Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 13.08.2014

Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr Golam Khandaker Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Khandaker: The study shows low grade systemic inflammation may have a role in the pathogenesis of depression and psychotic disorders. Low grade systemic inflammation may also be a common cause for chronic physical and psychiatric illnesses. The study shows that higher serum levels of the circulating inflammatory marker, interleukin 6 (IL-6), in childhood is associated with nearly two-fold increased risk of developing depression and psychotic disorder in young adulthood. This association persisted after taking into account effects of age, sex, social class, ethnicity, body mass index, maternal depression, and past psychological and behavioural problem in the participant. We studied a sample of 4,500 individuals from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, taking blood samples at age 9 and following up at age 18, to see if they had experienced episodes of depression or psychosis. We excluded children with an infection at the time of blood test at age 9 years. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 11.08.2014

Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San FranciscoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Caroline E Stephens PhD Department of Community Health Systems University of California, San Francisco Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Stephens: In our national random sample of nursing home residents, we found that mild cognitive impairment (CI) predicted higher rates of ED visits compared to no CI, but interestingly, ED visit rates decreased as severity of cognitive impairment increased.  However, after nursing home residents were evaluated in the ED, severity of CI was not significantly associated with higher odds of hospitalization. Another important finding was that the proportion of nursing home residents using feeding tubes more than tripled in advanced or end-stage dementia, from 9.9% to 33.8%.  Moreover, tube-fed nursing home residents had 73% higher rates of total ED visits, but once evaluated in the ED, they were no more likely to be hospitalized than those without feeding tubes.  This finding is particularly striking given the numerous existing studies that have questioned the utility and appropriateness of using feeding tubes in people with advanced dementia. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Mental Health Research, Nutrition / 09.08.2014

James T. Becker, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and NeurologyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: James T. Becker, Ph.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neurology University of Pittsburgh Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Becker: We found that people who eat baked or broiled (but not fried) fish at least once every week had significantly larger brain volumes in areas critical for memory and cognition, namely, hippocampus, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, and orbital frontal cortex. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Stroke / 09.08.2014

Kumar Bharat Rajan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Section of Population Sciences Chicago IL 60612MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kumar Bharat Rajan, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Internal Medicine Section of Population Sciences Chicago IL 60612 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the paper? Dr. Rajan: Lower levels of cognitive functioning was associated with incident stroke and the change in cognitive functioning was increased after incident stroke. Cognitive functioning was an independent marker of mortality even after accounting for incident stroke. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 31.07.2014

Dr Angelica Ronald Genes Environment Lifespan (GEL) laboratory Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development Department of Psychological Sciences Birkbeck, University of London London WC1E 7HXMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Angelica Ronald Genes Environment Lifespan (GEL) laboratory Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development Department of Psychological Sciences Birkbeck, University of London London WC1E 7HX Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Ronald: Psychotic experiences, such as paranoia, hallucinations and disorganised thinking, are commonly reported by adolescents. Until now it has not been understood whether mild variations in psychotic experiences in the community are part of the same construct as more severe psychotic experiences in adolescence. Our findings suggest that they are. In our study, over 10,000 16-year-old adolescents in England and Wales were assessed on measures of psychotic experiences. The study identified a close link between normal, less frequent psychotic experiences and more severe and frequent experiences in the general population. A classic twin design was employed, which enabled us to conduct analyses investigating the role of genetic and environmental influences on psychotic experiences. The same genetic influences appeared to play a role across the spectrum of severity of psychotic experiences. The study found that psychotic experiences are moderately heritable in adolescence in the general population. This suggests it would be worth directing molecular genetic endeavours towards this area, which has so far received very little attention in terms of causal explanations. We also show that psychotic experiences have considerable environmental influence; in fact, environmental influence appears to play a larger role in causing psychotic experiences in adolescence than for diagnosed psychotic disorders in adults, such as schizophrenia. This result suggests a fruitful avenue will be to tackle what environmental risk factors influence adolescents to have psychotic experiences. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, General Medicine, Mental Health Research, Nature / 31.07.2014

