Dietary (n-6)-polyunsaturated fatty acids influence cancer development, but the mechanisms have not been well characterised in gastric carcinoma.
We used two in vivo models to investigate the effects of these common dietary components on tumour metastasis. In a model of experimental metastasis, immunocompromised mice were fed diets containing linoleic acid (LA) at 2% (LLA), 8% (HLA) or 12% (VHLA) by weight and inoculated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with human gastric carcinoma cells (OCUM-2MD3). To model spontaneous metastasis, OCUM-2MD3 tumours were grafted onto the stomach walls of mice fed with the different diets. In in vitro assays, we investigated invasion and ERK phosphorylation of OCUM-2MD3 cells in the presence or absence of LA. Finally, we tested whether a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, indomethacin, could block peritoneal metastasis in vivo.
Both the HLA and VHLA groups showed increased incidence of tumour nodules (LA: 53% HLA: 89% VHLA: 100% P<0.03); the VHLA group also displayed increased numbers of tumour nodules and higher total volume relative to LLA group in experimental metastasis model. Both liver invasion (78%) and metastasis to the peritoneal cavity (67%) were more frequent in VHLA group compared with the LLA group (22% and 11%, respectively; P<0.03) in spontaneous metastasis model. We also found that the invasive ability of these cells is greatly enhanced when exposed to LA in vitro. Linoleic acid also increased invasion of other scirrhous gastric carcinoma cells, OCUM-12, NUGC3 and MKN-45. Linoleic acid effect on OCUM-2MD3 cells seems to be dependent on phosphorylation of ERK. The data suggest that invasion and phosphorylation of ERK were dependent on COX. Indomethacin decreased the number of tumours and total tumour volume in both LLA and VHLA groups. Finally, COX-1, which is known to be an important enzyme in the generation of bioactive metabolites from dietary fatty acids, appears to be responsible for the increased metastatic behaviour of OCUM-2MD3 cells in the mouse model.
Dietary LA stimulates invasion and peritoneal metastasis of gastric carcinoma cells through COX-catalysed metabolism and activation of ERK, steps that compose pathway potentially amenable to therapeutic intervention.
gastric carcinoma; dietary fatty acid; cyclooxygenase; metastasis; invasion
Perceptions about the pros and cons of genetic susceptibility testing are among the best predictors of test utilization. How actual testing changes such perceptions has yet to be examined.
In a clinical trial, first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer disease received genetic risk assessments for Alzheimer disease including APOE disclosure. Participants rated 11 possible benefits associated with genetic testing (pros) and 10 risks or limitations (cons) before genetic risk disclosure and again 12 months afterward.
Pros were rated higher than cons at baseline (3.53 vs. 1.83, P < 0.001) and at 12 months after risk disclosure (3.33 vs. 1.88, P < 0.001). Ratings of pros decreased during the 12-month period (3.33 vs. 3.53, P < 0.001). Ratings of cons did not change (1.88 vs. 1.83, P = 0.199) except for a three-item discrimination subscale which increased (2.07 vs. 1.92, P = 0.012). Among specific pros and cons, three items related to prevention and treatment changed the most.
The process of APOE genetic risk assessment for Alzheimer disease sensitizes some to its limitations and the risks of discrimination; however, 1-year after disclosure, test recipients still consider the pros to strongly outweigh the cons.
Alzheimer; pros; cons; benefits; discrimination; genetics; risk; APOE; susceptibility testing; education
The obligations of researchers to disclose clinically and/or personally significant individual research results are highly debated, but few empirical studies have addressed this topic. We describe the development of a protocol for returning research results to participants at one site of a multicenter study of the genetic epidemiology of melanoma. Protocol development involved numerous challenges: (1) deciding whether genotype results merited disclosure; (2) achieving an appropriate format for communicating results; (3) developing education materials; (4) deciding whether to retest samples for additional laboratory validation; (5) identifying and notifying selected participants; and (6) assessing the impact of disclosure. Our experience suggests potential obstacles depending on researcher resources and the design of the parent study, but offers a process by which researchers can responsibly return individual study results and evaluate the impact of disclosure.
