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Τρίτη, 14 Νοεμβρίου 2017

NICE Guidelines for CT Scan in Head Injury: DAMS Unplugged

This guideline covers the assessment and early management of head injury in children, young people and adults. It promotes effective clinical assessment so that people receive the right care for the severity of their head injury, including referral directly to specialist care if needed. 

Presenting a short video on Guidelines for advising CT Imaging. 

Reference and Further Reading 
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Relationships between temporomandibular joint disc displacements and condylar volume

We aimed to assess the relationship between mandibular condylar volume and disc displacement status, in male and female adults.

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Patients' osteometabolic control improves the management of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ) represents a concern for patients taking antiresorptive drugs. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that preoperative individualized pharmacological control of the patient's osteometabolic profile could lead to predictable healing of the surgically treated region and minimize the incidence of complications.

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Differential expression of STAT-3 in subtypes of oral lichen planus: a preliminary study

This study aimed to examine the expression of signaling transduction proteins and their possible correlation with different clinical subtypes of oral lichen planus (OLP).

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Medical physics in radiation Oncology: New challenges, needs and roles

This special issue of Radiotherapy and Oncology is devoted to current trends in medical physics, as reflected in scientific meetings as well as in scientific journals. One such recent meeting was the annual ESTRO conference held in Vienna in May 2017 [1]. This special issue follows the tradition of the Green Journal's regular such issues in highlighting outstanding contributions and important developments in the field of medical physics, mainly linked to the former biennial ESTRO physics meetings or the ESTRO forums, respectively [2–6].

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Improved pharmacodynamic (PD) assessment of low dose PARP inhibitor PD activity for radiotherapy and chemotherapy combination trials

PARP inhibitors are currently evaluated in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. As sensitizers, PARP inhibitors are active at very low concentrations therefore requiring highly sensitive pharmacodynamic (PD) assays. Current clinical PD-assays partly fail to provide such sensitivities. The aim of our study was to enable sensitive PD evaluation of PARP inhibitors for clinical sensitizer development.

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Editorial board

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Publication date: November–December 2017
Source:Reports of Practical Oncology & Radiotherapy, Volume 22, Issue 6





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Das chronisch kranke und behinderte Kind: Eine psychologische Aufgabe der Kinderheilkunde, Teil III: Psychologische Behandlung

This third and last paper on psychological aspects of chronic illness is childhood discusses tasks of the physician and the parents as well as aspects of social medicine.

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Das chronisch kranke und behinderte Kind: Eine psychologische Aufgabe der Kinderheilkunde, Teil II: Spezielle Probleme verschiedener Krankheiten

This second out of three articles deals with some specific psychological problems of chronic illness and handicap in childhood, i.e. epilepsy, physical handicap, diabetes mellitus, congenital heartdisease, hemophilia, dwarfism, hemodialysis and renal transplantation, and malignant disease.

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Das chronisch kranke und behinderte Kind: Eine psychologische Aufgabe der Kinderheilkunde, Teil I: Allgemeine Problemlage

This first out of three articles reviews general psychological aspects and problems of the child with chronic illness and handicap and of his parents and healthy siblings.

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Soziale Entwicklung und Krankheitsverlauf bei Jungen mit Hämophilie

Data on state of the illness and social development are reported in 43 hemophilic boys. The items cover factor activity, degree of physical handicap, frequency of bleedings and hospitalisations as well as the topic of a psychophysiological mechanism in the genesis of bleedings. Further items of social development pertain to school, leisure-time activities and ideas of future occupation.

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Time to diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients in the Netherlands: Room for improvement?

Publication date: December 2017
Source:European Journal of Cancer, Volume 87
Author(s): Charles (C.W.) Helsper, Nicole (N.F.) van Erp, Petra (P.H.M.) Peeters, Niek (N.J.) de Wit
Background & aimReducing the duration of the diagnostic cancer care pathway is intensively pursued. The aim of this study was to chart the diagnostic pathway for the five most common cancers in the Netherlands.MethodsA retrospective cohort study using cancer patients' anonymised primary care data (free text and coded) linked to the Netherlands Cancer Registry. We determined the median duration of the following: 1. Primary care intervals (IPCs): the first cancer-related general practitioner consultation to referral, 2. Referral intervals (IRs): referral to diagnosis, 3. Treatment intervals (ITs): diagnosis to treatment and the overarching intervals, 4. Diagnostic intervals (IDs): IPC and IR combined and 5. Health care intervals (IHCs): IPC, IR and IT combined.ResultsFor 465, 309, 197, 237 and 149 patients diagnosed with breast-, colorectal-, lung-, prostate cancer and melanoma, respectively; median IPC, IR and ID durations were shortest for breast cancer and melanoma (ID duration 7 and 21 days, respectively), intermediate for lung- and colon cancer (ID duration 49 and 54 days) and the longest for prostate cancer (ID duration 137 days). For all cancers, the duration of intervals increased steeply for the 10–25% with longest durations. For colorectal cancer, increasing ID durations showed increasing proportions of time attributable to primary care (IPC).ConclusionApproximately 10–25% of cancer patients show substantially long duration of diagnostic intervals. Reducing primary care delay seems particularly relevant for colorectal cancer.



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Brain Sciences, Vol. 7, Pages 151: Adolescent Alcohol Drinking Renders Adult Drinking BLA-Dependent: BLA Hyper-Activity as Contributor to Comorbid Alcohol Use Disorder and Anxiety Disorders

Brain Sciences, Vol. 7, Pages 151: Adolescent Alcohol Drinking Renders Adult Drinking BLA-Dependent: BLA Hyper-Activity as Contributor to Comorbid Alcohol Use Disorder and Anxiety Disorders

Brain Sciences doi: 10.3390/brainsci7110151

Authors: Mahsa Moaddab Elizabeth Mangone Madelyn Ray Michael McDannald

Adolescent alcohol drinking increases the risk for alcohol-use disorder in adulthood. Yet, the changes in adult neural function resulting from adolescent alcohol drinking remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that adolescent alcohol drinking alters basolateral amygdala (BLA) function, making alcohol drinking BLA-dependent in adulthood. Male, Long Evans rats were given voluntary, intermittent access to alcohol (20% ethanol) or a bitter, isocaloric control solution, across adolescence. Half of the rats in each group received neurotoxic BLA lesions. In adulthood, all rats were given voluntary, intermittent access to alcohol. BLA lesions reduced adult alcohol drinking in rats receiving adolescent access to alcohol, but not in rats receiving adolescent access to the control solution. The effect of the BLA lesion was most apparent in high alcohol drinking adolescent rats. The BLA is essential for fear learning and is hyper-active in anxiety disorders. The results are consistent with adolescent heavy alcohol drinking inducing BLA hyper-activity, providing a neural mechanism for comorbid alcohol use disorder and anxiety disorders.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2415: Regulation of Chemokine–Receptor Interactions and Functions

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2415: Regulation of Chemokine–Receptor Interactions and Functions

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18112415

Authors: Martin Stone

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection. As early as 2000 years ago, the Roman encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus recognised four cardinal signs of this response—redness, heat, swelling and pain; a fifth sign is loss of function.[...]



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2411: The Impact of Synaptic Zn2+ Dynamics on Cognition and Its Decline

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2411: The Impact of Synaptic Zn2+ Dynamics on Cognition and Its Decline

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18112411

Authors: Atsushi Takeda Hanuna Tamano

The basal levels of extracellular Zn2+ are in the range of low nanomolar concentrations and less attention has been paid to Zn2+, compared to Ca2+, for synaptic activity. However, extracellular Zn2+ is necessary for synaptic activity. The basal levels of extracellular zinc are age-dependently increased in the rat hippocampus, implying that the basal levels of extracellular Zn2+ are also increased age-dependently and that extracellular Zn2+ dynamics are linked with age-related cognitive function and dysfunction. In the hippocampus, the influx of extracellular Zn2+ into postsynaptic neurons, which is often linked with Zn2+ release from neuron terminals, is critical for cognitive activity via long-term potentiation (LTP). In contrast, the excess influx of extracellular Zn2+ into postsynaptic neurons induces cognitive decline. Interestingly, the excess influx of extracellular Zn2+ more readily occurs in aged dentate granule cells and intracellular Zn2+-buffering, which is assessed with ZnAF-2DA, is weakened in the aged dentate granule cells. Characteristics (easiness) of extracellular Zn2+ influx seem to be linked with the weakened intracellular Zn2+-buffering in the aged dentate gyrus. This paper deals with the impact of synaptic Zn2+ signaling on cognition and its decline in comparison with synaptic Ca2+ signaling.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2413: Targeting Immune Cell Checkpoints during Sepsis

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2413: Targeting Immune Cell Checkpoints during Sepsis

