Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pathwonk: A new neuropathology blogger emerges!

Cyril B. Courville, MD (1900-1968)
Jeremy Deisch, M.D., a  neuropathology fellow at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, recently emailed to inform me that he has begun a pathology blog which focuses on neuropathology and forensic pathology. So far, Pathwonk has gotten off to a great start! Dr. Deisch's most recent post features Loma Linda University's Neuropathology Museum. Cyril Brian Courville, M.D, a neurologist, neurosurgeon, and neuropathologist, who was the chairman of the Loma Linda University Department of Nervous Diseases, as it was known at the time. Regarding his blog, Dr. Deisch writes: "My intent is to share interesting cases which come through our department, most likely on a weekly basis. I also aggregated some links to websites and files that I found useful as both a pathology trainee and as a NP fellow. Right now, my focus is on NP. I'll be doing a forensic fellowship next year, so I'll probably put some non-NP autopsy cases in as well." Best of luck, Dr. Deisch, and welcome to the blogosphere!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Post of July '10: More evidence that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is linked to playing football

The next in our Best of the Month Series is from July 2, 2010:

Recent neuropathological autopsy findings of a 26-year-old NFL player lend further credence to the idea that perhaps our high school children should not be playing football. Former Cincinnati Bengals player Chris Henry, who died after falling from a moving pick-up truck during a fight with his fiancee, was found to have histomorphologic evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). See the tau-immunohistochemistry photomicrograph from Henry's brain above. The findings consist of neurofibrillary tangles similar to those seen in Alzheimer disease. This CNN.com article raises the question in my mind of whether school districts should offer genetic testing to potential players, as one's apolipoprotein E genetic status seems to indicate the likelihood that one might be more susceptible to the development of CTE. In any case, I intend to forbid my own son from playing football and from boxing. Any other sport is fair game. But I will not allow him to a participate in a sport where head injury is intrinsic not only to playing the game, but even participating in practices. This is not to say that I'm some kind of a pansy who is averse to any risk. I will allow my child to play any other sport, as head injury in other sports occur merely as accidents. But football and boxing will remain off-limits in my home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why the proliferation of neuropathology job openings?

As I mentioned before on this blog, I am indebted to Sherry Miller, wife of neuropathologist Doug Miller, MD, PhD, for keeping me updated on neuropathology job openings. As a result, Neuropathology Blog has the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of neuropathology job openings on the web. And there are a lot of jobs available! Sherry recently wrote me the following email regarding the current status of the neuropathology job market: "What do you think is going on?  A shortage? People leaving and moving around? Adding staff? (I don't think this is likely as most places are cutting staff.)  There are 28 jobs posted on the blog...now even if 6 are out of date because people haven't responded to the emails, that still leaves an incredible number of vacancies..... Maybe that would be a GOOD blog post? Ask what others think is going on?" I agree, Sherry. That WOULD be a good blog post. The floor is now open for comment...... 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pathpedia.com joins the growing pathology cybernetwork

Zahid Kaleem, MD
Today's guest post is from Dr. Zahid Kaleem, hematopathologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. In collaboration with other pathologists, Dr. Kaleem has created a website called Pathpedia.com, which will enhance exchange of ideas and interesting cases among neuropathologists as well as those who deal with the "lower organs". It's exciting to see yet another colleague joining the ranks of pathologist social networkers. Here's Dr. Kaleem's post:


Pathpedia.com is a comprehensive web-based resource on human anatomical, clinical, and experimental pathology. The site serves a target audience including pathologists, pathologists-in-training, laboratory professionals, clinicians, medical scientists, and medical students. For neuropathologists, the sites offers listing of annual meetings and educational courses from around the world, postings of unusual pathology cases, a browsable table of content of various neuropathology/neurology journals, the ability to create your own WikiBook, and the opportunity to post jobs and resumes. Soon to be released is a listing of CME / SAM, both paid and free, in all specialties including neuropathology.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A multicolored odyssey through the brain

Thanks to Dr. Peter Cummings forwarded my this article from the New York Times about a a new book of images of the brain using the latest in computerized imaging techniques. I was struck by one image in particular:

The above image shows the basic organization of the human visual cortex. The New York Times article states: "Data from a functional M.R.I., obtained in a live human subject, illustrate the basic organization of our primary visual cortex, in which neighboring points in a visual scene are mapped to neighboring points on the brain. Visual stimuli far from the center of the gaze are processed in the areas colored dark blue, while visual stimuli in the center of the gaze are processed in the areas colored purple."
Credit: Jack Gallant
Data from a functional M.R.I., obtained in a live human subject, illustrate the basic organization of our primary visual cortex, in which neighboring points in a visual scene are mapped to neighboring points on the brain. Visual stimuli far from the center of the gaze are processed in the areas colored dark blue, while visual stimuli in the center of the gaze are processed in the areas colored purple.