Crowley D.J.,McLean Hospital
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2017
Hippocampus atrophy is implicated in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and may partly reflect stress-induced glutamate excitotoxicity that culminates in neuron injury and manifests as re-experiencing symptoms and other memory abnormalities. This study used high-field proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to determine whether PTSD is associated with lower hippocampus levels of the neuron marker N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), along with higher levels of glutamate (Glu) and Glu/NAA. We also predicted that metabolite levels would correlate with re-experiencing symptoms and lifetime trauma load. Twenty-four adult PTSD patients and 23 trauma-exposed normal controls (TENC) underwent 4T MRS of the left and right hippocampus. Participants received psychiatric interviews, and completed the Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire to define lifetime trauma load. Relative to TENC participants, PTSD patients exhibited significantly lower NAA in right and left hippocampi, and significantly higher Glu and Glu/NAA in the right hippocampus. Re-experiencing symptoms were negatively correlated with left and right NAA, and positively correlated with right Glu and right Glu/NAA. Trauma load was positively correlated with right Glu/NAA in PTSD patients. When re-experiencing symptoms and trauma load were examined together in relation to right Glu/NAA, only re-experiencing symptoms remained a significant correlate. This represents the first report that PTSD is associated with MRS markers of hippocampus Glu excess, together with indices of compromised neuron integrity. Their robust associations with re-experiencing symptoms affirm that MRS indices of hippocampus neuron integrity and glutamate metabolism may reflect biomarkers of clinically significant disease variation in PTSD.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 8 March 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.32. © 2017 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
News Article | May 10, 2017
"My family's story is like so many families struggling with OCD," Jo-Ann explains. "We were lost, confused, uneducated, and alone. When I found the IOCDF, I found families that shared my story. I found parents who shared the same frustrations and had the same questions. I found children who had the same controlling voice in their heads that my daughter had. I found professionals who had the research and compassion to help. With all of this, I found a community that my family and I could lean on. Finding this community made me want to be involved even more." In addition to the Winston Family, the IOCDF is extremely appreciative to all of the walkers, donors, sponsors, and partners who are supporting this year's Walk. One of the most coveted items from the 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is the Official Walk T-shirt. Each year, the IOCDF designs a special commemorative Walk T-shirt for all registered walkers who raise $25 or more on their personal fundraising pages. For the second year in a row, the IOCDF is pleased and honored to be working with a fellow non-profit, Spectrum Designs Foundation, for the printing of the Boston Walk T-shirts. Spectrum Designs Foundation is a non-profit, social enterprise company specializing in custom apparel decoration with the mission of providing meaningful work opportunities for teens and young adults with autism. Grounded in its vision of providing gainful employment opportunities to people with autism, Spectrum Designs' employees earn at least minimum wage and Spectrum's unique structure allows for people of all abilities to grow and thrive, both within the organization and beyond. Through their continued partnership, the IOCDF and Spectrum Designs Foundation have been able to simultaneously support two amazing causes. "Spectrum Designs is incredibly proud to be a sponsor of the IOCDF for the second year running," says Tim Howe – Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Designs. "The IOCDF has a pragmatic and positive approach to mental health that we share wholeheartedly — an emphasis on inherent self-worth, productivity and community. A number of our employees live with OCD and related disorders, and we appreciate the incredible work the IOCDF is doing to end the stigma associated with mental health illnesses, as well as their willingness to partner with organizations that share that vision. As we expand our operations and employ more and more teens and young adults with autism and related developmental disabilities, it is partnerships like our enduring one with the IOCDF that propel us forwards and allow us to blaze a trail for disability employment." In 2016 Spectrum Designs Foundation has continued to grow. They purchased a 7,500 square foot building to serve as a flagship, allowing them to double the number of individuals with disabilities that they employ, and have added three other social enterprises to their offering: Along with Spectrum Designs, the IOCDF is thankful to have the support of Bradley Hospital, CLIF Bar, McLean Hospital OCD Institute, Mountain Valley Treatment Center, Polar Beverages, and Winston Flowers. In addition to the Walk itself, Boston participants will enjoy a community celebration complete with live band, face painting, and awards! Boston is one of four cities with 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walks co-hosted by the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates. OCD Georgia and OCD Texas will co-host Walks with the IOCDF in Atlanta and Houston, respectively, on June 3rd and OCD Sacramento and OCD SF Bay Area, the IOCDF Northern California Affiliates, will co-host a Walk at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on June 10th. Beyond these four cities, hundreds of Virtual Walkers will raise funds and awareness in their local communities across the country — and globe — as well. "OCD