Research Press Releases

MARCH 2019

Brain scans help unravel the neurobiology of functional neurological (conversion) disorder

An investigation led by a team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital departments of Neurology, Psychiatry and Radiology has found altered connectivity among brain regions that handle sensorimotor, emotional and cognitive signaling in patients with functional neurological disorder, a common condition involving neurologic symptoms that have no readily apparent physical cause.


Study finds that parents often permit e-cigarette use in homes and cars with children

A study led by MassGeneral Hospital for Children researchers finds that parents who use e-cigarettes were more likely than those who smoke only traditional cigarettes to permit e-cigarette use inside both homes and cars.


Largest-ever study identifies gene regions associated with sleep duration

A study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Exeter Medical School has identified 76 new gene regions associated with sleep duration.


Mass General-led study provides new insights into the role of aging in heart failure

A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has found that activity of an important signaling pathway increases with aging and with heart failure and that inhibiting that pathway can improve cardiac function in mouse models.


Major genetic study confirms that many genes contribute to risk for Tourette's syndrome

A meta-analysis of multiple studies into the genetic background of Tourette’s syndrome – a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by chronic involuntary motor and vocal tics – finds that variants in hundreds of genes, working in combination, contribute to the development of the syndrome and suggests that Tourette’s is part of a continuous spectrum of tic disorders.


FEBRUARY 2019

Atlas of acute myeloid leukemia cell types may lead to improved targeted therapies

A research team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has assembled a detailed atlas of bone marrow cells from patients with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer that usually leads to death within five years of diagnosis.


Insomnia-associated gene regions suggest underlying mechanisms, potential treatment targets

An international research team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Exeter Medical School has identified 57 gene regions associated with symptoms of insomnia.


Novel antibody-drug conjugate shows promise against metastatic triple-negative breast cancer

In a clinical trial led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators, treatment with the experimental drug sacituzumab govitecan produced a significant treatment response in patients with difficult-to-treat metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.


International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs

A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the U.S. care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.


Study finds how getting enough sleep reduces cardiovascular disease risk

Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have discovered one way that sleep protects against cardiovascular disease by preventing the buildup of arterial plaques called atherosclerosis.


Drinking and drug-use dreams in recovery tied to more severe addiction history

Vivid dreams involving drinking and drug use are common among individuals in recovery. A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute finds these relapse dreams are more common in those with more severe clinical histories of alcohol and other drug problems.


Mass General study identifies brain cells that modulate behavioral response to threats

A team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine has identified a population of brain cells that appears to play a role in calibrating behavioral responses to potentially threatening situations.


Interaction between immune factors trigger cancer-promoting chronic inflammation

A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified interaction between two elements of the immune system as critical for the transformation of a protective immune response into chronic, cancer-promoting inflammation.


HPV infection may be behind rise in vocal-cord cancers among young non-smokers

A Massachusetts General Hospital research team finds that the remarkable recent increase in vocal-cord cancer in young adults appears to be the result of infection with strains of human papilloma virus that also cause cervical cancer and other malignancies.


Marijuana smoking linked to higher sperm concentrations

Men who have smoked marijuana at some point in their life had significantly higher concentrations of sperm when compared with men who have never smoked marijuana, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and conducted in the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Clinic.


Excess immune cell pruning of synapses seen in neural cells derived from patients with schizophrenia

A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators finds evidence that the process of synaptic pruning, a normal part of brain development during adolescence, is excessive in individuals with schizophrenia. The study is the first to directly observe excessive synaptic pruning in cells from patients with schizophrenia.


Study predicts worsening of opioid overdose crisis, limits of focusing on prescription opioids

A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths.


JANUARY 2019

Study supports physical activity as a preventive strategy against depression

A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has used a novel research method to strongly support physical activity as a preventive measure for depression.


More People in Recovery from Substance Use Problems are Quitting Smoking than Ever Before

A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute finds that people who entered recovery from drug or alcohol use problems in the past 10 years have quit smoking in greater numbers than their cohorts in the 1980s and 90s.


Urine testing of people with HIV for tuberculosis can save lives and be cost-effective

Screening all hospitalized patients with HIV for tuberculosis using urine tests would improve life expectancy and be cost-effective in Malawi and South Africa, according to an international study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators.


Researchers Use Deep Learning to Improve Access to Sleep Diagnostics

A new deep learning approach can automatically analyze and score sleep tests as effectively as sleep technologists, according to researchers from Georgia Tech’s School of Computational Science and Engineering and the Neurology Department of Massachusetts General Hospital.


"Happiness" Exercises Can Boost Mood in those Recovering from Substance Use Disorder

Brief, text-based, self-administered exercises can significantly increase in-the-moment happiness for adults recovering from substance use disorders, report researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute.


Antihypertension Drug Losartan May Improve Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

A new study from a Massachusetts General Hospital research team has found that the hypertension drug losartan, which targets the angiotensin signaling pathway, may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents used to treat ovarian cancer.


JAMA Report Outlines Recommendations for Evaluation and Management of Penicillin Allergy

A review article by a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital physicians recommends best practices for evaluation of reported penicillin allergies and provides clinicians with guidance and tools to help determine appropriate procedures based on the severity of previously reported reactions.


MGHfC study details development of functional skills in persons with Down syndrome

A new study from investigators at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and colleagues in the Netherlands provides important answers for expectant parents who learn their child will be born with Down syndrome.


Study details poverty, lack of health insurance among female health care workers

A study carried out by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania finds that low wages and poor benefits leave many female health care workers living below the poverty line.



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