Special Podcast – Understanding Acute Flaccid Myelitis
November 16, 2016, EDT @ 2:30 pm, EDT - 3:30 pm, EDT
Over the last few months, there has been an increase in new diagnoses of pediatric Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). AFM is a condition causing damage to the spinal cord and generally presents with unique clinical and MRI features that are not typical of transverse myelitis. AFM abnormalities noted on MRI are predominantly found in the gray matter of the spinal cord. A link to the enterovirus (EV-D68) has been suspected in many of these cases. Whether the damage to the spinal cord is from viral infection, inflammation, or both, it is not yet proven. The predominant presentation is weakness that may affect the limbs, face, or eyes. AFM may result in total paralysis, partial paralysis, or weakness of just one limb. Some children have been diagnosed with an aggressive form of AFM.
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Moderated by Tricia Plumb, RN, MSN, CRND
Tricia Plumb is a Senior Research Nurse for the Neuroimmunology team at UT Southwestern. She graduated with her Bachelors (1993) and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma in 2004, with an emphasis on acute care for pediatrics and adults. She moved to Dallas specifically to be involved in clinical research for the pediatric population. In December 2013, she joined the UT Southwestern Neuroimmunology team. She educates Nursing staff, Patient/families on the value of research along with coordinating various research studies highlighting pediatric demyelinating disorders. She completed her Certification in Rare Neuroimmunologic Disorders in July 2015.
Benjamin M. Greenberg, MD, MHS
Associate Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center | Vice Chair of Translational Research and Ambulatory Care, Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics | Director, Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica Programs | Co-Director, Pediatric CONQUER Program
Dr. Benjamin Greenberg received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and his Masters Degree in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Then, he completed an internship in medicine at Rush Presbyterian-St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois before going on to his residency in neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He then joined the faculty within the division of neuroimmunology at Hopkins and became the co-director of the Transverse Myelitis Center and director of the Encephalitis Center. In January of 2009 he was recruited to the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he was named Deputy Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program and Director of the new Transverse Myelitis and Neuromyelitis Optica Program. That same year he established the Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Dr. Greenberg is recognized internationally as an expert in rare autoimmune disorders of the central nervous system (e.g. transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica, ADEM and autoimmune encephalitis). He splits his clinical time between seeing both adult and pediatric patients. He routinely consults on the inpatient units of University Hospital, Zale Lipshy, Parkland and Children’s. His research interests are in both the diagnosis and treatment of transverse myelitis, neuromyelitis optica, encephalitis, multiples sclerosis and infections of the nervous system. He is actively involved in developing better ways to diagnose and prognosticate for patients with these disorders. He has led an effort to improve biorepository development and has created uniform protocols for sample handling and analysis. As part of this initiative his research has identified novel biomarkers that may be able to distinguish between patients with various neurologic disorders. He also coordinates trials that study new treatments to prevent neurologic damage and restore function to those who have already been affected. He currently serves as the Director of the Neurosciences Clinical Research Center and is a Cain Denius Foundation Scholar.
Karen McCain, PT, DPT, NCS
Associate Professor in the School of Health Professions
Associate Director of the David M. Crowley Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX
Karen McCain, PT, DPT, NCS, is an Associate Professor in the School of Health Professions as well as the Associate Director of the David M. Crowley Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas (UT Southwestern). In addition, she is the Director of the Neurologic Residency program at UT Southwestern. She received her bachelor’s in physical therapy from UT Southwestern in 1992 and a doctorate in physical therapy from Regis University in 2006. Dr. McCain is board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist. She has been teaching at the university level since 1998 and currently teaches in a DPT program.
Dr. McCain maintains a clinical practice with a focus on gait recovery in persons with neurologic injuries. In addition, she actively conducts research in the areas of gait recovery after stroke as well as the impact of orthoses on gait in persons with neurologic diagnoses. Dr. McCain is the principal investigator of an ongoing clinical trial of early standardized task-specific training (ESTT) in persons recovering from stroke and has published several papers related to this research. She has presented her findings at local as well as national meetings, including American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA. Due to her abundant research and clinical experience, Dr. McCain has shared her knowledge in continuing education courses across the United States and is a frequent reviewer for scientific publications including Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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