Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Harvard Study - Stem Cells Are Primary Source of Brain Tumor Growth

With more than 20 years of experience in the psychiatric field, Dr. Antonio Bullon serves as the medical director of the geriatric treatment unit at the MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts. In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Antonio Bullon teaches in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

A recent study led by Harvard Medical School researchers revealed that cancer stem cells play a significant role in the proliferation of oligodendroglioma, a type of brain cancer that grows at a slow rate but cannot be cured. It’s the first time that growth patterns of these cells have been specifically observed in brain tumors.

Researchers looked at more than 4,000 tumors to study three different types of cells: stems cells and two other types involved in cell differentiation. The researchers found that, in these tumors, stem cells were the only ones showing growth. 

Study author and Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Pathology Mario SuvĂ  said that this research “strongly supports” the conclusion that stem cells are the primary type of cells that grow in these brain tumors, making them the prime target for treatment strategies.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dynamic Psychiatry - An Active Approach to Complex Patient Issues

A part of the MetroWest Medical Center team in Natick, Massachusetts, Dr. Antonio Bullon serves as Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry Treatment Unit medical director. Dr. Antonio Bullon is active with a number of organizations in his field, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry.

Also known as psychodynamic psychiatry, the practice of dynamic psychiatry is a distinct way of approaching the mind’s complex workings and understanding how this impacts mental health. It encompasses a range of interconnected emotional and mental processes as well as the environmental and biochemical factors that make up a person’s mental condition.

What this translates to in the therapy setting is a belief that psychological treatment should be, on a certain level, self-directed by the patient: issues troubling the individual will ultimately surface in a natural manner. An emphasis in this psychiatric approach is on active listening, which translates into a dynamic interaction between therapist and patient that is highly informed by the patient’s own words.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Health Professionals Strive to Undo 1980s Damage in Peru

Dr. Antonio Bullon, the medical director of the geriatric and neuropsychiatry treatment unit at MetroWest Medical Center in Massachusetts, is a volunteer psychiatrist at Ayacucho-Peru. As a volunteer, Dr. Antonio Bullon travels to the Peruvian Andes’ small town every six months to train health care staff and visit with patients who experienced the political violence based in Ayacucho in the 1980s.

Ayacucho is the capital of an isolated, poor area. It is best known for the 1980s and 1990s Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist revolution that sought to take over the government. This movement was based in Ayacucho and led by Professor Abimael Guzman. The revolution was stirred on by the economic problems that worsened ongoing social issues; Alberto Fujimori was the president of Peru during the revolution, and his government policies were founded on human rights abuse, corruption, authoritarian leadership, and bribery.

The poor economy grew even worse after El Nino weather patterns from 1982 through 1983, resulting in flooding, loss of fish, and serious droughts, further strengthening the guerrilla movement. Eventually, Fujimori relinquished the presidency and exiled himself to Japan, effectively sidestepping prosecution for corruption and human rights violations. Between 1980 and 2000, an estimated 69,280 people died or disappeared because of the war. 

Despite the town’s sad history, it has a strong, independent atmosphere. Today, Ayacucho hosts diverse festivals that celebrate the town’s culture and self-sufficiency.