Drug Disposal Bags After Hospitalizations Can Get Rid of Some Leftover Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jennifer N. Cooper, PhD Principal Investigator Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Dr. Cooper

Jennifer N. Cooper, PhD
Principal Investigator
Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital,
Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
The Ohio State University College of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Although postoperative opioid prescribing has decreased in recent years due to an increased awareness of the risks of excess opioid prescribing, many patients are still prescribed more opioids than they need after surgery. In the pediatric population, most opioids are prescribed after surgical and dental procedures.

Although patients are often prescribed more opioids than they need after surgery, previous studies have found that excess opioids left unused after surgery are rarely properly disposed. These leftover opioids can be misused or accidentally ingested by young children. Previous studies have targeted the problem of non-disposal of opioids leftover after surgery by providing patients and families with educational materials describing proper methods of postoperative opioid disposal. However, these studies have had mixed results with some finding an increase in opioid disposal after education and others finding no effect of such education. In addition to education, another means of facilitating postoperative opioid disposal is the provision of drug disposal products. These products contain compounds that irreversible adsorb or oxidize medications, enabling them to be safely disposed of in the home garbage.

Continue reading

Do Decision Aids Make a Difference in Prostate Cancer Screening?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kari Tikkinen, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor Departments of Urology and Public Health University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital Helsinki, Finland

Dr. Tikkinen

Kari Tikkinen, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor
Departments of Urology and Public Health
University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital
Helsinki, Finland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Men’s choice of whether to undergo screening is value and preference sensitive: fully informed men will make different choices depending on their experience and perspective. For such decisions, shared decision-making represents an ideal approach to decision making. In shared decision-making both the patient and health care provider contribute to the medical decision-making process. The health care provider explains alternatives to patients, informs them of the best evidence regarding the anticipated consequences of a decision for or against the intervention, and helps them choose the option that best aligns with their preferences. All major guidelines of prostate cancer screening acknowledge the importance of informing men about risks and benefits of PSA screening.

Shared decision-making is challenging because it requires time, knowledge, and specific skills. Prostate cancer screening decisions aids may, by summarizing the current best evidence and by supporting conversations that address what matters most to men, address these challenges. The impact of decision aids on the decision-making process is, however, uncertain. We therefore undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomized trials that have addressed the impact of decision aids in the context of prostate cancer screening.  Continue reading

Head Tilt Can Assert Dominance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Zachary Witkower University of British Columbia PhD Student

Zachary Witkower

Zachary Witkower
University of British Columbia
PhD Student  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: When we form judgments about other people –what their personality is like, or how they are feeling at the moment– we tend to focus our attention towards their face. This is not surprising, as facial shape and facial expressions contain all kinds of information that can be used to inform judgments.

However, faces are almost never viewed in isolation. Instead, faces are almost always viewed as they rest upon the face’s physical foundation: the head. Yet little is known about how head position might influence judgments about personality or social status, or – importantly – how head position might change the way faces are perceived. In the present research, we examined how and why head position might influence social judgments made from the face.  Continue reading

Are Younger People Really Addicted to Their Smartphones?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brittany I. Davidson MA Doctoral Researcher in Information Systems University of Bath

Ms. Davidson

Brittany I. Davidson MA
Doctoral Researcher in Information Systems
University of Bath

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Typically, research interested in the impact of technology, or more specifically, smartphones on people and society, use surveys to measure people’s usage. Almost always, these studies claim potential harms from using smartphones, like depression, anxiety, or poorer sleep. However, these studies simply ask people about  their behaviour rather than actually measuring it.

In our study, we took 10 widely used surveys to  measure screen time, which typically asks how often people use their smartphone or how problematic their usage is. We compared this to people’s objective smartphone usage from Apple Screen time (e.g., minutes spend on iPhone, number of times they picked up their phone, and the number of notifications received).

We found that there is a large discrepancy between what people self-report and what they actually do with their iPhone. This is highly problematic as the sweeping statements that claim smartphones (or technology more generally) have a negative impact on mental health are not  based on solid and robust evidence at this time, which leaves much to be desired in terms of what we really know about the  impacts of technology use on people.

