Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bertha K. Madras PhD Director, Laboratory of Addiction Neurobiology Psychobiologist, Substance Use Disorders Division, Basic Neuroscience Division Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Parent use of marijuana is rising, and I wondered whether this could be associated with offspring use of specific substances and across several substances
  • Several fathers have confided in me that they used marijuana to bond with their sons. They became horrified after witnessing their sons progress to using other drugs, especially heroin.
  • In general, living with a parent using substances or having substance use disorders is an explicit risk for use of substances among young offspring. Yet, few studies have directly examined whether parental marijuana use elevates the risk for opioid misuse among adolescent and young adults living with parents.  Most importantly and to the best of our knowledge, none of the existing research  simultaneously explored frequency of  parental marijuana use and whether it related to adolescent and young adult offspring’s marijuana, tobacco, alcohol use, and opioid misuse.
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Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 22.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ben Wheeler,MB ChB(Otago) DCH PhD CCE FRACP Paediatrician, Associate Department of Women's and Children's Health (Dunedin) University of Otag MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: All tongues have a frenulum, which is a small band of tissue that helps connect them to the floor of the mouth. Tongue tie (or ankyloglossia) is when this frenulum causes restriction to the movement of the tongue, and can interfere with successful breastfeeding in infants. This may be improved with an operation to cut the frenulum of the tongue (frenotomy). Internationally, tongue-tie diagnosis and treatment has increased substantially (reported at over 10-15% in some locations). This has led to growing concerns of potential overtreatment. The surgical treatment is often discussed as a minor surgery with little risk, but there is growing awareness this may not be the case. There is a paucity of studies examining moderate to severe complications following frenotomy. Therefore we aimed to determine rates of moderate to severe complications of tongue tie procedures presenting to hospital-based paediatricians in New Zealand, and describe this population. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Gender Differences, Pediatrics / 17.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Markus Boos, MD, PhD Member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. Attending pediatric dermatologist Seattle Children's Hospital Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics University of Washington School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our understanding of the cutaneous health of sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual, intersex, nonbinary, etc.) remains nascent. This dearth of understanding of the unique needs of SGM children is even more pronounced. This 2-part review article provides practical advice on how to best engage with young SGM patients and serve the distinct needs of this minority population, with a specific emphasis on dermatologic conditions. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Pediatrics / 13.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sairaman Nagarajan, MD Clinical Fellow at State University New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The impetus for this study came from our previous research linking asthma, hay-fever and overall cancer diagnoses using the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey database. The division of Allergy and Immunology at SUNY Downstate has also conducted two pilot studies on the relationship between parental cancer and childhood asthma in Brooklyn’s population; one from Lutheran Medical Center focusing on Hispanics and Asian patients, and the other on African-American and Afro-Caribbean patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Kidney Disease, Mineral Metabolism, Pediatrics / 10.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tracy McGregor, MD MSCI Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Cambridge, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Lumasiran is an investigational RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic in development for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1). PH1 is a rare life-threatening disease in which a enzymatic deficiency in the liver results in pathologic overproduction of oxalate, often leading to recurrent kidney stones and a progressive decline in kidney function, which typically culminates in end-stage renal disease (ESRD).Patients with ESRD are at a risk of systemic oxalosis, with oxalate depositing throughout the body, including the eyes, skin, bones, and the heart. Complications associated with ESRD and/or systemic oxalosis can be fatal. For patients with ESRD treatment options are limited and include intensive dialysis as a bridge to a dual liver/kidney transplant, highlighting the unmet need for new treatment options. 
