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Τετάρτη, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

Uranium time series analysis: A new methodological approach for event screening categorisation

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Publication date: March 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 183
Author(s): Stefano Bianchi, Wolfango Plastino
Uranium (U) groundwater anomalies, detected before the L'Aquila earthquake (April 6th, 2009), represent a key geochemical signal of a progressive increase of deep fluids fluxes at middle–lower crustal levels associated with the geodynamics of the earthquake. Although the analyses performed in association with the seismic pattern around Gran Sasso National Laboratory and the geophysical and geochemical patterns of the Gran Sasso aquifer supported this hypothesis, a new approach for time series analysis has been developed for event screening categorisation and to highlight U as possible strain meter in geodynamical processes, particularly those which characterise active normal faulting.



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Trials on ischemic stroke treatment: mission accomplished?



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Trials on ischemic stroke treatment: mission accomplished?



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Predictors of active arterial hemorrhage on angiography in pelvic fracture patients

Abstract

Purpose

To determine predictors of active angiographic hemorrhage in pelvic fracture patients.

Materials and methods

This retrospective study included 66 trauma patients who had major hemorrhages due to pelvic fractures, and who underwent pelvic angiography between January 2012 and December 2014. The study population comprised 31 males and 35 females (mean age 44.2 ± 20.7 years). The main outcome was active hemorrhage on pelvic angiography. Clinical and imaging variables including demographics, hemodynamic parameters, injury severity, types of pelvic fracture, laboratory data, blood transfusions and CT findings were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify predictors of active angiographic hemorrhage.

Results

Of the 66 study patients included, 41 patients had active angiographic hemorrhage. These patients had more blood transfusions, higher activated partial thromboplastin times and higher rates of contrast extravasation on CT (p < 0.05). Three independent predictors of active angiographic hemorrhage were identified, including contrast extravasation on CT (OR: 74.6, p < 0.001), more than 8 units of RBC transfusions (OR: 12.5, p = 0.018) and ISS ≥ 16 (OR: 11.1, p = 0.029).

Conclusion

Contrast extravasation on CT, high volume RBC transfusions and ISS ≥ 16 can help us to select pelvic fracture patients for angiography more precisely.



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Imaging Giant cell arteritis and Aortitis in contrast enhanced 18F-FDG PET/CT: which imaging score correlates best with laboratory inflammation markers?

Publication date: Available online 27 December 2017
Source:European Journal of Radiology
Author(s): Susann-Cathrin Olthof, Patrick Krumm, Jörg Henes, Konstantin Nikolaou, Christian la Fougère, Christina Pfannenberg, Nina Schwenzer
PurposeTo define the most appropriate imaging parameters in combined Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT reflecting the inflammatory burden in large vessel vasculitis.MethodsTwo readers retrospectively graded disease extent and activity in 17 LVV patients using visual and quantitative scores in FDG PET and contrast enhanced CT. Visual PET scores were assessed corresponding to FDG-uptake vs. liver uptake (score 0-3). CT visual scoring referred to the affected vessel extent (score 1-5). Quantitative PET scores relied on normalized SUV ratios. For quantitative CT evaluation vessel wall thickness was correlated with FDG- uptake. Imaging scores were correlated with Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were measured for interreader reliability.ResultsVisual PET scores showed stronger correlation with CRP (ρ 0.640, 0.541 for reader I and II, respectively) than with ESR levels (ρ 0.477, 0.447). Quantitative PET showed strongest correlation with CRP using liver as reference tissue.Visual CT scores did neither correlate with ESR nor with CRP levels (ESR: ρ 0.085, 0.294 with p 0.743, 0.252; CRP: ρ 0.322, 0.395 with p 0.208, 0.116). Quantitative CT evaluation correlated with ESR levels in one reader (ρ 0.505, −0.026), however no correlation between quantitative CT measures and quantitative PET scores was found. Best ICC between readers was 0.994 for highest SUVavg vessel/highest SUVavg liver.ConclusionsVisual and quantitative PET scores were superior to CT scores with best ICC and strongest correlations between quantitative PET score and inflammation markers especially when using vessel to liver ratios.



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Cholangiocarcinoma versus small liver abscess in dual source dual-energy CT quantitative parameters

Publication date: Available online 27 December 2017
Source:European Journal of Radiology
Author(s): Beuy Joob




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Cost-effectiveness analysis in papillary thyroid carcinoma patients with different neck dissection strategy: A retrospective cohort study.

Cost-effectiveness analysis in papillary thyroid carcinoma patients with different neck dissection strategy: A retrospective cohort study.

Int J Surg. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Guo K, Zheng X, Li D, Wu Y, Ji Q, Wang Z

Abstract
BACKGROUND: There are two surgical strategies for bilateral neck dissection (BND), simultaneous and two-stage operations. The aim of the study was to compare the cost-effectiveness BND with this two operations in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Consecutive PTC patients undergoing BND were studied retrospectively, and were classified into simultaneous group (Group A) and two-stage group (Group B). Demographic, medical costs, complication and surgical variables were recorded.
RESULTS: This study included 256 PTC patients, of which 175 (68.4%) underwent simultaneous BND and 81 (31.6%) patients underwent two-stage. Patients in Group B spent almost twice as much on medical costs as patients in Group A ($4145.3 vs. $7352.5). Group A patients also had shorter hospital stays (11.71 ± 5.12 vs. 23.10 ± 7.11, P < .0001) and surgery times (203.61 ± 61.43min vs. 279.58 ± 71.59min, P < .0001). The average radioactive iodine therapy delay was 67 days in Group B. There was no significant difference in complications (34 vs. 18, P = .605) or disease-free-survival (93.71% vs. 90.12%, P = .243) between the two groups. No difference was found in rates of recurrent laryngeal nerve invasion/resection (12 vs. 11, P = .08; 10 vs. 6, P = .353) or tracheotomy (32 vs. 14, P = .846). However, internal jugular vein invasions were more common in patients with two-stage BND (7 vs. 9, P = .029).
CONCLUSION: Simultaneous BND is the most cost-effective strategy for the management of PTC patients without bilateral internal jugular veins invasion, due to lower treatment cost and the ability to avoid RAI delay.

PMID: 29278752 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Operative outcomes of conventional specimen radiography versus in-operating room specimen radiography in radioactive seed-localized segmental mastectomies.

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Operative outcomes of conventional specimen radiography versus in-operating room specimen radiography in radioactive seed-localized segmental mastectomies.

