Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects nearly 10% of children in the United States, and the prevalence of this disorder has increased steadily over the past decades. The cause of ADHD is unknown, although recent studies suggest that it may be associated with a disruption in dopamine signaling whereby dopamine D2 receptors are reduced in reward-related brain regions. This same pattern of reduced dopamine-mediated signaling is observed in various reward-deficiency syndromes associated with food or drug addiction, as well as in obesity. While genetic mechanisms are likely contributory to cases of ADHD, the marked frequency of the disorder suggests that other factors are involved in the etiology. In this article, we revisit the hypothesis that excessive sugar intake may have an underlying role in ADHD. We review preclinical and clinical data suggesting overlaps among ADHD, sugar and drug addiction, and obesity. Further, we present the hypothesis that the chronic effects of excessive sugar intake may lead to alterations in mesolimbic dopamine signaling, which could contribute to the symptoms associated with ADHD. We recommend further studies to investigate the possible relationship between chronic sugar intake and ADHD.
ADHD; sucrose; fructose; high-fructose corn syrup; reward-deficiency syndrome; dopamine; D2 receptor; obesity
Despite intense interest and considerable effort via high-throughput screening, there are few examples of small molecules that directly inhibit protein-protein interactions. This suggests that many protein interaction surfaces may not be intrinsically “druggable” by small molecules, and elevates in importance the few successful examples as model systems for improving our fundamental understanding of druggability. Here we describe an approach for exploring protein fluctuations enriched in conformations containing surface pockets suitable for small molecule binding. Starting from a set of seven unbound protein structures, we find that the presence of low-energy pocket-containing conformations is indeed a signature of druggable protein interaction sites and that analogous surface pockets are not formed elsewhere on the protein. We further find that ensembles of conformations generated with this biased approach structurally resemble known inhibitor-bound structures more closely than equivalent ensembles of unbiased conformations. Collectively these results suggest that “druggability” is a property encoded on a protein surface through its propensity to form pockets, and inspire a model in which the crude features of the predisposed pocket(s) restrict the range of complementary ligands; additional smaller conformational changes then respond to details of a particular ligand. We anticipate that the insights described here will prove useful in selecting protein targets for therapeutic intervention.
Identifying small-molecule inhibitors of protein interactions has traditionally presented a challenge for modern screening methods, despite interest stemming from the fact that such interactions comprise the underlying mechanisms for cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. This suggests that many protein interaction surfaces may not be intrinsically “druggable” by small molecules, and elevates in importance the few successful examples as model systems for improving our understanding of factors contributing to druggability. Here we describe a new approach for exploring protein fluctuations leading to surface pockets suitable for small molecule binding. We find that the presence of such pockets is indeed a signature of druggable protein interaction sites, suggesting that “druggability” is a property encoded on a protein surface through its propensity to form pockets. We anticipate that the insights described here will prove useful in selecting protein targets for therapeutic intervention.
Sporadic Jakob-Creutzfeldt disease (sCJD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) have overlapping clinical symptoms that can lead to their misdiagnosis. We delineated the clinical overlap between sCJD and DLB, and assessed the value of MRI to differentiate between them.
Medical records, MRI, EEG and CSF were reviewed from 56 sCJD and 30 DLB subjects.
46% of sCJD subjects met probable DLB criteria and 40% of DLB subjects met probable CJD criteria. A greater proportion of sCJD subjects had cerebellar signs (66% vs. 10%, p<0.001), myoclonus (64% vs. 30%, p=0.002), and visual symptoms (other than hallucinations) (61% vs. 7%, p<0.001), whereas more DLB subjects had hallucinations (70% vs. 39%, p=0.007) and fluctuations (57% vs. 23%, p=0.002). Cortical and/or basal ganglia MRI DWI hyperintensities consistent with sCJD were seen in 96% of sCJD subjects but in none with DLB. Logistic regression in sCJD revealed that those meeting probable DLB criteria were more likely to have occipital lobe involvement on MRI (OR 1.4, p=0.058, model p=0.022). Parietal lobe involvement on MRI was a predictor of “Other Focal Cortical signs” (OR 1.9, p=0.021) in sCJD. EEG and CSF assessments lacked sensitivity for sCJD as 48% of sCJD patients had a negative EEG and 67% of the 36 sCJD patents with a CSF evaluation, had a negative or inconclusive result. Too few DLB patients had EEG or CSF to assess their utility.
