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1.  Cryptogenic stroke and small fiber neuropathy of unknown etiology in patients with alpha-galactosidase A -10T genotype 
Fabry disease (FD) is a multisystemic disorder with typical neurological manifestations such as stroke and small fiber neuropathy (SFN), caused by mutations of the alpha-galactosidase A (GLA) gene. We analyzed 15 patients carrying the GLA haplotype -10C>T [rs2071225], IVS2-81_-77delCAGCC [rs5903184], IVS4-16A>G [rs2071397], and IVS6-22C>T [rs2071228] for potential neurological manifestations.
Methods and results
Patients were retrospectively analyzed for stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), white matter lesions (WML) and SFN with neuropathic pain. Functional impact of the haplotype was determined by molecular genetic methods including real-time PCR, exon trapping, promoter deletion constructs and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Symptomatic -10T allele carriers suffered from stroke, TIA, WML, and SFN with neuropathic pain. Patients’ mean GLA mRNA expression level was reduced to ~70% (p < 0.0001) and a dose-dependent effect of the -10T allele on GLA mRNA expression was observed in hemi/homozygous compared to heterozygous patients (p < 0.0001). Molecular analyzes revealed that the -10T allele resulted in a reduced promoter activity and an altered transcription factor binding, while a functional relevance of the co-segregated intronic variants was excluded by exon trapping.
Based on this complementary approach of clinical observation and functional testing, we conclude that the GLA -10T allele could be causal for the observed neurological manifestations. Future studies are needed to clarify whether affected patients benefit from GLA enzyme replacement therapy for end-organ damage prevention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0178-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4255940  PMID: 25423912
Neuropathic pain; Stroke; Cerebrovascular disease; Fabry disease; Gene expression regulation
2.  Variation in the Gamma-Glutamyltransferase 1 (GGT1) Gene and Risk of Chronic Pancreatitis 
Pancreas  2013;42(5):836-840.
Individuals with chronic pancreatitis are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer. We hypothesized that genetic variation in the gamma-glutamyltransferase 1 (GGT1) gene, which was recently reported associated with pancreatic cancer risk in a genome-wide association study, is also associated with risk of chronic pancreatitis.
Associations between common polymorphisms in GGT1 and chronic pancreatitis were evaluated using data and samples from the North American Pancreatitis Study 2. Cases (N=496) and controls (N=465) were genotyped for four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): rs4820599, rs2017869, rs8135987, and rs5751901. Odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for chronic pancreatitis risk were calculated using multiple logistic regression models. Interactions with cigarette smoking and alcohol use were explored.
SNPs rs8135987 and rs4820599 were both statistically significantly associated with risk of chronic pancreatitis; compared to common allele homozygotes, individuals with at least one minor allele were at increased risk (rs8135987, OR: 1.36, 95%CI: 1.03-1.80, Ptrend: 0.01; rs4820599, OR: 1.39, 95%CI: 1.04-1.84, Ptrend: 0.0; adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking status, and alcohol use). No significant interactions with cigarette smoking and alcohol use were observed.
Our results suggest that common variation in the GGT1 gene may also affect risk of chronic pancreatitis.
PMCID: PMC3676446  PMID: 23462328
pancreatic cancer; chronic pancreatitis; case-control; SNPs; GGT1
3.  Common exonic missense variants in the C2 domain of the human KIBRA protein modify lipid binding and cognitive performance 
Translational Psychiatry  2013;3(6):e272-.
The human KIBRA gene has been linked to human cognition through a lead intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs17070145) that is associated with episodic memory performance and the risk to develop Alzheimer's disease. However, it remains unknown how this relates to the function of the KIBRA protein. Here, we identified two common missense SNPs (rs3822660G/T [M734I], rs3822659T/G [S735A]) in exon 15 of the human KIBRA gene to affect cognitive performance, and to be in almost complete linkage disequilibrium with rs17070145. The identified SNPs encode variants of the KIBRA C2 domain with distinct Ca2+ dependent binding preferences for monophosphorylated phosphatidylinositols likely due to differences in the dynamics and folding of the lipid-binding pocket. Our results further implicate the KIBRA protein in higher brain function and provide direction to the cellular pathways involved.
PMCID: PMC3693407  PMID: 23778582
C2 domain; human cognition; KIBRA; membrane binding; phosphatidylinositols
4.  The impact of a restrictive transfusion trigger on post-operative complication rate and well-being following elective orthopaedic surgery: a post-hoc analysis of a randomised study 
Blood Transfusion  2013;11(2):289-295.
Peri-operative red blood cell transfusions have been associated with post-operative complications in patients undergoing elective orthopaedic hip or knee replacement surgery.
Materials and methods
We performed a post-hoc analysis of data extracted from a randomised study on transfusion triggers using pre-storage leucocyte-depleted red blood cells. Patients who were assigned to the most restrictive transfusion policy ("restrictive group") were compared with patients who were assigned to the most liberal policy ("liberal group"). End-points were red blood cell use, hospital stay, haemoglobin levels, post-operative complications and quality of life scores.
Of 603 patients, 26.4% patients in the restrictive group and 39.1% in the liberal group were transfused (P =0.001). The rate of post-operative infections was lower, although not statistically significantly so, in the restrictive group than in the liberal group (5.4% vs 10.2%, respectively) as was the rate of respiratory complications (1.7% vs 4.9%, respectively), whereas hospital stay, cardiovascular complications and mortality rate were not different in the two groups. Quality of life scores were not associated with type of transfusion policy, the number of red blood cell transfusions or the transfusion status.
A restrictive transfusion protocol was not associated with worse outcome and resulted in a lower transfusion rate compared to the liberal policy. Well-being (quality of life) was not associated with transfusion policy or with red blood cell transfusions.
PMCID: PMC3626482  PMID: 23399367
restrictive transfusion policy; complication rate; orthopaedic surgery; red blood cell transfusion; quality of life
5.  Multifocal White Matter Lesions Associated with the D313Y Mutation of the α-Galactosidase A Gene 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55565.