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18112413

Authors: Naeem Patil Yin Guo Liming Luan Edward Sherwood

Immunosuppression is increasingly being recognized as one of the causes of increased morbidity and mortality during sepsis. Both innate and adaptive immune system dysfunction have been shown to cause an impaired ability to eradicate the primary infection and also lead to frequent occurrence of secondary opportunistic infections. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules, including programmed death-1 (PD-1), programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1), cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), T cell membrane protein-3 (TIM-3), Lymphocyte activation-gene-3 (LAG-3) and 2B4, are upregulated during the course of sepsis. Engagement of these inhibitory molecules on various immune cells has been consistently shown to inhibit innate immune cell functions (e.g., phagocytosis, cytokine production and pathogen clearance) and also lead to impaired T cell competence. In numerous pre-clinical models of sepsis, therapeutic agents aimed at blocking engagement of inhibitory immune checkpoints on immune cells have been shown to improve innate and adaptive immune cell functions, increase host resistance to infection and significantly improve survival. Therefore, immunotherapy with immune cell checkpoint inhibitors holds significant potential for the future of sepsis therapy and merits further investigation.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2417: Environmental Burkholderia cenocepacia Strain Enhances Fitness by Serial Passages during Long-Term Chronic Airways Infection in Mice

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 2417: Environmental Burkholderia cenocepacia Strain Enhances Fitness by Serial Passages during Long-Term Chronic Airways Infection in Mice

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18112417

Authors: Alessandra Bragonzi Moira Paroni Luisa Pirone Ivan Coladarci Fiorentina Ascenzioni Annamaria Bevivino

Burkholderia cenocepacia is an important opportunistic pathogen in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, and has also been isolated from natural environments. In previous work, we explored the virulence and pathogenic potential of environmental B. cenocepacia strains and demonstrated that they do not differ from clinical strains in some pathogenic traits. Here, we investigated the ability of the environmental B. cenocepacia Mex1 strain, isolated from the maize rhizosphere, to persist and increase its virulence after serial passages in a mouse model of chronic infection. B. cenocepacia Mex1 strain, belonging to the recA lineage IIIA, was embedded in agar beads and challenged into the lung of C57Bl/6 mice. The mice were sacrificed after 28 days from infection and their lungs were tested for bacterial loads. Agar beads containing the pool of B. cenocepacia colonies from the four sequential passages were used to infect the mice. The environmental B. cenocepacia strain showed a low incidence of chronic infection after the first passage; after the second, third and fourth passages in mice, its ability to establish chronic infection increased significantly and progressively up to 100%. Colonial morphology analysis and genetic profiling of the Mex1-derived clones recovered after the fourth passage from infected mice revealed that they were indistinguishable from the challenged strain both at phenotypic and genetic level. By testing the virulence of single clones in the Galleria mellonella infection model, we found that two Mex1-derived clones significantly increased their pathogenicity compared to the parental Mex1 strain and behaved similarly to the clinical and epidemic B. cenocepacia LMG16656T. Our findings suggest that serial passages of the environmental B. cenocepacia Mex1 strain in mice resulted in an increased ability to determine chronic lung infection and the appearance of clonal variants with increased virulence in non-vertebrate hosts.



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Antibodies, Vol. 6, Pages 18: Monoclonal Antibody: A New Treatment Strategy against Multiple Myeloma

Antibodies, Vol. 6, Pages 18: Monoclonal Antibody: A New Treatment Strategy against Multiple Myeloma

Antibodies doi: 10.3390/antib6040018

Authors: Shih-Feng Cho Liang Lin Lijie Xing Tengteng Yu Kenneth Wen Kenneth C. Anderson Yu-Tzu Tai

2015 was a groundbreaking year for the multiple myeloma community partly due to the breakthrough approval of the first two monoclonal antibodies in the treatment for patients with relapsed and refractory disease. Despite early disappointments, monoclonal antibodies targeting CD38 (daratumumab) and signaling lymphocytic activation molecule F7 (SLAMF7) (elotuzumab) have become available for patients with multiple myeloma in the same year. Specifically, phase 3 clinical trials of combination therapies incorporating daratumumab or elotuzumab indicate both efficacy and a very favorable toxicity profile. These therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for multiple myeloma can kill target cells via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, complement-dependent cytotoxicity, and antibody-dependent phagocytosis, as well as by direct blockade of signaling cascades. In addition, their immunomodulatory effects may simultaneously inhibit the immunosuppressive bone marrow microenvironment and restore the key function of immune effector cells. In this review, we focus on monoclonal antibodies that have shown clinical efficacy or promising preclinical anti-multiple myeloma activities that warrant further clinical development. We summarize mechanisms that account for the in vitro and in vivo anti-myeloma effects of these monoclonal antibodies, as well as relevant preclinical and clinical results. Monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapies have already and will continue to transform the treatment landscape in multiple myeloma.



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Transcultural Comparisons of Self-Image in German and United States Adolescents

Based on the Offer Selfimage Questionnaire (OSIQ), the selfimage of German and United States adolescents was compared. The German study was based on OSIQ protocols from 365 adolescents in West Berlin while the American sample comprised adolescents drawn from seven cities in the United States. With respect to three scales, United States adolescents report better adjustment than do the German adolescents. These scales were Mastery of the External World, Vocational and Educational Goals, and Superior Adjustment. In general, these two Western societies share more similarities than differences in the selfimages of their adolescents.

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The Outcome of Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa: Findings from Berlin and Sofia

As part of a multisite collaborative outcome study of eating disorders in adolescence, two samples from West Berlin and Sofia were compared. The study was based on a systematic evaluation of the clinical status during the first inpatient treatment after onset of the disorder, and personal interviews with the former patients at follow-up. Despite the differences in the cultural background, the clinical features, the diagnostic pattern, the developmental histories, the family background, and the follow-up findings were remarkably similar. The mortality rate was higher in the West Berlin than in the Sofia sample. However, the outcome in terms of the distribution of eating disorders was similar in the surviving patients of the two samples . Received M.D. and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Major research interests are eating disorders, developmental psychopathology, and neuropsychiatry. Received M.D. at the University of Sofia. Major research interest is in eating disorders

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Poland’s Syndrome: Are Postzygotic Mutations in β-Actin Associated with its Pathogenesis?



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Value of Intraoperative Cytological and Pathological Sentinel Lymph Node Diagnosis in Fertility-Sparing Trachelectomy for Early-Stage Cervical Cancer

Background and Objectives: Trachelectomy, a fertility-sparing surgery for early-stage cervical cancer, can be performed only when there is no extrauterine extension present. Therefore, identifying the sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) and using them to obtain an intraoperative pathologic diagnosis can provide information on the feasibility and safety of trachelectomy. Our aim was to assess the value of an intraoperative SLN diagnosis. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the accuracy of intraoperative imprint cytology and frozen-section examination in 201 patients at our institution in whom trachelectomy was planned. Results: All patients could be evaluated for SLNs; a total of 610 SLNs were analyzed. Although the specificity of both imprint cytology and frozen-section examination was 100.0%, the sensitivity was only 58.6 and 65.5%, respectively. The diagnostic sensitivity was higher in 2-mm slices along the short axis than on bisection along the longitudinal axis. Imprint cytology correctly diagnosed 2 patients who had false-negative results on frozen section. The nature of the metastatic foci that caused an intraoperative false-negative diagnosis was either micrometastasis or isolated tumor cells. Conclusions: The accuracy of intraoperative SLN diagnosis requires improvement, especially when small metastatic foci are present.
Oncology

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Antioxidants, Vol. 6, Pages 90: Nox, Reactive Oxygen Species and Regulation of Vascular Cell Fate

Antioxidants, Vol. 6, Pages 90: Nox, Reactive Oxygen Species and Regulation of Vascular Cell Fate

Antioxidants doi: 10.3390/antiox6040090

Authors: Denise Burtenshaw Roya Hakimjavadi Eileen Redmond Paul Cahill

The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and an imbalance of antioxidant defence mechanisms can result in oxidative stress. Several pro-atherogenic stimuli that promote intimal-medial thickening (IMT) and early arteriosclerotic disease progression share oxidative stress as a common regulatory pathway dictating vascular cell fate. The major source of ROS generated within the vascular system is the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase family of enzymes (Nox), of which seven members have been characterized. The Nox family are critical determinants of the redox state within the vessel wall that dictate, in part the pathophysiology of several vascular phenotypes. This review highlights the putative role of ROS in controlling vascular fate by promoting endothelial dysfunction, altering vascular smooth muscle phenotype and dictating resident vascular stem cell fate, all of which contribute to intimal medial thickening and vascular disease progression.



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Barrel Cortical Neuron Integrates Triple Associated Signals for Their Memory Through Receiving Epigenetic-Mediated New Synapse Innervations

Abstract
Associative learning is common way for information acquisition. Associative memory is essential to logical reasoning and associative thinking. The storages of multiple associated signals in individual neurons facilitate their integration, expand memory volume, and strengthen cognition ability. Associative memory cells that encode multiple signals have been reported, however, the mechanisms underlying their recruitment and working principle remain to be addressed. We have examined the recruitment of associative memory cells that integrate and store triple sensory signals as well as the potential mechanism of their recruitment. Paired mouse whisker, olfaction, and tail stimulations lead to odorant-induced motion and tail-induced whisker motion. In mice of expressing this cross-modal response, their barrel cortical neurons become to encode odor and tail signals alongside whisker signal. These barrel cortical neurons receive new synapse innervations from piriform and S1-tail cortical neurons. The emergence of cross-modal responses as well as the recruitments of new synapse innervations and associative memory cells in the barrel cortex need miRNA-324 and miRNA-133a, which downregulate Ttbk1 and Tet3. The co-activations of sensory cortices recruit their mutual synapse innervations and associative memory cells that integrate and store multiple associated signals through epigenetic-mediated process.

