Alcohol-induced hangover, defined by a series of symptoms, is the most commonly reported consequence of excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol hangovers contribute to workplace absenteeism, impaired job performance, reduced productivity, poor academic achievement, and may compromise potentially dangerous daily activities such as driving a car or operating heavy machinery. These socioeconomic consequences and health risks of alcohol hangover are much higher when compared to various common diseases and other health risk factors. Nevertheless, unlike alcohol intoxication the hangover has received very little scientific attention and studies have often yielded inconclusive results. Systematic research is important to increase our knowledge on alcohol hangover and its consequences. This consensus paper of the Alcohol Hangover Research Group discusses methodological issues that should be taken into account when performing future alcohol hangover research. Future research should aim to (1) further determine the pathology of alcohol hangover, (2) examine the role of genetics, (3) determine the economic costs of alcohol hangover, (4) examine sex and age differences, (5) develop common research tools and methodologies to study hangover effects, (6) focus on factor that aggravate hangover severity (e.g., congeners), and (7) develop effective hangover remedies.
Alcohol hangover; methodology; guidelines; research
Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is associated with both genetic and environmental factors and affects many people worldwide. A hallmark of LDD is loss of proteoglycan and water content in the nucleus pulposus of intervertebral discs. While some genetic determinants have been reported, the etiology of LDD is largely unknown. Here we report the findings from linkage and association studies on a total of 32,642 subjects consisting of 4,043 LDD cases and 28,599 control subjects. We identified carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 (CHST3), an enzyme that catalyzes proteoglycan sulfation, as a susceptibility gene for LDD. The strongest genome-wide linkage peak encompassed CHST3 from a Southern Chinese family–based data set, while a genome-wide association was observed at rs4148941 in the gene in a meta-analysis using multiethnic population cohorts. rs4148941 lies within a potential microRNA-513a-5p (miR-513a-5p) binding site. Interaction between miR-513a-5p and mRNA transcribed from the susceptibility allele (A allele) of rs4148941 was enhanced in vitro compared with transcripts from other alleles. Additionally, expression of CHST3 mRNA was significantly reduced in the intervertebral disc cells of human subjects carrying the A allele of rs4148941. Together, our data provide new insights into the etiology of LDD, implicating an interplay between genetic risk factors and miRNA.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common spinal deformity, affecting around 2% of adolescents worldwide. Genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. Using a genome-wide association study (GWAS), we recently identified novel AIS susceptibility loci on chromosomes 10q24.31 and 6q24.1. To identify more AIS susceptibility loci relating to its severity and progression, we performed GWAS by limiting the case subjects to those with severe AIS. Through a two-stage association study using a total of ∼12,000 Japanese subjects, we identified a common variant, rs12946942 that showed a significant association with severe AIS in the recessive model (P = 4.00×10−8, odds ratio [OR] = 2.05). Its association was replicated in a Chinese population (combined P = 6.43×10−12, OR = 2.21). rs12946942 is on chromosome 17q24.3 near the genes SOX9 and KCNJ2, which when mutated cause scoliosis phenotypes. Our findings will offer new insight into the etiology and progression of AIS.
Deep vein thrombosis is one of the common complications of orthopedic surgery. Studies indicated that genetic factors played a considerable role in the pathogenesis of deep vein thrombosis. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase which encoded by nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), can generate nitric oxide in endothelial cells. As a predominant regulator for vascular homeostasis, nitric oxide might be involved in the pathogenesis of thrombosis. It had been proved that the NOS3 polymorphism (rs1799983) was associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases. Our objective was to evaluate the association between the NOS3 polymorphism (rs1799983) and deep vein thrombosis after orthopedic surgery in Chinese Han population. The polymorphism was genotyped in 224 subjects with deep vein thrombosis after orthopedic surgery and 580 controls. Allele and genotype frequencies were compared between subjects with deep vein thrombosis and control subjects. The allele and genotype frequencies of the NOS3 polymorphism (rs1799983) were significantly different between subjects with deep vein thrombosis and control subjects. There were also significant differences when the subjects were stratified by gender, surgery type and hypertension status. These findings suggested that the NOS3 polymorphism (rs1799983) was associated with susceptibility to the deep vein thrombosis after orthopedic surgery in Chinese Han population, and NOS3 might play a role in the development of deep vein thrombosis after orthopedic surgery.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis and accounts for substantial morbidity and disability, particularly in the elderly. It is characterized by changes in joint structure including degeneration of the articular cartilage and its etiology is multifactorial with a strong postulated genetic component. We performed a meta-analysis of four genome-wide association (GWA) studies of 2,371 knee OA cases and 35,909 controls in Caucasian populations. Replication of the top hits was attempted with data from additional ten replication datasets. With a cumulative sample size of 6,709 cases and 44,439 controls, we identified one genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 7q22 for knee OA (rs4730250, p-value=9.2×10−9), thereby confirming its role as a susceptibility locus for OA. The associated signal is located within a large (500kb) linkage disequilibrium (LD) block that contains six genes; PRKAR2B (protein kinase, cAMP-dependent, regulatory, type II, beta), HPB1 (HMG-box transcription factor 1), COG5 (component of oligomeric golgi complex 5), GPR22 (G protein-coupled receptor 22), DUS4L (dihydrouridine synthase 4-like), and BCAP29 (the B-cell receptor-associated protein 29). Gene expression analyses of the (six) genes in primary cells derived from different joint tissues confirmed expression of all the genes in the joint environment.