White matter lesions (WML) are clinically relevant since they are associated with strokes, cognitive decline, depression, or epilepsy, but the underlying etiology in young adults without classical risk factors still remains elusive. Our aim was to elucidate the possible clinical diagnosis and mechanisms leading to WML in patients carrying the D313Y mutation in the α-galactosidase A (GLA) gene, a mutation that was formerly described as nonpathogenic. Pathogenic GLA mutations cause Fabry disease, a vascular endothelial glycosphingolipid storage disease typically presenting with a symptom complex of renal, cardiac, and cerebrovascular manifestations. We performed in-depths clinical, biochemical and genetic examinations as well as advanced magnetic resonance imaging analyses in a pedigree with the genetically determined GLA mutation D313Y. We detected exclusive neurologic manifestations of the central nervous system of the “pseudo”-deficient D313Y mutation leading to manifest WML in 7 affected adult family members. Furthermore, two family members that do not carry the mutation showed no WML. The D313Y mutation resulted in a normal GLA enzyme activity in leukocytes and severely decreased activities in plasma. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that GLA D313Y is potentially involved in neural damage with significant WML, demonstrating the necessity of evaluating patients carrying D313Y more thoroughly. D313Y might broaden the spectrum of hereditary small artery diseases of the brain, which preferably occur in young adults without classical risk factors. In view of the existing causal therapy regime, D313Y should be more specifically taken into account in these patients.
PMCID: PMC3564750  PMID: 23393592
6.  Association of genetic variation with systolic and diastolic blood pressure among African Americans: the Candidate Gene Association Resource study 
Fox, Ervin R. | Young, J. Hunter | Li, Yali | Dreisbach, Albert W. | Keating, Brendan J. | Musani, Solomon K. | Liu, Kiang | Morrison, Alanna C. | Ganesh, Santhi | Kutlar, Abdullah | Ramachandran, Vasan S. | Polak, Josef F. | Fabsitz, Richard R. | Dries, Daniel L. | Farlow, Deborah N. | Redline, Susan | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Hirschorn, Joel N. | Sun, Yan V. | Wyatt, Sharon B. | Penman, Alan D. | Palmas, Walter | Rotter, Jerome I. | Townsend, Raymond R. | Doumatey, Ayo P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Lyon, Helen N. | Kang, Sun J. | Rotimi, Charles N. | Cooper, Richard S. | Franceschini, Nora | Curb, J. David | Martin, Lisa W. | Eaton, Charles B. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Taylor, Herman A. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Ehret, Georg B. | Johnson, Toby | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Levy, Daniel | Munroe, Patricia B. | Rice, Kenneth M. | Bochud, Murielle | Johnson, Andrew D. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Smith, Albert V. | Tobin, Martin D. | Verwoert, Germaine C. | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Pihur, Vasyl | Vollenweider, Peter | O'Reilly, Paul F. | Amin, Najaf | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Teumer, Alexander | Glazer, Nicole L. | Launer, Lenore | Zhao, Jing Hua | Aulchenko, Yurii | Heath, Simon | Sõber, Siim | Parsa, Afshin | Luan, Jian'an | Arora, Pankaj | Dehghan, Abbas | Zhang, Feng | Lucas, Gavin | Hicks, Andrew A. | Jackson, Anne U. | Peden, John F. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Wild, Sarah H. | Rudan, Igor | Igl, Wilmar | Milaneschi, Yuri | Parker, Alex N. | Fava, Cristiano | Chambers, John C. | Kumari, Meena | JinGo, Min | van der Harst, Pim | Kao, Wen Hong Linda | Sjögren, Marketa | Vinay, D.G. | Alexander, Myriam | Tabara, Yasuharu | Shaw-Hawkins, Sue | Whincup, Peter H. | Liu, Yongmei | Shi, Gang | Kuusisto, Johanna | Seielstad, Mark | Sim, Xueling | Nguyen, Khanh-Dung Hoang | Lehtimäki, Terho | Matullo, Giuseppe | Wu, Ying | Gaunt, Tom R. | Charlotte Onland-Moret, N. | Cooper, Matthew N. | Platou, Carl G.P. | Org, Elin | Hardy, Rebecca | Dahgam, Santosh | Palmen, Jutta | Vitart, Veronique | Braund, Peter S. | Kuznetsova, Tatiana | Uiterwaal, Cuno S.P.M. | Campbell, Harry | Ludwig, Barbara | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Tzoulaki, Ioanna | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Aspelund, Thor | Garcia, Melissa | Chang, Yen-Pei C. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Steinle, Nanette I. | Grobbee, Diederick E. | Arking, Dan E. | Hernandez, Dena | Najjar, Samer | McArdle, Wendy L. | Hadley, David | Brown, Morris J. | Connell, John M. | Hingorani, Aroon D. | Day, Ian N.M. | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Beilby, John P. | Lawrence, Robert W. | Clarke, Robert | Collins, Rory | Hopewell, Jemma C. | Ongen, Halit | Bis, Joshua C. | Kähönen, Mika | Viikari, Jorma | Adair, Linda S. | Lee, Nanette R. | Chen, Ming-Huei | Olden, Matthias | Pattaro, Cristian | Hoffman Bolton, Judith A. | Köttgen, Anna | Bergmann, Sven | Mooser, Vincent | Chaturvedi, Nish | Frayling, Timothy M. | Islam, Muhammad | Jafar, Tazeen H. | Erdmann, Jeanette | Kulkarni, Smita R. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Grässler, Jürgen | Groop, Leif | Voight, Benjamin F. | Kettunen, Johannes | Howard, Philip | Taylor, Andrew | Guarrera, Simonetta | Ricceri, Fulvio | Emilsson, Valur | Plump, Andrew | Barroso, Inês | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Weder, Alan B. | Hunt, Steven C. | Bergman, Richard N. | Collins, Francis S. | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Scott, Laura J. | Stringham, Heather M. | Peltonen, Leena | Perola, Markus | Vartiainen, Erkki | Brand, Stefan-Martin | Staessen, Jan A. | Wang, Thomas J. | Burton, Paul R. | SolerArtigas, Maria | Dong, Yanbin | Snieder, Harold | Wang, Xiaoling | Zhu, Haidong | Lohman, Kurt K. | Rudock, Megan E. | Heckbert, Susan R. | Smith, Nicholas L. | Wiggins, Kerri L. | Shriner, Daniel | Veldre, Gudrun | Viigimaa, Margus | Kinra, Sanjay | Prabhakaran, Dorairajan | Tripathy, Vikal | Langefeld, Carl D. | Rosengren, Annika | Thelle, Dag S. | MariaCorsi, Anna | Singleton, Andrew | Forrester, Terrence | Hilton, Gina | McKenzie, Colin A. | Salako, Tunde | Iwai, Naoharu | Kita, Yoshikuni | Ogihara, Toshio | Ohkubo, Takayoshi | Okamura, Tomonori | Ueshima, Hirotsugu | Umemura, Satoshi | Eyheramendy, Susana | Meitinger, Thomas | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Cho, Yoon Shin | Kim, Hyung-Lae | Lee, Jong-Young | Scott, James | Sehmi, Joban S. | Zhang, Weihua | Hedblad, Bo | Nilsson, Peter | Smith, George Davey | Wong, Andrew | Narisu, Narisu | Stančáková, Alena | Raffel, Leslie J. | Yao, Jie | Kathiresan, Sekar | O'Donnell, Chris | Schwartz, Steven M. | Arfan Ikram, M. | Longstreth, Will T. | Seshadri, Sudha | Shrine, Nick R.G. | Wain, Louise V. | Morken, Mario A. | Swift, Amy J. | Laitinen, Jaana | Prokopenko, Inga | Zitting, Paavo | Cooper, Jackie A. | Humphries, Steve E. | Danesh, John | Rasheed, Asif | Goel, Anuj | Hamsten, Anders | Watkins, Hugh | Bakker, Stephan J.L. | van Gilst, Wiek H. | Janipalli, Charles S. | Radha Mani, K. | Yajnik, Chittaranjan S. | Hofman, Albert | Mattace-Raso, Francesco U.S. | Oostra, Ben A. | Demirkan, Ayse | Isaacs, Aaron | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Lakatta, Edward G. | Orru, Marco | Scuteri, Angelo | Ala-Korpela, Mika | Kangas, Antti J. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Soininen, Pasi | Tukiainen, Taru | Würz, Peter | Twee-Hee Ong, Rick | Dörr, Marcus | Kroemer, Heyo K. | Völker, Uwe | Völzke, Henry | Galan, Pilar | Hercberg, Serge | Lathrop, Mark | Zelenika, Diana | Deloukas, Panos | Mangino, Massimo | Spector, Tim D. | Zhai, Guangju | Meschia, James F. | Nalls, Michael A. | Sharma, Pankaj | Terzic, Janos | Kranthi Kumar, M.J. | Denniff, Matthew | Zukowska-Szczechowska, Ewa | Wagenknecht, Lynne E. | Fowkes, Gerald R. | Charchar, Fadi J. | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Hayward, Caroline | Guo, Xiuqing | Bots, Michiel L. | Brand, Eva | Samani, Nilesh J. | Polasek, Ozren | Talmud, Philippa J. | Nyberg, Fredrik | Kuh, Diana | Laan, Maris | Hveem, Kristian | Palmer, Lyle J. | van der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Casas, Juan P. | Mohlke, Karen L. | Vineis, Paolo | Raitakari, Olli | Wong, Tien Y. | Shyong Tai, E. | Laakso, Markku | Rao, Dabeeru C. | Harris, Tamara B. | Morris, Richard W. | Dominiczak, Anna F. | Kivimaki, Mika | Marmot, Michael G. | Miki, Tetsuro | Saleheen, Danish | Chandak, Giriraj R. | Coresh, Josef | Navis, Gerjan | Salomaa, Veikko | Han, Bok-Ghee | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Melander, Olle | Ridker, Paul M. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Gyllensten, Ulf B. | Wright, Alan F. | Wilson, James F. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Farrall, Martin | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Elosua, Roberto | Soranzo, Nicole | Sijbrands, Eric J.G. | Altshuler, David | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Gieger, Christian | Meneton, Pierre | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Rettig, Rainer | Uda, Manuela | Strachan, David P. | Witteman, Jacqueline C.M. | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boehnke, Michael | Larson, Martin G. | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Psaty, Bruce M. | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | Elliott, Paul | van Duijn , Cornelia M. | Newton-Cheh, Christopher
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(11):2273-2284.
The prevalence of hypertension in African Americans (AAs) is higher than in other US groups; yet, few have performed genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in AA. Among people of European descent, GWASs have identified genetic variants at 13 loci that are associated with blood pressure. It is unknown if these variants confer susceptibility in people of African ancestry. Here, we examined genome-wide and candidate gene associations with systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) using the Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) consortium consisting of 8591 AAs. Genotypes included genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data utilizing the Affymetrix 6.0 array with imputation to 2.5 million HapMap SNPs and candidate gene SNP data utilizing a 50K cardiovascular gene-centric array (ITMAT-Broad-CARe [IBC] array). For Affymetrix data, the strongest signal for DBP was rs10474346 (P= 3.6 × 10−8) located near GPR98 and ARRDC3. For SBP, the strongest signal was rs2258119 in C21orf91 (P= 4.7 × 10−8). The top IBC association for SBP was rs2012318 (P= 6.4 × 10−6) near SLC25A42 and for DBP was rs2523586 (P= 1.3 × 10−6) near HLA-B. None of the top variants replicated in additional AA (n = 11 882) or European-American (n = 69 899) cohorts. We replicated previously reported European-American blood pressure SNPs in our AA samples (SH2B3, P= 0.009; TBX3-TBX5, P= 0.03; and CSK-ULK3, P= 0.0004). These genetic loci represent the best evidence of genetic influences on SBP and DBP in AAs to date. More broadly, this work supports that notion that blood pressure among AAs is a trait with genetic underpinnings but also with significant complexity.
