Author Interviews, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, Yale / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50450" align="alignleft" width="200"]Abigail S. Friedman, Ph.D.     Assistant Professor Department of Health Policy and Management Yale School of Public Health  Dr. Friedman[/caption] Abigail S. Friedman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Health Policy and Management Yale School of Public Health   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Smoking is responsible for approximately 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year. Despite the fact that all US states ban tobacco sales to minors, the vast majority of smokers begin this habit as adolescents. As of July 25, 2019, 18 states and over 450 localities have passed laws banning tobacco sales to those under age-21. The laws are commonly referred to as “tobacco-21” laws. Concurrently, 16 states without state-level tobacco-21 laws prohibit counties and municipalities from raising their legal sales age for tobacco products above the state-mandated age; typically, 18. If local tobacco-21 laws reduce youth smoking, then preemption policies impede population health. To consider this, we estimated the impact of county- and municipality-level tobacco-21 policies on smoking among 18 to 20 year-olds residing in MMSAs (metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas). Specifically, regression analyses compared smoking among 18-20 year-olds in areas with more vs. less tobacco-21 coverage, before vs. after these policies were adopted.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, Yale / 12.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50208" align="alignleft" width="160"]Daniel Boffa, MD Professor of Surgery Yale School of Medicine Dr. Boffa[/caption] Daniel Boffa, MD Professor of Surgery Yale School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have previously demonstrated that top-ranked hospitals are significantly safer than their affiliates for complex cancer surgery (patients 1.4 times more likely to die after cancer surgery at affiliate hospitals).  A logical extension of this work was to compare affiliate hospitals to hospitals that were not affiliated with a top ranked hospital.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, HPV, Yale / 20.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49877" align="alignleft" width="160"]Richard J. Antaya, MD, FAAD, FAAP Professor, Dermatology and Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine Dr. Antaya[/caption] Richard J. Antaya, MD, FAAD, FAAP Professor, Dermatology and Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Localized hyperthermia has been reported to hasten the resolution of warts and treat both benign and malignant neoplasms. Numerous clinical studies employing various methods to increase the cutaneous surface temperature, including: infrared radiation, radiofrequency, Nd:YAG laser, moxibustion, warm water immersion, ultrasound, and exothermic heat patches, have all yielded positive results. We published a proof-of-concept, open-label trial, representing the largest experience to date employing chemical reaction induced exothermic heat patches for the treatment of warts. Localized hyperthermia from all sources currently has a low level of evidence and strength of recommendation because of the lack of well-designed, sufficiently powered studies. 
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, Yale / 12.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48489" align="alignleft" width="133"]Daniel J. Boffa, MDAssociate Professor of Thoracic SurgeryYale School of Medicine Dr. Boffa[/caption] Daniel J. Boffa, MD Associate Professor of Thoracic Surgery Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prominent cancer hospitals have been sharing their brands with smaller hospitals in the community.  We conducted a series of nationally representative surveys and found that a significant proportion of the U.S. public assumes that the safety of care is the same at all hospitals that share the same respected brand.  In an effort to determine if safety was in fact the same, we examined complex surgical procedures in the Medicare database. We compared the chance of dying within 90 days of surgery between top-ranked hospitals, and the affiliate hospitals that share their brands.  When taking into account differences in patient age, health, and type of procedure, Medicare patients were 1.4 times more likely to die after surgery at the affiliate hospitals, compared to those having surgery at the top-ranked cancer hospitals.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research, Transplantation, Yale / 09.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48457" align="alignleft" width="135"]Sanjay Kulkarni, MD MHCM FACSAssociate Professor of Surgery & MedicineSurgical Director – Kidney Transplant ProgramMedical Director – Center for Living Organ DonorsScientific Director – Yale Transplant ResearchNew Haven, CT 06410 Dr. Kulkarni[/caption] Sanjay Kulkarni, MD MHCM FACS Associate Professor of Surgery & Medicine Surgical Director – Kidney Transplant Program Medical Director – Center for Living Organ Donors Scientific Director – Yale Transplant Research New Haven, CT 06410 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The kidney allocation system changed in December of 2014. The aim of the new system was to increase transplant in patients who were highly sensitized (difficult matches based on reactive antibodies) and to improve access to underserved populations.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA, Yale / 24.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47133" align="alignleft" width="142"]Edouard Coupet Jr, MD, MS Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine Dr. Coupet[/caption] Edouard Coupet Jr, MD, MS Assistant Professor Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many individuals with nonfatal firearm injuries, their only point of contact with the healthcare system may be the emergency department. Both hospital-based violence intervention programs and counseling and safe firearm storage have shown promise in reducing the burden of firearm injury. In this study, one third of individuals with firearm injuries presented to non-trauma centers. Only 1 out of 5 firearm injuries were assault injuries that led to admission to trauma centers, the population most likely to receive interventions to reduce re-injury. 
