Spring Brings New Life

 
It always amazes me how much energy I have in the spring!  As we cross from spring into summer soon, I think about the new life we are experiencing in our practice and in the lipids world as a whole.  This spring, we have moved into our newly renovated office in Neenah, updated our website with a fresh new look, and started an exciting new partnership with a local company to help employees get healthier.  Every time we consider the 'new life' of a project, we think of our patients.  Will this change help us care for you better?  I believe this this spring has brought wonderful changes and I hope you will see our expanding services as an improvement on our promise to help you and your family find better health.  
 
I am perhaps most excited about an invitation I received in early January to teach aspiring lipids specialists at the "Lipid Academy" for the National Lipid Association.  This course is offered nationally three times a year.  I'll admit, even though I have been a lipidologist for 10+ years, I was intimidated to take the stage alongside some of the most talented and brilliant physicians and educators in my specialty.  It has pushed me to study harder and stay even more up-to-date in the field of heart disease and diabetes prevention.  As I attend these sessions, it is so exciting to see how research on the genetics of heart disease and diabetes is bringing a massive change in the way we approach your care.  This opportunity helps us bring world class care home to you in NorthEast and SouthEast Wisconsin.  The age of personalized medicine - finding the right diagnosis and the right treatment for the individual and their family - is coming and coming fast.
 
One of the first examples of personalized medicine for cholesterol is the discovery of the PCSK9 protein.  This protein was found through genetic studies with individuals with inherited very high and very low levels of LDL-cholesterol.  That finding led to the development of a new class of "biologics" that some of our patients have started in the past 10 months.  We are finding a significant level of improvement in LDL-cholesterol with very low levels of side effects.  This treatment never would have been found without the ability to now study genetics and get to the root cause of certain diseases.  After participating in the national discussions, I can now say that there are at least 3 other new treatments coming soon for specific cholesterol disorders, including one for certain types of very high triglycerides.  With new treatments always comes the concern of the unknown, as well as disappointingly high price tags...so I am eager to discuss the pros and cons with each patient as an important part of your customized treatment plan.  I believe in a healthy balance of caution and optimism!  Together we can find the best plan for you.  Whether new approaches to nutrition, exercise, or medications, this world is full of overwhelming amounts of information.  We are always here to help you and your family navigate this changing world of prevention, so don't be afraid to ask!