Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution May Affect Newborn’s Thyroid Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Carrie Breton ScD Associate Professor and Director of the MADRES Center  Division of Environmental Health Los Angeles, CA 90032

Dr. Breton

Carrie Breton ScD
Associate Professor and Director of the MADRES Center
Division of Environmental Health
Los Angeles, CA 90032

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

Response: I am interested in how the environment can influence our very early development, starting in the womb. I have studied the health effects of air pollutants on children for several years and wanted to focus now on the earliest windows of susceptibility.  Thyroid hormones play a critical role in fetal growth and development. We knew we could get information on newborn thyroid levels from the California Department of Public Health’s newborn screening program therefore look at this question in our study population.

We found that exposure to high levels of PM2.5 and PM10 throughout most of pregnancy affected TT4 levels in newborns. Continue reading

No Premature Menopause Found in Adolescents Who Receive HPV Vaccine

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Allison L. Naleway, PhD Senior Investigator Associate Director, Science Programs Center for Health Research Kaiser Permanente

Dr. Naleway

Allison L. Naleway, PhD
Senior Investigator
Associate Director, Science Programs
Center for Health Research
Kaiser Permanente

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

Response: Reports of premature menopause after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination have received a lot of media attention, including on social media, but these reports were based on a small number of isolated cases. Large studies have demonstrated the safety of HPV vaccination, but parental safety concerns—including potential impact on future fertility—are often cited as one reason for lower HPV coverage.

Rates of HPV vaccination have lagged behind coverage rates for other recommended adolescent vaccinations, such as tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis and meningococcal conjugate. (Based on national coverage estimates from 2016, 65% of 13–17 year-old females received at least one HPV vaccination and only 49.5% were up to date with the series, compared to about 88% of adolescents who received Tdap.)

We conducted a study of nearly 200,000 young women to determine whether there was any elevated risk of primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) after HPV or other recommended vaccinations.  Continue reading

Testosterone May Be Link Between PCOS and Autism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Adriana Cherskov Autism Research Centre Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Cambridge

Ms. Cherskov

Adriana Cherskov
Autism Research Centre
Department of Psychiatry
University of Cambridge
Cambridge

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

Response: Autism is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, and may be accompanied by unusually narrow interests or difficulties adjusting to unexpected change. Signs of autism are usually present in childhood and the condition affects about 1-2% of the population. At the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, our research team is interested in understanding some of the environmental triggers of autism. Previously, our research group has shown that autistic children have elevated levels of “sex steroid” hormones (including testosterone) before they are born.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common condition, affecting about one in ten women, which is primarily characterized by increased levels of the sex-steroid hormone testosterone and its precursors. These mothers may also have higher testosterone levels than usual during pregnancy, which may exposure their unborn baby to more of this hormone. Additionally, they may have genetic factors increasing sex steroid hormones that can be passed down to their children. Our research team sought to examine whether women with PCOS therefore may have an increased chance of having a child with autism.

We used anonymized health records from a large database of GP records in the UK and included 8,588 women with PCOS and their first-born children in the study as well as 41,127 women without PCOS as controls. We found that after adjusting for factors such as maternal mental health conditions or metabolic conditions, women with PCOS had a 2.3% change of having an autistic child, compared with 1.7% change for mothers without PCOS. We would like to stress, however, that the increased risk for women with PCOS is still very small, and the likelihood of having an autistic child is still very low.

As part of this research, we have also conducted two other studies, where we found that women with PCOS themselves were twice as likely to have autism and that women with autism were also twice as likely to have PCOS. These findings suggest a common pathway between autism and PCOS which will be important to explore in future research.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: As mentioned earlier, our findings indicate women with PCOS have an increased chance of having a child with autism, but this increase is still very small, and the chance of having a child with autism is still very low even in this population (2.3% compared with 1.7%). As a result, the main take-away from our research is that we have found further evidence for the role of prenatal testosterone as one of many players in the development of autism and a potentially common pathway between autism and PCOS.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: This link will help us in the future to understand the cause of both conditions. In this study we were not able to measure testosterone or sex steroid levels in women or their children, and this will be an important step in determining whether it is the sex-steroid hormones themselves, another downstream factor (such as insulin levels which are affected in PCOS), or genetics at the root of this association. Ultimately, both autism and PCOS are very complex conditions with many causative factors. The association we find here is likely just one of these players for both conditions, but it paves the path for future research.