Sporadic CJD and DLB have significant symptom overlap. MRI helps differentiate these diseases and is related to the signs/symptoms observed in sCJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; Lewy body disease; Lewy body dementia; diffusion-weighted imaging; DWI
The primary objective of this study was to compare the survival of patients with unresectable stage III non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with combined chemoradiotherapy with or without thalidomide.
Patients and Methods
Patients were randomly assigned to the control arm (PC) involving two cycles of induction paclitaxel 225 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 6 followed by 60 Gy thoracic radiation administered concurrently with weekly paclitaxel 45 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC 2, or to the experimental arm (TPC), receiving the same treatment in combination with thalidomide at a starting dose of 200 mg daily. The protocol allowed an increase in thalidomide dose up to 1,000 mg daily based on patient tolerability.
A total of 546 patients were eligible, including 275 in the PC arm and 271 in the TPC arm. Median overall survival, progression-free survival, and overall response rate were 15.3 months, 7.4 months, and 35.0%, respectively, for patients in the PC arm, in comparison with 16.0 months (P = .99), 7.8 months (P = .96), and 38.2% (P = .47), respectively, for patients in the TPC arm. Overall, there was higher incidence of grade 3 toxicities in patients treated with thalidomide. Several grade 3 or higher events were observed more often in the TPC arm, including thromboembolism, fatigue, depressed consciousness, dizziness, sensory neuropathy, tremor, constipation, dyspnea, hypoxia, hypokalemia, rash, and edema. Low-dose aspirin did not reduce the thromboembolic rate.
The addition of thalidomide to chemoradiotherapy increased toxicities but did not improve survival in patients with locally advanced NSCLC.
E2F is a family of transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes involved in a wide range of cellular processes, including cell-cycle progression, DNA replication, DNA repair, differentiation, and apoptosis. E2F1, the founding member of the family, undergoes posttranslational modifications in response to DNA damage, resulting in E2F1 stabilization. In some cases, E2F1 is important for DNA damage-induced apoptosis through the transcriptional activation of p73 and perhaps other proapoptotic target genes. However, in other contexts, E2F1 can stimulate DNA repair and promote survival in response to DNA damage. The E2F1 protein accumulates at sites of both DNA double-strand breaks and UV radiation-induced damage, indicating that E2F1 has a nontranscriptional function at sites of damage. This review summarizes recent progress made in understanding the role of E2F1 in the DNA damage response, including transcription-independent activities that facilitate DNA repair in the context of chromatin.
Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195 (DE195) was grown in a sustainable syntrophic association with Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DVH) as a co-culture, as well as with DVH and the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanobacterium congolense (MC) as a tri-culture using lactate as the sole energy and carbon source. In the co- and tri-cultures, maximum dechlorination rates of DE195 were enhanced by approximately three times (11.0±0.01 μmol per day for the co-culture and 10.1±0.3 μmol per day for the tri-culture) compared with DE195 grown alone (3.8±0.1 μmol per day). Cell yield of DE195 was enhanced in the co-culture (9.0±0.5 × 107 cells per μmol Cl− released, compared with 6.8±0.9 × 107 cells per μmol Cl− released for the pure culture), whereas no further enhancement was observed in the tri-culture (7.3±1.8 × 107 cells per μmol Cl− released). The transcriptome of DE195 grown in the co-culture was analyzed using a whole-genome microarray targeting DE195, which detected 102 significantly up- or down-regulated genes compared with DE195 grown in isolation, whereas no significant transcriptomic difference was observed between co- and tri-cultures. Proteomic analysis showed that 120 proteins were differentially expressed in the co-culture compared with DE195 grown in isolation. Physiological, transcriptomic and proteomic results indicate that the robust growth of DE195 in co- and tri-cultures is because of the advantages associated with the capabilities of DVH to ferment lactate to provide H2 and acetate for growth, along with potential benefits from proton translocation, cobalamin-salvaging and amino acid biosynthesis, whereas MC in the tri-culture provided no significant additional benefits beyond those of DVH.