Rainbo Hultman, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering, Principal Investigator Affective Cognitive and Addiction Disorders (ACAD) Research Group Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Center for Neuroengineering Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rainbo Hultman, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering, Principal Investigator Affective Cognitive and Addiction Disorders (ACAD) Research Group Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Center for Neuroengineering Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hultman: Using a mouse model of stress-induced psychiatric dysfunction, we found that the brainwave patterns in two key brain regions (prefrontal cortex, PFC and amygdala, AMY) encode for susceptibility to such dysfunction. Furthermore, such susceptibility can be predicted from the brainwave patterns in these regions before the onset of stress. (more…)
Author Interviews, Insomnia, Mental Health Research / 31.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pasquale K Alvaro School of Psychology University of Adelaide South Australia, Australia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In adolescents, insomnia is related to depression beyond chronotype (a classification system for circadian rhythms or body clock), anxiety and age. Insomnia is also related to Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) beyond chronotype, depression and age. Depression accounts for the relationship between insomnia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and Social Phobia (SP). Furthermore, an evening chronotype  (delayed sleep phase, that is, preferring to go to bed in the early morning) predicts insomnia beyond depression, anxiety and age. Moreover, an evening chronotype predicts depression beyond insomnia, anxiety and age. Finally, insomnia and depression account for the relationships between an evening chronotype and panic disorder, OCD, SAD and SP. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Mental Health Research / 30.07.2014

dr_zachary_kaminskyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zachary A. Kaminsky, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Baltimore, MD, 21205 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Kaminsky: A DNA methylation increase at the SKA2 gene was identified and observed across three post mortem brain tissue cohorts and was associated with suicide. The DNA methylation at the SKA2 gene was associated with lower gene expression of the gene. The same association was found in blood allowing us to attempt to predict suicidal behaviors in living individuals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Neurology / 25.07.2014

Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS Professor of Neurology and Medicine, Chief, Integrated Divisions of Cognitive & Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine), Director, Resnick Gerontology Center, Murray D Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, NY 10461MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joe Verghese, MBBS, MS Professor of Neurology and Medicine, Chief, Integrated Divisions of Cognitive & Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine),  Director, Resnick Gerontology Center, Murray D Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome (MCR) is a newly described pre-dementia syndrome that is characterized by presence of slow gait and cognitive complaints in older adults without dementia or mobility disability. In this study, we report that the prevalence of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome was 9.7% in 26,802 adults aged 60 and older from 22 cohort studies based in 17 countries. Presence of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome was also associated with an almost two-fold risk of developing dementia. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic / 25.07.2014

Dr. Bryan K. Woodruff Assistant Professor of Neurology Mayo Clinic, ArizonaMedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation Dr. Bryan K. Woodruff Assistant Professor of Neurology Mayo Clinic, Arizona Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Woodruff: There is evidence in the medical literature supporting a negative impact of losing a spouse for health conditions such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, but this has not been evaluated in terms of the impact of widowhood on the development of dementia.  We used the National Alzheimer’s Disease Coordinating Center (NACC) database, which pools data gathered by multiple federally-funded Alzheimer’s disease research centers to try to answer this question.  Specifically, we looked at the age at which individuals ultimately developed dementia in both individuals who lost their spouse and in those who remained married over the course of the study.  Surprisingly, the data we analyzed did not support a negative impact of losing a spouse in individuals who had no cognitive difficulties when they entered the study, and we saw a paradoxical effect of widowhood in those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurological Disorders, Stroke / 23.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Agustin Ibanez, PhD Laboratory of Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience Institute of Cognitive Neurology and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and Sandra Baez, MS; Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Institute of Neuroscience, Favaloro University, Buenos Aires, Argentina Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Both patients with the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and patients with frontal strokes presented moral judgment abnormalities. Their deficits were related to impairments in the integration of intentions and outcomes. Specifically, both patient groups judged moral scenarios by focusing on the actions' outcomes instead of the protagonists' intentions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cognitive Issues / 17.07.2014

