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Research at Mass General
Recent news about scientific and medical research from the Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute.
New research from Mass General has found that practicing the Chinese martial art tai chi significantly reduced symptoms of mild to moderate depression in Chinese Americans.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study has found that deficits in the sense of smell are important contributors to the frequently observed lack of appetite in patients with serious kidney disease. A proof-of-concept trial of a potential treatment for these olfactory deficits had promising results.
Novel molecular tests as good in predicting response to treatment, risk of dying as old-fashioned drug-sensitivity tests.
A treatment program for adolescents with substance-use disorder that incorporates the practices and philosophy of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous produced even better results than the current state-of-the art treatment approach in a nine-month, randomized trial.
A Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team is one of seven nationwide receiving contracts under the DARPA Safe Genes program, which is designed to improve the safety of gene drives.
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the most common form of blood-vessel inflammation. Results of the trial are being published in the New England Journal of Medicine and were the basis for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of tocilizumab to treat giant cell arteritis in May.
An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory.
The use of functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography may be able to identify ICU patients with severe traumatic brain injuries who have a level of consciousness not revealed by the standard bedside neurological examination.
Several studies have reported associations between proton-pump inhibitor use and dementia. New research published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, puts these claims to rest.
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has developed an antibiotic-releasing polymer that may greatly simplify the treatment of prosthetic joint infection.
Women with breast cancer who undergo nipple-sparing mastectomy have a low rate of the cancer returning within the first five years, when most recurrences in the breast are diagnosed, findings of a single-center study show.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified a novel mechanism behind resistance to angiogenesis inhibitors – drugs that fight cancer by suppressing the formation of new blood vessels.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found that the traditional model for the spread of carcinoma, the deadliest form of cancer—from the primary tumor, to nearby lymph nodes, to other organs—may not apply in all cases.
A new study shows that so-called "liquid biopsies," blood tests that detect circulating tumor DNA, may not only sound an early alarm that a treatment's effect is diminishing, but may also help to explain why—sometimes offering clues about what to do next.
While mutations in protein-coding genes have held the limelight in cancer genomics, those in noncoding genome (home to the regulatory elements that control gene activity) may also have powerful roles in driving tumor growth. A new study reveals recurrent mutations in nine such noncoding elements in breast cancer.
A comprehensive program to reduce or prevent childhood obesity in low-income communities led to significant improvements in obesity-related measures among children cared for at a Massachusetts community health center.
An international research team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) – along with their facilitating partner the Tourette Association of America – has identified rare mutations in two genes that markedly increase the risk for Tourette syndrome (TS), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by chronic involuntary motor and vocal tics.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often find it difficult to look others in the eyes, as they find eye contact uncomfortable or stressful. Now investigators at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital shed light on the brain mechanisms involved in this behavior.
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have developed a way of increasing pigmentation in human skin without the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.
An analysis of survey data from participants in the Massachusetts General Hospital-based Disparities Leadership Program – a yearlong executive education initiative designed to help health care leaders address racial and ethnic disparities in health care services – has identified five important strategies that helped participants implement successful projects for their institutions.
An analysis of diagnostic test results from a trial comparing anatomic with functional testing as an initial diagnostic strategy for patients with chest pain found that CT angiography better predicted the risk for future cardiac events than did measures of exercise tolerance or restricted blood flow to the heart muscle.
New data from an FDA-approved clinical trial testing the generic BCG vaccine to reverse advanced type 1 diabetes demonstrate a potential new mechanism by which the vaccine may restore the proper immune response to the insulin-secreting islet cells of the pancreas.
Two interventions that link clinical care with community resources helped improve key health measures in children that were overweight or obese at the outset of the study.
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified a surprising new role for the immune cells called macrophages – improving the effectiveness of nanoparticle-delivered cancer therapies.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered how the bacteria Shigella survives its journey from the mouth to the colon, taking advantage of substances that would kill many less persistent organisms.
A phase 2 clinical trial in young adults with Down syndrome has demonstrated that the study participants were able to follow the study protocol and the drug was "safe and tolerable," according to the research team.
A 12-week program of instruction and practice of the Chinese martial art tai chi led to significantly reduced symptoms of depression in Chinese Americans not receiving any other treatments. The pilot study conducted by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry enrolled members of Boston’s Chinese community who had mild to moderate depression.
In the case of breast cancer driven by overexpression of the HER2 gene, up to 50 percent of patients treated with targeted therapies eventually develop brain metastases, which are inevitably fatal. Now a Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team has identified a novel mechanism behind the resistance to HER2- or PI3K-targeted therapies and a treatment strategy that may overcome this resistance.
