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NHP Doc Tackles Bad Cholesterol

High cholesterol is bad. Elevated bad cholesterol (LDL) is even worse, and one New Hyde Park doctor is working on a study to change that.

 

Dr. Kenneth Hershon, an endocrinologist at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park, along with a team of doctors across the world, is working on medication that blocks a protein that reduces the liver’s ability to remove LDL. The medication, called a PCSK9 inhibitor, allows liver cells to take more LDL from blood because it blocks the PCSK9 protein. Hershon feels this could “change the game.”

 

The average LDL cholesterol should be about 70 for people at risk for heart disease. A healthy person’s LDL level is near 100.

 

The interest in creating better LDL medication started after a 32-year-old, Dallas, TX female aerobics instructor was found to have an LDL level of 14. This occurred because of a gene mutation that was passed down to her from her father.

 

According to Hershon, this sparked pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Sanofi and Amgen (the company that’s funding the study Hershon is working on) to fast track medication research to treat high levels of LDL. Scientists are hoping that the Texas woman's genetic makeup can help them foster a remedy.

 

“What they found [with the woman] was that this person was homozygous, which uprated the LDL receptors in the liver, which lets her break down the cholesterol,” he said.

 

Amgen is conducting The Fourier Study, which is working find a different approach to reducing LDL cholesterol. The study examines people between 40 and 85 years of age who have a history of heart attack, stroke or peripheral arterial disease.

 

The test will analyze 22,500 people across the globe who are considered high-risk patients. The study will chronicle patients that are on a cholesterol inhibitor. If their LDL levels are above 70, they’d be put into a Fourier trial.

 

“We want to know if lowering LDL with this medication will have an effect on longterm outcomes,” said Hershon. “If it does, then it’s worthwhile. If it doesn’t, then it’s cosmetic. It’s ethical because...if you’re not at goal, [in this trial] you’ll potentially stay where you are right now or lower your levels and benefit you," he said.

 

The study is in phase three, which is the final study phase before a company seeks approval to market a drug from the FDA.  The PCSK9 being studied is called evolocumab, a monoclonal antibody developed by Amgen.

 

“We’ll study patients who either had a heart attack, stroke or vascular surgery,” said Hershon. “They are at the highest risk to have another event.”

 

High cholesterol levels are considered a risk factor of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, Hershon said. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 71 million American adults have elevated LDL levels and only one-third of them have the condition under control.


News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education covered a range of issues, from the district’s overall performance to the sudden death of a student to fiscal and personnel issues—even to the loss of maple trees. 

 

National Ranking 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth announced that the district’s high school had achieved an impressive level of distinction in a recent national survey that measured scholastic achievement; in fact, a great deal of Long Island made the cut, he said.


Sports

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”

The Sewanhaka Indians continue to let their presence be felt in Nassau Conference II. 

 

The Indians played their second game as members of the conference on Saturday, Sept. 21, against the Long Beach Marines, topping the south shore squad 51-30. 

 

On the opening drive, the Indians relied on running back Brenton Mighty’s legs to get them into the red zone. On first and goal from the 15-yard line, quarterback Elijah Tracey hit

Michael Parasconda on a screen pass for the first score. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

Live Music - September 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com