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עמוד בית
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April 2019
Alexander Gamus MSc, Hanna Kaufman MD and Gabriel Chodick PhD

Background: Lower extremities ulcers (LEU) are associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. With longer life expectancy, the prevalence of LEU in developed countries is assumed to grow, necessitating an increased demand for treatment by specialists. 

Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of a telemedicine video conferencing modality with the conventional face-to-face treatment of LEU. 

Methods: The study was conducted in conjunction with a two-million member healthcare organization in Israel (Maccabi Healthcare Services). Consecutive visits of patients to wound care specialists during a 12-month observation period reviewed in 2015 were valuated. A nurse-assisted setting was implemented during all treatment sessions. The same specialist supervised patients in both modalities. 

Results: A sample of 111 patients (n=55 in the telemedicine group; n=56 in the face-to-face group) with 593 visits was analyzed. No significant difference in healing of LEU (78.2% in telemedicine vs. 75.0% in face-to-face) was detected, P = 0.823. A reduced number of visits in telemedicine (4.36 ± 2.36) compared to the face-to-face care (6.32 ± 4.17) was shown, P = 0.003. Non-inferiority of telemedicine demonstrated within the Δ = 15% range limits and 80% statistical power was demonstrated. 

Conclusions: Compared to the usual face-to-face method, synchronous video conferencing-based telemedicine may be a feasible and efficient method for LEU management. 

 

July 2017
Margherita Zen MD, Mariele Gatto MD, Linda Nalotto MD, Maddalena Larosa MD, Luca Iaccarino MD PhD and Andrea Doria PhD
August 2015
Jeffrey Shames MD MPH, Shimon Weitzman MD MPH, Yael Nechemya MD and Avi Porath MD MPH

Background: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. The risk factors for stroke overlap those for cardiovascular disease. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a particularly strong risk factor and is common, particularly in the elderly. Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) has maintained a vascular registry of clinical information for over 100,000 members, among them patients with heart disease and stroke. 

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of stroke in MHS, and whether the association of AF and stroke, along with other risk factors, in the Maccabi population is similar to that in published studies.

Methods: Data on stroke and AF patients aged 45 and older were collected from the database for the year 2010, including age, previous transient ischemic attack (TIA), body mass index (BMI), prior myocardial infarction (MI), diabetes, hypertension, anticoagulation and dyslipidemia. A cross-sectional analysis was used to estimate stroke prevalence by AF status. A case-control analysis was also performed comparing a sample of stroke and non-stroke patients. This permitted estimation of the strength of associations for atrial fibrillation and various other combinations of risk factors with stroke. 

Results: Stroke prevalence ranged from 3.5 (females, age 45–54 years) to 74.1 (males, age 85+) per thousand in non-AF members, and from 29 (males, age 45–54) to 165 (males, age 85+) per thousand for patients with AF. AF patients had significantly more strokes than non-AF patients in all age groups. Stroke prevalence increased with age and was significantly higher in males. Multivariable analysis revealed that male gender, increasing age, AF, hypertension, diabetes, and history of TIA were highly significant risk factors for stroke. In addition, for males, dyslipidemia and prior MI were moderately strong risk factors. 

Conclusions: Analysis of the MHS vascular database yielded useful information on stroke prevalence and association of known risk factors with stroke, which is consistent with the epidemiological literature elsewhere. Further analysis of health fund data could potentially provide useful information in the future. 

 

October 2014
Elisabetta Borella MD, Lavinia Palma MD, Margherita Zen MD, Silvano Bettio MD, Linda Nalotto MD, Mariele Gatto MD, Marta Domeneghetti MD, Luca Iaccarino MD, Leonardo Punzi and Andrea Doria MD
Autoinflammatory (AIF) and autoimmune (AIM) diseases are chronic immune disorders characterized by dysregulation of the immune system. Most AIF diseases are monogenic diseases which lead to hyperactivation of the inflammasome and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-18, resulting in tissue inflammation. Besides, the main feature of autoimmune diseases is the loss of tolerance of the adaptive immune cells against self antigens. Most AIF diseases are polygenic and numerous immune pathogens are involved in organ damage. The involvement of some AIF-associated mechanisms in AIM diseases, i.e., the activation of the inflammasome and the role of IL-1, was recently recognized. Moreover, some single nucleotide polymorphisms of the inflammasome genes have been proven to be involved in the development of AIF-related inflammatory features in autoimmune patients. These observations raise the possibility of using some anti-inflammatory drugs, like IL-1 antagonists, in autoimmune diseases with autoinflammatory features. 
December 2013
Yael Milgrom, Gideon Goldman, Alex Gileles Hillel, Pojurovsky Svetlana and Zvi Ackerman
August 2012
M. Linder, L. Lev Ari, R. Kurs and Y. Melamed

Background: Patient protection requires the provision of informed consent for participation in medical research. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) is frequently used for screening the capacity of research subjects to consent to participate in research.

Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the Hebrew translation of the MacCAT-CR for the assessment of capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials.

Methods: We evaluated the translated MacCAT-CR by comparing the capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials. The following standardized neurocognitive assessment tools were used: Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), as well as the attending doctor’s assessment.

Results: Twenty-one patients participated. Mean MacCAT-CR score was12 ¡À 10.57 (range 0¨C32), mean FAB score was 9.9 ¡À 4.77 (range 1¨C18), mean ACE was 59.14 ¡À 16.6 (range 27¨C86) and mean doctor’s assessment was 5.24 ¡À 1.18 (range 3¨C7).

Conclusions: The Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR helped identify patients with the capacity to provide informed consent for participation in research. Patients with FAB scores ¡Ý 12 tended to score higher on the Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR, thus confirming the utility of the Hebrew version of the MacCAT-CR. During the screening process for clinical trials it may be practical to administer the concise FAB questionnaire, and then administer the MacCAT-CR only to those who scored ¡Ý 12 on the FAB.

October 2003
Y. Shapiro, J. Shemer, A. Heymann, V. Shalev, N. Maharshak, G. Chodik, M.S. Green and E. Kokia

Background: Upper respiratory tract illnesses have been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Objective: To assess the influence of vaccination against influenza on the risk of hospitalization in internal medicine and geriatric wards, and the risk of death from all causes during the 2000–2001 influenza season.

Methods: A historical cohort study was conducted using computerized general practitioner records on patients aged 65 years and above, members of “Maccabi Health Care Services” – the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel with 1.6 million members. The patients were divided into high and low risk groups corresponding to coexisting conditions, and were studied. Administrative and clinical data were used to evaluate outcomes.

Results: Of the 84,613 subjects in the cohort 42.8% were immunized. At baseline, vaccinated subjects were sicker and had higher rates of coexisting conditions than unvaccinated subjects. Vaccination against influenza was associated with a 30% reduction in hospitalization rates and 70% in mortality rates in the high risk group. The NNT (number needed to treat) measured to prevent one hospitalization was 53.2 (28.2 in the high risk group and 100.4 in the low risk group). When referring to length of hospitalization, one vaccine was needed to prevent 1 day of hospitalization among the high risk group. Analyses according to age and the presence or absence of major medical conditions at baseline revealed similar findings across all subgroups.

Conclusions: In the elderly, vaccination against influenza is associated with a reduction in both the total risk of hospitalization and in the risk of death from all causes during the influenza season. These findings compel the rationale to increase compliance with recommendations for annual influenza vaccination among the elderly.

August 2000
Tzipora C. Falik-Zaccai MD, Elena Shachak MSc, Devora Abeliovitch PhD, Israela Lerer MSc, Ruth Shefer MD, Rivka Carmi MD, Liat Ries MSc, Moshe Friedman MD, Mordechai Shohat MD and Zvi Borochowitz MD

Background: Achondroplasia is the most frequent form of disproportionate short stature, characterized by rhizomelic shortening of the limbs. This disorder is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, although most of the cases are sporadic, a result of a de novo mutation. A recurrent glycine to arginine mutation at codon 380 (G380R) in the transmembrane domain of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 gene was found to cause achondroplasia among different populations. This is most uncommon in other autosomal dominant genetic diseases.

Objectives: To determine whether this mutation is also common among Jewish patients from diverse ethnic groups and among the Arab population in Israel.

Methods: We examined the G380R mutation (G>A and G>C transition) and the mutation G375C (G>T transition at codon 375) in 31 sporadic patients and in one family diagnosed clinically to have achondroplasia.

Results: We found the G>A transition at codon 380 in 30 of our patients and the G>C transition in one patient. We were not able to detect any of the three mutations in two patients with an atypical form of achondroplasia.

Conclusions: Our results further support the unusual observation that nucleotide 1138 of the FGFR3 gene is the most mutable nucleotide discovered to date across different populations.

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FGFR3 = fibroblast growth factor receptor 3

July 2000
Aziz Mazarib MD, Ely S. Simon MD, Amos D. Korczyn MD MSc, Zipora Falik-Zaccai MD,Ephraim Gazit MD and Nir Giladi MD

Objective: To report a unique hereditary, juvenile onset, craniocervical predominant, generalized dystonia and parkinsonism affecting four members of one family.

Family Description: A father and three of his four daughters presented to us over the past 30 years with a similar picture of generalized dystonia, starting in the craniocervical region in the second or third decade of life. They later developed moderate parkinsonism, mainly manifesting bradykinesia, rigidity and abnormal postural reflexes. Biochemical and genetic tests excluded Wilson's disease, Huntington's disease and Oppenheim's dystonia.

Conclusion: This is a new type of familial dystonia-parkinsonism where the craniocervical dystonic symptoms are most prominent in the early stages while parkinsonism becomes the predominant problem later in life. A search for the genetic mutation in this family is underway.

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