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A Modulatory Effect of Brief Passive Exposure to Non-linguistic Sounds on Intrinsic Functional Connectivity: Relevance to Cognitive Performance

Abstract
A growing literature on resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) has explored the impact of preceding sensory experience on intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC). However, it remains largely unknown how passive exposure to irrelevant auditory stimuli, which is a constant in everyday life, reconfigures iFC. Here, we directly compared pre- and post-exposure R-fMRI scans to examine: 1) modulatory effects of brief passive exposure to repeating non-linguistic sounds on subsequent iFC, and 2) associations between iFC modulations and cognitive abilities. We used an exploratory regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach that indexes local iFC, and performed a linear mixed-effects modeling analysis. A modulatory effect (increase) in ReHo was observed in the right superior parietal lobule (R.SPL) within the parietal attention network. Post hoc seed-based correlation analyses provided further evidence for increased parietal iFC (e.g., R.SPL with the right inferior parietal lobule). Notably, less iFC modulation was associated with better cognitive performance (e.g., word reading). These results suggest that: 1) the parietal attention network dynamically reconfigures its iFC in response to passive (thus irrelevant) non-linguistic sounds, but also 2) minimization of iFC modulation in the same network characterizes better cognitive performance. Our findings may open up new avenues for investigating cognitive disorders that involve impaired sensory processing.

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Shared and Disorder-Specific Neurocomputational Mechanisms of Decision-Making in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often share phenotypes of repetitive behaviors, possibly underpinned by abnormal decision-making. To compare neural correlates underlying decision-making between these disorders, brain activation of boys with ASD (N = 24), OCD (N = 20) and typically developing controls (N = 20) during gambling was compared, and computational modeling compared performance. Patients were unimpaired on number of risky decisions, but modeling showed that both patient groups had lower choice consistency and relied less on reinforcement learning compared to controls. ASD individuals had disorder-specific choice perseverance abnormalities compared to OCD individuals. Neurofunctionally, ASD and OCD boys shared dorsolateral/inferior frontal underactivation compared to controls during decision-making. During outcome anticipation, patients shared underactivation compared to controls in lateral inferior/orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum. During reward receipt, ASD boys had disorder-specific enhanced activation in inferior frontal/insular regions relative to OCD boys and controls. Results showed that ASD and OCD individuals shared decision-making strategies that differed from controls to achieve comparable performance to controls. Patients showed shared abnormalities in lateral-(orbito)fronto-striatal reward circuitry, but ASD boys had disorder-specific lateral inferior frontal/insular overactivation, suggesting that shared and disorder-specific mechanisms underpin decision-making in these disorders. Findings provide evidence for shared neurobiological substrates that could serve as possible future biomarkers.

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Knockout Mice for Dyslexia Susceptibility Gene Homologs KIAA0319 and KIAA0319L have Unaffected Neuronal Migration but Display Abnormal Auditory Processing

Abstract
Developmental dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects reading ability caused by genetic and non-genetic factors. Amongst the susceptibility genes identified to date, KIAA0319 is a prime candidate. RNA-interference experiments in rats suggested its involvement in cortical migration but we could not confirm these findings in Kiaa0319-mutant mice. Given its homologous gene Kiaa0319L (AU040320) has also been proposed to play a role in neuronal migration, we interrogated whether absence of AU040320 alone or together with KIAA0319 affects migration in the developing brain. Analyses of AU040320 and double Kiaa0319;AU040320 knockouts (dKO) revealed no evidence for impaired cortical lamination, neuronal migration, neurogenesis or other anatomical abnormalities. However, dKO mice displayed an auditory deficit in a behavioral gap-in-noise detection task. In addition, recordings of click-evoked auditory brainstem responses revealed suprathreshold deficits in wave III amplitude in AU040320-KO mice, and more general deficits in dKOs. These findings suggest that absence of AU040320 disrupts firing and/or synchrony of activity in the auditory brainstem, while loss of both proteins might affect both peripheral and central auditory function. Overall, these results stand against the proposed role of KIAA0319 and AU040320 in neuronal migration and outline their relationship with deficits in the auditory system.

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Segregated Excitatory–Inhibitory Recurrent Subnetworks in Layer 5 of the Rat Frontal Cortex

Abstract
A prominent feature of neocortical pyramidal cells (PCs) is their numerous projections to diverse brain areas. In layer 5 (L5) of the rat frontal cortex, there are 2 major subtypes of PCs that differ in their long-range axonal projections, corticopontine (CPn) cells and crossed corticostriatal (CCS) cells. The outputs of these L5 PCs can be regulated by feedback inhibition from neighboring cortical GABAergic cells. Two major subtypes of GABAergic cells are parvalbumin (PV)-positive and somatostatin (SOM)-positive cells. PV cells have a fast-spiking (FS) firing pattern, while SOM cells have a low threshold spike (LTS) and regular spiking. In this study, we found that the 2 PC subtypes in L5 selectively make recurrent connections with LTS cells. The connection patterns correlated with the morphological and physiological diversity of LTS cells. LTS cells with high input resistance (Ri) exhibited more compact dendrites and more rebound spikes than LTS cells with low Ri, which had vertically elongated dendrites. LTS subgroups differently inhibited the PC subtypes, although FS cells made nonselective connections with both projection subtypes. These results demonstrate a novel recurrent network of inhibitory and projection-specific excitatory neurons within the neocortex.

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Fractionating the Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying Working Memory: Independent Effects of Dopamine and Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract
Deficits in working memory (WM) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often considered to be secondary to dopaminergic depletion. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms by which dopamine causes these deficits remain highly contested, and PD is now also known to be associated with nondopaminergic pathology. Here, we examined how PD and dopaminergic medication modulate three components of WM: maintenance over time, updating contents with new information and making memories distracter-resistant. Compared with controls, patients were disproportionately impaired when retaining information for longer durations. By applying a probabilistic model, we were able to reveal that the source of this error was selectively due to precision of memory representations degrading over time. By contrast, replenishing dopamine levels in PD improved executive control over both the ability to ignore and update, but did not affect maintenance of information across time. This was due to a decrease in guess responses, consistent with the view that dopamine serves to prevent WM representations being corrupted by irrelevant information, but has no impact on information decay. Cumulatively, these results reveal a dissociation in the neural mechanisms underlying poor WM: whereas dopamine reduces interference, nondopaminergic systems in PD appear to modulate processes that prevent information decaying more quickly over time.

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Optogenetic Modulation of a Minor Fraction of Parvalbumin-Positive Interneurons Specifically Affects Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Spontaneous and Sensory-Evoked Activity in Mouse Somatosensory Cortex in Vivo

Abstract
Parvalbumin (PV) positive interneurons exert strong effects on the neocortical excitatory network, but it remains unclear how they impact the spatiotemporal dynamics of sensory processing in the somatosensory cortex. Here, we characterized the effects of optogenetic inhibition and activation of PV interneurons on spontaneous and sensory-evoked activity in mouse barrel cortex in vivo. Inhibiting PV interneurons led to a broad-spectrum power increase both in spontaneous and sensory-evoked activity. Whisker-evoked responses were significantly increased within 20 ms after stimulus onset during inhibition of PV interneurons, demonstrating high temporal precision of PV-shaped inhibition. Multiunit activity was strongly enhanced in neighboring cortical columns, but not at the site of transduction, supporting a central and highly specific role of PV interneurons in lateral inhibition. Inversely, activating PV interneurons drastically decreased spontaneous and whisker-evoked activity in the principal column and exerted strong lateral inhibition. Histological assessment of transduced cells combined with quantitative modeling of light distribution and spike sorting revealed that only a minor fraction (~10%) of the local PV population comprising no more than a few hundred neurons is optogenetically modulated, mediating the observed prominent and widespread effects on neocortical processing.

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Dysregulation of Cortical Neuron DNA Methylation Profile in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome whose etiology includes genetic and environmental components. Since epigenetic marks are sensitive to environmental insult, they may be involved in the development of ASD. Initial brain studies have suggested a dysregulation of epigenetic marks in ASD. However, due to cellular heterogeneity in the brain, these studies have not determined if there is a true change in the neuronal epigenetic signature. Here, we report a genome-wide methylation study on fluorescence-activated cell sorting-sorted neuronal nuclei from the frontal cortex of 16 male ASD and 15 male control subjects. Using the 450 K BeadArray, we identified 58 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that included loci associated to GABAergic system genes, particularly ABAT and GABBR1, and brain-specific MicroRNAs. Selected DMRs were validated by targeted Next Generation Bisulfite Sequencing. Weighted gene correlation network analysis detected 3 co-methylation modules which are significantly correlated to ASD that were enriched for genomic regions underlying neuronal, GABAergic, and immune system genes. Finally, we determined an overlap of the 58 ASD-related DMRs with neurodevelopment associated DMRs. This investigation identifies alterations in the DNA methylation pattern in ASD cortical neurons, providing further evidence that epigenetic alterations in disorder-relevant tissues may be involved in the biology of ASD.

