Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 04.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rani Elwy, PhD Bridge Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Program, Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Bedford Healthcare System Bedford, Massachusetts Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The VA operates a very robust, embedded quality improvement and implementation science program, of which our team is involved. As the VA was one of the first US healthcare systems to rollout COVID-19 vaccination programs, we were asked to evaluate these efforts in real-time, to provide input to VA healthcare leaders on what was going well and what could be improved. This survey reported in JAMA Network Open is one of the quality improvement efforts we engaged in. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Catherine H. Bozio, PhD MPH Epidemiologist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to understand what protection previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and COVID-19 vaccination can provide. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Respiratory / 02.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Hunter, B.Med., M.Sc.P.H., Ph.D. Adjunct Associate Professor NICM Health Research Institute Western Sydney University Associate Professor Jennifer Hunter is an academic general practitioner with a clinical interest in integrative medicine, has received payment for providing expert advice about traditional, complementary and integrative medicine, including nutraceuticals, to industry, government bodies and non-government organisations, and spoken at workshops, seminars and conferences for which registration, travel and/or accommodation has been paid for by the organisers.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We decided to review the evidence for zinc in response to calls for rapid evidence reviews to inform self-care and clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Laboratory studies have found that zinc can inhibit the replication of many respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Zinc plays a key role in immunity, inflammation, tissue injury, ACE-2 receptor activity, and also in tissue responses to a lack of oxygen. Low zinc status may be a risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 illness. Additionally, there was some indirect evidence suggesting zinc might be effective for other respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and we wanted to verify this. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Addiction, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 02.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey Howard, PhD Associate Professor Department of Public Health College for Health, Community and Policy University of Texas at San Antonio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Drug and alcohol related mortality has been on the rise in the US for the past decade, which has drawn a lot of focus from researchers.  At the same time maternal mortality, deaths caused by pregnancy complications, is recognized to be higher in the US than in other developed nations. Very little has been reported about deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women that are not caused by pregnancy complications, so my collaborators and I wanted to explore this.  We did not anticipate that drug and alcohol deaths and homicides would account for so many deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiation Therapy / 01.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brianna M. Jones, MD Radiation Oncology Resident Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over 4 million deaths worldwide and, presently, there have been over 2 million cases diagnosed in New York. There have been numerous studies that demonstrate cancer patients are at increased risk of diagnosis and mortality to SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several studies have also noted socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity are associated with poorer outcomes. Within NYC, Elmhurst Hospital Center (EHC) emerged as an early epicenter in spring of 2020. The surrounding catchment area of EHC consists of a population that is 54% Latino, 33% Asian, 6% White, 4% Black, 1% Native American, and 1% other according to U.S. Census Bureau, making it one of the most racially and ethnically diverse populations in the country. Its residents are predominantly working-class immigrants with limited resources that work jobs now considered essential (e.g., delivery workers, grocery shops, et cetera). EHC continued to offer a range of cancer services throughout the pandemic. Given the high infection rate and diverse population at EHC, our study provides an opportunity to evaluate outcomes in one of the hardest hit communities to date. Therefore, our aim was to investigate patient characteristics, clinical outcomes, and predictors of COVID-19 diagnosis, severity, and mortality in patients with an active cancer diagnosis at EHC.  (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Chris Brightling, NIHR Senior Investigator Department of Respiratory Sciences University of Leicester Leicester, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Risankizumab is an anti-IL23 monoclonal antibody. It is a very effective licensed therapy for plaque psoriasis. IL23 has been implicated in asthma and therefore we chose to study the effect of risankizumab in people with severe asthma. The time to first asthma worsening was earlier and the frequency of asthma worsenings was higher in those treated with risankizumab versus placebo. We found that the gene expression of key molecules involved in the response to infection were decreased in airway samples in those treated with risankizumab. It is possible that the increased asthma worsening following risankizumab was related to this suppression of anti-microbial immunity.