Musculoskeletal complaints are an important occupational problem; nevertheless, few studies have targeted nurses in Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and risk factors of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) among nursing personnel at a tertiary centre in Jeddah.
A comparative cross-sectional study was performed in which full-time registered nurses from four different departments (n = 200) were selected for analysis between September 1, 2011 and February 29, 2012. Musculoskeletal symptoms over the past year were assessed using the Nordic Standardised Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. In addition to demographic questions, the researcher evaluated employment history, physical risk factors at work, and general health status.
In this study, approximately 85% of the nurses reported experiencing at least one musculoskeletal symptom. Musculoskeletal symptoms occurred most commonly in the lower back (65.7%), ankles and feet (41.5%), and shoulders (29%). Prolonged working hours and being underweight were significantly associated with the development of these symptoms (OR 3.66, 95% CI 1.24-10.79, P = 0.018, and OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.37-5.93, P = 0.004, respectively). Working in the surgical department was a greater risk factor for low back pain compared with working in other departments.
WMSDs are common among our nurses, and back pain is the most common symptom. As prolonged working hours and being underweight were factors that contributed most to WMSDs, decreasing shift durations or offering nutrition educational programmes may be suitable solutions. However, further studies are required to examine the best modality for decreasing the occurrence of WMSDs.
Pain; Nurse; Musculoskeletal
Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura is an immunological disorder characterized by increased platelet destruction due to presence of anti-platelet autoantibodies. Hepatitis C virus infection, which is one of the most common chronic viral infections worldwide, may cause secondary chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
We report a case of a 51-year-old Caucasian female with hepatitis C virus infection who developed a severe, reversible, immune thrombocytopenia. Platelet count was as low as 56.000/mm3, hepatitis C virus serology was positive, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase and gamma-glutamyltransferase serum levels were elevated. Disorders potentially associated with autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura were ruled out. A corticosteroid treatment was started and led to an increase in platelet count. The patient was then treated with pegylated-interferon alpha 2a and ribavirin. After four weeks of treatment hepatitis C virus - ribonucleic acid became undetectable and steroid treatment was discontinued. Six months of antiviral therapy achieved a sustained biochemical and virological response together with persistence of normal platelet count.
In our case report hepatitis C virus seemed to play a pathogenic role in autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura. Moreover, the successful response (negative hepatitis C virus - ribonucleic acid) to tapered steroids and antiviral therapy was useful to revert thrombocytopenia.
HCV; Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura; Antiviral therapy; Steroids
Finding genes that share similar expression patterns across samples is an important question that is frequently asked in high-throughput microarray studies. Traditional clustering algorithms such as K-means clustering and hierarchical clustering base gene clustering directly on the observed measurements and do not take into account the specific experimental design under which the microarray data were collected. A new model-based clustering method, the clustering of regression models method, takes into account the specific design of the microarray study and bases the clustering on how genes are related to sample covariates. It can find useful gene clusters for studies from complicated study designs such as replicated time course studies.
In this paper, we applied the clustering of regression models method to data from a time course study of yeast on two genotypes, wild type and YOX1 mutant, each with two technical replicates, and compared the clustering results with K-means clustering. We identified gene clusters that have similar expression patterns in wild type yeast, two of which were missed by K-means clustering. We further identified gene clusters whose expression patterns were changed in YOX1 mutant yeast compared to wild type yeast.
The clustering of regression models method can be a valuable tool for identifying genes that are coordinately transcribed by a common mechanism.
Clustering; Microarray; Regression; Replications; Time course
The EPSPS, EC 184.108.40.206 (5-enolpyruvylshikimate −3-phosphate synthase) is considered as one of the crucial enzyme in the shikimate pathway for the biosynthesis of essential aromatic amino acids and secondary metabolites in plants, fungi along with microorganisms. It is also proved as a specific target of broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate.
