Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Gender Differences / 24.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom Chang PhD, BS, MIT Associate Professor of Finance and Business Economics Marshall School of Business MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There have been many studies showing that women prefer higher indoor temperatures than men, however nobody looked at the effect of temperature on performance. We show that the battle for the thermostat is not just about the comfort. It is much more – in our experiment, women’s cognitive functioning is the best at high temperatures, whereas men’s at low temperatures. Significantly, the positive effect of increased temperatures on women’s performance is much stronger than the negative effect on men. The most surprising was that the effect of temperature on women is so strong. For instance, at low temperatures, men outperform women in a simple math task. However, when we increase the temperature, women become better and better (1.76% increase of solved tasks with each 1 Celsius increase), and at high temperatures women and men perform on the same level – the gender difference disappears. 
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Cognitive Issues, Technology / 22.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49309" align="alignleft" width="165"]Dr.. Mahncke Dr. Mahncke[/caption] Dr. Henry W. Mahncke PhD Research neuroscientist CEO of Posit Science Corporation  MedicalResearch.com: What makes this study newsworthy?  Response: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) is a complex condition to treat. Patients can report many symptoms (e.g., cognitive deficits, depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, pain, sleep difficulties, disorientation, emotional issues). Prior to this study, conducted at five military and veterans’ medical centers, there has been no highly-scalable intervention to treat the cognitive deficits associated with mTBI. This study showed that a plasticity-based, computerized, brain-training app can drive statistically and clinically significant gains in overall cognitive performance. Given the number of service members and vets with persistent cognitive deficits from TBIs, that’s a big deal.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues / 23.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bryan D. James, PhD Assistant Professor Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Chicago, IL 60612  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It has long been reported by patients, their family members, and physicians that many older adults experience long-term declines in their memory and thinking abilities after hospitalization. Studies have recently begun to confirm these reports by following older patients for years after hospitalization and repeatedly testing their cognitive abilities. A number of questions have yet to be answered, including which types of hospitalizations are most strongly related to cognitive decline. In this study, we sought to answer whether going to the hospital for elective procedures was as risky to the cognitive health of older adults as urgent or emergency (that is, non-elective) hospitalizations.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Personalized Medicine, University of Pennsylvania / 15.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_41668" align="alignleft" width="148"]David A. Wolk, MD Associate Professor Department of Neurology Co-Director, Penn Memory Center Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center University of Pennsylvania Dr. Wolk[/caption] David A. Wolk, MD Associate Professor Department of Neurology Co-Director, Penn Memory Center Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a state when individuals have mild memory problems, but not enough to impact day-to-day function.  Many patients with MCI are on the trajectory to developing Alzheimer’s Disease dementia, but about half will not and remain stable.  As such, patients with MCI are often uncertain about the likelihood they should expect to decline in the future which obviously may be associated with considerable anxiety and this may delay opportunities for them to plan for the future or begin therapeutic interventions. This study examined the degree to which amyloid PET, which detects the amyloid pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease, a measure of shrinkage of the hippocampus with MRI, and cognitive measures predicted development of dementia over 3 years.  We found that each of these measures enhances prediction of whether an individual will or will not develop dementia in the future.  If all of these measures are positive, one has a very high risk of progression whereas if amyloid PET and the MRI measurement are normal, there is very little risk of progression.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Geriatrics, Mayo Clinic / 25.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39613" align="alignleft" width="165"]Richard J. Caselli MD Department of Neurology Mayo Clinic Arizona Scottsdale, AZ  Dr. Caselli[/caption] Richard J. Caselli MD Department of Neurology Mayo Clinic Arizona Scottsdale, AZ   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Personality changes are common in patients with a variety of dementing illnesses, and underlie the behavioral disturbances that complicate the course of dementia patients.  We have a been conducting a large longitudinal study of cognitive aging in individuals at genetically defined risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) based on their APOE genotype, and have been administering a large battery of neuropsychological tests as well as the gold standard personality questionnaire (the NEO-PI-R) in order to determine whether personality changes during the transition from normal cognition/preclinical AD to mild cognitive impairment.  
