AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 04.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Luisa S. Sequeira Lopez, MD, FAHA Harrison Distinguished Professor in Pediatrics and Biology University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22908 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is crucial in the regulation of the blood pressure (BP). Synthesis and secretion of renin is the key regulated event in the operation of the RAS. One of the main mechanisms that control renin synthesis and release is the baroreceptor mechanism whereby a decrease in blood pressure results in increased release of renin by juxtaglomerular (JG) cells. In spite of its enormous importance, the nature and location of the renal baroreceptor was still unknown. This was due in great part to the lack of appropriate in vitro and in vivo models to confidently allow tracking of the fate and isolation of renin cells, and the lack of tools to study the chromatin in scarce cells. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness / 04.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Willie Stewart, MBChB, PhD, DipFMS, FRCPath, FRCP Edin Consultant Neuropathologist Honorary Professor Department of Neuropathology Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is concern over the association between participation in contact sports and later life risk of dementia and associated neurodegenerative disease. Much of this comes from observations of a specific form of neurodegenerative pathology - chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)- linked to history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and repetitive head impacts in autopsy studies of relatively small numbers of former athletes, including boxers and soccer players. Nevertheless, although this brain injury linked pathology is described, surprisingly little is known about what this might mean for later life health, specifically risk of dementia. In a previous study published from our programme of research looking at "Football's Influence on Lifelong health and Dementia risk' (the FIELD Study), we demonstrated that former professional soccer players had an approximately three-and-a-half-fold higher mortality from neurodegenerative disease than matched general population controls. However, these mortality data did not allow us to consider the relationships between varying head injury/impact exposure variables, such as player position and career length, and risk of neurodegenerative disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health, Weight Research / 01.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://www.newtopia.com/ Jeff Ruby, JD, MBA, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Fensterheim, MPH Vice President of Analytics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are common weight-change findings during the pandemic? Obesity has been linked to increased risk of serious complications and the need for costly medical utilization – all of which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an increase of imposed restrictions that impact healthy lifestyles – the closing of gyms as an example – leading to additional stress and the complete disruption of daily lives. It’s no surprise that many people have gained weight since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the pandemic, about 40% of Americans had obesity in the United States. This was already an alarming figure, but given that the American Psychological Association found that 42% of U.S. adults report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 29 lbs. since the start of the pandemic, we expect that percentage has continued to grow. Against this backdrop, Newtopia sought to evaluate the impact of a guided habit change program on weight loss for 12 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method:
  • This was a retrospective study that looked at 1436 participants who began participating in the Newtopia experience in early 2020.
  • This analysis focused on weight change and was restricted to those participants with a body mass index >
  • 52% of participants were female, and the average age of the total study population was 46.5 years old (±10.6).
  • The percentage of participants with a 4.3% weight reduction after 12 months was assessed. This has been shown to be associated with meaningful reduction in healthcare costs.
  • The average weight loss and the percentage BMI decrease was also assessed.
  • 77% of participants lost weight.
  • 44% of participants had a weight loss of >3%.
  • Average weight loss was 4.2% (p<.0001).
  • 22% of obese participants dropped a BMI category.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals participating in the Newtopia habit change experience still achieved impactful weight loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Telemedicine / 29.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steffie Woolhandler MD MPH, FACP Professor of Public health and Health Policy CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College Co-founder and board member Physicians for a National Health Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We analzyed a national database of healthcare utilization. We found racial disparities exist in use of specialist MD services by Black- and Native-Americans relative to White-Americans, despite their greater needs. Hispanic- and Asian-Americans also receive specialist care at low rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, Lancet / 28.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adam Hampshire PhD Faculty of Medicine Department of Brain Sciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During 2020 I was leading a study that sought to map the distribution of cognitive abilities and aspects of mental health across the UK population. The study generated a lot of interest because it was a collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, leading to ~390,000 participants. When the pandemic began to escalate in the UK a number of my colleagues at Imperial and elsewhere contacted me to note that the study could be used to investigate the impact of both the pandemic and direct illness on daily life, mental health and cognition. I had been thinking along similar lines so decided to add questionnaires about peoples' experiences with the pandemic and Covid-19 illness. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 27.