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Disorders / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Scott Montgomery Professor of medical science (clinical epidemiology) Örebro University, Sweden Director of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Örebro University Hospital, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Infections have been linked with increased risk of subsequent multiple sclerosis (MS), but it has been suggested this may be because the genetic or other family characteristics of people who go on to develop MS have a more severe response to infections: the infections would be more likely to be recorded in those who would subsequently develop MS, rather than being risk factors for the disease. To address this issue, we performed a large study of 2,492,980 people living in Sweden, and 5,867 of them had a diagnosis of MS after age 20 years. We identified who had a hospital diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis (caused by Epstein-Barr virus, EBV infection, and also known as glandular fever or the kissing disease). The new study was different from other studies of infection and MS risk, as it compared siblings in the same families. Siblings share much of their genetic make-up and have similar family lives. If glandular fever is associated with later MS when siblings are compared, then it is unlikely that the association is caused by genetics or other family characteristics that make infections worse in people more likely to develop future MS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology, PNAS / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bradley D. Gelfand PhD Center for Advanced Vision Science Department of Ophthalmology Department of Biomedical Engineering University of Virginia School of Medicine Charlottesville, VA 22908  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe dry AMD? Response: Dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a form of AMD that affects about 11 million people in the United States, and many millions more worldwide. Dry AMD is a disease affecting the macula, the central part of our retina that is responsible for fine visual acuity tasks - things like reading, driving, and recognizing faces. Dry AMD typically develops in people in their 6th, 7th, and 8th decades of life and begins with small changes to the retina that are unlikely to affect vision at first. As the disease progresses, it can develop into more advanced stages ("wet" AMD and geographic atrophy), which can cause blindness. Unfortunately, there is no approved treatment that can prevent dry AMD or its progression to advanced blinding stages. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Surgical Research / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel S. Weissman, PhD Deputy Director/Chief Scientific Officer Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Professor of Surgery (Health Policy) Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over time, the military health system has been shifting care for its soldiers and their families away from big military treatment facilities (MTFs), allowing soldiers and their families to get care from civilian hospitals.  But this has had an unintended consequence.  Unfortunately, it means that military surgeons are getting fewer cases, and they are worried about maintaining their skills as surgeons.  But some surgeries count more than others to help prepare the surgeon for battlefield casualties.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shoshana Rosenzweig Medical Student Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe the Phantosmia phenomenon?  Response: Phantosmia is an olfactive disorder resulting in the perception of a foul-smelling odor without odorant stimulus. This study was spearheaded by Dr. Suzanne Wolden, a pediatric radiation oncologist and the senior author of the research. She noticed that patients receiving proton beam therapy were complaining of this phenomenon more than her patients receiving photon therapy. Through this research, the team hoped to characterize radiation treatment induced phantosmia in pediatric, adolescent and young adult patients treated with proton beam therapy and we hoped to identify potential clinical and treatment-related characteristics that may correlate with the development of phantosmia.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 25.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carmen Lim BSc(Hons), MSc, CStat PhD Candidate National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences The University of Queensland Brisbane Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This review has systematically summarized the trends and products used for cannabis vaping using 17 studies published globally between Jan 1, 2003 and August 19, 2020. The pooled prevalence has increased for lifetime use (6.1% in 2013 to 13.6% in 2020), past-year use (7.2% in 2017 to 13.2% in 2020) and past-month use (1.6% in 2013 to 8.4% in 2020). Adolescents' preference for cannabis products may be shifting from less potent products (e.g., herbal cannabis) to highly potent vape oil and concentrates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Lung Cancer, Stanford, USPSTF / 24.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer S Han, PhD Assistant Professor Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) Neurosurgery and Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94304  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued their 2021 recommendation on lung cancer screening lowering the start age from 55 to 50 years and the minimum pack-year criterion from 30 to 20, relative to the 2013 recommendations. Although costs are expected to increase with the expanded screening eligibility, it is unknown if the new guidelines for lung cancer screening are cost-effective. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Occupational Health / 24.