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1998 News Releases

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Physicians slow to adopt newer drugs for atrial fibrillation
Study shows tradition plays a powerful role in physician practice

October 25, 1998 – American physicians treating patients with atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, are slow to incorporate newer medications into their practice, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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MGH to lead major national study of bipolar disorder
$20 million grant supports largest-ever psychiatry research program

October 20, 1998 – The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been chosen by the National Institute of Mental Health as the coordinating center for a national research study into the treatment of bipolar disorder, more commonly called manic-depressive disorder. The study will be supported by a five-year grant of more than $20 million, making it the largest psychiatric clinical research program undertaken anywhere.

 

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Study finds first genetic clues to brain tumor treatment
Collaborative discovery pinpoints tumors sensitive to chemotherapy

October 6, 1998 – A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the London Regional Cancer Centre in London, Ontario, have discovered specific genetic changes that indicate whether chemotherapy would be effective in treating patients with anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, a particular type of brain tumor.

 

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MGH· Revere HealthCare Center joins the city of Revere to recognize National Breast Cancer Awareness Week
October 1, 1998 – MGH· Revere HealthCare Center has joined with Revere Mayor Robert J. Haas Jr. to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Revere with a day-long event called "Makin’ Waves on the Boulevard."

 

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Parental responsibilities curtail careers of women in academic medicine
MGH/BMC study shows that responsibility for children is key to career limitations

September 30, 1998 – Child care responsibilities appear to be the major reason why female medical school faculty members often advance more slowly in their careers than their male counterparts. In a study in the Oct. 1 Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) report results of a survey of almost 2,000 representative faculty members at 24 US medical schools measuring their career progress, satisfaction and academic productivity.

 

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Parathyroid hormone injections
prevent medically induced osteoporosis

Follow-up MGH study shows full year of therapy increases benefits

September 22, 1998 – A new study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows that long-term treatment with parathyroid hormone (PTH) can safely prevent the development of osteoporosis in women taking medications that induce artificial menopause.

 

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School breakfast participation leads to
academic, psychosocial improvements

MGH-led study also shows free programs increase participation

September 14, 1998 – A new study by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and other institutions lends support to traditional beliefs about the importance of a good breakfast. The report in the September Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine finds that children who increase their participation in school breakfast programs tend to show improvement on a wide range of measures of social and academic functioning.

 

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Research team finds gene causing two types of muscular dystrophy
International effort led by scientists from the MGH

August 31, 1998 – An international research team based at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has discovered a gene that, when mutated, causes two types of muscular dystrophy. The gene found on chromosome 2 codes for a novel protein called dysferlin, produced in skeletal muscles.

 

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Imaging studies reveal process of verbal memory formation
Enhanced imaging technique can pinpoint specific structures key to making memories

August 20, 1998 – The birth of a memory – the split second when the human brain encodes an event for future reference – has been captured through sophisticated neuroimaging and used to predict accurately whether a specific experience will later be remembered or forgotten, according to a study published in the Aug. 21 issue of Science.

 

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MGH now offers minimally invasive kidney donation procedure
Procedure greatly reduces donor recovery time

August 14, 1998 – The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has initiated a program that offers kidney donors the option of laparoscopic removal of their donated organ. The MGH is the first hospital in the state to perform the procedure and is believed to be the first in the region.

 

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HRH Prince Andrew visits the Massachusetts General Hospital
July 23, 1998 – His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York, today visited the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he met with pediatric cancer patients, tested some of the most innovative and promising medical technologies and witnessed a teleneurology consultation between the MGH and North Shore Medical Center.

 

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New Alzheimer’s-associated mutation
may provide key to disease process

Finding could point to possible treatment target

July 22, 1998 – Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and other institutions have identified a new gene mutation strongly associated with the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of the brain disorder. Most significantly, the protein coded for by this gene – known as alpha-2 macroglobulin (A2M) – interacts with proteins coded by other Alzheimer’s-associated genes, suggesting a process that could be key in the disease’s development.

 

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Mass. General and Brigham and Women's
earn top honors from U.S. News and World Report

July 17, 1998 – Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the founding members of Partners HealthCare System, again have earned top places in the U.S. News and World Report annual national hospital "Honor Roll." MGH continued to rank third, while BWH moved up to eighth. No other Massachusetts or New England hospital made the "Honor Roll."