A multi-institutional team based at Massachusetts General Hospital has discovered how a potential treatment strategy for Huntington disease (HD) produces its effects, verified its action in human cells and identified a previously unknown deficit in neural stem cells from patients with HD.
Long-term anabolic steroid use may reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood and relax between beats and cause coronary artery disease, according to new research. Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics. Since illicit use of these steroids became widespread in the American general population in the 1980s, adverse long-term effects are becoming evident.
A research team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator has found that use of the generic versions of directly-acting antiviral drugs that are available in India to treat hepatitis C virus infection is not only cost effective but actually saves lifetime treatment costs for patients in that country.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have found that analysis of a patient's gut microbiome—the microbial population of the gastrointestinal tract—may predict the likelihood of successful treatment for inflammatory bowel disease with biologic drugs that target immune system activity.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators found that 53 percent of individuals seeking pre-travel consultations at clinics across the country who were eligible to receive the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine were not vaccinated during the clinic visit.
Despite dreary weather, hundreds of Massachusetts General Hospital's research staff members enjoyed the annual Research Staff Appreciation Day lunch and ice cream celebration.
Like so many previous monumental moments in her life, Ellen Czahar, assistant and surgical coordinator in the MGH Orthopædics Department, wanted to document it with a snapshot. The empty pack of cigarettes marked the last pack she would smoke as she embarked on a happier, healthier way of life.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a surprising mechanism for resistance to immune checkpoint blockade, finding in mouse models of cancer that an antibody-based drug designed to block the immunosuppressive molecule PD-1 is removed from its target T cells by macrophages within minutes of administration.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators suggests that following a diet known to reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease may also reduce the risk of gout.
The next stage of a Massachusetts General Hospital team's investigation into the therapeutic potential of the hypoxia response—the body's reaction to reduced levels of oxygen in the blood—to treat mitochondrial disease has produced findings that are promising but also reveal some limitations.
A study led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that dietary gluten is not associated with heart disease risk in people without celiac disease.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified silent, seizure-like activity in the hippocampus—a brain structure significantly affected in Alzheimer's disease—in two patients with Alzheimer's disease and no known history of seizures.
Researchers at Partners HealthCare published a study showing that Partners Pioneer ACO not only reduces spending growth, but does this by reducing avoidable hospitalizations for patients with elevated but modifiable risks.
A noninvasive PET imaging method that measures granzyme B, a protein released by immune cells to kill cancer cells, was able to distinguish mouse and human tumors that responded to immune checkpoint inhibitors from those that did not respond early in the course of treatment.
"Science is the scaffolding, the power, the engine that drives society forward. It represents progress and knowledge and answers," said Peter L. Slavin, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital president, at an April 22 rally.
The 2017 Warren Triennial Prize—the most prestigious research prize awarded by Massachusetts General Hospital—was presented on April 5 to James P. Allison, PhD, professor and chairman of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
A team of investigators based at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital has devised a means of tracking nanodiamonds noninvasively with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), opening up a host of new applications.
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators report that an intestinal enzyme previously shown to keep bacterial toxins from passing from the gastrointestinal system into the bloodstream may be able to reduce or prevent the liver damage caused by excess alcohol consumption.
A collaborative study between researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine has found evidence implying that alcoholism may have different effects on the reward system in the brains of women than it does in men.
A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator finds that pretreatment viral levels and immune activation appear to determine the extent of HIV persistence and inflammation during antiretroviral treatment.
A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has discovered that the immune cells called macrophages are also essential to the healthy functioning of the heart, helping conduct the electric signals that coordinate the heartbeat.
With the help of genetically engineered mice, scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital are moving closer to establishing the role that increased intestinal permeability, sometimes called a "leaky gut," plays in chronic inflammatory conditions.
In a new study, a team led by researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke adds RNA sequencing to the diagnostic toolkit to identify disease-causing mutations buried inside the genome.
People who suffer heart attacks or cardiac arrests in the vicinity of an ongoing major marathon are more likely to die within a month due to delays in transportation to nearby hospitals, according to newly published research from Harvard Medical School.
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators raises the possibility of identifying children with Down syndrome who may also have obstructive sleep apnea without the need for expensive and inconvenient sleep studies.
A PET imaging probe developed by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators appears able to diagnose and stage pulmonary fibrosis—an often life-shortening lung disease—as well as monitor the response to treatment.
Long-term, regular aspirin use was associated with reduced risk of death from several different kinds of cancers, according to data presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2017.
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