Media Coverage

The work done by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty members (and even some students) is regularly highlighted in newspapers, online media outlets and more. Below you’ll find links to articles and videos of Feinberg in the news.

Written by Samer Attar, MD, assistant professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Hospital emergency department visits increased in Illinois after the Affordable Care Act took effect — the opposite of what many hoped would happen under the landmark health care law, according to a new study. “Emergency departments are already overcrowded, and bringing more patients in will continue to make that worse,” said Dr. Scott Dresden, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and the lead author of the study. Emergency department visits were increasing before the Affordable Care Act took effect, Dresden said, but the jumps revealed by the study go beyond those increases.

Similar to postpartum depression, prenatal depression is accompanied by feelings of worry, sadness and anxiety…“These women are often juggling a multitude of life stressors, such as pregnancy complications, as well as family and financial stress. In many instances, they struggled with depression or anxiety before they became pregnant,” says Sheehan Fisher, a psychiatry professor and a lead researcher in the study.

People with a newly identified genetic variant in their DNA, called PDSS2, may be inclined to drink fewer cups of coffee than others, according to a small study…A separate study, published in 2014, linked about a half-dozen other genetic variants in human DNA to the volume and frequency of people’s coffee-drinking behavior.
Although different statistical models were used, the previous research tested a few of the same genetic variations included in the new study. However, an association with coffee consumption was not found, said Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University who led the 2014 study.

“Every day in my practice I hear women say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad you’re here. It has taken me a long time to find a woman in this field,'” said study senior author Dr. Sarah Flury. She is an assistant professor of urology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine examined how three aspects of movement in time and space which they dubbed “circadian movement,” “normalized entropy,” and “location variance” appear to correlate with symptoms of depression. Another study, out of Sweden, found that frequent cellphone use was associated with stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among both young adult men and women.

Dr. Katherine Wisner, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the new research, said the amount of data and the methods used make this a “landmark” study.

“For women taking other medications besides risperidone, it is really solid data to show there is no identifiable increased risk of birth defects,” said Wisner, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

For the past several years, Lynn Rogers, the director of the Neuralplasticity Laboratory at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and her collaborators have been studying the potential impacts of hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle on women’s muscles, other soft tissues and nervous systems. Susceptibility to tissue injuries may be due in part to changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, the two main hormones involved in reproduction, throughout the menstrual cycle. Dr. Rogers, who also is an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and other scientists suspect that these hormones and their fluctuations may subtly alter the efficiency with which the neurons communicate with the muscles, ligaments and other tissues that make the body move.

How much autonomy would you like with your self-driving car? It’s a conundrum for Silicon Valley and Detroit—but not for Brenna Argall,, a research scientist at Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Argall and her colleagues are working on a smart version of a familiar off-road vehicle: a wheelchair. Backed with $2.5 million in federal grants, they hope to field a commercially feasible model within five years that leaves the user in charge but learns from what it’s told, making control simpler, reaction time faster and collision avoidance easier.

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