Author Interviews, MRSA / 15.08.2014

dr_kyle_popovichMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle J. Popovich, MD, MS Rush University Medical Center Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Popovich: Colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at body sites outside the nares was common, with more than half of all colonized individuals having MRSA colonization in the rectal or groin areas.  Resistance to mupirocin was uncommon and molecular testing showed no signs of resistance to chlorhexidine gluconate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Transplantation / 15.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Øyvind Holme, MD Department of Medicine, Sorlandet Hospital Kristiansand, Kristiansand, Norway Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Boston, Massachusetts Department of Transplantation Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Holme: In this population-based trial, we found that once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy screening in asymptomatic 50-64 year old individuals reduces colorectal cancer mortality by 27% and colorectal cancer incidence by 20% after 11 years of follow-up. We found that the incidence reduction is as great in 50-54 year old individuals as in 55-64 old individuals. Addition of a once-only fecal occult blood test to flexible sigmoidoscopy did not lead to a larger reduction in colorectal cancer incidence or mortality compared to flexible sigmoidoscopy screening alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 15.08.2014

David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David P. Greenberg, M.D. Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur US.   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Greenberg: The New England Journal of Medicine published positive results from a randomized, double-blind, large-scale, multi-center efficacy trial, which found that Fluzone® High-Dose (Influenza Vaccine) was more efficacious in preventing influenza illness (“the flu”) in adults 65 years of age and older compared to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine was found to be 24.2 percent (95% CI, 9.7 to 36.5) more effective in preventing influenza relative to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine for the primary endpoint (laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with typical clinical symptoms occurring at least 14 days post-vaccination caused by any viral type or subtype). In other words, investigators determined that participants in the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine group were less likely to get the flu than those in the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine group. The study safety data were consistent with previous Fluzone High-Dose vaccine studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 13.08.2014

Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Khandaker: The study shows low grade systemic inflammation may have a role in the pathogenesis of depression and psychotic disorders. Low grade systemic inflammation may also be a common cause for chronic physical and psychiatric illnesses. The study shows that higher serum levels of the circulating inflammatory marker, interleukin 6 (IL-6), in childhood is associated with nearly two-fold increased risk of developing depression and psychotic disorder in young adulthood. This association persisted after taking into account effects of age, sex, social class, ethnicity, body mass index, maternal depression, and past psychological and behavioural problem in the participant. We studied a sample of 4,500 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, taking blood samples at age 9 and following up at age 18, to see if they had experienced episodes of depression or . We excluded children with an infection at the time of blood test at age 9 years. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, UT Southwestern / 13.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hurst M. Hall, MD and Sandeep Das, MD, MPH Division of Cardiology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Most patients treated for a heart attack in the United States during this study period were discharged home on 325 mg of aspirin a day.  This was true even among subgroups expected to be at high bleeding risk. In addition, there was tremendous variability in the proportional use of this higher dose aspirin across hospitals, suggesting a prominent local influence on prescribing patterns. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 13.08.2014

Dr. Juhani Airaksinen, MD, PhD Heart Center, Turku University Hospital Turku, FinlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Juhani Airaksinen, MD, PhD Heart Center, Turku University Hospital Turku, Finland Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Airaksinen:  The main result of our study is that the risk of thromboembolic complications in general was low (0.7%). However the risk rose to a 3.7-fold level when the delay to cardioversion exceeded 12 hours. The time-dependent increase in the risk of thromboembolic complications was more pronounced in female patients. In addition, as expected, old age, heart failure and diabetes were the other significant predictors of postcardioversion thromboembolic complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 13.08.2014

Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, MD R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Program in Trauma University of Maryland School of Medicine, BaltimoreMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, MD R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Program in Trauma University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Scalea:  The main findings of the study was that putting this financial incentive program in place had immediate and dramatic effects on first cases starting on time and turnaround times decreasing in our operating room. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 13.08.2014