The aim of this study was to develop a self-diagnostic scale that could distinguish smartphone addicts based on the Korean self-diagnostic program for Internet addiction (K-scale) and the smartphone's own features. In addition, the reliability and validity of the smartphone addiction scale (SAS) was demonstrated.
A total of 197 participants were selected from Nov. 2011 to Jan. 2012 to accomplish a set of questionnaires, including SAS, K-scale, modified Kimberly Young Internet addiction test (Y-scale), visual analogue scale (VAS), and substance dependence and abuse diagnosis of DSM-IV. There were 64 males and 133 females, with ages ranging from 18 to 53 years (M = 26.06; SD = 5.96). Factor analysis, internal-consistency test, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analysis were conducted to verify the reliability and validity of SAS.
Based on the factor analysis results, the subscale “disturbance of reality testing” was removed, and six factors were left. The internal consistency and concurrent validity of SAS were verified (Cronbach's alpha = 0.967). SAS and its subscales were significantly correlated with K-scale and Y-scale. The VAS of each factor also showed a significant correlation with each subscale. In addition, differences were found in the job (p<0.05), education (p<0.05), and self-reported smartphone addiction scores (p<0.001) in SAS.
This study developed the first scale of the smartphone addiction aspect of the diagnostic manual. This scale was proven to be relatively reliable and valid.
To investigate the effects of Genistein on the osteogenic related gene expression profiles during osteoblastic differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (hBMSC) cultures, the hBMSCs were cultured under osteogenic differentiation medium with the addition of Genistein (10-8∼10-5 M) for 12 days. The cell proliferation was measured by BrdU incorporation, while the osteoblastic differentiation in hBMSC cultures was assessed by cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. The cell apoptosis was determined by caspase 3/7 activation. GEArray Q series human osteogenesis gene array was used to analyze large-scale gene expression in Genistein-treated hBMSC cultures compared to the control group. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR, small interfering RNA (siRNA), and western blot analysis were used to confirm the microarray data in five representative transcripts. Genistein (10-8∼10-6 M) dose- and time-dependently increased cell proliferation and cellular ALP activity, but had no significant effect on cell apoptosis in hBMSC cultures. The 96-gene array analysis indicated that 22 genes were upregulated more than 2-fold and 7 genes were downregulated at least 1.5-fold. The expressions of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), small mothers against decapentaplegic homologs (SMADs), and Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) were concomitantly increased under Genistein treatment while insulin-like growth factor 2 and inhibitory SMADs 6 and 7 expressions were significantly decreased. The results of the real-time RT-PCR had a correlation with the results of microarray analysis and were estrogen-receptor dependent. Specific gene siRNAs knock-down further confirmed the osteogenic effects of Genistein on BMP2, SMAD5 and RUNX2 protein expression. Genistein enhanced osteogenic differentiation in cultured hBMSCs mainly through the BMP-dependent SMADs and RUNX2 signaling.
