Addiction, ADHD, Author Interviews / 13.12.2014

William Brinkman, MD, MEd, MSc Associate Professor of Pediatrics Director, Research Section, Division of General & Community Pediatrics Research Director, Cincinnati Pediatric Research Group James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: William Brinkman, MD, MEd, MSc Associate Professor of Pediatrics Director, Research Section, Division of General & Community Pediatrics Research Director, Cincinnati Pediatric Research Group James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Brinkman: Early onset of substance use is a significant public health concern as those who use substances before the mid-teen years are more likely to develop dependence than those who start later. The association of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD) with tobacco and alcohol use has not been assessed in a young adolescent sample representative of the U.S. population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pharmacology, University Texas / 11.12.2014

Barbara J Turner MD, MSEd, MA, MACP James D and Ona I Dye Professor of Medicine Director, Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) University of Texas Health Science Center San AntonioMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barbara J Turner MD, MSEd, MA, MACP James D and Ona I Dye Professor of Medicine Director, Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH) University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Turner: Daily dose of opioid analgesics has been widely used to assess the risk of overdose death and this risk has been reported to be greatest for a morphine equivalent dose at least 100 to 120 mg per day. However, the total dose of filled opioid prescriptions over a period of time may offer a complementary measure of the risk to that provided by the daily dose. In fact, the total dose is not necessarily a simple linear transformation of the daily dose because not all patients use opioids every day, instead it reflects the total amount of opioids available to a patient. Among 206,869 national HMO patients aged 18-64 with non-cancer pain filling at least 2 schedule II or III opioid analgesic prescriptions, the rate of overdose was 471 per 100,000 person-years. Over the study period of 3.5 years, risk of drug overdose was two to three times greater for patients with a daily dose >100 mg regardless of the total dose filled or a daily dose of 50-99 mg with a high total dose (>1830 mg) filled a six month interval (versus no opioids). The overdose risk was increased slightly for 50-99 mg per day with a lower total dose and not increased at all for daily doses under 20 mg regardless of the total dose. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Nature, University Texas / 05.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: R. Dayne Mayfield PhD and Sean Farris Post Doc Fellow Harris Lab Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research University of Texas at Austin MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Alcoholism is psychiatric disorder adversely affecting the health of millions of individuals worldwide. Despite considerable research efforts, alcoholism cannot be attributed to any individual gene. We sought out to identify coordinately regulated gene networks, rather than a single candidate gene, that may be collectively driving the consumption of alcohol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods / 02.12.2014

Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology Mailman School Of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Martins: While a large proportion of young adults, ages 18 to 22, are prescribed opiates, non-medical use of opioids is second only to marijuana as the most prevalent form of illegal drug use among young adults. Until this study, little was known about nonmedical use of prescription drugs among non-college-attending young adults in the United States. Approximately 70 percent of all U.S. young adults enroll in some form of college education, but around 30% do not. We analyzed public data for 36,781 young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 over a 12-month period in 2008 through 2010 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual cross-sectional survey of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Using the Kessler 6 screening instrument, we also measured past-year serious psychological distress as self-reported by the respondents. Among non-college-attending young adults with at least a high school degree, 13.1 percent reported using prescription opioids for non-medical reasons. The figure rose slightly to 13.2 percent for those who did not graduate from high school, and declined to 11.3 percent among college attendees. (more…)
Addiction, Mental Health Research / 26.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa Anne Elin Authen Weibell Consultant Psychiatrist Helse Stavanger HF Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Weibell: Little is known about the effect of different patterns of substance use on outcomes in first-episode psychosis and the few studies that exist are often cross-sectional and heterogeneous. This new study investigated different patterns of substance use in an epidemiological first-episode psychosis (FEP) sample longitudinally, with the hypothesis that continuous use would predict poorer outcomes compared to never users or stop users. The study included 301 patients aged 16-65 with first episode non-affective included (1997-2001) from three separate catchment areas in Norway and Denmark. Four patterns of substance use were defined; never used (153 patients), persistent use(43), completely stopped use having previously used (36), and on-off use (48) during the first 2-years of follow-up. 184 patients were followed up at 10 years and compared on symptom levels and remission status. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, University of Pittsburgh, Weight Research / 23.11.2014

