Author Interviews, Endocrinology, NIH, Pediatrics / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50940" align="alignleft" width="150"]Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH Dr. Kenneth Korach[/caption] Kenneth S. Korach, Ph.D. Senior Principal Investigator Chief, Receptor Biology Section Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory NIEHS/NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lavender oil is among the most popular essential oils used today. Our society deems essential oils and other homeopathic remedies as safe alternatives for medical treatment, personal hygiene commodities, aromatherapy, and cleaning products; however, there are many natural products that have effects on the human body, similar to potent synthetic drugs.
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, NIH, Pulmonary Disease / 13.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50697" align="alignleft" width="150"]Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, Professor   Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine, and Epidemiology University of Washington Prof. Kaufman[/caption] Joel Kaufman, MD, MPH, Professor   Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Medicine, and Epidemiology University of Washington  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Increasingly, it is recognized that chronic lung diseases like emphysema occur in nonsmokers and rates of these diseases are continuing to increase.  We really need to understand what’s causing chronic lung disease. Air pollutants are known to make disease worse in people with prior lung disease, but little is known about whether long-term exposure to air pollutants can cause chronic lung disease. We found that higher residential concentrations of air pollutants—especially ozone and traffic-related air pollutants—are associated with changes in the lung—emphysema-like changes in the lung.  The associations were strong and suggest that air pollution may be an important contributor to chronic lung disease. 
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, NIH / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50622" align="alignleft" width="126"]Co-First author: Jamie J. Lo, MPH PhD student, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health National University of Singapore, Singapore Jamie Lo[/caption] Co-First author: Jamie J. Lo, MPH PhD student, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health National University of Singapore, Singapore [caption id="attachment_50623" align="alignleft" width="100"]Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Dr. Park[/caption] Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Postdoctoral fellow, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health [caption id="attachment_50624" align="alignleft" width="100"]Co-First author & Co-Senior author: Yong-Moon (“Mark”) Park, MD, PhD Dr. Sandler[/caption] Senior author: Dale P. Sandler, PhD Chief, Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested, generally, in the association between meat consumption and breast cancer risk. Epidemiological studies of red meat consumption and risk of breast cancer are still inconsistent, although red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen. In addition, there is not much evidence on the association between poultry consumption and breast cancer risk. We studied around 42,000 women ages 35-74 from across the US who are enrolled in the Sister Study cohort. Women provided self-reported information on meat consumption at baseline and were followed for 7.6 years on average.
Author Interviews, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 25.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50397" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lan N. Đoàn, MPH CPH PhD Candidate, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences College of College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University, Corvallis Lan N. Doan[/caption] Lan N. Đoàn, MPH CPH PhD Candidate, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences College of College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University, Corvallis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a prevailing stereotype that Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA/NHPI) populations are a model minority group - healthier than all other racial/ethnic groups. As a result, health researchers often consider AA/NHPI so similar that their data is typically grouped together which masks their cultural and health differences. However, AA/NHPI populations represent more than 50 countries or cultures of origin and 100 different languages and have unique health needs and cultural preferences. Prior research has found minimal financial investments in AA/NHPI populations by federal agencies and philanthropy, even though AA/NHPI individuals represent more than 5.0% of the total US population and are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group in the United States. The purpose of study was to conduct a review of clinical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for AA/NHPI populations and to determine the level of NIH investment in serving these populations. We queried the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results (RePORTER) system for extramural AA/NHPI focused clinical research projects conducted in the United States from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2018. We included clinical research funded under research project grants, centers, cooperative awards, research career awards, training grants, and fellowships was included, with an advanced text search for AA/NHPI countries and cultures of origin. 
Author Interviews, Dermatology, NIH / 19.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50340" align="alignleft" width="160"]Mark Hoon, PhD Senior Investigator,Molecular Genetics Unit Sensory Biology NIH NIDCR, Bethesda, MD Dr. Moon[/caption] Mark Hoon, PhD Senior Investigator,Molecular Genetics Unit Sensory Biology NIH NIDCR, Bethesda, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Itch is a condition that at some point effects all people. For most of us itch is not a major problem, but for some people with certain chronic conditions it severely effects their quality of life. Examples of diseases which cause chronic itch are atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and renal failure. However, current therapies for chronic itch are mainly ineffective and there is a unmet clinical need.
