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1.  Longitudinal brain structural alterations and systemic inflammation in obstructive sleep apnea before and after surgical treatment 
Background
Systemic inflammation, neurocognitive impairments, and morphologic brain changes are associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Understanding their longitudinal evolution and interactions after surgical treatment provides clues to the pathogenesis of cognitive impairment and its reversibility. In the present study, we investigate clinical disease severity, systemic inflammation, cognitive deficits, and corresponding gray matter volume (GMV) changes in OSA, and the modifications following surgery.
Methods
Twenty-one patients with OSA (apnea-hypopnea index, AHI > 5) and 15 healthy volunteers (AHI < 5) underwent serial evaluation, including polysomnography, flow cytometry for leukocyte apoptosis categorization, cognitive function evaluation, and high-resolution brain scan. Disease severity, leukocyte apoptosis, cognitive function, and imaging data were collected to assess therapeutic efficacy 3 months after surgery.
Results
Pre-operatively, patients presented with worse cognitive function, worse polysomnography scores, and higher early leukocyte apoptosis associated with increased insular GMV. There was reduced GMV in the anterior cingulate gyrus before and after surgery in the cases compared to that in controls, suggesting an irreversible structural deficit. Post-operatively, there were significant improvements in different cognitive domains, including attention, executive and visuospatial function, and depression, and in early leukocyte apoptosis. There was also a significant decrease in GMVs after treatment, suggesting recovery from vasogenic edema in the precuneus, insula, and cerebellum. Improvement in early leukocyte apoptosis post-surgery predicted better recovery of precuneus GMV.
Conclusions
In OSA, increased disease severity and systemic inflammation can alter GMV in vulnerable regions. Surgical treatment may improve disease severity and systemic inflammation, with subsequent recovery in brain structures and functions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0887-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0887-8
PMCID: PMC4901987  PMID: 27188598
Obstructive sleep apnea; Voxel-based morphometry; Magnetic resonance imaging; Oxidative stress; Leukocyte apoptosis
2.  The Influence of Obesity on Different Genders in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:487215.
Obesity is considered to be a major contributing factor to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); however, there is limited evidence with regard to gender predominance. We analyzed 2345 patients (339 females) in correlation with body mass index (BMI) and OSA severity. Male AHIs were significantly higher than female AHIs in each BMI group. As the BMI increased, the AHI increased in both males and females, and this trend was more obvious in males. For BMI-matched male and female patients with OSA, the severity of OSA was higher in males. As BMI increased, the severity of OSA increased more obviously in males. Our findings suggest that increased body fat contributes to the pathogenesis of OSA more in males than in females and that obesity plays a more significant role in contributing to OSA in male patients.
doi:10.1155/2014/487215
PMCID: PMC4122193  PMID: 25126598
4.  Long-term effects on carotid intima-media thickness after radiotherapy in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma 
Background
Vascular abnormalities are the predominant histologic changes associated with radiation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study examined if the duration after radiotherapy correlates with the progression of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and investigated its relationship with inflammatory markers.
Methods
One hundred and five NPC patients post-radiotherapy for more than one year and 25 healthy control subjects were examined by B-mode ultrasound for IMT measurement at the far wall of the common carotid artery (CCA). Surrogate markers including lipid profile, HbA1c, and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were assessed.
Results
The IMT of CCA was significantly increased in NPC patients and carotid plaque was detected in 38 NPC patients (38/105, 36.2%). Significant risk factors for carotid plaques included age, duration after radiotherapy, and HbA1c levels. Age, duration after radiotherapy, hs-CRP, HbA1c, and platelet count positively correlated with IMT. The cut-off value of age and duration after radiotherapy for the presence of plaque was 52.5 years and 42.5 months, respectively. In NPC subjects, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that age, gender, duration after radiotherapy and platelet counts were independently associated with CCA IMT. After adjustments for age, gender and platelet counts, IMT increased in a linear manner with duration after radiotherapy.
Conclusions
Radiation-induced vasculopathy is a dynamic and progressive process due to late radiation effects. Extra-cranial color-coded duplex sonography can be part of routine follow-up in NPC patients aged ≥50 years at 40 months post-radiotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-261
PMCID: PMC3827874  PMID: 24196030
Atherosclerosis; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Radiotherapy; Risk factors
5.  Bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma following radiotherapy: microbiology, clinical features and therapeutic outcomes 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:204.
Background
This study aimed to analyze the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes of bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) following radiotherapy.
Methods
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess were evaluated. Their clinical data were collected over a 22-year period. For comparison, the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes between NPC and non-NPC patients were analyzed.
Results
NPC accounted for 5.7% (12/210) of the predisposing factors, with Viridans streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus as the two most common causative pathogens. Significant statistical analysis between the two groups (NPC and non-NPC patients) included chronic otitis media (COM) as the underlying disease, post-radiation necrosis by neuro-imaging, and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses. The fatality rate in patients with and without NPC was 16.7% and 20.7%, respectively.
Conclusions
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess frequently have COM as the underlying disease. Neuro-imaging often reveals both post-radiation necrosis and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses, the diagnosis of which is not always a straightforward process. Radiation necrosis can mimic brain abscess on neuro-imaging and pose significant diagnostic challenges. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for survival.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-204
PMCID: PMC3482557  PMID: 22943134
Bacterial brain abscess; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Therapeutic outcome
7.  Activation of Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1 tax Gene Expression in Chronically Infected T Cells 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(7):6264-6270.
Expression of human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is regulated both by the HTLV-1 Tax transactivator and by cellular transcriptional factors binding to the viral long terminal repeat (LTR), suggesting that cellular signals may play a role in regulating viral expression. Treatment of cells chronically infected with HTLV-1, which express low levels of HTLV-1 RNAs and Tax protein, with phorbol esters (i.e., phorbol12-myristate 13- acetate [PMA]), phytohemagglutinin (PHA), sodium butyrate, or combinations of cytokines resulted in induction of HTLV- 1 gene expression. PMA or PHA treatment following cotransfection of HTLV-1 Tax expression plasmids resulted in synergistic activation of HTLV-1 LTR-directed gene expression, apparently involving tyrosine ki- nase- mediated pathways. These results suggest that cellular activation stimuli may cooperate with HTLV-1 Tax to enhance expression of integrated HTLV-1 genomes and thus may play a role in the pathogenesis of HTLV-1 disease.
PMCID: PMC110459  PMID: 9621103

Results 1-7 (7)