Author Interviews, Memory / 04.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Noah Forrin, PhD Postdoctoral fellow in Psychology University of Waterloo  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Everyday experience suggests that people have poor memory for information that they encounter prior to their own public performance.  For example, prior to giving a presentation at school or at work, people often struggle to remember information from a presentation that occurred before their own. n our study, we tested the hypothesis that performance anticipation reduces memory for pre-performance information.  We found that when participants anticipated a simple upcoming presentation--reading words out loud in front of someone else--their memory was diminished prior to reading those words out loud.  Memory may be reduced in this way because people are thinking about their upcoming performance or because they are anxious (i.e., performance anxiety). (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 30.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Sophie Legge Research Associate MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences Cardiff University Cardiff MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Psychotic experiences, such as hallucinations and delusions, are features of mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but they are also reported by approximately 5%-10% of the general population. Psychotic experiences are only considered to be symptoms of mental illness if there are other symptoms of that disorder. It is currently unclear what the genetic causes of psychotic experiences in the general population are, and whether these causes are related to the genetic causes of schizophrenia and other mental health disorders. Given that psychotic experiences are one of the key symptoms of schizophrenia, they may be more closely related than with other mental health conditions such as depression. (more…)
Alcohol, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cognitive Issues / 30.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manja Koch Dr. oec. troph. (Ph.D. equivalent) Research Associate Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Majken K. Jensen, PhD Associate Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthMajken K. Jensen, PhD Associate Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are highly prevalent conditions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias worldwide. Given the lack of a cure or even disease-modifying therapies for most dementias, the identification of risk factors or factors that prevent or delay the onset of dementia remains of paramount concern. Alcohol is a globally consumed beverage and light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, tends to be associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a major risk factor for dementia. However, the effects of light-to-moderate alcohol intake on the brain are less clear.  (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Depression, Education, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 25.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeremy Brown BA MSc RESEARCH DEGREE STUDENT IN PHARMACOEPIDEMIOLOGY London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the way schools typically work, children in the same year as each other can be almost a whole year apart in terms of age. We’ve known for a while that children who are young in their year at school are also more likely to be diagnosed as having hyperactivity disorders and tend to do less well academically than the older children in the year. They also seem to be at increased risk of suicide. This is thankfully an extremely rare occurrence in children, but there is little evidence about whether younger children are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. We used electronic health records for just over a million children in the UK to see if there was any association between how old the children were in their year and whether they got diagnosed with ADHD, intellectual disability and depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Menopause / 25.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Bark, PhD Student Behavioral Neuroscience Program Department of Psychology University of Illinois at Chicago  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: 80% of women undergoing menopause experience vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.   40-60% of women in menopause experience sleep problem.  Both of these symptoms of menopause have been associated with cognitive difficulties, but to my knowledge, this is the first study to use objective assessments of sleep and vasomotor symptoms to understand their effects on the brain. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Duke, Neurology / 24.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juan Helen Zhou, PhD, on behalf of the co-authors Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders (NBD) Programme Duke-NUS Medical School, SingaporeJuan Helen Zhou, PhD, on behalf of the co-authors Associate Professor and Principal Investigator Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders (NBD) Programme Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease are among the leading disorders affecting the elderly, with up to 50 per cent of dementia patients showing co-occurrence of both disorders. It is therefore of great interest to understand the influence of co-occurring Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease pathologies on brain changes, and examine if such changes are able to track early differential disease progression. Past cross-sectional studies have suggested that Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease pathologies contribute independently to brain functional and structural changes, and cognitive decline. Our study sought to demonstrate the independent contributions of both pathologies to brain functional networks in a longitudinal cohort of mild cognitive impairment patients, often regarded as early stage of the disease. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Memory, Pharmacology / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James O’Donnell, PhD Dean and professor Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy Ying Xu, MD, PhD Research associate professor University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesYing Xu, MD, PhD Research associate professor University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have been studying cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (PDE), an enzyme, for quite a while as a potential target for neuropsychiatric disease.  One aspect involves the effects of PDE inhibitors on memory.  This was prompted by our earlier finding that one form of the enzyme, PDE4, is in the NMDA receptor signaling pathway in neurons; this pathway has been implicated in memory.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Mental Health Research, Pain Research, Psychological Science / 07.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dimitris Xygalatas, PhD Assistant Professor, Anthropology (Affiliate) Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) UCONN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ever since I was a graduate student, I have been intrigued by the performance of ritual practices that involve pain, bodily harm, and other forms of suffering. These rituals carry obvious risks, including health risks, but despite these risks they are performed voluntarily by millions of people around the world. And even more intriguing is the fact that in various contexts such rituals are often culturally prescribed remedies for a variety of maladies. When I was doing my doctoral fieldwork, I studied the fire-walking rituals of the Anastenaria in Northern Greece, and I heard several people describing their experience of participation as one that involved both suffering and healing. And of course I am not the first anthropologist to document this link. But these observations seemed puzzling to me. Some years later, I met one of the co-authors of this paper, Sammyh Khan, who was asking very similar questions. We got a grant to design this study, and put together a team of researchers that spent two months in the field collecting data for this project. We studied the Hindu kavadi ritual, which involves piercing the body with numerous needles, hooks, and skewers, and various other forms of suffering. Our study took place in the island of Mauritius, where I have been conducting research over the last decade, but this ceremony is performed by millions of Hindus around the world. We used portable health monitors as well as interviews and survey instruments to document the effects of this ritual of psycho-physiological health and wellbeing.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Brain Injury, Emergency Care, Pediatrics / 31.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Linda Papa, MD Emergency Physicians of Central Florida Orlando Health Orlando, Florida  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2018 serum biomarkers Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) and Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (UCH-L1) were FDA-approved in adults to detect abnormalities on CT scan in mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. However, they have not been approved to detect concussion and they have not been approved for use in children. Previous studies have focused on detecting lesions on CT in more severely injured patients. However, not having brain lesions on a CT scan does not mean there is no brain injury or concussion. Therefore, this study focused on patients with concussion who looked well and likely had normal-appearing CT scans of the brain. This study includes THREE groups of trauma patients:
  • 1) those with concussion,
  • 2) those who hit their head but had no symptoms (subconcussive), and
  • 3) those who injured their bones but did not hit their head (no concussion).
There is a group of individuals with head trauma who have been significantly understudied, and in whom biomarkers are rarely, if at all, examined. These are people who experience head trauma without symptoms of concussion. They may be classified as having “no injury” or they may represent milder forms of concussion that do not elicit the typical signs or symptoms associated with concussion and are referred to as “subconcussive” injuries.  (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, OBGYNE / 30.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tianyang Zhang, MSc Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that births by caesarean delivery are linked to several negative health outcomes in the children, such as obesity, asthma, allergy, and type 1 diabetes. However, the association between c-section and neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders has been less studied. In addition, it is unclear whether the extent of this association is different if a caesarean section is performed planned in advance or urgently due to medical reasons during a delivery. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease, Stroke / 28.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gwen Windham, MD MHS Professor of Medicine Memory Impairment & Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center University of Mississippi Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Silent infarctions are a primary cause of strokes in the brain, but they are also common in people without a history of a stroke. Infarctions are generally only reported if they are larger (at least 3mm) and are ignored clinically if they are smaller (less than 3mm). We examined 20 years of cognitive decline among stroke free, middle-aged people with and without smaller, and larger infarctions. The comparison groups included participants as follows: those with (1) no infarctions, the reference group; (2) only smaller infarctions; (3) only larger infarctions 4) both smaller and larger infarctions (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Erectile Dysfunction, JAMA / 26.