PMCID: PMC3090190  PMID: 21378095
7.  Pancreatic Cancer Patients Who Smoke and Drink are Diagnosed at Younger Ages 
Background & Aims
Cigarette smoking is an established risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but there is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of alcohol consumption. The effects of cigarettes and alcohol on age of sporadic pancreatic cancer diagnosis have not been examined; we evaluated the independent and synergistic effects of lifetime cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on age at pancreatic cancer diagnosis in the United States.
We analyzed data on cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption from the IMPAC Medical Registry Services, Cancer Information Resource File (CIRF), collected from June 1, 1993 to December 31, 2003 for 29,239 reported, histologically confirmed cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We also analyzed data on cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption for 820 histologically confirmed cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma from the University of Michigan Pancreatic Cancer Registry (UMPCR), collected from January 2004 to October 2007.
Current cigarette smokers were diagnosed at significantly younger ages than never smokers, according to data from the CIRF and UMPCR (8.3 years and 6.3 years, respectively); the UMPCR data indicated dose effects. Past and current alcohol consumption were associated with younger age at diagnosis age in both databases. Current smokers who were current drinkers were diagnosed significantly earlier (CIRF 10.2 years, UMPCR 8.6 years) than abstainers. Past cigarette smoking was modestly associated with younger diagnosis age.
Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption were associated with pancreatic cancer presentation at a younger age among the general population and have a combined effect on diagnosis age. Past cigarette smoking is less influential. Smoking cessation programs could help prevent pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC2736339  PMID: 19560558
8.  Risk of colon cancer in hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer patients as predicted by fuzzy modeling: Influence of smoking 
AIM: To investigate whether a fuzzy logic model could predict colorectal cancer (CRC) risk engendered by smoking in hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) patients.
METHODS: Three hundred and forty HNPCC mismatch repair (MMR) mutation carriers from the Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Institute Registry were selected for modeling. Age-dependent curves were generated to elucidate the joint effects between gene mutation (hMLH1 or hMSH2), gender, and smoking status on the probability of developing CRC.
RESULTS: Smoking significantly increased CRC risk in male hMSH2 mutation carriers (P < 0.05). hMLH1 mutations augmented CRC risk relative to hMSH2 mutation carriers for males (P < 0.05). Males had a significantly higher risk of CRC than females for hMLH1 non smokers (P < 0.05), hMLH1 smokers (P < 0.1) and hMSH2 smokers (P < 0.1). Smoking promoted CRC in a dose-dependent manner in hMSH2 in males (P < 0.05). Females with hMSH2 mutations and both sexes with the hMLH1 groups only demonstrated a smoking effect after an extensive smoking history (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: CRC promotion by smoking in HNPCC patients is dependent on gene mutation, gender and age. These data demonstrate that fuzzy modeling may enable formulation of clinical risk scores, thereby allowing individualization of CRC prevention strategies.
PMCID: PMC4125634  PMID: 16874859
Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer; Lynch syndrome; Smoking; Colorectal cancer; Fuzzy modeling; Risk assessment
9.  Effects of transfusion with red cells filtered to remove leucocytes: randomised controlled trial in patients undergoing major surgery 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7451):1281.
Objective To compare postoperative complications in patients undergoing major surgery who received non-filtered or filtered red blood cell transfusions.
Design Prospective, randomised, double blinded trial.
Setting 19 hospitals throughout the Netherlands (three university; 10 clinical; six general).
Participants 1051 evaluable patients: 79 patients with ruptured aneurysm, 412 patients undergoing elective surgery for aneurysm, and 560 undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.
Interventions The non-filtered products had the buffy coat removed and were plasma reduced. The filtered products had the buffy coat removed, were plasma reduced, and filtered before storage to remove leucocytes.
Main outcome measures Mortality and duration of stay in intensive care. Secondary end points were occurrence of multi-organ failure, infections, and length of hospital stay.
Results No significant differences were found in mortality (odds ratio for filtered v non-filtered 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.53 to 1.21) and in mean stay in intensive care (- 0.4 day, - 1.6 to 0.6 day). In the filtered group the mean length of hospital stay was 2.4 days shorter (- 4.8 to 0.0 day; P = 0.050) and the incidence of multi-organ failure was 30% lower (odds ratio 0.70, 0.49 to 1.00; P = 0.050). There were no differences in rates of infection (0.98, 0.73 to 1.32).
Conclusion The use of filtered transfusions in some types of major surgery may reduce the length of hospital stay and the incidence of postoperative multi-organ failure.
PMCID: PMC420164  PMID: 15142885
10.  Effect of economic barriers to medical care on patients' noncompliance. 
Public Health Reports  1977;92(1):72-78.
The post-hospital care of 290 patients with selected chronic conditions of a specific severity who were discharged over a 3-month period from a general hospital in Halifax, Canada, was studied. The majority of the patients were married. The average age of the men was 59.2 years and of the women 58.1. More than half of the patients belonged to the low socioeconomic group earning between $1,000 and $6,999 a year. Their average period of education was 8.4 years. Interviews with the patients about their compliance with physicians' orders revealed that 40.4 percent had not complied with one or more of their physician's recommendations. Lack of compliance was related to age, marital status, education, income, and severity of disease. It was also associated with high dosages of medicine and multiple prescriptions. Cost barriers constituted a significant factor in noncompliance.
PMCID: PMC1431971  PMID: 189344
11.  Hypoxia inducible factor prolyl hydroxylases as targets for neuroprotection by “antioxidant” metal chelators: from ferroptosis to stroke 
Neurologic conditions including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease are leading causes of death and long-term disability in the United States, and efforts to develop novel therapeutics for these conditions have historically had poor success in translating from bench to bedside. Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha (HIF-1α) mediates a broad, evolutionarily conserved, endogenous adaptive program to hypoxia, and manipulation of components of the HIF pathway are neuroprotective in a number of human neurological diseases and experimental models. In this review, we discuss molecular components of one aspect of hypoxic adpatation in detail, and provide perspective on which targets within this pathway appear to be ripest for preventing and repairing neurodegeneration. Further, we highlight the role of HIF prolyl hydroxylases as emerging targets for the salutary effects of metal chelators on ferroptosis in vitro as well in animal models of neurological diseases.
