Addiction, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 28.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Khary Rigg, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Mental Health Law & Policy University of South Florida  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past two decades, the demographic profile of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) users has changed. In particular, African American MDMA use has risen in some cities. One possible explanation of this new trend is the drug’s recent popularity (as molly) in hip-hop/rap (HHR) music. Several top rappers endorse the drug as a way to have fun or get women “loose.” There are currently no studies, however, that investigate the extent to which African American MDMA users listen to. hip-hop/rap music or the influence that these pro-MDMA messages have on their use of the drug. This study used survey and interview data to identify the extent to which hip-hop/rap music is listened to by African American MDMA users and assess the perceived influence of HHR music on their decision to begin using. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Pediatrics / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “medical marijuana : strains and varieties” by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Deborah Hasin PhD Department of Epidemiology in Psychiatry Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We began to think about this study after we published an earlier report (Hasin et al., The Lancet Psychiatry 2015) showing that after state medical marijuana laws (MML) were passed, U.S. teen marijuana use did not increase compared to the period before the laws were passed and to overall national trends. However, people continued to question whether MML led to teen increases in marijuana use. Therefore, in the present study, we combined findings from 11 large-scale national studies of teens to provide a more definite answer. The findings were clear that teen marijuana use did not increase after passage of medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is widely available from stores like kush guys, yet despite this prevalence, there is no conclusive evidence of abuse. Rather the benefits are plain to see. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Probiotics / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Wine” by Uncalno Tekno is licensed under CC BY 2.0M.Victoria Moreno-Arribas Spanish National Research Council | CSIC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recent discoveries indicate polyphenols might also promote health by actively interacting with bacteria in the gut. Also, the intake of specific polyphenol-rich beverages and foods helps the maintenance of digestive health and prevention of disease status. However, the knowledge of the effects of polyphenols in relation to the prevention of dental diseases is still at an early stage. The use of antiseptics and/or antibiotics in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases can lead to unwanted effects. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel antimicrobial strategies useful for the prevention and management of these diseases. Oral epithelial cells normally constitute a physical barrier that prevents infections, but bacterial adhesion to host tissues constitutes a first key step in the infectious process. With the final goal to elucidate the health properties of wine polyphenols at oral level, we studied their properties as an anti-adhesive therapy for periodontal and cariogenic prevention, as well as the combined action between wine polyphenols and oral probiotic strains in the management of microbial-derived oral diseases. In particular, we checked out the effect of two red wine polyphenols, as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease. Also, oral metabolism of polyphenols, including both oral microbiota and human mucosa cells, was investigated.  (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Vaccine Studies / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0Candy Hwang, Ph.D. The Scripps Research Institute La Jolla, CA 92037 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our heroin vaccine is designed to stimulate antibodies to recognize and bind heroin, preventing passage of drug molecules to the brain. By essentially blocking the “high” from heroin, we believe this will assist recovering addicts from relapsing. Last year, we reported a heroin vaccine that was shown to be effective in both mouse and non-human primate models. In this current study, we were interested in enhancing our heroin vaccine by exploring different vaccine components and dosages. Once we discovered the most promising vaccine formulations, we wanted to see if our vaccines would be stable under different storage conditions. We found that our heroin vaccine was shelf stable under different temperatures and as a powder or in liquid form, meaning that the vaccine will remain stable for transport and storage. The best vaccine formulation from these studies showed protection against lethal doses of heroin. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Lancet / 21.