Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Vitamin D / 19.02.2014

Sadeq A. Quraishi, MD, MHA Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MassachusettsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sadeq A. Quraishi, MD, MHA Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Quraishi: Our retrospective study suggests that there is an association between pre-operative 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and the risk of hospital-acquired infections after gastric bypass surgery. In particular, patients with 25(OH)D levels <30 ng/ml before surgery were almost 4 times more likely to develop a surgical site infection within 30 days of surgery than patients with pre-operative 25(OH)D levels at 30 ng/ml or higher. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 19.02.2014

Anton P. Porsteinsson M.D. William B. and Sheila Konar Professor of Psychiatry Director, Alzheimer's Disease Care, Research and Education Program (AD-CARE) University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, N.Y. 14620MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anton P. Porsteinsson M.D. William B. and Sheila Konar Professor of Psychiatry Director, Alzheimer's Disease Care, Research and Education Program (AD-CARE) University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, N.Y. 14620 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Porsteinsson: Identifying drugs outside the antipsychotic class with targeted anti-agitation effects that provide greater benefit or lower risk among patients with Alzheimer’s disease is a research priority.  Citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is frequently used in older individualsand has been suggested as an alternative to antipsychotic drugs for agitation and aggression in dementia.  Among 186 patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease and agitation receiving psychosocial intervention, the addition of citalopram compared with placebo robustly and significantly reduced agitation and caregiver distress, but modest cognitive and cardiac adverse effects of citalopram may limit its practical application at the 30 mg/d dose studied in this trial. There are insufficient data on efficacy for agitation at lower doses of citalopram. (more…)
Cost of Health Care, Dartmouth, Health Care Systems, Mental Health Research, Yale / 18.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ellen R. Meara Associate Professor of The Dartmouth Institute Adjunct Associate Professor in Economics & Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, Dartmouth College Ellen R. Meara Associate Professor of The Dartmouth Institute Adjunct Associate Professor in Economics & Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, Dartmouth College MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of this study? Answer: When insurance coverage for young adults rose by over 15 percentage points following Massachusetts' 2006 health reform, use of inpatient care for mental illness and substance use disorders fell and emergency department visits for these conditions grew more slowly for 19 to 25 year olds in Massachusetts relative to other states. Also, their care was much more likely to be paid for by private or public insurance insurers. (more…)
Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Duke, Medical Research Centers, Stroke, UCLA / 18.02.2014

Gregg C Fonarow, UCLA Medical Ctr, Los Angeles, CA; Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center Professor, Department of Medicine Associate Chief, Cardiology David Geffen School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregg C Fonarow, UCLA Medical Ctr, Los Angeles, CA; Director, Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center Professor, Department of Medicine Associate Chief, Cardiology David Geffen School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Fonarow: The study examined data from hospitals that have adopted the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association’s national quality initiative, Target: Stroke. The primary aim of Target: Stroke is to increase the number of stroke patients treated with tPA for acute ischemic stroke within 60 minutes or less after hospital arrival. The study demonstrated that patients received stroke therapy significantly faster in hospitals that participated in Target: Stroke. Between 2010 and 2013, the time between hospital arrival and use of tPA (door-to-needle time) dropped by 15 minutes, from 74 to 59 minutes, in hospitals that participated in Target: Stroke. This study found that the percentage of patients treated within the recommended timeframe increased from less than one-third before Target: Stroke to more than half afterwards. The Target: Stroke program goal of 50 percent or more of patients having door-to-needle times within 60 minutes was successfully achieved. Faster treatment was associated with improved patient outcomes and fewer complications, including death. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Ophthalmology / 18.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Lorenza Muiesan Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences University of Brescia, Internal Medicine Brescia, Italy. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Muisean: An increase in the ratio of retinal arteries wall thickness to lumen diameter may serve as an in-vivo parameter of microvascular damage. We conducted a study that examined the relationship between changes in retinal arterioles wall thickness/ lumen diameter and several measures of blood pressure, including clinic brachial blood pressure,  24 hours brachial blood pressure and central aortic blood pressure. We found that the an increase of wall-to-lumen ratio of retinal arterioles was most closely related to 24 hours blood pressure. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, PLoS / 18.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Sylvia Lui Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre The University of Manchester MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The research shows women who drink alcohol at moderate or heavy levels in the early stages of their pregnancy might damage the growth and function of their placenta – the organ responsible for supplying everything that a developing infant needs until birth (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease / 18.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Caroline A. Kim, MD, MS; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA 02215. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kim: We conducted a systematic review of 62 studies that examined functional status and quality of life in patients who underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement (AVR) for their symptomatic severe aortic valve stenosis.  In 11,205 patients who underwent TAVR, a clinically meaningful improvement was seen in physical functional measures and disease-specific quality of life measures, whereas improvement in psychological measures or more general health measures were modest and inconsistent.  Given the dismal prognosis of severe aortic stenosis treated conservatively, it was clear that transcatheter AVR improved functional status and quality of life.  However, there was insufficient evidence that compares these patient-centered outcomes between transcatheter AVR and surgical AVR. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erasmus, JAMA, Stroke / 18.02.2014