genetic testing; cancer; CDKN2A; risk communication; return of research results; protocol development
With Alzheimer’s disease increasing in prevalence and public awareness, more people are becoming interested in learning their chances of developing this condition. Disclosing Alzheimer’s disease risk has been discouraged because of the limited predictive value of available tests, lack of prevention and treatment options, and concerns regarding potential psychological and social harms. However, challenges to this status quo include the availability of direct-to-consumer health risk information (e.g., genetic susceptibility tests), as well as a growing literature suggesting that people seeking risk information for Alzheimer’s disease through formal education and counseling protocols generally find it useful and do not experience adverse effects. This paper reviews current and potential methods of risk assessment for Alzheimer’s disease, discusses the process and impact of disclosing risk to interested patients and consumers, and considers the practical and ethical challenges in this emerging area. Anticipated future directions are addressed.
Alzheimer’s disease; genetic testing; risk assessment; risk communication
The association of elevated serum uric acid with the development of hypertension is established outside of pregnancy. We investigated whether first trimester uric acid was associated with the development of the following: gestational hypertension or preeclampsia, these outcomes stratified by presence of hyperuricemia at delivery since this denotes more severe disease, preterm birth or small for gestational age (SGA).
Uric acid was measured in 1541 banked maternal plasma samples from a prior prospective cohort study that were collected at a mean gestational age of 9.0 (± 2.5) weeks. Polytomous regressions were performed and adjusted for parity and pre-pregnancy body mass index.
First trimester uric acid in the highest quartile (>3.56 mg/dL) compared to lowest three quartiles was associated with an increased risk of developing preeclampsia (adjusted OR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.03–3.21) but not gestational hypertension. In women with hypertensive disease complicated by hyperuricemia at delivery, high first trimester uric acid was associated with a 3.22-fold increased risk of hyperuricemic gestational hypertension and a 3.65-fold increased risk of hyperuricemic preeclampsia. High first trimester uric acid was not associated with gestational hypertension or preeclampsia without hyperuricemia at delivery, preterm birth, or SGA. In women who developed hypertensive disease, elevated uric acid at delivery was only partly explained by elevated uric acid in the first trimester (r2 = .23).
First trimester elevated uric acid was associated with later preeclampsia and more strongly with preeclampsia and gestational hypertension with hyperuricemia.
gestational hypertension; hyperuricemia; preeclampsia; uric acid
To estimate the prevalence of successful aging in the United States, with the broad aim of contributing to the dialogue on Rowe and Kahn’s concept of successful aging.
Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, the prevalence of successful aging was calculated for adults aged 65 years and older at four time points: 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Successful aging was operationalized in accordance with Rowe and Kahn’s definition, which encompasses disease and disability, cognitive and physical functioning, social connections, and productive activities.
No greater than 11.9% of older adults were aging “successfully” in any year. The adjusted odds of successful aging were generally lower for those of advanced age, male gender, and lower socioeconomic status. Between 1998 and 2004, the odds of successful aging declined by 25%, after accounting for demographic changes in the older population.
Few older adults meet the criteria put forth in Rowe and Kahn’s definition of successful aging, suggesting the need for modification if the concept is to be used for broad public health purposes. Disparities in successful aging were evident for socially defined subgroups, highlighting the importance of structural factors in enabling successful aging.