Susan Cheng MD Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Cheng MD Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cheng: We've known for some time that smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity all contribute to a person’s risk of being at risk for heart disease. The goal of our study was to look back over the last two decades and see how we've been doing in reducing the impact of these major cardiovascular risk factors on the actual risk for developing heart and vascular disease. We found that, not surprisingly, we've been doing generally better over time at lowering the overall impact of some risk factors such as smoking and high cholesterol. On the other hand, the impact of hypertension and diabetes has been high and has remained high over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Exercise - Fitness, JCEM / 13.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sylvie Mesrine, Gynecologist, MD Inserm, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, U1018, Nutrition, Hormones and Women's Health Team, Villejuif, France. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We wanted to disentangle the effect of recent physical activity (within the previous four years) from the effect of past physical activity (5-9 years earlier) on postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Our most important finding was that recreational/transport physical activity (including walking, cycling and engaging in other sports), even of modest intensity, seemed to have a rapid impact on breast cancer risk: it was quite rapidly associated with a decrease in breast cancer risk, which was however attenuated when activity stops. To our knowledge, our study is the first to independently assess the association between breast cancer risk and recreational physical activity both 5 to 9 years earlier and within the previous 4 years. Furthermore, the association of recent recreational physical activity and breast cancer risk decrease was observed whatever the recent levels of gardening or do-it yourself activities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 13.08.2014

Professeur Philippe Gabriel Steg Département de Cardiologie Hôpital Bichat, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris Université Paris-Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, FranceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professeur Philippe Gabriel Steg Département de Cardiologie Hôpital Bichat, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris Université Paris-Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Prof. Philippe Steg:
  • Due to increasing use of angiography and revascularization, as well as improved drug therapy, the prevalence of angina and ischemia has diminished.
  • Most of the events (Cardiovascular death or Myocardial Infarction) occur in patients without angina or ischemia. This is very novel and important and stresses the importance of proper secondary prevention over "testing". We cannot be reassured by having a negative test for angina and ischemia.
  • Additionally, angina appears associated with a consistently greater risk than ischemia alone (having both is worse), so we need to pay attention to angina as a dire prognostic marker.
  • Findings should be no different in the US.
  • Most studies of silent ischemia antedate the advent of modern effective therapies or used very liberal definitions for "silent ischemia". (see our discussion)
(more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Clots - Coagulation, Surgical Research / 13.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, FCCP Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Public Health Weill Cornell Medical College Senior Scientist and Attending Anesthesiologist Hospital for Special SurgeryMedicalResearch.com Interview with Stavros G. Memtsoudis, MD, PhD, FCCP Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Public Health Weill Cornell Medical College Senior Scientist and Attending Anesthesiologist Hospital for Special Surgery Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Memtsoudis: In this large population based study we found that perioperative tranexamic acid administration significantly reduced the need for blood transfusions in joint arthroplasty patients, while not increasing the risk of major complications, including thromboembolic, cardiac and renal events. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 11.08.2014

Lynn Rosenberg, ScD Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University 1010 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215MedicalResearch.com Interview with Lynn Rosenberg, ScD Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University 1010 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: With prospective data from the Black Women’s Health Study, we assessed vigorous exercise and walking in relation to incidence of invasive breast cancer . We found that the overall incidence of breast cancer was lower among women who exercised vigorously or walked briskly than among women who were sedentary. The reduction was most apparent among women who exercised at least 5 hours per week. The association of exercise with breast cancer risk did not differ by estrogen receptor status of the breast tumor, but further study is needed to firmly establish this. Sitting for long periods at work or watching television was not significantly associated with breast cancer incidence. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition / 11.08.2014