On the basis of structure analysis, this EPSPS gene family comprises the presence of EPSPS I domain, which is highly conserved among different plant species. Here, we followed an in-silico approach to identify and characterize the EPSPS genes from different plant species. On the basis of their phylogeny and sequence conservation, we divided them in to two groups. Moreover, the interacting partners and co-expression data of the gene revealed the importance of this gene family in maintaining cellular and metabolic functions in the cell. The present study also highlighted the highest accumulation of EPSPS transcript in mature leaves followed by young leaves, shoot and roots of tobacco. In order to gain the more knowledge about gene family, we searched for the previously reported motifs and studied its structural importance on the basis of homology modelling.
The results presented here is a first detailed in-silico study to explore the role of EPSPS gene in forefront of different plant species. The results revealed a great deal for the diversification and conservation of EPSPS gene family across different plant species. Moreover, some of the EPSPS from different plant species may have a common evolutionary origin and may contain same conserved motifs with related and important molecular function. Most importantly, overall analysis of EPSPS gene elucidated its pivotal role in immense function within the plant, both in regulating plant growth as well its development throughout the life cycle of plant. Since EPSPS is a direct target of herbicide glyphosate, understanding its mechanism for regulating developmental and cellular processes in different plant species would be a great revolution for developing glyphosate resistant crops.
EPSP synthase; Genome wide analysis; qPCR; Shikimate pathway
Ensuring that no baby is born with HIV is an essential step towards achieving an AIDS-free generation. To achieve this, strategies that decouple links between childbirth and HIV transmission are necessary. Traditional forms of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), has been recommended. Recognizing the importance and challenges of combination of methods to achieve rapid PMTCT, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended option B Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) for all HIV-positive pregnant women. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the HAART in PMTCT. A cohort of HIV-infected pregnant women in Kenya were obtained from the DREAM Center, Nairobi. The study participants underwent adherence counselling and Option B of HAART [Nevirapine(NVP) + Lamivudine + Zidovudine] at the fourth week of gestation followed by an intravenous NVP administration intrapartum and postpartum NVP syrup to the respective infants for six weeks. Absolute pre-HAART and post-HAART CD4 counts and viral loads counts were determined. Comparison of the CD4 counts and viral loads before and after administration of HAART were done using Wilcoxon’s Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Test.
The mean absolute CD4 cell counts in mothers after administration of HAART was significantly higher (Z = 15.664, p < 0.001) than before the administration of HAART). Also the viral load of the mothers significantly (Z = 11.324, p < 0.001) reduced following HAART treatment. Following the HAART administration in mothers, up to 90% of children were confirmed to be HIV negative.
Administration of HAART to mothers and children demonstrated an effective mechanism of PMTCT. However, other aspects of HAART such as adherence, costs, mothers behaviour during HAART, and the child feeding programme during the therapy should further be evaluated and ascertained how they can affect the overall efficacy of option B HAART in PMTCT.
Antiretroviral; CD4 counts; Early Infant Diagnosis; Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART); Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT); Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT)
From 2000 a routine survey of mothers with newborn infants was commenced in South Western Sydney. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship of maternal self-rated health, as a measure of well-being, to various socio-demographic factors including measures of social capital, country of birth, financial status and employment.
The sample consisted of 23,534 mothers who delivered in South Western Sydney between 2004 and 2006. The data were collected as part of a routine post-partum assessment at 2–4 weeks postpartum. We examined the relationship of self-rated health with socio-demographic variables using binary logistic regression. Worse self-rated health was reported in 4% of women. Variables which were found to be significantly associated with worse self-rated health were: poor financial situation, public housing accommodation, fathers employment, no car access, unplanned pregnancy, maternal smoking, poor emotional and social support, and motherhood being more difficult than expected.
We confirmed the importance of social disadvantage and social isolation as independent risk factors for poor self-reported health. The findings reported here provide further justification for public health interventions which increase support for socially excluded mothers and strengthen their connection to their community.
Self-reported health; Maternal; Social epidemiology; Immigrants; Social disadvantage; Social exclusion
The multifactorial control of diabetes relies on interventions that provide patients with the best knowledge and resources available. The objective of this research was to analyze the clinical characteristics of a sample of people with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular risk, and establish possible links between disease control, family history and lifestyle, to improve the quality of interventions. Family history, lifestyle habits, blood pressure, anthropometric data and laboratory tests were analyzed in this descriptive and comparative cross-sectional study.