Dehalococcoides; syntrophy; chlorinated ethenes; microarray; proteomics; bioremediation
To explore the beliefs and expectations of patients and their caregivers about home haemodialysis in Italy where the prevalence of home haemodialysis is low.
Semistructured, qualitative interview study with purposive sampling and thematic analysis.
Four dialysis centres in Italy without home haemodialysis services (Bari, Marsala, Nissoria and Taranto).
22 patients receiving in-centre haemodialysis and 20 of their identified caregivers.
We identified seven major themes that were central to patient and caregiver perceptions of home haemodialysis in regions without established services. Three positive themes were: flexibility and freedom (increased autonomy, minimised wasted time, liberation from strict dialysis schedules and gaining self-worth); comfort in familiar surroundings (family presence and support, avoiding the need for dialysis in hospital) and altruistic motivation to do home haemodialysis as an exemplar for other patients and families. Four negative themes were: disrupting sense of normality; family burden (an onerous responsibility, caregiver uncertainty and panic and visually confronting); housing constraints; healthcare by ‘professionals’ not ‘amateurs’ (relinquishing security and satisfaction with in-centre services) and isolation from peer support.
Patients without direct experience or previous education about home haemodialysis and their caregivers recognise the autonomy of home haemodialysis but are very concerned about the potential burden and personal sacrifice home haemodialysis will impose on caregivers and feel apprehensive about accepting the medical responsibilities of dialysis. To promote acceptance and uptake of home haemodialysis among patients and caregivers who have no experience of home dialysis, effective strategies are needed that provide information about home haemodialysis to patients and their caregivers, assure access to caregiver respite, provide continuous availability of medical and technical advice and facilitate peer patient support.
The importance of cholinergic neurons projecting from the medial septum (MS) of the basal forebrain to the hippocampus in memory function has been controversial. The aim of this study was to determine whether loss of cholinergic neurons in the MS disrupts object and/or object location recognition in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Animals received intraseptal injections of either vehicle, or the selective cholinergic immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin (SAP). 14 days later, rats were tested for novel object recognition (NOR). Twenty-four hours later, these same rats were tested for object location recognition (OLR) (recognition of a familiar object moved to a novel location). Intraseptal injections of SAP produced an 86% decrease in choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in the hippocampus, and a 31% decrease in ChAT activity in the frontal cortex. SAP lesion had no significant effect on NOR, but produced a significant impairment in OLR in these same rats. The results support a role for septo-hippocampal cholinergic projections in memory for the location of objects, but not for novel object recognition.
hippocampus; cholinergic denervation; object recognition; place recognition; memory
One of the molecules regulated by the transcription factor, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), is the hypoxia-responsive hematopoietic factor, erythropoietin (EPO). This may have relevance to the development of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where mutations of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene are major risk factors for the development of familial and sporadic RCC. VHL mutations up-regulate and stabilize HIF, which in turn activates many downstream molecules, including EPO, that are known to promote angiogenesis, drug resistance, proliferation and progression of solid tumours. HIFs typically respond to hypoxic cellular environment. While the hypoxic microenvironment plays a critical role in the development and progression of tumours in general, it is of special significance in the case of RCC because of the link between VHL, HIF and EPO. EPO and its receptor, EPOR, are expressed in many cancers, including RCC. This limits the use of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) to treat anaemia in cancer patients, because the rhEPO may be stimulatory to the cancer. EPO may also stimulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in RCC, and pathological EMT has a key role in cancer progression. In this mini review, we summarize the current knowledge of the role of EPO in RCC. The available data, either for or against the use of EPO in RCC patients, are equivocal and insufficient to draw a definitive conclusion.
We describe the first cohort-based analysis of the impact of genetic disorders in craniosynostosis. We aimed to refine understanding of prognosis and pathogenesis, and to provide rational criteria for clinical genetic testing.
