Partners HealthCare Biobank – Advancing Personalized Medicine

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital November 19, 2015

20140404; Friday, April 4, 2014, Boston, MA, USA; Partners HealthCare Biobank leaders Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, MD, and Elizabeth Wood Karlson, MD, talk about the promise of the Biobank project in Dr. Slaugenhaupt's lab space inside the Massachusetts General Hospital Simches Research Building Friday morning April 4, 2014. background: "The Partners HealthCare Biobank is a large research program designed to help researchers understand how people’s health is affected by their genes, lifestyle, and environment. The Biobank collects and maintain samples and information from individuals who receive their care at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital. These materials will be used in research to better understand many different diseases." ~ adapted from Partners website Partners HealthCare annual report project with Hill Holliday ( 2014 © lightchaser photography )

Partners HealthCare Biobank leaders Dr. Elizabeth W. Karlson (left) and Dr. Susan A. Slaugenhaupt.

The Partners HealthCare Biobank is a program designed to help researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and other Partners HealthCare institutions understand how people’s health is affected by their genes, lifestyle, and environment.

By understanding a patient’s genetic makeup, physicians can screen more aggressively for diseases that their patients are predisposed to and develop plans to reduce the chances of developing specific diseases. Ultimately, the goal is to define and classify subgroups of patients based on how they respond to certain treatments, which will help physicians choose the best medications for individuals. This is known as personalized medicine.

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Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 19, 2015

Dr. Michael E. Weinblatt

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of chronic arthritis caused by the immune system, affecting 1.3 million Americans. It’s a disease that mainly affects young people, so it typically begins at 20 to 40 years of age – but it can occur at any age. It’s characterized by an inflammatory reaction in the joints, which can lead to joint destruction. However, it also can impact other organs in the body, including the lung and heart.

There is no cure for RA. However, advances in rheumatoid arthritis treatment have led to a remarkable improvement in many patients. As a result, early diagnosis and treatment is critical. Fortunately, there have been exciting advancements in rheumatoid arthritis treatment that have slowed the progression of joint damage.

Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, Co-Director of Clinical Rheumatology in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), discusses rheumatoid arthritis treatment, along with an overview of promising research being conducted at BWH.

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For Women, a Beer Every Couple of Days Might Help Keep Rheumatoid Arthritis Away

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

A new study suggests that, for women, drinking moderate amounts of beer may reduce future development of rheumatoid arthritis.

If you enjoy the occasional beer, you might be reducing your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) suggests that, for women, drinking moderate amounts of beer has a positive impact on the development of rheumatoid arthritis – the most common type of chronic arthritis caused by the immune system.

“Long-term, moderate alcohol drinking may reduce future rheumatoid arthritis development,” explains principal investigator Bing Lu, MD, DrPH, of the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at BWH. “The study found that moderate use of any form of alcohol reduced the risk by 21 percent, but moderate beer drinking – between two and four per week – cut women’s odds by nearly a third.”

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