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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.

July 19, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 7/19/2021

By Advancing the Science contributor

Mayo research and faculty expertise were cited on topics such as the health benefits of a pet, narcolepsy, the benefits of second opinions for patient outcomes, hiccups, COVID-19 modeling and a variety of other healthcare concerns.


Star Tribune, Competing models at start of pandemic hurt public's trust

… Mayo leaders in spring 2020 reached out to Walz and offered what they believed would be more reliable estimates. Programmed to review the latest data and consider all likely possibilities, Mayo's machine-learning model by design made more conservative predictions than occurred, but it proved adept at warning about shifts in the pandemic. "It started out for me as, 'Can we even do anything? Are we going to be able to do any better than a few people getting together over drinks and guessing?' " said Curtis Storlie, a statistician who created the Mayo model. "Because honestly I thought it was a fool's errand to be able to predict this with any degree of certainty. But we evolved past that."


Post-Bulletin, Health Fusion: Pet one dog and call me in the morning

Research shows that pets are good for your health. "There are data showing that if you've had a heart attack, you have a five times greater chance of being alive one year later if you have a dog or a cat," says Dr. Edward Creagan, a cancer specialist, author and retired Mayo Clinic oncologist.


Post-Bulletin, Health Fusion: An expert's advice on how to deal with ticks, emerging diseases

… Ticks that carry Lyme disease continue to be a problem in many areas of the country. And researchers are finding other pathogens that could pose additional risks to humans. "There are others that are really quite serious. Potentially fatal, even," says Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.


Infectious Disease Special Edition, ACG Issues New Guidelines on C. difficile Management

… The American College of Gastroenterology issued new guidelines on the management of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), with recommendations reflecting developments from the availability of biologics to the growing use of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) (AM J Gastroenterol 2021;116[6]:1124-1147).

“These guidelines are a step forward in our understanding of C. difficile,” commented Sahil Khanna, MBBS, MS, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who was not involved in the guideline development…


WebMD, Navigating Relationships When You Have Narcolepsy

… The daytime sleepiness that’s common for those living with narcolepsy can make it more difficult to go to social events and activities with friends and family, especially in the evening, says Diego Carvalho, MD, a sleep medicine expert from Mayo Clinic. “It can also affect their ability to actually socialize,” he says. “There is a significant overlap between narcolepsy, obesity, and depression. These comorbid conditions can contribute to social isolation, if not adequately addressed.”


Alzforum, Could Juicing Up Trafficking Abolish ApoE4’s Alzheimer’s Risk?

… Others agreed the data offer a fresh perspective. “This work provides important mechanistic insights as to how ApoE4 aggregates with itself and with receptors,” said Guojun Bu at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.


HCP Live, Doctors and Data Agree: Second Opinions Improve Patient Outcomes 

Second opinions are mutually beneficial for patients and doctors alike, and the availability of a second opinion has become exponentially easier in recent years due to changes in virtual medicine.

A new Mayo Clinic study published in April confirmed that getting a second opinion cuts the chance of misdiagnosis in half. Researchers analyzed the function of second opinions in correcting diagnostic errors and professional or unconscious biases, including ego and hindsight biases, as well as financial interests. They found that second opinions cut the rate of diagnostic errors from 26%-50%, with a third opinion driving it down even further to 16%.

NOTE: Read referenced study on Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovation, Quality & Outcomes


Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, Untreated Eosinophilic Esophagitis Is a Progressive Disorder

New data indicate that, without treatment, eosinophilic esophagitis is a progressive disorder in some patients.

… David A. Katzka, MD, of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., called the new data “important” for their value in better characterizing how EoE progresses. “As opposed to prior data which studied progression before treatment, this study expands our knowledge by demonstrating the same phenomenon in patients who underwent initial treatment but then have periods with lack of treatment,” Dr. Katzka said. “It emphasizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and treatment of patients with EoE.”


Washington Post, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hospitalized after 10 days of hiccups

… Mark V. Larson, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and internist, told The Washington Post that while transient hiccups are very common, persistence for more than a day is already quite rare. Bolsonaro’s 10-day spell is very rare. He said that medications taken after the surgery, or even the surgery itself, could plausibly have triggered the symptoms.


USA Today, Does coffee help you lose weight? Stunt your growth? Here's the truth behind coffee myths

… According to Katherine Zeratsky, a registered dietician at Mayo Clinic, caffeine is a stimulant that increases metabolism in the body. She says that caffeine alone, however, does not contribute to long-term weight loss as there are other factors to take into consideration, including healthy diet and exercise…


STAT, By creating mouse eggs entirely from scratch, researchers raise the prospect of a futuristic fertility treatment

… "I suspect that if it does start to show feasibility in humans, there’s going to be a lot of pressure from various groups — same-sex couples, those with infertility issues — to have access to this technology before society grapples with its implications, said Megan Allyse, a Mayo Clinic bioethicist who specializes in emerging reproductive technologies. "The concern about this kind of research is that once you prove it’s possible, the next question everybody asks is not 'should we use it?' Or 'do we have a need for it?' It’s 'how are we going to use it?'"


