Accidents & Violence, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Madeleine Liljegren, MD Division of Oncology and Pathology Department of Clinical Sciences Lund University Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know from former studies including patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia, that criminal and socially inappropriate behaviors can be signs of dementia, sometimes even the first signs of a neurodegenerative disorder. We wanted to study this relatively large (n=220) cohort of neuropathologically verified Alzheimer disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients, who had been followed clinically by specialists in cognitive medicine or geriatric psychiatry during their disease period, to see if we could confirm results from previous studies. In this paper, we further wanted to study potential differences regarding protein pathology and criminal behavior in frontotemporal dementia patients. This has, to our knowledge, never been done before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Joanne B. Newbury, PhD ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow King’s College London Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Urban living is one of the most well-established risk factors for adult psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. However, less is known about the role of the urban environment in subclinical psychotic experiences in childhood and adolescence, such as hearing voices and extreme paranoia. These early psychotic experiences are a developmental risk factor for adult psychotic disorders and a range of other serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. It is therefore important that we understand what factors might contribute to the development of early psychotic experiences so that we might be able to intervene and prevent their onset and progression. In a cohort of over 2000 UK-born children (The Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study), we have previously shown that subclinical psychotic experiences are also around twice as common among children and teenagers raised in urban versus rural settings. We have also shown that this appears to be partly explained by social features in urban neighbourhoods such as higher crime levels and lower levels of social cohesion. However, no studies have examined the potential link between air pollution and psychotic experiences. This is despite air pollution being a major health problem worldwide (particularly in cities), and despite emerging evidence linking air pollution to the brain.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeremy Fine B.A. in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 201 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alongside increasingly permissive marijuana use attitudes and laws, the prevalence of marijuana use among pregnant mothers has increased substantially (by 75% between 2002 and 2016), with some evidence that pregnant women may be using cannabis to combat pregnancy-related nausea. Our data came from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which included over 4,000 subjects with data on maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. Our main finding was that the children of mothers who used marijuana after learning they were pregnant had a small but significant increase in risk for psychosis in their future. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Social Issues, University of Pittsburgh, Vaccine Studies / 26.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beth Hoffman, B.Sc., graduate student University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Research Assistant, University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vaccine refusal is a public health crisis - low vaccination rates are leading to outbreaks of deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2017, Kids Plus Pediatrics, a Pittsburgh-based pediatric practice, posted a video on its Facebook pagef eaturing its practitioners encouraging HPV vaccination to prevent cancer. Nearly a month after the video posted, it caught the attention of multiple anti-vaccination groups and, in an eight-day period, garnered thousands of anti-vaccination comments. Our team analyzed the profiles of a randomly selected sample of 197 commenters in the hopes that this crisis may be stemmed if we can better understand and communicate with vaccine-hesitant parents. We determined that, although Kids Plus Pediatrics is an independent practice caring for patients in the Pittsburgh region, the commenters in the sample were spread across 36 states and eight countries. By delving into the messages that each commenter had publicly posted in the previous two years, we also found that they clustered into four distinct subgroups:
  • “trust,” which emphasized suspicion of the scientific community and concerns about personal liberty;
  • “alternatives,” which focused on chemicals in vaccines and the use of homeopathic remedies instead of vaccination;
  • “safety,” which focused on perceived risks and concerns about vaccination being immoral; and
  • “conspiracy,” which suggested that the government and other entities hide information that this subgroup believes to be facts, including that the polio virus does not exist. 
