REQUEST A CONSULTATION

Ready to contact us for a consultation about your condition and our medical services? The staff of our Global Patient Services is ready to help. Please select the appropriate button to get started.
search-icon
News

New Sheba Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy Clinic Promises Improved Care

new OPMD clinic
In response to the growing needs of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) patients, Sheba has inaugurated a new dedicated clinic designed to provide OPMD patients with comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a rare genetic condition causing weakness in the muscles around the upper eyelids and throat.

While the mutated gene that causes OPMD is present at birth, symptoms usually appear between the ages of 40 and 50. The mutation causes the creation of abnormal proteins that clump inside muscle cells and hamper their function. Eventually, these clumps can not only damage, but even kill muscle cells. 

The most common OPMD symptoms are difficulty swallowing, droopy eyelids, and difficulty moving the eyes. Eventually, additional muscles, including those of the arms and upper legs, can become affected, which might cause mobility problems.

Notwithstanding, the rate of progression and specific symptoms associated with OPMD vary greatly from case to case, even among members of the same family. 

While The prevalence of OPMD in the general public is estimated to be 1 in 100,000, the condition is found to be much more common in the French-Canadian population of Quebec, where it is estimated to affect 1 in 1000 individuals, and in the Bukharan Jewish population of Israel, where it is found to affect 1 in 600 people.

Sheba’s New OPMD Clinic

Recognizing the growing need among OPMD patients, Sheba has recently opened a specialized clinic, headed by Dr. Amir Dori, who also heads Sheba’s EMG laboratory. Employing a multifaceted approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring, the OPMD Clinic team includes ENTs, neurologists, communication clinicians, oral and maxillofacial physicians, and ophthalmologists. 

Services offered at the new clinic include genetic testing to detect OPMD, which will allow the establishment of a national database that can be used to advance OPMD research.

“This type of clinic, with expertise in a range of subspecialties, gives OPMD patients comprehensive diagnostics and therapeutic solutions under the same roof,” says Dr. Shelly, a Senior physician in the newly opened clinic.  “The national database will allow faster advanced genetic testing, so we can both identify the disease earlier and predict its course. Building on these advances, we hope to be soon able to provide the first-ever FDA-approved treatment for OPMD patients.”

Related
virtual care
Nuvo Group and Sheba Develop AI-Powered Gestational Diabetes Management Platform
A groundbreaking gestational diabetes pilot was recently completed by the two organizations, deploying Nuvo's INVU platform at Sheba’s Beyond Virtual Hospital, simplifying care for pregnant…
Read More
pain treatment for pancreatic cancer
Breakthrough Study: Radiation Therapy Effective for Pain Management in Cancer Patients
Pancreatic cancer, the 12th most common cancer worldwide, is associated with pain in approximately 75% of patients at the time of diagnosis, and as much…
Read More
arc center
News Nov 30.
Real-Time Detection of Cancerous Biomarkers With Artificial Intelligence
Lung cancer is the most common cancer and accounts for 1.76 million deaths per year worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) comprises 85% of all…
Read More