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NIH, Pediatrics / 18.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ellen Leschek MD Program Director: Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is thought to be characterized by a progressive loss of pancreatic beta cell (insulin producing/releasing cell) function. For this reason, T2D medications eventually stop working and individuals with T2D require treatment with insulin. The Restoring Insulin Secretion (RISE) Consortium was established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to evaluate the effects of treatment and treatment withdrawal on the loss of pancreatic beta cell function. In the RISE Study, progression of disease was assessed by the measurement of pancreatic beta cell function in youth and adults who had either impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; prediabetes) or recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetes before, during and after treatment with study medications. Importantly, the RISE Pediatric Medication Study and the RISE Adult Medication Study were designed in tandem to allow direct comparison of the effects of two pharmacologic treatment regimens (the only two FDA-approved medications for Type 2 diabetes in youth) on disease progression in youth and adults. For more information about the RISE Study, please visit https://rise.bsc.gwu.edu/web/rise.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Stroke / 27.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49363" align="alignleft" width="128"]Lenore J. Launer, PhD.Chief Neuroepidemiology Section Intramural Research ProgramNational Institute on Aging Dr. Launer[/caption] Lenore J. Launer, PhD. Chief Neuroepidemiology Section Intramural Research Program National Institute on Aging MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The prevalence of cerebral infarction on MRI can be as high as 30% in community-based studies. These lesions detected on brain MRI, are often clinically silent, but are associated with impairments in cognitive and physical function and can increase the risk for clinical events. For a large number, the origin of these brain lesions is unknown. There is also a lack of population-based data on unrecognized myocardial infarction, which is associated with an increased for clinical coronary disease and mortality. Unrecognized MI was detected in 17% of participants using state-of-the-art cardia MRI, a more sensitive measure of the lesions, than the standard ECG. We investigated the contribution to these lesions of recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction [MI] identified on cardiac MRI. We found both recognized and unrecognized myocardial infarction increased the risk for cerebral infarction, and that in particular unrecognized MI was associated with cerebral infarction of embolic origins of an unknown source. Given their prevalence, unrecognized MI may be an underestimated contributor to the risk for cerebral infarction in older persons. 
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, JAMA, NIH, NYU / 24.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49355" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jan Blustein, MD PhDProfessor of Health Policy and MedicineWagner Graduate School and School of MedicineNew York University, New York Dr. Blustein[/caption] Jan Blustein, MD PhD Professor of Health Policy and Medicine Wagner Graduate School and School of Medicine New York University, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s largest public funder of health research, provides annual reports about levels of funding for many diseases and conditions.  These reports, issued as part of the NIH’s Research, Condition and Disease Categorization (RCDC) process, allow members of the public to track funding across key conditions and across time. Hearing loss is not included among the reported conditions. This runs counter to two of the NIH’s stated goals, according to researcher Jan Blustein (M.D., Ph.D.), professor of health policy and medicine at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, in a Research Letter in the May 15th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. “First, the NIH is committed to transparency about how it divides funds across diseases and conditions,” said Dr. Blustein.  “Second, it has said that it will prioritize its funding to those conditions that cause the greatest disease burden.”  Hearing loss causes great disease burden, ranking 10th in the U.S. among all conditions as a contributor to Disability Adjusted Life Years (a widely-used measure of disease burden), according to the World Health Organization.
Author Interviews, Memory, NIH, Sleep Disorders / 17.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48644" align="alignleft" width="156"]In a study of healthy volunteers, NIH researchers found that taking short breaks, early and often, may help our brains learn new skills. Courtesy of Cohen lab, NIH/NINDS In a study of healthy volunteers, NIH researchers found that taking short breaks, early and often, may help our brains learn new skills.
Courtesy of Cohen lab, NIH/NINDS[/caption] Leonardo G. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator Marlene Bönstrup, M.D., Postdoctoral fellow in  Dr. Cohen's lab NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Learning a new skill is typically divided into online (during practice) and offline (after practice has ended) components. Particularly motor skill learning occurs to a considerable degree offline, meaning that performance further improves even after practice has ended. A single practice session itself however, is typically divided into short (level of seconds) periods of practice and rest. In this study, we set out to investigate the contribution of those short periods of practice and rest to the learning during a practice session (i.e. online learning). We found that during early motor skill learning, when most of the total learning occurs, performance improvements actually precipitate during short periods of rest whereas during practice periods, performance mostly stagnated. We found a signature of neural activity predictive of those performance improvements during rest: The lower the beta rhythmic activity in the parietofrontal regions of the brain during those short periods of rest, the higher were participant’s performance jumps. 