Genistein, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell; cDNA microarray; osteogenic differentiation
We have previously demonstrated that substitution of ATP with 2 deoxy-ATP (dATP) increased the magnitude and rate of force production at all levels of Ca2+-mediated activation in demembranated cardiac muscle. In the current study we hypothesized that cellular [dATP] could be increased by viral-mediated over expression of the ribonucleotide reductase (Rrm1 and Rrm2) complex, which would increase contractility of adult rat cardiomyocytes. Cell length and ratiometric (fura2) Ca2+ fluorescence were monitored by video microscopy. At 0.5 Hz stimulation, the extent of shortening was increased ~40% and maximal rate of shortening was increased ~80% in cardiomyocytes overexpressing Rrm1+Rrm2 as compared to non-transduced cardiomyocytes. The maximal rate of relaxation was also increased ~150% with Rrm1+Rrm2 over expression, resulting in decreased time to 50% relaxation over non-transduced cardiomyocytes. These differences were even more dramatic when compared to cardiomyocytes expressing GFP-only. Interestingly, Rrm1+Rrm2 over expression had no effect on minimal or maximal intracellular [Ca2+] (Fura2 fluorescence), indicating increased contractility is primarily due to increased myofilament activity without altering Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Additionally, functional potentiation was maintained with Rrm1+Rrm2 over expression as stimulation frequency was increased (1 Hz and 2 Hz). HPLC analysis indicated cellular [dATP] was increased by approximately 10-fold following transduction, becoming ~1.5% of the adenine nucleotide pool. Furthermore, 2% dATP was sufficient to significantly increase crossbridge binding and contractile force during sub-maximal Ca2+ activation in demembranated cardiac muscle. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of directly targeting the actin-myosin chemomechanical crossbridge cycle to enhance cardiac contractility and relaxation without affecting minimal or maximal Ca2+.
Cardiomyocyte; Contractility; Ribonucleotide Reductase
The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to measure motivation to improve Internet addiction. Motivation is known to be important to treat Internet addiction successfully. The reliability of the scale was assessed, and its concurrent validity was evaluated.
Ninety-two adolescents participated in this study. The basic demographic characteristics were recorded and the Korean version of the Stages of Readiness for Change and Eagerness for Treatment Scale for Internet Addiction (K-SOCRATES-I) was administered. Subsequently, the Internet Addiction Improvement Motivation Scale was developed using 10 questions based on the theory of motivation enhancement therapy and its precursor version designed for smoking cessation.
The motivation scale was composed of three subscales through factor analysis; each subscale had an adequate degree of reliability. In addition, the motivation scale had a high degree of validity based on its significant correlation with the K-SOCRATES-I. A cut-off score, which can be used to screen out individuals with low motivation, was suggested.
The Internet Addiction Improvement Motivation Scale, composed of 10 questions developed in this study, was deemed a highly reliable and valid scale to measure a respondent's motivation to be treated for Internet addiction.
Internet addiction; Motivation scale; Motivation enhancement therapy; Validation; Standardization
To evaluate antiviral properties of blackberry extract against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro.
HSV-infected oral epithelial (OKF6) cells and cell-free virus suspensions were treated with blackberry extract (2.24 to 1400 μg/mL) and virus yield and infectivity were quantified by direct plaque assay.
Blackberry extract ≥ 56 μg/ml inhibited HSV-1 replication in oral epithelial cells by > 99% (p < 0.005). Concentrations ≥ 280 μg/ml were antiviral when the extract was added after virus adsorption and entry. Exposure of cell-free virus to ≥ 280 μg/ml blackberry extract for 15 minutes at room temperature was virucidal (p = 0.0002). The virucidal effects were not due to pH changes at concentrations up to 1500 μg/ml.
Blackberry extract inhibited the early stages of HSV-1 replication and had potent virucidal activity. These properties suggest that this natural fruit extract could provide advantage as a topical prophylactic/therapeutic agent for HSV infections.
herpes simplex virus; antiviral; blackberry extract
The purpose of the study was to develop the Korean version of the Stage of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale for Smoking Cessation (K-SOCRATES-S) based on the Korean version of the Stages of Readiness for Change and Eagerness for Treatment scale (K-SOCRATES). This paper also demonstrates its reliability and validity among patients with nicotine dependence in South Korea.
At seven healthcare promotion centers in Gyeonggi-do, 333 male smokers aged 20 to 70 who visited smoking cessation clinic were recruited for this study and the K-SOCRATES-S was administered. After three months, the number of respondents who successfully stopped smoking was assessed by testing their urine cotinine level. Subsequently, exploratory factor analysis was performed to verify the reliability and validity of the K-SOCRATES-S. Also, a logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the variables that can predict the successful cessation of smoking on subscales of the K-SOCRATES-S.
