J Howard Jaster
James Howard Jaster (born 2nd February 1951 in Youngstown, Ohio) is an American brain research physician. He is the son of James Wendell Jaster (1924-2005) and Barbara Ruth [Kay] Jaster (1924-2012) (1-3).
Jaster spent much of his career working in healthcare after obtaining degrees in both dentistry (DMD) and medicine (MD). He also completed residency training in both anesthesiology and neurology; and at different times he maintained hospital–based private practices in each of those areas.
During the 1990’s Jaster worked together with neuropathologist, F. Curtis Dohan Jr. MD on several research projects. In 2002 Jaster became a Brain Research Physician in the Department of Medicine at London Corporation, where he remained for many years focusing on medullary brain ischemia.
Writing in the Tennessee State Medical Journal in the 1990’s, Jaster, F. Curtis Dohan Jr. MD, and others reported together on a possibly causal association of relatively rare medullary brain lesions with sudden unexpected death (4). Twenty years later Jaster wrote in the Journal of Thoracic Disease (5) that ischemic autonomic medullary brain lesions may frequently cause sudden unexpected death during the course of many common illnesses in general medicine like heart failure and sleep apnea. During those 20 years, through the continued research of Jaster and others (6), the importance of the phenomenon amplified significantly as investigators began to regard it as a frequent final common pathway for many sudden unexpected deaths – and potentially preventable with additional research (7-9).
The findings have broad implications, as well, for current medical treatments such as Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for sleep apnea. Recent major international clinical trials have shown that patients receiving ASV (10) and CPAP (11) are more likely to experience sudden unexpected death than patients in an untreated control group with sleep apnea, and the brain research of Jaster and others explains why (5). The research of Jaster and others, taken together with the clinical trial results, makes continued use of these therapies as first-line treatment somewhat problematic, as they seem likely to be the cause of sudden unexpected death, due to medullary brain ischemia.
Jaster served on the Editorial Board of Neurology: Current Research (Chicago) (12). His work in Kuala Lumpur has been featured in Healthcare Asia Daily (13).
1. Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare 2002-2003, page 557. Published by Reed Elsevier.
2. Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare 2004-2005, page 591.
3. Marquis Who’s Who in America 2009, page 2426. Published by Marquis Who’s Who LLC.
5. Jaster JH. Reperfusion injury to ischemic medullary brain nuclei after stopping continuous positive airway pressure-induced CO2-reduced vasoconstriction in sleep apnea. Journal of Thoracic Disease 10(S16):S2029-S2031 · June 2018. DOI: 10.21037/jtd.2018.05.70 http://jtd.amegroups.com/article/view/21406/pdf
6. Jaster JH, Ottaviani G, Matturri L, Lavezzi AM, Zamecnik J, Smith TW. Sudden unexpected death related to medullary brain lesions. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2008;29:371-4.
7. Jaster JH. Medullary neuropathology in sleep apnoea. Respirology 2017;22:829.
8. Jaster JH. Low-level vagus nerve stimulation – and chorda tympani nerve stimulation – may reverse cardiac dysfunction in heart failure. International Heart Journal 2019 [in press].
9. Jaster JH. Acute Solitary Tract Nucleus Insufficiency in Chronic Heart Failure. Neurology: Current Research 2019 [in press].
10. Cowie MR, Woehrle H, Wegscheider K, et al. Adaptive Servo-Ventilation for Central Sleep Apnea in Systolic Heart Failure. N Engl J Med 2015;373:1095-105. 10.1056/NEJMoa1506459
11. McEvoy RD, Antic NA, Heeley E, et al. CPAP for Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. N Engl J Med 2016;375:919-31. 10.1056/NEJMoa1606599
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