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “undefined” by Iñaki Queralt is licensed under CC BY 2.0Michaël Schwarzinger, MD, PhD Translational Health Economics Network (THEN) Paris MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The association of heavy drinking with dementia has been known for decades. For instance, there is about no Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome without heavy drinking and the syndrome was described in 1890. But this type of dementia is very rare. Also, heavy drinking is knowingly associated with multiple risk factors for dementia onset such as hypertension or diabetes. But heavy drinkers generally refuse to participate to cohort studies and declaration of alcohol use among participants is generally biased downward... So the study rationale is very strong, but supporting empirical evidence is quite scarce. This nationwide study included all 31+ million adults discharged from hospitals over 6 years, i.e., 50% of the French population before 65 years old and 80% above that age. Of 1.1+ million adults diagnosed with dementia, one in twenty had an early-onset (before 65 years old). Heavy drinking was recorded in most (56%) early-onset dementia cases: two-third in men; one-third in women. In addition, the association of heavy drinking with dementia goes far beyond 65 years old, both directly (>3 times higher risk for dementia onset after controlling for more than 30 known risk factors for dementia) and indirectly as heavy drinking was associated with all other independent risk factors for dementia onset. Accordingly, heavy drinking had the largest effect on dementia risk of all independent modifiable risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes. The effects were found whatever dementia case definition or population studies. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews / 14.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Alcohol” by zeevveez is licensed under CC BY 2.0Thomas Denson PhD University of New South Wales Australia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Decades of research have shown that alcohol is a powerful psychotropic contributor to aggressive behaviour. Researchers have long suspected that alcohol increases aggression because it dampens activation in the prefrontal cortex, which leads to reduced inhibition, narrows attentional processing, and exaggerates hostile thinking. However, direct evidence has been lacking. We compared brain activity in intoxicated versus sober participants when they were given the opportunity to behave aggressively in the scanner against other men who provoked them. We gave 50 healthy young men alcohol or a placebo. Participants who consumed alcohol breathalysed at .05. They did show decreased activation in the prefrontal cortex as expected. This was the first evidence to show that when intoxicated participants behave aggressively, they show reduced prefrontal activity. Interestingly, we found a positively correlation between prefrontal cortex activity and aggression, but only among intoxicated men. We think this reflects the fact that the participants in the alcohol condition were likely engaging in more hostile thinking about the provoking men.  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Compliance / 13.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Alcohol” by zeevveez is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sarah Dermody PhD Assistant professor School of Psychological Science College of Liberal Art Oregon State University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication to treat alcohol use disorder. We know that people have difficulty adhering to the prescribed daily medication regimen, and that people who do not adhere to the medication tend not to fair as well in treatment as people who take the medication regularly. This particular study attempted to address the question of why do people with alcohol use disorder have difficulty taking the medication daily? What we found was that people were less likely to take naltrexone after days of heavy drinking or strong alcohol craving versus typical drinking and craving levels. Furthermore, individuals were less likely to take the medication on weekends versus weekdays, which is particularly worrisome because heaviest drinking episodes tend to happen on the weekends. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Opiods, Vanderbilt / 13.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Wiese, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Health Policy Vanderbilt University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As opioid use has increased in the U.S., the safety of prescription opioids has come under further scrutiny. In animal studies, use of certain opioids has been associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, including infectious due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pathogen that causes invasive pneumococcal disease. Invasive pneumococcal disease includes bacteremia, meningitis, and invasive pneumonia, all of which are associated with high mortality. Although those associations have been well established in animal experiments, it is important to understand the risk of serious infections among humans taking prescription opioid analgesics. We found that prescription opioid use is associated with a significantly increased risk for laboratory-confirmed invasive pneumococcal diseases, and that this association was strongest for opioids used at high doses, those classified as high potency and long-acting formulations. The data also showed that opioids previously described as immunosuppressive in prior experimental studies conducted in animals had the strongest association with invasive pneumococcal diseases in humans. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 12.