Salon, Why Missouri is ground zero for new COVID surge: "We are going to see a lot of people die"

According to National Public Radio, 67% of U.S.-based adults were at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19 following the Fourth of July … Data from the Mayo Clinic shows how much COVID-19 vaccination rates can vary from state to state. According to Mayo, 71% of Massachusetts residents have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19; in Missouri, it's only 46%. Vermont's rate of at least partial vaccination is 74%, according to Mayo. Massachusetts and Vermont are both blue states with moderate Republican governors.


Post-Bulletin, Who's the boss? Workers emerge from the pandemic wanting more

… Lisa Hardesty, a clinical health psychologist at Mayo Clinic specializing in burnout and resilience, likens workers’ experiences during the pandemic to going through a natural disaster, when surviving comes first, and the chance to assess the damage or emotional exhaustion only comes later. As fallout from the pandemic continues, Hardesty expects mental health issues to increase. “I think we're seeing more burnout numbers now,” Hardesty said. “During the pandemic when people had to survive and keep people alive, I think we were all to some extent, especially the medical workforce and the essential workers, in that survival mode.”


WISN-TV, WATCH: Giannis says he went for 'a tinkle' at start of Game 4

… A sports medicine doctor said there's no reason for alarm. "It is quite common for athletes to have the urge to go kind of at any timepoint when they're in that sort of fight or flight type setting," said Dr. Andrew Jagim of the Mayo Clinic Health System. "Any time an athlete's nervous or in this kind of hyper-stimulated state, it'll release a variety of different hormones and neurotransmitters that'll signal to your bladder that it needs to void and empty and you get that urge to go regardless of the convenience of it."


WebMD, Health Anxiety Common as COVID Restrictions Loosen

As restrictions lift and mask mandates become scarce, Americans are filling their social calendars and booking vacations. While some are rejoicing, health care professionals say others are emerging from the pandemic with more health-related fears … A survey from the CDC and the Census Bureau found the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021. But this phenomenon will not just disappear as COVID-19 cases decrease, says Reese Druckenmiller, a clinical social worker for the Mayo Clinic Health System…


Becker’s Hospital Review, Long COVID-19 unlikely among fully vaccinated, physicians say

If a person is fully vaccinated and develops a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, early trends indicate it's unlikely they'll experience long-haul symptoms, NBC News reported July 15… While it's possible and more research is needed, some physicians working at post-COVID-19 clinics say they haven't seen demand from patients who've been fully vaccinated.  At Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's post-COVID-19 program, it's been "quite rare," Greg Vanichkachorn, MD, an occupational therapist who works with long-hauler patients, told NBC…


Healio, Surgeons explore treatments as elbow injuries increase

During the past 2 decades, research has shown multiple factors have led to an increase in elbow injuries and surgeries among youth, collegiate and professional overhead-throwing athletes… The increased number of adolescents and adults who play sports also may contribute to increased elbow injury rates, according to Christopher L. Camp, MD, orthopedic and sports medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic. “We are seeing recreational leagues, city leagues pop up for all different types of sports, all different types of ages and different types of activity levels, which is great, and we should continue to do that, but with that some of these injuries are more common,” Camp said.


KIMT, Mayo Clinic study expands criteria to be a living kidney donor

Mayo Clinic says the pool of people who can be living kidney donors has expanded following the results of a recent study.


Health IT Analytics, Artificial Intelligence Links Anemia to COVID-19 Rehospitalization

By examining Mayo Clinic data, nference used artificial intelligence to discover a correlation between anemia and long-term symptoms of COVID-19


WKBT La Crosse, Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Health System experts say COVID booster shot not needed right now

Pfizer has been pushing to get a booster shot of its vaccine authorized, saying it will significantly help with protection from the virus. But the FDA, CDC and even the Biden administration are saying it’s too soon for a third shot at this time. Mayo Clinic and Gundersen Health System experts say there’s no need for a third COVID shot right now. Information about the COVID-19 vaccine is changing by the day.

“Recommendations can change over time, and so all we can do is respond with what we know today,” Mayo Clinic Health System-Rochester Chair of COVID Task Force Dr. Andrew Badley said…


The Indian Express, Longstanding uncontrolled diabetes can be a major cause of reduced memory: Mayo Clinic expert

Dr Nair pointed out the role of exercise - both aerobic and resistance training - in preventing memory loss by increasing brain volume and microcirculation in ageing individuals.

