Research on the genetics of bicuspid aortic valves (BAVs) is underway at the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Led by Dr. Siddharth Prakash, the research team aims to determine the mechanisms and cardiac complications of BAV disease.
If you have questions or are interested in participating, more information is available here or by contacting the Study Coordinator, Josephine Turner (Josephine.A.Turner@uth.tmc.edu). Patients can refer themselves for the study; it is not necessary to be referred by a physician.
Jonathan Kern, M.D., will be one of 15 individuals running to raise money and increase awarenesss of thoracic aortic disease for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (JRF) at the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2012. Funds from the NYC Marathon raised for the JRF will go to the John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases (JRRP) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to support research to identify genetic risks for aortic dissections.
Meet Dr. Kern:
As with many people born with a bicuspid aortic valve, radiologist Jonathan Kern, M.D., 49, did not know he was at increased risk for an aortic dissection. Instead of the three leaflets of a normal aortic valve, his had only two, allowing blood to backwash into the heart with every beat. While he was being treated for severe high blood pressure and palpitations in 2009, he had a renal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Because he was a radiologist, he carefully reviewed the MRI and barely saw the aneurysm that could have proved deadly if left undetected. He immediately underwent surgery to replace the valve and repair the large aortic aneurysm above his heart. “The surgery truly, profoundly changed my life. I no longer have the palpitations and anxiety that plagued me for at least 10 years,” said the Austin, Texas resident. “And now I have quality time with my kids for years to come.”
Text RITTERJK to 41444 to donate $10 (or specify a different amount in the text message) to JRF to support Dr. Kern’s run. Or donate online: http://www.crowdrise.com/jonathankern2012.
Read the full press release here.Deborah Mann Lake, UTHealth Media Relations Media Hotline: 713-500-3030 http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/ http://www.nyrr.org/