All patients had a pathological body mass index (BMI), and in those patients with a family history of diabetes, the disease was more serious and onset was earlier. Overall, 70.9% were taking drugs for arterial blood pressure management, with mean values within recommended limits; 87.1% were taking antihyperlipidemic drugs and had mean values for blood lipids within reference range; 93.5% were receiving oral antidiabetic drugs and/or insulin and had blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values higher than recommended limit; and 87% were taking antiplatelet drugs and had fibrinogen and ultrasensitive C-reactive protein higher than the normal range. High HbA1c values were found in a high proportion of our sample who were not following a tailored diet (84.2%), and better BMIs were associated with moderate physical activity. Coexistence of somatic disorders (97.4% of the sample with musculoskeletal diseases) could lead to the lack of physical activity.
This sample of patients with type 2 diabetes and at high cardiovascular risk, had acceptable metabolic control, facilitated by drug therapy. Family history of diabetes was associated with earlier disease onset and worse disease progression. Patients who were not following a tailored diet had worse HbA1c values compared with those who were. Individuals who practiced moderate physical activity in line with international recommendations for weight maintenance had the best BMI values, but the high prevalence of comorbidities could adversely affect exercise habits. Appropriate use of medication, dietary advice, and tailored physiotherapy physical activity suitable for people with comorbidities should be included in multifactorial treatment strategies for these patients, particularly in the presence of a family history of diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus; Obesity; Cardiovascular risk; Genetics; Life habits; Health education; Physiotherapy
We report an interesting case of asymptomatic retinal involvement in an encephalopathic patient enabling early identification of Susac’s syndrome.
A 39-year-old Caucasian lady with hearing loss and encephalopathy was referred for ophthalmic assessment, including screening for branch retinal artery occlusions characteristic of Susac’s syndrome. Clinical features included severe headaches, right-sided hypoacusis, dysphasia and poor memory. Routine blood tests were normal. MRI brain showed numerous hyperintense lesions mainly in corpus callosum. Although she was visually asymptomatic, dilated funduscopy detected bilateral multiple peripheral branch retinal artery occlusions which were confirmed on fluorescein angiography. She was subsequently started on intravenous steroids and pulsed cyclophosphamide which improved her symptoms within 48 hours. Full recovery was made with no new arterial occlusions on four months follow-up.
The case further establishes the crucial role of a detailed ophthalmic examination supported by fluorescein angiography in the assessment of these patients, who are at risk of being misdiagnosed and undertreated.
Susac’s syndrome (SS); Retinopathy; Fluorescein angiography
Quality of life (QOL) and its measurement in cancer patients is becoming increasingly important. Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are often associated with psychological distress and reduced QoL. In Arabic-speaking countries, QoL of patients with cancer is inadequately studied.
The aim of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the Moroccan Arabic version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-BR23).
After translation and cross-cultural adaptation, the questionnaire was tested on breast cancer patients. The participants’ number for the test and the retest were 105 and 37 respectively. Internal consistency was tested using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (α), the test-retest reliability using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Construct validity was assessed by examining item-convergent and divergent validity.
The questionnaire was administered to 105 patients. The mean age of patients was 48 years (SD: 16), 62.9% were married. 68.6% of all participants lived in urban area.
The average time to complete the QLQ- BR23 was 15 min. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, were all >0.7, with the exception of breast symptoms and arm symptoms. All items exceeded the 0.4 criterion for convergent validity except item 20 and 23 related to pain and skin problems in the affected breast respectively.
In general, the findings of this study indicated that the Moroccan Arabic version of the EORTC QLQ-BR23 is a reliable and valid supplementary measure of the QOL in breast cancer patients and can be used in clinical trials and studies of outcome research in oncology.
Breast cancer; Quality of life; Reliability; Validity
The prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and C was evaluated some twenty years ago among specific populations in Guadeloupe. The present study was designed to update these data and determine epidemiological features of chronic hepatitis B and C infections in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
The present study was carried out at the Sainte Genevieve Health and Prevention Center (Guadeloupe), between May 2006 and July 2007. This is a medical center where patients can attend a free medical check-up paid for by the Social Security system. Data on hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) status and epidemiological factors were collected for this study.