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John A Staples, MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British ColumbiaDr. John A Staples MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Around 64 million Americans live in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Many policymakers are trying to figure out what that means for traffic safety. On April 20th, some Americans participate in an annual "4/20" counterculture holiday that celebrates and promotes the use of cannabis. Some 4/20 events such as those in Denver and San Francisco involve thousands of participants. Much like celebrations at midnight on New Year's eve, public 4/20 events sometimes mark 4:20 p.m. by a countdown followed by synchronized mass consumption of cannabis. We thought this was a perfect natural experiment to evaluate the influence that cannabis intoxication has on the risk of motor vehicle crash. To examine this question, we analyzed 25 years of data on all fatal traffic crashes in the United States. We compared the number of drivers in crashes between 4:20 p.m. and midnight on April 20th to the number of drivers in crashes during the same time interval on control days one week earlier and one week later. We found that the risk of crash involvement was 12% higher on April 20th than on control days. In the subgroups of drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk of crash involvement was 38% higher on April 20th than on control days. Assuming fewer than 12% of Americans celebrate 4/20, our results suggest that substance use at April 20th celebrations more than doubles the risk of fatal crash. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cost of Health Care, Opiods / 07.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Powell PhD Economist; Core Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School RAND, Santa Monica MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been some research suggesting that the adoption of state medical marijuana laws leads to reductions in prescriptions for opioid analgesics among certain populations and opioid-related overdoses overall. However, medical marijuana laws are very different across states and they have changed over time as well. We wanted to understand what components of a medical marijuana law could potentially lead to reductions in overdoses and substance abuse. We focused specifically on the role of dispensaries, given their importance in providing access to medical marijuana, and tested for different effects in states with and without legally-protected and operational dispensaries. We found that dispensaries are critical to reduce opioid-related overdoses and substance abuse. We also found evidence that more recently-adopting states have experienced smaller reductions in overdoses and opioid substance abuse, potentially because the more recent adopters tend to enforce more stringent guidelines for dispensaries than the early adopters. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, University of Pittsburgh / 05.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “MEXICO-DRUGS/” by Claudio Toledo is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kathleen Creppage, M.P.H., C.P.H. Doctoral candidate Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the U.S., fatal heroin overdoses have increased in the past decade by 300 percent, with fentanyl – a substance that is 20 to 50 times more potent than heroin – and its analogs increasingly contributing to overdoses. The drug often is implicated in clusters of overdose deaths when it is mixed with heroin and users do not realize what they are taking is more powerful than usual. We analyzed the test results of 16,594 stamp bags seized as evidence by law enforcement authorities in Allegheny County that were submitted to the county’s Office of the Medical Examiner for laboratory testing from 2010 through 2016. Stamp bags are small wax packets that contain mixtures of illicit drugs, most commonly heroin, packaged for sale and sometimes stamped with a graphical logo by drug dealers to market their contents. Before 2014, none of the tested bags contained fentanyl. By 2016 it was found in 15.5 percent of the tested stamp bags, with 4.1 percent containing fentanyl as the only controlled substance present. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 01.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Drugs” by Ben Harvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0William G. Honer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS Jack Bell Chair in Schizophrenia Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Province of British Columbia, Canada, has experienced a tremendous increase in the number of opioid related overdoses and deaths. In 2012, there were 269 drug overdose deaths, five years later in 2017 the overdose deaths are predicted to have increased 500%. Toxicology studies of deaths, and examination of seized drugs indicate fentanyl is the major cause. These indirect measures suggest widespread exposure to fentanyl in opioid users, however direct studies of the extent of exposure of opioid users to fentanyl in the community are lacking. We carried out a community-based, longitudinal study using fentanyl testing in urine samples from volunteer participants. (It is called the “Hotel Study” since many of the participants live, or have lived in single room occupancy hotels)  (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews / 25.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Alcohol Poisoning PSA Video Shoot” by Stop Alcohol Deaths, Inc. is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Frank de Vocht Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health Research Academic Lead Year 1 MBChB (MB21) ‘Foundations of Medicine’ Programme Population Health Sciences Bristol Medical School University of Bristol  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in prospectively investigating whether people who drink alcohol in the general population (so not patients), and who indicated that the were planning to reduce their consumption or complete stop drinking in the near future would, on average, succeed and have reduced consumption six months later.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Heart Disease / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Divya Ravi, MD, MPH The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is evidence to suggest that Marijuana can bring about changes at the tissue level and has the ability to potentiate vascular disease, in ways similar to tobacco.  