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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

 Online food market OurHarvest has recently joined forces with Mineola-based Island Harvest Food Bank, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, to help feed hungry Long Islanders over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.

In the year it’s been open, the Space at Westbury has been host to musicians, comedians, dancers and last week, the venue opend its doors for world class boxers and their loyal fans. One of the headliners was Richie “Brazil” Neves, from New Hyde Park.

 

Winner Takes All Productions and Greg Cohen Promotions brought a night of boxing to the Space on Thursday, Nov. 13. While boxing events have come to Long Island before, this was the first of its kind to come to The Space. 


Sports

Despite a disappointing playoff loss against the Wantagh Warriors, Sewanhaka Indians Head Coach George Kasimatis, is pleased with his football team’s season. 

“I’m proud of my team,” he said. “But you are never satisfied unless you win the whole thing.”

 

The Indians faced a big challenge this year, moving up into Conference II left them as the new kids on the block, unfamiliar with the teams they would be going against. 

Kasimatis will have a tall task next year replacing graduating seniors, which made up most of his starting lineup. Kasimatis said most of the offensive line, such as Danny Gianotti, Adrian Gonzalez and Louis Segarra III, and the defensive line, such as Justin Alexandre, Peter LaTorre and Peter Militano are seniors, many of which have started multiple years for him. 

The fifth seeded Sewanhaka Indians traveled to Wantagh to take on the fourth seeded Wantagh Warriors on Friday, Nov. 7 for its opening playoff game. 

 

The Indians opened the game sluggish on offense, and were held in check throughout the first quarter. The Indians defense did its best to keep the team within striking distance, but field position form shaky special teams play, put them in a difficult position. 

 

Warriors running back Dylan Beckwith, was able to punch in a 15-yard touchdown run, to give the Warriors a one score lead after the first quarter. 


Calendar

Songfest Tickets - November 19

PTA Meeting - November 19

Herricks School Board Meeting - November 20


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