Tag Archives: rare disease

Episode 24: Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Driving Innovative Research Through Global Collaboration



It’s the two-year anniversary of TSC Now and we’re celebrating with a new name, the TSC Alliance! If you missed our announcement on May 16, the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance has changed our name to the TSC Alliance to reflect how the organization has evolved over the years and with the name change we also have a new logo, new branding and a new tagline, “Hope no matter how complex.” Learn more about this evolution.

In recognition of #TSCGlobalDay and TSC Awareness Month, host Dan Klein learns about two global collaborative projects aimed at improving the lives of those living with rare diseases around the world. First, he talks to Matt Bolz-Johnson (02:44), Programme Director of the Collaborative Global Network for Rare Diseases at Rare Diseases International (RDI), who is leading a partnership with the World Health Organization to develop the first Collaborative Global Network for Rare Diseases. RDI envisions a world where people living with a rare disease, no matter where they live, can reach a network of expertise for accurate and timely diagnosis and appropriate care and believe that to strengthen health systems to address the needs of the 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease requires common strategies and action at the national, regional and global level. The TSC Alliance and the TSC Alliance of India have partnered with RDI to help advance this project and Dan and Matt discuss how advocacy organizations play a vital role in the global network model.

Then, Dan catches up with Professor Petrus de Vries, MBChB, FRCPsych, PhD, Sue Struengmann Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Professor Anna Jansen, MD, PhD, Pediatric Neurologist at Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium (18:12). Petrus and Anna are Principal and Co-Principal Investigators of the TANDem Project, an international effort to improve the lives of families dealing with TSC-associated neuropsychiatric disorders (TAND) through the development of technology empowering families to self-administer the TAND checklist and access tools to address specific TAND manifestations. They provide an update on the project, what they’ve learned through the first year and a half working with the various clusters, and what the timeline and aims are for the future.

Thank you to everyone who has listened and supported TSC Now over the last two years, we will continue to work hard to provide entertaining and valuable content for families and individuals affected by tuberous sclerosis complex.

Resources and Links


Episode 23: Autism Spectrum Disorder in TSC and TACERN



In Episode 23 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein recognizes World Autism Month and Autism Acceptance Month by learning more about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). ASD occurs in nearly 50% of children with TSC, significantly higher the rate in the general population (roughly 1% worldwide). Additionally, there is a very clear link between ASD and cognitive impairment in TSC.

To better understand the connection between autism and TSC, and how ongoing research can help expand our knowledge of autism not just in TSC, but more generally, Dan spoke to Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD, (02:11) Director of both the Translational Neuroscience Center and the Multi-Disciplinary Tuberous Sclerosis Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sahin is one of the Principal Investigators of the TSC Autism Center of Excellence Research Network, otherwise known as TACERN. TACERN is a coalition of five research hospitals: Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California at Los Angeles and University of Texas at Houston. The group was formed in 2012 and received a grant from the NIH to better understand autism in TSC and to identify potential biomarkers that could predict what children were at higher risk of cognitive manifestations. From that initial grant 80 papers have been published on a wide range of discoveries in TSC. Dr. Sahin shares some of the discoveries from the last decade, how discoveries made in autism in TSC have wider implications for autism in general, the current progress on identifying biomarkers, and what questions remain.

Finally, we are officially two weeks away from the Step Forward to Cure TSC® Global Virtual Walk-Run-Ride on May 15 and 16, coinciding with TSC Global Awareness Day. This historic, world-wide event will bring together thousands of people from across the globe, all working together to champion the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance’s efforts to fund groundbreaking research, offer critically needed support programs and increase awareness. Our goal is to raise $700,000 toward that mission, and there is still time for you to donate, register and fundraise to help us hit that goal. However you participate, your support makes a tangible difference in the lives of everyone with TSC. Learn the many ways you can get involved at www.stepforwardtocuretsc.org. Thank you to both the National and Local sponsors for championing this amazing event!

