Tag Archives: Stanford Medicine

Medicine: ‘Single Drop’ Blood Testing Advances

“Even more importantly, we’ve shown you can collect the blood drop at home and mail it into the lab,” said Michael Snyder, PhD, director of the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine and senior author on the research, which was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on Jan. 19.

Stanford Medicine (January 19, 2023) – Researchers at Stanford Medicine have shown they can measure thousands of molecules — some of which are signals of health — from a single drop of blood.

Unlike finger-prick testing for diabetes, which measures a single type of molecule (glucose), multi-omics microsampling gives data about thousands of different molecules at once.

finger prick
A single drop of blood can yield measurements for thousands of proteins, fats and other biomarkers, researchers at Stanford Medicine found.

The new approach combines a microsampling device — a tool used to self-administer a finger prick — with “multi-omics” technologies, which simultaneously analyze a vast array of proteins, fats, by-products of metabolism and inflammatory markers.

Old Age: ‘Hyperexcitable Neurons’ Interrupt Sleep

For many older adults, a good night’s rest is elusive. The implications of chronically poor sleep can be far-reaching and include a decline in cognitive functioning and detrimental effects on health and general well-being. Fortunately, relief may be in sight.

A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a brain region, play a pivotal role in sleep loss in old mice. More specifically, the arousal-promoting hypocretin neurons become hyperexcitable, driving sleep interruptions.

Read the full story: https://stan.md/3JQ7z77

Luis de Lecea, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine. He is the study’s senior author and hopes the finding could pave the way to new drug treatments for age-related sleep problems in humans.

Shi-Bin Li, PhD, is an instructor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department at Stanford Medicine. He is also a basic life research scientist in the de Lecea lab, and is the lead author of the study.

Stanford: Researchers Find Way To “Regrow” New Cartilage In Joints

The Stanford researchers figured out how to regrow articular cartilage by first causing slight injury to the joint tissue, then using chemical signals to steer the growth of skeletal stem cells as the injuries heal. The work was published Aug. 17 in the journal Nature Medicine.

“Cartilage has practically zero regenerative potential in adulthood, so once it’s injured or gone, what we can do for patients has been very limited,” said assistant professor of surgery Charles K.F. Chan, PhD. “It’s extremely gratifying to find a way to help the body regrow this important tissue.”

STANFORD MEDICINE (Aug 17, 2020): Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a way to regenerate, in mice and human tissue, the cushion of cartilage found in joints.

Loss of this slippery and shock-absorbing tissue layer, called articular cartilage, is responsible for many cases of joint pain and arthritis, which afflicts more than 55 million Americans. Nearly 1 in 4 adult Americans suffer from arthritis, and far more are burdened by joint pain and inflammation generally.

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Tributes: Sleep Medicine Pioneer William Dement Dies At 91 – “Drowsiness Is Red Alert” (1928 – 2020)

Stanford Sleep Medicine logo
June 18, 2020

The Promise of Sleep - William C. Dement MDHis mission was to educate the world about the importance of sleep, which he believed was dangerously undervalued. His motto, “drowsiness is red alert,” is a message he tirelessly broadcast to his students, trainees, members of Congress and the world at large. 

William Dement, MD, PhD, known as the father of sleep medicine, died June 17 after a two-year battle with cardiovascular disease. He was 91.

William Dement MD (1928- 2020) - Father of Sleep MedicineWith a handful of other scientists, Dement, a longtime faculty member of the Stanford School of Medicine, created the fields of sleep research and sleep medicine, and his many books and lectures helped raise awareness of sleep disorders and the dangers of sleep deprivation.

Dement’s many other accomplishments and accolades range far and wide: Dement and Guilleminault were the founding editors of the journal Sleep, the first major international journal devoted to sleep, publishing the first issue in 1978. He was the author of books for lay readers, including The Promise of Sleep, Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep and The Sleepwatchers. The 2012 comedy film Sleepwalk with Me featured The Promise of Sleep and Dement in a cameo.

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Health: All Adults 18-79 Should Be Screened For Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

From a Stanford University online article (March 2, 2020):

Health Policy Stanford“The opioid epidemic has added fuel to the HCV fire, substantially increasing transmission,” said Owens. “HCV is now an enormous public health problem, affecting a much broader age range of people than before. Fortunately, we have the tools to identify people and treatment is now successful in the vast majority of patients, so screening can prevent the mortality and morbidity from HCV.”

