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News Review

Posted in News Review on 10th Dec 2012

Fujifilm promote Huw Shurmer to Programme Manager for the ‘All Wales PACS Managed Service Solution contract’

Fujifilm is a pioneer in diagnostic imaging and information systems for healthcare, with a range of constantly evolving, clinically proven, products and technologies designed to assist medical professionals perform efficiently and effectively.

Following Fujifilm being awarded the ‘All Wales PACS Managed Service Solution contract’, the company have promoted Huw Shurmer (pictured) from Regional Account Manager for Wales to Programme Manager for this key contract.

Huw joined Fujifilm in 2006 following a successful Service Planning career within the NHS. Huw is qualified with an MSc in Computer Science, Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science and a BA (Hons) in Welsh and Theology.

Commenting on his promotion, Huw said: “I am looking forward to helping integrate imaging solutions throughout Wales which I know in turn will help improve patient care.”

For more information see http://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/medical-systems/

UK first country in Europe to gain access to new therapy for partial epilepsy

Fycompa® (perampanel), discovered and developed by Eisai in the UK and Japan, launched recently as the first in an entirely new class of treatment for uncontrolled partial epilepsy (the most common form of the condition).

The new therapy has demonstrated efficacy in partial onset seizures, in particular with secondary generalisations. It is indicated as an adjunctive treatment for partial-onset seizures, with or without secondarily generalised seizures, in people with epilepsy aged 12 years and older.

The worldwide supply of this new drug will be manufactured, packaged and distributed from the company’s new £100 million facility in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Perampanel is the first and only licensed anti-epileptic drug (AED) to selectively target AMPA receptors, a receptor in the brain which plays a critical role in the spread of epileptic seizures. This mechanism of action is different to other, currently available AEDs.

In addition, perampanel has the added benefit of convenient, once-daily dosing at bedtime and is the only third generation partial epilepsy treatment approved to treat adolescents with epilepsy from launch.

Although up to 70 per cent of people with epilepsy have the potential to be seizure-free through accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment, according to the Joint Epilepsy Council, this is achieved in only around half of all patients.

“The successful management of partial-onset seizures remains a significant challenge in many epilepsy patients, and the incidence of uncontrolled seizures remains too high, despite existing treatments,” points out Dr Fergus Rugg-Gunn, Consultant Neurologist at the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust. “Perampanel provides doctors and patients with an important new option for the treatment of partial-onset epilepsy and may play a key role in improving seizure management in poorly controlled adults and adolescents.”

A New Initiative for the Global Parkinson’s Community

A new wiki has been started for all those interested in scientific research into Parkinson’s. It is a ‘Learning Project’ within Wikiversity, a sister project to Wikipedia.

A wiki is a website which allows its users to add and modify its content via a web browser. This new wiki is called The Science Behind Parkinson’s Disease and everyone throughout the world, particularly those affected by Parkinson’s, is invited to participate as a reader or a contributor.

Go to http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Portal:The_Science_Behind_Parkinson%27s to have a look at what has been produced so far.

This Parkinson’s Science wiki has been started by a few individuals and now is being opened up globally to interested parties who would like to participate in its development. 

Earlier initiation of CDS therapy is beneficial in advanced PD

Almost a third (31%) of the 400 plus delegates attending a symposium held at the 16th Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) in Stockholm recently, voted in favour of initiating continuous dopaminergic stimulation (CDS) therapy at the ‘early complications stage’ of Parkinson’s disease (PD), rather than waiting for later-stage disease to develop.

Chairmen Per Odin and K Ray Chaudhuri heard presentations from the expert speaker panel; Tove Henriksen, Angelo Antonini  and Eduardo Tolosa.

Tove Henriksen provided an overview of the evidence to support earlier intervention with CDS therapy in advanced PD patients.  Factors including the psychosocial impact of PD on patients, better quality of life (QoL) through improved control of motor symptoms in advancing disease and the potential improvement of non-motor symptoms (NMS) were all discussed, with Dr Henriksen concluding that, while the existing evidence shows that CDS therapies improve quality of life and motor function, further studies are required, particularly looking at non-motor symptoms and health economic aspects. Listening to the evidence, 72% of the audience agreed when questioned that specific NMS should be taken into account when considering the optimum time to initiate CDS therapy.

A lively debate between Angelo Antonini and Eduardo Tolosa discussed the motion ‘Earlier intervention than present with CDS is warranted’. Professor Antonini noted: “The issue is not just that we should do it sooner but that we should also do it better, to improve patients’ quality of life.”  CDS therapy should be started earlier, prior to the fluctuations and increase in ‘off’ periods that occur in advanced disease, taking advantage of the ‘honeymoon period’. Professor Tolosa agreed that therapies used in CDS-based treatment strategies − continuous subcutaneous apomorphine infusion (CSAI), deep brain stimulation (DBS) and levodopa carbidopa intestinal gel (LCIG) − provide a dramatic improvement in reversing fluctuations and dyskinesias in complicated patients.

While studies have shown that CDS with subcutaneous apomorphine infusion led to significant improvements in non-motor symptoms, Professor Tolosa also believes that further trials are needed to support the use of these advanced therapies in patients with mild disease.

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