National Sponsors

Local Sponsors

Resources and Links


Episode 20: The 2021 Virtual March on Capitol Hill



In the first episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein dives deep on the upcoming Virtual March on Capitol Hill taking place March 1-5, 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the TS Alliance has decided to protect our volunteers by holding the march virtually. The March on Capitol Hill is the TS Alliance’s annual effort to advocate for continued funding for the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP) a subset of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. Through these efforts $97 million has been allocated for the TSCRP since 2001 and last year our advocates successfully advocated for an increase in the annual appropriation to $8 million. If you are interested in volunteering please send an email to grc@tsalliance.org.

First, Dan spoke with Chip Burkhalter (02:13), a parent and TS Alliance Board Member, who came to the March on Capitol Hill for the first time last year. He shares how he first got involved, and why he believes getting connected and volunteering is so important after getting a TSC diagnosis. They also discuss how the TS Alliance advocates have been able to garner bipartisan support for TSCRP funding even in the most partisan environments.

Next, Dan talks to Kaushal Asrani, MBBS, PhD (16:09), a Research Associate in the Department of Pathology, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He talks about his research to understand whether lysosomal biogenesis is a potential driver of tumorigenesis and therapeutic target in tuberous sclerosis, from which initial results will be published later this year. They also discuss how TSCRP funding has been pivotal to his work and how connecting with families at last year’s event provides motivation to continue to discover new therapies.

Finally, Dan catches up with Sara Chieffo (25:30), a parent, TS Alliance Board Member and Chair of the Government Relations Committee. She shares what motivated her to get involved in government advocacy, how our volunteers can be effective virtually this year, and why you should get involved too.

Resources and Links
Learn about the TS Alliance’s Government Advocacy Program: https://www.tsalliance.org/engage/government-advocacy/
Learn more about the TSCRP: https://cdmrp.army.mil/tscrp/default
Read an abstract of Dr. Asrani’s TSCRP-funded project:https://cdmrp.army.mil/search.aspx?LOG_NO=TS180078
Meet Dr. Asrani’s Team at Johns Hopkins: http://labs.pathology.jhu.edu/lotan/our-team/
Learn about what goes into our advocacy efforts by enrolling in TSC Academy, the TS Alliance’s e-learning platform: www.tscacademy.org


Episode 18: Understanding COVID-19’s Impact on Those with TSC & LAM



In episode 18 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to Nishant Gupta, MD, Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Cincinnati where he serves as the Director of the Interstitial and Rare Lung Disease Program.

We discuss what researchers and clinicians have learned so far about how COVID-19 impacts those with TSC and LAM, what potential future vaccines mean for those affected, and how individuals with TSC and LAM who have already contracted COVID-19, confirmed by testing, can participate in an important Natural History Database study to help us better understand the risk and severity of the virus.

Learn more about the study here: https://www.tsalliance.org/tsc-matters/have-you-or-your-loved-one-with-tsc-been-diagnosed-with-covid-19-2/. If you or your loved one had COVID-19 confirmed by testing and do not go to one of the TSC Clinics listed or have questions, please contact Jo Anne Nakagawa at jnakagawa@tsalliance.org or 1-800-225-6872.

At the end of the podcast I shared some ways you can support the TS Alliance this holiday season and on #GivingTuesday on December 1. Here are four ways you can get involved:

  1. Create a #GivingTuesday Facebook Fundraiser (We created a guide on how to get started here: http://www.tsalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Giving-Tuesday-Instructions-2020.pdf).
  2. Do your holiday shopping using Amazon Smile (We also have a helpful guide on getting started with Amazon Smile here: http://www.tsalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Setting-up-Amazon-Smile.pdf).
  3.  Make a donation using our #GivingTuesday Page

  4. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and encourage your friends and family to follow us too! And while you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to TSC Now so you don’t miss future episodes.