People suffering from diabetes have a greater chance of progressive memory loss, said Dr K Sreekumaran Nair, a renowned researcher and endocrinologist from Mayo Clinic, an American nonprofit academic medical institution…


WKBT La Crosse, Beyond the warning: La Crosse health leaders add context to J&J COVID-19 vaccine concern

Health leaders report adverse reactions for transparency and research; La Crosse experts say COVID-19 vaccines remain effective

Researchers are looking into 100 reported cases of a neurological condition to see if there is a connection to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers in the vaccine industry report potential adverse reactions to stay transparent and make sure these vaccines are safe… Based on simple math people have a better chance of ending up in the hospital from a car crash, than from an adverse reaction from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Abinash Virk said these 100 cases affected people within two weeks of receiving the shot. “For patients who are well beyond the two weeks of [receiving] the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the risk is pretty much not there,” Virk said…


National Institute on Aging, Does cellular senescence hold secrets for healthier aging?

… Jim Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic, and his former colleague Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., were pioneers of the senescence renaissance. For nearly two decades, Kirkland has studied ways to remove senescent cells. A clinical geriatrician, Kirkland often says he grew tired of prescribing the latest innovations in wheelchairs, walkers, or incontinence control. Instead, he wanted to learn if it was possible to slow down or partially reverse the fundamental aging processes in humans that lead to common health issues as we age. Kirkland and his team currently focus primarily on a cocktail of two drugs: dasatinib (D), a drug commonly used in leukemia chemotherapy; and quercetin (Q), a pigment found in strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, red wine, onions, and other fruits and vegetables that has natural anti-inflammatory properties…


Healthline, Is Walking Good for Sciatica?

Is walking good for sciatica? The short answer is, “It depends.”

… J.D. Bartleson, MD, professor emeritus of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, said, “If walking doesn’t bother the sciatica pain, it’s a good way to stay in condition and to reduce your risk of deep vein thrombophlebitis and blood clots because you’re actively moving your legs.” … 


Medscape, A Growing Problem in an Aging Country

… In this three-part series, Mayo Clinic neurologists discuss the growing effect of Alzheimer's disease on patients and society resulting from the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. They explore advances in imaging technologies that helped reveal how disease pathology can occur decades before symptoms appear, and they discuss the central role that biomarkers play in new drug development. Topics include insights gained from successes and failures in recent clinical trials of anti-amyloid antibody therapies, and promising directions of ongoing research.


TCTMD, Tastes Like Ticagrelor: Mouth-Dissolving Pills Match Standard Ones in ACS

The orodispersible pills didn’t beat the gold standard, but aiding swallowing could be useful in this setting, the authors argue.

… Commenting on the study for TCTMD, Malcolm Bell, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), agreed that it clearly shows mouth-dissolving ticagrelor “works as effectively as the tablet form and that if you cannot use a tablet for whatever reason, it seems reasonable to use.” However, he cautioned, “I don’t think we'd be using it routinely, as it’s not going to work any faster.” Bell pointed out that other forms of antiplatelet therapy also can be given, either at the time or in a delayed fashion. To show the advantage of ODT over standard tablets would “require a really big trial and I don’t think it would be feasible or worth it,” Bell said.


Healthcare IT News, Can more transparency help build trust in AI algorithms?

In an upcoming HIMSS21 Global Conference Digital Session, Mayo Clinic Platform President Dr. John Halamka will discuss how to address issues of ethics and bias in artificial intelligence…

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Tags: Abinash Virk, aging, Alzheimer's disease, Andrew Badley, Andrew Jagim, anemia, animal model, antiplatelet, anxiety, artificial intelligence, bioethics, biomedical ethics, blood clots, Bobbi Pritt, C. diff, cancer, Christopher Camp, clinical trials, COVID-19, Curt Storlie, data science, David Katzka, diagnostic odyssey, Diego Carvalho, Edward Creagan, Findings, gastroenterology, Greg Vanichkachorn, Guojun Bu, Innovations, J. D. Bartleson, James Kirkland, Jan van Deursen, John Halamka, K Sreekumaran Nair, Katherine Zeratsky, kidney transplant, Lisa Hardesty, Lyme disease, Malcolm Bell, Mark Larson, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Platform, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Megan Allyse, narcolepsy, neurology, News, News of the Week, organ donor, orthopedics, pain management, parasites, patient experience, physician burnout, Progress Updates, psychology, quality of life, Reese Druckenmiller, resiliency, Sahil Khanna, senescent cells, sleep medicine, sports medicine, vaccines, weight loss

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