PMCID: PMC4327984  PMID: 23376032
Metal chelators; neurodegeneration; hypoxia inducible factors; transcription; prolyl hydroxylases
12.  The Histopathology of PRSS1 Hereditary Pancreatitis 
Hereditary pancreatitis is an autosomal dominant disorder with 80% penetrance and variable expressivity. The vast majority of cases have been linked to mutations within the cationic trypsinogen gene, also referred to as serine protease 1 (PRSS1). Other than inheritance, PRSS1 pancreatitis has been considered clinically and pathologically indistinguishable from other etiologies of chronic pancreatitis. However, to date, the histologic findings of PRSS1 pancreatitis have not been well described. We, therefore, collected pancreatic specimens from 10 PRSS1 patients of various ages and examined their clinicopathologic features. Patients at the time of resection ranged in age from 9 to 66 years (median, 29 y), with a slight female predominance (60%). All patients reported a history of intermittent abdominal pain, with an age of onset ranging from infancy to 21 years of age. Examination of the gross and microscopic findings suggested a sequential pattern of changes with increasing patient age. In pediatric patients (n=4), although in most cases the pancreas was grossly normal, there was microscopic variation in lobular size and shape. Although the central portions of the pancreas displayed parenchymal loss accompanied by loose perilobular and interlobular fibrosis, the periphery was remarkable for replacement by mature adipose tissue. These changes were more developed in younger adults (n=2), in whom fatty replacement seemed to extend from the periphery to the central portions of the pancreas. With older patients (n=4), the pancreas showed marked atrophy and extensive replacement by mature adipose tissue with scattered islets of Langerhans and rare acinar epithelium concentrated near the main pancreatic duct. In summary, PRSS1 hereditary pancreatitis is characterized by progressive lipomatous atrophy of the pancreas.
PMCID: PMC4321743  PMID: 24525505
PRSS1; hereditary pancreatitis; chronic pancreatitis; cationic trypsinogen; serine protease 1
13.  The role of mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics in ageing and disease 
Mitochondria constitute an important topic of biomedical enquiry (one paper in every 154 indexed in PubMed since 1998 is retrieved by the keyword ‘mitochondria’) because of widespread recognition of their importance in cell physiology and pathology. Mitochondrial dysfunction is widely implicated in ageing and in the diseases of ageing, through dysfunction in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis, Ca2+ homeostasis, central metabolic pathways or radical production. Nonetheless, the mechanisms and regulation of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide formation by mitochondria remain poorly described. Measurement of the capacities of different sites of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide production in isolated skeletal muscle mitochondria show that the maximum capacities of sites in complexes I, II and III and in several associated redox enzymes greatly exceed the native rates observed in the absence of respiratory chain inhibitors. In vitro, the native rates and the relative importance of different sites both depend on the substrate being oxidized, with sites IQ, IIF, GPDH, IF and IIIQo each being important with particular substrates. The techniques involved in measuring rates from each site should become applicable to cell cultures and in vivo in the future.
PMCID: PMC4321783  PMID: 23786614
14.  Inhibitors of ROS production by the ubiquinone-binding site of mitochondrial complex I identified by chemical screening 
Free radical biology & medicine  2013;65:1047-1059.
Mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species is often considered an unavoidable consequence of aerobic metabolism and currently cannot be manipulated without perturbing oxidative phosphorylation. Antioxidants are widely used to suppress effects of reactive oxygen species after formation, but they can never fully prevent immediate effects at the sites of production. To identify site-selective inhibitors of mitochondrial superoxide/H2O2 production that do not interfere with mitochondrial energy metabolism, we developed a robust small-molecule screen and secondary profiling strategy. We describe the discovery and characterization of a compound (N-cyclohexyl-4-(4-nitrophenoxy)benzenesulfonamide; CN-POBS) that selectively inhibits superoxide/H2O2 production from the ubiquinone-binding site of complex I (site IQ) with no effects on superoxide/H2O2 production from other sites or on oxidative phosphorylation. Structure/activity studies identified a core structure that is important for potency and selectivity for site IQ. By employing CN-POBS in mitochondria respiring on NADH-generating substrates, we show that site IQ does not produce significant amounts of superoxide/H2O2 during forward electron transport on glutamate plus malate. Our screening platform promises to facilitate further discovery of direct modulators of mitochondrially-derived oxidative damage and advance our ability to understand and manipulate mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in both normal and pathological conditions.
PMCID: PMC4321955  PMID: 23994103
superoxide; hydrogen peroxide; antioxidant; glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase; NADH:Q oxidoreductase; complex II; complex III; energy metabolism; respiratory complexes
15.  Meeting the International Health Regulations (2005) surveillance core capacity requirements at the subnational level in Europe: the added value of syndromic surveillance 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:107.
The revised World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005) request a timely and all-hazard approach towards surveillance, especially at the subnational level. We discuss three questions of syndromic surveillance application in the European context for assessing public health emergencies of international concern: (i) can syndromic surveillance support countries, especially the subnational level, to meet the International Health Regulations (2005) core surveillance capacity requirements, (ii) are European syndromic surveillance systems comparable to enable cross-border surveillance, and (iii) at which administrative level should syndromic surveillance best be applied?
Despite the ongoing criticism on the usefulness of syndromic surveillance which is related to its clinically nonspecific output, we demonstrate that it was a suitable supplement for timely assessment of the impact of three different public health emergencies affecting Europe. Subnational syndromic surveillance analysis in some cases proved to be of advantage for detecting an event earlier compared to national level analysis. However, in many cases, syndromic surveillance did not detect local events with only a small number of cases.
The European Commission envisions comparability of surveillance output to enable cross-border surveillance. Evaluated against European infectious disease case definitions, syndromic surveillance can contribute to identify cases that might fulfil the clinical case definition but the approach is too unspecific to comply to complete clinical definitions. Syndromic surveillance results still seem feasible for comparable cross-border surveillance as similarly defined syndromes are analysed.
