Mental Health Research / 30.11.2021

Social isolation, while a life-saving measure in recent years, has resulted in a massive uptick of anxiety, depression, and in some cases, trauma. The good news is that, yes, anxiety and depression rates both dropped as people were allowed to meet up with each other after being unable to in 2020 and part of 2021, but the fact is there will be ongoing repercussions to the safety measures and a lack of mental health services to cope with these issues. When epidemics do affect everyone, some effects leave long-lasting damage if not taken care of properly. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cognitive Issues, Exercise - Fitness / 30.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wee Shiou Liang, PhD Associate Professor | Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology Faculty | Geriatric Education and Research Institute Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was funded by Singapore’s Ministry of Health Geriatric Education and Research Institute. We randomly recruited 500+ adults aged 21-90+ from the residential town of Yishun. We performed detailed assessments of physical and cognitive performance, body composition using DEXA, and participants also provided information on their levels and frequencies of physical activities (PA) including recreational PA/exercise, commuting, housework and other occupational related PA. The demographics of the sample of participants is the same as that of Singapore in terms of age and ethnic composition. Comparing the results of those aged 21-<65 and those >=65 years, only around a third (36%; 90) of those in the younger group and only around half (48%;116) of those in the older age group, met guidelines recommended physical activity quota exclusively from recreational PA/exercise. But nearly two thirds (61% younger; 152 and 66% older; 159) met this target exclusively through housework. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, UCSF / 27.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carina M. Woodruff, MD Department of Dermatolog University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Rigorous hand hygiene has been an important component of the CDC's COVID-19 guidelines. With millions of Americans now using hand sanitizers regularly, we are seeing many more cases of hand dermatitis. Our study evaluated the key product features and most common allergens in the top-reviewed, commercial hand sanitizers sold by major US retailers. We found that the most common potential allergens were tocopherol, fragrance, propylene glycol and phenoxyethanol. Our study also showed that nearly 1 in 5 marketing claims on these products was misleading. For example, 70% of sanitizers with the marketing claim "hypoallergenic" included at least one common allergen in its formulation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Weight Research / 25.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alejandra Ellison-Barnes, MD MPH General Internal Medicine Johns Hopkins Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Emerging adulthood is a unique period of development that ultimately leads to the formation of adult identity, but how this stage contributes to obesity is relatively understudied. The prevalence of obesity has been increasing in the United States population as a whole, and we wanted to know how mean body mass index and the prevalence of obesity have changed over the past several decades specifically among emerging adults. We found that among emerging adults aged 18 through 25, mean BMI has increased from 23.1 kg/m2 in 1976-1980 to 27.7 kg/m2 in 2017-2018. In the same period, the prevalence of obesity increased from 6.2% to 32.7%. (more…)
Author Interviews / 25.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ariel Israel, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Leumit Health Services Tel Aviv, Israel  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As a research institute of Leumit, one of the four state mandated health funds in Israel, we pursue research projects aimed at improving the health of our members, and  reducing the burden of disease. For this purpose, we harness the unique resource of the electronic health records of our members, that is available in a central data warehouse for research purposes. Israel was one of the first countries to roll-out a large-scale vaccination campaign, and to achieve control of the pandemics through vaccination. Nevertheless, since the middle of June '21, we have observed a gradual increase in the rate of COVID-19 infections among our members, even among the vaccinated. This increase was first believed to be due to the emergence of the delta strain, but when we compared vaccinated individuals who suffered from breakthrough infections to other vaccinated individuals, we found that the time that has elapsed since vaccination was significantly longer for individuals who got infected with COVID-19, in  each of the age groups. This prompted us to investigate the issue of a possible waning effect of the vaccine protection with time, that we present in this report, using the test negative study design. We examined the electronic health records for 80,057 adults (average age 44 years) who received a PCR test at least three weeks after their second injection, and had no evidence of previous covid-19 infection. Of these 80,057 participants, 7,973 (9.6%) had a positive test result. These individuals were then matched to negative controls of the same age and ethnic group who were tested in the same week. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease / 23.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruno Caramelli MD PhD Associate Professor of Medicine University of Sao Paulo, Brasil Director, Interdisciplinary Medicine in Cardiology Unit Chairman of the PhD program in Medical Sciences at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. President of the Department of Clinical Cardiology at the Brazilian Society of Cardiology FESC: Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in older adults, and it is associated with an increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia. Stroke can occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, and oral anticoagulants, such as dabigatran and warfarin, are typically prescribed to prevent stroke. Dabigatran has been found to be comparable to warfarin for the prevention of stroke and also has a lower risk of major bleeding complications. Previous research has shown that people with atrial fibrillation taking oral anticoagulation therapy have a lower risk of dementia, however, the mechanism involved in this benefit is unknown, and previous clinical trials have not evaluated cognitive and functional impairment outcomes among patients. It’s possible that cognitive decline is related to the formation of small blood clots in the brain, which is treated by effective medications that prevent blood clots. Since dabigatran offers a more stable anticoagulation status, we investigated whether it would be more effective than warfarin for the prevention of cognitive decline in patients with atrial fibrillation. Previous studies were retrospective and observational studies and considered tests that evaluate global cognitive function in a generic, global, and non-specific way. In that way its not possible to exclude different causes of dementia as Alzheimer's disease and others making it difficult to establish an effect directly related to atrial fibrillation or the anticoagulation treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Race/Ethnic Diversity, USPSTF / 20.