Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, UC Davis / 28.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gayatri Patel, MD, MPH Division of General Medicine UC Davis Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gayatri Patel, MD, MPH Division of General Medicine UC Davis Medical Center Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Patel: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we sought to determine the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of actinic keratoses relative to other common treatments. We included only randomized controlled trials and preformed a meta-analysis on homogenous studies. The primary finding of the study was that PDT has a better chance of removing actinic keratoses on the face or scalp than treatment with cryotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Acquired, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.08.2014

Christopher Mantyh, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgery Chief of Colorectal Surgery NSQIP Surgical Champion Duke University Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher Mantyh, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgery Chief of Colorectal Surgery NSQIP Surgical Champion Duke University Medical Center Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Mantyh: Specific perioperative bundles can drastically reduce surgical site infections in colorectal surgery patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 28.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Goodman BA Division of Oncology The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Weekend hospital admission for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia was associated with a longer length of stay, slightly longer wait to start chemotherapy and higher risk for respiratory failure; however, weekend admissions were not linked to an increased risk for death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bipolar Disorder, JAMA, Stanford / 27.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manpreet K. Singh, MD MS Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Singh: Our research team used a monetary incentive delay paradigm to measure fronto-limbic activity and connectivity associated with anticipation and receipt of reward and loss in healthy offspring of parents with bipolar I disorder. We found that compared to youth offspring without any family history of psychopathology, high-risk offspring had aberrant prefrontal and cingulate activations and connectivity during reward processing. Further, greater striatal, amygdalar, and insula activations while anticipating and receiving rewards and losses were associated with greater novelty-seeking and impulsivity traits in high-risk youth. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.08.2014

Prof Richard McManus MA PhD FRCGP NIHR School for Primary Care Research, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire United KingdomMedicalResearch.com Interview with Prof Richard McManus MA PhD FRCGP NIHR School for Primary Care Research, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. McManus: The TASMIN-SR clinical trial followed 552 patients with an average age of 70 and high blood pressure with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. After training in how to self-monitor blood pressuring using a readily available device, patients took readings twice each morning for the first week of each month, and following an individualised management plan were able to request additional medication from their general practitioner without the need for consultation. At the end of the study, patients who self-managed had significantly lower blood pressure (by 9.2 / 3.4 mmHg) than those who were visiting their GP for blood pressure monitoring, which would be expected to lower stroke risk by around 30% if sustained. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.08.2014

Dr. Ralph Joseph Diclemente PhD Behavoral Sciences & Health School Of Public Health Emory University Atlanta GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ralph Joseph Diclemente PhD Behavoral Sciences & Health School Of Public Health Emory University Atlanta Georgia   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. DiClemente: In our study of 701 African American girls we observed significant and durable reductions in laboratory-confirmed sexually transmitted infections (50% reduction in chlamydial infections and a 60% reduction in gonorrhea) among girls in our intervention group relative to the comparison condition over a 36-month follow-up period.  In addition, we observed significant increases in condom use during sex and reductions in sex while using drugs or alcohol.  The key finding is the durability of the results - 3 years in the life of an adolescent is a long period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, JAMA / 26.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Peter Godsk Jørgensen Copenhagen City Heart Study Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark Medical Research: What are the main findings of your study? Dr. Jørgensen: In the coming decades, a larger and larger proportion of the population will be aged 65 years or above. At present, no risk prediction models have been developed specifically for estimation of risk in this population. ECG changes are easily recognized and identify subclinical signs of end-organ disease. Our data reveal that not only are ECG changes a very frequent finding that independently predicts cardiovascular disease, they significantly improve risk prediction when added to the most used European and US risk models. Thus, our data demonstrate that adding ECG changes will correctly reclassify more than one third of the persons aged 65 years and above without cardiovascular disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.08.2014

