Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

February 8, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 2/8/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

In the week's news, you can find expertise from Mayo Clinic clinicians and researchers on a range of topics, including several different heart conditions, a blood test for Alzheimer's, cancer, disparities in diabetes care, and of course COVID-19. Expertise from a Mayo Clinic International consultant is also highlighted, along with Michael Camilleri, M.D., who received a lifetime achievement award.  

Former football player pushes for awareness about rare heart condition

Fox 13 Salt Lake City, 2/5/2021

There’s a toughness that comes with growing up in western Pennsylvania. Toughness is part of the culture, as is football.

To handle the way the game ended for Dominick Oliver, you need to be tough. … The diagnosis was giant cell myocarditis, a rare form of a condition of heart muscle inflammation. …

Dr. Leslie Cooper of the Mayo Clinic says myocarditis is often caused by a virus and is rare.

“In athletes, the likelihood of getting myocarditis is pretty low. If you’re in a city of a million people, young athletes there might be 100-200 cases,” Dr. Cooper said.

NOTE: Read the article for the whole story, including more from Dr. Cooper.

AGA reveals awards recipients, new honor for achievements in diversity

Healio Gastroenterology, 2/6/2021

The AGA announced the recipients of its 2021 recognition prizes given annually to physicians who have made outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of gastroenterology.

“The 2021 AGA Recognition Prize winners represent only a small group of our widely distinguished and exceptional members who help make AGA such an accomplished organization. We are honored that such esteemed individuals are representatives of AGA,” Hashem B. El-Serag, MD MPH, AGAF, chair of AGA, said in a press release.

Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF, consultant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., received the AGA’s highest honor, the Julius Friedenwald Medal. This award celebrates a physician’s lifelong contributions in gastroenterology. AGA cited Camilleri’s work as a mentor to other gastroenterologists, leadership in numerous AGA roles and passion for improving gastrointestinal patient care as what prompted the recognition. …

ASDS Introduces Evidence-based Recommendations to Prevent and Treat Adverse Events of Injectable Fillers

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (news release), 2/5/2021

Multidisciplinary group developed evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to support physicians’ decision-making in daily practice

… ASDS commissioned the Mayo Clinic Evidence-based Practice Center to conduct systematic reviews to extract the data and summarize the relevant evidence. The guideline specifies recommendations for the:

  • Prevention of vascular occlusion, blindness, stroke.
  • Treatment of filler related vascular occlusion with blindness.
  • Treatment of vascular occlusion (skin) without blindness.
  • Treatment of nodules and inflammatory events from hyaluronic acid fillers.
  • Treatment of nodules caused from permanent and semi-permanent fillers.

NOTE: Learn more about Mayo Clinic's EPC, and its director M. Hassan Murad, M.D. Read the ASDS recommendations here:

Speedier PF Diagnosis Goal of Three Lakes, Mayo Clinic

Pulmonary Fibrosis News, 2/8/2021

Three Lakes Foundation and the Mayo Clinic have partnered to help people be more aware of pulmonary fibrosis (PF) symptoms, and to be diagnosed earlier in the disease process should they have them.

The venture’s ultimate goal is a way of making a remote diagnosis possible, so that treatment can begin before considerable lung damage is done. …

Mayo Clinic, BioSig to use AI to improve arrhythmia treatment

Post Bulletin, 2/3/2021

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are at the heart of a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Connecticut-based BioSig Technologies. BioSig, which opened a Rochester office in the Conley-Maass-Downs Building in 2019, recently announced a Mayo Clinic project to enhance Pure EP, its electrophysiological recording system.  …

What causes a SCAD heart attack? It can strike younger and pregnant women

Today, 2/6/2021

… Nelson suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) — a tear or a bleed within the layers of a heart artery wall. It’s the No. 1 cause of a heart attack among pregnant women, those who have recently given birth and women under 40, said Dr. Sharonne Hayes, a cardiologist and lead researcher for the Mayo Clinic SCAD Research Program in Rochester, Minnesota.

She studies women like Nelson who are blindsided by the sudden cardiac crisis.

NOTE: Read the article for the patient story and more from Dr. Hayes.