We suggest a new model of implementing syndromic surveillance at the subnational level. In this model, syndromic surveillance systems are fine-tuned to their local context and integrated into the existing subnational surveillance and reporting structure. By enhancing population coverage, events covering several jurisdictions can be identified at higher levels. However, the setup of decentralised and locally adjusted syndromic surveillance systems is more complex compared to the setup of one national or local system.
We conclude that syndromic surveillance if implemented with large population coverage at the subnational level can help detect and assess the local and regional effect of different types of public health emergencies in a timely manner as required by the International Health Regulations (2005).
PMCID: PMC4324797
Public health surveillance; Europe; World Health Organization
16.  Perfectionism related to self-reported insomnia severity, but not when controlled for stress and emotion regulation 
Perfectionism is understood as a set of personality traits such as unrealistically high and rigid standards for performance, fear of failure, and excessive self-criticism. Previous studies showed a direct association between increased perfectionism and poor sleep, though without taking into account possible mediating factors. Here, we tested the hypothesis that perfectionism was directly associated with poor sleep, and that this association collapsed, if mediating factors such as stress and poor emotion regulation were taken into account.
Three hundred and forty six young adult students (M=23.87 years) completed questionnaires relating to perfectionism traits, sleep, and psychological functioning such as stress perception, coping with stress, emotion regulation, and mental toughness.
Perfectionism was directly associated with poor sleep and poor psychological functioning. When stress, poor coping, and poor emotion regulation were entered in the equation, perfectionism traits no longer contributed substantively to the explanation of poor sleep.
Though perfectionism traits seem associated with poor sleep, the direct role of such traits seemed small, when mediating factors such as stress perception and emotion regulation were taken into account.
PMCID: PMC4322891
perfectionism; perceived stress; emotion regulation; young adults; sleep quality
17.  Lipopolysaccharide binding protein, interleukin-10, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein blood levels in acute ischemic stroke patients with post-stroke infection 
Ischemic stroke patients are prone to infection by stroke-induced immunodepression. We hypothesized that levels of lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) are early predictors for the development of stroke-associated infection.
Fifty-six patients with ischemic stroke (n = 51) and transient ischemic attack (TIA) (n = 5) who presented within 6 hours after symptom onset and who were free of detectable infection on admission were included in the study. Of these, 20 developed early infections during the first week. Blood samples were taken at 6, 12, and 24 hours and at 3 and 7 days after stroke onset. Levels of LBP, Il-10, IL-6 and CRP, as well as S100B, were measured as markers of inflammation and brain damage by commercially available immunometric tests.
In the univariate analysis, levels of LBP, IL-10, IL-6 and CRP significantly differed between patients who developed an infection and those who did not. In the binary logistic regression analysis, which was adjusted for National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) on admission, stroke subtype and S100B peak levels, as indicator of the extent of brain damage, IL-10 at 6 hours, CRP at 6 hours and NIHSS on admission were identified as independent predictors of infection (IL-10: P = 0.009; CRP: P = 0.018; NIHSS: P = 0.041). The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves in relation to the dichotomized status of the infection (infection versus no infection) was 0.74 (95% confidence interval: 0.59 to 0.88) for CRP at 6 hours, 0.76 (0.61 to 0.9) for IL-10 at 6 hours, 0.83 (0.71 to 0.94) for NIHSS on admission and 0.94 (0.88 to 1) for the combination of CRP, IL-10 and NIHSS. In a subanalysis, 16 patients with early infections were matched with 16 patients without infection according to S100B peak levels. Here, the temporal pattern of LBP, IL-10, IL-6 and CRP significantly differed between the patient groups.
Our data show that blood levels of inflammation markers may be used as early predictors of stroke-associated infection. We propose prospective studies to investigate if the calculated cut-offs of CRP, IL-10 and NIHSS might help to identify patients who should receive early preventive antibiotic treatment.
PMCID: PMC4307994  PMID: 25613713
lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP); interleukin-10; Interleukin-6; C-reactive protein; stroke; infection; inflammation
18.  Association between subjective actual sleep duration, subjective sleep need, age, body mass index, and gender in a large sample of young adults 
Poor sleep is a major health concern, and there is evidence that young adults are at increased risk of suffering from poor sleep. There is also evidence that sleep duration can vary as a function of gender and body mass index (BMI). We sought to replicate these findings in a large sample of young adults, and also tested the hypothesis that a smaller gap between subjective sleep duration and subjective sleep need is associated with a greater feeling of being restored.
A total of 2,929 university students (mean age 23.24±3.13 years, 69.1% female) took part in an Internet-based survey. They answered questions related to demographics and subjective sleep patterns.
We found no gender differences in subjective sleep duration, subjective sleep need, BMI, age, or feeling of being restored. Nonlinear associations were observed between subjective sleep duration, BMI, and feeling of being restored. Moreover, a larger discrepancy between subjective actual sleep duration and subjective sleep need was associated with a lower feeling of being restored.
The present pattern of results from a large sample of young adults suggests that males and females do not differ with respect to subjective sleep duration, BMI, or feeling of being restored. Moreover, nonlinear correlations seemed to provide a more accurate reflection of the relationship between subjective sleep and demographic variables.