 

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Mammography usefulness does not change at age 50
Detailed analysis shows gradual increase in cancers detected with no abrupt shift

July 9, 1998 – The way that data have been presented in several previous studies of mammography results has led to incorrect conclusions about the usefulness of screening women in their 40s, according to a report from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Testosterone improves quality of life in men with AIDS wasting syndrome
June 30, 1998 A research team based at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that testosterone administration significantly increases lean body mass and improves the quality of life in men with AIDS wasting syndrome.

 

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International panel evaluates testing for drug resistance in HIV
Assays may be useful, but more information is needed

June 23, 1998 — Tests that measure whether the strains of HIV infecting a patient are resistent to antiviral drugs may be useful in helping plan treatment strategies, but more information is needed to determine the best usage of such tests, says an international panel of AIDS experts.

 

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Pallidotomy dramatically reduces symptoms
in appropriate Parkinson’s patients

June 12, 1998 Pallidotomy, a surgical procedure designed to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, can produce a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for selected patients, says G. Rees Cosgrove, MD, a neurosurgeon at the Movement Disorders Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Growth factors may improve recovery from stroke, even days later
June 12, 1998 — One of the most promising approaches to limiting the immediate brain damage caused by strokes also may be able to enhance the brain’s ability to recover from stroke-related damage, even when given days or weeks after a stroke occurs, says Seth Finklestein, MD, director of the Central Nervous System Growth Factors Laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Breast feeding may be significant source of infants’ exposure
to tobacco products

Study shows 10-fold increase over environmental exposure alone

June 9, 1998 Infants of mothers who smoke may receive greater exposure to the products of tobacco smoke through breast milk than through environmental exposure, according to a study led by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

 

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Boston Evening Medical Center now a licensed healthcare center of Massachusetts General Hospital
May 18, 1998 — Boston Evening Medical Center – located at 388 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay – has joined Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) network of licensed health care centers. Founded in 1927, Boston Evening Medical Center has the distinction of being the oldest evening medical center in New England.

 

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Successful Cancer Therapy May Doom Later Treatments to Failure
Researchers Find That As Tumors Shrink, So Do Drug Entryways

April 9, 1998 — Drugs that successfully carve away at cancers of the lung, brain, breast, and other organs could be acting as double-edged swords, according to a new study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)and Harvard Medical School researchers.

 

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Warfarin continues to be underused as stroke preventive
April 8, 1998 — Despite powerful evidence that the blood-thinning drug warfarin can prevent strokes in people with atrial fibrillation — a type of irregular heartbeat — the drug continues to be seriously underprescribed, according to a study by two physicians from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Corporate gifts pose ethical quandries for scientists
Researchers believe gifts often have strings attached

March 31, 1998 — Close to half of all academic scientists accept research-related gifts from companies, gifts they believe often come with strings attached. According to a study published in the April 1 Journal of the American Medical Association, the restrictions and expectations placed on gifts may put scientists at odds with the policies of their universities.

 

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Vitamin D deficiency appears common in hospital patients
March 18, 1998 — A research team based at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that a surprising number of adult hospital inpatients were deficient in vitamin D, a nutrient required for the maintenance of healthy bones.  

 

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Study tracks changes in primary care of children
Physicians offering more time, counseling to child patients

March 12, 1998 —Primary care physicians caring for children are spending more time with their young patients than they did 15 years ago and providing increased preventive service and counseling, according to a study by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

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Intake of acetaminophen increases risk of excessive anticoagulation
in patients taking warfarin
Patients could be at risk for serious bleeding

March 3, 1998—People who take the anticoagulant drug warfarin are at increased risk of excessive anticoagulation if they also take large amounts of the pain reliever acetaminophen, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Physicians not providing enough stop-smoking counseling, treatment
February 24, 1998 — American physicians are missing many opportunities to help their patients quit smoking, according to a report in the February 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

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MGH/Shriners team develops survival estimates for burn patients
Results allow treatment planning, targeting of new therapies

February 4, 1998 — A research team from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Shriners Burns Hospital has developed a system for objectively estimating the probability of death in patients with severe burn injuries.

 

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Bible story may include first report of anorexia
January 21, 1998 — The biblical story of Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, may describe the first documented case of anorexia nervosa and its associated infertility.

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