Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Ovarian Cancer / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Barry, M.D., Task Force member Director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program Health Decision Sciences Center Massachusetts General Hospital. Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School and Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. It is hard to detect, and many women diagnosed with ovarian cancer do not show signs or symptoms early on. As a result, ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage, when it is hard to treat successfully. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force looked at the latest evidence to see if screening women who do not have signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer can prevent them from dying of the disease. Unfortunately, we found that screening for ovarian cancer does not decrease the number of women who die, but it does lead to some women having unnecessary surgery to remove their ovaries. As a result, we are recommending against ovarian cancer screening in women who are not at high risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 22.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “hospital.” by Bethany Satterfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mark van den Boogaard, PhD, RN, CCRN Assistant Professor Department of Intensive Care Medicine Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Delirium is affecting many of our intensive care unit (ICU) patients which is impacting their recovery on the short-term as well as on the long-term. Therefore we were very interested to investigate if the use prophylactic haloperidol would be beneficial for the ICU patients. Especially because there were indications that it would be effective in ICU delirium prevention and also because this drug is being used in daily practice to prevent ICU delirium although there is no clear evidence. The overall finding of our large-scale well designed study is that we didn’t find any beneficial effect of prophylactic haloperidol in ICU patients. Moreover, this finding is very consistent over all groups of patients.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Duke, Electronic Records, JAMA / 21.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barak Richman JD, PhD Bartlett Professor of Law and Business Administration Duke University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The US not only has the highest health care costs in the world, we have the highest administrative costs in the world. If we can reduce non-value added costs like the ones we document, we can make substantial changes in the affordability of health care without having to resort to more draconian policy solutions. Our paper finds that administrative costs remain high, even after the adoption of electronic health records.  Billing costs, for example, constituted 25.2% of professional revenue for ED departments and 14.5% of revenue for primary care visits.  The other numbers are captured below. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 20.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guoqing Hu, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, Hunan, China    On behalf of the authors MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We've known for some time that suffocation is a leading cause of death for American infants - in fact, it is the cause of over 3/4 of the injury deaths to babies under 12 months of age. We've also known that there are strategies, such as "safe sleeping", that can greatly reduce the risk of a baby suffocating to death. The surprise in our study is that the suffocation rate for infants under 12 months of age appears to be increasing in the United States over the past 15 years. More babies are dying from suffocation today than in the 1990s, and that is a significant public health concern. Think about the implications of each one of those deaths to the infant's parents and loved ones. There are few things more devastating than losing a baby to an unintentional, or "accidental" death. There are ways we can prevent unintentional suffocations, and we need to work together to inform parents and ensure babies are kept safe to reduce those deaths, especially as rates in the US appear to be increasing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 16.02.2018

“Doctors” by Tele Jane is licensed under CC BY 2.0MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Apostolos Tsimploulis, Chief Medical Resident Dr. Phillip H. Lam, Chief Cardiology Fellow The Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgetown University, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hypertension is a major risk factor for the development of new heart failure (HF). Findings from multiple randomized controlled trials in hypertension have consistently demonstrated that controlling systolic blood pressure (SBP) to normal levels such as to SBP <120 mm Hg reduces the risk of developing new HF. However, interestingly, once patients develop heart failure, those with a normal SBP value such as SBP <120 mm Hg tend to have poor outcomes. This paradoxical association – also called reverse epidemiology – although poorly understood – has been described with other HF risk factors such as smoking and obesity. Regarding poor outcomes associated with lower SBP in HF patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF – pronounced Hef-ref), it has been suggested that it may be a marker of weak heart muscle that is unable to pump enough blood. However, less is known about this association in patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF – pronounced Hef-pef) –– the heart muscle is not weak in the traditional sense. This is an important question for a number of reasons: nearly half of all heart failure patients have HFpEF which accounts for about 2.5 to 3 million Americans. These patients have a high