This month the PNA Spotlight focuses on Dr. Georgios A. Zenonos, the neurosurgical Associate Director of the Center for Cranial Base Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He completed medical school at the University of Athens School of Medicine in Greece, where he was valedictorian. He went on to pursue a basic science post-doctoral research fellowship at Harvard Medical School to study the mechanisms of programmed cell death. Dr. Zenonos also completed two formal cranial base fellowships: one at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on endoscopic endonasal pituitary surgery and minimally invasive approaches, and one at the University of Miami under Drs. Jacques Morcos, and Roberto Heros, focusing on complex open approaches, and cerebrovascular neurosurgery. Dr. Zenonos also has further sub-specialization in stereotactic Gamma-Knife radiosurgery. He completed his internship, residency and chief residency in neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh. The PNA posed some questions about his career in pituitary medicine; his answers follow.
Nexflix is currently showing the documentary "Lenox Hill" starring one of our members, John Boockvar, M.D. Dr Boockvar is a neurosurgeon specializing in cancers inside the cranium. He is one of our pituitary tumor surgeons. While the documentary does not depict pituitary surgery, it is a very interesting look at the what's involved in cranium surgery.
Dr. Maria Fleseriu on Pituitary Disease and COVID-19
This month the PNA Medical Corner showcases a paper co-written by Dr. Maria Fleseriu, a neurosurgeon at Oregon Health and Science University and a member of the PNA. The paper, published in the journal Pituitary, gives guidance on the management of pituitary disease during the COVID pandemic. She advises clinicians to consider local conditions when deciding between medical and surgical treatments, because the novel coronavirus has reduced access to testing necessary for surgical care. Read more: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11102-020-01059-7 Pituitary society guidance: pituitary disease management and patient care recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic—an international perspective • Maria Fleseriu, • Michael Buchfelder, • Justin S. Cetas, • Pouneh K. Fazeli, • Susana M. Mallea-Gil, • Mark Gurnell, • Ann McCormack, • Maria M. Pineyro, • Luis V. Syro, • Nicholas A. Tritos & • Hani J. Marcus Pituitary volume 23, pages327–337(2020)Cite this article • 910 Accesses • 26 Altmetric • Metrics details
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the viral strain that has caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has presented healthcare systems around the world with an unprecedented challenge.
Editor’s note: From time to time, the PNA likes to feature people we consider to be “PNA Heroes”. This month we are lucky that one of them, Sunny Ammerman, has agreed to tell us her story.
My name is Sunshine Ammerman, but everyone calls me "Sunny",
I was born with a rare condition called “septo-optic dysplasia” (SOD). This complicated birth defect caused a trickle-down effect leading to other rare diseases such as optic nerve hypoplasia and panhypopituitarism. My pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormones necessary for survival, making lifelong treatment a necessity. While it is more common now for infants to receive this diagnosis at birth thanks to the implementation and expansion of newborn screening, I was not diagnosed until I was 13 years old, when my parents noticed I was not starting puberty. I was lucky to be connected with a very talented endocrinologist who was able to give me the correct diagnosis right away. Subsequent testing proved his suspicions were correct, and I began my treatment journey.
The IPSEN Cares program is changing to accommodate the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. CARES (which stands for coverage, access, reimbursement and education support) is designed to facilitate access to Ipsen medications, including Somatuline Depot. The company is temporarily making Somatuline Depot available, at no charge, for eligible patients who cannot get their medicine because they are homebound due to the pandemic, and is allowing eligible patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid to participate in Nurse Home Health Administration program (NHHA) services. Normally patients covered by government health care programs are ineligible.
Sri Lanka Scientists Claim COVID May Cause Endocrine Disease
An article on thehealthsite.com looks at whether the novel coronavirus affects the endocrine system, and whether pituitary patients are more vulnerable to adrenal insufficiency, diabetes and thyroid disorders. Read more:
Patient story: Irregular Period Was First Sign of the Tumor
Lauren Topor, a pituitary patient in her twenties from Arizona, tells her story to Women’s Health magazine. Topor discovered she had a brain tumor after several months of irregular periods. Her advice? Listen to your body and get the care you need. Read more: Photo curtesy Lauren Topor
Can Stress Make You Less Productive?
An article in Fast Company looks at the effects of long-term low-grade stress on people’s ability to get things done. The author cites studies that show that paying attention to the body’s signals and meditating can help. Read more:
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Disclaimer: PNA does not engage in the practice of medicine. It is not a medical authority, nor does it claim to have medical expertise. In all cases, PNA recommends that you consult your own physician regarding any course of treatment or medication.
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The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide Sixth Edition is now available! Be one of the first to have the most up-to-date information. The Pituitary Patient Resource Guide a one of a kind publication intended as an invaluable source of information not only for patients but also their families, physicians, and all health care providers. It contains information on symptoms, proper testing, how to get a diagnosis, and the treatment options that are available. It also includes Pituitary Network Association's patient resource listings for expert medical care.