Health disparities; Healthy aging; Prevalence; Successful aging
Use of high ultrafiltrate flow rates with continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVHF) in critically ill patients is an emerging setting, for which there are few data to guide drug dosing. The objectives of this study were, firstly, to investigate the pharmacokinetics of meropenem in critically ill patients with severe sepsis who are receiving high-volume CVVHF with high-volume exchanges (≥4 liters/h); secondly, to determine whether standard dosing regimens (1,000 mg intravenously [i.v.] every 8 h) are sufficient for treatment of less susceptible organisms such as Burkholderia pseudomallei (MIC, 4 mg/liter); and, finally, to compare the clearances observed in this study with data from previous studies using lower-volume exchanges (1 to 2 liters/h). We recruited 10 eligible patients and collected serial pre- and postfilter blood samples and ultrafiltrate and urine samples. A noncompartmental method was used to determine meropenem pharmacokinetics. The cohort had a median age of 56.6 years, a median weight of 70 kg, and a median APACHE II (acute physiology and chronic health evaluation) score of 25. The median (interquartile range) values for meropenem were as follows: terminal elimination half-life, 4.3 h (2.9 to 6.0); terminal volume of distribution, 0.2 liters/kg (0.2 to 0.3); trough concentration, 7.7 mg/liter (6.2 to 12.9); total clearance, 6.0 liters/h (5.2 to 6.2); hemofiltration clearance, 3.5 liters/h (3.4 to 3.9). In comparing the meropenem clearance here with those in previous studies, ultrafiltration flow rate was found to be the parameter that accounted for the differences in clearance of meropenem (R2 = 0.89). In conclusion, high-volume CVVHF causes significant clearance of meropenem, necessitating steady-state doses of 1,000 mg every 8 h to maintain sufficient concentrations to treat less susceptible organisms such as B. pseudomallei.
This study explored the extent to which recipients of genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) communicated their results to others. It also examined demographic characteristics, along with beliefs about AD, associated with such communication. Participants (N = 271) in a randomized clinical trial involving genetic testing for Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene variants among first-degree relatives of AD patients reported their communication behaviors 6 weeks after the results disclosure. Information on beliefs about AD and genetic testing was collected at baseline. Eighty-two percent of participants receiving APOE genotype information shared their results with someone. Specifically, 64% shared with family members, 51% with spouse or significant others, 35% with friends, and 12% with health care professionals. Greater AD treatment optimism was associated with communicating results to family (OR=1.43), spouse (OR=1.62), friends (OR =1.81), and health care professionals (OR=2.20). Lower perceived risk (OR=0.98) and higher perceived importance of genetics in the development of AD (OR=1.93) were associated with results communication in general. Lower perceived drawbacks of AD genetic testing was associated with results communication to friends (OR=0.65). Beliefs about AD risks and causes, genetic testing, and development of treatments may partly determine the interpersonal communication patterns of genetic susceptibility test results.
Susceptibility genetic testing; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE communication; disclosure
This study evaluates the extent to which psychological adaptation (validated measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and test-specific distress) after genetic susceptibility testing is influenced by changes in beliefs about Alzheimer's disease (AD) and sharing of test results with others. Adult children of AD patients (N=269) from a randomized clinical trial involving genetic testing for apolipoprotein E (APOE) provided information before, as well as 6 weeks and 12 months after results disclosure. The levels of adaptation varied highly among participants at 12-month assessment. Participants who learned that they were ε4 negative (lower risk) had a reduction in perceived risk and concern about developing AD compared with those who learned that they were ε4 positive. Those who received results through an extended educational protocol (three in-person visits) had a larger decline in AD concern than those in a condensed protocol (educational brochure and two in-person visits). Increase in AD concern 6 weeks after disclosure was associated with increase in depression scores (b=0.20, P<0.01) and anxiety levels (b=0.20, P<0.01), and higher distress associated with AD genetic testing (b=0.18, P=0.02) 1 year after testing. Increase in perceived risk (b=0.16, P=0.04) was also associated with higher AD genetic testing distress. Sharing the test results with health professionals and friends (but not family) was associated with decrease in depression (b= −0.11, P=0.05) and anxiety levels (b= −0.16, P<0.01), respectively after a year. Enhancing discussion with regard to risks and concerns about AD during pretesting counseling and obtaining support through sharing the results after testing may help facilitate test recipients' long-term psychological adaptation.