dr_Arfan_IkramMedicalResearch.com Interview with: M. Arfan Ikram, MD, PhD Departments of Radiology, Epidemiology, and Neurology Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ikram: The main finding of the study, carried out within the Rotterdam Study and led by drs. Daniel Bos and Arfan Ikram (both from the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands), was that intracranial atherosclerosis is a major risk factor for stroke in the Western (white) population. Traditionally, intracranial atherosclerosis has not been considered of major importance to stroke risk in Western populations. In contrast, most research on intracranial atherosclerosis originates from Asian and African populations, where is was actually recognized as the most important risk factor of stroke. Our study demonstrates that also in the Western population intracranial atherosclerosis is a major risk factor for stroke and should get more focus in clinical practice. Moreover, our findings indicate that its contribution to the proportion of all strokes is greater than that of atherosclerosis in other vessel beds that are further away from the brain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Weight Research / 18.02.2014

Dr Clare Llewellyn PhD Cpsychol Lecturer in Behavioural Obesity Research Health Behaviour Research Centre Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University College London, LondonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Clare Llewellyn PhD Cpsychol Lecturer in Behavioural Obesity Research Health Behaviour Research Centre Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University College London, London  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Llewellyn:This study indicated that appetite – and, in particular, satiety sensitivity (how quickly you feel full during eating, or how long you remain full after eating) – could be one of the mechanisms through which ‘obesity genes’ influence body weight. We know that body weight has a strong genetic basis, but the mechanisms through which ‘obesity genes’ influence weight are largely unknown. We showed that children with a higher genetic predisposition to obesity (estimated from a score comprising 28 known obesity-related genes) not only had more body fat (a larger BMI and waist circumference), but importantly they were also less sensitive to satiety. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Pulmonary Disease / 14.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jinping Zheng MD FACCP on behalf of Prof. Nanshan Zhong --Jinping Zheng, MD, FCCP Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University 151 Yanjiang Rd. Guangzhou 510120, China MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: PANTHEON is the largest, evidence-based study of long-term treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in COPD patients conducted to date. The main finding of this study is that 1-year of treatment with high dose NAC (600mg twice daily) was effective at reducing exacerbations in patients with COPD, especially in the earlier stage [GOLD II (moderate) of disease. NAC was well tolerated. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, University of Pennsylvania / 14.02.2014

