Author Interviews, Memory / 14.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Frederic Meunier PhD Professor and Academic Senior Group/Unit Leader/Supervisor Queensland Brain Institute and Isaac O Akefe DVM, PhD Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research Queensland Brain Institute The University of Queensland St Lucia Academy for Medical Education, Medical School Brisbane QLD Australia     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The brain is the body’s fattiest organ, with fatty compounds called lipids making up 60% of its weight. Fatty acids are the building blocks of a class of lipids called phospholipids. In our study, we first showed that levels of saturated fatty acids increase in the brain during neuronal communication and long-term memory formation, but we didn’t know what was causing these changes. (more…)
Aging, Mental Health Research / 31.01.2024

age-regressionAge regression stands as a captivating psychological occurrence that has piqued the curiosity of scholars, therapists, and individuals alike. It represents a state wherein adults briefly retreat to a more childlike mindset, marked by shifts in conduct, emotions, and cognitive processes. This article delves into the concept of age regression, its telltale signs, and the triggers and catalysts behind it. Are you or someone you know struggling with age regression and its effects on mental health? Don't walk this path alone. MentalHealth's dedicated professional service can help you understand and cope with age regression, providing you with the support and guidance you need to live life to the fullest. Contact them today to take the first step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pharmaceutical Companies / 14.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Davis Lauren C. Davis, MBS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 19409   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Financial conflicts of interest (COIs) resulting from ties between academia and industry have been under scrutiny for their potential to hinder the integrity of medical research. COIs can lead to implicit bias, compromise the research process, and erode public trust (1-6). The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), standardizes symptom criteria and codifies psychiatric disorders. This manual contributes to the approval of new drugs, extensions of patent exclusivity, and can influence payers and mental health professionals seeking third-party reimbursements. Given the implications of the DSM on public health, it is paramount that it is free of industry influence. Previous research has shown a high prevalence of industry ties among panel and task force members of the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5, despite the implementation of a disclosure policy for the DSM-5 (7,8). This study (9) determined the extent and type of COIs received by panel and task-force members of the DSM-5-TR (2022) (10). As the DSM-5-TR did not disclose COI, we used the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payments (OP) database (11) to quantify them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Inflammation / 14.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samir Mitragotri Ph.D. Hiller Professor of Bioengineering Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering Area Chair, Bioengineering Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a heavy burden on the world, affecting ~70 million people globally each year. Despite its prevalence, there are no clinically approved treatments beyond symptom management. There is an urgent need to develop effective therapies to alleviate the damage caused by TBI.   MedicalResearch.com:  What do macrophages typically do?  As part of the innate immune system, macrophages migrate to areas of injury to eat pathogens or debris and manage inflammation in response to injury or infection. However, in the majority of cases of TBI, there is no actual infection from a foreign pathogen, leading to excessive inflammation that spreads damage beyond the initial impact. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, Pediatrics, Technology / 08.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karen F. Heffler, MD Researcher, Autism Spectrum Disorder Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry Drexel University College of Medicine Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? children-watching-tv-pexels-photo-4740522 Response: Atypical sensory processing is common in neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting approximately 60% of children with ADHD and up to 90% of children with autism. Sensory symptoms are associated with hyperactivity, restricted/repetitive behavior, irritability, behavioral problems, and emotional dysregulation. Sensory-related meltdowns and symptoms can be very disruptive to family-life, interfere with family participation in community events and are associated with increased caregiver stress. Prior to this study there was little understanding of potential risk factors for atypical sensory processing. The researchers used data from the National Children’s Study to determine the association between early-life screen time and sensory processing outcomes among toddlers. (more…)
Mental Health Research, Social Issues / 26.12.2023

In the fast-paced, interconnected world we now live in, the prevalence of burnout has become a concerning reality for many. The term was first coined in the 1970s to describe the chronic workplace stress that led to physical and emotional exhaustion. Since then, if you are feeling run down and exhausted you may well be yet another victim of modern-day fatigue. Here is a look at the nuances of burnout and some key factors contributing to this pervasive problem. Burnout goes beyond the workplace While burnout traditionally has its roots in a professional workplace setting, modern-day pressures means that the phenomenon now extends beyond the confines of the workplace. Burnout now encompasses a holistic exhaustion that permeates various aspects of life. These include personal relationships, social interactions, and even leisure activities. We have even reached a point where The World Health Organization (WHO) officially recognized burnout as a syndrome in the International Classification of Diseases, emphasizing its impact on overall well-being. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Weight Research / 28.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mahsa Dolatshahi, M.D., M.P.H. Post-doctoral research fellow Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity at midlife is recognized as a risk factor for developing Alzheimer disease decades afterwards. However, body mass index on its own does not adequately represent the risks associated with obesity. In this study, we went beyond BMI and considered anatomical distribution of body fat, including the metabolically active visceral fat in the belly, and showed its association with Alzheimer pathology in the form of amyloid proteins. In addition, visceral fat along with obesity and insulin resistance were associated with thinning of brain cortex, as early as midlife. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 16.11.2023

