Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Pediatrics / 31.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Rose, MD Child Neurology Nationwide Children’s Hospital The Ohio State University, Columbus MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is conflicting evidence regarding the association between repetitive head impacts during youth contact sports and worse neurocognitive outcomes.   Most research has been conducted in older adults, while the research in children is mostly limited to 1-2 sports seasons. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 28.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie O’Donnell, PhD MPH Division of Overdose Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC National Network of Public Health Institutes New Orleans, Louisiana MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The estimated number of drug overdose deaths in the US surpassed 100,000 over a 12-month period for the first time during May 2020-April 2021, driven by the involvement of synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF)), according to data from the National Vital Statistics System. The State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) is a CDC-funded surveillance program that has collected detailed data on unintentional and undetermined intent drug overdose deaths since 2016 from death certificates, medical examiner and coroner reports, and full postmortem toxicology reports. SUDORS data allow for the analysis specifically of deaths involving fentanyl (rather than the larger category of synthetic opioids), and contain information about decedent demographics and other characteristics, as well as circumstances surrounding the overdose that might help inform prevention. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 26.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Toon Mostien Jessa Hospital, Hasselt, Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: Patients with COVID-19 that survive critical illness are confronted with months or even years of physical impairments. Moreover, literature indicates that possibly up to 68% can still suffer from musculoskeletal symptoms such as muscle pain and weakness after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Although we have focused on 7-day differences in muscle fiber type characteristics, this research is a first step in discovering if skeletal muscles of critically ill patients are more severely damaged compared to a more general ICU population. Cytokine storm and systemic inflammatory responses triggered by the infection could augment muscle damage beyond that of non-COVID ICU patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 20.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren A. Eberly, MD, MPH Clinical Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine Perelman School of Medicine Cardiovascular Division, Perelman School of Medicine Center for Cardiovascular Outcomes, Quality, and Evaluative Research, Cardiovascular Center for Health Equity and Social Justice, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Racial inequities are pervasive in our country, and cardiovascular therapeutics with proven benefit have been shown to be underutilized among Black and Latinx patients. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), a recommended treatment option for glycemic control in patients with diabetes, have recently emerged as a cardioprotective therapy as multiple large randomized clinical trials have shown they prevent cardiovascular events among patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), particularly patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Given this, they are now recommended therapy for patients with diabetes and established or high risk of ASCVD. Given the known inequitable utilization of other therapies, along with the known higher burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among Black patients, the aim of this study was to evaluate the uptake of GLP-1 RA as well as for inequities in utilization. (more…)
Mental Health Research / 17.12.2021

masters-psychology-counseling-mental-health-guidance.jpgSeeing a close friend or family member struggle with their mental health can be difficult. Mental health issues are incredibly personal and can have a wide-reaching effect on all aspects of a person's life. For this reason, you might be currently looking for the best ways in which to support a friend who is struggling with their mental health. It is crucial to remember that there is only so much that you can do when it comes to supporting a friend with their mental health struggles. The reality of things is that they might not yet be ready to accept the help that they need to get better and cope with their mental health condition. Regardless of this, though, you can still acquire as much information about the subject as possible so that you can be ready to support them as and when they are ready to accept the help. Here are some of the best ways in which you can help support a friend who is struggling with their mental health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, HPV / 17.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish A. Deshmukh, PhD, MPH Associate Professor, Management, Policy & Community Health Associate Director, Center for Health Services Research Co-director, Clinical Analytics and Decision Science Lab UTHealth School of Public Health Houston, TX 77030 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Oropharyngeal cancer is the most common cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) in the United States (US). We know from previous studies that oropharyngeal cancer to be one of the fastest rising cancers in the US. However, trends (i.e., extent of change) in incidence rates among men and women in all 50 US states and trends according to tumor diagnostic characteristics (i.e., stage, size) have not been comprehensively studied. In addition, no prior study evaluated contemporary trends in oropharyngeal cancer mortality (death) rates in the US. Our study provides a comprehensive picture of oropharyngeal cancer incidence and mortality (according to age, stage, tumor size, and state of residence) in all 50 states and DC. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiawen Liu, PhD student Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering University of Washington  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As previous literature has documented, racial/ethnic minority populations and lower-income populations in the US often experience higher-than-average burdens of air pollution and its associated health impacts. The disparities vary by pollutant, location, and time. In 2014, Clark et al. found higher average NO2 exposure for nonwhites than for whites and for below-poverty-level than for above-poverty-level. Clark et al. (2017) expanded research for NO2 exposure by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status to 2000 and 2010 and found that absolute racial-ethnic disparities decreased over time while relative racial-ethnic disparities persisted.  (more…)