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacqueline H. Becker, Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist Associate Scientist Division of General Internal Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study leverages data being collected through the ongoing Mount Sinai Health System Post-COVID-19 Registry, which is led by Dr. Juan Wisnivesky, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and senior author of the study. Our study concluded that there may be long-term cognitive repercussions from COVID-19 that impact individuals in various age groups and across the spectrum of disease severity, although the frequency of cognitive impairment was highest among patients who were previously hospitalized for COVID-19.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Pulmonary Disease, University of Pittsburgh / 22.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen Chan, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine Director of the Vascular Medicine Institute at Pitt and UPMC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a type of high blood pressure that occurs in the vessels that transport blood from the heart to the lungs. As the disease progresses and the heart must strain harder against these high pressures, it can lead to heart failure, multi-organ dysfunction and death. PH affects people of all ages but hits young women more often than men. Pulmonary hypertension is an example of a rare disease where there is an unmet need for new treatments, given its devastating consequences. Repurposing drugs that are already in use for other purposes can dramatically cut down the time and cost of developing treatments for rare diseases like PH. But a pipeline to predict and test for drugs in this way for PH and other rare diseases has not been described. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 22.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Destin Groff, BA Ashley Sun BA Department of Surgery and Paddy Ssentongo MD PhD Department of Public Health Sciences Center for Neural Engineering Department of Engineering, Science and Mechanics The Pennsylvania State University, State College Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Hershey, Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most people who get sick from COVID-19 will survive. However, the burden of long-term consequences among the survivors is not well-characterized. That is what inspired this study.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: After compiling data from 57 studies involving 250,351 unvaccinated individuals, our study shows that more than half of those worldwide who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 experience six months after recovering. The most common sequelae involve functional mobility impairments, pulmonary abnormalities, and mental health disorders, including memory deficits, concentration difficulty, post-traumatic stress disorders, depression, and anxiety. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Statins / 22.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rita Bergqvis Department of Global Public Health Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a theoretical background for the discussion regarding statins in relation to COVID. Hyperinflammation and hypercoagulability have been identified as central to the development of severe COVID and COVID related complications. Hence, drugs that modulate the host immune response and inhibit thrombosis and vascular dysfunction have received a lot of attention. Statins are known to have pleiotropic effects; apart from their cholesterol lowering properties they are thought to modulate immune system processes and decrease the risk of thrombotic events. Previous observational studies on statins and COVID had some major methodological limitations and showed varying results. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, JAMA / 20.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Katharina Wagner, PharmD, MPH, DrPH Associate Professor of Population Medicine Director, Ethics Program, Point32Health (parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan) Co-Director, HMS Fellowship in Health Policy and Insurance Research Co-Director, Center for Cancer Policy and Program Evaluation (CarPE) Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The expectation for new cancer drugs is that they help patients live better longer. Increasingly more cancer drugs are approved without documented quality of life or overall survival benefits.   At the same time, cancer drug prices are rising.  We studied use of and spending on selected new cancer drugs among patients with employer-sponsored health insurance. We found that among 37348 patients who received one or more of 44 oral targeted cancer drugs, the proportion of patients who received a drug without documented overall survival benefit increased from 13% in 2011 to 59% in 2018.  By 2018, spending on drugs without documented overall survival benefit accounted for 52% of the $3.5 million spend on the 44 drugs since 2011. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 18.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amresh D. Hanchate, PhD Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy Director, Program in Health Services Research Division of Public Health Sciences Wake Forest School of Medicine Medical Center Boulevard Winston-Salem, NC  27157-1063 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is strong evidence of increase in access to outpatient physicians among low income individuals who gained Medicaid following changes initiated with the Affordable Care Act. But there is little evidence of whether Medicaid expansion has similarly resulted in increased use of elective inpatient procedures. Bariatric surgery is a particularly important service to study, as the number of adults with severe obesity continues to grow in the United States, and this is the most effective available treatment. Additionally, bariatric procedures are primarily performed among the age group targeted by Affordable Care Act expansions (18-64), and there is a lot of evidence that only a small fraction of eligible uninsured patients are having surgery.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Lyme, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 18.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan P. Ly M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lyme disease presents first on the skin with the classic “bull’s-eye” rash. But such rashes in Black patients aren’t well-represented in medical textbooks. This may lead to physicians not recognizing such rashes in Black patients. As a result, Black patients are more likely to present with later complications of Lyme disease when first diagnosed such as neurologic complications.   (more…)