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lifestyle & Health, Yale / 11.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45884" align="alignleft" width="133"]Nikolaos Papoutsidakis, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT  Dr. Papoutsidakis[/caption] Nikolaos Papoutsidakis, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Lifestyle education is a significant part of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy management. HCM patients, who frequently have to abstain from intense athletics, often ask if such restrictions extend to thrill-seeking activities they previously enjoyed, such as rollercoaster rides. Werealized there is very little data on this topic, which prompted us to set up this study. We found that for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy patients who elected to participate in thrill-seeking activities, adverse events (defined as losing consciousness or experiencing a shock from an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) were rare. We also asked patients (participating and non participating) about advice received from their physician on this topic. We found that, probably due to the lack of data, physicians often avoid providing advice or provide conflicting advice regarding participation in thrill seeking activities. 
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Endocrinology, JCEM, OBGYNE, Yale / 25.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45459" align="alignleft" width="150"]Valerie A. Flores, MD Clinical Instructor Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine - Yale New Haven Hospital Dr. Flores[/caption] Valerie A. Flores, MD Clinical Instructor Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine - Yale New Haven Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Endometriosis is a debilitating gynecologic disease that affects 1 in 10 reproductive-aged women, causing pain and infertility.  It is a hormonally dependent disorder— estrogens promote growth of endometriosis, while progesterone inhibits estrogen-dependent proliferation. Although progestin-based therapies (including combined oral contraceptives) are first-line therapy in the management of endometriosis-associated pain, response to progestins is variable and currently unpredictable.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Yale / 22.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44634" align="alignleft" width="142"]Michael F. Murray, MD, FACMG, FACP Director for Clinical Operations in the Center for Genomic Health Yale School of Medicine Dr. Murray[/caption] Michael F. Murray, MD, FACMG, FACP Director for Clinical Operations in the Center for Genomic Health Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Population screening for the cancer risk associated with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has been suggested by some.  We screened a cohort of about 50,000 adult patient volunteers at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania for this risk. 
Author Interviews, HIV, NEJM, Yale / 17.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43945" align="alignleft" width="149"]Brinda Emu, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) Yale School of Medicine Dr. Emu[/caption] Brinda Emu, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This was a Phase 3 study of a new antiretroviral agent, ibalizumab, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.  Ibalizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD4 receptor on host cells.  CD4 is the receptor that HIV uses to infect CD4+ T cells.  By binding to the CD4 receptor, ibalizumab prevents viral entry.  This study recruited patients that harbor multi-drug resistant HIV and were failing their current regimen of antiretroviral agents, and thus had limited options for treatment of their HIV-1 infection using approved medications.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Yale / 15.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41716" align="alignleft" width="171"]Jeremy O'Connor, MD Section of General Internal Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow, National Clinician Scholars Program Yale University Dr. O'Connor[/caption] Jeremy O'Connor, MD Section of General Internal Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow, National Clinician Scholars Program Yale University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the use of novel therapies in cancer care, and in particular for novel anticancer agents known as immune checkpoint inhibitors. But very little is known about how quickly providers have adopted immune checkpoint inhibitors into clinical practice. Existing studies suggest, in fact, that the process of clinical adoption is slow, with conventional wisdom holding that it takes an average of 17 years for new evidence to change practice. Our study evaluated whether the adoption of novel therapies might be much faster in certain contexts with the early use of immune checkpoint inhibitors as a notable example.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Schizophrenia, Yale / 01.