In the future, this research may also help doctors and patients make decisions about treatment, as women with autism at high risk of developing PCOS may be able to start treatment or lifestyle changes early, which can improve PCOS management and quality of life. Alternatively, we underline again that the small increased likelihood of women with PCOS having a child with autism should not cause additional stress or worry in this population, since there are many factors involved in developing autism which will require further research to understand fully. 

Citation: Adriana Cherskov, Alexa Pohl, Carrie Allison, Heping Zhang, Rupert A. Payne, Simon Baron-Cohen. Polycystic ovary syndrome and autism: A test of the prenatal sex steroid theory. Translational Psychiatry, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41398-018-0186-7

Aug 5, 2018 @ 10:24 pm 

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Harmless or Hormone disorder?  New Test Enables Quick Diagnosis For Drinking by the Liter

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism Heads the Department of Clinical Research University and University Hospital of Basel 

Prof. Christ-Crain

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain
Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism
Heads the Department of Clinical Research
University and University Hospital of Basel  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Diabetes Insipidus?

Response: Drinking more than three litres per day with the equivalent increase in urination is regarded as too much. This drinking by the liter – known as “polyuria polydipsia syndrome” – usually develops over time through habit, or can be a side effect of a mental illness.

In rare cases, however, it may be caused by diabetes insipidus. This is when the pituitary gland lacks the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the water and salt content in our body. Patients have a decreased ability to concentrate the urine, therefore lose a lot of fluid and have to increase their fluid intake accordingly to prevent dehydration (= Diabetes insipidus).

The distinction between what is considered a “harmless” primary polydipsia and a diabetes insipidus is crucial, as their therapy is fundamentally different. Diabetes insipidus must be treated with the hormone vasopressin, while patients with primary polydipsia require behavioural therapy to reduce their habitual drinking. A wrong therapy can have life-threatening consequences as treatment with vasopressin without indication can lead to water intoxication.

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Testosterone Improved Body Mass and QoL in Male and Female Cancer Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Traver Wright, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor Department of Health and Kinesiology Texas A&M University College Station, TX

Dr. Wright

Traver Wright, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Health and Kinesiology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

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

Response: Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia which results in not only a loss of fat, but a debilitating loss of muscle mass and function. This cachexia negatively impacts patient mobility and quality of life, and can also reduce their eligibility to undergo treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.  Despite the profound negative consequences of cachexia, there are no established therapies to directly address this debilitating loss of body mass during treatment.

In this National Cancer Institute funded double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined the effectiveness of 7 weeks of treatment with the muscle-building hormone testosterone to preserve the body condition of men and women with cervical or head and neck cancer.  Twenty-one patients received weekly injections of either placebo or testosterone.  Over the 7 weeks of treatment, patients were monitored for changes in body composition, activity level, physical ability, and questionnaires regarding quality of life and well-being.

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Cardiovascular Risks of Hormone Therapy in Transgender Individuals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Goodman, MD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology Director, MD/MPH program Emory University School of Public Health Atlanta, GA  30322

Dr. Goodman

Michael Goodman, MD, MPH
Professor of Epidemiology
Director, MD/MPH program
Emory University School of Public Health
Atlanta, GA  30322

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

Response: There is a concern that hormone therapy may be associated with higher risk of certain cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, stroke and formation of blood clots (“venous thromboembolism”).

To study this concern we examined data on 4,960 transgender and gender non-conforming people enrolled in Kaiser Permanente health systems in Georgia, Northern California, and Southern California. They were matched to 48,686 cisgender men and 48,775 cisgender women.  Below are the main findings

  • Rates of venous thromboembolism in all transwomen were approximately twice as high as the rates among cisgender men or cisgender women. The data for stroke and myocardial infarction demonstrated little difference between transwomen and cisgender men, but 80% to 90% higher rates among transwomen compared to cisgender women.
  • When the analyses focused specifically on transwomen who started therapy with female hormone estrogen at Kaiser Permanente, the incidence of both venous thromboembolism and stroke was more clearly elevated relative to either reference group.  There was evidence that incidence of both of these conditions among transwomen was particularly increased two to six years after estrogen initiation. By contrast, the association between estrogen therapy and myocardial infarction was less evident due to relatively few observed events.
  • Transmen did not appear to have significantly higher rates of venous thromboembolism, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction than their non-transgender counterparts, but this group was rather young and included a relatively small proportion of participants who initiated their hormone therapy during the study.

