Use of AV Grafts Drops in Dialysis Patients, But Still Room For Improvement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Caitlin W. Hicks, M.D., M.S. Assistant Professor of Surgery Recipient of the Department of Surgery Rothman Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Hicks

Caitlin W. Hicks, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Recipient of the Department of Surgery
Rothman Early Career Development Award for Surgical Research
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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

Response: Arteriovenous fistula are associated with better long-term patency, lower rates of infection, and lower long-term costs compared to arteriovenous graft. As a result, the Fistula First Catheter Last Guidelines recommend placement of an arteriovenous fistula over an AVG whenever possible.

We looked at individual physician utilization of AVF vs AVG for first-time AV access in Medicare beneficiaries. We found that the median physician utilization rate for AVG was only 18%, but that 21% of physicians use AVG in more than 34% of cases, which is above currently recommended  practice guidelines. 

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Novel Lantibiotic Against C. diff Infections May Improve Lipid Profile

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rajesh Kumar NV, Ph.D.Affiliation during the study:Senior Manager, Human Therapeutics Division,Intrexon Corporation, Germantown, MD, USA

Dr. Rajesh Kumar NV

Rajesh Kumar NV, Ph.D.
Affiliation during the study:
Senior Manager, Human Therapeutics Division,
Intrexon Corporation, Germantown, MD, USA
Current affiliation:
Translational Research Program Manager, Oncology Drug Discovery,
Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD,  


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

Response: Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. Clostridium difficile infection is the most frequent form of colitis in hospitals and nursing homes and affects millions of patients in the United States and abroad. Clostridium difficile associated disease (CDAD) is a global public health challenge where even mild to moderate infections at times can quickly progress to a fatal disease if not treated promptly.

OG253 is a novel lantibiotic in development for the treatment of CDAD. Lantibiotics are antimicrobial peptides whose chemical structure includes a bridge maintained by the non-canonical amino acid lanthionine. The primary objective of our study was to evaluate the repeated dose toxicokinetics and any possible side effects of OG253 as enteric-coated capsules following daily oral administrations of three different doses (6.75, 27 and 108 mg/day) for a single day or seven consecutive days in both genders of rats.

An enteric-coated capsule of OG253 was formulated in an attempt to circumvent the proteolytic degradation of OG253 in the upper digestive tract and specifically deliver this lantibiotic to the distal portion of the small intestine. Continue reading

COPD: Aclidinium Bromide (Tudorza Pressair) Has Favorable Safety Profile in Patients with CVD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Robert A. Wise, M.D.Professor of MedicinePulmonary and Critical CareJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore, MD 

Dr. Wise

Robert A. Wise, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Pulmonary and Critical Care
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

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

Response: There has been a lingering controversy about the safety of long-acting anti-muscarinic agents (LAMA) as maintenance treatment for COPD in patients who have increased cardiovascular risk.  This study enrolled participants with COPD who also had increased cardiovascular risk or known cardiovascular disease.  Participants were randomly treated with either aclidinium bromide (Tudorza Pressair) or placebo.

Over 3 years of follow up there was no increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events.  Moreover, the medication had a significant benefit in terms of reducing exacerbations and COPD hospitalizations. Continue reading

Transgender Adults Face Barriers to Health Care

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kellan E. Baker, MPH, MACentennial Scholar PhD CandidateHealth Policy Research ScholarDepartment of Health Policy and ManagementJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Kellan Baker

Kellan E. Baker, MPH, MA
Centennial Scholar PhD Candidate
Health Policy Research Scholar
Department of Health Policy and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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

Response: This study shows that transgender adults in the U.S. today have significantly worse health-related quality of life than cisgender (non-transgender) adults, as measured by self-reported health status and number of recent days of poor physical or mental health.

The study is important because it quantifies the gap in health-related quality of life between transgender and cisgender people, and it relies on a survey that allows us to believe that these findings are likely true not just for the people who answered the survey but for the U.S. as a whole.

