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.

June 21, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 6/21/2021

By Advancing the Science contributor

Mayo Clinic research and faculty experts were in the news this week on managing life after COVID-19 and vaccine-related questions, as well as migraine, hiccups, the state of HIV research and more.

Nervous about resuming activities? How to manage 'COVID transition anxiety' 

Star Tribune, 6/17/2021

We asked Reese Druckenmiller, a therapist with Mayo Clinic Health System, and Dr. C. Sophia Albott, a psychiatrist with University of Minnesota Health, about why this period of transition can be so difficult and what we can do to make it go more smoothly…

NOTE: Read article for expert commentary from Druckenmiller.

Mayo doctor discusses possible vaccine side effect of false positive in breast cancer screenings 

KTTC, 6/17/2021

COVID-19 vaccines are causing swollen lymph nodes to appear on breast cancer screenings as a false positive. This occurs because the vaccine triggers an immune response in people that can lead to lymph nodes swelling up. Tara Henrichsen, a Mayo Clinic radiologist, says patients have nothing to fear…

NOTE: Read article or watch news video for more from Dr. Henrichsen.

Anosmia a common effect of COVID-19, regaining sense of smell can take months 

La Crosse Tribune, 6/17/2021

…"While the precise cause of smell dysfunction is not entirely understood, the mostly likely cause is damage to the cells that support and assist the olfactory neurons, called sustentacular cells. These cells can regenerate from stem cells, which may explain why smell recovers quickly in most cases," says Dr. David Valencia, otorhinolaryngologist at Mayo Clinic Health System…

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Valencia.

La Crosse TribuneMayo hosting online presentation on link between chronic leg pain and circulation problems 

La Crosse Tribune, 6/17/2021

Mayo Clinic Health System is hosting a “Peripheral Artery and Vascular Disease: A link between chronic leg pain and circulation problems” virtual presentation. Dr. Emilio Exaire, cardiologist at Mayo in La Crosse, will share signs, symptoms, causes and risk factors of peripheral artery and vascular disease, for which chronic leg pain is a primary symptom.

NOTE: Find out more about Dr. Exaire or register for the free presentation.

Acute treatments alleviate pain, functional difficulties caused by migraine 

Healio, 6/16/2021

…"Choosing an acute treatment for migraine attacks requires an individualized approach for each patient; a number of factors must be considered such as patient characteristics (including age, comorbidities, and affordability/insurance coverage), migraine attack characteristics (such as severity, speed of onset, and presence of nausea/vomiting), and reported effectiveness and harms associated with available interventions,” Juliana H. VanderPluym, MD, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and colleagues wrote. “All these factors should be considered in a shared decision-making approach."

NOTE: Learn more about Dr. VanderPluym and read the study abstract and related editorial.

AI-Enhanced ECG Shows Potential for COVID-19 Screening 

TCTMD, 6/17/2021

…"We can fairly highly accurately rule out the presence of infection in a subject using the 12-lead electrocardiogram," said Suraj Kapa, MD, one of the lead authors of the study along with Zachi Attia, PhD (both Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN). As they write in a paper published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, "this may permit the development of ECG-based tools to rapidly screen individuals for pandemic control especially in a clinic or hospital setting. Development of mobile technology enabled AI-ECGs may have broader implications that may enable resumption of normal operations across society." …

NOTE: Read article for more from Drs. Kapa and Attia, and see referenced article pre-publication proof from Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

ASCVD and Cancer Diagnoses Pose Potentially Deadly Costs to Patients 

TCTMD, 6/16/2021

Financial toxicity is a known concept in oncology but it is “tremendously underrecognized” in cardiology, researchers say.

Reza Arsanjani, MD, and Nandita Khera, MD, MPH (both from Mayo Clinic Arizona, Phoenix), in an accompanying editorial, say that although financial toxicity isn’t a new concept, the study helpfully compares and describes how cancer and ASCVD can have incremental effects on various economic measures. "The results of this study are highly relevant to researchers and clinicians in cardiology and oncology," they write.

NOTE: Read article for more from Drs. Arsanjani and Khera, or review their editorial.

First Close Look at Presumed Myocarditis Cases After COVID Vaccination 

MedPage Today, 6/17/2021

— Case reports suggest a favorable clinical course after hospitalization

…Five of the eight patients had a fever within 24 hours of the injection (three with Moderna, five with Pfizer), with chest pain developing 48 to 96 hours later, reported a group led by Kathryn Larson, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "No eosinophilia was noted in our patients, unlike myocarditis associated with smallpox vaccination. Potential mechanisms for myocarditis post-mRNA-based vaccination include a non-specific innate inflammatory response or a molecular mimicry mechanism between viral spike protein and an unknown cardiac protein," Larson and colleagues noted.