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Pyramidal Cell Subtypes and Their Synaptic Connections in Layer 5 of Rat Frontal Cortex

Abstract
The frontal cortical areas make a coordinated response that generates appropriate behavior commands, using individual local circuits with corticostriatal and corticocortical connections in longer time scales than sensory areas. In secondary motor cortex (M2), situated between the prefrontal and primary motor areas, major subtypes of layer 5 corticostriatal cells are crossed-corticostriatal (CCS) cells innervating both sides of striatum, and corticopontine (CPn) cells projecting to the ipsilateral striatum and pontine nuclei. CCS cells innervate CPn cells unidirectionally: the former are therefore hierarchically higher than the latter among L5 corticostriatal cells. CCS cells project directly to both frontal and nonfrontal areas. On the other hand, CPn cells innervate the thalamus and layer 1a of frontal areas, where thalamic fibers relaying basal ganglia outputs are distributed. Thus, CCS cells can make activities of frontal areas in concert with those of nonfrontal area using corticocortical loops, whereas CPn cells are more involved in closed corticostriatal loops than CCS cells. Since reciprocal connections between CPn cells with facilitatory synapses may be related to persistent activity, CPn cells play a key role of longer time constant processes in corticostriatal as well as in corticocortical loops between the frontal areas.

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Visual Cortex Limits Pop-Out in the Superior Colliculus of Awake Mice

Abstract
We detect objects more readily if they differ from their surroundings in motion, color, or texture. This increased saliency is thought to be related to increased responses in the visual cortex. The superior colliculus is another brain area involved in vision and especially in directing gaze and attention. In this study, we show that differences in texture orientation also increase responses in the superficial layers of the superior colliculus that receive retinal and cortical input. We found that gratings evoke more neural response when surrounded by orthogonal gratings than when surrounded by parallel gratings, particularly in the awake mouse. This pop-out is not originating from the visual cortex, and silencing visual cortex increased the relative difference in response. A model shows that this can result from retinotopically matched excitation from visual cortex to the superior colliculus. We suggest that the perceptual saliency of a stimulus differing from its surround in a low-level feature like grating orientation could depend on visual processing in the superior colliculus.

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Optogenetic Activation of the Sensorimotor Cortex Reveals “Local Inhibitory and Global Excitatory” Inputs to the Basal Ganglia

Abstract
To understand how information from different cortical areas is integrated and processed through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, we used optogenetics to systematically stimulate the sensorimotor cortex and examined basal ganglia activity. We utilized Thy1-ChR2-YFP transgenic mice, in which channelrhodopsin 2 is robustly expressed in layer V pyramidal neurons. We applied light spots to the sensorimotor cortex in a grid pattern and examined neuronal responses in the globus pallidus (GP) and entopeduncular nucleus (EPN), which are the relay and output nuclei of the basal ganglia, respectively. Light stimulation typically induced a triphasic response composed of early excitation, inhibition, and late excitation in GP/EPN neurons. Other response patterns lacking 1 or 2 of the components were also observed. The distribution of the cortical sites whose stimulation induced a triphasic response was confined, whereas stimulation of the large surrounding areas induced early and late excitation without inhibition. Our results suggest that cortical inputs to the GP/EPN are organized in a “local inhibitory and global excitatory” manner. Such organization seems to be the neuronal basis for information processing through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, that is, releasing and terminating necessary information at an appropriate timing, while simultaneously suppressing other unnecessary information.

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The Tbr2 Molecular Network Controls Cortical Neuronal Differentiation Through Complementary Genetic and Epigenetic Pathways



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Neural Progenitor Cells in Cerebral Cortex of Epilepsy Patients do not Originate from Astrocytes Expressing GLAST

Abstract
Adult neurogenesis in human brain is known to occur in the hippocampus, the subventricular zone, and the striatum. Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) were reported in the cortex of epilepsy patients; however, their identity is not known. Since astrocytes were proposed as the source of neural progenitors in both healthy and diseased brain, we tested the hypothesis that NPCs in the epileptic cortex originate from reactive, alternatively, de-differentiated astrocytes that express glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST). We assessed the capacity to form neurospheres and the differentiation potential of cells dissociated from fresh cortical tissue from patients who underwent surgical treatment for pharmacologically intractable epilepsy. Neurospheres were generated from 57% of cases (8/14). Upon differentiation, the neurosphere cells gave rise to neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. Sorting of dissociated cells showed that only cells negative for GLAST formed neurospheres. In conclusion, we show that cells with neural stem cell properties are present in brain cortex of epilepsy patients, and that these cells are not GLAST-positive astrocytes.

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Heritability of the Effective Connectivity in the Resting-State Default Mode Network

Abstract
The default mode network (DMN) is thought to reflect endogenous neural activity, which is considered as one of the most intriguing phenomena in cognitive neuroscience. Previous studies have found that key regions within the DMN are highly interconnected. Here, we characterized the genetic influences on causal or directed information flow within the DMN during the resting state. In this study, we recruited 46 pairs of twins and collected fMRI imaging data using a 3.0 T scanner. Dynamic causal modeling was conducted for each participant, and a structural equation model was used to calculate the heritability of DMN in terms of its effective connectivity. Model comparison favored a full-connected model. Structural equal modeling was used to estimate the additive genetics (A), common environment (C) and unique environment (E) contributions to variance for the DMN effective connectivity. The ACE model was preferred in the comparison of structural equation models. Heritability of DMN effective connectivity was 0.54, suggesting that the genetic made a greater contribution to the effective connectivity within DMN. Establishing the heritability of default-mode effective connectivity endorses the use of resting-state networks as endophenotypes or intermediate phenotypes in the search for the genetic basis of psychiatric or neurological illnesses.

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Migration Pathways of Thalamic Neurons and Development of Thalamocortical Connections in Humans Revealed by Diffusion MR Tractography

Abstract
The thalamus plays an important role in signal relays in the brain, with thalamocortical (TC) neuronal pathways linked to various sensory/cognitive functions. In this study, we aimed to see fetal and postnatal development of the thalamus including neuronal migration to the thalamus and the emergence/maturation of the TC pathways. Pathways from/to the thalami of human postmortem fetuses and in vivo subjects ranging from newborns to adults with no neurological histories were studied using high angular resolution diffusion MR imaging (HARDI) tractography. Pathways likely linked to neuronal migration from the ventricular zone and ganglionic eminence (GE) to the thalami were both successfully detected. Between the ventricular zone and thalami, more tractography pathways were found in anterior compared with posterior regions, which was well in agreement with postnatal observations that the anterior TC segment had more tract count and volume than the posterior segment. Three different pathways likely linked to neuronal migration from the GE to the thalami were detected. No hemispheric asymmetry of the TC pathways was quantitatively observed during development. These results suggest that HARDI tractography is useful to identify multiple differential neuronal migration pathways in human brains, and regional differences in brain development in fetal ages persisted in postnatal development.

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Trajectory of Parvalbumin Cell Impairment and Loss of Cortical Inhibition in Traumatic Brain Injury

Abstract
Many neuropsychiatric symptoms that follow traumatic brain injury (TBI), including mood disorders, sleep disturbance, chronic pain, and posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) are attributable to compromised cortical inhibition. However, the temporal trajectory of cortical inhibition loss and its underlying mechanisms are not known. Using paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) and immunohistochemistry, we tracked functional and cellular changes of cortical inhibitory network elements after fluid-percussion injury (FPI) in rats. ppTMS revealed a progressive loss of cortical inhibition as early as 2 weeks after FPI. This profile paralleled the increasing levels of cortical oxidative stress, which was accompanied by a gradual loss of parvalbumin (PV) immunoreactivity in perilesional cortex. Preceding the PV loss, we identified a degradation of the perineuronal net (PNN)—a specialized extracellular structure enwrapping cortical PV-positive (PV+) inhibitory interneurons which binds the PV+ cell maintenance factor, Otx2. The trajectory of these impairments underlies the reduced inhibitory tone, which can contribute to posttraumatic neurological conditions, such as PTE. Taken together, our results highlight the use of ppTMS as a biomarker to track the course of cortical inhibitory dysfunction post-TBI. Moreover, the neuroprotective role of PNNs on PV+ cell function suggests antioxidant treatment or Otx2 enhancement as a promising prophylaxis for post-TBI symptoms.

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The DNA Methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) Controls the Shape and Dynamics of Migrating POA-Derived Interneurons Fated for the Murine Cerebral Cortex

Abstract
The proliferative niches in the subpallium generate a rich cellular variety fated for diverse telencephalic regions. The embryonic preoptic area (POA) represents one of these domains giving rise to the pool of cortical GABAergic interneurons and glial cells, in addition to striatal and residual POA cells. The migration from sites of origin within the subpallium to the distant targets like the cerebral cortex, accomplished by the adoption and maintenance of a particular migratory morphology, is a critical step during interneuron development. To identify factors orchestrating this process, we performed single-cell transcriptome analysis and detected Dnmt1 expression in murine migratory GABAergic POA-derived cells. Deletion of Dnmt1 in postmitotic immature cells of the POA caused defective migration and severely diminished adult cortical interneuron numbers. We found that DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) preserves the migratory shape in part through negative regulation of Pak6, which stimulates neuritogenesis at postmigratory stages. Our data underline the importance of DNMT1 for the migration of POA-derived cells including cortical interneurons.