Health-related quality of life is a very broad term that describes a person’s whole sense of well-being—we might think of it as the answer to the question, “how are you doing these days?” The answer has to do not just with your physical health but also your mental health, your outlook on your life and your community, your feelings of wholeness and happiness. Sources such as the National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. Transgender Survey have documented that transgender people face discrimination in areas of everyday life such as housing, health care, and public spaces. Encounters with discrimination don’t just keep transgender people from getting services they need: they hurt trans people both physically and mentally.  Continue reading

Suboptimal Physical Activity in Women Associated With Increased Healthcare Spending

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Erin D. Michos, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, FASE
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology
Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Victor Okunrintemi, MD, MPH
Department of Internal Medicine
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina 

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

Response: Women are less physically active than men on average, and the lack of regular physical activity has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and poorer health outcomes. Although recommendations encouraging regular physical activity has been in place for decades, we do not know how much of these recommendations are met, particularly among high risk women with established cardiovascular disease for secondary prevention.

This study was therefore designed with the aim of describing the 10-year trends for the proportion of women with cardiovascular disease who do not meet these recommend physical activity levels, overall and by key sociodemographic groups, and the associated cost implications.

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Antibiotics for Acne Alter Skin Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Luis Garza

Dr. Garza

Luis Garza, MD-PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Dermatology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21287

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Do you think these findings would be similar with other antibiotics (oral or topical) or with isotretinoin for acne?

Response: We prescribe antibiotics frequently for acne. We certainly know it affects our normal and abnormal bacteria on our skin. But we don’t fully understand how well or not people recover from antibiotics. 

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First Blood Test To Predict Lung Transplant Rejection

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sean Agbor-Enoh, M.D., Ph.D. Co-Director/Staff Clinician Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Institutes of Health

Dr. Agbor-Enoh

Sean Agbor-Enoh, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Director/Staff Clinician
Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health

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

Response: People who receive organ transplants may develop acute or chronic rejection, in which the body’s immune system attacks the transplanted organ. While acute rejection is treatable and reversible, chronic rejection is not and remains the most common cause for organ transplant loss. Lung transplant recipients have the shortest survival rates among patients who get solid organ transplantation of any kind—only about half live past five years. This poor survival rate among lung transplant recipients is due in part to a high incidence of chronic rejection. Existing tools for detecting signs of rejection, such as biopsy, either require the removal of small amounts of lung tissue or are not sensitive enough to discern the severity of the rejection.

Building upon earlier work, our research team developed a simple blood test that can detect when a newly transplanted lung is being rejected by a patient, even when no outward signs of the rejection are evident.  The test could make it possible for doctors to intervene faster to prevent or slow down so-called chronic rejection—which is severe, irreversible, and often deadly—in those first critical months after lung transplantation. This same test might also be useful for monitoring rejection in other types of organ transplants.

Called the donor-derived cell-free DNA test, the experimental test begins with obtaining a few blood droplets taken from the arm of the transplant recipient. A special set of machines then sorts the DNA fragments in the blood sample, and in combination with computer analysis, determines whether the fragments are from the recipient or the donor and how many of each type are present.  Because injured or dying cells from the donor release lots of donor DNA fragments into the bloodstream compared to normal donor cells, higher amounts of donor DNA indicate a higher risk for transplant rejection in the recipient.

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Comparison of Local Public Health Departments Highlights Social Inequities

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Megan Wallace, DrPH Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Wallace

Megan Wallace, DrPH
Department of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland

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

Response: Local health departments are often evaluated on a nationwide or statewide basis, however, given diversity among counties that exists even at the state level, we felt there might be a better way to group health departments for evaluation.

In this study, we created county-level clusters using local characteristics most associated with the outcomes of interest, which were smoking, motor vehicle crash deaths, and obesity. We then compared county-level percentile rankings for the outcomes within sociodemographic peer clusters vs nationwide rankings. We identified 8 groups of counties with similar local characteristics.

Percentile ranks for the outcomes of interest often differed when counties were compared within their peer groups in comparison with a nationwide scale.  Continue reading

Soda, Sugary Drinks Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Rebholz

Casey M. Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, FAHA
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: Individual beverages have been previously shown to influence risk of a wide range of cardiometabolic diseases. Less is known about beverage consumption and kidney disease risk.

In this study population, we found that one such beverage pattern consisted of soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, and water, and that higher adherence to the sugar-sweetened beverage pattern was associated with greater odds of developing incident kidney disease, even after accounting for demographic characteristics and established risk factors.  Continue reading

Study Finds Kidneys With AKI Can Be Safely Transplanted

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chirag R Parikh, M.B.B.S., Ph.D. Director,Division of Nephrology Professor of Medicine School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland 21287

Dr. Parikh

Chirag R Parikh, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Director,Division of Nephrology
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland 21287 

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

Response: The initial study idea stemmed from our earlier cohort studies of predictors of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation.  We previously found that kidneys from donors with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) were more often discarded than kidneys from donors without AKI, and transplanted donor AKI kidneys were at increased risk for delayed graft function.