We undertook targeted molecular genetic and cytogenetic testing of 326 children requiring surgery for craniosynostosis, born in the years 1993-2002, presenting to a single craniofacial unit, and followed up until the end of 2007.
Eighty-four children (and 64 relatives) had a pathological genetic alteration, comprised of 86% single gene mutations and 14% chromosome abnormalities. The FGFR3 P250R mutation was the single largest contributor to the genetic cases (24%). Genetic diagnoses accounted for 21% of all craniosynostosis and were associated with increased rates of many complications. Children with an initial clinical diagnosis of non-syndromic craniosynostosis were more likely to have a causative mutation if the synostosis was unicoronal or bicoronal (10 of 48 cases) than if it was sagittal or metopic (none of 55; P=0.0003). Repeat craniofacial surgery was required in 58% of children with single gene mutations but only 17% of those with chromosome abnormalities (P=0.01).
Clinical genetic assessment is critical for the management of children with craniosynostosis. Genetic testing of non-syndromic patients (as a minimum, for FGFR3 P250R and FGFR2 exons IIIa/c), should be targeted to those with coronal or multisuture synostosis. Single gene disorders that disrupt physiological signalling in the cranial sutures often require re-operation, whereas chromosome abnormalities follow a more indolent course suggesting a different, secondary origin of the associated craniosynostosis.
Craniosynostosis; coronal synostosis; FGFR2; FGFR3; TWIST1; Muenke syndrome
Reduced immune responses to repeated polysaccharide vaccination have been previously reported, but there are limited immunogenicity data on the use of meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PSV) followed by meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Saudi Arabian adolescents (aged 16 to 19 years) who had previously been vaccinated with ≥1 dose of bivalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine and 1 dose of quadrivalent meningococcal polysaccharide (MPSV4) were enrolled in a controlled, randomized, and modified observer-blind study (collectively termed the PSV-exposed group). The PSV-exposed group was randomized to receive either quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) (n = 145 PSV-exposed/MCV4 group) or MPSV4 (n = 142 PSV-exposed/MPSV4 group), and a PSV-naïve group received MCV4 (n = 163). Serum samples collected prevaccination and 28 days postvaccination were measured by baby rabbit serum bactericidal antibody (rSBA) assay, and vaccine tolerability and safety were also evaluated. For each serogroup, the postvaccination geometric mean titers (GMTs) were significantly higher in the PSV-naïve group than in either group comprised of the PSV-exposed participants. The postvaccination serogroup C rSBA GMT was significantly higher in the PSV-MCV4 group than in the PSV-MPSV4 group after adjusting for prevaccination GMTs. Although not statistically significant, similar differences were observed for serogroups A, Y, and W-135. No worrisome safety signals were detected. This study demonstrated MCV4 to be safe and immunogenic in those who had previously received polysaccharide vaccination, and it suggests that conjugate vaccine can partially compensate for the hyporesponsiveness seen with repeated doses of polysaccharide vaccine.
To determine the 1-year survival, response rate, and toxicity for patients with limited stage small cell lung cancer treated with the combination of cisplatin plus etoposide plus paclitaxel with delayed concurrent (starting with cycle 3) high dose thoracic radiotherapy.
Patients and Methods
Patients with previously untreated limited stage small cell lung cancer, Easter Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0–2 and adequate organ function were eligible. Cycles 1 and 2 of chemotherapy consisted of paclitaxel 170 mg/m2 intravenous day 1, etoposide 80 mg/m2 intravenous days 1 to 3, and cisplatin 60 mg/m2 intravenous day 1 followed by filgrastim 5 μg/kg subcutaneously days 4 to 13. Cycles 3 and 4 of chemotherapy consisted of a reduced dose of paclitaxel 135 mg/m2 intravenous day 1, and the same dose of etoposide and cisplatin with concurrent thoracic radiation therapy 1.8 Gy in 35 fractions (total 63 Gy) administered over 7 weeks.
