Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50618" align="alignleft" width="128"]Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D.  Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences  Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute Faculty Associate, Human Environments Analysis Laboratory London, ON Dr. Seabrook[/caption] Jamie A. Seabrook, Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences Brescia University College at Western University Adjunct Research Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Western University Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Western University Scientist, Children's Health Research Institute Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis are the most commonly used substances during pregnancy. High alcohol consumption has been linked with preterm birth, and tobacco and/or cannabis use is associated with low birth weight. Much of what we know about predictors of drug use during pregnancy comes from the United States and Australia, with limited studies in Canada. The objective of our study was therefore to assess the relative effects of socioeconomic, demographic, and mental health risk factors associated with drug use during pregnancy. Our retrospective cohort study consisted of 25,734 pregnant women from Southwestern Ontario. We found that maternal depression was the top risk factor associated with all three substances. Compared to women who were not depressed during their pregnancy, women who were depressed were 2.2 times more likely to use alcohol (95% CI: 1.6, 2.9), 1.7 times more likely to smoke tobacco (95% CI: 1.5, 2.0), and 2.6 times more likely to use cannabis (95% CI: 2.0, 3.4).
Author Interviews, Depression, Pain Research, Psychological Science / 19.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49850" align="alignleft" width="128"]Dr. Markus Rütgen Post-doctoral researcher Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit Faculty of Psychology University of Vienna Dr. Ruetgen[/caption] Dr. Markus Rütgen PhD Post-doctoral researcher Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit Faculty of Psychology University of Vienna  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous research has reported empathy deficits in patients with major depressive disorder. However, a high percentage of patients taking part in these studies were taking antidepressants, which are known to influence emotion processing. In our study, we wanted to overcome this important limitation. We were interested in whether the previously reported empathic deficits were attributable to the acute state of depression, or to the antidepressant treatment. To this end, we performed a longitudinal neuroimaging study, in which we measured brain activity and self-reported empathy in response to short video clips showing people in pain. We measured acutely depressed patients twice. First, before they started their treatment, second, after three months of treatment with a state-of-the-art antidepressant (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Author Interviews, Depression, Genetic Research, JAMA / 19.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48629" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr Kimberley Kendall MBBChWellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow Dr. Kendall[/caption] Dr Kimberley Kendall MBBCh Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow [caption id="attachment_48630" align="alignleft" width="150"]Professor James WaltersMRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and GenomicsProfessor, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences Prof. Walters[/caption] Professor James Walters MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Professor, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences Cardiff University   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Copy number variants (CNVs) are the deletion or duplication of large sections of DNA. Large, rare CNVs have been shown to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. However, the impact of these CNVs on risk of depression was unclear from the existing literature.
Author Interviews, Depression, Mental Health Research, Vanderbilt / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48633" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lauren Gaydosh, PhDAssistant ProfessorCenter for Medicine, Health, and SocietyPublic Policy StudiesVanderbilt University  Dr. Gaydosh[/caption] Lauren Gaydosh, PhD Assistant Professor Center for Medicine, Health, and Society Public Policy Studies Vanderbilt University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Several years ago, life expectancy at birth in the United States declined, and this decline has continued every year since. Part of the cause underlying this decline is that midlife mortality – deaths among those 45-54 – has been rising. This increase in midlife mortality has been attributed by some to the “deaths of despair” – a cluster of causes of death including suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related disease - and has been most pronounced among middle-aged white adults with a HS degree or less. In our research, we wanted to better understand the indicators of despair that would be predictive of these causes of death. Things like depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation. And study them in individuals before the period of elevated risk of death – in other words, before they reached middle age. Our goal was to evaluate whether these markers of despair were rising for a younger cohort, and whether this pattern was isolated to white adults with low education.