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Grashow PhD Research Associate Department of Environmental Health Football Players Health Study at Harvard University Harvard T.H. Chan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It has been previously shown in small studies of boxers and military personnel that traumatic brain injuries can damage the pituitary gland, which serves as the "master controller" of hormone function in the brain. These studies on individuals at risk for repeated head injury found that hits on the head caused deficiencies in certain hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, which could have downstream effects on sexual function. Only one large study was conducted that used Taiwanese health insurance data and looked at single traumatic brain injuries and risk of erectile function (ED). In that study, men who experienced a single severe TBI were more than twice as like to report ED after their injury. In light of these findings, important questions remain regarding whether multiple head injuries are associated with pituitary or sexual dysfunction in a large population with other ED-related health issues. The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University asked former NFL players to fill out a questionnaire that interrogated demographic factors, football-related exposures and current health conditions. Specifically, we asked participants to self-report the frequency of ten different concussion symptoms experienced during professional play, as well as whether a clinician had ever recommended or prescribed medication for low testosterone or ED.   (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Sleep Disorders / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chenlu Gao, MA Graduate Student Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University Michael Scullin, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Baylor University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: According to the World Alzheimer Report, dementia affects 50 million adults worldwide, and this number is expected to approach 131 million by 2050. Dementia patients often require assistance with daily activities from caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association reported that, in the United States, 16 million caregivers spend on average 21.9 hours per week providing care for patients with dementia. Being a caregiver is stressful, which not only challenges emotional, cognitive, and physical health, but is also associated with shorter and poorer sleep at night. If a caregiver cannot obtain restorative sleep at night, their quality of life and their abilities to perform the caregiving role can be compromised. For example, sleep loss may jeopardize caregivers’ memory, causing them to forget medications or medical appointments for the patients. Sleep loss can also impair immune functions, causing the caregivers to suffer from illnesses. In the long-term, sleep loss is associated with cortical thinning and accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau, which increase the risks of dementia. Undoubtedly, there is a need to systematically study whether caregivers sleep less or worse during the night and whether we can improve their sleep quality through low-cost behavioral interventions. To answer these questions, we systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed 35 studies with data from 3,268 caregivers of dementia patients.     (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Memory / 23.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Claude Alain PhD Senior Scientist Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adults carrying a gene associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease had a harder time accessing recently acquired knowledge, even though they didn’t show any symptoms of memory problems.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: Researchers found that older adults carrying a specific strain of the gene, apolipoprotein E4, otherwise known as APOE4, weren’t able to tap into information they had just learned to assist them on a listening test. These findings suggest greater difficulty for these individuals to access knowledge from their memory to guide their attention in ways that would have improved their performance. This work could lead to the development of new ways to detect individuals at risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease, Mental Health Research / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lasse Brandt, M.D. and Jonathan Henssler, M.D. Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Migration has increased globally and the effect of migration on health is highly relevant for clinicians, particularly in mental health. There is no increase in the risk for nonaffective psychosis in the home countries of migrants, so environmental factors could be of key importance. Refugees are often subjected to inhuman conditions. While migration has repeatedly been identified and confirmed as a risk factor for psychosis, the impact of refugee experience on this risk of psychosis was unclear.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, PTSD / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeff Scherrer, Ph.D. Associate professor; Research director Department of Family and Community Medicine Saint Louis University Center for Health Outcomes Research  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was part of a larger NIH grant to determine if PTSD is associated with poor health behaviors and subsequently whether PTSD remains an independent risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.  Our second focus of the grant was to measure if those patients who experience clinically meaningful PTSD improvement have improved health behaviors (e.g. seeking help to lose weight) and a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease. The rationale for this study of PTSD improvement and lower risk for diabetes is supported from other investigators' findings that PTSD treatment completion is often followed by improvement in sleep, depression, pain and general physical complaints and lower blood pressure.  Because we have found the association between PTSD and incident diabetes is largely explained by obesity, depression and other comorbid conditions that are more common in patients with vs. without PTSD, we hypothesized that improvements in PTSD would be associated with lower risk of diabetes either directly or due to improvements in these comorbid diabetes risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Mineral Metabolism, Pediatrics / 19.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rivka Green, MA Doctoral Candidate Clinical Developmental Neuropsychology York University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a study on 512 mother-child pairs from 6 major cities across Canada, about half of whom lived in a region that receives fluoridated water. We found that prenatal fluoride exposure was associated with lower IQ scores in 3-4 year old children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, End of Life Care, Gender Differences, JAMA / 16.