Cushing’s Awareness Day

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This past weekend The Pituitary Academy brought together clinicians, researchers, nurses, patients, families and carers for a patient engagement morning focused on different aspects of Cushing’s disease. It was held on Cushing’s Awareness Day (8th April) which marks the birthday of the pioneering neurosurgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing afrter whom the condition was named.

Birmingham Pituitary Academy logo shows a shield with a pituitary gland on it

The Pituitary Academy includes members ofthe Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR), the Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (CEDAM) and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. The event also received valuable support from The Pituitary Foundation – a UK patient support organisation offering expert medical support and information on a range of diseases linked to the pituitary.

The pituitary is a small but very important gland attached to the base of your brain by a thin stalk. It is often called the ‘master gland’ because it controls several other hormone glands in your body, including the thyroid and adrenals, the ovaries and testicles. It plays a key role in Cushing’s Disease.

The programme included talks from:

  • IMSR researcher and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham), Dr Niki Karavitaki – who gave an overview of the Cushing’s Journey: from presentation to treatment
  • Mr. Sherwin Criseno, Consultant Nurse, Lead Nurse in Endocrinology – who spoke about the role nurses play in supporting patients
  • Mr. Shahz Ahmed, ENT and Skull Base Surgeon – who spoke about how surgery can help
  • Dr. John Ayuk, Consultant Endocrinologist – who discussed the impacts on bones, muscles, heart and blood vessels
  • Dr. Helena Gleeson, Consultant Endocrinologist – who provided details of how Cushing’s could impact on quality of life including a discussion of mental health

After these short presentations, there was also a dedicated patient discussion session which invited reflections and suggestions from attendees, as well as providing an opportunity to follow up with any questions they might still have following the talks.

Great session this morning really kind of all the experts sharing their expertise and answering questions. Looking forward to future sessions so much to learn thank you @Karavitaki_Niki.”

Credit: Harvey Williams Cushing and Sir Charles Scott Sherrington. Photograph, 1938. Wellcome CollectionPublic Domain Mark

The pituitary team will continue with further public engagement and patient education events in the future and if you are interested in attending a future event contact the or contact Niki.