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, Sleep Disorders, University of Pennsylvania / 07.06.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frederick M. Brown, Ph.D. Associate Professor The Pennsylvania State University Department of Psychology, Cognitive and Wellness Director, Human Performance Rhythms Laboratory MedicalResearch.com:  What was the primary finding of your study? Dr. Brown: Time of day of an occupation, as well as a regular versus irregular routine, may influence whether a person wants to go into it or not. Most educational research has focused on academic major selection motivated by job aptitude, personality, and sociocultural factors. Our findings suggest that a person’s genetically determined built-in morning versus evening (M/E) preference for best time of day to work or sleep may influence career choice in two important ways: This M/E preference for work and sleep is related to 1) personality and to 2) the time of day the job is executed. These may interact with how much sleep a person thinks they need. In addition to the personality traits associated with M/E, such as morning people being more introverted and evening people more extroverted, an individual’s choice of major may be influenced by their preference for the typical work hours of a profession, such as a routine 9-to-5 schedule versus irregular evening and weekend work. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Depression, Mental Health Research, UT Southwestern / 04.06.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with: John Hart, M.D. Medical Science Director at the Center for BrainHealth Jane and Bud Smith Distinguished Chair Cecil Green Distinguished Chair The University of Texas at DallasJohn Hart, M.D. Medical Science Director at the Center for BrainHealth Jane and Bud Smith Distinguished Chair Cecil Green Distinguished Chair The University of Texas at Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hart: Football players often sustain numerous concussive and subconcussive impacts—head impacts that do not elicit neurologic symptoms that may lead to white matter damage. We evaluated a population of retired NFL players in order to study the relationship between white matter integrity and the manifestation of depressive symptoms. We identified, for the first time, a correlation between depression and white matter abnormalities in former players with a remote history of concussion using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Our data demonstrated a significant association between white matter integrity, as measured by DTI Fractional Anisotropy (FA), and the presence as well as severity of depressive symptoms in retired NFL athletes with a history of concussive or subconcussive impacts. We also found that dysfunction of the anterior aspect of the corpus callosum (forceps minor) and its projections to the frontal lobe can identify those with depression with 100% sensitivity and 95% specificity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Stanford / 30.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Ronald Levy, M.D. Professor and Chief Division of Oncology Stanford University, 269 Campus Drive Stanford, California 94305, USA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Levy: Injection of antibodies that deplete Treg cells directly into a tumor can evoke an immune response that cures  the animal of distant, untreated tumors. This effect eliminates cancer even in the brain. The dose of antibodies locally injected can be as low as 1/100 the dose used for systemic injection and therefore should avoid the usual autoimmune side effects of these antibodies. The antibodies used are directed against CTLA4 and OX40 antigens. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer, Stanford / 29.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Timothy J. Daskivich, MD Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars® University of California Los Angeles Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research 10940 Wilshire Blvd, 7th Floor Suite 710, Room 721 Los Angeles, California 90024 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?  Were any of the findings unexpected? Dr. Daskivich:  We found that age and a simple count of comorbidities were strongly predictive of likelihood of dying of causes other than prostate cancer.  When we put numbers to it, it was surprising how often older men with multiple comorbidities were dying of something else than their prostate cancer within 14 years of diagnosis.  For example, a 75-year old man with 3 or more comorbidities—diabetes, high blood pressure, and history of heart attack—had a probability of death from something other than CaP of 71% at 10 years.  For a 71-year old man with 3 or more comorbidities, the probability was 60%.  We compared that to the amount of time they were dying of prostate cancer, which was 3% for low-risk disease and 7% for intermediate-risk disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Medical Research Centers, Mediterranean Diet, Nutrition / 29.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Iris Shai, RD, PhD PI of the DIRECT trial Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shai: Low-carbohydrate is as effective as Mediterranean or low-fat diets in improving renal function among moderately obese participants with or without type 2 diabetes, with baseline serum creatinine<176µmol/L (not sever renal stage).  The effect is likely to be mediated by weight-loss induced improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, CT Scanning, Medical Imaging, Medical Research Centers / 27.05.2013

prof_john_d_mathewsJohn D. Mathews, MBBS, MD, PhD, DSc Hon, DMedSc Hon, Professor of epidemiology at the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia Cancer risk in 680 000 people exposed to computed tomography scans in childhood or adolescence: data linkage study of 11 million Australians MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Prof Mathews: We found that for persons having at least one CT scan before the age of 20 years, and followed for an average period of 10 years, the average risk of cancer was increased by 24% compared with unexposed persons matched for age, sex and year of birth. The cancer risk increased by 16% for each CT scan that preceded the cancer by more than one year. The proportional increase in risk was greater for persons exposed at younger ages. (more…)
Wake Forest / 23.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Dr. Giuseppe Orlando, M.D., Ph.D.  Instructor, General Surgery Specialty Areas: Transplant Urology, Kidney Transplantation, Pancreas Transplantation, Transplant Immunology, Transplant Immunosuppression, Transplant Surgery Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157.MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Dr. Giuseppe Orlando, M.D., Ph.D.

