Language has been extensively investigated by functional neuroimaging studies. However, only a limited number of structural neuroimaging studies have examined the relationship between language performance and brain structure in healthy adults, and the number is even less in older adults. The present study sought to investigate correlations between grey matter volumes and three standardized language tests in late life. The participants were 344 non-demented, community-dwelling adults aged 70-90 years, who were drawn from the population-based Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. The three language tests included the Controlled Oral Word Association Task (COWAT), Category Fluency (CF), and Boston Naming Test (BNT). Correlation analyses between voxel-wise GM volumes and language tests showed distinctive GM correlation patterns for each language test. The GM correlates were located in the right frontal and left temporal lobes for COWAT, in the left frontal and temporal lobes for CF, and in bilateral temporal lobes for BNT. Our findings largely corresponded to the neural substrates of language tasks revealed in fMRI studies, and we also observed a less hemispheric asymmetry in the GM correlates of the language tests. Furthermore, we divided the participants into two age groups (70-79 and 80-90 years old), and then examined the correlations between structural laterality indices and language performance for each group. A trend toward significant difference in the correlations was found between the two age groups, with stronger correlations in the group of 70-79 years old than those in the group of 80-90 years old. This difference might suggest a further decline of language lateralization in different stages of late life.
To investigate the prognostic value of the neurocognitive status measured by screening instruments, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), individually and in combination with the stroke severity scale, the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), obtained at the subacute stroke phase or the baseline (≤2 weeks), for functional outcome 3–6 months later.
Prospective observational study.
Tertiary stroke neurology service.
400 patients with a recent ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) received NIHSS, MoCA and MMSE at baseline and were followed up 3–6 months later.
Primary outcome measures
At 3–6 months following the index event, functional outcome was measured by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores.
Most patients (79.8%) had a mild ischaemic stroke and less disability (median NIHSS=2, median mRS=2 and median premorbid mRS=0), while a minority of patients had TIA (20.3%). Baseline NIHSS, MMSE and MoCA scores individually predicted mRS scores at 3–6 months, with NIHSS being the strongest predictor (NIHSS: R2 change=0.043, p<0.001). Moreover, baseline MMSE scores had a small but statistically significant incremental predictive value to the baseline NIHSS for mRS scores at 3–6 months, while baseline MoCA scores did not (MMSE: R2 changes=0.006, p=0.03; MoCA: R2 changes=0.004, p=0.083). However, in patients with more severe stroke at baseline (defined as NIHSS>2), baseline MoCA and MMSE had a significant and moderately large incremental predictive value to the baseline NIHSS for mRS scores at 3–6 months (MMSE: R2 changes=0.021, p=0.010; MoCA: R2 changes=0.017, p=0.021).
Cognitive screening at the subacute stroke phase can predict functional outcome independently and improve the predictive value of stroke severity scores for functional outcome 3–6 months later, particularly in patients with more severe stroke.
GERIATRIC MEDICINE; REHABILITATION MEDICINE
We studied the outcome of allogeneic transplantation after lower-intensity conditioning regimens (reduced-intensity [RIC] and non-myeloablative [NST]) in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) relapsing after autologous transplantation. Non-relapse mortality (NRM), lymphoma progression/relapse, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed in 263 NHL patients. All had relapsed after a prior autologous transplant and then received allogeneic transplantation from related (n = 26) or unrelated donors (n= 237) after RIC (n = 128) or NST (n = 135), and were reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) between 1996 and 2006. Median follow-up of survivors was 68 months (range, 3–111). Three-year NRM was 44% (95% CI, 37%–50%). Lymphoma progression/relapse at three years was 35% (95% CI, 29%–41%). Three-year probabilities of PFS and OS were 21% (95% CI, 16%–27%) and 32% (95% CI, 27%–38%) respectively. Superior performance score, longer interval between transplants, total-body irradiation-based conditioning regimen and lymphoma remission at transplantation correlated with improved PFS. Allogeneic transplantation after lower-intensity conditioning is associated with significant NRM, but can result in long-term PFS. We describe a quantitative risk model based on pretransplant risk factors in order to identify those likely to benefit from this approach.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; Allogeneic; Relapse
Introduction and hypothesis
The objective of this study was to compare complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in women with and without pelvic floor disorders (PFD).