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nathan Stall, MD Geriatrician and Research fellow Women’s College Research Institute       Dr. Paula Rochon, MD, MPH, FRCPC Periatrician and Vice-President of Research Women’s College Hospital     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The advanced stages of the dementia are characterized by profound memory impairment, an inability to recognize family, minimal verbal communication, loss of ambulatory abilities, and an inability to perform basic activities of daily living. Nursing homes become a common site of care for people living with advanced dementia, who have a median survival of 1.3 years. In the advanced stages of the disease, the focus of care should generally be on maximizing quality of life. Our study examined the frequency and sex-based differences in burdensome interventions received by nursing home residents with advanced dementia at the very end of life. Burdensome interventions include a variety of treatment and procedures that are often avoidable, may not improve comfort, and are frequently distressing to residents and their families. We found that in the last 30 days of life, nearly one in 10 nursing home residents visited an emergency department, more than one in five were hospitalized, and one in seven died in an acute care setting. In addition, almost one in 10 residents received life-threatening critical care; more than one in four were physically restrained; and more than one in three received antibiotics. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Nature, Science / 11.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adnan Hirad, PhD MD Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concussion is defined based on the manifestation of observable signs and symptoms (e.g., dizziness, difficulty with concentration, loss of consciousness, inter alia). A non-concussive head injury is when someone hits their head but does not exhibit the signs and symptoms of concussion -- IE concussion is defined by observable signs, and sub-concussive is defined as sustaining  head impacts similar (in magnitude and mechanism) to those sustained with concussion without observable signs and/or symptoms. These hits are a problem not only in football, but also with IED/bomb blasts experienced during war and potentially rugby.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Depression, OBGYNE / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Nutrition, Red Meat / 08.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jyrki Virtanen, PhD Assistant professor of nutritional epidemiology University of Eastern Finland Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition Kuopio, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: We have previously found in this same eastern Finnish male study population that higher egg intake was associated with lower risk of developing dementia and with better performance in tests assessing cognitive capacity. Eggs are a major source of choline, especially phosphatidylcholine, and choline (which is an essential nutrient) is necessary for the formation of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Earlier studies have linked choline intake with better cognitive processing but there was no information whether choline intake would also be associated with lower risk of developing dementia. So the purpose of our current study was to investigate whether higher choline intake would associate with better cognitive performance and with lower risk of dementia, which would support our previous findings with egg intake. And in the current study we did find that especially higher phosphatidylcholine intake was associated with a lower risk of developing dementia and also with better performance in tests measuring memory and linguistic abilities of the men in the study. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Mental Health Research / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathan W. Link, PhD Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminal Justice Rutgers University Camden, NJ 08102 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Much literature documents the physical and mental health problems ailing prisoners and those incarcerated in jails. Some research finds that incarceration can bring about or exacerbate these mental and physical health conditions. Beginning from this premise, we ask how this damaged health status influences former prisoners’ ability to return home and remain crime free. We examined physical health limitations and depression among a longitudinal sample of prisoners in twelve U.S. states and found that both dimensions of health problems lead to further criminal behavior and in turn reincarceration. This effect is of health conditions is indirect; it affects crime and reincarceration through adverse impacts on employment and family relationships—factors long known to be related to criminal offending. In this way, we now know that not only can incarceration lead to health problems, but health problems can lead to incarceration. This is important in a society with leading incarceration levels and wide health disparities across race and socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Pediatrics / 05.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrey Vyshedskiy PhD Boston University, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What gave you the idea for the paper?   Response: I have been interested in the physical properties of imagination since I was nine years old, and was involved in related research since my undergraduate studies. Having been trained in neuroscience, I set out to understand the neurological basis of imagination pertaining to the differences between humans and other animals. In 2008, after fifteen years of research, I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and published the first edition of “On the Origin of the Human Mind.” From that period to the present day, I have continued to work on the same subject. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 01.