Author Interviews, Depression, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Parkinson's / 10.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jojo Kwok  R.N., BN(Hons), MPH, Ph.D. School of Nursing, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine The University of Hong Kong MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Before the study, we knew that mind-body exercises such as yoga and stretching improves the physical health of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), however the benefits to their mental health was not known. This study concludes that mindfulness yoga alleviates psychological distress, improves spiritual well-being and quality of life, not to mention motor symptoms and mobility. When it comes to managing the stress and symptoms of Parkinson Disease, what is exciting, is that yoga has now been proven to be a better strategy than just stretching. Yoga draws together body, mind and spirit through mindful practice of 1) yoga posture, 2) breathing and 3) meditation. These form the three core components of our Mindfulness Yoga Program. Mindfulness is non-judgemental awareness of the present moment - of one’s physical sensations and thoughts, be they positive or negative. By adopting a mind-body approach, patients are much better positioned to reframe their illness journey than through physical training alone. By learning to relate non-judgmentally to their physical symptoms and emotions, they develop new coping skills that cultivate openness, acceptance and resilience to these symptoms. They feel better. 
Author Interviews, Depression, Dermatology / 24.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24142" align="alignleft" width="128"]Dr. Jonathan L. Silverberg MD PhD MPH Assistant Professor in Dermatology Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois Dr. Jonathan Silverberg[/caption] Dr. Jonathan L. Silverberg MD PhD MPH Assistant Professor in Dermatology Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine northwesternu, Chicago, Illinois MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Atopic Dermatitis is characterized by chronic and often severe and debilitating itch, skin pain, sleep disturbances, skin lesions and multiple comorbid health conditions. The signs, symptoms and comorbidities of atopic dermatitis can lead to significant psychosocial distress and mental health burden We performed a cross-sectional, population-based study of 2893 US adults. We found that adults with atopic dermatitis had more severe symptoms scores for anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression anxiety). Adults with atopic dermatitis also had higher prevalences of anxiety and depression. Mean symptom scores and prevalences of anxiety and depression were even higher in adults with moderate and severe atopic dermatitis compared to those with mild atopic dermatitis. All respondents with severe PO-SCORAD, POEM and PO-SCORAD-itch scores had elevated anxiety and depression scores. Many adults with atopic dermatitis that had elevated anxiety and depression scores reported no diagnosis of anxiety or depression. 
Author Interviews, Depression, Nutrition, Supplements, Weight Research / 08.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47759" align="alignleft" width="89"]Prof. Marjolein Visser PhDProfessor of Healthy AgingHead section Nutrition and HealthDepartment of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdam Public Health research institute Dr. Visser[/caption] Prof. Marjolein Visser PhD Professor of Healthy Aging Head section Nutrition and Health Department of Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Amsterdam Public Health research institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than 40 million Europeans experience a major depressive disorder. One in ten men, and one in five women suffer from clinical depression at least once during their lifetime. Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling disorders in the EU. Given the increasing prevalence of depression, more people are actively searching for ways to decrease their risk through lifestyle modification, but are often overwhelmed by confusing and contradictory information. The MooDFOOD prevention trial is the largest randomized clinical trial to study the effects of nutritional strategies on the prevention of major depressive disorder. Over 1000 overweight or obese participants identified as being at elevated risk for depression but who were not currently depressed, from four European countries -the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, took part in the study. Participants were randomized to either take nutritional supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, selenium or to a pill placebo, and half of participants also received a behavioral lifestyle intervention intended to change dietary behaviors and patterns.
Author Interviews, Depression, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47752" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMRProfessor and Associate Head of Research, Department of MedicineDirector, Center for Health Behavior ResearchThe University of Illinois at Chicago Dr. Jun Ma[/caption] Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMR Professor and Associate Head of Research Department of Medicine Director, Center for Health Behavior Research The University of Illinois at Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity and depression are major public health problems. Obesity affects 40% of United States (US) adults. About 20% in US women and 13% in men experience major depressive disorder at some point in their lifetime and, additionally, many adults have elevated depressive symptoms that do not meet clinical diagnostic criteria but can nevertheless negatively affect their health and quality of life. Obesity and depression share common risk factors, such as poor diet and lack of exercise, and cause other health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People with obesity are at increased risk of being depressed and, likewise, people with depression are at increased risk of being obese. Consequently, obesity and depression often co-occur. To date, there has been no integrated therapy to effectively treat patients affected by both conditions at the same time. The RAINBOW randomized clinical trial addressed this gap. The main finding from the trial is that, among adult patients with obesity and depression, a collaborative care intervention integrating behavioral weight loss treatment, problem-solving therapy, and as-needed antidepressant medications significantly improve weight loss and depressive symptoms over one year compared with usual care, which patients received through their primary care physicians. 