Exploratory factor analysis of the K-SOCRATES-S showed that the scale consisted of three factors: Taking Steps, Recognition, and Ambivalence. The scales measuring Taking Steps and Recognition in this scale had a significantly positive correlation with the scores observed on Kim's smoking cessation motivation scale. The scales measuring Taking Steps and Recognition had a significantly negative correlation with Ambivalence. Overall, the results indicate that the K-SOCRATES-K scale showed high validity.
The K-SOCRATES-S developed in the present study is highly reliable and valid for predicting a patient's likelihood of success in quitting smoking among patients who want to cease smoking.
SOCRATES; Smoking; Smoking cessation; Motivation scale; Motivational enhancement therapy; Predictive validity
Chronic use of alcohol is considered to be a potential risk factor for the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which causes insulin resistance and pancreatic β-cell dysfunction that is a prerequisite for the development of diabetes. However, alcohol consumption in diabetes has been controversial and more detailed information on the diabetogenic impact of alcohol seems warranted. Diabetes, especially T2DM, causes dysregulation of various metabolic processes, which includes a defect in the insulin-mediated glucose function of adipocytes, and an impaired insulin action in the liver. In addition, neurobiological profiles of alcoholism are linked to the effects of a disruption of glucose homeostasis and of insulin resistance, which are affected by altered appetite that regulates the peptides and neurotrophic factors. Since conditions, which precede the onset of diabetes that are associated with alcoholism is one of the crucial public problems, researches in efforts to prevent and treat diabetes with alcohol dependence, receives special clinical interest. Therefore, the purpose of this mini-review is to provide the recent progress and current theories in the interplay between alcoholism and diabetes. Further, the purpose of this study also includes summarizing the pathophysiological mechanisms in the neurobiology of alcoholism.
Alcohol; Diabetes mellitus; Glucose; Insulin
Objective: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin which modulates neuronal survival and proliferation. Recently, plasma BDNF is associated with inflammatory conditions. The present study was to investigate the changes of the plasma BDNF level in hemodialysis patients and to evaluate the relationship between the plasma BDNF and uremic inflammation.
Method: We measured the plasma BDNF, serum IL-2, IL-4, IFN-γ and TNF-α in hemodialysis patients and control subjects. In addition, we investigated the associations of the plasma BDNF with clinical or biochemical parameters.
Results: The plasma BDNF level was significantly higher in hemodialysis patients than in the control subjects (median, 312.3 vs. 630.3 pg/ml, p < 0.05). In subgroup analysis, hemodialysis patients with diabetes showed higher values of the plasma BDNF than the patients without diabetes. However, there were no significant differences in age and gender subgroups of the hemodialysis patients. The logBDNF was positively correlated with hs-CRP and IFN-γ, and negatively correlated with serum albumin. In multivariate regression analysis, the logBDNF was independently associated with the presence of diabetes (β-coefficient = 0.399, p = 0.041) and IFN-γ (β-coefficient = 0.538, p = 0.003).
Conclusion: The plasma BDNF may increase in hemodialysis patients, and more prominently in the patients with diabetes. Furthermore, the plasma BDNF might reflect inflammatory condition in hemodialysis patients.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Cytokine; Hemodialysis; Uremia; Inflammation
To address the need for standardization of osteoarthritis (OA) phenotypes by examining the effect of heterogeneity among symptomatic (SOA) and radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA) phenotypes.
Descriptions of OA phenotypes of the 28 studies involved in the TREAT-OA consortium were collected. To investigate whether different OA definitions result in different association results, we created hip OA definitions used within the consortium in the Rotterdam Study-I and tested the association of hip OA with gender, age and BMI using one-way ANOVA. For radiographic OA, we standardized the hip, knee and hand ROA definitions and calculated prevalence's of ROA before and after standardization in 9 cohort studies. This procedure could only be performed in cohort studies and standardization of SOA definitions was not feasible at this moment.
In this consortium, all studies with symptomatic OA phenotypes (knee, hip and hand) used a different definition and/or assessment of OA status. For knee, hip and hand radiographic OA 5, 4 and 7 different definitions were used, respectively. Different hip OA definitions do lead to different association results. For example, we showed in the Rotterdam Study-I that hip OA defined as “at least definite JSN and one definite osteophyte” was not associated with gender (p=0.22), but defined as “at least one definite osteophyte” was significantly associated with gender (p=3×10−9). Therefore, a standardization process was undertaken for radiographic OA definitions. Before standardization a wide range of ROA prevalence's was observed in the 9 cohorts studied. After standardization the range in prevalence of knee and hip ROA was small. Standardization of SOA phenotypes was not possible due to the case-control design of the studies.