mortality similar to those with HFrEF – but unlike in HFrEF few drugs have been shown to improve their outcomes. Thus, there is a great deal of interest in improving their outcomes. One of those approaches is to control . systolic blood pressure and the 2017 ACC/AHA/HFSA Focused Update of the HF guidelines recommend that SBP “should be controlled in patients with HFpEF in accordance with published clinical practice guidelines to prevent morbidity.” Thus, our study was designed to answer that simple question: do patients with HFpEF and SBP <120 mmHg, which is considered to be normal SBP, have better outcomes than those with SBP ≥120 mmHg. Using a sophisticated approach called propensity score matching we assembled two groups of patients with HFpEF – one group with SBP <120 mmHg and the other groups had SBP ≥120 mmHg – and patients in both groups were similar in terms of 58 key baseline characteristics. In this population of balanced patients with HFpEF, those with a normal systolic blood pressure had a higher risk of mortality – starting 30 days post-discharge up to about 6 years. Finding from our restricted cubic spline plots suggest that compared with SBP <120 mm Hg, SBP values ≥120 mm Hg (up to 200 mm Hg) was not associated with a higher risk of death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Occupational Health, UCSF / 13.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina Mangurian, MD, MAS Associate Professor of Psychiatry Vice Chair for Diversity, Department of Psychiatry UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences Director, UCSF Public Psychiatry Fellowship at ZSFG Core Faculty, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We examined paid family and childbearing leave policies at top-10 medical schools across the US. Despite recommendation from national medical societies for 12 weeks paid childbearing leave because of the benefits to both infant and mother, the average leave at these top schools of medicine was only around 8 weeks. In addition, most policies are very difficult to understand, and are at the discretion of departmental leadership – both of which put women at a disadvantage at getting leave they deserve. Additionally, family leave was only available to the parent that identifies as the "primary caregiver" at five universities, disallowing cooperative parenting. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA / 12.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John A Staples, MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British ColumbiaDr. John A Staples MD, FRCPC, MPH Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences Clinical Assistant Professor University of British Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Around 64 million Americans live in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Many policymakers are trying to figure out what that means for traffic safety. On April 20th, some Americans participate in an annual "4/20" counterculture holiday that celebrates and promotes the use of cannabis. Some 4/20 events such as those in Denver and San Francisco involve thousands of participants. Much like celebrations at midnight on New Year's eve, public 4/20 events sometimes mark 4:20 p.m. by a countdown followed by synchronized mass consumption of cannabis. We thought this was a perfect natural experiment to evaluate the influence that cannabis intoxication has on the risk of motor vehicle crash. To examine this question, we analyzed 25 years of data on all fatal traffic crashes in the United States. We compared the number of drivers in crashes between 4:20 p.m. and midnight on April 20th to the number of drivers in crashes during the same time interval on control days one week earlier and one week later. We found that the risk of crash involvement was 12% higher on April 20th than on control days. In the subgroups of drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk of crash involvement was 38% higher on April 20th than on control days. Assuming fewer than 12% of Americans celebrate 4/20, our results suggest that substance use at April 20th celebrations more than doubles the risk of fatal crash. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA, Social Issues / 10.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Molly Jarman PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brigham and Womens Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the US, and there are well documented disparities in injury incidence and outcomes. Certain populations (i.e. rural, low income, people of color) experience more injury than others, and are more likely to die following and injury. Past studies focused on individual health and socioeconomic characteristics as the primary driving force behind these disparities, along with variation in the time required to transport an injured patient to the hospital. We wondered if geographic features of an injury incident location contributed to variation in injury mortality that was not explained by differences in individual patient characteristics. In other words, we know that who you are contributes to injury mortality, and we wanted to know if it also matters where you are when an injury occurs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Surgical Research / 08.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Clara Nan-hi Lee, MD Comprehensive Cancer Center The Ohio State UniversityDr. Clara Nan-hi Lee, MD Comprehensive Cancer Center The Ohio State University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The decision about breast reconstruction is very challenging because it’s unfamiliar, involves complex risk information, affects very personal concerns, and happens at a stressful time. One of the challenges is to predict how one will feel after the surgery. We know from psychology research that people often mis-predict their future emotions. So we were interested to see how well women predict their future well being after surgery. The main findings are that patients having mastectomy without reconstruction believed they would be less satisfied than they turned out to be. And patients having mastectomy with reconstruction believed they would be more satisfied than they turned out to be. (more…)