Steven M. Bradley, MD, MPH Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health CareSystem Denver, ColoradoMedicalResearch.com Interview with Steven M. Bradley, MD, MPH Veterans Affairs, Eastern Colorado Health CareSystem Denver, Colorado Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Bradley: In 539 hospitals participating in the CathPCI Registry that performed elective coronary angiography on more than 500,000 patients, 22% of patients were asymptomatic at the time of coronary angiography. We observed marked variation in the hospital rate of angiography performed in asymptomatic patients, ranging from 0.2% to 66.5%, suggesting broad variation in the quality of patient selection for coronary angiography across hospitals.  Additionally, hospitals with higher rates of asymptomatic patients at diagnostic angiography also had higher rates of inappropriate PCI, due to greater use of PCI in asymptomatic patients. These findings suggest that patient selection for diagnostic angiography is associated with the quality of patient selection for PCI as determined by Appropriate Use Criteria. By addressing patient selection upstream of the catheterization laboratory, we may improve on the optimal use of both angiography and PCI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.08.2014

Michael B. Rothberg, MD, MPH Department of Internal Medicine Medicine Institute, Vice Chair for Research Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OhioMedicalResearch Interview with: Michael B. Rothberg, MD, MPH Department of Internal Medicine Medicine Institute, Vice Chair for Research Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Rothberg: In this randomized study we found that when people are presented with no information about the benefits of elective PCI, most assumed that it would prevent a heart attack. Unfortunately, this is incorrect, so people may choose to have the procedure based on false information.  We also found that simply telling them that PCI would not prevent a heart attack successfully dispelled this belief for most,  but not all, participants.  Explaining why PCI does not prevent heart attacks in this circumstance was the most effective way to change people's beliefs.  We also found that most people were willing to take medications, but when they were told that PCI does not prevent heart attacks, they were more likely to agree to medication. (more…)
Author Interviews, Frailty, Geriatrics, JAMA / 22.08.2014

Dr. Bellal Joseph MD FACS Associate Professor of Surgery Medical Director, Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT) Program Program Director, International Research Fellowship Liaison, Multi-Specialty Surgery Clinic at UAMCMedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Bellal Joseph MD FACS Associate Professor of Surgery Medical Director, Southern Arizona Telemedicine and Telepresence (SATT) Program Program Director, International Research Fellowship Liaison, Multi-Specialty Surgery Clinic at UAMC Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Joseph: Chronologic age is frequently used as the determinant of outcomes when treating elderly and treatments are tailored accordingly. However, the findings of our study challenge this dogma and suggest that it’s not the chronologic age rather frailty status of the individual that determines outcomes. We found frailty Index (quantitative measure of frailty) as a better predictor of in-hospital complications and discharge disposition in elderly compared to the chronologic age. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Outcomes & Safety / 20.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sosena Kebede, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine Associate Faculty, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Faculty, Department of Health Policy and Management and Baltimore, MD 21287Sosena Kebede, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine Associate Faculty, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Faculty, Department of Health Policy and Management and Baltimore, MD 21287 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kebede: There were 3 main findings in this study: 1.       Patients’ understanding of aspects of their hospital care is suboptimal on the domains of knowledge of diagnoses, indications for the medications they take and the types of procedures/tests they get. Some forms of poor shared understanding could have potentially serious implications for their health and for future care such as identifying a prescribed antidepressant as a blood thinner or mistaking an echocardiogram a left heart catheterization or thinking a liver cyst is a liver cancer. Other forms of poor shared understanding such as not accurately identifying why a procedure is done or what the results of the procedure show (a finding not discussed in the research letter) may seem less consequential  but raise the issue of informed consent, patient empowerment and may alsoraise questions about patient and physician behavior towards appropriate use of in-patient procedures. Some of the questions we could ask here include: would patients demand more or less procedures if they had better understanding of what the procedures entail, and why they are beingordered? Conversely, would physicians recommend more or less of in-patient procedures, when they encounter patients whose understanding of procedure indications are optimal? (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Surgical Research / 20.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mats Möller MD Department of Surgery, Ersta Hospital Department of Clinical Sciences Karolinska Institutet Danderyds Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Möller: The natural course of common bile duct stones seem not as favorable as previous studies have suggested. Leaving stones with no measures taken has in our study a less favorable outcome compared to removing the stones. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 19.08.2014

