Author Interviews, PLoS, PTSD / 27.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clare Jensen O’Haire Research Team Center for the Human-Animal Bond Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Service dogs for PTSD are becoming more common and the evidence shows they can help improve mental health and quality of life for many veterans with PTSD. However, some veterans benefit more than others. Our research goal was to ask for the very first time: Why? (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, PLoS / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Laurence Moss MD, PhD candidate Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) Department of Anesthesiology Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) Geert Jan GroeneveldMD, PhD Neurologist | Clinical Pharmacologist | Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology CMO/CSO Centre for Human Drug Research Leiden, The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major source of morbidity and mortality, and the opioid epidemic in the Unites States (but increasingly in Europe also) has been well documented and reported on by the media. The alarming rise in opioid related mortality is largely driven by the increasing use of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, often surreptitiously mixed with heroin or other drugs such as psychostimulants or prescribed opioids. Opioid-induced respiratory depression in particular is a leading cause of opioid-related fatalities. Buprenorphine has been proven as an effective medication for the treatment of OUD. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic partial agonist for the opioid receptor that firmly binds to these receptors and displays only partial respiratory depressive effects, meaning it does not cause the complete cessation of breathing as is the case with other potent opioids such as fentanyl. Due to its firm receptor binding, we hypothesized that at sufficient buprenorphine receptor occupancy, the effect of fentanyl on respiration would be limited, even at high fentanyl doses. This study aimed to provide proof of principle for this hypothesis, and demonstrate whether buprenorphine could reduce fentanyl-induced respiratory depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 20.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Jugnoo S Rahi Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist NIHR Senior Investigator Head, Vision and Eyes Group UCL HeadPopulation Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department GOS ICH UCL Director, Ulverscroft Vision Research Group  GOS Institute of Child Health UCL / Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Institute of Ophthalmology UCL / NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre Chair, Academic Committee Chair, British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit Executive Committee Royal College of Ophthalmologists  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: We hypothesised that if changing environmental factors, in particular educational experience, are accounting for increasing frequency of myopia in the UK, a cohort effect would be discernible in changing associations with myopia, with different profiles for childhood and adult-onset forms. We investigated this using the UK Biobank Study, a unique large contemporary adult population sample whose members, born over a period of more than three decades, have undergone a detailed ophthalmic examination. This affords the opportunity to analyse ‘historical’ cohorts covering a period of important socio-demographic, economic, and educational change in the UK from which current and emerging trends may be identified and examined. Drawing on our previous proof-of-concept study, we investigated whether there were differences between childhood-onset versus adult-onset myopia in temporal trends in both frequency and severity and in associations with key environmental factors. (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Bell, PhD, MS Professor Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health The University of Arizona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In May 2020 my colleagues began a cohort study called CoVHORT, which  aimed to investigate the impacts of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic among residents of Arizona. The current study on long covid is a sub-study which included all CoVHORT participants who had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, were not hospitalized, and had symptom data 30 days are longer since the test. We wanted to investigate the prevalence of long covid, also known as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) amongst people who did not experience severe acute infection. Although the definition is still evolving in the research community, we defined PASC as continuing to experience at least one symptom 30 days or longer post-acute infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group, the Wellness Environment Scientific Team at the University of Vermont, hadn’t planned to look at COVID at the outset of this study and instead were going to look at mental health and engagement in wellness activities in college students across a semester. The pandemic disrupted that plan when students were abruptly sent home but fortunately, they continued to do their daily app-based ratings of their mood, stress levels, and engagement in healthy activities.  We then realized we had some interesting pre-COVID to COVID data that was worth exploring.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics / 26.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lukas D. Lopez Doctoral Candidate Psychological Sciences, Developmental Psychology University of California, Merced MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: "This study is unique because it uses LENA recording devices which are small recording devices that infants wear in the pocket of a vest that record all infant babbles and caregiver responses in the home. We then had trained listeners annotate infant-adult vocal exchanges within sections of those recordings focusing on the specific types of sounds infants made and specific types of adult responses to those sounds. Using this combination of methods is distinctive because it allowed us to capture a more natural picture of a family's language environment in the home context, whereas most research on this topic is conducted in the laboratory. We then related this information to caregivers' reports of their infant's vocabulary. Our study finds that the caregivers who scaffold and elaborate on their infant’s babbling report that their infants can say more words." (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, OBGYNE / 04.