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 07.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Keun-Hwa Jung MD PhD Program in Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Institute of SNUMRC College of Medicine Seoul National University First author: Dr. Woo-Jin Lee MD Department of Neurology Seoul National University Hospital Seoul, South Korea  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cerebral white matter hyperintensity is a prevalent consequence of brain aging process and associated with various complications. One of the main mechanisms underlying the progression of white matter hyperintensity is chronic dysfunction of the glymphatic system which maintains metabolic homeostasis in brain. Glymphatic system is the route where the cerebrospinal fluid enters into the brain parenchyma and is cleared out with soluble wastes to the perivascular space of the cerebral small veins, peri-meningeal lymphatic vessels, deep cervical lymph nodes, and finally to the right atrium. Although the integrity of the glymphatic system is dependent on the adequate drainage of cerebral veins and lymphatics to the downstream chamber, the right atrium, the impact of hemodynamic changes in right-sided cardiac chambers on the development of white matter hyperintensity have not been elucidated.
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Cognitive Issues, HIV / 03.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37849" align="alignleft" width="107"]Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicin Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center Boston , Massachusetts Dr. Saitz[/caption] Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM Department of Community Health Sciences Boston University School of Public Health Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicin Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center Boston , Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many people living with HIV infection use alcohol and other drugs including marijuana. People with HIV infection are also susceptible to cognitive dysfunction from many causes from HIV infection itself to aging. The main findings were that among people with HIV and substance use disorder, lifetime marijuana and alcohol use were not associated with cognitive dysfunction, likely due to competing risks.  But current marijuana use was associated with cognitive dysfunction.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Sleep Disorders / 30.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yue Leng, M.Phil, MD, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco SFVAMC  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is a very common but treatable condition in older adults. Recent evidence has suggested a link between SDB and cognitive decline in the elderly, but previous studies have been conflicting and have used different methods to examine SDB or cognition. Therefore, it is difficult to draw conclusion on the consistency of this association based on each individual study. Moreover, because each study has reported on specific domains using different scales, it is unclear if Sleep-disordered breathing has differential effects on cognitive domains. The current study is the first to quantitively synthesize all published population-based studies, which covers a total of over 4 million adults, and concluded that people with Sleep-disordered breathing were 26% more likely to develop cognitive impairment than those without SDB. They also had slightly worse performance in executive function but not in global cognition or memory. 
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Gender Differences, Hip Fractures, Orthopedics / 09.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31853" align="alignleft" width="180"]Ann L. Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D. Professor, Division of Gerontology Director, Program in Epidemiology and Human Genetics  Department of Epidemiology & Public Health University of Maryland School of Medicine Dr. Ann Gruber-Baldini[/caption] Ann L. Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D. Professor, Division of Gerontology Director, Program in Epidemiology and Human Genetics Department of Epidemiology & Public Health University of Maryland School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While men make up only about 25% of all hip fractures, the number of men who fracture their hip is increasing and we know men are more likely to die than women after a hip fracture. It is also known that those with cognitive impairments, typically due to delirium and Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, are more likely to do more poorly after the fracture. The impact of both sex and cognition on outcomes after hip fracture has not been fully explored.
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Johns Hopkins / 03.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24893" align="alignleft" width="151"]Halima Amjad, MD, MPH Post-doctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology Dr. Halima Amjad[/caption] Halima Amjad, MD, MPH Post-doctoral Fellow Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Amjad: Safety is an important aspect of dementia care. Dementia is underdiagnosed, however, and there is limited understanding of safety issues in people with undiagnosed dementia. We wanted to better understand potentially unsafe activities and living conditions in all older adults with dementia and specifically examine these activities in undiagnosed dementia. We found that in all study participants with probable dementia, the prevalence of driving, cooking, managing finances, managing medications, or going to physician visits alone was over 20%. The prevalence was higher in older adults with probable dementia without a diagnosis, and even after accounting for sociodemographic, medical, and physical impairment factors, the odds of engaging in these activities was over 2.0 in undiagnosed versus diagnosed probable dementia. Potentially unsafe living conditions including unmet needs and performance on cognitive tests were similar between these groups.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 03.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24890" align="alignleft" width="132"]Zhenmei Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Sociology Michigan State University East Lansing, MI48824 Dr. Zhenmei Zhang[/caption] Zhenmei Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Sociology Michigan State University East Lansing, MI48824 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zhang: Blacks are especially hard hit by cognitive impairment and dementia. Recent estimates of dementia prevalence and incidence were substantially higher for blacks than whites. Reducing racial/ethnic disparities in dementia has been identified as a national priority by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2011. So I really want to contribute to the ongoing discussion of the origins and pathways through which racial disparities in cognitive impairment is produced. If we have a better understanding of the factors contributing to racial disparities in cognitive impairment in later life, more effective interventions can be conducted to reduce the racial disparities.