Sixty-three patients were entered, 61 patients were eligible. The most common grade 4 toxicity seen was granulocytopenia (62%). Nonhematologic toxicities included febrile neutropenia in 19% of patients, grade 3 and 4 esophagitis in 32% of patients, and grade 3 peripheral neuropathy in 14% of patients. Two patients suffered lethal toxicities. The overall response rate was 79%. The 1-year survival rate was 64%. The median overall survival was 15.7 months, and the median progression-free survival was 8.6 months.
The combination of cisplatin plus etoposide plus paclitaxel chemotherapy and concurrent delayed thoracic radiotherapy as administered in this trial provide no apparent advantage with respect to response, local control, or survival compared with historical controls.
Small cell lung cancer; Paclitaxel and etoposidecisplatin; Radiotherapy
Objective. This paper assessed the effectiveness of pre-, pro-, and synbiotics on reducing two protein-bound uremic toxins, p-cresyl sulphate (PCS) and indoxyl sulphate (IS). Methods. English language studies reporting serum, urinary, or fecal PCS and/or IS (or their precursors) following pre-, pro-, or synbiotic interventions (>1 day) in human adults were included. Population estimates of differences in the outcomes between the pre- and the postintervention were estimated for subgroups of studies using four meta-analyses. Quality was determined using the GRADE approach. Results. 19 studies met the inclusion criteria, 14 in healthy adults and five in haemodialysis patients. Eight studies investigated prebiotics, six probiotics, one synbiotics, one both pre- and probiotics, and three studies trialled all three interventions. The quality of the studies ranged from moderate to very low. 12 studies were included in the meta-analyses with all four meta-analyses reporting statistically significant reductions in IS and PCS with pre- and probiotic therapy. Conclusion. There is a limited but supportive evidence for the effectiveness of pre- and probiotics on reducing PCS and IS in the chronic kidney disease population. Further studies are needed to provide more definitive findings before routine clinical use can be recommended.
To explore clinician beliefs and attitudes about home haemodialysis in global regions where the prevalence of home haemodialysis is low, and to identify barriers to developing home haemodialysis services and possible strategies to increase acceptance and uptake of home haemodialysis.
Semistructured interviews, thematic analysis.
15 dialysis centres in Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Sweden and Argentina.
28 nephrologists and 14 nurses caring for patients receiving in-centre haemodialysis.
We identified four major themes as being central to clinician beliefs about home haemodialysis in regions without established services: external structural barriers (ready access to dialysis centres, inadequate housing conditions, unstable economic environment); dialysis centre characteristics (availability of alternative treatments, competing service priorities, commercial interests); clinician responsibility and motivation (preserving safety and security, lack of awareness, knowledge and experience, potential to offer lifestyle benefits, professional interest and advancement); and cultural apprehension (an unrelenting imposition, carer burden, attachment to professional healthcare provision, limited awareness).
Despite recognising the potential benefits of home haemodialysis, clinicians practicing in Europe and South America felt apprehensive and doubted the feasibility of home haemodialysis programmes. Programmes that provide clinicians with direct experience of home haemodialysis could increase acceptance and motivation for home-based haemodialysis, as might service prioritisation and funding models that favour home haemodialysis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics and outcomes of patients receiving renal replacement therapy for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) secondary to haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS).
The study included all patients with ESKD who commenced renal replacement therapy in Australia and New Zealand between 15/5/1963 and 31/12/2010, using data from the ANZDATA Registry. HUS ESKD patients were compared with matched controls with an alternative primary renal disease using propensity scores based on age, gender and treatment era.
Of the 58422 patients included in the study, 241 (0.4%) had ESKD secondary to HUS. HUS ESKD was independently associated with younger age, female gender and European race. Compared with matched controls, HUS ESKD was not associated with mortality on renal replacement therapy (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.14, 95% CI 0.87-1.50, p = 0.34) or dialysis (HR 1.34, 95% CI 0.93-1.93, p = 0.12), but did independently predict recovery of renal function (HR 54.01, 95% CI 1.45-11.1, p = 0.008). 130 (54%) HUS patients received 166 renal allografts. Overall renal allograft survival rates were significantly lower for patients with HUS ESKD at 1 year (73% vs 91%), 5 years (62% vs 85%) and 10 years (49% vs 73%). HUS ESKD was an independent predictor of renal allograft failure (HR 2.59, 95% CI 1.70-3.95, p < 0.001). Sixteen (12%) HUS patients experienced failure of 22 renal allografts due to recurrent HUS. HUS ESKD was not independently associated with the risk of death following renal transplantation (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.35-2.44, p = 0.87).