We conducted a survey of women presenting to a specialty urogynecology (Urogyn) and gynecology (Gyn) clinic that examined demographic data, CAM use, and the presence of PFD (validated questionnaires). T tests, Fisher’s exact tests, and logistic regression were used for analysis. To detect a 20% difference between groups, 234 Urogyn and 103 Gyn patients were needed.
Participants included 234 Urogyn and 103 Gyn patients. Urogyn patients reported more CAM use than Gyn patients, even when controlled for differences between groups (51% vs. 32%, adjusted p=0.006). Previous treatment (61% vs. 39%, adjusted p<0.001) and increased number of PFD was associated with increased CAM use (adjusted p=0.02).
Women with PFD use CAM more frequently than women without PFD.
Complementary alternative medicine; Fecal incontinence; Pelvic floor disorders; Pelvic organ prolapse; Urinary incontinence
The clinical characteristics and financial charges associated with treating adult cancer patients receiving chemotherapy as day oncology patients who present to the emergency department with neutropenia are examined.
After completing this course, the reader will be able to:
Identify fever and neutropenia in a cancer patient as a medical emergency requiring prompt assessment and antibiotic therapy.Explain the use of risk assessment scores to determine the risk of complications of fever and neutropenia at presentation.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
To examine the clinical characteristics and financial charges associated with treating adult cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in outpatient clinics who presented to the emergency department (ED) with neutropenia.
Design and Setting.
A retrospective audit was conducted across two health services involving ED episodes and subsequent hospital admissions of patients who received chemotherapy through day oncology from January 1 to December 31, 2007 and presented to the ED with neutropenia. ED data were collected from the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset and charges were collected from Health Information Services. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were used to describe the patient and clinical characteristics and financial outcomes, and to explore associations between these factors.
In total, 200 neutropenic episodes in 159 outpatients were seen in the ED over the survey period. The mean patient age was 56.6 years (standard deviation, 13.2 years) and 47.2% were male. Overall, 70.0% of ED episodes were triaged as Australasian Triage Scale 2 (emergency). The median ED wait time was 10 minutes and the median ED length of stay was 6.8 hours. The median charge for each ED episode was $764.08 Australian dollars. The total combined ED and inpatient charge per episode was in the range of $144.27–$174,732.68, with a median charge of $5,640.87.
This study provides important insights into the clinical and economic burden of neutropenia from both the ED and inpatient perspectives. Alternative treatment models, such as outpatient treatment, early discharge programs or prophylactic interventions to reduce the clinical and economic burden of neutropenia on our health system, must be explored.
Emergency department; Cancer; Oncology; Neutropenia; Financial charges; Clinical burden; Economics
Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Myplate.gov also supports that one-half the plate should be fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In this review, we describe the existing dietary guidance on intake of fruits and vegetables. We also review attempts to characterize fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar chemical structures and functions. Differences among fruits and vegetables in nutrient composition are detailed. We summarize the epidemiological and clinical studies on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we discuss the role of fiber in fruits and vegetables in disease prevention.
We describe an 8-year-old boy with developmental delay, clinical bilateral radial ulnar synostosis, Klippel-Feil anomaly, and other vertebral deformities who was found to have a de novo deletion of 114.5kb at 16p13.3. The deletion contains five genes and three miRNAs. The genes are E4F1, DNASE1L2, ECI1, RNPS1, and ABCA3; miRNAs are MIR3677, MIR940, and MIR4717. The specific deletion has never been previously reported. We describe the phenotype of the boy and review the genes in the deleted region. None of the regulatory elements have any known linkage to skeletal formation and/or maintenance. We believe this deletion is causative given that it was de novo and that this patient cannot be easily explained as having any other specific recognizable pattern of human malformation.
The proximal q arm of chromosome 15 contains breakpoint regions BP1–BP5 with the classic deletion of BP1–BP3 best known to be associated with Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. The region is approximately 500 kb and microdeletions within the BP1-BP2 region have been reported in patients with developmental delay, behavioral abnormalities, and motor apraxia as well as dysmorphic features including hypertelorism, cleft or narrow palate, ear abnormalities, and recurrent upper airway infections. We report two patients with unique, never-before-reported 15q11.2 BP1-2 microdeletion syndrome findings, one with proximal esophageal atresia and distal tracheoesophageal fistula (type C) and one with congenital cataracts. Cataracts have been described in Prader-Willi syndrome but we could not find any description of cataracts in Angelman syndrome. Esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula have not been reported to our knowledge in either syndrome. A chance exists that both cases are sporadic birth defects; however, the findings of the concomitant microdeletion cannot be overlooked as a possible cause. Based on our review of the literature and the presentation of our patients, we recommend that esophageal atresia and distal tracheoesophageal fistula as well as congenital cataracts be included in the phenotypic spectrum of 15q11.2 BP1-2 microdeletion syndrome.