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H. Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force since 2017 Director, the Mayo Clinic Center Health Equity and Community Engagement Research Department of Family Medicine Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People who experience systemic racism generally have shorter life expectancies and experience more health problems. Racism can increase the chances of getting preventable conditions, limit access to health information, and restrict access to actual preventive care. To confront these issues and promote antiracism and health equity, the Task Force commissioned a review of the evidence around how systemic racism currently undermines preventive healthcare. Based on that review, the Task Force has developed an initial set of strategies to reduce the effects of systemic racism, which includes prioritizing topics that are likely to advance health equity, assessing the Task Force’s language to ensure it is culturally appropriate, and calling for more research in people of color.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 18.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashwin Nathan, MD, MSHP Assistant Professor, Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine Interventional Cardiologist Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and at the Corporal Michael C. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia Penn Cardiovascular Outcomes, Quality & Evaluative Research Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We found that the rates of TAVR were lower in areas with higher proportions of Black, Hispanic and socioeconomically disadvantaged patients. Inequities in access in areas with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic patients existed despite adjusting for socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 16.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas A. Marston, MD, MPH Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been recent debate about how much of lipid-associated cardiovascular risk is from LDL cholesterol versus triglycerides. However, genetic studies suggest that apolipoprotein B is actually the primary driver of atherosclerotic risk. Since there is exactly one apoB lipoprotein on each lipid particle (LDL, IDL, VLDL), its measurement is a surrgate for the total number of apoB-containing lipoproteins. So in this study, we asked the question: Do common measures of cholesterol concentration, triglyceride concentration, or their ratio carry predictive value for cardiovascular risk beyond the number of apo-B containing lipoproteins? (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers / 11.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Grill, PhD Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior School of Medicine Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior School of Biological Sciences University of California, Irvine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health challenge. More than 6 million Americans have the disease, which causes cognitive problems and eventual dependence on others for daily function. Scientists understand that the disease begins in the brain years before memory and other thinking problems begin and the AHEAD Study aims to intervene in this window of time, to see if a drug that targets these brain changes can delay or prevent symptoms of the disease.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Lancet, Melanoma, Technology / 11.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr David Wen BM BCh NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Dermatology University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Publicly available skin image datasets are commonly used to develop machine learning (ML) algorithms for skin cancer diagnosis. These datasets are often utilised as they circumvent many of the barriers associated with large scale skin lesion image acquisition. Furthermore, publicly available datasets can be used as a benchmark for direct comparison of algorithm performance. Dataset and image metadata provide information about the disease and population upon which the algorithm was trained or validated on. This is important to know because machine learning algorithms heavily depend on the data used to train them; algorithms used for skin lesion classification frequently underperform when tested on independent datasets to which they were trained on. Detailing dataset composition is essential for extrapolating assumptions of generalisability of algorithm performance to other populations. At the time this review was conducted, the total number of publicly available datasets globally and their respective content had not previously been characterised. Therefore, we aimed to identify publicly available skin image datasets used to develop ML algorithms for skin cancer diagnosis, to categorise their data access requirements, and to systematically evaluate their characteristics including associated metadata.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, NEJM / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Sir Mark Caulfield Professor of Clinical Pharmacology William Harvey Research Institute Queen Mary University of London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rare diseases affect 6% of the population in western nations and there are approximately 10,000 different disorders and many remain without a genomic diagnosis after usual testing during their life time. In 2013 the UK Government launched the 100,000 Genomes Project and created Genomics England to investigate the role of whole genome sequencing in rare disease, cancer and infection. Whole genome sequencing gives the most comprehensive read out of the entire genome. To do this we partnered with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) BioResource and 9 hospitals across England1. Our New England Journal of Medicine paper published on the 11th November 2021 reports findings on the early rare disease participants who helped us pilot procedures and processes that would be used to enrol at scale across the NHS and revealed the potential benefits for rare disease1. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Science, UCSF / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Art Wallace, M.D., Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Anesthesia School of Medicine, UCSF Chief of the Anesthesia Service Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I have spent the last 30 years working on perioperative risk reduction, developing medications and approaches to risk reduction. Part of this work utilized epidemiologic analysis of medication patterns of use to test if they are associated with reductions in morbidity and mortality. This work analyzed data in the VA Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) which provides access to the VA, best in the world electronic health care record system, VISTA.  