The American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine's (AANEM) Best Abstract Award is given each year to the first and presenting author of the best abstract submitted to the AANEM Annual meeting. The 2020 Best Abstract Award winner is David Cornblath, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Cornblath’s work was titled “The Procid Study: Efficacy and Safety of 3 Different Dosages of Ivig (Panzyga) in Patients with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy.” He and his team conducted this Octapharma-sponsored multicenter, multinational study to investigate the efficacy and safety of Newgam 1 gm/kg every 3 weeks as maintenance therapy in CIDP. Another goal was to do the same with a lower (0.5 g/kg) and a higher (2.0 g/kg) dose.
“This is part of a long-standing interest in neuropathies and their appropriate treatment,” said Dr. Cornblath. “I hope that the diagnosis of CIDP will be improved, as currently misdiagnosis occurs as much as 50-90% in the United States. This study should add a range of treatment options to those with true CIDP who need additional therapies in this disease with high unmet medical need.”
Dr. Cornblath is a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He focuses on neuromuscular diseases with special emphasis on peripheral neuropathies. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his internship in medicine at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio followed by a residency in neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He then became Clinical Fellow of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the Peripheral Nerve Morphology Laboratory also at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
A runner-up award was given to Tatsuya Oishi, MD, of Mayo Clinic. Dr. Oishi’s work was titled “Quantitative Analysis of Myokymic Discharges: A Review of 70 Cases.”
“The idea and framework for this project was raised by AANEM member Dr. Devon Rubin, and I credit him for his wisdom, his observations, and his guidance,” Dr. Oishi said of the project. “I also credit (fellow AANEM member) Dr. Ruple Laughlin for her mentorship and encouragement throughout the project. Upon hearing about the research idea, I quickly realized that it is at the intersection of my passion for electromyography, my interest in radiation and neurology (as per my last AANEM abstract, which was named last year’s Best Abstract winner), and my familiarity with computer programming/basic signal processing.”
Dr. Oishi explained the primary mission of this project is to help those conducting EMGs to be more cognizant of myokymic discharges.
“The main message of the project is that while myokymic discharges can be seen in radiation therapy-associated cases and conditions unrelated to radiation, there are some subtle but distinct features on electromyography (e.g. where the myokymic discharge is recorded, as well as quantitative features of the recording itself) that demonstrates distinguishing features. My hope is for electromyographers to better recognize and more comfortably interpret myokymic discharges when encountered during a routine study. On a personal level, my hope is to apply this type of quantitative analysis in other facets of electrodiagnostic studies, to improve the diagnostic yield.”
Originally from Chicago, Dr. Oishi studied neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta before returning home to attend medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed his neurology residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and stayed for his fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/EMG.