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author:("Liu, weibei")
1.  Adding Chinese herbal medicine to conventional therapy brings cognitive benefits to patients with Alzheimer’s disease: a retrospective analysis 
Conventional therapy (CT) such as donepezil and memantine are well-known short-term treatments for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The efficacy of them, however, drops below baseline level after 9 months. In China, herbal therapy as a complementary therapy is very popular. Should conventional therapy combined with herbal therapy (CT + H) make add-on benefit?
In this retrospective cohort study, 344 outpatients diagnosed as probable dementia due to AD were collected, with the treatment of either CT + H or CT alone in clinical settings. All the patients were examined with coronary MRI scan. Cognitive functions were obtained by mini–mental state examination (MMSE) every 3 months with the longest follow-up of 24 months.
Most of the patients were initially diagnosed with mild (MMSE = 21–26, n = 177) and moderate (MMSE = 10–20, n = 137) dementia. At 18 months, CT+ H patients scored on average 1.76 (P = 0.002) better than CT patients, and at 24 months, patients scored on average 2.52 (P < 0.001) better. At 24 months, the patients with improved cognitive function (△MMSE ≥ 0) in CT + H was more than CT alone (33.33% vs 7.69%, P = 0.020). Interestingly, patients with mild AD received the most robust benefit from CT + H therapy. The deterioration of the cognitive function was largely prevented at 24 months (ΔMMSE = −0.06), a significant improvement from CT alone (ΔMMSE = −2.66, P = 0.005).
Compared to CT alone, CT + H significantly benefited AD patients. A symptomatic effect of CT + H was more pronounced with time. Cognitive decline was substantially decelerated in patients with moderate severity, while the cognitive function was largely stabilized in patients with mild severity over two years. These results imply that Chinese herbal medicines may provide an alternative and additive treatment for AD.
PMCID: PMC5729264  PMID: 29237450
Alzheimer’s disease; Complementary and alternative medicine; Traditional Chinese medicine
2.  Preschool ADHD Diagnosis and Stimulant Use Before and After the 2011 AAP Practice Guideline 
Pediatrics  2016;138(6):e20162025.
To evaluate the change in the diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prescribing of stimulants to children 4 to 5 years old after release of the 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics guideline.
Electronic health record data were extracted from 63 primary care practices. We included preventive visits from children 48 to 72 months old receiving care from January 2008 to July 2014. We compared rates of ADHD diagnosis and stimulant prescribing before and after guideline release using logistic regression with a spline and clustering by practice. Patterns of change (increase, decrease, no change) were described for each practice.
Among 87 067 children with 118 957 visits before the guideline and 56 814 with 92 601 visits after the guideline, children had an ADHD diagnosis at 0.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7% to 0.8%) of visits before and 0.9% (95% CI, 0.8% to 0.9%) after guideline release and had stimulant prescriptions at 0.4% (95% CI, 0.4% to 0.4%) of visits in both periods. A significantly increasing preguideline trend in ADHD diagnosis ended after guideline release. The rate of stimulant medication use remained constant before and after guideline release. Patterns of change from before to after the guideline varied significantly across practices.
Release of the 2011 guideline that addressed ADHD in preschoolers was associated with the end of an increasing rate of diagnosis, and the rate of prescribing stimulants remained constant. These are reassuring results given that a standardized approach to diagnosis was recommended and stimulant treatment is not first-line therapy for this age group.
PMCID: PMC5127073  PMID: 27940706
3.  Diagnosis and Medication Treatment of Pediatric Hypertension: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
Pediatrics  2016;138(6):e20162195.
Pediatric hypertension predisposes children to adult hypertension and early markers of cardiovascular disease. No large-scale studies have examined diagnosis and initial medication management of pediatric hypertension and prehypertension. The objective of this study was to evaluate diagnosis and initial medication management of pediatric hypertension and prehypertension in primary care.
Retrospective cohort study aggregating electronic health record data on >1.2 million pediatric patients from 196 ambulatory clinics across 27 states. Demographic, diagnosis, blood pressure (BP), height, weight, and medication prescription data extracted. Main outcome measures include proportion of pediatric patients with ≥3 visits with abnormal BPs, documented hypertension and prehypertension diagnoses, and prescribed antihypertensive medications. Marginal standardization via logistic regression produced adjusted diagnosis rates.
Three hundred ninety-eight thousand seventy-nine patients, ages 3 to 18, had ≥3 visits with BP measurements (48.9% girls, 58.6% <10 years old). Of these, 3.3% met criteria for hypertension and 10.1% for prehypertension. Among practices with ≥50 eligible patients, 2813 of 12 138 patients with hypertension (23.2%; 95% confidence interval, 18.2%–28.2%) and 3990 of 38 874 prehypertensive patients (10.2%; 95% confidence interval, 8.2%–12.2%) were diagnosed. Age, weight, height, sex, and number and magnitude of abnormal BPs were associated with diagnosis rates. Of 2813 diagnosed, persistently hypertensive patients, 158 (5.6%) were prescribed antihypertensive medication within 12 months of diagnosis (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptive blockers [35%], diuretics [22%], calcium channel blockers [17%], and β-blockers [10%]).