Florien Boel MSc VU University Medical Center Department of Medical Psychology Amsterdam, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Florien Boel MSc VU University Medical Center Department of Medical Psychology Amsterdam, The Netherlands Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In postmenopausal breast cancer patients, endocrine therapy is widely used, and often for many years on end. Endocrine therapy is thought to have an effect on cognitive functioning, but previous studies have not yet accounted for the possible influence of the diagnosis of cancer and subsequent anxiety, depression or fatigue on cognitive performance. In addition, the cognitive effects of endocrine therapy after long-term use are still mostly unknown. Therefore, we compared cognitive functioning of postmenopausal breast cancer patients who underwent surgery and/or radiotherapy (N=43) with the cognitive performance of women who also received adjuvant endocrine therapy (tamoxifen) (N=20) and a group of healthy matched individuals (N=44). In accordance with the literature, we found that especially cognitive domains that rely heavily on verbal abilities (verbal memory and fluency) seem to be at risk for deterioration during long-term treatment (~2.5 years) with tamoxifen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA / 17.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emmanuel Lagarde Director of Research at INSERM, France  Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Lagarde: Concussion accounts for more than 90 percent of all traumatic brain injuries, although little is known about prognosis for the injury. The symptoms cited as potentially being part of post concussion syndrome fall into three areas: cognitive, somatic and emotional. But the interpretation of symptoms after concussion should also take into account that injuries are often sustained during psychologically distressing events which can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.    Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?  Dr. Lagarde: Yes, as we were expecting to observe long term (3-month) symptoms following brain injury, but few were found to be specific : most of them were as frequent among patients with other injuries.  Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?  Dr. Lagarde: It seems as if there is little evidence of the existence of a specific syndrome following mild traumatic brain injury. However, patients who experienced a concussion are at risk of  another well-known syndrome called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, which is associated with the distressing event that led to the injury.  Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?  Dr. Lagarde: The classification system of symptoms following mild brain injury should be revisited as our results are challenging the very relevance of the DSM-V post concussion syndrome.  Citation: Association of Symptoms Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder vs Postconcussion SyndromeMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emmanuel Lagarde Director of Research at INSERM, France Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lagarde: Concussion accounts for more than 90 percent of all traumatic brain injuries, although little is known about prognosis for the injury. The symptoms cited as potentially being part of post concussion syndrome fall into three areas: cognitive, somatic and emotional. But the interpretation of symptoms after concussion should also take into account that injuries are often sustained during psychologically distressing events which can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Journal Clinical Oncology, Metabolic Syndrome, Prostate Cancer / 14.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com with: Sandip M. Prasad MD Assistant Professor Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SCSandip M. Prasad MD Assistant Professor Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC and Scott E. Eggener, MD Associate Professor of Surgery Co-Director, Prostate Cancer Program Director of Translational and Outcomes Research, Section of Urology University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL;Scott E. Eggener, MD Associate Professor of Surgery Co-Director, Prostate Cancer Program Director of Translational and Outcomes Research, Section of Urology University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL; Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Depressed men with a diagnosis of intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer have worse overall outcomes than those without baseline depression and are less likely to undergo definitive therapy. The difference in overall survival between men with and without a depression diagnosis was independent of prostate cancer treatment type. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 12.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com interview with: Lee M. Hampton, MD, MSc: Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Hampton: The study, which used CDC's national outpatient adverse drug event surveillance system (NEISS-CADES), found that there are almost 90,000 estimated annual emergency department visits by adults for adverse drug events from therapeutic use of antipsychotics, antidepressants, sedatives and anxiolytics, lithium salts or stimulants between 2009 and 2011. Almost one in five of those emergency department visits (19.3%) resulted in hospitalization. Sedatives and anxiolytics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics each caused 20,000 to 30,000 emergency department visits annually. However, relative to how often each of these types of medications was prescribed at outpatient visits, antipsychotics and lithium salts were more likely to cause emergency department visits for adverse drug events than were sedatives, stimulants, and antidepressants. Antipsychotics caused 3.3 times more emergency department visits for adverse drug events than sedatives, 4.0 times more emergency department visits than stimulants, and 4.9 times more emergency department visits than antidepressants relative to their outpatient use. Out of the 83 specific drugs the study looked at, ten drugs were implicated in nearly 60% of the emergency department visits for ADEs from therapeutic use of antipsychotics, antidepressants, sedatives and anxiolytics, lithium salts or stimulants. Zolpidem was implicated in nearly 12% of all such emergency department visits and 21% of such emergency department visits involving adults aged 65 years or older, more than any other antipsychotic, antidepressant, sedative or anxiolytic, lithium salt or stimulant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Schizophrenia, Sleep Disorders / 08.07.2014

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ettinger Departments of Psychology University of Bonn Bonn, GermanyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ettinger Departments of Psychology University of Bonn Bonn, Germany Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Ettinger: We found that 24-hour sleep deprivation induced subjective cognitive, perceptual and emotional alterations resembling the symptoms of schizophrenia. We also observed that sleep deprivation led to a deficit in a sensorimotor filter mechanism called prepulse inhibition (PPI), similar to the disturbance seen in schizophrenia. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Gender Differences, Mental Health Research / 01.07.2014