Phenotype definitions influence the prevalence of OA and association with clinical variables. ROA phenotypes within the TREAT-OA consortium were standardized to reduce heterogeneity and improve power in future genetics studies.
To compare the clinical performance of two types of silicon hydrogel contact lenses used as bandage lenses after LASEK surgery.
A prospective, double-masked study was conducted on 42 eyes of 21 patients who received binocular LASEK surgeries. The interocular difference in spherical equivalent power was less than -1.50D. Patients were randomly assigned to wear Galyfilcon A (Lens A) bandage contact lens in one eye and Balafilcon A (Lens B) in the fellow eye after the surgery. The responses to a subjective questionnaire on comfort of wearing, corneal epithelial status, conjunctival hyperemia, limbal neovascularization, lens fitting and contact lens debris were assessed 1 and 5 days postoperatively. Corneal endothelium was assessed before and 5 days after the surgery upon bandage lens removal.
There was no difference between the two groups in terms of conjunctival hyperemia, limbal neovascularization, contact lens fitting, corneal epithelial status, corneal endothelium cell density (CD) and endothelium cell size (CS) at any postoperative visit. Complaints of discomfort, including foreign body sensation, pain and intolerance were statistically more among Lens B wearers at any postoperative visit (P<0.05). Lens B appeared to attract much more debris than Lens A at the 5-day post-operative follow-up visit (P<0.01).
The two types of silicon hydrogel lenses investigated in this study demonstrated similar clinical performance in terms of corneal responses and lens fitting. However, Lens A showed a better performance in terms of comfort of wearing and deposit resistance.
therapeutic contact lens; bandage contact lens; silicone hydrogel contact lens; LASEK
Our aim was to evaluate the changes in blood glucose control and lipid profiles after 2-months of smoking cessation in healthy males.
Smoking abstinence was evaluated through self-report and urine cotinine levels. 12 individuals who succeeded in quitting smoking were analyzed. Fasting values of glucose and insulin were used to estimate the β-cell activity and insulin resistance was evaluated using the Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) and Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI).
The data showed that the subjects had a significant increase in weight, body mass index and fasting plasma glucose levels after smoking cessation. The HOMA-Insulin Resistance and the HOMA β-cell function increased significantly (p=0.005, p=0.047 respectively). The QUICKI showed a significant decrease (p=0.005). In addition, the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased significantly (p=0.028); however, changes in the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the triglyceride and total cholesterol levels were not significant (p=0.284, p=0.445 respectively).
During the initial stage of smoking abstinence, insulin resistance increased and insulin sensitivity decreased due to elevated body weight and fat composition. Therefore, it is important to educate individuals that stop smoking about the necessity of weight control during smoking cessation programs.
β-cell function; Insulin resistance; Insulin sensitivity; Lipoprotein; Smoking cessation
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a common skeletal disease, which is characterized by abnormal seating of the femoral head in the acetabulum. Genetic factors play a considerable role in the etiology of DDH. Asporin (ASPN) is an ECM protein which can bind to TGF-β1 and sequentially inhibit TGF-β/Smad signaling. A functional aspartic acid (D) repeat polymorphism of ASPN was first described as an osteoarthritis-associated polymorphism. As TGF-β is well known as an important regulator in the development of skeletal components, ASPN may also be involved in the etiology of DDH. Our objective is to evaluate whether the D repeat polymorphism of ASPN is associated with DDH in Han Chinese.
The D repeat polymorphism was genotyped in 370 DDH patients and 445 control subjects, and the allelic association of the D repeat was examined.
From D11 to D18, eight alleles were identified. D13 allele is the most common allele both in control and DDH groups, the frequencies are 67.3% and 58.1% respectively. In the DDH group, a significantly higher frequency of the D14 allele and significantly lower frequency of D13 was observed. The association of D14 and D13 was found in both females and males after stratification by gender. There was no significant difference in any other alleles we examined.
Our results show an obvious association between the D repeat polymorphism of ASPN and DDH. It indicates that ASPN is an important regulator in the etiology of DDH.
