Category: School of Medicine

The Non-Toxic Baby

August 26th, 2014 in 2014, Huffington Post, Jack Maypole, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Huffington Post
Jack Maypole, School of Medicine

Toxins. They are everywhere… from flame retardants in crib mattresses that may cause cancer to harmful chemicals such as BPA and even alternatives to BPA that may disrupt hormone receptors…

Expert quote:

“While more and more providers are recognizing the upside to having babies eat organic food whenever possible to decrease pesticide exposure, there has been a subsequent movement to create what we might call an organic/toxin free life space for infants and toddlers.”

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Watertown publisher cooks up mag with kid-friendly recipes

August 24th, 2014 in 2014, Barry Zuckerman, Boston Herald, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

zuckermanBoston Herald
Barry Zuckerman, School of Medicine

Five years ago, cookbook writer Sally Sampson was sick of hearing that the obesity epidemic was being fueled by a culture in which fast food was cheaper to buy than healthy food cooked at home…

Expert quote:

“It’s one of the best things out there for children, not just as an antidote to obesity, but as an age-appropriate way to learn the life skill of how to prepare healthy food to eat.”

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Clinical Assessment May Benefit Postpartum Women with Methadone Treatment Changes

August 22nd, 2014 in 2014, News Releases, School of Medicine 0 comments

For Immediate Release, Aug. 25, 2014
Jenny Eriksen Leary, 617-638-6841,

A recent study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) found that women may not need significant methadone dose reductions in the first three months after pregnancy. Researchers reviewed the charts of 101 women who received care at a methadone maintenance treatment program between 2006 and 2010 after giving birth. They discovered that under the clinical assessment model—in which clinicians estimate patients’ methadone dose based on their individual physiologic parameters, rather than using a standard formula to reduce doses—women experienced on average only a small reduction in methadone dose. This suggests that, contrary to prior belief, changes in the physiology of women’s bodies from delivery to 12 weeks postpartum did not significantly affect their response to methadone.

Treatment for addiction in pregnant women is a complex topic. The gold standard for treatment is methadone maintenance, which has been shown to reduce illicit drug use and improve neonatal outcomes such as birth weight. Given the physical changes that happen to a woman’s body while pregnant, women often need higher doses to help them effectively manage their addiction during and after pregnancy. Yet, the optimal approach to adjusting methadone maintenance dosages during the postpartum period has long been unclear. Nonetheless, ensuring that women receive an appropriate dose is crucial to ensure ongoing sobriety while avoiding dangerous oversedation.

“This is an important issue because the postpartum period can be vulnerable for women struggling with opioid dependence, and it is crucial to ensure that the methadone dose is adequately high to continue to support recovery, while not causing oversedation,” said lead author Christine Pace, MD, an internist at BMC who specializes in addiction. “Oversedation is dangerous because women who are lethargic or sleepy are not able to care appropriately for themselves or their infants. In addition, patients who become over sedated from an excessive dose of methadone, with or without the addition of other medications or illicit drugs, may be at risk for overdose.”

The number of events where women appeared oversedated was slightly increased during the postpartum period, but still rare, occurring less than 6 times per 10,000 visit days. Many of the women who experienced these were also concurrently prescribed benzodiazepines. The authors caution that women receiving multiple sedating medications are particularly vulnerable and require more frequent surveillance.

“Our findings suggest that, given the physiologic changes and psychosocial stressors unique to the postpartum period, it is appropriate for methadone clinics to implement regular postpartum assessments at intervals extending at least up to 12 weeks after delivery. Clinicians also should take into account benzodiazepine use,” said Pace, also an assistant professor of medicine at BUSM. “Further studies are needed to guide safe and effective methadone dosing during the postpartum period in order to improve outcomes for both mother and child.”

Funding for this study was provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse (award number R25DA13582) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (award AI052074-06A2).



Painkillers will be tougher to get this fall

August 22nd, 2014 in 2014, Jeffrey Samet, Marketplace, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Jeffrey Samet, School of Medicine

Starting this fall, it will be more difficult to get commonly prescribed painkillers, such as Vicodin. The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced a new rule that reclassifies drugs containing hydrocodone. That means most consumers will be forced to get their prescription in person — no more over-the-phone refills…

Expert quote:

“It’s linked to addiction and transition to heroin use and people are dying from that. So, we need to do something.”

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Boston prepared for an “unlikely” outbreak of the Ebola virus

August 21st, 2014 in 2014, David Coleman, Ebola, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Coleman_David-54-2-5x3-5-crp1-214x300State House News Service
David Coleman, School of Medicine

While a Boston Ebola case is unlikely, officials say, everyone from medical emergency workers on city streets and in the Port of Boston to nurses and doctors in the hospitals are prepared for that potentiality…

Expert quote:

“The recent tragic outbreak of Ebola virus is a very frightening event.”

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Some natural ammunition against Ebola Virus fever (3)

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, Ebola, Nahid Bhadelia, NEIDL, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Bhadelia-256x300The Nation
Nahid Bhadelia, School of Medicine, NEIDL

Every few years, just like clockwork, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organisation (WHO) conspire on a new global threat to scare the living daylights out of people…

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Blood Transfusions May Cut Risk of ‘Silent’ Stroke in Kids With Sickle Cell

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, HealthDay News, Martin Steinberg, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

HealthDay News
Martin Steinberg, School of Medicine

Monthly blood transfusions may lower the chances of “silent” strokes in some children with sickle cell anemia, a new clinical trial indicates…

Expert quote:

“The results of this trial are solid. But it could be very difficult to do this in a community hospital setting, where the resources might not be there.”

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Those Who Know They’re Dreaming Are Savvier When Awake

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, Newsmakers, Patrick McNamara, School of Medicine, The Atlantic 0 comments

patrickmcnamaThe Atlantic
Patrick McNamara, School of Medicine

It’s probably fair to assume that at this moment, you are, in fact, awake. You’re reading; you’re scrolling; sometime in the not-too-distant past, you somehow made your way to The Atlantic’s website. All waking activities…

Expert quote:

“When you go back to sleep after being awake for a long time, you have what’s called sleep rebound, but nobody knows if that’s the case when you lucid dream. Do you have sleep rebound effects afterwards?”

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Travel with medications, medical devices can be daunting

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, Natasha Hochberg, Newsmakers, Reuters, School of Medicine, School of Public Health 0 comments

Natasha Hochberg, School of Medicine, School of Public Health

For international travelers who need to carry medical devices and medications with them, it’s not easy to find out the travel requirements at their destinations, and embassies in general aren’t much help, according to a new study…

Expert quote:

“Travelers bringing medication overseas should bring the medication in their carry-on luggage to prevent possible loss in checked baggage, keep it in the original bottle that the medication came in, take enough to last for their trip as well as some extra in case of changes to the itinerary, and have adequate documentation including the original prescription and possibly a signed letter on travel clinic letterhead.”

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Drug found effective against virus similar to Ebola

August 20th, 2014 in 2014, Ebola, John Connor, NEIDL, Newsmakers, School of Medicine 0 comments

Connor-150x150USA Today
John Connor, School of Medicine, NEIDL

A study out today shows that an experimental treatment for Marburg virus – a close cousin to Ebola – can be given after symptoms of the terrible disease have started to appear…

Expert quote:

“There’s a tremendous need for potentially effective therapeutics and not necessarily a reason to hold anything back too far.”

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