(more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Dermatology / 24.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jonathan L. Silverberg MD PhD MPH Assistant Professor in Dermatology Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine Northwestern, 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Schizophrenia / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM Melanie S. Steele Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine NC State MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this case report?  Can you briefly explain the signs/symptoms of a Bartonella infection? Response: Bartonella henselae is a bacteria most commonly associated with cat scratch disease, which until recently was thought to be a short-lived (or self-limiting) infection. There are now at least 40 different known species of Bartonella, 13 of which have been found to infect human beings. The ability to find and diagnose Bartonella infection in animals and humans – it is notorious for “hiding” in the linings of blood vessels – has led to its identification in patients with a host of chronic illnesses ranging from migraines to seizures to rheumatoid illnesses, some of which the medical community previously hadn’t been able to attribute to a specific cause. Evolving data suggests a role for these bacteria in a spectrum of cardiovascular, neurological and rheumatological diseases. Specific symptoms or diseases that have been reported with neurobartonellosis previously include encephalitis, headaches, migraines, demyelinating polyneuropathy, neuroretinitis and transverse myelitis. Documentation of Bartonella henselae blood stream infection in a boy diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) extends the spectrum of symptomatology associated with neurobartonellosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Psychological Science / 20.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Haley Kranstuber Horstman, Ph.D. Department of Communication University of Missouri MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Miscarriage is a prevalent health concern, with one in five pregnancies ending in miscarriage, which is a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks’ gestation. Past research has shown that women who have miscarried often suffer mental health effects such as heightened grief, depression, loneliness, and suicidality. Although much of the research on coping with miscarriage has focused on women’s health, many miscarriages occur within romantic relationships and affect the non-miscarrying partner as well. Women in heterosexual marriages report that their husband is often their top support-provider. Past research has shown that husbands suffer with mental health effects after a miscarriage, sometimes for even longer than their wives, but are not often supported in their grief because miscarriage is a “woman’s issue” and they feel uncomfortable talking about it. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Nutrition, Supplements, Weight Research / 08.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, BMJ, Hormone Therapy / 07.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tomi Mikkola MD Associate Professor Helsinki University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Helsinki, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In Finland we have perhaps the most comprehensive and reliable medical registers in the world. Thus, with my research group I have conducted various large studies evaluating association of postmenopausal hormone therapy use and various major diseases (see e.g. the references in the B;MJ paper). There has been various smaller studies indicating that hormone therapy might be protective for all kinds of dementias, also Alzheimer’s disease. However, we have quite recently shown that hormone therapy seems to lower the mortality risk of vascular dementia but not Alzheimer’s disease (Mikkola TS et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2017;102:870-7). Now in this upcoming BMJ-paper we report in a very large case-control study (83 688 women with Alzheimer’s disease and same number of control women without the disease) that systemic hormone therapy was associated with a 9-17% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, this risk increase is particularly in women using hormone therapy long, for more than 10 years. This was somewhat surprising finding, but it underlines the fact that mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease are likely quite different than in vascular dementia, where the risk factors are similar as in cardiovascular disease. We have also shown how hormone therapy protects against cardiovascular disease, particularly in women who initiate hormone therapy soon after menopause. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark S. Bauer, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus Harvard Medical School Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research VA Boston Healthcare System-152M Boston, MA 02130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Collaborative Chronic Care Models (CCMs) have extensive evidence for their effectiveness in a wide variety of mental health conditions.  CCMs are frameworks of care that include several or all of the following six elements:  work role redesign for anticipatory, continuous care; self-management support for individuals in treatment; provider decision support; information system support for population-based and measurement-guided care; linkage to community resources; and organization and leadership support. However, evidence for Collaborative Chronic Care Model effectiveness comes almost exclusively from highly structured clinical trials.  Little is known about whether CCMs can be implemented in general clinical practice settings, and the implementation evidence that does exist derives primarily from studies of the CCM used in primary care settings to treat depression. We conducted a randomized, stepped wedge implementation trial using implementation facilitation to establish CCMs in general mental health teams in nine US Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. We found that establishing Collaborative Chronic Care Models was associated with reduced mental health hospitalization rates and, for individuals with complex clinical presentations, improvements in mental health status.  