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Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 09.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Panganiban, MD Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Director, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Clinic Children's Hospital of Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity now affects 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the United States with an estimated prevalence of 13.7 million. We know that this is not only an issue in the US but a worldwide epidemic. Lifestyle modification is the primary treatment of obesity, which can be successful but is limited. Off-label use of medications for weight loss in youth is increasing secondary to the limited availability of FDA approved medications for weight-loss.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 07.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The deleterious effects that obesity has on an individual’s health and the difficulty of reversing it in adults are well-known, ranging from diabetes and heart disease to cancer. For these reasons, obesity prevention in babies and children in populations at high risk is increasingly seen as a critical way to address the obesity epidemic. However, most studies on factors that contribute to obesity in very young children haven’t focused on the populations most at risk. Now an ongoing longitudinal University at Buffalo study being presented Nov. 5 in Las Vegas at ObesityWeek is among the first to explore how mother-infant behaviors during feeding and active play (non-feeding situations) affect infants and children in families with low socioeconomic status. Infants of mothers exhibiting less warmth during free play interactions when infants were 7 months old were associated with steeper body mass index trajectories while the infants of mothers exhibiting more warmth during these interactions were not. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics, Schizophrenia / 04.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henriette Thisted Horsdal Senior Researcher Department of Economics and Business Economics AARHUS University Henriette Thisted Horsdal PhD Senior Researcher Department of Economics and Business Economics AARHUS University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent studies have suggested that exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood is associated with elevated risk of subsequently developing schizophrenia. We know that schizophrenia has a genetic component, and that individuals with higher genetic loading for schizophrenia tend to live in more densely urban areas. It is not known whether the increased risk associated with exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood is owing to a greater genetic liability among those exposed to highest nitrogen dioxide levels. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood and genetic liability (as measured by a polygenic risk score) for schizophrenia were independently associated with increased schizophrenia risk.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 03.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joyce Nanjinga Mbekeani, M.B.B.S. Associate Professor Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The United States has the highest incidence of gun violence, of all affluent, OECD countries. Thus, firearms are a major public health concern, ranking second among causes of pediatric trauma-related injuries that result in significant morbidity and mortality. However, most scientific reports addressing pediatric firearm-related eye injuries have evaluated non-powder (recreational) firearm injuries. Our study used the large National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) to study firearm-related eye injuries for all types of firearms from all intentions of injury. The NTDB collects de-identified submissions of trauma admissions from over 900 facilities in the US.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 29.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:   Carole Stipelman MD MPH Associate Professor of Pediatrics Physician Informatics Team Medical Director, University Pediatric Clinic Salt Lake City, Utah     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 
  • Guns are the second leading cause of death in children and adolescents.
  • 6 million children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked.
  • Safe storage of guns increases when physicians speak with parents about how to prevent children from having access to guns. However, these conversations happen infrequently.
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Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 24.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melody Kingsley, MPH Epidemiologist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The majority of youth who use tobacco use flavored products, which are available in thousands of distinct flavors with youth appeal.[i] In response, communities in states across the country, including Massachusetts, have passed flavored tobacco restriction policies which restrict sales of flavored tobacco; the Food and Drug Administration has proposed increased restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco nationwide as well. To date, a few studies have found that flavored tobacco restriction policies reduce sales and availability of flavored tobacco, but to our knowledge, no prior evidence exists on the short-term impact of FTRPs on youth tobacco use. Timely evaluation of these policies is important to ensure that FTRPs are an effective strategy for curbing youth tobacco use. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Environmental Risks, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 24.