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. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods / 01.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Drugs” by Ben Harvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0William G. Honer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS Jack Bell Chair in Schizophrenia Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Province of British Columbia, Canada, has experienced a tremendous increase in the number of opioid related overdoses and deaths. In 2012, there were 269 drug overdose deaths, five years later in 2017 the overdose deaths are predicted to have increased 500%. Toxicology studies of deaths, and examination of seized drugs indicate fentanyl is the major cause. These indirect measures suggest widespread exposure to fentanyl in opioid users, however direct studies of the extent of exposure of opioid users to fentanyl in the community are lacking. We carried out a community-based, longitudinal study using fentanyl testing in urine samples from volunteer participants. (It is called the “Hotel Study” since many of the participants live, or have lived in single room occupancy hotels)  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Sexual Health, Transplantation / 01.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Christina Lee Chung, MD Associate Professor Department of Dermatology Drexel University

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

Response: In early 2016, five years after the inception of our specialty medical-surgical transplant dermatology center, we realized our nonwhite transplant patients were developing skin cancer at higher rates and found interesting trends. These data were published in a previous manuscript. One of the more striking findings was that these patients were developing a high proportion of skin cancer in non-sun-exposed areas such as the genital region. There are no standard guidelines regarding genital skin evaluation and it is unclear how often it is performed in any capacity amongst dermatologists, including practitioners in our center, quite frankly. Our group was concerned that we could be missing skin cancers in this “hidden” area in our high-risk organ transplant population so we launched a quality improvement initiative that incorporated thorough genital skin evaluation as a standard part of post-transplant skin cancer screening.   

Fifteen months after we started this modified screening process, we decided to evaluate the results. To account for any variation in examination, we looked at the findings of a single practitioner. We found that genital lesions are common in the transplant population and include high rates of genital warts and skin cancer. However, patient awareness of the presence of genital lesions was alarmingly low. Nonwhite transplant patients, Black transplant recipients in particular, were disproportionately affected by both genital warts and genital skin cancer in our cohort. Similar to cervical cancer, high-risk HPV types were closely associated with genital squamous cell carcinoma development in our transplant population. (more…)

Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 31.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, FACS Executive Director, Breast Programs MD Anderson Cancer Network Endowed Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research Division of Surgery  MedicalResearch.com: Why did you undertake this study? Response: Many of our patients feel very overwhelmed with their new cancer diagnosis and have concern over the future need for biopsies. Many think that complete removal of the breast is a good way to prevent future cancer-related biopsies.  We did not have any good comprehensive data on the incidence of needing biopsies during follow-up for breast cancer. As a surgeon this information is something that I can use daily when discussing breast cancer treatment options regarding future expectations following breast cancer treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 31.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lene Vestergaard Ravn-Nielsen, MSc(Pharm) Hospital Pharmacy of Funen Clinical Pharmacy Department Odense University Hospital Odense, DenmarkLene Vestergaard Ravn-NielsenMSc(Pharm) Hospital Pharmacy of Funen Clinical Pharmacy Department Odense University Hospital Odense, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hospital readmissions are common among patients receiving multiple medication, with considerable costs to the patients and society. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: A multifaceted clinical pharmacist intervention can reduce ED visits and hospital readmissions.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 31.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giorgio Costantino MD Dipartimento di Medicina Interna Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Università degli Studi di Milano Milan, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Syncope is a common symptom that occurs in one in four people during their lifetime. Pulmonary embolism (PE) has long been recognized as an important and serious cause of syncope. PE has always been estimated a rare cause of syncope, present in less than 1.5% of patients. A recent study (PESIT), aiming at evaluating PE prevalence using a standardized algorithm in hospitalized patients after a first syncope episode, found a prevalence of PE as high as 17% in hospitalized patients. This means that patients with a first episode of syncope should be investigated with a standard diagnostic algorithm to exclude PE. However, many patients might go through useless and potentially harmful tests, such as computed tomography pulmonary angiogram. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, MRI, Toxin Research / 31.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Danger Carbon Monoxide” by SmartSign is licensed under CC BY 2.0Won Young Kim, MD PhD Department of Emergency Medicine Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul, Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neurological symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can manifest not only immediately but also as late as 2 to 6 weeks after successful initial resuscitation as delayed neurological sequelae (DNS). To date, no reliable methods of assessing the probability of DNS after acute CO poisoning have been developed, which make it difficult to research the pathophysiology of DNS and targeting prevention. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Surgical Research / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Science Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Grand Forks, ND 58202    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are now several studies that describe the use of antibiotics without surgery to manage acute uncomplicated appendicitis. This entails a prolonged treatment course and has a substantial rate of failure and recurrence, but in patients in whom it succeeds surgery can be avoided. Many surgeons resist offering this choice because they perceive it as substandard compared to surgery, which is rapid, and when it goes well (as it usually does) has no failure or recurrence rate. Instead of debating the statistics, we decided to ask people what they would prefer if they had appendicitis and why. We found that about nine tenths of people would choose surgery, but about one tenth would choose antibiotics, with some subtle distinctions depending on the characteristics of the people we asked.  (For instance, surgeons, doctors in general, and people who knew someone who had previously had appendicitis were all a bit more likely to opt for surgery.)  Furthermore, we found that the key issue for most people was not the prolonged treatment course but the rates of failure and recurrence with antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Handicapped Hearing Impaired” by Mark Morgan is licensed under CC BY 2.0Madeline Sterling M.D., M.P.H. Fellow, Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College - New York Presbyterian Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Heart Failure currently affects 5.8 million people in the United States and is becoming increasingly common as the population ages. Because it has no cure and tends to get progressively worse, physicians recommend that patients control their symptoms by taking multiple medications, maintain a diet low in salt, monitor their weight and blood pressure, and watch for changes in their symptoms. At the most basic level, in order to understand and follow these instructions, heart failure patients must be able to hear them.  Hearing loss, however, had not been studied in heart failure.  There are a lot of chronic diseases in which hearing loss is more common than in the general population, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. And many adults with heart failure also have these conditions. So, we thought it would be important to understand if hearing loss was prevalent among adults with heart failure, especially since so much of heart failure management revolves around effective communication between patients and their healthcare providers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “preschool joy” by kristin :: prairie daze is licensed under CC BY 2.0Arthur J. Reynolds, PhD Institute of Child Development University of Minnesota, Minneapolis  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Educational attainment is the leading social determinant of health. Higher attainment measured by years of education or postsecondary attainment is linked to lower cardiovascular disease risk; lower rates of smoking, diabetes, and hypertension; and higher economic well-being. Evidence on the long-term effects of early childhood programs on educational attainment is mixed. Some studies show impacts on high school graduation but not college attainment, the reverse pattern, or no measurement into adulthood. No studies of large-scale public programs have assessed impacts beyond young adulthood. Whether duration of participation over ages 3 to 9 is linked to mid 30s attainment also has not been investigated. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, JAMA / 30.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “mirror clock” by tourist_on_earth is licensed under CC BY 2.0Yo-El Ju, MD Assistant Professor of Neurology Sleep Medicine Section Washington University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is that prior studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's Disease have poor circadian clock function, for example sleeping during the day and being awake or agitated at night. Autopsy studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's Disease have degeneration in the "clock" part of their brains. In this study, we wanted to examine whether there were any circadian problems much earlier in Alzheimer's Disease, when people do not have any memory or thinking problems at all. We measured circadian function in 189 people with an actigraph, which is an activity monitor worn like a watch, for 1-2 weeks. Brain scans and studies of cerebrospinal fluid were used to determine who had preclinical Alzheimer's Disease, meaning they have the brain changes of Alzheimer's but do not have symptoms yet.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 27.