Michele D. Levine Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michele D. Levine Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Levine: Many women quit smoking as a result of pregnancy.  However, psychiatric disorders, which are prevalent among smokers can contribute to weight gain.  Thus, we sought to examine the relationship between maternal psychiatric disorders and gestational weight gain in a sample of pregnant former smokers. Results from the present study demonstrate that the rates of psychiatric disorders were high among pregnant former smokers and that more than half of women gained more weight than recommended by the IOM.  Although a history of having had any psychiatric disorder was not associated with gestational weight gain, a history of alcohol use disorder specifically was positively related to gestational weight gain. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews / 20.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kirsten Mehli Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Mehlig: Many studies found that the ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol is associated with lower risk for atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular risk. This finding has not been translated into clinical practice because medical trials with HDL-cholesterol rising medication did rise the HDL-cholesterol but did not prevent CVD. One possible explanation could be that a high level of HDL-cholesterol is but a marker for other factors that truly contribute to reduced cardiovascular risk. One such factor is alcohol consumption, and ethanol intake in grams / day is associated with higher HDL-C in our study, too. Another factor is a certain genotype that has been found to modulate HDL-cholesterol levels. The fact that co-called ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption is beneficial wrt. CVD has been observed and discussed often, and is confirmed in our study. Here, we asked whether the beneficial effect of alcohol was further strengthened by having a favorable CETP genotype wrt. HDL-cholesterol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Cannabis / 19.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Wai Liu Senior Research Fellow St George's University of London London,  SW17 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Liu: It has been known for some time that certain chemicals called cannabinoids that are isolated from the cannabis plant possess anticancer action through the ability to enhance/engage apoptosis and autophagy. These effects are both dependent and independent upon the cognate receptors. These are found at relatively high levels in brain cells. Brain tumors tend to express these at high levels and so we felt these would be good candidates. The main findings of the current study is the ability that combining the cannabinoids THC and CBD with irradiation can cause a reduction in tumor that is greater than the sum of the individual treatments. That is, when using doses of irradiation or cannabinoids individually, the effects were minimal; however, if they were used simultaneously, the effect was synergistic, and tumor growth was significantly impeded. (more…)
Cannabis, Heart Disease / 17.11.2014

Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D.  Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Cardiovascular Research Institute Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center University of California, San Francisco   MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Cardiology Cardiovascular Research Institute Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center University of California, San Francisco     Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Springer: The general public is aware that cigarette secondhand smoke is harmful. However, many people who actively avoid tobacco secondhand smoke don't feel the need to avoid marijuana secondhand smoke; they don't consider it harmful because there's no nicotine and because we who tell them to avoid tobacco smoke don't tell them to avoid marijuana smoke.  However, secondhand smoke from tobacco and marijuana is very similar in chemical composition (4000-7000 chemicals depending on whom you ask), aside from the nicotine and the THC (the psychoactive drug in marijuana). We and others have shown that brief exposure to tobacco secondhand smoke, such as 30 minutes, at real-world levels impairs vascular function in humans.  We developed a way to study vascular function (measured as arterial flow-mediated dilation; FMD) in living rats, and recently published that even one minute of sidestream smoke from the burning tips of tobacco cigarettes, a well-accepted model for secondhand smoke, is enough to start detecting impairment of FMD.  The main findings of the current study are that in laboratory rats, FMD was substantially impaired by a 30 minute exposure to marijuana secondhand smoke, when measured 10 minutes after the end of exposure.  Impairment was comparable to that resulting from exposure to tobacco sidestream smoke, although whereas impairment from tobacco smoke was temporary and had normalized by 40 minutes later, FMD was still impaired 40 minutes after the end of exposure to marijuana smoke.  Smoke from marijuana lacking THC still impaired FMD, showing that  (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Hearing Loss / 06.11.2014

Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Curhan: Hearing loss is a highly prevalent and disabling chronic condition that can impair communication, quality of life, and health. Although it is often perceived as an inevitable companion of aging, recent evidence suggests modifiable factors can potentially aid in prevention or slow progression of hearing loss. Alcohol consumption may influence several mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie age-related hearing decline. Although chronic excess alcohol intake has been associated with irreversible hearing loss and acute alcohol intake may temporarily impair auditory function, some evidence suggests that long-term moderate alcohol intake may protect against hearing loss. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 05.11.2014

