Brian Kilen (@briankilen)
Activity by Brian Kilen
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Jan. 27, 2014 ― Mayo Clinic has opened the Mayo Clinic Department of Defense (DOD) Medical Research Office. The office, in Rochester, MN., is designed to be an easy to use single point of contact, linking the research needs of the DOD with Mayo Clinic investigators capable of addressing those needs, and to improve access to funding to serve DOD research and development priorities.
The office oversees Mayo Clinic's portfolio of DOD-funded research, which has evolved over Mayo’s long and successful partnership with the U.S. government. Today, dozens of Mayo Clinic researchers receive funding for special projects that use new technologies and innovative solutions to support military readiness, functional restoration and rehabilitation after complex injuries, restore health and improve wellness of military populations.
“This is a continuation of Mayo Clinic’s 150-year legacy with the DOD,” says Peter Amadio, M.D., director of the office, and an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic. “The office and website are designed to strengthen this long-standing relationship and to not only match DOD research needs with the expertise of Mayo Clinic, but also accelerate the entire process from proposal development to funding to delivery of a completed project.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Research has shown that the intestinal microbiome plays a large role in the development of Type 1 diabetes. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that gluten in the diet may modify the intestinal microbiome, increasing incidences of Type 1 diabetes. The research was published Nov. 13, in the journal PLOS ONE.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Click here to retrieve video and photography from the Mayo Clinic News Network.
These researchers demonstrated that mice fed a gluten-free diet had a dramatically reduced incidence of Type 1 diabetes. These mice were non-obese diabetic mice, or mice that grow to develop Type 1 diabetes. The gluten-free diet worked to protect the mice against Type 1 diabetes. When the researchers added gluten back into the diets of mice it reversed the protective effect the gluten free diet had provided. There also was a measurable impact of the gluten on the bacterial flora of the mice that might be one way in which gluten could affect the risk for diabetes.
"These changes suggest that the presence of gluten is directly responsible for the diabetes-creating effects of diet and determines the gut microflora," says Govindarajan Rajagopalan, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic immunologist and study author.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Oct. 14, 2013 — Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at an increased risk of stroke and heart attack according to a new study presented by Mayo Clinic researchers at the American College of Gastroenterology's Annual Scientific Meeting, Oct. 11–16, in San Diego.
More than 1.5 million Americans have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis , the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both conditions inflame the lining of the intestine, leading to bouts of watery diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain, fever and weight loss.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Oct. 14, 2013 — Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of esophageal cancer, according to a new study presented by Mayo Clinic researchers at the American College of Gastroenterology's Annual Scientific Meeting, Oct. 11–16, in San Diego.
Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cancer in men worldwide. Early detection and prevention are critical to survival because most patients do not survive the first year of diagnosis, and only 15 percent of patients survive more than five years.
In an analysis of four studies, researchers observed a 32 percent lower risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma in people who were physically active. The analysis also showed the overall risk of esophageal cancer was 19 percent lower among the most physically active people, compared with the least physically active.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Aug. 19, 2013 — The Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator has already filled all offices, with Boston Scientific, Clear Vision Consulting, Icon Venture Partners and Imanis Life Sciences as the newest tenants. It also has started a publicly available website as a resource for people considering entrepreneurship. In addition, the Accelerator will become a venue for special events and discussion groups led by business leaders.
The Accelerator opened just five months ago and has 16 tenants, including start-up companies and venture capitalists. Three MBA students also have been housed in the Accelerator to work with the start-ups. All offices are rented on a month-to-month basis. Besides offices, the Accelerator has shared work spaces, some still available for leasing.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — October 19, 2012. Statins, a cholesterol lowering drug, may lower the risk of esophageal cancer, especially in patients with Barrett's esophagus, Mayo Clinic researchers report in a study being presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting. There are two main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Barrett's esophagus, a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, raises the risk of adenocarcinoma, the more common type of esophageal cancer. Barrett's esophagus is a precancerous condition in which the lining of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach, is damaged by stomach acid.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: A video interview with Dr. Singh is available for journalists to download on the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Although still uncommon, adenocarcinoma is on the rise in the United States. About 16,000 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer annually, of which more than 60 percent are adenocarcinomas. Only 1 in 5 patients with this cancer will still be alive five years after diagnosis.