NOTE: Read the article for more from Dr. Larson. She is a resident in the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, and this video interview gives some insights into why she chose Mayo.

No Increased Risk of Hypertension With Erenumab? 

Medscape Medical News, 6/15/2021

… "Given the limitations of postmarketing reports, including incomplete information, lack of a control arm, and others, additional data are certainly needed to fully characterize the nature, the timing, and the extent to which hypertension is a risk associated with erenumab, and indeed other [calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP)] pathway antagonists," said study investigator David W. Dodick, MD, professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona.

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

The Surprising Good News on How Menopause Changes Your Brain 

Wall Street Journal, 6/14/2021

Menopause’s effects on the brain are often temporary, according to a new study. But there’s a caution for women at risk of Alzheimer’s.

…What’s still unclear is whether the neurological changes shown in the study are in fact triggered by menopause or rather by aging, says Kejal Kantarci, a professor of radiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

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

When Does a Headache Signal a Brain Tumor? 

Prevention, 6/15/2021

…In order for a headache to be the telltale symptom of a primary brain tumor, it has to be pretty big, says neuro-oncologist Alyx Porter, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and co-chair of the Central Nervous System Disease Group. “The skull is a fixed space, and it only allows for the brain, spinal fluid, and blood,” she says.

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

To fulfill AI's potential, healthcare orgs must enact safeguards

Healthcare IT News, 6/15/2021

In a preview of his HIMSS21 presentation, Muhammad Babur, IT-program manager at Mayo Clinic, says artificial intelligence can enhance care delivery – but also cause potential harm. 

Migraine Prevention Drug Shows Rapid Benefits During Attack 

MedPage Today, 6/15/2021

— Treatment landscape keeps changing, studies show

In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Zhen Wang, PhD, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues evaluated pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions for acute migraine.

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

'Groundbreaking therapy that's easing the pain, stress and trauma of throat cancer' 

Mirror, 6/14/2021

Treatment can often be extreme and harrowing but Mirror columnist Dr Miriam Stoppard reveals scientists have worked out a way of not overtreating patients to give brighter outcomes

…"We found that decreasing the amount of radiation therapy after a minimally invasive robotic surgery improved the quality of life of patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer while delivering excellent cure rates," says Dr Eric Moore, a Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist…

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Moore.

What are myokines, what effect do they have on the body and how can you activate them through exercise?

Metro, 6/16/2021

This is often why you’ll hear people talk about a runner’s high. "These chemicals are thought to be mostly secreted inside the brain and by the central nervous system," explains Dr Michael Joyner MD, a Mayo Clinic anaesthesiologist and physiologist who researches exercise physiology.

Mayo Clinic doctor speaks out about ways to stay safe in the heat 

KIMT, 6/17/2021

The countdown to summer is on and Mayo Clinic wants people to stay safe in the heat. Dr. David Nestler from Mayo says it has seen an uptick in people suffering from heat-related illnesses. He tells KIMT News 3 he's cared for a lot of patients recently suffering from heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Nestler recommends people step out of the heat when symptoms begin to develop.

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Nestler.

Vitamin D Deficiency Drives Opioid Addiction in Mice 

The Scientist, 6/16/2021

Mice with low vitamin D had exaggerated craving for opioids and felt the drugs’ effects more strongly—results supported in part by human medical records—suggesting that supplements should be explored as treatments for opioid use disorders.

… "They did a lot of very sophisticated work," says W. Michael Hooten, a pain medicine researcher and clinician at the Mayo Clinic who was not involved in the study. By first identifying a clinical association between vitamin D deficiency and opioid dependence in medical records and then using animal models to probe the potential neurobiological mechanisms, the paper makes a strong case for using vitamin D in a clinical setting, Hooten tells The Scientist. "I really think that’s the strength of this paper, because either one of those two data sets could stand on its own as an independent publication, but yet they combined the two."

Doc to Doc: Coronavirus conversation with Dr. Stacey Rizza 

NBC News, recorded on Facebook Live

Doc to Doc: NBC's Dr. John Torres talks with Dr. Stacey Rizza about the Delta variant, summer travel safety and when you should consider getting a Covid test. Dr. Rizza is an infectious disease physician at Mayo Clinic.

NOTE: Watch video for full interview with Dr. Rizza.

