Noteworthy Medical Research Discoveries From 2022
Cedars-Sinai Research Helps Gain New Insights Into an Array of Diseases and Conditions
Investigators at Cedars-Sinai conduct more than 2,500 research projects annually, and many of these studies have resulted in new treatments or have opened the door to future innovations.
Here, we highlight some of the most significant Cedars-Sinai research news from 2022, ranging from major advancements in understanding COVID-19 to the use of artificial intelligence for predicting and diagnosing diseases to revealing how the brain makes memories.
The Omicron variant is associated with generally less severe symptoms that may include fatigue, cough, headache, sore throat or a runny nose.
Infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 can trigger an immune response that lasts well beyond the initial infection and recovery—even among people who had mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Investigators found hypertension more than doubles the risk of hospitalization related to the Omicron infection, even in people who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination strengthened one type of immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in inflammatory bowel disease patients, even though they were taking immunosuppressant medication.
New data analysis found that deaths from heart attacks rose significantly during pandemic surges, reversing a heart-healthier pre-pandemic trend.
Healing the Heart
Vesicles secreted from human heart cells may repair damaged tissue and prevent lethal heart rhythm disorders.
Using a novel cardiac imaging technique, investigators discovered the path toward heart failure differs for women and men.
Investigators are working to identify genetic risk factors for cardiomyopathy—a collection of conditions that reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Targeting a specific protein that is often overexpressed in prostate cancer can help prevent or delay the disease from spreading to other parts of the body.
Two new discoveries help improve the understanding of what drives the development of ovarian cancer and why some women’s tumors do not respond to therapy.
Adding an anti-inflammatory medication to immunotherapy and standard chemotherapy drugs may provide long-term suppression of aggressive bladder tumor growth.
An investigational therapeutic approach could be effective against treatment-resistant prostate cancer.
Improving Gastrointestinal Knowledge
An innovative mobile phone application was found to be as good as expert gastroenterologists at characterizing stool specimens.
Nearly 1 in 7 Americans experience bloating on a weekly basis, and most aren’t seeking professional care for it.
Gravity can compress the spine and decrease one’s flexibility. It can also cause organs to shift downward, moving from their proper position.
Unlocking the Brain
Signals from a group of neurons in the brain's frontal lobe simultaneously give humans the flexibility to learn new tasks—and the focus to develop highly specific skills.
Two types of brain cells play a key role in dividing continuous human experience into distinct segments that can be recalled later.
Investigators have created bio-realistic and complex computer models of individual brain cells—in unparalleled quantity.
Investigators have uncovered new information about how the area of the brain responsible for memory is triggered when the eyes come to rest on a face versus another object or image.
Harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI)
An AI-enabled tool may make it easier to predict if a person will have a heart attack based on the amount and composition of plaque in arteries that supply blood to the heart.
An AI tool can effectively identify and distinguish between two life-threatening heart conditions that are often easy to miss: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and cardiac amyloidosis.
AI proved more successful in assessing and diagnosing cardiac function when compared to echocardiogram assessments made by sonographers.
An AI tool accurately predicted who would develop pancreatic cancer based on what their CT scan images looked like years prior to being diagnosed with the disease.
The accuracy of diagnosing coronary artery disease and predicting patient risk is improved with the help of AI models.
A new method may predict if a woman will deliver vaginally or via a cesarean section.
Furthering Stem Cell Science
A combined stem cell and gene therapy can potentially protect diseased motor neurons in the spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Investigators will attempt to elevate the next generation of stem cell and gene therapies by harnessing the near-zero gravity conditions of spaceflight.
Two recent discoveries may help make treatment more efficient and shorten the time it takes for people to recover from radiation and chemotherapy.
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