Welcome to the January 2019 edition of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Research & Health News Digest.

This month’s update includes:

  • Am I too sick to work? (General Health)
  • Science says the DASH diet works (Nutrition)
  • Why cardiologists prescribe exercise (Cardiology)
  • Reconcilable differences: Wiring diagram of the brain provides a clearer picture of brain scan data (Neurology)
  • Who’s at risk for placenta disorders? (Maternal-Fetal Medicine)
  • BIDMC researchers ID and treat faulty brain circuitry that causes disabling symptoms of schizophrenia (Psychiatry)
  • Surge protector: Novel approach to suppressing therapy-induced tumor growth (Pathology/Cancer)
  • Implementation of federal hospital readmissions reduction program associated with increase in mortality (Health Policy)
  • Mental illness and substance abuse remain primary drivers of hospitalization among homeless adults (Public Health)

If any of these briefs pique your interest and you’d like to speak with one of our experts, please contact us at [email protected] or at 617-667-7300. You can also reach the BIDMC communications team member on call through the BIDMC page operator at 617-667-4700 (pager ID #33880).

The BIDMC Media Relations Team

BIDMC Research & Health News Digest: January 2019


Am I Too Sick To Work?

It’s that time of year when people everywhere are faced with the question: am I too sick to work? Robin Wigmore, MD, primary care physician and infectious disease specialist at BIDMC, offers questions to ask yourself in order to make an informed decision before packing up your tissues for the office. (January 2019)



Science Says the DASH Diet Works

With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, many Americans are vowing to eat healthier. BIDMC primary care physician Stephen Juraschek, MD, PhD, shares how the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) can benefit people following the “new year, new me” mantra. (January 2019)



Why Cardiologists Prescribe Exercise

For the first time in 10 years, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released new guidelines on exercise, urgently encouraging everyone to move more and sit less. BIDMC cardiologist Jeremy Robbins, MD, explains how exercise is good for your heart and how it affects each individual. (December 2018)



Reconcilable Differences: Wiring Diagram of the Brain Provides a Clearer Picture of Brain Scan Data

In a study published in the journal BRAIN, neuroscientists led by Michael D. Fox, MD, PhD, of BIDMC used data from the human brain connectome – a publicly available “wiring diagram” of the human brain based on data from thousands of healthy human volunteers – to reassess the findings from neuroimaging studies of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. (December 2018)



Who’s at Risk for Placental Disorders?

Scott Shainker, DO, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at BIDMC, discusses placenta disorders and who is at risk. (December 2018)



BIDMC Researchers ID and Treat Faulty Brain Circuitry That Causes Disabling Symptoms of Schizophrenia

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers led by Roscoe Brady Jr., MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at BIDMC, used imaging data to determine the underlying anatomical cause of schizophrenia’s negative symptoms and then applied non-invasive brain stimulation to ameliorate them. The scientists found, as they reported today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, that these symptoms arise from a breakdown in a network between the brain’s prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. (January 2019)



Surge Protector: Novel Approach to Suppressing Therapy-Induced Tumor Growth

In a recent groundbreaking study, a team of researchers led by BIDMC’s Dipak Panigrahy, MD, assistant professor of pathology in the department of pathology and a scientist at the Cancer Center at BIDMC, demonstrated that dead and dying cancer cells killed by conventional cancer treatments paradoxically trigger the inflammation that promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Now, in a follow- up study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), Panigrahy and colleagues illuminate the mechanism by which debris generated by ovarian tumor cells targeted by first-line chemotherapy accelerates tumor progression. (January 2019)



Implementation of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program Associated With Increase in Mortality

A federal policy designed to reduce hospital readmissions through financial penalties was associated with a significant increase in post-discharge mortality for patients with heart failure and pneumonia, according to a large-scale study led by Robert Yeh, MD, MSc, Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC. The study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). (December 2018)



Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Remain Primary Drivers of Hospitalization Among Homeless Adults

A study led by investigators from BIDMC and Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined patterns, causes and outcomes of acute hospitalizations between 2007 and 2013 for homeless individuals and non-homeless control groups in three populous and diverse U.S. states: Florida, California and Massachusetts. Data suggest a rise in acute hospital use among homeless individuals for mental illness and substance use disorder. The results were published in the journal Medical Care. (December 2018)