Could Loneliness be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 9, 2016

Loneliness may be an early sign of brain changes that lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.

In people with Alzheimer’s, the disease process—involving abnormal protein accumulation in the brain—begins 10 or 20 years before the onset of cognitive impairment.

In November, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) published a study that examined whether certain emotional or behavioral changes were associated with the accumulation of abnormal proteins, such as amyloid—a protein believed to be a precursor of Alzheimer’s.

“We thought loneliness could be an early signal of amyloid accumulation, because in epidemiologic studies lonely people have accelerated cognitive decline,” said study leader Dr. Nancy Donovan, a psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at BWH.   Read More »

Breast Reconstruction – New Surgical Approaches

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 11, 2016

Innovative flap procedures offer breast reconstruction options to patients who are not candidates for implant-based breast reconstruction.

Contributor: Dr. Matthew Carty is Co-Director of the Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. His clinical interests include advanced reconstructive and cosmetic procedures of the body and face.

Many women who have lost a breast to cancer cannot undergo common breast reconstruction procedures, because they have had abdominal surgery, or lack sufficient donor tissue in their abdomen.

However, with advances in surgical reconstruction, many have new options. “We can now use the patient’s own tissue to rebuild the breast,” says Dr. Matthew Carty.

The innovative reconstructive options involve transferring tissue, known as flaps, from one part of the body to the chest without compromising muscle functioning.

“After the surgical procedure, patients can still run, ride bikes, swim, do ballet, yoga, all the general activities that people like to do,” says Dr. Carty. Read More »

From One Hospital to Another, Brother and Sister Bond

Posted by Blog Administrator April 19, 2012

From One Hospital to Another, Brother and Sister Bond

Amanda (right) used a unique way to communicate with her family at BWH.

In life’s most trying moments, small gestures and coincidences can bring tremendous hope.

That was the case last month, when a family found itself with one daughter at Children’s Hospital Boston with a lung infection at the same time that their newborn son entered the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) next door. By sheer coincidence, the brother and sister found themselves in rooms across the street from one another – with views into each other’s windows. Nurses and staff at both hospitals rallied around the family, making and posting signs in the windows to help big sister Amanda meet and bond with her new brother Zachary.

It all started in March when Lucinda and Sean Murphy brought their 8-year-old daughter Amanda to Children’s Hospital with a lung infection related to cystic fibrosis. Not long after Amanda was admitted to Children’s, Lucinda – pregnant with a baby boy – felt her water break and headed straight to BWH for an emergency delivery. At just 4.5 pounds, baby Zachary soon was moved to the NICU.

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