Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Wharam, MD, MPH Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  There is substantial concern that high-deductible health plans increase people’s risk of major adverse health events such as heart attack and stroke. No studies have examined this question. This study examines the effects of a transition to a high-deductible health plan on the risk of major adverse cardiovascular outcomes (myocardial infarction and stroke). The study group included individuals with risk factors for cardiovascular disease who were continuously enrolled in low-deductible (<$500) health plans during a baseline year followed by up to 4 years in high-deductible (≥$1000) plans after an employer-mandated switch. The matched control group included individuals with the same risk factors who were contemporaneously enrolled in low-deductible plans.  We examined time to first major adverse cardiovascular event, defined as myocardial infarction or stroke.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Vaccine Studies / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Shepshelovich MD Professor, Department of Medicine Rabin Medical Center Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study was initiated as part of a research project aiming to assess the quality of post marketing surveillance of various medical interventions. This includes drugs (file:///C:/Users/danielshep/Downloads/jamainternal_ross_2019_en_190008.pdf), medical devices (accepted to a leading medical journal, still under embargo) and additional studies in specific settings (e.g. cancer drugs, immune-modulating drugs). Through this perspective, vaccines are clearly safer as a group than drugs or medical devices, with significantly less post-marketing safety issues, most of which were not clinically important, and a more effective post-marketing surveillance program. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Osteoporosis / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Hal Solomon, MD, MPH Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine Rheumatology, Immunology Boston, MA 02115 Editor’s note: Prolia® is the trade name for denosumab.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We conducted this study to assess whether delays in denosumab (injections were associated with an increased risk of fractures. In a prior study, we found that the improvements in bone mineral density were reduced among patients who delayed injections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hernan Bazan, MD DFSVS FACS CEO & Co-founder, South Rampart Pharma, LLC and Professor of Surgery, Section of Vascular/Endovascular Surgery Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship Ochsner Clinic  New Orleans, LA  70121 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The work in this paper is in large part due to several active and productive collaborations to address a simple problem: introduce a safer way to treat pain. That is, without the risk of opioids (abuse potential), acetaminophen/paracetamol (liver toxicity) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)/ibuprofen (kidney toxicity). Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity remains the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. with inadvertent hepatotoxicity the etiology in half of all case.  Our aim was to overcome this toxicity by creating acetaminophen analogs and this paper describes the rationale for this synthesis, the library of compounds used to select the lead compounds to develop, the consistent lack of hepatotoxicity cell lines and small animals, and its ability to reduce pain and fever in small animal studies. Moreover, we explain the mechanisms of action for the lack of hepatotoxicity. One mechanism for acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity is via formation of the electrophilic reactive metabolite, NAPQI. Using ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to detect NAPQI, we observed that after CD1 mice were exposed to high doses (600 mg/kg) of either acetaminophen or SRP compounds, only acetaminophen-, but not SRP-compound-treated mice, generated the toxic metabolite NAPQI. Another mechanism for acetaminophen hepatotoxicity is loss of hepatic tight junctions and chicken wire’ hepatic tight junctions remain intact in SRP-treated animals while these junctions are lost in acetaminophen-treated animals.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA, MRI / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Valentina Puntmann, MD, PhD, FRCP Deputy Head Goethe CVI Fellowship Programme Lead Consultant Physician, Cardiologist and Clinical Pharmacologist Institute for Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging DZHK Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging - Goethe CVI Department of Cardiology, Division of Internal Medicine University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients who recently recovered from COVID19 have been identified through the testing centre and invited to be screened for cardiac involvement with MRI. Importantly, they have not come to us because of having heart problems. In fact, none of them thought that they had had anything wrong with the heart.  They were mostly healthy, sporty and well prior to their illness. A considerable proportion had been infected while on skiing vacations. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 26.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Li, MD MMSc Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: Why did you do this study? Response: The accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 is critical for our patients in order to receive appropriate care, and for infection control and public health. In the US, the gold standard for COVID diagnosis is sampling through a nasopharyngeal swab (NP)  but is that really the best way to diagnose COVID?  As many of your viewers may have experienced first hand, nasopharyngeal swabs require inserting a long swab into the back of the nose, which is incredibly uncomfortable for the patient, technically-challenging for the health care worker, and requires equipment and reagents that are in short supply. There are also alternative sampling methods for COVID diagnosis. In Asia, oropharyngeal sampling(OP), or swabbing the back of the mouth, are commonly used and in my hospital, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we frequently test sputum as well for inpatients.  But there’s a lot of confusion in the field about which of these methods is the most sensitive? We undertook this study to try to bring some clarity to this question of what is the most sensitive way to diagnose COVID and detect SARS-CoV-2? (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 25.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eunyoung Cho, Sc.D. Associate Professor and Director of Research Department of Dermatology The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are interested in whether flares of alopecia area (AA), one of the most common autoimmune diseases resulting in sudden loss of scalp and facial hair, follow seasonal patterns and whether these potential patterns are related to climate factors.  