All posts by tsc-now

Episode 11: A #March4TSCresearch Recap & Update on COVID-19



In episode 11 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein recaps our annual March on Capitol Hill, which took place on March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC and brought together more than 100 volunteers from across the country to advocate for continued funding for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) at the Department of Defense. He then shares resources the TS Alliance has created to address the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

First, Dan talks to Mark Vieth (2:04), Senior Vice President at Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates, who serves as a consultant for the TS Alliance’s advocacy efforts and helps prepare our volunteers for their meetings with their representatives. They discuss what goes on at the Training Dinner before March on Capitol Hill, what key messages volunteers should bring to their meetings, and why this effort has been so successful over the years.

Next, Dan interviews Bridget Britt (10:54), an advocate and mom from California. She shares why she advocates and how coming to March on Capitol Hill gives her strength and purpose.

Dan then talks to Sam Barth (15:42), a graduate student working in Kim Raab-Graham’s lab at Wake Forest University Medical School. Sam shares how the March on Capitol Hill provides meaningful context for the work he does in the lab and also discusses how the funding his mentor Kim received through the TSCRP helped generate new insights on TSC.

Dan then shares resources the TS Alliance has developed in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (25:44), including a FAQ guide for parents and caregivers, resources for TSC medical professionals, and a schedule of upcoming webinars, virtual Town Halls and Open Forums. All of these resources can be found at tsalliance.org/COVID-19.

Finally, Dan continues his Get to Know the TS Alliance segment by talking to Justin Martucci (28:40), Development Services Manager at the TS Alliance. They talk about how Justin has spearheaded the TS Alliance database cleanup and transition to new platforms, what he does when he’s not in the office, and how he is managing working from home during the pandemic.

In the April episode of TSC Now, Dan will be diving deeper into how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the TSC community and he wants to hear from you! Leave a voicemail at (240) 638-4644 with your first name, where you are calling from and how the pandemic has affected you, and your call may be played on the April episode!

March on Capitol Hill Resources:
For more information on the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP), visit: https://cdmrp.army.mil/tscrp/default
To read about Dr. Kim Raab-Graham’s research funded by the TSCRP, visit: https://cdmrp.army.mil/tscrp/research_highlights/17graham_highlight
For more information on the TS Alliance’s Government Advocacy Program, visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/engage/government-advocacy/
If you are interested in participating in our government advocacy program, send us an email to grc@tsalliance.org.

COVID-19 Resources:
For all of the TS Alliance’s resources on COVID-19, visit: tsalliance.org/COVID-19
To download a FAQ guide for parents and caregivers, visit: http://www.tsalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-FAQ.pdf
For resources for TSC medical professionals, go to: https://www.tsalliance.org/covid-19-resources-for-tsc-medical-professionals/
To see a schedule and register for our upcoming webinars, visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/upcoming-covid-19-and-tsc-webinars-and-virtual-town-halls/
To find recordings of previous webinars, visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/covid-19-webinar-and-virtual-town-hall-recordings/


Episode 10: Expanding Coverage and Ensuring Access to Medications



In episode 10 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to Darcy Krueger, MD, PhD, TSC Clinic Director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. They discuss the recent FDA approval of the Sabril label expansion, the study he led that served as supplemental material for that application, and what this process can teach us about the role of physicians, patients and advocacy organizations play in ensuring access to life-saving medications for people with rare diseases like TSC. Finally, they discuss how the TS Alliance can begin to develop evidence-based standards of care.

Then in a brand new segment, Dan catches up with Shelly Meitzler, TS Alliance Regional Program Manager East. They talk about how she first got involved with the TS Alliance, how she draws strength from supporting other families and individuals affected, and why she is running the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon with Team TSC. The TS Alliance has nine spots available for people interested in running the marathon and fundraising with Team TSC, to learn more and apply visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/Team-TSC/ or email Shelly at smeitzler@tsalliance.org.


Episode 9: The State of the TS Alliance



In episode 9 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer Kari Luther Rosbeck. They discuss her favorite memories from the organization’s 45th anniversary year in 2019, the major goals and initiatives for the organization in 2020, the newest members of the team, and upcoming events at the TS Alliance. Be sure to sign up for the TS Alliance bimonthly e-newsletter, TSC Matters, to stay up-to-date on everything going on at the TS Alliance throughout the year. You can subscribe to TSC Matters at https://www.tsalliance.org/tsc-matters/.