pexels-photo-7578808-medical-practitioner.webpIf you've been in a scrape and your noggin took a knock, playing it tough and shaking it off isn't the way to go. A traumatic brain injury (TBI), even one that seems no biggie, can be sneaky. At first, you might feel fine, but your brain's had a jolt, and it needs a look-over. Ignoring it? Bad move. That little headache or dizziness might be your brain's way of saying, "Hey, I'm not okay." Small signs like mood swings, sleep changes, or even just feeling "off" can be the early whispers of something bigger brewing. It's like ignoring a weird noise in your car's engine—let it go and you might just find yourself broken down on the highway of health.

The Domino Effect of Ignoring Symptoms

Let's talk about what happens if you shrug off those symptoms. A tiny injury can start a chain reaction. Before you know it, you could be dealing with big-time problems like memory issues, serious concentration hiccups, or even long-term disabilities. And here's the kicker: these troubles don't always show up on day one. They can sneak up on you, turning from "I'm fine" to "Why can't I remember my passwords?" in no time. Think about it—your brain runs the show, so even a small glitch can throw off the whole performance.
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Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Stanford / 07.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael E. Belloy, PhD Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences Stanford University, Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Apolipoprotein E (APOE)*2 and APOE*4 are, respectively, the strongest protective and risk-increasing, genetic variants for late-onset Alzheimer disease. As such, one’s APOE genotype is highly relevant towards clinical trial design and Alzheimer’s disease research. However, most insights so far are focused on the associations of these APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk in non-Hispanic white individuals. One important aspect of our work is that we really increased sample sizes for non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and East Asian individuals, so that we now have better understanding of the associations of APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk in these groups. In complement, we also did the largest investigation to date on the role of ancestry on the associations of APOE genotypes with Alzheimer’s disease risk. The scale of our study was thus a critical factor in generating novel insights. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, McGill, Mental Health Research / 06.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Niki Hosseini-Kamkar PhD Postdoc, McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our primary question was: Do adults with a history of childhood trauma have altered brain responses to psychological challenges? Previous evidence indicated that this can occur in laboratory animals, but it has been unclear whether it occurs in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Nature, Pediatrics / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brenden Tervo-Clemmens, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain Scholar, Institute for Translational Neuroscience University of Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:      Both contemporary and historical theories of neurobehavioral development suggest executive functions (EF) mature through adolescence. These are often used in various contexts to try to demarcate the developmental boundaries of the adolescent period. However, the specific maturational timing of executive function, and the independence of various potential executive function subcomponents remain unknown. Building from prior investigations with relatively small datasets or narrow subsets of executive function measures, this work using four independent datasets (N>10,000) and 17 distinct executive function assessments provides a precise charting, multi-assessment investigation, and replication of executive function development from adolescence to adulthood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peter A. Harmer, PhD, MPH, AT-Ret, FACSM Senior Associate Research Scientist Oregon Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Decline in various aspects of cognitive function, such as memory, executive function, and multitasking ability is common as we age. The rate and extent of decline varies among older adults but approximately 20% of those aged 65+ will experience clinically relevant mild cognitive impairment, which places them at increased risk of progressing to Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. It is also associated with decreased mobility, increased risk of falls and impaired capacity for complex activities of daily living. Research has shown that physical and mental activity may attenuate the decline and that combined physical/mental challenges may be more effective than either alone but up to this point there has been little quality clinical evidence. Building on previous successful studies with our established tai ji quan therapy, we developed a cognitively-enhanced training tai ji quan protocol to determine its effectiveness in enhancing global cognition and dual-task walking compared to our standard tai ji quan program and a stretching program in adults 65+ with mild cognitive impairment or self-reported memory concerns. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston / 22.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David B. Corry, M.D. Professor of Pathology & Immunology and Medicine Vice Chair for Immunology Department of Pathology & Immunology Biology of Inflammation Center Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center   Clarence and Irene H. Fulbright Chair in Pathology Baylor College of Medicine Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Can candida species cross the blood brain barrier? Response: We showed earlier (2019) that the common fungus Candida albicans can enter the brain from the blood. That earlier study was in turn inspired by the finding of another research group that had found Candida in the brains of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementing illnesses. (more…)
PTSD / 06.10.2023