It was important to determine whether that increased risk for delayed graft function also translated into worse long-term outcomes for recipients of kidneys from donors with AKI.

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Adolescent Gun Injuries Peak at Ages 15-17

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Me holding USP gun” by Nghị Trần is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Faiz Gani, PhD
Postdoctoral research fellow
Department of Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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

Response: Firearm related injuries are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, yet, due to combination of factors, limited data exist that evaluate these injuries, particularly among younger patients (patients younger than 18 years).

The objective of this study was to describe emergency department utilization for firearm related injuries and to quantitate the financial burden associated with these injuries.

In our study of over 75,000 emergency department visits, we observed that each year, over 8,300 children and adolescents present to the emergency department for the treatment / management of a gunshot injury. Within this sub-population of patients, we observed that these injuries are most frequent among patients aged 15-17 years and while these injuries decreased over time initially, were observed to increase again towards the end of the time period studied.

In addition to describing the clinical burden of these injuries, we also sought to describe the financial burden associated with these injuries. For patients discharged from the emergency department, the average (median) charge associated with their care was $2,445, while for patients admitted as inpatients for further care, the average (median) charge was $44,966.

Collectively these injuries resulted in $2.5 billion in emergency department and hospital charges over the time period studied. This translates to an annual financial burden of approximately $270 million. Continue reading

2 Million Never-Smokers Now Use E-Cigarettes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Cigarettes" by Chris F is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mohammadhassan (Hassan) Mirbolouk, MD
American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation Center (A-TRAC)
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD 21224.

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

Response: E-cigarettes were introduced first in US market as a less harmful method of nicotine delivery which potentially would help smokers to have a less harmful option.

However, overtime e-cigarette found its niche of consumers in the younger/tobacco naïve population. Our study is amongst the first studies that describes those who use e-cigarette without any history of combustible-cigarette smoking.  Continue reading

Critical Illness Linked To Brain Changes Associated with Cognitive Decline

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Keenan Walker, PhD Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine  Baltimore

Dr. Walker

Keenan Walker, PhD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore

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

Response: This study was conducted in response to anecdotal accounts and scientific evidence which suggests that major medical conditions, such as critical illness and severe infections, can have a long-term neurological effect on some individuals.

There are quite a few studies to date which have found that critical illnesses, such as severe sepsis, are associated with long-term cognitive impairment. Based on this evidence, we wanted to figure out to what degree critical illness and major infection may affect later brain structure and to determine whether the structural changes associated with these events were similar to those observed in Alzheimer’s disease.

Our main finding was that individuals who had one or more critical illness or major infection major infection during the decades leading up to older adulthood were more likely to have smaller brain volumes in brain regions most vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Racial Disparities in Prurigo Nodularis (Extremely Itchy Lumps)

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prurigo Nodularis credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Prurigo Nodularis
credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Shawn Kwatra MD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

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

Response: Prurigo nodularis is a skin condition where patients develop extremely itchy nodules throughout the body. Little is known about why this happens or which groups of people are predisposed to develop this condition.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response We found that prurigo nodularis disproportionately affects African-Americans as compared to the general population. Diabetes, Hepatitis C, chronic kidney disease, and HIV are also more common in patients with prurigo nodularis than the general population or patients with other inflammatory skin diseases studied, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

We also found that people with prurigo nodularis are more likely to be depressed than patients with other inflammatory skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. 

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Double-Edge Sword of Drug Epidemic

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Christine Marie Durand, M.D
.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study

Response: Most Americans know that the United States faces an epidemic of deaths due to drug overdose.  And many are also aware that there is a critical shortage of organs available for transplant.  Perhaps less widely known is that today, more than 1 in every 8 deceased organ donors died from a drug overdose.  The objective of our study was to look at the outcomes of patients who received transplants with organs donated after an overdose.

