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.

May 3, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 5/3/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

As a leading academic medical center, Mayo Clinic content often is cited by media, be it our website, news releases or other articles. Our research becomes the story, and our researchers weigh in on health topics worldwide, including commenting on research findings published by other institutions. In this week's news, you will find a connection between repetitive hits in youth hockey and brain impairment, non-opioid advancements in pain management, and several more topics.


Dementia and Young Onset Parkinson’s

Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's, 4/20/2021

Did you know that dementia in people diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) looks different than dementia in those diagnosed with later-onset Parkinson’s? In this webinar, Dr. Rodolfo Savica, MD, PhD, and YOPD Council Leader Tom Palizzi discussed dementia: what it is, how it develops, and its relationship to Parkinson’s, as well as some distinct differences between YOPD and later-onset Parkinson’s.

NOTE: Dr. Savica is the expert guest on this webinar.


Small bumps and bodychecks in youth hockey can cause brain damage, say researchers

CTV News, 4/24/2021

Neuroscientists at Simon Fraser University have found a link between brain impairment and repetitive hits in youth hockey. SFU researchers are working in partnership with Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, in a long-term study focused on concussions in Canada. In the first phase of the study, they monitored the brain function of Junior A hockey players in Minnesota during the playing season. They’re now in the second phase of the study, which replicates phase one, but with younger, Bantam hockey players.


An Effective Alternative to Opioids for Acute Pain? 

Medscape, 4/29/2021

Intranasal (IN) ketamine may be a safe and effective alternative to intravenous opioids for acute pain in adult patients, new research suggests.

… Commenting on the study for Medscape Medical News, W. Michael Hooten, MD, professor of anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and president-elect of the AAPM, noted that in only one of the included studies was IN ketamine used for acute postoperative pain, indicating that "an unrecognized knowledge gap exists in this important area of clinical practice."


Mayo Clinic wants to create 'future of medicine' in new research center 

Post Bulletin, 4/28/2021

… Mayo Clinic designed the proposed $120 million Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building to serve as a “window” into its research to create “the medicine of the future.” Dr. Y.S. Prakash, Mayo Clinic’s chair of physiology and biomedical engineering, enthusiastically explained that this is the first opportunity to design a new Mayo Clinic scientific research center that has arisen in years.


How Long Can We Live? 

New York Times, 4/28/2021

New research is intensifying the debate — with profound implications for the future of the planet.

… More recently, however, researchers have tested particularly innovative techniques for reversing and postponing some aspects of aging, with tentative but promising results. James Kirkland, an expert on aging at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has demonstrated with colleagues that certain drug cocktails purge old mice of senescent cells, granting them more than a month of additional healthy living. Their research has already inspired numerous human clinical trials.


Depoliticizing Science

The Scientist Magazine, 5/1/2021

Politicians should of course consider and respect the latest research findings in crafting policy, but elected officials should honor the scientific method by letting its practitioners hash out the details of the science.

… But because the science behind the disease and the vaccine has been cast into the political arena, the number of people willing to get immunized may not support this goal. Herd immunity is “theoretically possible but we as a society have rejected that,” Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, recently told USA Today. “There is no eradication at this point, it’s off the table. The only thing we can talk about is control.”


At-Home, Remotely Supervised Brain Stimulation Offers Effective Pain Relief

MedScape, 4/30/2021

Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), performed at home but supervised remotely, is feasible and effective in managing osteoarthritis (OA) pain in older adults, new research shows.

In a small, open-label study of 20 patients with knee OA, 2 weeks of at-home treatment with tDCS significantly reduced pain scores by more than 50%. In addition, the treatment was well tolerated.

… Commenting on the research for Medscape Medical News, W. Michael Hooten, MD, professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, said that although these early findings are positive, "long-term pain outcomes and the potential effects of tDCS on physical and emotional functioning await results of the NIH-funded RCT [randomized control trial]."


Health Fusion: Chasing dinosaurs. Are we hardwired for interval training?

Duluth News Tribune (via NewsMD), 4/30/2021

In this episode of the weekly version of NewsMD's podcast, "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks with Dr. Michael Joyner about the benefits of interval training at any level. Joyner is a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, exercise physiologist, athlete and a world expert in interval training.


