Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 12.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry Mahncke, PhD Chief Executive Officer Posit Science Dr. Mahncke earned his PhD at UCSF in the lab where lifelong brain plasticity as discovered. At the request of his academic mentor, he currently leads a global team of more than 400 brain scientists engaged in designing, testing, refining, and validating the computerized brain exercises found in the BrainHQ app from Posit Science, where he serves as CEO. This week, MedicalResearch.com interviews Dr. Mahncke about a new study, with breakthrough results for service members and Veterans grappling with the signature injury of recent wars. MedicalResearch.com: What makes this study newsworthy? Response: As the last troops come home from Afghanistan, the battle is not over for many who served and continue to grapple with the signature injury of recent conflicts — mild Traumatic Brain Injury (or mTBI). Typically, such injures were caused by blasts or concussions, and they’ve been diagnosed in more than 300,000 service members. Most recover within a couple days or weeks, but for many — some estimate fifteen percent — physical, psychological, emotional, and cognitive problems persist for years. Such injuries often go untreated, because treatments focus on in-person, customized, cognitive rehabilitation, which can be helpful, but is costly, time-consuming, requires travel for treatment, and relies on the craft and expertise of the healthcare provider. Up until now, there’s been no effective intervention that’s highly-scalable and that can be delivered remotely. This study showed that remotely-administered BrainHQ computerized exercises improved overall cognitive performance in a population with very persistent cognitive issues. On average, patients in this study had cognitive issues for more than seven years. That means we finally have a tool shown effective in a gold-standard study that practitioners can employ in treating this large and underserved population, who sacrificed so much to serve our nation. (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, 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…)