A task force of national health experts recommends clinicians screen all adults 18 to 79 for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), noting that the viral infection is now associated with more deaths in the United States than the top 60 reportable infectious diseases combined. Many people are unaware they are carrying the viral infection.

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“People with hepatitis C do not always feel sick and may not know they have it,” says chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Douglas K. Owens, M.D, M.S. “Screening is key to finding this infection early, when it’s easier to treat and cure, helping reduce illnesses and deaths.”

Owens, who is the director of Stanford Health Policy and the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., Professor of Medicine, said the opioid epidemic now plays an important role in the prevalence of HCV. There are more than three times the number of acute HCV cases than a decade ago, particularly among young, white, injection drug users who live in rural areas. Women aged 15 to 44 have also been hit hard by the virus that is spread through contaminated blood.

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Health Talk: Stanford Dermatology Professor Eleni Linos On “Tanning Bed” Cancer Research

Eleni Linos MD PhD Stanford Medicine Dermatology“Studies with financial links to the indoor tanning industry were much more likely to discuss perceived benefits of indoor tanning and to downplay the harms,” said Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, professor of dermatology, who sees patients at Stanford Health Care’s dermatology clinic at the Hoover Pavilion. “The association is quite striking. We need scientific data to be independent of industry influence. I am concerned that funding sources may influence the conclusions of these papers.”

The BMJ podcastIn 2012, Eleni Linos, professor of dermatology at Stanford university, published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the link between non-melanoma cancer and sun-beds. That bit of pretty standard research, and a particular rapid response to it, has kicked of years of work – and in this podcast I talk to Eleni and her colleagues Stanton…

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Health: New Stanford Hospital Features “Patient-Centric” Design (Video)

Precision Health puts the patient at the center of the health care paradigm, and at the newly-opened Stanford Hospital, the patient was the focus throughout the design process.

Learn more about how the building’s design combines with the latest medical and communications technology to put patient wellness first: http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2019fall/…

Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Diet Promotes Health By Limiting Large Fat Cell Accumulation

From a Stanford Medicine online news release:

stanford-medicine.png“What you want is more, small fat cells rather than fewer, large fat cells,” Jackson said.  “A large fat cell is not a healthy fat cell. The center is farther away from an oxygen supply, it sends out bad signals and it can burst and release toxic contents.” Large fat cells are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and inflammation, he added.

Jackson and his colleagues found that when omega-3 fatty acids bind to a receptor called FFAR4 on the cilia of fat stem cells, it prompts the fat stem cells to divide, leading to the creation of more fat cells. This provides the body with more fat cells with which to store energy, something that is healthier than storing too much fat in existing fat cells. 

For years, researchers have known that defects in an ancient cellular antenna called the primary cilium are linked with obesity and insulin resistance. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that the strange little cellular appendage is sensing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and that this signal is directly affecting how stem cells in fat tissue divide and turn into fat cells.

To read more: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/11/omega-3-fatty-acids-health-benefit-linked-to-stem-cell-control.html

Heart Disease: Stents, Bypass Surgery Provide No Benefits To Stable Patients In Large Funded Trial

From a Stanford Medicine online release:

Stent in Coronary Artery“For patients with severe but stable heart disease who don’t want to undergo these invasive procedures, these results are very reassuring,” said David Maron, MD, clinical professor of medicine and director of preventive cardiology at the Stanford School of Medicine, and co-chair of the trial, called ISCHEMIA, for International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches. 

“The results don’t suggest they should undergo procedures in order to prevent cardiac events,” added Maron, who is also chief of the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Patients with severe but stable heart disease who are treated with medications and lifestyle advice alone are no more at risk of a heart attack or death than those who undergo invasive surgical procedures, according to a large, federally-funded clinical trial led by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine and New York University’s medical school.

The trial did show, however, that among patients with coronary artery disease who also had symptoms of angina — chest pain caused by restricted blood flow to the heart — treatment with invasive procedures, such as stents or bypass surgery, was more effective at relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.

To read more: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/11/invasive-heart-treatments-not-always-needed.html