Hypertension and prehypertension were infrequently diagnosed among pediatric patients. Guidelines for diagnosis and initial medication management of abnormal BP in pediatric patients are not routinely followed.
PMCID: PMC5127074  PMID: 27940711
4.  Image Fiber-Based Miniature Suspended Solid Sensor with High Accuracy and a Large Dynamic Range 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:16798.
An image fiber-based miniature suspended solid sensor has been demonstrated. The diameter of the sensor is only a few millimeters. A superhydrophobic material is coated on the end of the image fiber to avoid the adsorption of suspended solids and bubbles. Multiple parameters, including mass concentration, morphology and particle sizes of suspended solids, can be visually measured in real time. Dynamic ranges of 0 ~100 kg/m3, full range accuracies of ±2‰ and a response time of 0.05 s were experimentally realized for the mass concentration measurements. Determinations of particle sizes of the suspended solids are also presented by means of digital image processing. This new technique will significantly advance ultralow-intrusion measurements in studies on the dynamics of suspended solids.
PMCID: PMC5711881  PMID: 29196640
5.  Mandibular Gorham–Stout disease 
Medicine  2017;96(42):e8184.
Gorham–Stout disease (GSD) is characterized by aggressive bone resorption, proliferation of vascular or lymphatic vessels, and soft-tissue swelling. Bones that initially appear normal start to resorb, partially or completely. However, the etiology of GSD is unknown.
Patient concerns:
A 29-year-old man with a chief complaint of toothache and mobility in the lower right mandible for the previous 1 year.
Gorham–Stout disease (GSD).
The RANK-ligand inhibitor denosumab was suggested to use to inhibit the development of osteoclasts and slow mandibular resorption. In addition, we proposed resection of the remaining mandible and reconstruction via vascularized bone graft, after resorption of the mandible had become stationary.
Regular follow-ups were advised to this patient to monitor the stability of bone resorption prior to any surgical intervention.
We strongly recommend that every attempt should be made for early diagnosis and prompt effective medical and surgical management. The failure to do so results in further complications and poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC5662368  PMID: 29049202
Gorham disease; mandible; massive osteolysis; prognosis
6.  SGK1 inhibition induces autophagy-dependent apoptosis via the mTOR-Foxo3a pathway 
British Journal of Cancer  2017;117(8):1139-1153.
Although inhibition of SGK1 has been shown to delay cancer progression, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been elucidated.
We investigated the cellular responses to GSK650394 treatment and SGK1 silencing (or overexpression) in human prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines and PC3 xenografts by flow cytometry, western blotting, immunofluorescence, transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry.
In the present study, we demonstrated that SGK1 inhibition, mediated by either GSK650394 or SGK1 shRNA, induced G2/M arrest, apoptosis and autophagy. Furthermore, 3MA-mediated autophagy inhibition attenuated SGK1 inhibition-induced apoptosis, suggesting that induction of autophagy precedes apoptosis. Moreover, ectopic expression of SGK1 significantly attenuated the GSK650394-induced effects. Suppression of mTOR and Foxo3a phosphorylation is critical for blockade of SGK1-induced autophagy and apoptosis, at least partially via pFoxo3a (S253)-LC3 and pFoxo3a (S253)-p27 interactions. Dual inhibition of mTOR and SGK1 enhances autophagy activation and leads to synergistic cytocidal effects in PCa cells.
In summary, our findings show that SGK1 inhibition exhibits significant antitumour effects against PCa in vitro and in vivo. This study uncovered a novel mechanism of SGK1 inhibition in PCa, which is mediated, at least in part, by inducing autophagy-dependent apoptosis via the mTOR-Foxo3a pathway.