Dr. Flora I Matheson PhD Centre for Research on Inner City Health St. Michael's Hospital Toronto, ON, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Flora I Matheson PhD Centre for Research on Inner City Health St. Michael's Hospital Toronto, ON, Canada MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Matheson:
  • We found that women were 10 per cent more likely to use mental health services than men.
  • And that within any 3-year period, women with physical illness used medical services for mental health treatment 6 months earlier than men.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 29.06.2014

Johanna Petzoldt Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Chemnitzer Straße Dresden, GermanyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Johanna Petzoldt Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy Chemnitzer Straße Dresden, Germany MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We investigated 286 mother-infant couples from the Maternal Anxiety in Relation to Infant Development (MARI) Study from Dresden (Germany) via standardized interview and questionnaire. We found a robust relation from maternal lifetime anxiety disorders as early as prior to pregnancy to excessive crying in the offspring. Also, the association increased when considering incident anxiety disorders during pregnancy and after delivery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Lancet, Mental Health Research / 26.06.2014

Dr Sarah Cassidy PhD Autism Research Centre,Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sarah Cassidy PhD Autism Research Centre,Department of Psychiatry University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cassidy: We found that adults with late diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (31 years on average), were at significantly higher risk of contemplating suicide during their lifetime (66%) than those from the general UK population (17%), and a sample of patients with Psychosis (59%). We also found that adults diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome with a history of depression, were significantly more likely to experience suicidal thoughts, and suicide plans or attempts, than those with Asperger Syndrome without a history of depression.  A higher level of autistic traits was also a significant risk factor for having planned or attempted suicide. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Mayo Clinic / 24.06.2014

Prashanthi Vemur, Ph.D. Mayo Clinic Rochester, MinnesotaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prashanthi Vemur, Ph.D. Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Vemuri: Lifetime intellectual enrichment might delay the onset of cognitive impairment and be used as a successful preventive intervention to reduce the impending dementia epidemic. We studied two non-overlapping components of lifetime intellectual enrichment: education/occupation-score and mid/late-life cognitive activity measure based on self-report questionnaires. Both were helpful in delaying the onset of cognitive impairment but the contribution of higher education/occupation was larger. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Long Term Care / 23.06.2014

Regina Shih PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Regina Shih PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist at the RAND Corporation.   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shih: RAND identified 25 high-impact policy options to improve the delivery, workforce, and financing of long term care, with a specific eye toward those with dementia and their caregivers. Undertaking these 25 policy options would achieve five goals: increasing public awareness of dementia and its signs and symptoms; improving access to long-term care; promoting high-quality, person-centered care like that offered at Lakeside Manor; providing better support for family caregivers; and reducing the burden of dementia costs on individuals and their families. Of these 25 policy options, we identified four unique options that have never been identified in any national plan on dementia or long-term care. This is likely because we focused on the intersection between dementia and long-term care, rather than just one or the other. And, rather than only focusing on actions that federal agencies can take, we identified policy options by interviewing 30 different stakeholders in the public and private sectors at the local, state, and national levels. These unique, high-impact policy options have to do with
  • Linking private health insurance with private long-term care insurance;
  • Including home and community-based services in state Medicaid plans;
  • Establishing cross-setting teams focused on returning the person with dementia to the community;
  • Expanding financial compensation to family caregivers.
(more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Mental Health Research / 23.06.2014

Grégoire Rey Directeur du CépiDc CépiDc-Inserm Hopitâl Bicêtre FranceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Grégoire Rey Directeur du CépiDc CépiDc-Inserm Hopitâl Bicêtre France MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Rey: We found that, between 2000 and 2010, unemployment and suicide rates were globally associatedin eight Western European countries (Austria, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK). However, this ecological association was weak (0.3% increase in suicide rate for a 10% increase in unemployment rate). Across countries, it was inconsistently confounded by the effect of other concomitant features of the economic crisis. MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected? (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Heart Disease / 19.06.2014

Dr. Amit J.Shah MD Assistant Research Professor Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Emory, Rollins School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com: Interview with Dr. Amit J.Shah MD Assistant Research Professor Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Emory, Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Shah: We discovered that in a group of patients who were undergoing heart evaluation with coronary angiography, symptoms of depression predicted increased risk of coronary artery disease and death in women aged 55 years or less. This relationship was stronger in these women than older women, as well as in men aged 55 years or less. Over 1 in 4 women aged 55 years or less had moderate to severe depression, which was higher than any other group; these women had over twice the risk of having heart disease or dying over the next 3 years compared to those with none or mild depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Heart Disease, NEJM, OBGYNE / 19.06.2014