Am J Surg. 2018 Jan;215(1):151-154

Authors: Rhee D, Pockaj B, Wasif N, Stucky CC, Pizzitola V, Giurescu M, Patel B, McCarthy J, Gray R

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: In-operating room specimen radiography (ORSR) has not been studied among women undergoing radioactive seed localization (RSL) for breast cancer surgery and had the potential to decrease operative time and perhaps improve intraoperative margin management.
METHODS: One hundred consecutive RSL segmental mastectomies among 98 patients using ORSR were compared to 100 consecutive segmental mastectomies among 98 patients utilizing conventional radiography (CSR) prior to the initiation of ORSR from December 2013 to January 2015 after radioactive seed localization. Final pathologic margins were considered to be 10 mm for all cases of no residual disease after biopsy or neoadjuvant therapy, but such patients were excluded from analyses involving tumor size. All patients' specimens were subjected to intraoperative pathologic consultation in addition to ORSR or CSR.
RESULTS: The median age of the cohort was 65 years (range 36-97), and the median tumor size was 1 cm. There were no differences between the ORSR and CSR groups in age, tumor size, percentage of cases with only DCIS, and percentage of cases with microcalcifications. The ORSR group had a statistically significant lower BMI. Mean operative time from cut-to-close was not significantly different (ORSR 77 min, SD 24.8 vs CSR 76 min, SD 24.8, p = 0.75). There was no statistical difference in mean closest final pathologic margin (4.99 mm, SD 3.3 vs 4.88 mm, SD 3.5, p = 0.9). The percentage undergoing intraoperative margin re-excision (ORSR 40%, CR 47%, p = 0.31) and the mean total number of margins excised intraoperatively (ORSR 0.9, CR 1.0 p = 0.65) were similar. The rate of any margin <2 mm was 14% vs 12% for ORSR and CR, respectively (p = 0.64). The mean specimen volume for ORSR was 76cm3 (SD 101.8) vs 90cm3 (SD 61.2) for CSR; this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.25). The mean ratio of segmental mastectomy volume to maximum tumor diameter was less for ORSR (82.7cm2 vs 139.4cm2, p = 0.014).
CONCLUSION: ORSR for RSL breast surgery, in the setting of routine intraoperative pathology consultation, does not significantly impact operative time, the rate or number of additional intraoperative margins excised, the number of reoperations for margins, or the width of final pathological margins. ORSR was associated with a decrease in the volume of segmental mastectomies relative to the tumor diameter.

PMID: 28784236 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Reply to the Letter to the Editor: Comments in relation to the CPC case entitled: "Submucosal nodule in buccal mucosa" Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 2016;122:660-665.

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Reply to the Letter to the Editor: Comments in relation to the CPC case entitled: "Submucosal nodule in buccal mucosa" Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 2016;122:660-665.

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2017 Nov 20;:

Authors: Daroit NB, Maraschin BJ, Carrard VC, Rados PV, Visioli F

PMID: 29277279 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Hypothalamic abnormalities: Growth failure due to defects of the GHRH receptor.

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Hypothalamic abnormalities: Growth failure due to defects of the GHRH receptor.

Growth Horm IGF Res. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Aguiar-Oliveira MH, Davalos C, Campos VC, Oliveira Neto LA, Marinho CG, Oliveira CRP

Abstract
Several acquired or congenital hypothalamic abnormalities may cause growth failure (GF). We described two of these congenital abnormalities. First, a case of CHARGE syndrome, an epigenetic disorder mostly caused by heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding CHD7, a chromatin remodeling protein, causing several malformations, some life-threatening, with additional secondary hypothalamus-hypophyseal dysfunction, including GF. Second, a cohort of individuals with genetic isolated severe GH deficiency (IGHD), due to a homozygous mutation in the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor gene described in Itabaianinha County, in northeast Brazil. In this IGHD, with marked reduction of serum concentrations of IGF-I, and an up regulation of IGF-II, GF is the principal finding in otherwise normal subjects, with normal quality of life and longevity. This IGHD may unveil the effects of GHRH, pituitary GH and IGF-I, IGF-II and local GH and growth factor on the size and function of body and several systems. For instance, anterior pituitary hypoplasia, and impairment of the non-REM sleep may be due to GHRH resistance. Proportionate short stature, doll facies, high-pitched pre-pubertal voice, and reduced muscle mass reflect the lack of the synergistic effect of pituitary GH and IGF-I in bones and muscles. Central adiposity may be due to a direct effect of the lack of GH. Brain, eyes and immune system may also involve IGF-II and local GH or growth factors. A concept of physiological hierarchy controlling body size and function by each component of the GH system may be drawn from this model.

PMID: 29277338 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Prognostic value of nocturnal pulse oximetry in patients with heart failure.

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Prognostic value of nocturnal pulse oximetry in patients with heart failure.

Med Clin (Barc). 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Rivera-López R, Jordán-Martínez L, López-Fernández S, Rivera-Fernandez R, Tercedor L, Sáez-Roca G

Abstract
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: To analyze the prognostic value of nocturnal hypoxemia measured with portable nocturnal pulse-oximetry in patients hospitalized due to heart failure and its relation to mortality and hospital readmission.
METHODS: We included 38 patients who were admitted consecutively to our unit with the diagnosis of decompensated heart failure. Pulse-oximetry was considered positive for hypoxemia when more than 10 desaturations per hour were recorded during sleep. Follow-up was performed for 30.3 (standard deviation [SD] 14.2) months, the main objective being a combined endpoint of all-cause mortality and hospital readmission due to heart failure.
RESULTS: The average age was 70.7 (SD 10.7) years, 63.3% were males. Pulse-oximetry was considered positive for hypoxemia in 27 (71%) patients. Patients with positive pulse-oximetry had the most frequent endpoint (9.1% [1] vs. 61.5% [16], P = 0.003). After multivariate analysis, continuous nocturnal hypoxemia was related to the combined endpoint (HR = 8.37, 1.19-68.4, P = 0.03).
DISCUSSION: Patients hospitalized for heart failure and nocturnal hypoxemia measured with portable pulse-oximeter have an increased risk of hospital readmission and death.

PMID: 29277336 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Quality of life and mood in children with cystic fibrosis: Associations with sleep quality.

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Quality of life and mood in children with cystic fibrosis: Associations with sleep quality.

J Cyst Fibros. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Vandeleur M, Walter LM, Armstrong DS, Robinson P, Nixon GM, Horne RSC

Abstract
BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate the relationship between sleep quality, mood and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children with CF and controls.
METHODS: Children (7-12years) and adolescents (13-18years) with CF and controls completed sleep evaluation: overnight oximetry and 14days of actigraphy. Age-appropriate questionnaires assessed mood (Children's Depression Inventory; CDI or Beck's Depression Inventory), HRQOL (CF Questionnaire-Revised; CFQ-R or PedsQL), and sleepiness (Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale).
RESULTS: 87 CF and 55 controls recruited. Children with CF had poorer sleep quality, more sleepiness and lower mood than controls, with a negative correlation between mood score and sleep efficiency. Sleepiness score was predictive of mood score and multiple CFQ-R domains. Adolescents with CF also demonstrated poorer sleep and more sleepiness than controls, but no difference in mood. Reduced sleep quality predicted lower CFQ-R scores. No correlation between sleep, mood or HRQOL in controls.
CONCLUSIONS: In children and adolescents with CF, impaired sleep quality is associated with lower mood and HRQOL in an age-specific manner. Future research will aid understanding of effective strategies for prevention and treatment of mood disorders and sleep disturbance in children with CF.

PMID: 29277313 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Voice and swallowing outcomes following hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea.

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Voice and swallowing outcomes following hypoglossal nerve stimulation for obstructive sleep apnea.