Continue reading

Updated Expert Consensus Statement on Platelet Function/Genetic Testing for Guiding P2Y12 Receptor-Inhibitor Treatment in PCI

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Dr. med. Dirk Sibbing, MHBA, FESC Oberarzt, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München Chairperson ESC Working Group on Thrombosis München, Germany

Prof. Sibbing

Prof. Dr. med. Dirk Sibbing, MHBA, FESC
Oberarzt, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München
Chairperson ESC Working Group on Thrombosis
München, Germany 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this consensus statement? What are the main findings that led to these conclusions?

Response: The availability of different P2Y12 receptor inhibitors (clopidogrel, prasugrel, ticagrelor) with varying levels of potency has enabled physicians to contemplate individualized treatment concepts. Such concepts may include escalation or de-escalation of P2Y12 inhibiting therapy.

Alternative DAPT strategies may be chosen according to the clinical setting (stable coronary artery disease vs. acute coronary syndrome), the stage of the disease (early vs. chronic treatment) and patient risk for ischemic and bleeding complications. As always in clinical medicine, guidance by means of biomarkers or risk scores is always helpful and warranted. Here specifically, a tailored DAPT approach may be potentially guided by platelet function (PFT) or genetic testing. Continue reading

Some Patients Can Be Rechallenged After Immune Adverse Events from Checkpoint Inhibitors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Olivier Lambotte, MD, PHD Professor of Internal Medicine Paris XI University Medical School Research Director Control of Chronic Viral Infections DepartmentProf. Olivier Lambotte, MD, PHD
Professor of Internal Medicine
Paris XI University Medical School
Research Director
Control of Chronic Viral Infections Department

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) or anti-programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) have proven efficacy in the treatment of many cancers but patients may experience immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Immune checkpoint inhibitors is usually stopped when grade 2 or higher irAE occur. Data are very limited  on the safety of resuming treatment after such an event.

We  studied all adult patients referred to the ImmunoTOX toxicity review board at the Gustave Roussy cancer center (Villejuif, France) in 2015-2017 with  irAE grade 2 or higher for whom the  rechallenge was questioned. Among 93 patients with a broad spectrum of cancers, 40 patients (43%) were rechallenged with the same anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1. The rechallenged and non-rechallenged groups did not differ in terms of age, time to initial irAE, irAE severity, or steroid use. With a median follow-up period of 14 months, the same irAE or a different irAE occurred in 22 patients (55%). The second irAEs were not more severe than the first. Earlier initial toxicity was associated with more frequent irAE recurrence.

Continue reading

Some Physicians Who Advise FDA Later Form Financial Relationships with Pharmaceutical Companies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephanie L. Kuschel, B.A Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, IN, 46202

Dr. Kuschel

Stephanie L. Kuschel, MD
Indiana University School of Medicine
Indianapolis, IN, 46202

Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH
Professor of Dermatology and Public Health
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Colorado School of Public Health
Chief, Dermatology Service
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Eastern Colorado Health Care System
Denver, CO 80220 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Physicians can serve as external experts and voting members of FDA advisory committee panels, which help determine if a drug is acceptable for the US market. Considering that financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) have been shown to influence voting member habits, the FDA has regulations in place to minimize these FCOI. However, the FDA can grant waivers for some financially conflicted individuals if they meet certain requirements (like offering key insights that may out-weigh the risk of a possible FCOI). Additionally the FDA does not make stipulations regarding post-advisory role financial relationships. In fact, many former FDA committee advisors later engage in financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Some worry these post-hoc financial relationships could pose an ethical dilemma whereby future FDA advisory members are incentivized to alter their voting habits in expectation of future rewards. Others argue the situation may be more complex than expected.

For example, the author of one study, found that while there was evidence for a pro-industry voting bias among committee members with exclusive financial relationships to the sponsoring manufacturer (of the drug under review), this was not the case for members with nonexclusive financial ties to both the sponsor and its competitors 1. Furthermore, the author found that advisors with many corporate ties were (on average) actually more likely than their peers without any financial ties to vote against the sponsor. The author argued that these advisors were more likely to be experienced researchers, and their voting habits may reflect their experience evaluating medical research.

