Author Interviews, Cancer Research, University of Pittsburgh / 09.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roderick J. O’Sullivan PhD Associate Professor Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology UPMC Hillman Cancer Center University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For a few years, my group has had the good fortune of collaborating with Dr. Ivan Ahel. Ivan is a world leader in the field of ADP-ribosylation. His work has identified major gaps in our understanding of ADP-ribosylation. This includes his lab discovering that DNA bases can be ADP-ribosylated in bacteria and that a poorly characterized enzyme known as TARG1 could be involved in that process. In discussing this work with Ivan, we were confident that DNA ADP-ribosylation also exists in human cells and that showing this could be pretty important. The problem was that identifying a part of the genome where it might be present, so we could study it, was not so obvious and challenging. But we had a hunch that telomeres could be one part of the genome where it could happen!! Telomeres are really special structures located at the ends of each human chromosome. They demarcate the physical end of each chromosome and prevent chromosomes from becoming entangled – which if it happens, is catastrophic for cells. Our hunch was based on the evidence from other studies that telomeres are natural targets of PARP1, the enzyme that catalyzes most of the ADP-ribosylation in human cells. I then discussed this idea with Anne Wondisford, a medical scientist trainee in the lab, who liked the idea and designed a series of experiments to test it. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition / 07.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marta Guasch-Ferré, PhD Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Section, Section of Epidemiology University of Copenhagen Group Leader, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and contains compounds with antioxidant activity that may play a protective role for the brain. Olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet appears to have a beneficial effect against cognitive decline. Higher olive oil intake was previously associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. But its association with dementia mortality was unknown. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, UCLA / 25.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yusuke Tsugawa, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine & Health Policy and Management, UCLA Director of Data Core, UCLA Department of Medicine Statistics Core Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA 90024   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies have found that female and male physicians practice medicine differently. For example, female physicians are, on average, more likely to abide by clinical guidelines and spend more time listening to patients. However, evidence was limited as to whether such differences have clinically meaningful impact on patients’ health outcomes, which was the aim of this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Technology, UCSD, Vaccine Studies / 25.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John W. AyersJohn W. Ayers, PhD MA Vice Chief of Innovation | Assoc. Professor
Div. Infectious Disease & Global Public Health University of California San Diego Since the World Health Organization declared an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation, there have been surprisingly few achievements to celebrate. X's Community Notes have emerged as an innovative strategy to address misinformation as reported in the latest issue of JAMA.
Before the inception of Community Notes, social media companies employed various tactics to tackle misinformation, including censoring, shadowbanning (muting a user or their content on a platform without informing them), and adding generic warning labels to problematic content. However, these efforts were typically undisclosed meaning their effectiveness could not be studied.

In late 2022, X introduced Community Notes. This novel approach empowers volunteer, independent, anonymous, and ideologically diverse contributors to identify posts containing misinformation and to rectify misinformation by appending informative "notes" to suspect posts. The process is controlled by the public, instead of decision-makers at the company. Most importantly the system is open-sourced so it can be studied by external scientists.

