BIDMC’s Research & Health News Digest: May 2021

Newswise — Welcome to the May 2021 edition of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Research & Health News Digest.

This edition’s update includes:

  • BIDMC launches COVID-19 'long-haulers' program
  • Immunomics: A conversation on the future of diagnostics with Ramy Arnaout
  • COVID-19-associated seizures may be common, linked to higher risk of death
  • COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent global need to control air pollution
  • With masks on, three feet is just as safe as six feet apart in Massachusetts schools, researchers find
  • New research shows substantially higher burden of COVID-19 compared to flu
  • Racial disparities in death rates from chronic diseases show minimal improvement over last two decades
  • Scientists create first-of-its-kind 3D organoid model of the human pancreas
  • Open-label (honest) placebo works as well as double-blind placebo in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Researchers identify potential targets for novel treatments for lung cancer

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 by contacting the BIDMC page operator at (617) 667-4700 by asking for pager ID #33880.

 

 

BIDMC launches COVID-19 'long-haulers' program

BIDMC’s Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program is the most comprehensive post-COVID program of its kind in New England and one of only a few in the country to integrate a broad multi-disciplinary team of medical experts to treat patients with persistent symptoms, which are also described as “long-COVID.” The program is led by Jason Maley, MD, Director of the Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program and a physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).  

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/03/bidmc-launches-covid-19-program

Watch an interview with Dr. Maley, here

 

Immunomics: A conversation on the future of diagnostics with Ramy Arnaout Clinical pathologist Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at BIDMC, discusses how the immunome — all of the genes collectively expressed by an individual's immune cells — holds the potential to provide researchers and physicians with unprecedented insight into an individual's health. Collecting that information from large numbers of patients could one day facilitate diagnostics via a near-universal blood test and pave the way to targeted therapies for a wide variety of conditions.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/05/immunomics-conversation-future-diagnostics-ramy-arnaout

 

COVID-19-associated seizures may be common, linked to higher risk of death

A study led by Mouhsin Shafi, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Department of Neurology at BIDMC and Medical Director of the BIDMC electroencephalogram (EEG) laboratory, and colleagues demonstrated that some patients hospitalized with COVID-19 experience non-convulsive seizures, which may put them at higher risk of death.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/04/covid-19-associated-seizures-may-be-common-linked-to-higher-risk-of-death

 

COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent global need to control air pollution

Stephen Andrew Mein, MD, a physician in BIDMC's Department of Medicine, and Mary Rice, MD, a physician in the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Department at BIDMC,

discuss several ways that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to address the global problem of air pollution and improve respiratory health and equity worldwide.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/04/covid-19-pandemic-highlights-urgent-global-need-to-control-air-pollution

 

With masks on, three feet is just as safe as six feet apart in Massachusetts schools, researchers find

A study led by Westyn Branch-Elliman, MD, MMSc, an infectious disease specialist at BIDMC, offers much-needed data about the optimal physical distancing between students for the prevention of COVID-19 in the school setting.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/03/three-feet-safe-as-six-feet-massachusetts-schools

 

New research shows substantially higher burden of COVID-19 compared to flu

In a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Michael Donnino, MD, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine physician at BIDMC, and colleagues assessed the relative impact of COVID-19 on patients hospitalized with the viral infection in March and April 2020, versus patients hospitalized with influenza during the last five flu seasons at BIDMC.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/03/covid-19-higher-burden-compared-to-flu

 

Racial disparities in death rates from chronic diseases show minimal improvement over last two decades

In a research letter written by Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil, a cardiologist and researcher in the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC, and colleagues, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, report that racial disparities improved only minimally in rural areas over the last two decades, with larger improvements occurring in urban areas.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/03/racial-disparities-death-rates-chronic-diseases  

 

Scientists create first-of-its-kind 3D organoid model of the human pancreas

Researchers led by Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD, Director of Cell Biology at the Cancer Research Institute at BIDMC, have successfully created the first three-dimensional organoid models of the pancreas from human stem cells. This first-of-its-kind organoid model, reported in Cell Stem Cell, includes both the acinar and ductal structures that play a critical role in the majority of pancreatic cancers and could reveal potential means for discovering markers of early diagnosis and monitoring of the disease.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/04/scientists-create-first-kind-3d-organoid-model-human-pancreas

 

Open-label (honest) placebo works as well as double-blind placebo in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A new study published in the journal PAIN and led by Anthony J. Lembo, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at BIDMC, suggests that patients don't need to be deceived to receive benefit from treatment with placebo.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/03/honest-placebo-works-as-well-as-double-blind-placebo-in-irritable-bowel-syndrome

 

Researchers identify potential targets for novel treatments for lung cancer

A team of investigators led by Elena Levantini, PhD, a research associate in Hematology-Oncology in the laboratory of Daniel Tenen, MD, at BIDMC, evaluated a novel agent, PTC596, which is capable of decreasing tumor growth in preclinical studies performed on a mouse model of mutant K-RAS lung cancer.

https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/news/2021/04/researchers-identify-potential-targets-novel-lung-cancer-treatments

 



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COVID-19 Pandemic Drinking: Increases Among Women, Black Adults, and People with Children
Research Society on Alcoholism

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th - 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

13-Jun-2021 1:05 PM EDT
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Alcohol Consumption Is Far From ‘One Size Fits All’
Research Society on Alcoholism

An ongoing analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol and related outcomes shows that COVID-related stressors experienced by study participants – including work-, financial-, and family-related stressors – are having a varied impact on individuals with and without alcohol use disorders (AUDs). These results will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th - 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Released: 18-Jun-2021 2:10 PM EDT
Newswise Expert Panels on COVID-19 Pandemic: Notable excerpts, quotes and videos available
Newswise

Newswise is hosting a series of Expert Panels discussion on unique aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This tip sheet includes some notable quotes from the panelists.

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VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE: Vaccines and Male Fertility Event for June 17, 2021
Newswise

This upcoming JAMA-published study examined whether the COVID-19 vaccine impacts male fertility.

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Released: 18-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
Teamwork saves lives: COVID-19 hospital network shares key findings to improve care
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Data sharing among 40 Michigan hospitals about the care and outcomes for thousands of inpatients with COVID-19 has led to reduced variation and findings that could inform care anywhere, including approaches for preventing blood clots and reducing overuse of antibiotics, as well as a risk prediction tool.

Released: 18-Jun-2021 7:05 AM EDT
One-third of older Americans delayed health care over COVID concerns
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

Nearly one in three Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 put off an in-person appointment for medical care in 2020 because they were worried about exposure to the novel coronavirus, new national poll data show.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 4:15 PM EDT
UNC Researchers Lead Study of Diabetes Treatment of COVID-19 Patients
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Diabetes is one of the comorbidities most strongly associated with severe COVID-19 in the US, and data from early in the pandemic suggested individuals with type 2 diabetes faced twice the risk of death from COVID-19 and a greater risk of requiring hospitalization and intensive care. A new study shows best treatment options.

Released: 17-Jun-2021 4:10 PM EDT
Vaccination, Previous Infection, Protect Against COVID-19 gamma/P.1 Variant in Animal Model
University of Wisconsin-Madison

In a new study using variant virus recovered from one of the original travelers, researchers in the U.S. and Japan have found that vaccination with an mRNA vaccine induces antibody responses that would protect humans from infection with the gamma/P.1 variant.


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