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.

There are many known causes of vaginal or vulvar itching, and they can range from the most mundane causes (like a new shower gel) to something much more serious. While itching of the vulva and vagina may not always indicate that something is wrong, it’s important to confer with a medical professional in order to find the source of the issue. A common cause of irritation, which can lead to itchiness, is using products that shouldn’t be anywhere near one’s vulva. “Women are told they should use all these vulvar washes and other products, and it’s really poison to the vulva,” says Dr. Lauren Streicher, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University. “It’s not meant for vulvar use, even if the product says it is. All these perfumes and chemicals can cause a lot of problems in terms of itching and burning and irritation.” Ceasing use of these products will clear up the issue, says Streicher. “I ran a vulvar clinic, and one of the first things we would tell women when they came to the vulvar clinic is stop using all this junk on their vulva. Nothing. Not even soap,” she says. “There are certain soaps that are better than others, but for someone who is having problems, we tell them, ‘Just rinse with water. You will not smell. I promise.’”

Even though hair loss is common in men, it doesn’t make it suck any less for those enduring hair shedding and thinning. Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at Northwestern University Medical School, tells Yahoo Life, “You can effectively stop genetic hair loss to a large degree.” But it can be harder to reverse prolonged genetic hair loss and grow back the hair you’ve lost, she says, making time of the essence here. So whether your hair loss is due to genetics, COVID, stress, poor diet or illness, you can absolutely restore hair health with the right products and a little patience.

For starters, food allergies are on the march. Among children, they doubled from 2000 to 2018, according to our analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey, and they probably have risen further in the years since. Christopher Warren, PhD, a Northwestern professor who helped design the survey in his capacity as director of population health research at the allergy center, mainly just to make sure we’d measured everything correctly. But Warren instead opened our eyes to a grand, unified theory of why everybody is suddenly allergic to everything. First, he patiently explained that what we commonly call a food allergy is an immune response, particularly one from an antibody called immunoglobulin E, which causes your body to release the biochemical histamine to eject an invader. (Histamine causes itching and swelling and, if too much of it builds up, serious gastrointestinal reactions and even anaphylaxis.) “The nature of the reaction,” Warren said, “has to do with your antibodies identifying something … and being like, ‘We got to get this out of here! Get ’em sneezing! Get ’em inflamed! Get ’em vomiting! Get ’em diarrhea!’”

The latest wireless implant from the labs of Northwestern University’s bioelectronics pioneer John A. Rogers could continuously monitor the health of transplanted organs in real time, alerting patients and physicians to organ rejection at the earliest sign. “I have noticed many of my patients feel constant anxiety — not knowing if their body is rejecting their transplanted organ or not,” Lorenzo Gallon, MD, a Northwestern Medicine transplant nephrologist who led the clinical portion of the study, said in the statement. “They may have waited years for a transplant and then finally received one from a loved one or deceased donor. Then, they spend the rest of their lives worrying about the health of that organ. Our new device could offer some protection, and continuous monitoring could provide reassurance and peace of mind.” “If rejection is detected early, physicians can deliver anti-rejection therapies to improve the patient’s health and prevent them from losing the donated organ,” John A Rogers, PhD said in the statement. “In worst-case scenarios, if rejection is ignored, it could be life-threatening. The earlier you can catch rejection and engage therapies, the better. We developed this device with that in mind.”

A team of doctors and scientists at Northwestern University has created a wireless device to monitor transplanted organs for early signs of rejection. “I hear my patients when they talk to me, so they tell me about their anxiety about the risk for rejection,” said Lorenzo Gallon, MD, one of the study authors and a professor of nephrology, hypertension and organ transplantation at Northwestern University. Dr. Gallon teamed up with John Rogers, a professor of material science and engineering, biomedical engineering and neurological surgery, to test out a theory. “The idea is when the kidney gets inflamed, you know, the temperature on the surface goes up. This was our hypothesis,” Dr. Gallon said. They created a small implant that monitors the organ’s temperature. In clinical trials in animals, it was attached to a transplanted kidney during surgery.

There is a new way to make sure transplants are successful. By adding a tiny monitor to transplant organs, doctors can spot the first sign of potential problems. Northwestern University scientists tested the implantable electronic system on transplanted kidneys. It’s smaller than a quarter and has wireless sensing technology. Current monitoring methods are infrequent and invasive. The new implant sits directly on the organ constantly tracking temperature irregularities associated with inflammation, an indicator of transplant rejection. When doctors get a smartphone alert, they can be proactive, intervening to preserve the organ.

A Northwestern Medicine research team is constantly searching for tumor treatments and funding is a factor. “You just need somebody to give you a chance,” said Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD, a Northwestern medicine neuropathologists and professor of pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Horbinski said the results of work paid for by hisfirst grant led to more funding. Now, scientists under his watch are studying how to shrink tumors, especially fast-growing and deadly glioblastomas. About 800 kids and adults are diagnosed with brain tumors every day. The hope is to continue funding research, so every patient can bounce back.

For erectile dysfunction, men have plenty of drugs to choose from, including Cialis, Levitra, Stendra and Viagra, otherwise known as the “little blue pill.” For women, the treatment options are less robust. While medications designed for men focus on increasing blood flow to the penis, allowing for an erection and sexual function, most women are physically capable of engaging in intercourse without the help of medication. That said, there are drugs available that purport to get women in the mood for sex. That includes flibanserin, the trade name for which is Addyi. Thus far, the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for premenopausal women. “When they first came out, they were putting themselves out there as the female Viagra — the ‘little pink pill’ instead of the ‘little blue pill.’ That really is misleading, because it was always about libido,” says Dr. Lauren Streicher, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University.

You cut yourself. You put on a bandage. In a week or so, your wound heals. Most people take this for granted. But for the more than 8.2 million Americans who have chronic wounds, it’s not so simple. Traumatic injuries, post-surgical complications, advanced age, and chronic illnesses like diabetes and vascular disease can all disrupt the delicate healing process, leading to wounds that last months or years. smart bandage, developed at Northwestern University, harmlessly dissolves — electrodes and all — into the body after it is no longer needed, eliminating what can be a painful removal. Guillermo Ameer, ScD, a study author reporting on the technology in Science Advances and professor of surgery (vascular surgery) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, hopes it could be made cheaply and used in developing countries. “We’d like to create something that you could use in your home, even in a very remote village,” said Ameer.

Another study is showing that artificial intelligence (AI) is as good as a specialist doctor in spotting breast cancer on a mammogram. But don’t expect computers to take over the job from humans, experts say. On average, both humans and AI caught about 90% of breast tumors, and correctly gave an all-clear to just over three-quarters of mammograms from women without cancer. No one, however, is saying that AI should replace radiologists in mammography-reading. Instead, it might help them do the job more efficiently and accurately, said Mozziyar Etemadi, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Etemadi, who is not a radiologist, studies AI’s potential role in medicine. The simple fact, he said, is that “humans have a certain level of missing stuff,” and AI could help. It might, for example, give mammograms a first pass, flagging ones that look suspicious so radiologists can prioritize them, he said. And in any given mammogram, AI might highlight areas that seem abnormal.

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