Additionally, standardized assessment of team clinicians indicated that facilitation improved clinician role clarity and increased focus on team goals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Education, Social Issues / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marja Aartsen, PhD Research professor at NOVA Norwegian Social Research / OsloMet Oslo Metropolitan University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study is part of a larger project “Life course influences on health trajectories at older age” conducted at the University of Geneva, of which dr. Stéphane Cullati is the principle investigator (see for more information on the project https://cigev.unige.ch/index.php?cID=887). The aim of that research project is to examine in what way retrospective life course precursors from childhood to late adulthood have long-term impacts on current health trajectories at older age. A number of studies in this project are now published among which our study on childhood conditions and cognitive functioning and cognitive decline in later life. In our research, we were particularly interested in the origins of cognitive decline in later life.  Studies among children show that the childhood is an important phase in the development of the brain. Growing up in environments in which people are cognitively stimulated stimulates the brain to develop more complex neuronal networks and larger brain reserves, which may compensate for the neuronal losses that occur when people get older. This effect is long visible, even at old age as a number of important studies recently provided quite solid evidence for the beneficial effect of advantaged childhood conditions on level of cognitive functioning in later life. However, not many studies investigated the relation between childhood conditions and the speed of cognitive decline in later life. Those that did found inconsistent results. We reasoned that part of the inconsistencies in study findings might stem from differences in the analytical approach (not sensitive enough), too little cognitive change because of a short follow-up, too young people, or too small sample (all causing too little power to find statistically significant effects) or differences in the measurement of the childhood conditions. To overcome these potential limitations, we used a large study sample with long follow-up, used a multidimensional measurement of childhood condition, and applied a powerful analytical technique.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease, JAMA, Stroke / 04.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Parish, MSc, DPhil Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology MRC Population Health Research Unit Nuffield Department of Population Health University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acquiring reliable randomized evidence of the effects of cardiovascular interventions on cognitive decline is a priority. In this secondary analysis of 3 randomized intervention trials of cardiovascular event prevention, including 45 029 participants undergoing cognitive testing, we estimated the association of the avoidance of vascular events with differences in cognitive function in order to understand whether reports of non-significant results exclude worthwhile benefit.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh / 01.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alvaro San-Juan-Rodriguez, PharmD Pharmacoeconomics, Outcomes and Pharmacoanalytics Research Fellow Pharmacy and Therapeutics School of Pharmacy University of Pittsburgh MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Currently, there are 4 antidementia drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including 3 acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs)—donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine—and the N-methyl-D-aspartic receptor antagonist memantine. On the one hand, evidence about the effect of these drugs at delaying nursing home admission is still sparse and conflicting. On the other, all these antidementia medications have been associated with several cardiovascular side effects, such as bradycardia, ventricular tachycardia, syncope, QT interval prolongation, atrioventricular block or even myocardial infarction. In this study, we aimed to compare time to nursing home admission and time to cardiovascular side effects across all drug therapies available for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, we used 2006-2014 medical and pharmacy claims data from Medicare Part D beneficiaries with a new diagnosis Alzheimer’s disease who initiated antidementia drug therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pharmacology / 01.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kuan-Pin Su, MD, PhD China Medical University Taichung, Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Delirium, also known as acute confusional state, is a serious disturbance in mental abilities that results in confused thinking and reduced awareness of the environment. Delirium can often be traced to one or more contributing factors, such as a severe or chronic illness, changes in metabolic balance (such as low sodium), medication, infection, surgery, or alcohol or drug intoxication or withdrawal. It’s critically important to identify and treat delirium because some of the contributing factors could be life-threatening. However, there is no sufficient evidence for choice of medication to treat or prevent the symptoms of delirium. A recent paper, Association of Delirium Response and Safety of Pharmacological Interventions for the Management and Prevention of Delirium A Network Meta-analysis, published in JAMA Psychiatry provides important findings of this missing piece in that important clinical uncertainty. The leading author, Professor Kuan-Pin Su, at the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, concludes the main finding about treatment/prevention of delirium: “In this report, we found that the combination of haloperidol and lorazepam demonstrated the best option for treatment of delirium, while ramelteon for prevention against delirium.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Karolinski Institute, Pharmacology, Schizophrenia / 24.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jari Tiihonen, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Clinical Neuroscience Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The effectiveness of antipsychotic combination therapy in schizophrenia relapse prevention is controversial, and use of multiple agents is generally believed to impair physical well-being. But the evidence for this are weak and antipsychotic polypharmacy is widely used. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 21.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Memory, Sleep Disorders / 11.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc Züst, PhD University of Bern Department of Psychology Division of Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology Switzerland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Slow wave sleep (deep sleep) is known to be very important for memory reorganization. The brain goes through the memory traces that were created during wakefulness and strengthens the important ones, while unimportant ones are weakened or deleted to make room for new learning the next day. This happens during the peaks of the eponymous slow waves, also called up-states, where the brain is highly active and interconnected. Up-states last for about 0.5 sec before transitioning into down-states, where the brain is relatively silent. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that up-states constitute windows of opportunity to learn new information during slow wave sleep: The "channels are open", and the brain is already performing memory functions. The results of our study support this hypothesis. We found that, if we repeatedly managed to synchronize presentation of word pairs with up-states, memory for these pairs was best. Moreover, we find a dose-response function: The more often word pairs hit up-states, the better the memory. On top of that, fMRI during the retrieval test suggests that the same brain regions are involved in sleep learning as are involved in learning during wakefulness. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Pediatrics / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John J. Leddy, MD Clinical Professor Department of Orthopaedics Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences University of Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a significant public health problem without an effective treatment. Recent International Guidelines have questioned the efficacy of recommending complete rest to treat concussion and have called for prospective studies to evaluate early active treatments for sport-related concussion.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, OBGYNE / 04.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Valentina Tonei, PhD British Academy Research Associate Department of Economics and Related Studies University of York, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a growing utilisation of Caesarean sections in the past decades. To put it in a perspective, in the United Kingdom, the caesarean section rate was about 26% in 2015, while in 1990s it was about 12-15%. A similar increase has been observed in other countries, for example in the USA. So, while this study focuses on the United Kingdom, I believe that the evidence from this research can apply also to other countries. I study the health consequences for mothers who give birth through an emergency caesarean. Thanks to previous studies, we are well-aware of the implications for mothers’ physical health; instead, this research sheds light on the impact on new mothers’ mental health. I find that new mothers who have an emergency caesarean delivery are at higher risk of developing postnatal depression in the first 9 months after the delivery.  (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Schizophrenia / 31.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Silvia Alemany, PhD first author Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by "la Caixa". In collaboration with co-authors: Philip Jansen,MD, MSc and Tonya White, MD, PhD Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Individuals affected by psychiatric disorders can demonstrate morphological brain abnormalities when compared to healthy controls. Although both genetic and environmental factors can account for these brain abnormalities, we expect that genetic susceptibility for psychiatric disorders has the greatest influence on the development of the brain. Genetic susceptibility for psychiatric disorders can be estimated at the individual level by generating polygenic risk scores. Using this methodology, genetic susceptibility to psychiatric disorders and cognition has been associated with behavior problems in childhood. These findings suggest that heritable neurobiological mechanisms are at play in very early in the course of the illnesses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Mental Health Research, UCSF / 31.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina Mangurian, MD MAS Professor Department of Psychiatry, Weill Institute for Neurosciences Center for Vulnerable Populations, University of California, San Francisco Veronica Yank, MD Assistant Professor Division of General Internal Medicine Department of Medicine University of California San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This article is about the behavioral health and burnout consequences among physician mothers who are caring for seriously ill loved ones. Our work was inspired, in part, by some of the authors’ own experiences caring for loved ones with serious illnesses while also being physician mothers themselves.  We sought to determine the proportion of physician mothers with such caregiving responsibilities beyond their patients and children and the how these additional responsibilities affected the women’s health and practice. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews / 27.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Paul Harch MD Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is a 30 year clinical experience and investigation in which I explored the effects of low-pressure hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on acute, subacute, and chronic neurological conditions. Beginning with brain-injured Louisiana boxers and commercial divers in the late 1980s I attempted to see if patients with central nervous system disorders could respond to a lower dosing of the drug hyperbaric oxygen therapy than was traditionally used for other wound conditions like diabetic foot wounds, radiation wounds, and decompression sickness (the "bends").  I was successful with the very first cases after which I expanded this treatment to nearly 90 neurological conditions.  The very first patient was a boxer 23 years after his last bout who was formally diagnosed with dementia pugulistica (dementia from boxing). Since that time I have treated over 100 patients with cognitive decline or dementia, including 11 Alzheimer's cases.  Nearly all of the Alzheimer's and other dementia cases were documented with high-resolution brain blood flow imaging (SPECT).  The present case report was the first Alzheimer's case that I was able to document with PET metabolic imaging. (more…)
