Post List

  • March 5, 2015
  • 10:27 AM
  • 1 view

Free Personalized Text Messages Remind Patients To Take Medications

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Avinash Pandy, the study author, is a high school student who conducted this study under the guidance of his mentor, Niteesh K. Choudhry., M.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Healthcare Delivery Sciences, Brigham and Women’s … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Avinash Pandy. (2015) Free Personalized Text Messages Remind Patients To Take Medications. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 10:11 AM
  • 3 views

Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Daniella Kupor and her colleagues at Stanford University have recently published the paper "Anticipating Divine Protection? Reminders of God Can Increase Nonmoral Risk Taking" which takes a new look at the link between invoking the name of God and risky behaviors. The researchers hypothesized that reminders of God may have opposite effects on varying types of risk-taking behavior. For example, risk-taking behavior that is deemed ‘immoral' such as taking sexual risks or cheating may be suppressed by invoking God, whereas taking non-moral risks, such as making risky investments or sky-diving, might be increased because reminders of God provide a sense of security. According to Kupor and colleagues, it is important to classify the type of risky behavior in relation to how society perceives God's approval or disapproval of the behavior. The researchers conducted a variety of experiments to test this hypothesis using online study participants.
... Read more »

  • March 5, 2015
  • 10:05 AM
  • 1 view

Effective Surgical Checklists Require Culture of Safety

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: E. Patchen Dellinger, M.D. Professor of Surgery University of Washington Seattle, Washington Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Dellinger: We know from previous large studies that use of checklists … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, E. Patchen Dellinger, M.D., Professor of Surgery, University of Washington, & Seattle, Washingto. (2015) Effective Surgical Checklists Require Culture of Safety. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 09:57 AM
  • 1 view

Troubling Increase In HIV Infections In MSM

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lorena Espinoza Center for Disease Control MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Men who have sex with men remain the risk group most severely affected by HIV in the … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Lorena Espinoza, & Center for Disease Control. (2015) Troubling Increase In HIV Infections In MSM. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 09:49 AM
  • 1 view

Black MSM More Likely To Be HIV Positive

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cyprian Wejnert Center For Disease Control MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Cyprian Wejnert: Men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the risk group most severely affected by HIV … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Cyprian Wejner. (2015) Black MSM More Likely To Be HIV Positive. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 09:45 AM
  • 1 view

African American Women Less Likely To Achieve HIV Viral Suppression

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ndidi Nwangwu-Ike Center Disease Control MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: CDC data has shown encouraging signs of a decrease in new HIV infections among black women in … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Dr. Ndidi Nwangwu-Ike. (2015) African American Women Less Likely To Achieve HIV Viral Suppression. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 5, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 7 views

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew: The Science of Competitive Eating

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

Matt Stonie recently consumed 182 slices of bacon in just 5 minutes, breaking a competitive eating record. How is this physiologically possible?... Read more »

Levine MS, Spencer G, Alavi A, & Metz DC. (2007) Competitive speed eating: truth and consequences. AJR. American journal of roentgenology, 189(3), 681-6. PMID: 17715117  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 06:39 AM
  • 12 views

Autism, heritability and 'proof of principle' genomic biomarkers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