While this author and others have offered valuable insights into financial relationships of advisors during their advisory role, unfortunately little information is available regarding post-advisory role financial relationships and whether these relationship have any influence on the integrity of the voting process. The purpose of our study was to review Open Payment data on industry payments to former physician FDA dermatologic drug committee members.  Continue reading

Even if Opioids Relieve Pain, They Don’t Necessarily Improve Sleep

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Nicole Tang

Dr. Tang

Nicole Tang, D.Phil, C.Psychol (Reader)
Department of Psychology
Warwick Sleep and Pain Lab
University of Warwick

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Current guidelines recommend non-opioid therapy as the preferred treatment of chronic non-malignant (CNP) pain, with opioids reserved to situations “when benefits for pain and function are expected to outweigh risks” [1,10]. Whilst the effectiveness of opioid therapy is usually measured in terms of pain outcomes, less is known about its effect on day-to-day functions.

A particular function of concern to patients with chronic non-malignant pain
is the ability to get a good night’s sleep.

The current systematic review has identified a set of papers with relevant outcomes regarding the effect of opioid therapy on sleep quality and sleep architecture in CNP patients. It
extends our understanding from the drug’s respiratory depression effect in healthy
individuals to the potential risks and utility of opioid therapy for chronic non-malignant pain
patients with sleep disturbances.

Whilst the narrative synthesis and the exploratory meta-analysis of a subset of data both suggest that the use of opioid therapy is associated with an overall report of sleep quality improvement, such an improvement is not consistently replicated across studies
or substantiated by improvements in sleep parameters linked to deeper and better-sleep quality. Moreover, the improvement may be accompanied by undesirable side effects and increased daytime sleepiness that contradict with the very idea of improved
sleep quality. We are also painfully aware of the methodological limitations of the studies reviewed; their exposure to different sources of biases has heightened the risk of result inflation.

To many patients with chronic non-malignant pain, improved sleep is a top priority
when evaluating the performance of a new drug and non-drug intervention.

If we were to advance our current understanding of the
opioid-sleep relationship, future trials need to be designed with
this interdisciplinary question in mind such that validated measures
of sleep can be incorporated as an outcome measure alongside pain.

Continue reading

Traumatic Injuries Cost Medicare More Than Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Stroke or Heart Attacks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Acute Care Surgery University of Michigan

Dr. Hemmila

Dr. Mark R. Hemmila MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Acute Care Surgery
University of Michigan 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Traumatic injury has a tendency to be thought of as a disease that preferentially impacts younger people.  We wanted to explore the prevalence and impact of traumatic injury within the population of patients for whom Medicare is the third party payer.  Continue reading

Calcium Channel Inhibitors (Verapamil and Diltiazem) May Be Useful in Allergic Inflammation of Esophagus

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Rhonda Souza, MDBaylor University Medical CenterCenter for Esophageal ResearchDallas, TX 75246

Dr. Souza

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.

Continue reading

Study Finds You Don’t Have To Fast Before Getting Your Lipids Measured

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Samia Mora, MD, MHSAssociate Physician, Brigham and Women's HospitalAssociate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolBrigham and Women's HospitalDepartment of MedicinePreventive MedicineBoston, MA 02115 

Dr. Mora

Samia Mora, MD, MHS
Associate Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Department of Medicine
Preventive Medicine
Boston, MA 02115 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Lipid testing plays a major role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk screening, prediction, and treatment. In the past decade, several pivotal studies (including the Women’s Health Study, the Copenhagen City Heart Study, and the Copenhagen General Population Study) compared populations of individuals who had fasting lipid testing with populations of individuals who had nonfasting lipid testing, and found that non-fasting lipids were at least as good as fasting lipids in cardiovascular risk screening and predicting CVD risk.

