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1.  Effects of Metformin on the Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Type 2 Diabetic Patients 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:694326.
Metformin, a widely used antidiabetic drug, has numerous effects on human metabolism. Based on emerging cellular, animal, and epidemiological studies, we hypothesized that metformin leads to cerebral metabolic changes in diabetic patients. To explore metabolism-influenced foci of brain, we used 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography for type 2 diabetic patients taking metformin (MET, n = 18), withdrawing from metformin (wdMET, n = 13), and not taking metformin (noMET, n = 9). Compared with the noMET group, statistical parametric mapping showed that the MET group had clusters with significantly higher metabolism in right temporal, right frontal, and left occipital lobe white matter and lower metabolism in the left parahippocampal gyrus, left fusiform gyrus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. In volume of interest (VOI-) based group comparisons, the normalized FDG uptake values of both hypermetabolic and hypometabolic clusters were significantly different between groups. The VOI-based correlation analysis across the MET and wdMET groups showed a significant negative correlation between normalized FDG uptake values of hypermetabolic clusters and metformin withdrawal durations and a positive but nonsignificant correlation in the turn of hypometabolic clusters. Conclusively, metformin affects cerebral metabolism in some white matter and semantic memory related sites in patients with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1155/2014/694326
PMCID: PMC3982461  PMID: 24782665
2.  Review Analysis of the Association between the Prevalence of Activated Brown Adipose Tissue and Outdoor Temperature 
The Scientific World Journal  2012;2012:793039.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is important for regulating body weight. Environmental temperature influences BAT activation. Activated BAT is identifiable using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT). 18F-FDG PET/CT scans done between June 2005 and May 2009 in our institution in tropical southern Taiwan and BAT studies from PubMed (2002–2011) were reviewed, and the average outdoor temperatures during the study periods were obtained. A simple linear regression was used to analyze the association between the prevalence of activated BAT (P) and the average outdoor temperature (T). The review analysis for 9 BAT studies (n = 16, 765) showed a significant negative correlation (r = −0.741, P = 0.022) between the prevalence of activated BAT and the average outdoor temperature. The equation of the regression line is P(%) = 6.99 − 0.20 × T  (°C). The prevalence of activated BAT decreased by 1% for each 5°C increase in average outdoor temperature. In a neutral ambient temperature, the prevalence of activated BAT is low and especially rare in the tropics. There is a significant linear negative correlation between the prevalence of activated BAT and the average outdoor temperature.
doi:10.1100/2012/793039
PMCID: PMC3349155  PMID: 22593707
3.  The Feasibility of Using CT-Guided ROI for Semiquantifying Striatal Dopamine Transporter Availability in a Hybrid SPECT/CT System 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:879497.
A hybrid SPECT/CT system provides accurate coregistration of functional and morphological images. CT-guided region of interest (ROI) for semiquantifying striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability may be a feasible method. We therefore assessed the intra- and interobserver reproducibility of manual SPECT and CT-guided ROI methods and compared their semiquantitative data with data from MRI-guided ROIs. We enrolled twenty-eight patients who underwent Tc-99m TRODAT-1 brain SPECT/CT and brain MRI. ROIs of the striatal, caudate, putamen, and occipital cortex were manually delineated on the SPECT, CT, and MRI. ROIs from CT and MRI were transferred to the coregistered SPECT for semiquantification. The striatal, caudate, and putamen nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND) were calculated. Using CT-guided ROIs had higher intra- and interobserver concordance correlation coefficients, closer Bland-Altman biases to zero, and narrower limits of agreement than using manual SPECT ROIs. The correlation coefficients of striatal, caudate, and putamen BPND were good between manual SPECT and MRI-guided ROI methods and even better between CT-guided and MRI-guided ROI methods. Conclusively, CT-guided ROI delineation for semiquantifying striatal DAT availability in a hybrid SPECT/CT system is highly reproducible, and the semiquantitative data correlate well with data from MRI-guided ROIs.
doi:10.1155/2014/879497
PMCID: PMC4233671  PMID: 25531005
4.  Peripheral Leukocyte Apoptosis in Patients with Parkinsonism: Correlation with Clinical Characteristics and Neuroimaging Findings 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:635923.
Apoptosis of both brain neurons and peripheral blood leukocyte is believed to be an important biomarker for evaluating the functional status of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, their correlation remains unknown. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration is essential for the treatment and prevention of PD. The present study demonstrated that leukocyte apoptosis is significantly higher in PD patients and is associated with central dopamine neuron loss by using 99mTc-TRODAT-1 SPECT. The leukocyte apoptosis and striatal dopamine transporter uptake ratios were further associated with increased severity and longer duration of disease. The interaction between brain and systemic inflammation may be responsible for the neurodegenerative disease progression.
doi:10.1155/2014/635923
PMCID: PMC3984850  PMID: 24795890
5.  Amyloid β peptide-mediated neurotoxicity is attenuated by the proliferating microglia more potently than by the quiescent phenotype 
Background
The specific role of microglia on Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity is difficult to assign in vivo due to their complicated environment in the brain. Therefore, most of the current microglia-related studies employed the isolated microglia. However, the previous in vitro studies have suggested either beneficial or destructive function in microglia. Therefore, to investigate the phenotypes of the isolated microglia which exert activity of neuroprotective or destructive is required.