PMCID: PMC4295917  PMID: 25657583
young adults; subjective sleep duration; subjective sleep need; body mass index; Internet-based study
19.  Combination MET inhibition and Topoisomerase I inhibition block cell growth of Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2013;13(3):576-584.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a devastating disease, and current therapies have not greatly improved the 5-year survival rates. Topoisomerase (Top) inhibition is a treatment modality for SCLC; however, the response is short lived. Consequently, our research has focused on improving SCLC therapeutics through the identification of novel targets. Previously, we identified MNNG HOS transforming gene (MET) to be overexpressed and functional in SCLC. Herein, we investigated the therapeutic potential of combinatorial targeting of MET using SU11274 and Top1 using 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN-38). MET and TOP1 gene copy numbers and protein expression were determined in 29 patients with limited (n = 11) and extensive (n = 18) disease. MET gene copy number was significantly increased (>6 copies) in extensive disease compared with limited disease (P = 0.015). Similar TOP1 gene copy numbers were detected in limited and extensive disease. Immunohistochemical staining revealed a significantly higher Top1 nuclear expression in extensive (0.93) versus limited (0.15) disease (P = 0.04). Interestingly, a significant positive correlation was detected between MET gene copy number and Top1 nuclear expression (r = 0.5). In vitro stimulation of H82 cells revealed hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)–induced nuclear colocalization of p-MET and Top1. Furthermore, activation of the HGF/MET axis enhanced Top1 activity, which was abrogated by SU11274. Combination of SN-38 with SU11274 dramatically decreased SCLC growth as compared with either drug alone. Collectively, these findings suggest that the combinatorial inhibition of MET and Top1 is a potentially efficacious treatment strategy for SCLC.
PMCID: PMC4286701  PMID: 24327519
small cell lung cancer; MET; topoisomerase-I; SU11274; SN-38
20.  Cysteine Protease Activity of Feline Tritrichomonas foetus Promotes Adhesion-Dependent Cytotoxicity to Intestinal Epithelial Cells 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(7):2851-2859.
Trichomonads are obligate protozoan parasites most renowned as venereal pathogens of the reproductive tract of humans and cattle. Recently, a trichomonad highly similar to bovine venereal Tritrichomonas foetus but having a unique tropism for the intestinal tract was recognized as a significant cause of colitis in domestic cats. Despite a high prevalence, worldwide distribution, and lack of consistently effective drugs for treatment of the infection, the cellular mechanisms of T. foetus pathogenicity in the intestinal tract have not been examined. The aims of this study were to determine the pathogenic effect of feline T. foetus on porcine intestinal epithelial cells, the dependence of T. foetus pathogenicity on adhesion of T. foetus to the intestinal epithelium, and the identity of mediators responsible for these effects. Using an in vitro coculture approach to model feline T. foetus infection of the intestinal epithelium, these studies demonstrate that T. foetus promotes a direct contact-dependent activation of intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis signaling and progressive monolayer destruction. Moreover, these pathological effects were demonstrated to be largely dependent on T. foetus cell-associated cysteine protease activity. Finally, T. foetus cysteine proteases were identified as enabling cytopathic effects by promoting adhesion of T. foetus to the intestinal epithelium. The present studies are the first to examine the cellular mechanisms of pathogenicity of T. foetus toward the intestinal epithelium and support further investigation of the cysteine proteases as virulence factors in vivo and as potential therapeutic targets for ameliorating the pathological effects of intestinal trichomonosis.
PMCID: PMC4097647  PMID: 24752513
21.  Guideline Concordance of Testing for Hyperkalemia and Kidney Dysfunction During Initiation of Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonist Therapy in Patients with Heart Failure 
Circulation. Heart failure  2013;7(1):43-50.
Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) reduce morbidity and mortality in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFREF), but can cause hyperkalemia and acute kidney injury. Guidelines recommend measurement of serum potassium (K) and creatinine (Cr) before and serially after MRA initiation, but the extent to which this occurs is unknown.
Methods and Results
Using electronic data from 3 health systems 2005-2008, we performed a retrospective review of laboratory monitoring among 490 patients hospitalized for HFREF who were subsequently initiated on MRA therapy. Median age at time of MRA initiation was 73 years and 37.1% were female. Spironolactone accounted for 99.4% of MRA use. Initial ambulatory MRA dispensing occurred at hospital discharge in 70.0% of cases. In the 30 days before MRA initiation, 94.3% of patients had a K or Cr measurement. Pre-initiation K was >5.0 mmol/L in 1.4% and Cr >2.5 mg/dL in 1.7%. In the 7 days after MRA initiation among patients who remained alive and out of the hospital, 46.5% had no evidence of K measurement; by 30 days, 13.6% remained untested. Patient factors explained a small portion of post-initiation K testing (c-statistic 0.67).
While laboratory monitoring prior to MRA initiation for HFREF is common, laboratory monitoring following MRA initiation frequently does not meet guideline recommendations, even in patients at higher risk for complications. Quality improvement efforts that encourage the use of MRA should also include mechanisms to address recommended monitoring.
PMCID: PMC3924889  PMID: 24281136
heart failure; medication; safety; laboratory testing; mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists; aldosterone
22.  Oxidative DNA Damage in Kidneys and Heart of Hypertensive Mice Is Prevented by Blocking Angiotensin II and Aldosterone Receptors 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115715.
Recently, we could show that angiotensin II, the reactive peptide of the blood pressure-regulating renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system, causes the formation of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage in kidneys and hearts of hypertensive mice. To further investigate on the one hand the mechanism of DNA damage caused by angiotensin II, and on the other hand possible intervention strategies against end-organ damage, the effects of substances interfering with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system on angiotensin II-induced genomic damage were studied.
In C57BL/6-mice, hypertension was induced by infusion of 600 ng/kg • min angiotensin II. The animals were additionally treated with the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker candesartan, the mineralocorticoid receptor blocker eplerenone and the antioxidant tempol. DNA damage and the activation of transcription factors were studied by immunohistochemistry and protein expression analysis.
Administration of angiotensin II led to a significant increase of blood pressure, decreased only by candesartan. In kidneys and hearts of angiotensin II-treated animals, significant oxidative stress could be detected (1.5-fold over control). The redox-sensitive transcription factors Nrf2 and NF-κB were activated in the kidney by angiotensin II-treatment (4- and 3-fold over control, respectively) and reduced by all interventions. In kidneys and hearts an increase of DNA damage (3- and 2-fold over control, respectively) and of DNA repair (3-fold over control) was found. These effects were ameliorated by all interventions in both organs. Consistently, candesartan and tempol were more effective than eplerenone.