HUS is an uncommon cause of ESKD, which is associated with comparable patient survival on dialysis, an increased probability of renal function recovery, comparable patient survival post-renal transplant and a heightened risk of renal transplant graft failure compared with matched ESKD controls.
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome; Kidney Failure; Chronic; Outcomes; Renal function recovery; Renal transplantation; Thrombotic microangiopathy
The pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases are thought to be exacerbated by stress. Basic research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation® technique produces acute and longitudinal reductions in sympathetic tone and stress reactivity. In adolescents at risk for hypertension, the technique has been found to reduce resting and ambulatory blood pressure, left ventricular mass, cardiovascular reactivity, and to improve school behavior. Research on adults with mild or moderate essential hypertension has reported decreased blood pressure and reduced use of anti-hypertensive medication. The technique has also been reported to decrease symptoms of angina pectoris and carotid atherosclerosis, to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, including alcohol and tobacco use, to markedly reduce medical care utilization for cardiovascular diseases, and to significantly decrease cardiovascular and all-cause morbidity and mortality. These findings have important implications for inclusion of the Transcendental Meditation program in efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases and their clinical consequences.
®Transcendental Meditation and TM are trademarks registered in the US. Patent and Trademark Office, licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used with permission.
Adolescents; meditation; blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; randomized clinical trial; stress reduction; mortality
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a preferred home dialysis modality and has a number of added advantages including improved initial patient survival and cost effectiveness over haemodialysis. Despite these benefits, uptake of PD remains relatively low, especially in developed countries. Wider implementation of PD is compromised by higher technique failure from infections (e.g., PD peritonitis) and ultrafiltration failure. These are inevitable consequences of peritoneal injury, which is thought to result primarily from continuous exposure to PD fluids that are characterised by their “unphysiologic” composition. In order to overcome these barriers, a number of more biocompatible PD fluids, with neutral pH, low glucose degradation product content, and bicarbonate buffer have been manufactured over the past two decades. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated their benefit in terms of improvement in host cell defence, peritoneal membrane integrity, and cytokine profile. This paper aims to review randomised controlled trials assessing the use of biocompatible PD fluids and their effect on clinical outcomes.
Frank-ter Haar syndrome is a rare disorder associated with skeletal, cardiac, ocular and craniofacial features including hypertelorism and brachycephaly. The most common underlying genetic defect in Frank-ter Haar syndrome appears to be a mutation in the SH3PXD2B gene on chromosome 5q35.1. Craniosynostosis, or premature fusion of the calvarial sutures, has not previously been described in Frank-ter Haar syndrome.
We present a family of three affected siblings born to consanguineous parents with clinical features in keeping with a diagnosis of Frank-ter Haar syndrome. All three siblings have a novel mutation caused by the deletion of exon 13 of the SH3PXD2B gene. Two of the three siblings also have non-scaphocephalic sagittal synostosis associated with raised intracranial pressure.
The clinical features of craniosynostosis and raised intracranial pressure in this family with a confirmed diagnosis of Frank-ter Haar syndrome expand the clinical spectrum of the disease. The abnormal cranial proportions in a mouse model of the disease suggests that the association is not coincidental. The possibility of craniosynostosis should be considered in individuals with a suspected diagnosis of Frank-ter Haar syndrome.
Frank-ter Haar syndrome; Craniosynostosis; Sagittal synostosis; Intracranial pressure
Tunnelled central venous dialysis catheter use is significantly limited by the occurrence of catheter-related infections. This randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a 48 hour 70% ethanol lock vs heparin locks in prolonging the time to the first episode of catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI).
