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Superbug: An Epidemic Spreads
May/June 2014 (Harvard Magazine) - The first antibiotic, penicillin, was created in the 1930s by Alexander Fleming. Since then, antibiotics have grown to include all types of bacteria, including Methicillin to treat MRSA. Unfortunately, every time there is a new strain of a virus, a new antibiotic needs to be created. Fortunately, researchers throughout Boston are working to prevent that. Michael Gilmore, professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Mass. Eye and Ear, organized Harvard’s Program on Antibiotic Resistance. Gilmore and his team are developing innovative approaches to finding new drugs. “We explore new drug targets that are higher risk than those a company would work on,” explains Suzanne Walker, one of Gilmore’s collaborators and professor of microbiology and immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. To read more about this study and others being conducted throughout the area, click here.
Medical Research Rises from Tragedy at Finish Line
April 15, 2014 (Boston.com) - Dr. Aaron Remenschneider and colleagues at Mass. Eye and Ear have found a way to turn last year’s Marathon tragedy into something positive. Currently, Remenschneider, Dr. Daniel Lee and Dr. Alicia Quesnel are conducting a three-year study on ear-related studies from civilian blasts. “We know some information as a result of how patients fare in blast injuries from our military colleagues, but there isn’t a whole lot dealing with civilian-related blast injury,” said Dr. Remenschneider. The three doctors will be pooling data from Boston-area hospitals, and doing current studies on 93 participants who volunteered. The results from this study will help doctors understand how to treat hearing problems from blasts such as the Marathon last year, and will help Mass. Eye and Ear move forward and continue to heal.
GSSW Alumna Runs for Team Eye and Ear in 2014 Boston Marathon
April 10, 2014 (Boston College Chronicle) -The Remenschneider’s remember, like many residents of Boston, where they were last year when they heard about the Marathon Tragedy; Emily was at work in Waltham, and husband Aaron was on-call at Mass. Eye and Ear. “In the early afternoon, I received a message from my cousin in New York asking about explosions at the marathon,” Emily said. “I immediately tried to see what information I could find, but everything was so unclear.” Aaron worked with his colleagues through the night, evaluating and treating patients with ear pain, hearing loss, and other head and neck injuries from the blast. Currently, they are working on research about how to best treat people with hearing loss from similar explosions. The couple is running this year for Team Eye and Ear to support research for hearing loss. To learn more about the Remenschnieder's and Team Eye and Ear, click here.
Scientists Visualize New Treatments for Retinal Blindess
March 26, 2014 (ScienceDaily) - Researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear have published a study that may help to find a cure for proliferative retinopathies, which is the most common cause of blindness. They discovered that the body’s immune system helps remove abnormal blood vessels that take away sight, but leaves the healthy cells and tissue intact. This discovery is useful because doctors can identify ways to influence the immune system to “clean out” the retina, which can delay or even restore blindness. Kip M. Connor, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Ophthalmology at the Mass. Eye and Ear Angiogenesis Laboratory, said that "It is our hope that future studies will allow us to develop specific therapeutics that harnesses this knowledge resulting in a greater visual outcome and quality of life for patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy or retinopathy of prematurity."
Teacher-runner Sees Role Clearly
Mar. 20, 2014 (ItemLive) - Jess Kochman will be joining the 35,660 people running in the Boston Marathon this year, alongside her running partner Kristin Fleschner. She will be running with a different purpose however; Fleschner is blind, and the two have been training together all year. “It seemed like a cool opportunity," Kochman said. "She (Fleschner) ended up qualifying for Boston. She told me (that if she was) doing a lot of runs with me, I might as well run Boston”. Kochman said that after last year’s tragedy, she felt the only way to run would be for a charity. She chose to raise money for Mass. Eye and Ear, because Fleschner has received countless eye treatments here. “"It means a lot to be running it after that horrible incident occurred, and to be raising money for a hospital that really helped some of the victims, absolutely”. Although Fleschner will be running with a professional guide, Kochman will be running right next to her.
Workers Recount Chaos of Boston Bombing
March 20, 2014 (Journal Tribune) - April 15th, 2013 was a day that Mass. Eye and Ear, along with the Boston community, will never forget. “It was organized chaos”, said RN Deb Trocchi in a discussion this about the marathon. Others who spoke at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, NH, were Maureen Martinez, nursing manager, and Dr. Aaron Remenschneider. The staffs at Mass. Eye and Ear are using their experience from last year’s tragedy to move forward and treat other patients from bombings in a new way. “The victims of that day have been so empowering and so willing to share their stories and take part in the research,” said Remenschneider. “I have been so impressed at their willingness to help a broader community.”