With change in legalization and increase usage trends, we conducted this review to examine the known effects of marijuana on cardiovascular outcomes and risk factors, given that cardiovascular disease remains the greatest cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Our review found insufficient evidence to draw meaningful conclusions that marijuana use is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes. The few studies that suggested a possible benefit from marijuana use, were cross-sectional, and were contradicted by more robust longitudinal studies that reported potential harmful effects. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, PLoS, Social Issues, Transplantation / 05.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Alcohol” by Jorge Mejía peralta is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Eirik Degerud, PhD Norwegian Institute of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths are more frequent among individuals with low socioeconomic position, despite that they tend to drink less on average. This is referred to as the alcohol-harm paradox. Alcohol is associated with both higher and lower risk of cardiovascular disease, depending on the drinking pattern. We wanted to assess if the paradox was relevant to these relationship also. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cocaine / 27.12.2017

“cocaine photo” by Imagens Evangélicas is licensed under CC BY 2.0MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mary Kay Lobo, PhD Associate Professor University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Baltimore, MD 21201  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Altered energy balance has been studied in drug abuse but the fundamental source of energy, mitochondria, has not been well examined.  In this study we found that a molecular regulator of mitochondrial fission (division) is increased in the nucleus accumbens, a major brain reward region, of rodents exposed to repeated cocaine and postmortem samples of cocaine dependent individuals.  We further found that mitochondrial fission is increased in a nucleus accumbens neuron subtype in rodents that self-administer cocaine. Pharmacological blockade of mitochondrial fission can prevent physiological responses to cocaine in this neuron subtype while reducing cocaine-mediated behaviors.  Finally, genetic reduction of mitochondrial fission in this neuron subtype in the nucleus accumbens can reduce drug (cocaine) seeking in rodents previously exposed to cocaine. In contrast, increasing mitochondrial fission, in this neuron subtype, enhances cocaine seeking behavior. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, NIH, Pediatrics, Smoking / 17.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çu?un is licensed under CC BY 2.0Richard Allen Miech, PhD Research Professor, Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Monitoring the Future conducts annual, nationally-representative surveys of ~45,000 adolescents every year to assess trends in substance use. We track which drugs are gaining traction among adolescents and which are falling out of favor. The survey draws separate, nationally-representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from about 400 total schools every year. Once a recruited school agrees to participate, a field interviewer travels to the school to administer the paper-and-pencil survey, typically in classrooms. The project is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and is carried out by the University of Michigan. More details on the project's survey design and survey procedures can be found in chapter 3 here: http://monitoringthefutu re.org/pubs/monographs/mtf- vol1_2016.pdf (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 16.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Greta Hsu PhD Graduate School of Business Stanford University, Graduate School of Business MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My co-authors, Ozgecan Kocak at Emory University and Balazs Kovacs at Yale University, and I became interested in the cannabis industry in early 2014, when Colorado and Washington states were in the early stages of licensing recreational cannabis operations. As organizational researchers, we were interested in how the emergence of the new legalized recreational-use dispensary stores would impact existing medical cannabis dispensaries that had already been in existence for years in both states. For decades, activists and many dispensaries had framed cannabis as medicine that relieves pain for patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. People who use marijuana for medical purposes do not always live near a dispensary, so accessing this product may be quite difficult for some than it would be for others. In and around where you live, you may be able to look into a local dispensary who would be able to administer the products you would need. For example, living in Florida, you'd look into something like florida dispensary to help you find your nearest dispensary. As long as you find a place that works for you, then that's all that matters. As recreational-use legalization took hold, would medical dispensaries emphasize their identities as medical providers or downplay their medical orientation to compete directly for potential customers? (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Opiods, Pain Research / 12.