susceptibility genetic testing; AD; APOE; results disclosure; communication; risk perceptions
When sperm compete to fertilize available ova, selection is expected to favour ejaculate traits that contribute to a male's fertilization success. While there is much evidence to show that selection favours increased numbers of sperm, only a handful of empirical studies have examined how variation in sperm form and function contributes to competitive fertilization success. Here, we examine selection acting on sperm form and function in the externally fertilizing myobatrachid frog, Crinia georgiana. Using in vitro fertilization techniques and controlling for variation in the number of sperm contributed by males in competitive situations, we show that males with a greater proportion of motile sperm, and motile sperm with slower swimming velocities, have an advantage when competing for fertilizations. Sperm morphology and the degree of genetic similarity between putative sires and the female had no influence on competitive fertilization success. These unusual patterns of selection might explain why frog sperm typically exhibit relatively slow swimming speeds and sustained longevity.
sperm competition; polyandry; genetic compatibility; sperm velocity; sperm length; frogs
Exposure to metal working fluid (MWF) has been associated with outbreaks of extrinsic allergic alveolitis (EAA) in the USA, with bacterial contamination of MWF being a possible cause, but is uncommon in the UK. Twelve workers developed EAA in a car engine manufacturing plant in the UK, presenting clinically between December 2003 and May 2004. This paper reports the subsequent epidemiological investigation of the whole workforce. The study had three aims: (1) to measure the extent of the outbreak by identifying other workers who may have developed EAA or other work‐related respiratory diseases; (2) to provide case detection so that those affected could be treated; and (3) to provide epidemiological data to identify the cause of the outbreak.
The outbreak was investigated in a three‐phase cross‐sectional survey of the workforce. In phase I a respiratory screening questionnaire was completed by 808/836 workers (96.7%) in May 2004. In phase II 481 employees with at least one respiratory symptom on screening and 50 asymptomatic controls were invited for investigation at the factory in June 2004. This included a questionnaire, spirometry and clinical opinion. 454/481 (94.4%) responded and 48/50 (96%) controls. Workers were identified who needed further investigation and serial measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF). In phase III 162 employees were seen at the Birmingham Occupational Lung Disease clinic. 198 employees returned PEF records, including 141 of the 162 who attended for clinical investigation. Case definitions for diagnoses were agreed.
87 workers (10.4% of the workforce) met case definitions for occupational lung disease, comprising EAA (n = 19), occupational asthma (n = 74) and humidifier fever (n = 7). 12 workers had more than one diagnosis. The peak onset of work‐related breathlessness was Spring 2003. The proportion of workers affected was higher for those using MWF from a large sump (27.3%) than for those working all over the manufacturing area (7.9%) (OR = 4.39, p<0.001). Two workers had positive specific provocation tests to the used but not the unused MWF solution.
Extensive investigation of the outbreak of EAA detected a large number of affected workers, not only with EAA but also occupational asthma. This is the largest reported outbreak in Europe. Mist from used MWF is the likely cause. In workplaces using MWF there is a need to carry out risk assessments, to monitor and maintain fluid quality, to control mist and to carry out respiratory health surveillance.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II; Hunter syndrome) is an X-linked, recessive, lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of iduronate-2-sulfatase. It has multisystemic involvement, with manifestations in the brain, upper respiratory tract, heart, abdomen, joints and bones. Bone involvement leads to decreased growth velocity and short stature in nearly all patients. A therapeutic option for patients with MPS II is enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase®). We compared annual growth rates before and during ERT in 18 patients from Mainz, Germany, and Manchester, UK. Group 1 included nine patients who started ERT before 10 years of age; group 2 contained nine patients aged more than 10 years at the start of ERT. All patients had received weekly or biweekly ERT or placebo for 1 year, followed by ERT for more than 3 years. For patients in group 1, the mean (± SD) height increase was 14.6 ± 5.5 cm during 3 years of ERT. Only one patient in this group (who was below the 3rd percentile when starting ERT) deviated from the normal growth curve over this time. Patients in group 2 had a mean height increase of 8.1 ± 1.7 cm after 3 years of ERT compared with an increase of 1 cm in the year before ERT. ERT seems to have a positive influence on growth in patients with MPS II. Most benefit is seen in patients beginning ERT before the age of 10 years. This supports the recommendation that ERT should be started as early as possible in patients with MPS II.