Instructor, General Surgery Specialty Areas: Transplant Urology, Kidney Transplantation, Pancreas Transplantation, Transplant Immunology, Transplant Immunosuppression, Transplant Surgery Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Orlando: Our study shows that we can use discarded kidneys from deceased human donors as platform for kidney regeneration investigations. As of now, we are using porcine models, after having developed smaller scale models (mainly in rodents, as it normally occurs in health science ie we need to provide the proof of concept in small animals before scaling up to larger animals which, for obvious reasons, are clinically more relevant). In regenerative medicine we know that cells do not survive if they are not seeded on supporting platforms which we call "scaffolds". There are several types of scaffolds, but probably the most effective are the ones that we can produce from animal/human organs. Basically, every organ consists of a cellular component which is endowed within the framework of the so-called extracellular matrix. When we strip cells out of an organ, what remains is the acellular extracellular matrix. Quite strikingly, the acellular organ in question maintains the same shape and volume that it had before stripping. What counts is that the so-obtained scaffold contains most information that cells require to grow, be viable and exert their function. It looks like this happens also for discarded human kidneys which may represent the most promising platform for our research (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders, University of Pennsylvania / 18.05.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with: Linden Oliver, MA, Clinical Research Coordinator University of Pennsylvania Behavioral Sleep Medicine Research Program Philadelphia, Pa MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found that less sleep is associated with greater suicide risk in those with insomnia. Specifically, we looked at suicide risk in people with insomnia, and also asked how much sleep they got in the past month. In those with some suicide risk, the likelihood of being high risk (versus low risk) decreased by 72% for every hour of sleep that person reported getting at night. (more…)
Cost of Health Care, Emergency Care, Stanford / 27.04.2013

Sridhar Sri SeshadriMedicalResearch.com eInterview with: M. Kit Degado, MD, MS Instructor, Emergency Medicine Affiliated Faculty, Centers for Health Policy/Primary Care and Outcomes Research Stanford University School of Medicine [email protected] MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Degado:
  • We found that if an additional 1.6% of patients flown by helicopter survive or if there is any improvement in disability outcomes, then helicopter EMS should be considered cost-effective over transporting patients by ground EMS. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, UCSF / 26.04.2013

MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Dr. David Perry UCSF School of Medicine Clinical Fellow in Neurology 675 Nelson Rising Lane San Francisco CA 94158 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Perry: We described two patients with clinical syndromes and brain imaging patterns that are consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. Both were found to have mutations in GRN, which are typically associated with inherited frontotemporal dementia. They both showed evidence of underlying Alzheimer’s pathology, in one case through autopsy confirmation (demonstrating Alzheimer’s disease in addition to TDP-43 pathology), and in the other case from a positive amyloid PET scan. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Case Western, Cleveland Clinic, Mental Health Research / 25.04.2013

MedicalResearch.com: eInterview with Siran M. Koroukian, Ph.D. Population Health and Outcomes Research Core, Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative Associate Professor Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 44106-7281 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Koroukian: Among individuals who died of cancer, those with mental illness (MI) died an average of 10 years earlier than those without MI. Overall, there was excess mortality from cancer associated with having mental illness in all the race/sex strata: SMR, 2.16 (95% CI, 1.85-2.50) for black men; 2.63 (2.31-2.98) for black women; 3.89 (3.61-4.19) for nonblack men; and 3.34 (3.13-3.57) for nonblack women. We note statistically significant higher SMRs for every anatomic cancer site in nonblack men and women and for most cancer sites in black men and women. (more…)
Author Interviews, CT Scanning, Mayo Clinic, Medical Imaging, Orthopedics / 17.04.2013