Am J Otolaryngol. 2017 Dec 15;:

Authors: Bowen AJ, Nowacki AS, Kominsky AH, Trask DK, Benninger MS, Bryson PC

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Hypoglossal nerve stimulation is an effective treatment for a subset of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Although multiple clinical trials demonstrate its efficacy, no previous literature explores the potential impact the stimulator has on swallowing and voice. Our primary objective is to evaluate patient reported post-operative changes in voice or swallowing following hypoglossal nerve stimulator placement.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: Tertiary care hospital.
SUBJECT AND METHODS: Patients scheduled to receive a hypoglossal stimulator were enrolled. Participants completed baseline Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10) and Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10) questionnaires preoperatively and again at 1week, 3months, and 6months post-operatively following placement of a hypoglossal nerve stimulator.
RESULTS: 9 males and 5 females completed the study. The mean pre-operative VHI-10 and EAT-10 score was 3 and 0.8 respectively. Using linear mixed models, a clinically and statistically significant increase in the mean EAT-10 score was observed post-operatively at 1week (p=0.007), which was not observed at the time points the stimulator was active. A clinically and statistically significant decrease in VHI-10 score was observed following 2months of active stimulator use (p=0.02), which was not observed at any other time point.
CONCLUSION: The implantation and use of the hypoglossal nerve stimulator over 5months did not demonstrate any sustained, patient reported changes in voice handicap and swallowing function. While larger studies are warranted, our findings can be used to provide further informed consent for hypoglossal nerve stimulator implantation.

PMID: 29277289 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Effects of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Patients With OSA on Quality of Life.

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Effects of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Patients With OSA on Quality of Life.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2017 Dec 01;:3489417750164

Authors: Lin HC, Lee CY, Friedman M, Wang PC, Salapatas AM, Lin MC, Chen YC

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively study the effects of minimally invasive single-stage multilevel surgery (MISS MLS) for treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSA) on quality of life (QOL).
METHODS: All OSA patients with multilevel obstruction who failed or refused continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment and then underwent Pillar implants and temperature-controlled radiofrequency of the base of tongue (RFBOT) were enrolled. The subjective symptoms and QOL (SF-36 Taiwan Standard Version 1.0) parameters were collected preoperatively and a minimum of 3 months postoperatively. Postoperative morbidity and complications were also recorded.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients (30 men, 7 women; mean age = 46.8 years; mean BMI = 23.9 kg/m2) were enrolled. The mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale changed from 12 ± 4.3 to 10.6 ± 4.3 ( P = .004, Wilcoxon signed-rank test). The mean snoring visual analog scale reduced from 9.5 ± 1.3 to 4.0 ± 2.0 ( P < .0001). The mean score of SF-36 increased from 65.5 ± 19.6 to 75.2 ± 16.7 ( P = .001). The SF-36 subscales showed statistically significant changes, especially in bodily pain, role-emotional, and general health.
CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that MISS MLS was effective on QOL in selected patients for treating OSA patients who are unresponsive to conservative OSA therapy.

PMID: 29277122 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

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Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017 Nov-Dec;6(6):520-526

Authors: Singh N, Srinivasan S, Muralidharan V, Roy R, V J, Raman R

Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compromises quality of life. However, the available therapeutic options are limited. This has led to the identification of modifiable risk factors to prevent the development or alter the natural course and prognosis of AMD. The identification and modification of risk factors has the potential for greater public health impact on reducing morbidity from AMD. Likewise, identifying the imaging clues and genetic clues could serve as a guide to recognizing the propensity for progression to severe and end stages of the disease. Several attempts, both successful and unsuccessful, have been made for interventions that could delay the progression of AMD. Of these, pharmacological interventions have shown promising results. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 1 and 2 have shown the beneficial role of antioxidants in a selected group of patients.

PMID: 29204995 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Residential proximity to major roads, exposure to fine particulate matter and aortic calcium: the Framingham Heart Study, a cohort study.

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Residential proximity to major roads, exposure to fine particulate matter and aortic calcium: the Framingham Heart Study, a cohort study.

BMJ Open. 2017 Mar 16;7(3):e013455

Authors: Dorans KS, Wilker EH, Li W, Rice MB, Ljungman PL, Schwartz J, Coull BA, Kloog I, Koutrakis P, D'Agostino RB, Massaro JM, Hoffmann U, O'Donnell CJ, Mittleman MA

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Traffic and ambient air pollution exposure are positively associated with cardiovascular disease, potentially through atherosclerosis promotion. Few studies have assessed associations of these exposures with thoracic aortic calcium Agatston score (TAC) or abdominal aortic calcium Agatston score (AAC), systemic atherosclerosis correlates. We assessed whether living close to a major road and residential fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure were associated with TAC and AAC in a Northeastern US cohort.
DESIGN: Cohort study.
SETTING: Framingham Offspring and Third Generation participants residing in the Northeastern USA.
PARTICIPANTS AND OUTCOME MEASURES: Among 3506 participants, mean age was 55.8 years; 50% female. TAC was measured from 2002 to 2005 and AAC up to two times (2002-2005; 2008-2011) among participants from the Framingham Offspring or Third Generation cohorts. We first assessed associations with detectable TAC (logistic regression) and AAC (generalised estimating equation regression, logit link). As aortic calcium scores were right skewed, we used linear regression models and mixed-effects models to assess associations with natural log-transformed TAC and AAC, respectively, among participants with detectable aortic calcium. We also assessed associations with AAC progression. Models were adjusted for demographic variables, socioeconomic position indicators and time.
RESULTS: There were no consistent associations of major roadway proximity or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of TAC or AAC, or with AAC progression. Some estimates were in the opposite direction than expected.
CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort from a region with relatively low levels of and variation in PM2.5, there were no strong associations of proximity to a major road or PM2.5 with the presence or extent of aortic calcification, or with AAC progression.

PMID: 28302634 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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The accuracy of the bedside swallowing evaluation for detecting aspiration in survivors of acute respiratory failure.

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The accuracy of the bedside swallowing evaluation for detecting aspiration in survivors of acute respiratory failure.

J Crit Care. 2017 Jun;39:143-148

Authors: Lynch YT, Clark BJ, Macht M, White SD, Taylor H, Wimbish T, Moss M

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Dysphagia with subsequent aspiration occurs in up to 60% of acute respiratory failure (ARF) survivors. Accurate bedside tests for aspiration can reduce aspiration-related complications while minimizing delay of oral nutrition. In a cohort of ARF survivors, we determined the accuracy of the bedside swallowing evaluation (BSE) and its components for detecting aspiration.
METHODS: Patients who were extubated after at least 24hours of mechanical ventilation were eligible for enrollment. Within 3 days of extubation, patients underwent comprehensive BSE including 3-oz water swallowing test (3-WST), followed by a criterion standard test for aspiration, flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).
RESULTS: Forty-five patients were included in the analysis. Median patient age was 55years (interquartile range, 47-65). Median duration of mechanical ventilation was 3.3days (interquartile range 1.8-6.0). Fourteen patients (31%) aspirated on FEES. Physical examination findings on BSE and abnormal swallowing during trials of different consistencies were variably associated with aspiration. Compared with FEES, the 3-WST yielded a sensitivity of 77% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50%-92%), specificity of 65% (95% CI, 47%-79%), and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.71; a speech language pathologist's recommendation for altered diet yielded a sensitivity of 86% (95% CI, 60%-96%), a specificity of 52% (95% CI, 35%-68%), and an AUCof 0.69; an speech language pathologist's recommendation for nil per os (nothing by mouth) yielded a sensitivity of 50% (95% CI, 27%-73%), a specificity of 94% (95% CI, 79%-98%), and an AUCof 0.72.
CONCLUSIONS: The BSE and its components, including the 3-WST, demonstrated variable accuracy for aspiration in survivors of ARF. Investigation to determine the optimal noninvasive test for aspiration in ARF survivors is warranted.
CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02363686, Aspiration in Acute Respiratory Failure Survivors.