HIV research continues, 40 years after first case 

Post Bulletin, 6/18/2021

Dr. Andrew Badley reflects on decades of HIV research, and how the battle to eradicate the virus compares to the fight against COVID-19.

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Badley

High Rates of Work-Related Trauma, PTSD in Intern Physicians

MedScape Medical News, 6/18/2021

Work-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is three times higher in interns than the general population, new research shows.

…Also commenting on the study for Medscape Medical News, Lotte N. Dyrbye, MD, professor of medicine and medical education, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, agreed. "Organizational strategies should include system-level interventions to reduce the risk of frightening, horrible, or traumatic events from occurring in the workplace in the first place, as well as faculty development efforts to upskill teaching faculty in their ability to support trainees when such events do occur," she said.

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

Decline in incidences of dementia and heart failure in RA patients 

Health Europa, 6/21/2021

The risk of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) developing dementia or heart failure has declined significantly since the 1980s, new research has shown.

Two groups of researchers from the Mayo Clinic, USA, carried out population-based studies in Minnesota to assess the incidence of dementia or heart failure over time in people with RA, and compared to the general population…

NOTE: Read article for summaries of the studies led by Mayo Clinic resident Vanessa Kronzer, M.D.,  and Elena Myasoedova, M.D., Ph.D., rheumatologist and health sciences researcher.

Systemic sclerosis linked to four-fold increase in valvular heart disease prevalence 

Helio, 6/21/2021

"Cardiopulmonary complications are the leading cause of mortality in systemic sclerosis, with up to 70% mortality at 5 years reported with heart involvement," Ashima Makol, MD, director of the scleroderma/Raynaud’s and nailfold capillaroscopy clinic at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, told Healio Rheumatology. "In a recently published study from my group, we showed that patients with SSc are at a greater than two-fold increased risk for experiencing a cardiovascular event compared with persons without SSc."

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Makol.

Mayo Clinic, nference AI analysis finds no real-world link among COVID-19 vaccines and brain blood clots

Fierce Biotech, 6/17/2021

…A new study from nference and the Mayo Clinic, however, erases at least one of those concerns by finding no links among any of the three vaccines and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, the rare brain clots known as CVST.

The study results were published this week in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

Scientists create straw that cures hiccups instantaneously

TweakTown, 6/21/21

Researchers and scientists have created a brand new straw that can reportedly cure hiccups instantaneously in 92% of people.

…according to the Mayo Clinic, that straw has been invented, and according to recent tests, 92% of people were cured of their hiccups after using the straw. The new straw has been patented as HiccAway and is called "the forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool" or FISST for short.

NOTE: Access the study on JAMA Network.

Study Using American Migraine Foundation Data Wins Prestigious Award

American Migraine Foundation (news release), 6/17/2021

A study using exclusive American Migraine Foundation data is being presented the prestigious Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award from the American Headache Society (AHS) for the best paper on headache, head or face pain. Dr. Ryotaro Ishii, a visiting scientist at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, is the recipient for his research that found the current definition of chronic migraine does not reflect substantial differences in disability faced by migraine patients.

One Dangerous Side Effect of Not Getting Enough Vitamin D 

MSN, 6/19/2021

There are already plenty of reasons to be mindful of your vitamin D intake. The vitamin's benefits include boosting your mental health and supporting your immune system, while not getting enough of it can lead to a loss of bone density. Now, researchers speculate that people who aren't getting enough of the vitamin may be at higher risk of opioid addiction.

Findings from a new animal study published in the journal Science Advances, suggest that not getting enough of the vitamin may cause people to crave endorphins—the mood-boosting chemical people can get from sun exposure (ultraviolet rays) and exercise.


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Tags: About, Andrew Badley, animal model, arthritis, artificial intelligence, Ashima Makol, breast cancer, cancer, cardiology, cost of care, COVID-19, David Dodick, David Nestler, David Valencia, electrocardiogram, Elena Myasoedova, Emilio Exaire, Eric Moore, exercise, Findings, hiccups, HIV, HPV, human papillomavirus, Innovations, Itzhak Zachi Attia, Juliana VanderPluym, Lotte Dyrbye, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Michael Joyner, migraine, myocarditis, Nandita Khera, News, News of the Week, oncology, oropharynx cancer, otorhinolaryngology, pain management, peripheral artery disease, physician burnout, radiation therapy, Reza Arsanjani, rheumatology, Ryotaro Ishii, Stacey Rizza, Suraj Kapa, systemic sclerosis, Tara Henrichsen, throat cancer, thrombosis, trauma, vaccine hesitancy, vaccines, Vanessa Kronzer, vitamin D, W. Michael Hooten

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