Using stem cells and gene therapy to treat or cure disease may still sound like science fiction, but it is moving closer and closer to fact.
Research and Innovation
When a patient has an unusual immune dysfunction, a few generalized therapies — steroid medications, for instance — are given to try to quiet the problem.
Research on anorexia nervosa often excludes boys and men, who make up about 10 percent of those affected by the serious eating disorder.
Recently, Stanford pediatric cardiologist Marlene Rabinovitch, MD, and her team published new research that advances their quest to understand a serious — and very puzzling — lung disease.
In the age of genetic medicine, it’s still surprisingly difficult to diagnose rare genetic diseases, and even more complicated to identify brand-new ones. But several Stanford scientists are working on ways to change that.
If the only hope for your baby daughter lay in a brand-new experimental drug, would you want doctors to give it to her? What if she would be the first infant in the world to receive it?
Thanks to years of public health education, cigarette smoking is on the decline for teens. Marijuana use hasn’t changed, with around 20 percent of 12th graders reporting they’ve recently smoked marijuana.
For many years, scientists have known that adolescent girls are about twice as likely as boys to develop post-traumatic stress disorder after being exposed to a psychologically traumatic event. But no one has been sure why.
A Stanford team published their discovery of a hormone that signals when the body needs more fat stores. It sends its message in response to two external signals that we already knew could make people fatter.
Doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford led the way in testing the device and are currently in the next phase of studying the technology in younger children.
Recently, a team of Stanford researchers was testing a new way to fight cancer when something strange happened. The team, led by pediatric radiologist Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, was studying whether tiny bits of iron could act as Trojan horses, sneaking chemotherapy into tumor cells. They tested the idea in mice, but the results were not what they expected.
Right after Astrea Li born, she went into cardiac arrest, not just once, but repeatedly. It was all her doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford could do just to keep her alive. Soon, a far-flung team of researchers joined together to solve the mystery of what was causing Astrea’s severe heart arrhythmia.
For years, pediatric cardiologists have been trying to understand the origin of a puzzling congenital defect that creates a spongy texture in the heart muscle wall. Now, Stanford researchers have shown that they can use stem cell techniques to turn donated skin and blood cells from real patients into a useful tool for figuring out how the disease gets started.
One serious consequence of anorexia nervosa is that it hurts patients’ bones, but until now most studies of patients’ bone health have been conducted in girls and women. A new Stanford study asked whether anorexia might affect boys’ bones differently.
A large clinical trial, published today in The Lancet Oncology, should spare young people with a rare bone cancer from the side effects of too much chemotherapy. Current treatments for osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor that usually affects teenagers, are less effective than doctors would like, so in recent years they’ve sometimes added extra chemotherapy drugs to the standard regimen.
A new report from the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing revealed insights from local families on perceptions of mental health resources and interventions for youth who may be struggling with depression and other mental health issues.
Doctors and parents can use a single approach to prevent both obesity and eating disorders in teenagers. That’s the message from new guidelines released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Stanford researchers recently published a scientific study describing how and why they’re trying to automate the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases.
My niece just had a son. Despite the 110-degree summer heat, she has been holding him against her bare chest using a special newborn carrier because she knows kangaroo mother care is important. This bare skin, chest-to-chest contact has many demonstrated health benefits, and Stanford neonatologist Vinod Bhutani, MD, is now examining exactly how it works.
If you’ve ever been in extreme or extended pain, you know how difficult it can be to put the experience in words. How then can doctors and pain psychologists understand what their patients are going through? And how can patients get the relief and connection that comes from articulating their experience?
In response to the growing need for mental health resources for Bay Area adolescents and children, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is joining the Stanford School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services and Pediatrics Division of Adolescent Medicine to host the first annual Adolescent Mental Wellness Conference on August 5 and 6 at the South San Francisco Conference Center.
“This is awesome!” Exclaimed nine-year-old Joshua Gomez, as he listened to his favorite song at his appointment at Stanford Children’s Health Ear Clinic in Palo Alto on July 21. “Awesome” because he is now able to hear it more clearly than ever before.