Professor Clodagh O'Gorman MB BCh BAO MSc MD FRCPI FPAEDS Foundation Chair & Professor of Paediatrics, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Ireland.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Clodagh O'Gorman MB BCh BAO MSc MD FRCPI FPAEDS Foundation Chair & Professor of Paediatrics, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Ireland. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Professor O'Gorman: 1155 cues for food and beverages (BBC=450; RTE=705), were recorded over 82.5 hours; thus, on average one cue was recorded every 4.2 minutes. The total recorded time for food and beverage cues was 3.94 hours, equating to 4.8% of the total recording time, and averaging 13.2 seconds per cue. If these results are representative of all children’s television broadcast on RTE and BBC, then if your child watches 82.5 hours of television, your child will see 3.94 hours of food and beverages during this time. Unhealthy foods account for 47.5% of specified food cues, and sugar-sweetened beverages for 25% of specified beverage cues, with an average time of 13.8 s for healthy cues and 11.4 s for unhealthy cues (p=0.17). 88.2% of all food and beverage cues involved a major character and 95.3% involved a character ‘goodie’. Male characters were more common than female (45.3% vs 14.0%), adults more common than teens or children (46.3% vs 23.8% and 14.2%). Overweight characters were depicted in 4.7%. The most common ethnic group was white Caucasian (88.5%). The commonest motivating factor for consuming/depiction of food and beverage was celebratory/social (25.2%), followed by hunger/thirst (25.0%), reward (4.5%), health-related (2.2%) and punishment (1.2%). Motivating factors were positive (30.5%), negative (1.5%) and health-related (25.8%). Cue outcomes were positive (32.6%), negative (19.8%) and neutral (47.5%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic, Surgical Research / 11.08.2014

Dr. Juliane Bingener-Casey, M.D. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Juliane Bingener-Casey, M.D. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?   Dr. Bingener-Casey: “About half of patients seeking emergency care for gallbladder problems were immediately admitted and underwent urgent cholecystectomy, the other half went home. The half that went home was younger and had lower WBC counts, lower neutrophils and less people with elevated temperature than the patients immediately admitted. Of the half that went home, 31% returned at least once to the ED within 30 days and 20% were admitted to undergo urgent cholecystectomy after the return visit, 55% percent of those within 7 days of the initial ED visit. Patients who failed the elective treatment plan had similar WBC counts but were more likely to have an ASA >3, slightly higher creatinine and higher average maximum VAS pain score. Patients who were less than 40 years old or older than 60 years were more likely to fail the elective pathway.” (more…)
Author Interviews, Stem Cells, Stroke / 11.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Soma Banerjee M.D. Department of Stroke Medicine Imperial College Healthcare National Health Services Trust St. Mary’s Hospital Campus, Praed Street, London Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Banerjee: This stem cell trial is the first of its kind in humans to show that selected bone marrow stem cells (CD34+ cells) from the patients' own bone marrow, can be administered to patients with severe strokes, within an early timescale after their stroke. This pilot study of 5 patients showed that it was both safe and feasible to administer these cells to patients within a week of the event. This was primarily a safety study, but clinical measures of recovery were also assessed, and these showed improvements in disability scores and scores of neurological impairment, in all 5 patients. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 11.08.2014

Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San FranciscoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San Francisco Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Stephens: In our national random sample of nursing home residents, we found that mild cognitive impairment (CI) predicted higher rates of ED visits compared to no CI, but interestingly, ED visit rates decreased as severity of cognitive impairment increased.  However, after nursing home residents were evaluated in the ED, severity of CI was not significantly associated with higher odds of hospitalization. Another important finding was that the proportion of nursing home residents using feeding tubes more than tripled in advanced or end-stage dementia, from 9.9% to 33.8%.  Moreover, tube-fed nursing home residents had 73% higher rates of total ED visits, but once evaluated in the ED, they were no more likely to be hospitalized than those without feeding tubes.  This finding is particularly striking given the numerous existing studies that have questioned the utility and appropriateness of using feeding tubes in people with advanced dementia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer / 10.08.2014