Author Interviews, Gout, NIH, OBGYNE / 04.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48366" align="alignleft" width="160"]Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhDSenior InvestigatorSection on Growth and Obesity, DIR, NICHDNational Institutes of HealthHatfield Clinical Research CenterBethesda, MD 20892‐1103 Dr. Yanovski[/caption] Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD Senior Investigator Section on Growth and Obesity, DIR, NICHD National Institutes of Health Hatfield Clinical Research Center Bethesda, MD 20892‐1103 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Studies of both mouse models and people suggest that obesity induced inflammation may promote insulin resistance and progression to diabetes. Others have proposed that suppressing this chronic, low level inflammation may slow the onset of diabetes. Nod-like Receptor Family Pyrin Domain Containing 3 (NLRP3) has recently been shown to play a strong role in promoting the inflammatory state in obesity. Colchicine, traditionally used to suppress or prevent inflammation in gout and other disorders is believed to inhibit formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Our group hypothesized that colchicine would improve obesity associated inflammation in adults with metabolic syndrome who had not yet developed type 2 diabetes.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Johns Hopkins, NIH, Pulmonary Disease, Transplantation / 29.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47206" align="alignleft" width="142"]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[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, NIH, OBGYNE / 27.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46711" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D.  Chief, Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIH Dr. Sandler[/caption] Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D. Chief, Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Not having children is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer, but most of this evidence comes from studies of postmenopausal women since breast cancer before menopause is relatively uncommon. There is growing evidence that some risk factors differ for premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer – for example obesity which increases risk for breast cancer after menopause but appears to be protective before menopause. There was some evidence that breast cancer risk increased shortly after pregnancy. It was thought that this risk lasted for 5 to ten years. Studies were unable to fully characterize the duration of this increase in risk or evaluate factors such as breast feeding, age at birth, or family history of breast cancer that could modify the relationship between recent pregnancy and breast cancer risk. Breast cancer before menopause or age 55 is relatively rare, and few individual studies are large enough to answer these questions. To answer these questions, we formed the Breast Cancer Collaborative Group, a pooling project involving 20 prospective cohort studies. We included 890,000 women from 15 of these long-term studies across three continents, including over 18,000 incident breast cancer cases. 
Author Interviews, Infections, NIH, Ophthalmology / 05.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Top, retina of a control patient. Bottom, retina from a patient with CJD. Arrowheads point to abnormal prions in the outer plexiform layer (opl), and the asterisk (*) marks more diffuse prions in the inner plexiform layer (ipl).Orrù et al., mBioByron Caughey, Ph.D. Senior Investigator Chief, TSE/prion Biochemistry Section Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases NIH/NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories Hamilton, MT 59840 USA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Corneal transplants have caused the transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in at least two cases, and pathological prion protein has been detected in the retinas of the eyes of sporadic CJD cases. To build on these previous indications of prions in eye tissue, we tested the distribution of prions in various components of eyes from 11 sCJD decedents. We applied a highly sensitive surrogate test for prions (RT-QuIC) that indicated that all of the sCJD cases had prions in multiple parts of their eye, including the cornea and sclera, which is the white outer surface of the eye. Retinas were usually contained the highest levels, in some cases approaching levels in the brain. Some other parts such as the cornea, lens and vitreous had much lower, but detectable, levels. 
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, NIH, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Baby Bottle" by brokinhrt2 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kristen Upson, PhD, MPH and Donna D. Baird, PhD Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Research Triangle Park, NC 27709  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Menstrual pain is the most common menstrual complaint and can substantially affect the quality of women’s lives. A prior study in young adults who participated in feeding studies as infants reported an increased risk of greater menstrual pain severity in adulthood with soy formula feeding. Since that study, evidence from laboratory animal studies support the disruptive effects of a phytoestrogen present in soy formula, genistein, on reproductive system development, including aspects involved in menstrual pain. The laboratory animal studies also demonstrate that the developmental changes with genistein can persist into adulthood. Given these results, we were interested in further evaluating the association between infant soy formula feeding and menstrual pain in a cohort of young women. In our study of women ages 23-35 years old, we observed that soy formula feeding during infancy was associated with several indicators of severe menstrual pain in reproductive-age women. This included a 40% increased risk of ever using hormonal contraception for menstrual pain and 50% increased risk of moderate/severe menstrual discomfort with most periods during early adulthood. 
