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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

Search results

May 2023
Shirel Barnea Melamed MD, Esther Ganelin-Cohen MD, Yarden Bulkowstein MD, Mika Shapira Rootman MD, Irit Krause MD

An 11-year-old female presented with encephalomyelitis in the presence of anti-myelin oligodendrocytes glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies (Abs), suspected to be triggered by concurrent respiratory adenovirus infection. The prognosis of such cases depends on prompt treatment; therefore, early diagnosis is crucial.

January 2019
Emily Fisher MD MSc, Christine Loock MD, Ariana Melamed BA, Shulamit Blank MD and Gideon Koren MD

Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may be under-recognized and under-diagnosed in Israel. Fewer than 10 FASD diagnoses were reported between 1998 and 2007; however, several hundred diagnoses have been made since. Furthermore, less than 10% of surveyed Israeli pediatricians reported adequate knowledge of FASD.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of suspected FASD, to establish a database as a starting point for epidemiological studies, and to develop FASD awareness for health, social, and educational services.

Methods: A chart review was conducted at an educational facility for children and adolescents with behavioral and learning challenges. The following information was extracted: adoption status, history of alcohol/drug abuse in the biological mother, medical diagnoses, medication use, and information regarding impairment in 14 published neurobehavioral categories. Subjects were classified as: category 1 (highly likely FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and evidence of maternal alcohol abuse was available; category 2 (possible FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and evidence to support maternal substance abuse (type/time unspecified); and category 3 (unconfirmed likelihood of FASD) – impairment in three or more neurobehavioral categories and no information regarding the biological family.

Results: Of 237 files analyzed, 38 subjects (16%) had suspected FASD: 10 subjects (4%) in category 1, 5 (2%) in category 2, and 23 (10%) in category 3. Twenty-seven subjects with suspected FASD (69%) had been adopted.

Conclusions: This study is the most comprehensive review of FASD among Israeli children and adolescents in a population with learning and behavior challenges.

May 2018
Viktoria Leikin-Zach MD, Eilon Shany MD, Maayan Yitshak-Sade PhD, Ron Eshel B Med Sc, Tali Shafat MD, Avraham Borer MD and Rimma Melamed MD

Background: Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production is the most common antimicrobial resistance mechanism in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with colonization and blood stream infections being a major threat to this population. Since 2013, all NICU admissions at our facility were screened twice weekly for ESBL colonization.

Objectives: To determine independent risk factors for colonization of infants with ESBL-producing bacteria in the NICU.

Methods: A retrospective case study of ESBL-colonized infants vs. controls (matched by date of birth and gestational age) was conducted in the NICU of Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, between 2013 and 2014. Epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical data were extracted from medical files. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to assess associations between ESBL colonization and possible clinical risk factors.

Results: Of 639 admissions during the study period, 87 were found to be ESBL-colonized (case infants) and were matched to 87 controls. Five case infants became infected (5.7%) with ESBL strains. Klebsiella pneumoniae was the most common isolated bacteria. The mean time from admission to colonization was 15 days. Univariable analysis showed an association of male gender and highest Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes with ESBL colonization (P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis yielded only a possible association of higher Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes (hazard ratio [HR] 1.515, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.993-2.314; HR 1.603, 95%CI 0.958–2.682, respectively) with ESBL colonization.

Conclusions: Future studies should focus on maternal colonization and possible strategies for preventing vertical transmission of ESBL strains to high-risk neonates.

January 2017
Tali Stolovy PhD, Muli Linder MD, Patricia Zipris MD, Adiel Doron MD, Yackov Dafna PhD and Yuval Melamed MD MHA
June 2015
Tali Stolovy PhD, Yuval Melamed MD MHA and Arnon Afek MD MHA


Video surveillance is a tool for managing safety and security within public spaces. In mental health facilities, the major benefit of video surveillance is that it enables 24 hour monitoring of patients, which has the potential to reduce violent and aggressive behavior. The major disadvantage is that such observation is by nature intrusive. It diminishes privacy, a factor of huge importance for psychiatric inpatients. Thus, an ongoing debate has developed following the increasing use of cameras in this setting. This article presents the experience of a medium-large academic state hospital using video surveillance, and explores the various ethical and administrative aspects of video surveillance in mental health facilities. 