Dr. Judith Malmgren PhD Affiliate Assistant Professor, Epidemiology University of Washington School of Public Health Seattle, WA 98177MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Judith Malmgren PhD Affiliate Assistant Professor, Epidemiology University of Washington School of Public Health Seattle, WA 98177 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Malmgren: We found a significant shift to lower stage breast cancer at diagnosis with an observed increase in mammography detected breast cancer over time and a significant decrease in later stage cancers found by the patient or her doctor. Mammography detected breast cancers were more often treated with lumpectomy and radiation and less likely to require mastectomy or adjuvant chemotherapy. We also observed better 5 year invasive breast cancer specific survival among the mammography detected patients as opposed to the patient or physician detected breast cancer cases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sahil Khera, MD and Dhaval Kolte, MD, PhD Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology New York Medical College, NY Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We used the publicly available Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) databases for our study. We analyzed data on 6.5 million patients with heart attack (all types) from 2002 to 2011 in United States. Out of these 3.98 million were admitted with a diagnosis of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Our objective was to describe how the care for patients with NSTEMI has changed over the past 10 years and whether this has resulted in better patient outcomes. We looked at the proportion of patients with NSTEMI who underwent cardiac catheterization each year. We also studied how many patients died in the hospital, how long was the hospital stay, and what was the total cost of hospitalization for this condition. Lastly, we determined if the changes in treatment and outcomes over the years were similar for different age- groups, men and women, and for different racial/ethnic groups. In this analysis, we looked at cardiac catheterization trends after NSTEMI for both within 24 hours and within 48 hours. This is the first study of its kind to analyze two different time frames of early catheterization simultaneously. Although there was an increase in the proportion of patients with NSTEMI with increase in utilization of early cardiac catheterization and decrease in in-hospital death and length of stay, age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-specific differences in the management and outcomes of NSTEMI were observed, and further studies are needed to develop strategies to ensure more equitable care for patients with this type of heart attack. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology, Tobacco Research / 10.08.2014

Dr. Bente Glintborg: Copenhagen Centre for Arthritis Research Centre for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases Copenhagen University Hospital Glostrup Copenhagen, DenmarkMedicalResearch.com: Interview Invitation Dr. Bente Glintborg: Copenhagen Centre for Arthritis Research Centre for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases Copenhagen University Hospital Glostrup Copenhagen, Denmark Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Glintborg: Current smoking had a negative impact among patients with psoriatic arthritis treated with TNFi. This was especially observed among male patients and among patients treated with infliximab and etanercept. Current smokers had a shorter treatment duration (=poorer treatment adherence rate) compared to non-smokers. And current smokers had poorer treatment response (measured as ACR20, ACR50 and ACR70 responses and EULAR good response) compared to non smokers. Especially among male smokers the EULAR good response and ACR20 response rates were nearly half of the rates among male non-smokers. The response rates among women did not seem to be affcted by smoking status. Current smokers had poorer self reported outcome measures (HAQ and VAS global and VAS fatigue) when they started treatment with TNFi. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erasmus, Lancet, Prostate Cancer / 10.08.2014

Professor Fritz H Schröder Department of Urology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Fritz H Schröder Department of Urology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Professor Schröder: I consider as the main finding that we could report a continuing effect of PSA driven screening on prostate cancer mortality for men aged 55 – 69 years in the screen arm of our study after 13 years of follow-up. The absolute reduction in the risk of death from prostate cancer amounts to 1.28 per 1000 men randomized to the screening arm. This translated into numbers to be invited to screening and numbers needed to be diagnosed to save one prostate cancer death of 781 and 27. These figures show an increasing effect with increasing time of follow-up. The relative risk reduction related to the control arm has remained unchanged with respect to the 11 year follow-up period. For men who actually participated and were screened the relative risk reduction amounted to 27%, the figure most applicable to men who consider to be tested. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hand Washing, Infections / 09.08.2014

Dr. Gianni D'Egidio HBSc, MD, MEng Academic Division of Internal Medicine Ottawa Hospital, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gianni D'Egidio HBSc, MD, MEng Academic Division of Internal Medicine Ottawa Hospital, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. D'Egidio: Baseline hand hygiene compliance at our main entrance in our study was 12.4%.  We believe one of the main reasons for such an appalling low compliance was that individuals were distracted.  Visitors entering are often preoccupied with acquiring information to help them navigate a large and confusing environment given the multitude of signs, lights, announcements and other people.  Also, the majority of individuals entering have objects occupying their hands; keys, hand-held devices, coffee mugs, and during cold weather, gloves.  All this together contributes to poor compliance at our front entrance. We hypothesized that a conspicuous flashing red light at 3 Hz (3 flashed per second) attached to alcohol hand dispensers located at our front entrance would attract an individual’s attention and hopefully increase compliance.  We measured hand hygiene compliance for 1-week periods from 07:30-08:30 before and after the implementation of our flashing lights.  We found that compliance increased by more than double to 25.3% (p<0.0001). (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Mental Health Research, Nutrition / 09.08.2014