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Josephine Mollon PhD Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience King’s College London, London, England Currently with the Department of Psychiatry Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are severe mental disorders that cause a range of abnormalities in perception and thinking. Individuals with psychotic disorders also experience severe impairments in IQ and there is evidence that these impairments begin many years before hallucinations and delusions first appear. Understanding how and when individuals with psychotic disorder experience a drop in IQ scores will help us better predict and treat poor cognition in these individuals, and perhaps even the disorder itself.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Yale / 28.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39559" align="alignleft" width="130"]Lajos Pusztai, M.D, D.Phil. Professor of Medicine Director of Breast Cancer Translational Research Co-Director of the Yale Cancer Center Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics Program Yale School of Medicine New Haven, CT  06511 Dr. Pusztai[/caption] Lajos Pusztai, M.D, D.Phil. Professor of Medicine Director of Breast Cancer Translational Research Co-Director of the Yale Cancer Center Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics Program Yale School of Medicine New Haven, CT  06511 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Overall, about 85% of newly diagnosed stage I-III breast cancer patients will not die of their disease, and this roughly equates to an 85% cure rate. Of course cure rates are higher for stage I cancers and lower for stage III cancers. An 85% overall cure rate is good but not good enough, we continuously try to develop new therapies hoping to push these rates to 90%...,95%...etc. However, it is not possible to cure a patient twice over. For example, if surgery plus endocrine therapy cures all patients, the addition of chemotherapy cannot improve on it no matter how effective it is. If surgery plus endocrine therapy cures 95%, adding the perfect chemo to this treatment can only bring about a 5% improvement, and very good chemo that would push cure from 95% to 97%, would require a very large trial including many thousands of patients. This is an increasingly common scenario in modern breast cancer adjuvant trials (where the goal is to improve survival and cure); the control arm that receives the current standard of care invariably does better than expected and the experimental arm only improves outcome by 1-3% that does not reach statistical significance.  The painful conclusion from these trials is that we do not know if the new drug actually works or not because there were not enough events to demonstrate an effect. Of course, a lot of patients in the study were also exposed to a new drug with all of its associated toxicities who could not possibly benefit from it.
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Genetic Research, Yale / 05.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_35046" align="alignleft" width="133"]Keith Adam Choate, MD, PhD, FAAD Associate Professor of Dermatology, of Genetics and of Pathology Director of Research, Dermatology Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT Dr Choate[/caption] Keith Adam Choate, MD, PhD, FAAD Associate Professor of Dermatology, Genetics and Pathology Director of Research, Dermatology Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Over the last 10 years, we have systematically been examining patients with ichthyosis to identify new genetic causes of this group of disorders.  We found that autosomal recessive mutations in KDSR cause ichthyosis and that the resulting skin disease is effectively treated with isotretinoin.
Author Interviews, NEJM, OBGYNE, Yale / 21.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34696" align="alignleft" width="143"]Hugh S. Taylor, M.D. Anitta O’keeffe Young Professor and Chair Departemnt of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology Yale-New Haven Hospital Dr. Taylor[/caption] Hugh S. Taylor, M.D. Anitta O’keeffe Young Professor and Chair Departemnt of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology Yale-New Haven Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Elagolix is an investigational, oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist that blocks endogenous GnRH signaling by binding competitively to GnRH receptors. Administration results in rapid, reversible, dose-dependent inhibition of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion, leading to reduced ovarian production of the sex hormones, estradiol and progesterone, while on therapy. Data from two replicate Phase 3 studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of elagolix were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Elagolix demonstrated dose-dependent superiority in reducing daily menstrual and non-menstrual pelvic pain associated with endometriosis compared to placebo. At month three and month six, patients treated with elagolix reported statistically significant reductions in scores for menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea, DYS) and non-menstrual pelvic pain (NMPP) associated with endometriosis as measured by the Daily Assessment of Endometriosis Pain scale. The safety profile of elagolix was consistent across both Phase 3 trials and also consistent with prior elagolix studies. Ultimately, the studies showed that both elagolix doses (150 mg QD and 200 mg BID) were effective in improving dysmenorrhea, non-menstrual pelvic pain and quality of life over 6 months in women with endometriosis-associated pain. The elagolix safety/tolerability profile was consistent with the mechanism of action.