An aging population brings increasing burdens and costs to individuals and society arising from late-life cognitive decline, the causes of which are unclear. We aimed to identify factors predicting late-life cognitive decline.
Participants were 889 community-dwelling 70–90-year-olds from the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study with comprehensive neuropsychological assessments at baseline and a 2-year follow-up and initially without dementia. Cognitive decline was considered as incident mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, as well as decreases in attention/processing speed, executive function, memory, and global cognition. Associations with baseline demographic, lifestyle, health and medical factors were determined.
All cognitive measures showed decline and 14% of participants developed incident MCI or dementia. Across all participants, risk factors for decline included older age and poorer smelling ability most prominently, but also more education, history of depression, being male, higher homocysteine, coronary artery disease, arthritis, low health status, and stroke. Protective factors included marriage, kidney disease, and antidepressant use. For some of these factors the association varied with age or differed between men and women. Additional risk and protective factors that were strictly age- and/or sex-dependent were also identified. We found salient population attributable risks (8.7–49.5%) for older age, being male or unmarried, poor smelling ability, coronary artery disease, arthritis, stroke, and high homocysteine.
Preventing or treating conditions typically associated with aging might reduce population-wide late-life cognitive decline. Interventions tailored to particular age and sex groups may offer further benefits.
Nail-Patella syndrome (NPS) is an autosomal dominant disorder that is the result of heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in LMX1B, coding for a LIM homeobox (LIM-HD) transcription factor. Analyses of lmx1b mutant mice have revealed the role of Lmx1b in the development of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons and the serotonergic system; these areas have been linked with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Fifty adults (38 females, 12 males) with NPS completed the Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scales—Self-report: Long Version (CAARS) and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The objective was to describe the neurobehavioral phenotype of these subjects and examine possible relationships between neurobehavioral symptoms and NPS. Elevated levels of DSM-IV-TR ADHD Inattentive symptoms were reported on the CAARS by 22% of the NPS sample. The BDI-II Total score was elevated for 40% of the NPS sample. There was a significant increase in the odds of an elevated BDI-II Total score when any of the three CAARS scales were elevated (odds ratios ranging from 11.455 to 15.615). The CAARS and BDI-II did not significantly differ with gender, age, or education level. There was no significant association between genetic mutation-predicted protein status and elevations on CAARS or BDI-II. Individuals with NPS reported co-occurring symptoms of ADHD and MDD, with higher levels of co-occurrence than reported in the literature for the general population. The co-occurrence of these symptoms may be related to mesencephalic dopaminergic neurologic pathway abnormalities that are a consequence of LMX1B loss of function.
ADHD; MDD; behavior phenotype; neurobehavior
Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a genetic disorder associated with delayed growth, intellectual disability, limb reduction defects and characteristic facial features. Germline mosaicism has been a described mechanism for CdLS when there are several affected offspring of apparently unaffected parents. Presently, the recurrence risk for CdLS has been estimated to be as high as 1.5%; however, this figure may be an underrepresentation. We report on the molecularly defined germline mosaicism cases from a large CdLS database, representing the first large case series on germline mosaicism in CdLS. Of the 12 families, eight have been previously described; however, four have not. No one specific gene mutation, either in the NIPBL or the SMC1A gene, was associated with an increased risk for germline mosaicism. Suspected or confirmed cases of germline mosaicism in our database range from a conservative 3.4% up to 5.4% of our total cohort. In conclusion, the potential reproductive recurrence risk due to germline mosiacism should be addressed in prenatal counseling for all families who have had a previously affected pregnancy or child with CdLS.
Cornelia de Lange syndrome; Germline Mosaicism; Germ Cell; Mosaicism; Genetic Counseling
An increase in Rab1b levels induces changes in Golgi size and in gene expression. These Rab1b-dependent changes require the activity of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and the cAMP-responsive element binding protein consensus binding. The results show a Rab1b increase in secretory cells after stimulation and suggest that this increase is required to elicit a secretory response.
