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2005 News Releases

Asthma inhalers adopted more slowly for minority patients and children
December 23, 2005 — Inhaled steroid medications for asthma, which have greatly reduced the need for patients to be hospitalized, were significantly less likely to be prescribed for minority patients and children during the years soon after their introduction.

Tight Glucose Control Cuts Heart Disease by Half in Type 1 Diabetes
December 21, 2005 — Intensive glucose control lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke by about 50 percent in people with type 1 diabetes, researchers report in the December 22, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Blood test can accurately diagnose heart failure in patients with kidney dysfunction
December 14, 2005 — A large-scale analysis has shown that a blood test previously found useful in diagnosing or ruling out heart failure in emergency room patients remains effective in patients with chronic kidney disease.

David Brudnoy Fund receives $400,000 bequest from Brudnoy estate
December 8, 2005 — The David Brudnoy Fund for AIDS Research at MGH has received $400,000 from the estate of the well-known and respected Boston radio commentator and talk show host.

Brain structure associated with fear inhibition also may influence personality
November 28, 2005 — The relationship between the size of a brain structure and the ability to recover from traumatic experiences also may influence overall personality type, according to an MGH study.

MGH investigators named to Scientific American 50
November 25, 2005 — Two MGH researchers have been named to the 2005 Scientific American 50, the magazine's annual list of outstanding leaders in science and technology.

International multi-center study confirms value of blood test to diagnose heart failure
November 17, 2005 — A large-scale international study has demonstrated the usefulness of a blood test to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of acute heart failure in emergency room patients and shows that the test also can identify patients at a higher risk for death.

Neurons generated in the adult brain learn to respond to novel stimuli
November 15, 2005 — New brain cells that develop in the olfactory system of adult mice appear to play a role in the brain different from that of older neurons, flexibility that suggests such newly-generated cells could be induced to integrate into other regions of the brain.

Meditation associated with structural changes in brain
November 11, 2005 — The regular practice of meditation appears to produce structural changes in areas of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing.

MGH patient marks a milestone with new heart
November 4, 2005 — John Scripter walked into the MGH Friday to celebrate a remarkable milestone - the 20 year anniversary with his transplanted heart.

Haplotype Map Brings New Insights Into Human Disease, Evolution
October 26, 2005 — In several papers published this week, an international set of collaborators announce substantial advances in relating human genetic variation to disease and understanding human evolutionary history. NIH release

NIH Awards Nearly $30 Million for Research Facilities Improvement Projects
October 25, 2005 — The National Center for Research Resources announced today it will award nearly $30 million for 10 Research Facilities Improvement Program projects across the country.

National Cancer Institute Announces $35 Million in Awards to 12 Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships
October 17, 2005 — The National Cancer Institute today announced funding for a major component of its $144.3 million, five-year initiative for nanotechnology in cancer research.

MGH doctor awarded for outstanding service to the Latino community
October 11, 2005 — Ernesto Gonzalez, MD, is one of five Latinos being recognized by Boston City Councillor Felix Arroyo this year.

Stroke patients with mild symptoms may still need clot-dissolving drug
October 6, 2005 — A new study confirms that acute stroke patients who do not receive clot-dissolving medication only because their symptoms are mild or improving may face a significant risk of death or disability.

Three National Initiatives Aimed At Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care Treatment Unveiled Today
October 6, 2005 — In an effort to move discussion about reducing racial and ethnic disparities in health care from theory to practice, a group of national health care experts announced their efforts today to identify and test specific interventions that will significantly reduce disparities over the next three years.

Extended release stimulant effective for long-term ADHD treatment
October 3, 2005 — A new study has found that an all-day, extended-release stimulant for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder remains effective for up to two years without significant side effects.

National Cancer Institute Awards $26.3 Million to Establish Seven Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence
October 3, 2005 — The National Cancer Institute today announced the implementation of a major component of its $144.3 million five-year initiative for nanotechnology in cancer research.

MGH named by NHLBI as Specialized Center for Cell-Based Therapy for Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases
September 29, 2005 — Massachusetts General Hospital is one of three U.S. academic medical centers to receive grants under a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute program supporting research into cell-based therapies.

Healing garden at MGH Cancer Center welcomes visitors
September 29, 2005 — This fall, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is welcoming patients and families to enjoy the Howard Ulfelder, MD, Healing Garden overlooking Boston.

Questionnaire identifies women at risk of inherited breast or ovarian cancer
September 26, 2005 — A simplified way for patients to report and update their family medical histories could help identify women who have inherited genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast or ovarian cancer.