affects 1 in 100 adults, but it is still little understood in the general public," explains Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF. "This 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk is about building a community of support — and making sure people know how to access the resources and support they need." The Walk is open to people of all ages in the Boston area — visit www.iocdf.org/walkBoston to learn more. About the International OCD Foundation The International OCD Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a donor-supported nonprofit organization, working to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them. Based in Boston, the IOCDF has affiliates in 24 states and territories, as well as 11 global partners. The IOCDF has a $2 million annual operating budget, has granted millions of dollars for OCD research, and is a vital resource for the estimated 1 in 100 individuals with OCD around the world. For more information, visit www.iocdf.org. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-ocd-walk-returns-to-boston-to-raise-awareness--fight-stigma-300454859.html
News Article | May 8, 2017
May 8, 2017 - A growing body of evidence suggests that virtual reality (VR) technology can be an effective part of treatment for phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions, according to a research review in the May/June issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. "Virtual reality is potentially a powerful tool for the psychiatric community," comments lead author Jessica L. Maples-Keller, PhD, of University of Georgia. "It allows providers to create computer-generated environments in a controlled setting, which can be used to create a sense of presence and immersion in the feared environment for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders." The review appears as part of a special theme issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry, focusing on Emerging Technology and Telehealth in Psychiatric Care. Virtual Reality and Other Technologies Poised to Aid Mental Health Treatment Dr. Maples-Keller and colleagues review the current state of research on VR technology for psychiatric treatment. So far, research in this area has focused on exposure-based treatment for certain types of anxiety disorders. Studies have evaluated VR applications for progressive exposure to frightening situations in patients with specific phobias--especially fear of flying. Other studies have evaluated the use of VR for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. Virtual reality applications can simulate exposures that would be costly or impractical to re-create in real life, such as airplane flight or combat conditions. It also enables the therapist to control the "dose" and specific aspects of the exposure environment. For example, the patient can "virtually" experience repeated takeoffs and landings without going on an actual flight. Based on available evidence, VR has significant benefits in these types of anxiety disorders. Studies of flight phobia have reported significant and lasting reductions in flight-related anxiety. Patients report satisfaction with VR-based therapy, and in some cases find it more acceptable than traditional therapy. Virtual reality has been studied in a wide range of conditions as well, including panic disorder, schizophrenia, acute and chronic pain, addictions (including smoking), and eating disorders. However, research on VR applications has important limitations including small numbers of patients and lack of comparison groups. The authors note that mental health care providers will need specific training before integrating VR approaches into clinical practice. "With the cost of head-mounted displays coming down and smaller smartphone applications being developed, it is likely that virtual reality applications will proliferate," Dr. Maples-Keller and colleagues conclude. "It will be important that these are treated as tools and therapists are properly trained in their applications." The authors also note the exciting possibility VR provides to conduct methodologically rigorous and controlled clinical research. The special issue highlights other emerging uses of technology for mental health treatment. These include internet-based approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, "telemental" health approaches enabling remote mental health visits, technology-based interventions for substance abuse and accompanying disorders, and standards for evaluating the quality of smartphone applications designed for patients with schizophrenia. Guest Editors Dawn E. Sugarman, PhD, Scott L. Rauch, MD, and Isabelle M. Rosso, PhD of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School write, "In this rapidly evolving field, research is striving to leverage new advances in technology as quickly as they emerge." Click here to read "The Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Treatment of Anxiety and Other Psychiatric Disorders." Article: "The Use of Virtual Reality Technology in the Treatment of Anxiety and Other Psychiatric Disorders" (doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000138) About the Harvard Review of Psychiatry The Harvard Review of Psychiatry is the authoritative source for scholarly reviews and perspectives on a diverse range of important topics in psychiatry. Founded by the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry, the journal is peer-reviewed and not industry sponsored. It is the property of Harvard University and is affiliated with all of the Departments of Psychiatry at the Harvard teaching hospitals. Articles encompass all major issues in contemporary psychiatry, including (but not limited to) neuroscience, psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, history of psychiatry, and ethics. Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL) is a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY). For more information about our solutions and organization, visit http://www. , follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