Author Interviews, Columbia, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 21.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47579" align="alignleft" width="134"]Dr. Karina Davidson, PhD Professor of Behavioral Medicine (in Medicine and Psychiatry) Executive Director, Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health Columbia University Medical Center Dr. Davidson[/caption] Dr. Karina Davidson, PhD Professor of Behavioral Medicine (in Medicine and Psychiatry) Executive Director, Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Perinatal depression, which includes depression that develops during pregnancy or after childbirth, is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting as many as 1 in 7 pregnant women. The Task Force found that counseling can help those who are at increased risk of developing perinatal depression, and clinicians should provide or refer pregnant and postpartum individuals who are at increased risk to counseling. Clinicians can determine who might be at increased risk of perinatal depression by looking at someone’s history of depression, current depressive symptoms, socioeconomic risk factors, recent intimate partner violence, and other mental-health related factors.
Author Interviews, Depression, Dermatology, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 21.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47053" align="alignleft" width="200"]Isabelle Vallerand, PhD Epidemiologist, MD Student Department of Community Health Sciences Cumming School of Medicine University of Calgary Dr. Vallerand[/caption] Isabelle Vallerand, PhD Epidemiologist, MD Student Department of Community Health Sciences Cumming School of Medicine University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that patients with alopecia areata, a form of autoimmune hair loss, are at a higher risk of suffering from depression than the general population. But in practice, we often hear patients tell us that they believe their hair loss developed as a result of stress or problems with mental health – certainly the phrase “so stressed your hair is falling out” is something most people have heard of. Despite this, there has actually been very little research investigating the role that mental health may have on development of alopecia areata. Interestingly, depression has recently been associated with increased systemic inflammatory markers, so there is biologic plausibility that depression could increase the risk of alopecia areata. Our group was interested in addressing this question, and used a large population-level health records database with up to 26 years of follow-up to study it. We ultimately found that not only does depression increase one’s risk of alopecia areata, but that it increases their risk by nearly 90% compared to people who have never had depression. We also found that using antidepressants can significantly decrease the risk of developing alopecia areata in patients with depression. So there appears to be an important link between mental health and development of hair loss from alopecia areata.
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Surgical Research, Urology / 14.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46921" align="alignleft" width="114"]Blayne Welk MD, MSc, FRCSC Associate Professor of Surgery St. Joseph's Hospital Western University Dr. Welk[/caption] Blayne Welk MD, MSc, FRCSC Associate Professor of Surgery St. Joseph's Hospital Western University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I found that when I was referred women with midurethral sling complications, they were often quite emotional and described a significant period of time when they struggled with the complications before they were referred to someone to assess them. The study looked at the rate of depression and self-harm behavior of women who had surgery for midurethral sling complications compared to women who did not have midurethral sling complications. I found that there was an increased risk of both of these outcomes among women who had surgery for complications, however this risk was primarily present in younger women.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA / 09.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46863" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Ingunn Olea Lund, PhD The Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, Norway Dr. Ingunn Olea Lund[/caption] Dr. Ingunn Olea Lund, PhD The Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are significant amounts of research on children of parents with alcohol use disorders – where the children are shown to be at risk of several adverse outcomes, including mental disorders, substance use disorders, suicide, impaired school performance, and employment problems. There is very little previous research on how other, more normal levels of parental drinking may influence child outcomes, such as mental health. This is a grave oversight, as there are vastly more parents with normal drinking patterns than there are parents who suffer from an alcohol use disorder. This means that there are potentially a lot more cases of adverse effect for children, and the number of children at risk may be higher than previously assumed. In addition to parents' alcohol use, several other risk factors in the family that may affect child mental health outcomes, such as parents' mental health and socio-economic status. Researchers have tended to look at these risk factors separately, but as these risks tend to co-occur, it may be more informative to consider them together. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examines possible harm from normal levels of parental drinking, alone or in combination with other parental risk factors, on children’s anxiety and depression. The sample consists of more than 8700 triads: children and both their parents. We combined information from three health registries with survey data where both adolescents and their parents provided information about health and social conditions. The health registers include information about the children 's actual contact with the health care system; we used information about whether children received diagnoses and/or treatment for anxiety and/or depression.
