Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Neurology / 11.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
BrainHQ Henry Mahncke, PhD
Chief Executive Officer BrainHQ
Dr. Mahncke earned his PhD at UCSF in the lab where lifelong brain plasticity was discovered. At the request of his academic mentor, he currently leads a global team of more than 400 brain scientists engaged in designing, testing, refining, and validating the computerized brain exercises found in the BrainHQ app from Posit Science, where he serves as CEO.
MedicalResearch.com Tell us what’s important about this new study in people with Down Syndrome? Response: Often, we believe that genetic conditions are predetermined and completely inalterable, but this new study underscores that, when it comes to the brain, positive change is almost always possible – regardless of age or health condition. That’s consistent with the science of brain plasticity, and it’s a very different and hopeful way to think about the potential of people with Down Syndrome – and people, generally.   MedicalResearch.com: Can you briefly describe Down Syndrome and findings in this study? Response: Down Syndrome is one of the most common genetic abnormalities in humans, found in about 1 in 1,000 births each year, and caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy . of chromosome 21.It’s usually associated with physical growth delays and characteristic facial features. While cognitive abilities vary enormously, one study estimates the average IQ of a young adults is about 50 (comparable to average 8 or 9 year olds). In a pilot study among 12 people with Down Syndrome involving physical, cognitive and EEG measurements, researchers at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, found a 10-week combined protocol of physical exercises and computerized brain training led to a reorganization of the brain and to improved performance on both cognitive and physical measures. The physical training consisted of aerobic, flexibility, strength, and balance exercises. The cognitive training used in the study was the Greek version of the commercially-available BrainHQ brain app, consisting of 29 visual and auditory exercises targeting memory, attention, processing speed, problem-solving, navigation, and social skills. The researchers had hypothesized that the training would trigger the brain’s neuroplasticity – its ability to change chemically, structurally and functionally. Their results showed increased connectivity within the left hemisphere and from left to right hemisphere, as well as improved performance on physical and cognitive assessments. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Genetic Research, JAMA / 11.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Caspar van der Made, MD Resident in Internal Medicine, PhD-student Alexander Hoischen, PhD Geneticist, Assistant professor, Departments of Human Genetics and Internal Medicine Radboud University Medical enter Nijmegen, The Netherlands First author Caspar van der Made is a resident in Internal Medicine and PhD-student on the topic of immunogenomics. Alexander Hoischen is geneticist with a special focus on the application of genomic technologies in primary immunodeficiencies and last author of this study. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was initiated to investigate the presence of monogenic factors that predispose young individuals to develop a severe form of COVID-19. It has become clear that several general risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes mellitus increase the risk of developing severe coronavirus disease. However, even though differences in interindividual genetic make-up are thought to influence the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, such specific genetic risk factors had not yet been identified. We therefore chose to study young brother pairs (sharing half of their genomes) without any general risk factors that nevertheless contracted severe COVID-19. We hypothesized these highly selected case series may offer the most optimal chance of identifying a (possible X-linked) primary immunodeficiency specific to COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 11.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey J. Walline, OD PhD Associate Dean for Research The Ohio State University Columbus, OH 43210-1240 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Greater amounts of nearsightedness are related to higher risks of sight-threatening complications in adulthood, so anything we can do to slow the progression of nearsightedness in childhood can have meaningful benefits in the future. As the prevalence of nearsightedness increases worldwide and affects approximately 1/3 of the people in the United States, a treatment that provides clear vision AND slows the progression of nearsightedness can have a profound effect. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Neurology, UCSF / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laure Rouch, PharmD PhD Department of Psychiatry Dr. Kristine Yaffe, MD (Senior Author) Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology University of California San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia and this number is set to triple by 2050. Prevention of dementia and identification of potentially modifiable risk factors are, therefore, critically important. Postural changes in blood pressure increase with advancing age and affect 20% to 30% of older adults. Yet it has not been explored deeply how orthostatic hypotension and blood pressure postural changes variability over time are associated with dementia risk. As multiple pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions may improve orthostatic symptoms, this question has major public health implications. (more…)
Author Interviews / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy Kennedy Dr. Amy Kennedy, M.D., M.S Clinician-Researcher Fellow, General Internal Medicine University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: UPMC uses a nucleic acid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for SARS-CoV-2 and specimen collection is done with a nasopharyngeal swab by trained clinicians. The health system developed its COVID-19 test in early March 2020 in anticipation of the tremendous need for diagnostic capabilities. My colleagues and I worked with the Wolff Center at UPMC — the health system’s quality care and improvement center — to review the results of more than 30,000 COVID-19 tests performed on adult patients who received care through one of UPMC’s 40 academic, community and specialty hospitals, or 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. The tests were performed between March 3 and May 3, 2020. Of those tests, 485 were repeated at least once. (more…)
