Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Duke, Pain Research / 21.07.2013

Ru-Rong Ji, PhD Professor, Chief of Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ru-Rong Ji, PhD Professor, Chief of Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710 Neuroprotectin/Protectin D1 protects neuropathic pain in mice after nerve trauma MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found the pro-resolution lipid mediator protectin D1 (PD1), derived from the fish oil DHA, can effectively prevent nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain. This treatment can also prevent nerve injury-induced neuroinflammation in the spinal cord (such as glial activation and expression of cytokines and chemokines, e.g., IL-1b, CCL2). These cytokines and chemokines are known to elicit pain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Fish, Nutrition, Pain Research / 18.07.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ru-Rong Ji, PhD Professor, Chief of Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology Duke University Medical Center Box DUMC 3094, Durham , NC 27710 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found the pro-resolution lipid mediator protectin D1 (PD1), derived from the fish oil DHA, can effectively prevent nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain. This treatment can also prevent nerve injury-induced neuroinflammation in the spinal cord (such as glial activation and expression of cytokines and chemokines, e.g., IL-1b, CCL2). These cytokines and chemokines are known to elicit pain. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Duke, Genetic Research, Lancet, NEJM / 10.07.2013

Daniel Belsky, PhD NIA Postdoctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Duke UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Belsky, PhD NIA Postdoctoral Fellow Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Duke University Polygenic risk and the development and course of asthma: an analysis of data from a four-decade longitudinal study MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Belsky : We looked to the largest-ever genome-wide association study of asthma (that study by the GABRIEL Consortium included more than 26,000 individuals) to identify genetic variants that could be used to construct a genetic profile of asthma risk. We then turned to The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a unique cohort of 1,000 individuals who have been followed from birth through their fourth decade of life with extensive measurements of asthma and related traits. We computed a “genetic risk score” for each person based on the variants identified in GWAS.  Then, we looked at who developed asthma, when they developed asthma, and what that asthma looked like in terms of allergic response and impaired lung function. What we found: (1) People with higher genetic risk scores were more likely to develop asthma and they developed asthma earlier in life. (2) Among children who developed asthma, the ones at higher genetic risk were more likely to have persistent asthma through midlife. (3) Genetic risk was specifically associated with allergic asthma that resulted in chronic symptoms of impaired lung function. (4) People with higher genetic risk score developed more severe cases of asthma. As compared to people with a lower genetic risk, they were more often absent from school and work because of asthma and they were more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. (5) The genetic risk score provided new information about asthma risk that could not be obtained from a family history. (more…)
Duke, Mental Health Research, Ophthalmology / 08.06.2013

From: Duke University

Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy 2020 West Main Street, Suite 201 Box 104410 Durham, North Carolina 27708

TITLE: Retinal Vessel Caliber and Lifelong Neuropsychological Functioning An international research team from the USA, UK, Singapore and New Zealand reports that the size of the blood vessels in the back of the eye can indicate the health of the brain of people approaching midlife (age 38 years), years before age-related declines in brain functioning. PUBLICATION SOURCE: Psychological Science, advance online publication date, May 2013.   BACKGROUND:
  • Young people who score low on IQ tests, tend to be at higher risk for diseases in later life, and even tend to die younger.
  • One plausible explanation for this link is that intelligence tests assess brain health.
  • Digital retinal imaging is a relatively new and non-invasive method to visualize the small blood vessels in the retina, at the back of the eye. The small vessels in the eye may reflect the conditions of the vessels inside the brain because both eye and brain vessels share similar size, structure and function. Thus, retinal imaging can provide a window to study the health of the brain in living humans.
  • We studied the link between retinal vessel width and intelligence tests scores in the representative Dunedin birth cohort of 1000 New Zealanders born in 1972-73, and followed for 38 years with repeated assessments.
  • Using a digital fundus camera, which can photograph the interior surface of the eye, we were able to assess the size of the small blood-vessels in the retina, namely, the arterioles and venules (the small branches of the arteries and veins). We also administered intelligence tests in childhood and adulthood.
THE FINDING:
  • We found that study members who presented with wider venules had poorer intelligence tests scores at midlife (age 38 years). This finding held up independently of potential factors that may explain this link, such as low socio-economic status, smoking, or diabetes.
  • Moreover, wider venules in the eye were linked with lower childhood IQ that had been tested 25 years earlier.
  • (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Genetic Research, Leukemia, MD Anderson, UT Southwestern / 23.03.2013

MedicalResearch.com Author Interview: Jun J. Yang, Ph.D. Assistant Member Dept. of Pharm. Sci. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Pl., MS313 Memphis, TN 38105 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Yang: We performed a comprehensive survey of inherited genetic variations for their contribution to the susceptibility of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children. This is by far the largest study of its kind (in terms of the number of subjects involved), and also the first one to include multi-ethnic populations. We identified 4 genomic loci related to the predisposition to ALL, 2 of which contributed to racial differences in the incidence of ALL.  This study provided unequivocal evidence for inherited susceptibility of childhood ALL and pointed to novel biology of the pathogenesis of this disease. (more…)