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Activity-Dependent Neuroplasticity Induced by an Enriched Environment Reverses Cognitive Deficits in Scribble Deficient Mouse

Abstract
Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling is well known to play a critical role during prenatal brain development; whether it plays specific roles at postnatal stages remains rather unknown. Here, we investigated the role of a key PCP-associated gene scrib in CA1 hippocampal structure and function at postnatal stages. We found that Scrib is required for learning and memory consolidation in the Morris water maze as well as synaptic maturation and NMDAR-dependent bidirectional plasticity. Furthermore, we unveiled a direct molecular interaction between Scrib and PP1/PP2A phosphatases whose levels were decreased in postsynaptic density of conditional knock-out mice. Remarkably, exposure to enriched environment (EE) preserved memory formation in CaMK-Scrib−/− mice by recovering synaptic plasticity and maturation. Thus, Scrib is required for synaptic function involved in memory formation and EE has beneficiary therapeutic effects. Our results demonstrate a distinct new role for a PCP-associated protein, beyond embryonic development, in cognitive functions during adulthood.

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Sequential Firing Codes for Time in Rodent Medial Prefrontal Cortex

Abstract
A subset of hippocampal neurons, known as “time cells” fire sequentially for circumscribed periods of time within a delay interval. We investigated whether medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) also contains time cells and whether their qualitative properties differ from those in the hippocampus and striatum. We studied the firing correlates of neurons in the rodent mPFC during a temporal discrimination task. On each trial, the animals waited for a few seconds in the stem of a T-maze. A subpopulation of units fired in a sequence consistently across trials for a circumscribed period during the delay interval. These sequentially activated time cells showed temporal accuracy that decreased as time passed as measured by both the width of their firing fields and the number of cells that fired at a particular part of the interval. The firing dynamics of the time cells was significantly better explained with the elapse of time than with the animals’ position and velocity. The findings observed here in the mPFC are consistent with those previously reported in the hippocampus and striatum, suggesting that the sequentially activated time cells are not specific to these areas, but are part of a common representational motif across regions.

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The Long-Term Psychopathological and Cognitive Outcome of Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Objective The long-term outcome of a large cohort of children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome was studied. Method Structured psychiatric interviews, behavior checklists for parents and teachers, and intelligence tests were used. Assessments took place during preschool age, early school age (6 to 12 years), and late school age (≥13 years). Results There was an excess of psychopathology with a wide variety of psychiatric syndromes in this cohort. Hyperkinetic disorders, emotional disorders, sleep disorders, and abnormal habits and stereotypies persisted over time. Interview findings were largely in accordance with parents' and teachers' questionnaire findings. Intelligence test findings included a large proportion of mentally retarded children and displayed high stability at follow-up. Conclusions The development of children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome is jeopardized by a high rate of persistent psychiatric and cognitive impairments.

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A transcultural comparison of the eating disorder inventory in former east and West Berlin

The Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) was used in a transcultural study of East and West Berlin clinical and nonclinical samples at a time when the two parts of the city were still strictly separated. East Berlin patients with anorexia nervosa scored significantly lower than their Western counterparts with regard to the majority of EDI scales. Furthermore, there was a lack of discriminant validity for the -East Berlin clinical and nonclinical samples. It was speculated that this deficit might reflect a lack of transcultural validity in the psychological constructs upon which the questionnaire is based. However, the study revealed some evidence of meaningful correlations with clinical parameters. Finally, evidence was presented supporting internal consistency of the subscales and convergent validity of the EDI with the Eating Attitudes Jest (EAT). © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Semantic Differentials for the Assessment of Body-Image and Perception of Personality in Eating-Disordered Patients

Two semantic differentials for the assessment of body-image and the perception of personality are presented. In addition to the utility and economy of the two measures, discriminant validity was verified by showing that there was a highly significant difference in the profiles of anorectic patients and controls. Factor analyses showed very similar dimensions in both samples and resulted in four internally consistent scales. These scales were also sensitive to changes in body-image and the perception of personality during inpatient treatment of adolescent anorectic patients and were used to evaluate these changes.

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Eating Attitudes in Adolescent Anorectic Patients

Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) scores gathered from 18 female adolescent anorectic patients with very early onset of the disease were compared with existing literature, and analyzed in terms of their relationships to clinical and background variables and other scales measuring anorectic behavior. Trans-cultural comparisons revealed that this sample of German patients had lower scores than Canadian, British, and Dutch samples of older age. The scores of the EAT were independent of denial of illness. Vomiters and lower-class patients had fewer abnormal scores. Therapeutic change between admission and discharge from inpatient treatment was reflected in improved EAT scores. A number of significant correlations with other scales measuring anorectic behavior were detected.

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Retrospective and Prospective Follow-up Studies in Anorexia Nervosa

After some introductory remarks on research strategies in the course of anorexia nervosa, findings of two studies are reported. In retrospective studies, 21 female former patients were reevaluated at a mean follow-up of 9.4 years. Both interviews and questionnaires revealed continuing psychic impairment of the former patients. The long-range effects after therapies of various types during inpatient treatment did not show remarkable differences. Furthermore, psychoanalytical outpatient treatment did not seem to positively influence outcome. In addition to these findings from retrospective studies, evaluation strategies and results are demonstrated with regard to a short-term course of inpatient treatment of a prospective series of patients.

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Einstellungen gegenüber körperbehinderten Kindern und Jugendlichen



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Radiobiology and radiotherapy of brain metastases

Abstract

Brain metastases are the most common intracranial tumors in adults, accounting for more than 50% of all such cases. The approach to and management of brain metastases have evolved significantly in recent years due to several reasons. These include advances in neurosurgical and radiotherapeutic techniques, improved systemic therapy options offering better systemic and intracranial disease control and prolongation of survival as a result of these improvements, making side-effects of proposed therapies (e.g. neurocognitive decline from whole brain radiotherapy) an important consideration. In this article, we review the the primary therapeutic approaches to the management of brain metastases, namely, surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and whole brain radiation therapy and the primary factors dictating choice.



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Hippocampal–caudate nucleus interactions support exceptional memory performance

Abstract

Participants of the annual World Memory Championships regularly demonstrate extraordinary memory feats, such as memorising the order of 52 playing cards in 20 s or 1000 binary digits in 5 min. On a cognitive level, memory athletes use well-known mnemonic strategies, such as the method of loci. However, whether these feats are enabled solely through the use of mnemonic strategies or whether they benefit additionally from optimised neural circuits is still not fully clarified. Investigating 23 leading memory athletes, we found volumes of their right hippocampus and caudate nucleus were stronger correlated with each other compared to matched controls; both these volumes positively correlated with their position in the memory sports world ranking. Furthermore, we observed larger volumes of the right anterior hippocampus in athletes. Complementing these structural findings, on a functional level, fMRI resting state connectivity of the anterior hippocampus to both the posterior hippocampus and caudate nucleus predicted the athletes rank. While a competitive interaction between hippocampus and caudate nucleus is often observed in normal memory function, our findings suggest that a hippocampal–caudate nucleus cooperation may enable exceptional memory performance. We speculate that this cooperation reflects an integration of the two memory systems at issue-enabling optimal combination of stimulus-response learning and map-based learning when using mnemonic strategies as for example the method of loci.



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Molecular characterization and recombination analysis of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus emerged in southwestern China during 2012–2016

Abstract

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is an important swine pathogen causing tremendous economic losses to the swine industry. To investigate the prevalence of PRRSV of genotype 2 (North American type, NA-type) in southwestern China, the Nsp2 hypervariable region (Nsp2 HV) and ORF5 of 61 PRRS viruses collected during 2012–2016 were sequenced and analyzed. All the virus detected clustered into the JXA1-like (52/61), VR-2332-like (7/61), and NADC30-like (2/61) sub-genotypes. Five deletions in Nsp2 HV were detected in addition to the typical 30aa discontinuous deletion in HP-PRRSV, and two of these five were not reported previously. Strikingly, two PRRS virus (SCnj16 and SCcd16) isolated in 2016 contained the classic HP-PRRSV molecular marker in the Nsp2-coding region, but belonged to the NADC30-like sub-genotype on the ORF5 gene. Further recombination and phylogenetic analysis on the two complete genomic sequences revealed that they may have originated from recombination events between the NADC30 and Chinese HP-PRRSV strains. The present study suggests that the endemic PRRSVs in the region have continuously evolved and new vaccine strategies are necessary for more efficient control of the virus.



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Microglia from offspring of dams with allergic asthma exhibit epigenomic alterations in genes dysregulated in autism

Abstract

Dysregulation in immune responses during pregnancy increases the risk of a having a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among pregnant women, and symptoms often worsen during pregnancy. We recently developed a mouse model of maternal allergic asthma (MAA) that induces changes in sociability, repetitive, and perseverative behaviors in the offspring. Since epigenetic changes help a static genome adapt to the maternal environment, activation of the immune system may epigenetically alter fetal microglia, the brain's resident immune cells. We therefore tested the hypothesis that epigenomic alterations to microglia may be involved in behavioral abnormalities observed in MAA offspring. We used the genome-wide approaches of whole genome bisulfite sequencing to examine DNA methylation and RNA sequencing to examine gene expression in microglia from juvenile MAA offspring. Differentially methylated regions were enriched for immune signaling pathways and important microglial developmental transcription factor binding motifs. Differential expression analysis identified genes involved in controlling microglial sensitivity to the environment and shaping neuronal connections in the developing brain. Differentially expressed genes significantly overlapped genes with altered expression in human ASD cortex, supporting a role for microglia in the pathogenesis of ASD.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Main Points

  • Maternal allergic asthma induces changes in DNA methylation and transcription in juvenile offspring microglia
  • Differentially methylated regions are enriched for functions and transcription factor binding motifs involved in inflammation and microglial development
  • Differentially expressed genes and differentially methylated regions are enriched for genes dysregulated in autism spectrum disorders


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Psychosocial adaptation of the hemophilic child and adolescent



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Control of Chaos Using the Controller Identification Technique

Modeling and simulation of chaotic system with dynamic control have been extensively presented in the past decades. Several control techniques have been proposed for the control of chaos. One technique that has not been sufficiently explored for the control of nonlinear systems is the controller identification technique. This technique is based on the evaluation of controllers even if they are not online. This technique does not use a priori knowledge of the plant parameters. In this work, we propose a class of controllers candidates to follow desired trajectories. Simulation results are presented for the control of chaotic systems.