Rab1b belongs to the Rab-GTPase family that regulates membrane trafficking and signal transduction systems able to control diverse cellular activities, including gene expression. Rab1b is essential for endoplasmic reticulum–Golgi transport. Although it is ubiquitously expressed, its mRNA levels vary among different tissues. This work aims to characterize the role of the high Rab1b levels detected in some secretory tissues. We report that, in HeLa cells, an increase in Rab1b levels induces changes in Golgi size and gene expression. Significantly, analyses applied to selected genes, KDELR3, GM130 (involved in membrane transport), and the proto-oncogene JUN, indicate that the Rab1b increase acts as a molecular switch to control the expression of these genes at the transcriptional level, resulting in changes at the protein level. These Rab1b-dependent changes require the activity of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and the cAMP-responsive element-binding protein consensus binding site in those target promoter regions. Moreover, our results reveal that, in a secretory thyroid cell line (FRTL5), Rab1b expression increases in response to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Additionally, changes in Rab1b expression in FRTL5 cells modify the specific TSH response. Our results show, for the first time, that changes in Rab1b levels modulate gene transcription and strongly suggest that a Rab1b increase is required to elicit a secretory response.
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are potential sources of cells for modeling disease and development, drug discovery, and regenerative medicine. However, it is important to identify factors that may impact the utility of hPSCs for these applications. In an unbiased analysis of 205 hPSC and 130 somatic samples, we identified hPSC-specific epigenetic and transcriptional aberrations in genes subject to X chromosome inactivation (XCI) and genomic imprinting, which were not corrected during directed differentiation. We also found that specific tissue types were distinguished by unique patterns of DNA hypomethylation, which were recapitulated by DNA demethylation during in vitro directed differentiation. Our results suggest that verification of baseline epigenetic status is critical for hPSC-based disease models in which the observed phenotype depends on proper XCI or imprinting, and that tissue-specific DNA methylation patterns can be accurately modeled during directed differentiation of hPSCs, even in the presence of variations in XCI or imprinting.
This study investigated the fermentation and microbiota profiles of three fibers, wheat dextrin (WD), partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG), and inulin, since little is known about the effects of WD and PHGG on gut microbiota. A treatment of salivary amylase, pepsin, and pancreatin was used to better physiologic digestion. Fibers (0.5 g) were fermented in triplicate including a control group without fiber for 0, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h. Analysis of pH, gas volume, hydrogen and methane gases, and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations were completed at each time point. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to measure Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus CFUs at 24 h. WD produced the least gas during fermentation at 8, 12, and 24 h (P < 0.0001), while inulin produced the most by 8 h (P < 0.0001). Each fiber reached its lowest pH value at different time points with inulin at 8 h (mean ± SE) (5.94 ± 0.03), PHGG at 12 h (5.98 ± 0.01), and WD at 24 h (6.17 ± 0.03). All fibers had higher total SCFA concentrations compared to the negative control (P < 0.05) at 24 h. At 24 h, inulin produced significantly (P = 0.0016) more butyrate than WD with PHGG being similar to both. An exploratory microbial analysis (log10 CFU/µL) showed WD had CFU for Bifidobacteria (6.12) and Lactobacillus (7.15) compared with the control (4.92 and 6.35, respectively). Rate of gas production is influenced by fiber source and may affect tolerance in vivo. Exploratory microbiota data hint at high levels of Bifidobacteria for WD, but require more robust investigation to corroborate these findings.