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Young Survivors of Cancer at Increased Risk of Endocrine Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Cancer awareness” by Susan Roberts is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mette Vestergaard Jensen, MD

Danish Cancer Society Research Center

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

Response: Cancer survival rates have improved and it is necessary to explore the long-term consequences of cancer treatment. Adolescents and young adults with cancer are at risk for several therapy-related late effects; however, these have not been studied extensively. We investigatet the lifetime risks of endocrine late effects of cancer and cancer treatment in adolescent and young adult cancer s

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Risky Drinking By Either Sex Can Affect Future Offspring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Toni Pak, Ph.D. Professor and Department Chair Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology Loyola University Chicago Maywood, Ill 

Dr. Pak

Toni Pak, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chair
Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology
Loyola University Chicago
Maywood, Ill 

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

Response: We have known for many years that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to developmental delays and birth defects in offspring. However, our data demonstrate that drinking large quantities of alcohol in a “binge” fashion before pregnancy can also impact future offspring and importantly, this is true for drinking behaviors of both parents, not just the mother.

Our previous data support the idea that alcohol is affecting the parental sperm and eggs to induce these modifications in the offspring, but this most recent work shows the extent of those effects on social behavior, pubertal maturation, and stress hormones as the offspring grow to adulthood.

This means that the risky behaviors of young people, such as the extremely popular practice of binge drinking, have potentially far-reaching consequences for generations to come.

Continue reading

Enzalutamide (Xtandi) Provides Men with NonMetastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer an Effective Treatment Option

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maha Hussain, MD, FACP, FASCO Genevieve Teuton Professor of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology Deputy Director Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Hussain

Maha Hussain, MD, FACP, FASCO
Genevieve Teuton Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Deputy Director
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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

Response: Until recently patients with non metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (nmcrpc) had no impactful systemic therapy options.  Progression to metastatic crpc; the deadly phase of the cancer, is a given in the vast majority of patients.

Enzalutamide significantly delayed the time to metastases development by almost 2 years compared to placebo with a 71% reduction in the risk of metastases or death and a median metastases free survival of 36.6 compared to 14.7 months respectively.  This was accomplished without negative impact on quality of life (qol).  Enzalutamide treated patients had a higher rate of PSA declines and delayed time to requiring other anticancer therapies.   

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Androgen receptor targeting continues to be clinically relevant in this disease and the therapeutic impact is greater in earlier disease settings with lower tumor burden. This data provides men with non metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer an effective treatment option.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: In this disease setting maximizing the antitumor effect with rational combinations to increase tumor kill with the goal of further reducing the risk of metastasis and prolonging overall survival and potentially hope for “cure”. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures:

Response: On behalf of all my coauthors and study investigators I wish to thank the patients and their caregivers for participating in this trial.  Their partnership is critical to defeat prostate cancer.

Research funding to our institutions for clinical trials from Pfizer.

Citation:

Enzalutamide in Men with Nonmetastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Maha Hussain, M.D., Karim Fizazi, M.D., Ph.D., Fred Saad, M.D., Per Rathenborg, M.D., Neal Shore, M.D., Ubirajara Ferreira, M.D., Ph.D., Petro Ivashchenko, M.D., Eren Demirhan, Ph.D., Katharina Modelska, M.D., Ph.D., De Phung, B.S., Andrew Krivoshik, M.D., Ph.D., and Cora N. Sternberg, M.D.
June 28, 2018
N Engl J Med 2018; 378:2465-2474
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1800536

 

 

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Could Oxytocin Be a Social Equalizer?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Monkeys” by Dmitry Baranovskiy is licensed under CC BY 2.0Yaoguang Jiang PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
PLATT Lab
University of Pennsylvania 

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

Response: Oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are important neuropeptides known to influence social behaviors in a wide array of mammals. In humans, OT is widely referred to as the ‘prosocial’ hormone and is thought to promote social functions in neurotypical individuals as well as those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, dozens of ongoing clinical trials in the US are trying to evaluate the therapeutic potential of these neuropeptides in remedying social deficits associated with disorders such as ASD. Yet there are significant gaps in our knowledge especially regarding the neurobiological basis of OT and AVP function. Most importantly, we are unclear which brain areas and pathways these neuropeptides act on to influence social behavior. Additionally, due to strong similarity in molecular structure, OT can bind to AVP receptors with high affinity and vice versa, making it difficult to rule out the possibility that, for example, the behavioral effect of exogenous oxytocin is mediated through the AVP system. Both of these questions have been thoroughly investigated in rodents, but unfortunately the same thing cannot be said for humans.