Author Interviews, Infections, MRSA, NIH, Probiotics / 12.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "staph aureus on blood agar" by Iqbal Osman is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pipat Piewngam Postdoctorol fellow Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section, Laboratory of Bacteriology, NIAID/NIH Bethesda, MD, USA 20892  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Our team at National Institutes of health, Mahidol University and Rajamangala University of Technology in Thailand has reported that the consumption of probiotic Bacillus bacteria comprehensively abolishes colonization with the dangerous pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus. We hypothesized that the composition of the human gut microbiota affects intestinal colonization with S. aureus. We collected fecal samples from 200 healthy individuals from rural populations in Thailand and analyzed the composition of the gut microbiome by 16S rRNA sequencing. Surprisingly, we did not detect significant differences in the composition of the microbiome between S. aureus carriers and non-carriers. We then sampled the same 200 people for S. aureus in the gut (25 positive) and nose (26 positive). Strikingly, we found no S. aureus in any of the samples where Bacillus were present. In mouse studies, we discovered S. aureus Agr quorum-sensing signaling system that must function for the bacteria to grow in the gut. Intriguingly, all of the more than 100 Bacillus isolates we had recovered from the human feces efficiently inhibited that system. Then, we discovered that the fengycin class of Bacillus lipopeptides achieves colonization resistance by inhibiting that system. To further validate their findings, we colonized the gut of mice with S. aureus and fed them B. subtilis spores to mimic probiotic intake. Probiotic Bacillus given every two days eliminated S. aureus in the guts of the mice. The same test using Bacillus where fengycin production had been removed had no effect, and S. aureus grew as expected. This is one of the first study that provide human evidence supporting the biological significance of probiotic bacterial interference and show that such interference can be achieved by blocking a pathogen’s signaling system.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Salt-Sodium / 03.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44967" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr. George Howard DPH, for the research team Professor and Chair of Biostatistics University of Alabama at Birmingham Dr. Howard[/caption] Dr. George Howard DPH, for the research team Professor and Chair of Biostatistics University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Perhaps the most important distinction to draw for the readers is that this is not a paper about risk factors for hypertension, but rather a paper that looks for contributors to the black-white difference in the presence of hypertension.  This racial difference in hypertension is the single biggest contributor to the immense disparities in cardiovascular diseases (stroke, MI, etc.) that underpin the approximate 4-year difference in black-white life expectancy.  As such, this work is “going back upstream” to understand the causes that lead to blacks having a higher prevalence of hypertension than whites with hopes that changing this difference will lead to reductions in the black-white disparities in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy.   This difference in the prevalence of hypertension is immense … in our national study of people over age 45, about 50% of whites have hypertension compared to about 70% of blacks … that is HUGE.   We think that changing this difference is (at least one of) the “holy grail” of disparities research. This study demonstrates that there are several “targets” where changes could be made to reduce the black-white difference in hypertension, and thereby the black-white difference in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy; however, the most “potent” of these appears to be diet changes.   Even though we know what foods promote a heart healthy lifestyle, we still have major differences in terms of how that message is being adopted by various groups of Americans.  We can’t know from our data what about the Southern diet is driving these racial differences in hypertension but we can begin to design community based interventions that could possibly help to reduce these racial disparities through diet.  It is interested that diet more than being overweight was the biggest contributor to the racial disparities in hypertension.  This would suggest we might want to consider interventions to increase health foods in the diet while minimizing fried foods and processed meats. While this is not a clinical trial that “proves” that changes in diet will reduce the disparity in blood pressure, we consider the “message” of the paper to be good news, as the things that we found that contribute to this black-white difference are things that can be changed.   While it is always hard for individual people to change their diet, it can be done.   More importantly, over time we as a society have been changing what we eat … but we need to “double down” and try to change this faster.   Also, policy changes of play a role to gently make changes in these diet, where for example Great Britain has been making policy changes to slowly remove salt from the diet.   These changes are possible … and as such, we may see a day when the black-white differences in hypertension (and thereby CVD and death) may be reduced. 
