Category Archives: personalized health care

Transplanted Brain Cells in Monkeys Light Up Personalized Therapy

Captured by University of Wisconsin-Madison

For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey’s skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports. After six months, the cells looked entirely normal, and were only detectable because they initially were tagged with a fluorescent protein.

Because the cells were derived from adult cells in each monkey’s skin, the experiment is a proof-of-principle for the concept of personalized medicine, where treatments are designed for each individual.

And since the skin cells were not “foreign” tissue, there were no signs of immune rejection — potentially a major problem with cell transplants. “When you look at the brain, you cannot tell that it is a graft,” says senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Structurally the host brain looks like a normal brain; the graft can only be seen under the fluorescent microscope.”

Marina Emborg, an associate professor of medical physics at UW-Madison and the lead co-author of the study, says, “This is the first time I saw, in a nonhuman primate, that the transplanted cells were so well integrated, with such a minimal reaction. And after six months, to see no scar, that was the best part.”

The cells were implanted in the monkeys “using a state-of-the-art surgical procedure” guided by an MRI image, says Emborg. The three rhesus monkeys used in the study at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center had a lesion in a brain region that causes the movement disorder Parkinson’s disease, which afflicts up to 1 million Americans. Parkinson’s is caused by the death of a small number of neurons that make dopamine, a signaling chemical used in the brain. Read more…


Future of Diabetes Diagnosis, with Help from Pharmacogenetics: Dozens of Type 2 Subtypes

Personalized health care in the context of diabetes, and especially Type 2, someday is likely to involve the diagnosis of patients with one of multiple diabetes subtypes based on an individual’s biological symptoms, physical characteristics and genetic profile, according to Ewan Pearson, a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

Speaking at a plenary session of the 2012 Global Diabetes Summit hosted by Ohio State’s Diabetes Research Center at Wexner Medical Center, Pearson outlined how stratifying diabetes patients by the origins of their disease and genetic predispositions that influence their response to drugs could dramatically change how patients are treated.

This practice could be a long way off, he said, or, “Who knows? This might not be too far away.”

Pearson, also honorary consultant in diabetes & endocrinology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, said the current approach to diabetes diagnosis is oversimplified, with the vast majority of cases defined as Type 2 diabetes. Only a tiny percentage are diagnosed as MODY – maturity onset diabetes of the young.

Detailing a number of case studies that make it abundantly clear how different Type 2 diabetes patients can be in terms of biological symptoms and sensitivity to drugs, Pearson suggested that MODY is not considered frequently enough as an alternative diagnosis to Type 2.

Personalized drug treatment could be much more effective in these stratified patients because their genes would offer clues about which medications, and at which doses, will work best for them. For example, studies have already uncovered gene variants that can affect how statins work at different doses – and roughly 90 percent of diabetes patients take these drugs to control cholesterol.

Similar pharmacogenetic research into genetic variants that influence sensitivity to blood sugar-lowering drugs are in their earliest stages. Pearson and colleagues have identified a likely target gene on chromosome 11 that influences the effects of metformin, an enormously popular drug for lowering blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes, but much more work is required to fully understand that gene’s role. Scientists also have some hints about variants that influence response to another class of glucose-control agents as well.

In cases where variants have been identified that affect patient response to drugs, however, the effects are too limited or affect too few people to justify incorporating genomic analysis into clinical care at this point, he noted.

Pearson asserted that pharmacogenetics will continue to advance discoveries that will have clear implications and lead to “good clinical medicine” that will avoid oversimplification.

“I do think this is the future of diabetes and I’m optimistic that we’ll start identifying some subtypes over the course of the next 5 years,” he said.

-Emily Caldwell

Vasectomy Reversal A Good Option for Many Couples

Did you know that a vasectomy reversal can be performed successfully up to 15 years after a vasectomy has been performed? It is important to go to a physician that is experienced in performing vasectomy reversals. It is also important to make sure the female partner is healthy and doesn’t have any fertility problems.