MedicalResearch.com:  Katrina N. Glazebrook, MB, ChB Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 MedicalResearch.com:  Why did you do the study? Dr. Glazebrook: We felt CT was being underutilized for evaluation of knee injuries. The utility of CT has been well documented in the assessment of fractures, but little attention has been made on soft tissue evaluation. CT now has high spatial resolution with very thin reconstructions in any desirable plane, and we have previously noted that this allowed injured soft tissue structures such as cruciate ligaments to be well visualized [presented at Society of Skeletal Radiology meeting March 2013]. We had determined in that prior study that the best reconstruction plane to evaluate both normal and torn anterior cruciate ligaments was the oblique sagittal plane parallel to the lateral femoral condyle as routinely used in MRI imaging of the knee The soft tissue window, single energy bone removal and Dual energy bone removal were the best reconstructions to determine the presence or absence of ACL disruption The bone removal techniques removed the distracting bone so the soft tissue structures were more apparent. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, JAMA, Medical Research Centers, Melatonin, Sleep Disorders / 04.04.2013

 Dr. Ciaran McMullan MD from Channing Division of Network Medicine in Boston, a research division within the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MassMedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Ciaran McMullan MD from Channing Division of Network Medicine in Boston, a research division within the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Mass MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. McMullan: In this observational study performed in non-diabetic women we found that lower nocturnal melatonin secretion predicted future risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When we categorized the individuals by category of nocturnal melatonin secretion we found that those in the lowest category had twice the risk as those in the highest category of nocturnal melatonin secretion. This association remained even after adjusting for other well established risk factors for development of diabetes including body mass index, physical activity, dietary factors, family history of diabetes, smoking and hypertension. This increased risk translates into the lower melatonin secretion group having an additional 5 cases of incident diabetes per 1000 person years than the high melatonin secretion group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, UT Southwestern, Weight Research / 03.04.2013

MedicalResearch.com Author Interview: Ildiko Lingvay, MD, MPH, MSCS Departments of Internal Medicine–Endocrinology and Clinical Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lingvay: We found that the restrictive diet imposed after a bariatric procedure like RYGB is the key element to the rapid improvement in the diabetes seen immediately after surgery. (more…)
Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Medical Research Centers, Statins / 02.04.2013

Dr. Alexander Turchin M.D.,M.S.  Director of Informatics Research Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview Dr. Alexander Turchin M.D.,M.S. Director of Informatics Research Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Turchi:  A large number of patients – 17% of individuals included in our study – report side effects to statins in routine care settings. Nearly 60% of these patients stopped the statin at least temporarily. However, overwhelming majority of patients who stopped taking a statin after experiencing a possible side effect, could tolerate a statin long-term if they tried taking one again. In other words, it appears that many statin-related events are tolerable, specific to individual statins or have other causes. These findings are consistent with the current guidelines that urge a conservative approach to statin discontinuation. They are particularly important because statins have been convincingly shown to save lives – they decrease all-cause mortality, and also cardiovascular mortality and incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic heart disease and / or elevated cholesterol levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Smoking, University of Pennsylvania / 01.04.2013

MedicalResearch.com Author Interview: Dr. Steven A. Branstetter, PhD The Pennsylvania State University, 315 E. HHD, University Park, PA 16810.Dr. Steven A. Branstetter, PhD The Pennsylvania State University, 315 E. HHD, University Park, PA 16810. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Branstetter: This study demonstrated that the time to the first cigarette of the day after waking is associated with increased levels of a NNAL, a metabolite of a powerful tobacco-specific carcinogen, NNK -- even after controlling for the total number of cigarettes smoked per day. For years, the time to the first cigarette of the day after waking was one of several questions assessing nicotine dependence on the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), the gold standard questionnaire int he field. Over time, it was found that much of the predictive validity of the FTND was due to the time to first cigarette item. Researchers have found that single time to first cigarette item was highly correlated with other measures of nicotine dependence, and was predictive of more difficulty quitting smoking and increased intake of nicotine. Our current study demonstrates that this behavioral measure, is predictive of exposure to the cancer-causing components of cigarettes, regardless of the total number of cigarettes smoked per day. The results suggest that researchers, clinicians and smokers can assess the level of nicotine dependence and potential cancer risk by looking at the time to the first cigarette of the day after waking. (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, University of Pennsylvania / 28.03.2013

MEDICALRESEARCH.COM INTERVIEW WITH Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H. Research Assistant Professor CCEB University of Pennsylvania MEDICALRESEARCH.COM: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Zeigler-Johnson: The main findings of the study are:
  • Younger African-American men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer at an early age (under the age of 60) are more likely to have had a personal history of early-onset baldness (baldness by age 30.)
  • For older patients, this is not necessarily the case, and future studies will need to focus on which factors place men in this age group at risk for prostate cancer. (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…)