Our study aims to bridge the gap between rodent and human literature on neuropeptide function by studying rhesus macaque monkeys. These monkeys resemble human beings not only in their social behaviors, but also in the neural network that is supporting those behaviors. In this study we show that treating one male macaque monkey intranasally with aerosolized OT relaxes his spontaneous social interactions with another monkey.

Oxytocin reduces differences in social behavior between dominant and subordinate monkeys, thereby flattening the status hierarchy.Oxytocin also increases behavioral synchrony within a pair, perhaps through increased attention and improved communication. Intranasal delivery of aerosolized AVP reproduces the effects of OT with greater efficacy. Remarkably, all behavioral effects are replicated when either OT or AVP is injected focally into the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACCg), a brain area linked to empathy, vicarious reward, and other-regarding behavior. ACCg lacks post-synaptic OT receptors but is rich in post-synaptic AVP receptors, suggesting exogenous OT may shape social behavior, in part, via nonspecific binding, particularly when available at supra-physiological concentrations.  Continue reading

Decreased Sleep Associated With Lower Testosterone Levels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristen L. Knutson, PhD Associate Professor Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine Department of Neurology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL  60611​Premal Patel, MD, PGY-5
Urology
University of Manitoba

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Within the literature there has only been small experimental studies which looked at impaired sleep and testosterone. To our knowledge, there has been no study that has evaluated sleep and testosterone using a population dataset. We utilized the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess the association of sleep with serum testosterone. NHANES examines a nationally representative sample of about ~5000 persons each year.

After performing a multivariate linear regression of numerous variables within the NHANES database (age, marital status, prior co-morbidities, number of hours of sleep, etc…) we found that a reduction in the number of hours slept, increasing body mass index and increasing age were associated with lower testosterone levels.

Given that this is a cross-sectional analysis, we are unable to provide causality of this relationship but we do feel it is important to counsel patients with low testosterone about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle which includes a well-balanced diet, exercise and sufficient sleep.

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Thyroid Inflammation Linked to Depression and Anxiety

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Thyroid gland Wikipedia imageTeja Grömer PD Dr. med. Habil

Facharzt für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Lehrbefugter der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg im Fach Psychiatrie
Bamberg 

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

1) I had seen hundreds of clinical cases with combined depression and anxiety and noted end of 2015 that most (far more than 50%) from the subjective clinical impression were associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT)

2) Autoimmune thyroiditis on the mental side leads to specific symptoms, exhaustion, tachycardia, restlessness.

3) I thus decided to do a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Continue reading

Learning from Mice How Tissues Communicate With Each Other

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Marcus M. Seldin PhD (Post-doc researcher) and Professor Aldons J. Lusis, PhD
Department of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 

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

Response: There are thousands of proteins which circulate in the blood and relay signals between tissues, however many of their functions remain difficult to dissect.  We used a mouse population, termed the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP) to ask if we can identify new factors which communicate between tissues.  Taking this approach, we uncover several proteins which relay signals between tissues.  These include Lipocalin-5, an adipose-expressed protein which can promote skeletal muscle respiration and liver-derived Notum which enhances thermogenesis in fat tissue.  The approach we developed can also be broadly applied to many mouse and human datasets.  As proof of this, we show that cross-tissue predictions are remarkably conserved between mice and humans

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Women With PCOS Should Be Screened for Mental Health Issues

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Aled Rees, MD, PhD
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute
Cardiff University School of Medicine, Health Park
Cardiff United Kingdom

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

Response: PCOS is a common condition, affecting 5-10% of women globally, in which elevated male hormone levels can cause a range of distressing and life-limiting symptoms, including reduced fertility, irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, and acne. Previous studies have suggested a link between PCOS and poor mental health in women but the studies were small and did not adequately take other factors that can affect mental health into consideration. In addition, high levels of testosterone during pregnancy have been reported to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD and autism, in children.

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Perimenopause: Oral Micronized Progesterone May Reduce Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Problems

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jerilynn C. Prior, MD Professor in the Department of Medicine Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism University of British Columbia in Vancouver

Dr. Prior

Jerilynn C. Prior, MD
Professor in the Department of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
University of British Columbia in Vancouver

Dr. Prior has written the second edition of the award-winning book, Estrogen’s Storm Season—Stories of Perimenopause this year as an ebook on Google Play.


