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.

April 26, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 4/26/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Catch up on some of the news about Mayo Clinic's research and faculty experts. Among the topics covered are artificial intelligence, women's sexual health, genetic implications for several conditions, and COVID-19.

AI caught a hidden problem in one patient’s heart. Can it work for others?

STAT 4/26/2021

… Specifically, the algorithm, created by physicians at Mayo Clinic, found Maercklein had an 81.49% probability of experiencing A-fib, a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to heart failure and stroke. Just days later, after Maercklein agreed to participate in a research study, a wearable Holter monitor recorded an episode of A-fib while he was walking on a treadmill.

Stool-based colorectal cancer screening preferred over colonoscopy

Healio News, 4/22/2021

Individuals preferred stool-based screening for colorectal cancer over colonoscopy, according to survey results published in Cancer Prevention Research.

“Although several colorectal cancer screening methods have been shown to reduce colorectal cancer, nearly one-third of eligible adults in the United States have never completed colorectal cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening continues to be underutilized," Xuan Zhu, PhD, senior health services analyst at the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, and colleagues wrote. "Recommended colorectal cancer screening modalities vary with respect to safety, efficacy and cost. Better understanding of the factors that influence patient preference is, therefore, critical for improving population adherence to colorectal cancer screening." …

Mayo Clinic study underscores potential value of RABI-767

Healio News, 4/24/2021

Lamassu Pharma announced the development of its lead therapeutic compound, RABI-767, may fulfill the unmet clinical need for the treatment of patients with pancreatitis, according to a press release.

RABI-767 is a novel small molecule lipase inhibitor that is injected directly into the pancreas; in preclinical studies, it decreased the breakdown or release of unsaturated fats and saturated fats during acute pancreatitis attacks. The value of this therapeutic was underscored by recent Mayo Clinic research that found the rapid breakdown of unsaturated fat can worsen the course of severe acute pancreatitis leading to increased toxicity, organ failure and death.

Doctors Find Wildfire Smoke May Damage the Skin

KQED, 4/22/2021

… “Wildfires cause particulate matter to circulate in the air which could settle on the skin, similarly to other airborne irritants,” Dr. Dawn Marie Davis, a professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic, said in an email. “The skin may be negatively impacted by exposure to wildfire smoke.”

How to gain control over burnout, the new American epidemic

SmartBrief, 4/21/2021

… Burnout was rearing its ugly head long before we were hit by the COVID shitstorm. The pandemic was merely an accelerant. A 2018 study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that the rate of "overall burnout” among the general U.S. workforce was 28%.

A Good Night’s Sleep Linked To Female Satisfaction Elsewhere In The Bedroom

IFL Science, 4/21/2021

… A new study suggests that poor quality sleep may lead to problems in the bedroom, namely in regards to female sexual dysfunction.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic asked over 3,400 women in the US about their sleep patterns and sexual behavior through the Female Sexual Function Index, a 19-point self-report that investigates things such as sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain during sex. The study was published in the journal Menopause this week.

NOTE: Read article for comments on the study from senior author Stephanie Faubion, M.D., who among other roles is the Penny and Bill George Director, Center for Women's Health, Mayo Clinic.

Related article: You'll Have More Sex If You Do This for an Extra Hour a Day

‘Smart’ Approach Wins for Post-PCI Antiplatelet Prescribing 

TCTMD, 4/19/2021

… Charanjit Rihal, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), who co-authored another meta-analysis of genetics-guided antiplatelet therapy published last month, told TCTMD there is now enough evidence to support changing the guidelines. All of the data “confirms that a smart approach to antiplatelet therapy may be the best thing for the community to gravitate toward,” he said. “It’s not the be all and end all, but it is an important determinant of outcomes. . . . I believe that all the evidence is converging, [and] that we as clinicians should begin to pay attention.”

