Treating patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries has significant challenges, in large part because of the potentially severe and life-altering effects these injuries can have. Despite recent progress in finding the best way to treat spinal cord damage, many patients are left with profound disabilities. Additional research, both in the lab and the clinic, is vital.
Once a problem primarily in developed, Western nations, atherosclerosis is on the rise in developing countries and has become a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. As the burden of atherosclerosis has shifted geographically and socioeconomically, the way in which the disease is approached and treated has shifted as well. Peter Libby, MD, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has helped drive the latter of these changes.
The tricuspid valve is often referred to as the “forgotten valve.” That’s because when it begins to malfunction, it usually doesn’t result in the same severity of symptoms as when there are problems with the aortic and mitral valves. Additionally, when it does stop working properly, fewer interventions are available for treatment.
Fainting is a fairly common reaction to painful or emotional stimuli. It is especially common in young children, but most people eventually grow out of it or are able to manage the occasional occurrence. For a small group of people, however, neurocardiogenic syncope becomes debilitating, with fainting spells happening every couple of weeks, often without any provoking factors.
When new clinical care guidelines are issued, it often can take years before they are widely inculcated among practicing physicians. However, in the case of new asthma care guidelines issued in 2020, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been implementing the recommended new treatment approaches for several years.
Clinical studies for new drugs and vaccines, including the recent trials that led to the approval of COVID-19 vaccines, generally exclude women who are pregnant or lactating. For that reason, little is known about how hormonal changes affect drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
As part of its continuing mission to innovate safer, more effective treatments, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has introduced a new version of a minimally invasive procedure for people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (Afib). The procedure, which currently uses the WATCHMAN™ FLX device, extends the option of left atrial appendage (LAA) closure to patients who may not have qualified for it before.
A team that includes investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine is one of three multidisciplinary groups that recently received funding from the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation to develop breakthroughs related to hemorrhagic stroke. The over $11 million gift, which the American Heart Association is overseeing, aims to improve prevention, treatment and health outcomes for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.
Many countries in Africa are facing a severe shortage of clinicians in many specialties, including neurosurgery. Although efforts are underway to train more young clinicians and expand access to neurosurgical care across the continent, another gap must also be addressed: the lack of collaboration between neurosurgeons and technical experts.