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Pills” by Victor is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marissa J. Seamans, Ph.D Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Mental Health Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Baltimore, MD 21205  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many patients report sharing their prescriptions for opioids with family members. What we didn’t know is whether family members of opioid users are more likely to fill opioid prescriptions themselves than family members of non-opioid users. Our study found that the 1-year risk of prescription opioid initiation among family members of prescription opioid users was an absolute 0.71% higher than among family members of non-opioid users. The risks were particularly higher for initial prescriptions with refills or longer days supply. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cocaine, Kaiser Permanente, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Cocaine” by Nightlife Of Revelry is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Dave Thomas PhD Health Scientist Administrator National Institute on Drug Abuse  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: At the National Institute on Drug Abuse, we support research on all forms of drug use, and are aware that cocaine misuse is on the rise.  We are aware that various forms of drug use can have greater prevalence by race, sex, age and other population characteristics. The main finding of this paper is that cocaine overdose rates are on the rise and that that the group hit hardest is the non-Hispanic black population. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews / 27.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Zoe Weinstein MD Instructor, Boston University School of Medicine Director of the Inpatient Addiction Consult Service Boston Medical CenterDr. Zoe Weinstein MD Instructor, Boston University School of Medicine Director of the Inpatient Addiction Consult Service Boston Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Substance use disorders are highly prevalent, especially among hospitalized patients, however substance use often goes unaddressed in the hospital setting, even if substance use is the underlying cause of the hospitalization (such as a blood stream infection from intravenous drug use). This study reviews the experience of one hospital in starting an Addiction Consult Service to address substance use among hospitalized patients, and help connect them with long-term outpatient addiction treatment directly from the hospital. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Alcohol” by Takahiro Yamagiwa is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Marta Yanina Pepino PhD Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences University of Illinois Urbana, IL  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study is not the first to look at whether sleeve gastrectomy affects alcohol absorption and metabolism. Before our study, there were three published studies in the literature on this issue. However, findings from these studies were discrepant. Two of the studies found that sleeve gastrectomy did not affect blood alcohol levels and one of the studies did found that peak blood alcohol levels were higher when people drink after having a sleeve gastrectomy. All these three studies used a breathalyzer to estimate blood alcohol levels. Our study tested the following two related hypothesis. First, that similar to Roux-en-Y- gastric bypass (RYGB), sleeve gastrectomy accelerates alcohol absorption, which cause peak blood alcohol levels to be higher and much faster than before surgery. Because the breathalyzer requires a 15 min of waiting time between drinking the last sip of alcohol and the time that you can read a good estimate of blood alcohol levels from the breath, we hypothesized that the breathalyzer was not a good technique to estimate peak blood alcohol levels in people who may reach a peak blood alcohol level before those 15 min have passed, such as people who underwent sleeve gastrectomy or RYGB. We found these two hypothesis to be truth: 1) Sleeve gastrectomy, similar to RYGB, can double blood alcohol levels; and 2) The breathalyzer technique is invalid to assess effects of gastric surgeries on pharmacokinetics of ingested alcohol (it underestimate blood alcohol levels by ~27% and it may miss peak blood alcohol levels). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 17.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christine Mauro PhD Assistant Professor Biostatistics Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As of November 2016, 28 states have legalized medical marijuana with online dispensary canada providing information for anyone who is interested in finding out more. Several previous studies have found an increase in use for adults after legalization, but not for adolescents. We wanted to examine whether these age-specific findings varied by gender. Consistent with past findings, we found past-month marijuana use did not increase after enactment of medical marijuana laws in men or women ages 12-25. Among people 26+, past-month marijuana use increased for men from 7.0% before to 8.7% after enactment (+1.7%, p<0.001) and for women from 3.1% before to 4.3% after enactment (+1.1%, p=0.013). Daily marijuana use also increased after enactment in this age group for both genders (men: 16.3% to 19.1%, +2.8 %, p=0.014; women: 9.2% to 12.7%, +3.4%, p=0.003). There were no statistically significant increases in past-year Marijuana Use Disorder prevalence for any age or gender group after medical marijuana law enactment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Surgical Research / 16.