Cell transplantation improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction; however, the underlying mechanisms are not well-understood. Therefore, the goals of this study were to determine if neonatal rat cardiomyocytes transplanted into adult rat hearts one-week after infarction would, after 8-10 weeks: 1) improve global myocardial function, 2) contract in a Ca2+ dependent manner, 3) influence mechanical properties of remote uninjured myocardium and 4) alter passive mechanical properties of infarct regions. The cardiomyocytes formed small grafts of ultrastructurally maturing myocardium that enhanced fractional shortening compared to non-treated infarcted hearts. Chemically demembranated tissue strips of cardiomyocyte grafts produced force when activated by Ca2+, whereas scar tissue did not. Furthermore, the Ca2+ sensitivity of force was greater in cardiomyocyte grafts compared to control myocardium. Surprisingly, cardiomyocytes grafts isolated in the infarct zone increased Ca2+ sensitivity of remote uninjured myocardium to levels greater than either remote myocardium from non-treated infarcted hearts or sham-operated controls. Enhanced calcium sensitivity was associated with decreased phosphorylation of cTnT, tropomyosin and MLC2, but not changes in myosin or troponin isoforms. Passive compliance of grafts resembled normal myocardium, while infarct tissue distant from grafts had compliance typical of scar. Thus, cardiomyocyte grafts are contractile, improve local tissue compliance and enhance calcium sensitivity of remote myocardium. Because the volume of remote myocardium greatly exceeds that of the grafts, this enhanced calcium sensitivity may be a major contributor to global improvements in ventricular function after cell transplantation.
Myocardial Infarction; Cardiomyocytes; Phosphorylation; Myofibrillar Proteins
Objective: Atherosclerotic plaques and neovascularization play an important role in the course of coronary atherosclerosis. This study evaluated the effect of recombinant endostatin on experimental atherosclerotic plaques and neovascularization in rabbits. Methods: Eighteen healthy male rabbits were divided into three groups: control group, atherosclerotic model group, and recombinant endostatin treated group. The atherosclerotic model was established via a high-cholesterol diet after balloon catheter injury. The subject weights, serum total cholesterol, creatine kinase-myocardial band fraction (CKMB), and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) were measured. Six weeks after treatment, the aortic roots were taken for pathological assay. The thickness ratio of the intima to media was measured by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, and the number of neovessels was measured by immunohistochemistry via monoclonal antibody CD31 staining. Results: The weight, plasma total cholesterol, and CKMB were not significantly different between the atherosclerotic model group and the recombinant endostatin treated group, but much higher than those of the control group (P<0.05). The thickness ratio of the intima to media in the recombinant endostatin treated group was distinctly less than that in the atherosclerotic model group (P<0.05). The number of neovessels decreased dramatically (P<0.05) and the content of MMP-2 decreased slightly without statistical difference (P>0.05) in the recombinant endostatin treated group, compared to the atherosclerotic model group. Conclusions: Recombinant endostatin is able to inhibit the growth of neovascularization in the atherosclerotic plaque and the development of plaque.
Recombinant endostatin; Atherosclerosis; Neovessels
The genetic variant at codon 129 (M129V) of the prion protein gene (PRNP) is considered to be a major genetic risk factor for prion diseases. In this study, we examined the possible genetic association of PRNP*129Val with multiple sclerosis (MS, n = 681), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 801), alcoholism (n = 761) and schizophrenia (n = 715) in a Korean population, and compared the data with previous genetic association studies of the variant. The minor allele frequency of PRNP*129Val (MAF = 0.025) was significantly lower in Korean population (n = 2,479) compared to Caucasian populations (P < 0.0001), suggestive of a weak influence of the variant in the previous population. Statistical analysis revealed no significant association between PRNP*129Val and MS (P = 0.76), MCI (P = 0.46), alcoholism (P = 0.84) and schizophrenia (P = 0.69). These findings were discussed in the context of prior inconsistent reports on the role of PRNP*129Val polymorphism in several diseases. Results from this study may provide further evidence that PRNP M129V is not a genetic susceptibility factor for MS, MCI, alcoholism and schizophrenia in a Korean population.
Prion; PRNP M129V; multiple sclerosis; mild cognitive impairment; alcoholism; schizophrenia
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease that has a definite genetic component. Only a few OA susceptibility genes that have definite functional evidence and replication of association have been reported, however. Through a genome-wide association study and a replication using a total of ∼4,800 Japanese subjects, we identified two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs7775228 and rs10947262) associated with susceptibility to knee OA. The two SNPs were in a region containing HLA class II/III genes and their association reached genome-wide significance (combined P = 2.43×10−8 for rs7775228 and 6.73×10−8 for rs10947262). Our results suggest that immunologic mechanism is implicated in the etiology of OA.
