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Adam Wolfberg, M.D.
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Entries by Adam Wolfberg, M.D.

New Testing for Down Syndrome: The Establishment Pushes Back

(4) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 3:15 PM

When the new, non-invasive prenatal test for Down syndrome was introduced at South Shore Hospital last year where I practice, patients were offered several options:

  1. They could have an invasive test -- an amniocentesis or a chorionic villus sampling -- that is 100 percent accurate but occasionally causes miscarriage.
  2. They...
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Entertainment, Science and the Truth

(18) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 12:00 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

I know: you're going to think I'm a nerd, and that I'm a bit of a curmudgeon, but when I watched Alexander Tsiaras' TEDTalk about his...

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A New (Old) Prevention for Preterm Birth

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 11:01 AM

The preterm birth crowd has been abuzz about progesterone because this very old drug has been proven to prevent preterm birth. First, weekly injections of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-P) were shown to prevent a repeat preterm delivery, and more recently, vaginal progesterone was shown to prevent preterm delivery in women with...

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Non-Invasive Tests for Down Syndrome Are Here -- Now What?

(4) Comments | Posted February 27, 2012 | 4:38 PM

Science can be as dramatic as television, and in the 15 years since fetal DNA was first extracted from maternal serum, the quest to develop a reliable, non-invasive test for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities has at times resembled a soap opera. Laboratories competed to publish first, a scandal...

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Progesterone: The Oldest "New" Drug to Nearly Reach the Market

(2) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 2:36 PM

Poor progesterone -- this white horse in the fight against preterm birth -- has had a rough year.

It wasn't so long ago that my colleagues and I were feeling upbeat: Studies showed that injecting progesterone could prevent preterm birth in women who had previously delivered prematurely,...

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Cervical Length in Pregnancy: Do You Know How Long Yours Is?

(6) Comments | Posted January 20, 2012 | 10:12 AM

My patient was 22 years old and midway through her first pregnancy when she arrived for an ultrasound examination. It was a routine evaluation in every way, and in the darkened room, the ultrasound technologist moved the ultrasound probe over the patient's gel-covered abdomen, cataloguing a long list of normal...

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Birth Classes: More Than Just a Bonding Experience

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2011 | 5:05 PM

Whenever I'm on-call on a weekend, I'm always charmed by the birth class. A dozen couples are led on a tour of Labor and Delivery, the postpartum floor, and the nursery. I often see the couples in the cafeteria after the class is over, enjoying lunch and each other, sharing...

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Does My Baby Have Down Syndrome? Say 'Yes' or 'No'

(7) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 11:53 AM

The new maternal blood test to diagnose fetal Down syndrome in pregnancy is getting a lot of buzz. The first test went on the market last month with reasonably good predictive statistics: 99 percent accurate. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn close -- much closer than any other non-invasive...

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C-sections and Pre-term Births on the Decline -- Is There a Link?

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 2:39 PM

Two really exciting statistics were announced this week: The c-section rate in the U.S. actually declined in 2010 from the previous year (from 32.9 percent to 32.8 percent) for the first time in a decade, and the preterm birth rate dropped for the fourth straight year to 12...

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Preterm Birth and a Really Sleazy Lawsuit

(3) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 12:34 PM

A new group of bad guys are writing the latest chapter in the sordid story of Makena, the FDA-approved version of progesterone used to prevent recurrent preterm births.

Groups of investors are suing KV Pharmaceuticals, essentially accusing them of overstating their capacity to be vicious and greedy.

In case...

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Vermont Gets an 'A' for Reducing Preterm Births

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 3:36 PM

Like a cranky old teacher, the March of Dimes sets high standards when it evaluates the efforts states make to reduce the number of babies born prematurely. Grades are given out, but because the prematurity rate in the U.S. has crept up (until recently), no state has ever earned an...

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Doctors Should Advise, Not Just Inform

(5) Comments | Posted November 4, 2011 | 5:10 PM

When the New Yorker arrives in my mailbox each week, I flip to the contents and scan for my favorite authors. This week, I was doubly rewarded: an article by Dr. Jerome Groopman on my favorite topic -- prematurity.

There is a section in Groopman's outstanding article about...

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To PSA or Not PSA: It Depends

(2) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 2:26 PM

Get past the rhetoric and the data seem reasonably clear: PSA testing leads to the earlier diagnosis of more prostate cancer and probably reduces deaths related to that disease. However, the non-financial cost of this testing is that thousands of men become incontinent and impotent from surgery to remove a...

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The Blood Test to Diagnose Down Syndrome Goes on Sale (Finally!)

(6) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 7:49 PM

Once again we are on the cusp of a maternal blood test for Down syndrome. Sequenom announced it would launch its test that diagnoses Down syndrome without an invasive test -- amniocentesis or chorionic villus samping (CVS). The familiar pundits weighed in: the doctor quoted in the

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Are We Ready to Embrace Prenatal Blood Tests?

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 12:44 PM

It's a tantalizing technology for a pregnant woman: a few weeks after a missed period, before anyone else knows she's pregnant, she goes to a lab, has her blood drawn and learns whether her fetus is a boy or a girl, has Down syndrome or another genetic abnormality, and even...

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8 Steps You Can Take to Prevent a Preterm Delivery

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 8:43 AM

The preterm delivery rate in the United States has crept up over the past couple of decades to one in every eight deliveries. The consequences are significant: lung disease, prolonged hospitalization, brain injury, and more subtle long-term effects like learning challenges and even autism. The maddening aspect of preterm delivery...

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Can You Stress Out Your Fetus ... Forever?

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 7:26 AM

Women know what to avoid in pregnancy. Alcohol is off limits, many medications -- such as Accutane -- can cause permanent fetal damage and cocaine is certainly not recommended.

But suppose your obstetrician said: "I want you to make sure you don't get stressed out. Your stress could permanently...

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FDA Says 'No More Mesh' for Hernia Repairs -- What Are the Consequences?

(8) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 2:49 PM

The FDA just announced that mesh, used during surgery to treat pelvic organ prolapse, has an extremely high rate of erosion (up to 10 percent) and probably shouldn't be used.

Now for the finger pointing: Either cowboy gynecologic surgeons were too quick to adopt mesh in the O.R....

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Does Having a Child With a Disability Make It Harder to Co-Parent?

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2011 | 8:11 PM

Parenting is best shared, and sometimes it even is.

The balance between child-rearing and breadwinning is a challenge for any family, whether or not both parents work outside the home, if parents are married or divorced, if they are single, gay, or straight. When childrearing becomes something other than...

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Bed Rest During Pregnancy: Anything But Relaxing

(6) Comments | Posted June 12, 2011 | 2:29 AM

My patient, six months pregnant, came to see me for an ultrasound. I diagnosed her with shortening of her cervix, which put her at significant risk of preterm delivery. Three months before her due date, with her fetus' chance of survival outside her womb dismal, this was reason for concern....

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