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עמוד בית
Fri, 24.05.24

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April 2024
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

The concept of starvation osteopathy is an old and an investigated one, which is well established in many ways. Studies were conducted on famine survivors during World War I, in the Ukraine in the early 1930s, throughout Europe during World War II, and in Asia and Africa soon after. However, the main topic of this article is the effect of starvation inflicted during the Holocaust.

March 2024
Mohammad Haydar MD, Uriel Levinger MD, George Habib MD MPH

Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) is a cardiomyopathy that develops rapidly and is usually caused by mental or physical stress. It is usually a transient cardiomyopathy. The presumed cause of the onset of the syndrome is the increase and extreme secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine due to extreme stress. An infectious disease such as sepsis can also be the cause [1].

One of the most widespread diagnostic tools is the revised version of Mayo Clinic Diagnostic Criteria for TTS (2008) [2], which incorporates transient wall-motion abnormalities, absence of a potential coronary culprit, myocarditis, and pheochromocytoma. The prognosis for TTS is usually favorable and resolves with complete recovery in 4–8 weeks in more than 90% of patients.

January 2024
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, W. Randall Albury PhD

A dramatic portrait bust of the physician Gabriele da Fonseca (1586? to 1668) at prayer is considered by art historians to be one of the finest late works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680), the preeminent sculptor of 17th century Rome. This statue is of medical as well as artistic interest. First, Fonseca is shown wearing his physician’s robe, thus celebrating his successful career as a leading medical figure in Rome, holding both Papal and university appointments at the highest level. In addition, the positioning of the statue in a special chapel designed by Bernini highlights Fonseca’s role as an influential participant in the introduction of quinine into Europe as a cure for malaria. Last, an examination of the statue’s hands identifies a number of pathologies and anatomical anomalies that raise interesting questions, regrettably unanswerable given the information presently available, concerning Fonseca’s illnesses and cause of death.

November 2023
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Marina-Portia Anthony MBBS BSc (Med) MPH FRANZCR, Michael Huang MB BS FRCR FRANZCR

There are numerous experimental studies on the effect of immune modulation on the skeleton but few clinical ones.

In this letter, we supplement the previous information on enhanced bone healing. A new branch of medicine, osteoimmunology, describes fracture healing as an active immune system process evolving in a cascade of repairs.

October 2023
George Shallufi MD, Suhair Hanna MD, Asaad Khoury MD, Tarek Saadi MD, Anat Ilivitzki MD, Michal Gur MD, Lea Bentur MD, Ronen Bar-Yoseph MD

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a heterogeneous primary immune deficiency disorder characterized mainly by defective B lymphocyte differentiation, leading to hypogammaglobinemia and defective antibody production. It is often combined with cellular immune defects. A minority of patients present during childhood and adolescence. Infections are most often sinopulmonary but can affect any system. The noninfectious complications include progressive lung disease, autoimmunity, gastrointestinal inflammatory disease, liver disease, granulomatous disease, lymphoid hyperplasia and infiltrative disease, and the development of lymphoma and other cancers. In addition to recurrent infections and bronchiectasis, patients may develop chronic interstitial lung disease, granulomatous lung disease, lymphoma, and pulmonary hypertension.

August 2023
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Marina-Portia Anthony MBBS BSc (Med) MPH FRANZCR

A review of the literature on the effect of immune modulation on the skeleton shows disappointing results.

April 2023
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, Andrew Gal MBBS FRCPA

The health of survivors of the Shoah has been investigated, both at early and late stages in their lives. There have been findings of multiple morbidities, but survivors have enjoyed slightly prolonged longevity when compared to the general population [1]. Less attention has been granted to investigations and descriptions of illnesses that presented inside the ghettos and the Nazi camps. Some of the surviving records from those sites have yet to be interpreted. Documented diagnoses of both insulin dependent and mature onset diabetes mellitus and of malignancy has been conspicuously absent. We present our meta-analysis and interpretations of surviving medical documents covering a large population of prisoners from a range of ghettos and concentration camps and specifically note the absence of recorded incidence of malignancy and a relatively low incidence of diabetes mellitus.

October 2022
Shaden Nashashibi, MD, Ofir Priesler, MD, Uriel Levinger, MD, George Habib, MD MPH

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in more than four million deaths globally. In addition to the lower respiratory system, a wide range of major organ injuries have been reported among patients infected with COVID-19. These injuries include cardiac involvement. The spectrum of cardiac manifestations includes cardiac injury, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, acute coronary syndrome, myocarditis, tachyarrhythmias, and bradyarrhythmia [1]. Different degrees of atrioventricular blocks have been reported [2].

The pathogenesis of these complications is not fully understood. Differentmechanisms are proposed, including direct myocyte injury, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, cytokine storm, plaque destabilization, and and/or hypoxia [3]. Many countries have worked toward mass vaccination using the Pfizer BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccine, including Israel. We report a case of high degree atrioventricular block (AVB) following vaccination with the COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccine.

