Podcast: Pandemic fuels use of alcohol, opioids

In this episode, we discuss issues that were problems long before anyone ever heard of COVID-19: alcohol use disorder and opioid overdose. Both seem to have gotten worse during the pandemic. Alcohol sales rose during the early days of lockdown, and they’ve remained high. Laura J. Bierut, MD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry, says another […]

Clinical and translational research receives $61 million grant support

Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis conduct many clinical trials and translational research studies each year to develop and evaluate new ways of treating and diagnosing myriad types of diseases. Such research holds promise for improving the health of people living in St. Louis, across the state of Missouri and around […]

Parents’ mental health was worse during pandemic, study finds

While having a child attend a private school or school with above-average instructional quality was associated with better mental health of parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid school was associated with worse parental mental health, as was working from home, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The study is […]

Podcast: Long COVID-19 can affect every organ system in the body

The death toll isn’t the only staggering statistic from the first two years of the pandemic. What’s become increasing clear is that some COVID-19 patients don’t get well right away. Since the earliest days of the pandemic, we’ve heard of survivors who continue to experience shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, lingering difficulty with taste and […]

COVID-19 infection linked to higher risk of neuropathy

Adding to a growing body of evidence that, for many, problems related to COVID-19 linger longer than the initial infection, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that some people infected during the pandemic’s early months experienced peripheral neuropathy — pain, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet — […]

CDC director discusses COVID-19 pandemic during Medical Campus visit

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visited Washington University School of Medicine last week to discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the Department of Medicine’s weekly Grand Rounds series, she sat down March 3 with William G. Powderly, MD, the J. William […]

CDC director to speak about pandemic March 3 on Medical Campus

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, will participate in a conversation about the pandemic Thursday, March 3, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The virtual event, available via livestream, will be geared toward faculty, staff, students and trainees on the […]

Podcast: Fighting burnout in health care

This episode of ‘Show Me the Science’ focuses on the pandemic’s role in anxiety, depression and other issues for health-care workers, as well as how to train future workers to get help before burnout begins. With U.S. hospitals crowded with COVID-19 patients for almost two years, the pandemic’s relentlessness has pushed many doctors, nurses and […]

COVID-19 survivors face increased mental health risks up to a year later

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its third year, countless people have experienced varying degrees of uncertainty, isolation and mental health challenges. However, those who have had COVID-19 have a significantly higher chance of experiencing mental health problems, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. […]

Promoting resilience in health-care workers aim of new grant

After two years of wearing layers of protective equipment on crowded hospital floors and working shift after shift with COVID-19 patients, many front-line health-care workers are suffering burnout, anxiety, depression and other difficulties. Consequently, many have left the field or started to question whether to remain. Reducing burnout and promoting mental health and wellness among […]

It’s complicated: Social media and well-being during COVID-19

When students were told to stay home after COVID-19 began to spread stateside, it’s not surprising that their social media use increased — there wasn’t much else to do. But was it all doom scrolling and catastrophizing or was social media living up to its promise to keep people connected and strengthen our ties to […]

Antidepressant may prevent severe COVID-19, follow-up study indicates

In the largest study yet to evaluate a common, low-cost antidepressant as a treatment for COVID-19, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and from Canada and Brazil have found that the drug fluvoxamine prevents some of the most serious complications of COVID-19, sharply reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. The […]

Older people’s resilience during pandemic focus of $9 million grant

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $9.1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study resilience in older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant also will fund research into the pandemic’s cognitive and emotional effects […]

COVID-19 transmission at school rare for children with disabilities

Studies have determined that in-school transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is rare when masking, social distancing and other safety protocols are followed. However, little has been known about COVID-19 risks at school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These students often are unable to mask or maintain social distancing and may have underlying […]

Cannabis use disorder: another COVID risk factor

Should doctors take particular care to talk to patients about the potential dangers of COVID-19 if those patients have a problematic relationship with pot? New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests perhaps they should. Diabetes, obesity and a history of smoking cigarettes are all considered risk factors for poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Warnings and […]

NIH funds Rudra, Jackrel to improve vaccines for elderly

The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the importance of vaccines, particularly for the elderly, who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. However, a decline in immune response as well as inflammation that accompanies aging require a booster to improve the immune response. Jai Rudra, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the McKelvey School of […]

WATCH: How to take care of your mental health as the world returns to ‘normal’

Many Americans are facing mental health challenges as they deal with the tumult of the last year and the uncertainties ahead. The pandemic has caused waves of isolation and grief. Police violence and systemic racism have elevated fears and frustrations — triggering important conversations as well as powerful stressors. For many, the return to some […]

