Preventing Delirium During Hospital Stays With Nonpharmacologic Interventions

Delirium, a sudden onset of confusion frequently seen in older patients, was once thought to be a temporary condition that patients “snapped out of” after being discharged from the hospital. However, it is now recognized that delirium may lead to longer-term cognitive impairment and poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of death, nursing home placement and memory problems.
Read More

Nasal Vaccine for Alzheimer’s Disease Nears Human Trials

Reduction in Aβ-levels (green) in mice after weekly intranasal Protollin for 6 weeks in treated (right) versus control (left)*

An intranasal vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is expected to begin its first human trial in 2020, culminating nearly 25 years of research led by Howard L. Weiner, MD, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Read More

Keyhole Surgery Through the Eyelid Expands Minimally Invasive Options

keyhole surgeryIn a rare through-the-eyelid surgery, neurosurgeon Omar Arnaout, MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery and collaborators from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery recently removed a recurring meningioma from the roof of the orbit. The patient, age 76, bypassed the ICU and was discharged to home the next day, with only non-prescription pain medication.
Read More

Stroke Care Paradox: Tighter Personal Networks May Delay Hospital Arrivals

Could understanding a patient’s personal network of friends and family provide important clues to health and illness, and even guide care? Neurologist Amar Dhand, MD, DPhil, of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is investigating the relationship of  personal networks and stroke, with some surprising findings.
Read More

Drug-Inducible Gene Therapy Yields Encouraging Preliminary Results in High-Grade Glioma Trial

From E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.
Image from E. A. Chiocca, et al, Regulatable interleukin-12 gene therapy in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma: Results of a phase 1 trial. Sci. Transl. Med. 11, eaaw5680 (2019). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

In a recent clinical trial in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas, investigators from the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center set out to test the safety and effectiveness of controlling the powerful immunotherapy human interleukin-12 (hIL-12) by using an oral activator to control when the gene gets turned on. While hIL-12 can stimulate many branches of the immune system, previous clinical trials that leveraged it were halted because of toxicity.
Read More

Can Your Patient’s Smartphone Signal Early GBM Recurrence?

cartoon of a smartphone and a map of a human brain, glioblastoma detection using smartphonesWhen following a patient for brain tumor recurrence, standard assessments fall short:  Imaging and clinical exams each occur only a few times per year, and patient questionnaires capture only a moment in time and may be unreliable due to the challenge of accurate self-assessment amidst insidious decline.
Read More

Expanded Autonomic Testing Helps to Pinpoint Causes of Orthostatic Intolerance

drawing of a tilt table, used for diagnosing and treating Orthostatic IntoleranceUsing expanded, state-of-the-art capabilities in autonomic testing, Peter Novak, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Autonomic Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is driving better understanding of hard-to-diagnose patients with orthostatic intolerance.
Read More

New Strategy Fights Tumor Resilience in Glioblastoma

glioblastoma, mircoRNA imagingTo address the challenge of glioblastoma (GBM) recurrence and treatment resistance, a research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has reported success using a novel method to co-opt the tumor cells’ molecular machinery. The result makes the tumor more vulnerable to treatment. By delivering molecules that modify gene expression in the tumor, investigators have shown a significant survival benefit in a mouse model of GBM.
Read More

Taking Aim at Molecular Targets for Meningiomas & Pituitary Tumors

black and white image of DNA double helix
Image courtesy of Wenya Linda Bi, MD, PhD

Meningiomas and pituitary tumors traditionally have been regarded as surgically treated disease. However, some patients with these tumors face recurrence, premature morbidity and mortality. This challenge has motivated researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to zero in on molecular targets that shed light on prognosis and suggest novel pathways for biological treatments.
Read More

At the Forefront of Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma

E. Antonio Chiocca headshotPhysician-investigators in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are leading clinical trials of cutting-edge approaches for treating glioblastoma. Clinical trials are currently underway for patients with recurrent, progressive glioblastoma as well as patients newly diagnosed with high-grade gliomas as investigators pursue new treatment options to stimulate a patient’s immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer in the brain.
Read More