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eva Tanner, PhD, MPH, Postdoctoral Researcher Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Carl-Gustaf Bornehag, PhD Professor at Karlstad University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Most prior research on health risks from chemical exposure study one chemical at a time. However, we are exposed to a multitude of chemicals every day in the air we breathe, food and water we consume, and things we touch. This is supported by global biomonitoring data showing that humans in general have a high number of chemicals identified in their bodies, i.e., in blood, urine, breast milk, saliva, etc. Unfortunately, we don’t know how such single chemicals act in complicated mixtures and impact our health, or the health of future generations. We conducted this study to help understand how prenatal exposure to mixtures of proven or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals - found in common consumer products - during the earliest part of life may impact a child’s brain development and cognition in school age. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco / 23.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry Vermont Center on Behavior and Health University of Vermont  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our earlier work documented a significant association between first use of a flavored tobacco product and current tobacco use (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5522636/) in a cross-sectional sample. The goal of this study was to examine whether there was a prospective relationship between first use of a flavored tobacco product and subsequent use of that product in longitudinal data..  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Exercise - Fitness, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 22.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Bohr, PhD Postdoctoral researcher Department of Integrative Physiology University of Colorado Boulder  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:Recent population studies of former football players from the 1950's did not observe a relationship between participation in football and adverse cognitive outcomes in late adulthood. We were able to replicate this finding in a more recently ascertained cohort from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). We did not observe a relationship between participation in contact sports/football in the mid-1990s and impaired cognitive ability or mental health in early adulthood. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 22.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitsuyoshi Urashima MD, PhD, MPH Professor of Molecular Epidemiology Jikei University School of Medicine Tokyo, JAPAN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: IgE-mediated food allergy is becoming a global concern, because its prevalence and severity are worsening. Many Japanese maternity wards encourage breastfeeding, but allow mothers or nurses to supplement breastfeeding with cow’s milk formula, e.g., approximately 6 to 10 hours after birth or even earlier, based on maternal preferences, but not based on clinical evidence. However, more than 20 to 30 years ago, sugar water was given instead of cow’s milk formula supplement at birth. Thus, we hypothesized that early exposure to cow’s milk formula at birth is, at least in part, associated with the recent increase in children with food allergy. Therefore, a randomized clinical trial, named ABC (Atopy induced by Breast feeding or Cow's milk formula), was conducted to assess whether the risk of cow’s milk formula sensitization and food allergy is decreased by either avoiding or supplementing cow’s milk formula at birth. Immediately after birth, newborns were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to either breastfeeding with or without amino acid-based elemental formula for at least the first 3 days of life (breastfeeding ± elemental formula), or breastfeeding supplemented with cow’s milk formula (≥5 mL/day) from the first day of life to 5 months of age (breastfeeding + cow's milk formula). (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nicole Van Bergen B Sc (Hon), PhD Senior Research Officer, Neurodevelopmental Genomics, Murdoch Children's Research Institute Honorary Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne Murdoch Children's Research Institute The Royal Children's Hospital Parkville, Victoria Australia  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We are in an era when the price tag of genetic testing by next generation sequencing is becoming a cost-effective and rapid tool for medical diagnosis. The benefit to patients is often a more accurate and early diagnosis. Because we can do genetic analysis on blood or saliva, we don’t need to use more traditional invasive investigations such as biopsies, brain scans or other extensive imaging. We are reaching an unprecedented rate of discovery of new genes for rare disorders which will help solve the mystery for many previously undiagnosed conditions. An incredibly talented international team of researchers, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) identified the underlying cause of a rare brain disorder in children. Together they identified that pathogenic mutations in a gene called NAXD cause severe neurological damage in children after an episode of mild fever or illness. Only six cases have been recorded worldwide and all the children died soon after suffering either a fever or illness. The research paper, ‘NAD(P)HX Dehydratase (NAXD) Deficiency: A Novel Neurodegenerative Disorder Exacerbated By Febrile Illnesses’ is published in the latest edition of the journal, Brain. MCRI lead laboratory researcher Nicole Van Bergen, said the research provides an excellent example of how new genetic testing technologies can be applied to solve the mystery of previously undiagnosed conditions. “By coupling the genetic testing information with sophisticated functional genomic approaches in the laboratory, we were able to pinpoint the exact cause of this disorder,”Dr Van Bergan said. “We used skin cells from patients, as well as other laboratory tools, to work out the gene that caused the children’s early death. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 06.