short-chain fatty acids; in vitro fermentation; tolerance; prebiotic; microbiota
Glioblastomas (GBM), the most common and aggressive malignant astrocytic tumors, contain a small subpopulation of cancer stem cells (GSCs) that are implicated in therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence. Here, we study the expression and function of miR-137, a putative suppressor miRNA, in GBM and GSCs. We found that the expression of miR-137 was significantly lower in GBM and GSCs compared to normal brains and neural stem cells (NSCs) and that the miR-137 promoter was hypermethylated in the GBM specimens. The expression of miR-137 was increased in differentiated NSCs and GSCs and overexpression of miR-137 promoted the neural differentiation of both cell types. Moreover, pre-miR-137 significantly decreased the self-renewal of GSCs and the stem cell markers Oct4, Nanog, Sox2 and Shh. We identified RTVP-1 as a novel target of miR-137 in GSCs; transfection of the cells with miR-137 decreased the expression of RTVP-1 and the luciferase activity of RTVP-1 3'-UTR reporter plasmid. Furthermore, overexpression of RTVP-1 plasmid lacking its 3'-UTR abrogated the inhibitory effect of miR-137 on the self-renewal of GSCs. Silencing of RTVP-1 decreased the self-renewal of GSCs and the expression of CXCR4 and overexpression of CXCR4 abrogated the inhibitory effect of RTVP-1 silencing on GSC self-renewal. These results demonstrate that miR-137 is downregulated in GBM probably due to promoter hypermethylation. miR-137 inhibits GSC self-renewal and promotes their differentiation by targeting RTVP-1 which downregulates CXCR4. Thus, miR-137 and RTVP-1 are attractive therapeutic targets for the eradication of GSCs and for the treatment of GBM.
Glioma stem cells; self renewal; miR-137; RTVP-1; CXCR4
Miniature optical sensors that can detect blood vessels in front of advancing instruments will significantly benefit many interventional procedures. Towards this end, we developed a thin and flexible coherence-gated Doppler (CGD) fiber probe (O.D. = 0.125 mm) that can be integrated with minimally-invasive tools to provide real-time audio feedback of blood flow at precise locations in front of the probe. Coherence-gated Doppler (CGD) is a hybrid technology with features of laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) and Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT). Because of its confocal optical design and coherence-gating capabilities, CGD provides higher spatial resolution than LDF. And compared to DOCT imaging systems, CGD is simpler and less costly to produce. In vivo studies of rat femoral vessels using CGD demonstrate its ability to distinguish between artery, vein and bulk movement of the surrounding soft tissue. Finally, by placing the CGD probe inside a 30-gauge needle and advancing it into the brain of an anesthetized sheep, we demonstrate that it is capable of detecting vessels in front of advancing probes during simulated stereotactic neurosurgical procedures. Using simultaneous ultrasound (US) monitoring from the surface of the brain we show that CGD can detect at-risk blood vessels up to 3 mm in front of the advancing probe. The improved spatial resolution afforded by coherence gating combined with the simplicity, minute size and robustness of the CGD probe suggest it may benefit many minimally invasive procedures and enable it to be embedded into a variety of surgical instruments.
(170.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (170.3340) Laser Doppler velocimetry; (280.1415) Biological sensing and sensors
Headaches (cephalgias) are a common reason for patients to seek medical care. There are groups of patients with recurrent headache and craniofacial pain presenting with malignant course of their disease that becomes refractory to pharmacotherapy and other medical management options. Neuromodulation can be a viable treatment modality for at least some of these patients. We review the available evidence related to the use of neuromodulation modalities for the treatment of medically refractory craniofacial pain of different nosology based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II) classification. This article also reviews the scientific rationale of neuromodulation application in management of cephalgias.
Deep brain stimulation; migraine; cluster headache; occipital neuralgia; peripheral nerve stimulation; spinal cord stimulation
Despite decades of experience with community health workers (CHWs) in a wide variety of global health projects, there is no established conceptual framework that structures how implementers and researchers can understand, study and improve their respective programs based on lessons learned by other CHW programs.
To apply an original, non-linear framework and case study method, 5-SPICE, to multiple sister projects of a large, international non-governmental organization (NGO), and other CHW projects.
Engaging a large group of implementers, researchers and the best available literature, the 5-SPICE framework was refined and then applied to a selection of CHW programs. Insights gleaned from the case study method were summarized in a tabular format named the ‘5×5-SPICE chart’. This format graphically lists the ways in which essential CHW program elements interact, both positively and negatively, in the implementation field.
The 5×5-SPICE charts reveal a variety of insights that come from a more complex understanding of how essential CHW projects interact and influence each other in their unique context. Some have been well described in the literature previously, while others are exclusive to this article. An analysis of how best to compensate CHWs is also offered as an example of the type of insights that this method may yield.