News Article | May 8, 2017
La Jolla, Calif., May 8, 2017 - An international collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), with major participation from Yokohama School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and UC San Diego, has identified the molecular mechanism behind lithium's effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder patients. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), utilized human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPS cells) to map lithium's response pathway, enabling the larger pathogenesis of bipolar disorder to be identified. These results are the first to explain the molecular basis of the disease, and may support the development of a diagnostic test for the disorder as well as predict the likelihood of patient response to lithium treatment. It may also provide the basis to discover new drugs that are safer and more effective than lithium. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition causing extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression) and affects approximately 5.7 million adults in the U.S. Lithium is the first treatment explored after bipolar symptoms, but it has significant limitations. Only approximately one-third of patients respond to lithium treatment, and its effect is only found through a trial-and-error process that takes months--and sometimes years--of prescribing the drug and monitoring for response. Side effects of lithium treatment can be significant, including nausea, muscle tremors, emotional numbing, irregular heartbeat, weight gain, and birth defects, and many patients choose to stop taking the medicine as a result. "Lithium has been used to treat bipolar disorder for generations, but up until now our lack of knowledge about why the therapy does or does not work for a particular patient led to unnecessary dosing and delayed finding an effective treatment. Further, its side effects are intolerable for many patients, limiting its use and creating an urgent need for more targeted drugs with minimal risks," said Evan Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at SBP, and senior author of the study. "Importantly, our findings open a clear path to finding safe and effective new drugs. Equally as important, it helped give us insight into what type of mechanisms cause psychiatric problems such as these." "We realized that studying the lithium response could be used as a 'molecular can-opener' to unravel the molecular pathway of this complex disorder, that turns out not to be caused by a defect in a gene, but rather by the posttranslational regulation (phosphorylation) of the product of a gene--in this case, CRMP2, an intracellular protein that regulates neural networks," added Snyder. In hiPS cells created from lithium-responsive and non-responsive patients, researchers observed a physiological difference in the regulation of CRMP2, which rendered the protein to be in a much more inactive state in responsive patients. However, the research showed that when lithium was administered to these cells, their regulatory mechanisms were corrected, restoring normal activity of CRMP2 and correcting the underlying cause of their disorder. Thus, the study demonstrated that bipolar disorder can be rooted in physiological--not necessarily genetic--mechanisms. The insights derived from the hiPS cells were validated in actual brain specimens from patients with bipolar disorder (on and off lithium), in animal models, and in the actions of living neurons. "This 'molecular can-opener' approach--using a drug known to have a useful action without exactly knowing why--allowed us to examine and understand an underlying pathogenesis of bipolar disorder," said Snyder. "The approach may be extended to additional complex disorders and diseases for which we don't understand the underlying biology but do have drugs that may have some beneficial actions, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and others in need of more effective therapies. One cannot improve a therapy until one knows what molecularly really needs to be fixed." This study was performed in collaboration with Veterans Administration Medical Center in La Jolla, University of California San Diego, Yokohama City University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Mailman Research Center at McLean Hospital, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, National Institute of Mental Health, Vala Sciences, Inc., Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, Dalhousie University, Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Örebro University, Janssen Research & Development Labs, Waseda University, and RIKEN . Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health (grants RC2MH090011, R21MH093958, R33MH087896 and R01MH095088 and the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures Program), the Viterbi Foundation Neuroscience Initiative, the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the Tau Consortium, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the California Bipolar Foundation and the International Bipolar Foundation. Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) is an independent nonprofit medical research organization that conducts world-class, collaborative, biological research and translates its discoveries for the benefit of patients. SBP focuses its research on cancer, immunity, neurodegeneration, metabolic disorders and rare children's diseases. The Institute invests in talent, technology and partnerships to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries that will have the greatest impact on patients. Recognized for its world-class NCI-designated Cancer Center and the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, SBP employs about 1,100 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at SBPdiscovery.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/SBPdiscovery and on Twitter @SBPdiscovery.