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Surgery” by mrpbps is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sagar Patel MD Facial Plastic Surgeon Board Certified Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While the majority of diverted opioids that are abused originate from pills prescribed for chronic conditions, with 214,000 rhinoplasties performed in the US in 2015, assessing opioid usage after rhinoplasty is an important view into prescription practices for acute pain after surgical procedures. Opioid use, pain control, and adverse effects were examined and opioid use was compared across patient demographic and surgical procedure characteristics, including rhinoplasty and septoplasty, open vs closed techniques, revision vs primary operations, reduction of turbinates, and use of osteotomies. Opioid use was self-reported as the number of prescribed tablets containing a combination of hydrocodone bitartrate (5 mg) and acetaminophen (325 mg) that were consumed. We them mathematically analyzed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD Adjunct assistant professor Department of Psychiatry Leader of the Substance Abuse and Anxiety Program U.S. Veterans Affairs Department  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A 2015 study found that edible cannabis products (e.g., brownies, cookies, drinks) are often mislabeled.  The FDA has also sent warning letters to a handful of companies selling cannabidiol extracts because of inaccurate labeling of content. This led us to conduct a systematic evaluation of the label accuracy of all cannabidiol extracts sold online.  We tested 84 products from 31 different companies. The primary take-home of this study is that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol extracts sold online had over 10% more or less cannabidiol than advertised; 26% of products were over-labeled (less cannabidiol than indicated) and 42% of products were under-labeled (more cannabidiol than indicated). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shane Shucheng Wong, MD Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Medical cannabis is now legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and in those areas with active programs, children and adolescents can legally access medical cannabis with certification from their doctor and consent from a parent. This means that doctors and families need to understand what we know and what we don’t yet know about medical cannabis in order to make the best decision for the health of the individual child. Two synthetic cannabinoids – compounds that act on specific receptors in the brain – have been approved for medical use in the U.S., both of which mimic a form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound responsible for the “high” of recreational cannabis use. Dronabinol (Marinol) is approved to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in both children and adults, while the pediatric use of nabilone (Cesamet) carries a caution. A third cannabinoid, cannabidiol, is currently in phase 3 trials for treatment of seizures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Opiods, Pain Research / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sebastiano Mercadante, MD Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit and Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit La Maddalena Cancer Center Department of Anesthesia, Intensive Care & Emergencies University of Palermo Palermo, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are many clinical experiences suggesting that methadone, when optimally used by skilled physicians, has invaluable properties in the management of cancer pain. Methadone used as first opioid may provide interesting advantages due to the low tendency to induce tolerance, while providing a clinical profile similar to that of other opioids. Moreover, methadone possesses other extra-opioid effects that can be of interest. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, HIV / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicin Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center Boston , Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many people living with HIV infection use alcohol and other drugs including marijuana. People with HIV infection are also susceptible to cognitive dysfunction from many causes from HIV infection itself to aging. The main findings were that among people with HIV and substance use disorder, lifetime marijuana and alcohol use were not associated with cognitive dysfunction, likely due to competing risks.  But current marijuana use was associated with cognitive dysfunction. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, Opiods / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “no drugs” by Anderson Mancini is licensed under CC BY 2.0Julie K. O’Donnell, PhD Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The opioid overdose epidemic has killed over 300,000 Americans from 1999 to 2015—including 33,091 in 2015. Over this time, the epidemic has evolved from being primarily driven by prescription opioids to increasingly being driven by illicit opioids. The first wave of the epidemic began in 1999 with a steep increase in deaths involving prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine. The second wave began in 2010 with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin. The third wave of the epidemic began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids—particularly those involving illicitly-manufactured fentanyl (IMF), which are commonly laced into heroin products. Most recently, the IMF market continues to evolve, with an ever-widening array of illicitly manufactured fentanyl analogs being distributed. This report indicates that over half of people in 10 states who died of opioid overdoses tested positive for fentanyl during the second half of 2016. The report found that out of a total of 5,152 opioid overdose deaths, almost 3,000 tested positive for fentanyl, and over 700 tested positive for drugs that have similar chemical structures to fentanyl (fentanyl analogs) – including the extremely potent fentanyl analog, carfentanil, which is used to sedate large animals. (more…)