The increasing availability of personal genomic tests has led to discussions about the validity and utility of such tests and the balance of benefits and harms. A multidisciplinary workshop was convened by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the scientific foundation for using personal genomics in risk assessment and disease prevention and to develop recommendations for targeted research. The clinical validity and utility of personal genomics is a moving target with rapidly developing discoveries but little translation research to close the gap between discoveries and health impact. Workshop participants made recommendations in five domains: (1) developing and applying scientific standards for assessing personal genomic tests; (2) developing and applying a multidisciplinary research agenda, including observational studies and clinical trials to fill knowledge gaps in clinical validity and utility; (3) enhancing credible knowledge synthesis and information dissemination to clinicians and consumers; (4) linking scientific findings to evidence-based recommendations for use of personal genomics; and (5) assessing how the concept of personal utility can affect health benefits, costs, and risks by developing appropriate metrics for evaluation. To fulfill the promise of personal genomics, a rigorous multidisciplinary research agenda is needed.
behavioral sciences; epidemiologic methods; evidence-based medicine; genetics; genetic testing; genomics; medicine; public health
A genetic marker known as apolipoprotein E provides a clear signal of a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and thus that person’s future need for long-term care. People who find that they have the variant of the trait that increases Alzheimer’s disease risk are more likely to purchase long-term care insurance after receiving this information. If the information is widely introduced into the insurance market, coverage rates could be affected in different ways, depending on who possesses that information. Policymakers will eventually need to confront the issue of the use of this and other markers in the pricing of long-term care insurance.
This paper explores whether and how the behavioral impact of genotype disclosure can be disentangled from the impact of numerical risk estimates generated by genetic tests. Secondary data analyses are presented from a randomized controlled trial of 162 first-degree relatives of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. Each participant received a lifetime risk estimate of AD. Control group estimates were based on age, gender, family history, and assumed ε4-negative apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype; intervention group estimates were based upon the first three variables plus true APOE genotype, which was also disclosed. AD-specific self-reported behavior change (diet, exercise, and medication use) was assessed at 12 months. Behavior change was significantly more likely with increasing risk estimates, and also more likely, but not significantly so, in ε4-positive intervention group participants (53% changed behavior) than in control group participants (31%). Intervention group participants receiving ε4-negative genotype feedback (24% changed behavior) and control group participants had similar rates of behavior change and risk estimates, the latter allowing assessment of the independent effects of genotype disclosure. However, collinearity between risk estimates and ε4-positive genotypes, which engender high-risk estimates, prevented assessment of the independent effect of the disclosure of an ε4 genotype. Novel study designs are proposed to determine whether genotype disclosure has an impact upon behavior beyond that of numerical risk estimates.
This study evaluates the Alzheimer disease risk perceptions of individuals who accurately recall their genetics-based Alzheimer disease risk assessment.
Two hundred forty-six unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with Alzheimer disease were enrolled in a multisite randomized controlled trial examining the effects of communicating APOE genotype and lifetime Alzheimer disease risk information.
Among the 158 participants who accurately recalled their Alzheimer disease risk assessment 6 weeks after risk disclosure, 75 (47.5%) believed their Alzheimer disease risk was more than 5% points different from the Alzheimer disease risk estimate they were given. Within this subgroup, 69.3% believed that their Alzheimer disease risk was higher than what they were told (discordant high), whereas 30.7% believed that their Alzheimer disease risk was lower (discordant low). Participants with a higher baseline risk perception were more likely to have a discordant-high risk perception (P < 0.05). Participants in the discordant-low group were more likely to be APOE ε4 positive (P < 0.05) and to score higher on an Alzheimer disease controllability scale (P < 0.05).
Our results indicate that even among individuals who accurately recall their Alzheimer disease risk assessment, many people do not take communicated risk estimates at face value. Further exploration of this clinically relevant response to risk information is warranted.
risk recall; risk perception; Alzheimer disease; genetic susceptibility testing
Perceived risk is a complex concept that influences the genetic counseling process and can affect client coping and behavior. Although the association between family history and risk perception is well recognized in the literature, no studies have explored this relationship specifically in those seeking genetic susceptibility testing for a common chronic condition. REVEAL is a randomized trial assessing the impact of APOE disclosure and genetic risk assessment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using baseline REVEAL data, we hypothesized that there would be a significant association between the degree of AD family history and risk perception of AD, and that this relationship would be stronger in those who believed that genetics is a very important AD risk factor. In our sample of 293 participants, we found that a higher self-perceived risk of AD was associated with strength of family history of AD (p<0.001), belief in genetics as an important AD risk factor (p<0.001), being female (p<0.001) and being Caucasian (p=0.02). These results are the first to demonstrate the association between family history and risk perception in persons volunteering for genetic susceptibility testing for a common complex disease.
Risk perception; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE; Genetic susceptibility testing; Risk assessment
Placental hypoxia as a result of impaired trophoblast invasion is suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia. Hypoxia is a potent stimulus for the release of adenosine, and the actions of adenosine are mediated through four adenosine receptors, A1, A2A, A2B and A3. We investigated the presence, distribution and expression of adenosine receptor subtypes in the human placenta, the expression of the adenosine receptors in placentas from pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia, small for gestational age (SGA) infants and uncomplicated pregnancies, and the effect of hypoxia on placental adenosine receptor expression. Immunofluorescent microscopy localized A1, A2A, A2B and A3 adenosine receptors to the syncytiotrophoblast, endothelial cells and myo-/fibroblasts within the human placenta. Adenosine receptor protein and message expression levels were significantly higher in placentas from preeclamptic pregnancies with or without SGA infants, but not different in pregnancies with SGA infants alone. In vitro exposure of placental villous explants to hypoxia (2% oxygen) increased the expression of A2A adenosine receptor 50%. These data indicate that all four known adenosine receptors are expressed in the human placenta and adenosine receptor expression is significantly higher in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that differences in placental adenosine receptors may contribute to alterations in placental function in preeclampsia.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause a severe invasive food-borne disease known as listeriosis, and large outbreaks of this disease occur occasionally. Based on molecular-subtype data, epidemic clone (EC) strains have been defined, including ECI and ECIa, which have caused listeriosis outbreaks on different continents. While a number of molecular-subtyping studies of outbreak strains have been reported, few comprehensive data sets of virulence-associated characteristics of these strains are available. We assembled a set of human clinical isolates from 15 outbreaks that occurred worldwide between 1975 and 2002. Initial characterization of these strains showed significant variation in the ability to invade human Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells and HepG2 hepatic cells; four strains showed consistently reduced invasion in both cell lines. DNA sequencing of inlA, which encodes a protein required for efficient Caco-2 and HepG2 invasion, showed that none of the invasion-attenuated strains contained known virulence-attenuating mutations in inlA. Phylogenetic analyses of inlA sequences revealed a well-supported clade containing a fully invasive ECI strain and three invasion-attenuated ECI strains, along with a fully invasive ECIa strain and an invasion-attenuated ECIa strain. Of the four invasion-attenuated strains, one strain showed both reduced inlA transcript levels and impaired swarming, one strain showed reduced inlA transcript levels, and two strains showed reduced swarming. Overall, our data show that (i) L. monocytogenes strains from outbreaks vary significantly in invasion efficiency and (ii) different mechanisms may contribute to reduced invasion efficiency. Association between EC strains and listeriosis outbreaks may involve characteristics other than virulence phenotypes, including survival and growth in food-associated environments.
Hyperuricemia, a common clinical characteristic of preeclamptic pregnancies, has historically been considered a marker of reduced renal function in preeclamptic women. More recently it has been suggested that uric acid may directly contribute to pathological cell signaling events involved in disease progression as well as maternal and fetal pregnancy outcomes including fetal growth restriction. We hypothesize that the increased frequency of restricted fetal growth seen in relation to increasing uric acid concentrations in preeclamptic women is in part the result of uric acid-induced reductions in amino acid transport across the placenta. The objective of the current study was to examine the effects of uric acid on human placental System A amino acid transport using a primary placental villous explant model. Further, we examined the necessity of uric acid uptake and the role of redox signaling as a potential mechanism through which uric acid may attenuate System A activity. Placental uptake of a radiolabeled amino acid analogue, specific to the System A transporter, was reduced in a concentration-dependent fashion with increasing uric acid (0−7 mg/dL), corresponding to uric acid concentrations measured in healthy pregnant and preeclamptic women in the third trimester. Uric acid-induced reduction in System A activity was partially reversed by NADPH oxidase inhibition and completely eliminated by antioxidant treatment. This study demonstrates inhibition of placental System A amino acid transport with uric acid treatment, as a result of uric acid-induced stimulation of intracellular redox signaling cascades. These findings may be relevant to the increased frequency of fetal growth restriction observed in hyperuricemic preeclampsia. Additionally the results of this study, indicating a detrimental effect of hyperuricemia on amino acid transport in the placenta, at concentrations present in women with preeclampsia, also suggest a role for uric acid in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia.
Uric acid; Amino acid transport; System A; Antioxidants; Redox signaling; Placenta; Preeclampsia; Fetal growth restriction; Hyperuricemia; NADPH oxidase; Probenecid; Explants
The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype provides information on the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but the genotyping of patients and their family members has been discouraged. We examined the effect of genotype disclosure in a prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
We randomly assigned 162 asymptomatic adults who had a parent with Alzheimer's disease to receive the results of their own APOE genotyping (disclosure group) or not to receive such results (nondisclosure group). We measured symptoms of anxiety, depression, and test-related distress 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year after disclosure or nondisclosure.
There were no significant differences between the two groups in changes in time-averaged measures of anxiety (4.5 in the disclosure group and 4.4 in the nondisclosure group, P = 0.84), depression (8.8 and 8.7, respectively; P = 0.98), or test-related distress (6.9 and 7.5, respectively; P=0.61). Secondary comparisons between the non-disclosure group and a disclosure subgroup of subjects carrying the APOE ε4 allele (which is associated with increased risk) also revealed no significant differences. However, the ε4-negative subgroup had a significantly lower level of test-related distress than did the ε4-positive subgroup (P=0.01). Subjects with clinically meaningful changes in psychological outcomes were distributed evenly among the nondisclosure group and the ε4-positive and ε4-negative subgroups. Baseline scores for anxiety and depression were strongly associated with post-disclosure scores of these measures (P<0.001 for both comparisons).
The disclosure of APOE genotyping results to adult children of patients with Alzheimer's disease did not result in significant short-term psychological risks. Test-related distress was reduced among those who learned that they were APOE ε4–negative. Persons with high levels of emotional distress before undergoing genetic testing were more likely to have emotional difficulties after disclosure. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00571025.)
This paper describes the development and psychometric properties of a new scale for assessing the psychological impact of genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The new instrument, The REVEAL Impact of Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s disease (IGT-AD) was designed to examine the unique nature of genetic information and the disease course of AD. The scale was tested as a part of a multicenter clinical trial designed to evaluate the impact of AD risk assessment and data was collected from 276 participants in the study. Using an iterative process of Principal Component Analysis and Cronbach’s alpha, the final 16 item IGT-AD was found to have a two factor structure with excellent internal reliability. Construct validity was established by patterns of correlation with other standardized self-reported measures. This scale should be useful in the identification of patients who maybe susceptible to the negative effects of receiving genetic information, monitoring of patients who have received genetic information, and as a tool for researchers who wish to study the effects of genetic susceptibility testing for AD.
