EARLY DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF GLAUCOMA CAN PREVENT PERMANENT VISION LOSS: KNOW YOUR RISK
Despite advances in treatment that slow progression and successfully preserve eyesight, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in this country — a reality we can change by raising awareness of the need to have a comprehensive eye exam and follow a prescribed treatment plan if glaucoma is diagnosed.
Glaucoma is a group of serious eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and cause irreversible vision loss, with no early symptoms in most cases. While everyone over 60 has a risk of glaucoma, African Americans and people of Hispanic descent have the highest risk and should be checked at around age 40.
Jeffrey Schultz, MD, Director, Glaucoma Service, Montefiore, and Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Einstein, says, "One of the biggest misconceptions about glaucoma is, ‘My glaucoma isn't bad because I can see just fine.' The loss of vision is so gradual that it's possible to lose up to 40% of normal eyesight before a person notices something wrong."
Early detection is the key to preserving vision for people with glaucoma, and Montefiore's innovative use of telemedicine and technology is helping. Throughout the Montefiore system primary care providers can now screen for glaucoma without dilating the patient's eyes, using a special camera to capture an image of the back of the eye. If there are any concerns, the image is forwarded to the specialists in Montefiore's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences for further evaluation.
Glaucoma is a treatable condition.
Don't let it steal your vision.
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MONTEFIORE RESEARCHERS PUBLISH GROUNDBREAKING STUDY ON ALLERGYCANCER CONNECTION
A Montefiore research team has advanced the emerging field of AllergoOncology with their finding of an association between absent/very low levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), antibodies produced by the immune system, and an increased incidence of cancer. People vary greatly in their levels of IgE, and individuals with very low or absent IgE levels, designated "IgE-deficient," make up about 2.7 percent of the population. Previous epidemiological studies found that those with high levels of IgE, who tend to be allergic, have a lower rate of malignancy. The study, led by Denisa Ferastraoaru, MD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Department of Allergy and Immunology, Montefiore and Einstein, along with David Rosenstreich, MD, Chief, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Montefiore and Einstein, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, showed that within 3.5 years from the IgE level measurement, the IgEdeficient patients had a significantly higher risk and rate (17.6 percent) to develop a malignancy compared with 3.8 percent in patients with high or very high IgE levels. "This is the first prospective study showing that IgE deficiency is associated with a higher risk of developing malignancy," says Dr. Ferastraoaru. "Very low/absent serum IgE levels might represent a biomarker for malignancy and trigger physicians to monitor those patients more closely for cancer."
REIMAGINING RESIDENCY GRANT TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF TRAINING AT MONTEFIORE AND EINSTEIN
The American Medical Association’s new Reimagining Residency initiative has selected Montefiore to receive a $1.8 million grant to develop, implement and evaluate a residency curriculum across four primary care specialties. One of only 11 grantee institutions out of 252 applicants, "Montefiore’s winning submission, Residency Training to Effectively Address Social Determinants of Health, will deal with the economic and social barriers that come between people and good healthcare, the social determinants of health," explains Catherine Skae, MD, principal investigator and Associate Professor, Pediatrics, and Vice President and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Montefiore and Einstein. As the provider of postgraduate clinical training to more than 1,200 residents in 99 ACGME-accredited programs, the award will support this critical training for hundreds of Montefiore residents over the course of the five-year grant. (Continued on page 2)