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Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Mental Health Research, NIH / 19.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon Dekel PhD Principal Investigator Director of the Postpartum Traumatic Stress Disorders Research Program Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Maternal psychopathologies affect a significant number of American women and are the leading complications of childbirth and a significant contributor to maternal death. Maternal (physical) morbidity in the US remain the highest among all countries in the West, suggesting that some women will have a traumatic childbirth experience. The most common mental illness associated with trauma is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD stemming from childbirth is estimated to affect 6% of delivering women (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28443054/). In high-risk groups, for example women who have unscheduled Cesareans the rate is estimated at 20% or higher (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31041603/.). Although we screen for postpartum depression in hospitals in the USA there is no screening for what we define as childbirth-related PTSD (CB-PTSD). The overarching goal of the Dekel Lab is to develop novel and patient-friendly screening tools to identify women with this disorder. As importantly traumatic childbirth disproportionality affects Black and Latina women (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35598158/). (more…)
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Kidney Disease, NEJM, NIH, UT Southwestern / 04.04.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Miguel A. Vazquez, MD Professor of Internal Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The main reason to conduct our trial was to improve the care of patients with coexistent chronic kidney disease CKD),  type 2 diabetes and hypertension.   Patients with this triad are at high risk for multiple complications, end stage kidney disease and premature death.   There are effective interventions for these conditions.  Unfortunately, detection and awareness of CKD is low and many patients do not receive interventions that could be beneficial In our study in patients with the coexistent triad of chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension the use of an electronic algorithm to identify patients from the electronic health record and practice facilitators embedded in four large health systems to assist primary practitioners deliver evidence-based care did not lower hospitalizations when compared to usual care. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, UC Davis / 25.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles DeCarli, MD, FAAN, FAHA Victor and Genevieve Orsi Chair in Alzheimer's Research Distinguished Professor of Neurology Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Imaging of Dementia and Aging (IDeA) Laboratory Department of Neurology and Center for Neuroscience University of California at Davis Sacramento, CA  95817   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The overall health of the U.S. population has improved dramatically over the last 100 years, Individuals are also living longer resulting in an increasing percentage of the population at risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD).  Recent data from the Framingham Heart study, however, finds that dementia incidence may be declining.  While many factors such as greater educational achievement and medical management of vascular risk factors may explain part of this effect, early life environmental differences also likely contribute. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurological Disorders / 19.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marianna Cortese, MD, PhD Senior Research ScientistDepartment of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBoston, MA 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In a study published in Science in 2022, we reported compelling evidence that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is the leading cause of Multiple Sclerosis. This is a follow-up study to investigate more in depth whether the antibody response to EBV is distinct in individuals with MS compared to individuals without MS and whether there is a part of EBV that the immune response is particularly targeting. For this purpose we assessed the immune response to all protein parts (peptides) of EBV and their association with MS. Previous studies could only look at parts of EBV and this is the first study looking at all EBV peptides. Antibodies to EBV (especially to a protein called EBNA1) are known to be overall higher in individuals with MS, so we also tested whether immune response overall or the immune response to specific EBV protein parts was more important. If the immune response to a specific EBV protein part (peptide) would be standing out or distinguishing individuals with MS, we hypothesized, it could point to a specific mechanism of how EBV may cause MS, i.e. it could point for example towards “molecular mimicry”, which is when antibodies targeting a pathogen start targeting a body-own structure (for example in the brain) which resembles the protein parts of the pathogen. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, NYU / 14.03.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mukundan G. Attur, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Medicine NYU Grossman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  The study investigates the potential protective effects of a genetic variant of IL1RN against inflammation and severe outcomes, particularly in COVID-19. Previous research indicates that carriers of this genetic variant may experience less severe radiographic knee osteoarthritis and decreased inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Given the emergence of cytokine release syndrome in COVID-19 patients, the researchers sought to understand whether the same genetic variant could offer protection against inflammation and potential death in COVID-19 cases. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, NEJM / 29.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Adam Hampshire Ph.D. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences Professor in Restorative Neurosciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cognitive symptoms after coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), are well-recognized. Whether objectively measurable cognitive deficits exist and how long they persist are unclear. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease / 27.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rosangela Akemi Hoshi, Ph.D. Lemann Foundation Cardiovascular Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Center for Lipid Metabolomics Divisions of Preventive and Cardiovascular Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe the IgG N-glycan profile? Response: Glycans are sugar coatings of proteins, made of monosaccharide building blocks, that are involved in a variety of biological pathways.  Different sugar structures can dictate or modify the protein’s activity through specific interactions with cellular receptors. For example, proteins lacking glycans have a reduced level or a complete loss of function. Glycans are of such importance that the 2022 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded for glycan-based science. In this study, we examined glycans attached to Immunoglobulins G (IgG) and their link with incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to their impact on IgG inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is not only a cause, but also an aggravating factor and a mediator of a worse prognosis in cardiometabolic disorders and CVD, we investigated whether different glycan structures may characterize an at-risk phenotype for CVD development. Determining glycan profiles involved in multiple conditions can serve prognostic and diagnostic purposes. Yet, unlike other types of macromolecules, glycans are still not as much explored, characterizing a promising but underappreciated class that should be further investigated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, Technology, University of Pittsburgh / 26.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jishnu Das, Ph.D. Center for Systems Immunology Departments of Immunology and Computational & Systems Biology, Assistant Professor School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? How does this new AI model work?  How is it different from other models? Response: Modern multi-omic technologies generate an enormous amount of data across scales of organization, and with differing resolution. While recent machine learning methods have harnessed these to predict clinical/physiological outcomes, they are often black boxes that do not provide meaningful inference beyond prediction. Differences in data generation modalities, redundancy in the data, as well as large numbers of irrelevant features make inference of biological mechanisms from high-dimensional omic datasets challenging. To address these challenges, we developed a machine learning technique called SLIDE (Significant Latent Factor Interaction Discovery and Exploration). We reasoned that features that are directly measured by current technologies are constrained by strengths and weaknesses of current platforms. So, while some observed features may be excellent correlates of outcomes of interest, inferring biological mechanisms from these multi-omic datasets requires us to delve beyond the observable into the hidden states, i.e., latent factors. These hidden states encapsulate the true drivers of underlying biological processes and capture a complex multi-scale interplay between entities measured by these datasets. Our method moves beyond simple biomarkers/correlates (“the what”) to hidden states that actually explain clinical/physiological outcomes (“the how” and “the why”). (more…)
Author Interviews, Respiratory, Social Issues, University of Michigan / 31.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wilson N. Merrell
Ph.D. Student
Department of Psychology
University of MichiganWilson N. Merrell Ph.D. Student Department of Psychology University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: From the common cold to COVID-19, people get sick all the time. Because our social worlds don’t pause just because we are feeling ill, we often still need to navigate in-person events ranging from work and school to first dates and family dinners even while we’re feeling under the weather. In these kinds of social situations, do we always tell others when we’re feeling sick, or are there times when we may want to downplay our illness? After all, we tend to react negatively to, find less attractive, and steer clear of people who are sick with infectious illness. To the extent that we want to avoid these negative social outcomes while sick, it therefore makes sense that we may take steps to cover up our sickness in social situations. Given that this concealment could serve individual social goals (like allowing you to connect with others) at the cost of broader harms to public health (through the spread of infectious disease), we found this behavior both theoretically novel and practically timely. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Hearing Loss, Lancet, Pediatrics / 29.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zheng-Yi Chen, D.Phil. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surger Harvard Medical School Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Would you briefly explain the process and indication Response: This clinical trial is to use gene therapy to treat a type of genetic hearing loss. Genetic hearing loss mainly affects children. One in 600 newborns can have genetic hearing loss. There is no drug treatment for any type of hearing loss except for cochlear implants, which have limitations. This study focuses on a type of genetic hearing loss, DFNB9, due to a missing gene called Otoferlin. Without Otoferlin,  children are born with complete hearing loss and without the capacity to speak. The goal of the trial is to study if gene therapy is safe and efficacious in treating children so they can regain hearing and the ability to speak. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Inflammation / 14.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samir Mitragotri Ph.D. Hiller Professor of Bioengineering Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering Area Chair, Bioengineering Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a heavy burden on the world, affecting ~70 million people globally each year. Despite its prevalence, there are no clinically approved treatments beyond symptom management. There is an urgent need to develop effective therapies to alleviate the damage caused by TBI.   MedicalResearch.com:  What do macrophages typically do?  As part of the innate immune system, macrophages migrate to areas of injury to eat pathogens or debris and manage inflammation in response to injury or infection. However, in the majority of cases of TBI, there is no actual infection from a foreign pathogen, leading to excessive inflammation that spreads damage beyond the initial impact. (more…)
Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, NYU, Pediatrics / 09.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Gould, MSc, MA, PT Research Scientist SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Department of Neurology NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sudden Unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) is the unexplained death of a child on or after their 1st birthday that remains unexplained after a comprehensive death investigation. About 400 SUDC occur annually between the ages of 1-18, but more than half occur in toddlers, aged 1-4 years. Since most deaths are sleep related and unwitnessed with unremarkable autopsies, mechanisms of deaths have eluded our understanding. Febrile seizures are common in young children; ~ 3% of US children 6 months to 5 years will experience one. SUDC however has been associated with a 10-fold increase in febrile seizures; our study is the first to implicate them at time of death. The SUDC Registry and Research Collaborative (www.sudcrrc.org) at NYU Langone Health has enrolled over 300 cases of unexplained child death; seven with audiovisual recordings from the child’s bedroom during their last sleep period. More than 80% of the cases enrolled in the registry were children 1-4 years at the time of death. The seven cases with videos were aged 13-27 months with normal development and no pathogenic disease-causing variants by whole exome sequencing. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Genetic Research, Science, University of Michigan / 05.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jianzhi "George" ZhangMarshall W. Nirenberg Collegiate ProfessorDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI 48109-1085 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A few percent of humans perform same-sex sexual behavior (SSB), a trait that is partially heritable. Because SSB leads to fewer children, the stable maintenance of SSB-associated alleles in populations has been a long-standing Darwinian paradox. A number of hypotheses have been proposed to resolve this paradox, but most of them lack clear empirical evidence. One version of the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis posits that SSB-associated alleles are subject to heterosexual advantage. Specifically, it was found that SSB-associated alleles are associated with more sexual partners when in heterosexuals (individuals of exclusive opposite-sex sexual behavior), which could lead to more offspring, potentially compensating the reduced reproduction of SSB individuals. While the above mechanism has likely worked in premodern societies, our recent study (PNAS 2023) found that it is no longer working in the modern United Kingdom, because the widespread use of contraception has decoupled the number of offspring from the number of sexual partners in heterosexuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dental Research, JAMA, Respiratory / 18.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Klompas MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA Hospital Epidemiologist Brigham and Women’s Hospital Professor of Medicine and Population Medicine Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can teeth be safely brush in patients who are comatose, intubated or have NG tubes? Response: Pneumonia is thought to occur when secretions from the mouth get into the lungs.  Since there are many microbes in the mouth, there’s a risk that secretions from the mouth that get into the lungs will lead to pneumonia.  Toothbrushing may lower this risk by decreasing the quantity of microbes in the mouth. It is indeed safe and appropriate to brush the teeth of someone who is comatose, intubated, or who has an NG tube.  Indeed, our study found that the benefits of toothbrushing were clearest for patients receiving mechanical ventilation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, NYU / 14.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angélica Cifuentes Kottkamp, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine NYU Grossman School of Medicine Associate Program Director Infectious Diseases & Immunology Fellowship Associate Director for Research & Diversity NYU Langone Vaccine Center & VTEU Attending Physician H+H Bellevue Virology Clinic Division of Infectious Diseases & Immunology NYU Grossman School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does the JYNNEOS vaccine differ from the smallpox vaccine? Response: JYNNEOS vaccine is a smallpox vaccine that was repurposed for Mpox given the similarities between the two viruses (smallpox and mpox). The vaccine (JYNNEOS) had been studied in people without HIV therefore there was a gap in knowledge in how this vaccine, especially the small dose (intradermal dose), would work in patients with HIV. These patients resulted to be the most affected by the mpox outbreak suffering the worse outcomes of the disease with the highest death rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Case Western, Colon Cancer, JAMA / 07.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan A. Berger, M.D. Distinguished University ProfessorHanna-Payne Professor of Experimental MedicineProfessor of Medicine, Biochemistry, Oncology and GeneticsDirector, Center for Science, Health and SocietyCase Western Reserve University School of Medicine   Rong Xu, PhD Professor, Biomedical Informatics Director, Center for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 75% of the US Population has overweight or obesity and 15% has Type 2 Diabetes. Both overweight/obesity and diabetes promote increased incidence and worse prognosis of colorectal cancer. The new GLP1RA drug class are rapidly becoming the most effective treatment for both diabetes and overweight/obesity. By controlling diabetes and overweight/obesity, we hypothesized that the GLP1RAs might be effective at reducing incidence of colorectal cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Lancet, Pediatrics, Vitamin D / 05.12.