|Marvin S. Medow, Ph.D.|
After studying patients suffering from a history of fainting and similar symptoms related to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)—a circulation disorder characterized by insufficient flow of blood to the heart when moving from a lying down to standing position—investigators from New York Medical College (NYMC) saw their efforts published in The Journal for Pediatrics. Under the leadership of lead author, Marvin S. Medow, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and physiology and associate director of the Center for Hypotension, members of the School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2020 Kenneth Guber and Shilpan Chokshi, sought to discover if oral rehydrating solution (ORS) was as effective as intravenous saline when used to treat patients prone to fainting. “This study is important in that it is a major proof of concept for a simple, cheap and straightforward solution to a problem that is extremely debilitating,” Mr. Guber said.
Published in July 2019, “The Benefits of Oral Rehydration on Orthostatic Intolerance in Children with POTS,” indicates that ORS was just as effective in patients with a history of fainting. According to Dr. Medow, ORS enhances the absorption of water by “energizing” intestinal transport mechanisms by its mix of glucose and sodium. “Our work shows that by using a bit of biochemical "trickery" through the rehydration solution, we can effectively increase subjects' circulating volume enough to make a clinically relevant difference,” Mr. Guber said.
Mr. Chokshi was seeking opportunities to conduct clinical research in the pediatric population when he learned about Dr. Medow’s ORS study. “This experience gave me the opportunity deeply explore physiologic concepts and has greatly enriched my medical education experience,” Mr. Chokshi explained. “I continue to find physiology and the modifications that can be made with pharmacologics extremely interesting and hope to continue to explore this area of research as I advance in my career as a physician.”
Similarly, Mr. Guber was originally interested in researching the physiology of blood pressure control loops when he met Dr. Medow. “I heard Dr. Medow's booming voice from across the hall. He asked me if I was interested in working on a novel new therapeutic "solution," pun intended, for orthostatic hypotension—I was hooked.”