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

Response: There is an urgent need for an effective therapy for perimenopausal hot flushes/flashes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms, VMS). Although often considered “estrogen deficiency symptoms” VMS are common and very problematic for women in the menopause transition and who have not yet been one year without flow. About 23% of North American women are now in the perimenopausal age range. Surprisingly VMS are more common in perimenopause than in menopause; 9% of perimenopausal women have severe VMS as classified by the FDA, meaning more than 50 VMS per week of moderate to intense severity.

The commonly used therapies for VMS in midlife women have not been proven more effective than placebo! That includes combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC) and menopausal-type hormone therapy (MHT) as well as the SSRI/SNRI anti-depressants and gabapentin.  Continue reading

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Low T3

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Begoña Ruiz Núñez PhD (c) Laboratory Medicine UMC Groningen Co-directora de Healthy Institute President of the Asociación Española de Psico-Neuro-Inmunologí

Begoña Ruiz Núñez

Begoña Ruiz Núñez PhD (c)
Laboratory Medicine UMC Groningen
Co-directora de Healthy Institute
President of the Asociación Española de Psico-Neuro-Inmunologí

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

Response: The diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (​CFS)​ is based on the Fukuda criteria, i.e. symptoms, disability, and exclusion of explanatory illnesses, and not by means of physical signs or abnormalities in laboratory test results​. CFS has been described as a ´allostatic overload condition´, where the physiological mechanisms employed to deal with stress contribute to the perpetuation of the disorder. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients are 1.9 times more likely to have a high allostatic load index than healthy controls. Thyroid allostasis-adaptive responses, presenting as ​non-thyroidal-illness syndrome, have been found in many conditions, ranging from critical illness, uremia and starvation to tumor​s​. Taken together, it is possible that, despite TSH and T4 levels within reference ranges, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms may be attributable in part to allostatic responses, i.e. lower thyroid hormone activity, secondary to chronic (low-grade) inflammation caused by e.g. a compromised gut microbiome and gut wall integrity.

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Estrogen Improved Disordered Eating Patterns in Young Women With Irregular Menses

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Madhusmita Misra, MD, MPH Division Chief, Pediatric Endocrinology Fritz Bradley Talbot and Nathan Bill Talbot Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr.Madhusmita Misra

Madhusmita Misra, MD, MPH
Division Chief, Pediatric Endocrinology
Fritz Bradley Talbot and Nathan Bill Talbot Professor of Pediatrics,
Harvard Medical School

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

Response: Disordered eating behavior is common in conditions of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, such as anorexia nervosa and exercise-induced amenorrhea, which are also associated with anxiety and depression. In hypoestrogenic rodents, estrogen replacement reduces anxiety-related behavior. Similarly, physiologic estrogen replacement in adolescents with anorexia nervosa reduces anxiety and prevents the increased body dissatisfaction observed with increasing weightHowever, the impact of estrogen administration on disordered eating behavior and psychopathology in normal-weight young women with exercise-induced amenorrhea is unknown.

Adolescent and young adult normal-weight athletes 14-25 years old with irregular periods were randomized to receive (i) physiologic estrogen replacement using a transdermal patch with cyclic progesterone, or (ii) an oral estrogen-progesterone containing pill (an oral contraceptive pill), or (iii) no estrogen for 12-months. The Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2) and Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) were administered ag the beginning and the end of the study to assess disordered eating behavior and psychopathology.

We found that the group that did not receive estrogen had a worsening of disordered eating behavior and psychopathology over the 12-months duration of the study, but this was not observed in the group that received estrogen replacement. Further, body dissatisfaction scores improved over 12-months in the groups receiving estrogen replacement, with the transdermal estrogen group showing the strongest effect.

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Most Patients With Adverse Reaction To Statins, Can Ultimately Tolerate Them

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alexander Turchin, M.D., M.S. FACMI Associate Professor of Medicine ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES AND HYPERTENSION BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL

Dr. Turchin

Alexander Turchin, M.D., M.S. FACMI
Associate Professor of Medicine
ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES AND HYPERTENSION
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL

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

Response: Statins are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events and death, and are some of the most commonly prescribed medications. However, many patients stop taking statins, most commonly because of adverse reactions. It has been shown previously that many individuals who discontinued statin therapy after an adverse reaction are ultimately able to tolerate statins, and that reattempting statin therapy after an adverse reaction is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular events and death. However, optimal patient selection criteria and methods of reattempting treatment with statins are unknown. We therefore conducted this study to identify patient and treatment characteristics associated with an increased chances of successful reattempt of statin therapy after an adverse reaction.