Surgical Research, Technology / 14.10.2021

Medicine is ever evolving, but it might surprise you to hear how far we’ve come even since the turn of the century. Advancements in technology have allowed for some amazing upgrades in medicine that could only be imagined in sci-fi movies before, and new developments in drugs have vastly increased the average life expectancy, from 77.74 in 2000 to a high of 81.3 in 2014. Read on to find out more about our top picks for the most influential advancements in medicine. Information technology An often overlooked but greatly impactful aspect of medicine, information technology has allowed for the smooth and faster running of hospitals. Like every other aspect of life, technology has infiltrated hospitals and GPs at a basic and far-reaching level, allowing for safer and more secure running of hospitals as well as aiding diagnosis earlier and minimally invasive procedures to create less pain and quicker healing. Rather than sifting through filing rooms for that one patient, staff can access a patient’s file on cloud storage, where it is free from other prying eyes. Remote consultations allow for neither patient or doctor to travel to do a consultation, and an encyclopedia of symptoms and treatments are available at doctors’ fingertips. Technology has taken the routine and tedious aspects of patient care out of the equation, or at least streamlined it, so that doctors can focus on their patients. Filing, record maintenance and other routine tasks, are all done quickly with the help of apps and cloud storage. Streamlining processes like no exam life insurance allows for doctors to focus on the care of their patients while you offer other evidence like family history and pre-existing conditions. Doctors are working faster, patients get seen quicker, their prescriptions are issued sooner. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Neurology / 11.10.2021

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. Earlier this year, MedicalResearch.com interviewed Dr. Henry Mahncke about the BRAVE Study he led, which showed a digital health app (BrainHQ) was effective in addressing chronic cognitive issues in servicemembers who had been diagnosed with “mild” Traumatic Brain Injury. This week, MedicalResearch.com interviews Dr. Mahncke again about a new independent study among civilians showing similar results in patients with all kinds of Brain Injuries. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 5.3 million people currently live with a chronic disability from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). While most people who suffer a blow to the head recover in a couple days or weeks, for some (estimated as high as 15 percent) the injury persists with a variety of life-disrupting symptoms, including impairments in cognitive abilities, behavior, emotions, and motor function affecting work, relationships, and daily function. TBIs have been the signature injury of recent wars. Nearly 400,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBIs, of which 82% were diagnosed with so-called “mild” TBIs from concussions and blast injuries. More than a decade ago, we began being asked by military and Veterans organizations, to study whether our brain exercises – which had shown positive effects in measures of cognition, everyday function, mood, and motor function in healthy older adults – could have an impact on people with chronic symptoms from TBIs. We talked earlier this year, when an 83-person, gold-standard, randomized controlled trial on mTBI (called the BRAVE Study) announced quite positive results from using BrainHQ exercises. That study was funded by the Department of Defense and run as five military and Veterans medical centers. The BRAVE Study found the BrainHQ group showed a statistically and clinically significant improvement on a standard measure of overall cognitive function (compared to a computer games control), and this benefit persisted for at least 12 weeks after training completed. Cognitive function improvements were nearly four times larger in the BrainHQ group than the control (as measured immediately following training) and grew to nearly five times larger (when measured again 12 weeks after training ended). On average, participants in the BrainHQ group improved on the cognitive performance composite measure by 24 percentile ranks – as though they went from the 50th percentile to the 74th percentile. One large question left unanswered from the BRAVE study was whether this approach might also work for other categories of TBIs, such as moderate and severe TBIs. A new study from independent researchers at NYU answers that question. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics / 08.10.2021

There are several reasons why the elderly select assisted living facilities over their lifetime homes, nursing care, and old age homes. Health issues and getting help in case of an emergency also play a role. For those considering this option, it may be useful to know what advantages this mode of living offers, as experienced by those in assisted living facilities. Let us look at the reality of this choice to determine whether it’s the best fit for you.

