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February 28, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 I Eric Koch/Anefo via Wikimedia Commons Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, receives the Edison Award for the Beatles at the Grand Gala du Disque in 1965. By Robert Gluck Amid the celebrations and hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' ar- rival in America and their ap- pearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," the man Paul McCart- ney called "the fifth Beatle" is not often mentioned. But experts say that without him, Beatles' Jewish manager remembered 50 years after band's American debut the Beatles as we know them would not have existed. That man is Brian Epstein, the band's Jewish manager, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 1967. Epstein's grandfather, Isaac Epstein, was from Lithuania and arrived in England in the 1890s at the age of 18. His grandmother, Dinah, was the daughter of Joseph and Esther Hyman, who had emigrated from Russia to England. Asked to write an intro- duction to Epstein's auto- biography, "A Cellarful of Noise," Beatles scholar Martin Lewis--who emceed the Fest for Beatles Fans in New York City this month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's U.S. arrival on Feb. 7, 1964--said Epstein's death "was a major contributing factor to the breakup of the Beatles." John Lennon him- self said when the manager died, "I knew that we were in trouble then." Lewis's association with the Beatles dates back to 1967, when as a teenage fan he was engaged to compile the discography for Hunter Davies's official biography of the group. Years later, he wrote, hosted, and produced the TVdocumentary"Re-Meet The Beatles!" "Epstein discovered the Beatles and guided them to mega-stardom, making them the most successful musical artists of all time," Lewis told "But, regrettably, the man who did so much for the Beatles, and who died tragically in 1967, has become a comparatively forgotten man since his death. Almost a 'nowhere man.'" Lewis in June 1998 helped launch a website that be- came the command center for a campaign to have Ep- stein inducted into the non- performers' section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With combined online and hardcopy petitions, the site gathered more than 50,000 signatures, and in December 2013--15 years after the petition was started--it was announced that Epstein would receive the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement (formerly the non-performer award). Born in 1934 in Liverpool, England, Epstein first got involved in the music business when he took over the record department of his family's music store, NEMS. "His devotion to making the store a success trans- formed it into an essential gathering place for the young people of northern England who sought to stay current with pop music. It was at NEMS that Epstein first be- came aware of the Beatles," Margaret Thresher, director of communications at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told Thresher said Epstein im- mediately recognized the Beatles' potential as perform- ers and recording artists. He signed them to a management contract in early 1962 and was the driving force behind getting the band a recording contract with Parhone later that year. "Brian's keen eye for style and fashion helped shape a unique, charismatic identity for the band," Thresher said. "His management style forged success for the Beatles, and he was completely dedicated to the band. Paul McCartney said, 'If anyone was the fifth Beatle it was Brian.' People talked about George Martin as being the fifth Beatle because of his musical involvement, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 7,1964, marking their first appearance in the U.S. but, particularly in the early days, Brian was very much part of the group." Yet Epstein's relationship with the Beatles was not all rosy. When the band members first told their families that Epstein would be their man- ager, the response to the news was mixed, according to Philip Norman's book "Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation." "Olive Johnson, the Mc- Cartney family's close friend, received a call from Paul's father (Jim) in a state of some anxiety over his son's proposed association with a 'Jewboy,'" Norman wrote. "Since Olive knew the world so well, Jim asked her to be at Forthlin Road on the evening that Brian called to outline his intentions for Paul. 'He turned out to be absolutely charm- ing,' Olive says. 'Beautifully mannered but completely natural. He and Jim got on well at once.'" Epstein grew up in a post- war British society in which many people overtly and Epstein on page 15A Ben-Gurion researcher may have a cure for Type 1 diabetes By Maayan Jaffe While methods of insulin administration have improved and modes of measuring how much insulin to give are far superior than they were in the 1920s, when insulin was discovered, there have been no major advancements toward a cure for Type I diabetes for almost a century. Until now, Dr. Eli Lewis believes. "Tissue damage actually plays a role in Type 1 dia- betes.., but it is often over- looked and under-studied," Lewis--a world-renowned expert on autoimmune dis- ease and the director of the Clinical Islet Laboratory of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry & Pharmacol- ogy at Ben- Gurion University (BGU)--told "There was at least one stone that was left unturned." In 2003, Lewis began his re- search into the role of inflam- mation in injured islets, tiny clusters of insulin-producing cells scattered throughout the pancreas. And during that time he discovered that Alpha 1 Antitrypsin (AAT), an anti-inflammatory drug based on a natural protein our bodies produce each day and generally used to treat emphysema, not only shows promise for reducing insulin dependence, but in some cases can actually cure a person of Type i diabetes. Type 1 diabetes plagues 25.8 million Americans of all ages, about 8.3 percent of the U.S. population, accord- ing to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. A similar percentage of the Israeli population is affected, said Lewis, who added that on average 40 more Americans are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each day. All Type 1 diabetics require insulin treatment. The hormone insulin, pro- duced by clusters of ceils found on islets that