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jiabi Qin, MD, PhD Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, China  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart defects (CHDs), defined as a gross structural abnormality of the heart or intrathoracic great vessels occurring in embryonic period and affected nearly 1% of lives births, is the most common of all congenital defects and remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in fancy and childhood. With a worldwide prevalence of CHDs now estimated to be 1.35 million newborns with CHDs every year, the number of CHDs is steadily increasing, representing a major global health burden. The association between maternal alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs) has been explored, but little is known about the association between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs. Furthermore, subsequent studies regarding the association between alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects have not yield consistent results. Therefore, given the inconsistency of existing literatures and insufficient evidence of primary studies, further an update meta-analysis based on the new and previously is evidently required. Especially, to our knowledge, any meta-analysis between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs have not been conducted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Infections, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 04.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C. Payne, PhD, MSPH Senior Scientific Advisor Viral Gastroenteritis Branch US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rotavirus vaccines have been recommended for US infants for more than 10 years.  This study used seven years of active surveillance data from seven hospitals around the US to evaluate the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in the US.  (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 02.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manvendra K Singh PhD Program in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School National Heart Research Institute, National Heart Center Singapore, Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Craniofacial and cardiovascular abnormalities are the most common defects, contributing to more than one-third of the congenital diseases. Proper formation of these structures involves intricate processes such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neural crest cells (NCCs). Functional defects in NCCs result in craniofacial malformations, including cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Many transcription factors, chromatin remodelling factors, non-coding RNA and signalling molecules have been implicated in impaired neural crest development that result in cardio-craniofacial syndromes. However, the cell-autonomous role of splicing regulators in neural crest biology remains unclear and warrants further investigation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pediatrics, Personalized Medicine / 26.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James P. Franciosi, MD Chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Nemours Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammation of the esophagus that is driven by eosinophils. A common class of medications used for this condition are called Proton Pump Inhibitors, or PPIs, which block the production of gastric acid in the stomach. Currently only 30 to 60 percent of children with EoE respond well when treated with PPIs. We hypothesized that genetic variants in the genes for CYP2C19 and STAT6 could plausibly be associated with response to PPI therapy for EoE. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Sugar, Weight Research / 26.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Alex Bentley Head of Anthropology University of Tennessee Knoxville TN  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, considerable evidence has accumulated suggesting that excess sugar consumption, e.g. in sugar-sweetened beverages, has been a major driver of the U.S. obesity crisis. Critics of this idea, however, have asked: why did the rise in sugar consumption precede the U.S. obesity crises by a decade or more, and why did obesity continue to rise even after sugar consumption began declining the early 2000s? We modeled the delayed onset of obesity by assuming that diet is a cumulative process that begins in childhood. On average, each age cohort (birth year) has its own specific cumulative exposure to excess sugar in their diets.  The inherent delay in our model links childhood consumption of excess sugar with propensity for adult obesity as an adult. Our model explains a simple process by which excess sugar in diets of children of the 1970s and 1980s could explain the sharp increase of adult obesity that began in the 1990s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 25.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hal Flowers MD Assistant Professor of Dermatology University of Virginia Dr. Flowers specializes in autoimmune connective tissue disease (rheumatologic dermatology), phototherapy and blistering skin diseases  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Unfortunately, there really is not much literature at all addressing the treatment of atopic dermatitis with apple cider vinegar (ACV), even though we know that this is something our patients are doing. ACV is appealing as a “natural therapy” for treatment of skin disease. Since it’s an acid, it can theoretically correct the loss of acidity that occurs in the skin of our eczema patients. Plus, we know that high enough concentrations will kill certain bacteria that promote eczema, particularly Staphylococcus aureus. There are plenty of blogs and anecdotes as well as physicians who recommend this treatment, but as of yet, we don’t know the best concentration, safety or the benefit of ACV.  (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, Education, Exercise - Fitness, Orthopedics, Pediatrics / 24.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alison E. Field, ScD Professor and Chair of Epidemiology Brown University School of Public Heath Providence, RI  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over past couple of decades there has been a large change in youth sports from playing different sports in each season to more and more specialization where children are playing the same sport for three or more seasons. The concern with that change is that specialization at young ages will lead to more injuries, as well as athlete burnout.