To date, however, no study has examined the cardiovascular predictive value of lipids measured on the same individuals who had both fasting and nonfasting lipid testing. This is important because individual-level variability in fasting versus nonfasting lipids may not be captured when looking at population-level risk associations, and evidence from randomized studies is lacking. Furthermore, it is unclear whether substituting nonfasting lipids would misclassify cardiovascular risk for individuals who may be eligible for statin therapy.

Continue reading

Women Think Better When Its Warmer

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.  Continue reading

COPD: FASENRA™ (benralizumab) Did Not Reduce Moderate to Severe Exacerbations

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCPChair and Professor, Thoracic Medicine and SurgeryLewis Katz School of MedicineTemple University

Dr. Criner

Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP
Chair and Professor, Thoracic Medicine and Surgery
Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Temple University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: An earlier, Phase II trial of benralizumab found a non-statistically significant reduction in COPD exacerbation rate for patients with eosinophilic inflammation in the airways. In this Phase III trial, the researchers sought to discover whether benralizumab’s ability to deplete the airways of blood eosinophils in patients with eosinophilic inflammation would lead to a reduction in COPD exacerbations.

The Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trials GALATHEA and TERRANOVA evaluated the efficacy and safety of benralizumab for the prevention of exacerbations in patients with moderate to very severe COPD, eosinophilic inflammation, and increased risk of exacerbations. Benralizumab is a type of drug called an interleukin-5 receptor alpha-directed cytolytic monoclonal antibody. It is approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma.

Continue reading

Early Life Maltreatment Linked to Increased Risk of Elder Abuse

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

XinQi DongDirector, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging ResearchHenry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health SciencesProfessor, Department of Medicine - Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

XinQi Dong

XinQi Dong
Director, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
Henry Rutgers Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences
Professor, Department of Medicine – Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Interpersonal violence is a substantial public health issue across all socio-demographic and socioeconomic strata globally. A depth of prior studies have found that victims of childhood sexual abuse might have higher risks of re-experiencing sexual violence as adults. But the “re-victimization” phenomenon has been insufficiently examined among the rapidly growing aging populations. There lacks examinations about life-course violence experiences and the accumulative effect of which in older ages.

Our study examined three most common forms of interpersonal violence (child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse) across the life span and found an interconnectedness among them. Individuals with a history of child maltreatment and/or intimate partner violence had two to six times higher risks of elder abuse compared to those without a past experience of the violence.  Continue reading

Are Kids Who Own Tobacco Promotional Materials More Likely To Start Products Like Juul?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, FSAHM

Dr. Halpern-Felsher

Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Fellowship Research
Department of Pediatrics
Director of Research, Division of Adolescent Medicine
Associate Director, Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Program
Co-leader, Scholarly Concentrations,
Pediatrics Residency Program
Stanford University

Hoda S. Abdel Magid, MHS, PhDPostdoctoral ScholarDepartment of Health Research & PolicyStanford UniversityHoda S. Abdel Magid, MHS, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Health Research & Policy
Stanford University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Dr. Hoda Magid, my former graduate student, and I wanted to examine whether owning promotional items for e-cigarettes and other non-cigarette products predicted youth use of those products.  Other studies have examined whether ownership of coupons, samples, and other promotional materials influenced cigarette use, but no longitudinal study examined other tobacco products.

Our findings show that non-tobacco using youth who own items to promote e-cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products are twice as likely to use alternative tobacco products a year later.

Continue reading

Laser Microscope Can See and Treat Skin Without Cutting Into It

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Haishan Zeng, PhDDistinguished ScientistImaging Unit - Integrative Oncology DepartmentBC Cancer Research CentreProfessor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Physics, University of British ColumbiaVancouver, BC, Canada Haishan Zeng, PhD

Distinguished Scientist
Imaging Unit – Integrative Oncology Department
BC Cancer Research Centre
Professor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Physics, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We developed a fast multiphoton microscope system that enables clinical imaging of the skin at the level of cellular resolution. With this system, we can see microstructures inside of the skin without cutting into it. We subsequently conceived the idea of directly treating the microstructures that are responsible for disease. We increased the laser power to generate intense localized heat to destroy the targeted structure. In this study, we demonstrated the feasibility of this new treatment by targeting and closing single blood vessels using our new microscope. 