PMCID: PMC5674106  PMID: 29017179
prostate cancer; SGK1; autophagy; apoptosis; cell cycle arrest
7.  Proceedings of the 14th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Holloway, Aisha S. | Ferguson, Jennifer | Landale, Sarah | Cariola, Laura | Newbury-Birch, Dorothy | Flynn, Amy | Knight, John R. | Sherritt, Lon | Harris, Sion K. | O’Donnell, Amy J. | Kaner, Eileen | Hanratty, Barbara | Loree, Amy M. | Yonkers, Kimberly A. | Ondersma, Steven J. | Gilstead-Hayden, Kate | Martino, Steve | Adam, Angeline | Schwartz, Robert P. | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | McNeely, Jennifer | Berman, Anne H. | Kolaas, Karoline | Petersén, Elisabeth | Bendtsen, Preben | Hedman, Erik | Linderoth, Catharina | Müssener, Ulrika | Sinadinovic, Kristina | Spak, Fredrik | Gremyr, Ida | Thurang, Anna | Mitchell, Ann M. | Finnell, Deborah | Savage, Christine L. | Mahmoud, Khadejah F. | Riordan, Benjamin C. | Conner, Tamlin S. | Flett, Jayde A. M. | Scarf, Damian | McRee, Bonnie | Vendetti, Janice | Gallucci, Karen Steinberg | Robaina, Kate | Clark, Brendan J. | Jones, Jacqueline | Reed, Kathryne D. | Hodapp, Rachel M. | Douglas, Ivor | Burnham, Ellen L. | Aagaard, Laura | Cook, Paul F. | Harris, Brett R. | Yu, Jiang | Wolff, Margaret | Rogers, Meighan | Barbosa, Carolina | Wedehase, Brendan J. | Dunlap, Laura J. | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Dusek, Kristi A. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla T. | Hosler, Colleen | O’Grady, Kevin E. | Brown, Barry S. | Angus, Colin | Sherborne, Sidney | Gillespie, Duncan | Meier, Petra | Brennan, Alan | de Vargas, Divane | Soares, Janaina | Castelblanco, Donna | Doran, Kelly M. | Wittman, Ian | Shelley, Donna | Rotrosen, John | Gelberg, Lillian | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Maisto, Stephen A. | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Deng, Yanhong | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Bedimo, Roger | Gibert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C. | Simberkoff, Michael S. | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Fiellin, David A. | Giles, Emma L. | Coulton, Simon | Deluca, Paolo | Drummond, Colin | Howel, Denise | McColl, Elaine | McGovern, Ruth | Scott, Stephanie | Stamp, Elaine | Sumnall, Harry | Vale, Luke | Alabani, Viviana | Atkinson, Amanda | Boniface, Sadie | Frankham, Jo | Gilvarry, Eilish | Hendrie, Nadine | Howe, Nicola | McGeechan, Grant J. | Ramsey, Amy | Stanley, Grant | Clephane, Justine | Gardiner, David | Holmes, John | Martin, Neil | Shevills, Colin | Soutar, Melanie | Chi, Felicia W. | Weisner, Constance | Ross, Thekla B. | Mertens, Jennifer | Sterling, Stacy A. | Shorter, Gillian W. | Heather, Nick | Bray, Jeremy | Cohen, Hildie A. | McPherson, Tracy L. | Adam, Cyrille | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Gual, Antoni | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Colom, Joan | Ornelas, India J. | Doyle, Suzanne | Donovan, Dennis | Duran, Bonnie | Torres, Vanessa | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Paroz, Sophie | Bertholet, Nicolas | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Satterfield, Jason M. | Gregorich, Steven | Alvarado, Nicholas J. | Muñoz, Ricardo | Kulieva, Gozel | Vijayaraghavan, Maya | Adam, Angéline | Cunningham, John A. | Díaz, Estela | Palacio-Vieira, Jorge | Godinho, Alexandra | Kushir, Vladyslav | O’Brien, Kimberly H. M. | Aguinaldo, Laika D. | Sellers, Christina M. | Spirito, Anthony | Chang, Grace | Blake-Lamb, Tiffany | LaFave, Lea R. Ayers | Thies, Kathleen M. | Pepin, Amy L. | Sprangers, Kara E. | Bradley, Martha | Jorgensen, Shasta | Catano, Nico A. | Murray, Adelaide R. | Schachter, Deborah | Andersen, Ronald M. | Rey, Guillermina Natera | Vahidi, Mani | Rico, Melvin W. | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Johansson, Magnus | Sinadinovic, Christina | Hermansson, Ulric | Andreasson, Sven | O’Grady, Megan A. | Kapoor, Sandeep | Akkari, Cherine | Bernal, Camila | Pappacena, Kristen | Morley, Jeanne | Auerbach, Mark | Neighbors, Charles J. | Kwon, Nancy | Conigliaro, Joseph | Morgenstern, Jon | Magill, Molly | Apodaca, Timothy R. | Borsari, Brian | Hoadley, Ariel | Scott Tonigan, J. | Moyers, Theresa | Fitzgerald, Niamh M. | Schölin, Lisa | Barticevic, Nicolas | Zuzulich, Soledad | Poblete, Fernando | Norambuena, Pablo | Sacco, Paul | Ting, Laura | Beaulieu, Michele | Wallace, Paul George | Andrews, Matthew | Daley, Kate | Shenker, Don | Gallagher, Louise | Watson, Rod | Weaver, Tim | Bruguera, Pol | Oliveras, Clara | Gavotti, Carolina | Barrio, Pablo | Braddick, Fleur | Miquel, Laia | Suárez, Montse | Bruguera, Carla | Brown, Richard L. | Capell, Julie Whelan | Paul Moberg, D. | Maslowsky, Julie | Saunders, Laura A. | McCormack, Ryan P. | Scheidell, Joy | Gonzalez, Mirelis | Bauroth, Sabrina | Liu, Weiwei | Lindsay, Dawn L. | Lincoln, Piper | Hagle, Holly | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Hammarberg, Anders | Andréasson, Sven | King, Sarah