reside in the pancreas, enables the body to remove glucose (sugar) from the blood into storage loca- tions such as liver and muscle. These cells are the targets of an autoimmune response in Type 1 diabetes. When the ceils become inflamed and ultimately malfunction, insulin can no longer be pro- duced. In a healthy individual, the body naturally produces systemic AAT in the liver that helps repair tissue and reduces inflammation. It was recently established thatAAT, although present in patients with Type I diabetes, does not function in its glycated form. In three recent clinical trials that took place at BGU, the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Joslin Diabetes Center (af- filiated with Harvard Medical School), recently diagnosed patients received injections of functioning AAT in the form of a liquid slow-drip infusion. They basically regained the ability to fight inflamma- tion and protect damaged cells from aberrant immune responses. Within eight to 12 weeks AAT therapy was with- drawn, and in several patients allowed proper glucose levels to be controlled without the need for insulin injections for more than two years. Since AAT was already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it received fast-track approval into human clinical trials in the U.S., Lewis said, not- ing it still will take at least Last chance to hear Anne Frank's sister speak in Florida Anne Frank's stepsister, Eva Schloss, is a Holocaust survivor bringing her mes- sage of peace to Orlando. This will be her final appearance in Florida and it will be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Drive in Or- lando, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10. A question-and- answer session follows her one-hour talk. Schloss plans to share her story about her relationship with Anne Frank, the loss of her father and brother in Auschwitz, and the struggle to make a new life after the war. This message is meant for everyone, not just those of the Jewish faith. However, her message is mainly focused on youth to end prejudicial killing. "I feel it is a mission now," Schloss said. "People are really interested. There are a lot of things young people can relate to," Schloss said. Tickets are $20 before March 1, and $28 after March 1, for general admission, and can be purchased at http:// HistoricEvening. Sponsors are $360 and include two VIP tickets, a prior private cocktail reception with Mrs. Schloss, and a signed copy of her book, "Eva's Story." another two years for AAT to receive FDA approval as an on-label treatment for Type 1 diabetes. But some physicians have been prescribing it in the meantime as an off-label treatment. Dana Heffernan's son Zach, 11, received AAT treatment from his doctor in San Anto- nio, Texas. Heffernan said her son was diagnosed on Nov. 12, 2013, and received his first treatment in mid-December. "He went from approxi- mately 10 units of insulin per day [70 units per week] down to two units per week. So that is pretty significant. Will he ever be off insulin completely? That is my hope, but we will have to see," Heffernan said. In another public case, which Lewis discussed, the Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest, Andy David, accessed AAT for use in treating his 9-year-old daughter. She underwent once-a-week slow-drip infu- sions of AAT for 8 weeks. That was close to three years ago, and she has not had to have insulin since. The treatment, however, may not be effective for all patients. Dr. Peter A. Gottlieb, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Davis Center, led the Colorado clinical trial. He said the treatment was promising for about one-third of those who receivedAAT, but was less or even ineffective in others. He attributes this to multiple factors, including how long the person has had the disease and how much of the AAT was administered. He said another set of clinical trials is underway using larger doses. Lewis said in all trials, if one has been diagnosed with Type 1 for more than six months "the benefits are minimal." Gottlieb also noted that AAT is a "pretty expensive" Mr Hyde via Wikimedia Commons Insulin vials. While methods of insulin administration have improved and modes of measuring how much insulin to give are far superior than they were in the 1920s, when insulin was discovered, there have been no major advancements toward a cure for Type I diabetes for almost a century. But Dr. Eli Lewis of Ben-Gurion University may change that. drug, since it is extracted from human plasma. This could prove a barrier. Omni Phar- maceuticals is working on a second-generation drug, Got- tlieb said, which could prove as effective and also reduce the price tag for treatment. Lewis said large-scale production of AAT would also allow for researchers to improve the drug's functionality. The results of the most recent clinical trials will be published in one month in The Journal of Clinical En- docrinology and Metabolism. Lewis noted that research- ers are still unclear as to why one gets Type 1 diabetes. While genetic factors cer- tainly play a role, more recent studies have indicated that the disease could also be linked to stress/trauma (even psycho- logical trauma), or could be viral. His lab has also found a way to use AAT to aid in islet transplant survival and is working on how the drug might prove useful for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, commonly associated with diet and lifestyle factors. He cited a Swedish study that found half of patients with Type 2 diabetes to have de- creased levels of circulating AAT. Lewis will be in the U.S. in late March and early April to talk about his findings and look for additional medical research partners in the U.S. His visits will include major cities, such as San Antonio, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. For more in- formation about these visits, contact your local chapter of American Associates of Ben- Gurion University of the Ne- gev ( If one is interested in be- ing a part of a clinical trial, ongoing studies can be found at Type "diabetes" and "Antitrypsin" into the search bar. "We're not out of the woods," said Lewis. "More than ever, there is promise .... Our team at BGU is working on this relentlessly, and hope the upcoming visit to the US will represent a shift-in-gear to a more rapid advance". Maayan Jaffe is a freelance writer in Overland Park, Kan. To reach Maayan email maa!t-