Author Interviews, Cannabis, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 18.05.2020 Interview with: Susan Hocevar Adkins, MD Lead Author, Senior Medical Officer, and Commander United States Public Health Service CDC What is the background for this study? Response: Since August 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state, local, and territorial health departments have been investigating a national outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Although clinical presentation and outcomes of EVALI patients generally have been reported, data on adolescent patients are more limited. This article fills this gap by using data from national EVALI surveillance at CDC to examine demographic, substance use, and clinical characteristics of adolescent EVALI patients relative to young adult and adult EVALI patients. (more…)
Aging, Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA, Supplements / 21.03.2017 Interview with: Richard J. Kryscio, Ph.D. Statistics and Chair, Biostatistics and Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Sanders-Brown Center on Aging University of Kentucky What is the background for this study? Response: At the time the trial was initiated (2002), there was ample evidence that oxidative stress is an important mechanism in brain aging. Research showed that protein oxidation is linked to the brain’s response to the abnormal proteins seen in Alzheimer disease (amyloid beta plaques in particular) leading to inflammation, DNA repair problems, reduced energy production, and other cellular changes that are identified mechanisms in the Alzheimer brain. Both vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants. Antioxidants, either through food or supplements, are believed to reduce oxidative stress throughout the body. In the brain, they may reduce the formation of amyloid beta plaques, reduce brain inflammation, and improve other brain processes. Studies in humans support these hypotheses. The Rotterdam study in the Netherlands, as an example, showed that initial blood levels of vitamin E could predict dementia risk. Those people with higher vitamin E levels were 25% less likely to develop dementia. Also, selenium deficiency results in cognitive difficulties and several population-based studies have shown an association between selenium level and cognitive decline (lower selenium levels are linked to thinking changes in the elderly). (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, JAMA / 10.01.2014

Maurice Dysken, MD Professor, School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Interview Invitation Maurice Dysken, MD Professor, School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, Minnesota What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Dysken: In patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease who were taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, a dosage of 2000 IU/d of vitamin E significantly slowed functional decline compared to placebo by 6.2 months over the mean follow-up period of 2.27 years.  Over this period of time caregiver time increased least in the vitamin E group compared to the other three groups (memantine alone, vitamin E plus memantine, and placebo) although the only statistically significant difference was between vitamin E alone and memantine alone.  There were no significant safety concerns for vitamin E compared to placebo and mortality was lowest in the vitamin E alone group.  It should be noted that patients who were on warfarin were excluded from the study because of a possible interaction with vitamin E that could have possibly increased bleeding events. (more…)