Finally, December 1-7 is Infantile Spasms Awareness Week (ISAW), to learn more about infantile spasms and ISAW 2020 go to https://infantilespasms.org/.

Resources and Links
Check out all of the TS Alliance’s COVID-19 Resources: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/covid-19/
Dr. Gupta first shared his recommendations earlier this year during a DEA World Forum Webinar, which you can re-watch here: https://youtu.be/Xwj2PiZ6gik
Dr. Gupta presented an update on COVID-19 and LAM at the first Virtual TSC & LAM Conference in September, watch it now here: https://youtu.be/QmS_dQELzA8 


Episode 16: COVID-19 and Back to School



In episode 16 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to two of the TS Alliance’s Education Parent Mentors to better understand how parents should approach making the decision on sending their kids back to school during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and what rights they have to advocate for the services their kids need. This episode is a follow-up to the webinar “COVID-19 and Back to School” led by our education parent mentors earlier this month.

First, Dan talks with Shannon Grandia (01:21), a mother to three kids with TSC and a spouse to an adult with TSC, who volunteers as an Education Parent Mentor, Adult Regional Coordinator and Dependent Adult Transition Resource Coordinator. In addition to her role as a volunteer, Shannon is also a first-grade teacher in California. They discuss the challenges parents and teachers face in California starting the school year virtually, the incredible workload teachers are taking on to provide resources to kids while they are at home to help address regression from the end of the last school year, and how parents and teachers can develop trust through open communication.

Then Dan talks to Shelly Meitzler (26:45), TS Alliance Regional Program Manager East and an Education Parent Mentor in Pennsylvania. They discuss what decisions she made for her family and what was involved in those decisions, how  Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will look different during the pandemic, and the importance of establishing a paper trail when advocating for your child.

If you are dealing with educational issues and need support please reach out to Dena Hook, Vice President of Support Services at dhook@tsalliance.org so that she can connect you to one of our trained and dedicated education parent mentors.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Step Forward to Cure TSC National Virtual Walk Run Ride and to the generous sponsors who made the event possible:

You can re-watch all the videos from the weekend and support the Walk-Run-Ride by going to stepforwardtocuretsc.org.

Resources and Links
COVID-19 and Back to School Webinar Recording: https://youtu.be/jp7cJF4boYY
TS Alliance web page on school issues: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/school-issues/
Local resources to help you connect with local Education Parent Mentors: https://www.tsalliance.org/individuals-families/find-local-resources/


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 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 1: TSC Global Day, 45th Anniversary and the Future of TSC Research



Welcome to the debut episode of TSC Now, a podcast from the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance! In this episode Dan Klein, Director of Digital Platforms, talked to Jennifer Flinn from TS Canada ST, Eva Schoeters from Be-TSC in Belgium, and Rahul Vipparthi from the TS Alliance of India about the challenges they face in their countries, TSC Global Awareness Day and how they are spreading awareness of TSC. He also talked to Kari Luther Rosbeck, President and CEO of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and Chief Scientific Officer Steve Roberds, PhD, about the organization’s 45th anniversary and history, how Unlock the Cure changed the role of the TS Alliance in driving research and what the future holds for TSC research. Finally, Dan talked to Jill Woodworth, host of TSC Talks, about why she started a podcast, what her future plans are for TSC Talks and what she’s learned through the conversations she has had with her guests.

TS Canada ST: https://www.tscanada.ca/

Be-TSC: http://www.betsc.be/

TS Alliance of India: http://tsa-india.org/

To learn more about the Educational Meeting and International TSC Research Conference in Toronto visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/news/the-2019-international-tsc-research-conference-is-june-20-22-in-toronto/

To read about the TANDem Project visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/international-tand-research-project-awarded-funding/

To read the Executive Summary of the Research Business Plan visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/about-us/

To listen to TSC Talks visit: https://www.spreaker.com/show/jill-mccutchan-woodworths-tracks

Send your questions for the Question and Answer episode to tscnow@tsalliance.org.