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimberly G. Blumenthal, MD, MSc Massachusetts General Hospital The Mongan Institute Boston, MA 02114 Matthew S. Krantz, MD Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the initial COVID-19 vaccine campaign with healthcare workers in December 2020, there was an unexpected higher than anticipated rate of immediate allergic reactions after Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. This prompted both patient and provider concerns, particularly in those with underlying allergic histories, on the associated risks for immediate allergic reactions with the mRNA vaccines. Because of the significantly improved effectiveness of two doses of an mRNA vaccine compared to one dose, it was important to determine if those who experienced immediate allergic reaction symptoms after their first dose could go on to tolerate a second dose safely. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Columbia / 27.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Hripcsak, MD, MS. Chair and Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: ACE inhibitors and ARBs are anti-hypertension drugs that have related yet distinct mechanisms of action, and they are both recommended as first-line therapies for treating hypertension. There have been no large head-to-head comparisons of ACE inhibitors and ARBs, although there are several studies with limited size and often restricted (e.g., high-risk) populations. While there are some conflicting results in the literature, the current evidence seems to indicate that they are similar in effectiveness but that ACE inhibitors have more side effects (e.g., cough and angioedema). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 23.07.2021

This story explores suicide and conditions leading to despair. If you are at risk, please stop here and contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support. 800-273-8255 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel George, MSc, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Humanities Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences Penn State MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the common diseases of despair? Response: Last decade, two Princeton economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, noted a precipitous rise in self-harming deaths (suicide, alcoholism, accidental poisonings, i.e., overdose) especially among poor whites in midlife with low educational attainment since the 1990s. These deaths were intimately linked with economic changes over the past several decades that have created more despairing conditions for the working class, made people more susceptible to seeking escape, numbness, and relief from physical, mental, and emotional pain. In recent years, the crisis has broadened, and we've seen rising excess mortality in other groups of working-class Americans as overall life expectancy has consistently fallen. Our team at Penn State College of Medicine and Highmark Inc. has previously examined “diseases of despair”, these being patients who are experiencing suicidal ideation or substance use issues and seeking out clinical care before they convert to "deaths of despair". We published a study in BMJ in 2020 showing a marked rise in these clinical diseases of despair across a sample of 12 million insurance carriers in Appalachia and the Rust Belt, again spanning across demographic boundaries. For this study, we honed in on high prevalence census blocks we had identified in our hospital's service area in central Pennsylvania and organized 4 focus groups in both rural and urban areas. We wanted to learn more about what people felt was driving despair in their communities, and what solutions might look like (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres F. Correa, MD Assistant Professor Department of Surgical Oncology, and Adrien Bernstein, MD Second Year Urologic Oncology Fellow Fox Chase Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Unfortunately, it has been well-established that historically Black Americans experience increased cancer specific mortality compared to white patients. In prostate cancer specifically studies have shown that when access to care is equitable this gap resolves. This suggests that biological factors are not driving these differences but rather the result of the complex interplay of social determinants and systemic inequities in our healthcare system. Early in the pandemic, multiple studies demonstrated that minority communities disproportionately shouldered poor COVID-19 outcomes. On March 13th 2020, the American College of Surgeons recommended against elective procedures; however, the definition of an elective oncologic case was left to the discretion of the provider. As prostate cancer treatment can be safely deferred up to a year follow diagnosis, management of prostate cancer during the initial lockdown period of the COVID-19 Pandemic provided a useful analysis of the differential restrictions placed on non-emergent health care during the Pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Melanoma / 22.07.2021

  MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eleonora Leucci, Ph.D Assistant Professor Laboratory for RNA Cancer Biology Department of Oncology KU Leuven   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Back in 2016, while I was characterising the RNA SAMMSON as essential for mitochondrial translation in melanoma, I noticed that its inhibition was causing cell death across a large spectrum of melanoma cell lines and models, irrespectively of their genetic background and cell state. At that time I still did not know why the effect was so pronounced on melanoma cells, but I knew that antibiotics of the tetracycline family could also block mitochondrial translation and I thought about repurposing them to treat melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 20.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arman Shahriar Medical Student University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant HealthPartners Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? & What should readers take away from your report? Response: Financing medical school is an opaque and important topic because the cost of attendance of medical school has risen much faster than inflation for decades. Over the same time period, the racial wealth gap has widened. We found significant differences in how students of different socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds are planning to pay for medical school at the time of matriculation. Family or personal financing is far more common for high-income students. Among Black students, family or personal financing was markedly lower than other racial/ethnic groups, which could be a reflection of the wealth gap - which is rooted in structural racism. This may create educational disparities as the field becomes increasingly racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse; there are many costs outside of tuition and living that may be considered "variable" or "non-essential" but necessary for high-quality education, including expensive board prep materials and transportation during clinical rotations. Furthermore, the stark deficit in family financing may be one reason why Black students currently report the highest debt burden of all racial/ethnic groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, NEJM / 20.