The 5-SPICE framework is a novel instrument that can be used to guide discussions about CHW projects. Insights from this process can help guide quality improvement efforts, or be used as hypothesis that will form the basis of a program's research agenda. Recent experience with research protocols embedded into successfully implemented projects demonstrates how such hypothesis can be rigorously tested.
community health workers; quality improvement; research; conceptual framework; case study
The health benefits of dietary fiber have long been appreciated. Higher intakes of dietary fiber are linked to less cardiovascular disease and fiber plays a role in gut health, with many effective laxatives actually isolated fiber sources. Higher intakes of fiber are linked to lower body weights. Only polysaccharides were included in dietary fiber originally, but more recent definitions have included oligosaccharides as dietary fiber, not based on their chemical measurement as dietary fiber by the accepted total dietary fiber (TDF) method, but on their physiological effects. Inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, and other oligosaccharides are included as fiber in food labels in the US. Additionally, oligosaccharides are the best known “prebiotics”, “a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-bring and health.” To date, all known and suspected prebiotics are carbohydrate compounds, primarily oligosaccharides, known to resist digestion in the human small intestine and reach the colon where they are fermented by the gut microflora. Studies have provided evidence that inulin and oligofructose (OF), lactulose, and resistant starch (RS) meet all aspects of the definition, including the stimulation of Bifidobacterium, a beneficial bacterial genus. Other isolated carbohydrates and carbohydrate-containing foods, including galactooligosaccharides (GOS), transgalactooligosaccharides (TOS), polydextrose, wheat dextrin, acacia gum, psyllium, banana, whole grain wheat, and whole grain corn also have prebiotic effects.
dietary fiber; prebiotics; fermentation; microbiota; short chain fatty acids; immune function
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. However, many individuals diagnosed with MCI are found to have reverted to normal cognition on follow-up. This study investigated factors predicting or associated with reversion from MCI to normal cognition.
Our analyses considered 223 participants (48.9% male) aged 71–89 years, drawn from the prospective, population-based Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. All were diagnosed with MCI at baseline and subsequently classified with either normal cognition or repeat diagnosis of MCI after two years (a further 11 participants who progressed from MCI to dementia were excluded). Associations with reversion were investigated for (1) baseline factors that included diagnostic features, personality, neuroimaging, sociodemographics, lifestyle, and physical and mental health; (2) longitudinal change in potentially modifiable factors.
There were 66 reverters to normal cognition and 157 non-reverters (stable MCI). Regression analyses identified diagnostic features as most predictive of prognosis, with reversion less likely in participants with multiple-domain MCI (p = 0.011), a moderately or severely impaired cognitive domain (p = 0.002 and p = 0.006), or an informant-based memory complaint (p = 0.031). Reversion was also less likely for participants with arthritis (p = 0.037), but more likely for participants with higher complex mental activity (p = 0.003), greater openness to experience (p = 0.041), better vision (p = 0.014), better smelling ability (p = 0.040), or larger combined volume of the left hippocampus and left amygdala (p<0.040). Reversion was also associated with a larger drop in diastolic blood pressure between baseline and follow-up (p = 0.026).
Numerous factors are associated with reversion from MCI to normal cognition. Assessing these factors could facilitate more accurate prognosis of individuals with MCI. Participation in cognitively enriching activities and efforts to lower blood pressure might promote reversion.
This study compared the use of two commonly utilized dural closure techniques used in augmentation duraplasty for Chiari malformation I (CM I) and evaluated their efficacy and outcome in terms of quality of life assessments.
This prospective randomized study compared sutureless (DuraGen) and suturable (Dura-Guard) techniques in CM I decompression. Clinical parameters, cost analysis, and SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ) were utilized to assess outcome.
Thirty-four patients were enrolled. Average age was 38.7 ± 12.2 years (mean ± SD (Standard Deviation)) and 82% of patients were female. Sixteen patients received DuraGen and 18 Dura-Guard. Age and gender were similar among groups. Postoperative complications did not differ between groups. Operative cost and time were less for DuraGen, whereas hospital stay was less with Dura-Guard, neither was statistically significant. Average QLQ scores at months 1, 2, and 3 improved in both groups. Dura-Guard patients showed greater improvement in quality of life at month 2 (P < 0.05) but groups did not differ at final survey. All patient's physical health (P < 0.005) and function (P < 0.005) were significantly improved. Outcome did not differ between groups and all patients showed significant improvement (P < 0.05).
Both techniques are effective in reaching the goals of decompressive surgery for CM I and did not differ in quality of life at final survey. All patients showed significant improvement in physical function, physical health, and outcome following surgery. With all variables being equal the choice of duraplasty material may be based upon surgeon's preference.