Author Interviews / 16.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Ooi Eng Eong Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases Duke-NUS Medical School Professor, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health National University of Singapore Co-director, Viral Research And Experimental Medicine Centre MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The emergence of Zika virus as a cause of fetal developmental disorder, or congenital Zika syndrome (CZS), mirrors the impact of congenital rubella syndrome on public health. Congenital rubella syndrome was controlled through the development of a live attenuated rubella virus vaccine that, when given to young children, elicited long-lasting immunity that protected against rubella well into adulthood. Indeed, live viral vaccines cause subclinical infection to elicit immunity that approaches those that develop following wild-type viral infection. However, the boundary between attenuated and virulent Zika virus has not been clearly defined, making development of any live attenuated Zika virus vaccine risky. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Disease, Vaccine Studies / 16.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuchi Anand, MD MS (she/her) Assistant Professor in Medicine Director, Center for Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease Stanford University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A majority of  people on dialysis who completed vaccination as of September 2021 have had a decline in antibody response to levels that would render them vulnerable to infection. Antibody response immediately after vaccination and circulating antibody response is strongly associated with risk for breakthrough after the initial vaccination series. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Genetic Research, Hematology, NEJM / 16.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Markus Y Mapara, MD Professor of Medicine Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Sickle cell disease is caused by a point mutation in the beta-globin gene of hemoglobin  resulting in the production of abnormal hemoglobin which leads to formation of sickle-shaped RBC under conditions of low oxygen. Sickle cell disease affects about 100,000 patients in the US which are predominantly African  American. The only curative approach is to perform an allogeneic bone marrow transplant which is however fraught with significant treatment-related risks if a matched sibling donor is not available. The current study describes the successful application of a novel gene therapy  to treat patients with sickle cell disease. The strategy is based on a gene-addition approach to introduce the genetic information for a Hemoglobin F-like molecule termed HgAT87Q into hematopoietic stem cells. The expression of this novel  hemoglobin prevents polymerization of HgbS  and has now been demonstrated to prevent the occurrence of vaso-occlusive pain crises in sickle cell disease patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Neurology, Pediatrics / 15.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rayyan Raja Zafar BSc. MSc. MRSB. Medical Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC DTP) PhD Candidate Centre for Psychedelic research & Neuropsychopharmacology Division of Psychiatry Department of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine Professor David Nutt DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences The Edmond J Safra Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 2018 medical cannabis prescription has become legal in the UK for patients to access. In spite of this legal change less than 3 NHS prescriptions have been made available and access to whole-plant medical cannabis products has been restricted largely to private prescriptions with very few clinicians prescribing such products. There has been a lot of anecdotal and real world evidence of the value of whole-plant medical cannabis in children suffering with treatment resistant epilepsy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Social Issues, Transplantation / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca Thorsness, PhD Research Associate Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice Brown University School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2019, the President signed the Advancing American Kidney Health executive order, which included provisions to increase the use of home dialysis and kidney transplant for Americans living with kidney failure. To carry out this vision, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) payment model, which uses financial incentives and penalties to incentivize dialysis facilities to pursue home dialysis or kidney transplant for their patients. Transplant and home dialysis are optimal care for people with kidney failure, but there are social and clinical reasons that patients with high social risk (such as those exposed to racism, poverty, or housing instability) may not be candidates for these treatments. This means that facilities which serve a large number of patients with high social risk might be disproportionately penalized by this new payment model. Using data immediately prior to the implementation of the ETC model, we found that dialysis facilities that serve high proportions of patients with high social risk have lower rates of home dialysis and kidney transplantation than facilities that care for lower proportions of such patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashish Thakrar, MD Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine National Clinician Scholars Program University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1.8 million Americans are currently incarcerated, more than any other country in the world per capita. Of those 1.8 million, about 1 in 7 suffers from opioid addiction, putting them at high risk of overdose and death, particularly in the weeks following release. Opioid use disorder is a treatable condition, particularly with the medications buprenorphine or methadone, but historically, prisons and jails have not offered treatment. Over the past five years, a few states and municipalities have enacted policies to provide access for OUD treatment. We examined whether these policies were actually improving access to treatment.  (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Willem van Dalen, PhD Department of Neurology Donders Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen Department of Neurology The Netherlands3Department of Public and Occupational Health Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although high systolic blood pressure in midlife has consistently been reported as a condition that increases the risk of developing dementia in old age, reports regarding this relationship in older people have been inconsistent. One potential reason for this, is that the relationship between systolic blood pressure and dementia in later life may be U-shaped, meaning that both individuals with low and with high systolic blood pressure are at increased incident dementia risk. This study combined data from several longitudinal cohort studies specifically designed to study incident dementia in older people, to investigate whether these U-shaped relationships exist, and in which age ranges they appear. We included more than 16,500 people aged 60 and older, with over 2,700 incident dementia cases. Also, we aimed to investigate whether these observational associations might be caused by confounding, differences in mortality, or result from opposite relationships between certain subgroups of individuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA / 13.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D. Mitrani Professor of Biomedical Research Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center Liise-anne Pirofski, MD on behalf of lead authors Mila Ortigoza MD, PhD, Assistant professor at NYU Langone Health and Hyunah Yoon MD, Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein Medical Center and the CONTAIN COVID-19 trial authors and team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was designed to determine the efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. It was designed and launched in New York City in April 2020 during the height of the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and later extended to sites in Miami, Houston, and other regions affected by subsequent waves of the pandemic. At that time, there were no validated therapeutic options for COVID-19, and there was clinical equipoise for CCP use in hospitalized patients. COVID-19 convalescent plasma was considered worthy of investigation because of the historical success of convalescent plasma in prior pandemics and epidemics dating to the beginning of the 20th century, and importantly, biological plausibility because convalescent plasma contains antibodies to agents from which people have recovered, and case series and observational studies showing signals of CCP efficacy in patients with COVID-19. The trial was designed to focus on patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 who required supplemental oxygen, but not mechanical intubation. At the time the trial was designed, hospitals in New York City were overwhelmed with severely and critically ill patients with COVID-19, an entirely new disease about which more and more was learned over the 11 months the trial was conducted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 13.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronen Arbel, PhD Outcomes Research, Community Medical Services Division Clalit Health Service Tel Aviv, Israel Director, Maximizing Health Outcomes Research Lab Sapir College, Sderot, Israel.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant and reduced effectiveness over time of the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) led to a recent Coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) resurgence in early vaccinated populations. The Israeli Ministry of Health was the first in the world to approve a third (booster) dose of BNT162b2 to cope with this resurgence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Medicare / 12.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeanne Madden, PhD Associate Professor Department of Pharmacy and Health Systems Sciences School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Bouvé College of Health Science Northeastern University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medicare is the US public insurance program mainly serving people 65 years and older, but also some younger adults who have long-term disabling conditions. As such, on average, the Medicare population bears a heavy burden of illness and has high health care needs, compared to the general US population. The under-65 group for the most part has quite low incomes, while the older group represents a wide spectrum, from poor to well-off. Medicare beneficiaries also differ a great deal in terms of whether they have access to supplemental insurance that can help with patient cost-sharing requirements. I’m referring to Medicaid assistance, or a self-purchased Medigap plan, or retiree health benefits, etc. The cost-sharing requirements in traditional Medicare are substantial — e.g., 20% for doctor visits — and there is no annual cap on patient out-of-pocket spending. That’s in contrast to commercial insurance and Medicare Advantage managed care plans — all of those have an annual cap on patient out-of-pocket costs. There’s a good amount of existing research on whether people in Medicare can afford their drugs, and on the affordability of medical care among younger groups such as working-aged uninsured people and those in ACA exchange plans. But there hasn’t been much research into medical care affordability among older Americans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, USPSTF / 10.