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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.  

Understanding COVID-19 

Most People Infected With Omicron Didn’t Know It

The Omicron variant is associated with generally less severe symptoms that may include fatigue, cough, headache, sore throat or a runny nose.

COVID-19 Can Trigger Self-Attacking Antibodies

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.

Hypertension Elevates Risk for More Severe Omicron Illness

Investigators found hypertension more than doubles the risk of hospitalization related to the Omicron infection, even in people who are fully vaccinated and boosted. 

Medicine for Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Protect Against Severe COVID-19

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.

COVID-19 Surges Linked to Spike in Heart Attacks

New data analysis found that deaths from heart attacks rose significantly during pandemic surges, reversing a heart-healthier pre-pandemic trend.

Healing the Heart 

Cell-Derived Therapy May Help Repair Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Vesicles secreted from human heart cells may repair damaged tissue and prevent lethal heart rhythm disorders.

Study Confirms: The Path to Heart Failure Is Different for Women

Using a novel cardiac imaging technique, investigators discovered the path toward heart failure differs for women and men.

Unlocking Genetic Causes of Heart Disease

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.

Attacking Cancer

Scientists Target a Protein to Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer Spread

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.

Identifying the Underlying Causes of Ovarian Cancer

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. 

Potential Therapy May Boost Chemoimmunotherapy Response in Bladder Cancer

Adding an anti-inflammatory medication to immunotherapy and standard chemotherapy drugs may provide long-term suppression of aggressive bladder tumor growth. 

Developing Therapies for Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer

An investigational therapeutic approach could be effective against treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

Improving Gastrointestinal Knowledge

Study: App More Accurate Than Patient Evaluation of Stool Samples

An innovative mobile phone application was found to be as good as expert gastroenterologists at characterizing stool specimens.

Bloating Common Issue Among Americans, Study Reports

Nearly 1 in 7 Americans experience bloating on a weekly basis, and most aren’t seeking professional care for it.

How Gravity May Cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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 

New Study Reveals How the Brain Says ‘Oops!’

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.

How Does the Brain Make Memories?

Two types of brain cells play a key role in dividing continuous human experience into distinct segments that can be recalled later. 

Cedars-Sinai Creates Most Realistic Computer Models of Brain Cells

Investigators have created bio-realistic and complex computer models of individual brain cells—in unparalleled quantity. 

When the Brain Sees a Familiar Face

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) 

AI Tool May Help Predict Heart Attacks

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.

New AI Tool Detects Often Overlooked Heart Diseases

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 More Accurate Than Technicians

AI proved more successful in assessing and diagnosing cardiac function when compared to echocardiogram assessments made by sonographers.

AI Tool May Detect Earliest Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

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. 

AI Improves Accuracy of Heart Condition Diagnosis

The accuracy of diagnosing coronary artery disease and predicting patient risk is improved with the help of AI models.

AI Model May Predict C-Section Delivery

A new method may predict if a woman will deliver vaginally or via a cesarean section.

Furthering Stem Cell Science

Stem Cell-Gene Therapy Shows Promise in ALS Safety Trial

A combined stem cell and gene therapy can potentially protect diseased motor neurons in the spinal cord of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Manufacturing Stem Cells in Space

Investigators will attempt to elevate the next generation of stem cell and gene therapies by harnessing the near-zero gravity conditions of spaceflight.

Stem Cell Discoveries Hold Potential to Improve Cancer Treatment

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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