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids, Nutrition, Stroke, Yale / 13.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33863" align="alignleft" width="200"]Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow Dr. Eric Brandt[/caption] Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: From previous studies we know that industrial trans fatty acid (trans fat) consumption is linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Even small amounts of consumption can be deleterious to cardiovascular health. In New York state, there were 11 counties that restricted the use of trans fatty acids in eateries. We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions. Our study found that when comparing populations within New York state that restricted the use of trans fat, compared to those that did not, there was an associated additional decline beyond temporal trends for heart attacks and stroke events combined by 6.2%.
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, Geriatrics, Medicare, Yale / 04.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shi-Yi Wang MD, PhD. Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology Yale School of Public Health New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Care at the end of life is often fragmented and poorly coordinated across different health providers. Multiple transitions in care settings can be burdensome to patients and their families as well as costly to society. Despite these concerns about care transitions in the end of life, we lack contemporary data on the number, timing, and overall pattern of healthcare transitions in the last 6 months of life. This study adds to the extant literature by understanding transition trajectories, national variation of the transitions, and factors associated with transitions. We found that more than 80% of Medicare fee-for-service decedents had at least one health care transition and approximately one-third had ≥ 4 transitions in the last 6 months of life. We produced Sankey diagrams to visualize the sequences of healthcare transitions. The most frequent transition pattern involving at least four transitions: home-hospital-home (or skilled nursing facility)-hospital-healthcare setting other than hospital. There was substantial geographic variation in healthcare transitions in the United States. We found that several factors were associated with a significantly increased risk of having multiple transitions, including female gender, blacks, residence in lower income areas, presence of heart disease or kidney disease.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Breast Cancer, Genetic Research, Yale / 29.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33526" align="alignleft" width="133"]Tara Sanft, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) Medical Director of Adult Survivorship Yale Cancer Center Survivorship Clinic Dr. Tara Sanft[/caption] Tara Sanft, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) Medical Director of Adult Survivorship Yale Cancer Center Survivorship Clinic  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have demonstrated the benefit of extended endocrine therapy (EET) for hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer in preventing late relapse, however that benefit is limited to 3-5% of women where late recurrence was prevented or staved off. However, EET has become common practice and as a result we are exposing many patients to risks of side effects and toxicities associated with anti-estrogen therapies when they may not be benefitting, and, conversely may not be treating the patients that might actually benefit. There is a real need to better identify the patients who are both at most risk of late distant recurrence, and most likely to benefit from EET. This prospective study included 141 patients with a mean age of 62. In the study, 83% of patients were postmenopausal, 73% were stage I. Breast Cancer Index (BCI) is a gene expression-based test and is the only currently available validated biomarker that is both prognostic for late distant recurrence and predictive for likelihood of benefit from EET. The purpose of this prospective study was to assess the impact of BCI on: physician EET recommendations; physician confidence; patient satisfaction, anxiety, and decision-conflict; and the cost impact of BCI.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 16.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_33012" align="alignleft" width="200"]Cary P. Gross, MD Section of General Internal Medicine Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT Dr. Cary Gross[/caption] Cary P. Gross, MD Section of General Internal Medicine Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior work has demonstrated racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.  As the oncology field has progressed over the past decade, the use of genetic testing to guide treatment decisions is one of the most exciting new developments. Our team was concerned that these new gene tests, which can offer important benefits, may have the potential to exacerbate disparities further.  That is, if there is unequal access to gene testing among patients for whom it is recommended, then our progress against cancer will not be equitably shared among people of all races and ethnicities.
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 06.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32681" align="alignleft" width="175"]Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA</strong> Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Veterans Affairs Scholar Dr. Dowin Boatright[/caption] Dowin Boatright, MD, MBA Department of Emergency Medicine Yale School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Veterans Affairs Scholar MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Studies have demonstrated racial and ethnic inequities in medicine, including disparities in the receipt of awards, research funding, and promotions. Yet few studies have examined the link between race and ethnicity and opportunities for medical school students. Our results show that black and Asian medical school students are less likely to be selected for membership in a prestigious medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha (AΩA), than white medical school students.