PMID: 28259057 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Caution Regarding Catheter-directed Thrombolysis: Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Mistaken for Acute Submassive Pulmonary Embolism.

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Caution Regarding Catheter-directed Thrombolysis: Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Mistaken for Acute Submassive Pulmonary Embolism.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Apr 15;195(8):1066-1067

Authors: Fernandes TM, Pretorius VG, Kim NH

PMID: 28231022 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Ventricular Geometry From Non-contrast Non-ECG-gated CT Scans: An Imaging Marker of Cardiopulmonary Disease in Smokers.

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Ventricular Geometry From Non-contrast Non-ECG-gated CT Scans: An Imaging Marker of Cardiopulmonary Disease in Smokers.

Acad Radiol. 2017 May;24(5):594-602

Authors: Rahaghi FN, Vegas-Sanchez-Ferrero G, Minhas JK, Come CE, De La Bruere I, Wells JM, González G, Bhatt SP, Fenster BE, Diaz AA, Kohli P, Ross JC, Lynch DA, Dransfield MT, Bowler RP, Ledesma-Carbayo MJ, San José Estépar R, Washko GR, COPDGene Investigators

Abstract
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Imaging-based assessment of cardiovascular structure and function provides clinically relevant information in smokers. Non-cardiac-gated thoracic computed tomographic (CT) scanning is increasingly leveraged for clinical care and lung cancer screening. We sought to determine if more comprehensive measures of ventricular geometry could be obtained from CT using an atlas-based surface model of the heart.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subcohorts of 24 subjects with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 262 subjects with echocardiography were identified from COPDGene, a longitudinal observational study of smokers. A surface model of the heart was manually initialized, and then automatically optimized to fit the epicardium for each CT. Estimates of right and left ventricular (RV and LV) volume and free-wall curvature were then calculated and compared to structural and functional metrics obtained from MRI and echocardiograms.
RESULTS: CT measures of RV dimension and curvature correlated with similar measures obtained using MRI. RV and LV volume obtained from CT inversely correlated with echocardiogram-based estimates of RV systolic pressure using tricuspid regurgitation jet velocity and LV ejection fraction respectively. Patients with evidence of RV or LV dysfunction on echocardiogram had larger RV and LV dimensions on CT. Logistic regression models based on demographics and ventricular measures from CT had an area under the curve of >0.7 for the prediction of elevated right ventricular systolic pressure and ventricular failure.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that non-cardiac-gated, non-contrast-enhanced thoracic CT scanning may provide insight into cardiac structure and function in smokers.

PMID: 28215632 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Adult Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Masquerading as Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

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Adult Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Masquerading as Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Apr 15;195(8):e34-e36

Authors: Chertoff J, Chung J, Ataya A

PMID: 28207278 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Intermittent hypoxia causes mandibular growth retardation and macroglossia in growing rats.

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Intermittent hypoxia causes mandibular growth retardation and macroglossia in growing rats.

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2017 Feb;151(2):363-371

Authors: Hosomichi J, Kuma YI, Oishi S, Nagai H, Maeda H, Usumi-Fujita R, Shimizu Y, Kaneko S, Shitano C, Suzuki JI, Yoshida KI, Ono T

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: In this study, we aimed to examine the role of intermittent hypoxia (IH) in dentofacial morphologic changes in growing rats.
METHODS: Seven-week-old male rats were exposed to IH at 20 cycles per hour (nadir of 4% oxygen to peak of 21% oxygen) for 8 hours per day for 6 weeks. Control rats were exposed to normoxia (N). Maxillofacial growth was compared between the 2 groups by linear measurements on cephalometric radiographs. To examine the dental arch morphology, study models and microcomputed tomography images of the jaws were taken. Additionally, tongue size was measured.
RESULTS: The gonial angle and the ramus of the mandible were smaller in the IH group than in the N group, whereas the body weights were not different between the 2 groups. Morphometric analysis of the dentition showed a significantly wider mandibular dentition and narrower maxillary dentition in the IH than in the N group. The relative width (+4.2 %) and length (tongue apex to vallate papillae, +3.5 %) of the tongue to the mandible were significantly greater in the IH group than in the N group.
CONCLUSIONS: IH induced dentofacial morphologic discrepancies in growing rats.

PMID: 28153167 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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Surgical removal of a giant iris stromal cyst: an intraoperative optical coherence tomography-guided approach

An 11-year-old girl was brought with the chief complaint of progressive diminution of vision in her right eye for the past 3 months. There was no history of ocular trauma or any ocular surgery. Systemic and family history was insignificant. Visual acuity was 20/20 in her left eye and counting finger close to face with projection of rays being accurate in her right eye. Slit lamp examination of her right eye showed large cystic lesion filling almost entire anterior chamber. With the help of various imaging modalities like anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) and ultrasound biomicroscopy diagnosis of iris stromal cyst was confirmed. Right eye surgical removal of the iris stromal cyst was done under real-time imaging of intraoperative OCT (iOCT). Best-corrected visual acuity at 6 months follow-up was 20/20 without any recurrence. iOCT-guided approach for complete removal of the iris cyst seems more promising.



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Adiponectin concentration data improve the estimation of atherosclerotic risk in normo and in overweight subjects

Summary

Background

The combinations of adipokines and body mass parameters to estimate carotid atherosclerotic disease has not been completely delineated.

Objective

To test the combinations of well-established, easily accessible body mass indices and circulating biomarkers to identify increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in a primary prevention setting.

Design and patients

In a cross-sectional analysis of 339 asymptomatic individuals with no history of cardiovascular events, inflammatory and insulin sensitivity biomarkers as well as adipokine levels were measured and combined with body mass parameters in order to evaluate the best marker for increased cIMT.

Results

As isolated parameters, body mass index (BMI) and adiponectin best identified abnormal cIMT (p=0.04). Adiponectin levels were also linked to the relationship between BMI and cIMT (β=0.0371; p=0.01). Twenty-nine individuals with increased cIMT were missed by BMI alone but detected by combining BMI and adiponectin measurements. When compared with BMI alone, the combination adiponectin plus BMI improved the c-statistic (0.549 to 0.567) and the integrated discrimination improvement index (0.01725; p=0.021). Segregation of individuals by the combined use of BMI + adiponectin are associated with significant differences in insulin sensitivity, glomerular filtration rate, systemic inflammatory activity, dyslipidaemia and cIMT.