Author Interviews, Memory, Sleep Disorders / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Tonight, I am grateful for an old rocking chair that had the power to quell my crying baby after hours of fussing. It has rocked several generations on my dad's side and I like to think its legacy of comfort can be magical from time to time. #aboynamedfox" by mandaloo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0Mme Aurore Perrault, PhD Student Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: We naturally rock babies to sleep. Yet, we also have plenty of anecdotal reports of adults falling asleep faster when in a train or a car, as well as a feeling of relaxation in a hammock. Our companion paper on mice (Kompotis et a., 2019 – same issue in Current Biology) clearly established that the beneficial effects of rocking on sleep relied on the activation of the vestibular system and might thus suggest some shared neurophysiological mechanisms in mammals. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues, JAMA / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeff D. Williamson, MD Geriatric Medicine - Sticht Center Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A growing amount of epidemiologic research has suggested that higher blood pressure is associated with higher risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s dementia. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: More than 9,300 ambulatory, community dwelling persons over age 50, 30% of whom were over the age of 75, were randomly assigned to a blood pressure goal of 120 vs 140.  Persons in the 120 group had a 19% lower risk for developing MCI an transitional stage between normal and dementia (P<.008).  There was a 17% lower risk for developing dementia but this only achieved a p value = 0.10.  The combined risk for both MCI and dementia was 15% lower in the 120 group (p<0.04).  The dementia outcome was the primary outcome but all the outcomes were pre-specified in the protocol at the beginning of the trial.  Unfortunately the blood pressure intervention was stopped after only 3.3 years due to CVD and mortality benefit and this may well have influenced the ability to reach the expected number of dementia cases.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues / 23.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bryan D. James, PhD Assistant Professor Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Chicago, IL 60612  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It has long been reported by patients, their family members, and physicians that many older adults experience long-term declines in their memory and thinking abilities after hospitalization. Studies have recently begun to confirm these reports by following older patients for years after hospitalization and repeatedly testing their cognitive abilities. A number of questions have yet to be answered, including which types of hospitalizations are most strongly related to cognitive decline. In this study, we sought to answer whether going to the hospital for elective procedures was as risky to the cognitive health of older adults as urgent or emergency (that is, non-elective) hospitalizations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 23.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron Reuben, MEM Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Duke University, Durham, North Carolina MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? (1)  Study members with greater lead exposure in childhood tended to endorse more psychiatric symptoms when assessed for psychiatric disorders in adulthood (between 18 and 38 years of age).
  1. These individuals tended to report more internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety) and thought disorder (e.g., OCD, schizophrenia, mania) symptoms.
  2. Compared to other findings from this sample, the associations reported in this article are similar to those reported for lead and IQ, and are stronger than those reported for lead and criminal offending.
    1. Informants who knew Study members well reported higher levels of difficult adult personality traits among Study members with greater lead exposure in childhood.
    2. Specifically, Study members with greater blood lead levels at age 11 were rated as more neurotic, less agreeable, and less conscientious by 38 years of age.
    3. These personality traits have been previously linked to a number of poor life outcomes, including greater psychopathology, worse physical health, less job satisfaction, and troubled interpersonal relationships
  3. Psychiatric problems related to lead exposure could be detected as early as 11 years of age. In the 1980’s, parents and teachers of children with higher blood-lead levels had described them as displaying more antisocial behavior, hyperactivity, and negative emotions (e.g., sadness, anxiety).
(more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, PNAS / 21.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Russell PhD Department of Pediatrics and Child Health University of Manitoba MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important patient-reported outcome that measures the patient’s perception on how their condition effects various aspects of their life, such as their physical, emotional, social and school quality of life.  HRQOL can measure the more subtle or hidden consequences of a condition, such as concussion.  Patient reported outcomes are important because they give a more complete picture of the patient’s condition than just reporting symptoms or outcomes that are only measured by their clinician.  We wanted to compare the effects of sport-related concussions versus sport-related limb fractures on HRQOL in adolescents after their injury and during their recovery. We chose to compare adolescents with sport-related concussions to a sport-related limb fracture group because we wanted to be able to attribute the results to having a concussion since not being able to play sports with their friends and teammates may decrease HRQOL regardless of the actual type of injury.  We also wanted to identify which clinical variables were associated with worse HRQOL in adolescent patients with sports-related concussion. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Dermatology, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 21.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, UCLA, Zika / 21.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karin Nielsen-Saines, MD, MPH Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study used a very simple evaluation called GMA (General Movement Assessment tool) which checks baby movements at approximately 3 to 5 months of age. We examined 111 babies exposed to maternal illness during the Zika epidemic in Brazil and 333 control babies without this exposure by GMA at 3 months  and then tested them through standard neurodevelopmental tests at the age of 12 months. We found that this simple evaluation, which consists of filming a baby lying down on their back for one minute and studying their movements worked extremely well in predicting which babies would or would not have future problems in their neurodevelopment. The study advances knowledge in the area because a simple one minute video of a baby can predict neurodevelopment, something that is extremely hard to determine in young babies.  This is true even in places where sophisticated brain scans are available. By identifying which babies are at risk of developmental problems early on, professionals can rapidly refer these babies to  stimulation programs when they are very young, which increases their chances of having better outcomes. Because the brains of young children respond much better  to stimulation, the timing of interventions to improve their development is very important, that is why they need to be identified early. (more…)