Abuse and Neglect, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Melatonin, Sleep Disorders / 24.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeanne Duffy, MBA, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Aging is associated with changes in sleep timing, quality and duration, and even older adults without chronic medical problems have shorter and more disrupted sleep than young adults. Many prescription sleep aids increase the risk of nighttime falls, have adverse effects on next‐day cognition, and are associated with increased mortality, and so are not recommended for long-term use in older adults. In previous studies, we and others have shown that melatonin, a hormone secreted at night, increases sleep duration in young adults but only when administered during the day when endogenous melatonin levels are low. We wanted to explore whether melatonin could improve the sleep of healthy adults and whether, like young adults, its impact depends on when during the day the person is trying to sleep. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Education, Health Care Systems, Sleep Disorders / 20.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Matthew D Weaver M.P.H., Ph.D. Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Departments of Medicine and Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The name “resident” stems from the historical practice of resident-physicians residing in hospitals as part of their training. Even after that practice abated, it was common for resident physicians to work 36 consecutive hours followed by 12 or fewer hours of rest. In 1989, the state of New York restricted resident physicians to work no more than 24 consecutive hours and no more than 80 hours per week as part of collective intervention to improve patient safety. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) then followed in 2003 by limiting work hours to an average of 80 per week over a month and no more than 30 consecutive hours of work. Evidence accumulated demonstrating an association between shifts lasting ≥24 hours and adverse resident and patient safety. As a result, the Institute of Medicine convened a review and report on the issue, ultimately concluding that no resident should work more than 16 consecutive hours without sleep. This recommendation, combined with evidence following the 2003 rules, led the ACGME to issue new rules in 2011 that limited first-year resident physicians to work no more than 16 consecutive hours. Our study compares resident-reported patient safety outcomes before and after this 2011 policy change. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., Earl Stadtman Investigator Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 
  • Through our prior work, we have demonstrated that uterine cancer incidence rates have been significantly increasing in the U.S. from 2003 to 2015 and that these increases were primarily driven by rising rates of aggressive (non-endometrioid) subtypes of this cancer. We observed that rates of these aggressive cancers increased among all women and were more than twice as high among Non-Hispanic Black women compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Factors explaining these trends, as well as the disproportionately higher rates of these aggressive subtypes among non-Hispanic Black women, remain unclear, in part because risk factors are poorly understood.
  • In addition to differences in incidence rates by race and ethnicity, we have also observed strong disparities in our prior studies, with Non-Hispanic Black women having substantially lower 5-year survival, regardless of subtype or stage at diagnosis, compared to other racial and ethnic populations.
  • The next logical step, and the focus of the current study, was to evaluate how increases in the incidence of aggressive, non-endometrioid uterine cancer affects racial disparities and rates of death from uterine cancer.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues, Exercise - Fitness / 23.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert A. Stern, Ph.D. Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Anatomy & Neurobiology Director of Clinical Research, BU CTE Center Senior Investigator, BU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The link between playing American football at the professional level and later-life brain disorders like chronic traumatic encephalopathy – or CTE -- and ALS has received increasing attention over the past 15 years. Previous research has shown that former NFL players are more likely to die from CTE and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and more likely to report cognitive impairment, behavioral changes, and dementia during life. Despite previous research focusing on the later-life effects of playing American football at the professional level, the long-term effects of college football participation remain largely unknown. We had two goals for this new investigation. The first was to conduct a survey of the current overall health status, including cognitive and other neurological disorders, of older former college American football players compared with men in the general population. The second goal was to examine the mortality rate and causes of death in a cohort of older former college football players. The target population for this study was all 447 former Notre Dame football players who were listed as seniors on the varsity rosters during the 1964-1980 seasons. This was the era of legendary coaches Ara Parseghian and Dan Devine. I should add that this study was fully independent of the University of Notre Dame. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSF / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica Kornblith, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: As the population of the United States grows more diverse and dementia is a serious public health concern, we hoped to understand whether differences in dementia risk exist based on race or ethnicity.  Older studies have shown that Black and Hispanic folks have higher risk of dementia, perhaps due to medical risk factors, diagnostic bias, lack of equal access to health care and education, or the health effects of racism, among other factors.  