Conclusions

Combining plasma adiponectin measurements and BMI improves estimation of cIMT as compared with anthropometric parameters.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 41: Selection of a Very Active Microbial Community for the Coupled Treatment of Tetramethylammonium Hydroxide and Photoresist in Aqueous Solutions

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 41: Selection of a Very Active Microbial Community for the Coupled Treatment of Tetramethylammonium Hydroxide and Photoresist in Aqueous Solutions

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010041

Authors: Giulio Moretti Federica Matteucci Matteo Saraullo Francesco Vegliò Maddalena del Gallo

Aerobic treatment of wastewater containing Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) and photoresist was investigated using a lab scale reactor inoculated with activated sludge coming from urban wastewater treatment that never received TMAH before. The consumption of TMAH was monitored by liquid ion chromatography. Biodiversity indices were calculated from Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) bands distribution and used to estimate changes in community composition related to adaptation to the new feeding compound. The first week of adaptation was crucial, and it was analyzed in detail: many organisms died, and the microbial community suffered a great shock. TMAH levels remained constant through the first four days, and then suddenly dropped to undetectable, and at the same time NH4+ increased. When the community showed complete adaptation, predominant groups of bacteria were obtained by the Illumina sequencing of 16s rDNA amplicons, to provide insights on ecology of the adapted community, focusing on the main actors of TMAH abatement. Richness of species (Rr) peaks suggest that the development of TMAH-consuming bacteria leads to persistent consortia that maintain toxicity resistance over time. This showed adaptation and changes of the population to the different feeding conditions, and it opens new perspectives in the in situ treatment of these important residues of industrial processes without relying on external processing plants.



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Thorough in silico and in vitro cDNA analysis of 21 putative BRCA1 and BRCA2 splice variants and a complex tandem duplication in BRCA2, allowing the identification of activated cryptic splice donor sites in BRCA2 exon 11

Abstract

For 21 putative BRCA1 and BRCA2 splice site variants the concordance between mRNA analysis and predictions by in silico programs was evaluated. Aberrant splicing was confirmed for 12 alterations. In silico prediction tools were helpful to determine for which variants cDNA analysis is warranted, however, predictions for variants in the Cartegni consensus region but outside the canonical sites, were less reliable. Learning algorithms like Adaboost and Random Forest outperformed the classical tools. Further validations are warranted prior to implement these novel tools in clinical settings. Additionally, we report here for the first time activated cryptic donor sites in the large exon 11 of BRCA2 by evaluating the effect at the cDNA level of a novel tandem duplication (5′ breakpoint in intron 4; 3′ breakpoint in exon 11) and of a variant disrupting the splice donor site of exon 11 (c.6841+1G > C). Additional sites were predicted, but not activated. These sites warrant further research to increase our knowledge on cis and trans acting factors involved in the conservation of correct transcription of this large exon. This may contribute to adequate design of ASOs (antisense oligonucleotides), an emerging therapy to render cancer cells sensitive to PARP inhibitor and platinum therapies.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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PSBinder: A Web Service for Predicting Polystyrene Surface-Binding Peptides

Polystyrene surface-binding peptides (PSBPs) are useful as affinity tags to build a highly effective ELISA system. However, they are also a quite common type of target-unrelated peptides (TUPs) in the panning of phage-displayed random peptide library. As TUP, PSBP will mislead the analysis of panning results if not identified. Therefore, it is necessary to find a way to quickly and easily foretell if a peptide is likely to be a PSBP or not. In this paper, we describe PSBinder, a predictor based on SVM. To our knowledge, it is the first web server for predicting PSBP. The SVM model was built with the feature of optimized dipeptide composition and 87.02% (MCC = 0.74; AUC = 0.91) of peptides were correctly classified by fivefold cross-validation. PSBinder can be used to exclude highly possible PSBP from biopanning results or to find novel candidates for polystyrene affinity tags. Either way, it is valuable for biotechnology community.

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Response of Aspergillus niger Inoculated on Tomatoes Exposed to Vapor Phase Mustard Essential Oil for Short or Long Periods and Sensory Evaluation of Treated Tomatoes

The inhibitory effect of mustard essential oil (EO) in vapor phase against Aspergillus niger was evaluated in vitro and in vivo (in tomatoes). Mold response in tomatoes exposed for short or long periods to selected concentrations of mustard EO was also evaluated. Furthermore, a sensory evaluation was also performed among treated tomatoes and compared with nontreated ones. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for the studied EO was determined by the inverted Petri dish method. MIC for the in vitro and in vivo tests for mustard EO was of 3.08 μL/. In vitro and in vivo results demonstrate the effectiveness of vapors of mustard EO against A. niger. The studied EO contains highly volatile organic compounds with strong inhibitory effects, even when applied for short periods, and can consequently be considered a good alternative to traditional synthetic antimicrobials without detriment of selected sensory attributes.

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Icariin Regulates the Bidirectional Differentiation of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells through Canonical Wnt Signaling Pathway

Fat infiltration within the bone marrow is easily observed in some postmenopausal women. Those fats are mainly derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs). The increment of adipocytes derived from BMMSCs leads to decreased osteoblasts derived from BMMSCs, so the bidirectional differentiation of BMMSCs significantly contributes to osteoporosis. Icariin is the main extractive of Herba Epimedii which is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. In this experiment, we investigated the effect of icariin on the bidirectional differentiation of BMMSCs through quantitative real-time PCR, immunofluorescence, western blot, and tissue sections in vitro and in vivo. We found that icariin obviously promotes osteogenesis and inhibits adipogenesis through detecting staining and gene expression. Micro-CT analysis showed that icariin treatment alleviated the loss of cancellous bone of the distal femur in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. H&E staining analysis showed that icariin-treated OVX mice obtained higher bone mass and fewer bone marrow lipid droplets than OVX mice. Western blot and immunofluorescence showed that icariin regulates the bidirectional differentiation of BMMSCs via canonical Wnt signaling. This study demonstrates that icariin exerts its antiosteoporotic effect by regulating the bidirectional differentiation of BMMSCs through the canonical Wnt signaling pathway.

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Automated Epileptic Seizure Detection in Scalp EEG Based on Spatial-Temporal Complexity

Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures, wherein electroencephalogram (EEG) is one of the most common technologies used to diagnose, monitor, and manage patients with epilepsy. A large number of EEGs have been recorded in clinical applications, which leads to visual inspection of huge volumes of EEG not routinely possible. Hence, automated detection of epileptic seizure has become a goal of many researchers for a long time. A novel method is therefore proposed to construct a patient-specific detector based on spatial-temporal complexity analysis, involving two commonly used entropy-based complexity analysis methods, which are permutation entropy (PE) and sample entropy (SE). The performance of spatial-temporal complexity method is evaluated on a shared dataset. Results suggest that the proposed epilepsy detectors achieve promising performance: the average sensitivities of PE and SE in 23 patients are 99% and 96.6%, respectively. Moreover, both methods can accurately recognize almost all the seizure-free EEG. The proposed method not only obtains a high accuracy rate but also meets the real-time requirements for its application on seizure detection, which suggests that the proposed method has the potential of detecting epileptic seizures in real time.

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Stochastic Systems and Control: Theory and Applications



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Correlation between Pathological Characteristics and Young’s Modulus Value of Spastic Gastrocnemius in a Spinal Cord Injury Rat Model

The goal of the present study were (1) to investigate the pathological characteristics of gastrocnemius muscle (GM) and quantitatively assess GM tissue stiffness in rat models with spinal cord injury (SCI) and (2) to explore the correlation between pathological characteristics changes and Young’s modulus value of GM. 24 Sprague Dawley male rats were allocated into normal control groups and SCI model subgroups, respectively. GM stiffness was assessed with shear wave sonoelastography technology. All GMs were further analyzed by pathological examinations. GM weights were decreased, the ratio of type I fibers was decreased, and the ratio of type II fibers was increased in the GM in the model group. MyHC-I was decreased, while MyHC-II was increased according to the electrophoretic analysis in model subgroups. The elastic modulus value of GM was increased in the model group. A significant negative correlation was found between Young’s modulus value of GM and the ratio of type I fibers of GM in model subgroup. Our studies showed that the stiffness of GM is correlated with pathological characteristics during the initial stages of SCI in rats. We also identified shear wave sonoelastography technology as a useful tool to assess GM stiffness in SCI rat models.