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Gene Changes During Aging Predispose To Cancer Formation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hariharan Easwaran, PhD Assistant Professor of Oncology The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Bunting/Blaustein Cancer Research Building 1 Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Easwaran

Hariharan Easwaran, PhD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Bunting/Blaustein Cancer Research Building 1
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: The interpretation of the information encoded in our DNA by the various cells in our body is mediated by a plethora of modifications of DNA and proteins that complex with DNA. DNA methylation is one such important modification, which is normally established in a very orchestrated fashion during development. All normal cells have a defined pattern of DNA methylation, which may vary by tissue type, but is consistent within tissues. This normal pattern is disrupted in all known cancers, and is considered a hallmark of cancers.

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Despite 20 Years of Programs and Policies, Racial Disparities in Kidney Transplants Widen

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tanjala S. Purnell, PhD MPH Assistant Professor of Surgery, Epidemiology, and Health Behavior and Society Core Faculty, Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation Johns Hopkins University Associate Director for Education and Training, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity Member, OPTN/UNOS Minority Affairs Committee

Dr. Purnell

Tanjala S. Purnell, PhD MPH
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Epidemiology, and Health Behavior and Society
Core Faculty, Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation
Johns Hopkins University
Associate Director for Education and Training, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity
Member, OPTN/UNOS Minority Affairs Committee 

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

  • Our study was motivated by the fact that we know live donor kidney transplants are associated with longer life expectancy and higher quality of life than deceased donor kidney transplants or long-term dialysis treatment. We also know that Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than White adults to have end-stage kidney disease but are less likely than White patients to receive live donor kidney transplants.
  • Over the last 2 decades, there have been several transplant education programs implemented within transplant centers and dialysis centers, and legislative policies enacted to improve overall access to live donor kidney transplants for patients. We wanted to see whether these programs and policies resulted in narrowed racial and ethnic disparities in access to live donor kidney transplants in the United States. 

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Liquid Biopsies Sent To Different Labs May Yield Different Results

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gonzalo Torga, MD
Urology Department
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: Liquid biopsy is a new and noninvasive alternative to tumor tissue sequencing, and it is intended to specifically detect and sequence tumor DNA circulating in patients’ blood. The results are used to help guide oncologists to tailor the best treatment for patients at each point of their disease. Our research was initially aimed at finding the best commercial lab to test samples from metastatic prostate cancer patients. We wanted to make the best choice for our patients, so we started submitting the samples to both places at the same time to compare results. However, we found significant disparities in the results from identical patient samples submitted to two different commercial liquid biopsy providers, and we believed it would be important to share them with the oncology community.

The two liquid biopsy panels compared were the Guardant360, from Guardant Health, Inc., which sequenced at least part of the coding sequences of 73 genes; and the PlasmaSELECT panel from Personal Genome Diagnostics, which sequenced coding segments of 64 genes.  Both laboratories were licensed by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and report having high sensitivity (in this case, the ability to correctly identify mutations when they occur) and high specificity (the ability to correctly report as negative when those mutations are not present). The two companies differ in which genes, and regions within each gene, are covered. Just 25 of the 40 patients in the study had at least one genetic mutation reported within the overlapping genetic sequences covered by both companies.

Even when the companies were analyzing DNA from the same blood drawn, their results rarely matched each other. When comparing results within the overlapping genetic sequences, the results from both companies completely matched for all the mutations reported in only 7.5 percent (3 of 40 patients) of cases. In 15 percent of the patients (6 of 40), both companies’ results matched for at least one of the reported mutations. In 40 percent (16 of 40) of the patients, no mutations reported that were potentially covered by both panels were detected by both companies.

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Family Members of Patients Prescribed Opioids More Likely To Fill Opioid Prescriptions Themselves

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Pills” by Victor is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marissa J. Seamans, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Mental Health
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD 21205 

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

Response: Many patients report sharing their prescriptions for opioids with family members. What we didn’t know is whether family members of opioid users are more likely to fill opioid prescriptions themselves than family members of non-opioid users. Our study found that the 1-year risk of prescription opioid initiation among family members of prescription opioid users was an absolute 0.71% higher than among family members of non-opioid users. The risks were particularly higher for initial prescriptions with refills or longer days supply.

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Toxin-Producing Bacteria Staph Aureus Induces Skin Inflammation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lloyd S. Miller, M.D., Ph.D. Vice Chair for Research, Department of Dermatology Associate Professor of Dermatology, Infectious Diseases, Orthopaedic Surgery & Materials Science and Engineering Faculty Member, Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) and Pathobiology Graduate Programs Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology Baltimore, MD 21231

Dr. Miller

Lloyd S. Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Research, Department of Dermatology
Associate Professor of Dermatology, Infectious Diseases, Orthopaedic Surgery & Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Member, Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) and Pathobiology Graduate Programs
Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology
Baltimore, MD 21231 

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

Response: Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterial skin pathogen and its abundance is greatly increased on affected skin of eczema patients, especially during disease flares. However, how S. aureus induces skin inflammation and exacerbates the skin inflammation is incompletely understood.