Author Interviews, Columbia, Depression, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 08.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46841" align="alignleft" width="147"]Justin S. Golub, MD, MS Assistant Professor Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center Dr. Golub[/caption] Justin S. Golub, MD, MS Assistant Professor Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Age-related hearing loss is extremely common, yet few people do anything about it. We studied a population of over 5,000 individuals and found that hearing loss was related to feelings of depression. The worse the hearing loss, the worse the symptoms of depression. Even people with just mild hearing loss had nearly two times the odds of depressive symptoms compared to normal hearing people. Among people with moderate hearing loss, the odds of depressive symptoms were four times as high. These statistics take into account various factors that can cause both hearing loss and depression, such as age and demographic background. 
Author Interviews, Depression, Hip Fractures, Lancet / 06.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46429" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof .Gillian Mead Chair of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine Prof. Mead[/caption] Prof. Gillian Mead Chair of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine [caption id="attachment_46430" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof Martin Dennis Chair of Stroke Medicine Prof. Dennis[/caption] Prof. Martin Dennis Chair of Stroke Medicine Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences The University of Edinburgh   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are both practicing stroke physicians as well as clinical trialists. Therefore our interest in this area was triggered by the exciting results of the FLAME trial in 2011. This appeared to indicate that fluoxetine might boost the recovery of stroke patients. Potentially this was very important given the increasing numbers of people having disability due to stroke, and the fact that fluoxetine is inexpensive and could be introduced very easily into clinical practice. We were further encouraged by the large numbers of small RCTs we identified when we carried out a Cochrane systematic review on the topic. These trials provided more evidence of potential benefit but there was evidence that trials of greater quality showed less benefit, and benefits were greater in patients who were depressed. We felt there was a need for more evidence derived from much larger numbers of patients.
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Testosterone / 16.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45941" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Andreas Walther Dr. Walther[/caption] Dr. Andreas Walther PhD Department of Biological Psychology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland Task Force on Men’s Mental Health of the World Federation of the Societies of Biological Psychiatry MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The study situation with regard to endogenous testosterone level and depressive symptoms in men is currently very mixed. There are studies that show no association, but other studies show that low testosterone levels are associated with increased depressive symptoms. That is why several studies have tried to administer testosterone in men to treat depressive symptomatology among other conditions (e.g. erectile dysfunction, cognitive decline). However, no clear conclusions could be drawn from the studies to date, as some studies reported positive results, while others did not show any effects. Likewise, some studies showed better results in certain subgroups of men such as dysthymic men, treatment resistant, men with low testosterone, which raised the question of relevant moderators.
Author Interviews, Depression, Gender Differences, OBGYNE / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sarah Myers PhDDr Sarah Myers PhD Honorary Research Associate UCL Department of Anthropology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Postnatal or postpartum depression is unfortunately common after giving birth; a figure often quoted is 15%, but some studies have found much higher numbers. Postnatal depression is associated with a range of poorer outcomes for mothers and their infants, and the financial costs of treating maternal mental ill health put health services under considerable strain. Studies have found that providing additional emotional support to at risk mothers, for instance via peer support programmes or regular phone calls with health visitors, can reduce the likelihood of them developing the condition. Therefore, it is really important that we understand the full range of risk factors that put women at greater risk of becoming depressed after giving birth. There is increasing evidence for a link between inflammation and depression, with factors that trigger an inflammatory immune response also increasing the likelihood of depressive symptoms. The opens up the possibility of finding new risk factors for postnatal depression based on known associations with inflammation.
