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MGH Press Releases 2000

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New Genetic Link for Late Onset Alzheimer's Disease Discovered
Findings could pave way to new era in Alzheimer's treatment

December 20, 2000 — MGH researchers have found a region on human chromosome 10 that could harbor a genetic variant that powerfully predisposes people to develop late onset Alzheimer's disease.

 

../Graphics/Snew.gif (1582 bytes) Study finds serious bone loss in 90 percent of women with anorexia
Estrogen supplements do not appear to prevent bone loss in anorexia

November 20, 2000 More than 90 percent of young women with anorexia nervosa were found to have significant bone loss in a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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Tiny RNA may be universal regulator of developmental timing in animals
Discovery by MGH/Harvard scientists may be key developmental insight

November 1, 2000 – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School have discovered a tiny RNA gene that may control developmental timing in creatures as diverse as fish, sea urchins, mollusks, marine worms, flies, nematodes and humans. 

 

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Partners HealthCare and Tufts Health Plan reach new three-year agreement
Good news for Tufts Health Plan members

November 1, 2000 – Partners HealthCare and Tufts Health Plan announced today that they have reached agreement on a new, three year contract which will allow Tufts Health Plan members to continue to receive care from Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's, and the other Partners hospitals and physicians.

 

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Citing chronic funding shortfalls, Partners physicians apologize to patients, say they can’t take part in Tufts HMO starting April 1, 2001
October 24, 2000 The physicians and hospitals of Partners HealthCare, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals, have regretfully notified the Tufts HMO that they will not be able to continue to participate in the insurance plan as of April 1, 2001. The doctors and hospitals reached this difficult decision after months of negotiations with Tufts failed to produce agreement on a new contract which would adequately cover inflation and basic increases in the cost of patient care.

 

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Treatment protects mouse ovaries from radiation therapy
Study may lead to ways to preserve fertility in women undergoing cancer treatment

October 1, 2000 – A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and other research centers has found a molecule that, in animal studies, has blocked the destruction of ovarian egg cells (oocytes) by radiation therapy.

 

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MGH study shows immune system can control HIV
Early antiviral treatment primes the immune system to suppress viral levels without drugs

September 27, 2000 – A research team from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has shown that the majority of HIV-infected individuals who begin antiviral therapy during the earliest stages of their infection eventually can stop taking drugs and keep the virus under control with their immune systems alone.

 

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Study finds key link between Alzheimer’s genes and cellular defect
Calcium handling pathway may be powerful target for drug development

September 27, 2000 – A research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has discovered a key link between two cellular abnormalities associated with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease  and have tied a specific calcium pathway to the production of amyloid-beta plaques. The findings identify a new target for drugs that may prevent or treat the devastating disease.

 

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Testosterone skin patch improves sexual functioning
in surgically menopausal women

September 6, 2000 – A multi-institutional research group has found that use of an experimental testosterone skin patch can relieve impaired sexual functioning in surgically menopausal women – that is, women who have had their ovaries removed before natural menopause.

 

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The ins and outs of facial processing
Imaging study shows brain reacts differently to faces from other races

August 21, 2000 — For human beings, our faces are our calling cards. Now a study using sophisticated imaging technology has shown that how a key part of the brain reacts to faces can differ depending on whether individuals are looking at faces from their own racial group or from another racial group.

 

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Nearly half of college students used tobacco in one-year period
Study is first to look at cigar smoking among college students

August 8, 2000 — The first national study to report on both cigarette and non-cigarette tobacco use by college students finds that nearly one-half of college students (46 percent) reported using tobacco products in the previous year.

 

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Summer News Tip Sheet

 

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Diabetes drug may be useful in treating AIDS-related syndrome
First randomized, controlled trial of metformin to treat HIV lipodystrophy

July 25, 2000 — A pilot study using metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, indicates that the medication may be useful in treating HIV lipodsytrophy, a disorder of fat metabolism that occurs in people with AIDS, particularly those taking combination antiretroviral treatment.