Want to submit a future episode topic for consideration? Send us an email at tscnow@tsalliance.org.

Upcoming Events

  • March on Capitol Hill, TS Alliance Board and Endowment Board Meeting, and Volunteer Leadership Summit – March 3-5, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • First Step Forward to Cure TSC Walk – Saturday, April 4, 2020 in AZ.
  • Comedy for a Cure 2020 – Sunday, April 5, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more: https://tsalliance.schoolauction.net/comedy2020/
  • Sound Bites Minnesota – Friday, May 8, 2020 in Golden Valley, MN.
  • Newborn Screening Workshop – June 2-3, 2020 in Silver Spring, MD.
  • Regional TSC & Lam Conferences (dates tentative and subject to change)
    • June 20, 2020 – Memphis, TN
    • September 26, 2020 – Gainesville, FL
    • October 24, 2020 – Denver, CO

Resources and Links:


Episode 8: Excerpts from AES and the Current State of Epilepsy Research



In the eighth episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein catches up with TS Alliance partners at the annual American Epilepsy Society Meeting (AES), the largest gathering on epilepsy in the world, which was held December 6-10 in Baltimore. Seizures remain one of the most common neurological features of TSC, occurring in 85% of individuals with TSC and more than 50% of individuals with TSC who have epilepsy will not respond to standard antiepileptic medications and have intractable epilepsy. Therefore, this meeting was a good opportunity to explore the current state of epilepsy research, what gaps still exist and what’s on the horizon. Continue reading Episode 8: Excerpts from AES and the Current State of Epilepsy Research


Episode 7: Common Parent/Caregiver Challenges and Advocating for Your Health



In the seventh episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein explores common challenges parents, caregivers and those affected by tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) face when managing their health and seeking care from physicians.

First, he has a conversation with Paul Mullin, MD, Director of Neurology and Epilepsy at Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley (01:22). They discuss the results of a survey conducted by Aquestive Therapeutics on some of the most common challenges parents face when trying to administer medication to children with epilepsy and how new technology can help alleviate some of these challenges. They also talk about what parents and caregivers can do to be proactive in addressing seizures and working with their doctor. Dr. Mullin also shares several online resources where parents can get accurate and reliable information and advice, including the Epilepsy Foundation, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the LGS Foundation.

Next, Dan talks to Peter Crino, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Director of the TSC Center of Maryland, and a member of the TS Alliance Board of Directors (20:12). We discuss the process of transitioning a patient with TSC from pediatric to adult care, some of the challenges associated with that transition, and how parents and those affected can start preparing to mitigate those challenges. We also talked about how adults with TSC can best manage their care and Dr. Crino emphasizes the importance of following the Consensus Guidelines for Diagnosis, Surveillance and Management of TSC to ensure that different manifestations of the disease are being monitored and managed appropriately throughout one’s lifetime. Finally, we discuss the role telemedicine may play in expanding access to TSC experts.

This episode was sponsored by:

Resources:

Epilepsy Foundation website: https://www.epilepsy.com/

NORD website: https://rarediseases.org/

NINDS website: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/

LGS Foundation website: https://www.lgsfoundation.org/

TSC Center of Maryland website: https://www.umms.org/ummc/health-services/neurology/services/tuberous-sclerosis

Consensus Guidelines for Surveillance and Treatment: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/treatment-guidelines/consensus-guidelines-for-diagnosis-surveillance-and-management-of-tsc/

Transition resources: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/young-adults/


Episode 6: TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders (TAND)



In episode 6 of TSCnow, host Dan Klein talks to Petrus de Vries, MBChB, MRCPsych, PhD, Sue Struengmann Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Capetown in South Africa. They discuss tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)-associated neuropsychiatric disorders, otherwise known as TAND. TAND refers to a whole spectrum of neurological manifestations of TSC, including aggressive behaviors, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities, psychiatric disorders, neuropsychological deficits, as well as school and occupational difficulties. Most people with TSC suffer from one or several of these manifestations and it is often one of the most impacting aspect of the disease for both children and adults affected. They talk about the six levels of TAND (behavioral, intellectual, neuropsychological, psychiatric, academic and psychosocial) and the different manifestations people experience within each level. He also talks about the challenges families and caregivers face when seeking treatment for these manifestations.