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Distribution and Seasonal Activity of Phlebotominae Sand Flies in Yazd and Its Outskirts, Center of Iran

Background. Phlebotominae sand flies are the main vectors of leishmaniasis and some other diseases. Materials and Methods. Using sticky traps, sand flies were collected fortnightly from outdoors and indoors areas of selected sites. Results. A total of 2032 specimens (498 in the city and 1534 in the outskirts of Yazd) belonging to 11 species were collected. The activity of sand flies started in early-April and ended in mid-November. There were two peaks of activity in the end of April and mid-September. Phlebotomus sergenti and P. papatasi were the most abundant species in the city and outskirts of Yazd city, respectively. Other species were P. salehi, P. ansarii, P. kazerouni, P. caucasicus, P. andrejevi, P. alexandri, P. mongolensis, Sergentomyia sintoni, and S. palestinensis. Conclusion. In comparison to some other parts of Iran, the extended period between two peaks suggests that the larvae to adult development of sand fly were delayed by the higher temperature of the summer months in Yazd province.

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Power Control for Passive QAM Multisensor Backscatter Communication Systems

To achieve good quality of service level such as throughput, power control is of great importance to passive quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) multisensor backscatter communication systems. First, we established the RF energy harvesting model and gave the energy condition. In order to minimize the interference of subcarriers and increase the spectral efficiency, then, the colocated passive QAM backscatter communication signal model is presented and the nonlinear optimization problems of power control are solved for passive QAM backscatter communication systems. Solutions include maximum and minimum access interval, the maximum and minimum duty cycle, and the minimal RF-harvested energy under the energy condition for node operating. Using the solutions above, the maximum throughput of passive QAM backscatter communication systems is analyzed and numerical calculation is made finally. Numerical calculation shows that the maximal throughput decreases with the consumed power and the number of sensors, and the maximum throughput is decreased quickly with the increase of the number of sensors. Especially, for a given consumed power of sensor, it can be seen that the throughput decreases with the duty cycle and the number of sensors has little effect on the throughput.

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Nesprin-2 Interacts with Condensin Component SMC2

The nuclear envelope proteins, Nesprins, have been primarily studied during interphase where they function in maintaining nuclear shape, size, and positioning. We analyze here the function of Nesprin-2 in chromatin interactions in interphase and dividing cells. We characterize a region in the rod domain of Nesprin-2 that is predicted as SMC domain (aa 1436–1766). We show that this domain can interact with itself. It furthermore has the capacity to bind to SMC2 and SMC4, the core subunits of condensin. The interaction was observed during all phases of the cell cycle; it was particularly strong during S phase and persisted also during mitosis. Nesprin-2 knockdown did not affect condensin distribution; however we noticed significantly higher numbers of chromatin bridges in Nesprin-2 knockdown cells in anaphase. Thus, Nesprin-2 may have an impact on chromosomes which might be due to its interaction with condensins or to indirect mechanisms provided by its interactions at the nuclear envelope.

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Temporal Regulation of fim Genes in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli during Infection of the Murine Urinary Tract

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) adhere to cells in the human urinary tract via type 1 pili that undergo phase variation where a 314-bp fimS DNA element flips between Phase-ON and Phase-OFF orientations through two site-specific recombinases, FimB and FimE. Three fim-lux operon transcriptional fusions were created and moved into the clinical UPEC isolate NU149 to determine their temporal regulation in UPEC growing in the urinary tract. Within murine urinary tracts, the UPEC strains demonstrated elevated transcription of fimA and fimB early in the infection, but lower transcription by the fifth day in murine kidneys. In contrast, fimE transcription was much lower than either fimA or fimB early, increased markedly at 24 h after inoculation, and then dropped five days after inoculation. Positioning of fimS was primarily in the Phase-ON position over the time span in UPEC infected bladders, whereas in UPEC infected murine kidneys the Phase-OFF orientation was favored by the fifth day after inoculation. Hemagglutination titers with guinea pig erythrocytes remained constant in UPEC growing in infected murine bladders but fell substantially in UPEC infected kidneys over time. Our results show temporal in vivo regulation of fim gene expression in different environmental niches when UPEC infects the murine urinary tract.

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Identification and expression of a unique neonatal variant of the GABA A receptor α 3 subunit

Abstract

The GABAA receptor provides the majority of inhibitory neurotransmission in the adult central nervous system but in immature brain is responsible for much of the excitatory drive, a requirement for normal brain development. It is well established that GABAA receptor subunit expression changes across the course of brain development. In the present study, we have identified a splice variant of the GABAA receptor α3 subunit which appears unique to the developing brain, referred to here as the GABAA receptor α3 subunit neonatal variant (GABAA receptor α3N). RT-PCR and sequence analysis revealed splicing of exon 8 of the α3 subunit. Western blot analysis showed expression of GABAA receptor α3N in the cortex of several neonatal species and significantly reduced expression of this splice variant in the corresponding adult brains. Expression was evident in multiple brain regions and decreased across development in the pig. Fractionation revealed differential cellular localisation in the parietal cortex, hippocampus and thalamus of the full-length GABAA receptor α3 and GABAA receptor α3N. Immunoprecipitation showed direct interaction with the GABAA receptor subunits α1 and γ2 but not with gephyrin.



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Lowering Chitin Content of Cricket (Gryllus assimilis) Through Exoskeleton Removal and Chemical Extraction and its Utilization as a Ruminant Feed in vitro

Background and Objective: Cricket contains high crude protein level but it also contains considerable amount of chitin that may impede nutrient digestion and decrease production performance of animal. This experiment aimed to decrease chitin content of cricket (C) through exoskeleton removal (CER) or by chemical extraction (CCE). Materials and Methods: Nutritional evaluation of cricket was performed in two experiments. In experiment 1, three forms of cricket were prepared, i.e., C, CER and CCE. These were subjected to chemical composition determination and in vitro rumen fermentation incubation as individual substrates. In experiment 2, C and CER were included in concentrate rations at different proportions to substitute soybean meal (SBM), i.e., R1 (concentrate containing 30% SBM), R2 (50% SBM was substituted by C), R3 (100% SBM was replaced by C) and R4 (100% SBM was replaced by CER). The concentrates were then evaluated in vitro for their rumen fermentation and digestibility characteristics. Data were analyzed with analysis of variance and Duncans test. Results: Cricket was high in crude protein(CP), ether extract (EE) and chitin contents. Removal of exoskeleton decreased CP and chitin contents of cricket. Chemical extraction of cricket increased its CP and completely removed its chitin. Main fatty acids observed in cricket were linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and stearic acid and the composition was unaltered due to exoskeleton removal or chemical extraction. Cricket was relatively highly digestible and exoskeleton removal and chemical extraction did not further improve in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) of cricket. The R1 and R2 revealed similar IVDMD and IVOMD, but R3 and R4 resulted in lower values for both parameters than those of R1 and R2 (p<0.05). Conclusion: Exoskeleton removal or chemical extraction effectively reduced chitin content of cricket and the insect may be used to substitute SBM up to 50% in concentrate for ruminant.