 

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Nitric oxide inhalation may prevent dangerous infant lung condition
Animal study shows new, potentially lifesaving application for therapeutic gas

July 21, 2000 — Inhalation of nitric oxide (NO) gas, a therapy that has significantly improved treatment of several life-threatening diseases, also may prevent the development of pulmonary vascular disease, a dangerous condition that can affect infants who are born prematurely or who have congenital heart defects.

 

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Patients to be enrolled in final stage of Boston clinical trial for Endostatin™
Boston Hospitals’ Phase I Study Coming To A Close

July 10, 1999 — During the next several weeks, clinical researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will enroll 12 patients into the final stage of their Endostatin clinical trial.

 

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MGH and Brigham and Women's ranked on U.S. News national top ten list
July 7, 2000 – Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the founding members of Partners HealthCare, again have earned top places in the U.S. News and World Report annual national hospital "Honor Roll."

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New Office for Human Research Protections Created, Dr. Greg Koski Named Director
June 6, 2000 – Edward Greg Koski, Ph.D., M.D., will serve as the first director of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), a new office at the Department of Health and Human Services to lead efforts for protecting human subjects in biomedical and behavioral research, HHS announced today.

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Women medical school faculty perceive gender bias, sexual harassment
June 6, 2000 – Many women teaching at medical schools perceive that they are discriminated against and sexually harassed, according to a study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine. Men seem to be relatively unaware of the problems and much less affected by them.

 

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Study shows language loss may improve ability to spot lying
May 10, 2000 – Who is best at detecting when someone is lying – judges? teachers? moms? A study in this week’s issue of Nature finds an answer that may be surprising: people with aphasia – a loss in language ability resulting from a stroke or other type of brain damage – appear to have a significant advantage in spotting liars, particular when the untruths are given away by changes in facial expression.

 

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MGH study shows protein can repel as well as attract immune cells
May 1, 2000 – Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are the first to show that a chemical signal controlling the movement of immune system cells can repel those cells as well as attracting them. The discovery may lead to new techniques for manipulating the immune system.

 

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MRI may prove powerful tool in predicting development of Alzheimer's disease
March 29, 2000 — Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could become an important tool for characterizing and diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in its very early stages, well before clinical signs appear, according to a new study by researchers in Boston.

 

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Uncontrolled, but controllable, variabilities hold greatest potential for managing health costs and quality improvement
March 22, 2000 —  In an effort to address the challenge of assuring cost-containment and quality health care, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital studied an application of a novel management methodology to reduce inefficiency.

 

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MGH study shows aspirin use low in patients with coronary artery disease
March 14, 2000 — Despite evidence that aspirin can work as an effective prevention tool in patients with coronary artery disease, aspirin use in such patients is low, according to a study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

 

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MGH dermatologist develops new laser techniques to safely remove hair from darker skins
March 10, 2000A dermatologist from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) announced today that he has been able to remove excessive hair successfully and safely from people with darker ethnic skin using new laser equipment and techniques. Until now all types of laser skin treatment have been ruled out for individuals with dark skin because of the risk of side effects.

 

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Protein switch controls proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells
March 9, 2000A research team from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has identified a key protein that appears to control the development and proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells. These cells, which are found in the bone marrow and blood, are capable of developing into any kind of blood cell.

 

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Gene transfer improves function of aging hearts in animals
February 22, 2000 Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have shown that it is possible to improve cardiac function in aging rats by delivering extra copies of a key gene to the heart muscle via gene therapy techniques.

 

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Secrecy in academic science: young, productive researchers most likely to be denied data
February 16, 2000 – In the February 2000 issue of Research Policy, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Health Policy and Harvard Medical School report a survey of scientists around the country on the topic of data withholding.

 

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Benefits of tight blood sugar control endure for years
February 10, 2000 — People with diabetes who intensively manage their blood sugar experience long-lasting benefits, researchers have found. For people with type 1 diabetes who participated in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the benefits of intensive blood sugar control at reducing diabetic complications persisted for 4 years after the trial ended.

 

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MGH research shows androstenedione can raise testosterone levels
February 9, 2000 — A study led by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that 300 milligram (mg) doses of androstenedione – a dietary supplement used by some athletes – can raise blood testosterone levels in healthy young men.

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