Best Research Stories of 2019 (Part 1)

2019 has been a record-breaking year for the Mass General Research Institute blog. We received a gold award for best blog from the NESHCo Lamplighter Awards, a gold award for best healthcare content for one of our posts and a distinction for the blog from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards.

Thanks to our wonderful audience, we also shattered our previous record for blog views this year.

We are so grateful for these honors, and they would not be possible without the researchers here at Mass General. Without their tireless and innovative work, we would not have these stories to tell.

In honor of our researchers and this year’s achievements we are sharing the top ten research stories of 2019.

10. Buckner’s Death Puts New Focus on Lewy Body Dementia—A Relatively Unknown but Surprisingly Prevalent Disease

The recent death of former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner has once again raised the public profile of Lewy body dementia (LBD), a common but still frequently misdiagnosed form of neurodegenerative disease.

LBD, which affects more than 1.3 million people in the United States, surged into the public spotlight in 2016 when Susan Schneider Williams, the wife of the late Robin Williams, revealed that the actor and comedian had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia in the months prior to committing suicide in 2014.

9. Mass General Researchers Identify Pattern of Brain Inflammation in Fibromyalgia Patients

Fibromyalgia has been a medical mystery for quite some time. Unlike other chronic medical conditions, there is no test or scan that can detect it; doctors can only make a diagnosis based on a patient’s reported symptoms.

However, a team of researchers at Mass General, in collaboration with a team form the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, recently identified a pattern of inflammation in the brains of fibromyalgia patients that could be the key to diagnosing the elusive disorder.

8. Illuminating Hidden Trauma: The Prevalence of Traumatic Brain Injury in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Some may think of physical harm in terms of what is visible to the naked eye, but one of the hidden dangers is the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Eve Valera, PhD, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, uses neuroimaging to make the hidden trauma of TBI visible while studying the impact of TBI on female IPV survivors.

7. A Few Lessons Learned on Imposter Syndrome from Dr. Valerie Young

Have you ever felt like you are the least qualified person in the room who somehow managed to fool everyone into thinking you belong there? If so, you’re not alone, and this feeling is actually a well-known psychological phenomenon called imposter syndrome.

6. Preventing Mental Illness Across the Lifespan: Meet the Team that’s getting it DUNN

Depression is the third leading cause of disability worldwide and is projected to be the leading cause by 2030. Meet Dr. Erin Dunn and her research team, who are dedicated to reducing the burden of depression and other brain health disorders by discovering innovative approaches to prevention.

Stay tuned for our next post to see the top five!


About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
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Best Research Stories of 2019 (Part 2)

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