In this study, we found that S. aureus exposure of mouse skin induced skin inflammation through an inflammatory mediator known as IL-36.

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Chronic Inflammation in Midlife May Predispose To Smaller Brain Volumes and Memory Ability In Seniors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Keenan A. Walker, PhD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

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

Response: There is quite a bit of evidence linking immune function with dementia. For example, several of the risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease are known to play a key role in immune functioning and the regulation of inflammation. We conducted the current study to determine whether systemic inflammation earlier in life might be a risk factor for neurodegeneration decades later. This long temporal window allows us to get closer to understanding causality. That is, which comes first – systemic inflammation or brain volume loss.

Using a large community sample, we found that individuals with higher levels of blood inflammatory markers during midlife tended to have smaller brain volumes in select regions and reduced memory ability as older adults. We found the strongest associations between systemic inflammation and brain volume loss in brain regions most vulnerable Alzheimer’s disease.

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Almost $3 Billion Spent Per Year On Injuries From Firearms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Faiz Gani MD
Postdoctoral research fellow
Department of Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

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

Response: The current study sought to evaluate epidemiological trend in emergency department (ED) visits for firearm-related injuries in the US.

In our study, we observed that 25.3 patients per 100,000 presented to the ED for a firearm-related injury. This translated to over 78,000 ED visits per year.

Over time, while firearm injuries decreased from 2006-2013, an increase in the incidence of firearm-related injuries was observed in 2014.

Additionally, over time injuries among older patients and those injured in an unintentional firearm injury increased. Injuries due to an assault decreased over time.

The average ED and inpatient charges were $5,254 and $95,887, respectively, resulting in an overall financial burden of approximately $25 billion over the study or an annual $2.8 billion in ED and inpatients charges.

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How Well Do Personal Sound Amplifiers Compare To Conventional Hearing Aides?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicholas S. Reed, AuD Instructor | Department of Otolaryngology-Head/Neck Surgery PhD Candidate  | Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation Center on Aging and Health Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Nicholas Reed

Nicholas S. Reed, AuD
Instructor | Department of Otolaryngology-Head/Neck Surgery
PhD Candidate  | Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation
Center on Aging and Health
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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

Response: Hearing Aids are medical devices regulated by the FDA which must be purchased through a licensed individual while personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) are essentially unregulated devices some of which can manipulate and increase sound similar to a hearing aid but cannot market themselves are devices for hearing loss. PSAPs can be purchased online or in the back of a store and are generally less expensive than hearing aids.

We aimed to explore a select group of PSAPs to see if they helped someone with mild to moderate hearing loss improve speech understanding (i.e. ability to repeat back sentences) in the presence of mild background noise (think a lunch crowd at a restaurant) as well as a hearing aid. We selected four PSAP devices that were technologically strong (i.e. meet many standards a hearing aid might be asked to meet) and one PSAP that was technologically fairly poor (i.e. lots of sound distortion) after an in-house electroacoustic analysis of devices. Our hearing aid was selected because it was a popular choice at a university audiology clinic. Forty-two people completed the speech testing unaided (i.e. with no device) and then with each of the five PSAPs and one hearing aid (order of devices was randomized).

We looked at improvement with the devices from unaided. We found that some PSAPs help people understand speech about as well as a hearing aid in this controlled environment while one PSAP actually hindered participants’ ability to understand speech due to sound distortion – imagine how difficult it can be when listening on a poor cell phone signal.

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20% of Hospitalized Patients Receiving Antibiotics Experience Side Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pranita Tamma, MD Assistant Professor Director, Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Pranita D. Tamma
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

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

Response: A study examining the impact of antibiotics prescribed for nearly 1500 adult patients admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital found that adverse side effects occurred in a fifth of them, and that nearly a fifth of those side effects occurred in patients who didn’t need antibiotics in the first place.

In the study, the researchers evaluated the electronic medical records of 1488 adults admitted to the general medicine services at The Johns Hopkins Hospital between September 2013 and June 2014. The patients were admitted for reasons ranging from trauma to chronic disease, but all received at least 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.