April 2022
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA

Extermination via starvation was described in detail as an alternative or precursor to the final solution during the Holocaust in World War II. The main causes of death in the ghettos were exhaustion, environmental conditions (inadequate protection in extreme climates), infectious diseases, or starvation. In previous studies on the Lodz Ghetto, the causes of death via typhus exantematicus, tuberculosis, and heart failure were investigated [1,2]. In this article, we introduce the topic of diabetes in the presence of starvation and assess the incidence of malignancies in the years 1941–1944. The findings from the Lodz Ghetto would retroactively support the Warburg theory

George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA, and Richard W. Haber MB BS (Hons) FRACP

Medical records discovered after the liberation of ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe are unique documents that report on the suffering of inmates, on ravaging infectious diseases, and on starvation-related organ degeneration and the resulting mortality. We offer a pathogenetic explanation for the scarcity of acute myocardial infarction in the Lodz Ghetto, Poland, 1941–1944

March 2022
Ortal Tuvali MD, Gal Sella MD, Dan Haberman MD, Valeri Cuciuc MD, and Jacob George MD

The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is multifactorial, mainly driven by complex inflammatory processes. Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug used in a variety of clinical settings. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the role of colchicine in atherosclerotic vascular disease and more specifically, its promising impact on the outcome of patients with stable and acute coronary syndrome and to review its effect in patients undergoing angioplasty. A literature review was performed using the search terms colchicine, coronary heart disease, or acute coronary syndrome, stable coronary disease. We accessed PubMed, Google scholar, and the Cochrane Library databases to search for studies. Patients with chronic coronary disease may benefit from treatment with low dose colchicine to reduce the occurrence of a cardiovascular event. Among patients with a recent myocardial infarction, colchicine treatment was associated with reduced ischemic cardiovascular events, although without a meaningful difference in mortality. Colchicine was found to be a promising agent that can be potentially integrated into the armamentarium of treatments for patients with atherosclerotic coronary disease pending careful patient selection

October 2021
Nicholay Teodorovich MD, Michael Jonas MD, Dan Haberman MD, Haitham Abu Khadija MD‏, Omar Ayyad MD, Gera Gandelman MD, Lion Poles MD, Jacob George MD, and Alex Blatt MD MSc

Background: Anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) are a known biomarker of endothelial dysfunction and damage in clinical practice, especially in autoimmune disease.

Objectives: To determine the relation between natural AECA levels and prognosis related to coronary artery disease.

Methods: Candidates for coronary angiography were prospectively enrolled. AECA levels were determined by ELISA assay. Mortality was evaluated after more than 5 years follow-up.

Results: Of a total 857 patients, 445 had high AECA levels (group 1) and 412 had low levels (< 1 OD unit, group 2). Both groups did not differ in age, sex, or presence of diabetes. The median follow up was 2293 days (76 months). Patients with high AECA levels were more likely to have normal coronary arteries on angiography (21.6% vs. 16.9%, P = 0.047) and less likely to have calcified lesions (19.0% vs. 26.6%, P = 0.028) and lower prevalence of abnormal renal functions (71.1 mg/dl vs. 66.5 mg/dl, P = 0.033). Patients with higher AECA levels had lower mortality levels (20.1% vs. 27.6%, P = 0.006). A logistic regression model demonstrated independent association between lower AECA levels and the presence of coronary atherosclerosis based on angiogram.

Conclusions: After a median of more than 6 years, higher natural AECA levels were associated with less coronary artery disease and lower mortality rates in patients undergoing coronary angiography

September 2021
George Habib MD MPH, Fahed Sakas MD, and Fadi Khazin MD

Background: Fibromyalgia is characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain at the time of diagnosis, but many patients report their initial symptoms as being focal or local. 

Objectives: To evaluate, prospectively, the initial location of body pain in recently diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia.

Methods: Non-selected patients from the rheumatology clinic who were recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia (≤ 2 years) with symptoms of ≤ 4 years participated in our study. Demographic and clinical parameters were documented, as was the initial location of pain they had experienced. Sub-analysis of data according to gender and ethnicity was conducted using chi-squire test.

Results: The study comprised 155 patients. Mean age was 39.8 ± 11.7 years; 85% were female. Mean duration of symptoms was 2.11 years and of diagnosis was 0.78 years. Six patients (3.9%) reported initial symptoms of pain as being diffuse from the start, 10 (6.5%) could not remember the location of their initial symptoms, and 139 (90%) reported initial focal pain. Hands were reported as the initial area of pain for 25.2% of the patients, 19.4% reported the back, and 11% reported both trapezial areas as the initial area of pain. In 90% of the patients (excluding patients with back, abdominal, or chest pain) the initial symptoms were bilateral and symmetrical. No significant difference in initial presentation was found among different gender or ethnic groups. 

Conclusions: Pain in fibromyalgia patients usually presents as focal and symmetrical. Bilateral hand pain, followed by back pain, was the most common reported area of initial pain among fibromyalgia patients.

March 2021
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Andrew Gal BSc (Med) MBBS FRCPA

Germany was a scientifically advanced country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in medicine, with a major interest in research and the treatment of tuberculosis. From 1933 until 1945, Nazi Germany perverted scientific research through criminal experimentations on captured prisoners of war and on "subhumans" by scientifically untrained, but politically driven, staff. This article exposes a series of failed experiments on tuberculosis in adults, experiments without scientific validity. Nonetheless, Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer repeated the experiment on Jewish children, who were murdered for the sake of personal academic ambition. It is now 75 years since liberation and the murdered children must be remembered. This observational review raises questions of medical and ethical values

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