Continue reading

Do Smokers Stick to Cancer Screening Guidelines?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. Assistant ProfessorUT Southwestern Department of Radiation OncologyDallas TX 75390

Dr. Sanford

Nina Niu Sanford, M.D. 
Assistant Professor
UT Southwestern Department of Radiation Oncology
Dallas TX 75390 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background of this study is that smoking is associated with increased risk for multiple cancer types, although the most commonly noted association is between smoking and lung cancer – because of this, lung cancer screening guidelines have been established for current smokers and those who have recently quit.

What is less well known is whether patients who smoke are more or less likely to adhere to screening guidelines for other cancer types.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: In this study, we found that current smokers were less likely to adhere to national screening guidelines for prostate, breast and colorectal cancer, as compared to never smokers. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: That smokers are less likely to undergo age appropriate cancer screening for several major cancer types.  This is important because they are at baseline higher risk for these cancers thus without screening, would be more likely to present at advanced stage.  We know that current smoking is a risk factor for worse cancer-specific outcomes, and delayed diagnosis could be one of the contributing factors.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Further research is needed to identify the barriers to cancer screening among individuals who smoke, such that initiatives can be undertaken to increase uptake of cancer screening among this population.

Citation:

Sanford NN, Sher DJ, Butler S, et al. Cancer Screening Patterns Among Current, Former, and Never Smokers in the United States, 2010-2015. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e193759. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3759

 

May 19, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

 

 

 

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

 

Why Do Some People Get a Dog?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tove Fall PhD
Senior author of the study
Associate Professor in Epidemiology
Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory
Uppsala University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Dog ownership is common in the Western society but little is known about what actually makes people get a dog.

We conducted a twin study to understand whether the genetic make-up has an influence on this choice. We found that more than 50% of the differences in dog ownership is explained by genetic variants.  Continue reading

FDA Approves EYLEA (aflibercept) To Treat All Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy, With Two Dosing Options

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. Illustration depicting diabetic retinopathy

Illustration depicting diabetic retinopathy


Robert L. Vitti, MD, MBA
Vice President and Head, Ophthalmology
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Vitti discusses the recent announcement that the FDA has approved EYLEA to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy.

MedicalResearch.com: Can you provide additional background on this approval? Would you briefly explain diabetic retinopathy and it’s impact on patients?

Response: The FDA has approved EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is the leading cause of blindness among working-aged American adults. Approximately 8 million people live with DR, a complication of diabetes characterized by damage to the blood vessels in the retina (per 2010 data).

The disease generally starts as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) and often has no warning signs or symptoms. Over time, NPDR often progresses to proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), a stage in which abnormal blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina and into the vitreous cavity, potentially causing severe vision loss.

Continue reading

Why Do 700 US Women Die of Pregnancy-Related Causes Each Year?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily Petersen, MD.Lead for the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance SystemDivision of Reproductive Health

Dr. Peterson

Emily Petersen, MD.
Lead for the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System
Division of Reproductive Health  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: About 700 women die of pregnancy-related causes each year in the United States. The new analysis provides much-needed perspective on the circumstances surrounding pregnancy-related deaths and summarizes potential strategies to prevent future deaths.

Continue reading

Walking Pace Addresses Fit versus Fat Debate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
sneakers-walkingFrancesco Zaccardi, MD, PhD

Clinical Epidemiologist
Assistant Director Leicester Real World Evidence Unit
Leicester Diabetes Centre
UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The role of excess body weight on mortality has been extensively investigated during the last decades. Studies from several countries have also shown, however, that the risk of death in persons who are overweight or obese is lower if their fitness, a parameter indicating cardio-pulmonary health, is higher.