The researchers followed patients for 30 days after hospital discharge to evaluate for the development of antibiotic-associated adverse events. To determine the likelihood that an adverse reaction was most likely due to antibiotics and to identify how many adverse reactions could be avoided by eliminating unnecessary antibiotic use, two infectious disease clinicians reviewed all of the data.

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Many Older Adults Welcome A Stop To Cancer Screenings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nancy Schoenborn, MD Assistant Professor Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Nancy Schoenborn, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: A lot of cancer screenings are not expected to save lives until up to 10 years later; however, the side effects of the test happen right away. Because of this, clinical guidelines have recommended against routine screening for those patients who will not live long enough to benefit but may experience the potential harm of the test in the short term. However, many patients with limited life expectancy still receive screening and clinicians are worried about how patients would react if they recommended that patients stop screening. This research is important because it is the first study that explores how patients think about the decision of stopping cancer screening and how patients want to talk to their doctors about this issue. Understanding patient perspectives would help improve screening practices and better align recommendations and patient preference.

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Doctors Continue To Order Mammograms Outside of Current Age Guidelines

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Archana Radhakrishnan MD MHS
Division of General Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

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

Response: We were interested in understanding the current practice trends in breast cancer screening recommendations by doctors in light of the guideline changes.  We performed a national survey of primary care providers and gynecologists asking about their breast cancer screening practices.

We found that a large number of doctors recommend breast cancer screening to younger and older women—upwards of 80% of doctors recommend it for younger women (ages 40-44) and almost 70% for women 75 and older.  But this varies by the type of doctor that a woman see.  Gynecologists were, in general, more likely to recommend routine mammograms.

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Probiotics May Influence Schizophrenia Symptoms Through Yeast in Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emily G. Severance PhD
Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology
Department of Pediatrics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: Previously, we found that people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had an increased susceptibility to Candida albicans yeast infections, which was sex specific and associated with memory deficits. Also in an earlier placebo-controlled probiotic study, we found that although probiotics improved the overall bowel function of people with schizophrenia, there was no effect by this treatment on psychiatric symptoms.  Given that C. albicans infections can upset the dynamics of the human microbiome, we decided to re-evaluate the potential benefit of probiotics in the context of a patient’s C. albicans yeast status.  Not only was bowel function again enhanced following intake of probiotics, but yeast antibody levels were decreased by this treatment.

Furthermore, psychiatric symptoms were actually improved over time for men receiving probiotics who did not have elevated C. albicans antibodies. Men who were positive for C. albicans exposure, however, consistently presented with worse psychiatric symptoms irrespective of probiotic or placebo treatment.

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Large Teaching Hospitals Face Greater Risk of Data Breaches

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ge Bai, PhD, CPA Assistant Professor The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Washington, DC 20036

Dr. Ge Bai

Ge Bai, PhD, CPA
Assistant Professor
The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
Washington, DC 20036


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

Response: We examined the hospital data breaches between 2009 and 2016 and found that larger hospitals and hospitals that have a major teaching mission have a higher risk of data breaches.

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Laypeople Perceive Facelift To Give More Youthful, Healthier Appearance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lisa E. Ishii, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
John Hopkins Medicine

Lisa Earnest Ishii, M.D. Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Ishii

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

Response: There was a gap in our knowledge about what the average lay person thought about the impact of a facelift. We had information about what experts in the field like Dr. Swail thought, and some about what patients themselves thought, but nothing about lay people.
Patients who choose to have a facelift are typically concerned about the opinions of:

1) Themselves when they look in the mirror, and

2) Laypeople they encounter socially in society.

Our study showed for the first time that laypeople find people who have had a facelift to appear more attractive, more youthful, healthier and more successful than they were before their facelift.

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Should Teenagers Be Able To Get Oral Contraceptives Over The Counter?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Krishna K. Upadhya, M.D., M.P.H. Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine Department of Pediatrics Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Upadhya

Krishna K. Upadhya, M.D., M.P.H.
Division of General Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD 21287

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

Response: Our study reviewed medical literature to examine the question of whether minor teens should be treated differently from older women with regard to a future over the counter oral contraceptive product.  Our analysis found that oral contraceptive pills are safe and effective for teens and there is no scientific rationale to restrict access to a future oral contraceptive pill based on age.

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