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The origins of the circumventricular organs

Abstract

The circumventricular organs (CVOs) are specialised neuroepithelial structures found in the midline of the brain, grouped around the third and fourth ventricles. They mediate the communication between the brain and the periphery by performing sensory and secretory roles, facilitated by increased vascularisation and the absence of a blood-brain barrier. Surprisingly little is known about the origins of the CVOs (both developmental and evolutionary), but their functional and organisational similarities raise the question of the extent of their relationship. Here, I review our current knowledge of the embryonic development of the seven major CVOs (area postrema, median eminence, neurohypophysis, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, pineal organ, subcommissural organ, subfornical organ) in embryos of different vertebrate species. Although there are conspicuous similarities between subsets of CVOs, no unifying feature characteristic of their development has been identified. Cross-species comparisons suggest that CVOs also display a high degree of evolutionary flexibility. Thus, the term ‘CVO’ is merely a functional definition, and features shared by multiple CVOs may be the result of homoplasy rather than ontogenetic or phylogenetic relationships.



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Crus I in the Rodent Cerebellum: Its Homology to Crus I and II in the Primate Cerebellum and Its Anatomical Uniqueness Among Neighboring Lobules

Abstract

In the human cerebellum, the crus I and crus II lobules (or the ansiform lobule), which are implicated in cognitive and visuomotor functions, are significantly expanded compared to other anterior and posterior lobules, which are involved mainly in somatosensorimotor function. In applying rodent models, it is essential to identify the lobules that are homologous to human crus I and crus II. Observation of the lobular structure in human, macaque, marmoset, rat, and mouse has indicated that human crus I and II are homologous to crus I in rodents (referred to as “ansiform area, AA”). This new lobular definition is supported by lobule-based mapping of the olivocerebellar climbing fiber and Purkinje cell (PC) projection patterns in rodents; crus II and simple lobules are innervated by the mediocaudal part of each inferior olive subnucleus and project to the dorsal part of the cerebellar nuclei, while crus I (or the AA) is innervated by the rostrolateral part of each inferior olive subnucleus and projects to the ventral part of the cerebellar nuclei. Concerning zebrin stripes, the central lobules (lobules VI–VII and AA or crus I in rodents) show a laterally expanded arrangement solely of positive stripes. Our recent analysis has shown that this arrangement of zebrin-positive stripes in the AA originates from their developmental process. Between E14.5 and E17.5, lateral protrusion and shift has been observed in the domains of protocadherin 10-positive PC subsets (which would become zebrin-positive later) in the central area of the immature cerebellum that eventually becomes lobules VI–VII and AA or crus I. These data suggest that the AA (or crus I in rodents) is a unique lobule in the mammalian cerebellum which is characterized by distinct connectivity from neighboring lobules, a massive expansion in skillful primates, and the formation of longitudinal stripes different from that in neighboring anterior and posterior lobules.



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Non-invasive Cerebellar Stimulation: Moving Towards Clinical Applications for Cerebellar and Extra-Cerebellar Disorders

Abstract

The field of non-invasive stimulation of the cerebellum is quickly expanding. The anatomical structure of the cerebellum with a high density of neurons in the superficial layer, its electrical properties, and its participation in numerous closed-loop circuits involved in motor, cognitive, and affective operations both in children and in adults make of the cerebellum a target with very high potential for neuromodulation of both cerebellar and extra-cerebellar disorders, in neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery. A common research effort is required to extract the optimal parameters of stimulation and to identify how non-invasive stimulation of the cerebellum modifies cerebellar plasticity and functional connectivity in remote cortical and subcortical areas. A patient stratification should be considered.



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Science and Morality

Science doesn’t give us a script for what to value or believe in, but it helps us write that script

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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The incidence of malignancy in clinically benign cystic lesions of the lateral neck: our experience and proposed diagnostic algorithm

Abstract

Aim

Solitary cystic masses of the lateral neck in an adult patient can pose a diagnostic dilemma. Malignancy must be ruled out since metastases arising from H&N cancers may mimic the presentation of benign cystic masses. Only a small number of studies have investigated the diagnostic management and malignancy rate of clinically benign solitary cervical cystic lesions. There are no established guidelines for the diagnostic evaluation.

Methods

Retrospective review of the clinical, cytological, radiological, and pathological records of all adult patients (> 18 years) operated on for second branchial cleft cysts (BrCC) between 1/2008–2010/2016. Patients with apparent primary H&N malignancy, history of H&N cancer or irradiation, preoperative fine needle aspiration (FNA) of highly suggestive or confirmed malignancy, missing pertinent data, or age less than 18 years were excluded from analysis.

Results

28 patients were diagnosed as having BrCC. The diagnosis was based on clinical findings, FNA cytology, and typical sonographic features. The histologic analysis determined an overall rate of malignancy of 10.7% (3/28): two patients had metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma, and one patient had metastatic tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma. Purely cystic features on pre-operative ultrasound was the only significant predictor for true BrCC on final histology (p = .02).

Conclusions

Occult malignancy is not rare among adult patients presenting with a solitary cystic mass of the lateral neck. A diagnostic algorithm is proposed. Further studies are needed to establish the appropriate workup and management of an adult patient presenting with a solitary cystic mass of the lateral neck.



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Rural–urban differences in surgical treatment, regional lymph node examination, and survival in endometrial cancer patients

Abstract

Purpose

Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most common gynecological malignancy and one of few cancers with an increasing US mortality rate. Rural patients may have less access to specialty care affecting their receipt of surgery and adequate lymphadenectomy (AL). We sought to assess rural–urban differences in EC surgery, lymphadenectomy, and survival.

Methods

We analyzed data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results database on EC patients (2004–2013). We performed univariate analyses to compare rural and urban patients on demographic and clinical characteristics and receipt of nodal examination and AL. We assessed rural–urban differences in trends of receipt of AL, performed logistic regression to evaluate differences in receipt of surgery, nodal examination, and AL, and performed survival analysis.

Results

Rural patients were less likely to have any lymph nodes removed, had a smaller median number removed, and a smaller proportion had AL. Even after controlling for established risk factors, rural patients had lower odds of lymph node examination and adequate AL than urban patients and also had poorer survival.

Conclusions

Future research should continue to assess the association between access to care and disparities in surgical care and the effect of these disparities on survival.



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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 65: Development of Novel Therapeutic Agents by Inhibition of Oncogenic MicroRNAs

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 65: Development of Novel Therapeutic Agents by Inhibition of Oncogenic MicroRNAs

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19010065

Authors: Dinh-Duc Nguyen Suhwan Chang

MicroRNAs (miRs, miRNAs) are regulatory small noncoding RNAs, with their roles already confirmed to be important for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression affecting cell physiology and disease development. Upregulation of a cancer-causing miRNA, known as oncogenic miRNA, has been found in many types of cancers and, therefore, represents a potential new class of targets for therapeutic inhibition. Several strategies have been developed in recent years to inhibit oncogenic miRNAs. Among them is a direct approach that targets mature oncogenic miRNA with an antisense sequence known as antimiR, which could be an oligonucleotide or miRNA sponge. In contrast, an indirect approach is to block the biogenesis of miRNA by genome editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system or a small molecule inhibitor. The development of these inhibitors is straightforward but involves significant scientific and therapeutic challenges that need to be resolved. In this review, we summarize recent relevant studies on the development of miRNA inhibitors against cancer.