Most of these studies reported the beneficial effect of fitness in terms of relative risk reduction, for example 20% reduction of risk of death. Relative estimates, though, are difficult to interpret. Continue reading

Doctor, My Close Friend Died and I am Still Grieving

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Wai-Man (Raymond) Liu, PhDAssociate ProfessorResearch School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & StatisticsCollege of Business & Economics BuildingThe Australian National UniversityProf. Wai-Man (Raymond) Liu, PhD
Associate Professor
Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies & Statistics
College of Business & Economics Building
The Australian National University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In our study, we studied survey responses of over 26,000 people from the largest Australian household survey over a period of 14 years. The survey was funded by the government called “The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey”. The survey was conducted by the Melbourne Institute.

In the survey more than 9,500 of these respondents had experienced the death of a close friend.

Continue reading

Father’s Age Linked To Pregnancy Problems and Childhood Disorders

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nancy Phillips, MDClinical Assistant ProfessorRutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolWomen's Health InstituteNew Brunswick, NJ

Dr. Phillips

Nancy Phillips, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Women’s Health Institute
New Brunswick, NJ

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background of this article was as an interest piece prompting a literature review. We both felt it represented an underserved clinical need.

The main findings are that the paternal age at conception does impact pregnancy outcomes,  including pregnancy complications, fetal chromosomal anomalies and childhood cancers and psychological disorders. Continue reading

Combat-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Magnetoencephalography Can Detect Abnormal Gamma Band

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Mingxiong Huang, PhDProfessor, Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of California, San Diego

Dr. Huang

Dr. Mingxiong Huang, PhD
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of California, San Diego

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Combat-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a leading cause of sustained impairments in military service members and Veterans. Yet, conventional neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are typically insensitive to physiological alterations caused by mild and some moderate TBIs.

With funding from the VA, we have pursued in developing sensitive imaging markers based on magnetoencephalography (MEG) for mTBI. This paper reflects the news MEG findings in this research field.  Continue reading

Computerized Brain Training BrainHQ Can Reduce Neglect Symptoms of Stroke and Brain Injury

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Thomas M Van Vleet PhDPosit Science 

Dr. Van Vleet

Thomas M Van Vleet PhD
Posit Science 

Dr. Tom Van Vleet,  presented results on a common symptom of stroke and acquired brain injury (hemi-spatial neglect) at the American Academy of Neurology May 2019

MedicalResearch.com: What makes this study newsworthy?

Response For the first time ever a highly-scalable intervention — computerized brain training (BrainHQ made by Posit Science) —was found to improve symptoms of hemi-spatial neglect, which is a common and often intractable and debilitating problem after stroke or other acquired brain injury.

MedicalResearch.com: What can you tell us about the medical condition (hemi-spatial neglect) investigated in this study?

Response About a third of patients with a brain injury exhibit a complex and debilitating array of neurological deficits known as the “neglect syndrome” (sometimes called, “hemi-spatial neglect” or “neglect”).

The most apparent symptom of neglect is the inability of patients to efficiently process information on the side of space opposite the injury; often completely missing relevant events without awareness. As a result, patients often fail to adopt compensatory strategies or respond to other conventional rehabilitation protocols.

The cost is significant, as patients with neglect experience longer hospital stays and have higher requirements for assistance, including greater skilled nursing home placements relative to patients with similar extent of brain injury without neglect.

To date, there’s been no broadly-applicable and highly-scalable intervention for addressing neglect. An alarming reality given the increasing cost of stroke, which is currently estimated to exceed $34 billion per annum

Continue reading

Proximity to Oil Refineries and Risk of Bladder Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACSChief, Division of UrologyAssociate Professor, Urology and RadiologyRobert Earl Cone ProfessorshipDirector of Urologic OncologyDirector of Urologic ResearchCo-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research ProgramUniversity of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Williams

Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACS
Chief, Division of Urology
Associate Professor, Urology and Radiology
Robert Earl Cone Professorship
Director of Urologic Oncology
Director of Urologic Research
Co-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research Program
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Despite prior studies evaluating cancer in those living near and working in oil refineries, there remains a gap in knowledge regarding proximity to oil refineries and risk of bladder cancer.

Aromatic amines have been associated with increased risk of various cancers including bladder cancer. Texas is a home to the largest numbers of oil refineries in the US. Our goal was to evaluate if there was a link between bladder cancer and living in close proximity to an oil refinery in Texas.