JAMA Psychiatry published a number of interesting articles recently, some of which have grabbed media headlines. "Autism is largely down to genes, twin study suggests" went the BBC headline covering the paper by Emma Colvert and colleagues [1] who, based on an analysis of twin pairs as part of TEDS (Twins Early Development Study), concluded that: "The liability to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and a more broadly defined high-level autism trait phenotype in this large population-based twin sample derives primarily from additive genetic and, to a lesser extent, nonshared environmental effects." The paper from Tiziano Pramparo and colleagues [2] has so far garnered rather less media attention with their "proof-of-principle study" suggesting that "genomic biomarkers with very good sensitivity and specificity for boys with ASD in general pediatric settings can be identified." Said results were based on examination of "leukocyte RNA expression levels" and found some interesting differences between children diagnosed with autism vs. asymptomatic controls including functions relevant to the immune system and inflammatory processes among other things. Go figure.The Colvert paper covers one of the more heated debates when it comes to autism: the relative contributions of genetics vs. environment to autism. I've covered this issues quite a bit on this blog, perhaps most recently when discussing the paper from Sven Sandin and colleagues [3] and their results leading to press releases stating that: "Environment as important as genes in autism, study finds." The Colvert results seem to have something slightly different to say, following a well trodden path in autism research of results and counter-results swinging pendulum style (see here).I don't want to trawl over every detail of the Colvert study but it strikes me that there are a few important things to say about the findings within the context of both genes vs. environment and also the growing move towards the plural 'autisms'. First, is their reliance on looking at twin pairs and in particular, some who were monozygotic (MZ) twins and others who were dizygotic (DZ) combined with an analysis of assessed autistic traits in said twins. In effect, authors were comparing twin pairs - MZ vs. DZ - for how well they matched in autism symptoms terms as a function of their degree of genetic similarity. They didn't actually look at the genes potentially involved in autism in this study, which as we have found out from the paper by Ryan Yuen and colleagues [4], are likely to be pretty complex and containing "substantial genetic heterogeneity" even within sibling pairs (see here for my take on this). And yes, I know 'siblings' are not necessarily the same as 'twins'...There are also some implicit statements in the study of twins. We assume that they are genetically identical (at least MZ twins). Unfortunately, more and more science is realising that sharing the same genes is not necessarily the same as sharing the same gene functions. One word: epigenetics, and as we've seen even with autism in mind, how issues such as DNA methylation mean twins (identical twins) are not necessarily as identical as you might imagine (see here) and how this might explain at least some of the missing heritability noted in such studies. The value-added bit to the study by Chloe Wong and colleagues [5] looking at the methylome with autism in mind was that they too relied on data from TEDS."The novel aspect of this study was the inclusion of twins regardless of whether they had a clinical diagnosis. This enabled us to get a more accurate picture of how influential a child’s environmental experiences and their genetic makeup is on ASD, as well as on subtler expressions of autistic skills and behaviours." A quote from one of the study authors also gives us something to ponder. I assume the 'subtler expressions' means the broader autism phenotype (BAP) and the idea that crossing the diagnostic threshold of autism (or ASD) means crossing a blurred barrier where the traits of autism are also present in milder, less pathological forms not necessarily meeting the diagnostic criteria that we've assigned for the condition. Whilst this is a strength of the Colvert paper over other research in this area, it does rather mean that the spotlight is on the 'trait phenotype' of autism. And 'fractionable' autistic traits have been a focus of other research by some of the authors [6] on the Colvert paper.I'd also like to think that although the Colvert results are important from the point of view that there are potentially shared genes (or even shared epigenomic issues) at work when it comes to autism / autistic traits, this does not mean that such genes are on their own 'causative' of autism. "Some parents are concerned whether things like high pollution might be causing autism” is another quote from another of the study authors who seems to be downplaying the possibility that such environmental factors might play some hand in some autism. I'm similarly guarded about the idea that something like air pollution might 'correlate' with some autism but as we've discovered over recent years, one doesn't talk about environment without also mentioning the idea of genetic 'fragility' to certain environmental issues (see here) based on the preliminary findings from Heather Volk and colleagues [7] for example. That also genes which might predispose to autism may also predispose to other conditions/states as per the Pramparo paper talking about immune function and inflammatory processes is also worth reiterating.I guess what I'm trying to say is that of course genes are going to be involved in autism. Even those cases of autism where onset is linked to something like infection (see here and see here) or has a regressive element to it (see here), there has to be some genetic involvement. Genes however, don't typically act in isolation from either maturation or the environment they find themselves in. They're dynamic, switching on and off in various tissues in response to all-manner of different variables. Structural genetics, that is looking for the presence of mutations or different variants, is still important to autism research (as per the BCKDK gene work) of that there is no doubt, although even there ... Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 04:49 AM
  • 11 views

Persistent hyperlactacidemia in cases of autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper from José Guevara-Campos and colleagues [1] (open-access can be downloaded here) is fodder for today's short post, and a topic that has not been seen on this blog for quite a while: hyperlactacidemia (elevated plasma lactate levels) and autism.Previous mentions of lactate and autism on this blog (see here and see here) were potentially pretty important; specifically, how elevated plasma lactate levels might (a) not be an unfamiliar finding for quite a few people on the autism spectrum [2] and (b) might provide further evidence for the involvement of mitochondria in cases of autism among other things [3]. Mitochondria and autism, I might add, is still quite a complicated topic but a research area in the ascendancy.Guevara-Campos et al reported on case reports for "three patients diagnosed with developmental delay, ID [intellectual disability] and ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and also with a possible mitochondrial disease accompanied by an ETC [electron transport chain] deficiency accompanied by hyperlactacidemia." There are various data provided following some clinical investigations including that based on muscle biopsy data. Just as important are some of the details on 'pharmacological treatment' of said issues and the observed impact on presented symptoms. Without cherry-picking too much, carnitine, a vitamin B complex, co-enzyme Q10 and folic acid combined seemed to have quite an effect on participants, particularly on "intellectual abilities". Some of these interventions have been trialled in other conditions where mitochondria or their important processes are suspected to show involvement (see here). I say this without providing endorsement or recommendation.Appreciating that there is quite a bit more to do (experimentally) when it comes to "suspected mitochondrial involvement" specifically where autism is mentioned, and in particular, the need for quite a bit more controlled study on how such interventions might impact on symptoms in this group, I'm interested in the Guevara-Campos report. How many people on the autism spectrum their results hold true for is as yet unknown. With the growth in this area of research however, I'd be minded to suggest that we should really start directing a lot more resources to trying to answer that question if we are indeed going to start taking the plural autisms a little more seriously. Oh, and as per the sentiments of the paper by Zilberter and colleagues [4] there may yet be related factors which might be of "potential therapeutic significance."Music: Roots Manuva - Witness. Brilliant.----------[1] Guevara-Campos J. et al. Autism and Intellectual Disability Associated with Mitochondrial Disease and Hyperlactacidemia. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Feb 11;16(2):3870-3884.[2] Oliveira G. et al. Mitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders: a population-based study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2005 Mar;47(3):185-9.[3] Andersen LW. et al. Etiology and therapeutic approach to elevated lactate levels. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Oct;88(10):1127-40.[4] Zilberter Y. et al. A unique array of neuroprotective effects of pyruvate in neuropathology. Front. Neurosci. 2015. Feb 17.-----------Guevara-Campos J, González-Guevara L, & Cauli O (2015). Autism and Intellectual Disability Associated with Mitochondrial Disease and Hyperlactacidemia. International journal of molecular sciences, 16 (2), 3870-3884 PMID: 25679448... Read more »