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Rheumatology / 13.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44404" align="alignleft" width="183"]Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Roberts[/caption] Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is some evidence that depression may increase risk of autoimmune diseases. For example, among people with autoimmune diseases, more people have depression than in the general population. Also, people who have autoimmune diseases who also have depression have more severe disease symptoms.
Author Interviews, Depression, Gender Differences, Occupational Health / 02.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Professional waitress” by Shih-Chi Chiang is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sarah Andrea, MPH School of Public Health OHSU-PSU MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We spend one-third of our adult lives at work, and our work-related experiences and exposures affect our health. 14 million people work in the leisure and hospitality industry, a subset of the service industry that includes food service and personal care workers. This industry is simultaneously one of the fastest growing and lowest paid. In addition, work in this industry is frequently characterized by lack of control over hours and shifts worked, as well as insufficient access to health care and other benefits. Studies have previously found the highest burden of depression and sleep problems for workers in this industry compared to others. Individuals working in the service industry who earn the bulk for their income from tips from customers face additional vulnerabilities. In many states, tipped workers are paid as little as $2.13 an hour and rely on customers to make up the difference in tips, which are inequitable and unpredictable. Prior to this study, the potential health implications of tipped work were minimally assessed.
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE / 15.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_43130" align="alignleft" width="175"]Rebecca Pearson, PhD Lecturer in Psychiatric Epidemiology Centre for Academic Mental Health School of Social & Community Medicine University of Bristol Dr. Pearson[/caption] Rebecca Pearson, PhD Lecturer in Psychiatric Epidemiology Centre for Academic Mental Health School of Social & Community Medicine University of Bristol MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We know depression and anxiety are common in young women and during pregnancy when there are also implications for the developing child. It is therefore important to investigate whether symptoms are rising given the pressures of modern life. We found that compared to their mothers generation in the 1990s young pregnancy women today are more likely to be depressed. This was driven largely by symptoms of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed rather than feeling down. 
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression, Weight Research / 30.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rafael Gafoor Research Associate Kings College London  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity and weight gain are global public health problems, with approximately 60% of UK adults currently overweight or obese. Depression is common in people who are severely obese and the rate of antidepressant prescribing is increasing, which could have potential impact on public health. However, little research has been reported on the impact of widespread antidepressant treatment on weight gain. So a UK based research team, led by Rafael Gafoor at King’s College London, set out to investigate the association between the use of antidepressants and weight gain. The researchers analysed body weight and body mass measurement data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for over 300,000 adults with an average age of 51, whose body mass index (BMI) had been recorded three or more times during GP consultations from 2004-2014. Participants were grouped according to their BMI (from normal weight to severely obese) and whether or not they had been prescribed an antidepressant in a given year. Participants were then monitored for a total of 10 years.
Author Interviews, Depression, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41942" align="alignleft" width="150"]Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology Professor, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia Dr. Vaccarino[/caption] Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology Professor, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have shown that people with depression tend to have lower heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system dysregulation derived by monitoring the electrocardiogram over time, usually for 24 hours. Other literature, however, has pointed out that autonomic dysregulation (as indexed by reduced HRV) may also cause depression. Thus, the direction of the association between reduced HRV and depression still remains unclear. In addition, these two characteristics could share common pathophysiology, making shared familial background and genetic factors potential determinants of this association.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression, Exercise - Fitness / 17.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41782" align="alignleft" width="200"]Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford Prof. Lamb[/caption] Prof. Sarah E Lamb,  MSc, MA, MCSP, Grad Dip Statistics, DPhil Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Centre for Statistics in Medicine Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Scientists and clinicians have considered the possibility that higher intensity aerobic and muscle strength training might have a beneficial effect in preventing dementia or slowing the progression of cognitive impairment in those who have dementia. The hypothesis has come mostly from animal research. The main findings of our research which used a large sample and high quality methods was that higher intensity exercise, whilst possible, did not slow cognitive impairment. Neither did it have an impact on the functional and behavioural outcomes for people with dementia. It was a substantial commitment for people to participate in the programmes, although many enjoyed the experience and their physical fitness improved.