Hearing-impaired Toddler Hears for First Time with Help of Special Implant
March5, 2014 (The Indy Channel RTV 6 ABC) - Seventeen-month-old Alex Frederick finally heard for the first time last month, thanks to an Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI). This device was created in Italy by Dr. Vittorio Colletti, and was just beginning to undergo clinical trials to win FDA approval. Alex’s parents jumped on board, and flew from Michigan to Boston to have the surgery done at Mass. Eye and Ear. They came back several weeks later to test it, and it appeared that the device was not going to work; Alex still could not hear anything. All of a sudden, keys dropped, and Alex turned his head. He heard his first sound.
12-year-old Boy on Dream Trip before Going Blind
March 4, 2014 (Osun Defender) - Louie Corbett, a 12-year-old from New Zealand, will be blind very soon. He has a disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive disorder that deteriorates his vision. Usually this occurs over decades, but Louie’s condition is accelerated. Louie’s parents wanted him and his brother’s to see the world before he went completely blind. So, Louie made a “Vision Bucket List”, and on it, he included a Boston Celtics game. On his journey through Boston, Louie stopped at Mass. Eye and Ear, where he was able to see that there is ocular research being conducted to reverse his condition, and turn this into just an excellent trip.
Inner-ear Delivery Device Sends Drugs out, Draws Fluid in
Feb. 26, 2014 (Fierce Drug Delivery) - Researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear and Draper Laboratory in Cambridge have come up with a new device that could make injection of medicine much easier for patients with hearing loss. This device is small enough to wear, and injects medicine into the inner tube of the ear, while pushing other fluids out to maintain a constant pressure. This device has already been tested in vitro and in vivo, and the next step is long-term testing.
Scientists Regenerate the Ear's Hair Cells to Treat Hearing Loss in Mice
Feb. 20, 2014 (Boston.com) - Albert Edge, researcher at Mass. Eye and Ear and founder of Audion Technologies, has been doing research in an attempt to reverse hearing loss. He has discovered that hair-like hearing cells in newborn mice can be regenerated when given an experimental drug originally used for Alzheimer’s. The cells that were being regenerated created a protein called LGR5, which is what helps turn them into hair cells. Edge says that although this does not help Audion’s research to make a first-generation drug that could be tested in people, it will help in future treatments or therapies.
Cochlear implants-with no exterior hardware
Feb, 9, 2014 (Phys.org) - Researchers from Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School and MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratory have created a more convenient implant for people with hearing loss. They have designed a low-power microchip that can be used to make cochlear implants. Typically, these implants contain an exterior microphone to gather sound. However, this new chip will allow the implant to gather sound from the natural microphone in the middle ear. This new implant will run on a battery for up to eight hours, and can be charged using the battery from your cell phone.
Mike Toth and the Art of Branding
Feb. 5, 2014 (Boston Globe) – This article introduces Mike Toth, a branding guru, and mentions his collaboration with his doctor, Director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Director of the Norman Knight Center, Dr. Daniel Deschler. On Sunday, Feb. 9., Toth and Dr. Deschler will come together for the opening of Toth’s photography exhibit. Proceeds of the exhibit will go towards funding Dr. Deschler’s work. More on the exhibit can be seen here.
Potential Therapeutic Role for Aspirin in the Management of Sporadic Vestibular Schwannoma
Feb. 5, 2014 (ASCO Post) – In patients with sporadic vestibular schwannoma, aspirin may be of benefit in minimizing tumor growth, according to new results presented in the journal of Otology and Neurotology. This finding may eliminate the need for invasive therapy and may complement existing modalities. Lead Author Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., of Mass. Eye and Ear, remarked, “Currently, there are no FDA-approved drug therapies to treat these tumors, which are the most common tumors of the cerebellopontine angle and the fourth most common intracranial tumors. Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting vestibular schwannoma growth.”
Aspirin Could Slow Noncancerous Brain Tumors
Feb. 3, 2014 (Health 24) – A study funded in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and conducted by researchers on over 700 patients shows that aspirin might slow the growth of a noncancerous type of brain trumor that can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, or even death. "Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting vestibular schwannoma growth," said Study Leader Dr. Konstantina Stankovic, otologic surgeon and researcher at Mass. Eye and Ear.
Aspirin Might Help Treat Brain Tumor Tied to Hearing Loss
Jan. 30, 2014 (Health Day) – A new study on the effects that aspirin can have on vestibular schwannomas and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, revealed that the rate of tumor growth was slower in patients who took aspirin than in those who didn't take the drug. Age and gender did not affect the findings."Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role of aspirin in inhibiting vestibular schwannoma growth," said Study Leader Dr. Konstantina Stankovic, otologic surgeon and researcher at the Mass. Eye and Ear.
Postmenopausal Estrogen Therapy Tied to Lower Glaucoma Risk
Jan. 30, 2014 (Health Day News) – New research has shown that women who take estrogen-only hormone-replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms might also be reducing their risk for glaucoma. However, Dr. Angel Turalba, glaucoma specialist at Mass. Eye and Ear, has said, “The new study results do not suggest that reducing risk of glaucoma is reason enough to take hormone replacement therapy.” This kind of therapy can increase health risks, like heart disease, breast cancer and stroke.
