Department News and Events

Faculty Updates:

David C. Hess, M.D. participated in the NSD-K (NIH) Study Section and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Vascular Neurology Test Question Assembly in June 2014.  He was also one of Castle Connolly's Top Doctors in 2014.

Gregory P. Lee, PhD. has received the Distinguished Service Award to the field of neuropsychology from the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Deborah Moore-Hill, M.D. passed her American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) clinical neurophysiology and ABPN epilepsy boards.

Subhashini Ramesh, M.D. passed her UCNS Neurocritical care boards in February.

 

Cannabinoid Clinical Trial is on its way:

cannabis

A Georgia initiative to help children with epilepsy is coming to fruition.  Yong Park, M.D. (neurology) and Michael Diamond, M.D. (Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Research) are working in collaboration with Governor Nathan Deal to open a clinical trial to determine the efficacy of CBD (cannabidiol) in epileptic children.  Deal's commitment to the project has helped foster an agreement with leading prescription cannabinoid company GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based pharmaceutical company that currently conducts clinical research at 12 sites across the United States and has enrolled over 300 children in its cannabinoid studies.  Together, Governor Deal, Dr. Park, and Dr. Diamond will open two studies to treat children with severe epilepsy in theChildren's Hospital of Georgia.

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that may help reduce the severity and frequency of epileptic episodes.  Augusta University investigators hope to strengthen the body of knowledge surrounding medicinal use of the cannabis plant and unlock remedies and treatments for the families of children who have developed this debilitating disease.

The study will be open to children with medication-resistant epilepsy.  In the near future, Drs. Park and Diamond hope to expand the trial to sites in Atlanta and Savannah so that children in those areas may also experience the trial's benefits.  The study team believes that its efforts can change the way people perceive cannabinoid research and clinical use, and introduce a new treatment program for those epileptic children who are most in need.

 

New Neurology Faculty to Join Affliliated Hospitals:

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Gregory Sengstock, M.D., will begin practice at Aiken Regional Medical Center (ARMC) in June 2014 and will be the Neurology department's first full-time faculty member in Aiken.  In July 2014, three new neurologists will start working at our St. Joseph's Candler (SJC) campus in Savannah.  Jonas Vanags, M.D., presently a Neuromuscular Fellow at Duke University and a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, will direct the Neuromuscular Program at SJC. Brian Raj, M.D., currently chief resident at Duke University, will work as a Neurohospitalist.  Jeff Borkoski, M.D. presently in practice in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, will work in the outpatient clinic.

 

The Department of Neurology at Augusta University Announces New Memory Disorders Program:

Led by John C. Morgan, M.D., PhD. and Elizabeth Prince-Coleman, PA-C, this program aims to serve patients and families battling Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other cognitive disorders.  With state-of-the-art interdisciplinary and family-centered care, we hope to provide the tools necessary for patients and caregivers to improve outcomes and overall quality of life.  We also work closely with the local Alzheimer's Association to connect our patients with the full scope of community resources.  Dr. Morgan has long been a key member of our Movement Disorders Program, led by Kapil Sethi, M.D., FRCP (UK).  Under Dr. Sethi and Dr. Morgan, our Movement Disorders Program has been designated a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, leading in patient care, research, and education.  As treating cognitive symptoms is often a critical component of comprehensive care in Parkinson's disease, Dr. Morgan's experience offers a natural expansion of the practice to include those with primary memory and cognitive complaints.  Elizabeth Prince-Coleman, PA-C, assists Dr. Morgan in the clinic and ensures that patients and caregivers have access to the resources they need.  Elizabeth Prince-Coleman has received accolades in compassionate patient care (John F. Beard Award in 2013 and Raymond C. Bard Award in 2012) and helps tremendously with patient and caregiver education and follow-up.  Our administrative assistant, Cat Rucker, serves as a first-line point of contact for our families attending the clinic.  She has proven herself an invaluable resource to our movement disorder patients over the past five years.

The Memory Disorders Program is dedicated to offering our patients the best in diagnostic evaluation, from imaging to neuropsychological testing.  We have the ability to perform PET scans that can define glucose metabolism and measure amyloid deposition in the brain through Augusta University's Nuclear Medicine Program.  Gregory Lee, PhD., ABPP, director of our Adult Neuropsychology Service, provides decades of experience in cognitive disorders.  We are aggressively pursuing research in Alzheimer's disease and cognitive disorders with a goal of improving local access to both investigator-initiated and pharmaceutical company-based clinical trials.  With a strong, compassionate team experienced in diagnostic, clinical, and investigative aspects of patient care, we are confident our Memory Disorders Program will soon become a leader in the Southeast. 

 

Stroke center awarded highest designation  (Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center)

The affiliated Augusta University Medical Center (GRMC) is a Joint Commission Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, the first in Georgia and the second in the Southeast.