"Unfortunately, survival rates for this cancer are low, so prevention is critical," says Siddharth Singh, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and study author. "So these results are supporting and encouraging, but more research is needed before we recommend that patients at risk of esophageal cancer take statins."
The Mayo study combined data from 13 studies that included over 1.1 million patients, of which 9,285 had esophageal cancer. The analysis found statins lowered cancer risk by nearly one-third; the longer a patient was on statins, the greater the protective effect.
Researchers also looked at aspirin's effect on reducing the risk of esophageal cancer. When researchers looked specifically at Barrett's esophagus, patients taking a statin and aspirin reduced their risk of esophageal cancer by 72 percent.
The results, researchers say, support a protective association between statin use and esophageal cancer. Given the high mortality rates of the cancer, researchers say these results support randomized trials to evaluate statins in patients who are at high risk of developing esophageal cancer.
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — October 17, 2012. Clostridium difficile infections are becoming more common and more severe in hospitalized children and the elderly, in large part due to greater use of antibiotics, Mayo Clinic researchers report in studies being presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting. The bacterium, also known as C. difficile or C. diff, can cause an infection with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is the most common cause of diarrhea in hospitals and is linked to 14,000 U.S. deaths each year.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: A video interview with Dr. Khanna is available for journalists to download on the Mayo Clinic News Network.
The Mayo study analyzed five years of data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey and found that of an estimated 13.7 million hospitalized children, the 46,176 with C. diff infections had significantly longer hospital stays, more instances of colectomy (partial or total removal of the colon), increased admission to long or short-term care facilities, and higher risk of death.
"Despite increased awareness of C. difficile in children, and advancements in management and prevention, this remains a major problem in hospitalized children," says Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.
Elderly patients also have a greater risk of complications from C. difficile and dying from the infection. In a separate study of 1.3 million adult patients hospitalized with C. diff, patients over 65 were in the hospital longer, sent to nursing homes more frequently and had a greater risk of death. That suggests being over age 65 is an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes associated with the infection.
Researchers say increased use of antibiotics is a main reason for the increasing infection rates. When a person takes antibiotics, good bacteria or flora that protect against infection are destroyed. When these bacteria are destroyed, patients are vulnerable to C. difficile picked up from contaminated surfaces or spread from a health care provider's hands.
Treatments depend on the severity and number of times a patient has had a C. diff infection. Typically, physicians will treat it with the antibiotic metronidazole or oral vancomycin. For severe cases and patients with recurrent C. diff, fecal transplants are an option. Stool transplant restores healthy intestinal bacteria by placing donor stool in the colon.
Recurrent C. difficile is a major problem with the risk of recurrence being 20 percent after a first infection and as much as 60 percent after multiple infections. People who have had C. difficile are twice as likely to get it again. Other known risk factors include proton-pump inhibitors for gastric reflux, immunosuppression, and long hospital stays.
It costs at least $1 billion annually to treat C. difficile infections.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — July 30, 2012. Roughly 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, but around 1.4 million of them are unaware that they have it, a Mayo Clinic-led analysis of the condition's prevalence has found. Meanwhile, 1.6 million people in the United States are on a gluten-free diet even though they haven't been diagnosed with celiac disease, according to the study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
JOURNALISTS: For multimedia resources including video interviews with study authors, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Researchers have estimated the rate of diagnosed and undiagnosed celiac disease at similar levels prior to this study, but this is the most definitive study on the issue. "This provides proof that this disease is common in the United States," says co-author Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. "If you detect one person for every five or six (who have it), we aren't doing a very good job detecting celiac disease."