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark Weiser, M.D. Associate Director for Treatment Trials The Stanley Medical Research Institute Kensington, MD 20895 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the years many theories have been proposed explaining schizophrenia, and studies tested compounds based on these theories.  Some showed improvement in symptoms, but these positive findings were often not later replicated, and the theory discarded. Over the past 15 years several studies performed in Australia by Dr. Jayshri Kulkarni (Molecular psychiatry. 2015;20(6):695) showed positive effects of estrogen patches on symptoms in women with schizophrenia. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research / 31.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amy Dunn, PhD Kaczorowski lab The Jackson Laboratory  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Environmental factors, such as a poor diet, are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. But the mechanisms are complex, and it is not known how such environmental perturbations interact with individual genetic variation to confer disease risk. Previous studies have not adequately addressed how the combination of genetic variant and environmental factors combine to alter cognitive response to a poor diet. To investigate gene-by-environment interactions, we fed either a normal diet or a high-fat diet to a genetically diverse Alzheimer’s disease mouse model population starting at six months of age and monitored metabolic and cognitive function. We observed accelerated working memory decline in the mice on the high-fat diet after eight weeks, with substantial gene-by diet effects on both cognitive and metabolic traits. Metabolic dysfunction was more closely related to cognitive function in mice carrying Alzheimer’s mutations than in those without. Interestingly, the high-fat diet affected metabolic function differently in female versus male mice.  (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Brain Injury / 24.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fanny Lecuyer Giguère, PhD candidate Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cognition (CERNEC) Université de Montréal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous work on moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) showed clear olfactory impairments (OI) months and years after the trauma. Within these impairments, hyposmia (partial loss of smell) and anosmia (total loss of smell) were the most described OI. Moreover, TBI patients with OI generally developed more long-term anxiety and depression symptoms, when compared to patients without OI. Almost no study evaluated such impairments after a mild TBI, which is none to be the most prevalent form of TBI (80% of all TBI). We evaluated quantitative olfactory scores, post-concussive symptoms, anxiety and depression, within the first 24 hours and one year after the trauma, on a cohort of 20 mild TBI patients and compared these results with a 22 patients control orthopaedic group. Results showed that, within the first 24-hour post-trauma, more than 50% of the mild TBI patients had clinical sing of reduced olfactory capacities (hyposmia) compared to only 5% (1 patient) within the control group. Consequently, patients with mild traumatic brain injury had lower olfactory threshold and had more difficulty to discriminate and identify different odors. Also, when comparing the mild TBI patients with OI (OI+) to the mild TBI patients without OI (OI-), we realized that OI+ mild TBI patients reported more anxiety and post-concussion symptoms 1 year after the trauma.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Outcomes & Safety / 16.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Regis Goulart Rosa, MD, PhD Responsabilidade Social - PROADI Hospital Moinhos de Vento MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The debate about visiting policies in adult ICUs is of broad and current interest in critical care, with strong advocacy in favour of flexible family visitation models in order to promote patient- and family-centred care. However, the proportion of adult ICUs with unrestricted visiting hours is very low. Data from the literature show that 80% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and USA adopt restrictive ICU visiting policies. Among ICUs with restrictive visiting hours, published studies show that the daily visiting time ranges from a median of 1 hour in Italy to a mean of 4.7 hours in France. In agreement with this scenario, most adult ICUs in Brazil follow a restrictive visitation model, in which family members are allowed to visit the critically ill patient from 30 minutes to 1 hour, once or twice a day. These restrictive visitation models have been justified by the theoretical risks associated with unrestricted visiting hours, mainly infectious complications, disorganization of care, and burnout. Controversially, these risks have not been consistently confirmed by the scarce literature on the subject, and flexible ICU visiting hours have been proposed as a means to prevent delirium among patients and improve family satisfaction. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Disappointingly, studies evaluating the effectiveness and safety of flexible ICU visiting hours are scarce. To date, no large randomized trials have assessed the impact of a flexible visiting model on patients, family members, and ICU staff, and this evidence gap may constitute a barrier to the understanding of the best way to implement and improve ICU visiting policies. In the present pragmatic cluster-randomized crossover trial (The ICU Visits Study), we engaged 1,685 patients, 1,295 family members, and 826 ICU professionals from 36 adult ICUs in Brazil to compare a flexible visitation model (12 hours/day plus family education) vs. the standard restricted visitation model (median 90 minutes per day). We found that the flexible visitation did not significantly reduce the incidence of delirium among patients, but was associated with fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and higher satisfaction with care among family members in comparison to the usual restricted visitation. Also, the flexible visitation did not increase the incidence of ICU-acquired infections and ICU staff burnout, which are major concerns when adopting this intervention. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Considering the evidence suggesting that most adult ICUs restrict the presence of family members, our results provide useful and relevant information that may influence the debate about current ICU visitation policies around the world. First, a flexible visitation policy that permits flexible family visitation in ICU (up to 12 hour per day) is feasible, given the high adherence of participant ICUs to implementation in The ICU Visits Study. Second, the flexible family supported by family education is safe regarding the occurrence of infections, disorganization of care or staff burnout. Third, family members - a commonly missing piece of the critical care puzzle - seem to benefit from the flexible visitation model through higher satisfaction with care and less symptoms of anxiety and depression. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? Response: Future research might focus on the following topics: 1) methods of implementation of flexible visiting models in ICUs; 2) Family support interventions in the context of flexible ICU visiting hours (e.g.: psychological and social support, support for shared decision making, peer support, and comfort); and 3) How flexible ICU visiting hours affects patient, family member and staff outcome at long-term. Disclosures: The ICU Visits study was funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Health through the Brazilian Unified Health System Institutional Development Program (PROADI-SUS). Citation: Effect of Flexible Family Visitation on Delirium Among Patients in the Intensive Care Unit [wysija_form id="3"] [last-modified] The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.Regis Goulart Rosa, MD, PhD Responsabilidade Social - PROADI Hospital Moinhos de Vento  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The debate about visiting policies in adult ICUs is of broad and current interest in critical care, with strong advocacy in favour of flexible family visitation models in order to promote patient- and family-centred care. However, the proportion of adult ICUs with unrestricted visiting hours is very low. Data from the literature show that 80% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and USA adopt restrictive ICU visiting policies. Among ICUs with restrictive visiting hours, published studies show that the daily visiting time ranges from a median of 1 hour in Italy to a mean of 4.7 hours in France. In agreement with this scenario, most adult ICUs in Brazil follow a restrictive visitation model, in which family members are allowed to visit the critically ill patient from 30 minutes to 1 hour, once or twice a day. These restrictive visitation models have been justified by the theoretical risks associated with unrestricted visiting hours, mainly infectious complications, disorganization of care, and burnout. Controversially, these risks have not been consistently confirmed by the scarce literature on the subject, and flexible ICU visiting hours have been proposed as a means to prevent delirium among patients and improve family satisfaction.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Mental Health Research, Opiods, University of Pennsylvania / 15.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samuel Preston, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Life expectancy at birth in the United States is low by international standards and has been declining in recent years. Our study aimed to identify how these trends differed by age, sex, cause of death, metropolitan status, and region. We found that, over the period 2009-11 to 2014-16, mortality rose at ages 25-44 in large metropolitan areas and their suburbs as well as in smaller metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan areas. Mortality at ages 45-64 also rose in all of these areas except large metropolitan areas. These were the ages responsible for declining life expectancy. Changes in life expectancy were particularly adverse for non-metropolitan areas and for women. The metropolitan distinctions in mortality changes were similar from region to region. The cause of death contributing most strongly to mortality declines was drug overdose for males and mental and nervous system disorders for women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Very limited data has been collected in children while they are playing contact sports to study the relationship between repetitive head impacts and neurocognitive outcomes.  We previously published a 1-year analysis of youth tackle football players and found no association between the number or severity of head impacts and performance on neurocognitive testing before to after the football season.  We are now reporting the results from the 2nd year of our study, tracking children through two seasons of football participation. We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons.  In the total group of 166 players age 9-18, one outcome measure (processing speed), out of the 23 outcome measures studied, declined over time.  However, several other measures that also assessed processing speed did not decline.  Neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance over the course of the two seasons. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Gender Differences, Hormone Therapy, JAMA, Menopause, Weight Research / 05.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Zsido PhD student Department of Neurology International Max Planck MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We integrated measures of brain network structure, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), serum estradiol levels, and cognitive performance from 974 participants in order to shed light on potential mechanisms underlying cognitive health. We believe it is imperative to assess sex-specific risk trajectories in brain aging and cognitive decline, especially given the known sex differences in both VAT accumulation patterns and estradiol fluctuations across the lifespan. Thus, we aimed to answer three questions in men and in women: 1) Does visceral adipose tissue exacerbate the association between age and brain network structure, 2) Does estradiol mitigate the negative association between VAT and brain network structure, and 3) What does this imply for healthy cognitive aging in men and women?  (more…)