Harmless or Hormone disorder?  New Test Enables Quick Diagnosis For Drinking by the Liter

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism Heads the Department of Clinical Research University and University Hospital of Basel 

Prof. Christ-Crain

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Christ-Crain
Professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism
Heads the Department of Clinical Research
University and University Hospital of Basel  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by Diabetes Insipidus?

Response: Drinking more than three litres per day with the equivalent increase in urination is regarded as too much. This drinking by the liter – known as “polyuria polydipsia syndrome” – usually develops over time through habit, or can be a side effect of a mental illness.

In rare cases, however, it may be caused by diabetes insipidus. This is when the pituitary gland lacks the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the water and salt content in our body. Patients have a decreased ability to concentrate the urine, therefore lose a lot of fluid and have to increase their fluid intake accordingly to prevent dehydration (= Diabetes insipidus).

The distinction between what is considered a “harmless” primary polydipsia and a diabetes insipidus is crucial, as their therapy is fundamentally different. Diabetes insipidus must be treated with the hormone vasopressin, while patients with primary polydipsia require behavioural therapy to reduce their habitual drinking. A wrong therapy can have life-threatening consequences as treatment with vasopressin without indication can lead to water intoxication.

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Reduced Heart Rate Variability May Be Biomarker of Depression Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology Professor, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. Vaccarino

Viola Vaccarino, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Division of Cardiology
Professor, Department of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have shown that people with depression tend to have lower heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system dysregulation derived by monitoring the electrocardiogram over time, usually for 24 hours. Other literature, however, has pointed out that autonomic dysregulation (as indexed by reduced HRV) may also cause depression. Thus, the direction of the association between reduced HRV and depression still remains unclear. In addition, these two characteristics could share common pathophysiology, making shared familial background and genetic factors potential determinants of this association.
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No Definitive Biomarker Predicts Cancer Response To Radiation Therapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Ananya Choudhury

Consultant and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Clinical Oncology
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust,
Wilmslow Road
Withington, Manchester, UK

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although more than half of newly diagnosed cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, it is still not possible to select patients who will respond and tolerate radiotherapy compared to those who do not. There has been a lot of work done to try and isolate intrinsic biomarkers which will identify either radio-responsive or radio-resistant disease. We have undertaken a systematic view summarising the evidence for biomarkers as predictors of radiotherapy.

Despite identifying more than 500 references during a systematic literature search, we found only twelve studies which fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Important exclusion criteria included pre-clinical studies, studies with no control population and a sample size of less than 100 patients.

Only 10 biomarkers were identified as having been evaluated for their radiotherapy-specific predictive value in over 100 patients in a clinical setting, highlighting that despite a rich literature there were few high quality studies suitable for inclusion. The most extensively studied radiotherapy predictive biomarkers were the radiosensitivity index and MRE11; however, neither has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. Continue reading

Neuron-Specific Biomarker May Help Predict Outcome After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

dr-pascal-stammetMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Pascal Stammet

Dépt. Anesthésie-Réanimation
Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg
Luxembourg

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr Stammet: Patients hospitalized after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) survive in about fifty percent and nine out of ten survivors have a good functional level six months after the arrest. However, in the early days after the cardiac arrest it is difficult to distinguish those who will survive from those who have very severe brain damage, not compatible with life. Biomarkers, like neuron specific enolase (NSE) have shown a prognostic value for outcome prediction. As a consequence of the widespread use of induced hypothermia, to improve survival and neurological function, for patients resuscitated form cardiac arrest, concerns have arisen about the impact of body temperature on previously published cut-off values for poor outcome. NSE has thus been questioned as a useful clinical tool. Recently, the Target Temperature Management trial (TTM-trial) published in November 2013 in the NEJM has shown no benefit of a target body temperature of 33°C over 36°C in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest admitted to the ICU. In the present sub-study, we have analyzed the value of NSE to predict outcome in a cohort of 686 patients of the TTM-trial. Importantly, serial measurements of NSE at 24, 48 and 72 hours allowed accurate outcome prediction, with better performance than clinical and peri-arrest data alone. NSE did not significantly differ between temperature groups meaning that clinicians can use NSE as an adjunct prognostic tool regardless of the chosen temperature management strategy. Continue reading

Biomarker Endothelin-1 As Potential Marker of Cardiovascular Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Matthias Bossard, MD
Clinical and Research Fellow Cardiology Division
Department of Medicine University Hospital Basel
Basel Switzerland

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Bossard: Endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its pleiotropic effects have been implicated in the regulation of vascular and renal physiology as well as inflammation. Moreover, elevated ET-1 levels have been associated with endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Until now, data on the relationships between ET-1 and individual cardiovascular risk factors were scarce, especially from large-scale population based studies. This may be attributable to the previously used laboratory assays.The emergence of new ET-1 assays has facilitated ET-1 measurement in large populations.

Our main findings are that ET-1 levels are independently associated with several individual cardiovascular risk factors an overall cardiovascular risk in a large cohort of young and healthy adults.Specifically, ET-1 levels were significantly associated with systolic blood pressure, current smoking, glomerular filtration rate and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Continue reading

Simple Nucleic Acid Biomarker May Enhance Bedside Diagnosis

Dr. Adam Woolley PhD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Adam Woolley PhD
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brigham Young University

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Woolley: High-performance biomarker analysis methods are usually complex and expensive. In contrast, simple and inexpensive biomarker detection methods
typically have low performance.

Our study demonstrates a simple nucleic acid measurement system that
requires no detection instrumentation. Nucleic acid mimics of microRNA were
quantified with sequence specificity down to 10 pg/mL levels.
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