Victor M. Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D.  Medical Director, Intensive Addiction Treatment Program Director, Mayo Clinic Addiction Services Consultant, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology  Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Mayo Clinic College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Victor M. Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D.  Medical Director, Intensive Addiction Treatment Program Director, Mayo Clinic Addiction Services Consultant, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology Assistant Professor of Psychiatry  Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Karpyak: The staggering costs of alcohol use disorders call for the development and implementation of evidence-based treatment strategies. Several medications (acamprosate, naltrexone, and disulfiram) were approved for treatment of alcohol use disorders; yet, only a fraction of patients respond to each medication. Clearly, response predictors are needed to improve treatment efficacy and personalize recommendations for treatment selection. It is expected that pharmacogenomic research will aid the discovery of such predictors. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Yale / 21.10.2014

David A. Fiellin, M.D. Professor of Medicine, Investigative Medicine and Public Health Yale University School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with David A. Fiellin, M.D. Professor of Medicine, Investigative Medicine and Public Health Yale University School of Medicine   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Fiellin: The main finding of our randomized clinical trial, conducted in primary care, was that among prescription opioid dependent patients, ongoing buprenorphine therapy resulted in better treatment retention and reduced illicit opioid use when compared to buprenorphine taper (detoxification). (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, BMJ / 04.10.2014

Professor Tina Kold Jensen MD Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine Research leader, Odense Child CohortMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Professor Tina Kold Jensen MD Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine Research leader, Odense Child Cohort Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Jensen: Our study suggests that even modest habitual alcohol consumption of more than 5 units per week had adverse effects on semen quality although most pronounced effects were seen in men who consumed more than 25 units per week. Alcohol consumption was also linked to changes in testosterone and SHBG levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Surgical Research / 03.10.2014

David Plurad, MD Los Angeles Biomedical Research In MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Plurad, MD Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Based on a survey of patients with traumatic brain injuries, a group of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute researchers found those who tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, were more likely to survive than those who tested negative for the illicit substance. We surveyed 446 patients who were admitted to a major urban hospital with traumatic brain injuries between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012, who were also tested for the presence of THC in their urine. We found 82 of the patients had THC in their system. Of those, 2.4% died. Of the remaining patients who didn't have THC in their system, 11.5% died. While most - but not all - the deaths in the study can be attributed to the traumatic brain injury itself, it appears that both groups were similarly injured. The similarities in the injuries between the two groups led to the conclusion that testing positive for THC in the system is associated with a decreased mortality in adult patients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, BMJ, HPV, Sexual Health / 03.10.2014

Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D Assistant Member, Department of Cancer Epidemiology  Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, Florida MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D Assistant Member, Department of Cancer Epidemiology Moffitt Cancer Center Tampa, Florida   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Schabath: Overall, the results from these analyses demonstrated that men who consumed the highest amounts of alcohol were associated with an increased risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews / 30.09.2014

Keren Lehavot, PhD Research Clinical Psychologist VA Puget Sound Health Care System Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences University of WashingtonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keren Lehavot, PhD Research Clinical Psychologist VA Puget Sound Health Care System Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences University of Washington Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lehavot: Alcohol misuse is a significant public health concern among women living in the U.S. Women who have served in the military are a unique population who report relatively high rates of hazardous drinking, and those who identify as lesbian or bisexual (LB) may be at especially high risk for alcohol misuse. While previous research suggests that lesbian or bisexual veterans report higher rates of alcohol misuse than their heterosexual counterparts, mediators that might explain this disparity have not been identified. To that end, we examined the role of civilian and military traumas and mental health symptoms (i.e., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder) in explaining disparities in alcohol misuse between sexual minority and heterosexual women veterans across the U.S. Women veterans were recruited using the Internet to participate in an online, anonymous, national survey. Findings indicated that lesbian or bisexual veterans scored significantly higher on an alcohol misuse measure than heterosexual women veterans. LB veterans also reported higher rates of childhood trauma, physical victimization in adulthood both during the military and as a civilian, and mental health symptoms, partly accounting for their higher rates of alcohol misuse. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, PTSD / 17.09.2014