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder brought on when genetically susceptible people eat wheat, rye and barley. A gluten-free diet, which excludes the protein gluten, is used to treat celiac disease. Roughly 80 percent of the people on a gluten-free diet do so without a diagnosis of celiac disease.
There are a lot of people on a gluten-free diet, and it's not clear what the medical need for that is," Dr. Murray says. "It is important if someone thinks they might have celiac disease that they be tested first before they go on the diet.
To determine its prevalence, researchers combined blood tests confirming celiac disease with interviews from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nationwide population sample survey called National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey, designed to assess the health and nutrition of U.S. adults and children, is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations.
Researchers found that celiac disease is much more common in Caucasians.
"In fact, virtually all the individuals we found were non-Hispanic Caucasians," says co-author Alberto Rubio-Tapia, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist. But previous research in Mexico has shown that celiac disease could be just as common as it is in the U.S.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — July 12, 2012. Problems walking including slow gait and a short stride are associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered. Their findings are being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference July 14–19 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Mayo Clinic researchers are presenting on several topics, including the following:
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For multimedia resources including interviews with study authors visit Mayo Clinic News Network.
Gait disturbances linked with decline in cognitive function
Researchers measured the stride length, cadence and velocity of more than 1,341 participants through a computerized gait instrument at two or more visits roughly 15 months apart. Researchers found that study participants with lower cadence, velocity and length of stride experienced significantly larger declines in global cognition, memory and executive function.
"These results support a possible role of gait changes as an early predictor of cognitive impairment," said study author Rodolfo Savica, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist.
Researchers refine guidelines designed to identify Alzheimer's early
Mayo Clinic researchers, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association published new guidelines in April for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. They separate the progression of Alzheimer's into three stages: (1) pre-clinical (or pre-symptomatic) Alzheimer's disease, (2) mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's disease, and (3) Alzheimer's disease dementia.
At this year's conference, Mayo Clinic researchers reported on the validity of Stage 2 MCI. This stage was designed to differentiate patients with early Alzheimer's disease from those with other cognitive issues. Researchers studied 156 people who met the criteria for MCI. Of those, 67 percent had evidence of early Alzheimer's disease.
"These results indicate that the new diagnostic criteria for MCI due to Alzheimer's works quite well," said study author Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "Ultimately, though, the validity of these new criteria will be determined by the long-term outcome of these subjects."
ROCHESTER, Minn. — July 12, 2012. Activity lingers longer in certain areas of the brain in those with Alzheimer's than it does in healthy people, Mayo Clinic researchers who created a map of the brain found. The results suggest varying brain activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The study, "Non-stationarity in the "Resting Brain's" Modular Architecture," was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference and recently published in the journal PLoS One.
Journalists: For multimedia resources, including a graphic of the Road Map, and interview with the study author, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
Researchers compared brain activity to a complex network, with multiple objects sharing information along pathways.
"Our understanding of those objects and pathways is limited," says lead author David T. Jones, M.D. "There are regions in the brain that correspond to those objects, and we are not really clear exactly what those are. We need a good mapping or atlas of those regions that make up the network in the brain, which is part of what we were doing in this study."
Researchers examined 892 cognitively normal people taking part in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, and set out to create an active map of their brains while the people were "at rest," not engaged in a specific task. To do this, they employed task-free, functional magnetic resonance imaging to construct an atlas of 68 functional regions of the brain, which correspond to the cities on the road map.
Researchers filled in the roads between these regions by creating dynamic graphic representations of brain connectivity within a sliding time window.
This analysis revealed that there were many roads that could be used to exchange information in the brain, and the brain uses different roads at different times. The question to answer then, said Dr. Jones, is whether or not Alzheimer's patients used this map and these roads in a different way than their healthy peers.
"What we found in this study was that Alzheimer's patients tended to spend more time using some roads and less time using other roads, biasing one over the other," he says.