The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to measure motivation for smoking cessation. Motivation is known to be important for success of smoking cessation. The reliability of the scale was assessed and its predictive validity for smoking cessation was evaluated.
We recruited 333 men aged 20 to 70 that visited smoking cessation clinics at seven public health centers. The demographic characteristics were recorded and the Korean version of Stages of Readiness for Change and Eagerness for Treatment Scale for Smoking (K-SO-CRATES-S) performed. A smoking cessation motivation scale was developed with 10 questions based on the theory of motivation enhancement therapy.
The motivation scale was composed of four subscales based on the factor analysis; each subscale had an adequate degree of internal consistency. In addition, the newly developed scale had a high degree of validity based on its significant correlation with the smoking version of SOCRATES. Moreover, the precontemplation level of motivation was found to significantly predict the success of smoking cessation. And one of the subscales of the Korean Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (K-NDSS), stereotypy which also significantly predicted the success of smoking cessation, significantly correlated with the preparation 1 and 2 level of motivation.
The smoking cessation motivation scale with 10 questions that was developed in this study was a highly reliable and valid scale for the prediction of success for smoking cessation for those who wanted to stop smoking.
Smoking; Smoking cessation; Motivation scale; Motivation enhancement therapy; Validity
The possible causes of Brown-Séquard Syndrome (BSS) have been frequently observed with spinal trauma and extramedullary spinal tumors, but the cervical disc herniation to cause BSS is rare. The authors present five cases of patients who were diagnosed with BSS resulting from cervical disc herniation, and the results of the literature in view of their distinctive symptoms and clinical outcomes. Postoperatively, the patients showed complete or almost complete recovery from their motor and sensory deficits. On the basis of our cases, it is important to diagnose it early by cervical magnetic resonance imaging, especially in the absence of the typical symptoms of cervical disc herniation or other obvious etiology of extremity numbness. Immediate surgical treatment is also essential for a favorable functional neurological recovery.
Brown-Séquard Syndrome; cervical disc herniation; anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
For a long time, alcohol was thought to exert a general depressant effect on the central nervous system (CNS). However, currently the consensus is that specific regions of the brain are selectively vulnerable to the acute effects of alcohol. An alcohol-induced blackout is the classic example; the subject is temporarily unable to form new long-term memories while relatively maintaining other skills such as talking or even driving. A recent study showed that alcohol can cause retrograde memory impairment, that is, blackouts due to retrieval impairments as well as those due to deficits in encoding. Alcoholic blackouts may be complete (en bloc) or partial (fragmentary) depending on severity of memory impairment. In fragmentary blackouts, cueing often aids recall. Memory impairment during acute intoxication involves dysfunction of episodic memory, a type of memory encoded with spatial and social context. Recent studies have shown that there are multiple memory systems supported by discrete brain regions, and the acute effects of alcohol on learning and memory may result from alteration of the hippocampus and related structures on a cellular level. A rapid increase in blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is most consistently associated with the likelihood of a blackout. However, not all subjects experience blackouts, implying that genetic factors play a role in determining CNS vulnerability to the effects of alcohol. This factor may predispose an individual to alcoholism, as altered memory function during intoxication may affect an individual’s alcohol expectancy; one may perceive positive aspects of intoxication while unintentionally ignoring the negative aspects. Extensive research on memory and learning as well as findings related to the acute effects of alcohol on the brain may elucidate the mechanisms and impact associated with the alcohol-induced blackout.
blackout; alcohol; memory
Legalized gambling is a growing industry, and is probably a factor in the presently increasing prevalence of pathological gambling. We present a case of a 36-year-old pathological gambler who was treated with fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and who was assessed by functional MRI before and after drug administration. During activation periods, the pathological gambler was shown cards as stimuli, and fMRI results in several brain regions showed differential effects before and after medication and a maintenance period. This case demonstrates that the treatment response to fluvoxamine in a pathological gambler was observed not only by subjective self-report, but also by objective fMRI results. Therefore, fMRI may be a useful tool in the diagnosis and prediction of treatment response in patients afflicted with pathological gambling.
Fluvoxamine; functional MRI; pathological gambling