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics, Smoking, UCSF / 23.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregory M Marcus, MD, MAS Professor of Medicine in Residence Endowed Professor in Atrial Fibrillation Research University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Cardiology for Research, UCSF Health University of California, San Francisco MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Smoking remains the most common preventable cause of death and disability. We previously found evidence that tobacco smoke exposure in the young may lead to atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disturbance, later in life. Here we leveraged the multi-generational nature of the Framingham Heart Study to demonstrate that parental smoking was a risk factor for offspring atrial fibrillation. At least some of this relationship was explained by a greater propensity to smoke in offspring of smoking parents. These findings demonstrate a potentially new harmful effect of smoking pertinent to the most vulnerable population, our children. It also demonstrates how parental behaviors can have meaningful adverse consequences to their children decades later. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections, Pediatrics / 16.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie C. Coughlin, MD Member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology Assistant Professor, Dermatology Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics Washington University School of Medicine / St. Louis Children's Hospital   Cristopher C. Briscoe, MD Dermatology Resident, PGY-2 Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Briscoe: Superinfection of atopic dermatitis (AD) in pediatric patients is a common complication. Our study sought to determine the best empiric antibiotic choice for these patients while a bacterial culture is pending. We retrospectively analyzed 182 skin cultures from pediatric atopic dermatitis patients seen in the outpatient setting over five years and found that 170 (93.4%) grew Staphylococcus aureus. Of these, 130 (76.5%) grew methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), 37 (21.8%) grew methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), and 3 (1.8%) grew both MSSA and MRSA. There was no statistically significant relationship between age, sex, race, or dilute bleach bath usage and MRSA infection. Interestingly, as compared to a separate group of pediatric atopic dermatitis patients seen in the emergency room, our patients had lower rates of MSSA susceptibility to doxycycline and MRSA susceptibility to TMP-SMX. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 13.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Walshe, PhD Research Post-Doctoral Fellow Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) Children's Hospital of Philadelphia   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Motor vehicle crashes are a major public health concern and are the leading cause of death for adolescents in the US and other countries. Much of the research into why young driver crash rates are so high has focused on the role of driving experience and skills. But even among equally novice drivers, crash risk is still higher for younger novice drivers (17 year old new drivers have a higher crash risk than 20 year old new drivers). This suggests that crashes are related to development, and this is the focus of our research. We know from the field of neuroscience that the frontal lobe of the brain is still developing across adolescence and into adulthood along with some cognitive abilities. One of these cognitive abilities, called working memory is particularly important for managing complex tasks, such as driving. It allows us to monitor and update information in the moment (e.g. monitor and update information about the environment and the vehicle), and attend to multiple subtasks simultaneously (like multitasking to control the steering and speed, as well as other vehicle controls, perhaps while talking to a passenger or listening to the radio). Working memory has been shown to develop later, and at different rates for different people: some teens develop at a faster rate, and some teens develop a little later, even as late as the mid-twenties. In parallel, while crash rates are high for teen drivers, we also know that not all teen drivers crash. So what is it about those who do crash? Could this be related to their developing working memory? That question is what motivated this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NY, NY MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There has been recent interest in understanding how exposures in childhood and adolescence relate to later-life health outcomes. Although inflammation is thought to play a role in the etiology of various diseases, little is known about the long-term implications of inflammation in early life. We therefore sought to evaluate how erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a marker of inflammation, measured among ostensibly healthy men in late adolescence, relates to subsequent cause-specific mortality. We found that men with high inflammation in late adolescence experienced increased mortality due to cancer and cardiovascular disease. (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…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Global Health, Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tori Cowger, MPH Ph.D Student | Population Health Sciences Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Globally, approximately one million cases of tuberculosis disease (TB) and 233,000 TB-related deaths occurred among children aged younger than 15 years during 2018. TB in children and adolescents is clinically and epidemiologically heterogeneous, making diagnosis, care, and prevention challenging. Understanding this heterogeneity can inform TB care and prevention efforts, and efforts to eliminate disparities in TB incidence and mortality in these groups. In this study, we describe the epidemiology of TB among children and adolescents in the United States, and report TB incidence rates for US territories and freely associated states and by parental country of birth, which have not been previously described. (more…)