In The News

By admin
May 22, 2012


JACKSON, Miss. – University of Mississippi Medical Center now offers a procedure that helps physicians better diagnose Parkinson’s disease.

The Medical Center is one of two places in the state to offer DaTscan, a new imaging radiopharmaceutical drug recently approved by the FDA. Dr. Vani Vijayakumar, professor of radiology and chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine, said DaTscan is a significant breakthrough for patients suffering from Parkinsonian symptoms because it helps physicians to make a correct diagnosis and to prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.

“A lot of patients have tremor but not all of them have Parkinson’s disease. DaTscan can help physicians know what to do,” she said.

Vijayakumar said before DaTscan, diagnosing Parkinson’s disease wasn’t so clear cut. The process involved physicians using their experience and best judgment based on symptoms.

DaTscan is injected into the bloodstream to help the doctor assess the level of a dopamine. Parkinsonian syndromes occur when the brain is not getting enough of the dopamine it needs to perform certain functions. This affects the ability of the brain to control movement and other muscle functions.

Brain SPECT imaging is performed three to six hours after intravenous injection of DaTscan, which takes about 30 minutes.

For more information about DaTscan contact Patrice Guilfoyle at (601) 815-3940.


JACKSON, Miss. – The Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society (CMDSS), a parent-driven non-profit organization that provides support services for parents of children with Down syndrome and promotes awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome, is sponsoring a one-day seminar, June 26, 2012, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The event, which will be held at the Mississippi Hospital Association headquarters at 116 Woodgreen Crossing in Madison, MS, will focus on the development of oral-motor and feeding skills in the Down syndrome population, from birth to adulthood. The seminar will offer 0.6 CEUs for professionals. It is free to CMDSS parents. There is a registration fee for professionals and the general public.

The speaker for the event is Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, who has specialized for over 28 years in dealing with the unique needs of infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-aged children with oral placement, feeding and speech disorders. She holds degrees from Hofstra University and Adelphi University and has her neuro-developmental certification.

For more information and registration, call the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society at 601-397-DOWN (3696).


JACKSON, Miss. – The Commission on Cancer (COC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year accreditation with Commendation to the network cancer program at Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

According to Steve
Zachow, MD, medical director of the Gamma Knife Center and radiation therapy department at CMMC, the award illustrates the hospital’s commitment to the vital area of cancer care.

“This national recognition is truly a testament to the dedication and commitment of Central Mississippi Medical Center’s talented multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, clinicians and staff who provide excellence every day in cancer care for our patients,” Zachow said. “Additionally, this award demonstrates our commitment to providing progressive, patient-centered cancer care to our community.”

Patients who receive care at a COC-accredited facility have access to:

• Comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment;

• A multi-specialty, team approach to coordinate the most appropriate treatment options;

• Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options;

• Access to cancer-related information, education and support;

• A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up;

• Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care and quality care close to home.

For more information about cancer care at Central Mississippi Medical Center, contact Jana Fuss, Director of Marketing at (601) 376-1066.


JACKSON, Miss. – St. Dominic’s will become the first hospital in Mississippi and only the second in the country to participate in CONNECT II, a global clinical trial conditionally approved by the FDA that gives physicians access to a sophisticated new imaging technology tool, called Ocelot, to fight Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).

Each year, nearly 200,000 amputations occur as a result of PAD. The Ocelot is the first-ever catheter that can access exact regions of the peripheral vasculature where the blockages occur, while simultaneously providing physicians with visualization for real-time navigation during an intervention.

PAD, affecting between 8 and 12 million adults in the U.S., is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries that blocks blood flow to the legs and feet. Because some blockages can become so severe and difficult to penetrate with traditional catheters, patients (unaware of other options) often resort to undergo extremely invasive bypass surgeries.

Gray Bennett, M.D., William Crowder, M.D. and Huey McDaniel, M.D., all physicians at St. Dominic, will use Ocelot on enrolled patients to help restore blood flow to completely blocked arteries in patients’ legs through a simple two-millimeter skin incision, helping to avoid amputation.

“One of the most challenging techniques we face in the treatment of PAD is to cross chronically, totally occluded vessels,” says Gray Bennett, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist. “This device will make that technique easier for the physician and will give better patient outcomes through faster procedure times.”

Huey McDaniel, Vascular Surgeon said, “This innovative device gives the physician sight into the vessel where he or she could not see before.”

“The patients enrolled in this trial have completely blocked leg arteries which have not been treated easily with traditional catheter procedures. Treatment would have been difficult and in some cases impossible without this new technology. This new procedure allows a minimally invasive approach to restore blood flow,” said William Crowder, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist. “Now patients who would have otherwise experienced the worst case scenario of amputation, may have hope for normal function in their legs.”

For more information about the clinical trial contact Margaret Mays at 601-200-6683.

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