Author Interviews, Neurology, Social Issues / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darren Schreiber JD PhD Senior Lecturer Exeter MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My co-authors and I saw an opportunity to match existing functional brain imaging data with publicly available voter registration data so that we could look for patterns that distinguish brain activity in nonpartisans from partisans. While a number of studies have found differences in both brain structure and function between partisans on the left and right and there is a massive amount of scholarship in political science on partisans and polarization, no brain imaging work had focused on nonpartisans. Around 40% of Americans do not affiliate with a political party and one important campaign strategy has been to persuade these voters to support party candidates. However many political scientists are skeptical about voters claims to be nonpartisans and will instead treat them as if they were merely covert partisans. (more…)
Author Interviews, NYU, Orthopedics / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruce N. Cronstein, MD Paul R. Esserman Professor of Medicine NYU School of Medicine Director, NYU-H+H Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director, Division of Translational Medicine NYU Langone Health New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting about 10% of the adult population and 25% of the population over 60. We had previously found that adenosine, a molecule generated by nearly all cell types, is critical for maintaining cartilage health by activating specific adenosine receptors on the surface of cells (A2A receptors). Moreover, giving adenosine into the joint could prevent deterioration of cartilage (progression of osteoarthritis) in a rat model of osteoarthritis. Because people do not usually go for treatment of osteoarthritis until they have developed symptoms we asked whether administration of adenosine or adenosine that had been modified to be a more potent and specific stimulus for A2A receptors, carried in fat bubbles called liposomes, could reverse osteoarthritis after it had already started. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology Franklin & Marshall College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many studies have examined how defendant characteristics influence jury decisions, but none have investigated the effect of makeup. We therefore examined how cosmetics influence jury decisions for young and middle-aged female defendants. We found that participants were more likely to assign guilty verdicts to middle-aged defendants than young defendants and when presented with makeup, male participants gave young defendants longer sentences and middle-aged defendants shorter sentences. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MA Senior Vice President of Research, Northwell Health Director, Center for Personalized Health, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Dean of Academic Affairs & Professor, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Donald and Barbara Zucker Professor in Health Outcomes, Department of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New York was epicenter for COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic, and Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, did everything in its power to care for our sick community members but also care for and protect our frontline health care providers (HCPs) and 72,000 employees. We were fortunate enough to have not run out of PPE – from masks to gowns. Through our employee health team we were able to offer free antibody screenings and through the Northwell Health Research Consortium and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research we looked to use the data collected from our consented employees to determine the prevalence of antibodies. We designed the study to not only identify the presence of antibodies but also key factors like demographics, in what capacity our providers worked on the frontlines and if they suspected infection. Our data helped identify the best practices Northwell Health – from PPE to care procedures - and others nationwide would need to do to keep our frontline workers safe. Key takeaways from the research show that from April 20 to June 23, of the final consented sample of health care providers (40,329), 13 percent (5,523) tested positive for antibodies. The positive sample pool included 28.4 percent (11,468) nurses and 9.3 percent (3,746) physicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, University of Pennsylvania / 09.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Genevieve Kanter, PhD Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economic Research Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy Perelman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: With the resurgence of COVID-19 and the likely seasonal resurgences, we were interested in whether those in low-income areas would be able to get access to the hospital care they might need. So we examined the distribution of ICU beds across the country and also looked at differences in the availability of ICU beds by household income in the community. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA / 07.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC Providence St Joseph Health Portland, Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In spite of significant decreases in the incidence of coronary artery disease, an estimated 800,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) this year. For large numbers of these patients, substantial benefit is afforded by early diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, multiple campaigns have been launched over time to increase public awareness about the symptoms and signs of AMI and the need to seek immediate medical attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed health care delivery worldwide. While early attention was disproportionately focused on efforts to “flatten the curve”, recent reports have revealed a disturbing finding—a substantial decrease in the hospitalization rate for AMI. Most worrisome among potential reasons for this has been reluctance of patients with an AMI to seek medical attention out of fear that they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. To better understand the impacts associated with this, we performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all AMI hospitalizations in a large multistate health care system (Providence St. Joseph Health). We sought to define changes in AMI case rates, patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, treatment approaches and in-hospital outcomes during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nature, Technology / 06.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Moritz Gerstung PhD Group Leader: Computational cancer biology EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have learned a lot in the last ten years about the molecular nature about various cancers thanks to the resources created by TCGA, ICGC and many other initiatives. Similarly, digital pathology has progressed hugely due to new AI algorithms. Yet it hasn’t been explored deeply how a cancer’s genetic makeup and its histopathological appearance are related. Here computers can be very helpful as they can process large amounts of digital microscopy slide images and test whether there are any recurrent histopathological patterns in relation to hundreds or thousands of genetic and other molecular abnormalities. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Taylor Heald-Sargent, M.D., Ph.D. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the ongoing debate around the ability of children to transmit SARS-CoV-2, we noticed that our clinical data could address one of the prevalent assumptions. Some people postulated that the reason children have less severe infections with SARS-CoV-2 is because they are not able to replicate virus as much as adults and therefore may not transmit as readily. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pamela Maher, PhD Senior Staff Scientist Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory Salk Institute for Biological Studies Dr. Pamela Maher, is a senior staff scientist in the lab of Salk Professor David Schubert. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An estimated 5.2 million Americans over the age of 65 currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). There are no treatments that prevent, slow down or cure it. Moreover, the number of people suffering from it is expected to grow with the increase in the aging population. To meet this challenge, the NIH has set the ambitious goal of effectively treating AD by 2025. This will require the development of new disease-modifying drugs. Indeed, compared to cancer research, the drug discovery pipelines for AD are very limited. A missing key ingredient that is needed to re-invigorate AD-related drug discovery is new, promising AD drug targets. Our lab is experienced in screening existing (natural) compounds for their protective abilities against several toxicities related to AD. Protective compounds are then further optimized to generate drug candidates with a favorable profile for the treatment of brain diseases. CMS121 is such a compound which is derived from fisetin, a natural product that can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, grapes, cucumbers. Fisetin itself is not as potent and does not have the necessary chemical features to reach the brain efficiently. CMS121 is more potent and easily reaches the brain. We had previously shown that CMS121 improves several age-related cognitive dysfunctions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Heart Disease, Women's Heart Health / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Clare Oliver-Williams PhD University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Women with PCOS are known to be at greater risk of CVD, however the some symptoms (menstrual irregularity) of PCOS are specific to reproductive age women. This raises the question of whether CVD risk varies across by age, which was the focus of my research with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Women with PCOS were at 19% higher CVD risk than women without CVD, however once the association was stratified by age, there was no evidence for a higher CVD risk for women older than 50. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Research Fellow Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were no evidence-based treatments for severely ill patients infected with this virus. We formed an interdisciplinary group of physicians from departments of adult and pediatric infectious diseases, rheumatology, and pulmonary/critical care as well as clinical pharmacy specialists. Given some promising data from China, we instituted treatment with off-label IL-6 receptor inhibitors (tocilizumab and sarilumab). The rationale was to mitigate the exuberant immune response observed in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (also called cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome). Quite quickly, we started noticing that giving the drug to our sickest patients wasn’t eliciting dramatic improvement. We reasoned that by the time patients were severely ill and requiring ventilators, the damage to their lungs from the cytokine storm had already taken place. It was like closing the barn door after the horse had already bolted. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Schizophrenia / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: GeNeuro Hervé Perron PhD Chief Scientific Officer at GeNeuro MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs), remnants of ancestral viral genomic insertions, are known to represent 8% of the human genome and are associated with several pathologies. Certain proteins produced by HERVs have previously been found to be involved in pathogenic mechanisms linked to, e.g., multiple sclerosis (MS) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, despite previous results having shown an abnormal expression of HERV-W in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the mechanisms involved in these psychiatric disorders are poorly understood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 04.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, FCAP Senior Medical Director, Medical Informatics Quest Diagnostics Needham, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine healthcare and in particular cancer screenings. We documented the impact on patients who were newly identified by cancer in the early months of the pandemic by analysis of Quest Diagnostics data. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We saw a 46% decline in newly identified patients with six common types of cancer. In accordance to healthcare recommendations, many patients didn’t receive mammograms, colonoscopies, low-dose CT scans, and avoided physician visits for minor complaints. When these patients return, some will present with more advanced stages of cancer than they would have without the disruption of the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Exercise - Fitness, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 03.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc Weisskopf, PhD, ScD Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Physiology Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a long history of health disparities by race. We were interested to see whether these also show up in professional football players, with the thought that perhaps the advantages that come with being an elite athlete in a sport (e.g. related to income, potential access to carte, prestige) might minimize health disparities. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 03.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nasim B. Ferdows, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Health Administration and Policy Hudson College of Public Health The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This half a century study of US senior men and women who died between 1968 and 2016 shows how disparities in the Black and White mortality of older US citizens have changed over time, as well as how the racial disparities differ in rural, suburban and urban areas. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Social Issues / 01.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Shingo Yanagiya Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine Sapporo, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you very much for your question. Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including stroke and ischemic heart disease. Due to the relatively high prevalence of hypertension, there is an increased public burden resulting mainly from cardiovascular disease. It is well known that hypertension is associated with several lifestyle factors, including excessive intake of salt or alcohol, obesity, inactivity, and other personal attributes. Since socioeconomic status affects individual lifestyles and other factors, differences in socioeconomic status may influence the risk of hypertension. Therefore, it is important to clarify whether the risk of hypertension varies among socioeconomic classes when considering an effective strategy for preventing hypertension. Based on my research of previous reports about the relationship between household income and incident hypertension, evidence is scarce for Japan. So, we investigated this in an employed population in Japan. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, FDA, Regeneron, Sanofi / 31.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Laws, PhD Vice President and Global Project Head for Dupilumab/Dupixent Sanofi Marcie Ruddy, MD, MA Strategic Program Direction, Immunology and Inflammation Regeneron Dr. Laws and Dr. Ruddy discuss the FDA approval of a 300 mg single-dose pre-filled pen for Dupixent® (dupilumab) for all indications in patients aged 12 years and older. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What are the main indications for Dupixent? Response: Until now, Dupixent 300 mg dose was available only in pre-filled syringe for administration. The approval of the pre-filled pen provides an additional, easy-to-use option for patients to self-administer Dupixent. Dupixent is approved to treat patients aged 6 years and older with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and can be used with or without topical treatments. Dupixent is also approved for use with other medicines for the maintenance treatment of uncontrolled moderate-to-severe eosinophilic or oral steroid dependent asthma in patients aged 12 years and older, and with other medicines for the maintenance treatment of uncontrolled chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) in adults, respectively. The pre-filled pen is approved for use in patients prescribed Dupixent who are 12 years of age and older across current indications, at the 300 mg dose. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 30.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: CARL D. REGILLO, MD, FACS Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS Chief, Retina Service Wills Eye Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the Phase III Archway study? Would you briefly explain what Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration means? Genentech announced in late July the results from the Phase III Archway study evaluating Port Delivery System (PDS) with ranibizumab (PDS) in people living with neovascular or “wet” age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) which showed PDS enabled 98.4% of people to go six months between treatments, while achieving vision outcomes equivalent to those receiving monthly ranibizumab eye injections, a current standard of care. AMD is a condition that affects the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for activities like reading and is a leading cause of blindness for people age 60 and over in the U.S. Neovascular AMD is an advanced form of AMD that can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Approximately 11 million people in the United States have some form of AMD and of those, about 1.1 million have nAMD. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 29.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jane Daniels PhD Professor of Clinical Trials, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences School of Medicine University of Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Uterine fibroids are the most common non-cancerous tumour in women of childbearing age. They are associated with heavy bleeding, lower chances of having children and reduced quality of life. Traditional surgical options were either to remove the fibroids (myomectomy) or completely remove the womb. A newer approach, known as uterine artery embolization, involves blocking the blood supply to the fibroids in the womb. Fibroids may be associated with infertility and problems during pregnancy, including miscarriage and preterm birth. As more women are having children at a later age, fibroids are becoming more of an issue for them and safe and effective fertility sparing treatments are needed. Both treatments improve quality of life, but myomectomy will provide greater benefit to women on average. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: This study is the largest to date comparing women treated with either myomectomy or uterine-artery embolization for their fibroids. It was completed in hospitals across the UK, and included a substantial number of women of African-Caribbean ethnicity, who are more likely have bothersome fibroids, so we can be confident that the findings are important and relevant. Women, including those desiring a future pregnancy, should be provided with the evidence generated by the FEMME trial to enable to make a fully informed decision regarding their fibroid treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research / 29.07.2020

Rhinoplasty is a common plastic surgery procedure for people who want to alter the look of their nose. There are several versions of the procedure, including one that augments the nose by adding an implant. nose-plastic-surgery Some surgeons prefer to use human cartilage from the septum, ears, or ribs. But, other surgeons prefer to use synthetic implants made of either Gore-Tex or silicone. Before you get a nose job from the best rhinoplasty surgeons, it is important to know which material is best for you. Before you choose Gore-Tex or silicone, you should take time to talk to your surgeon and work together to pick the material that will give you the look you want. An augmentation rhinoplasty takes about 90 minutes, but the change to your face will last a lifetime.
  1. What is a silicone implant?
The silicone implant is easy to insert and easy to shape. It can also be removed if there are any problems. Surgeons like them as they offer a more noticeable lift to the bridge of the nose. Silicone implants need very small incisions, if they are done from the outside.
  1. What is a Gore-Tex implant?
Gore-Tex is porous, so it gives a less noticeable lift to the bridge as it merges with the tissues in the nose. Surgeons like to use Gore-Tex because it provides a natural look. Because Gore-Tex integrates with nasal tissue, it is more difficult to remove than a silicone implant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Wharam, MD, MPH Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is substantial concern that high-deductible health plans increase people’s risk of major adverse health events such as heart attack and stroke. No studies have examined this question. This study examines the effects of a transition to a high-deductible health plan on the risk of major adverse cardiovascular outcomes (myocardial infarction and stroke). The study group included individuals with risk factors for cardiovascular disease who were continuously enrolled in low-deductible (<$500) health plans during a baseline year followed by up to 4 years in high-deductible (≥$1000) plans after an employer-mandated switch. The matched control group included individuals with the same risk factors who were contemporaneously enrolled in low-deductible plans. We examined time to first major adverse cardiovascular event, defined as myocardial infarction or stroke. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Vaccine Studies / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Shepshelovich MD Professor, Department of Medicine Rabin Medical Center Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was initiated as part of a research project aiming to assess the quality of post marketing surveillance of various medical interventions. This includes drugs (file:///C:/Users/danielshep/Downloads/jamainternal_ross_2019_en_190008.pdf), medical devices (accepted to a leading medical journal, still under embargo) and additional studies in specific settings (e.g. cancer drugs, immune-modulating drugs). Through this perspective, vaccines are clearly safer as a group than drugs or medical devices, with significantly less post-marketing safety issues, most of which were not clinically important, and a more effective post-marketing surveillance program. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Osteoporosis / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Hal Solomon, MD, MPH Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine Rheumatology, Immunology Boston, MA 02115 Editor’s note: Prolia® is the trade name for denosumab. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We conducted this study to assess whether delays in denosumab (injections were associated with an increased risk of fractures. In a prior study, we found that the improvements in bone mineral density were reduced among patients who delayed injections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hernan Bazan, MD DFSVS FACS CEO & Co-founder, South Rampart Pharma, LLC and Professor of Surgery, Section of Vascular/Endovascular Surgery Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship Ochsner Clinic New Orleans, LA 70121 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The work in this paper is in large part due to several active and productive collaborations to address a simple problem: introduce a safer way to treat pain. That is, without the risk of opioids (abuse potential), acetaminophen/paracetamol (liver toxicity) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)/ibuprofen (kidney toxicity). Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity remains the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. with inadvertent hepatotoxicity the etiology in half of all case. Our aim was to overcome this toxicity by creating acetaminophen analogs and this paper describes the rationale for this synthesis, the library of compounds used to select the lead compounds to develop, the consistent lack of hepatotoxicity cell lines and small animals, and its ability to reduce pain and fever in small animal studies. Moreover, we explain the mechanisms of action for the lack of hepatotoxicity. One mechanism for acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity is via formation of the electrophilic reactive metabolite, NAPQI. Using ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to detect NAPQI, we observed that after CD1 mice were exposed to high doses (600 mg/kg) of either acetaminophen or SRP compounds, only acetaminophen-, but not SRP-compound-treated mice, generated the toxic metabolite NAPQI. Another mechanism for acetaminophen hepatotoxicity is loss of hepatic tight junctions and chicken wire’ hepatic tight junctions remain intact in SRP-treated animals while these junctions are lost in acetaminophen-treated animals. (more…)