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Cabana, M.D., M.A., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Physician-in-chief , Children's Hospital at Montefiore Chair of the Department of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine Member, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study and recommendation statement?  Response: Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, is the most common chronic disease in children in the United States and can develop in any child whose teeth have come in. Many young children under five years old do not visit a dentist, so the Task Force reviewed the latest evidence on how primary care clinicians can help prevent tooth decay in young children. The Task Force’s research led to two important findings: all young children whose teeth have come in should have fluoride varnish applied by their clinician, and all children six months and older whose water supply doesn’t contain enough fluoride should receive fluoride supplements. Both approaches can help prevent cavities in kids. The Task Force also determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for tooth decay in the primary care setting for children under five. This is consistent with the Task Force’s 2014 recommendation on dental caries. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA / 09.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher J. D. Wallis, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Division of Urology University of Toronto Urologic Oncologist, Division of Urology Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has shown that female and male physicians communicate differently with patients. Further, there is evidence that female physicians, including surgeons, spend more time with patients. This, coupled with evidence that female patients may experience disparities in the management of their pain, led us to consider that communication differences may underpin differences in surgical outcomes previously noted (eg. Wallis et al, BMJ 2017) between male and female physicians. We postulated that there may be a differential association between surgeon sex and patient sex in behaviours that would translate into clinically important outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dental Research / 09.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Henry Daniell Ph.D W. D. Miller Professor & Director of Translational Research, Vice Chair, Department of Basic and Translational Sciences, Editor in Chief, Plant Biotechnology Journal, Oxford, UK School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104-6030  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study Response: ACE2 is a human protein present in human cells, blood and saliva.  In COVID-19 patients this protein is inactivated.  SARS-CoV-2 virus enters human cells using receptor of this protein.  ACE2 chewing gum utilizes two different mechanisms.  ACE2 enzyme directly binds to the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 and traps virus in the chewing gum.  In addition, ACE2 enzyme binds to its own receptor on oral epithelial cells, thereby blocks entry of any virus that is not trapped in the chewing gum (more…)
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, Pharmacology / 08.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bernard Esquivel Zavala, MD, PhD, MHA GenXys Chief Medical Officer MedicalResearch.com: What is the mission of GenXys? Response: Our mission at GenXys is to tailor the right treatment for each individual patient at the right time. GenXys founders, including Professors Pieter Cullis and Martin Dawes, were heavily involved in the precision medicine field from the very beginning, and they noticed a functional gap between the expectations and the actual clinical implementation of precision medicine Particularly, when it came to, at the time, the new field of pharmacogenetics. Their solution was to provide a comprehensive, user-friendly platform that organizes all patient data relevant to prescribing to provide the safest and most appropriate personalized prescribing options. Simply put, GenXys’ solutions were made by clinicians, for clinicians. The GenXys software suite collects patient information and categorizes that information, including pharmacogenetic data, based on clinical relevance and runs it through advanced condition -based algorithms to provide real time accurate prescribing options. It makes my life as a clinician easier and safer and gives me the confidence that I am not practicing ‘trial and error’ prescribing. Ideally, every healthcare provider should be using a real time medication decision support solution like ours, and not just for pharmacogenetic test results. Pharmacogenomics is just one piece. In fact, our core product, TreatGx™ can run with or without pharmacogenomics. Let's say that you've run it without pharmacogenomics, meaning that you are using this tool to organize and rapidly identify how biophysical factors, liver function, kidney function, comorbidities, and drug-drug interactions may impact the medication you're about to prescribe to your patient. This functionality alone is incredibly helpful. In fact, the factors I just mentioned likely account for 95% of the reasons why a patient does not respond to a particular medication or might have an adverse drug reaction. But the TreatGx platform will also highlight when the evidence supports bringing pharmacogenomic information into the mix. The right approach is bringing all those relevant clinical, biochemical, and molecular factors closer to the provider which will ultimately foster personalization. We will start treating the individual instead of the disease(s). As with any new technology, there are barriers to precision prescribing. This includes educational and emotional barriers. It’s important to educate providers and keep them up to date to help them understand the power that precision prescribing can bring into their practice—and the limitations—to set