We recently analyzed a set of data on pediatric AA flares, which demonstrated seasonal patterns, with the largest number of flares in the fall, finding that climate factors such as UV index were correlated with the AA flare frequency of patients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a geographical region with four distinct seasons.  Here, we explored the seasonal patterns and contribution of climate factors in pediatric AA patients in Providence, Rhode Island, another geographical region with four distinct seasons, to test whether we can replicate our previous findings. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 25.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Catherine M. Ludwig is a 4th year medical student at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine. Her interests in dermatology include inflammatory and genetic conditions, especially within pediatric dermatology.     Alyssa M. Thompson is currently a 2nd year medical student at the UA-COM Tucson. She graduated from the University of Arizona, Summa Cum Laude in 2018 as the athletic department's Valedictorian with a degree in Physiology and an Entrepreneurship certificate. Her passion for research and dermatology stems from her innovative and integrative mindset with specific interest in inflammatory skin disease.     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Eczema is very common in children. Prescription medications are important for managing eczema flares, but a lot of the work in treating eczema is preventative, done by consistently moisturizing the skin at home with drug store products. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs more commonly in people with eczema. A previous study was done in characterizing the allergenic potential of drug-store moisturizers and found that 88% of moisturizers contain at least one common allergen. Many moisturizers are marketed specifically to eczema, but the allergen content of these products are unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 25.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Schoch, MD Dr. Schoch is a pediatric dermatologist and Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on the infantile skin microbiome and its role in pediatric skin disease. She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.    Reesa Monir, MD Dr. Monir is a PGY-3 dermatology resident at the University of Florida. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric dermatology.       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Atopic dermatitis is a common pediatric skin condition that often begins during infancy. Kids and families alike suffer from the itching and demanding care required to manage this condition. While existing studies have examined the impact of race on atopic dermatitis from birth to adulthood, few studies have examined the early childhood period specifically. As this time is the peak period for diagnosis, we sought to examine the impact of race on disease prevalence during early childhood.  (more…)
Author Interviews / 24.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Shoichet, Professor UCSF http://www.bkslab.org/contact.php  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Excipients are ubiquitous in drug formulations.  What most people consider "drugs" are formulations of active and "inactive" ingredients--the excipients.  These "inactive" ingredients, which you can find on the label of all of the drugs you use, play crucial roles in drug stability, as antioxidants, as colorants to help patients distinguish among them, as anti-microbials to keep them from getting infected with bacteria, helping to make the soluble  in the patient, among other functions. They are considered "inactive" because they do not have observable toxicity in animal and sometimes histological studies, but few of them have been evaluated in a modern way.  This would involve testing the excipients for activity on individual receptors and enzymes that are involved in biological responses, which is what happens for drugs.  Doing this was the focus of this study (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 24.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kirsten P Perrett MD PhD Group Leader/Clinician Scientist Fellow Population Allergy Research Group and Melbourne Children's Trial Centre Murdoch Children's Research Institute   Rachel L Peters PhD Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Department of Paediatrics The University of Melbourne Parkville, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? cashews-wikipedia-image Response: The prevalence of food allergy has increased over the last 1-2 decades. Historically, parents were advised to withhold the introduction of allergenic foods, such as peanut or egg, until after the infant was 1-3 years of age in the hope that it would prevent food allergy. However, recent evidence has shown that introducing peanut and egg in the first year of life, reduces the risk of allergy to that food. This has led to a paradigm shift in infant feeding advice from active avoidance to timely introduction. However, there has not been any research advising on the timing of tree nuts, a common cause of food allergy, MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Our study of nearly 3000 children in the population-based HealthNuts study in Australia, found that only 5% had eaten cashew by age 12 months. Interestingly, no child who consumed cashew by age 12 months, developed cashew allergy at age 6 years; conversely 3.6% of those who had not consumed cashew by age 12 months did develop cashew allergy at age 6 years. Our findings suggest that introducing cashew in the first year of life may reduce the risk of cashew allergy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dental Research, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease / 24.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mingyang Song, MD, ScD. Division of Gastroenterology Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent studies showed a presence of dysbiotic oral microbiome in patients with esophageal and gastric cancer, suggesting a link between oral health and these cancers. However, how periodontal disease and tooth loss may influence the risk of these cancers has been inconsistent.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Our findings support a possible role of oral health in the development of upper GI cancer. Individuals with periodontal disease and tooth loss are at higher risk of developing esophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma. The risk is particularly high for individuals with both periodontal disease and tooth loss.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, JAMA / 22.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil. Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair Department of Radiation Oncology Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hospitals and health care institutions often rely on philanthropy for support to be able to pursue their missions to serve the public health. Little is known about public perspectives, which are needed to inform ethical guidelines. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 22.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD Professor of Dermatology and Immunology Vice Chair of the Department of Dermatology Icahn School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the importance of differentiating these two skin conditions?   Response: The background is that up to now skin biopsies were considered the gold standard for obtaining skin biomarkers of atopic dermatitis/AD and psoriasis that are linked to disease activity in skin and for obtaining the cutaneous gene and protein expression fingerprint of each individual disease. Biopsies are also used in clinical trials to obtain the skin phenotype. However biopsies are invasive, painful and scarring. Thus we need less invasive means to profile diseases and obtain biomarkers. Tape strips is a minimally invasive approach to sample and study the skin. However, prior studies using tape strips could not fully capture the phenotype of the diseases and also sampling the recovery rate was less than optimal, not allowing this approach to be widely used. Psoriasis and AD are the most common inflammatory skin diseases, but these diseases are treated very differently and in some cases are very difficult to differentiate between them clinically and even in biopsies.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Ovarian Cancer / 22.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Ranjit Manchanda MD, MRCOG, PhD Professor of Gynaecological Oncology & Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) Fellow Integrated Academic Training Programme Director London Specialty School of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Health Education England Specialty Research Lead for Gynaecological Cancer, NIHR, North Thames Clinical Research Network Cancer Research UK, Barts Centre | Queen Mary University of London Centre for Cancer Prevention, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine | Charterhouse Square | London Department of Gynaecological Oncology | Barts Health NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around 10–20% of ovarian cancers and 6% breast cancers overall are caused by inheritable BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations. Women carrying BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations have a 17–44% risk of ovarian cancer and 69–72% risk of breast cancer until age 80 years. Most of these cancers can be prevented in unaffected BRCA1/BRCA2 women carriers. Women can opt for a range of options including screening, preventive, and reproductive choices to minimise their risk. The current approach uses established clinical-criteria/family-history (FH) based a priori BRCA probability thresholds to identify high-risk individuals eligible for BRCA testing. However, this requires individuals and health practitioners to recognise and act on a significant FH. BRCA carriers, who are unaware of their FH, unappreciative of its risk/significance, not proactive in seeking advice, or lack a strong FH (small families/paternal inheritance/chance) get excluded. Over 50% BRCA carriers do not fulfil clinical criteria and are missed. Despite >25 years of BRCA testing and effective mechanisms for prevention, current guidelines and access to testing pathways remain complex and associated with a massive under-utilisation of genetic testing. Only 20% of eligible women have accessed/undergone genetic testing and our earlier analysis showed that 97% of BRCA carriers in the population remain unidentified. Current detection rates are inadequate to identify all BRCA carriers and even doubling detection rates will not work. Why should we wait for decades for people to develop cancer before identifying BRCA carriers and unaffected at-risk family members to offer prevention?. This highlights substantial missed opportunities for early detection and prevention. A new population testing approach can change this. Jewish population studies show this is feasible, acceptable, has high satisfaction (91–95%), significantly reduces anxiety, doesn’t harm psychological well-being or quality of life, and is extremely cost-effective. However, this has not been evaluated in the general population and in particular across different  countries or health systems. The potential applicability and scope for this approach transcends continents and countries. Additionally, for interventions to be sustainable, they need to be cost-effective and affordable. We have undertaken a cost-effectiveness analysis of population based BRCA testing compared with current standard clinical testing of women designated as high risk, across high income countries (UK/USA/Netherlands), upper-middle income countries (China/Brazil), and low-middle income country (India). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 21.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gil Garnier PhD Director and Professor Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA) PALS ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub Department of Chemical Engineering Monash University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to develop a test that would be: 1) Reliable and fast to perform, 2) Easy and fast to manufacture, 3) Easy and fast to distribute and be adopted by the Health care community. We also wanted to capitalize on our vast expertise and experience from developing novel blood typing tests. Our strategy was to develop a serology COVID test using the current Gel card technology available in most hospital and blood laboratories throughout the world. Equipment and expertise are already available from point of care setting to high throughput/automated systems measuring 100-200 test/ h. Also, these cards are currently produced by many companies all over and these can be shipped all international. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 20.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mayu Nishimura Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences Director of Research Kindergarten Vision Screening Program  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? child-looking-vision Response: Children's visual problems are difficult to identify without formal tests but most parents do not realize the importance of early eye checks nor are they aware that well-child visits to the family doctor/pediatrician are not enough. We are researchers at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON) and SickKids Hospital (Toronto, ON) who examined if it is possible to implement a vision screening program for kindergartners in diverse Ontario communities. Below are the main findings:
  • We screened nearly 5000 kindergarten children in 15 communities and found that 11% of screened children had a visual problem, with 2/3 of the children being identified for the first time.
