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Opiod prescriptions from dentists linked to youth addiction risk

Teens and young adults who receive their initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists or oral surgeons are at increased risk for opioid addiction in the following year, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

The study, which was published Dec. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined opioid use and abuse in a large group of privately insured patients from across the United States. Among nearly 15,000 young people who received initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists in 2015, 6.8 percent had additional opioids prescribed between 90 and 365 days later, and 5.8 percent were diagnosed with opioid abuse during the year after the initial prescription. In a comparison group that did not receive an opioid prescription from their dentists, 0.1 percent got another opioid prescription and 0.4 percent were diagnosed with opioid abuse over the same period.



Medical school space and finances were the focus of Dec. 5 Town Hall

Adding buildings and moving research and administrative operations to off-campus locations will allow the School of Medicine to rebuild on campus and meet its growing need for space, school leaders say.

In 20 years, the School of Medicine will need 30 percent more space than it has today.

That was the upshot of a Dec. 5 presentation by Niraj Dangoria, associate dean for facilities planning and management, on the opportunities and challenges of managing the school's growth needs.

“At no point do we get so much space that we can say, ‘Oh, our work is done,’” he said. “Space will always be a limited resource.”

Managing space at the school involves balancing faculty growth, workspace needs, the school’s financial health and regulatory constraints, Dangoria said.  



7-year old with failing bone marrow received a life-saving transplant

Seven-year old Ikkei Takeuchi suffered from unexplained bone marrow failure. But with the help of his little brother and doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, he’s on the road to recovery.

Ikkei was living in Japan when he started experiencing fevers and nosebleeds and lost a lot of his usual energy, according to his parents, Shojiro and Natsuko Takeuchi. When the family moved to the Bay Area and the symptoms still hadn’t improved, Ikkei’s pediatrician referred him to the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to find out why.

That’s where he met Bertil Glader, MD, PhD, a pediatric hematologist.


Stanford Medicine is applying high tech approaches to reshape medical research, training, diagnostics and treatment - without losing the essential human touch

Digital technology permeates our lives. Smartphones that operate like mini-computers give us easy access to email, news, bank accounts and social networking apps. Even our well-being is in the game: Many of us use digital devices and apps to track our movement, sleep, blood sugar levels or heart rates.

At Stanford Medicine, that’s only the beginning. The new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine explores how technology is transforming health education, research and patient care around the globe.



Algorithms generated through machine learning can sort through observations of children’s behavior in short home videos to determine if the children have autism, a Stanford study has shown.

Short home videos can be used to diagnose autism in children, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine

The research, which was published online Nov. 27 in PLOS Medicine, expands on a 2014 feasibility study on the topic by the same researchers. In the new study, the scientists employed machine learning to determine which features of children’s behavior should be rated to evaluate autism, using computers to whittle down a long list of behavioral features to those most relevant to the diagnosis. They also devised an algorithm that weights each feature to provide an overall diagnostic score for each child.

“Across the United States, the average waiting list to get access to standard-of-care can last up to a year,” said the study’s senior author, Dennis Wall, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and of biomedical data science at Stanford. “Using home videos for diagnosis has the potential to streamline the process and make it far more efficient.”



Paul King will become the president and CEO of Stanford Children's Health in 2019

Paul King has been selected as the new president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health. The organization’s board of directors announced King’s appointment Nov. 2. 

King, who is currently executive director of the University of Michigan Health System’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, will succeed Dennis Lund, MD, who has served as interim president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health since March. 

“With more than 35 years in health care, including 22 years in executive roles leading pediatric healthcare enterprises, Paul brings a wealth of experiences and leadership expertise to Stanford Children’s Health,” said Jeff Chambers, chair of the Stanford Children’s Health board.



Juul e-cigarettes pose addiction risk for young users

Teens and young adults who use Juul brand e-cigarettes are failing to recognize the product’s addictive potential, despite using it more often than their peers who smoke conventional cigarettes, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The findings, from an ongoing Stanford project addressing the use and perceptions of tobacco products by California youth, were published Oct. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

“I was surprised and concerned that so many youths were using Juul more frequently than other products,” said the study’s senior author, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of pediatrics. “We need to help them understand the risks of addiction. This is not a combustible cigarette, but it still contains an enormous amount of nicotine — at least as much as a pack of cigarettes.”