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A Flu Scare, 10 Years Later

When Proto Magazine: Dispatches From the Frontiers of Medicine launched its inaugural issue in 2005, researchers were anxiously watching a new flu virus called H5N1, which many were concerned might lead to a global pandemic. Although no global crisis came from the virus, that fear is very much alive. In this video, Dr. Martin Hirsch, a senior physician in ...

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Brain Disease Researchers Track Elusive Protein

Devastating brain diseases like Frontotemporal Dementia and Alzheimer’s have been painfully slow to give up their secrets.  But behavioral neurologist Brad Dickerson, MD, and his Mass General research team are tracking an important protein that has long eluded measurement in the living brain.  Their work may mark a turning point in how such now-incurable conditions are understood and ...

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Researchers Find New Zika Clues to Birth Defect in Fetus Study

“An autopsy of the fetus showed microcephaly or small head size, as well as severe brain injury and high levels of the Zika virus in fetal brain tissues, exceeding levels of the virus typically found in blood samples, researchers in Slovenia from the University Medical Center in Ljubljana reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings help “strengthen ...

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Patients with High-Risk Macular Degeneration Show Improvement with High-Dose Statin Treatment

Although effective treatments are available for the wet form of AMD, they are currently lacking for the more prevalent dry form. The researchers found evidence that treatment with high-dose atorvastatin (80mg) is associated with regression of lipid deposits and improvement in visual acuity, without progression to advanced disease, in high-risk AMD patients. Their findings were published in EBioMedicine — ...

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Proton Therapy Controls Common Pediatric Brain Tumor With Fewer Long-Term Side Effects

“The use of proton radiotherapy to treat the most common malignant brain tumor in children is as effective as standard photon (x-ray) radiation therapy while causing fewer long-term side effects such as hearing loss and cognitive disorders, according to a study receiving online publication in Lancet Oncology. The paper from a team led by  Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators ...

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Eating Soy May Help Women Undergoing IVF

Bisphenol A, also referred to as BPA, is a chemical found in many common food containers including plastic water bottles, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than 96% of Americans have BPA in their bodies. It can mimic estrogen, an important female sex hormone, with 100 previous studies linking BPA to numerous health problems, ...

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Strike Up the Band For Better Health

Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest hospital in Boston, employs four music therapists to work with patients and recruits professional musicians for live performances in waiting rooms and lobbies. Its environmental music program has been enthusiastically received by employees and families who say encountering live music in a hospital instantly improves the experience, said Lorrie Kubicek, a board-certified music therapist at ...

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Proton Therapy Controls Common Pediatric Brain Tumor with Fewer Long-Term Side Effects

The use of proton radiotherapy to treat the most common malignant brain tumor in children is as effective as standard photon (x-ray) radiation therapy while causing fewer long-term side effects such as hearing loss and cognitive disorders, according to a study receiving online publication in Lancet Oncology. The paper from a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators ...

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Massachusetts General Hospital Receives Prestigious McGaw Award for Community Service

The award, sponsored by The Baxter International Foundation, American Hospital Association (AHA), and Health Research & Educational Trust, is given each year to a health care organization that provides innovative programs that significantly improve the health and well-being of its community. Massachusetts General Hospital’s comprehensive initiative to address the opioid epidemic most recently exemplifies this commitment to community ...

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Mass. General Study Points to the First Topical Treatment For Common Benign Skin Lesions

Sometimes called “senile warts,” “barnacles” or “liver spots,” SKs vary in color from tan to black, can be flat or raised, and range in size from quite small to an inch or more across. They become more common with aging; most individuals over 40 are likely to have a few, and some can have hundreds scattered across the ...