Our data did suggest that living within 10 miles of an oil refinery was associated with a small increase in risk of bladder cancer. These data support further research to validate these findings.

Continue reading

Multiple Sclerosis: Extended Dosing of Natalizumab Reduces Risk of PML

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lana Zhovtis Ryserson, MDAssistant Professor, Department of NeurologyNYU Langone Health

Dr. Zhovtis Ryserson

Lana Zhovtis Ryserson, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
NYU Langone Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Natalizumab is an effective therapy of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis dosed at 300mg every 4 weeks. However it is associated with a potentially deadly infection – progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. In order to mitigate this risk, clinicians have adopted an approach of infusing the medication less frequently, a strategy which has become known as Extended Interval Dosing (EID).

The TOUCH database is US mandatated risk evaluation and mitigation program which is the largest database available to assess PML risk for patients on EID schedule. Previous analysis of this database in 2017, showed a significant risk reduction of PML in patients utilizing extended interval dosing schedule. The aim of the current study was to update on this analysis with another year of data.

Continue reading

How Much of Your Sunscreen is Absorbed?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Strauss, MD, PhDDirector, Division of Applied Regulatory ScienceU.S. Food and Drug AdministrationCenter for Drug Evaluation and Research

Dr. Strauss

David Strauss, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Applied Regulatory Science
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is unknown whether most active ingredients in sunscreens are absorbed. FDA has provided guidance that sunscreen active ingredients with systemic absorption greater than 0.5 ng/mL or with safety concerns should undergo nonclinical toxicology assessment including systemic carcinogenicity and additional developmental and reproductive studies.

This randomized clinical trial demonstrated systemic exposure of 4 commonly used sunscreen active ingredients on application of sunscreen products under maximal use conditions consistent with current sunscreen labeling.

All 4 sunscreen active ingredients tested resulted in exposures exceeding 0.5 ng/mL.  Continue reading

What Makes Academic Physicians Satisfied With Their Job?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Arabella L. Simpkin,  MD, MMScAssociate Director, Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship, MGHAssociate Program Director, Education and Curriculum, Internal Medicine Residency, MGHInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA 02114

Dr. Simpkin

Arabella L. Simpkin,  MD, MMSc
Associate Director, Center for Educational Innovation and Scholarship, MGH
Associate Program Director, Education and Curriculum, Internal Medicine Residency, MGH
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02114

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The academic health care environment has changed in unprecedented ways over several decades, with mounting evidence that faculty are becoming increasingly more unhappy, dissatisfied, and burnt out in their work. Concern for faculty wellbeing is high, with much speculation about causes of burnout. Comprehending what affects satisfaction at work in academic health care centers is critically important to stem this epidemic of discontent. For physicians, satisfaction has been reported to be associated with quality of care delivered, particularly as measured by patient satisfaction; faculty retention and job satisfaction are intricately linked, with dissatisfied physicians more likely to leave the profession and to discourage others from entering.

Other industries that have suffered similar rises in employee discontent have found that demonstration of respect is the most important leadership behavior in improving employees satisfaction. To our knowledge this factor has not been looked at in healthcare professionals. To address this gap, we sought to determine key variables influencing satisfaction at work for faculty in a large academic medical center in the United States.

Continue reading

Emergency Personnel: Unintentional Occupational Exposure to Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sophia K. Chiu, MD

Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
CDC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response:  Responders across the United States are reporting work-related health effects during incidents in which suspected opioids (including fentanyl) and other illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, cathinones, and synthetic cannabinoids are present, often as a mixture. These health effects have interfered with responders’ ability to perform their job duties.

Since 2018, a number of responder organizations have requested that NIOSH investigate the health effects experienced by emergency responders during these response incidents. These organizations are looking for ways to protect their responders and prevent the symptoms responders have reported experiencing, so that they can in turn better serve the public. NIOSH’s goal is to increase awareness among responders of how they can remain safe while providing the care the public needs.

Continue reading