Author Interviews, Depression, Endocrinology, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Thyroid Disease / 14.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thyroid gland Wikipedia imageTeja Grömer PD Dr. med. Habil Facharzt für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Lehrbefugter der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg im Fach Psychiatrie Bamberg  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? 1) I had seen hundreds of clinical cases with combined depression and anxiety and noted end of 2015 that most (far more than 50%) from the subjective clinical impression were associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) 2) Autoimmune thyroiditis on the mental side leads to specific symptoms, exhaustion, tachycardia, restlessness. 3) I thus decided to do a systematic review and meta-analysis. 
Author Interviews, Depression, Exercise - Fitness / 13.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “gym” by FooJFoo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Mr. Brett R. Gordon, M.Sc. Postgraduate researcher Physical Education and Sport Sciences Department University of Limerick, Ireland.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Depression is prevalent, burdensome, and often comorbid mood disorder that is associated with other poor health outcomes. Exercise training interventions have demonstrated comparable efficacy for depressive symptoms to frontline treatments, such as antidepressant medications and behavioral therapies. However, the evidence to date has primarily focused on findings from studies of aerobic exercise training like jogging, running, and cycling. Our work is the first quantitative summary of the effects of resistance exercise training (RET), or weight lifting and strength training, on depressive symptoms, and the influence of variables like participant characteristics, features of the RET, and the methods that were used in studies on the antidepressant effects of RET. The main finding was that resistance exercise training significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults regardless of their health status, the total prescribed volume of RET (e.g., how much the participants were supposed to exercise), or whether or not strength was significantly improved by the RET intervention. 
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Depression, Pediatrics / 11.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41645" align="alignleft" width="133"]Karen Fratantoni, M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician and lead study author Children’s National Health System Dr. Fratantoni[/caption] Karen Fratantoni, M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician and lead study author Children’s National Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We looked at the prevalence of depressive symptoms at NICU discharge and at six months after discharge among 125 parents randomized to the control group of a larger PCORI-funded trial of peer-to-peer support after NICU discharge. Determining factors associated with parental depressive symptoms at NICU discharge may help to identify at-risk parents who could benefit from mental health support.
Author Interviews, CDC, Depression, Pediatrics / 04.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca H. Bitsko, PhD National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities(https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/index.html) (NCBDDD) is committed to helping children who have mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Anxiety and depression are both internalizing mental disorders that often start during childhood, and that frequently occur together. In this study, we show that more than 1 in 20, or 2.6 million, US children aged 6-17 had a current diagnosis of anxiety or depression, by parent report, in 2011-12. We also found an increase of diagnosed anxiety in these children from 1 in 28 in 2007 to 1 in 24 in 2011-12. Further, in 2011-12, approximately 1 in 5 children with current anxiety or depression did not receive mental health treatment in the past year. Children with current anxiety or depression were more likely than those without to have:
  • Another mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder such as ADHD, learning disability, or speech or language problems
  • School problems
  • Parents who report high levels of stress and frustration with parenting
  • Unmet medical and mental health service needs
Author Interviews, Depression, Eating Disorders, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 13.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41117" align="alignleft" width="174"]Tracy Vaillancourt, Ph.D. Full Professor and Canada Research Chair Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education  School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences  University of Ottawa Dr. Vaillancourt[/caption] Tracy Vaillancourt, Ph.D. Full Professor and Canada Research Chair Children’s Mental Health and Violence Prevention Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences University of Ottawa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although there have been a few studies that have looked at the relation between being bullied and disordered eating, most studies have looked at it from the perspective of does being bullied lead to disordered eating and does depressive symptoms mediate (i.e., explain) the link. We wanted to look more closely at how bullying, disordered eating, and depression were related over time among teenagers by examining all possible pathways. Another novel aspect of our study was the focus on disordered eating behaviour only (e.g., vomiting, using diet pills, binge eating). Most previous work has examined behaviour and thoughts together, but because disordered eating thoughts are so common (termed normative discontent; e.g., fear of fat, dissatisfaction with body shape or size), particularly among girls and women, we wanted to focus on behaviour, which is more problematic in terms of physical and psychiatric health.