Patients undergoing haemodialysis (HD) via a tunnelled catheter were randomised 1:1 to once per week ethanol locks (with two heparin locks between other dialysis sessions) vs thrice per week heparin locks.
Observed catheter days in the heparin (n=24) and ethanol (n=25) groups were 1814 and 3614 respectively. CRBSI occurred at a rate of 0.85 vs. 0.28 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin vs ethanol group by intention to treat analysis (incident rate ratio (IRR) for ethanol vs. heparin 0.17; 95%CI 0.02-1.63; p=0.12). Flow issues requiring catheter removal occurred at a rate of 1.6 vs 1.4 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin and ethanol groups respectively (IRR 0.85; 95% CI 0.20-3.5 p =0.82 (for ethanol vs heparin).
Catheter survival and catheter-related blood stream infection were not significantly different but there was a trend towards a reduced rate of infection in the ethanol group. This study establishes proof of concept and will inform an adequately powered multicentre trial to definitively examine the efficacy and safety of ethanol locks as an alternative to current therapies used in the prevention of catheter-associated blood stream infections in patients dialysing with tunnelled catheters.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000493246
Catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI); Central venous catheter; Ethanol; Lock therapy; Haemodialysis (HD); Prophylaxis
We examine the link between parental testosterone and children’s perceptions of their relationship with their mother and father. Using data from 352 predominantly white working and middle class families, we find no direct link between mother’s and father’s testosterone and parent-child closeness. However, the association between mothers’ testosterone and mother-child closeness appears to be influenced by the quality of two other family relationships. When father’s marital satisfaction is low, mothers with high testosterone have a poorer relationship with their children. And, when fathers report low levels of intimacy with their children, high testosterone women have a poorer relationship with their children. No comparable associations were observed among fathers.
mother testosterone; father testosterone; parent-child relationship quality; marital satisfaction
To validate, using physician review of abstracted medical chart data as a gold standard, a claims-based algorithm developed to identify gastrointestinal (GI) perforation cases among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
Patients with established RA, aged 18 years or older with hospital admissions between January 2004 and September 2009, were selected from a large US hospital-based database. An algorithm with ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes for GI perforation and combinations of GI-related diagnosis codes and CPT-4 procedure codes for relevant GI surgeries was used to identify potential GI perforation cases. Two senior experienced specialist physicians independently reviewed abstracted chart data and classified cases as “confirmed” or “unconfirmed” GI perforations. Positive predictive values (PPVs) to identify “confirmed” GI perforation were calculated and stratified by upper versus lower GI tract.
Overall, 86 of 92 GI perforation cases were confirmed, yielding an overall PPV of 94% (95% CI: 86–98%). PPV was 100% (95% CI: 100–100%) for upper GI perforation (esophagus, stomach) and 91% (95% CI: 90–97%) for lower GI perforation (small intestine, PPV=100%; large intestine, PPV= 94%; unspecified lower GI, PPV=89%).
This algorithm, consisting of a combination of ICD-9-CM diagnosis and CPT-4 codes, could be used in future safety studies to evaluate GI perforation risk factors in RA patients.
gastrointestinal perforation; validation; administrative claims; rheumatoid arthritis
Despite evidence implicating dietary sodium in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in chronic kidney disease (CKD), quality intervention trials in CKD patients are lacking. This study aims to investigate the effect of reducing sodium intake on blood pressure, risk factors for progression of CKD and other cardiovascular risk factors in CKD.
The LowSALT CKD study is a six week randomized-crossover trial assessing the effect of a moderate (180 mmol/day) compared with a low (60 mmol/day) sodium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and risk factors for kidney function decline in mild-moderate CKD (stage III-IV). The primary outcome of interest is 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, with secondary outcomes including arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity), proteinuria and fluid status. The randomized crossover trial (Phase 1) is supported by an ancillary trial (Phase 2) of longitudinal-observational design to assess the longer term effectiveness of sodium restriction. Phase 2 will continue measurement of outcomes as per Phase 1, with the addition of patient-centered outcomes, such as dietary adherence to sodium restriction (degree of adherence and barriers/enablers), quality of life and taste assessment.