News Article | May 22, 2017
DALLAS, May 22, 2017 -- Long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid use may reduce the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation. In addition, long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid use damages the heart muscle's ability to relax and may cause atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics. Since illicit use of these steroids became widespread in the American general population in the 1980s, those users are now reaching middle-age and adverse long-term effects are becoming evident. Researchers conducted an observational study of 140 male weightlifters: 86 who used anabolic steroids and 54 non-users. Of the users, 58 were on the drug and 28 were off the drug during evaluations. The off-drug users had last used these steroids an average of 15 months prior to these evaluations. Anabolic steroid users showed higher body- and fat-free mass indexes, consistent with known effects of anabolic steroids. Using two-dimensional ultrasound imaging, researchers found that the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker during contraction (systolic function) in those taking anabolic steroids compared to the non-steroid users. Seventy-one percent of the anabolic steroid users who were on-drug at the time of evaluation had a low pumping capacity (less than 52 percent) whereas off-drug users had largely normal pumping capacity. In contrast, researchers found that only two of the non-users had a low pumping capacity. Diastolic function, which is when the left ventricle relaxes and fills with blood, was impaired both for on-drug and off-drug anabolic steroid users. The researchers said this suggests a more permanent heart problem. "Compared to non-users, anabolic steroid users displayed both higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as a higher prevalence of levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in their blood," said Aaron Baggish, M.D., study co-lead author and associate director of the cardiovascular performance program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In addition to documenting impairments in heart function, researchers used coronary CT scans to examine the potential link between anabolic steroid use and coronary artery disease. This portion of the study revealed strong associations between the lifetime duration of illicit anabolic steroid use and the amount of plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. "This finding places illicit anabolic steroid use on the list of factors clinicians should consider when caring for men with premature disease of the coronary arteries," Baggish said. Researchers note that it's estimated that between 2.9 million and 4 million Americans have used anabolic steroids. About a million of them, almost all of whom are male, have developed anabolic steroid dependence. "It is critical that clinicians become aware of the long-term risks of anabolic steroid use on the heart. Most people relate anabolic steroids to cheating among athletes and fail to realize that there is a large population of men who have developed dependence upon these drugs, but who are not readily visible. The oldest members of this population are only now reaching middle age," said Harrison Pope, Jr., M.D., the study's other co-lead author and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "Clinicians need to know that there may be a marked increase in anabolic steroid-related cardiac pathology as this population moves into later middle-age and beyond," said Pope who is also director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital, Harvard's largest teaching hospital in psychiatry. Other co-authors are Rory B. Weiner, M.D.; Gen Kanayama, M.D., Ph.D.; James I. Hudson, M.D.; Sc.D.; Michael Lu, M.D.; and Udo Hoffman, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript. A grant from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse funded the study. Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at http://www. . The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke -- the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
News Article | May 1, 2017
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Publicity Club of New England is thrilled to announce the finalists of the 2017 Bell Ringer Awards. Following a submission period that included an impressive number of data-driven, head-turning entries, and a rigorous judging panel comprised of industry leaders, the Publicity Club looks forward to celebrating the winners at the 49th annual awards ceremony on June 1. “Our finalists reflect the top talent and innovation that characterizes Boston’s PR and marketing industry,” said Cheryl Gale, Publicity Club president and managing director of March Communications. “This year’s finalists are standouts in digital, experiential, and more – and they share the common thread of driving business results and brand equity for their clients, teams, or partners.” This year, the Bell Ringers event will be returning to the Revere Hotel’s Liberty Hall in Boston. An evening of merriment and reflection on New England’s best PR and marketing campaigns and initiatives of the year, the celebration is a long-standing tradition that is open to all industry professionals. This year’s event will feature a delicious family-style dinner and complimentary wine with the meal. The always-popular cocktail hour and awards presentation will feature new and exciting additions as well. This year’s host will be Josh Brogadir, anchor and reporter for WCVB, Boston’s ABC affiliate. Brogadir is a bilingual news reporter, sports anchor, and play-by-play broadcaster with more than a decade of experience on-screen. The Publicity Club’s board of directors is thrilled to have him and his many talents lined up for the ceremony. Tickets and full tables of different sizes and variations are available to purchase here. Single seats for Publicity Club members are available at $125. Non-members may purchase single seats for $150. Full tables of six, eight, and 16 are available for purchase, and special packages are available for purchasing more than one table. The 2017 Bell Ringer Award Finalists Include: 360PR+ Adams & Knight Adam Ritchie Brand Direction Agency 451 Boston University PRLab Boston Children's Hospital Brodeur Partners C + C East Cone Communications CTP Cronin & Company Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Duffy & Shanley Food Truck Festivals of America Harvard Medical School Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Hollywood Public Relations InkHouse JaiCG John Guilfoil Public Relations LEWIS Lois Paul & Partners March Communications Massachusetts Dental Society Matter Communications McLean Hospital MSLGROUP MassHousing May Institute PAN Communications Porter Novelli Racepoint Global Rainier Communications Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems RF | Binder Rinck Advertising SHIFT Communications TEXT100 Thomson Communications Version 2.0 Communications W2O Group Wayfair WE Worldwide About the Publicity Club of New England Founded in 1949, The Publicity Club of New England is the region’s oldest not-for-profit public relations trade organization. The Publicity Club strives to promote and encourage involvement in the communications industry and specifically the professions of public relations, promotions, and marketing. Additional information about monthly Publicity Club programs, social and networking events, the “Bell Ringer” blog, and the Bell Ringer Awards ceremony, can be found at www.pubclub.org. Follow us on Twitter @PubClubofNE (#pcne).