With the COVID-19 pandemic I realized that the analytic techniques we had utilized for perioperative cardiac risk reduction could be used to search for medications to reduce the risks for acute COVID-19 infection. We identified four classes of medications that reduced the risk of death in acute COVID-19 infection. We then turned our attention to medications to reduce the incidence, severity, and duration of long-term sequelae of COVID-19 infection also known as Long COVID or COVID Long Hauler Syndrome. One of the questions that people were asking was what was the effect of vaccination on Long COVID? We began that work by looking at the effect of vaccination on COVID infections and found the dramatic decrease in efficacy of vaccines with the spread of the Delta Variant. We published this work to notify the public and public health community of the decreased efficacy of the vaccines in the face of the Delta variant and reiterate the need for secondary public health prevention measures such as masks, social distancing, vaccination, and boosters. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Gavigan, MPH Manager, Research and Data Science CreakyJoints and Global Healthy Living Foundation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We understood that COVID-19 is of particular concern for people living with autoimmune and rheumatic disease because they are at increased risk of infection, and this created a heightened sense of isolation due to the strict social distancing protocols that so many patients have followed. As a result, we wanted to better understand if symptoms among the autoimmune and rheumatic disease patients in our ArthritisPower research registry were impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed patient reported outcome scores for mental, social, and physical health measures between the months of January 2020 and April 2021. We tested the null hypothesis that there was no change in monthly average assessment scores across the 15-month observation period. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Rheumatology / 10.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Courtney K. Wells, PhD, MSW, MPH, LGSW Assistant Professor & Field Coordinator Department of Social Work University of Wisconsin-River Falls and member of CreakyJoints MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was initiated because early in the pandemic there was little information available regarding quality of life and the day-to-day activities of patients with rheumatic conditions. We were particularly interested in patients’ psychosocial experiences and how they made decisions about their health. We found that participants’ understanding of their risk for COVID-19 played a key role in their decision making processes. At the beginning of the pandemic, many participants viewed themselves as being high risk because of their condition and/or medications and took extreme precautions. These precautions isolated them from their family, friends, and healthcare, all of which negatively affected their physical and mental health. As the pandemic went on, participants described an exhausting balancing act between their risk for COVID-19, their rheumatic condition, and their mental health. Because we did interviews over 6 months, we saw participants shifting their priorities towards their mental health as more information became available and the vaccine emerged. We also learned that rheumatology patients from BIPOC ( Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and immigrant communities experienced unique stressors during the pandemic such as barriers to accessible and trusted healthcare providers and increased experiences of racism. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 09.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stefanie N. Hinkle, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Biostatistics Epidemiology and Informatics Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over 80% of U.S. women of reproductive age consume caffeine daily.While most women decrease consumption after becoming pregnant, many continue to consume caffeine throughout pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine consumption to <200 mg/d out of an abundance of caution due to potential associations with pregnancy loss and fetal growth restriction at higher intakes. There remains limited data on associations with maternal cardiometabolic outcomes in pregnancy.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease / 08.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Csaba P Kovesdy MD FASN Fred Hatch Professor of Medicine Director, Clinical Outcomes and Clinical Trials Program Division of Nephrology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center Nephrology Section Chief, Memphis VA Medical Center Memphis TN, 38163  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Microinflammation may be a mechanism contributing to adverse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Low dose aspirin (ASA) is usually used as an antiplatelet agent for cardiovascular indications, but may also have beneficial effects on kidney function by reducing microinflammation.  (more…)
Lifestyle & Health / 08.11.2021

Why Early Detection is a Life-saverIt's understandable if you fear visiting the hospital if you feel unwell. You worry that you will get a terrible diagnosis. You would rather pretend that everything is okay than face the truth. Remember that it's better to have early detection of an illness than waiting until everything is late. People's lives were saved because they decided to ask for medical advice early. You can begin your path to recovery Just because you received an unfavorable diagnosis doesn't mean your life is over. Even some life-threatening conditions like cancer already have a cure. Many people underwent remission after months or years of treatment. If you decide against getting medical advice, these potential cures might not work anymore. You will regret not starting the process earlier on. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 07.11.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neha Agrawal PhD Department of Physiology Development and Neuroscience University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity levels are rising rapidly around the world and are a major risk factor for diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cancers and recently, COVID-19. New strategies to understand obesity are thus needed to prevent and treat obesity and associated disease. Genetic studies in humans have shown that 40-70% of variation in body weight depends on our genes. Therefore, identifying genes linked to obesity and understanding their function can be a useful way to both understand how we gain weight and identify potential targets for weight loss therapy. However, human genetic obesity studies face significant limitations in identifying causal obesity genes and understanding their relationship to weight gain in human patients. The model system Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit flies) has provided vital insights into fundamental biology and human diseases for over a century. It is a powerful genetic model with well conserved metabolic pathways. Fruit flies also gain weight when fed a high-sugar or high-fat diet and develop heart disease and diabetes. We therefore decided to use fruit flies to identify novel obesity genes and their site of action in the body. (more…)
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…)