Even when you have had the best military training available it is almost impossible to prepare your mind and body for the violence and traumatic experiences you might endure during active service. The threat of PTSD and other health issues is very real, such as veterans experiencing shell shock and still trying to process that experience many years later. Here is a look at some of the main health issues that a veteran might experience. Mental health challenges ptsd-veterans-warWearing the physical scars of war is just one side of the story. Many veterans can suffer significant mental health challenges long after they retire from active duty. The very real threat of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been well publicized in recent years. It is estimated that PTSD affects as many as 15% of veterans who fought in the Iraq war, for instance. Depression and alcohol abuse are other mental health issues faced by a percentage of veterans. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, ADHD, Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA / 04.10.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guohua Li, MD, DrPH Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology Columbia University Irving Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How was the ADHD diagnosis determined? Response: The reported prevalence of ADHD in children and young adults in the United States has more than doubled since the 1990s because of improved diagnosis.  Currently, ADHD affects about 13 percent of children under 18 years of age and eight percent of adults under 45 years of age.  Little is known about the prevalence of ADHD in older adults although it is estimated that ADHD symptoms may persist throughout the lifespan in about one-third of children diagnosed with the disorder.  Diagnostic criteria for adulthood ADHD include having five or more relevant symptoms, adverse impact on social, academic, and occupational activities,  and onset of symptoms before age 12. In this study, ADHD status is determined based on an affirmative response to the question of whether the participant had ever had ADHD or had ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that he or she had ADHD. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Schizophrenia / 25.09.2023

Individuals suffering from mental health problems such as schizophrenia may utilize substances to deal with or cope with the issues they are experiencing. However, the abuse of substances can have a double effect on a person as it could complicate schizophrenia’s symptoms and potentially increase the likelihood of an individual experiencing or worsening symptoms. If your loved one is struggling with substance abuse and you fear this could cause or worsen mental health problems, you may consider taking them to a residential treatment near you to get professional assistance. Connection between Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse

addiction-schizophreniaOne of the most startling aspects of the connection between schizophrenia and substance abuse is the high prevalence of substance use disorders among those with schizophrenia. Studies consistently show that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to engage in substance abuse compared to the general population. This connection can be best demonstrated using the self-medication hypothesis.  According to this hypothesis, individuals with schizophrenia may turn to substances as a way to self-medicate or alleviate their distressing symptoms. Imagine dealing with hallucinations or disorganized thoughts—some may use alcohol or drugs to temporarily escape from this internal turmoil.

It is imperative to note that drug abuse does not in any way lead to schizophrenia. However, the misuse of drugs can be a catalyst if an individual is predisposed to the condition or if they are already experiencing mild symptoms. (more…)
Mental Health Research / 19.09.2023

 Individual psychotherapy provides a multitude of benefits to patients seeking treatment to help improve their mental health. Through talk therapy sessions, patients can become self-aware of feelings that may hinder their wellbeing in order to learn out to better cope with those feelings. What Is Individual Psychotherapy? Individual psychotherapy is a type of therapy in which the patient works one-on-one with a therapist to overcome feelings hindering their wellbeing. Individual psychotherapy helps patients talk through difficult situations and feelings to help them acknowledge and overcome something hurting their mental health. Individual psychotherapy helps treat a multitude of emotional and behavioral issues including:
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorder
  • Addiction
Patients should only receive individual psychotherapy from a state-licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, clinical social worker, or marriage and family therapist. These therapy sessions are confidential to help improve a patient’s overall mental health. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Education, Karolinski Institute / 15.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lotfi Khemiri
Centre for Psychiatry Research
Stockholm, SwedenLotfi Khemiri Centre for Psychiatry Research Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study used large-scale national register data in close to 2 million children, and found that parental abuse of both alcohol and drugs are associated with increased risk of intellectual disability in the offspring. Importantly, the risk increase was observed in both mothers and fathers which to the best of our knowledge is a novel finding, and may be explained by both genetic and environmental factors including toxic effects of substance intake on fetal development. (more…)

