Neurology News - April 2018

What's new in the Department of Neurology

Staffing Announcements

Research & Presentations

William Powers, MD, was Chair of the writing group for the "2018 AHA/ASA Guidelines for the Early Management of Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke." The guidelines were published online on January 24, 2018. Learn more >

Dr. Powers presenting at the AHA/ASA’s International Stroke Conference
Dr. Powers presenting at the AHA/ASA’s International Stroke Conference.
In addition, Dr. Powers gave the following invited lectures:
  • Acute Ischemic Stroke Guidelines
    AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference, Los Angeles, CA, January 24, 2018
  • 2018 Guidelines for Early Stroke Management
    South Carolina Neurological Association, Hilton Head, SC, March 16, 2018

Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, along with other researchers, published "Vancomycin Pharmacokinetics in Neurocritically Ill Patients with Central Nervous System Infection" in the Journal of Drug Design and Research.

Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, and Winnie Lau, MD, were part of the research team for an article published in Neurosurgery CNS: "Neoplastic Cerebral Aneurysm from Metastatic Nonsmall Cell Lung Carcinoma."

Casey Olm-Shipman, MD, MS, and Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, were part of a UNC team that published research in the Journal of Intensive Care:  "Early versus late tracheostomy after decompressive craniectomy for stroke."

Drs. Jordan and Olm-Shipman, along with other UNC researchers, also published "Influence of Single-Dose Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Early-Onset Pneumonia in High-Risk Intubated Patients" in Neurocritical Care.

Bradley Vaughn, MD, gave two invited lectures:

  • Epilepsy Foundation and Frontiers
    South Carolina Neurological Association, Hilton Head, SC, March 16, 2018
  • The Foundations of Sleep and Sleep Medicine
    UNC School of Dentistry International course on Sleep Medicine in Dentistry, Chapel Hill

Two posters were presented at the AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference held in Los Angeles, January 23-26:

  • "Implementation of a Stroke Response Nurse to Improve Door to Groin Puncture Times in Patients Undergoing Endovascular Therapy for Acute Ischemic Stroke" - Nicole Burnett, David Huang, Sharmila Soares, Ann Waller
  • "S3TOP for Stroke: Improving In-Hospital Stroke Alert Activation Criteria" – Pola Chojecka, Jason Richards, Nicole Burnett, Luke Barr, Ann Waller, Susan Wilson, Anne Beckwith, David Huang

Three posters were presented at the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses in March:

  • "Breathing new life into patient education: A win for patients and staff" - Nicole Burnett, Sonya Lester (NSICU), Ann Waller, Joyce Kern (6NSH)
  • "Autoimmune Epilepsy: A Case Study" - Joyce Kern, Erieka Peyton, Viola Monmany (all 6NSH)
  • "Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures: Cease the Stigma" - Heather Alico Lauria, Jennie Livingston

Awards & Achievements

  National Assoc of Epilepsy CentersThe Department of Neurology has again received NAEC level 4 accreditation as a combined adult and pediatric epilepsy center which is the highest designation representing the most complex forms of diagnostic evaluations and treatment options.

Dr. Xiaoyan Li received the NC Translational and Clinical Science Pilot Award for $2,000. Under the mentorship of Drs. Todd Cohen and James F. Howard, she will explore the mechanism of a critical protein TDP-43 in the pathogenesis of ALS. Understanding TDP-43 pathology may lead to new therapies that prevent neurodegeneration and motor deficits in patients with ALS.

Dedrick Jordan, MD, PhD, and Jake Cannon, MHA Intern for the Neurosciences, received the inaugural award for Outstanding Achievement in Quality from UNC Health Care for their work, Mortality Reduction in the Neurosciences. The award was created to recognize the efforts from the Neurosciences community to provide the highest level of care for our patients.

Ammar Hussain, MD, Assistant Professor in Child Neurology, recently received Board certification in Epilepsy, in addition to his Child Neurology certification.

Anahit C. Mehrabyan, MD, Assistant Professor in Neuromuscular Disorders and recent UNC Neurology resident, received Board certification in Neurology.

Nathan Morgan, R. EEG T., recently passed testing and obtained his Registry in EEG from ABRET.


Dan Kaufer, MD, was the co-sponsor and faculty for a conference entitled, "Primary Progressive Aphasia: Increasing Awareness, Improving Care" that took place on January 26 in Research Triangle Park. The event was funded through a donation from the family of Woody Durham. During the conference, nearly 100 speech-language therapists learned how to assess and provide therapy for patients with PPA, and caregivers were informed about available community and academic resources.

Dr. Kaufer was also the director and faculty for a symposium on "Progressive Aphasia: Insights into How Language Is Wired in the Brain" at the annual meeting of the American Neuropsychiatric Association on March 21 in Boston.

Pembroke MS Walk 2018The UNC Neurology MS Division supported the Pembroke MS Walk-a-Thon on March 24 with a talk presented by Irena Dujmovic Basuroski, MD. The Locklear family from North Carolina organized the annual fundraising event and generously made a donation to support UNC educational projects for people with MS.

In addition, Dr. Dujmovic Basuroski organized a team, the UNC Neuro-Heels, to support the Raleigh Walk MS on April 7. The 26-person team included members of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Departments. A few members of the group also tabled a UNC Neurology booth at the event to extend outreach to patients and caregivers.

Walk MS Raleigh 2018  Walk MS Raleigh 2018

Media & Outreach

Dan Kaufer, MD, provided commentary for the following:

  • A neurology paper for using zonisamide to treat motor signs in Lewy body dementia;
  • Reader's Digest article on vitamin supplements for brain health;
  • Population-based study of long-term sequelae of traumatic brain injury;
  • US News and World report article, "Concussions tied to rise in dementia risk decades later;"
  • US News and World report article, "Seizure drug may help ease symptoms of major form of dementia."

Dr. Kaufer was also interviewed on WRAL-TV as part of their coverage of the PPA Conference. In addition, he was interviewed for a sleep aids article for the UNC Health Talk website.

William Powers, MD, was quoted in multiple media outlets following his presentation at the AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference, Los Angeles, CA, on January 24.

Richard Murrow, MD, discussed how deep brain stimulation can dramatically improve the lives of some Parkinson's patients in a UNC Health Talk article.

James F. Howard, Jr, MD, was quoted in a Neurology Today - Article in Brief regarding eculizumab as treatment for patients with generalized myasthenia gravis.

David Huang, MD, PhD, described a specialized stroke intervention using a retrievable catheter-based device in a UNC Health Talk article.

Zheng (Jane) Fan, MD, shared tips for addressing pediatric sleep issues in a UNC Health Talk article. She also discussed some of the most common causes of sleeplessness in a separate Health Talk article.

Gary Jay, MD, was interviewed for an article in Reader’s Digest, "The Doctor-Approved Guide to Diabetic Neuropathy Treatments."

Heidi Roth, MD, was interviewed in an article for the online publisher, Popsugar: "Why You Should Exercise Caution When Taking OTC Sleeping Pills."

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