Allergan, Author Interviews, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health Research / 05.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41025" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr. C. David Nicholson, PhD Chief R&D Officer  Allergan Dr. C. David Nicholson[/caption] Dr. C. David Nicholson, PhD Chief R&D Officer Allergan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this data milestone?  Response: Bipolar I depression refers to the depressive episodes of bipolar I disorder, the overarching brain and behavioral disorder. People with bipolar I disorder can have manic and depressive episodes, as well as mixed episodes that feature both manic and depressive symptoms at the same time. Bipolar I depression typically lasts at least two weeks, and can be difficult to differentiate from major depression during diagnosis. Once diagnosed, treating bipolar depression can be difficult given the few therapies available to manage these symptoms of bipolar I disorder. Additionally, patients with bipolar disorder may experience shifts from depression to mania or mania to depression as well as mixed states. More treatment options are needed so that physicians can find a therapy that will treat bipolar depression effectively, while also addressing the myriad of other symptoms that patients can experience. Cariprazine is already approved for the treatment of mania and mixed episodes. With this new data, we have the potential to also treat bipolar depression, effectively addressing the full spectrum of symptoms associated with bipolar I disorder with just one medication.
Author Interviews, Depression, Heart Disease, JAMA / 27.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40300" align="alignleft" width="142"]David Bekelman, MD, MPH  Associate Professor of Medicine and Nursing Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Denver, CO University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO Dr. Bekelman[/caption] David Bekelman, MD, MPH  Associate Professor of Medicine and Nursing Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Denver, CO University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many of the 5.8 million Americans with heart failure live with bothersome symptoms, reduced function and poor quality of life.  Improving their care is important because many people with heart failure live with these challenges for years.

This study evaluated the effect of a team intervention, Collaborative Care to Alleviate Symptoms and Adjust to Illness, also called CASA, on several aspects of quality of life in 314 patients with heart failure.  The patients, who received care at diverse health systems in Colorado, were randomized to receive usual care or usual care supplemented with the CASA intervention, which included a nurse and a social worker who collaborated with a primary care provider, cardiologist, and palliative care physician to address the patients’ needs.

The study found that the CASA intervention did not influence the primary outcome of heart failure health status, yet did improve patients’ depression and fatigue.  CASA did not influence number of patient hospitalizations or mortality.

Author Interviews, Depression, Dermatology / 09.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Young man with acne” by Sergey Sudeykin (Russian, Smolensk 1882–1946 Nyack) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0Isabelle Vallerand, Ph.D. Epidemiologist, MD Student Dept. of Community Health Sciences Cumming School of Medicine University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Over the past few years, there have been numerous reports that an acne drug called isotretinoin (Accutane) has been linked to psychiatric disorders. We recently published a systematic review on this topic and did not find an increased risk of psychiatric disorders among people treated with isotretinoin, so we wondered if acne itself may be contributing to mental illness. While it is well known that acne can have negative effects on mood, we wanted to assess if there was an increased risk of true clinical depression using medical records data. Therefore, we conducted the current study and found that acne increased the risk of developing clinical depression by 63% in the first year following an acne diagnosis and that this risk remained elevated for 5 years after the initial acne diagnosis.