Results
The present study investigates the phenotypes of isolated microglia on protecting neuron against Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity. Primary microglia were isolated from the mixed glia culture, and were further cultured to distinct phenotypes, designated as proliferating amoeboid microglia (PAM) and differentiated process-bearing microglia (DPM). Their inflammatory phenotypes, response to amyloid β (Aβ), and the beneficial or destructive effects on neurons were investigated. DPM may induce both direct neurotoxicity without exogenous stimulation and indirect neurotoxicity after Aβ activation. On the other hand, PAM attenuates Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity through Aβ phagocytosis and/or Aβ degradation.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the proliferating microglia, but not the differentiated microglia, protect neurons against Aβ-mediated neurotoxicity. This discovery may be helpful on the therapeutic investigation of Alzheimer’s disease.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-20-78
PMCID: PMC3870991  PMID: 24152138
Alzheimer’s disease; Microglia; Functional phenotypes; Neuroinflammation; Amyloid β protein; Neurotoxicity
6.  Is there a role of whole-body bone scan in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:328.
Background
Correct detection of bone metastases in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is pivotal for prognosis and selection of an appropriate treatment regimen. Whole-body bone scan for staging is not routinely recommended in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of bone scan in detecting bone metastases in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods
We retrospectively evaluated the radiographic and scintigraphic images of 360 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients between 1999 and 2008. Of these 360 patients, 288 patients received bone scan during pretreatment staging, and sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of bone scan were determined. Of these 360 patients, surgery was performed in 161 patients including 119 patients with preoperative bone scan and 42 patients without preoperative bone scan. Among these 161 patients receiving surgery, 133 patients had stages II + III disease, including 99 patients with preoperative bone scan and 34 patients without preoperative bone scan. Bone recurrence-free survival and overall survival were compared in all 161 patients and 133 stages II + III patients, respectively.
Results
The diagnostic performance for bone metastasis was as follows: sensitivity, 80%; specificity, 90.1%; positive predictive value, 43.5%; and negative predictive value, 97.9%. In all 161 patients receiving surgery, absence of preoperative bone scan was significantly associated with inferior bone recurrence-free survival (P = 0.009, univariately). In multivariate comparison, absence of preoperative bone scan (P = 0.012, odds ratio: 5.053) represented the independent adverse prognosticator for bone recurrence-free survival. In 133 stages II + III patients receiving surgery, absence of preoperative bone scan was significantly associated with inferior bone recurrence-free survival (P = 0.003, univariately) and overall survival (P = 0.037, univariately). In multivariate comparison, absence of preoperative bone scan was independently associated with inferior bone recurrence-free survival (P = 0.009, odds ratio: 5.832) and overall survival (P = 0.029, odds ratio: 1.603).
Conclusions
Absence of preoperative bone scan was significantly associated with inferior bone recurrence-free survival, suggesting that whole-body bone scan should be performed before esophagectomy in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, especially in patients with advanced stages.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-328
PMCID: PMC3443043  PMID: 22853826
Radionuclide imaging; Esophageal cancer; Squamous cell carcinoma; Metastasis; Esophagectomy
7.  The Relationship between Brown Adipose Tissue Activity and Neoplastic Status: an 18F-FDG PET/CT Study in the Tropics 
Background
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) has thermogenic potential. For its activation, cold exposure is considered a critical factor though other determinants have also been reported. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between neoplastic status and BAT activity by 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in people living in the tropics, where the influence of outdoor temperature was low.
Methods
18F-FDG PET/CT scans were reviewed and the total metabolic activity (TMA) of identified activated BAT quantified. The distribution and TMA of activated BAT were compared between patients with and without a cancer history. The neoplastic status of patients was scored according to their cancer history and 18F-FDG PET/CT findings. We evaluated the relationships between the TMA of BAT and neoplastic status along with other factors: age, body mass index, fasting blood sugar, gender, and outdoor temperature.
Results
Thirty of 1740 patients had activated BAT. Those with a cancer history had wider BAT distribution (p = 0.043) and a higher TMA (p = 0.028) than those without. A higher neoplastic status score was associated with a higher average TMA. Multivariate analyses showed that neoplastic status was the only factor significantly associated with the TMA of activated BAT (p = 0.016).
Conclusions
Neoplastic status is a critical determinant of BAT activity in patients living in the tropics. More active neoplastic status was associated with more vigorous TMA of BAT.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-238
PMCID: PMC3267802  PMID: 22182284
Neoplastic status; BAT; 18F-FDG PET

Results 1-7 (7)