Massachusetts General Hospital launches magazine that examines medicine's leading edge
September 23, 2005 — Massachusetts General Hospital this week is launching a national quarterly magazine that explores the latest developments in biomedical research, promising clinical applications and health policy.

Many resident physicians feel unprepared to care for culturally diverse patients
September 6, 2005 — Although resident physicians responding to a national survey acknowledge the importance of accommodating the needs of today's diverse patient population, many do not feel prepared to address cross-cultural issues they commonly face in practice.

Study's final report confirms letrozole's benefit for breast cancer patients
September 6, 2005 — The complete analysis of data from an international trial of the drug letrozole (Femara) confirms earlier reports that the drug reduced the recurrence of breast cancer in women previously treated with tamoxifen.

Genomic basis of inflammation could lead to improved trauma treatment
August 31, 2005 — A multi-institutional research collaborative has begun to decipher the complex interplay of genes that underlies the body's response to major injuries.

Long-term aspirin use reduces risk for colorectal cancer
August 23, 2005 — A new report finds that regular, long-term aspirin use can significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. However, the benefit requires more than a decade of treatment and is strongest at dose levels associated with a greater risk of side effects.

New Imaging Technology Shown to Detect Pancreatic Inflammation in Type 1 Diabetes and Its Reversal in Animal Models
August 18, 2005 — Recent experiments by Joslin Diabetes Center and MGH researchers offer hope that physicians may one day be able to identify individuals with preclinical type 1 diabetes and assess the effectiveness of therapies.

Gene expression levels may reveal stage of Huntington's disease
August 16, 2005 — A survey of the genome of patients with Huntington's Disease has identified potential markers of the progression of this devastating neurological disorder.

Bone marrow may be source of new egg-cell generation in adult mammals
July 27, 2005 — Last year MGH researchers announced surprising findings that female mice retained the ability to make new egg cells into adulthood. Now the same investigators report a potential source for the production of these cells - stem cells in the bone marrow.

Size of brain structure could signal vulnerability to anxiety disorders
July 11, 2005 — The size of a particular structure in the brain may be associated with the ability to recover emotionally from traumatic events.

Report describes potential problem with new drug for seizures, pain
July 6, 2005 — A serious adverse event experienced by a participant in a clinical trial may raise a new caution about the use of antiepileptic drugs for conditions other than epilepsy.

MRI Better Than FDG PET at Detecting Liver Tumors
July 6, 2005 — Significantly more and smaller liver tumors can be detected by contrast-enhanced MRI when compared to whole-body FDG PET, say researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Radiofrequency ablation is effective long-term treatment for kidney tumors
June 20, 2005 — MGH researchers have shown that radiofrequency ablation - a minimally invasive way of destroying tissue - is an effective, longlasting treatment for small kidney tumors in selected patients.

Tight Glucose Control Lowers CVD by About 50 Percent in Diabetes
June 12, 2005 — A significantly lower risk of heart disease can now be added to the list of proven long-term benefits of tight glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetic Retinopathy Occurs in Pre-Diabetes
June 12, 2005 — Diabetic retinopathy has been found in nearly 8 percent of pre-diabetic participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program.

CT Significantly Reduces the Need for Appendectomy
June 1, 2005 — An MGH study finds that use of CT screening can signficantly reduce the number of unnecessary appendectomies performed.

Immune factor GM-CSF significantly improves Crohn's disease symptoms
May 25, 2005 — A drug that stimulates a specific part of the immune system significantly reduced Crohn's disease symptom severity and improved quality of life after 56 days of daily injections.

Imaging may not be major driver of hospital cost increases
May 24, 2005 — Although the use of medical imaging has increased substantially in recent years, an MGH study finds that the contribution of imaging to overall hospital costs has remained steady.

Mount Kisco Medical Group, Massachusetts General Hospital announce collaboration
May 19, 2005 — The Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York has become a clinical affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization.

New class of drugs may treat lung tumors resistant to Iressa and Tarceva
May 16, 2005 — A new class of drugs that block the epidermal growth factor receptor on lung cancer cells may get around the growing problem of resistance to current targeted therapy drugs.

Low-fat dairy foods may help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
May 9, 2005 — The consumption of low-fat dairy foods may reduce men's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Some primary care residents feel unprepared to provide preventive counseling
May 9, 2005 — Many young physicians completing residency training in primary care specialties do not feel prepared to counsel patients in areas such as depression, substance abuse and domestic violence.

Internationally renowned voice surgeon and team open MGH Voice Center
May 5, 2005 — The new MGH Voice Center was recently established within the MGH Department of Surgery to integrate a range of clinical services for patients with voice disorders.

Director of MGHfC autism clinic receiving special recognition from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation
May 5, 2005 — Margaret Bauman, MD, pediatric neurologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, is accepting the Doug Flutie Jr. Award tomorrow at the 6th Annual Autism Update.