Henry R. Kranzler, MD Professor, Department of Psychiatry Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction. University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, PhiladelphiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry R. Kranzler, MD Professor, Department of Psychiatry Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction. University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kranzler: The study had two main findings:
  • First, topiramate, at a maximal dosage of 200 mg/day, which is lower than the 300 mg/day used in prior treatment trials, substantially reduced the frequency of heavy drinking and increased the frequency of abstinent days more than placebo. The lower dosage was well tolerated.
  • Second, a variant in a gene that encodes a receptor subunit that binds topiramate moderated the response to topiramate. That is, C-allele homozygotes in the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2832407 in GRIK1, the gene encoding the GluK1 subunit of the kainate receptor, were the subgroup that accounted for the effects of topiramate on heavy drinking. This has important implications for the personalized treatment of alcohol use disorder, in that 40% of people of European ancestry have this genotype and, if confirmed, these findings would make it possible to screen people genetically to select an effective treatment.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, PLoS, Weight Research / 14.02.2014

Dorte Vistisen Senior researcher, MSc PhD 469 - Epidemiology DK-2820 Gentofte DenmarkMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dorte Vistisen Senior researcher, MSc PhD 469 - Epidemiology DK-2820 Gentofte Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Vistisen: Our study highlights the complexity of type 2 diabetes. We show that in most people the development of type 2 diabetes is preceded by many years of overweight and not by massive weight gain. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Lancet, Sexual Health / 14.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Naeemah Abrahams Senior Specialist Scientist:  Gender & Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council Extraordinary Professor:  Faculty of Community Health Sciences -School of Public Health: University of the Western Cape Associate Professor: Faculty of Health Sciences - School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: University of Cape Town MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Abrahams: We found a global estimate of non-partner sexual violence of 7.2%  for women 15 years and older - but this estimate varied across the globe. The regions with the highest prevalence was Sub Sahara Africa Central and Southern with a prevalence was 21% in the central region and  17.4 % in the Southern region. This is nearly 3 times the global estimate . The region with the lowest prevalence was  Asia South at 3.3%. The low level could be due to a number of reasons. Firstly data from this region was very limited – from 2 countries only  and we have found that if sexual violence questions are added to other larger studies the level of disclosure is not very high. It is also  more likely that people from Asia region do not disclose the violence in research studies because of stigma and shame. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Mental Health Research, Smoking / 14.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gemma Taylor MSc MBPsS Doctoral ResearcherGemma Taylor MSc MBPsS Doctoral Researcher and Paul Aveyard and PhD MRCP MRCGP FFPG Professor of Behavioral MedicinePaul Aveyard and PhD MRCP MRCGP FFPG Professor of Behavioral Medicine Fellow of Wolson College Primary Care Clinical Sciences The University of Birmingham Birmingham United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Smoking cessation is associated with improvements in mental health compared with continuing to smoke. The effect sizes seem as large for those with psychiatric disorders as those without and are equal or larger to effect estimates of antidepressant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research, Rheumatology, Sleep Disorders / 14.02.2014

dr_john_mcbethMedicalResearch.com Interview: Dr. John McBeth Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre Keele University in Staffordshire MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. McBeth: In this study, reporting musculoskeletal pain was common with just under half of participants reporting some pain and one quarter reporting widespread pain. Of those who were free of WP at baseline, 19% reported new onset widespread pain at three year follow up. In addition to osteoarthritis, sleep, cognitive impairment, anxiety and physical health independently predicted the onset of widespread pain and are important treatment targets. In this study non-restorative sleep was the strongest predictor of new onset widespread pain. Sleep is a modifiable target that could improve outcome in this patient group. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Endocrinology, General Medicine / 14.02.2014

Simon D. Brandt, PhD Reader in Bioactive Drug Chemistry School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK Associate Editor "Drug Testing and Analysis" (Wiley)MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Simon D. Brandt, PhD Reader in Bioactive Drug Chemistry School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences Liverpool John Moores University Associate Editor "Drug Testing and Analysis" (Wiley) Author's background comment: This type of work represents one of our areas of activity related to multi-disciplinary approaches to harm reduction which combines public health work with research on various properties of bioactive substances. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: As part of our work related to so-called lifestyle and image-enhancing drugs and legal highs/bath salts, we became interested in a particular "food/dietary supplement" called "Esto Suppress" because it was discussed on some Internet forums dedicated to the topic of bodybuilding. Some forum members were speculating that tamoxifen might be present in this particular product. The reason for this speculation came from the chemical name that was written on the label which pointed in that direction. This particular product was also widely available from a number of online retailers and while some indications existed that the same chemical name was mentioned, others were seen to list a modified version of that name which did not always make much chemical sense. We test purchased four "Esto Suppress" samples in a local fitness store and confirmed that three of them contained the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 14.02.2014