E. | Vargo, Rachael | Kameg, Brayden N. | Acquavita, Shauna P. | Van Loon, Ruth Anne | Smith, Rachel | Brehm, Bonnie J. | Diers, Tiffiny | Kim, Karissa | Barker, Andrea | Jones, Ashley L. | Skinner, Asheley C. | Hinman, Agatha | Svikis, Dace S. | Thacker, Casey L. | Resnicow, Ken | Beatty, Jessica R. | Janisse, James | Puder, Karoline | Bakshi, Ann-Sofie | Milward, Joanna M. | Kimergard, Andreas | Garnett, Claire V. | Crane, David | Brown, Jamie | West, Robert | Michie, Susan | Rosendahl, Ingvar | Andersson, Claes | Gajecki, Mikael | Blankers, Matthijs | Donoghue, Kim | Lynch, Ellen | Maconochie, Ian | Phillips, Ceri | Pockett, Rhys | Phillips, Tom | Patton, R. | Russell, Ian | Strang, John | Stewart, Maureen T. | Quinn, Amity E. | Brolin, Mary | Evans, Brooke | Horgan, Constance M. | Liu, Junqing | McCree, Fern | Kanovsky, Doug | Oberlander, Tyler | Zhang, Huan | Hamlin, Ben | Saunders, Robert | Barton, Mary B. | Scholle, Sarah H. | Santora, Patricia | Bhatt, Chirag | Ahmed, Kazi | Hodgkin, Dominic | Gao, Wenwu | Merrick, Elizabeth L. | Drebing, Charles E. | Larson, Mary Jo | Sharma, Monica | Petry, Nancy M. | Saitz, Richard | Weisner, Constance M. | Young-Wolff, Kelly C. | Lu, Wendy Y. | Blosnich, John R. | Lehavot, Keren | Glass, Joseph E. | Williams, Emily C. | Bensley, Kara M. | Chan, Gary | Dombrowski, Julie | Fortney, John | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Forray, Ariadna | Olmstead, Todd A. | Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn | Kershaw, Trace | Dillon, Pamela | Weaver, Michael F. | Grekin, Emily R. | Ellis, Jennifer D. | McGoron, Lucy | McGoron, Lucy
PMCID: PMC5606215
8.  Neuromodulation of courtship drive through tyramine-responsive neurons in the Drosophila brain 
Current biology : CB  2016;26(17):2246-2256.
Neuromodulators influence the activities of collections of neurons, and have profound impacts on animal behavior. Male courtship drive is complex, and is subject to neuromodulatory control. Using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we identified neurons in the brain (inferior posterior slope; IPS) that impact courtship drive, and were controlled by tyramine—a biogenic amine related to dopamine, whose roles in most animals are enigmatic. We knocked out a tyramine-specific receptor, TyrR, which was expressed in IPS neurons. Loss of TyrR led to a striking elevation in courtship activity between males. This effect occurred only in the absence of females, as the TyrRGal4 mutant males exhibited a wild-type preference for females. Artificial hyperactivation of IPS neurons caused a large increase in male-male courtship, while suppression of IPS activity decreased male-female courtship. We conclude that TyrR is a receptor for tyramine, and suggest that it serves to curb high levels of courtship activity through functioning as an inhibitory neuromodulator.
PMCID: PMC5021585  PMID: 27498566
9.  Androgen-independent LNCaP cells are a subline of LNCaP cells with a more aggressive phenotype and androgen suppresses their growth by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase 
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT, surgical or chemical castration) is the mainstay treatment for metastatic prostate cancer (PCa); however, patients ineluctably relapse despite extremely low androgen levels. This evolution of PCa indicates its lethal progression. In this study, to mimic the traits of clinical PCa progression in vitro, we investigated the alterations in the cell biological characteristics in androgen-independent LNCaP cells (LNCaP-AI cells) compared with LNCaP cells. We also examined the effects of androgen on LNCaP and LNCaP-AI cell proliferation, androgen receptor (AR) expression and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) secretion. Furthermore, AR was silenced in the LNCaP and LNCaP-AI cells to detect the roles that AR plays in cell growth, apoptosis and PSA secretion. We found that prolonged androgen ablation increased the LNCaP-AI cell growth rate and cell invasiveness, and induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the LNCaP-AI cells. Moreover, despite the fact that the LNCaP and LNCaP-AI cells expressed equal amounts of AR protein, androgen induced a greater secretion of PSA in the LNCaP-AI cells than in the LNCaP cells. The proliferation of the LNCaP-AI cells was not dependent on, but was suppressed by androgen, which led to arrest at the G1 phase. Conversely, androgen significantly increased LNCaP cell proliferation by promoting the G1-S transition. Moreover, the silencing of AR suppressed LNCaP and LNCaP-AI cell growth by inducing cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase rather than promoting apoptosis, and reduced PSA secretion. On the whole, our data suggest that LNCaP-AI cells have a more more aggressive phenotype compared with the LNCaP cells; AR remains a critical factor in the LNCaP-AI cells, and androgen suppresses LNCaP-AI cell growth by blocking the cell cycle at the G1 phase.