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Alexander EfstathiouD.PH.D Director, Genitourinary Division Department of Radiation Oncology Clinical Co-Director, The Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers Multidisciplinary Clinic Massachusetts General Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: When surgery has probably failed to cure a patient, the best prospective data supports the use of postoperative radiation therapy. The debate now centers on the optimal timing of such post-prostatectomy radiation therapy; is it adjuvant (ART) for all (with adverse pathologic features) or early salvage (ESRT) for some (who experience biochemical failure)? (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, JAMA, Medical Imaging, Mental Health Research / 25.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes” by Victor Soto is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dag Alnaes, PhD Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research KG Jebsen Centre for Psychosis Research Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital Oslo, Norway  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The transition from childhood to adulthood is characterized by swift and dramatic changes, both in our environment and in our brains. This period of life also coincides with the onset of many mental disorders. To gain a better understanding of why, the clinical neurosciences must attempt to disentangle the complex and dynamic interactions between genes and the environment and how they shape our brains. The ultimate goal is to be able to predict which individuals are at risk before clinical symptoms appear. Advanced brain imaging has been proposed to represent one promising approach for such early detection, but there is currently no robust imaging marker that allows us to identify individuals at risk with any clinically relevant degree of certainty. Our study shows that self-reported early signs of mental illness are associated with specific patterns of brain fiber pathways in young people, even if they may not fulfill criteria for a formal diagnosis or are currently in need of treatment.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Neurology, Parkinson's / 25.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Saunders-Pullman, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Neurology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Chief, Movement Disorders, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Co-Director Clinical/Translational Research and Research Mentoring Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai Beth Israel New York, NY 10003 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There is a diversity in causes of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and this may lead to heterogeneity in drug response. While LRRK2 PD due to G2019S mutations may fully mimic idiopathic PD (IPD), cross-sectional study suggests that the course may be slightly milder than IPD. Further, the pathology is heterogeneous with a minority not demonstrating Lewy bodies, and this may also correspond to less severe non-motor features. To better understand the course of PD associated with the G2019S LRRK2 mutation (the most common LRRK2 mutation), we evaluated motor and cognitive progression in individuals enrolled in the LRRK2 Ashkenazi Jewish Consortium. Subjects were recruited from a Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sourasky Medical Center, and from two centers in New York, Columbia University and Mount Sinai Beth Israel. 144 participants were LRRK2 mutation carriers and 401 were not. We utilized all study visits, and constructed linear mixed-effects models to estimate the association between harboring the LRRK2 mutation and rate of change of both motor features- as assessed by the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), and cognition, as measured by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale (MoCA). Models adjusted for sex, site, age, disease duration and (for the motor models) cognitive score. We found a small but significant difference in rate of progression, with LRRK2 PD progressing at 0.69 points/year, and IPD at 1.06 points/year. While the cognitive decline was also less in the LRRK2 PD (-0.10 vs. -0.19 in the IPD, this difference was not statistically different (p=0.08). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, MD Anderson, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew Phillip Loehrer MD MPH Fellow in Surgical Oncology Department The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A growing number of studies have examined the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  But none to date have looked at effects on surgical conditions, which are both expensive and potentially life-threatening.  We examined data for nearly 300,000 patients who presented to hospitals with common and serious surgical conditions such as appendicitis and aortic aneurysms. We found that expansion of Medicaid coverage was linked to increased insurance coverage for these patients, but even more importantly, Medicaid expansion led patients to come to the hospital earlier before complications set in, and they also received better surgical care once they got there. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Genetic Research, JAMA, Ophthalmology / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eldon E. Geisert, PhD Professor of Ophthalmology Emory School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the late 1990s a group of doctors began a study of glaucoma patients to determine if there were phenotypes that are predictive for developing glaucoma. In this Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS) one of the highly correlated ocular traits was central corneal thickness (CCT). The early clinical studies found that people with thinner corneas were at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. In two large studies, examining thousands of people a number of genes were identified that were risk factors for glaucoma or that controlled CCT in humans. In both cases the identified genes accounted for less than 10% of the genetic risk for glaucoma and less than for 10% of the genetic control for CCT. There was little data linking the genetic control of CCT to the glaucoma risk. Our group has taken an indirect approach to the question, using well-defined mouse genetic system to identify genes modulating CCT and then interrogating human glaucoma data to determine if these genes are associated with glaucoma risk.