Learning How To Smell Again After COVID-19

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Loss of smell has become a hallmark of COVID-19. Up to 80% of infected people experience it. While most people get their sense of smell back as they recover, some do not. And, as Will Stone reports, this phenomenon has triggered new interest and research studies in the field of smell. WILL […]

For men, low testosterone means high risk of severe COVID-19

Throughout the pandemic, doctors have seen evidence that men with COVID-19 fare worse, on average, than women with the infection. One theory is that hormonal differences between men and women may make men more susceptible to severe disease. And since men have much more testosterone than women, some scientists have speculated that high levels of […]

Among COVID-19 survivors, an increased risk of death, serious illness

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that many survivors — even those who had mild cases — continue to manage a variety of health problems long after the initial infection should have resolved. In what is believed to be the largest comprehensive study of long COVID-19 to date, researchers at Washington […]

Podcast: Pandemic contributing to uptick of mental health problems in kids

Infections with the virus that causes COVID-19 are not the only cause of pandemic-related hospitalizations. Although children tend to be at lower risk of COVID-19, the number of kids with mental health and behavioral problems has exploded during the pandemic, driving an increase in pediatric hospital admissions nationwide. Stressors associated with remote schooling, fear of […]

Washington University researchers to design detectors of airborne SARS-CoV-2

As the COVID-19 pandemic surged last summer and contact tracers struggled to identify sources of infections, John Cirrito, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Carla Yuede, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry, began to kick around an idea. Could a biosensor they’d developed years ago for Alzheimer’s disease […]

Podcast: Loss of smell, heart problems common symptoms for long-haulers

In the year since COVID-19 infections first appeared in the United States, a few things have become clear. One is that many who get sick don’t recover quickly. Even those who don’t have to be hospitalized can experience symptoms that linger. Called long-haulers, these individuals suffer from a variety of issues such as shortness of […]

COVID Survivors Hope Experimental Therapy Will Help Them Learn To Smell Again

Elizabeth Tesson remembers the exact moment she lost her sense of smell, the day after she tested positive for COVID-19. “I got a very odd feeling in my nose, like a burning sensation in my sinuses and along my cheeks,” said Tesson, who lives in St. Louis County. “About an hour and a half later, […]

Doctors test popular anti-depressant to see if it fights off Covid-19

Doctors are running a clinical trial to see if a popular anti-depressant might keep someone from becoming severely ill with Covid-19. The researchers at Washington University of St. Louis are recruiting 1,100 people in the beginning stages of Covid-19 to test out the drug fluvoxamine, also known as Luvox. While an anti-depressant may seem like […]

Podcast: Vaccines have arrived but COVID-19 treatments progressing much more slowly

A new episode of our podcast, “Show Me the Science,” has been posted. At present, these podcast episodes are highlighting research and patient care on the Washington University Medical Campus as our scientists and clinicians confront the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccine development has been rapid and successful. Two vaccines that report more than 90% efficacy […]

Fluvoxamine may prevent serious illness in COVID-19 patients

In a preliminary study of COVID-19 patients with mild-to-moderate disease who were attempting to recover in their homes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that the drug fluvoxamine seems to prevent some of the most serious complications of the illness and make hospitalization and the need for supplemental oxygen […]

Cornea appears to resist infection from novel coronavirus

New findings from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggest the eye’s cornea can resist infection from the novel coronavirus. Although the herpes simplex virus can infect the cornea and spread to other parts of the body in patients with compromised immune systems, and Zika virus has been found in tears […]

Podcast: COVID-19, social media and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The pandemic is affecting everyone, but the stresses it causes are particularly rough for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Providing effective education to such children and getting services to those who need help in their homes is typically complex, but those issues are even more difficult in the face of COVID-19. […]

Imaging agent developed at Washington University spotlights inflammation

Many of the most common diseases — cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and lung disease, and even COVID-19 — have been linked to chronic or excessive inflammation. Blood tests can indicate that some part of a person’s body is inflamed, but doctors don’t have a good way to zero in on the site of inflammation and visualize the […]

COVID-19 disproportionately affects developmentally disabled

As the nation’s children, teens and college students attempt to start a new school year amidst debate regarding how best to resume education during the COVID-19 pandemic, a segment of the population in desperate need of in-person supports often is overlooked in the decision-making process, according to a group of experts on the topic. “In […]