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jane Fang, MD Clinical Athenex, Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tirbanibulin is a first-in-class synthetic molecule that has potent anti-proliferative activity by inhibiting tubulin polymerization and disrupting src kinase signaling. It has been formulated as an ointment for the treatment of actinic keratosis, a very common precancerous condition of UV-damaged skin that affects over 50 million people in the US. The most commonly adopted management approach is to remove AK lesions as it is hard to predict which lesion will become cancerous. Lesion-directed treatment like cryotherapy can effectively remove lesions one at a time but does not treat larger field of cancerization. Also, it is limited by associated pain and long term complication such as scarring. Currently approved topical treatments involve cumbersome application courses of weeks or months, and induce considerable local skin reactions that were not well tolerated by patients. The Phase 3 studies demonstrated that a short 5-day once daily course of tirbanibulin ointment 1% is an efficacious and safe topical treatment of actinic keratosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences, JAMA / 17.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anjali Sergeant McMaster Medicine Class of 2022 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This collaborative study from the University of Toronto and McMaster University found that inpatients in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cared for by female physicians had lower mortality rates compared to those cared for by male physicians. Specifically, a 0.47% difference in patient deaths was reported, which is significant in the context of thousands of deaths in Ontario hospitals each year. This supports similar findings from an American study (Tsugawa et. al) published in 2017. Our study also examined gender-based differences in medical practice, including lab and imaging tests ordered, and medications prescribed. Female doctors ordered significantly more imaging tests for their patients but this factor did not explain their lower patient death rates. The mortality difference shrank when accounting for the number of years that doctors were in practice. This suggests that patients of female doctors may have better outcomes partially because more women make up newer medical grads in Canada, who may be more up-to-date on clinical guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSF / 17.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chi-yuan Hsu, MD, MSc (he/him/his) Professor and Division Chief Division of Nephrology University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, CA 94143-0532 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been a great deal of controversy recently about how race should be considered in medicine, including its use in estimating kidney function (e.g. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2769035). A recent paper published in JAMA Network Open by Zelnick et al suggested that removing the race coefficient improves the accuracy of estimating kidney function (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2775076) in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort, a NIH-funded study (www.cristudy.org). We are core investigators of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study and were not involved in the Zelnick’s study that was based on a public use dataset. Because we were surprised by the methodological approach they took and the conclusion they came to, we implemented our own analysis of the data. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Ohl, MD, MSPH Associate Professor of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is that remdesivir was approved for treatment in 2020 largely based on the results of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 1 (ACTT-1), which found that remdesivir treatment was associated with more rapid recovery from illness among people hospitalized with COVID-19. The intention was that - even if remdesivir did not lead to substantial improvements in survival- it could help people to recover more quickly and be discharged from hospital sooner, potentially opening scare hospital pends to treat more patients during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 12.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nosheen Reza, MD, FACC, FHFSA Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Penn Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease Section of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplantation, and Mechanical Support Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania & the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In academic internal medicine in the United States, gender disparities in salary and promotion have been researched and documented for over 20 years. Despite this, in recent years, the number of women pursuing careers in medicine has increased, and now, more women than men are enrolled in U.S. medical schools. We wanted to take a contemporary look at the composition of the U.S. academic internal medicine physician workforce and evaluate the relationships between the representation of women in each internal medicine specialty with their salaries and academic rank. We hypothesized that even though there may be more women physicians practicing in these specialties compared with prior years, the disparities in academic rank and salary, as compared with men, would still exist. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 11.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliana Menezes MSc I am a PhD student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Lisbon. I do my research at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health under the Supervision of Professor Constança Pomba, the head of the Antibiotic Resistance Lab. The Idea for this work came from my supervisor, that has been working in the field of antibiotic resistance for a while and was leading a research project, the Pet-Risk consortium (http://petrisk.fmv.ulisboa.pt/) which main goal was to evaluate sharing of resistant bacteria between animal and humans (namely ESBL). Following this idea, we thought that would be important to evaluate colistin resistance in animals.” MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: With the global spread of multi-drug carbapenem resistant Gram-negative bacteria, colistin is a last-resort antimicrobial to treat ICU patients in hospitals. Thus, WHO has classified Colistin as a Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobial for human medicine, therefore, resistance represents a serious concern among physicians and scientists. Increasing trends and prevalence of colistin resistance have been observed worldwide, and the studies are mainly focused on food-producing animals or hospitalized humans, suggesting an exchange of pathogenic bacteria and/or mobile genetic elements between different reservoirs. The rational for this study is the importance to evaluate colistin resistance in companion animals as they are living in direct contact with humans in the community. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Electronic Records, JAMA, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 09.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Rotenstein, MD, MBA Assistant Medical Director Population Health and Faculty Wellbeing Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our previous work in JAMA Internal Medicine demonstrated significant differences in time spent on the electronic health record (EHR) by specialty, and specifically showed that primary care clinicians spent significantly more total and after-hours time on the EHR than surgical and medical specialty counterparts. Primary care clinicians spent twice as long as surgical colleagues on notes, and received more than twice as many messages from team-mates, five times as many patient messages, and fifteen times as many prescription messages each day. Given these findings, the heavy administrative burden placed on primary care clinicians, and previous data about burnout among primary care clinicians, we wanted to better understand differences in time spent on the EHR among the different types of primary care clinicians. (more…)
Author Interviews / 09.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Strauss, MD, PhD Director, Division of Applied Regulatory Science David Keire, PhD Director, Office of Testing and Research U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a citizen petition indicating that ranitidine, a widely used prescription and over-the-counter drug, contained the probable human carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In addition, the petitioner proposed that ranitidine could convert to NDMA in humans; however, this was based on a small clinical study with limitations and an in vitro study that included high level of supplemental nitrite. In response, the FDA immediately alerted the public and began an investigation. The FDA’s initial research found that the procedures previously used to quantify NDMA were not appropriate for assessing its presence in ranitidine, owing to the use of high temperatures that could convert ranitidine to NDMA during that analysis. New lower-temperature analytical methods found that the amounts of NDMA contained in ranitidine products were 3,000-fold lower than those reported in the citizen petition; however, these lower amounts of NDMA were still above the FDA-acceptable level and could increase over time, prompting the FDA to request the market withdrawal of ranitidine products. The FDA noted, however, that if ranitidine products could be manufactured to control NDMA amounts, they could be allowed back on the market—but additional information would first be needed to understand whether NDMA could form in vivo from ranitidine in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CDC, Emory, Gender Differences, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 08.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Farhad Islami, MD PHD Scientific Director, Cancer Disparity Research American Cancer Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) have collaborated annually since 1998 to provide updated information about cancer occurrence and trends by cancer type, sex, age group, and racial/ethnic group in the United States. In this year’s report, we focus on national cancer statistics and highlight trends in stage-specific survival for melanoma of the skin, the first cancer for which effective immune checkpoint inhibitors were developed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Medical Imaging, Neurological Disorders / 02.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Ferguson, PhD Instructor in Neurology | Harvard Medical School Lecturer on Neurospirituality | Harvard Divinity School Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over 80% of the global population consider themselves religious with even more identifying as spiritual, but the neural substrates of spirituality and religiosity remain unresolved. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Where is this circuit located in the brain? What other effects does this circuit control or influence? Response: We found that brain lesions associated with self-reported spirituality map to a human brain circuit centered on the periaqueductal grey. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research / 01.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dane Kim, Dental Student University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This large study was inspired, in part, by a previous publication, Gustatory Function After Third Molar Extraction (Shafer et al. 1999), which examined the effect of third molar extractions on human taste function. Their work was based upon more severe extractions and followed patients only up to six months after their surgery. Studies examining taste function over a longer period, i.e., beyond six months from the surgery, were non-existent. The Smell and Taste Center of Penn Medicine, which is the only center of its type in the United States, has a large unique database of patients who have been thoroughly tested for both smell and taste function. This provided us with the opportunity to compare data from hundreds of persons who had previously received third-molar extractions to those who had not received such extractions. Importantly, the extracts had occurred years before thee taste testing. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness / 01.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mireille E. Kelley Ph.D. Staff Consultant for Engineering Systems Inc. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Youth and high school football players can sustain hundreds of head impacts in a season and while most of these impacts do not result in any signs or symptoms of concussion, there is concern that these repetitive subconcussive impacts may have a negative effect on the brain. The results of this study are part of an NIH-funded study to understand the effects of subconcussive head impact exposure on imaging data collected at pre- and post-season time points. The present study leveraged the longitudinal data that was collected in the parent study to understand how head impact exposure changes among athletes from season to season and how that relates to changes measured from imaging. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA, UCSD / 01.