Skip Navigation
Search Menu

Medical Rounds

illustration of brain laying in field

Failing Hearts

“Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) is one of the most important treatments for heart failure, but only six or seven out of every 10 patients respond,” says John Rickard. He is leading a new program designed to thoroughly evaluate the reasons why particular patients are not responding to CRT and provide recommendations on how to help patients benefit from the therapy.

Read More

Science of Hope

The phrase “stay positive” is more than just a cheerful colloquialism for patients recovering from a debilitating brain injury. New evidence shows that hopefulness can promote a quicker, fuller recovery.

Read More

Toward Better Zzzzs

In a study of fruit flies, Hopkins researchers have identified a mutant gene that sabotages how the biological clock sets the timing for sleep.

Read More

Successful Snare

Until now, a patient with an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter that’s become trapped in the vessel might have had no option for its removal. The result? A potential lifetime of health risks and anticoagulant therapy.

Read More

Hale and Hearty

There’s good news for potential kidney donors: The risk of developing kidney disease in the remaining organ is much lower than in the population at large, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study.

Read More

Radiation Watchdogs

In an effort to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure in children, a new model calls for pediatric radiologists to be gatekeepers, questioning the need for every CT scan ordered and offering advice on radiation-free alternatives.

Read More

Pass the Bacon

A weekly diet of high-fat food that includes days of fasting has made a dramatic difference in the lives of some children with hard-to-manage epilepsy. The high-fat “ketogenic diet” also has the potential to help adults with the most serious epilepsy—superrefractory status epilepticus.

Read More

Better Bearings

A new computerized process that uses equipment already common in the operating room could make minimally invasive surgery more accurate and streamlined.

Read More

Picture This

The color of an infant’s poop can tip off parents and doctors to liver-ravaging biliary atresia, and a new mobile app makes early detection easier than ever. The app uses color recognition software that allows parents to take photos of their newborn’s stool—and receive feedback within seconds.

Read More
Picture This


The percentage of orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons who fail to perform routine psychological screenings of patients before major surgery for severe back and leg pain, according to a study led by Hopkins’ Richard Skolasky. The oversight, researchers say, may pose a serious risk to patients’ surgical recovery. Previous reports have tied bouts of depression to longer recuperations, delayed returns to work, more postsurgical complications, and failures to comply with medication schedules after patients leave the hospital.

“Our survey results show that surgeons and patients still have a long way to go in recognizing and appreciating how much psychological factors and mental health can impact the success of their back surgeries,” says Skolasky, the senior study investigator. “It may be necessary to delay surgery in order to first treat a patient’s depression or anxiety to minimize the likelihood of prolonged recuperation after their operation.” The study appeared in the April issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques.

Picture This

Jazz Musicians

“When two jazz musicians seem lost in thought while trading fours, they aren’t simply waiting for their turn to play.”

- Associate professor Charles Limb, describing the results of his recent Hopkins study that examined the brains of jazz pianists in the act of improvisation. Functional MRI scans showed robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But the musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics—those that process the meaning of spoken language.

Picture This


The number of extra months that elderly patients with dementia and other memory disorders were able to remain safely living in their homes, thanks to an 18-month Hopkins care program—Maximizing Independence at Home (MIND)—that included home visits by care coordinators.

“This can make a huge difference in terms of comfort, money, and quality of life for those involved,” noted study leader Quincy Miles Samus, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Hopkins’ School of Medicine.

Because insurance does not always cover non-medical needs and coordinator services, the research program was designed to begin answering the question of whether care models like MIND can demonstrate the financial savings and value of community-based care. The hope, says Samus: More health insurers might cover the cost of such programs in the future.

Picture This

Toward Better Health in Trinidad and Tobago

Over Johns Hopkins Medicine’s seven-year tenure as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences Initiative—aimed at improving that nation’s rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease—dozens of faculty and staff delivered in-person training to local health care providers. Here’s just a sampling of what they accomplished:

  • 144,000+ trainee hours on topics related to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • 1,000+ physicians received formal refresher courses on CVD and/or diabetes.
  • 3,000+ patients received individual or group education on diabetes.
  • 3,000+ physicians and staff trained in basic and advanced electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings and interpretation.
  • 800+ primary care nurses trained in general CVD care.
  • 600+ allied health professionals (e.g., nurses, dietitians, pharmacists) attended at least one workshop on a diabetes-related topic.
  • 80+ inpatient nurses and staff took intensive skill-focused trainings related to cardiac care.
  • 5 physicians became cardiologists through a specialized 24-month fellowship certified by the School of Medicine.

Watch a video with an overview of the TTHSI effort.