Washington University develops COVID-19 saliva test

A new saliva test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been developed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Results from the COVID-19 diagnostic test are available in a few hours and, ideally, able to be communicated to people tested within a day. Highly sensitive to detecting even tiny levels of […]

How To Safeguard Mental Health As Pandemic Becomes ‘A Really Long Haul’

It was one thing to navigate the initial stress and disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic. And early on, as people looked for ways to guard mental well-being amid big changes, many realized that it helped to have a sense of horizon in sight. “I can shelter in place for a month” and “One semester at […]

Study to examine social media’s effects on stress during COVID-19 pandemic

The impact of social media on anxiety and stress during the coronavirus pandemic is the focus of a new study led by mental health experts at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and computer scientists at Georgia Tech. The National Science Foundation is funding the pilot study. The researchers plan to use computer […]

4 Ways to Help if Your Kid Is Depressed

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a worrying shift in my 9-year-old. His characteristic silliness — his goofy giggles and incessant bad jokes — had disappeared. He stopped wanting to go outside and said he was too tired to play. He crawled under his bed covers and lay quietly in his room, while the […]

On the front lines: Jessica Gold

Psychiatrist Jessica Gold, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, talks about the impact the COVID-19 crisis has been having on mental health. This video is part of a series of short videos focusing on how Washington University health-care workers, scientists and students have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more and […]

On the front lines: Jay Piccirillo

Otolaryngologist Jay Piccirillo, MD, professor of otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, discusses the loss of smell and/or taste that is sometimes associated with the virus that causes COVID-19. Read more and watch.

Podcast: Global study tests chloroquine to protect health workers from COVID-19

More than 10% of those with serious COVID-19 infections have been front-line health-care workers. Now, an international group led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is launching a trial to see whether the drug chloroquine might help those workers. The drug trial won’t treat doctors, nurses and others after they […]

Global study to test malaria drug to protect health workers from COVID-19

With $9 million in philanthropic support, an international group of physicians and scientists is establishing a research network to evaluate promising therapies for COVID-19. The group, called the COVID-19 Research Outcomes Worldwide Network (CROWN) Collaborative, is testing whether the antimalaria drug chloroquine can prevent COVID-19 infection or decrease its severity in front-line health-care workers. An […]

Could COVID-19 Finally Destigmatize Mental Illness?

There is a research model going around that suggests as many as 150,000 additional people could die from mental health-related outcomes of COVID-19. I could argue the merits of the mathematical model as many of my colleagues have. I could also make the case that discussing the depths of despair and predicting increasing suicide rates […]

Stroke evaluations drop by nearly 40% during COVID-19 pandemic

The number of people evaluated for signs of stroke at U.S. hospitals has dropped by nearly 40% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study led by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who analyzed stroke evaluations at more than 800 hospitals across 49 states and the District of Columbia. The […]

4 ways to take care of your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic

Millions in the U.S. and around the world are under stay-at-home orders as officials hope to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But how do those practices affect individuals’ mental health? What are the unique mental health challenges people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how do they affect health care workers, those living […]

Maker Task Force works to protect front-line health-care workers

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a diverse team of makers from across Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth and Medical campuses, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and BJC HealthCare have come together to protect front-line health-care workers and employees on the ground. “With the surge of COVID-19 patients we’re expecting, we want to make sure doctors, […]

Podcast: Preserving mental, physical health while isolating at home

The St. Louis region and most of the United States are under stay-at-home orders, meaning that aside from reporting to “essential” jobs that require attendance, and trips to the grocery store, drug store or other necessary errands, most people are spending more time at home than ever before. This week’s podcast features experts in maintaining […]

Research in most university labs moved from bench to internet

When Washington University Vice Chancellor for Research Jennifer K. Lodge first sounded the alarm about the disruptive impact COVID-19 likely would have on labs across the university, the research community heeded her warning, taking steps to shut down lab work and move as much as possible online. Those in position to do so began pivoting their research […]

Podcast: Clinical trials launch to evaluate antimalarial, antidepressant drugs to treat COVID-19

Although anecdotal reports have suggested certain therapies help some patients, there still are no proven treatments for the disorder. In this episode, we discuss repurposing existing drugs to treat COVID-19. One study involves treating hospitalized patients. Another involves providing infected patients with a drug to take at home as a way to prevent them from […]

Study to evaluate antidepressant as potential COVID-19 treatment

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are launching a clinical trial in patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 but who are not sick enough to be hospitalized. The trial is investigating whether the antidepressant medication fluvoxamine, which is currently used to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), can be repurposed […]