Author Interviews, Depression, Endocrinology, Nature / 27.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Huizhong Whit Tao, PhD Professor of Physiology & Neuroscience Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute Department of Physiology & Neurosience Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previously, we published a study in which we found that a group of neurons, namely glutamatergic neurons, in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the hypothalamus mediate stress-induced anxiety states. This result inspired us to explore whether the MPOA can play a more general role in mood regulation. Fluctuations in the productive hormones secreted by women’s ovaries are known to cause mood swings. In some cases, rapid changes in the secretion of ovarian hormones can cause depressive-like symptoms. Key examples are postpartum and peri-menopausal depression. In this study, we intended to test whether the MPOA can also play a part in depressive states that are linked to fluctuations in ovarian hormones. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Memory / 07.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Leon, Professor emeritusDepartment of Neurobiology and BehaviorCenter for the Neurobiology of Learning and MemoryInstitute for Memory Impairments and Neurological DisordersUniversity of California Irvine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What types of aromas were employed? Response: The olfactory system is the only sense to have a direct “superhighway” access to the memory centers of the brain. The other senses can contribute to the health of the memory centers, but they have to take the brain's “side streets” to get there and consequently have much less impact on the health of those centers. If there is olfactory loss for any reason, the memory centers start to deteriorate. Stimulation of those memory centers with odors allows those centers to allow for better memory. We used naturally occurring pleasant odors: rose, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Microbiome, Nature, OBGYNE, UCLA / 25.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bridget Callaghan Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology UCLA Dr. Callahan studies interactions between mental and physical health across development.   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A growing body of evidence links the gut microbiome to brain and immune functioning, and changes to that community of microorganisms is likely among the ways that hardship affects children’s socioemotional development. Limited evidence in humans has demonstrated the adversities experienced prenatally and during early life influence the composition of the gut microbiome, but no studies had examined whether stress experienced in a mother's own childhood could influence the microbiome of the next generation of children. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Mental Health Research / 12.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jessica Kruger PhD Clinical Associate Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The 2018 Farm Bill authorizing hemp production led to new cannabinoids in the consumer marketplace. As the market becomes increasingly saturated with suppliers, companies continually diversify available products. The rapid emergence of novel cannabinoids outpaces systematic research necessary to inform regulations and harm reduction. Empirical evidence is needed to guide policies, practices, and education of consumers. Product manufacturers, social media participants, and cannabis oriented on-line news sources have claimed that THC-O-acetate is a "psychedelic" cannabinoid, producing experiences similar to those associated with LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 02.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Valentina Paz, M.Sc Ph.D.  Student Research and teaching assistant Universidad de la República, UruguayHon. Research AssistantMRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing Department of Population Science & Experimental MedicineInstitute of Cardiovascular ScienceUniversity College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior research indicates that napping can enhance performance on specific cognitive tasks. However, some authors argue that the advantages derived from napping may vary between individuals who frequently have a nap and those who never naps. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether habitual daytime napping has a positive or negative impact on cognition and the association between napping and brain volume is not well characterized. Therefore, our study aimed to examine whether the association between genetic liability to daytime napping, cognitive function, and brain volumes might be causal using a technic called Mendelian randomization and the UK Biobank. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Mental Health Research, NYU, USPSTF / 27.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH Dr. Adolph & Margaret Berger Professor of Population Health Director, Division of Health & Behavior Director Center for Healthful Behavior Change Department of Population Health NYU Langone Health NYU School of Medicine Member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental health conditions affecting the lives of many adults in the U.S. The Task Force cares deeply about the health of people nationwide, so we reviewed the latest evidence on how best to support the mental health of adults in primary care. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response:  The evidence shows us that all adults should be screened for depression and those under 65 should also be screened for anxiety. These recommendations apply to everyone without signs or symptoms of depression or anxiety. We also strongly encourage anyone who has signs of depression or anxiety to talk with their clinician so that they can get the care they need. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 14.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandra M Whiteley PhD Department of Biochemistry University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My laboratory was interested in understanding how UBQLN2 maintains cellular health. Ubiquilins facilitate protein degradation, but the precise proteins that they help to break down were not well understood. UBQLN2 is of particular interest because mutations in the UBQLN2 gene lead to a familial form of ALS. This project, which was published in eLife this year, stems from work that was published when I was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, where we found a link between UBQLN2 and the virus-like protein PEG10. Now at the University of Colorado, Boulder, my laboratory has focused on trying to understand this connection between the two proteins, and how PEG10 could contribute to ALS. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, University of Pittsburgh / 31.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bruna Bellaver PhD Postdoctoral associate Department of Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh Tharick Pascoal, MD, Ph.D. Neurologist and assistant professor of Neurology and Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition is considered one of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brain. The sequential order of this cascade includes the development of tau pathology and consequent cognitive decline. However, many people with Aβ deposition in the brain do not progress in the disease, suggesting that other biological processes are playing a role in these pathological events. In vitro evidence suggests that reactive astrocytes unleash Aβ effects in pathological tau phosphorylation. We found that, in cognitively healthy individuals, Aβ is associated with tau pathology only in individuals with increased astrocyte reactivity. (more…)