Study Suggests Isolated Systolic Hypertension In Young Adults Should Be Treated To Prevent Damage To Aorta

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.</strong> Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586

Dr. Vongpatanasin

Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research
Director, Hypertension Section,
Cardiology Division,
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX 75390-8586

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: It is well know that treatment of isolated systolic hypertension (ISH), a subtype of hypertension with elevated systolic BP 140 or above but normal diastolic BP of < 90 mmHg, improves cardiovascular outcomes in older adults after the sixth decade of life. However, it is controversial if ISH in young adults requires treatment because it was suggested that elevated systolic BP in these individuals are related to high stroke volume, rather than increased aortic stiffness. In earlier case series, ISH in young adults were particularly common in athletes with long arms and legs, suggesting that pulse wave amplification coupled with high stroke volume were responsible for elevated brachial systolic blood pressure but the true central BP was normal. Thus,  isolated systolic hypertension was proposed to be a spurious condition in young adults that can be ignored.

However, previous studies used only indirect technique in assessing aortic structure and function. Furthermore, none of these studies were conducted in the U.S. Population.

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Re-Operations After Gastric Band Surgery Are Common and Costly

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.Sc</strong> Institute for HealthCare Policy and Innovation University of Michigan

Dr. Ibrahim

Andrew Ibrahim, M.D., M.Sc
Institute for HealthCare Policy and Innovation
University of Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The laparoscopic gastric band was approved by the FDA in 2001 and widely adopted for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity. Reported rates of reoperation to revise or remove the device ranged from 4 to 60 percent in small scale studies, but no population estimates in the United States existed.

In a review of Medicare Claims data between 2006 and 2013, we observed that reoperation was common with 18% of patients requiring at least one reoperation. More over, we found that on average, patients who did need a reoperation often underwent an average of 3.8 additional procedures. Taken together, nearly half (47%) of the $470 million paid by Medicare for device related procedures was for reoperations.

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Do Our Genes Influence Our Attraction to Social Media?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chance York, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Kent State University

Dr. Chance York

Chance York, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
Kent State University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This research used twin study survey data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) to investigate the relative influence of genetics and environment on social media use.

While the research cannot directly examine the gene-level influence on social media behavior, I was able to leverage known levels of genetic relatedness between identical and fraternal twins to suss out how much genetic traits and environmental factors impact frequency of using social media.

The results showed that between one- and two-thirds of variance in social media use is explained by genes, while environmental factors (parental socialization, peers, work, school, individual characteristics, etc.) explained the rest. In other words, this very specific communication behavior—social media use—is partially guided by our genetic makeup.

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Consequences of Interpersonal Violence Against Child Athletes Persist into Adulthood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tine Vertommen, Criminologist Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Universiteitsplein 1 Antwerp, Belgium

Tine Vertommen

Tine Vertommen, Criminologist
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Universiteitsplein 1
Antwerp, Belgium

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A recent prevalence study into interpersonal violence against child athletes in the Netherlands and Belgium showed that 6% experienced severe sexual violence, 8% experienced severe physical violence, and 9% of respondents experienced severe psychological violence in sport (Vertommen et al., 2016). While general literature has repeatedly shown that exposure to interpersonal violence during childhood is associated with mental health problems in adulthood, this relationship has not yet been demonstrated in (former) athletes. Thus, the objective of the current study is to assess the long-term consequences of these experiences on adult mental health and quality of life.

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Newly Recognized Connection Between Immune System and Sperm Opens Window to Some Male Infertility and Cancer Vaccine Failures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kenneth S. K. Tung, M.D.
Professor of Pathology and Microbiology
Director of UVA Research Histology Core
Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research
University of Virginia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The immune system needs to see tissue antigens to avoid responding to them in order to prevent autoimmune disease development. The current dogma, stated in all Immunology and Reproductive Biology textbooks, considers the sperm antigens in the testis to be exempted from this process. They are considered totally hidden behind a tissue barrier, and are invisible to the immune system.

