Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 07.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: HoJin Shin, BPharm, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The public health burden of cardiovascular disease has been increasing in people with diabetes along with the burden of diabetes itself.
  •  Cardiovascular disease affects approximately one-third of the population with type 2 diabetes and accounts for     50%–80% of their mortality
  • 1 in 10 people in the US has diabetes
Since 2008, the US FDA has recommended post-approval cardiovascular outcome trials to ensure the safety of new glucose-lowering drugs responding to this growing burden of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes and the potential increase in cardiovascular risk with certain existing glucose-lowering drugs (e.g., rosiglitazone). Notably, SGLT-2i have demonstrated superiority to placebo in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, including hospitalization for heart failure. Consequently, beginning in 2018, clinical guidelines in the US have recommended SGLT-2i as a preferred second-line treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As the paradigm of second-line pharmacological treatment for type 2 diabetes has shifted to include the management of cardiovascular risk in addition to glycemic control, this further raised the question of whether SGLT-2i should be advanced to first-line treatment. Since 2019, SGLT-2i have been recommended as a first-line agent for patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by the European guidelines (the European Society of Cardiology and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). In the absence of head-to-head RCTs, non-randomized studies using real-world data could provide information on whether SGLT-2i may have greater cardiovascular benefits over metformin more timely than randomized clinical trials among both patients with and without existing CVD. Therefore, we evaluated the risk for cardiovascular events among adults with T2D who initiated treatment with first-line SGLT-2i versus metformin in clinical practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 14.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naeem Bhojani, MD, FRCSC Division of Urology, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada David-Dan Nguyen MPH Division of Urological Surgery and Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MassachusettsFaculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In a recent study by our group published in JAMA Dermatology (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/2772818), finasteride use was found to be associated with increased reporting of suicidality and depression in young patients with androgenetic alopecia. This previous analysis suggested that the association between finasteride and depression might be mediated by sexual dysfunction. Building on this work, we conducted this second analysis to examine the association between finasteride use and reports of sexual dysfunction. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Genetic Research, Nature / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael B. Miller, MD, PhD Instructor, Harvard Medical School Department of Pathology Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by somatic genetic changes and how they might occur?  Response: Changes, also called mutations, in the DNA sequence of genes can be passed from parents to their children, and explain why many diseases run in families. This kind of DNA change is called a germline mutation and is present in every cell in a person’s body. Gene mutations can also occur in a subset of cells of a person, in which case they are called somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are well known as a cause of cancer, and recent research has found that somatic mutations can also happen in non-cancerous cells that appear otherwise normal. Recent studies have even found that somatic mutations are present in neurons, cells in the brain that transmit electrical signals and play an important role in how the brain functions. Furthermore, in neurons, somatic mutations increase with age, so we set out to understand if somatic mutations might be playing a role in age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Surgical Research / 27.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel S. Weissman, PhD Deputy Director/Chief Scientific Officer Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Professor of Surgery (Health Policy) Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over time, the military health system has been shifting care for its soldiers and their families away from big military treatment facilities (MTFs), allowing soldiers and their families to get care from civilian hospitals.  But this has had an unintended consequence.  Unfortunately, it means that military surgeons are getting fewer cases, and they are worried about maintaining their skills as surgeons.  But some surgeries count more than others to help prepare the surgeon for battlefield casualties.  (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Circadian Rhythm, Occupational Health, PNAS, Pulmonary Disease, Sleep Disorders / 11.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Scheer, PhD, MSc Professor and Director of the Medical Chronobiology Program Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Brigham and Women’s Hospital Steve Shea, PhD Professor and Director Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For hundreds of years, people have observed that asthma severity often worsens in the nighttime. As many as 75 percent of people with asthma—20 million people in the U.S.—report experiencing worsening asthma severity at night. One longstanding question has been to what degree the body’s internal circadian clock—as opposed to behaviors, such as sleep and physical activities—contributes to worsening of asthma severity. Our research used long term intensive monitoring throughout two circadian protocols in dim light and without time cues to carefully isolate the influence of the circadian system from the other factors that are behavioral and environmental, including sleep. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Medical Imaging, Neurological Disorders / 02.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Ferguson, PhD Instructor in Neurology | Harvard Medical School Lecturer on Neurospirituality | Harvard Divinity School Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over 80% of the global population consider themselves religious with even more identifying as spiritual, but the neural substrates of spirituality and religiosity remain unresolved. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Where is this circuit located in the brain? What other effects does this circuit control or influence? Response: We found that brain lesions associated with self-reported spirituality map to a human brain circuit centered on the periaqueductal grey. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Primary Care, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 10.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander Turchin, MD, MS Director of Informatics Research Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is an epidemic of obesity in the U.S.: over 40% of adults are obese. Obesity causes numerous complications, ranging from heart attacks to cancer. Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective ways to treat obesity, but very few patients utilize it; it is unclear why.  (more…)