Susan Mason, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Division of Epidemiology and Community Health Minneapolis, MN  55454MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Mason, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Division of Epidemiology and Community Health Minneapolis, MN  55454   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Mason: We examined 49,408 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II to see if those who had experienced PTSD symptoms at some point in their lives were more likely than those without PTSD symptoms to meet the criteria for food addiction, a measure of perceived dependence on food. We found that the 8% of women with the most lifetime PTSD symptoms were about 2.7 times as likely to meet the criteria for food addiction as women with no lifetime PTSD symptoms. This translates to an elevation in food addiction prevalence from about 6% among women with no PTSD symptoms to about 16% in women with the most PTSD symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Lancet / 10.09.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edmund Silins PhD, Research Fellow National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre UNSW Medicine University of New South Wales Sydney  Australia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Silins: There were three particularly interesting aspects to the findings.
  • Firstly, we found clear and consistent associations between adolescent cannabis use and the young adult outcomes investigated.
  • Secondly, there was evidence of a dose-response effect such that the more frequently adolescents used cannabis the more likely they were to experience harms later in life.
  • Thirdly, for most outcomes, these associations remained even after taking into account a wide range of other factors which might potentially explain them.
The adverse effects were greatest for daily cannabis users. Specifically, adolescents who were daily cannabis users were, by the age of 25, more than 60% less likely to complete high school or obtain a university degree, seven times more likely to have attempted suicide, 18 times more likely to have been cannabis dependent, and eight times more likely to have used other illicit drugs, than adolescents who had never used the drug. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Disability Research, Karolinski Institute / 03.09.2014

Anna-Karin Danielsson, PhD Project Coordinator Karolinska Institutet Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) Widerströmska huset| Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna-Karin Danielsson, PhD Project Coordinator Karolinska Institutet Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) Widerströmska huset| Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Danielsson: Smoking cannabis in adolescence increases the risk of adverse social consequences later on in life. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cannabis / 03.09.2014

Chuanhai Cao Ph.D. Neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute and the USF College of Pharmacy.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chuanhai Cao Ph.D. Neuroscientist at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute and the USF College of Pharmacy. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cao: The major goal of this study was to investigate the effect of Ä9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a major component of marijuana, on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. THC has long been known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but we were looking to determine whether THC directly affected amyloid beta (Aâ). Aâ aggregation is considered one of the key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Our study showed that extremely low doses of THC were able to decrease Aâ production, inhibit Aâ aggregation, and enhance mitochondrial function in a cellular model of AD. Decreased levels of amyloid beta, coupled with THC’s inhibitory effect on aggregation may protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA / 06.08.2014

Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Saitz: We found that brief counseling interventions had no efficacy for reducing the frequency of illicit drug use or drug use consequences among primary care patients identified by screening as using drugs. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 31.07.2014

Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH MPH Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032-3727MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH MPH Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032-3727 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cerdá: We evaluated 1,095 Ohio National Guard soldiers, who had primarily served in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2008 and 2009 to determine the effect of civilian stressors and deployment-related traumatic events and stressors on post-deployment alcohol use disorder. Participants were interviewed three times over 3 years about alcohol use disorder, exposure to deployment-related traumatic events like land mines, vehicle crashes, taking enemy fire, and witnessing casualties, and about experiences of civilian life setbacks since returning from duty, including job loss, legal problems, divorce, and serious financial and legal problems. We found that having at least one civilian stressor or a reported incident of sexual harassment during deployment raised the odds of alcohol use disorders. In contrast, combat-related traumatic events were only marginally associated with alcohol problems. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 29.07.2014

Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Assistant Professor in Pediatrics Boston Children’s HospitaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Assistant Professor in Pediatrics Boston Children’s Hospital   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Levy: We found that questions that asked about the frequency of alcohol, tobacco and drug use accurately triaged adolescents into "risk categories".  In other words, kids who reported using alcohol or marijuana "once or twice" last year were unlikely to have a substance use disorder, those who reported "monthly" use were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a "mild" or "moderate" substance use disorder while those who reported use weekly or more were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a "severe" substance use disorder. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 28.07.2014

Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Global Health & Human Rights Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Global Health & Human Rights Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Macias-Konstantopoulos: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of 3240 emergency department (ED) patients who endorsed using drugs in the last 30 days, met criteria for problematic drug use (DAST-10 score ≥3). Of patients who identified their primary drug of use as being a substance other than cannabis, approximately 91% met criteria for problematic drug use, including nearly 94% of those using illicit drugs and 76% of those using pharmaceuticals. Compared to those who used cannabis primarily, primary non-cannabis users had an almost 15 times higher odds of meeting criteria for problematic drug use. Finally, we know from previous studies that drug-using individuals are more likely to access medical care through the ED and more likely to require hospitalization than their non-drug using counterparts. Our study found that drug-using ED patients who met criteria for problematic drug use tended to have ED triage levels associated with higher levels of severity or resource utilization when compared to drug-using ED patients who did not meet criteria for a drug problem. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, PLoS / 26.07.2014

Michael A. Collins PhD Professor of Molecular Pharmacology Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Maywood IL 60153MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael A. Collins PhD Professor of Molecular Pharmacology Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Maywood IL 60153 Medical Research: What are the main findings of your study? Dr. Collins: There were several:
  • First, we found that a cadre of neuroinflammatory proteins which promote or are stimulated by increased oxidative stress were significantly altered in a brain neurodegeneration model involving high alcohol binges in adult (male) rats. Most surprising was that the alterations were selectively evident in the three brain regions that contain a lot of dying neurons, and not in regions lacking neurodamage.
  • Additionally, in an alcohol-binged adult rat brain cultures, the same neuroinflammatory protein alterations, along with the neuronal damage, were replicated.
  • We further observed that binging the cultures depleted a key omega-3 fatty acid, termed DHA, in brain membranes. When these binged brain cultures were then supplemented with DHA, the neuroinflammatory protein changes and the neurodegeneration were largely or completely inhibited.
  • The results link specific oxidative stress-associated neuroinflammatory routes to the brain neuronal demise arising from high binge alcohol exposures.
  • They also reveal that supplementation with an omega-3 fatty acid reported to be neuroprotective with respect to other insults may be effective as well in suppressing the brain-damaging effects of excessive alcohol binges.
(more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Pharmacology / 10.07.2014

Tara Gomes St Michael's Hospital Toronto, ON, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tara Gomes St Michael's Hospital Toronto, ON, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Tara Gomes: We found that rates of opioid overdose in Ontario have increased more than 3-fold over the past 2 decades. Furthermore, these deaths are clustered among younger Ontarians; in 2010, 1 in 8 deaths among those aged 25 to 34 years were related to opioids. This has led to considerable burden due to loss of life. (more…)
AHA Journals, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 20.06.2014

Dr. Darryl P. Leong MBBS(Hons) MPH PhD FRACP FESC Hamilton General Hospital 237 Barton Street East CanadaMedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Dr. Darryl P. Leong MBBS(Hons) MPH PhD FRACP FESC Hamilton General Hospital 237 Barton Street East Canada   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Leong: The main findings of this study are that while low-moderate levels of alcohol use are associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction, this protective association was not seen in peoples of all ethnicities. Secondly, heavy alcohol use (≥6 drinks) within a 24 hour period was associated with a significant increase in the immediate risk of myocardial infarction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pharmacology / 19.06.2014

Nicholas B. King, PhD, Biomedical Ethics Unit McGill University Montreal QC CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas B. King, PhD, Biomedical Ethics Unit McGill University Montreal QC Canada MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. King: Unintentional overdoses from prescription opioid painkillers have been rising sharply in the US and Canada during the past two decades, killing thousands of people every year. A lot has been written about the subject in both popular media and scholarly literature, but we still don't have a very good idea of why this has happened. So we tried to objectively and systematically assess evidence for what has contributed to increasing mortality. We found the following: (1) The evidence base for why mortality has increased is very thin, and more research is urgently required. (2) We found evidence for at least 17 different causes of increased mortality. We found the most evidence for the following factors: dramatically increased prescription and sales of opioids; increased use of strong, long-acting opioids like oxycodone and methadone; combined use of opioids and other (licit and illicit) drugs and alcohol; and social and demographic characteristics. We found little evidence that internet sales of pharmaceuticals and errors by doctors and patients--factors commonly cited in the media--have played a significant role. (more…)