it does not close (in 25 percent of people), blood may travel through the opening (from the right atrium to the left atrium), bypassing the filtering system of the lungs. Particles in the unfiltered blood can travel directly to the brain, triggering a migraine.
“Migraines can be very disabling,” said Medical College of Wisconsin interventional cardiologist David Marks, MD, MBA. “We know it’s more common for people who have migraines to have a PFO, and that if the hole is closed, the migraines can be reduced or abolished.”
Potential participants must meet certain criteria and have an ultrasound exam to determine if they have a PFO. In a minimally invasive procedure, study participants have a 50/50 chance of receiving a PFO closure or a simulated procedure. (Participants will learn if they received a PFO closure 12 months after the procedure.) Patients will remain on prescribed medications during the trial, and their progress will be followed for three years to determine if their migraines have become less severe or have been eliminated.
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: August 2008