The Most Common Reasons

The first reason for opting for assisted living is that it provides a solution to elderly people for the housing dilemma. Many people who have already made this move were living in a house that had become difficult and expensive to maintain. Many found that they could no longer keep up with housework adequately. Some also felt that an assisted living facility offered better security than a large property. Assisted living may offer smaller apartments for their residents. This allows you to retain your independence while benefitting from the other advantages already mentioned. This is also a good alternative to an old age home or nursing care which somewhat reduces your freedom. (more…)
Technology / 08.10.2021

Three way hospitals have changedThe evolution of hospitals is truly something to marvel at. Modern-day hospitals perform ground-breaking procedures, unearth new and improved ways of caring for patients, and constantly evolve thanks to regular inspections. Hospitals have had to advance because of the ever-growing demands of the public - and the Guardian reported there are still 5.6 million people waiting for treatment. With so many people waiting, how are hospitals coping with the increased demand? They're evolving - and here's how. (more…)
Author Interviews / 06.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christine Toledo, PhD, MSN, APRN, FNP-C Assistant Professor Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Florida Atlantic University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 11 and 20 percent of women who give birth each year in the U.S. have postpartum depression symptoms, equating to nearly 800,000 women every year. Postpartum Depression provides significant health risks to both the mother and child and is the greatest risk factor for maternal suicide and infanticide.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 06.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron B. Caughey, M.D., M.P.P., M.P.H., Ph.D. Professor and ChairDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associate dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. Founder and Chair, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Oregon Perinatal Collaborative MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Preeclampsia is one of the most serious health problems that can occur during pregnancy. It can lead to preterm birth, and in some cases even death of the pregnant person and their baby. The Task Force looked at the latest available evidence and found that low-dose aspirin can help prevent preeclampsia in pregnant people who are at highest risk, and it can also protect their babies. This new final recommendation is consistent with the Task Force’s 2014 recommendation statement and has the potential to save many lives.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Emergency Care, JAMA / 06.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Daniel S.  Budnitz MD MPH CAPT, USPHS Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program Atlanta, Georgia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Medications are generally safe when used as prescribed or as directed on the label, but there can be risks in taking any medication. Adverse drug events are harms resulting from the use of medication. The risk of adverse drug events is highest among older adults and very young children. Older adults have higher risks because they typically take more medications and are more likely to have underlying medical conditions. Very young children have higher risks because they often find and ingest medications meant for others. Previous studies of medication safety have focused on harm from medications when taken for therapeutic reasons. Separate studies have focused on harm from specific types of non-therapeutic use (taking medications for recreational use or self-harm). This study examined the number of emergency department (ED) visits that resulted when people who took medications for any reason – as directed by a clinician or for other reasons, including recreational use or intentional self-harm.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, Respiratory / 06.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lara van der Schoot  MD, PhD candidate Department of Dermatology Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Psoriasis is a chronic, immune mediated skin disease for which effective targeted biological agents have become available the past years. Inherent to their immunomodulatory mechanism of action, biologics might increase infections risk. We know from clinical trial data that respiratory tract infections are among the most common adverse events during biologic treatment, but real-world data is sparse. Regarding the risk of serious infections among biologic users, mostly defined as infections requiring hospitalization, previous studies provided different results and there is limited comparative data for the newer biologics available. The COVID-19 pandemic turned attention to the risk of infections among biologic users, especially for respiratory tract infections, as they might relate to susceptibility for viral respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19. In our study, the primary aim was to determine the risk of respiratory tract infections among real-world psoriasis patients treated with biologics, including the newer IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors. The secondary aim was to assess risk of serious infections in this cohort. Additionally, rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections were assessed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA, Technology / 05.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pinar Zorlutuna, PhD Sheehan Family Collegiate Professor of Engineering Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (Concurrent) Bioengineering Graduate Program University of Notre Dame  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the primary cause of death among cardiovascular diseases. The current clinical standard of diagnosis combines echocardiogram (ECG) and several circulating protein biomarkers from plasma. In their current state, both are incapable of distinguishing between patients with and without complete coronary occlusion, unless additional invasive testing is implemented, and both have significant false positive rates. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have shown great potential as rapid and discriminating biomarkers for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Statins / 04.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ishak Mansi, MD Staff Internist, VA North Texas Health System. Professor in Department of Medicine & Department of Data & Population Science, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several scientific societies guidelines recommend Statins prescription to patients with diabetes aged 40 to 75 with LDL-cholesterol ≥70 mg/dL to prevent cardiovascular diseases from occurring. Statins have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, prior research has shown statins to be associated with increased insulin resistance. But doctors do not routinely measure “insulin resistance” for their patients, rather, it is done on research and academic circles only but not in everyday life. Increased insulin resistance may result in less controlled diabetes and/or escalation of anti-diabetes medications. (more…)