97% of orthopedic residents experience OR-related musculoskeletal pain: Mayo Clinic study

Becker's Spine Review, 4/19/2021

A Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic study led by Kade McQuivey, MD, found that 97 percent of orthopedic surgery residents experience procedural-related musculoskeletal pain. Six notes …

Fact Check-Egg white should not be used to treat burns due to infection risk

Reuters Fact Check, 4/21/2021

… Dr. Matthew Sztajnkrycer, Emergency Medicine Physician at the non-profit academic medical center — the Mayo Clinic agreed, telling Reuters via email, “A major role of skin is to protect the body from infection […] Burns are very prone to infection and salmonella infection may be catastrophic.” Sztajnkrycer went on to explain how a recent medical study in Iran did find that patients whose burns were treated with an egg white-based ointment healed slightly faster, however he says this is “very different than simply placing raw egg white on a fresh burn” as this was a “very controlled study” where many patients were “excluded due to risk factors” and it was “performed by specially trained surgeons at a regional burn center.”

NOTE: Learn more about Matthew Sztajnkrycer, M.D., Ph.D., who also is the director, Emergency Medical Services Fellowship (Minnesota), Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Nearly 16% of colon cancer patients have inherited gene, Mayo Clinic study finds 

Becker's Hospital Review, 4/20/2021

Family genes play a significant role in the development of colon cancer, according to a study recently published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic used a sequencing panel that included more than 80 cancer-causing or predisposing genes to test 361 colorectal cancer patients who received care at Mayo Clinic cancer centers between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2020. Standard sequencing panels for colorectal cancer include a maximum of just 20 genes, researchers note. 

Novel Treatment Approach in Transthyretin Amyloidosis 

Medscape, 4/22/2021

Monthly intravenous (IV) infusions of PRX004 were generally safe and well tolerated at all dose levels tested, with 233 separate infusions given in total and each patient receiving between 3 and 17 infusions throughout the study. …

Commenting on the study for Medscape Medical News, Morie Gertz, MD, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, who was not involved in the current work, said this was a completely new approach to treatment. "PRX0004 represents a monoclonal antibody that binds to the amyloid fibrils and stimulates phagocytosis dissolving existing amyloid deposits," he explained. "This phase 1 trial was primarily designed for toxicity; however, patients showed improvement in neurological impairment and the echocardiogram also improved in 7 patients," he noted.

One Major Effect of Eating Almonds, Says New Study

MSN, 4/24/2021

Common wisdom is that a calorie is a calorie—for example, 500 calories worth of vegetables is the same as 500 calories worth of ice cream, they just have very different nutrient profiles. But a new study is challenging that assumption when it comes to almonds.

Research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings looked at 22 men and women with high cholesterol who undertook a series of dietary interventions over a three-month period. …

NOTE: Read the article to for the findings.

5 Things You Need to Consider Before Taking Any Supplement 

SELF, 4/23/2021

If your morning routine involves tossing down a handful of dietary supplements in vague hopes of boosting your energy or warding off illness this week or disease down the line, you might want to dial back and rethink your approach—especially if you’re of the mindset that you don’t need to discuss your supplements regimen with your doctor.

Here’s why: Although dietary supplements can play a role in remedying a vitamin deficiency or nutritional imbalance, they’re generally unnecessary for people who have a well-rounded diet, and supplements might even pose health risks, Donald Hensrud, M.D., MPH, director of the Mayo Clinic Center Healthy Living Program, tells SELF. …

NOTE: Read the article for more from Dr. Hensrud.

COVID-19 specific commentary


The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science includes five schools:

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Tags: About, AFib, amyloidosis, antiplatelet, artificial intelligence, atrial fibrillation, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Charanjit Rihal, colorectal cancer, COVID-19, Dawn Marie Davis, dermatology, Donald Hensrud, emergency medicine, Findings, genetics, heart failure, hereditary cancer, Innovations, integrative medicine, Kade McQuivey, Matthew Sztajnkrycer, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Morie Gertz, News, News of the Week, orthopedic surgery, orthopedics, pancreatitis, physician burnout, Progress Updates, sleep medicine, Stephanie Faubion, stroke, supplements, wearable technology, women's health, Xuan Zhu

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