However, these older studies have been small or limited geographically or by only studying a few race and ethnicity groups. Our study used a nationwide sample of almost two million older Veterans who all had access to care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and we examined 5 race or ethnicity groups: American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Our results show that dementia risk is higher for Black and Hispanic Veterans compared to white Veterans, even when education and medical factors are considered. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Nature / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael B. Miller, MD, PhD Instructor, Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by somatic genetic changes and how they might occur?  Response: Changes, also called mutations, in the DNA sequence of genes can be passed from parents to their children, and explain why many diseases run in families. This kind of DNA change is called a germline mutation and is present in every cell in a person’s body. Gene mutations can also occur in a subset of cells of a person, in which case they are called somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are well known as a cause of cancer, and recent research has found that somatic mutations can also happen in non-cancerous cells that appear otherwise normal. Recent studies have even found that somatic mutations are present in neurons, cells in the brain that transmit electrical signals and play an important role in how the brain functions. Furthermore, in neurons, somatic mutations increase with age, so we set out to understand if somatic mutations might be playing a role in age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Fertility, Heart Disease, JACC / 19.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Lau, MD, MPH Cardiologist Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, Menopause, Hormones & Cardiovascular Disease Clinic Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Emerging data suggest that a woman’s reproductive history influences her future risk of heart disease. Infertility is a reproductive risk factor that affects ~14% of women but has not been rigorously studied with respect to its relationship with cardiovascular disease risk. We studied over 38,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative and found that infertility was associated with greater risk of heart failure. In particular, we found that the association was driven by greater risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, a form of heart failure that is far more common among women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Nature / 18.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Vassy, MD, MPH Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine & Primary Care Brigham’s Precision Population Health at Ariadne Labs and VA Boston  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: A person’s risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes or breast cancer may be influenced by thousands of genetic differences, the effects of which can be combined to derive a single score, often called a polygenic risk score (PRS). PRS might be useful to help patients and their physicians make tailored decisions about their health care, but several challenges to the clinical implementation of PRS remain. Most importantly, most PRS are less accurate in individuals of non-European descent, since most genomic research to date has been conducted in European populations. Another key challenge is that physicians and patients will need support to understand polygenic risk score and use them to make medical decisions. Clinical guidelines do not yet exist to help a physician know whether and how they should treat a patient with a high-risk score differently than an average-risk patient. We designed the Genomic Medicine at VA (GenoVA) Study to address some of these challenges. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research / 18.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ajit Johnson Nirmal PhD Instructor of Medicine, DFCI, HMS Laboratory of systems pharmacology Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Like many other types of cancers, melanoma arises from gene mutations within cells that impact cell growth and division. These abnormal cells should be rapidly eliminated by our immune system, however, the failure to do so leads to the development of cancer. Hence researchers have long been interested to study the tumor environment that nurtures and sustains these dangerous cells. In the past, researchers have used single-cell technologies to delineate the cell types and cell states that make up the tumor microenvironment. However, the spatial relationships between these cell types and how they organize themselves such as to provide a favorable environment for the tumor to develop remains unknown. In the last couple of years, researchers have developed a new suite of new technologies called spatial omics which includes CYCIF a method that was developed at Sorger lab. Using this method, we can not only measure the molecular information of cells at a single cell level but also their spatial context. This allows us to build a google map like view of the skin with melanoma and study what is exactly happening that allows the tumors to develop. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Diabetes, JACC, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 14.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amgad Mentias, MD MS FACC FESC Assistant Professor, CCLCM Section of Clinical Cardiology, Heart and Vascular Institute. Cleveland, OH 44195Amgad Mentias, MD MS FACC FESC Assistant Professor, CCLCM Section of Clinical Cardiology, Heart and Vascular Institute. Cleveland, OH 44195  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response:  There is evidence that bariatric or weight loss surgery can decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in young and middle age patients with obesity and diabetes. However, the evidence is less clear for older patients and patients without diabetes. There is also no long-term data on outcomes of bariatric surgery in the Medicare beneficiaries. So, in our study, we aimed to report long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery from a contemporary nationwide cohort from the US, while also looking into outcomes in patients older than 65 years, and patients without type 2 diabetes specifically. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma, University of Pittsburgh / 08.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Ferris, M.D., Ph.D. Professor of Dermatology Director of clinical trials for UPMC Department of Dermatology University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In this quality initiative at UPMC (a large academic and community health system in Western PA and surrounding areas) Primary Care Physicians were trained to perform annual skin cancer screening examinations of their patients who were aged 35 years and older at routine medical visits. Over a 5-year period more than 595,000 patients who were eligible to be screened were seen by a UPMC PCP and about 24% of them were screened. We compared the number and thickness (an important indicator of prognosis) of the melanomas diagnosed in those patients who were screened to those who were not screened. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Yale / 08.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brett King, MD, PhD, FAAD Associate Professor of Dermatology Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder marked by disfiguring, non-scarring hair loss, and there are no therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of the disease. JAK inhibitors are showing promise for treatment of severe alopecia areata. In this work, the pooled results of two phase 3 clinical trials of the JAK inhibitor baricitinib were reported out to 52 weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Neurology, Pain Research / 29.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William R. Renthal, MD, PhD Director of Research, John R. Graham Headache Center Department of Neurology Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We know that a nervous system structure called the trigeminal ganglion plays a critical role in migraine headache, but the cell types that exist in this structure are poorly understood. We have used cutting-edge, single-cell genomic technologies to profile the genes expressed within each trigeminal ganglion cell type in both human and mouse with the goal of identifying molecular features that could allow us to inhibit head pain selectively without affecting other cell types. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Sleep Disorders, UCSF / 20.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ying-Hui Fu, PhD Professor, Neurology Weill Institute for Neurosciences UCSF MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Most people are aware that a lack of sleep is associated with all sorts of health issues. However, familial natural short sleeper (FNSS) individuals sleep 4-6.5 hours a night most of their live and stay healthy. We set out to determine whether natural short sleep mutations can offer protection from various diseases. We chose Alzheimer as an example to start. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Sleep Disorders / 18.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peng Li, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Research Director, Medical Biodynamics Program (MBP) Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Associate Physiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: People commonly see increased sleep during daytime in older adults. In people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, daytime drowsiness or sleepiness are even more common. Prior studies have showed protective effects of short naps on cognitive performance and alertness acutely, while also there are studies that have demonstrated more daytime naps are associated with faster cognitive decline in the long-term. We sought to investigate whether daytime napping behavior predicts future development of Alzheimer’s dementia. And we noted that there had been no studies to date that have documented the longitudinal profile of daytime napping during late life objectively. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Chocolate, Heart Disease, Supplements / 16.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Howard D. Sesso, ScD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Preventive Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? How does the amount of flavanols in the study arm compare to what might be obtained in a typical diet? Response: The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that tested the effects of two promising dietary supplements on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer in 21,442 older adults. Cocoa flavanols have been shown to have favorable vascular effects in small and short-term clinical trials. The 500 mg/day flavanols tested in COSMOS exceeds that readily obtained in the diet typically from cocoa, tea, grapes, and berries. Of note, flavanol content in not typically listed on food labels. COSMOS also tested a multivitamin, the most common dietary supplement taken by US adults and previously linked with a potential modest reduction in cancer in a previous long-term trial of men conducted by our research group at the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues, NIH / 12.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lenore J. Launer, Ph.D. Chief, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging. MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Identifying early risk factors and early changes in the brain will have a major impact on future clinical and public health priorities related to the looming epidemic of dementia. Several studies based on older populations suggest mid-life is an important period to start prevention measures. To date control of blood pressure levels has been the most robust and promising candidate to target for prevention of future cognitive impairment. Although several studies have looked at levels of blood pressure and risk for cognitive impairment, it was not known whether trajectories from young adulthood to middle age studies provided additional information about risk. To investigate possible biomarkers of future risk, we chose to examine the association of the mean arterial blood pressure trajectories to indicators of pathology seen on MRI and that are associated with cognition. We highlight the results of the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) measure, which is an integrated measure of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, NYU, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 10.