Researchers Discover Test to Predict Which Patients with Rare Blood Disease Will Respond to Only FDA-Approved Treatment, and Identify Alternative Therapy

New research has uncovered a precision medicine test using blood proteins to identify a novel patient subgroup of idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD), a rare blood disorder, who are more likely to respond to siltuximab, the only FDA approved treatment for the disease.

Online mental health intervention significantly helps the isolated, immunosuppressed during pandemic

People with the rare autoimmune disease scleroderma, who likely experience more serious isolation during a global pandemic, saw their anxiety and depression improve after receiving online mental health intervention through an international study. Researchers say the support program could be extended to many vulnerable patient populations moving forward.

Starting Smoking Cessation in Hospitalized Patients Would Reduce Many Premature Deaths

Each year in the U.S., about 30 million hospitalizations occur in individuals 18 and older. Of these, more than 7 million are current cigarette smokers whose average hospital stay is several days. Researchers say that starting smoking cessation therapy during hospitalization and maintaining high adherence post-discharge can markedly improve permanent quit rates in these patients with minimal to no side effects. Cessation therapy also should include long-term counseling and at least 90 days of a prescription drug, specifically, varenicline.

Clinical trial to assess rehabilitation treatment for infants and toddlers after stroke

In the first of its kind for the tiniest stroke survivors, researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) will lead a stroke rehabilitation clinical trial in the state of Texas through a multi-institutional NIH StrokeNet initiative.

Who Could Benefit From Exercise and Behavioral Treatment?

Aerobic exercise clearly benefits young adults with major depression, and a Rutgers-led study suggests it may be possible to predict those who would benefit from behavioral therapy with exercise. Unique to this precision medicine study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, is an assessment of cognitive control and reward-related brain activity, two facets of brain function that are impaired in people with depression. Like previous studies, this one showed that aerobic exercise helps young adults with major depression.

Henry Ford Health System Kicks Off David DiChiera Music Therapy Program with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre

Henry Ford Health System, in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT), has begun offering virtual musical performances to cancer patients via its music therapy program named for the founding general director of Michigan Opera Theatre, David DiChiera. Through the David DiChiera Music Therapy Program, patients of Henry Ford Cancer Institute will be able to enjoy both live and archived virtual performances from the DSO and MOT at no cost.

Love Under Lockdown: How Couples Can Cope During COVID-19

For many, love has long been associated with flowers, candy, and counting down the hours until they see their crush or significant other again. During the age of coronavirus? Just like every other part of life, the mechanics of romance have changed. Newly dating partners are longing for one another after weeks apart due to the quarantine; longtime cohabitating and married couples are spending more time together than ever, deepening bonds for many while some could use a breather from seeing their (not so) loved one’s face.

Self-regulation for kids: at home, at school and with autism

As every teacher will assert, self-regulation is the key to optimal learning; it helps kids tune in, stay focussed and be ready to learn. But what if your child isn’t wired this way? For many children, self-regulation is hard to master, but for kids on the autism spectrum, it can seem insurmountable, singling them out and creating barriers to their learning.

Parents’ social isolation linked to their children’s health

Parents’ social isolation was linked to self-reported poorer health not only for themselves but also for their adolescent children, finds a study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.“The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelationship between parent and adolescent social isolation and health,” said Tess Thompson, research assistant professor.

Scientists trace the molecular roots of potentially fatal heart condition

At a glance:

Research using heart cells from squirrels, mice and people identifies an evolutionary mechanism critical for heart muscle function

Gene defect that affects a protein found in the heart muscle interferes with this mechanism to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal heart condition

Imbalance in the ratio of active and inactive protein disrupts heart muscle’s ability to contract and relax normally, interferes with heart muscle’s energy consumption

Treatment with a small-molecule drug restores proper contraction, energy consumption in human and rodent heart cells

If affirmed in subsequent studies, the results can inform therapies that could halt disease progression, help prevent common complications, including arrhythmias and heart failure