Author Interviews, ENT, JAMA, NIH / 17.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Bad smell” by Brian Fitzgerald is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kathleen Bainbridge, PhD Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program NIDCD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The causes of phantom odor perception are not understood. This study looked for the prevalence and risk factors for this disorder. We found that that 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experiences phantom odors. This study, is the first in the U.S. to use nationally representative data to examine the prevalence of and risk factors for phantom odor perception. The study included about 7,400 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a continuous survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study could inform future research aiming to unlock the mysteries of phantom odors. We identified risk factors that may be related to the perception of phantom odors. People are more likely to experience this condition if they are female, and are relatively young—we found a higher prevalence in 40-60 year-olds compared to 60+ year-olds. Other risk factors include head injury, dry mouth, poor overall health, and low socio-economic status. People with lower socio-economic status may have health conditions that contribute to phantom odors, either directly or because of medications needed to treat their health conditions.
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, JNCI, NIH, Vitamin D / 09.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42971" align="alignleft" width="160"]Stephanie J. Weinstein, M.S., Ph.D.  Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH  Dr. Weinstein[/caption] Stephanie J. Weinstein, M.S., Ph.D.  Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute, NIH   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Vitamin D, known for its role in maintaining bone health, is hypothesized to lower colorectal cancer risk via several pathways related to cell growth and regulation. Previous prospective studies have reported inconsistent results for whether higher concentrations of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the accepted measure of vitamin D status, are linked to lower risk of colorectal cancer. The few randomized clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation and colorectal cancer completed thus far have not shown an effect; but study size, relatively short supplementation duration, and only moderate compliance may have contributed to their null findings. To address inconsistencies in prior studies on vitamin D, and to investigate associations in population subgroups, we harmonized and analyzed participant-level data from over 5,700 colorectal cancer cases who had blood collected before colorectal cancer diagnosis, and 7,100 matched cancer-free controls. Study participants were drawn from 17 prospective cohorts from the United States, Europe, and Asia and were followed for an average of 5.5 years (range: 1 – 25 years). We used a single, widely accepted assay and laboratory for new vitamin D measurements and calibrated existing vitamin D measurements. In the past, substantial differences between assays made it difficult to integrate vitamin D data from different studies. Our novel calibration approach enabled us to explore risk systematically over the broad range of vitamin D levels seen internationally. 
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, NIH, Weight Research / 20.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_42530" align="alignleft" width="200"]Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP Chief, NHANES Analysis Branch Epidemiologist, NCHS/CDC Hyattsville, MD 20782 Dr. Ogden[/caption] Cynthia L. Ogden, PhD, MRP Chief, NHANES Analysis Branch Epidemiologist, NCHS/CDC Hyattsville, MD 20782 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: 40% of adults and over 18% of youth in the US have obesity. Disparities in obesity have been reported by demographics and urbanization. We looked at the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity by demographics and by level of urbanization – rural, small/medium metro and large urban. We also looked at trends over time in urban and rural areas. Obesity and severe obesity rates were higher in rural areas than large urban areas among adults. Among youth, severe obesity rates were higher in rural areas compared to large urban areas. Differences in age, smoking, education or race/ethnicity between urban and rural areas did not explain the differences we found between urban and rural areas. Between 2001-2004 and 2013-2016 severe obesity among men in rural areas more than tripled and among women more than doubled. Increases in severe obesity also occurred in urban areas in men and women but they were not nearly as large.
Author Interviews, JAMA, NIH / 23.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41923" align="alignleft" width="146"]Jennifer Villani, PhD, MPH Office of Disease Prevention National Institutes of Health Dr. Villani[/caption] Jennifer Villani, PhD, MPH Office of Disease Prevention National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) develops recommendations for the delivery of clinical preventive services based on the highest quality scientific evidence available. We performed a comprehensive assessment of the sources of funding for the research studies in this evidence base. The results showed that government agencies supported the most articles (56%), with the remaining support coming from nonprofits or universities (32%), and industry (17%). The National Institutes of Health was the single largest funder of research articles underlying the USPSTF recommendations. 
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, NIH, PNAS, Sleep Disorders / 19.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41271" align="alignleft" width="150"]Nora D. Volkow MD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 Dr. Nora Volkow[/caption] Nora D. Volkow MD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Neuroimaging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Findings from animal studies had shown that sleep deprivation increased the content of beta-amyloid in brain, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.  We wanted to test whether this also happened in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. We found that indeed one night of sleep deprivation led to an accumulation of beta amyloid in the human brain, which suggest that one of the reasons why we sleep is to help clean our brain of degradation products that if not removed are toxic to brain cells. 