DONNA Marathon Week Goes Virtual Feb. 6-14, 2021, 2/2/2021

Runners will lace up “Everywhere, Together” to Finish Breast Cancer

WHAT: DONNA Marathon Week, presenting the only marathon in the United States dedicated to breast cancer research and care, returns virtually Feb. 6-14, 2021. This annual event supports The DONNA Foundation, which provides financial assistance and support to families living with breast cancer, funds groundbreaking breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic, and celebrates survivorship. …

How Heart Disease Differs for Women

AARP, 2/2/2021

The latest on why their heart attacks go undetected, how they may benefit from half doses of cholesterol drugs, and more

… But recent research shows women are just as likely to experience the “classic” signs as men. A study of nearly 2,000 patients published recently in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that women’s most common symptoms were chest pain and aches radiating down the left arm.

This is just one of several recent findings — with more included below — that shed light on sex-related differences in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

NOTE: Read the article for more on the various findings, including comments from Mayo Clinic researchers Mohamad Alkhouli M.D., and Hector Villarraga, M.D., on their highlighted research.

Detecting Alzheimer's Gets Easier with a Simple Blood Test

Scientific American, 2/4/2021

… “The development of a blood-based test for Alzheimer’s disease is just phenomenal,” says Michelle Mielke, a neuroscientist and epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “The field has been thinking about this for a very long time. It’s really been in the last couple of years that the possibility has come to fruition.”

NOTE: Read the article for more about the blood test and other comments from Dr. Mielke.

Medicare Beneficiaries with Diabetes Less Likely to Receive Newer Glucose-Lowering Therapies

Endocrinology Network, 2/2/2021

An analysis of more than 380k older adults with type 2 diabetes suggests Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries were less likely to initiate therapy with newer glucose-lowering agents, including GLP-1RAs, SGLT2 inhibitors, and DPP-4 inhibitors than their counterparts with commercial insurance.

Opioids most frequent prescription for newly diagnosed diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Healio News Endocrine today, 2/4/2021

Among adults with newly diagnosed diabetic peripheral neuropathy treated at a multi-campus health system, 43.8% were prescribed opioids, whereas only 42.9% were prescribed a recommended first-line pain medication, according to study data.

NOTE: These articles highlight two studies led by Rozalina McCoy, M.D., that were published simultaneously in JAMA Network Open. The first used OptumLabs Data Warehouse, both were supported by the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

In infective endocarditis, mortality lower among injected drug users vs. nonusers

Healio News Cardiology today, 2/1/2021

Individuals with infective endocarditis who inject drugs may have better chances for survival compared with nonusers, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers noted that among people with infective endocarditis, those who injected drugs were more likely to be younger men, and their cases were more likely to involve left-sided valves and prosthetic valves. …

“Although cited as necessary, the ICE investigators did not evaluate the impact of addiction medicine management,” Larry M. Baddour, MD, professor of medicine in the division of infectious disease and the department of internal medicine at Mayo Clinic, and colleagues wrote in a related editorial. “We know that this is critical because consultation for this management during the index hospitalization for infective endocarditis can reduce the likelihood of readmission for serious infections and enhance completion of parenteral antimicrobial therapy.

NOTE: Read the full article for more on the findings, as well as the related editorial written by Dr. Baddour and colleagues.

AI-enabled mobile device rapidly and accurately determines QTc

Cardiac Rhythm News, 2/2/2021

Researchers using artificial intelligence (AI) have determined that a smartphone-enabled mobile EKG device can accurately determine a patient’s QT. This can be used to identify patients at risk of sudden cardiac death from congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) or drug-induced QT prolongation.

The research, conducted by clinicians from the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, USA), under the direction of Michael Ackerman, trained and validated an AI-based deep neural network to detect QTc prolongation using AliveCor’s KardiaMobile 6L EKG device. The findings of the study which were published in Circulation, compared the ability of an AI-enabled mobile EKG to a traditional 12-lead EKG in detecting QT prolongation. …

NOTE: Read more about the study and comments from Dr. Ackerman. You can also read about the parent program, the Mayo Clinic Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory.

Diabetes Is Potent Predictor of Heart Disease in Women Under 65

Medscape Medical News, 2/8/2021

… Women with diabetes aged between 45 and 65 years have a 10-fold increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared with those of similar age without diabetes, according to a new analysis of the US-based Women's Health Study.