Through analysis of EMR data of over 6,000 patients we found that the following were associated with higher chances of successful statin therapy reattempt:

  • Reattempted treatment with a different statin
  • Patient at high cardiovascular risk (prior history of CAD, stroke or diabetes)

On the other hand, the following were associated with lower chances of success:

  • Adverse reaction was reported in the first year after starting statin therapy
  • Adverse reaction was myalgia or myopathy
  • Previous history of adverse reactions to other (non-statin) medications 

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Endocrine Disrupter PFAS Chemicals Linked To Weight Regain, Especially in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gang Liu, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Gang Liu

Gang Liu, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

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

Response: Although many approaches can be used to achieve a short-term weight loss, maintenance of weight loss has become a key challenge for sustaining long-term benefits of weight loss. Accumulating evidence has suggested that certain environmental compounds may play an important role in weight gain and obesity development.

The potential endocrine-disrupting effects of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which are extensively used in many industrial and consumer products including food packaging, paper and textile coatings, and non-stick cookware, have been demonstrated in animal studies, but whether PFASs may interfere with body weight regulation in humans is largely unknown.

In a 2-year POUNDS Lost randomized clinical trial that examined energy-restricted diets on weight changes, baseline plasma concentrations of major PFASs were measured among 621 overweight and obese participants aged 30-70 years. Body weight was measured at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and other metabolic parameters, including glucose, lipids, thyroid hormones, and leptin, were measured at baseline, 6, and 24 months.

We found that higher baseline levels of PFASs were significantly associated with a greater weight regain, primarily in women. On average, women in the highest tertile of PFASs regained 1.7-2.2 kg more body weight than women in the lowest tertile. In addition, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations, especially perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), were significantly associated with greater decline in RMR during the first 6 months and less increase in RMR during weight regain period.  Continue reading

PCOS: Hyperandrogenism Associated With Changes in Gut Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Varykina Thackray, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine University of California, San Diego

Dr. Thackray

Varykina Thackray, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

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

Response: Previous studies have shown that changes in the composition of intestinal microbes (gut microbiome) are associated with metabolic diseases. Since many women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have metabolic dysregulation that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we wondered whether PCOS was associated with changes in the gut microbiome and if these changes were linked to any clinical features of PCOS.

We collaborated with Beata Banaszewska and her colleagues at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland to obtain clinical data and fecal samples from 163 premenopausal women recruited for the study. In collaboration with Scott Kelley at San Diego State University, we used 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to show that the diversity of the gut microbiome was reduced in Polish women with PCOS compared to healthy women and women with polycystic ovaries but no other symptoms of PCOS.

The study confirmed findings reported in two other recent studies with smaller cohorts of Caucasian and Han Chinese women. Since many factors could affect the gut microbiome in women with PCOS, regression analysis was used to identify clinical hallmarks that correlated with changes in the gut microbiome. In contrast to body mass index or insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism was associated with changes in the gut microbiome in this cohort of women, suggesting that elevated testosterone may be an important factor in shaping the gut microbiome in women.

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Dietary Estrogens Have Potential To Affect Cancer Outcomes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Benedikt Warth, PhD, Assistant Professor Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology University of Vienna Vienna, Austria 

Dr. Warth

Benedikt Warth, PhD, Assistant Professor
Department of Food Chemistry and Toxicology
University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria 

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

Response: The palbociclib/letrozole combination therapy was granted accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015 after a clinical trial showed it doubled the progression-free survival time in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER) positive, metastatic breast cancer. Letrozole blocks the production of estrogen, thus reducing the growth-promoting stimulation of ERs on breast cancer cells. Palbociclib blocks a different signaling pathway to impede cell division. The combination is now one of the standard therapies for ER-positive breast cancers.

The aim of our study was twofold:

Firstly, we investigated the drugs synergism at the metabolome level in MCF-7 cells to unravel the unknown underlying metabolic effects of palbociclib/letrozole mechanism of action. We used a global metabolomics approach to analyze the effects of palbociclib and letrozole individually and in combination on breast cancer cells. Metabolomics studies detail cells’ metabolomes—populations of metabolites, the small-molecule end products of cellular processes.