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA / 24.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stelios Serghiou PhD student Epidemiology and Clinical Research and John P.A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc Meta-Research Innovation Center Stanford (METRICS), Stanford University Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Preprints refer to versions of a manuscript prior to the one published in a peer-reviewed journal. Even though preprints have been very popular in disciplines such as physics and computer science for many years now, their use in biomedicine had been very limited. However, this seems to be changing since the establishment of bioRxiv in 2013. As such, we became interested in exploring what happens to preprints uploaded on bioRxiv and what is the impact of bioRxiv to the peer-reviewed literature in terms of attention received. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, PTSD / 23.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Man’s best friend helps NC Guardsman with PTSD [Image 1 of 8]” by DVIDSHUB is licensed under CC BY 2.0, PhD Professor of Psychiatry Director, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pa 19104 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As much as 10 to 20 percent of military members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks suffer from PTSD, which is often chronic and incapacitating. A constant increase in the number of individuals suffering from PTSD as a result of massive natural disasters, terror attacks, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has prompted an urgent need for effective and efficient evidence-based treatments for PTSD. Prolong exposure (PE) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that involves exposure to trauma memories and daily life trauma reminders. Previous studies have proven PE is quite effective for treating civilians and veterans with PTSD. In this five-year study, the researchers sought to determine whether PE could have similar success with active-duty military personnel. The researchers examined the benefit of various methods for delivering PE including Massed-PE, (10 therapy sessions administered over two weeks) and Spaced-PE (10 sessions administered over 8 weeks), as well as Present Centered Therapy (PCT), a non-trauma-focused therapy that involves identifying and discussing daily stressors in 10 sessions over eight weeks, and Minimal Contact Control (MCC), which included supportive phone calls from therapists once weekly for four weeks. Patients who received Massed-PE therapy, delivered over two weeks, saw a greater reduction in PTSD symptoms than those who received MCC. Importantly, Massed-PE therapy was found to be equally effective to Spaced-PE in reducing PTSD symptom severity. The researchers also found that PCT might be an effective treatment option for PTSD in active military personnel although it was less effective than PE in veteran and civilian PTSD sufferers.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Lymphoma / 23.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Mintsje de Boer, MD Resident plastic surgery Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand-Surgery Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht the Netherland On behalf of the Netherlands BIA-ALCL Consortium: Daphne de Jong (Hematopathologist, VU university medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Hinne Rakhorst (Plastic Surgeon, MST/ZGT, Enschede, the Netherlands) René van der Hulst (Plastic surgeon, MUMC+ Maastricht, the Netherlands) Flora van Leeuwen (Epidemiologist, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Jan Paul de Boer (Hemato-oncologist, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) Lucy Overbeek (Database expert PALGA, Houten, the Netherlands),  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast implants are one of the most commonly used medical devices worldwide. Associations with breast cancer, connective tissue diseases and auto-immune diseases have never been unequivocally supported. For lymphoma risk, this is different and several reports have suggested an association between breast implants and risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma in the breast (breast-ALCL). Over the past few years, the number of women with breast implants reported with breast-ALCL has strongly increased. This has resulted in significant attention amongst medical professionals and women alike with publications in medical journals and lay press. In part due to the rarity of the disease and due to the lack of breast implant prevalence data in the population, the absolute risks of breast-ALCL are largely unknown, precluding evidence-based counseling about implants. In the Netherlands, we are in the unique position to be able to retrieve all diagnosed breastALCL since 1990 as well as appropriate population-based control groups from the Nationwide Network and Registry of Histo- and Cytopathology in the Netherlands (PALGA). This has allowed a formal epidemiological risk assessment study based on sufficient numbers. Moreover, using combined and complementary sources of information, we have been able to determine age- and calendar year-specific implant prevalence rates to determine reliable absolute risks. This study could be successfully performed thanks to a multidisciplinary taskforce consisting of plastic surgeons, hematopathologists, epidemiologists, hemato-oncologists and radiologists from the several large institutions in the Netherlands  (more…)