Medical Research.com Interview with: James Woodcock Senior Research Associate UK CRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Woodcock: The cycle hire scheme in London has benefited health through increasing physical activity. This reduces risk from a range of diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression. These benefits were at a population level bigger than the harms the cyclists faced from injury risk or air pollution exposure.  Looking at the harms air pollution did not make much difference.  The injury risk for users of the hire bikes appears to not be higher and may be lower than that for general cycling in the same area. However, the injury risks for general cycling in the cycle hire zone were quite high and benefits for cyclists would be greater if these risks were reduced. When we broke results for general cycling in the area down by age & gender we found two interesting findings. Firstly, that the risks faced by women were higher than for men and so benefits were less clear. Secondly, when we looked at results by age group the trade-off improved very considerably as people got older and for younger people (under 30) there may actually be harms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Pediatrics / 14.02.2014

Philip M. Polgreen, MD, MPH. Associate Professor of Internal Medicine - Infectious Diseases University of Iowa Carver College of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Philip M. Polgreen, MD, MPH. Associate Professor of Internal Medicine - Infectious Diseases University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Polgreen: In this paper, to determine if well-child visits are associated with increased risk for subsequent influenza-like-illness visits, we used a large database that tracks healthcare expenditures of families over time. Controlling for other factors such as the presence of other children, insurance and demographics, we found that well-child visits were a risk factor for subsequent influenza-like-illness within the next two weeks for a patient or for a family member. The estimated probability of a subsequent influenza-like illness visit was increased by 3.2 percentage points for those with well-child visit. We estimated that this additional risk translates to over 700,000 cases of influenza-like-illness per year in the United States. Total costs (lost wages, medical costs, etc.) for these infections could amount to $500 million annually. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Diabetes, Diabetes Care / 14.02.2014

ayse_basak_cinarMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ayse Basak Cinar, Assistant Professor The Department of Odontology The Faculty of Medical and Health Resources 2200 Copenhagen N Denmark MedicalResearch.com:  What are some of the unique or enlightening findings of this study that haven’t been published before? Answer:  To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled intervention study comparing the impact of individualized Health Coaching (HC) to formal Health Education (HE); applying HC as a holistic intervention for management of more than one specific type of chronic disease, namely oral health and diabetes management. The present study has two phases [the Turkish Phase, Turkey (2010-2012) and the Danish Phase, Denmark (2012- ...)]. The unique/enlightening figures from the Turkish phase as follows: The HC group compared to the HE group had significantly higher improvement at; HbA1c* (reduction: 0, 8% vs. 0%), and Periodontal Attachment Loss (PAL) (56% vs. 26%), (p≤0.01) Tooth Brushing Self-Efficacy (TBSE) (increase: 61% vs.25%) and stress (reduction: 16% vs. 1%), (p≤0.01). (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Vitamin D / 14.02.2014

Eirik Magnus Meek Degerud Department of Clincal Medicine University of BergenMedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Eirik Magnus Meek Degerud Department of Clincal Medicine University of Bergen MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: That among patients with established coronary artery disease there was no observable relationship between the amount of vitamin D circulating in their blood and the extent of disease progression during the following year. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Primary Care, Pulmonary Disease / 13.02.2014

