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UTMC dysautonomia expert wins patient choice award

The University of Toledo and Dr. Blair Grubb have been recognized by the Dysautonomia Support Network for innovative research into a group of conditions that affect the body’s autonomic nervous system.

The accolades are part of the nonprofit patient support and advocacy group’s first Patient’s Choice awards and will be presented Thursday, June 6.

Grubb

Grubb, a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, and director of electrophysiology services at The University of Toledo Medical Center, is one of the world’s foremost experts in syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system, including postural tachycardia syndrome, or POTS.

“As a leader in the field for over a decade, Dr. Grubb continues impacting standards of practice and expanding treatment options for various forms of dysautonomia,” said Amanda Aikulola, president and executive director of Dysautonomia Support Network. “Over and over again, patients return to him because of his passion and desire not only to practice medicine, but also to leave a lasting impression on those he has cared for.”

Grubb will receive the Revolutionary Research Award. UToledo will receive the Powerhouse Research Award. Nominations and voting were done by patients.

The autonomic nervous system controls our most basic life functions, regulating our breathing, heart rate and blood pressure without us ever thinking about it.

When the system malfunctions, the body can no longer control those functions. Symptoms can include rapid heart rate or slow heart rate, excessive fatigue, thirstiness, shortness of breath, blood pressure fluctuations and bladder problems.

“People with these conditions can be really devastated. They’re frequently wheelchair-bound or bedridden. We often see some of the worst cases, but we have a good track record of making people better,” Grubb said.

Grubb pioneered many of the diagnostic and treatment modalities that now are commonly used for these disorders, and UTMC was the first center to describe that POTS could occur in children.

“We are one of the world’s leading centers for research on this and in finding new and innovative therapies looking for new ways to treat people,” Grubb said. “I think this recognition is an acknowledgement of that.”

Grubb previously has been named Physician of the Year by Dysautonomia International and received the Medical Professional of the Decade Award from the British Heart Rhythm Society and Arrhythmia Alliance.