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1.  Cathepsin K in treatment monitoring following intravenous zoledronic acid 
Biomedical Reports  2014;2(6):915-917.
Cathepsin K (CatK) is mainly expressed by osteoclasts and plays an important role in bone resorption. As CatK is expressed and secreted by osteoclasts during active bone resorption, it may be a useful and specific biochemical marker of osteoclastic activity. Therefore, CatK serum levels were studied for monitoring the treatment of females with postmenopausal osteoporosis by zoledronic acid. The serum CatK levels were determined in nine postmenopausal females before and after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. The levels were significantly reduced after 3 and 6 months (P<0.05), whereas they returned to baseline after 1 year. Taken together, the serum level of CatK may be suitable for monitoring anti-osteoporotic therapy in association with treatment response.
PMCID: PMC4179689  PMID: 25279169
bisphosphonat; cathepsin K; osteoporosis; bone density measurement; compliance
2.  Increasing the reliability of data analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging by applying a new blockwise permutation method 
A recent paper by Eklund et al. (2012) showed that up to 70% false positive results may occur when analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data using the statistical parametric mapping (SPM) software, which may mainly be caused by insufficient compensation for the temporal correlation between successive scans. Here, we show that a blockwise permutation method can be an effective alternative to the standard correction method for the correlated residuals in the general linear model, assuming an AR(1)-model as used in SPM for analyzing fMRI data. The blockwise permutation approach including a random shift developed by our group (Adolf et al., 2011) accounts for the temporal correlation structure of the data without having to provide a specific definition of the underlying autocorrelation model. 1465 publicly accessible resting-state data sets were re-analyzed, and the results were compared with those of Eklund et al. (2012). It was found that with the new permutation method the nominal familywise error rate for the detection of activated voxels could be maintained approximately under even the most critical conditions in which Eklund et al. found the largest deviations from the nominal error level. Thus, the method presented here can serve as a tool to ameliorate the quality and reliability of fMRI data analyses.
PMCID: PMC4131278  PMID: 25165444
SPM analysis; functional MRI; familywise error rate; blockwise permutation including a random shift; autocorrelation
3.  Induction of Premalignant Host Responses by Cathepsin X/Z-Deficiency in Helicobacter Pylori-Infected Mice 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70242.
Helicobacter pylori are responsible for the induction of chronic gastric inflammation progressing to atrophy, metaplasia, and gastric cancer. The overexpression of Cathepsin X/Z (Ctsz) in H. pylori-infected mucosa and gastric cancer is mediated predominantly by an augmented migration of ctsz−/−positive macrophages and the up-regulation of Ctsz in tumor epithelium. To explore the Ctsz-function in the context of chronic inflammation and the development of preneoplastic lesions, we used Ctsz-deficient mice in a H. pylori gastritis model. Ctsz−/− and wild-type (wt) mice were infected with H. pylori strain SS1. The mice were sacrificed at 24, 36, and 50 weeks post infection (wpi). The stomach was removed, and gastric strips were snap-frozen or embedded and stained with H&E. Tissue sections were scored for epithelial lesions and inflammation. Ki-67 and F4/80 immunostaining were used to measure epithelial cell proliferation and macrophage infiltration, respectively. The upregulation of compensating cathepsins and cytokines were confirmed by Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR. SS1-infected wt and ctsz−/− mice showed strong inflammation, foveolar hyperplasia, atrophy, and cystically-dilated glands. However, at 50 wpi, ctsz−/− mice developed significantly more severe spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM), showed enhanced epithelial proliferation, and higher levels of infiltrating macrophages. Induction of cytokines was higher and significantly prolonged in ctsz−/− mice compared to wt. Ctsz deficiency supports H. pylori-dependent development of chronic gastritis up to metaplasia, indicating a protective, but not proteolytic, function of Ctsz in inflammatory gastric disease.
PMCID: PMC3728094  PMID: 23936173
4.  Predicting Decisions in Human Social Interactions Using Real-Time fMRI and Pattern Classification 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25304.
Negotiation and trade typically require a mutual interaction while simultaneously resting in uncertainty which decision the partner ultimately will make at the end of the process. Assessing already during the negotiation in which direction one's counterpart tends would provide a tremendous advantage. Recently, neuroimaging techniques combined with multivariate pattern classification of the acquired data have made it possible to discriminate subjective states of mind on the basis of their neuronal activation signature. However, to enable an online-assessment of the participant's mind state both approaches need to be extended to a real-time technique. By combining real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and online pattern classification techniques, we show that it is possible to predict human behavior during social interaction before the interacting partner communicates a specific decision. Average accuracy reached approximately 70% when we predicted online the decisions of volunteers playing the ultimatum game, a well-known paradigm in economic game theory. Our results demonstrate the successful online analysis of complex emotional and cognitive states using real-time fMRI, which will enable a major breakthrough for social fMRI by providing information about mental states of partners already during the mutual interaction. Interestingly, an additional whole brain classification across subjects confirmed the online results: anterior insula, ventral striatum, and lateral orbitofrontal cortex, known to act in emotional self-regulation and reward processing for adjustment of behavior, appeared to be strong determinants of later overt behavior in the ultimatum game. Using whole brain classification we were also able to discriminate between brain processes related to subjective emotional and motivational states and brain processes related to the evaluation of objective financial incentives.
PMCID: PMC3189203  PMID: 22003388
5.  Knowledge and Attitudes of GPs in Saxony-Anhalt concerning the Psychological Aspects of Bronchial Asthma: A Questionnaire Study 
Bronchial Asthma is a worldwide condition with particularly high prevalence in first world countries. The reasons are multifactorial but a neglected area is the psychological domain. It is well known that heavy emotions can trigger attacks and that depression negatively affects treatment outcomes. It is also known that personality type has a greater effect on disease prevalence than in many other conditions. However, many potential psychological treatments are hardly considered, neither in treatment guidelines nor in reviews by asthma specialists. Moreover, there is very little research concerning the beliefs and practices of doctors regarding psychological treatments. Using a questionnaire survey we ascertained that local GPs in Saxony-Anhalt have reasonably good knowledge about the psychological elements of asthma; a third consider it to be some of the influence (20-40% aetiology) and a further third consider it to be even more important than that (at least 40% total aetiology). Our GPs use psychosomatic counseling sometimes or usually in the areas of sport and smoking (circa 85% GPs), although less so regarding breathing techniques and relaxation (c40% usually or sometimes do this) However despite this knowledge they refer to the relevant clinicians very rarely (98% sometimes, usually or always refer to a respiratory physician compared with only 11% referring for psychological help).
PMCID: PMC3022548  PMID: 21171975

Results 1-5 (5)