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott Thomas, PhD Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Pathobiology and Fangxi Xu, Junior Research Scientist & Clinical Research Coordinator Department of Molecular Pathobiology NYU College of Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  vaping-e-cig-smoking-tobaccoResponse: Cigarette smoking is one of the well-established causes of periodontitis, but the effect of using electronic cigarettes (e-cig), especially its long-term impact on periodontal health, is not yet clearly understood. Considering the increased popularity of e-cig use, especially among teenagers and young adults, and the known effect of high nicotine concentration in e-cigarette products, we conducted this clinical research to see if there were differences in periodontal health between e-cig users, traditional smokers, and nonsmokers. The study consisted of two visits, 6 months apart, where measures of oral and periodontal health were obtained. Our data showed significantly greater clinical attachment loss in the e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers than in the non-smokers at both study visits. In only e-cigarette users, we observed an over 0.2 mm average increase in the clinical attachment loss after 6 months.  (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE / 28.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jean Guglielminotti MD,PhD Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Columbia University Irving Medical Center New York 10032  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: An old study (2004-2006) conducted in France suggested that epidural analgesia during childbirth resulted in a decreased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, the first cause of preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. We believed it was important to replicate this study in the United States, because of the advances in obstetric and anesthesia care practices during the last 15 years, and because of the marked differences in the health care systems between the United States and France. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Yale / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas Murray MD PhD Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Infectious Disease and Global Health Associate Medical Director, Infection Prevention Yale New Haven Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: This study was performed by Yale- CARES (Children and Adults Research in Early Education Study Team) a multidisciplinary group of researchers that are interested in learning how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted early child care programs in the US including the effects on both the children and those who care for them in this setting. This is important because when child care programs close it becomes very difficult for working families to find safe, affordable alternative care. We surveyed over 6000 child care workers from across the US in May/June 2020 with a follow up survey in May/June 2021. This includes both center based and home based child care programs. One question we were interested in was what things they were doing in their programs to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We then asked whether their program closed at any time in that year because of COVID-19. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues, UCSD / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie Golaszewski, PhD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Social isolation and loneliness are growing public health concerns as they are associated with health conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease including obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NYU, USPSTF / 02.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and a major risk factor for stroke, and it often goes undetected. For this recommendation, the Task Force evaluated whether screening adults over the age of 50 who do not have any signs or symptoms of AFib can help prevent strokes. In its evidence review, Task Force expanded its scope to include a search for studies on portable and wearable devices such as smartphones and fitness trackers in addition to electrocardiography (ECG). Despite this consideration, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for AFib. This is consistent with the Task Force’s 2018 recommendation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Emory, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 27.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Howa Yeung, MD MScHe/him/his Assistant Professor of Dermatology Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States but are underrepresented in health research. Existing research often categorize Asian Americans into a single racial category, which may mask differences in health behaviors and outcomes subgroups. We sought to examine potential differences in skin cancer-related risk factors and screening among Asian Americans in a large, nationally representative study. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Oster, MD, MPH CDC COVID-19 Response CDC Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Pediatric Cardiologist, Sibley Heart Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emory University School of Medicine Emory University Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: More than 192 million people ages 12 years and older in the U.S. received at least one dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from December 2020 through August 2021. From this population, VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) received 1,991 reports of myocarditis,  1,626 of which met the case definition of myocarditis. Rates of myocarditis were highest following the second dose of an mRNA vaccine among males aged 12–15 years (70.7 per million doses of Pfizer), 16-17 years (105.9 per million doses of Pfizer), and 18–47 years (52.4 and 56.3 per million doses of Pfizer and Moderna, respectively). Of those with myocarditis, the median age was 21 years and the median time from vaccination to symptom onset was two days. Males accounted for 82% of patients for whom sex was known. Approximately 96% were hospitalized, 87% of whose symptoms had gone away by the time they were discharged from the hospital. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (589/676, 87%) were the most common treatment. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Dental Research, Geriatrics, NYU / 23.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bei Wu, PhD Dean's Professor in Global Health Vice Dean for Research Rory Meyers College of Nursing Affiliated Professor, College of Dentistry Co-Director, NYU Aging Incubator New York University New York, NY 10010 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Social isolation and loneliness are global public health concerns. Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to have regular interactions; while loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated. Approximately 24% of community-dwelling older adults aged 65 and above are considered to be socially isolated in the United States, and 43% adults aged over 60 years old report feeling lonely. Increasing evidence suggests that social isolation and loneliness are risk factors for older adults’ health outcomes, such as depression, comorbidities, cognitive impairment and dementia, and premature mortality. However, one key limitation in the literature is that only a few studies have examined the impact of social isolation and loneliness on oral health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nature, Sugar / 17.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Rupprecht, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Kelly L Buchanan The Laboratory of Gut Brain Neurobiology Duke Medicine – GI Diego V. Bohórquez PhD Associate Professor in Medicine Duke Institute for Brain Sciences Durham, NC MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: In 2018, my laboratory discovered that a cell type in the gut epithelium synapses with the vagus nerve, the nerve which connects the gut and the brain. These gut cells are called neuropod cells. Neuropod cells transduce sugar within milliseconds using the neurotransmitter glutamate. Since then, we have been interested in defining how this rapid communication between neuropod cells and the brain regulates behavior. – Diego Bohórquez Over a decade ago, it was shown that the gut is the key site for discerning sugar and non-caloric sweetener. But the specific cell in the gut that underlies this effect was unknown. – Kelly Buchanan   (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Science / 15.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kassandra L. Munger Sc.D. Senior Research Scientist Alberto Ascherio MD Dr.P.H. Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: An infectious cause of MS has been hypothesized for decades. Research over the past 20 years conducted by our group and others has strongly suggested a role for EBV infection including that EBV-negative individuals have a near zero risk of developing MS, having a history of infectious mononucleosis (caused by EBV infection) increases the risk of MS 2-fold, and healthy individuals have higher risks of MS with higher antibody levels against EBV antigens.  Ideally, to prove causality a randomized clinical controlled trial would be conducted; however, this not a feasible approach in this case. Given that nearly 95% of the adult population is infected with EBV and MS is a rare disease, we utilized the Department of Defense Serum Repository which stores over 60 million serum samples from over 10 million US Military active duty personnel. From this large resource, we were able to identify a cohort who were EBV negative when they joined the military and we followed them for whether they had a primary infection with EBV and then for who developed MS. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 06.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (in Psychiatry) The Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology Columbia University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A lot of research has focused on the effects of COVID-19 in various vulnerable populations, such as elderly individuals, immunocompromised patients, and individuals with severe comorbidities. However, one vulnerable population that has remained relatively understudied are the infants exposed to maternal COVID-19 disease during pregnancy. While early on in the pandemic we and other groups showed reassuring data on low risk of vertical transmission, meaning the passing of the virus from mother-to-infant is rare, this does not necessarily mean that these infants wouldn't experience long-term consequences related to the maternal infection through other means. We know from other viral illness that maternal illness, most commonly through the activation of her immune system, can lead to a cascade of events that affect fetal development. This is why a large number of physicians and researchers at Columbia University spearheaded the COVID-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) Initiative -- to look at potential long-term health effects on both infants and mothers. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 03.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ting Martin Ma, MD, PhD Resident Physician Amar U. Kishan, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology Vice-Chair of Clinical and Translational Research Department of Radiation Oncology at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from epidemiologic studies that  Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with and die of prostate cancer than White men. Recent studies hinted that Black men had better oncological outcome (such as prostate cancer specific mortality and overall survival) responding to systemic therapy for advanced prostate cancer (e.g. cancer that has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body). The question we were trying to answer in this study is: is there a difference in outcomes between Black and White men with localized prostate cancer (cancer that has not spread) receiving definitive radiotherapy enrolled in clinical trials?  (more…)