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret Ryan MD MPH Medical Director of Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division Pacific Region Office, San Diego CA Clinical Professor at the University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Military clinicians, especially those in the Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division, first became aware of a few cases of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in early Feb 2021. These cases included young men who presented with chest pain a few days after 2nd dose of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine. As more young people became eligible for 2nd doses of vaccine, more cases were identified. By late April, the military had identified 23 cases of myocarditis, with remarkably similar presentations, after COVID-19 vaccination. This case series is described in the current issue of JAMA Cardiology. (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Gastrointestinal Disease, NEJM / 01.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. D. Schuppan, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine Director Institute of Translational Immunology University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist Director Celiac and Small Intestinal Disease Center Director Center for Food Intolerances and Autoimmunity Director Liver Fibrosis and Metabolism Research Research Center for Immune Therapy (FZI) Mainz Project for Chemical Allergology (MPCA) Mainz, Germany Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Celiac disease (CeD) is a common intestinal inflammatory disease that affects about 1% of most wheat consuming populations worldwide. CeD is caused by the ingestion of gluten containing foods, such as wheat, spelt, rye and barley, that activate small intestinal inflammatory T cells. The only current therapy is the rigorous avoidance of even traces of gluten in the daily diet, which is difficult and a social and psychological burden. We previously identified the body’s own enzyme tissue transglutaminase (TG2) as the CeD autoantigen. Moreover, TG2 drives celiac disease pathogenesis by enzymatically modifying dietary gluten peptides that makes them more immunogenic. We therefore developed an oral small molecule (ZED1227) that specifically inhibits TG2 activity in the intestine. While this should attenuate CeD in patients exposed to dietary gluten, it was unclear if it could prevent gluten induced intestinal inflammation and damage. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 30.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Els M. Broens DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVM, EBVS European Veteirnary Specialist in Veterinary Microbiology Associate Professor / Director VMDC Department Biomolecular Health Sciences (Clinical Infectiology) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine | Utrecht University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several events have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 can infect animals, felines and mustelids in particular. In companion animals these are currently considered to be incidents with a negligible risk for public health since the main force of the pandemic is transmission between humans. However, it is urgent to understand the potential risk of animal infections for public health in the later stages of the pandemic when SARS-CoV-2 transmission between humans is greatly reduced and a virus reservoir in animals could become more important. Incidental cases have shown that COVID-19 positive owners can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to their dog or cat. The close contact between owners and their dogs and cats and the interaction between dogs and cats from different households raises questions about the risk for pets to contract the disease and also about role of these animals in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Diabetes, Social Issues / 30.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yu Chen, Ph.D. Prevention Effectiveness Fellow Division of Diabetes Translation CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Overall prevalence of diabetes has increased over the past two decades in the US, disproportionately affecting populations with low-income. The age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults aged 18 years or older increased from 6.4% in 1999−2002 to 9.4% in 2013−2016. Between 2011 and 2014, compared with persons with high income, the relative percentage increase in diabetes prevalence was 40.0%, 74.1%, and 100.4% for those classified as middle income, near poor and poor, respectively. However, recent changes in income-related inequalities in diabetes prevalence are unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mary de Groot, Ph.D. Associate Professor Immediate Past President, Health Care and Education, American Diabetes Association Acting Director, Diabetes Translational Research Center Indianapolis, IN 46202 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The experience of quarantine in the context of epidemics has been shown to have significant emotional effects including depression, anxiety, shock, and trauma that not only effect people in the context of quarantine, but up to 2-3 years beyond the end of the quarantine period (Brooks et al., 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has had extraordinary impacts on health and mental health in the general population across the globe including increased rates of depression and anxiety compared to pre-pandemic levels (Xiong, 2020; Wilson, 2020; Luo, 2020). There is some early evidence that the pandemic adversely affected people with diabetes as well (Fisher, 2020; Alessi, 2020). It is important to explore the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for people with diabetes given the particular risk factor that diabetes (along with other metabolic diseases) represents for mortality if the virus is acquired. We conducted a longitudinal web-based survey of N=2210 adults with and without diabetes to assess the emotional correlates of COVID-19 in terms of depression, diabetes distress, perceived stress and anxiety. We present the baseline (measured in May/June of 2020) and 6-month follow up (measured in November/December 2020) findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes / 29.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, FASN Clinical Epidemiology Center Research and Development Service Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are several randomized controlled trials of Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors (SGLT2i) but none (not a single study) provided a head-to-head comparison with sulfonylureas -- the most commonly prescribed antihyperglycemics after metformin. We resolved to leverage advanced methodologies to undertake a head-to-head investigation of the comparative effectiveness of SGLT2I vs sulfonylureas on the risk of all-cause mortality. (more…)