Professor Chris van Weel Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine/General Practice Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands Professor of Primary Health Care Research, Australian National University, Canberra Past President of WoncaMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Professor Chris van Weel Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine/General Practice Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands Professor of Primary Health Care Research, Australian National University, Canberra Background from Professor Chris van Weel Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.  My paper was a commentary to the study of Jones and colleagues, Opportunities to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in routine care in the UK: a retrospective study of a clinical cohort looking at the implications of the study findings. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Jones and colleagues reported that in the UK, there are many missed opportunities to diagnose COPD. My comments are that this is not a unique UK problem, but a universal one: under-diagnosis or late diagnosis of COPD is a universal problem in most if not all countries in the world. To understand it, it is important to analyse more in-depth the diagnostic challenge in primary care, for general practitioners(GP)/family physicians (FP). The paper of Jones highlights this diagnostic problem - symptoms of COPD are initially insidious and may fluctuate over time. And from my earlier research it is also clear that patients 'adept' their daily activities (less physical activities) and therefore may underplay or even become unaware of, their symptoms. At the same time, this is a problem for the physician, when encountering these symptoms. As I highlighted in my commentary, GPs/FPs have to pay attention to other possible diseases that might cause these symptoms: pneumonia, heart failure, lung cancer. The 'low key symptoms' and the need of applying a broad diagnostic scope together cause what Jones and his colleagues called the 'missed opportunities' to diagnose COPD. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, Outcomes & Safety / 13.02.2014

Craig Meyers, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Department of Microbiology and Immunology H107 The Penn State College of Medicine Hershey, PA 17033MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Craig Meyers, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Department of Microbiology and Immunology H107 The Penn State College of Medicine Hershey, PA 17033 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Meyers: The human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) is the most common HPV type associated with human cancer. It has always been assumed that HPV16 was susceptible to commonly used disinfectants. However, this has never been tested. We developed the only reproducible method to grow authentic HPV in the laboratory. Our studies show that highly resistant virus; more so than other non-enveloped viruses previously tested. Simply stated that any materials in a healthcare facility that rely on disinfectants (those presently used by healthcare facilities) do absolutely nothing to HPV. This suggests the possibility of risk of infection from inanimate objects, particularly those use in healthcare and dental clinics that depend on disinfectant treatment. Additionally it has been reported that at any one time 20% of individuals with anogenital HPV infections have the virus on their fingertips and the common hand sanitizers do nothing to inactivate the virus. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 13.02.2014

Anthony Miller, MD Director, Canadian National Breast Screening Study Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of TorontoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Miller, MD Director, Canadian National Breast Screening Study Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Miller:  The study involved 89,835 women aged 40 to 59. All underwent an annual physical breast examination, while half were randomly assigned to undergo annual mammograms for five years, beginning in 1980. During the five-year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the mammography arm and 524 in the controls.  Over the 25 year follow-up 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 women in the control arm died of breast cancer.  The overall hazard ratio for death from breast cancer diagnosed during the screening period associated with mammography was 1.05 (95% CI: 0.85 – 1.30).  The findings for women aged 40-49 and aged 50-59 were almost identical. After 15 years of follow-up an excess of 106 cancers was observed in the mammography arm, attributable to over-diagnosis, i.e. 22% of screen-detected invasive breast cancers, half of those detected by mammography alone. This represents one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women screened by mammography. By 2005, 3,250 of the 44,925 women in the mammography arm of the study were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 500 had died of it. The control group of 44,910 women had 3,133 breast cancer diagnoses and 505 breast cancer deaths. We conclude that annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 13.02.2014