PMCID: PMC5627872  PMID: 28901378
androgen-independent LNCaP cells; growth suppression; cell cycle arrest; androgen; androgen receptor
10.  In-situ visualization of multiple filament competition dynamic during nonlinear propagation of femtosecond laser 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:10384.
In this work, multiple filamentation competition of femtosecond pulse in methanol is studied both experimentally and numerically. The visualization of multiple filamentation competition has been realized in the experiment performing the three-photon fluorescence of Coumarin 440. The random changes of multiple filamentation stemmed from the jitter of the peak laser intensity ratio of initial hot spots are first observed directly and visually, which can be well explained by a simplified (2D+1)-dimensional model.
PMCID: PMC5583335  PMID: 28871115
11.  Gambling Disorder and Minority Populations: Prevalence and Risk Factors 
Current addiction reports  2016;3(3):280-292.
Purpose of review
Previous studies demonstrate disparities in health and health services including gambling disorders (GD) among ethnic and racial minority groups. In this review, we summarize studies examining the prevalence of GD across different ethnic and racial minorities.
Recent findings
We describe the sociodemographic subgroup variations at heightened risk for GD and factors associated with GD in racial and ethnic minority groups including gambling availability, comorbid substance use, psychiatric conditions, stress, acculturation, and differences in cultural values and cognitions. We found that research of GD among minority groups is scant, and the prevalence of GD among these groups is at a magnitude of concern.
Racial and ethnic minority status in it of itself is not a risk factor for GD but may be a proxy for underlying potential risk factors. The need for prevention and treatment programs for different cultural group remains unmet.
PMCID: PMC5560497  PMID: 28824833
Gambling disorder; Racial minorities; Ethnic minorities; Risk factors
12.  Human influence on the temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of forest biomass carbon in China 
Ecology and Evolution  2017;7(16):6220-6230.
Global carbon cycles are impacted by human activity primarily via fossil fuel combustion and forest carbon budget alterations. In this study, the temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of forest biomass carbon (FBC) stock and density in China were analyzed to assess the large‐scale effects of humans on FBC. The results indicated that from 1977 to 2013, the FBC stock increased by 62.9%, from 4,335 to 7,064 Tg C, owing to human‐driven forestation and ecological restoration programs. Because of intensive human impacts, 44.2%–54.6% of the FBC stock was concentrated in four provinces (Heilongjiang, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, and Sichuan) and the FBC density increased from the densely populated southeastern provinces to the sparsely populated northeastern and western provinces. On a spatial scale, the FBC density was significantly negatively related to population density, and the degree of the dependence of the FBC density on population density has been declining since 1998. This improvement in human–forest relations is related to economic development and programs in China that have promoted forestation and reduced deforestation. These results suggest that human impacts, including forestation, deforestation, population density, and economic development, have played significant roles in determining the temporal and spatial variations of FBC in the anthropogenic era. Moreover, our findings have implications for forest management and improvement of the forest carbon sink in China.
PMCID: PMC5574751  PMID: 28861227
carbon density; carbon stock; forestation; human activity; population density
13.  Measuring patient safety culture in maternal and child health institutions in China: a qualitative study 
BMJ Open  2017;7(7):e015458.
Patient safety culture (PSC) plays a critical role in ensuring safe and quality care. Extensive PSC studies have been undertaken in hospitals. However, little is known about PSC in maternal and child health (MCH) institutions in China, which provide both population-based preventive services as well as individual care for patients.
This study aimed to develop a theoretical framework for conceptualising PSC in MCH institutions in China.
The study was undertaken in six MCH institutions (three in Hebei and three in Beijing). Participants (n=118) were recruited through stratified purposive sampling: 20 managers/administrators, 59 care providers and 39 patients. In-depth interviews were conducted with the participants. The interview data were coded using both inductive (based on the existing PSC theory developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) and deductive (open coding arising from data) approaches. A PSC framework was formulated through axial coding that connected initial codes and selective coding that extracted a small number of themes.
The interviewees considered patient safety in relation to six aspects: safety and security in public spaces, safety of medical services, privacy and information security, financial security, psychological safety and gap in services. A 12-dimensional PSC framework was developed, containing 69 items. While the existing PSC theory was confirmed by this study, some new themes emerged from the data. Patients expressed particular concerns about psychological safety and financial security. Defensive medical practices emerged as a PSC dimension that is associated with not only medical safety but also financial security and psychological safety. Patient engagement was also valued by the interviewees, especially the patients, as part of PSC.