Secondly, we aimed at deciphering the impact of the two model xenoestrogens frequently present in our diet, zearalenone and genistein, on this chemotherapy. Since these chemicals interact with the estrogen receptor we hypothesized that they may interfere with the new treatment. Continue reading

Menopausal Hormone Replacement Should Not Be Used For Disease Prevention

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Suzanne Fenske.jpg

Dr. Fenske

Dr. Suzanne Fenske, MD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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

Response: USPSTF recommendations are based off several studies, but is mainly based off of the Women’s Health Initiative.

The Women’s Health Initiative was a 15 year prevention study with a focus on death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. This study was originally performed in 1991.

The USPSTF reevaluated the data along with several other studies to assess the role of hormone replacement therapy in prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, blood clot, gallbladder disease, dementia.  The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy has some benefit in reducing the risk of fractures, and, potentially, diabetes.  The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, blood clot, gall bladder disease, urinary incontinence and dementia.

With these risks, the USPSTF states that hormone replacement therapy should not be used as a preventative medicine, but, rather, used for treatment of symptomatic menopause and not prevention of osteoporosis or heart disease.

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Thyroid Treatment Did Not Improve IVF Miscarriage Rate in Women With Thyroid Antibodies But Normal Thyroid Function

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Tianpei Hong, MD, PhD
Of behalf of Prof. Jie Qiao and all the coauthors,
Director, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism
Director, Department of Laboratory Medicine
Peking University Third Hospital
Beijing, China

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

  • Ÿ           Women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies have been reported to be at 2- to 3-fold higher risk of spontaneous miscarriage than those who test negative. However, the effect of levothyroxine on miscarriage among women with positive thyroid autoantibodies and normal thyroid function has been documented in limited studies with conflicting results.
  • Ÿ           Given the substantial difficulty achieving successful pregnancy among infertile women, identifying optimal treatment for infertile women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies is particularly important. There are a few randomized clinical trials showing a beneficial effect of levothyroxine treatment on pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). However, the sample size of those trials was rather small which may weaken the quality of the evidence.
  • Ÿ           Therefore, the Pregnancy Outcomes Study in euthyroid women with Thyroid Autoimmunity after Levothyroxine (POSTAL) study was conducted in Peking University Third Hospital to evaluate whether levothyroxine treatment initiated before IVF-ET could decrease the miscarriage rate and improve the live birth rate in infertile women who tested positive for antithyroperoxidase antibody but had normal thyroid function.

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Later Puberty Linked To Lower Adult Bone Density

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Cousminer

Dr. Cousminer

Diana L. Cousminer, PhD
Division of Human Genetics
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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

Response: Osteoporosis is a significant public health burden, with origins early in life. Later puberty and lower adolescent bone mineral density are both risk factors for osteoporosis.

Geneticists have identified hundreds of genetic variants across the genome that impact pubertal timing, and we found that collectively this variation also plays a role in bone mineralization during adolescence. Additionally, we found that later puberty caused lower adult bone density.

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Post-Menopausal Hormones Mitigates Effects of Stress on Cortisol and Working Memory

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Department of Psychology University of Southern California Los Angeles, Ca 90089

Dr. Herrera

Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar
Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Department of Psychology
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, Ca 90089 

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

Response: ​Previous research has shown that estradiol treatment after menopause can reduce the stress response when exposed to a stressor, including the cortisol response to stress. Other work has shown that stress can impair certain types of memory​. We wanted to test whether post-menopause estradiol treatment would not only attenuate the cortisol response to stress, but if it could also reduce the negative effects of stress on memory. In particular, we tested the effects on a type of memory called working memory. Working memory allows us to maintain and update information we need to readily access in short-term memory. For example, imagine you stop at the grocery store after work and only have a mental list of the items you need to make dinner. Working memory is the memory type engaged in helping you maintain and update your mental list of items as you grab items off the shelves and check them off your list.

We recruited women through the Early versus Late Intervention Trial with Estradiol, a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Women who participated in our study had received nearly 5 years of either estradiol or placebo.

We found that women receiving estradiol showed significantly smaller cortisol responses to stress and less of an effect of stress on working memory than women that had been receiving placebo.

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