Dr. Misha A. Rosenbach Assistant Professor of Dermatology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Section Editor, JAMA Dermatology Patient PageMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Misha A. Rosenbach Assistant Professor of Dermatology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Section Editor, JAMA Dermatology Patient Page MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Rosenbach: There is strong agreement between teledermatologists and in-person dermatologists when evaluating inpatients at a tertiary care academic hospital.  The primary aim of this study was to assess telederm as a triage tool.  Many dermatologists are not full-time hospitalists, but work in private practice or clinics which may be remote from affiliated hospitals.  The goal was to evaluate whether teledermatology could help those providers assess the acuity of inpatient consults.  There was strong concordance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, NEJM / 13.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard P. Allen Department of Neurology Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21224, MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Allen:  This study should serve to change medical practice by reducing use of pramipexole and ropinirole to avoid the insidious worsening of restless legs syndrome that occurs for many on these drugs. Pramipexole (Mirapex) a medication that mimics dopamine in the brain  in usual therapeutic doses for treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS) works at first but over time one year makes the disease worse for up to 9% of the patients on 0.5 mg a day. Pregabalin (Lyrica) an anti-convulsant and pain drug  that works on a calcium channel in the brain in therapeutic dose for RLS (300 mg a day) does not make the disease worse  (There is some natural progression of the disease shown to occur fro 1 - 2% or patients over a year.. seen in this study). Pregabalin is in the short run as effective as pramipexole (over 12 weeks) and in the long run over 52 weeks more effective. These results confirm what had been expected that the dopamine drug pramipexole makes worse Restless Legs Syndrome while a drug not directly acting on the dopamine system does NOT make restless legs syndrome worse. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cost of Health Care, Electronic Records / 13.02.2014

Dr Sarah Slight, School of Medicine Pharmacy and Health, Wolfson Research Institute University of Durham, United Kingdom.MedicalResearch.com Interview with; Dr Sarah Slight, School of Medicine Pharmacy and Health, Wolfson Research Institute University of Durham, United Kingdom. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Slight: Our study identified four main cost categories associated with the implementation of EHR systems, namely: infrastructure (e.g., hardware and software), personnel (e.g., project management and training teams), estates / facilities (e.g., furniture and fittings), and other (e.g., consumables and training materials). Many factors were felt to impact on these costs, with different hospitals choosing varying amounts and types of infrastructure, diverse training approaches for staff, and different software applications to integrate with the new system. (more…)
Addiction, BMJ, Tobacco Research / 13.02.2014

dr_jenny_hatchardMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jenny L Hatchard University of Bath and UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hatchard: Our study found that global tobacco companies’ claims that standardised packaging ‘won’t work’ should be viewed sceptically. The aim of standardised packaging, with no logos, brand imagery, symbols, or promotional text, is to restrict the already limited opportunities that tobacco companies have to market their products, and deter people from starting smoking. It was introduced in Australia in 2012 and the UK Government is currently considering following suit. We analysed the evidence cited by four global tobacco companies in their lengthy responses (1521 pages in total) to a recent UK Government consultation on standardised packaging for cigarettes. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Outcomes & Safety / 13.02.2014

Professor Yi Min Xie, FTSE, FIEAust      Director, Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials Deputy Head of School, Research & InnovationMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Yi Min Xie, FTSE, FIEAust   Director, Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials Deputy Head of School, Research & Innovation School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) Melbourne 3001, Victoria Australia MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Professor Yi Min Xie: This study examined acupuncture needles of two of the most popular brands in the world. Significant surface irregularities and defects at needle tips were found, especially of needles from one of the two brands. The main conclusion of the study was that acupuncture needle manufacturers, including the well established ones, should review and improve their quality control procedures for the fabrication of acupuncture needles. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pulmonary Disease / 13.02.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erika J. Sims, PhD Senior Researcher Research in Real Life Ltd Cambridge, CB24 3BA Rupert C M Jones MD Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, UK Prof David Price MD Centre of Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Authors: The main findings are that the majority of patients with COPD identified in our study, had visited their doctor with respiratory symptoms prior to the diagnosis being made, but that the underlying cause of their symptoms - COPD - wasn't diagnosed. Indeed, in the 5 years before being diagnosed with COPD, 85% of patients had visited their doctors with respiratory problems without the diagnosis being made. Furthermore, some patients repeatedly attended and received treatment and multiple chest X-rays before they had the diagnosis made. We also identified a large increase in the proportion of patients with comorbidity over the duration of the study, and that patients with comorbidity appear to be being diagnosed with COPD at any earlier stage. As this study includes data on 38,000 people with a diagnosis of COPD identified from two large general practice databases in the UK - Optimum Patient Care Research Database and Clinical Practice Research Datalink, we believe our findings are generalisable to UK and international primary and secondary care. (more…)