The LowSALT CKD study is an investigator-initiated study specifically designed to assess the proof-of-concept and efficacy of sodium restriction in patients with established CKD. Phase 2 will assess the longer term effectiveness of sodium restriction in the same participants, enhancing the translation of Phase 1 results into practice. This trial will provide much-needed insight into sodium restriction as a treatment option to reduce risk of CVD and CKD progression in CKD patients.
Universal Trial Number: U1111-1125-2149. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number: ACTRN12611001097932
Dietary sodium; Chronic kidney disease; Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Arterial stiffness; Clinical trial; Patient compliance; Taste disturbance
Factors that influence hematology-oncology fellows' choice of academic medicine as a career are not well defined. We undertook a survey of hematology-oncology fellows training at cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to understand the factors fellows consider when making career decisions.
Program directors at all NCI and NCCN cancer centers were invited to participate in the study. For the purpose of analysis, fellows were grouped into three groups on the basis of interest in an academic career. Demographic data were tested with the Kruskal-Wallis test and χ2 test, and nondemographic data were tested by using the multiscale bootstrap method.
Twenty-eight of 56 eligible fellowship programs participated, and 236 fellows at participating institutions responded (62% response rate). Approximately 60% of fellows graduating from academic programs in the last 5 years chose academic career paths. Forty-nine percent of current fellows ranked an academic career as extremely important. Fellows choosing an academic career were more likely to have presented and published their research. Additional factors associated with choosing an academic career included factors related to mentorship, intellect, and practice type. Fellows selecting nonacademic careers prioritized lifestyle in their career decision.
Recruitment into academic medicine is essential for continued progress in the field. Our data suggest that fewer than half the current fellows training at academic centers believe a career in academic medicine is important. Efforts to improve retention in academics should include focusing on mentorship, research, and career development during fellowship training and improving the image of academic physicians.
We compared patterns of neuropsychiatric symptom across four dementia types (AD, VAD, DLB, PDD), and two mixed groups (AD/VAD, AD/DLB) in sample of 2,963 individuals from the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set between September 2005 and June 2008. We used confirmatory factor analysis to compare neuropsychiatric symptom severity ratings made by collateral sources on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI-Q) for people with Clinical Dementia Rating scores of 1 or higher. A three factor model of psychiatric symptoms (mood, psychotic, and frontal) was shared across all dementia types. Between-group comparisons revealed unique neuropsychiatric profiles by dementia type. The AD group had moderate levels of mood, psychotic, and frontal symptoms while VAD exhibited the highest levels and PDD had the lowest levels. DLB and the mixed dementias had more complex symptom profiles. Depressed mood was the dominant symptom in people with mild diagnoses. Differing psychiatric symptom profiles provide useful information regarding the non-cognitive symptoms of dementia.
Administration of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), prior to ischemia or prior to reperfusion has been shown to decrease ischemia-reperfusion renal injury in animal studies. It is unknown whether this protective effect is applicable to renal transplantation in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between prior statin use in renal transplant recipients and the subsequent risk of delayed graft function.
All patients who underwent deceased or living donor renal transplantation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital between 1 July 2008 and 1 August 2010 were included in this retrospective, observational cohort study. Graft function was classified as immediate graft function (IGF), dialysis-requiring (D-DGF) and non-dialysis-requiring (ND-DGF) delayed graft function. The independent predictors of graft function were evaluated by multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for donor characteristics, recipient characteristics, HLA mismatch and ischaemic times.
Overall, of the 266 renal transplant recipients, 21% exhibited D-DGF, 39% had ND-DGF and 40% had IGF. Statin use prior to renal transplantation was not significantly associated with the risk of D-DGF (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.05, 95% CI 0.96 – 1.15, P = 0.28). This finding was not altered when D-DGF and ND-DGF were pooled together (OR 0.98; 95% CI 0.89-1.06, p = 0.56).
The present study did not show a significant, independent association between prior statin use in kidney transplant recipients and the occurrence of delayed graft function.