Alarm fatigue is a big problem in hospitals, where automated monitors that track patients’ vital signs sound their alarms frequently, but the vast majority of alarms don’t indicate true crises. All the false alarms desensitize doctors and nurses to the beeping and can slow their responses to real emergencies.
Scientists who study childhood obesity often wonder how excess weight gain in kids can be prevented. Some experts suggest that prevention efforts should start in infancy, since formula-fed infants grow faster than those who are exclusively breast-fed. A study published this month in Pediatrics adds an interesting twist to the debate: The researchers found that babies fed with larger bottles between 2 and 6 months of age gained more weight.
Children respond strongly to the sound of their mothers’ voices, but until now the brain circuitry involved has been a mystery. A new Stanford study changes that, showing that moms’ voices get special treatment in a far wider variety of their children’s brain areas than researchers expected.
BERT (Bedside Entertainment and Relaxation Theater) rolled out in the hospital’s perioperative unit. It’s purpose is to reduce the use of oral anxiety medications before operations and improving patient and family satisfaction levels.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator can help prevent the heart’s electrical system from malfunctioning — and help kids get their lives back.
Doctors would love to be able to predict and prevent preterm births. Right now, they mostly can’t. But research at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University is poised to change that.
The Hospital School now has a new tool to help patients stay engaged — both in their lessons and with their peers.
Years ago, as a college varsity swimmer, I was surprised when one of my teammates told me she had struggled with an eating disorder. I knew this was a common problem in sports such as gymnastics and figure skating, where an athlete’s appearance is constantly judged, but had assumed – wrongly – that a sport where speed trumped glamour would confer protection against disordered eating.
What’s the first step in getting help for a child who may have autism? Discouragingly, the answer is often “A long wait.” But Stanford systems biologist Dennis Wall, PhD, wants to change that. His research team is using a big-data approach to devise simple questionnaires that enable parents and primary-care doctors to screen children for developmental disorders using a mobile device.
In medicine we often refer to the “natural history of disease”— the normal course that a disease takes in an individual if no treatment occurs. In the case of congenital heart disease, the “natural history” was often death or, at best, survival with significant limitations. Fortunately, that history has changed.
Stanford researchers have invented a new technique to detect cystic fibrosis in infants. The test, described in a paper published today in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, is more comprehensive, faster and cheaper than current newborn screening methods.
When we’re in a noisy restaurant, it’s really difficult to hear my young niece speak. She can only talk very quietly, because she has a paralyzed vocal cord. But Stanford’s Anna Messner, MD, is bringing hope to kids like her via a rare surgery that attaches more nerve fibers to the affected vocal cord.
Attention-focusing brain networks interact more weakly than usual in kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, new Stanford research shows. The research, published online this week in Biological Psychiatry, is part of an ongoing effort to figure out how the brain differs from normal in people with ADHD.
If you’ve ever plunged your hand into a tub of ice water, you know about the overlap between cold and pain: That deep, biting ache makes you want to get your hand out of the water – fast. While the protective value of that sensation is obvious, scientists have always been a bit mystified by how pain-sensing nerves register cold temperatures. But now, Stanford research on a family with an extremely unusual gene mutation may help clarify what’s going on.
A new study by Stanford health-policy researcher Michelle Mello, PhD, JD, found the highest resistance to childhood vaccinations among white, affluent communities. In contrast to previous studies, however, Mello’s team did not find a correlation between higher levels of education and vaccine exemptions.
People that survive cancer at a young age are expected to live many decades after diagnosis and treatment, so they are the most vulnerable population to long-term damaging effects from cancer therapy. Stanford’s Karen Effinger, MD, MS, and Michael Link, MD, explore this issue in an editorial published today in JAMA Oncology.
Pediatric diabetes patients and their families have a new and innovative way to communicate glucose measurements.
Specialists who treat chronically ill adolescents have long recognized the challenges related to this patient population: Young adults may be grown in body, but they aren’t always ready psychologically or socially to take full responsibility for consistently following complicated medical routines and practicing lifestyle restrictions. Nor are most adult care doctors trained in the after-effects of childhood cancer, for instance, or the lifelong need to monitor adults with childhood heart repairs.