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Characterization of the Spindle Morphology Nanomicelles Assembled from Sericin and Gelatin

Complex nanomicelles were prepared by sericin and type A gelatin with molecular weight of 5789 Da and 128664 Da separately. The assembling conditions were as follows: mass ratio (sericin/gelatin) was 1 : 1, protein concentration was 0.5%, temperature was 35°C, and assembling time was 18 hours. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and dynamic light scattering (DLS) were conducted to observe and characterize the complex nanomicelles. Results showed that the complex sericin/gelatin micelles was a kind of nanospindle micelles. The micelles had high electrochemical stability, thermal stability, antidilution stability, and storage stability.

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SnO2 Nanoparticles Decorated 2D Wavy Hierarchical Carbon Nanowalls with Enhanced Photoelectrochemical Performance

Two-dimensional carbon nanowall (2D-CNW) structures were prepared by hot wire assisted plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (hw-PECVD) system on silicon substrates. Controlled variations in the film structure were observed with increase in applied rf power during deposition which has been established to increase the rate of dissociation of precursor gases. The structural changes resulted in the formation of wavy-like features on the 2D-CNW, thus further enhancing the surface area of the nanostructures. The FESEM results confirmed the morphology transformation and conclusively showed the evolution of the 2D-CNW novel structures while Raman results revealed increase in ratio indicating increase in the presence of disordered domains due to the presence of open edges on the 2D-CNW structures. Subsequently, the best 2D-CNW based on the morphology and structural properties was functionalized with tin oxide (SnO2) nanoparticles and used as a working electrode in a photoelectrochemical (PEC) measurement system. Intriguingly, the SnO2 functionalized 2D-CNW showed enhancement in both Mott-Schottky profiles and LSV properties which suggested that these hierarchical networks showed promising potential application as effective charge-trapping medium in PEC systems.

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Intelligent PV Power Smoothing Control Using Probabilistic Fuzzy Neural Network with Asymmetric Membership Function

An intelligent PV power smoothing control using probabilistic fuzzy neural network with asymmetric membership function (PFNN-AMF) is proposed in this study. First, a photovoltaic (PV) power plant with a battery energy storage system (BESS) is introduced. The BESS consisted of a bidirectional DC/AC 3-phase inverter and LiFePO4 batteries. Then, the difference of the actual PV power and smoothed power is supplied by the BESS. Moreover, the network structure of the PFNN-AMF and its online learning algorithms are described in detail. Furthermore, the three-phase output currents of the PV power plant are converted to the dq-axis current components. The resulted q-axis current is the input of the PFNN-AMF power smoothing control, and the output is a smoothing PV power curve to achieve the effect of PV power smoothing. Comparing to the other smoothing methods, a minimum energy capacity of the BESS with a small fluctuation of the grid power can be achieved by the PV power smoothing control using PFNN-AMF. In addition, a personal computer- (PC-) based PV power plant emulator and BESS are built for the experimentation. From the experimental results of various irradiance variation conditions, the effectiveness of the proposed intelligent PV power smoothing control can be verified.

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The In Vivo Dynamics of HIV Infection with the Influence of Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte Cells

The in vivo dynamics of HIV infection, the infection mechanism, the cell types infected, and the role played by the cytotoxic cells are poorly understood. This paper uses mathematical modelling as a tool to investigate and analyze the immune system dynamics in the presence of HIV infection. We formulate a six-dimensional model of nonlinear ordinary differential equations derived from known biological interaction mechanisms between the immune cells and the HIV virions. The existence and uniqueness as well as positivity and boundedness of the solutions to the differential equations are proved. Furthermore, the disease-free reproduction number is derived and the local asymptotic stability of the model investigated. In addition, numerical analysis is carried out to illustrate the importance of having . Lastly, the biological dynamics of HIV in vivo infection are graphically represented. The results indicate that, at acute infection, the cytotoxic T-cells play a paramount role in reducing HIV viral replication. In addition, the results emphasize the importance of developing controls, interventions, and management policies that when implemented would lead to viral suppression during acute infection.

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa Septic Arthritis and Osteomyelitis after Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning of a Supracondylar Humerus Fracture: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Infectious complications of closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of supracondylar humerus fractures are exceedingly rare. Although postoperative Pseudomonas infection is a feared complication associated with noncompliance and a wet cast, there are no reports in the literature of this occurring. We present the devastating complication of a pediatric patient who developed Pseudomonas aeruginosa subperiosteal abscess, osteomyelitis, and elbow septic arthritis after presenting to the clinic multiple times with a wet cast after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of a supracondylar humerus fracture. We describe the treatment course for this patient, followed by the sequelae of posterolateral rotary instability. This case not only confirms that patients can get Pseudomonas infections if they get their cast wet but also stresses the importance of patient communication and compliance in preventing unfortunate complications.

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Antipruritic Effect of Acupuncture in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: Feasibility Study Protocol for a Randomised, Sham-Controlled Trial

This study aims to test the feasibility of a randomised clinical trial to evaluate how acupuncture affects atopic dermatitis (AD) symptoms and quality of life and to explore potential biomarkers that may be associated with AD. It is a sham-controlled trial in which 30 eligible patients will be randomly allocated in a 1 : 1 : 1 ratio to one of three groups: verum acupuncture (VA) group 1 (3 times weekly for 4 weeks); VA group 2 (twice weekly for 4 weeks); or sham acupuncture group (SA; twice weekly for 4 weeks). SA will consist of nonpenetrating acupuncture. Outcome measures will include the Visual Analogue Scale for itch, SCORing Atopic Dermatitis, and Eczema Area and Severity Index to evaluate AD symptoms improvement along with the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure and Dermatology Life Quality Index to assess quality of life. Measures will be collected at baseline, once weekly during the treatment period, and after a 4-week follow-up period. Blood collection will be at baseline and 4 and 8 weeks after treatment and compared with healthy controls. Illumina sequencing will be used to profile microRNA expression in each group to explore candidate microRNA biomarkers for specific effects of acupuncture in patients with AD. This trial is registered via US National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials registry (ClinicalTrials.gov) on 15 July 2016, identifier: NCT02844452.

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Reduced IL-6 levels and tumor-associated phospho-STAT3 are associated with reduced tumor development in a mouse model of lung cancer chemoprevention with myo-inositol

Abstract

Several promising chemopreventive agents have for lung cancer emerged in preclinical models and in retrospective trials. These agents have been shown to modulate pathways altered in carcinogenesis and reduce markers of carcinogenesis in animal and cell culture models. Cancer-prone transgenic mice with oncogenic Kras expressed in the airway epithelium (CcspCre/+; KrasLSL-G12D/+) were raised on diets compounded with myo-inositol. These animals form lung premalignant lesions in a stereotypical fashion over the ten weeks following weaning. Mice raised on myo-inositol containing diets showed potent reduction in the number, size, and stage of lesions as compared to those raised on control diets. myo-inositol has previously been reported to inhibit phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling. However, in mice raised on myo-inositol, total PI3K signaling was largely unaffected. Proteomic and cytokine analyses revealed large reduction in IL-6 related pathways, including STAT3 phosphorylation. This effect was not due to direct inhibition of IL-6 production and autocrine signaling within the tumor cell, but rather through alteration in macrophage recruitment and in phenotype switching, with an increase in antitumoral M1 macrophages. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Response: Methods for second primary cancers evaluation have to be standardized (IJC-17-2354)



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Thyroid associated genetic polymorphisms in relation to breast cancer risk in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study

Abstract

Previous studies have suggested that thyroid function is associated with breast cancer risk, which could have an important clinical impact, as one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. However, the underlying pathomechanism behind the association is still unknown. We used the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (a population-based prospective study consisting of 17,035 women) to examine 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously related to levels of free thyroxine (free T4) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Ab) as potential genetic risk factors for breast cancer. A baseline examination including free T4 and TPO-Ab levels was conducted at the time of inclusion. Genotyping was performed on 901 breast cancer patients and 3335 controls. Odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for high free T4, TPO-Ab positivity and breast cancer were calculated by logistic regression and adjusted for confounders. We identified one free T4-related SNP (rs2235544, D101 gene) that was significantly associated with both free T4 level and breast cancer risk. There was a suggested association between rs11675434 (TPO gene) and TPO-Ab level, and TPO-Ab-related rs11675434 (TPO), rs3094228 (HCP5), rs1033662 (no registered gene), and rs301806 (RERE) were associated with breast cancer risk. There was an indicated interaction between rs6485050 (no registered gene) and free T4 level in regards to breast cancer risk. This is the first study to suggest an association between thyroid-related SNPs and breast cancer risk. All SNPs have a biological plausibility of being associated with breast cancer risk, and may contribute to the genetic predisposition to breast cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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ERCC4 regulatory variant predict Grade-3 or -4 toxicities in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer treated by platinum-based therapy