  • There was great support for the program from the children, parents, teachers, and optometrists.
  • Screening required 15-20 minutes per child and cost $10/child.
  • When parents received a letter permitting them to opt out of screening, 4% did so. When parents were required to return a signed letter to opt in, 30% did not.
  • Referral rates varied across schools but were higher for children in junior kindergarten (average 53%) than children in senior kindergarten (average 34%).
  • Successful treatment depends on the parents’ awareness of the importance of eye exams and glasses, and access to optometrists and glasses without worrying about costs.
(more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 20.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Todd Green Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs https://www.dbv-technologies.com MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The PEOPLE study is an open-label extension of the Phase III PEPITES trial designed to evaluate the long-term safety, tolerability and efficacy of Viaskin Peanut 250 μg (DBV712). Participants who completed the 12-month study period of PEPITES were eligible to enroll in PEOPLE, which evaluates the eliciting dose (ED) after three years (Month 36) of active treatment using a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 20.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giacomo Pasini, PhD Professor of Econometrics - Professore ordinario Economics PhD program Director - Coordinatore dottorato in Economia Rector's delegate for Cooperation and Development - Delegato alla Cooperzione per lo sviluppo Economics Department - Dipartimento di Economia Universita' Ca' Foscari - Venezia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Kidney transplantation carries several advantages over dialysis treatment for patients with end-stage renal dis-ease (ESRD). Nevertheless, the disparity between the large number of transplant candidates and the scarcity of organs available continues to increase. In order to close this gap selection criteria for donor appropriateness have been widened significantly in recent years to include older persons and those with co-morbidities that could potentially increase the risk of infectious disease transmission (the so-called Expanded Criteria Donors, ECD). The result of kidney transplantation from marginal donors is one of the most topical issues in the transplant literature. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abdi Ghaffari, Ph.D. Associate Professor (adjunct) Dept. of Pathology and Molecular Medicine Queen’s University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected millions and changed our way of life by placing nearly 3 billion people under lockdown or some form of physical isolation. In the absence of a vaccine or reliable treatment, diagnostic testing must be a pillar of public health policy to control further spread of the virus and to guide gradual removal of lockdown measures. COVID-19 antibody diagnostic tests are being increasingly used to assess the protective immunity status in the population. There are over 100 different COVID-19 antibody tests developed by companies worldwide in an effort to address this need. However, companies’ reported performance data are not always in line with the actual performance of these diagnostic tests in the real-world. In this work, we conducted a systemic review of independent studies (sponsored by academic or government institutions) that aimed to validate the performance of currently available COVID-19 antibody tests on the market.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rajan K. Chakrabarty, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering Washington University in Saint Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At the onset of COVID-19, we developed a state-of-the-art epidemic progression model involving the susceptible, exposed, infected, and recovered (SEIR) dynamics, the age-stratified disease transmissibility, and the possible large-scale undocumented asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 taking place in the US states. By informing our model with using epidemiological COVID-19 data for the US between March 19 and 28 – a period corresponding to the early stage of the epidemic when the impacts of social distancing on disease progression were yet to manifest – we investigated: “What is the medical cost benefit of implementing social distancing as the “only” non-pharmaceutical intervention policy to combat COVID-19 in the US?” As part of this study, we investigated three social distancing strategies – indefinite, finite-duration, and intermittent – on age-stratified US population and benchmark its effectiveness in reducing the burden on hospital beds. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research, Telemedicine / 17.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leonardo Mattos, PhD Head of Biomedical Robotics Lab Advanced Robotics Department Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia Genova, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have been working on robotic microsurgery for several years, and have developed robotic technology for it that is getting ready for use on humans. Then, 5G started to become a reality here in Italy, and we wanted to test if it could be used to enable remote telesurgery. So we joined forces with Vodafone Italia to realize this study and proof of concept demonstration. Telesurgery has been a dream for over 20 years, and has been demonstrated already back in 2001. However, the wide scale adoption of the technology has been limited by many factors, including the limited availability of surgical robots and the lack of a telecommunication network that is fast and reliable enough for such operation. Recent technological progress is changing this scenario, with surgical robots being used in hospitals around the world and high-performance telecommunications system becoming widely available. This study shows that telesurgery is now feasible using the newest 5G telecommunication networks, enabling us to consider a large scale adoption of the technology.  (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 16.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Radek Spisek MD PhD Charles University in Prague  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Immune cytokine IL-15 is a highly promising immuno-oncology target that mobilizes the two most important cell types driving anti-cancer immune responses: cytotoxic T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Stimulating IL-15 receptors on these cells represents a potent and complementary mechanism to existing cancer treatments, such as PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies. Sotio is developing an IL-15 superagonist, SO-C101, as a potent immunotherapy for patients with cancer. This study examined SO-C101 in multiple tumor mouse models alone and in combination with PD-1 inhibition.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Cognitive Issues, Depression, Mental Health Research / 15.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Steve Erickson, MD Concussion Expert at Banner University Medicine Neuroscience Institute Dr. Erikson discusses the recent Neurology publication associating repetitive head impacts with depression. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study compared depression and cognitive function of adults (middle aged and older) who have had repetitive head impacts (RHI) and/or TBI to adults without a history of these. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, Technology / 15.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr.Altuna Akalin PhD Head of Bioinformatics and Omics Data Science Platform Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin, Germany  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Where does the word Janggu come from?  Response: Deep learning applications on genomic datasets used to be a cumbersome process where researchers spend a lot of time on preparing and formatting data before they even can run deep learning models. In addition, the evaluation of deep learning models and the choice of deep learning framework were also not straightforward. To streamline these processes, we developed JangguWith this framework, we are aiming to relieve some of that technical burden and make deep learning accessible to as many people as possible. Janggu is named after a traditional Korean drum shaped like an hourglass turned on its side. The two large sections of the hourglass represent the areas Janggu is focused: pre-processing of genomics data, results visualization and model evaluation. The narrow connector in the middle represents a placeholder for any type of deep learning model researchers wish to use.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 15.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frederick Hayden MD Stuart S Richardson Professor Emeritus of Clinical Virology Professor Emeritus of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health University of Virginia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although primary prevention approach for influenza infections is vaccination, vaccine efficacy is incomplete and uptake rates are variable in the population. Preventing people who have been exposed to someone with influenza from developing the disease is an important way to prevent its rapid spread, reduce the disruption to peoples' lives and, in some cases, reducing the risk of serious illness or even death.  Prior studies have shown that antivirals like oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir can reduce the risk influenza illness in those exposed. The BLOCKSTONE study was designed to assess the efficacy of postexposure prophylaxis with a single oral dose of baloxavir for the preventing influenza in household contacts. This antiviral drug was approved first in 2018 for treatment of adults with uncomplicated influenza.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Lipids / 14.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manja Koch, Ph.D., Research Associate Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Majken K. Jensen, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health & Professor in the Department of Public Health University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are highly prevalent conditions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias worldwide. Lower apolipoprotein E in plasma is a risk factor for dementia, but the underlying biological mechanisms are not fully understood. Thus, we investigated the role of apolipoprotein E overall and in lipoproteins with distinct metabolic functions in relation to cognitive function and dementia risk.. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 14.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mario Fl Gaudino MD Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Weill Cornell Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The radial artery is currently used in less than 10% of CABG procedures in the US.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The JAMA paper provides convincing evidence that the use of the radial artery rather than the saphenous vein to complement the internal thoracic artery for CABG is associated with improved long-term outcomes.  (more…)