A total of 2,200 patients were included in the study. The prevalence of HBV surface antigen was 1.41% (95% CI: 1.0-2.0), and 0.55% (95% CI: 0.28-0.96) for HCV. The vaccination rate against HBV was 42.0%. HBV transmission was associated with piercing (12.9%, p = 0.014) and familial exposure (6.4%, p < 0.001) and HCV transmission with gynecological surgery (50.0%, p = 0.01). The HBV profile was generally hepatitis B e antigen-negative (94.5%). No hepatitis delta was found. For HCV, genotype 1 was predominant (80%).
This is the first study on the prevalence of HBV and HCV among a general clinic based population in Guadeloupe and the Caribbean islands. This study reveals that Guadeloupe is an area of low endemicity for HBV and low HCV prevalence. The reasons for these low prevalence rates are mainly related to the vaccination campaigns carried out during the past twenty years for HBV and the decrease of nosocomial transmission for HCV.
Chronic hepatitis B; Chronic hepatitis C; Risk factors; French overseas territories; Caribbean island
Free radicals-induced neurodegeneration is one of the many causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD). This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of flavonol isoquercitrin against toxicity induced by 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA) in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells.
PC12 cells were pretreated with different concentrations of isoquercitrin for 4, 8 and 12 hours and incubated with 6-OHDA for 24 hours to induce oxidative cell damage.
A significant cytoprotective activity was observed in isoquercitrin pre-treated cells in a dose-dependent manner. There was a significant increase (P < 0.01) in the antioxidant enzymes namely superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione in isoquercitrin pretreated cells compared to cells incubated with 6-OHDA alone. Isoquercitrin significantly reduced (P < 0.01) lipid peroxidation in 6-OHDA treated cells. These results suggested that isoquercitrin protects PC 12 cells against 6-OHDA–induced oxidative stress.
The present study suggests the protective role of isoquercitrin on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced toxicity by virtue of its antioxidant potential. Isoquercitrin could be a potential therapeutic agent against neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.
Antioxidant Flavonoids 6-hydroxydopamine Parkinson’s disease Oxidative stress
In the general population visual-spatial ability is better in males, due to the influence of biological and socio-cultural factors. We know that sport activity improves motor skills. The aim of this work is to determine if these gender differences exist in young athletes. The orientation test described by Terzi and standardized by Cesaroni, used to measure spatial ability, was carried out on 60 volleyball or 60 tennis athletes as well as on 60 non-sporting subjects.
The data analysis revealed a worse performance for non-athletes in comparison with athletes in both components of test (p < 0.0001; p = 0.04), with no differences between the volleyball and tennis groups. As far as gender comparison is concerned, as expected in the non- sport group the males presented better values (p < 0.001; p = 0.006). However in both sports groups there weren’t any gender differences in either part of the test (p = 0.18; p = 0.056).
These results confirm that during athletic preparation in volleyball and tennis the specific training is able to develop spatial ability. Besides, boys and girls have similar performance demands and training experience. It appears that this specific training could be responsible for modifying gender differences in performance of spatial ability during adolescence.
Visual-spatial ability; Gender difference; Volleyball; Tennis
The rapid development of next generation sequencing technologies, including the recently introduced benchtop sequencers, made sequencing affordable for smaller research institutions. A widely applied method to identify causing mutations of diseases is exome sequencing, which proved to be cost-effective and time-saving.
SeqBench, a web-based application, combines management and analysis of exome sequencing data into one solution. It provides a user friendly data acquisition module to facilitate comprehensive and intuitive data handling. SeqBench provides direct access to the analysis pipeline SIMPLEX, which can be configured to run locally, on a cluster, or in the cloud. Identified genomic variants are presented along with several functional annotations and can be interpreted in a family context.
The web-based application SeqBench supports the management and analysis of exome sequencing data, is open-source and available at
Sequencing; Exome; Data analysis; Web application; Cloud; Virtual machine image; Open-source
Mortalities in the health care set up are prevalent, and causes are multifactorial with variations from area to area and also from ward to ward in the same health care set up. Analysis of mortalities and its causes in Ethiopian hospitals including Dessie Referral Hospital is not adequately known. Thus, the aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of mortalities and its causes in the Dessie Referral Hospital, Northeast Ethiopia.
A retrospective analysis of mortalities during a three year period (September 2010–2012) was conducted in the Dessie Referral Hospital from August-September, 2012. All in hospital mortalities in the hospital during the last three years were included in the study. Data were collected from patient discharge recording books. Finally, data were entered into SPSS windows version 16.0 and descriptive statistics were generated to meet the study objective.
During the last 3 years there were 1,481 (4.8%) mortalities in the hospital. Around 60.0% of the mortalities were among male patients, and two third of the mortalities were among patients aged 15 years or older. The majority of the mortalities (38.9%) were in the medical ward followed by pediatric (34.6%) and surgical (18.2%) wards. Most of the mortalities (34.8%) occurred during 2011 while least was in 2012 (31.8%). HIV/AIDS (14.8%), pneumonia (9.9%), and sepsis/shock (7.6%) were the three most common causes of mortality in the hospital during the three year period. On average, patients stayed for 2.86 (±2. 99) days in the wards before mortality.
Mortalities in the wards of the Dessie Referral Hospital were high and the causes were mainly of infectious origin, HIV/AIDS and its complications being the most common causes. This calls for an integrated effort to reduce in hospital mortalities by equipping the hospital and its health care providers with the skills and medical supplies required for proper management of the most common causes of in hospital mortality reported in this study.
Mortalities; Causes; Wards; Ethiopia
Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in patients with essential hypertension. The main objective of this study was to assess the echocardiographic prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with hypertension, its risk factors and effect of antihypertensive drugs on its prevalence.
A hospital based cross sectional study was conducted on 200 hypertensive patients on treatment in southwest Ethiopia. A pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect data from participants and their clinical records. Blood pressure and anthropometric measurements were taken according to recommended standards. Left ventricular mass was measured by transthoracic echocardiography. Associations between categorical variables were assessed using chi-square test and odds ratio with 95% confidence interval. Logistic regression model was done to identify risks factors of LVH. P values of < 0.05 were considered as statistically significant.
The mean age, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and body mass index were 55.7 ± 11.3 years, 139.2 ± 7.7 mmHg, 89.2 ± 5.7 mmHg and 24.2 ± 3.4 Kg/m2 respectively. The overall prevalence of LVH among these study subjects was 52%. Age ≥50 years (OR: 3.49, 95% CI 1.33-9.14, P = 0.011), female gender (OR: 7.69, 95% CI 3.23-20.0, P < 0.001), systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg (OR: 2.85, 95% CI 1.27-6.41, P = 0.011), and duration of hypertension (OR: 3.59, 95% CI 1.47-8.76, P = 0.005) were independent predictors of left ventricular hypertrophy. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were the only antihypertensive drugs associated with lower risk of left ventricular hypertrophy (OR: 0.08, 95% CI 0.03-0.19, p < 0.001).
Left ventricular hypertrophy was found to be highly prevalent in hypertensive patients in Ethiopia. ACE inhibitors were the only antihypertensive drugs associated with reduced risk of LVH. We thus recommend strategies to early detect and treat hypertension and to timely screen for LVH among patients with hypertension. Multicenter prospective studies in Africa settings would be ideal to identify the best antihypertensive agents in black Africans.
Hypertension; Left ventricular hypertrophy; Cardiovascular disease; Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors; Ethiopia; Africa
To understand the clinical characteristics and the diagnostic procedures in pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis and to evaluate the sensitivity of the patients to food and inhalant allergens. A cross-sectional study was performed in 35 children with eosinophilic esophagitis during the time period from January 2010 to January 2011. The clinical and epidemiological data were obtained using a questionnaire and medical chart analysis. The body mass index for age was used for the nutritional evaluation (via the Z score). The sensitivity to foods and inhalants was evaluated by performing a skin prick test and atopy patch test.
Patients (35 in total, median age 10 years) with a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis were evaluated. The most prevalent symptoms in the patients were vomiting (71.4%) and abdominal pain (51.4%). Endoscopic alterations were observed in 97.2% of the patients. A good nutritional state was observed in 82.8% of the children. The tests demonstrated the presence of food sensitivities and/or aeroallergens in 27 (77.1%) patients, whereas 8 (22.9%) patients did not test positive in any of the tests performed. Among the patients with positive tests, 24 (68.5%) exhibited sensitivity to aeroallergens and 16 (45.7%) were sensitive to foods. The comparison between the sensitive and insensitive groups displayed statistically significant results with respect to sex, symptom prevalence, and 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring.
The patients evaluated in this study displayed clinical characteristics of eosinophilic esophagitis similar to those reported in the literature. The sensitivity to foods determined by the tests was less than that observed in prior studies; however, a marked sensitivity to aeroallergens was observed. The different allergen sensitivity profiles observed in this study suggests that, similar to asthma, the eosinophiic esophagitis disease may exhibit several phenotypes.
Esophagitis; Allergy; Sensitivity
Tuberculosis is still the leading cause of illness in the world which accounted for 2.5% of the global burden of disease, and 25% of all avoidable deaths in developing countries. The aim of study was to assess impact of DOTS strategy on tuberculosis case finding and treatment outcome in Gambella Regional State, Ethiopia from 2003 up to 2012 and from 2002 up to 2011, respectively.
Health facility-based retrospective study was conducted. Data were collected and reported in quarterly basis using WHO reporting format for TB case finding and treatment outcome from all DOTS implementing health facilities in all zones of the region to Federal Ministry of Health.
A total of 10024 all form of TB cases had been registered between the periods from 2003 up to 2012. Of them, 4100 (40.9%) were smear-positive pulmonary TB, 3164 (31.6%) were smear-negative pulmonary TB and 2760(27.5%) had extra-pulmonary TB. Case detection rate of smear-positive pulmonary TB had increased from 31.7% to 46.5% from the total TB cases and treatment success rate increased from 13% to 92% with average mean value of being 40.9% (SD = 0.1) and 55.7% (SD = 0.28), respectively for the specified year periods. Moreover, the average values of treatment defaulter and treatment failure rates were 4.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
It is possible to achieve the recommended WHO target which is 70% of CDR for smear-positive pulmonary TB, and 85% of TSR as it was already been fulfilled the targets for treatments more than 85% from 2009 up to 2011 in the region. However, it requires strong efforts to enhance case detection rate of 40.9% for smear-positive pulmonary TB through implementing alternative case finding strategies.
Gambella Regional State; Case detection rate; Directly observed treatment short-course; Treatment success rate; Tuberculosis
The brain is a target for diabetic end-organ damage, though the pathophysiology of diabetic encephalopathy is still not well understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of diabetes on the metabolic profile of brain of patients having diabetes in comparison to healthy controls, using in-vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy to get an insight into the pathophysiology of cerebral damages caused due to diabetes.
Single voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was performed at 1.5 T on right frontal, right parieto-temporal and right parieto-occipital white matter regions of the brain of 10 patients having type-2 diabetes along with 7 healthy controls. Absolute concentration of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (cho), myo-inositol (mI), glutamate (Glu) and glutamine (Gln), creatine (Cr) and glucose were determined using the LC-Model and compared between the two groups.
The concentration of N-acetylaspartate was significantly lower in the right frontal [4.35 ±0.69 vs. 5.23 ±0.74; p = 0.03] and right parieto-occipital region [5.44 ±0.52 vs.6.08 ±0.25; p = 0.02] of the brain of diabetics as compared to the control group. The concentrations of glutamate and glutamine were found to be significantly higher in the right frontal region of the brain [7.98 ±2.57 vs. 5.32 ±1.43; P = 0.01] in diabetics. Glucose levels were found significantly elevated in all the three regions of the brain in diabetics as compared to the control group. However, no significant changes in levels of choline, myo-inositol and creatine were observed in the three regions of the brain examined among the two groups.
1H-MRS analysis indicates that type-2 diabetes mellitus may cause subtle changes in the metabolic profile of the brain. Decreased concentrations of NAA might be indicative of decreased neuronal viability in diabetics while elevated concentrations of Gln and Glu might be related to the fluid imbalance resulting from disruption of glucose homeostasis.
Diabetes mellitus; Brain metabolites; MR Spectroscopy
Down’s syndrome (DS) is caused by either complete or partial triplication of chromosome 21, affecting approximately 1/1000 live births, and it is widely accepted that individuals with DS are more likely to develop dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (DAD) compared with the general population. Recent collaborative genome-wide association studies of large case control data sets of individuals with and without Alzhemier’s disease (AD) have revealed new risk variants for dementia, as well as confirming previously identified risk variants. In this study, nine AD-derived SNPs, near or within the CR1 (rs3818361), BIN1 (rs744373), CD2AP (rs9349407), EPHA1 (rs11767557), CLU (rs1532278), MS4A6A/4A (rs610932), PICALM (rs561655), ABCA7 (rs3764650) and CD33 (rs3865444) genes were genotyped in 295 individuals with DS.
There were no significant associations between these nine GWAS-derived SNPs and DAD in British Caucasian individuals with DS. Interestingly the CR1 rs3818361 variant appeared to be associated with mortality in our cohort, particularly in the subjects without dementia. To our knowledge, this is the first time that this variant has been implicated as a determinant of mortality and the finding warrants further investigation in other cohorts with DS.
This study shows negative associations of nine AD-derived SNPs with DAD in DS. This may be due to the modest size of our cohort, which may indicate that our study is insufficiently powered to pick up such associations. We cannot conclusively exclude a role for these SNPs in DAD in DS. Clearly, efforts to investigate genetic variants with small effects on disease risk require a much larger cohort of individuals with DS. In fact, we hypothesize that a sample size of 4465 individuals with DS would be needed to determine the role in DAD in DS of the nine AD-derived SNPs investigated in this study. We therefore recommend that all national and international clinics with access to individuals with DS should contribute DNA samples to form DS consortia.
Down syndrome; Dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; SNPs
The editors of BMC Research Notes would like to thank all of our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in volume 6 (2013).
The emerging next-generation sequencing (NGS) is bringing, besides the natural huge amounts of data, an avalanche of new specialized tools (for analysis, compression, alignment, among others) and large public and private network infrastructures. Therefore, a direct necessity of specific simulation tools for testing and benchmarking is rising, such as a flexible and portable FASTQ read simulator, without the need of a reference sequence, yet correctly prepared for producing approximately the same characteristics as real data.
We present XS, a skilled FASTQ read simulation tool, flexible, portable (does not need a reference sequence) and tunable in terms of sequence complexity. It has several running modes, depending on the time and memory available, and is aimed at testing computing infrastructures, namely cloud computing of large-scale projects, and testing FASTQ compression algorithms. Moreover, XS offers the possibility of simulating the three main FASTQ components individually (headers, DNA sequences and quality-scores).
XS provides an efficient and convenient method for fast simulation of FASTQ files, such as those from Ion Torrent (currently uncovered by other simulators), Roche-454, Illumina and ABI-SOLiD sequencing machines. This tool is publicly available at http://bioinformatics.ua.pt/software/xs/.
Pulmonary thromboembolism after upper extremity operation is rare. We report a patient with thromboembolism after debridement open reduction and internal fixation for bilateral open distal radius fractures.
The Japanese patient was an 80-year-old previously healthy female who was able to walk on her own. She fell down and was taken to our hospital. She was diagnosed with bilateral open distal radius fractures and we performed debridement open reduction and internal fixation on the same day. Although she could not walk and was depressed, she was discharged on the ninth postoperative day. However, on the eleventh postoperative day, she returned to our emergency department with complaints of dyspnea and cold sweat. Her serum D-dimer level was 19.0 μg/dl, troponin T was positive, and urgent contrast computed tomography scan of her thorax revealed thrombosis in the bilateral main pulmonary artery. She was diagnosed with pulmonary thromboembolism and admitted to our hospital again. On the second admission, although she had breathing problems, she did not require a respirator. Oxygen was supplied as well as anticoagulants. On the seventh day after being diagnosed with embolism, thrombosis in the bilateral main pulmonary arteries had disappeared.
The patient did not have any “strong” risk factors as reported in the Japanese Orthopedic Association Clinical Practice Guideline on the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Patients Undergoing Orthopedic Treatments. In general, upper extremity operation carries a low risk for pulmonary thromboembolism. For patients with decreased activity of daily living and depression, we should consider postponing discharge and performing rehabilitation until activity of daily living is improved.
Distal radius fracture; Depression; Pulmonary thromboembolism; Activity of daily living
Increasing recognition has been given to the interaction of users and researchers in shaping the perspective and practice of mental health care. However, there remains very little evidence exploring how this interaction works, particularly in low and middle income countries. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of how users and researchers worked together to communicate research, using a case study of the EMPOWER project.
The study followed a case-study approach. EMPOWER was a project that sought to strengthen the capacity of user organizations in India, Kenya, Nepal and Zambia by encouraging user-researcher collaborations to communicate research findings in the four countries. A qualitative research method was applied for this study, with semi-structured interviews conducted with seven people: two researchers, one communications developer, and four user group members (one from each of the four countries). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
The findings indicated positive perceptions of the collaboration between researchers and users. Key themes were partnership and support, the value of the personal experience of users and their knowledge of the target audiences, and empowerment. Key challenges related to differences in levels of education and technical knowledge and the lack of payments to users.
This exploratory study provides insight to help understand collaborative processes for communicating mental health research. It highlights many positive outcomes from the EMPOWER collaboration but also highlights the need for more in-depth research on this issue.
Mental health; Research; User
The important detection of in-stent restenosis in cardiovascular computed tomography (CT) is still challenging. The first study assessing the in-vitro stent lumen visualization of the state of the art 256-multislice CT (256-MSCT), which was performed by our research group, yielded promising results. As the applied technical approach is not suitable for daily routine, we assessed the capability of the 256-MSCT and its different reconstruction kernels for the coronary stent lumen visualization employing a clinically applicable technique in a phantom study.
The XCD kernel showed significantly lower artificial lumen narrowing (ALN) values (overall ALN < 40%) than the other reconstruction kernels (CC, CD, XCB) irrespective of the stent caliber. The ALN of coronary stents with a diameter >3 mm was significantly lower than of stents with a smaller caliber. The ALN difference between stents with a diameter of 3 mm and smaller ones was not statistically significant. Yet, the lumen visualization of the smaller stents was impaired by a halo effect. The XCD kernel showed more constant attenuation values throughout the different stent diameters than the other reconstruction kernels.
The 256-MSCT provides a good lumen visualization of coronary stents with a diameter >3 mm. The assessment of stents with a diameter of 3 mm seems feasible but has to be validated in further studies. The clinical evaluation of smaller stents cannot be recommended so far. The XCD kernel showed the best lumen visualization and should therefore be applied in addition to the standard cardiac reconstruction kernels when assessing coronary artery stents using 256-MSCT.
CT angiography; Coronary artery stents; In-stent restenosis; Heart; Technology assessment
In many countries, negative social attitude towards sensitive issues such as sexual behavior has resulted in false and invalid data concerning this issue.
This is an analytical cross-sectional study, in which a total number of 1500 single students from universities of Shahroud City were sampled using a multi stage technique. The students were assured that their information disclosed for the researcher will be treated as private and confidential. The results were analyzed using crosswise model, Crosswise Regression, T-test and Chi-square tests.
It seems that the prevalence of sexual behavior among Iranian youth is 41% (CI = 36-53).
Findings showed that estimation sexual relationship in Iranian single youth is high. Thus, devising training models according to the Islamic-Iranian culture is necessary in order to prevent risky sexual behavior.
Crosswise model Iran; Sexual behavior; Youth