Suzanne Schuh, MD, FRCP(C), FAAP, ABPEM Staff Paediatrician, Division of Paediatric Emergency Medicine Senior Associate Scientist, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children Professor of Paediatrics, University of TorontoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suzanne Schuh, MD, FRCP(C), FAAP, ABPEM Staff Paediatrician, Division of Paediatric Emergency Medicine Senior Associate Scientist, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Schuh: Our study shows that in previously healthy infants presenting to the Emergency Department with mild to moderate bronchiolitis (a viral lower respiratory tract disease producing breathing distress) who had their oxygen saturation measurements artificially elevated by a physiologically small amount experienced significantly reduced rate of hospitalizations within 72 hours compared to infants with unaltered oximetry readings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 19.08.2014

Rohit Varma, MD, MPH Grace and Emery Beardsley Professor and Chair USC Department of Ophthalmology Director, USC Eye Institute Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Network Development Keck School of Medicine of USCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rohit Varma, MD, MPH Grace and Emery Beardsley Professor and Chair USC Department of Ophthalmology Director, USC Eye Institute Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Network Development Keck School of Medicine of USC Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Varma: Our research demonstrates African-Americans bear a heavier burden of diabetic macular edema (DME), one of the leading causes of blindness in diabetic patients in the United States, compared to Non-Hispanic whites. The study points to a need for improved screening and greater attention to vision loss by clinicians and patients particularly those who are at high risk of developing diabetic macular edema. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Erasmus, JAMA / 19.08.2014

Frank van Hees, MSc Researcher, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC Rotterdam, The NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank van Hees MSc Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Many U.S. elderly are screened for colorectal cancer more frequently than recommended: One in every five elderly with a negative screening colonoscopy result undergoes another screening colonoscopy within 5 years’ time instead of after the recommended 10 years. Moreover, one in every four elderly with a negative screening colonoscopy result at age 75 or older receives yet another screening colonoscopy at an even more advanced age. Our study shows that, in average risk individuals, these practices are not only a waste of scarce health care resources: often they are also associated with a balance among benefits, burden, and harms that is unfavorable for those being screened. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA / 15.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Agnes Dechartres, MD, PhD Centre de Recherche Epidémiologie et Statistique Centre d’Épidémiologie Clinique, Hôpital Hôtel Dieu, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dechartres: In this study, we aimed to compare treatment effect estimates obtained from the meta-analysis including all trials to several alternative strategies for analysis. These alternative strategies are:
  • 1) the single most precise trial;
  • 2) a meta-analysis including only the largest trials;
  • 3) a “limit meta-analysis” that is a type of meta-analysis model recently developed to take into account small-study-effect and
  • 4) a meta-analysis restricted to trials at low risk of biases.
Our results showed that estimation of treatment effect varies depending of the strategy used with a frequently larger treatment effect in the meta-analysis of all trials than in the single most precise trial, the meta-analysis restricted to the largest trials and the limit meta-analysis, especially in case of subjective outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, JAMA, Transplantation / 15.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Øyvind Holme, MD Department of Medicine, Sorlandet Hospital Kristiansand, Kristiansand, Norway Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Boston, Massachusetts Department of Transplantation Medicine, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Holme: In this population-based trial, we found that once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy screening in asymptomatic 50-64 year old individuals reduces colorectal cancer mortality by 27% and colorectal cancer incidence by 20% after 11 years of follow-up. We found that the incidence reduction is as great in 50-54 year old individuals as in 55-64 old individuals. Addition of a once-only fecal occult blood test to flexible sigmoidoscopy did not lead to a larger reduction in colorectal cancer incidence or mortality compared to flexible sigmoidoscopy screening alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 13.08.2014

Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Khandaker: The study shows low grade systemic inflammation may have a role in the pathogenesis of depression and psychotic disorders. Low grade systemic inflammation may also be a common cause for chronic physical and psychiatric illnesses. The study shows that higher serum levels of the circulating inflammatory marker, interleukin 6 (IL-6), in childhood is associated with nearly two-fold increased risk of developing depression and psychotic disorder in young adulthood. This association persisted after taking into account effects of age, sex, social class, ethnicity, body mass index, maternal depression, and past psychological and behavioural problem in the participant. We studied a sample of 4,500 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, taking blood samples at age 9 and following up at age 18, to see if they had experienced episodes of depression or psychosis. We excluded children with an infection at the time of blood test at age 9 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 13.08.2014

Dr. Juhani Airaksinen, MD, PhD Heart Center, Turku University Hospital Turku, FinlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Juhani Airaksinen, MD, PhD Heart Center, Turku University Hospital Turku, Finland Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Airaksinen:  The main result of our study is that the risk of thromboembolic complications in general was low (0.7%). However the risk rose to a 3.7-fold level when the delay to cardioversion exceeded 12 hours. The time-dependent increase in the risk of thromboembolic complications was more pronounced in female patients. In addition, as expected, old age, heart failure and diabetes were the other significant predictors of postcardioversion thromboembolic complications. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 13.08.2014

Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, MD R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Program in Trauma University of Maryland School of Medicine, BaltimoreMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, MD R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Program in Trauma University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Scalea:  The main findings of the study was that putting this financial incentive program in place had immediate and dramatic effects on first cases starting on time and turnaround times decreasing in our operating room. (more…)
JAMA, Ophthalmology / 11.08.2014

Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, M.D., F.A.C.S. Alfred W. Lasher, III, Professor of Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston-Medical School Cizik Eye ClinicMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Helen A. Mintz-Hittner, M.D., F.A.C.S. Alfred W. Lasher, III, Professor of Ophthalmology Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston-Medical School Cizik Eye Clinic Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Mintz-Hittner:
  • For retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), at age 2 ½ years, intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) injections cause less myopia (nearsightedness) in diopters (D) compared to conventional laser therapy (CLT):f
  • or Zone I: -1.51 D versus -8.44 D (7 diopters difference: p = 0.001. for Posterior Zone II: -0.58 D versus -5.83 D (5 diopters difference: p = 0.001.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sahil Khera, MD and Dhaval Kolte, MD, PhD Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology New York Medical College, NY Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We used the publicly available Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) databases for our study. We analyzed data on 6.5 million patients with heart attack (all types) from 2002 to 2011 in United States. Out of these 3.98 million were admitted with a diagnosis of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Our objective was to describe how the care for patients with NSTEMI has changed over the past 10 years and whether this has resulted in better patient outcomes. We looked at the proportion of patients with NSTEMI who underwent cardiac catheterization each year. We also studied how many patients died in the hospital, how long was the hospital stay, and what was the total cost of hospitalization for this condition. Lastly, we determined if the changes in treatment and outcomes over the years were similar for different age- groups, men and women, and for different racial/ethnic groups. In this analysis, we looked at cardiac catheterization trends after NSTEMI for both within 24 hours and within 48 hours. This is the first study of its kind to analyze two different time frames of early catheterization simultaneously. Although there was an increase in the proportion of patients with NSTEMI with increase in utilization of early cardiac catheterization and decrease in in-hospital death and length of stay, age-, sex-, and race/ethnicity-specific differences in the management and outcomes of NSTEMI were observed, and further studies are needed to develop strategies to ensure more equitable care for patients with this type of heart attack. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 06.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview Cristina B. Geltzeiler, MD Knight Cancer Institute Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR 97239-3098 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Geltzeiler: The main findings of the study are that implementing an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program at a community hospital can be successfully implemented and can allow patients to recover quicker from their surgery with ongoing safety. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA / 06.08.2014

Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard Saitz MD MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Saitz: We found that brief counseling interventions had no efficacy for reducing the frequency of illicit drug use or drug use consequences among primary care patients identified by screening as using drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JAMA / 06.08.2014

Maurizio Gasparini, MDMedicalResearch Interview with: Maurizio Gasparini MD Humanitas Research Hospital Rozzano, Italy Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gasparini: We found that a strategic programming of implantable cardioverter defibrillators which allows the non-sustained arrhythmias to self-terminate is associated with reductions in hospitalizations, length of hospital stay and cost per patient-year and an increase in the time to first hospitalization. These results were mainly driven by reduction in cardiovascular-related events. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 06.08.2014

upcoming JAMA publication: Shuen-Iu Hung, PhD, for the Taiwan SCAR consortium Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, 112 TaiwanMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuen-Iu Hung, PhD, for the Taiwan SCAR consortium Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, 112 Taiwan   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Reply: Phenytoin, a widely prescribed antiepileptic drug, can cause severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCAR) (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) ), which carry high mortality and morbidity. The genomic basis of phenytoin-induced SCAR has not been known. This study identifies CYP2C variants, including CYP2C9*3 known to reduce drug clearance, as the key genetic factors associated with phenytoin-related severe cutaneous adverse reactions. These findings have potential to improve the safety profile of phenytoin in clinical practice and offer the possibility of prospective testing for preventing phenytoin-related SCAR. (more…)
Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JACC, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 05.08.2014

Dr. John J. Sim Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles,MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. John J. Sim Division of Nephrology and Hypertension Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Sim: Among a large diverse population of treated hypertensive people, those who achieved systolic blood pressures (SBP) in the ranges of 130-139mm Hg had the lowest risk for death and end stage renal disease (kidney failure).  Not surprisingly, those with SBP above 139 had incrementally greater risk, but somewhat surprising was that those with SBP under 130 also had a greater risk for death and kidney failure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 31.07.2014

Dr Angelica Ronald Genes Environment Lifespan (GEL) laboratory Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development Department of Psychological Sciences Birkbeck, University of London London WC1E 7HXMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Angelica Ronald Genes Environment Lifespan (GEL) laboratory Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development Department of Psychological Sciences Birkbeck, University of London London WC1E 7HX Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ronald: Psychotic experiences, such as paranoia, hallucinations and disorganised thinking, are commonly reported by adolescents. Until now it has not been understood whether mild variations in psychotic experiences in the community are part of the same construct as more severe psychotic experiences in adolescence. Our findings suggest that they are. In our study, over 10,000 16-year-old adolescents in England and Wales were assessed on measures of psychotic experiences. The study identified a close link between normal, less frequent psychotic experiences and more severe and frequent experiences in the general population. A classic twin design was employed, which enabled us to conduct analyses investigating the role of genetic and environmental influences on psychotic experiences. The same genetic influences appeared to play a role across the spectrum of severity of psychotic experiences. The study found that psychotic experiences are moderately heritable in adolescence in the general population. This suggests it would be worth directing molecular genetic endeavours towards this area, which has so far received very little attention in terms of causal explanations. We also show that psychotic experiences have considerable environmental influence; in fact, environmental influence appears to play a larger role in causing psychotic experiences in adolescence than for diagnosed psychotic disorders in adults, such as schizophrenia. This result suggests a fruitful avenue will be to tackle what environmental risk factors influence adolescents to have psychotic experiences. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 29.07.2014

Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Assistant Professor in Pediatrics Boston Children’s HospitaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Assistant Professor in Pediatrics Boston Children’s Hospital   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Levy: We found that questions that asked about the frequency of alcohol, tobacco and drug use accurately triaged adolescents into "risk categories".  In other words, kids who reported using alcohol or marijuana "once or twice" last year were unlikely to have a substance use disorder, those who reported "monthly" use were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a "mild" or "moderate" substance use disorder while those who reported use weekly or more were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a "severe" substance use disorder. (more…)