Entries in Massachusetts General Hospital (3)


Researchers Take First Step in Engineering Artificial Kidney

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have engineered an artificial kidney that they believe holds promise for shortening organ transplant waiting lists.

According to BBC News, similar studies have created simpler body parts that have already been used in patients. However, the kidney is one of the most complex organs yet engineered.

Researchers hope to reach a point where they can take an old kidney, remove the existing cells, and then rebuild the structure of the kidney with cells from a transplant patient. The belief is that this process would avoid organ rejection and increase the number of organs available for transplant.

While the potential is huge, BBC News reports that engineered kidneys have a long way to go before they become a reality. In the research at Massachusetts General Hospital, the kidney's effectiveness was measured just 5 percent of a natural kidney when it was transplanted into a laboratory rat.

According to BBC News, researchers must still prove that the engineered organs can function over extended periods of time. However, engineered windpipes and bladders have already been successfully implanted.

Over 100,000 people in the United States alone are awaiting kidney transplants, while just 18,000 receive a new organ each year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Study: Doctors Closer to Predicting Seizures

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A study has revealed that doctors may be getting closer to being able to predict seizures in humans.

The Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study where aspirin-sized sensors were implanted into the brains of patients to record the activities of different areas of the brain during seizures, according to an article by Nature Neuroscience.

The study found that some abnormal activity was detected up to about three minutes before the beginning of a seizure. Findings of the study also show that in some cases it was possible predict the activity in certain parts of the brain before the seizures even began.

Though a lot still remains unknown about how seizures begin, spread and end, experts believe that the findings of this study provides some information that may eventually lead to being able to predict seizures.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Early Prediction of Diabetes May be Possible, Study Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A study claims there may be a way to predict early on who is at risk of developing diabetes.

Current tests available to doctors have not been able to help predict who is at risk of developing the disease. However, the findings of a study published in Nature Medicine say this soon may change. The study was conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital and looked at levels of five proteins in the blood of patients who were at a high risk of developing diabetes based on weight and fasting blood sugar.

The study found that of the 2,422 individuals observed over a 12-year period, 201 individuals developed diabetes. According to researchers, the findings indicate that the levels of the five proteins were significantly associated with future diabetes. Researchers say that such protein profiling may help to detect patients who have a high risk of developing diabetes before they actually develop the disease.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio