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1.  The Effects of Chronic Cigarette Smoking On Cognitive Recovery During Early Abstinence from Alcohol 
Alcohol use disorders are related to neurocognitive abnormalities during early abstinence in those seeking treatment for alcohol dependence (ALC). Considerable evidence indicates that chronic cigarette smoking is associated with multiple neurocognitive deficiencies. However, very little is known about the effects of chronic smoking on neurocognitive recovery during early abstinence from alcohol. We evaluated if cigarette smoking interferes with cognitive improvement during early abstinence from alcohol, a period thought important for maintaining long-term sobriety.
Neurocognitive functions previously shown to be adversely affected by both alcohol use disorders and chronic cigarette smoking were evaluated. We assessed 35 smoking ALC (sALC) and 34 non-smoking ALC (nsALC) at approximately one and five weeks of monitored abstinence.
Although neither group was clinically impaired, both cross-sectional and longitudinal deficiencies were observed in sALC vs. nsALC in processing speed, working memory and auditory-verbal learning and memory. Lifetime alcohol consumption, medical and psychiatric comorbidities did not predict neurocognitive performance or improvement across assessments. Within sALC, greater drinking and smoking severities were synergistically (more than additively) related to less improvement on visuospatial learning and memory. Former smoking status in the nsALC group mediated group differences in auditory-verbal delayed recall.
Chronic cigarette smoking appears to negatively impact neurocognition during early abstinence from alcohol. Although the cognitive deficiencies observed in this cohort were not in a clinical range of impairment, they should be considered. Our findings lend support to integrating smoking cessation as well as the individual assessment of cognition into early alcohol dependence treatment. Additionally, there is a need to elucidate the effects of current and former smoking status in future reports of neurocognition.
PMCID: PMC3664254  PMID: 23432133
alcohol dependence; cigarette smoking; cognition; treatment; former smoking
2.  Takayasu arteritis in children 
Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a large vessel vasculitis that usually affects young female patients during the second and third decades of life, but has been reported in children as young as 24 months of age. Aim of this report was to describe four children (two girls) with TA, as well as summarizing main published studies. The mean age at presentation of our cases was 11 years (range 8–15). Three patients were Caucasians and one Asian. Arterial hypertension was the commonest mode of presentation followed by systemic symptoms. Other related symptoms were due to ischemia and consisted of abdomen, chest, and limb pain. An abdominal bruit was noted in only one patient. Inflammation markers were always abnormal. Angiography was performed in all cases; left subclavian artery and common carotid artery were more frequently involved. Renal artery stenosis was observed in two patients. One boy was diagnosed as having an associated immune deficiency (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome). Treatment modalities included prednisone (n = 4), methotrexate (n = 3), and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (n = 1). Surgery was required in two patients. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 10 years since diagnosis. In three cases antihypertensive drugs and methotrexate were stopped, and prednisone was reduced to 7.5 mg/day.
PMCID: PMC2567964  PMID: 18822174
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1974;54(2):287-296.
Serum immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH) and plasma total calcium, ionized calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels were determined during the first 9 days of life in 137 normal term infants, 55 “sick” infants, and 43 hypocalcemic (Ca <7.5 mg/100 ml; Ca++<4.0 mg/100 ml) infants.
In the cord blood, elevated levels of plasma Ca++ and Ca were observed, while levels of serum iPTH were either undetectable or low. In normal newborns during the first 48 h of life there was a decrease in plasma Ca and Ca++, while the serum iPTH level in most samples remained undetectable or low; after 48 h there were parallel increases in plasma Ca and Ca++ and serum iPTH levels. Plasma Mg and P levels increased progressively after birth in normal infants.
In the sick infants, plasma Ca, Ca++ and P levels were significantly lower than in the normal newborns, while no significant differences were found in the plasma Mg levels. The general pattern of serum iPTH levels in the sick infants was similar to that observed in the normal group, though there was a tendency for the increase in serum iPTH to occur earlier and for the iPTH levels to be higher in the sick infants.
In the hypocalcemic infants, plasma Mg levels were consistently lower than in the normal infants after 24 h of age, while no significant differences were found in the plasma P levels. Hyperphosphatemia was uncommon and did not appear to be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of hypocalcemia in most infants. Most of the hypocalcemic infants, including those older than 48 h, had inappropriately low serum iPTH levels.
Evidence obtained from these studies indicates that parathyroid secretion is normally low in the early new born period and impaired parathyroid function, characterized by undetectable or low serum iPTH, is present in most infants with neonatal hypocalcemia. Additional unknown factors appear to contribute to the lowering of plasma Ca in the neonatal period. The net effect of unknown plasma hypocalcemic factor(s) on the one hand and parathyroid activity on the other may account for differences in plasma Ca levels observed between normal, sick, and hypocalcemic infants. Depressed plasma Mg is frequently present in hypocalcemic infants. To what degree the hypomagnesemia reflects parathyroid insufficiency or the converse, to what degree parathyroid insufficiency and hypocalcemia are secondary to hypomagnesemia, is uncertain.
PMCID: PMC301556  PMID: 4858778

Results 1-3 (3)