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Taking a particular type of medication to treat enlarged prostate is associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a large observational study led by University of Iowa researchers and published Feb. 1 in JAMA Neurology.
The study, using data on almost 300,000 older men from two large, independent data sets in the U.S. and Denmark, provides compelling evidence that terazosin, and similar medications, might have the potential to prevent or delay the development of Parkinson’s disease.
The findings build on previous preclinical research by the team—including Jacob Simmering, PhD, Michael Welsh (74MD, 77R), and Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD—which showed that terazosin enhances cellular energy levels and can prevent or slow the progression of the disease in animal models.
The researchers had a good control group for this earlier database study. Tamsulosin is another drug commonly used to treat enlarged prostate, but unlike terazosin, tamsulosin has no effect on cellular energy production, which the team’s lab studies suggest is important in terazosin’s protective effect.
Using the databases, the team identified 150,000 men newly started on terazosin or similar medications and matched them to 150,000 men newly started on tamsulosin.
“We then tracked the health data on these men to determine how many in each group developed Parkinson’s disease,” explains Simmering, UI assistant professor of internal medicine and corresponding author of the study. “Men taking terazosin were 12 to 37% less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease during follow-up than men taking tamsulosin.”
University of Iowa Health Care has named Kimberly D. Hunter, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing executive (CNE) at UI Hospitals & Clinics.
As CNE, Hunter will lead the UI Hospitals & Clinics Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care and provide administrative oversight to nursing services, the division of care coordination, and the departments of rehabilitation therapies and respiratory care.
Hunter brings more than 30 years of health care management experience to the CNE position— including nearly 20 years at two of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals: Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. She currently serves as associate chief nursing officer of Cleveland Clinic main campus and director of nursing for Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute and its Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Institute.
James Blum, MD, is the new chief medical information officer (CMIO) for UI Health Care.
Blum supports the development of information systems that assist clinicians in the delivery of high-quality patient care. Blum also serves as a faculty member in the UI Department of Anesthesia.
Blum comes to Iowa from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he served as an assistant professor of anesthesia and biomedical informatics, and associate director for informatics at the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance. He also served as interim director of the surgical intensive care unit at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Blum succeeds Rebecca Hegeman, MD, who had served as interim CMIO since January 2019, following the departure of former CMIO Maia Hightower, MD, MBA, MPH.
Twelve University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine faculty have received pilot grants from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust as part of a new COVID-19 research program.
The pilot grants will fund eight research projects that aim to advance the fundamental aspects and biology of SARS-CoV-2. One of the goals of the pilot grant program is to develop new knowledge that will serve as the foundation for future COVID-19 studies that merit extramural funding.
Following are the first round of funded projects under the Carver pilot grant program:
Mechanisms of CD40-mediated early protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection; led by Gail Bishop, PhD, and Wendy Maury, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Hypercoagulability in a novel mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection; led by Sanjana Dayal, PhD, and Steven Lentz, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Neuropathological assessment of COVID-19-related neurodegeneration; led by Marco Hefti, MD, Department of Pathology, and Li-Chun (Queena) Lin, PhD, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Investigating the dysregulation of TCR signaling and CD4 T cell differentiation by SARS-CoV-2 protein trimer; led by Jon Houtman, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Jack Stapleton, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Cellular and molecular mechanism underlying nasal viral priming-induced innate immunity in the lungs, led Xiaoyang Hua, MD (19R), Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
The role of visceral fat in SARS-COV-2 infection, led by Al Klingelhutz, PhD, and Wendy Maury, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Viral cell tropism in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, led by Balaji Manicassamy, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
The role of ISGylation in SARS-CoV-2 infection, led by Lilliana Radoshevich, PhD, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
In the news
Seth Jackson, RN, BSN, a staff nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UI Hospitals Clinics, tells Bloomberg. Jackson received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, 2020.
Greg Schmidt, MD, director of critical care programs at UI Hospitals & Clinics, tells NBC News. Schmidt also received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, 2020.
Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD, a coronavirus expert and UI professor of microbiology and immunology, tells NPR in a story about the barriers to reaching herd immunity against COVID-19. Perlman is among the national experts advising the federal government on how to prioritize distribution of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.
This is a small sample of notable manuscripts recently published by University of Iowa researchers.
Lee MH, Perl DP, Nair G, Li W, Maric D, Murray H, Dodd SJ, Koretsky AP, Watts JA, Cheung V, Masliah E, Horkayne-Szakaly I, Jones R, Stram MN, Moncur J, Hefti M, Folkerth RD, Nath A. Microvascular Injury in the Brains of Patients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 4;384(5):481-483. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2033369.
Rocchi F, Oya H, Balezeau F, Billig AJ, Kocsis Z, Jenison RL, Nourski KV, Kovach CK, Steinschneider M, Kikuchi Y, Rhone AE, Dlouhy BJ, Kawasaki H, Adolphs R, Greenlee JDW, Griffiths TD, Howard MA 3rd, Petkov CI. Common fronto-temporal effective connectivity in humans and monkeys. Neuron. 2021 Mar 3;109(5):852-868.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.12.026.
Zheng J, Wong LR, Li K, Verma AK, Ortiz ME, Wohlford-Lenane C, Leidinger MR, Knudson CM, Meyerholz DK, McCray PB Jr, Perlman S. COVID-19 treatments and pathogenesis including anosmia in K18-hACE2 mice. Nature. 2021 Jan;589(7843):603-607. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2943-z.
Schultz JL, van der Plas E, Langbehn DR, Conrad AL, Nopoulos PC. Age-Related Cognitive Changes as a Function of CAG Repeat in Child and Adolescent Carriers of Mutant Huntingtin. Ann Neurol. 2021 Jan 31. doi: 10.1002/ana.26039.