the right level of expectation. The Human Genome Project was finished in 2000, and there was a lot of buzz about pharmacogenomics even back in 2003. The field got a lot of traction in 2015. So, everyone thought, "Oh, this is going to be groundbreaking and quite disruptive. From now on my prescription is going to be a hundred percent accurate and safe." But it's not quite the whole story. Pharmacogenomics has to be considered as another piece of the puzzle. It's like saying that by having an MRI, you're curing cancer. It's just another piece of the treatment puzzle. There are also emotional barriers, where ego can factor into a decision. It can be uncomfortable for a physician to say, "I don't know this. Let me check it out. Let me explore it further, review, and come back to you." It's easier to say if I don't know it, that it doesn't work or isn’t relevant, rather than exposing yourself. And so that, in terms of the emotional piece, I would say is a big component. We can tackle the emotional component that element by fostering education and bringing education closer to providers. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease, Vanderbilt / 08.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leonard B. Bacharier, MD Janie Robinson and John Moore Lee Chair in Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics Director - Center for Pediatric Asthma Research Scientific Director - Center for Clinical and Translational Research Section Chief - Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Is Dupilumab used for other atopic conditions, ie eczema/atopic dermatitis?   Response: Many children with moderate-severe asthma continue to experience asthma exacerbations and poor asthma control despite use of controller therapies.  Dupilumab has been shown to reduce asthma exacerbations in adolescents and adults, as well as to improve atopic dermatitis in children and adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections / 07.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Craig MPP Director, Antibiotic Resistance Coordination and Strategy CDC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the mission of the Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN)? How will it work to coordinate detection and response efforts across multiple countries and cultures? 
  • Health care can often be an epicenter of infectious disease outbreaks that can spread within a facility, between facilities, and beyond the facility into the community. CDC’s Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN) consists of countries, healthcare facilities, and public health partners working together to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats in the healthcare setting. GAIHN will target health care threats like antimicrobial-resistant infections, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), and COVID-19 through infection prevention and control.
  • Close coordination across experts at CDC, and strong relationships and communications with our funded partners, international colleagues, ministries of health and country leadership, will make GAIHN successful and ensure collaboration, minimize duplication, and maximize advancements across countries and cultures.
  • Find more information about the 2021 GAIHN projects: https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/global/GAIHN.html 
(more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Circadian Rhythm, Diabetes, Occupational Health, Science, Weight Research / 06.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah L. Chellappa, MD PhD Medical Chronobiology Program Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA Department of Nuclear Medicine Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Frank A.J.L. Scheer, M.Sc., Ph.D. Professor of Medicine. Medical Chronobiology Program Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain the difference between the central circadian ‘clock’ and endogenous circadian glucose rhythms?  Response: Night work increases diabetes risk. This increased risk is not fully explained by differences in lifestyle, family history, and/or socioeconomic status, thus other mechanisms are likely involved. Laboratory studies in humans have shown glucose intolerance in both non-shift workers and shift workers exposed to simulated night work. Animal experimental data suggests that this may be in part due to a misalignment between central and peripheral rhythms. Central circadian rhythms (e.g., body temperature) are primarily modulated by the central circadian “clock”, which is located in the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus and is responsible for synchronizing our physiology and behavior with the 24-hour cycle. Peripheral rhythms, including endogenous circadian glucose rhythms, are likely modulated by peripheral “clocks” across the body that play an integral role in modulating the circadian expression of physiology, including metabolic functions. These central and peripheral clocks share a common molecular mechanism underlying their circadian rhythm generating capacity, including transcription-translation feedback loops of circadian “clock” genes.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 06.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cecilia S. Lee, MD, MS Associate Professor,Director, Clinical Research Department of Ophthalmology Harborview Medical Center University of Washington Seattle, WA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cataract is a natural aging process of the eye and affects the majority of older adults who are at risk for dementia. Sensory loss, including vision and hearing, is of interest to the research community as a possible risk factor for dementia, and also as a potential point of intervention. Because cataract surgery improves visual function, we hypothesized that older people who undergo cataract surgery may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer disease and dementia. We used the longitudinal data from an ongoing, prospective, community based cohort, Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. The ACT study includes over 5000 participants to date who are dementia free at recruitment and followed until they develop Alzheimer disease or dementia. We had access to their extensive medical history including comprehensive ophthalmology visit data. We investigated whether cataract surgery was associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer disease and dementia.