News Article | May 1, 2017
Unfortunately, it's hard to accurately monitor walking speed in a way that's both continuous and unobtrusive. Professor Dina Katabi's group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have been working on the problem, and believe that the answer is to go wireless. In a new paper, the team presents "WiGait," a device that can measure the walking speed of multiple people with 95 to 99 percent accuracy using wireless signals. The system is an update of a device that Katabi's team presented to President Obama in 2015. The size of a small painting, the device can be placed on the wall of a person's house. It builds on Katabi's previous work that analyzes wireless signals reflected off people's bodies to measure a range of behaviors, from breathing and falling to specific emotions. (The signals emit roughly 100 times less radiation than a standard cellphone.) "By using in-home sensors, we can see trends in how walking speed changes over longer periods of time," says lead author and PhD student Chen-Yu Hsu. "This can provide insight into whether someone should adjust their health regimens, whether that's doing physical therapy or altering their medications." WiGait is also 85 to 99 percent accurate at measuring a person's stride length, which could allow researchers to better understand conditions like Parkinson's disease that are characterized by reduced step size. Hsu and Katabi developed WiGait in collaboration with CSAIL PhD student Zachary Kabelac and master's student Rumen Hristov, alongside undergraduate Yuchen Liu from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and assistant professor Christine Liu from the Boston University School of Medicine. The team will present their paper in May at ACM's CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Colorado. Today walking speed is measured by physical therapists or clinicians using a stopwatch. Wearables like FitBit can only roughly estimate your speed based on your step count; GPS-enabled smartphones are similarly inaccurate and can't work indoors; and cameras are intrusive and can only monitor one room at a time. The only method that's comparably accurate is VICON motion-tracking, which isn't widely available enough to be practical for monitoring day-to-day health changes. Meanwhile, WiGait measures walking speed with a high level of granularity, without requiring that the person wear or carry a sensor. It does so by analyzing the surrounding wireless signals and their reflections off a person's body. Also, the team's algorithm can distinguish walking from other movements, such as cleaning the kitchen or brushing one's teeth. According to Katabi, the device could help reveal a wealth of important health information, particularly for the elderly: a change in walking speed, for example, could mean an injury or that the person is at an increased risk of falling. "Many avoidable hospitalizations are related to issues like falls, congestive heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which have all been shown to be correlated to gait speed," Katabi says. "Reducing the number of hospitalizations, even by a small amount, could vastly improve healthcare costs." The team developed WiGait to be more privacy-minded than cameras, showing you as nothing more than a moving dot on a screen. In the future they hope to train it on people with walking impairments like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or MS, to help physicians accurately track disease progression and adjust medications. "The true novelty of this device is that it can map major metrics of health and behavior without any active engagement from the user, which is especially helpful for the cognitively impaired," says Ipsit Vahia, a geriatric clinician at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the research. "Gait speed is a proxy indicator of many clinically important conditions, and down the line this could extend to measuring sleep patterns, respiratory rates, and other vital human behaviors." Explore further: X-ray vision? New technology making it a reality for $300 More information: Paper: "Extracting Gait Velocity and Stride Length from Surrounding Radio Signals" people.csail.mit.edu/cyhsu/papers/wigait_chi17.pdf
News Article | April 17, 2017
The Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School has named Bill Geary to its advisory council. Geary joins a group of distinguished individuals and thought leaders charged with advising department chair Isaac Kohane as he scales up the research and education activities at Harvard Medical School’s newest academic department. The Department of Biomedical Informatics was established in 2015 to propel a radical transformation in scientific discovery, clinical medicine and population health by harnessing the power of computation to generate new insights. The department seeks to develop the methods, tools and infrastructure required for a new generation of research investigators and health care providers to move biomedicine forward by taking full advantage of existing and emerging data resources. Geary is a general partner and cofounder of Flare Capital Partners, a healthcare technology and digital health venture capital firm. Prior to that, Geary was with North Bridge Venture Partners since inception, a partner at Hambro International Equity Partners, and the chief financial officer of MathSoft, a science and engineering applications software start-up. Geary holds an undergraduate degree from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and served as chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. Geary is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions Board of Trustees. He was previously appointed by the Massachusetts governor to the oversight council of the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Additionally, Geary represents Flare Capital Partners on the Boards of Directors as an investor in numerous healthcare technology and digital health companies. Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School (http://hms.harvard.edu) has more than 11,000 faculty working in 10 academic departments located at the School’s Boston campus or in hospital-based clinical departments at 15 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Hebrew SeniorLife, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and VA Boston Healthcare System.