MR spectroscopy may be superior for determining prostate cancer prognosis
April 15, 2005 — A new way of evaluating prostate tumors with magnetic resonance spectroscopy may help physicians and patients choose the best treatment strategy.

Blood test can accurately diagnose heart failure in emergency patients
April 11, 2005 — A new blood test that measures a particular marker of cardiac distress can markedly improve the ability to diagnose congestive heart failure.

Angiogenesis factor may help tumors prepare the way for spread to lymph nodes
April 4, 2005 — Production of the protein VEGF-A, already known to stimulate the growth of blood vessels associated with tumors, also contributes in unexpected ways to the spread of cancer.

International breast cancer prevention study launches in the United States and Canada
March 30, 2005 — A new clinical trial, the first to evaluate the role of an aromatase inhibitor in the prevention of breast cancer, has launched in the United States and Canada.

Optical technique identifies vulnerable plaques in cardiac patients
March 25, 2005 — A catheter-based imaging technology called optical coherence tomography can successfully identify characteristics of coronary plaques in patients with various cardiac symptoms.

Scientists identify genetic pathways essential to RNA interference
March 24, 2005 — An MGH-based research team has identified 80 new genes essential to the process of RNA interference, a powerful research tool for inactivating genes in plants or animals.

Study finds anticonvulsant drug poses greater birth-defect risk than suspected
March 21, 2005 — Use of the anticonvulsant drug valproate during pregnancy may pose a significantly great risk of birth defects than does use of other antiseizure medications.

Aspirin's potential ability to prevent colon polyps may not apply equally to all
March 15, 2005 — The association between regular aspirin use and a reduced risk of precancerous colon polyps may be strongest in those with alternative forms of a gene involved in the metabolism of aspirin.

MGH study identifies potential Alzheimer's risk gene
March 2, 2005 — Researchers from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders have identified a gene variant that may increase the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. They report that changes in the gene for a protein called ubiquilin-1 are associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimer's in two large study samples.

Evidence of Retrovirus in Blood of ALS Patients
March 2, 2005 — Researchers reported in Neurology this month that blood samples collected from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) contain evidence of a retroviral enzyme more often than samples from controls without the disease.

MRI Better Than Current Standard of Practice In Assessing Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer Patients
March 1, 2005 — More breast cancer patients with large tumors undergo chemotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of their tumor, and MRI is the best way to predict if the chemotherapy is working, preliminary results of a study show.

Vitamin D injections may significantly improve survival in dialysis patients
February 28, 2005 — The administration of intravenous vitamin D appears to significantly improve the survival of patients on dialysis. Only half of kidney failure patients currently receive the treatment.

Many company benefits can help parents meet needs of children with ADHD
February 28, 2005 — Many of the benefits offered by employers could address the needs of parents of children with ADHD, although they may be underutilized.

Researchers Find Surprising Difference Between Human and Chimp Genomes
February 10, 2005 — Despite 99 percent similarity at the level of DNA sequence between humans and our nearest relative, chimpanzees, the locations of DNA swapping between chromosomes, known as recombination hotspots, are nearly entirely different.

Phobic anxiety increases heart disease death risk among women
February 1, 2005 — Women with phobic anxieties, such as the fear of crowded places, heights or going outside, are at higher risk for fatal heart disease than women with fewer or no anxieties.

Whole-Body CT Screening Costs Overshadow Benefits
January 28 , 2005 — Whole-body computed tomography (CT) is not a cost-effective screening method, according to a study published in the February issue of the journal Radiology.

Spleen may be source of versatile stem cells
January 19, 2005 — MGH researchers have followed last year's discovery that stem cells from the spleen might regenerate insulin-producing islets with evidence that these cells could produce a greater variety of tissues.

Deciphering the genetic babel of brain cells
January 19, 2005 — Researchers at the MGH-HMS Center for Nervous System Repair have developed a way to distinguish particular brain cell subtypes and to separate them for genetic analysis with microarrays.

MGH researchers find way of regenerating cells key to hearing
January 13, 2005 — Selectively turning off a protein that controls the growth and division of cells could allow regeneration of the cells that convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses, a discovery that may lead to ways of preventing or treating hearing loss.

New network of gastrointestinal immune cells discovered
January 13, 2005 — A previously unknown network of immune cells has been discovered in the gastrointestinal system by a research group based in the MGH Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Anti-psychotic drugs may be associated with increased risk of diabetes in schizophrenia patients
January 3, 2005 — Patients treated with the atypical anti-psychotic agents clozapine and olanzapine may be at an increased risk for insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.