Alzheimer’s disease genetics; genetic testing; Alzheimer’s disease risk assessment
Genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may be conferred by the susceptibility polymorphism apolipoprotein E (APOE), where the ε4 allele increases the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease but is not a definitive predictor of the disease, or by autosomal dominant mutations (e.g., the presenilins), which almost inevitably result in early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. The purpose of this study was to compare the psychological impact of using these two different types of genetic information to disclose genetic risk for AD to family members of affected patients.
Data were compared from two separate protocols. The Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer’s Disease (REVEAL) Study is a randomized, multi-site clinical trial that evaluated the impact of susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease with APOE in 101 adult children of Alzheimer’s disease patients. A separate study, conducted at the University of Washington, assessed the impact of deterministic genetic testing by disclosing presenilin-1, presenilin-2, or TAU genotype to 22 individuals at risk for familial Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia. In both protocols, participants received genetic counseling and completed the Impact of Event Scale (IES), a measure of test-specific distress. Scores were analyzed at the time point closest to one year post-disclosure at which IES data were available. The role of genetic test result (positive vs. negative) and type of genetic testing (deterministic vs. susceptibility) in predicting log-transformed IES scores was assessed with linear regression, controlling for age, gender, and time from disclosure.
Subjects from the REVEAL Study who learned that they were positive for the susceptibility gene APOE ε4+ experienced similar, low levels of test-specific distress compared to those who received positive results of deterministic testing in the University of Washington study (p= 0.78). APOE ε4+ individuals in the susceptibility protocol experienced more test-specific distress than those who tested ε4− in the same study (p= 0.04); however, among those receiving deterministic test disclosure, the subjects who received positive results did not experience significantly higher levels of distress when compared to those who received negative results (p= 0.88).
The findings of this preliminary study, with limited sample size, suggest that the test-related distress experienced by those receiving positive results for a deterministic mutation is similar to the distress experienced by those receiving positive results from genetic susceptibility testing, and that the majority of participants receiving genotype disclosure do not experience clinically significant distress as indicated by IES scores one year after learning of their test results.
genetic susceptibility testing; deterministic testing; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE; genetic counseling
For patients with mild chronic hepatitis C the cost effectiveness of antiviral therapy is unknown.
To assess whether antiviral therapy (either interferon α or peginterferon α combined with ribavirin) is cost effective at a mild stage compared with waiting and only treating those cases who progress to moderate disease.
Cases with mild chronic hepatitis C.
A cost effectiveness model which estimates long term costs and outcomes for patients with mild chronic hepatitis C. The model uses effectiveness and cost data from the UK mild hepatitis C randomised controlled trial, combined with estimates of disease progression and cost from observational studies.
Antiviral treatment at a mild rather than a moderate stage improved outcomes measured by quality adjusted life years (QALYS) gained. The mean cost per QALY gained from antiviral treatment with interferon α‐2b and ribavirin, compared with no treatment at a mild stage, was £4535 ($7108) for patients with genotype non‐1 and £25 188 ($39 480) for patients with genotype 1. Providing peginterferon α‐2b and ribavirin at a mild rather than a moderate stage was also associated with a gain in QALYS; the costs per QALY gained were £7821 ($12 259) for patients with genotype non‐1 and £28 409 ($44 528) for patients with genotype 1.
For patients with chronic hepatitis C, it is generally more cost effective to provide antiviral treatment at a mild rather than a moderate disease stage. For older patients (aged 65 years or over) with genotype 1, antiviral treatment at a mild stage is not cost effective.
cost effectiveness model; cost analysis; antiviral therapy