April 2015
Eran Leshem-Rubinow MD, Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty PhD, Assi Milwidsky MD, Sharon Toker PhD, Itzhak Shapira MD, Shlomo Berliner MD, Yael Benyamini PhD, Samuel Melamed PhD and Ori Rogowski MD


Background: A single self-rated health (SRH) assessment is associated with clinical outcome and mortality, but the biological process linking SRH with immune status remains incompletely understood.

Objectives: To examine the association between SRH and inflammation in apparently healthy individuals.

Methods: Our analysis included 13,773 apparently healthy individuals attending the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center for periodic health examinations. Estimated marginal means of the inflammation-sensitive biomarkers [i.e., highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and fibrinogen] for the different SRH groups were calculated and adjusted for multiple potential confounders including risk factors, health behavior, socioeconomic status, and coexistent depression.

Results: The group with the lowest SRH had a significantly higher atherothrombotic profile and significantly higher concentrations of all inflammation-sensitive biomarkers in both genders. Hs-CRP was found to differ significantly between SRH groups in both genders even after gradual adjustments for all potential confounders. Fibrinogen differs significantly according to SRH in males only, with low absolute value differences.

Conclusions: A valid association exists for apparently healthy individuals of both genders between inflammation-sensitive biomarker levels and SRH categories, especially when comparing levels of hs-CRP. Our findings underscore the importance of assessing SRH and treating it like other markers of poor health.

March 2014
Tal Bergman-Levy, Jeremia Heinik and Yuval Melamed
Testamentary capacity refers to an individual's capability to write his or her own will. Psychiatrists are required occasionally to give expert opinions regarding the testamentary capacity of individuals with a medical history or suspected diagnosis of a mental illness. This may stem from the patient/lawyer/family initiative to explore the current capacity to testate in anticipation of a possible challenge, or may be sought when testamentary capacity of a deceased has been challenged. In this article we examine the medico-legal construct of testamentary capacity of the schizophrenic patient, and discuss the various clinical situations specific to schizophrenic patients, highlighting their impact on the medical opinion regarding testamentary capacity through examining the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court in a specific case where the testamentary capacity of a mentally ill individual who was challenged postmortem, and provide a workable framework for the physician to evaluate the capacity of a schizophrenia patient to write a will.

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.

November 2011
A. Bleich, Y. Baruch, S. Hirschmann, G. Lubin, Y. Melamed, Z. Zemishlany and Z. Kaplan

Suicide is universal within the range of human behaviors and is not necessarily related to psychiatric morbidity, though it is considerably more prevalent among psychiatric patients. Considering the limitations of medical knowledge, psychiatrists cope with an unfounded and almost mythical perception of their ability to predict and prevent suicide. We set out to compose a position paper for the Israel Psychiatric Association (IPA) that clarifies expectations from psychiatrists when treating suicidal patients, focusing on risk assessment and boundaries of responsibility, in the era of defensive medicine. The final draft of the position paper was by consensus. The IPA Position Paper established the first standard of care concerning expectations from psychiatrists in Israel with regard to knowledge-based assessment of suicide risk, elucidation of the therapist's responsibility to the suicidal psychotic patient (defined by law) compared to patients with preserved reality testing, capacity for choice, and responsibility for their actions. Therapists will be judged for professional performance rather than outcomes and wisdom of hindsight. This paper may provide support for psychiatrists who, with clinical professionalism rather than extenuating considerations of defensive medicine, strive to save the lives of suicidal patients.

September 2011
Y. Feldman-Idov, Y. Melamed and L. Ore

Background: Wounds of the lower extremities are a significant problem, being severe and costly to treat. Adjunctive treatment with hyperbaric oxygenation (HBOT) has proven to be a useful and cost-effective means of treating ischemic wounds, mainly in diabetic patients.

Objectives: To describe patients with ischemic wounds treated at the Rambam and Elisha Hyperbaric Medical Center and their wound improvement following HBOT.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients (N=385) treated in the center during 19982007 for ischemic non-healing wounds in the lower extremities.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 61.9 years (SD 13.97). Most of them were diabetic (69.6%) and male (68.8%). Half of the subjects had a wound for more than 3 months prior to undergoing pre-HBOT transcutaneous oximetry (TcPO2) testing. Most of the wounds were classified as Wagner degree 1 or 2 (39.1% and 46.2% respectively). The median number of treatments per patient was 29. Only 63.1% of patients had continuous treatments. Approximately 20% of patients experienced mild side effects. An improvement occurred in 282 patients (77.7%) following HBOT: 15.2% fully recovered, 42.7% showed a significant improvement (and were expected to heal spontaneously), and 19.8% a slight improvement.