Identifying individuals at risk of premature CHD — occurring before age 65 years in women or before age 55 years in men — is essential to reducing the burden of premature morbidity and mortality, explain Sagar Dugani, MD, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues in their article published online January 20 in JAMA Cardiology. …

NOTE: Read the article for more about the findings and comments from Dr. Dugani.

Where to Find Support for Dementia Caregivers

HealthCentral, 2/1/2021

… “We have good evidence [about] just how valuable support groups can be for caregivers in helping to improve their well-being and helping to address their worry, anxiety, and depression,” says Angela Lunde, neurology associate and co-investigator of the Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core in the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Rochester, MN. The hardest part is knowing where to start—so we’re doing the work for you. …

NOTE: Visit Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

Study of mysterious cancer makes doubt disappear

Gulf Today, 2/2/2021

The developments on science and technology (S&T) continue and hopefully, by 2023 at the earliest, considering success rates and approval by regulatory bodies, available worldwide would be an additional re-engineered therapy to the mysterious blood cancer chronic condition called Multiple Myeloma (MM).

The hope, Dr. Mustaqeem Siddiqui expressed on Tuesday afternoon, when he also discussed a breakthrough already evidenced to “silence” an abnormal “gene” detected in Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Disease sufferers. This breakthrough makes them off the hook to “as many as blood transfusions and frequent hospital visits due to “certain (conditions) such as (excruciating) pain and difficulty in breathing.” …

NOTE: Learn more about Dr. Siddiqui and Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City.

Tips for Knowing What to Say to Someone Who Is Sick

Healthline, 2/4/2021

… A serious illness can take up a lot of space in a person’s life, whether a full recovery is just a few days away or the condition is chronic. For that reason, it’s especially important to be sensitive to whether someone wants to talk about sickness or something else entirely.

As Chaplain Resident at Mayo Clinic, Natasha Dachos, LMSW, is often in conversation with people coping with illness. “The most important thing to remember,” she says, “is that this is a whole person in front of you. Whether they are a mother, a father, a child, a teacher, a person who likes to run — they are a whole person, with all the complexities that go with it.” …

NOTE: Read the entire article for more from Chaplain Dachos.

‘Web-side’ Techniques to Improve the Neurology Telemedicine Exam

NeurologyToday, 2/4/2021

As telehealth continues to gain ground during the COVID-19 pandemic, neurologists discuss the “webside” practices they've adopted to see patients during the pandemic.

… Equipped with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, neurologists are empowered “to remotely and autonomously navigate a hospital environment even thousands of miles away and interact synchronously with audio video and zoom pan tilt cameras,” said Bart M. Demaerschalk, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), FAAN, professor of neurology and medical director of video telemedicine at the Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care and Center for Digital Health in Scottsdale, AZ.

NOTE: Read the article for more from Dr. Demaerschalk. You can also learn more about the Center for Connected Care.

At Issue: Sex-specific risk factors, disparities among women’s heart health concerns

Healio News Cardiologytoday, 2/4/2021

February is American Heart Month. During this time, with National Wear Red Day on Feb. 5 and other initiatives, the cardiology community focuses on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of heart disease, especially in women.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. It can be challenging for women to recognize the signs and symptoms of MI and stroke because they can present differently in women than in men.

NOTE: Read the article for discussions on a number of initiatives of relevance, from several renowned experts, including Mayo Clinic's Sharonne Hayes, M.D.

Mayo cardiologists discuss prevalence of heart disease among women, particularly African Americans

La Crosse Tribune, 2/62021

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S., with one in three females dying from cardiovascular disease. …

NOTE: Read the article for expert advice and information from Mayo Clinic's Sharonne Hayes, M.D., Rekha Mankad, M.D., and LaPrincess Brewer, M.D.

Why Are So Many Women Still Getting Hysterectomies?

Women's Health, 2/1/2021

The procedure can change your life, and not always for the better. There are newer solves to treat bleeding and pain, yet many women and doctors are still going for the nuclear option...unnecessarily. WH investigates.

… “Hysterectomy has the advantage in that every gynecologist knows how to do one, but not every gynecologist is trained in some of the other procedures,” says Elizabeth Stewart, MD, a Mayo Clinic gynecologist who specializes in fibroid research. “I think one of the saddest things for women is that some are not presented with any alternatives to hysterectomy, when good ones exist.”

NOTE: Mayo Clinic research is discussed in the article. This link is to a PubMed generated list of many of the related publications, which are largely the result of research within the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Research and Guidance


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