Guevara-Campos J, González-Guevara L, & Cauli O. (2015) Autism and Intellectual Disability Associated with Mitochondrial Disease and Hyperlactacidemia. International journal of molecular sciences, 16(2), 3870-3884. PMID: 25679448  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 08:48 PM
  • 1 view

Screening For Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms May Have Benefits and Harms

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Minna Johansson, PhD student Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Research Unit and Section for General Practice, Vänersborg, Sweden Medical Research: What is the background for … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Minna Johansson, PhD student, & Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine. (2015) Screening For Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms May Have Benefits and Harms. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 08:24 PM
  • 1 view

Strong Evidence HPV Vaccination Highly Effective Outside Trial Settings

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc Brisson Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Health Economics of Infectious Disease Associate Professor, Université Laval Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Since 2007, 52 countries … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Marc Brisson, & Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Health. (2015) Strong Evidence HPV Vaccination Highly Effective Outside Trial Settings. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 07:03 PM
  • 19 views

Team accidentally finds key to DNA vaccination and genetic engineering

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It might have been an accident, but for some lucky researchers accidents are a good thing. In this particular case, scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate how cells function, a finding that might help advance an experimental approach to improving public health: DNA vaccines, which could be more efficient, less expensive and easier to store than traditional vaccines.
... Read more »

  • March 4, 2015
  • 06:35 PM
  • 14 views

Infant Gut Bacteria Linked To Later Food Sensitization

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of Alberta Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Kozyrskyj: Our study determined what “good” gut bacteria were present in 166 … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D. (2015) Infant Gut Bacteria Linked To Later Food Sensitization. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 05:33 PM
  • 13 views

Goserelin Protects Ovarian Function During Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Halle C.F. Moore, M.D. Cleveland Clinic Foundation Taussig Cancer Institute Cleveland, OH 44195 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Moore: Ovarian failure is a common long-term side effect … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Halle C.F. Moore, M.D., & Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2015) Goserelin Protects Ovarian Function During Breast Cancer Chemotherapy. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:21 PM
  • 14 views

Long-Term Effects Of Ischemic Post-Conditioning With PCI for STEMI

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joo-Yong Hahn, MD, PhD Associate Professor Heart Vascular Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In the Effects of … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Joo-Yong Hahn, MD, PhD. (2015) Long-Term Effects Of Ischemic Post-Conditioning With PCI for STEMI. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:10 PM
  • 12 views

Study Examines Fluorouracil With Dose-Dense Chemo For Early Breast Cancer

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lucia Del Mastro MD Department of Medical Oncology Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro Genova, Italy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Adjuvant chemotherapy regimens with … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Dr. Lucia Del Mastro MD, & Department of Medical Oncology. (2015) Study Examines Fluorouracil With Dose-Dense Chemo For Early Breast Cancer. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 04:02 PM
  • 21 views

A study of twins shows that autism is largely genetic

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

In the fight against misinformation about autism it seems science is starting to come out on top, finally. A new study hopes to add to the recent advancements made in the understanding of autism, which finds that a substantial genetic and moderate environmental influences were associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and broader autism traits in a study of twins.... Read more »

Colvert, E., Tick, B., McEwen, F., Stewart, C., Curran, S., Woodhouse, E., Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T.... (2015) Heritability of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a UK Population-Based Twin Sample. JAMA Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3028  

  • March 4, 2015
  • 03:40 PM
  • 15 views

Study Highlights Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety.

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Courtney Benjamin Wolk, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research Perelman School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Courtney Benjamin Wolk, Ph.D. (2015) Study Highlights Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety. . MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 02:54 PM
  • 15 views

Look Like Your Dad? Some Genes Preferentially Expressed From Fathers

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fernando Pardo-Manuel De Villena, PhD Professor and Associate Chair for Research Department of Genetics School of Medicine University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, & Fernando Pardo-Manuel De Villena, Ph. (2015) Look Like Your Dad? Some Genes Preferentially Expressed From Fathers. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

  • March 4, 2015
  • 02:40 PM
  • 13 views

Akt3 Protein Makes Brain Tumor Resistant To Treatment

by Marie Benz in MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristen Turner PhD. (first author) and Wei Zhang, Ph.D. Professor Department of Pathology Director, Cancer Genomics Core Lab University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas 77030 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? … Continue reading →... Read more »

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Kristen Turner PhD. (first author) and, & Wei Zhang, Ph.D. Professor. (2015) Akt3 Protein Makes Brain Tumor Resistant To Treatment. MedicalResearch.com. info:/

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