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giovanni Piedimonte, MD, FAAP, FCCP Vice President for Research Institutional Official Professor of Pediatrics Tulane University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have been testing the hypothesis that, when a pregnant woman catches a common cold with a virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), viral particles can spread from the mother’s respiratory tract to the unborn child via the placenta. Preliminary data in animal models suggest that this is possible, and might cause changes in lung growth predisposing the offspring to develop asthma after birth. Recently, also human data have supported this theory. However, an essential step to conclusively demonstrate vertical transmission of respiratory viruses was the confirmation that human placentas can be infected and allow the transmission of such germs, which is the main finding of this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, PLoS, Social Issues / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher W. Tyler D.Sc., PhD Division of Optometry and Vision Sciences School of Health Sciences City University of London London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The idea came from my previous  investigation of compositional regulates in paintings, which showed that there is a sense of balance  between symmetry and asymmetry in a composition, such that the asymmetry composition tends to appear more dynamic and interesting, but it needs to be anchored around a symmetric point for a comfortable sense of stability. That point in adult portraits tends to be the dominant eye, placed close to the centre line, but above the centre of the painting as a whole. Selfies are a fascinating art form and the lead author has published several papers on this topic from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. One fascinating feature of selfies is that they represent pseudo-artistic productions by individuals that do not generally have academic artistic training, making it interesting to compare them to self-portraits by real artists. If you then see the same phenomena, it is likely that these are rooted in our deep nature rather than on training and cultural conventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Pediatrics, PLoS, Social Issues / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jayanta Kumar Bora Guest Researcher IIASA|Laxenburg, Austria & Ph.D. Scholar Indian Institute of Dalit Studies New Delhi, India  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although under-five mortality rate (U5MR) is declining in India, it is still high in a few selected states and among the scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) population of the country. We examined the disparities in under-five mortality in high focus states of India. The high-focus states in India were designated as such by the Indian government because of their persistently high child mortality and relatively poor socio-economic and health indicators. This study re-examines the association between castes and under-five mortality in high focus Indian states using the most recent Indian Demographic Health Survey data conducted in 2015-16. The study also aims to quantify the relative contribution of socioeconomic determinants to under-five deaths by explaining the gap between socially disadvantaged (SC and ST) and non-disadvantaged castes in high focus states. Identifying disadvantaged groups in high focus states can help to reduce the absolute and relative burden of under-five deaths in India. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 16.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have been increasing within the past 30 years. We can point to things like sedentary lifestyle, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and savvy marketing techniques of large food corporations that target kids and their parents to buy food items that aren’t healthy. That said, we do know that women who have an unhealthy weight status (as measured by BMI ≥ 25) tend to have offspring that eventually attain an unhealthy weight status themselves. Aside from environmental factors, could this be due to maternal programming or perhaps something in the breastmilk? Or both? We saw some interesting research that showed breastfed infants/toddlers born to asthmatic moms were more likely to develop asthma. Furthermore, this association became stronger the longer the infants/toddlers were breastfed. The conclusion here is that it must be something in the breastmilk. We knew that asthma and obesity are both inflammatory in nature and that there are specific pro- and anti-inflammatory and obesogenic bioactive compounds in human breastmilk. Some have been studied before but there were no studies at the time that tied all of the pieces together. If we could target specific compounds in the milk that were associated with unhealthy growth patterns in infants then we could perhaps be more specific in how we fight this problem. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Pediatrics / 03.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yehuda Limony, MD, MSc Pediatric Endocrinology Unit Faculty of Health Sciences Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Clalit Health Services Beer-Sheva, Israel  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The variability of the onset age of puberty is the subject of many studies in numerous disciplines; nonetheless, the timing of puberty remains an enigma. The conventional paradigm is that the time of onset of puberty is genetically determined even though genome-wide association studies explain only a very low percentage of the physiologic variability. It is commonly believed, therefore, that many environmental factors interfere with the genetics of timing of puberty. On the other hand, children grow toward an adult height that is the standardized average of parents' height called "target height". That is why children are usually similar in height to parents. This targeted growth process is evident especially in children whose height percentile in childhood is different from their target height percentile (we called this difference the "height gap"). It is known that the timing of puberty is associated with adult height: earlier puberty causes shorter adult height and vice versa. We hypothesized that the targeted process of growth involves adaptation of the age of onset of puberty in accordance with the height gap. (more…)
Author Interviews, Methamphetamine / 06.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian J. Piper, PhD, MS Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Department of Basic Sciences, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton PA 18509  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The U.S. accounts for five percent of the world population but more than 92 percent of the world’s spending on pharmacotherapies for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the 2011 National Survey of Children’s Health, ADHD increased to 11.0 percent of U.S. children, seven percent of girls and 15 percent of boys. Interestingly, ADHD rates were much lower among Hispanic children. The 2013 revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders broadened the criteria such that it became easier to diagnose adult ADHD. Together, we hypothesized that use of amphetamine (Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) would be increasing. We also predicted that there would be some regional differences in stimulant use. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, HPV, PLoS, Sexual Health / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brandon Brown, MPH, PhD Associate Professor Center for Healthy Communities Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health UCR School of Medicine Riverside, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The authors have been working in Lima, Peru on HIV-related projects for over 17 years. This particular study arose out of interest from our main community collaborator and the only gay men’s health NGO in Lima, Epicentro Salud (http://epicentro.org.pe/index.php/en/). The NGO noticed that one of the main health issues among their clients was genital warts. When we learned this, we applied for funding through the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program to conduct a study examining the link between genital warts and incident HIV infection. Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection. Specifically, individuals in our study with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV were more likely to acquire HIV. (more…)