Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 06.06.2018 Interview with: Randall C. Swaim, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist and Director Linda R. Stanley, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research Department of Psychology Colorado State University                  What is the background for this study? Response: American Indian adolescents consistently report the highest levels of substance use compared with other US racial/ethnic groups. The harm associated with these high rates of use include higher risk of developing a substance use disorder, more alcohol-related problems, including alcohol-attributable death, and other negative outcomes such as school failure. These findings point to the importance of continuing to monitor this group, particularly given changing trends in perceived harmfulness of illicit substances as new statutes alter access to medical and recreational use of cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSF / 02.11.2016 Interview with: Krista Lyn Harrison, PhD Division of Geriatrics School of Medicine University of California San Francisco VA Medical Center San Francisco, CA 94121 What is the background for this study? Response: Advance care planning (ACP) is the process of discussing plans and preferences for end-of-life care. It may include completion of advanced directives or a living will and designation of a surrogate decision-maker in a durable power of attorney for health care. There is a growing awareness of the benefits of such discussions for both elders and their families. In absence of these discussions, loved ones are left to guess what the affected individual wanted or may even get mired in unexpected legal issues. But until recently, it was unknown if all races/ethnicities, education levels, and incomes have benefited from efforts to improve engagement in advance care planning, and if these discussions are greater among those in worse health and with a poorer prognosis. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.10.2016 Interview with: Dr Tamara Shiner MD PhD Specialist in Neurology Neurology Division Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although in the past believed to be sporadic, there is much emerging evidence for a significant genetic contribution to Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Hetrozygosity for common mutations in the GBA gene have been shown to be more frequent among DLB patients and Parkinson's disease patients than in the general population. We found that GBA mutations are in fact exceptionally frequent among Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) patients with Dementia with Lewy bodies. Our results indicate that one in three of all Ashkenazi DLB patients carry mutations in this specific gene (compared to approximately 6% in the general Ashkenazi Jewish population). We also found that those who carry these mutations have a more severe disease phenotype. (more…)