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ganmaa Davaasambuu MD PhD Associate Professor Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The crucial role of vitamin D in facilitating calcium absorption from the diet and promoting calcium deposition in bones (known as 'mineralization') has been a long-established understanding. Furthermore, some observational studies have reported an association between low vitamin D levels and a heightened risk of bone fractures in children. This raised the possibility that vitamin D supplements could potentially play a role in decreasing fracture risk in children with initially low baseline levels. However, clinical trials assessing the causal link between low vitamin D status and reduced fracture risk were necessary, and such trials had not been conducted before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gastrointestinal Disease, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Technology / 18.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giovanni Traverso MD PhD Karl Van Tassel (1925) Career Development Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research Division of Gastroenterology Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I think its always important to acknowledge that this is a big team effort.  We have the teams from MIT, Celero Systems, West Virgnia University (WVU) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) all working together on this.   For this study, Celero prototyped the devices that we tested in pre-clinical (Swine) models and in a first-in-human study with the team at WVU. Our lab focuses on the development of ingestible devices for drug delivery and sensing and these have informed the development of these efforts as you can see. MedicalResearch.com: What types of vital signs are measurable in this fashion? Response: Heart rate and respiratory rate. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, University of Michigan / 16.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles Schuler, MD Assistant Professor Allergy and Clinical Immunology & Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that may include a skin rash, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and shock. Food anaphylaxis sends 200,000 people to the emergency room annually in the United States. Oral food challenges are when a patient ingests increasing doses up to a full serving of the suspected food allergen under supervision of a medical provider, usually an allergist. These oral food challenges are the diagnostic standard for food allergy/anaphylaxis as skin and blood allergy tests have high false positive rates. Although a highly accurate test, patients often experience anaphylaxis during oral food challenges necessitating an epinephrine injection. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Stanford / 13.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Timothy C. Durazzo, PhD Clinical Neuropsychologist and Research Scientist Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Centers VA Palo Alto Health Care System Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Stanford University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? -There are a limited number of studies investigating changes in human brain structure, in individuals with an alcohol use disorder, with longer term abstinence after treatment. -Our study was the first to assess for change in cortical thickness over approximately 7 months of abstinence in those seeking treatment of alcohol use disorder. -Cortical thickness in humans is genetically and phenotypically distinct from other brain structural measures such as cortical volume and surface area. -Therefore, assessment of changes in cortical thickness with longer-term abstinence provides additional information on how human brain structure recovers with sobriety. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Stanford / 07.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael E. Belloy, PhD Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences Stanford University, Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Apolipoprotein E (APOE)*2 and APOE*4 are, respectively, the strongest protective and risk-increasing, genetic variants for late-onset Alzheimer disease. As such, one’s APOE genotype is highly relevant towards clinical trial design and Alzheimer’s disease research. However, most insights so far are focused on the associations of these APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk in non-Hispanic white individuals. One important aspect of our work is that we really increased sample sizes for non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and East Asian individuals, so that we now have better understanding of the associations of APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk in these groups. In complement, we also did the largest investigation to date on the role of ancestry on the associations of APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk. The scale of our study was thus a critical factor in generating novel insights. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, McGill, Mental Health Research / 06.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Niki Hosseini-Kamkar PhD Postdoc, McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our primary question was: Do adults with a history of childhood trauma have altered brain responses to psychological challenges? Previous evidence indicated that this can occur in laboratory animals, but it has been unclear whether it occurs in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Lung Cancer, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer S Han, PhD Associate Professor Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Medicine Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (by Courtesy) Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Eunji Choi PhD Instructor, Neurosurgery Department: Adult Neurosurgery Stanford University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing about 127,000 people annually, but it can be treatable if detected early.