Children Born Blind Can Learn to See as Teenagers
Jan. 29, 2014 (Nature) – In a study of children born with blindness who underwent surgery to restore vision, researchers have found that the brain can still restore vision later in life. Researchers tested the children's ability to perceive contrast between varying shades of grey, a skill that would make it possible to read many texts, for example. The study was carried out using software developed by co-author Luis Andres Lesmes and a team led by Vision Scientist Peter Bex, Ph.D., at Harvard Medical School . The test was administered two times following surgery, six months apart. Of the 11 children studies, five of the patients showed progression in their vision.
Visual System Can Retain Considerable Plasticity After Extended Blindness
Jan. 27, 2014 (Medical Xpress) – A new study conducted by researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School and Mass. Institute of Technology shows that the human visual system can retain plasticity beyond critical periods, even after early and extended vision loss during childhood. "Our research group has been studying the development of vision in children who were blind from birth because of congenital cataracts. We have been measuring if and how their vision develops after surgery in late childhood and adolescence to remove cataracts, which enable sight for the first time. Our results show remarkable plasticity and vision continues to improve in many children long after the surgery," said Senior Author Dr. Peter J. Bex.
Study Suggests Potential Therapeutic Role of Aspirin in Inhibiting Vestibular Schwannoma Growth
Jan. 24, 2014 (News Medical) – Researchers from Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Mass. Institute of Technology and Mass. General Hospital have demonstrated, for the first time ever, that aspirin intake relates directly to halted growth of vestibular schwannomas, or acoustic neuromas. This is a potentially lethal intracranial tumor that can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. "Currently, there are no FDA-approved drug therapies to treat these tumors, which are the most common tumors of the cerebellopontine angle and the fourth most common intracranial tumors," explains Konstantina Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., Mass. Eye and Ear clinican-researcher and assistant professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. "Current options for management of growing vestibular schwannomas include surgery, via craniotomy, or radiation therapy, both of which are associated with potentially serious complications.'"
No More Eye Drops? Contact Lens Prototype Delivers
Jan. 22, 2014 (Live Science) – Researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have developed a contact lens that directly delivers treatment to the eye for patients with glaucoma. The medication can also help correct vision in such patients. People using traditional eye drops for glaucoma "aren't getting any symptomatic relief, and they're not seeing better, so there's not a lot of motivation to be compliant with the medication," said Dr. Joseph Ciolino, the ophthalmologist who, along with his mentor Dr. Daniel Kohane, developed the new contact lens at Harvard Medical School.
New Tool to Predict Retinal Detachment after OGI
Jan. 10, 2014 (Optometry UK) – Looking at data from over 893 patients diagnosed with an open globe injury between 1999 to 2011, a team from Mass. Eye and Ear found that 29% of the patients went on to develop retinal detachment.Dr. Dean Elliot, lead author if the study and associate director of the Retina Service at Mass. Eye and Ear, has said: “The RD-OGI score may be useful to help the ophthalmologist predict which patients are at a higher risk for retinal detachment after open globe trauma.”
Open Globe Trauma May Lead to Retinal Detachment
Jan. 7, 2014 (Healio) – In a retrospective study of over 893 patients with open globe injury at Mass. Eye and Ear for the past 10 years, investigators measured detachment time and clinical factors of retinal detachment after open globe injury using a tool called multivariable logistic regression. Open globe trauma commonly causes retinal detachment, which may take weeks to appear after the traumatic event, according to the study.
New Tool May Help Predict Retinal Detachment After Open Globe Injuries
Jan. 2, 2014 (News Medical) – Researchers from Mass. Eye and Ear, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology report on the first study in 35 years that reviews the circumstances around retinal detachment after open globe injuries (OGI) and describes a new tool that may help ophthalmologists predict which patients are at higher risk after open globe trauma so they can potentially prevent retinal detachment from happening or identify, and help restore vision more quickly.
Insight Into Likelihood of Retinal Detachment Following Open Globe Injury
Jan. 1, 2014 (Medical Xpress) – Ocular trauma causing a breach in the wall of the eye, or open globe injury (OGI), is a major cause of vision loss, with more than 200,000 open globe injuries occurring worldwide each year. Retinal detachment can follow this injury, causing significant vision loss of blindness. Researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear performed a retrospective review of about 1,036 consecutive OGIs evaluated by the Eye Trauma Service of Mass. Eye and Ear from Feb. 1, 1999 to Nov. 30, 2011. “We took this information, along with other variables, and created the Retinal Detachment after Open Globe Injury (RD-OGI) score,” said Dr. Dean Elliot, a senior author and associate director of the Mass. Eye and Ear Retina Service. Dr. Stelios Evangelos Gragoudas, associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, said, “After prospective validation with independent cohorts, the RD-OGI score may be useful to help the ophthalmologist predict which patients are at higher risk for retinal detachment after open globe trauma."