The Breakthroughs podcast released more than 20 episodes in 2022 on topics ranging from the role of dopamine in habit formation to music-based medical interventions. The top two episodes were related to heart health, while the third episode outlined a novel gene therapy to treat a rare blood disorder. Listen to the top three most downloaded episodes of the year and earn Continuing Medical Education credit.
A novel gene therapy promoted transfusion independence in more than 90 percent of adult and pediatric patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. Study co-author Jennifer Schneiderman, MD, discussed results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
An excerpt from the episode: “It’s been actually really inspiring to see these patients…because they were just so hopeful and so brave for embarking on this journey, seeing how their lives have been changed and not really being chained to their medical home as much as they had been. Seeing them be able to get away from their thalassemia has really been amazing.”
Schneiderman is an associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation.
Nearly half of all patients with heart failure have preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF, yet there is much that is unknown about HFpEF and how to best prevent it and treat it. Northwestern Medicine cardiologist, Sanjiv Shah, ’00 MD, leads the world’s first clinical program dedicated to the study of heart failure with HFpEF.
An excerpt from the episode: “It’s really exciting to say we’re getting more and more precise, that the work we’re doing is really seeming to make a benefit, and that we’re really getting close, hopefully to not just one class of drugs for this patient population, but a whole host of drugs and devices to improve this disorder.”
Shah discussed the latest discoveries on the mechanisms of HFpEF and identifying therapeutic targets for it. He is director of the Center for Deep Phenotyping and Precision Therapeutics in the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine, Neil J. Stone, MD, Professor and professor of Medicine (Cardiology).
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. According to a Northwestern Medicine study published in the journal Circulation, about sixty percent of pregnant women in the U.S. have poor heart health. Study authors Sadiya Khan, MD, and Natalie Cameron, MD, explained the results of the study and what needs to be done to reverse this alarming trend.
An excerpt from the episode: “From 2016 to 2019, the percent of women entering pregnancy with favorable health declined by about a total of 3%, so about 1% per year, which we actually found pretty concerning because if we continue along that trend, it’s just going to be less and less women entering pregnancy with favorable health,” Cameron said.
Cameron is an instructor in the Department Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. Khan is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology and of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology.