Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pulmonary Disease / 12.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Liam Townsend, PhD Department of Infectious Diseases St. James's Hospital and Department of Clinical Medicine Trinity Translational Medicine Institute Trinity College, Dublin, IrelandMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Much is known about the clinical characteristics and pathological features of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, but there is relatively little known about post-COVID recovery. This has come under increasing scrutiny in light of reports that patients suffer persistent symptoms beyond resolution of initial infection, known as long COVID. We set out to assess patients in our post-COVID clinic for ongoing ill-health, with particular focus on fatigue and breathlessness. Given that COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, we also evaluated respiratory recovery. Patients underwent chest radiography and six-minute-walk testing, as well as routine blood tests including inflammatory markers and D-dimers. We included both patients who were admitted during their acute infection as well as those managed in the community in order to capture the full spectrum of disease. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pulmonary Disease / 12.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Maria A. Blasco, PhD Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre Head of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group – CNIOMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In my group we have previously described that telomere dysfunction in alveolar type II (ATII) cells in the lung is sufficient to induce pulmonary fibrosis in mice, thus demonstrating that these cells, which have a role in lung regeneration, are at the origin of the disease (Povedano et al., Cell Reports, 2015). Indeed, we further demonstrated that telomere elongation in these cells by using a gene therapy strategy based on telomerase activation, was sufficient to stop the progression of pulmonary fibrosis induced by short telomeres in mice (Povedano, eLife, 2018). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JACC / 11.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Associate Program Director, Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The direct toll of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S. has been substantial, but concerns have also arisen about the indirect effects of the pandemic on higher-risk patients with chronic medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. Hospitalizations for acute cardiovascular conditions, including myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke precipitously declined during the early phase of the pandemic. These patterns have raised concern that patients may be avoiding hospitals due to fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2, and that some have died from cardiovascular conditions without seeking medical care. In addition, there has been growing concern about the the effects of health-care system strain and the deferral of semi-elective procedures on patients with cardiovascular conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Exercise - Fitness / 09.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zach Finewax, PhD Research Scientist I Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL) Chemical Processes and Instrument Development (CPID) University of Colorado, Boulder, COMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? gym-exercise-sweat.jpegResponse: Humans on average spend 90% of their time indoors. As a result, they are exposed to indoor air far more often than outdoor air (the atmosphere). Yet, the chemistry (and air quality) of the atmosphere has been studied far more often than indoor air. Air quality is linked to direct health impacts, and the emissions indoors can be ventilated outdoors where they can undergo chemical transformations that have climate and health impacts. Beyond exposure to indoor air, humans contribute significantly to overall indoor air quality by breathing, sweating, and applying personal care or hygiene products. Previous studies have investigated these emissions at a high level of chemical detail for seated or standing individuals indoors, but limited chemical and time-resolution studies have been conducted while people are exercising indoors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pancreatic, PLoS / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine and Graduate College Director of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit Division of Digestive Diseases Rush University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study builds on recent population based studies where opium use was found to be possible risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Although opium use is not a common recreational habit in the United States, opioid use has been rising remarkably over the past decade. In fact, opioid misuse and overdose have evolved into a public health crisis here with increasing opioid prescription use and abuse over the past decade. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jay C. Butler, MD, FAAP, MACP, FIDSA Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA 30333 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are still disagreements about the significance of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic persons. It has been known since at least March 2020 that, unlike the closely related coronavirus that causes SARS, transmission of COVID-19 from asymptomatic and presymptomatic persons occurs and that at least 30% of infected persons do not develop symptoms. Estimating the proportion of transmissions from persons without symptoms informs the decision analysis for prioritization of community mitigations opportunities: wearing of masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene. If only a low proportion of transmission occurs from people without symptoms, these interventions would be less likely to control transmission when broadly applied in the community. On the other hand, if a significant proportion of spread is from infected persons without symptoms, the value of these measures is enhanced. Additionally, obtaining strategic and systematic screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 to identify and isolate persons without symptoms in selected settings, such as congregational housing settings, will have greater potential impact if spread from persons without symptoms is common.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melina R. Kibbe, MD, FACS, FAHA Colin G. Thomas Jr. Distinguished Professor and Chair Department of Surgery Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7050 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Fluoroquinolones are a commonly prescribed antibiotic. Recent data from Taiwan, Sweden, and Canada suggests that the use of fluoroquinolones increase the short-term risk of aneurysm formation in certain older patient populations. As such, the FDA issued a warning in 2018 regarding the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics suggesting that this class of antibiotics should not be used in patients at increased risk. The FDA defined the high risk population as those with a history of aneurysms or blockages, high blood pressure, certain genetic disorders related to blood vessels, and the elderly. However, we hypothesized that this risk of taking fluoroquinolones extends to all patient populations and not just high risk patient populations.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Microbiome / 04.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ben Boursi MD Senior Physician in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Department at Sheba Medical Center School of Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What conditions have fecal matter transplants been previously studied in (ie c. diff)?Response: “Many melanoma patients do not respond to immunotherapy and even among responders, many eventually progress. Extensive research has been conducted in order to overcome resistance to immunotherapy and modulation of the gut microbiota, is one of the promising leads. The gut microbiome has been shown to influence response to immunotherapy in preclinical mouse models and observational patient cohorts. Currently FMT is being used for the treatment of C. Difficile that is resistant to antibiotics, but it is also being evaluated as a treatment option for other disease states such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity.” (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Brigham & Women's - Harvard / 03.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nitin Joshi, Ph.D. Engineering in Medicine/Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital   Dr. Jeffrey M Karp Ph.D Principal Investigator Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by the blood brain barrier? How will nanoparticles facilitate transport of drugs into the brain?Response: Over the past few decades, researchers have identified promising therapeutic agents that can target the biological pathways involved in brain diseases. Unfortunately, clinical translation of these therapeutics is limited by their inability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and enter the brain at therapeutically effective levels. The BBB is a highly selective semipermeable border of cells that prevents molecules in the circulating blood from non-selectively crossing into the brain tissue. We have developed a simple targeted nanoparticle platform that can stably encapsulate therapeutic agents and enable their therapeutically effective delivery into the brain. In this work, we have demonstrated the utility of this platform for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults, with millions of people suffering TBI each year in accidents, sports, and military conflicts. Following primary injury, which is a result of the mechanical impact to the brain, secondary injury gradually occurs over months to years and can lead to neurological dysfunctions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. After TBI, the BBB is physically breached for a short time and previous approaches to achieve therapeutically effective transport of drugs across the BBB have been severely limited to utilizing this very short window. However, the extent to which the BBB is physically breached in TBI varies greatly across the patient population. Therefore, current approaches are applicable to only a subset of injuries with substantially breached BBB. Moreover, BBB can self-repair within a few hours to weeks post-injury to restore its integrity. Hence, physical breaching of BBB offers a limited window for therapeutic interventions, which is not ideal as the secondary injury can last months to years and may require repeated dosing over long term. The nanoparticle platform developed in this work can enable therapeutically effective delivery of drugs into the brain, irrespective of the state of the BBB. We achieved this by precise engineering of the surface properties of nanoparticles, which maximized their transport across the BBB. The therapeutic used in this study was a small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecule designed to inhibit the expression of the tau protein, which is believed to play a key role in neurodegeneration. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), or PLGA, a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer used in several existing products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was used as the base material for nanoparticles. We systematically engineered and studied the surface properties of the nanoparticles to maximize their penetration across the intact, undamaged BBB in healthy mice. This led to the identification of a unique nanoparticle design that maximized the transport of the encapsulated siRNA across the intact BBB and also significantly improved the uptake by the brain cells.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA / 31.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Deborah C. Marshall, MD New York University School of Medicine New York, New YorkMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Tarras ES, Marshall DC, Rosenzweig K, Korenstein D, Chimonas S. Trends in Industry Payments to Medical Oncologists in the United States Since the Inception of the Open Payments Program, 2014 to 2019. JAMA Oncol. Published online December 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.6591MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?Response: Overall, though, there has not been a dramatic shift in these interactions after the inception of Open Payments. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, Technology, University of Pennsylvania / 30.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Srinath Adusumalli, MD, MSc, FACC Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Medicine| Penn Medicine Lauren A. Eberly, MD, MPH Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has uprooted conventional health care delivery for routine ambulatory care, requiring health systems to rapidly adopt telemedicine capabilities. At Penn Medicine, we wanted to ensure that as we developed a new system of telemedical care, we were reaching all of the patients we serve and access to care was maintained. As such, we undertook this study to examine utilization of care as we continued to iterate on and develop our telemedical system of care. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 30.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita M. McGahan PhD, MBA University Professor Professor of Strategic Management Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy George E. Connell Chair in Organizations & Society Rotman School of Management University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: The article by Phebo Wibbens, Wesley Wu-Yi Koo, and me that came out today in PLOS ONE at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244177 investigates how effective different policies are in accomplishing COVID control across 40 different countries and U.S. states. The policies that we consider are standardized in the Oxford COVID policy database, and include, for example, school closings, workplace closings, international travel controls, restrictions on gatherings, etc. Each of these policies can be implemented at different levels of intensity. The analysis looks at the marginal impact of each of these policies in the presence of the others. We find that, in 90% of jurisdictions, compliance is not high enough to make a core group of socially tolerable policies sufficient to drive COVID growth below zero. In these places, one or more tougher-to-tolerate policies must be implemented on top of the core group to get COVID growth to stop. (more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA / 30.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ana Blasco, MD, PhD Cardiology Department, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro–Majadahonda Madrid, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group has been investigating issues related to coronary thrombosis in patients with acute myocardial infarction for years. Recently, we developed a standardized technique for the detection and quantification of extracellular neutrophil networks (NETs) in coronary thrombi. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Madrid, Spain, we had some cases of myocardial infarctions with ST elevation and a large thrombotic component among patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given the important participation of NETs in severe COVID-19 disease, causing occlusion of microvessels as shown in pulmonary samples, we decided to analyze their role in coronary thrombi. Thanks to similar previous analyzes in patients without COVID-19, we have been able to compare our results with a historical series. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, PLoS, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 29.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dongmei Li, Ph.D., Associate Professor Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Rochester Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous animal and human studies have found that nicotine exposure could harm adolescents’ brain development and impact their cognitive functions. Electronic cigarettes, which have become very popular among youth in the US in recent years, usually contain nicotine at equivalent or possibly higher levels than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that vaping might be associated with self-reported cognitive complaints. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Response: Main findings from our study are:
  1. Our cross-sectional youth and adult studies are the first to associate vaping with self-reported complaints of serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
  2. Our youth study also found that students who reported starting to vape early – between eight and 13 years of age – had higher odds of reporting difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions than those who started vaping at 14 or older.
  3. These studies add to a growing list of conditions and diseases (wheezing, COPD, cardiovascular disease, cancer) that have been associated with vaping/electronic cigarette use.
(more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 24.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li Li, MS, PhD Candidate Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, Ohio State University Graduate Research Associate, Center for Injury Research and Policy The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use impairs cognitive abilities necessary for safe driving, including reaction time, road lane-tracking ability, and attention maintenance. Given increasing legalization of marijuana use in the US, our study aimed to estimate marijuana-impaired driving among teens at a national level and help to identify the current prevalence to guide future intervention programs. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurology / 24.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Roopa Rajan MD, DM Post Doctoral Fellowship (Movement Disorders) Assistant Professor Department of Neurology AIl India Institute of Medical Sciences New DelhiMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was inspired by the need for more effective treatments for patients with disabling hand tremor, particularly dystonic tremor. Dystonic tremor is a movement disorder in which both dystonia (abnormal posturing) and tremor co-exist in the same body part. In general, this common and often disabling disease responds only modestly to oral medications. Surgical treatments such as deep brain stimulation may be offered to persons with severe tremor, however the outcomes are not as robust as seen in other tremor conditions, for instance, essential tremor. Therefore, there is a critical need for more effective treatments for people living with this disease. Botulinum toxin injections are known to be effective for dystonic tremor affecting the head and voice, although these remain off-label indications. Previous studies using botulinum toxin injections for other hand tremors like essential tremor led to limited clinical application, in part due to transient hand weakness that may be a side effect of botulinum toxin injections. Recently, advances in injection delivery such as electromyographically guided botulinum toxin injections with individualized muscle and dose selections were reported to be beneficial in essential tremor. We built upon this existing data to explore the effects of such a treatment in patients with dystonic hand tremor. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Social Issues / 23.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Kenneth Freedberg, MD Director, Medical Practice Evaluation Center Massachusetts General Hospital Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Study senior author Jessie Gaeta, MD Chief Medical Officer Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Assistant Professor of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Travis P. Baggett, MD, MPH Faculty clinician-investigator MGH Division of General Internal Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Dr. Baggett: We found that two strategies are crucial for addressing COVID-19 among people staying in homeless shelters: 1) Proactively identifying and testing people with symptoms, and 2) Providing a dedicated, medically supervised, non-hospital space for isolation and management of people with mild to moderate COVID. Together these two strategies would reduce infections, hospitalizations, and health care costs compared to not doing them. During a pandemic surge, like we are seeing now, it makes sense to add periodic universal testing of all shelter residents, even those without symptoms. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education / 23.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elena Losina, PhD Robert W. Lovett Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Harvard Medical School Director, Policy and Innovation eValuations in Orthopedic Treatments (PIVOT) Center Co-Director, Orthopedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research Department of Orthopedic Surgery Brigham and Women’s HospitalBoston, MA, 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since the pandemic began, there have been over 320,000 COVID-19 cases and 80 deaths at over 1,700 colleges, highlighting the consequences of different mitigation strategies, and as colleges are closing the fall semester and preparing for the spring semester, figuring out what worked what did not, in term of COVID-19 mitigation, is critical to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on college campuses during the spring semeste.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariana M. Stickel, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar Department of Neurosciences University of California, San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Latinos are projected to have the largest increase in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in the coming years, yet we know so little about important risk factors for dementia amongst Latinos. As there has been too little widespread research on diverse Latinos and dementia until recently, we examined the individual and combined relationships of two important risk factors for dementia --hearing impairment and cardiovascular disease risk--in over 9,000 Latinos 45 – 74 years old. Diverse Latinos participated in the study, including Central Americans, Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and South Americans residing in the Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL and San Diego, CA. It is important to study a wide range of Latinos in order to appropriately reflect the diversity of this population. Each participant underwent extensive cardiovascular and diabetes testing, hearing examinations, and cognitive assessments. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 22.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mia StråvikPhD-student | Doktorand Department of Biology and Biological Engineering Division of Food and Nutrition Science Chalmers University of Technology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a need of research investigating the role of maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation on the baby’s allergy risk. Allergy is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, causing great suffering for the allergic child but also the entire family. Yet, the possibilities to cure and prevent this, in many cases life long, suffering are very limited. Previous research have indicated that maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation may affect the propensity of the child to develop an allergy, and diet is a factor you as a parent really can influence. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emergency Care, Heart Disease / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michalis Katsoulis PhDImmediate PostDoctoral BHF fellow Institute of Health Informatics Senior Research Fellow, UCL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?Response: In the early stage of the pandemic, we observed a decline in patient visits to Emergency Departments (ED), including those for cardiac diseases. This decline may have been due to fear of coronavirus infection when attending hospital, public reluctance to overload National Health Service facilities, or difficulty accessing care. In our study, we tried to estimate the impact of reduced ED visits on cardiac mortality in England. We used data from ED visits from the Public Health England Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance System (EDSSS). For cardiovascular disease outcomes, we obtained mortality counts for cardiac disease from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for England. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, USPSTF / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Aaron B. Caughey, M.D.,M.P.P., M.P.H. Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associate Dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR Founder and Chair Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Oregon Perinatal Collaborative USPSTF Task Force MemberMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Hepatitis B virus infection is a serious condition that affects about 860,000 people in the United States. Screening for hepatitis B can detect the infection early, so that you can receive treatment that will reduce the potential for serious complications, including cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hepatitis B often has no signs or symptoms, so clinicians should screen teens and adults who are at increased risk for hepatitis B to help protect their health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nature, Weight Research / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harriët Schellekens MSc PhD Lecturer Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, and APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre University College Cork, Cork, IRELAND.MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been an increased emphasis on gut microbiota-targeted therapeutics for the amelioration of obesity. Recent studies have identified several probiotic strains with different anti-obesity effects, including members of the genus Bifidobacterium, but the exact mechanisms of action are still lacking. Moreover, positive effects in animal studies often do not translate in human studies. The APC Microbiome Ireland has set up a “culture-to-product” platform, a well catalogued and quality controlled collection of bacteria with potential biofunctional activities. In my laboratory, I have developed a state-of the art “bug-to-drug” screening approach, using high-throughput biochemical and cellular assays, to fully characterize bacteria and identify the most promising bacterial strains with specific desirable probiotic and functional properties. This careful in vitro screening of APC’s strains (or customer strains) is designed to identify the most potent candidates that can impact on host physiology and overall gut-brain axis function, e.g. by producing microbial metabolites or neuroactives, altering gut-barrier function, reducing inflammation, or modifying G-protein coupled receptors. This comprehensive screening approach facilitates the precise selection and prediction of the best strains that are likely to yield a specific positive health effects in subsequent animal and human studies, based on their in vitro probiotic and functional properties.(more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, Pediatrics / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrey Vyshedskiy PhD Boston University, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background of ImagiRation? https://imagiration.com/ Response: ImagiRation is a Boston-based startup with links to MIT, Harvard, and Boston University. ImagiRation has developed a highly innovative adaptive language therapy application for children with autism, Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism (MITA). MedicalResearch.com: How is the Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism program delivered?Response: MITA language therapy is administered by parents at home. MITA application works on all smartphones and tablet devices and is designed for children ages 2 to 12 years.(more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 21.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chris Clark, PhD Clinical Senior Lecturer in General Practice Primary Care Research Group St Luke's Campus, Exeter MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Various individual studies have suggested that a blood pressure difference between arms is associated with increased mortality and cardiovascular events since we first reported this association in 2002. Such studies have been limited, due to smaller numbers of participants, in the conclusions that could be drawn. Therefore we sought to pool data from as many cohorts as possible to study this association in more detail.MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Should it be standard practice to measure blood pressure in both arms?Response: Systolic inter-arm difference was associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. We found that all-cause mortality increased with inter-arm difference magnitude from a ≥5 mmHg threshold. Systolic inter-arm difference was also associated with cardiovascular events in people without pre-existing disease. This remained significant after adjustment for various internationally used cardiovascular risk scores, namely ASCVD, Framingham or QRISK2. Essentially we found that each increase of 1mmHg in inter-arm difference equated to a 1% increase for a given cardiovascular risk score. When undertaking a cardiovascular assessment, or determining which arm should be used for blood pressure measurement, it is recommended to measure both arms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 20.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18510 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US continues to be adversely impacted by an iatrogenic opioid epidemic. There have been increasing reports of “vet shopping” or diverting opioids from pets to their owners [2]. In humans, methadone is the number one prescription opioid when expressed in terms of morphine mg equivalents (MME) [3]. The goal of this study was to examine the changing pattern of opioid and other controlled substance use by veterinary teaching institutions.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Genetic Research, NYU / 19.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John T. Poirier, PhDAssistant Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine Director, Preclinical Therapeutics Program Perlmutter Cancer Center An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center NYU Langone Health Smilow Research Center New York, NY 10016MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The goal of this study was to identify in as much detail as possible the genes that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, needs to successfully infect a human host cell. CRISPR technology played a key role in this research; it was used to disrupt every gene in the human genome in parallel and study which ones were required for infection. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca McAdams, MA, MPH Senior research associate Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?Response: Sledding is a popular winter activity in communities across the country, but it may not be as risk-free as many people think. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Response: We found that 220,488 patients were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries related to sledding from 2008 through 2017. Nearly 70% of these patients were children age 19 years and younger. Compared to adults, children were almost seven times as likely to be treated in an emergency department for a sledding-related injury. The majority of patients were injured as the result of a collision (63%). Collision injuries occurred when the patient made contact with an object in the environment (47%), when they hit the ground (16%), or when they ran into another person (10%) or sled (7%). Head injuries are a serious concern during sledding. The head was the most frequently injured body part for children. In fact, nearly 82% of those who sustained an injury to the head were children. The type of sled can also impact the risk of head injury. Children injured while riding snow tubes and disks had a greater risk of sustaining a concussion or CHI than children who were riding sleds or toboggans. Researchers recommend wearing a helmet while sledding to reduce the risk and severity of head injuries. While less frequent (3% of all cases), injuries occurring as a result of the sled being pulled by a motorized vehicle such as a car, ATV or snowmobile resulted in more serious injuries that required hospitalization (14%). This practice should be avoided.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania, Vaccine Studies / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Largent, PhD, JD, RN Senior Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health EconomicsAssistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy Perelman School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ending the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccination will require sufficient vaccine uptake. Various means are being considered to promote uptake, including mandatory vaccination. For instance, COVID-19 vaccination might be mandated by states (e.g., as a condition for children to attend public school) or by employers. Given the opposition we’ve seen to masks, to choose just one example, our team wanted to gauge the acceptability of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 18.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Louis Aronne, MD, FACP Chief Medical Officer, Intellihealth Medical Director, Comprehensive Weight Control Center Weill Cornell Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study Effect of an Online Weight Management Program Integrated With Population Health Management on Weight Change: A Randomized Clinical Trial”?Response: More than 70% of U.S. adults have overweight or obesity. Online programs promoting lifestyle change have had some success in helping people achieve and maintain weight loss, but study results have been variable, and these programs have not been widely implemented in primary care. We studied the effectiveness of an online program we have developed (Intellihealth, formerly known as BMIQ) in routine primary care practices, both alone and integrated with population health management (with participants receiving additional support and outreach from nonclinical staff). The study’s objective was to determine whether a combined intervention integrating online weight management with population health management would increase weight loss at 12 months among primary care patients compared with the online program only and usual care. (more…)