Angiotensin II-induced DNA damage is caused by angiotensin II type 1 receptor-mediated formation of oxidative stress in vivo. The angiotensin II-mediated physiological increase of aldosterone adds to the DNA-damaging effects. Blocking angiotensin II and mineralocorticoid receptors therefore has beneficial effects on end-organ damage independent of blood pressure normalization.
PMCID: PMC4297153  PMID: 25551569
23.  Survival after somatostatin based radiopeptide therapy with 90Y-DOTATOC vs. 90Y-DOTATOC plus 177Lu-DOTATOC in metastasized gastrinoma 
We aimed to explore the effects of 90Y-DOTATOC and 90Y-DOTATOC plus 177Lu-DOTATOC on survival of patients with metastasized gastrinoma. Patients with progressive metastasized gastrinoma were treated with repeated cycles of 90Y-DOTATOC or with cycles alternating between 90Y-DOTATOC and 177Lu-DOTATOC until tumor progression or permanent toxicity. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were used to study predictors of survival. A total of 36 patients were enrolled; 30 patients received 90Y-DOTATOC (median activity per patient 11.8GBq; range: 6.1-62.2GBq) and 6 patients received 90Y-DOTATOC plus 177Lu-DOTATOC (median activity per patient: 14.8GBq; range: 7.4-14.8GBq). Response was found in 26 patients (72.2%), including morphological (n=12, 33.3%), biochemical (n=14, 38.9%) and/or clinical response (n=6, 16.2%). A total of 21 patients (58.3%) experienced hematotoxicity grade 1/2, while 1 patient (2.8%) experienced hematotoxicity grade 3; no grade 4 hematotoxicity occurred. Furthermore, 2 patients (5.6%) developed grade 4 renal toxicity; no grade 5 renal toxicity occurred. Responders had a significantly longer median survival from time of enrollment than non-responders (45.1 months, range: 37.1-53.1 months vs. 12.6 months, range: 11.0-14.2, hazard ratio: 0.12 (0.027-0.52), p=0.005). Additionally, there was a trend towards longer median survival with 90Y-DOTATOC plus 177Lu-DOTATOC as compared to 90Y-DOTATOC alone (60.2 months, range: 19.8-100.6 months vs. 27.0 months, range: 4.0-50.0, hazard ratio: 0.21 (0.01-3.98), p=0.16). Response to 90Y-DOTATOC and 90Y-DOTATOC plus 177Lu-DOTATOC therapy is associated with a longer survival in patients with metastasized gastrinoma. Both treatment regimens are promising tools for management of progressive gastrinoma.
PMCID: PMC4299770  PMID: 25625026
Yttrium; lutetium; somatostatin; survival; gastrinoma
24.  Genomic locus on chromosome 1 regulates susceptibility to spontaneous arthritis in mice deficiency of IL-1RA 
BMC Immunology  2014;15(1):57.
To understand the role of genetic factors on chromosome 1 in the regulation of spontaneous arthritis in mice deficient in IL-1 receptor antagonist protein (IL_1RA), we previously used speed congenic breeding to transfer the QTL region from DBA/1−/− mice that are resistant to spontaneous arthritis into BALB/c−/− mice which are susceptible. We were able to establish two congenic strains which exhibited a delayed onset and reduced severity of disease. In this study, we asked a different set of questions. How will the QTL region from BALB/c−/− interact with the rest of the genome in the DBA/1−/− background? Will the DBA/1−/− mice become susceptible to spontaneous arthritis if the QTL genomic region on chromosome 1 was replaced with the genomic fragment of the same region from BALB/c−/−? We conducted the congenic breeding with the similar procedure as that of congenic strains with BALB/c−/− background.
Instead of BALB/c−/−, DBA/1−/− was used as the recurrent parent while BALB/c−/− was used as the donor parent. By the 6th generation we determined that all of the chromosomes in the progeny were of DBA/1−/− origin with the exception of the QTL portion of chromosome 1 which is heterozygous of BALB/c−/− and DBA/1−/− origin. We then intercrossed selected mice to produce homozygous strains containing the homozygous genomic region of BALB/c−/− on chromosome 1, while the rest of genome are homozygous DBA/1−/−. This strain was observed for the development of spontaneous arthritis. Up to 9 weeks of age, both congenic strain and DBA/1−/− did not develop arthritis. However, after 9 weeks, the congenic strain started to exhibit signs of arthritis, while the DBA/1−/− remained free from disease.
The result indicates a strong influence of genetic factor(s) on the QTL of chromosome 1 on the susceptibility to spontaneous arthritis. Identification of genetic factors within this QTL region in the future will significantly enhance our understanding of molecular mechanism of spontaneous arthritis.
PMCID: PMC4272550  PMID: 25488730
Arthritis; Congenic breeding; Mouse; QTL; DBA/1
25.  Among three different executive functions, general executive control ability is a key predictor of decision making under objective risk 
Frontiers in Psychology  2014;5:1386.
Executive functioning is supposed to have an important role in decision making under risk. Several studies reported that more advantageous decision-making behavior was accompanied by better performance in tests of executive functioning and that the decision-making process was accompanied by activations in prefrontal and subcortical brain regions associated with executive functioning. However, to what extent different components of executive functions contribute to decision making is still unclear. We tested direct and indirect effects of three executive functions on decision-making performance in a laboratory gambling task, the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Using Brand's model of decisions under risk (2006) we tested seven structural equation models with three latent variables that represent executive functions supposed to be involved in decision making. The latent variables were general control (represented by the general ability to exert attentional and behavioral self-control that is in accordance with task goals despite interfering information), concept formation (represented by categorization, rule detection, and set maintenance), and monitoring (represented by supervision of cognition and behavior). The seven models indicated that only the latent dimension general control had a direct effect on decision making under risk. Concept formation and monitoring only contributed in terms of indirect effects, when mediated by general control. Thus, several components of executive functioning seem to be involved in decision making under risk. However, general control functions seem to have a key role. They may be important for implementing the calculative and cognitively controlled processes involved in advantageous decision making under risk.
PMCID: PMC4253823  PMID: 25520690
decisions under risk; executive functions; structural equation model; Game of Dice Task; self-control; monitoring

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