Daytime sleepiness may be linked to genetic markers for longevity 

Inverse, 4/28/2021

If you constantly feel tired, you need to take this seriously.

… The new findings suggest that a condition called Excessive Daytime Sleepiness is linked to one of the most important genetic markers for longevity, a little section of DNA found on the end of chromosomes called a telomere. “Sleep isn't a luxury,” Joshua Bock tells Inverse. Bock is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and the lead author on the new paper. “It's something that you should do every day, like eating healthy and exercising. Sleep needs to be in that conversation.” The new findings will be presented by Bock and his colleagues in a poster at the annual Experimental Biology conference, which is taking place virtually this week.


Ophthalmology TimesShedding light on Horner syndrome

Ophthalmology Times, 4/29/2021

Horner syndrome is characterized by ipsilateral ptosis, miosis, and anhidrosis that result from a lesion affecting the oculosympathetic pathway.

… No definitive information is available about the pathologies associated with Horner syndrome and the incidence rate in US adults is unknown, according to Aaron M. Fairbanks, MD, a senior ophthalmology resident at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Because no US population-based studies of the syndrome had been undertaken, Fairbanks and his colleagues set out to determine its population-based incidence in adults, evaluate the underlying causes and disease manifestations, and investigate the value of imaging in patients with a neurologically isolated Horner syndrome.

NOTE: Read the article for more of Dr. Fairbanks' (@FairbanksEye) findings.


Skin regeneration discovery could mark huge plastic surgery advancement

Health Europa, 4/29/2021

In a groundbreaking study, a research team has found that chronic wounds in preclinical models were able to heal with normal, scar-free skin following treatment with an acellular product discovered at Mayo Clinic. … The research is supported by Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the study has been published in Theranostics.


How to Recognize and Treat Perimenopause and Menopause Symptoms

New York Times, 4/29/2021

… “When we lose estrogen, we’re more vulnerable in terms of mood,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society and director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health. Women who have experienced perinatal depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a severe form of PMS, are at a higher risk for developing depression around menopause. Hot flashes are also associated with anxiety.


SCAI shock classification system predictive of mortality in cardiogenic shock 

Healio News, 4/28/2021

The SCAI shock classification system may provide mortality risk stratification of patients at risk for or who experienced cardiogenic shock, a speaker reported.

… “We wanted to look at whether the recently published SCAI shock classification was able to provide mortality risk stratification, the presumption here being that patients with a greater severity of shock would be sicker and therefore more likely to die,” Jacob Jentzer, MD, critical care specialist at Mayo Clinic, said during the presentation. Because the SCAI shock classification was developed based on expert consensus rather than a data-driven approach, it was important to see whether this hypothesis was testable in reality.”


Novel obesity classifications can aid in tailoring weight-loss treatments

Healio News, 4/28/2021

Phenotype-guided obesity interventions, determined by a blood test, can double weight loss for patients compared with standard obesity care, according to a presenter at the Obesity Medicine Association 2021 virtual conference.

Obesity is a complex, heterogenous, multifactorial disease, and a one-size-fits-all treatment will not work for many patients, Andres Acosta, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the precision medicine for obesity program at Mayo Clinic, said during a presentation. Weight loss varies widely for people with excess weight, and a better solution lies in using precision medicine to target the right treatments to each person based on what is driving their disease. …


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Tags: Aaron Fairbanks, Andres Acosta, anxiety, biomedical engineering, brain, cardiovascular medicine, Center for Regenerative Medicine, clinical trials, concussion, COVID-19, deep brain stimulation, depression, Findings, Gregory Poland, immunization, Innovations, Jacob Jentzer, James Kirkland, Joshua Bock, Kogod Center on Aging, menopause, Michael Joyner, News, News of the Week, obesity, ophthalmology, opioids, osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, pulmonary and critical care medicine, regenerative medicine, Rodolfo Savica, senescent cells, sleep medicine, sports medicine, Stephanie Faubion, vaccine hesitancy, W. Michael Hooten, Y. S. Prakash

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