Because sperm antigens are treated as foreign molecules, they should stimulate strong immune response when employed in cancer vaccines against antigens common to sperm and cancers. It is also believed that sperm molecules are protected by local factors that inhibit inflammation, whereas systemic mechanisms such as regulatory T cells would not exist.

The paradigm has restrained ongoing research on systemic tolerance to sperm, and the need to understanding systemic regulation in infertility research

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Home Health Care Providers Increase, But Geographic Variability Persists

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sheila Eckenrode RN, CPHQ
Quality Improvement Consultant
The New England QIN-QIO
Qualidigm, Wethersfield, Connecticut

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Post-acute care has become a focus for improving quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare in the United States. Changes in Medicare payment systems such as bundled payments and the emergence of Affordable Healthcare Organizations will most likely lead to expansion of post-acute care services and decrease in  acute care hospitalizations. Approximately  30% of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries were referred to home health care at discharge in 2012.  In 2013, home health agencies served  3.5 million beneficiaries with Medicare paying  $18 billion for these services. Home health care has been emphasized under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 to provide and improve care at individual patient and community levels. In anticipation of increasing utilization of home care services, our study aimed to demonstrate the overall growth in home care availability as well as identify geographical variation and potential gaps in service.

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Diabetic Retinopathy: OCTA May Improve Staging, Diagnosis and Monitoring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology University of Coimbra, Portugal President of AIBILI Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Research Coordinator, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases, European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net)

Dr. Cunha-Vaz

José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology
University of Coimbra, Portugal
President of AIBILI
Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image
Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Research
Coordinator, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases,
European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net) 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In this study, we evaluated the clinical utility of quantitative measures of microvasculature in optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA). Although several studies have demonstrated the potential value of measures of microvasculature in the management of diabetic retinopathy (DR), our study uses the ROC curve to compare the overall value of different approaches. In this age matched population with a range of disease, the mean vessel density measured in the SRL had the highest AUC, indicating that it is best among the methods tested at differentiating normal eyes from eyes with diabetic retinopathy.

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HUD Housing Assistance, But Not Vouchers, Linked To Improvement in Health Measurements

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Fenelon PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration University of Maryland School of Public Health. College Park, MD 20742

Dr. Andrew Fenelon

Andrew Fenelon PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration
University of Maryland School of Public Health.
College Park, MD 20742

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Despite the relatively large public investment in housing assistance at the federal level, there have been few nationwide analyses of the impacts of these programs on health and well-being. And as policymakers seek solutions to health disparities that incorporate some of the non-medical determinants of health (such as housing quality), our study can make an important contribution to both health and housing policy.

We use an innovative data linkage program which links individuals in a federal household health survey and administrative housing records from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We examine the health impacts of three HUD housing programs: public housing, housing choice vouchers, and multifamily housing. We find that public housing and multifamily housing lead to an improvement in self-reported health status, and public housing leads to a reduction in serious psychological distress. We do not find health impacts associated with housing choice vouchers.

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Schizophrenia: SynCav1 As Potential Target To Restore Neuron Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian P. Head, MS, PhD Associate Professor, UCSD Research Scientist, VASDHS Department of Anesthesiology VA San Diego Healthcare System San Diego, CA 92161-9125

Dr. Brian Head

Brian P. Head, MS, PhD
Associate Professor, UCSD
Research Scientist, VASDHS
Department of Anesthesiology
VA San Diego Healthcare System
San Diego, CA 92161-9125

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: DISC1 is a schizophrenia associated gene originally identified in a Scottish family. DISC1 protein is highly expressed in the developing brain and in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus, and is involved in neuritogenesis and neuronal signaling. DISC1 is located in multiple intracellular locations including axons and synapses, and loss of DISC1 function causes deficits in neural development, neuronal proliferation, axonal growth, and cytoskeleton modulation, which are consistent with abnormal neural development in schizophrenia.

SynCav1 means synapsin-driven caveolin construct. Synapsin promoter is neuronal specific which allows us to increase caveolin expression-specifically in neurons. We have previously shown that SynCav1 increases neuronal signaling and dendritic growth and arborization in vitro (Head BP JBC 2011), and when delivered in vivo augments functional neuroplasticity and improves learning and memory in adult and aged mice (Mandyam CD Biol Psych 2015).

