Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, Lancet / 28.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adam Hampshire PhD Faculty of Medicine Department of Brain Sciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During 2020 I was leading a study that sought to map the distribution of cognitive abilities and aspects of mental health across the UK population. The study generated a lot of interest because it was a collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, leading to ~390,000 participants. When the pandemic began to escalate in the UK a number of my colleagues at Imperial and elsewhere contacted me to note that the study could be used to investigate the impact of both the pandemic and direct illness on daily life, mental health and cognition. I had been thinking along similar lines so decided to add questionnaires about peoples' experiences with the pandemic and Covid-19 illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Ohl, MD, MSPH Associate Professor of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is that remdesivir was approved for treatment in 2020 largely based on the results of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 1 (ACTT-1), which found that remdesivir treatment was associated with more rapid recovery from illness among people hospitalized with COVID-19. The intention was that - even if remdesivir did not lead to substantial improvements in survival- it could help people to recover more quickly and be discharged from hospital sooner, potentially opening scare hospital pends to treat more patients during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Clots - Coagulation, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 05.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac See, MD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: On February 27, 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine in people 18 years of age or older in the United States. The Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine uses a replication-deficient (i.e., cannot cause infections) human adenovirus vector. In mid-March, the European Medicines Agency announced that they had conducted a preliminary investigation of cases of blood clots and low counts of blood cells called platelets in patients who had recently received the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, which uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector. This syndrome of blood clots and low platelet counts has been called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS. The European investigation showed that over 70% of their cases specifically involved blood clots in particular veins inside the brain, a condition caused cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), in addition to low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia is the medical term for low platelet counts). CVST is already a rare condition, and CVST with thrombocytopenia is even rarer. By April 12, 2021, approximately 7 million doses of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine had been given in the United States, and six cases of CVST and thrombocytopenia after receipt of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine had been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is the U.S. national vaccine safety monitoring system. The next day (April 13, 2021) CDC and FDA recommended a pause in use of the vaccine recommended to allow for further investigation of these events. On April 23, 2021 data about the first 12 cases reported after authorization of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine were presented at an emergency meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to decide what to recommend regarding the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The ACIP concluded that the benefits of resuming Janssen COVID-19 vaccination among persons aged 18 years or older outweighed the risks and reaffirmed its interim recommendation under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization includes a new warning for rare clotting events among women aged 18 to 49 years. Our report provides clinical details about these first reported 12 U.S. cases of CVST and thrombocytopenia following receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 23.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret J. Hosie BVM&S, MRCVS, BSc. PhD. Professor of Comparative Virology MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus of animal origin that recently jumped to humans and has spread rapidly across the world. It is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will establish as an endemic virus of humans, which has the potential to be transmitted to animals that live in close proximity to humans. There have been sporadic reports of infections in pet cats in households with COVID-19 patients, which demonstrates that cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and could act as virus reservoirs. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 13.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael H. Lazar MD Jeffrey H Jennings, MD Pulmonary and Critical Care specialists Henry Ford Hospital Detroit Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Persons of color who are infected with COVID-19 have a higher incidence of hospitalization and death when compared to white patients. However, it was previously unknown if there was a difference in outcomes based upon race in patients who are sick enough to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). Our study found that race made no difference in ICU outcomes. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Lack of racial differences in survival and other meaningful outcomes in the intensive care unit may be related to the highly protocolized nature of care and experience of the critical care team. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Stroke / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thanh Nguyen MD Director of Interventional Neurology/ Neuroradiology Boston Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, there were many regional and sometimes national reports of declines in stroke and myocardial infarction volumes. Our goal was to understand whether these declines were also seen for other neurological emergencies such as subarachnoid hemorrhage hospitalizations and ruptured aneurysm endovascular treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gout, Rheumatology / 03.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rene Oliveira Department of Internal Medicine Ribeirao Preto Medical School University of Sao Paulo Ribeirao Preto, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As rheumatologists our background for testing colchicine for COVID-19 was the effect of the drug on gout, Behçet's disease and familial Mediterranean fever. For these diseases, the drug is able to reduce systemic inflammation by acting in some cytokine pathways which the first reports in COVID-19 suggested being the same. We found that colchicine was able to reduce systemic inflammation and diminish the length of need for supplemental oxygen and hospitalisation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research, Urology / 01.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David-Dan Nguyen Research Fellow | Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital MPH (Health Policy) Student | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Medical Student | McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals to delay the definitive treatment of cancers via surgery or radiation therapy. While previous evidence has shown that delaying the treatment of low-risk prostate cancer is not associated with worse outcomes, treatment delays for intermediate-risk and high-risk prostate cancer are more controversial. As such, we sought to determine if delays for these disease states negatively impacted oncological outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jay C. Butler, MD, FAAP, MACP, FIDSA Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA 30333 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are still disagreements about the significance of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic persons. It has been known since at least March 2020 that, unlike the closely related coronavirus that causes SARS, transmission of COVID-19 from asymptomatic and presymptomatic persons occurs and that at least 30% of infected persons do not develop symptoms. Estimating the proportion of transmissions from persons without symptoms informs the decision analysis for prioritization of community mitigations opportunities: wearing of masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene. If only a low proportion of transmission occurs from people without symptoms, these interventions would be less likely to control transmission when broadly applied in the community. On the other hand, if a significant proportion of spread is from infected persons without symptoms, the value of these measures is enhanced. Additionally, obtaining strategic and systematic screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 to identify and isolate persons without symptoms in selected settings, such as congregational housing settings, will have greater potential impact if spread from persons without symptoms is common. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 17.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yashu Dhamija MD Dr. Thomas Schmidlin, MD Cleveland Clinic Akron General MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are seeing an increased use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic and while that is encouraged and necessary to limit the spread of disease in the general publication, it can mean challenges for some individuals. Patients with known sensitizations to allergens contained in face masks may experience rash or irritation with commonly used face coverings. It is also possible for patients without a history of contact dermatitis to become sensitized to allergens after wearing facial coverings more regularly, thus leading to new cases of contact dermatitis (CD) in individuals with no known prior history of contact dermatitis. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 12.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brunella Posteranno PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences Rome, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: This study arises from an attempt to clarify some recent evidences of positive real-time PCR (RT-PCR) test results among patients who recovered from COVID-19 with prior negative results. Retesting positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, in the absence of any symptoms suggestive of new infection, poses questions regarding not only the SARS-CoV-2 infection course but also, most importantly, the infectivity status of recovered COVID-19 patients. In other words, it is unknown whether such patients are infectious and whether they should be quarantined. Detecting genetic sequences (i.e., RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples (e.g., nasal/oropharyngeal swab samples) by RT-PCR assays enable us to identify persons suffering from COVID-19 along with those who have been exposed and able to transmit virus to others even if they are asymptomatic. It is not hyperbole to say that without RT-PCR testing an effective fight against the virus would be impossible. However, RT-PCR assays are not a viral culture and do not allow to determine whether the virus is viable and, consequently, transmissible. In this study, we investigated RT-PCR retested positive nasal/oropharyngeal swab (NOS) samples from recovered COVID-19 patients for the presence of replicative SARS-CoV-2 RNA to assess active virus replication. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss / 06.11.2020


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Eldré Beukes PhD Clinical Scientist in Audiology Clinical Audiologist: Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital Associate lecturer: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by tinnitus? Response: Tinnitus is characterised by hearing unwanted sounds, such as a ringing or buzzing, without a corresponding sound in the environment. It is one of the most frequently occurring chronic conditions, affecting 1 in 8 adults worldwide. People with tinnitus are found to be at higher risk of lower emotional wellbeing, depression and anxiety. This led our team to realise that tinnitus may be more problematic as a result of the added stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic. As such, we initiated an exploratory study to examine changes in tinnitus during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115 Wesemann Lab MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a lot of variability in how long antibodies to pathogens are produced in humans. Some infections and vaccinations like measles induce high levels of antibodies that can be produced for a lifetime. Other infections or vaccinations induce only short lived antibody responses. Also, some people make longer lasting antibodies compared to others. We wanted to ask what the antibody durability dynamics looked like after COVID-19 and if we could tease out any insights—both with regard to COVID-19 as well as in general. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Social Issues / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In this perspective, we argue that food insecurity and COVID-19 can exacerbate one another via bidirectional links. Experiencing food insecurity can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weakened host defenses, increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Food insecurity is also associated with chronic medical conditions which may lead to a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Conversely, people with COVID-19 may not be able to work, generate income, or procure food while quarantined, which may worsen food insecurity. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 23.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joon Seo Lim, PhD, ELS Clinical Research Center Asan Institute for Life Sciences Asan Medical Center, Songpa-gu Seoul, Republic of Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to spread at an alarming rate in all parts of the world, and screening individuals based on symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, anosmia) does not seem to be effective in sufficiently curbing the transmission of the disease. This suggests that asymptomatic individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be a driving force of the ongoing pandemic, but empirical evidence on this issue has been lacking because asymptomatic individuals are likely to go unnoticed unless subjected to systematic contact tracing. A large-sized outbreak of COVID-19 from a single religious group in South Korea enabled us to identify and test a large number of asymptomatic individuals with SARS-CoV-2 alongside symptomatic patients from the same cluster. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA / 07.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC Providence St Joseph Health Portland, Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In spite of significant decreases in the incidence of coronary artery disease, an estimated 800,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) this year. For large numbers of these patients, substantial benefit is afforded by early diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, multiple campaigns have been launched over time to increase public awareness about the symptoms and signs of AMI and the need to seek immediate medical attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed health care delivery worldwide. While early attention was disproportionately focused on efforts to “flatten the curve”, recent reports have revealed a disturbing finding—a substantial decrease in the hospitalization rate for AMI. Most worrisome among potential reasons for this has been reluctance of patients with an AMI to seek medical attention out of fear that they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. To better understand the impacts associated with this, we performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all AMI hospitalizations in a large multistate health care system (Providence St. Joseph Health). We sought to define changes in AMI case rates, patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, treatment approaches and in-hospital outcomes during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Research Fellow Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were no evidence-based treatments for severely ill patients infected with this virus. We formed an interdisciplinary group of physicians from departments of adult and pediatric infectious diseases, rheumatology, and pulmonary/critical care as well as clinical pharmacy specialists. Given some promising data from China, we instituted treatment with off-label IL-6 receptor inhibitors (tocilizumab and sarilumab). The rationale was to mitigate the exuberant immune response observed in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (also called cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome). Quite quickly, we started noticing that giving the drug to our sickest patients wasn’t eliciting dramatic improvement. We reasoned that by the time patients were severely ill and requiring ventilators, the damage to their lungs from the cytokine storm had already taken place. It was like closing the barn door after the horse had already bolted. (more…)