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Pharmacology, Yale / 23.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32285" align="alignleft" width="160"]Adam Chekroud PhD Candidate Human Neuroscience Lab Adam Chekroud[/caption] Adam Chekroud PhD Candidate Human Neuroscience Lab Department of Psychology Yale University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that depression includes a wide range of symptoms, from low mood and feeling worthless, to problems sleeping, slowed thinking, and suicidal ideation. We wanted to know whether antidepressants work well in treating all of these symptoms, or whether they are primarily effective on certain kinds of symptoms.
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Yale / 27.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nihar R. Desai, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale School of Medicine Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation Yale New Haven Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reducing rates of readmissions after hospitalization has been a major focus for patients, providers, payers, and policymakers because they reflect, at least partially, the quality of care and care transitions, and account for substantial costs. The Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) was enacted under Section 3025 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 and imposed financial penalties beginning in October 2012 for hospitals with higher than expected readmissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (HF), and pneumonia among their fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. In recent years, readmission rates have fallen nationally, and for both target (AMI, HF, pneumonia) and non-target conditions. We were interested in determining whether the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) associated with different changes in readmission rates for targeted and non-targeted conditions for penalized vs non-penalized hospitals?
Aging, Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, Yale / 22.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ifat Levy, PhD Associate Professor Comparative Med and Neuroscience Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The proportion of older adults in the population is rapidly rising. These older adults need to make many important decisions, including medical and financial ones, and therefore understanding age-related changes in decision making is of high importance. Prior research has shown that older adults tend to be more risk averse than their younger counterparts when making choices between sure gains and lotteries. For example, asked to choose between receiving $5 for sure and playing a lottery with 50% of gaining $12 (but also 50% of gaining nothing), older adults are more likely than young adults to prefer the safe $5. We were interested in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that are involved in these age-related shifts in preferences. An earlier study that we have conducted in young adults provided a clue. In that study, we measured the risk preference of each participant (based on a series of choices they made between safe and risky options), and also used MRI to obtain a 3D image of their brain. Comparing the behavioral and anatomical measures, we found an association between individual risk preferences and the gray-matter volume of a particular brain area, known as “right posterior parietal cortex” (rPPC), which is located at the back of the right side of the brain. Participants with more gray matter in that brain area were, on average, more tolerant of risk (or less risk averse). This suggested a very interesting possibility – that perhaps the increase in risk aversion observed in older adults is linked to the thinning of gray matter which is also observed in elders. In the current study we set out to test this hypothesis, by measuring risk preference and gray matter density in a group of 52 participants between the ages of 18 and 88. We found that, as expected, older participants were more risk averse than younger ones, and also had less gray matter in their rPPC. We also replicated our previous finding - that less gray matter was associated with higher risk aversion. The critical finding, however, was that the gray matter volume was a better predictor of increased risk aversion than age itself.  Essentially, if both age and the gray matter volume of rPPC were used in the same statistical model, rPPC volume predicted risk preferences, while age did not. Moreover, the predictive power was specific to the rPPC – when we added the total gray matter volume to the model, it did not show such predictive power.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Urinary Tract Infections, Yale / 27.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29215" align="alignleft" width="133"]Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHE</strong>A Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director Yale University School of Medicine Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta[/caption] Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director Yale University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the first studies that showed that cranberry juice was effective in older women living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities was published in 1994. Since that time, there have been multiple conflicting studies as to the effect of cranberry juice or capsules. We started our study in 2012. Shortly thereafter, a Cochrane review suggested that the vast body of evidence did not suggest that cranberry products work for UTI prevention, but questions still existed as to whether the appropriate dose of cranberry was being tested. Since cranberry juice is hard for older women to drink (taste, sugar load, volume), capsules at a high dose of the active ingredient (72mg type A proanthocyanidin [PAC}) was worthwhile to test. This study was a clinical trial of two cranberry capsules with a total of 72mg of proanthocyanidin (pac) vs two placebo capsules to prevent bacteria in the urine of older women who live in nursing homes. Unfortunately, it didn't work. It also didn't reduce the number of hospitalizations, deaths, antibiotics used, or antibiotic resistant bugs in the urine.
