News Brief

Two Penn Medicine studies were released this week by the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The first article, led by Daniel Weintraub, MD, associate professor of Psychiatry and Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, notes that half of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and psychosis receive prescriptions for antipsychotic agents, including drugs that have the potential to worsen Parkinson's symptoms. The frequency of use of these agents has not changed since the FDA issued a black box warning about using these drugs in patients with dementia, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

To read more about Dr. Weintraub's study, see the JAMA/Archives news release. This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health.

In the second study, David Wolk, MD, assistant professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues studied the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to help identify findings in brain tissue associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

The research team evaluated use of a tracer called fluorine 18-labeled flutemetamol and conducted PET scans on seven patients who were given a dose of this substance. Researchers found correspondence between readings of the PET scans and evidence of amyloid lesions-the plaque associated with AD-provided by microscopic evaluation of the biopsied tissue.

"With the potential emergence of disease-specific interventions for AD," said Dr. Wolk , "biomarkers that provide molecular specificity will likely become of greater importance in the differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment in older adults."

For more information about this study, see the JAMA/Archives news release. Dr. Wolk's study was entirely sponsored by GE Healthcare.


Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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