It’s Your Turn – Guide the Future of Sleep Apnea Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 18, 2014

MyApnea.Org relies on partnerships and inclusion in its mission to improve sleep apnea treatment and research.

Do you or a family member suffer from sleep apneaMyApnea.Org wants to hear from you!

MyApnea.Org is a new initiative that aims to create partnerships among patients with sleep apnea, clinicians, and researchers. MyApnea.Org is one of 18 patient-powered networks that together are building a national network to support new models for finding answers to questions patients are most interested in. The initiative is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and is led by  Susan Redline, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Director, Sleep Disorders Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and partners at  the American Sleep Apnea Association,  the largest sleep apnea advocacy group. The vision is to create a new model for future clinical research, where patients help direct the work needed to understand which treatments are most effective and what further research is needed to improve the quality of life for patients with sleep apnea.

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Mobile Menopause App Guides Hormone Therapy Decisions

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 16, 2014

The free MenoPro mobile app is a decision-support tool for women facing menopause.

For women facing menopause, the choice to take – or not to take – estrogen or other prescription medications can be overwhelming, complicated, and downright stressful. It turns out that clinicians often struggle with the decision-making process, too. Now, a new mobile app could help both women and their clinicians navigate this important health care decision.

The app, called MenoPro, was developed by JoAnn Manson, MD, MPH, DrPH, Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her colleagues at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

It is designed to help clinicians and patients work together to personalize treatment decisions based on patients’ own preferences (hormonal vs. non-hormonal therapies) and to take into account their health risks (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease). The app features two modes, one for health care providers and another for patients.

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Update on Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 11, 2014

Ross D. Zafonte, DO

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) covers a wide range of injuries, from people who have suffered severe head injuries due to trauma or disease, to children and adults who experience concussions as a result of participation in amateur and professional sports. All types of traumatic brain injuries can cause immediate and long-term neurological problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of TBI-related visits to emergency departments has gone up significantly in recent years. It is estimated that nearly 3.5 million people sustain TBIs each year, though some suggest that this number may underestimate the number of people who suffer sports-related concussions.

In this video, Dr. Ross Zafonte, Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital , explains the risk factors for sports-related TBI , clinical symptoms, treatments, and research aimed at improving recovery.

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Five Tips for a Healthy Rotator Cuff

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 9, 2014

Throwing athletes use their shoulders aggressively and are at increased risk of rotator cuff damage.

The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. They act like cables on a suspension bridge to coordinate movement of the shoulder in space and to enhance the stability of the shoulder joint. Injury to this important group of muscles can cause pain and limit shoulder function. Non-sports activities can cause such injuries, but throwing athletes use their shoulders aggressively and are at increased risk of rotator cuff damage.

Simple everyday measures, however, can significantly improve the health of the rotator cuff and prevent future injuries. Dr. Elizabeth G. Matzkin, Surgical Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Team Physician for Stonehill College Athletics, and orthopedist Dr. Dafang Zhang offer patients the following five simple yet valuable tips for maintaining a healthy rotator cuff.

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Medication and More: Options for Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 4, 2014

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about one half of American men over age 40 at some point in their lives.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) describes the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual function. This condition affects about one half of American men over age 40 at some point in their lives. Factors that contribute to a higher risk of ED include age, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Most men respond to non-surgical treatments, such as oral medications or self-injection therapy. If these treatments don’t work, surgery may provide another option.

Dr. Michael O’Leary, director of the Men’s Sexual Health Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, focuses primarily on men who are dealing with ED and offers a variety of treatments based on each patient’s specific needs. In this video, Dr. O’Leary explains the causes of ED and how it can be effectively treated.

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Light Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 2, 2014

Light therapy is one treatment for controlling symptoms of seasonal affective disorder during fall/winter months.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder in which a person’s depression occurs repeatedly in a particular season of the year – most often people with SAD get depressed in winter when days are short. SAD is a form of depressive disorder and has the usual symptoms. What is unique to the specific SAD diagnosis is the seasonal timing. Evidence-based treatments for SAD include light therapy. This requires the use of a specific type of light box to mimic some features of natural sunlight. Today’s post, written by Janis L. Anderson, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), offers some tips for choosing the right type of light box to treat SAD. Dr. Anderson has conducted clinical SAD research since 1985.

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Double Arm Transplant Recipient Gives Thanks

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 25, 2014

Double arm transplant recipient Will Lautzenheiser demonstrates what he can do with his new arms.

Befitting the spirit of this week’s holiday, today’s story exemplifies both gratitude and giving.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) announced at a press conference today that Will Lautzenheiser, 40, a former professor of film production and screenwriting at Boston University and Montana State University, is the recipient of a bilateral (double) arm transplant. Last month, a team of 35 clinicians, including 13 surgeons, worked for nearly nine hours to transplant a donor’s arms – above the elbow on his left side and below the elbow on his right side. The team precisely joined bones, arteries, muscles, tendons, veins, and nerves of the donor’s arms together with Will’s.

Will became a quadruple amputee in 2011when doctors in Montana removed his limbs to save his life, which was in jeopardy due to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), a life-threatening Group A streptococcal infection. Since that time, Will has struggled to manage with prosthetic (artificial) limbs. With his transplanted arms, however, Will expects to be able to perform everyday tasks quicker and without the aid of others, and to gradually regain his sense of touch.

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Great American Smokeout – An Important Challenge

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 20, 2014

Today marks the American Cancer Society’s 38th annual Great American Smokeout, a day in which we encourage smokers to go without smoking for one day and to start making a plan to quit smoking for good.

Quitting is a difficult but worthwhile challenge. This year alone, an estimated 224,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and 159,000 Americans will die from the disease. Most, but not all, of these cases of lung cancer will be attributable to smoking. Read the following posts to learn more about smoking and lung health.

Public Smoking Bans Associated with Health Benefits in Children

Nearly half of the world’s children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke. Passive smoking is linked to premature births, birth defects, asthma, and lung infections.




Lung Cancer Screening Helps Current and Former Smokers

For current or former long-term smokers, lung cancer screening should be a priority. Research has shown that new screening guidelines for the use of low-dose computed tomography (CT)  should significantly reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer by improving early detection.


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Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – Determining the Course of Trauma Research

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 17, 2014

Gillian Reny nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to vote in this year’s first annual Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, a competition that supports innovative advances in bone regeneration, limb transplantation, stem cell technology, orthopedic and plastic surgery, and bioengineering.

The competition is one of three Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund initiatives that have been developed to promote trauma-related research and improve trauma care. Established by the Reny family last February, the fund was inspired by their daughter Gillian, a young student and aspiring dancer who nearly lost her limbs and her life during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Gillian not only survived, but also recovered the use of her legs through her own commitment and a collaborative effort among dedicated BWH physicians, rehabilitation therapists, nurses, and other specialists.

This year’s Stepping Strong Innovator Awards finalists are Indranil Sinha, MD, E.J. Caterson, MD, PhD, and Matthew Carty, MD. Their innovative research concepts include a new surgical approach to help patients with lower limb amputations achieve normal function; a wound healing technology that promotes tissue regeneration while preventing infection; and a technique that uses the body’s own stem cells to help muscles heal after traumatic injuries.

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Women and Lung Cancer

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 13, 2014

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States. For women, it accounts for more deaths than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer combined. Consequently, medical researchers have been working hard to increase our understanding of lung cancer and help us better prevent, diagnose, and treat the condition.

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