Author Interviews, Chemotherapy, Mental Health Research / 27.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24738" align="alignleft" width="160"]Michael A. Johnson Ph.D Associate Professor Department of Chemistry University of Kansas Dr. Michael Johnson[/caption] Michael A. Johnson Ph.D Associate Professor Department of Chemistry University of Kansas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Johnson: We undertook these studies because chemotherapy induced cognitive dysfunction, also known as ‘chemobrain’, has become a major health issue in recent years. For example, up to a third of patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer have reported symptoms of chemobrain. These symptoms may include loss of verbal and visual memory as well as decreased mental flexibility and difficulty focusing. For this study, we wanted to understand how treatment with chemotherapeutic agents affects the ability of neurons to communicate. An impairment of neurotransmitter release would imply that communication is hindered. This inability to communicate normally could contribute to cognitive dysfunction. We initially measured the release of dopamine in a region of the brain called the striatum. Our measurement of dopamine in this region was motivated by two key issues: its importance in cognitive function and our ability to measure it with high temporal resolution. From a cognitive standpoint, dopamine is important because the striatum helps translate signals, received from the cortex, into plans by forwarding wanted signals to other parts of the brain and suppressing unwanted signals. Fortunately, we can easily measure dopamine release using an electrochemical technique called fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. This method allows us to not only measure how much dopamine is released from a living brain slice, but also it affords us the capability to measure how quickly dopamine is taken back up. We also measured serotonin release using this method. Our main finding was that the ability of neurons to release dopamine was impaired after carboplatin treatment. We also found that serotonin release was similarly impaired. These release impairments corresponded to a decrease in cognitive ability of the treated rats.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cognitive Issues / 25.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_24508" align="alignleft" width="200"]Bo (Bonnie) Qin, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08903 Dr. Bo Qin[/caption] Bo (Bonnie) Qin, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08903 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Qin: Preventing or delaying the age-related cognitive decline that typically precedes the onset of dementia is particularly important considering that no effective strategies for dementia treatment have been identified. Vascular conditions such as hypertension are thought to be risk factors for cognitive decline, but important gaps in the literature on this topic remain. Randomized clinical trials of blood pressure-lowering treatments for reducing the risk of cognitive decline or dementia have largely failed to achieve beneficial effects. However, over the past 6 years, scientific evidence has accumulated that blood pressure variability over monthly or yearly visits may lead to greater risk of stroke and small and larger vessel cerebrovascular diseases. They could lead to subsequent changes related to cognitive dysfunction among older adults. We, therefore, hypothesized that blood pressure variability between visits is associated with a faster rate of cognitive function among older adults.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23548" align="alignleft" width="133"]Thomas H. Marwick, MBBS, PhD, MPH Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne, Australia Dr. Thomas Marwick[/caption] Thomas H. Marwick, MBBS, PhD, MPH Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Marwick: Readmission for heart failure (HF) remains common and the risk of this remains hard to predict. It's possible that existing risk scores don't cover all important patient features. We confirmed that cognitive impairment was an unmeasured contributor and incorporated this measurement in a prediction model. The resulting model was the most reliable reported to date and could be used to identify patients who need the closest follow up to avoid readmission.
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Dental Research / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23195" align="alignleft" width="134"]Elham Emami, DDS, MSc, PhD Professeure agrégée Faculté de médecine dentaire École de santé publique, Département de médecine sociale et préventive Université de Montréal Montréal (Québec) Canada Dr. Elham Emami[/caption] Elham Emami, DDS, MSc, PhD Director , Oral Health and Rehabilitation Research Unit & Associate Professor Faculty of Dental Medicine & School of Public Health Université de Montréal Adjunct Professor McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Emami: Over the past 20 years, scientific evidence has shown that oral and general health are closely linked. Recently, studies have shown that there is also a link between the number of teeth an older person has and his/her cognitive status. We carried out a meta-analysis using the data from these latter studies. Our results indicate that, taking into account socioeconomic differences and other potential confounding variables, a person with less than 20 teeth has a 20% greater risk of having cognitive decline (HR= 1.26, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.40) and dementia (HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.43) than someone who has 20 or more teeth.
