Author Interviews, Dermatology, PNAS / 01.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Haley Steele Graduate Student Researcher Georgia Institute of Technology  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Chronic itch is a debilitating symptom that arises from a broad range of etiologies including skin disease, systemic disease, and as a common side-effect of medication. While in the last few decades significant advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying chronic itch have been made, a large majority of those advancements were restricted to studies in hairy skin. Conditions such as plantar and palmar psoriasis, dyshidrosis, and cholestasis, however, are known to exhibit chronic itch restricted primarily to glabrous skin (found on the palms of hands and soles of feet). This is an area that is considered to be particularly debilitating. Therefore, in this study we investigated the role three previously identified pruriceptive neurons (MrgprA3+, MrgprD+, and MrgprC11+) play in mediating acute and chronic glabrous skin itch. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 01.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Elina Hypponen Professor in Nutritional and Genetic Epidemiology Director: Australian Centre for Precision Health University of South Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Diet is an important determinant of cardiovascular disease, and several studies have shown an association between high dairy and milk consumption with cardio-metabolic risk factors. Especially high fat dairy products can increase the risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease by increasing the intakes of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. However, milk is also a rich source of calcium and other nutrients, and evidence from randomized controlled trials has been inconsistent with respect to the role milk may have in cardiovascular health  (more…)
Author Interviews, Technology / 28.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dani Clode Designer & Senior Research Technician Plasticity Laboratory Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience University College London   MedicalResearch.com: What was the inspiration behind creating the Third Thumb? Response: From a design perspective, augmentation is about designing a new relationship with technology, creating something that is no longer just a tool for the hand, but instead an extension of the hand. I created the Third Thumb during my Design Product Masters project at the Royal College of Art (London). The Third Thumb is a flexible 3D-printed thumb extension for your hand, controlled by your toes. It is operated wirelessly with pressure sensors and affords proportional control over two degrees of freedom. The project began as a way to better understand what it was like to control something extra attached to my body. As an upper-limb prosthetics designer, I wanted to understand the unique relationship between a person and a prosthetic, it’s a relationship unlike any other product, and I wanted to explore that. The Plasticity Lab then got in contact with me after seeing the Third Thumb online, as they were already exploring augmentation in the brain. We started collaborating on this research shortly after, and I now work as an in-house designer for the Plasticity Lab, collaborating on neuroscience research. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Cannabis, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daimei Sasayama, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry Shinshu University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing worldwide. A 2016 US survey reported a prevalence of 1.85% in 8-year-olds, and a birth cohort study in Denmark reported that the future cumulative incidence of ASD could exceed 2.8%. Our recent regional cohort study in Japan reported an even higher cumulative incidence of 3.1%. So we examined whether the cumulative incidence in our regional cohort represents the nationwide incidence in Japan.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, JAMA, USPSTF / 26.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N. Professor and Director School of Nursing College of Health and Human Services George Mason University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet about a quarter of people ages 50 to 75 have never been screened for this devastating disease. Fortunately, we know that screening for colorectal cancer is effective and saves lives. New science about colorectal cancer in people younger than 50 years old has enabled us to expand our previous guidelines to recommend that all adults ages 45 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer to reduce their risk of dying from this disease.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Opiods / 24.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank Peacock, MD, FACEP, FACC Professor of Emergency Medicine, Associate Chair Research Director, Department of Emergency Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Emergency medicine (EM) physicians, like myself, are always looking for ways to improve the patient experience. Often times, we will encounter a patient in the emergency department (ED) who is presenting with one of the most common side effects of opioids, which is opioid-induced constipation (OIC). OIC impacts 40-80% of patients on long-term opioid therapy[i],[ii] and may lead to emergency room visits which are associated with a significant burden on patients and the healthcare system. We wanted to compare the impact of treating OIC patients with FDA-approved prescription medications for OIC versus the impact of not treating OIC patients with an FDA-approved prescription medication for OIC in the ED setting to better understand the impact to overall ED costs and the length of stay for a hospitalized patient. (more…)
