Author Interviews, Dermatology / 15.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Kim, MD Associate Professor of Dermatology Co-Director, Center for the Study of Itch & Sensory Disorders John T. Milliken Department of Internal Medicine Washington University in St. Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients with eczema suffer from chronic itch due to the rashes they have on their body. However, as a physician, I have always noticed that patients with eczema will have sudden flares of their itching all over there body that is often triggered by what appear to be allergens – being around a cat, pollen, mold in a house, etc. Eczema is in the family of allergic diseases such as food allergy, asthma, and hay fever. All of these conditions are noted for patients being reactive to allergens by way of an antibody called IgE that coats a cell called the mast cell. Upon IgE binding an allergen, mast cells produce tons of histamine which can cause symptoms like itching. So we speculated that perhaps because patients with eczema have such misbehaving IgE, that exposure to allergen is what triggers this kind of severe itch flare that we see in patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 28.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cameron C. Wick, MD Assistant Professor, Otology/Neurotology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What do you see as the primary message of your findings for the general public? Response: Older adults not satisfied with their hearing aids achieved clinically meaningful improvement in both hearing and quality of life with a cochlear implant compared to an optimized bilateral hearing aid condition. MedicalResearch.com: Do you see your findings as changing the way older adults with hearing loss are managed? Response: Yes and partially because this study is unique in its design and the outcomes that were measured. Specifically the study is a prospective, multicenter clinical trial conducted at 13 locations across the United States. All patients were setup with a 30-day optimized hearing aid experience before cochlear implantation (context: sometimes hearing aids are not appropriately optimized so baseline testing may not reflect the "best" that hearing aids can do). This study assesses both hearing data as well as quality of life data before and 6-months after cochlear implantation. After implantation patients were tested in both the unilateral (cochlear implant alone) and bimodal (cochlear implant plus hearing aid in the opposite ear) conditions. My paper is a subanalysis of adults 65 years and older (range 65 - 91 years) enrolled in the clinical trial. The principal investigator of the clinical trial is Dr. Craig Buchman. Dr. Buchman and myself are at Washington University in St. Louis which was the lead center for the clinical trial. The findings of the study are meaningful because they demonstrate clear superiority of cochlear implants over hearing aids in many key areas, such as understanding speech, hearing in background noise, and ability to communicate. Hearing loss, which becomes more prevalent as we age, can negatively impact communication leading to social isolation, depression, frustration, and possibly cognitive decline. This study highlights that if patients are not satisfied with their hearing aid performance then they should be referred to a center that can evaluate for cochlear implantation. Cochlear implant indications have evolved considerably since they were first FDA approved in 1984. This study emphasizes that patients do not have to be profoundly deaf to experience significant hearing and social benefits from cochlear implants. Also, it demonstrates that cochlear implant surgery is well tolerated even as adults age and acquire other health ailments. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeremy Fine B.A. in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 201 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Alongside increasingly permissive marijuana use attitudes and laws, the prevalence of marijuana use among pregnant mothers has increased substantially (by 75% between 2002 and 2016), with some evidence that pregnant women may be using cannabis to combat pregnancy-related nausea. Our data came from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which included over 4,000 subjects with data on maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. Our main finding was that the children of mothers who used marijuana after learning they were pregnant had a small but significant increase in risk for psychosis in their future. (more…)