James T. Becker, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and NeurologyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: James T. Becker, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neurology University of Pittsburgh Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Becker: We found that people who eat baked or broiled (but not fried) fish at least once every week had significantly larger brain volumes in areas critical for memory and cognition, namely, hippocampus, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, and orbital frontal cortex. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Stroke / 09.08.2014

Kumar Bharat Rajan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Section of Population Sciences Chicago IL 60612MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kumar Bharat Rajan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Section of Population Sciences Chicago IL 60612 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the paper? Dr. Rajan: Lower levels of cognitive functioning was associated with incident stroke and the change in cognitive functioning was increased after incident stroke. Cognitive functioning was an independent marker of mortality even after accounting for incident stroke. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, OBGYNE / 08.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Ball Telethon Kids Institute University of Western Australia West Perth, WA 6872, Australia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Our study suggests that the amount of time between pregnancies has less of an effect on birth outcomes than previously thought. Relative to pregnancies that started 18-23 months after a previous birth, pregnancies that followed shorter spacing had very little increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight or small-for-gestational-age.  Longer pregnancy spacing showed increased risk of low birth weight and small-for-gestational-age, but not of preterm birth. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, CMAJ / 08.08.2014

Tetyana Kendzerska MD, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, ONMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Tetyana Kendzerska Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science Women's College Research Institute Women's College Hospital Department of Medicine University of Toronto Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kendzerska: In a large cohort with varying degrees of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), severity of obstructive sleep apnea was not found to be independently associated with either prevalent or incident cancer, except in one subgroup analysis in smoking-related cancer. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease / 08.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rakesh K. Mishra, MD San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center San Francisco, CA 94121. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Mishra: Increased levels of both BNP and NT-proBNP are associated with elevated risk of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary artery disease. However, when added to existing clinical models of risk, NT-proBNP is superior to BNP for risk reclassification. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition / 08.08.2014

Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. Assistant Professor University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Discovery Columbia, SC 29208MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Discovery Columbia, SC 29208  Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Turner-McGrievy: This study assessed how closely crowdsourced ratings of foods and beverages contained in 450 pictures from the Eatery mobile app as rated by peer users using a simple “healthiness” scale were related to the ratings of the same pictures by trained observers. Our trained observers used a rating scale based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines to assess the healthiness of the foods and beverages in each picture. Crowdsourcing uses the input of several users to provide feedback and information. We found that all three trained raters’ scores was highly correlated with the peer healthiness score for all the photos. In addition, we found that peer ratings were in the expected direction for both foods/beverages the Dietary Guidelines say to increase and ones to limit. Photos with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, nuts, and seeds were all associated with higher peer healthiness scores and processed, food from fast food restaurants, refined grains, red meat, cheese, savory snacks, sweets/desserts, and sugar sweetened beverages were associated with lower peer healthiness scores. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, mBio, NEJM / 07.08.2014

Claudio Soto, PhD Professor of Neurology Director Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's disease and related Brain Disorders University of Texas Medical School at HoustonMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Claudio Soto, PhD Professor of Neurology Director Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's disease and related Brain Disorders University of Texas Medical School at Houston Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Soto: In this study we describe for the first time the highly sensitive detection of prions in human urine, specifically in samples from patients affected by the variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is the disease produced by infection with prions associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. For detection we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique which amplifies the amount of abnormal prion protein in a cyclical manner conceptually analogous to the polymerize chain reaction. We detected prions in 13 of the 14 vCJD cases analyzed, and the only negative was a sample coming from a patient under treatment with a experimental drug injected directly into the brain. No false positive were observed in the more than 200 cases analyzed.  The concentration of abnormal prion protein in urine was estimated at 1x10^-16 g/ml, or 3x10^-21 moles/ml, which extrapolates to ~40-100 particles per ml of urine. (more…)