Chiari malformation; dural substitutes; duraplasty; outcome; posterior fossa
It has been postulated that multiple-marker methods may have added ability, over single-marker methods, to detect genetic variants associated with disease. The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) provided the first successful large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) which included single-marker association analyses for seven common complex diseases. Of those signals detected, only one was associated with coronary artery disease (CAD), and none were identified for hypertension (HTN). Our objective was to find additional genetic associations and pathways for cardiovascular disease by examining the WTCCC data for variants associated with CAD and HTN using two-marker testing methods. We applied two-marker association testing to the WTCCC dataset, which includes ~2,000 affected individuals with each disorder, and a shared pool of ~3,000 controls, all genotyped using Affymetrix GeneChip 500 K arrays. For CAD, we detected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) pairs in three genes showing genome-wide significance: HFE2, STK32B, and DIPC2. The most notable SNP pairs in a non-protein-coding region were at 9p21, a known major CAD-associated region. For HTN, we detected SNP pairs in five genes: GPR39, XRCC4, MYO6, ZFAT, and MACROD2. Four further associated SNP pair regions were at least 70 kb from any known gene. We have shown that novel, multiple-marker, statistical methods can be of use in finding variants in GWAS. We describe many new, associated variants for both CAD and HTN and describe their known genetic mechanisms.
To stimulate discussion around the topic of ‘carbohydrates’ and health, the Brazilian branch of the International Life Sciences Institute held the 11th International Functional Foods Workshop (1–2 December 2011) in which consolidated knowledge and recent scientific advances specific to the relationship between carbohydrates and health were presented. As part of this meeting, several key points related to dietary fiber, glycemic response, fructose, and impacts on satiety, cognition, mood, and gut microbiota were realized: 1) there is a need for global harmonization of a science-based fiber definition; 2) low-glycemic index foods can be used to modulate the postprandial glycemic response and may affect diabetes and cardiovascular outcomes; 3) carbohydrate type may influence satiety and satiation; glycemic load and glycemic index show links to memory, mood, and concentration; 4) validated biomarkers are needed to demonstrate the known prebiotic effect of carbohydrates; 5) negative effects of fructose are not evident when human data are systematically reviewed; 6) new research indicates that diet strongly influences the microbiome; and 7) there is mounting evidence that the intestinal microbiota has the ability to impact the gut–brain axis. Overall, there is much promise for development of functional foods that impact the microbiome and other factors relevant to health, including glycemic response (glycemic index/glycemic load), satiety, mood, cognition, and weight management.
fiber; gut health; prebiotic; glycemia; satiety; carbohydrates; weight; mood; cognition; fructose; biomarkers; functional food; microbiome
Glioblastomas (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of malignant glioma, are characterized by increased invasion into the surrounding brain tissues. Despite intensive therapeutic strategies, the median survival of GBM patients has remained dismal over the last decades. In this study we examined the expression of miR-145 in glial tumors and its function in glioma cells. Using TCGA analysis and real-time PCR we found that the expression of miR-145/143 cluster was downregulated in astrocytic tumors compared to normal brain specimens and in glioma cells and glioma stem cells (GSCs) compared to normal astrocytes and neural stem cells. Moreover, the low expression of both miR-145 and miR-143 in GBM was correlated with poor patient prognosis. Transfection of glioma cells with miR-145 mimic or transduction with a lentivirus vector expressing pre-miR 145 significantly decreased the migration and invasion of glioma cells. We identified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) as a novel target of miR-145 in glioma cells; transfection of the cells with this miRNA decreased the expression of CTGF as determined by Western blot analysis and the expression of its 3′-UTR fused to luciferase. Overexpression of a CTGF plasmid lacking the 3′-UTR and administration of recombinant CTGF protein abrogated the inhibitory effect of miR-145 on glioma cell migration. Similarly, we found that silencing of CTGF decreased the migration of glioma cells. CTGF silencing also decreased the expression of SPARC, phospho-FAK and FAK and overexpression of SPARC abrogated the inhibitory effect of CTGF silencing on cell migration. These results demonstrate that miR-145 is downregulated in glial tumors and its low expression in GBM predicts poor patient prognosis. In addition miR-145 regulates glioma cell migration by targeting CTGF which downregulates SPARC expression. Therefore, miR-145 is an attractive therapeutic target for anti-invasive treatment of astrocytic tumors.