Author Interviews, Infections, Nature, NIH, PLoS, Rheumatology / 16.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41160" align="alignleft" width="133"]John B. Harley, MD, PhD Professor and Director David Glass Endowed Chair Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio 45229 Dr. Harley[/caption] John B. Harley, MD, PhD Professor and Director David Glass Endowed Chair Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio 45229 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous work has shown that Epstein-Barr virus infection is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and studies of the origins of the autoimmune response have also suggested that the autoimmunity of this disease may originate with the immune response against this virus. In the meantime, many investigators have been studying the genetics of lupus over the past 25 years. They have found about 100 convincing genes that alter the risk of developing lupus.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Dermatology, NIH / 29.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40853" align="alignleft" width="143"]Dr. Beth Kozel M.D.-Ph.D The Laboratory of Vascular and Matrix Genetics LASKER CLINICAL RESEARCH SCHOLAR NIH Dr. Kozel[/caption] Dr. Beth Kozel M.D. Ph.D The Laboratory of Vascular and Matrix Genetics LASKER CLINICAL RESEARCH SCHOLAR NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elastin is a protein that allows the blood vessels to stretch and recoil. It is made as a child grows but once the child reaches adolescence, the body stops making elastin. With age, the body slowly begins to lose elastin and blood vessels become less flexible. In order to study what happens when a vessel has less elastin, we used a mouse that makes half of the normal amount of elastin, the Eln+/- mouse. These mice have higher blood pressure, stiffer blood vessels and decreased blood flow to end organs such as the brain. We then used a blood pressure medication, minoxidil (this same medicine when used in topical form helps hair growth), and treated mice from weaning until 3 months of age. With treatment, Eln+/- blood pressure was lower, the vessels were less stiff and blood flow to the brain increased. That effect remained for weeks after the medication was stopped. Additional studies showed that more elastin was present in the vessel wall after treatment and more than 100 other connective tissue genes were also changed, suggesting vessel remodeling. Minoxidil works by causing cells in the blood vessel to relax, leading to a more open, or dilated artery. When taken chronically, our data suggest that the connective tissue associated with a blood vessel remodels, fixing it in a more open state and allowing better blood flow to the organ on the other side, in this case, the brain.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, NIH / 24.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40757" align="alignleft" width="125"]Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Metabolic Epidemiology Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS Rockville, MD 20850 Dr. Saint-Maurice[/caption] Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Metabolic Epidemiology Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS Rockville, MD 20850 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults do 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity physical activity (PA) in increments of at least 10 minutes at a time. However, there is limited epidemiologic evidence supporting the use of the 10-minute increment and whether shorter increments (for instance walking up the stairs) can also be beneficial for health in adults. We looked at accelerometer-measured physical activity in roughly 5,000 adults (40 and older) representative of the US population and followed them prospectively (over 7 years) to determine whether physical activity accumulated in 10-minute increments, but also accumulated in shorter bursts, were associated with lower risk of death (mortality data came from the National Death Index).
Author Interviews, HIV, NIH, PLoS / 18.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39372" align="alignleft" width="300"]“HIV-infected T cell” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 HIV-infected T-cell
NIAID image[/caption] Tae-Wook Chun, Ph.D. National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20892  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has improved the clinical outcome for people living with HIV, persistence of viral reservoirs in the peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues remains a hurdle to complete eradication of virus and cure of the infection. We know the vast majority of people living with HIV will experience plasma viral rebound within weeks of cessation of therapy. Considering that current research on the treatment of people living with HIV has been heavily focused on developing strategies aimed at achieving sustained virologic remission in the absence of ART, it is of great interest to investigate whether treatment interruption results in expansion of the viral reservoir and/or damage to the immune system. Using data from a recently concluded trial that employed short-term analytical treatment interruption (ATI), we found that, as expected, HIV DNA increased in the CD4+ T cells of individuals living with HIV during the treatment interruption phase. However, the size of the HIV reservoirs as well as immune parameters returned to baseline 6–12 months after the participants resumed ART. 
Author Interviews, CDC, Exercise - Fitness, NIH, Occupational Health / 18.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Taylor M. Shockey, MPH Title 42 Fellow Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies NIOSH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Research has linked repeated exposure to occupational ergonomic hazards, such as frequent exertion and frequent standing, to injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers. To determine the industry and occupation groups that have the highest prevalence rates of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work, NIOSH researchers analyzed 2015 National Health Interview Survey data. The results showed large differences among the groups with the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (70.9%) and the construction and extraction occupation group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (76.9%). These differences indicate a need for targeted interventions to reduce workplace exposure.