Stories about: Lyle Micheli

Health headlines: Focusing on hospital safety, using zebrafish to understand cancer and fixing ACL tears with a sponge

Cleaning

Boston Children’s Hospital’s doctors and researchers are constantly working to uncover and understand health and medical questions. Health Headlines is a twice-monthly summary of some of the most important research findings and news.

Top news this week includes how hospitals are changing to become safer, how zebrafish are helping cancer researchers make strides and how sponges are being used to repair torn ACLs.

How hospitals are changing to become safer

The New York Times “Opinionator” blog reports patient safety experts say that medical errors are more a function of faulty systems than faulty people. In recent years, with leadership from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, federal programs like the Partnership for Patients and numerous hospitals have made focused efforts to reduce harm.

Scientists watch as healthy cells turn into melanoma

Medscape reports on new research from Boston Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Leonard Zon, that finds zebrafish can be used to visually track melanoma as it begins. Researchers believe this work could have significant implications for cancer therapeutics, in that it provides clues for stopping cancer before it even begins.

Can a sponge fix athletes’ knees?

The Wall Street Journal features research from Boston Children’s Dr. Martha Murray, that is currently in the first safety trials in humans. Dr. Murray and Boston Children’s Dr. Lyle Micheli are inserting a sponge roughly the size of a thumb to serve as a bridge between the torn strands of the ACL and flushing it with the patient’s blood. That serves as a stimulus to make a bridge grow essentially encouraging the ACL to repair itself.

Learn more about Boston Children’s ACL Program.

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Health headlines: Boosting brainpower, treating overuse injuries and the latest on food allergies

Health headlines

Boston Children’s Hospital’s doctors and researchers are constantly working to uncover and understand health and medical questions. Health Headlines is a twice-monthly summary of some of the most important research findings.

Top news this week includes research focused on how early learning experiences shape development, a report on recovery from overuse injuries and a study on the relationship between blood cells and allergies.

How home visits for vulnerable moms boost kids’ brainpower

PBS News Hour reports on how rapidly expanding medical program for low-income first-time mothers combines social services with the latest in brain science. Dr. Charles Nelson, of Boston Children’s Hospital, is interviewed about his on-going research that focuses on a child’s early learning experiences and how it can shape their developing brain and impact early learning.

The best way for teens to recover from overuse injuries

The Wall Street Journal reports on overuse injuries when unrecognized and untreated they can sideline athletes from play and lead to more serious injuries and disability. Dr. Lyle Micheli, an orthopedic surgeon and director of Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine, was interviewed for the article.

Blood cells could determine whether kids get allergies

A new study suggests one reason why children develop sometimes lethal food allergies. At birth, their blood is rich in cells that can promote a hyperactive immune response.  Dr. Oliver Burton, a researcher from Boston Children’s Hospital, provides insight in the Science Magazine article.

Learn more about food allergies in children.

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For chronic illness, sometimes happiness is the best medicine

Minwa

When her daughter Minwa Alhamad was just a baby, Dalal Alrefaei noticed something: One of Minwa’s legs wouldn’t bend. The little girl didn’t cry or seem to be in pain, but her knee was hot and swollen. After taking her to a hospital near their home in Kuwait City, doctors told Dalal that Minwa may have had the flu and prescribed ibuprofen.

Symptoms improved slightly over the next few days but when Minwa began to walk, Dalal noticed that her heel didn’t touch the floor. This time, her doctors said it might be something muscular, but didn’t have an answer. Dalal took Minwa to Germany for another diagnosis, but to no avail. After six years of testing, imaging and intense physical therapy, Minwa’s knee was still troublesome, and the doctors in Germany said they had never seen anything like it.

In 2007, Dalal took Minwa to the doctors for stomach problems and vomiting, and her physician immediately noticed the difference between both her knees, ultimately resulting in a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. After three months of fruitless treatment, her doctor sampled the liquid from the swollen knee and referred them to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Finally in Boston, Lyle Micheli, MD, and Samantha Spencer, MD, diagnosed Minwa with an extremely rare vascular malformation that prohibited her knee from working properly. It also caused her extreme pain, all day and night, prohibiting her from playing with friends, walking or going to school.

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