In response to the growing need of those affected, Dr. de Vries shares how he worked with other experts at the 2012 Consensus Conference to develop the TAND checklist, a tool to help clinicians identify what aspects of TAND a person is struggling with and develop a personal profile for those affected, and the corresponding consensus guidelines for when and how to use the checklist. He also discusses that, while no two people are affected the same and this uniqueness poses significant challenges for diagnosis and intervention, recent research suggests that there are several TAND “clusters” that those affected generally fall into.

Finally, Dr. de Vries discusses the TANDem Project, an international collaboration of families affected by TSC, researchers and clinicians to provide scientific evidence for greater TAND intervention and treatment. The project is being headed by Drs. de Vries and Anna Jansen at UZ Brussels.

To learn more about TAND visit: www.tsalliance.org/tand

To download the TAND Checklist visit: https://bit.ly/2ObP3wn

To learn more about TAND clusters visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29530301

Learn more about the TANDem project here: https://bit.ly/2MkQyqy


Episode 5: TSC Kidney Manifestations & Consensus Guidelines for Surveillance and Treatment



In episode 5 of TSC Now, Dan Klein talks to Dr. John Bissler, MD, Clinic Director of the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center of Excellence located at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Director of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and the Medical Director of Nephrology at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. They discuss common kidney manifestations of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), including renal cysts and renal angiomyolipoma (AML). The majority of individuals (greater than 80%) with TSC will develop some form of renal disease during their lifetime and renal-related disease is the most common cause of TSC-related death in adults, so they discuss the consensus guidelines for surveillance and treatment as it relates to kidney manifestations in TSC. They also discuss ongoing research to discover new treatments for AMLs and renal cysts.

To learn more about the kidney manifestations of TSC visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/about-tsc/signs-and-symptoms-of-tsc/kidneys/

To read about the general clinical consensus guidelines visit www.tsalliance.org/consensus. You can also read about the specific renal guidelines for TSC at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27504842.

Finally, to read Dr. Bissler’s paper on the reduction of post-embolization syndrome visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11979340.


Episode 4: Educational Issues in TSC and How to Advocate for Your Child in School



In the fourth episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to Lilian Ansari, MS, Special Needs Advocate, Co-Chair of the TS Alliance of Northern California and Education Parent Mentor. They discuss why she volunteered as an Education Parent Mentor, what types of challenges kids with TSC face in the classroom, and what resources and benefits are available to families under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She also shares what advice she gives to parents as they are preparing for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, including to record the meeting, take time to review the plan and get everything agreed upon in writing. Finally, she encourages others to volunteer as Education Parent Mentors and provide support in their communities.

If your child is having school issues please call Dena Hook, Vice President of Support Services, at (800) 225-6872 or email her at dhook@tsalliance.org. You may fax documents, such as IEP reports or other correspondence, to Dena at (888) 330-1853.

To learn more about school issues visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/school-issues/

To learn more about the Education Parent Mentor Program and to apply visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/engage/volunteer-opportunities/educator-parent-mentor/


Episode 3: The 2019 International TSC Research Conference



In the third episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein, Director of Digital Platforms for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, talks to the two co-chairs of the 2019 International TSC Research Conference: Changing the Course of TSC. Continue reading Episode 3: The 2019 International TSC Research Conference


Episode 2: Epilepsy in TSC and Laser Ablation Surgery with Dr. Daniel Curry



In the second episode of TSC Now host Dan Klein talks to Dr. Daniel Curry, Director of  Functional Neurosurgery and Epilepsy Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. They discuss how he became a neurosurgeon, the development of laser ablation as a treatment for epilepsy, what parents need to know about the procedure compared to traditional brain surgery and what they should consider before making the decision to get surgery. We end by discussing what Dr. Curry expects to be the next great breakthroughs in the treatment of epilepsy both in TSC and the general public.

To learn more about Texas Children’s Epilepsy Center visit: https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/epilepsy-center