When Danah Jewett’s 5-year-old son, Dylan, was dying from a brain tumor in 2008, she wanted to know if there was anything her family could do to help other children who might someday face the same terrible diagnosis. Yes, said Dylan’s doctor, Michelle Monje, MD, PhD: Would you be willing to donate his tumor for cancer research after his death?
Teenagers who don’t sleep enough pay a heavy price, potentially compromising their physical and mental health. Study after study in the medical literature sounds the alarm over what can go wrong when teens suffer chronic sleep deprivation: drowsy driving incidents, poor academic performance, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and even suicide attempts. “I think high school is the real danger spot in terms of sleep deprivation,” says Stanford sleep expert William Dement, MD, PhD. “It’s a huge problem.”
Instead of drugs or fancy devices, a small village in India is using dhollak and dafali — drums traditional to the region — to spread awareness about post-natal care and to battle infant mortality. The effort started as part of a public-health research project led by Stanford global health expert Gary Darmstadt, MD.
It’s a gadget straight out of Star Trek — a breath analyzer that may someday quickly and noninvasively detect everything from diabetes to cancers. In a new Stanford Medicine magazine story, you can read about how three Stanford rocket-combustion experts designed and tested a Breathalyzer-like device to measure toxic ammonia levels in critically ill children, all in about a year.
Mary Leonard, MD, is trying to make sure children with chronic diseases build as much bone as possible before puberty ends. Once that window closes, she and other researchers believe, it’s too late to do much about it. And the likely consequence of emerging from adolescence with inadequate bone mass is early osteoporosis.
I’ve forgotten most of my childhood experiences – which is perfectly normal. But apparently my body remembers many of those experiences – and I learned while editing the new Stanford Medicine magazine that’s normal too. The fall issue’s special report, “Childhood: The road ahead,” is full of stories of researchers realizing the impact early experiences can have on adult health. Some of their discoveries are surprising.
Women who are obese when they become pregnant are more likely than other expectant mothers to have a stillborn baby. A new Stanford study gives the first detailed information about which obese women are at greatest risk and which stages of pregnancy are most likely to be affected.
For many years, doctors have known that women who had diabetes during pregnancy faced an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with a congenital heart defect. But now, for the first time, researchers have shown that the risk isn’t limited to women with diabetes.
In developing countries, well over 150,000 babies a year currently die or suffer severe brain damage from newborn jaundice. But that’s set to change, thanks to Stanford research that evaluated a safe, low-tech, inexpensive method for treating jaundice with filtered sunlight.
Because they’re born before their lungs are fully mature, premature babies are at risk for a serious lung disease. Over the last several decades, this disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, has evolved into both a great medical success story and a persistent mystery. But a new Stanford study, published this week, is helping clarify the mysterious part.
Girls with autism tend to have less severe manifestations of one of the disorder’s core features, repetitive and restricted behavior, and they show brain-scan differences from boys that help explain the discrepancy, a new Stanford study has found.
Kids who suffer from anxiety about doing math problems can find relief in a program of one-on-one tutoring, which not only improves their math skills but also fixes abnormal responses in the fear circuits in their brains.
Gray matter volume and connections between several brain regions better forecast 8-year-olds’ acquisition of math skills than their performance on standard math tests, a new Stanford neuroscience study has shown.
Premature birth affects 450,000 U.S. babies each year and is the leading cause of newborn deaths. But in about half of cases, doctors never figure out what triggered premature labor in the pregnant mom. Now, there’s a new clue.
Vanessa Applegate was not expecting twins. The very day she discovered her one baby was in fact, one of two growing in-utero, she was admitted into Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
A story in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal highlights Stanford’s leadership in treating a mystifying disease in which a child suddenly develops intense psychiatric problems, often after an infection. The disease, called pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, can be terribly disabling, altering kids’ personalities, interfering with their school work and making it hard for families to function.
When a sudden, inexplicable illness affects a child’s health, getting an accurate diagnosis, proper treatment… Read more »
Stanford recently launched the world’s first stem-cell based trial aimed at a devastating skin disease called epidermoloysis bullosa. Physicians from our dermatology team are trying to correct a faulty gene in the skin cells of patients with a severe form of the condition, which causes large, painful wounds and currently has no cure.