Abstract

Platinum-based chemotherapy (PBC) in combination with the 3rd generation drugs is the first-line treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, the efficacy is severely hampered by grade 3-4 toxicities. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway is the main mechanism of removing platinum-induced DNA adducts, contributing to the toxicity and outcome of PBC. We analyzed data from 710 Chinese NSCLC patients treated with PBC and assessed the associations of 25 potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eight NER core genes with overall, gastrointestinal and hematologic toxicities. Through a two-phase screening study, we found that ERCC4 rs1799798 was significantly associated with overall and gastrointestinal toxicities [all patients: GA/AA vs. GG, odds ratio (OR)adj=1.61 and 2.35, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.11-2.33 and 1.25-4.41, Padj=0.012 and 0.008, respectively]. Our prediction model for the overall toxicity incorporating rs1799798 demonstrated a significant increase in the area under the curve (AUC) value, compared with that for clinical factors only (all patients: AUC=0.61 vs. 0.59, 95% CI=0.57-0.65 vs. 0.55-0.63, P=0.010). Furthermore the ERCC4 rs1799798 A allele was associated with lower ERCC4 mRNA expression levels according to eQTL analysis. This study provided some new clue in future development of biomarkers for assessing toxicity and outcomes of platinum drugs in cancer treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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An Overview of Polyamine Metabolism in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Abstract

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest major cancers, with a five year survival rate of less than 8%. With current therapies only giving rise to modest life extension, new approaches are desperately needed. Even though targeting polyamine metabolism is a proven anticancer strategy, there are no reports which thoroughly survey the literature describing the role of polyamine biosynthesis and transport in PDAC. This review seeks to fill this void by describing what is currently known about polyamine metabolism in PDAC and identifies new targets and opportunities to treat this disease. Due to the pleiotropic effects that polyamines play in cells, this review covers diverse areas ranging from polyamine metabolism (biosynthesis, catabolism, and transport), as well as the potential role of polyamines in desmoplasia, autophagy and immune privilege. Understanding these diverse roles provides the opportunity to design new therapies to treat this deadly cancer via polyamine depletion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Serial profiling of circulating tumor DNA for optimization of anti-VEGF chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer patients

Abstract

Understanding the molecular changes in tumors in response to anti-VEGF chemotherapy is crucial for optimization of the treatment strategy for metastatic colorectal cancer. We prospectively investigated changes in the amount and constitution of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in serial peripheral blood samples during chemotherapy. Sixty-one plasma samples taken at different time points (baseline, remission, and post-progression) and pre-treatment tumor samples were collected from 21 patients who received bevacizumab-containing first-line chemotherapy. Extracted DNA was sequenced by next-generation sequencing using a panel of 90 oncogenes. Candidate ctDNAs in plasma were validated using mutational data from matching tumors. ctDNAs encoding one to six trunk mutations were found in all 21 cases, and the mutant allele frequency (MAF) was distributed over a wide range (1-89%). Significant decreases in the MAF at remission and increases in the MAF after progression were observed (p<0.001). Reduction in the MAF to below 2% in the remission period was strongly associated with better survival (16.6 vs. 32.5 months, P<0.001). In two cases, mutations (in CREBBP and FBXW7 genes) were newly detected in ctDNA at a low frequency of around 1% in the post-progression period. The use of ctDNA allows elucidation of the tumor clonal repertoire and tumor evolution during anti-VEGF chemotherapy. Changes in ctDNA levels could be useful as predictive biomarkers for survival. Mutations newly detected in ctDNA in the late treatment period might reveal the rise of a minor tumor clone that may show resistance to anti-VEGF therapy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Methods for second primary cancer evaluation have to be standardized



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Traditions, beliefs and indigenous technologies in connection with the edible longhorn grasshopper Ruspolia differens (Serville 1838) in Tanzania

Edible insects are an important source of food to many African populations. The longhorn grasshopper, Ruspolia differens (Serville 1838), commonly known as senene in Tanzania is one of the most appreciated edible...

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Excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers: an unawareness causing serious threats to environment and human health

Abstract

Farmers occasionally need to add nitrogen fertilizer to their farms and gardens to make available just the precise nutrients for their plants’ growth. The applications of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to various crops have been continuously increasing since last many decades globally. Although nitrogen fertilizer contributes substantially to yield enhancement, but excessive use of this manure has posed serious threats to environment and human health. Rate of nitrogen fertilizers application has a close relationship with nitrate accumulation in surrounding environment, groundwater, as well as leafy and root vegetables. Consumption of diets having high nitrate contents has contributed to endogenous nitrosation, which could lead to thyroid condition, various kinds of human cancers, neural tube defects (during fetus development), and diabetes. In this short review, the authors have tried to create awareness among general public, farming community, health practitioners, and agricultural scientists for the risk involved with excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers to human health. Carcinogenic activity and other adverse effects of N-nitroso compounds might be prevented by consuming vitamin C and antioxidants containing fruits and vegetables.



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Chronic Diarrhea in Common Variable Immunodeficiency: a Case Series and Review of the Literature

Abstract

Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by reduced immunoglobulin serum levels and absent or impaired antibody production. Clinical manifestations, including infections, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and malignancies, also involve various segments of the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic diarrhea is one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms and may cause a wide spectrum of potentially life-threatening conditions as malabsorption and protein-energy malnutrition. We describe three female CVID adult patients presenting with chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and protein-energy malnutrition due to different underlying conditions. Our review of the literature explores the various gastrointestinal involvements in CVID and points out several histopathological findings proper of the disease, thus highlighting the relevance of the endoscopic and histological assessment in CVID patients presenting with chronic diarrhea.



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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1387: Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Social Vulnerability Index for Use in the Dutch Context

IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1387: Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Social Vulnerability Index for Use in the Dutch Context

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph14111387

Authors: Steven Bunt Nardi Steverink Melissa K. Andrew Cees P. van der Schans Hans Hobbelen

Being able to identify socially frail older adults is essential for designing interventions and policy and for the prediction of health outcomes, both on the level of individual older adults and of the population. The aim of the present study was to adapt the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to the Dutch language and culture for those purposes. A systematic cross-cultural adaptation of the initial Social Vulnerability Index was performed following five steps: initial translation, synthesis of translations, back translation, a Delphi procedure, and a test for face validity and feasibility. The main result of this study is a face-valid 32 item Dutch version of the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI-D) that is feasible in health care and social care settings. The SVI-D is a useful index to measure social frailty in Dutch-language countries and offers a broad, holistic quantification of older people’s social circumstances related to the risk of adverse health outcomes.



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Non-IgE-mediated Adverse Food Reactions

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to update what is currently known about the major non-IgE-mediated food allergies: food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), food protein-induced allergic proctocolitis (FPIAP), and food protein-induced enteropathy (FPE). These conditions are similar in that symptoms are regulated to the gastrointestinal tract; therefore understanding their specific features is important for diagnosis and management.

Recent Findings

The most progress has been made in understanding FPIES with several recent large cohorts being described. The first international consensus guidelines for FPIES were published in 2017 and propose specific diagnostic criteria for acute FPIES as well as guidance for diagnosing chronic FPIES. Recent studies in FPIAP have challenged our thinking about the recommended duration of food avoidance and that cow’s milk avoidance is the primary management with reports of self-resolution without dietary management. FPE continues to appear to be on the decline.

Summary

FPIES, FPIAP, and FPE are distinguished from one another by their main clinical features: delayed repetitive vomiting in FPIES, benign blood in stool in FPIAP, and chronic diarrhea in FPE. Due to the risk of nutritional deficiencies with food avoidance in both infant and maternal diets if breastfeeding, confirmation of diagnosis with challenges is encouraged. Additional studies are needed for these conditions to elucidate pathophysiology, search for diagnostic markers, and understand natural history.



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Krankheitsstatus und soziale Situation erwachsener Patienten mit Hämophilie

54 adult patients suffering from hemophilia responded to a questionnaire regarding their state of illness and social situation. As far as state of the illness was concerned items pertained to type of hemophilia, factor activity, degree of physical handicap, number of bleedings and hospitalizations as well as etiology of bleedings. Social data contained items on marital status, education, occupation and leisure activities. The handicap of the illness as well as the possibility of positive social integration is underlined by the findings of the study.

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Probleme und Aufgaben der Psychologie bei terminaler Niereninsuffizienz im Kindesalter



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‘Sliced bread’ or ‘club sandwich’ appearance



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Drug Safety Analysis in a Real-Life Cohort of Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Polypharmacy

Abstract

Background

Polypharmacy is common in geriatric Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients in advanced disease stages with multiple comorbidities, bearing multiple risks for drug safety in theory.

Objective

The aim of this study was to empirically identify the most frequent and relevant contraindications and drug interactions actually occurring and compromising drug safety in PD in real life.

Methods

We conducted a prospective observational study in a multimorbid cohort of PD patients with polypharmacy admitted to a specialized hospital. Inclusion criteria were the presence of at least one comorbidity requiring pharmacotherapy and at least five different drugs in the discharge prescription. Hoehn and Yahr stage during the ‘on’ state, therapeutic problems related to motor and non-motor PD symptoms, comorbidities, and drug regimens on admission and discharge were analyzed for contraindications and interactions.