Dr. Krista Huybrechts MD PhD Brigham & Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics Boston, MA 02120MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation Dr. Krista Huybrechts MD PhD Brigham & Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics Boston, MA 02120 MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Huybrechts: In this cohort study including 949,504 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid, we examined whether the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with increased risks for congenital cardiac defects. In order to control for potential confounding by depression and associated factors, we restricted the cohort to women with a depression diagnosis and used propensity score adjustment to control for depression severity and other potential confounders. We found no substantial increased risk of cardiac malformations attributable to SSRIs. Relative risks for any cardiac defect were 1.25 (95%CI, 1.13-1.38) unadjusted, 1.12 (1.00-1.26) depression-restricted, and 1.06 (0.93-1.22) depression-restricted and fully-adjusted. We found no significant associations between the use of paroxetine and right ventricular outflow tract obstruction (1.07, 0.59-1.93), or the use of sertraline and ventricular septal defects (1.04, 0.76-1.41); two potential associations that had been of particular concern based on previous research findings. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature / 19.06.2014

Michele Jacob, Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Tufts UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with Michele Jacob, Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Tufts University MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Jacob: Autistic-like behaviors and cognitive impairments associate with loss of the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene.  We deleted APC chiefly from excitatory neurons in the mouse developing forebrain; the mice exhibited changes in synapse maturation and density, reduced social interest, increased repetitive behaviors, and learning deficits.  In addition, we found  molecular changes that define a novel role for APC in linking to and regulating the levels of particular proteins that function in synaptic adhesion complexes and signaling pathways that are required for normal learning and memory consolidation. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, BMJ, Karolinski Institute / 19.06.2014

Dr. Henrik Larsson PhD Associate Professor Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institute Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Henrik Larsson PhD Associate Professor Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institute Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Larrson: We found no evidence for an overall increased rate of suicide related events associated with the use of stimulant or non-stimulant drug treatment for ADHD. If anything, the results pointed to a potential protective effect of drugs for ADHD on suicidal behaviour, particularly for stimulant drugs. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Lancet, Mental Health Research / 18.06.2014

Professor Louis Appleby Professor of Psychiatry C.B.E The University of Manchester in the UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Louis Appleby Professor of Psychiatry C.B.E The University of Manchester in the UK   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Professor Appleby: “Patients with mental illness are two and a half times more likely to be victims of homicide than people in the general population according to our research published in The Lancet Psychiatry today. “In this study, the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCI), based at The University of Manchester, examined data on the victims and perpetrators of all homicides in England and Wales between January, 2003 and December, 2005. We found that during the 3-year study period, 1496 people were victims of homicide, and 6% (90) of them had been under the care of mental health services in the year before their death. A third (29) of these patient victims were killed by other patients with mental illness. In 23 homicides in which the victim was a mental health patient killed by another mental health patient, the victim and the perpetrator were known to each other either as partners (9, 35%), family members (4, 15%), or acquaintances (10, 38%). In 21 of these 23 cases, both the victims and perpetrators were undergoing treatment at the same National Health Service Trust. Alcohol and drug misuse (victims 66%, perpetrators 93%) and a history of violence (victims 24%, perpetrators 24%) were common among both patient victims and perpetrators. The study also found that in the 3 years to 2005, 213 mental health patients were convicted of homicide—accounting for 12% of all homicide convictions.” (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 17.06.2014

Monika Waszczuk 1+3 PhD Student MRC SGDP Research Centre Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London DeCrespigny Park London UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monika Waszczuk 1+3 PhD Student MRC SGDP Research Centre Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London DeCrespigny Park London UK MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: Little is known about the genetic influences on the relationship between depression and anxiety disorders across development. We used two population-based prospective longitudinal twin and sibling studies to investigate phenotypic associations between the symptoms of these disorders, and tested genetic structures underlying these symptoms across three developmental stages: childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. We found that depression and anxiety disorder symptoms are largely distinct in childhood and are influenced by largely independent genetic factors. Depression and anxiety symptoms become more associated and shared most of their genetic etiology from adolescence. An overarching internalizing genetic factor influencing depression and all anxiety subscales emerged in early adulthood. These results provide preliminary evidence for different phenotypic and genetic structures of internalizing disorder symptoms in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, with depression and anxiety becoming more associated from adolescence. (more…)