Since loss of DISC1 function equates to schizophrenic-like symptoms, then decreased DISC1 expression in Cav-1 KO mice agrees with this premise. Thus, loss of Cav-1 increases their likelihood of developing schizophrenia-like symptoms. Because re-espression of Cav-1 restored DISC1 expression as well as expression of key synaptic proteins, this proof-of-concept findings not only builds upon our previously results demonstrating that Cav-1 is critical for neuronal signaling and functional synaptic plasticity but also strongly links Cav-1 with maintaining normal DISC1 expression levels and potentially attenuating schizophrenia-like symptoms.

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Child Abuse By Members of Military May Be Grossly Underreported

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joanne N. Wood, MD, MSHP  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Research Director, SafePlace Faculty, PolicyLab The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Dr. Joanne Wood

Joanne N. Wood, MD, MSHP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Research Director, SafePlace
Faculty, PolicyLab
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Each year the U.S. Army Family Advocacy program (FAP) investigates between 6000 to 9000 reports of alleged abuse or neglect involving children of Army service members.   In approximately 48% of reported cases FAP determines a child was a victim of maltreatment, substantiates the report, and collaborates with local civilian child protection service (CPS) agencies in providing services and ensuring safety. Thus, FAP plays a key role in supporting Army families and protecting children.  But FAP can only investigate and respond to cases of child abuse and neglect about which they are aware.

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Taking Happy Photos Can Improve Mood and Reduce Stress

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yu Chen, Ph.D. Post-doc researcher Department of Informatics University of California, Irvine

Dr. Yu Chen

Yu Chen, Ph.D.
Post-doc researcher
Department of Informatics
University of California, Irvine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: College students are facing increasing amount of stress these days. We are interested in leveraging information technology to help them become happier. We week to implement happiness-boosting exercises in positive psychology using technology in a lightweight way. Since college students frequently take photos using their smartphones, we started to investigate how to use smartphone photography to help students conduct the happiness-boosting exercises.

Participants were divided into three groups and instructed to take a photo per day in one of the following three conditions:

1) a smiling selfie;
2) a photo of something that makes himself/herself happy;
3) a photo of something that makes another person happy, which is then sent to that person.

We found that participants have become more positive after purposefully taking the assigned type of photo for three weeks. Participants who took photos that make others happy also became calmer. Some participants who took smiling selfies reported becoming more confident and comfortable with their smiles. Those who took photos to make themselves happy reported becoming more reflective and appreciative. Participants who took photos to make others happy found connecting with strong ties help them reduce stress.

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Optune as Standard Treatment Option for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Novocure is the developer of Optune, which uses Tumor Treating Fields to treat cancer. Tumor Treating Fields, or TTFields, are low intensity, alternating electric fields within the intermediate frequency range. TTFields disrupt cell division through physical interactions with key molecules during mitosis. This non-invasive treatment targets solid tumors.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has recommended Optune as a standard treatment option for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) in its Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Central Nervous System Cancers. NCCN panel members designated Optune together with temozolomide as a category 2A treatment for newly diagnosed GBM for patients with good performance status, indicating uniform consensus among panel members to add Optune to the guidelines for newly diagnosed GBM. Optune has been included in the NCCN Guidelines as a category 2B treatment option for recurrent GBM since 2015. The recommendation follows the publication of Novocure’s EF-14 phase 3 pivotal trial data in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December, 2015. The EF-14 phase 3 pivotal trial demonstrated that adding TTFields to maintenance temozolomide chemotherapy significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival in newly diagnosed GBM.
Glioblastoma, also called glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, is a type of primary brain cancer. Approximately 12,500 GBM tumors, or tumors that may transform into GBM, are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. GBM is the most common type of primary brain cancer in adults. It is more likely to appear in older adults and to affect men than women. GBM is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with patients typically not surviving beyond 15 months after diagnosis.

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