  • Low-dose computed tomography, or CT scan, has been shown to significantly reduce the number of lung cancer deaths. But because the radiation delivered by the scans can be harmful (they use on average about 10 times the radiation of standard X-rays), only those people at relatively high risk for lung cancer should be screened. The two biggest risk factors for lung cancer are exposure to tobacco smoke and age. Current national guidelines that rely on age and smoking exposure to recommend people for lung cancer screening are disproportionally failing minority populations including African Americans, according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford Medicine.
  • In 2021, the national guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued revised recommendation guidelines on lung cancer screening, lowering the start age from 55-year to 50-year and the smoking pack-year criterion from 30 to 20, compared to the 2013 USPSTF criteria. In comparison to the 2013 criteria, the new modifications have been shown to lessen racial disparities in screening eligibility between African Americans and Whites. However, potential disparities across other major racial groups in the U.S., such as Latinos, remains poorly examined.
  • Meanwhile, risk prediction model assesses a person’s risk score of developing an illness, such as lung cancer.
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Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston / 22.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David B. Corry, M.D. Professor of Pathology & Immunology and Medicine Vice Chair for Immunology Department of Pathology & Immunology Biology of Inflammation Center Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center   Clarence and Irene H. Fulbright Chair in Pathology Baylor College of Medicine Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can candida species cross the blood brain barrier? Response: We showed earlier (2019) that the common fungus Candida albicans can enter the brain from the blood. That earlier study was in turn inspired by the finding of another research group that had found Candida in the brains of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementing illnesses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Infections, JAMA, MRSA / 10.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John Jernigan, MD MS Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases Emory University School of Medicine Branch Chief Epidemiology, Research and Innovations Branch CDC Center for Disease Control MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Staphylococcus aureus commonly causes infections in ICUs. One approach to preventing these infections is using nasal mupirocin plus chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing for ICU patients. This practice is known to prevent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and all-cause. bloodstream infections.  This practice has been broadly adopted in ICUs in the US, but adoption of mupirocin as a universal topical antibiotic has been slowed by concerns for engendering mupirocin resistance. This cluster-randomized trial in adult ICUs was conducted to assess whether universal nasal antiseptic povidone-iodine (iodophor), to which minimal S. aureus resistance is expected, was an acceptable alternative to universal nasal mupirocin for reducing S. aureus and MRSA clinical cultures in the setting of daily CHG bathing. Those who received chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing with mupirocin had an 18% reduction in risk of Staphylococcus aureus clinical cultures and a 15% reduction in risk of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clinical cultures compared to patients who received CHG bathing with intranasal iodophor.  These results show that using mupirocin for nasal decolonization may be preferred over iodophor because it is more effective at preventing S. aureus infections. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, ADHD, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA / 04.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guohua Li, MD, DrPH Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology Columbia University Irving Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How was the ADHD diagnosis determined? Response: The reported prevalence of ADHD in children and young adults in the United States has more than doubled since the 1990s because of improved diagnosis.  Currently, ADHD affects about 13 percent of children under 18 years of age and eight percent of adults under 45 years of age.  Little is known about the prevalence of ADHD in older adults although it is estimated that ADHD symptoms may persist throughout the lifespan in about one-third of children diagnosed with the disorder.  Diagnostic criteria for adulthood ADHD include having five or more relevant symptoms, adverse impact on social, academic, and occupational activities,  and onset of symptoms before age 12. In this study, ADHD status is determined based on an affirmative response to the question of whether the participant had ever had ADHD or had ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that he or she had ADHD. (more…)