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Stroke / 06.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Andrew Smyth MB, BCh, BAO, MMedSc, MRCPI, PhD Professor of Clinical Epidemiology NUI Galway Director of the HRB-Clinical Research Facility Galway Consultant Nephrologist at Galway University Hospitals MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that there are multiple medium to long-term risk factors for stroke, as people with conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes mellitus (high blood glucose levels) and those with risk factors (such as smoking, obesity, poor diet quality and others) are at increased risk of stroke. However, we still find it difficult to predict who will have a stroke. We were interested in exploring if short-term exposures to anger or emotional upset or a period of heavy physical exertion might lead to, or ‘trigger’ a stroke. We looked at this previously for myocardial infarction (heart attack) in a study called INTERHEART. Some smaller studies have looked at this before, with less people experiencing a stroke and often confined to one country or geographical region. Here, in INTERSTROKE, we included over 13,000 people who had a stroke and asked about the one hour period before the onset of the stroke and also about the same period on the day before.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Ophthalmology / 04.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristine Dalton PhD FAAO, FBCLA School of Optometry & Vision Science University of Waterloo Waterloo, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dynamic visual acuity refers to the ability to detect and perceive small details in objects that are moving relative to an observer.  Dynamic visual acuity is a complex visual function, that involves a number of different aspects of vision, including detecting the target, moving the eyes appropriately to observe the target, and processing the visual information from the target in the brain to interpret what we are seeing.   What makes dynamic visual acuity so interesting to study, is that as a visual function, it appears to play an important role in a number of real-world situations, including playing sports, driving, and piloting, and it may provide us more information about how the visual system is functioning compared to the more traditional, static vision tests alone. Previous research has demonstrated that consumption of caffeine has been shown to benefit physiological, psychomotor, and cognitive performance.  More recently there has been an increased interest in studying the impacts of caffeine on the vision system, however the impact of caffeine on dynamic visual acuity has not been studied.  This study was designed to address this limitation in the literature, particularly because dynamic visual acuity appears to be such an important visual function for real-world activities.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 02.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Barbra Dickerman, PhD CAUSALab investigator and instructor Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early randomized trials showed that the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines were both remarkably effective at preventing symptomatic disease, when comparing each vaccine with no vaccine. However, head-to-head comparisons of these vaccines have been lacking, leaving open the question of which vaccine is more effective.  In this study, we analyzed the VA’s high-quality databases in a way that emulated the design of the hypothetical trial that would have answered this question. Specifically, we used the findings from the original trials to benchmark our methods and then extended them to provide novel evidence for the comparative effectiveness of these two vaccines in a real-world setting and across diverse subgroups and different time periods. (more…)
Author Interviews / 30.11.2021

Below are some of the top ophthalmological advances for 2021:

       1. Optical Coherence Tomography Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT is a noninvasive imaging technique that is used to secure cross-sectional, high-resolution imaging of the retina. The retina’s layers are differentiated while its thickness is measured to help detect and identify retinal conditions in its early stages. These retinal diseases may include macular degeneration, which is typically age-related, and diabetic retinopathy or diabetic eye disease. OCT testing is now a standard practice to assess and decide on specific treatments for many retinal problems. It utilizes light rays to measure the thickness of the retina without radiation and x-rays, a painless test that does not cause discomfort to the patient. The technology of OCT is similar to ultrasound though it uses light instead of sound, giving it a much clearer resolution. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Fertility / 30.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kanako Hayashi PhD Associate Professor Associate Director, Center for Reproductive Biology Washington State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There have been several correlative reports showing statistical associations between cannabis use and low sperm counts, dysregulated menstruation, abnormal placentation, preterm birth, stillbirth and offspring psychosis etc. However, the long-term consequences of cannabis use on reproductive functions and how it might impact the next generation have not been examined. In the present study, we examined the generational effects of cannabis vapor exposure on male reproductive function. Vaporization is the most common route of cannabis administration in humans. Therefore, in order to understand the generational effects of cannabis exposure on male reproductive functions, the present study was performed using an inhalation method as an administration route, by which adult male mice were exposed to dry cannabis plants to assess the toxicological effects of cannabis on F0, F1 and F2 male reproductive functions. (more…)