Results

Overall, 127 patients were included (medium Hoehn and Yahr stage = IV, range II–V). Interactions with the anti-PD medication were mainly caused by other central nervous system (CNS)-active substances, cytochrome P450-metabolized substances, and QT-time prolonging substances. Contraindications against the anti-PD medication mainly occurred from internal, haematopoietic, neurologic and psychiatric diseases, and QT-time prolonging drugs. The highest frequency of interactions and contraindications were identified with levodopa (n = 119 at admission/n = 126 at discharge), entacapone (n = 46/42), pramipexole (n = 44/24), and amantadine (n = 32/30).

Conclusions

Several medically relevant risk factors (interactions and contraindications) frequently occurred in advanced PD patients. These findings provide a basis for developing programmes for awareness, education, monitoring, and preventive interventions to avoid adverse incidents. Future studies will need to evaluate preventive efficacy of structured drug safety programmes.



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Gang of ants surgically dismembers large, dead spider on Borneo

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Sequence of photos shows a squad of ants over 4 hours as they move in and take apart a palm-sized spider left as a sacrifice by a curious photographer

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The effect of gamma irradiation on the properties of cucumber

Abstract

In this study, the effect of gamma irradiation on the shelf life and properties of cucumber was investigated. These properties include weight reduction, fruit density, juice, tissue firmness, total soluble solids (TSS), total titratable acidity, chlorophyll and vitamin C, pH, marketability, flavor, frostbite and fungal effects. For this purpose, cucumbers were irradiated with dose of 2, 2.5 and 3 kGy. The exposure time was calculated by MCNP4C; the Monte Carlo particle transport code. Three types of fungi (white-Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, gray-Botrytis cinerea and olive-Cladosporium cucumerinum), were used to infect some samples. The chlorophyll and vitamin C preservation abilities were increased to about 3 and 1.4 times, respectively with irradiation treatment. Also, the shelf life was increased about 1 week, while chilling injuries is decreased. Samples’ resistance to the fungal growth was evident and the process of fungal growth on the irradiated samples was delayed up to 1 week. The best properties were obtained at the irradiation dose of 2 kGy since it had less effect on flavor, TSS and tissue firmness.



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Physicochemical, morphological, thermal and pasting characteristics of starches from moth bean ( Vigna aconitifolia ) cultivars grown in India: an underutilized crop

Abstract

This is a first kind of study on genotype diversity of starches of Moth Bean an underutilized pulse of India. Physicochemical properties like amylose content (7.8–21.4%), swelling power (11–13.5 g/g), solubility (5.9–9.0%) of starches were observed to differ significantly among the six moth bean starches. Swelling power of all the moth bean starches was observed to increase in the temperature range of 55–95 °C. Scanning electron microscopy indicated polyhedral, irregular shape of granule. X-ray diffraction studies indicated a ‘C’ type crystalline structure and the starches differed significantly in relative crystallinity (17–34%) which affected significantly retro gradation tendencies of the starches. Peak viscosity of starches varied significantly and ranged between 4580 and 5087 cP. Resistant starch content of starches also varied significantly among the cultivars and ranged between 57.3 and 75.6%.



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Pecan walnut ( Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) oil quality and phenolic compounds as affected by microwave and conventional roasting

Abstract

In this study, the effects of conventional and microwave roasting on phenolic compounds, free acidity, peroxide value, fatty acid composition and tocopherol content of pecan walnut kernel and oil was investigated. The oil content of pecan kernels was 73.78% for microwave oven roasted at 720 W and 73.56% for conventional oven roasted at 110 °C. The highest free fatty acid content (0.50%) and the lowest peroxide value (2.48 meq O2/kg) were observed during microwave roasting at 720 W. The fatty acid profiles and tocopherol contents of pecan kernel oils did not show significant differences compared to raw samples. Roasting process in microwave oven at 720 W caused the reduction of some phenolic compounds, while the content of gallic acid exhibited a significant increase.



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Starch digestibility and glycemic index of Paranthas supplemented with Citrus maxima (Burm.) Merr. fruit segments

Abstract

The present investigation was undertaken to develop paranthas suiting diabetic population with added health benefits. Paranthas were prepared using fresh and dry segments of pomelo. The increase in the concentration of segments decreased the texture value from 1080 to 1022 g force (fresh segments) and 1005 to 870 g force (dry segments). Naringin along with other bioactive compounds were retained to a greater extent in Paranthas containing dry pomelo fruit segments. Paranthas prepared using 20% (fresh) and 5% (dry) were sensorily acceptable. The pomelo incorporated paranthas had higher levels of resistance starch fractions (12.94%) with low predicted glycemic index (49.89%) compared to control Paranthas at 5.54 and 58.64% respectively. The fortified paranthas with an considerable content of bioactive compounds and low glycemic index indicate the possibility of using it as a dietary supplement. Thus utilization of pomelo fortification helps in improving the nutritional and functional property of paranthas suiting diabetes as well as general population.



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Identification of bioactives from Astragalus chinensis L.f. and their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects

Abstract

This work was designed to obtain the valuable compounds with antioxidant, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities from Astragalus chinensis. Ethyl acetate fraction obtained from A. chinensis L.f. had significant antioxidant, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory activities. Subsequently, five single compounds were separated and purified, which were identified as formononetin (1), rhamnocitrin (2), calycosin (3), β-daucosterol (4), rhamnocitrin-3-O-β-d-glucoside (5). The results displayed that formononetin and rhamnocitrin exhibited significant cytotoxicity actions against tumor cell lines. Calycosin exerted the strongest anti-inflammatory effect of inhibition effects on NO production in macrophages.



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Antioxidant capacity and identification of bioactive compounds of Myrtus communis L. extract obtained by ultrasound-assisted extraction

Abstract

Ultrasound-assisted extraction was used to investigate the polyphenolic compounds, particularly anthocyanins, present in myrtle alcoholic extracts. This type of extract is typical in the making of liqueurs obtained from herbs or plants, especially medicinal plants. The leaf extracts were found to contain flavonoids from the quercetin and myricetin families. Besides these, the berry extracts also showed the presence of anthocyanins, hydrolysable tannins and quinic acid. The antioxidant capacity was studied using the ORAC and TEAC methods and the polyphenol content was measured using the Folin–Ciocalteu method. The results showed that the values produced by the ORAC and TEAC methods were in agreement and that the antioxidant capacity correlated with the polyphenol content. The results showed that the leaf extracts exhibited higher antioxidant capacity than the berry extracts. The extraction method was easily implementable, and proved to be a swift method for obtaining bioactive compounds from vegetable matrices.



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Malt sprout, an underused beer by-product with promising potential for the growth and dehydration of lactobacilli strains

Abstract

Malt sprout (MS), a by-product of the malt industry obtained by removing rootlets and sprouts from the seed of germinated barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), was used as culture, dehydration and storage medium of three strains of lactobacilli: Lactobacillus salivarius CM-CIDCA 1231B and CM-CIDCA 1232Y and Lactobacillus plantarum CIDCA 83114. The three strains were grown in MS and MS supplemented with 20% w/v fructo-oligosaccharides (MS FOS). Bacterial growth was determined by registering the decrease of pH and by plate counting. Comparable results with those of microorganisms grown in MRS (controls) were observed in terms of lag times, ΔpH and acidification rates. Furthermore, during fermentation, a significant increase of DP6 (FOS with degree of polymerization 6) was observed at expenses of inulin and DP7, probably indicating their hydrolysis. A concomitant decrease of DP3, sucrose and monosaccharides was also observed, as result of their bacterial consumption during growth. The presence of FOS in the fermented media protected microorganisms during freeze-drying and storage, as no decrease of culturability was observed after 60 days at 4 °C (> 108 CFU/mL). Using MS appears as an innovative strategy for the production of lactobacilli at large scale, supporting their use for the elaboration of functional foods containing prebiotics and probiotics.



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Performance, carcass traits, meat quality and amino acid profile of different Japanese quails strains

Abstract

Poultry production is considered one of the prospective opportunities to accomplish sustainable and quick production of superior protein to challenge the growing mandate for animal protein. Therefore, this study was aimed to explore the difference on growth performance, carcass traits, meat quality and amino acid profile of different Japanese quails strains. A total of 480 quail chicks of four different plumage colors (120 of each white, golden, gray and brown) were collected after hatching. At 6 week of age, birds were stunned and decapitated to determine the physical meat quality, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and amino acid profile. White quails had the highest weight of slaughter, carcass, dressing, carcass yield, liver, gizzard, heart and spleen (197.27 g, 169.27 g, 91%, 82%, 6.63 g, 6.53 g, 2.27 g and 0.40 g, respectively). Also, they had the highest PhU, lightness, yellowness and water holding capacity with the lowest level of redness, cooking losses and thiobarbituric acid in pectoral (6.28, 46.40, 12,46, 22.17, 9.20, 19.21 and 0.44, respectively) and thigh muscles (6.37, 42.30, 11.51, 26.01, 10.12 and 0.93, respectively). Moreover, they possessed the highest level of all essential (11.68 and 10.16 g/100 g protein in pectoral and thigh muscles, respectively) and non essential amino acids (13.27 and 12.54 g/100 g protein in pectoral and thigh muscles, respectively). Therefore, the current study revealed that white quails had the heaviest body weight with the best carcass traits and meat quality.



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