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, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari dicusses COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the nine vaccinated New York Yankees have now tested positive for COVID-19.  They all received the J&J vaccine. MedicalResearch.com:  There are nine known COVID positive results among members of the Yankees, previously immunized with the J&J vaccine.  Do you know if the players have become ill or just tested positive on routine testing? Response: Only 1 out of the 9 was mildly symptomatic and were all picked up as part of MLB testing protocol. MedicalResearch.com: Do you know how long after they were vaccinated that they tested positive?  Do you know of other incidences of positive reactions after vaccinations?  Response: According to MLB, all players tested positive after receiving the J&J vaccine.  All were at least 14 days after the vaccine was administered.  The 14 days post vaccination is when J&J is supposed to be effective in preventing serious illness and death. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Clots - Coagulation, Hematology, Neurological Disorders, Pain Research / 22.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel Chasman, PhD Pamela Rist, ScD, Yanjun Guo, MD, PhD Division of Preventative Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been speculation in the field about relationships between coagulation and migraine susceptibility for some time, but previous research has been largely inconclusive. In this study, we leveraged Mendelian randomization, a mode of genetic analysis that can support or refute potential causal effects on a health outcome, to examine whether hemostatic factors may contribute to risk of MA. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research, UCSF / 22.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth L. Whitlock, MD, MSc John W. Severinghaus Assistant Professor In Residence Anesthesia & Perioperative Care UCSF Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have known for a while that, rarely, some older adults suffer substantial, durable cognitive decline after surgery, particularly after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery; a larger proportion experience a decline in cognitive test performance which doesn't necessarily affect function, but which has caused concern among researchers.  This cognitive decline was attributed, in part, to the cardiac bypass pump. ​Many of the studies had methodological limitations which made it difficult to be sure that the cognitive change was due to surgery and not due more generally to heart problems or atherosclerotic disease, which may also imply cerebrovascular atherosclerosis. Using a large database of older adults who undergo regular cognitive testing, we identified individuals who underwent CABG and compared them to those who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a minimally invasive, non-surgical method of opening blocked coronary arteries.  This allowed us to model the rate of memory decline before surgery - which hadn't been done in previous studies - and compare it to the rate of memory decline after surgery in older adults who had serious heart disease (some of whom were treated with CABG, and some treated with PCI). (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Nutrition, OBGYNE / 22.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan E. Carlson Ph.D. Associate Dean for Research Program Director,, AJ Rice Professor Department of Dietetics and Nutrition University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are its benefits? Response: DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid. Good food sources include some types of seafood (e.g., salmon, tuna, trout) and chicken eggs. Persons in the USA and in much of the developing world consume little dietary DHA. DHA supplements in pregnancy have been linked to lower risk of preterm birth for 20 years, especially early preterm births (<34 weeks gestation). For about 10 years, prenatal supplements with about 200 mg DHA have been readily available in the USA, however, no study has asked if this amount of DHA is optimal to reduce early preterm birth. Participants were given a supplement of 1000 mg or 200 mg DHA beginning before 20 weeks gestation using an adaptive randomization that periodically assigned more participants to the group with the fewest early preterm births. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Microbiome, University of Pennsylvania / 19.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Geelsu Hwang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences Center for Innovation and Precision Dentistry (CiPD) School of Dental Medicine University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the significance of this oral biofilm?  Response: Dental caries is one of the most common and costly biofilm-dependent diseases that afflict children and adults worldwide. Particularly, Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a hyper-virulent type of chronic tooth decay that most frequently afflicts underprivileged preschool children. The onset and progression of carious lesions in ECC are rapid and aggressive, causing rampant destruction of the smooth surfaces of teeth. ECC is painful and often requires surgical procedure under general anesthesia, while current treatment modalities are inefficient and recurrence of ECC is common. Notably, interactions between a fungus, Candida albicans, and a bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, have been known to play important roles in the pathogenesis of dental caries. Thus, we attempted to strategically develop a targeted measure to effectively prevent cross-kingdom interactions and subsequent biofilm development. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Heart Disease, JACC, NYU / 17.