Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edward L. Barnes, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology UNCHealth Care and a medical advisor to the Global Healthy Living Foundation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although historically inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) have been considered diseases of non-Hispanic whites, the current burden of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in minority populations is largely unknown. I n our study, we evaluated the relative prevalence of CD and UC across racial and ethnic groups within the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) and compared the racial/ethnic distribution of IBD in PCORnet to that of the United States (US) census data, the overall PCORnet population, and PCORnet patients with selected immune-mediated conditions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Imperial College, Probiotics, Pulmonary Disease, Weight Research / 16.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Mullish PhD NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer Department of Metabolism Digestion and Reproduction Imperial College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Which probiotic did you use and why?  Response: We recently reported the results of a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial in which participants who were overweight or with obesity (aged between 30-65 years of age) were randomized to receive probiotics or placebo for six months.  The primary focus was on weight loss and metabolism.  The probiotic used was Lab4P, containing three different strains of Bifidobacteria and two of Lactobacilli, which have shown to be safe and efficacious for use in rodent models and earlier clinical studies. Of note, probiotics have also been shown to have other beneficial effects upon human health.  Previous studies have suggested that they may have a role in preventing upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in healthy people and children; however, this has not been explored in older people or overweight/ people with obesity, even though such groups have higher rates of URTIs. We looked back at our trial, and reviewed symptom diaries completed by participants daily during the study.  We were looking at recorded symptoms most consistent with upper respiratory tract symptoms (including cough, wheezing and headache), and explored if rates of these were different between those participants taking probiotics compared to placebo over the six month course of the study.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Occupational Health, Outcomes & Safety / 30.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mishal Reja, MD,  MD Resident in Internal Medicine Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: World Trade Center first responders were exposed to environmental toxicants that have resulted in negative health consequences. Gastrointestinal aerodigestive disorders such as GERD and Barrett’s esophagus have been frequently reported in this population. Additionally, an increasing body of literature has shown that fatty liver disease is not only secondary to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity, as previously thought, but can also result from environmental and industrial toxicants. Chemicals such as Vinyl Chloride, Tetrachloroethylene, Perchloroethylene, and many others are frequently found in industrial occupations and have resulted in fatty liver disease, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Many of these chemicals were also present at ground zero, thus exposing many of first responders to the hepatotoxic effects of these chemicals. To date this is the first study to look at liver disease in World Trade Center first responders. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, Imperial College, Infections, Transplantation / 30.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Julian Marchesi PhD Professor of Digestive Health Faculty of Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction   Dr. Benjamin Mullish PhD Faculty of Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction NIHR Clinical Lecturer Imperial College London       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many patients are colonized with bacteria that are resistant to nearly all the antibiotics that we currently have. This antibiotic resistance is a huge public health problem, not least because it may lead to the scenario where a bacterial species moves from the gut and into the bloodstream, causes an infection, and cannot be treated. Such scenarios particularly occur in patients who are particularly prone to getting multiple and frequent courses of antibiotics; this may include patients with particular kidney conditions (who may be vulnerable to recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)), and patients with blood cancers (such as leukaemia, who have weak immune systems and are therefore prone to infections). Furthermore, in both sets of patients, to help treat their disease, they may be offered transplants, either a new kidney or new bone marrow. When this transplant happens, the clinician needs to ‘switch off’ their immune system to allow the transplant to work. When the immune system is dialled down, it can no longer stop any invading bacteria, increasing the chance of antibiotic resistance bacteria causing infections, which frequently leads to patient death.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor University Medical Center Dallas, Gastrointestinal Disease / 28.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rhonda Souza, MD Baylor University Medical Center Center for Esophageal Research Dallas, TX 75246  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a modern disorder of the esophagus caused by an allergy to certain foods. EoE causes esophageal symptoms like difficulty swallowing and heartburn and is diagnosed when biopsies of the esophagus taken during endoscopy show numerous eosinophils, which are a type of inflammatory blood cell.  There are few established treatments for EoE. One such treatment is a diet that eliminates the offending food allergens, and another is to use steroids to reduce the number of eosinophils in the esophagus. However, the most common treatment for adults with eosinophilic esophagitis is to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which block the proton pumps in stomach cells that make acid.  In earlier studies, we found that PPIs also can block proton pumps in esophageal cells.  Those proton pumps are activated by chemicals that the body produces in response to allergens including interleukin (IL)-13 or IL-4.  Il-13 and IL-4, which cause the esophagus to produce eotaxin-3, a molecule that attracts eosinophils. What remained unknown, however, was the mechanism whereby these interleukins activate proton pumps in the EoE esophagus. In our present study, we explored whether IL-4 works by increasing calcium levels in esophageal cells from EoE patients. (more…)