Although there are some common features in PSC across different healthcare delivery systems, PSC can also be context specific. In MCH settings in China, the meaning of ‘patient safety’ goes beyond the traditional definition of patients. General well-being, health and disease prevention are important anchor points for defining PSC in such settings.
PMCID: PMC5734290  PMID: 28706096
Health & safety; Organisation of health services; QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
14.  Association between human papillomavirus and prostate cancer: A meta-analysis 
Oncology Letters  2017;14(2):1855-1865.
Observational studies have suggested an association between human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the risk of prostate cancer (PCa). However, the association between HPV infection and the risk of PCa remains unclear. The aim of the present meta-analysis study was to investigate whether HPV serves a role in increasing the risk of PCa. Relevant previous studies up to May 2015 were searched in PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane library, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Wan Fang database and China Biomedical Literature Database. A random-effects model or fixed-effects model was employed to determine odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), when appropriate. Heterogeneity was evaluated using Q and I2 statistical analysis. A total of 24 case-control studies involving 971 patients and 1,085 controls were investigated to estimate the association between HPV infection and PCa risk. The pooled estimate for OR was 2.27 (95% CI, 1.40–3.69). Stratified pooled analyses were subsequently performed according to the HPV detection methods, geographical regions, publication years and types of tissue. Sensitivity analysis based on various exclusion criteria maintained the significance with respect to PCa individually. Little evidence of publication bias was observed. The meta-analysis suggested that HPV infection is associated with increasing risk of PCa, which indicated a potential pathogenetic link between HPV and PCa.
PMCID: PMC5529902
human papillomavirus; prostate cancer; meta-analysis
15.  Circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer: Precision diagnosis and therapy 
Oncology Letters  2017;14(2):1223-1232.
The primary cause of tumor-associated mortality in prostate cancer (PCa) remains distant metastasis. The dissemination of tumor cells from the primary tumor to distant sites through the bloodstream cannot be detected early by standard imaging methods. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) represent an effective prognostic and predictive biomarker, which are able to monitor efficacy of adjuvant therapies, detect early development of metastases, and finally, assess therapeutic responses of advanced disease earlier than traditional diagnostic methods. In addition, since repeated tissue biopsies are invasive, costly and not always feasible, the assessment of tumor characteristics on CTCs, by a peripheral blood sample as a liquid biopsy, represents an attractive opportunity. The implementation of molecular and genomic characterization of CTCs may contribute to improve the treatment selection and thus, to move toward more precise diagnosis and therapy in PCa. The present study summarizes the current advances in CTC enrichment and detection strategies and reviews how CTCs may contribute to significant insights in the metastatic process, as well as how they may be utilized in clinical application in PCa. Although it is proposed that CTCs may offer insights into the prognosis and management of PCa, there are a number of challenges in the study of circulating tumor cells, and their clinical utility remains under investigation.
PMCID: PMC5529747
prostate cancer; circulating tumor cell; liquid biopsy; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; metastasis; prognostic; predictive
16.  The inhibition of NOTCH2 reduces UVB-induced damage in retinal pigment epithelium cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2017;16(1):730-736.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. The pathogenesis of dry AMD remains indistinct and the mechanism of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells death in dry AMD is controversial. The aim of the present study was to investigate the functions of Notch signaling in ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced damage of RPE cells. It was identified that, in RPE cells, UVB increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induced cell apoptosis. In addition, UVB activated Notch signaling in a dose dependent manner. Surprisingly, NOTCH2, but not NOTCH1, was demonstrated to be the major Notch receptor in RPE cells. Under normal conditions, the inhibition of NOTCH2 reduced cell growth and cell migration, but had no impact on intracellular ROS and cell apoptosis. However, in the presence of UVB, the inhibition of NOTCH2, but not NOTCH1, attenuated intracellular ROS and cell apoptosis. The function of Notch signaling involved in UVB damage of RPE cells may not only be significant to understanding the pathogenesis of AMD (especially dry AMD), but also useful for designing effective therapeutic agents for dry AMD.
PMCID: PMC5482198  PMID: 28560393
age-related macular degeneration; retinal pigment epithelium; ultraviolet B; Notch signaling
17.  Variations in Mental Health Diagnosis and Prescribing Across Pediatric Primary Care Practices 
Pediatrics  2016;137(5):e20152974.
Primary care pediatricians increasingly care for children’s mental health problems, but little is known about practice-level variation in diagnosis and psychotropic medication prescribing practices.
This retrospective review of electronic heath records from 43 US primary care practices included children aged 4 to 18 years with ≥1 office visit from January 1, 2009, to June 30, 2014. We examined variability in diagnosis and psychotropic prescribing across practices using logistic regression with practice fixed effects and evaluated associations of the availability of colocated or community-based mental health providers or the proportion of children in foster care with diagnosis and prescribing using generalized linear mixed models.
Among 294 748 children, 40 932 (15%) received a mental health diagnosis and 39 695 (14%) were prescribed psychotropic medication. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was most commonly diagnosed (1%–16% per practice). The proportion of children receiving any psychotropic medication (4%-26%) and the proportion receiving ≥2 medication classes (1%-12%) varied across practices. Prescribing of specific medication classes also varied (stimulants, 3%–18%; antidepressants, 1%–12%; α-agonists, 0%–8%; second-generation antipsychotics, 0%–5%). Variability was partially explained by community availability of psychiatrists (significantly higher odds of a diagnosis or prescription when not available) but not by colocation of mental health professionals or percentage of children in foster care.
The prevalence of mental health diagnosis and psychotropic medication prescribing varies substantially across practices and is only partially explained by psychiatrist availability. Research is needed to better define the causes of variable practice-level diagnosis and prescribing and implications for child mental health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4845867  PMID: 27244791
18.  RON and c-Met facilitate metastasis through the ERK signaling pathway in prostate cancer cells 
Oncology Reports  2017;37(6):3209-3218.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is a metastatic malignant cancer driven by complex pathological mechanisms and characterized by poor long-term prognosis. Metastasis is the main cause of death of PCa patients, yet the molecular mechanisms of this process are poorly understood. In the present study, positive co-expression of RON and c-Met was observed in human clinical PCa tissues (biopsy material), as detected by immunohistochemical staining and quantitative real-time PCR. We investigated this further in PCa cells, demonstrating that the inhibition of RON and c-Met with foretinib (GSK1363089) suppressed metastasis and promoted the reversal of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in PCa cells. Furthermore, the invasion and migration of PCa cells were enhanced by the exogenous activation of RON with MSP and c-Met with HGF, whereas silencing of RON and c-Met attenuated the invasion and metastasis of the PCa cells. Our data also demonstrated that HGF/c-Met, but not the MSP-RON signaling pathway may be the dominant mechanism for PCa EMT. We further revealed that RON and c-Met facilitate metastasis via ERK1/2 signaling. These findings indicate that RON and c-Met facilitate metastasis through ERK1/2 signaling and that targeting RON and c-Met with foretinib may be an attractive therapeutic option for suppressing PCa metastasis.
PMCID: PMC5442400  PMID: 28440432
RON; c-Met; metastasis; prostate cancer; ERK; foretinib
19.  Pectoralis Major Myocutaneous Flap for Head and Neck Defects in the Era of Free Flaps: Harvesting Technique and Indications 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:46256.
The role of the pectoralis major myocutaneous flap (PMMF) in head and neck reconstruction is challenged recently due to its natural drawbacks and the popularity of free flaps. This study was designed to evaluate the indications and reliability of using a PMMF in the current free flap era based on a single center experience. The PMMF was harvested as a pedicle-skeletonized flap, with its skin paddle caudally and medially to the areola, including the third intercostal perforator, preserving the upper one third of the pectoralis major muscle. The harvested flap was passed via a submuscular tunnel over the clavicle. One hundred eighteen PMMFs were used in 114 patients, of which 76 were high-risk candidates for a free flap; 8 patients underwent total glossectomy, and 30 underwent salvage or emergency reconstruction. Major complications occurred in 4 patients and minor complications developed in 10. Tracheal extubation was possible in all cases, while oral intake was possible in all but 1 case. These techniques used in harvesting a PMMF significantly overcome its natural pitfalls. PMMFs can safely be used in head and neck cancer patients who need salvage reconstruction, who are high risk for free flaps, and who need large volume soft-tissue flaps.
PMCID: PMC5384233  PMID: 28387356
20.  Case management of patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional survey in Chongqing, China 
Type 2 diabetes mellitus has been identified as one of the priority diseases and included in the essential public health service package in China. This study investigated the frequency of follow-up visits and contents of care for case management of patients with Type 2 diabetes in Chongqing located in the western China, in terms of the regional practice guideline; and analyzed factors associated with the use of care.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted with patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in two areas in Chongqing. Total 502 participants (out of 664 people eligible) completed the interview. The outcome measures included at least four follow-up visits in a year, annual HbA1c test, blood lipid test and diabetic screening for nephropathy and eyes. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the association between participants’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics and outcome measures.
Over the one-year study period, 65% of participants had four or more follow-up visits. In light of the recommended tests, the proportions of having HbA1c test, blood lipid test and screening for nephropathy and eyes annually were 8, 54, 45 and 44%, respectively. After adjusting for study sites, age, sex, education, type of residence, level of income, the patients who were covered by Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance, were enrolled in the targeted disease reimbursement program, and lived with diabetes more than five years were more likely to have regular follow-up visits and the recommended tests.