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Garshick, MD Assistant Professor Department of Medicine Grossman School of Medicine NYU MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with psoriasis have a 50% higher risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to patients without psoriasis, the mechanisms of which are still under investigation Dyslipidemia is also highly prevalent in psoriasis including elevation in a variety of lipoproteins causal in atherosclerosis. Lipoprotein(a) is an LDL like particle which is associated with atherosclerosis, atherothrombosis, and the development of clinical cardiovascular disease. Traditionally lipoprotein(a) is felt to be inherited rather than acquired, but some evidence suggest that lipoprotein(a) is elevated in those with underlying inflammatory conditions and associated with systemic inflammation including circulating IL-6. We therefore aimed to determine if lipoprotein(a) is elevated in psoriasis and associated with underlying systemic inflammatory profiles and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ying Liu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Washington University School of Medicine Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Non-Hispanic African American women experience a disproportional burden of poor breast cancer outcomes than non-Hispanic White women, which is associated with a higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), more advanced stages at diagnosis, and lower treatment adherence. However, the differences in clinical treatment and outcomes between African American women with TNBC and their White counterparts have not been well defined. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease, Weight Research / 16.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Carolina Hoff, MD Lead researcher on the study Founder and Clinical Director Angioskope Brazil São José dos Campos  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a chronic disease that has become a global pandemic, and its prevalence continues to increase. Overweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 27 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30kg/m2) lead to numerous clinical comorbidities, including metabolic, cardiovascular, oncologic, and mental health disorders. It is challenging to achieve significant and sustained weight loss with diet and lifestyle modification alone. Additionally, a reversal of obesity-related co-morbidities and improvement in quality of life entails a percent total body weight loss (%TBWL) of between 5-10%, which is rarely achieved with medications alone. The Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) results in a %TBWL between 14.6%-19.7% at 18-24 months,  and improvements in systolic blood pressure (SBP), HbA1c, and dyslipidemia at 12 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 13.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristina Aspvall | Psychologist, PhD Eva Serlachius MD PhD Adjunct professor Professor David Mataix-Cols, PhD Karolinska Institutet Department of Clinical Neuroscience Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research Center Stockholm MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The problem we were trying to solve is the shortage of specialist Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for children and adolescents with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). CBT is the first line treatment for children and adolescents with OCD but is a highly specialist treatment rarely available outside large medical centres, typically located in big cities. Previous work by our group and others had shown that it is possible to deliver CBT via the internet in the form of a self-help programme with minimal support from a clinician. The clinician can be located anywhere and provide asynchronous support via a built-in messaging system. Parental support is a key component of the treatment. In essence, the parents take over as the child’s main therapist, under the guidance of the expert clinician.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, NYU, Women's Heart Health / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Darcy Banco, MD, MPH Internal Medicine Resident NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We became interested in this question because of recent epidemiological data showing that despite improvements in the number of heart attacks in overall population, that number is rising among young adults (<= 55 years old) and in particular, young women. Compared to young men, young women with heart attack experience more delays in care and have higher mortality and poorer quality of life after heart attack. Despite these findings, there was also a study that asked young adults who had experienced heart attack: “When you first went for help, did the health care providers think that you were having a problem with your heart?” Women were more likely to answer no to this question. Therefore, our study asked: Are young women evaluated and treated differently than men when presenting to the emergency room with symptoms of chest pain? (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Monisha Madhumita Father Muller Medical College India MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? hand-washing-eczema-dermatologyResponse: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires stringent adoption of hand hygiene practices. Health Care Workers (HCW) and the general population are at increased risk of irritation, dryness, redness and cracked hands (irritant dermatitis) due to frequent hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. An effective hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol to kill germs. Thus, it can be very drying to the skin. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is a way to measure the water lost from the skin. It is an essential parameter for characterizing skin hydration and protective function. Both of which are disrupted in irritant hand dermatitis. This research study was conducted on 582 participants: 291 health care workers and 291 healthy individuals of the general population. Measurements of TEWL were made using a noninvasive, closed- chamber system (VapoMeter) in a standardized environment. The study participants were asked to identify the challenges to compliance in hand hygiene practice (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, USPSTF / 07.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John B. Wong, M.D. Chief Scientific Officer Vice chair for Clinical Affairs Chief of the Division of Clinical Decision Making and Primary care Clinician Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hypertension affects nearly half of all adults in the United States and is a major risk factor for many serious health conditions. Fortunately, by screening all adults for hypertension, clinicians can improve their patient’s health. The Task Force continues to recommend screening all adults for hypertension so that they can get the care they need to help prevent health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Depression, Mental Health Research, PTSD / 07.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, MD, PhD (he/him) NIDA INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellow Policy and Health Initiatives on Opioids and Other Substances (PHIOS) Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:     It remains unclear whether COVID-19 is associated with psychiatric symptoms during or after the acute illness phase. Being affected by the disease exposes the individual to an uncertain prognosis and a state of quarantine. These factors can predispose individuals to the development of mental symptoms during or after the acute phase of the disease. There is a need for prospective studies assessing psychiatric symptoms in COVID-19 patients in the post-infection period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Parkinson's / 06.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clemens R. ScherzerClemens R. Scherzer, M.D. Center for Advanced Parkinson Research Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Parkinson's disease is the fastest growing brain disorder. The number of patients is projected to double to 14 million by 2040. The total cost of Parkinson's is $52 billion every year in the U.S. Yet, there are no medicines available to slow the disease. Current treatments temporarily alleviate symptoms, but do not address the underlying disease process, which continues to relentlessly progress. To begin to solve this puzzle, we searched the genome of 3,821 Parkinson's disease patients for genetic variants linked to rapid progression over time to dementia, which is a major determinant for a Parkinson's disease patient’s quality of life. These patients were deeply characterized in the International Genetics of Parkinson Disease Progression (IGPP) Consortium, a grass-roots, collaborative network of Parkinson’s investigators, with 31,578 longitudinal study visits over up to 12 years from disease onset.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Colon Cancer, Gastrointestinal Disease, Sugar / 06.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jinhee Hur, PhD Research Fellow Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early-onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC, age <50 years at diagnosis) is rapidly rising in the US since the mid-1980s, with an unclear understanding of its etiology and contributors to the rise. Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) exert adverse metabolic repercussions throughout the life course, including insulin resistance and inflammation. Higher SSB intake can induce obesity, which has been linked to risk of EO-CRC. A recent experimental study also suggests that high fructose corn syrup, a primary sweetener in SSBs, may promote colon tumor growth, independent of metabolic dysregulation. In the US, SSB consumption has dramatically increased during the 2nd half of the 20th century, and adolescents and young adults have been the heaviest SSB drinkers across all age groups. Thus, we expect SSBs may be an emerging risk factor for EO-CRC and likely contribute to the rising incidence of EO-CRC. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Colon Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 04.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James Donald Byrne, Ph.D., M.D. Department of Radiation Oncology Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Radiation therapy is used as a treatment for more than half of all cancer patients and can be highly effective at shrinking tumors and killing cancer cells. But radiation treatment can also damage healthy tissue, including tissue in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. This tissue injury can lead to oral mucositis, esophagitis, and proctitis — painful and sometimes debilitating tissue damage. It’s estimated that these injuries occur in over 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Our goal was to develop personalized shields that blocked radiation from affecting healthy GI tissue. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Genetic Research / 03.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Judy H. Cho, MD, Dean of Translational Genetics Director of The Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly describe Crohn's disease? Whom does it primarily affect? Response: Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory intestinal disease, which affects ~3 million Americans a year. Its most typical age of onset ranges from 15-30 years, and many of those diagnosed also exhibit frequent abnormal healing and complications that constrict the digestive tract. The highest risk genetic mutations that increase risk for Crohn’s disease are found in the gene NOD2; these were first reported 20 years ago. Biological mechanisms by which NOD2 mutations drive Crohn’s disease, and especially fibrotic complications, have been incompletely described up until this point. Further, the reasons why many patients fail to respond to the commonly administered anti-TNF treatments also remain incompletely understood. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Microbiome / 30.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David J. Durgan, PhD Department of Anesthesiology Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our lab and others had previously shown that gut dysbiosis is not only associated with hypertension, but actually plays a causal role. For example we have shown in both a genetic model of hypertension as well as an obstructive sleep apnea induced model of hypertension, that transplantation of their dysbiotic microbiota into normotensive recipients induced elevations in blood pressure. With this understanding our focus shifted to two new questions 1) How can we manipulate the microbiota to improve/prevent hypertension, and 2) What are the signals originating from the microbiota that have the capability to influence host blood pressure? These questions lead to the experimental design of this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Nutrition / 30.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sa Kan Yoo MD PhD Division of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine Kobe University, Kobe, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cancer is often considered as a disease of “overgrowth”. But, many known “cancer genes” in fact induce cell death rather than cell growth. Because of this phenomenon, it requires involvement of many genes, not a single “cancer gene”, for cells to become cancer. Although this protective phenomenon that cancer genes induce cell death has been known, its exact mechanism has remained unclear. We tackled this problem using the fruit fly, found its mechanism and discovered a way to manipulate it by dietary nutrition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Almazan MD Candidate Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gender-affirming surgeries are procedures offered to alleviate psychological distress and affirm the gender identities of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. Requests for these surgeries have been increasing in the United States over the past decade. However, the mental health benefits of these procedures have remained controversial due to the limited evidence base on this subject. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Technology / 28.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yun Liu, PhD Google Health Palo Alto, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you describe the system?  Does it use dermatoscopic images? Response: Dermatologic conditions are extremely common and a leading cause of morbidity worldwide. Due to limited access to dermatologists, patients often first seek help from non-specialists. However, non-specialists have been reported to have lower diagnostic accuracies compared to dermatologists, which may impact the quality of care. In this study, we built upon prior work published in Nature Medicine, where we developed a computer algorithm (a deep learning system, DLS) to interpret de-identified clinical images of skin conditions and associated medical history (such as whether the patient reported a history of psoriasis). These clinical images are taken using consumer-grade hardware such as point-and-shoot cameras and tablets, which we felt was a more accessible and widely-available device compared to dermatoscopes. Given such images of the skin condition as input, the DLS outputs a differential diagnosis, which is a rank-ordered list of potential matching skin conditions. In this paper, we worked with user experience researchers to create an artificial intelligence (AI) tool based on this DLS. The tool was designed to provide clinicians with additional information per skin condition prediction, such as textual descriptions, similar-appearing conditions, and the typical clinical workup for the condition. We then conducted a randomized study where 40 clinicians (20 primary care physicians, 20 nurse practitioners) reviewed over 1,000 cases -- with half the cases with the AI-based assistive tool, and half the cases without. For each case, the reference diagnosis was based on a panel of 3 dermatologists.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, HPV, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 27.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle M. Chen, MD/MHS Clinical Lecturer Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and associated with several malignancies including oropharyngeal, cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal cancers. In 2020, the FDA expanded the indications for HPV vaccination to include the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer, which is the most common HPV-associated malignancy and about 80% of oropharyngeal cancer patients are male. HPV vaccination rates are closely tracked for adolescents but less is known about vaccination rates for young adults. The goal of our study was to understand HPV vaccinations for young adult men and women, ages 18-21.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 23.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aris Papageorghiou MBChB, MRCOG Professor of Fetal Medicine and the Clinical Research Director Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study was really guided by a key question: does Covid-19 in pregnancy increase the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes as compared with pregnant women who do not have the infection? The question is highly relevant because of the known deleterious effects of other coronavirus infections in pregnancy, e.g. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). In order to answer this question we undertook this multinational cohort study. (more…)