Conclusions: HBOT can benefit the treatment of non-healing ischemic wounds (especially when aided by pretreatment TcPO2 evaluation; data not shown). Our experience shows that this procedure is safe and contributes to wound healing.

October 2010
T. Bergman-Levy, A. Bleich, M. Kotler and Y. Melamed

The courts have recently become increasingly involved in the administration of compulsory psychiatric services in Israel. Data reveal a gradual increase in the rate of court-ordered hospitalizations according to Section 15 of the Law for the Treatment of the Mentally Ill. This paper examines the implications of this trend, particularly the issues of security and safety in psychiatric hospitalization. We present highlights from extensive British experience, focusing on the implications on forensic psychiatry in Israel. We review the development of the hierarchy of security in the British psychiatric services, beginning in the early 1970s with the establishment of the Butler Committee that determined a hierarchy of three levels of security for the treatment of patients, culminating with the establishment of principles for the operation of medium security units in Britain (Read Committee, 1991). These developments were the basis for the forensic psychiatric services in Britain. We discuss the relevance of the British experience to the situation in Israel while examining the current status of mental health facilities in Israel. In our opinion, a safe and suitable environment is a necessary condition for a treatment setting. The establishment of medium security units or forensic psychiatry departments within a mental health facility will enable the concentration and classification of court-ordered admissions and will enable systemic flexibility and capacity for better treatment, commensurate with patient needs.

September 2010
B. Finkel, C. Goodman, Y. Melamed, R. Kurs and A. Bleich

Background: In compliance with public health measures initiated by the Israel Ministry of Health following an outbreak of influenza, amantadine was administered to all patients in the psychogeriatric department of Lev Hasharon Mental Health Center to reduce transmission and illness severity in this susceptible population.

Objectives: To evaluate the potential beneficial effects of amantadine on elderly hospitalized patients with persistent schizophrenia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective case review of the treatment effects of amantadine on the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly chronic schizophrenic patients who received concomitant amantadine treatment and were routinely evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Mini Mental State Examination, and Sandoz Clinical Assessment Geriatric Scale.

Results: No significant differences before and after amantadine treatment were noted. Conclusion: Amantadine did not influence the mental, cognitive and clinical states of elderly schizophrenia patients and thus can be considered as an anti-influenza preventive measure for this population, when indicated.

survey. A tailor-made CME program may have contributed to the improvement in skills and quality of care.

August 2010
April 2009
O. Sadan, N. Shemesh, Y. Cohen, E. Melamed and D. Offen

Background: Stem cell-based therapy is a promising approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. In our laboratory, a novel protocol has been developed to induce bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells into neurotrophic factor-secreting cells. These cells produce and secrete factors such as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and GDNF (glial-derived neurotrophic factor).

Objectives: To evaluate the migratory capacity and efficacy of NTF-SC[1] in animal models of Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.

Methods: MSCs[2] underwent two-phase medium-based induction. An efficacy study was conducted on the 6-hydroxydopamine-induced lesion, a rat model for Parkinson's disease. Cells were transplanted on the day of 6-OHDA[3] administration, and amphetamine-induced rotations were measured as a primary behavioral index. In a second experiment, migratory behavior was examined by transplanting cells a distance from a quinolinic acid-induced striatal lesion, a rat model for Huntington's disease. Migration, in vivo, was monitored using longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging scans followed by histology.

Results: NTF-SCs attenuated amphetamine-induced rotations by 45%. HPLC analysis demonstrated a marked decrease in dopamine depletion, post-cellular treatment. Moreover, histological assessments revealed that the engrafted cells migrated and acted to regenerate the damaged striatal dopaminergic nerve terminal network. In a preliminary work on an animal model for Huntington's disease, we demonstrated by high resolution MR images and correlating histology that induced cells migrated along the internal capsule towards the QA[4]-induced lesion.

Conclusions: The induced MSCs are a potential therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, due both to their NTF secretion and their ability to migrate towards the diseased tissue.

[1] NTF-SC = neurotrophic factor-secreting cells

[2] MSCs = mesenchymal stem cells

[3] 6-OHDA = 6-hydroxydopamine

[4] QA = quinolinic acid

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