Aging, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Mayo Clinic, Weight Research / 01.02.2016

[caption id="attachment_21196" align="alignleft" width="125"]Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B. Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn. Dr. Rosebud Roberts[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rosebud O. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B. Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minn.  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Roberts: Decline in weight has been observed 10-20 years prior to onset of dementia. We wanted to study whether this decline also occurs for mild cognitive impairment (an intermediate stage in the progression from normal cognition to dementia). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Roberts: The main finding was that there was indeed a decline in weight (from the maximum weight in midlife to weight assessed in late life) was associated with a increased risk of mild cognitive impairment.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Chemotherapy, Cognitive Issues / 03.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly N. H. Nudelman, Ph.D. Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Indianapolis, IN 46202 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Nudelman: Varying levels of cognitive problems and related changes in brain structure and function have been reported in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Pain has also been associated with altered brain structure and function. However, the association of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a side-effect of chemotherapy treatment characterized by nerve damage primarily in the extremities, has not been specifically investigated for association with cognitive symptoms in breast cancer. We used data from a prospective, longitudinal breast cancer cohort to investigate the relationship of CIPN and neuroimaging measures of cognitive dysfunction.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Nudelman: We found that increased chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms were associated with resting brain blood flow increase in regions known to be involved in pain processing. We also found that decreased frontal lobe gray matter density was correlated with these changes, suggesting a link between chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and cognitive dysfunction.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cognitive Issues, JNCI / 19.04.2015

Dr. Kerstin Hermelink Senior psychologist  Dept. of Gynecology and Obstetrics Ludwig Maximilian University of MunichMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kerstin Hermelink Senior psychologist Dept. of Gynecology and Obstetrics Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hermelink: Many breast cancer patients report problems of cognitive functioning that interfere considerably with their professional and private lives. In the last two decades, a number of studies have confirmed that subgroups of breast cancer patients show at least subtle cognitive impairment. Initially, the condition has entirely been attributed to chemotherapy effects and has therefore colloquially been named “chemobrain”. Meanwhile, however, cognitive impairment has also been found in patients who were managed without chemotherapy and, surprisingly, even in patients who had not yet received any systemic treatment at all. Several hypotheses on the causation of cognitive impairment that occurs already pretreatment have been put forward; for instance, biological effects of the cancer itself might affect cognitive functioning, or there might be shared genetic vulnerability for cancer and cognitive impairment. None of these hypotheses have been empirically confirmed; thus, pretreatment cognitive impairment is as yet unexplained. Our study was designed to investigate the effects of cancer-related post-traumatic stress on cognitive function in breast cancer patients before the start of treatment. Stress has a substantial influence on cognitive functioning, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with impairment of cognitive function. While the incidence of full diagnosis of stress disorder is low among breast cancer patients, many of these patients show symptoms of PTSD, with a peak shortly after diagnosis. We did not find an elevated risk of overall cognitive impairment in pretreatment breast cancer patients compared with matched non-cancer controls; however, the cancer patients scored worse than the controls on a small fraction of the cognitive indices that were used. Performance on these indices was indeed robustly associated with PTSD symptoms. Our results therefore indicate that pretreatment cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients may be largely caused by the stress of being diagnosed with cancer.
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute / 19.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan G. Jakobsson Institution for Clinical Science Karolinska Institutet, Danderyds Hospital Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Jakobsson:  We found that anaesthesiologists and nurse anaesthetists were concerned about the risk for neurocognitive side effects, but there routines and practice for preoperative identification of patients at risk, intraoperative management to minimise risk and assessment and management of patients showing signs and/or symptoms of neurocognitive side effects after anaesthesia was rarely at place.
Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Mental Health Research / 31.03.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gao-Jun Teng, MD Chair and Professor, Dept of Radiology Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University Nanjing 210009, China MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: This current study demonstrates that the aberrant resting-state functional connectivity among default mode network (DMN) regions, especially the posterior cingulated cortex (PCC) to right middle temporal gyrus (MTG), is associated with insulin resistance and cognitive performance, which might be the key to understanding the cognitive impairment in type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Diabetes, Genetic Research / 11.09.2013

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ramit Ravona-Springer M.D., Psychiatrist Director of Memory Clinic, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: In a cohort of elderly, cognitively normal type 2 diabetes (T2D) subjects, those with Haptoglobin (Hp) 1-1 genotype present lower cognitive performance compared to Hp 2 carriers (Hp 1-2 and Hp 2-2). The contribution of cardiovascular risk factors to cognition was significantly higher in subjects with Hp1-1 genotype compared to Hp 2 carriers.