A new Stanford study of all kids in California diagnosed with cystic fibrosis between 1991 and 2010 shows that Hispanic patients were three times as likely to die from the disease as their non-Hispanic counterparts, despite similar access to specialty care.
Today’s teenagers are familiar with the dangers of smoking conventional cigarettes, but they’re much less sure of the risks posed by marijuana and e-cigarettes, according to a Stanford study published this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
A tiny fraction of babies born at 22 weeks of gestation survive to childhood without major impairments or disabilities, according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. But, although some of these babies can do well, there is variation between hospitals in the rate at which they are resuscitated after birth.
An existing drug may help treat the deadliest form of childhood brain cancer, according to a Stanford-led study published this week in Nature Medicine. The findings are the first to show an effect of any FDA-approved drug on the cancer, which is called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Serendipity played a key role in the success of Isabella Manley’s treatment for a life-threatening tumor that made it difficult for her to breathe.
Integrating mindfulness into regular curriculum in the Ravenswood City School District
California’s high-level, high-volume facilities have the lowest mortality rates when it comes to treating premature infants with necrotizing enterocolitis, a dangerous intestinal disease. However, the number of these centers is decreasing.
To conduct research on the connection between oxytocin and emotion, scientists want to assess the hormone’s levels in the brain. But sampling cerebrospinal fluid, the liquid bathing the brain, requires an invasive technique called a lumbar puncture. Measuring blood oxytocin is much easier, but some researchers have questioned whether blood oxytocin levels truly reflect what’s happening in the brain.
Life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis has improved dramatically in the last few decades, but those with CF still struggle with a very basic action: breathing easily. However, a new study indicates that a specific dietary supplement might stave off the decline in lung function that characterizes this genetic disease.
Scientists have long suspected that post-traumatic stress disorder raises a pregnant woman’s risk of giving birth prematurely. Now, new research from Stanford and the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs confirms these suspicions.
Pregnant women have an unusually strong immune response to influenza, an unexpected finding that may explain why they get sicker from the flu than other healthy adults, new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has found.
Groundbreaking food allergy research at Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has received a major boost through the creation of a challenge grant by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos. Severe food allergies are a growing epidemic, with rates having doubled in the last decade. One out of every 13 children is affected, and over 30 percent are thought to have allergies to more than one food.
Years ago, when patients showed up at the doctor with excessive thirst, frequent urination and unexplained weight loss – in other words, the classic symptoms of diabetes mellitus.
A study published online this week in Pediatrics offers encouraging results from a large-scale effort to tackle a persistent safety problem in hospitals. The study is the first scientific investigation of a multi-hospital project to improve patient hand-offs, the times when a patient’s care is being transferred from one person to another.
As you may have heard about elsewhere, a new paper published today on the safety of childhood vaccines provides reassurance for parents and pediatricians that side effects from vaccination are rare and mostly transient. The paper, a meta-analysis appearing in Pediatrics, updates a 2011 Institute of Medicine report on childhood vaccine safety. It analyzed the results of 67 safety studies of vaccines used in the United States for children aged 6 and younger.
Heal EB provides Stanford with $50,000 for the development of new technologies to improve evaluation of EB-impacted skin.
Life with type 1 diabetes requires an astonishing number of health-related decisions – about 180 per day. But patients’ vigilant monitoring of their daytime blood sugar, food intake, insulin and activity levels is perhaps less exhausting than the worries they face about getting a safe night’s sleep.
When a pregnant woman’s heart stops, two lives are threatened. Yet few caregivers know how to modify their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) technique for the expectant mom and her fetus, and few hospitals are optimally prepared for such an event.
How can you create a special day for hundreds of families from different backgrounds, whose… Read more »
Adolescent girls in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, are frequent targets of sexual harassment and… Read more »
When it comes to life-saving liver transplantation for children, receiving an organ from a living… Read more »
Gregory Enns, MD, pediatric geneticist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and a professor of… Read more »
Pilots, astronauts and workers in other high-risk industries follow rigorous safety checklists to help them… Read more »
Living with one food allergy is a challenge; living with more than one can make… Read more »
(Updated March 25, 2014.) Keith Van Haren, MD, pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital… Read more »