Case management for patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus was not effectively implemented in terms of frequency of follow-up visits and recommended tests over one-year period, as indicated in the regional practice guideline.
PMCID: PMC5303217  PMID: 28187724
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Chronic disease case management; Compliance; China
21.  Distinct prognostic values of S100 mRNA expression in breast cancer 
Scientific Reports  2017;7:39786.
S100 family genes encode low molecular weight, acidic-Ca2+ binding proteins implicating in a wide spectrum of biological processes. S100 family contains at least 20 members, most of which are frequently dysregulated in human malignancies including breast cancer. However, the prognostic roles of each individual S100, especially the mRNA level, in breast cancer patients remain elusive. In the current study, we used “The Kaplan-Meier plotter” (KM plotter) database to investigate the prognostic values of S100 mRNA expression in breast cancer. Our results indicated that high mRNA expression of S100A8, S100A9, S100A11 and S100P were found to be significantly correlated to worse outcome, while S100A1 and S100A6 were associated with better prognosis in all breast cancer patients. We further assessed the prognostic value of S100 in different intrinsic subtypes and clinicopathological features of breast cancer. The associated results will elucidate the role of S100 in breast cancer and may further lead the research to explore the S100-targeting reagents for treating breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC5209742  PMID: 28051137
22.  Roles of LncRNAs in Viral Infections 
Many proteins and signaling pathways participate in anti-viral host responses. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), a subset of non-coding RNAs greater than 200 nucleotides in length, have been recently described as critical regulators in viral infections. Accumulating research indicates that lncRNAs are important in the development and progression of infectious diseases. LncRNAs are not only involved in anti-viral responses, but in many different virus-host interactions, some of which may be beneficial to the virus. Here we review the current knowledge regarding host and viral lncRNAs and their roles in viral infections. In addition, the potential of using lncRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers is discussed.
PMCID: PMC5445353
long non-coding RNAs; virus infection; cellular lncRNAs; virus-encoded lncRNAs; cell-virus interaction
23.  Tunable reflecting terahertz filter based on chirped metamaterial structure 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:38732.
Tunable reflecting terahertz bandstop filter based on chirped metamaterial structure is demonstrated by numerical simulation. In the metamaterial, the metal bars are concatenated to silicon bars with different lengths. By varying the conductivity of the silicon bars, the reflectivity, central frequency and bandwidth of the metamaterial could be tuned. Light illumination could be introduced to change the conductivity of the silicon bars. Numerical simulations also show that the chirped metamaterial structure is insensitive to the incident angle and polarization-dependent. The proposed chirped metamaterial structure can be operated as a tunable bandstop filter whose modulation depth, bandwidth, shape factor and center frequency can be controlled by light pumping.
PMCID: PMC5150638  PMID: 27941833
24.  Anticancer activities of alkaloids extracted from the Ba lotus seed in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma CNE-1 cells 
To investigate the anticancer activities of alkaloids from the Ba lotus seed (BLSA) in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) CNE-1 cells, an MTT assay, flow cytometry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were performed. BLSA was found to significantly reduce CNE-1 cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner at all concentrations compared with the control (P<0.05). In addition, flow cytometry analysis identified that BLSA treatment significantly increased the sub-G1 content in CNE-1 cells (P<0.05). Following BLSA treatment, the mRNA and protein levels of a number of apoptosis-related factors, such as caspase family members (caspase-3, −8 and −9), B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)-2-associated X protein, Fas and Fas ligand were significantly increased compared with the control (P<0.05). This was accompanied by a significant decrease in anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-extra large protein expression compared with the control (P<0.05). Furthermore, BLSA treatment was determined to modulate CNE-1 cell expression of nuclear factor (NF)-κB and NF-κB inhibitor α. The results of the present study indicate that BLSA has anticancer activity through inducing cellular apoptosis. In addition, these results suggest that BLSA can be used as a therapeutic agent in NPC.
PMCID: PMC5103758  PMID: 27882126
alkaloids; Ba lotus seed; human nasopharyngeal carcinoma; CNE-1; apoptosis; caspase family
25.  Broadband terahertz metamaterial absorber based on sectional asymmetric structures 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:32466.
We suggest and demonstrate the concept and design of sectional asymmetric structures which can manipulate the metamaterial absorber’s working bandwidth with maintaining the other inherent advantages. As an example, a broadband terahertz perfect absorber is designed to confirm its effectiveness. The absorber’s each cell integrates four sectional asymmetric rings, and the entire structure composed of Au and Si3N4 is only 1.9 μm thick. The simulation results show the bandwidth with absorptivity being larger than 90% is extended by about 2.8 times comparing with the conventional square ring absorber. The composable small cell, ultra-thin, and broadband absorption with polarization and incident angle insensitivity will make the absorber suitable for the applications of focal plane array terahertz imaging.
PMCID: PMC5004127  PMID: 27571941

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