During a vasectomy reversal, the ends of the vas deferens (tubes sperm travel through during ejaculation) are put back together to bypass the blocked portion. This returns sperm to the man’s ejaculate in the vast majority of cases. The unique aspect of this surgery is the size of the repair needed. In general, the vas deferens is repaired with a suture that is smaller than a human hair. It requires skill in using an operating microscope or robotic surgery. The size of the tube sperm travel through is similar to the period at the end of this sentence. It is important to find someone who has been fellowship trained in this procedure for the best chance of success.

To schedule an appointment to see if you or your partner is a good candidate for vasectomy reversal, call 614-293-9253.

View a video of one of our specialists discussing this procedure in more detail

Low Testosterone Not Just a Myth

Most people are aware of the physical and hormonal changes that take place in women during menopause (the end of menstruation and fertility). The less frequently discussed changes during andropause in men are equally common. Many people are unaware of the symptoms associated with this condition, as well as the treatment options available to make these changes easier to live with.

Symptoms of andropause include:
• Irritability or moodiness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Low energy or fatigue
• Low sex drive
• Erection problems
• Increased fat deposition
• Trouble recovering from exercise
• Hair loss

Most men diagnosed with andropause experience a low sex drive accompanied by one or more of the other symptoms listed above. As soon as symptoms become bothersome, it is important to seek medical treatment. If testosterone levels drop too low, you have an increased chance of developing heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis (bone loss).

The most common treatment for andropause is testosterone replacement therapy. Your physician will consider the symptoms you have been experiencing and identify how your testosterone levels fluctuate throughout a given day. Using this information, your physician will create a personalized treatment plan specific to your situation.

If you think you or your partner may be experiencing andropause,  learn more or schedule an appointment for evaluation with one of our specialists by calling 614-293-9253.

Transforming Healthcare Delivery

Dr. Clay Marsh

On Thursday, February 2, 2012 the annual TechColumbus Innovation Awards will showcase central Ohio’s many achievements by honoring its top innovators.  It is a night of networking, prestige, and celebration.  Winners in 13 award categories will be announced to an audience of 1,100+ attendees. Under the executive leadership of Dr. Clay Marsh, Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care is a semi-finalist in the Innovation in Non-Profit Service Delivery category.

CPHC was selected for its novel approach to transforming healthcare delivery from its current reactive mode of sick care, to a more proactive one that makes health care more predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory – P4 Medicine. The future of medicine focuses on creating systems and processes to deliver key evidence-based practices and to stratify individuals into smaller precise populations to deliver these key interventions. The goal of P4 Medicine is to reduce healthcare costs, improve outcomes and deliver higher quality health care to patients. It embraces the interface between an individual’s unique DNA, environment and behavior to choose the right intervention at the right time for the right person. P4 Medicine utilizes advances in genomics and molecular diagnostics discoveries to provide predictive information that is necessary to tailor, or personalize, disease management approaches for each individual. Ohio State’s Medical Center is pioneering the advancement of P4 Medicine to improve people’s lives.

The TechColumbus Innovation Awards celebrate the spirit of innovation by recognizing outstanding technology achievements in central Ohio.  This prestigious evening showcases the region’s advancements and promising future.  For more information, visit:

What does the innovation of healthcare mean to you?

Living P4 Medicine

Watch these videos to see how our employees having been living P4 Medicine in 2011. Then share with us in the comments below how your New Year’s resolution might incorporate P4 medicine. Do you plan to lose weight? Review your family’s medical history? Get tested? Educate yourself? We want to know your goals so we can share content around those topics in 2012.

Real Patients. Innovative Treatments. Personalized Care.

We are sharing patient stories that feature our Medical Center services such as heart failure, transplantation and deep brain stimulation. We have some incredible stories of triumph over illness from patients all over Ohio and beyond and we want you to their stories. Like  the videos below featuring Wendell’s story and Don’s.

Watch the videos to see how the experts at Ohio State provided innovative treatments and personalized care that allowed them to return to their communities with improved lives and visit to learn more.