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Primary Care, Yale / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29144" align="alignleft" width="169"]Ann Kurth, Ph.D., C.N.M., R.N. USPSTF Task Force member Dean of the Yale School of Nursing Dr. Ann Kurth[/caption] Ann Kurth, Ph.D., C.N.M., R.N. USPSTF Task Force member Dean of the Yale School of Nursing MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mothers and their babies, with the evidence showing that babies who are breastfed are less likely to get infections such as ear infections, or to develop chronic conditions such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes. For mothers, breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. While breastfeeding rates have been rising in recent decades—with 80 percent of women starting to breastfeed and just over half still doing so at six months—they are still lower than the Healthy People 2020 targets and the Task Force wanted to review the latest evidence around how clinicians can best support breastfeeding.” After balancing the potential benefits and harms, the Task Force found sufficient evidence to continue to recommend interventions during pregnancy and after birth to support breastfeeding. This recommendation includes the same types of interventions the Task Force recommended in 2008, such as education about the benefits of breastfeeding, guidance and encouragement, and practical help for how to breastfeed.
Author Interviews, Brain Cancer - Brain Tumors, Radiation Therapy, Yale / 30.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28487" align="alignleft" width="175"]Nataniel Lester-Coll, MD Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at Yale New Haven, Connecticut Dr. Nataniel Lester-Coll[/caption] Nataniel Lester-Coll, MD Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at Yale New Haven, Connecticut  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) has limited treatment options and the prognosis is poor. Mibefradil diydrochloride was identified using a high-throughput compound screen for DNA double stranded break repair inhibitors. Mibefradil was found to radiosensitize GBM tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Based on these findings, we sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose of mibefradil and radiation therapy in a Phase I recurrent GBM study. Eligible patients with recurrent  Glioblastoma Multiforme received Mibefradil over a 17 day period, with hypofractionated radiation (600 cGy x 5 fractions). There are 18 patients currently enrolled who have completed treatment. Thus far, there is no clear evidence of radionecrosis. A final dose level of 200 mg/day was reached as the maximum tolerated dose. The drug was very well tolerated at this dose. We saw intriguing evidence of enhanced local control in selected cases. Patients enrolled in a translational substudy who received Mibefradil prior to surgery were found to have adequate levels of Mibefradil in resected brain tumor tissue.
Author Interviews, JCEM, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research, Yale / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28185" align="alignleft" width="133"]Nicola Santoro, MD, PhD Associate Research Scientist in Pediatrics (Endocrinology) Yale University Dr. Nicola Santoro[/caption] Nicola Santoro, MD, PhD Associate Research Scientist in Pediatrics (Endocrinology) Yale University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study start from previous observations showing an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. Similarly to what previously described in adults and in children, we found an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. We took a step further and also observed that the gut flora is associated to body fat partitioning (amount of fat in the abdomen). Moreover, we observed that the effect of microbiota could be mediated by the short chain fatty acids a product of gut flora.
Author Interviews, Health Care Systems, Hospital Readmissions, Yale / 09.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_25938" align="alignleft" width="183"]Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, MBA Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Cardiovascular Medicine: Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE) Yale School of Medicine Dr. Kumar Dharmarajan[/caption] Kumar Dharmarajan, MD, MBA Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) Cardiovascular Medicine: Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE) Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services simultaneously promote strategies to lower hospital admissions and readmissions. However, there is concern that hospitals in communities that successfully reduce admissions may be penalized, as patients that are ultimately hospitalized may be sicker and at higher risk of readmission. We therefore examined the relationship between changes from 2010 to 2013 in admission rates and thirty-day readmission rates for elderly Medicare beneficiaries. We found that communities with the greatest decline in admission rates also had the greatest decline in thirty-day readmission rates, even though hospitalized patients did grow sicker as admission rates declined. The relationship between changing admission and readmission rates persisted in models that measured observed readmission rates, risk-standardized readmission rates, and the combined rate of readmission and death.