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Tacrolimus nanoparticles based on chitosan combined with nicotinamide: enhancing percutaneous delivery and treatment efficacy for atopic dermatitis and reducing dose

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Novel functionalized nanoparticles for tumor-targeting co-delivery of doxorubicin and siRNA to enhance cancer therapy

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Influence of multiwall carbon nanotubes on the toxicity of 17β-estradiol in the early life stages of zebrafish

Abstract

Due to increasing use and release, both multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and 17β-estradiol (E2) may co-exist and interact with each other in aquatic environments. However, little is known about their combined effects on non-target organisms, especially in the presence of other environmental factors. In this study, the interplay between MWCNTs and E2 in the early life stages of zebrafish was investigated, focusing on the alterations in estrogenic responses with and without other environmental factors. There were no significant differences in the hatchability, mortality, or physical development of zebrafish in any treatments. Compared with E2 exposure, the E2-induced estrogenic responses (vtg1, vtg3, and esr1 genes) in zebrafish were markedly reduced to baseline by the presence of MWCNTs in most cases, indicating a strong protective effect. Furthermore, this inhibitive effect was not significantly changed by the preloading of natural organic matter (NOM) on MWCNTs. Nevertheless, the addition of ammonia nitrogen in the mixtures of MWCNTs and E2 alleviated the protective effect of MWCNTs, resuscitating the E2-induced estrogenic responses in zebrafish. These findings highlight the influence of carbon nanomaterials on the bioavailability of co-contaminants in organisms. The widespread environmental factors in natural environments should also be taken into consideration when the combined toxicity of nanomaterials and contaminants is discussed.



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Subjective sleep-related variables in those who have and have not experienced sleep paralysis

Summary

Research suggests that poor sleep quality is related to the occurrence of sleep paralysis, although the precise relationship between these two variables is unknown. This association has generated interest due to the related possibility that improving sleep quality could help to combat episodes of sleep paralysis. To date, studies examining the association between sleep quality and sleep paralysis have typically measured sleep quality using general measures such as the global score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The aim of this study was to increase the precision of our understanding of the relationship between sleep paralysis and other aspects of sleep by investigating associations between different sleep-related variables and sleep paralysis. Using data from the G1219 twin/sibling study, analyses were performed on 860 individuals aged 22–32 years (66% female). Results showed that two components of the PSQI, sleep latency and daytime dysfunction, were predictors of sleep paralysis. In addition, a number of other sleep-related variables were related significantly to sleep paralysis. These were: insomnia symptoms, sleep problems commonly related to traumatic experiences, presleep arousal, cognitions about sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. There was no relationship with sleep-disordered breathing, diurnal preference or sleeping arrangements. Potential mechanisms underlying these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.



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Transcranial magnetic stimulation and subjective tinnitus. A review of the literature, 2014–2016

Publication date: Available online 26 December 2017
Source:European Annals of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Diseases
Author(s): A. Londero, P. Bonfils, J.P. Lefaucheur
Subjective tinnitus is a symptom in many ENT pathologies, for which there is no curative treatment. It may be poorly tolerated by some patients, who develop attention or sleep disorder or even major anxiety and depression, severely impairing quality of life. Pathophysiological models of the genesis and maintenance of tinnitus symptomatology highlight maladaptive cerebral plasticity induced by peripheral hearing loss. Although not fully elucidated, these changes in neuronal activity are the target of various attempts at neuromodulation, particularly using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which has been the focus of various clinical studies and meta-analyses. A recent consensus statement (Lefaucheur, 2014) reported level-C evidence (possible efficacy) for rTMS using low frequency (1Hz) tonic stimulation targeting the left cerebral cortex. However, many questions remain concerning the use of this technique in everyday practice. The present article reports a recent literature review using the search-terms “tinnitus” and “rTMS” in the PubMed and Cochrane databases for April 2014 to December 2016.



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Approximate Path Searching Method for Single-Satellite Observation and Transmission Task Planning Problem

Satellite task planning not only plans the observation tasks to collect images of the earth surface, but also schedules the transmission tasks to download images to the ground station for users’ using, which plays an important role in improving the efficiency of the satellite observation system. However, most of the work to our knowledge, scheduling the observation and transmission tasks separately, ignores the correlation between them in resource (e.g., energy and memory) consumption and acquisition. In this paper, we study the single-satellite observation and transmission task planning problem under a more accurate resource usage model. Two preprocessing strategies including graph partition and nondominated subpaths selection are used to decompose the problem, and an improved label-setting algorithm with the lower bound cutting strategy is proposed to maximize the total benefit. Finally, we compare the proposed method with other three algorithms based on three data sets, and the experimental result shows that our method can find the near-optimal solution in much less time.

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Bone Response to Two Dental Implants with Different Sandblasted/Acid-Etched Implant Surfaces: A Histological and Histomorphometrical Study in Rabbits

Background. Scientific evidence in the field of implant dentistry of the past 20 years established that titanium rough surfaces have shown improved osseointegration rates. In a majority of dental implants, the surface microroughness was obtained by grit blasting and/or acid etching. The aim of the study was to evaluate in vivo two different highly hydrophilic surfaces at different experimental times. Methods. Calcium-modified (CA) and SLActive surfaces were evaluated and a total of 18 implants for each type of surface were positioned into the rabbit articular femoral knee-joint in a split model experiment, and they were evaluated histologically and histomorphometrically at 15, 30, and 60 days of healing. Results. Bone-implant contact (BIC) at the two-implant surfaces was significantly different in favor of the CA surface at 15 days , while SLActive displayed not significantly higher values at 30 and 60 days . Conclusion. Both implant surfaces show an intimate interaction with newly formed bone.

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A Deep Learning Prediction Model Based on Extreme-Point Symmetric Mode Decomposition and Cluster Analysis

Aiming at the irregularity of nonlinear signal and its predicting difficulty, a deep learning prediction model based on extreme-point symmetric mode decomposition (ESMD) and clustering analysis is proposed. Firstly, the original data is decomposed by ESMD to obtain the finite number of intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) and residuals. Secondly, the fuzzy -means is used to cluster the decomposed components, and then the deep belief network (DBN) is used to predict it. Finally, the reconstructed IMFs and residuals are the final prediction results. Six kinds of prediction models are compared, which are DBN prediction model, EMD-DBN prediction model, EEMD-DBN prediction model, CEEMD-DBN prediction model, ESMD-DBN prediction model, and the proposed model in this paper. The same sunspots time series are predicted with six kinds of prediction models. The experimental results show that the proposed model has better prediction accuracy and smaller error.

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The Load Capacity Model and Experimental Tests of a New Yielding Steel Prop

As the mining depth increases year by year, the deformation and failure of deep roadway become more and more serious, and new support equipment with high supporting force and yieldable character is quite necessary for mining safety. In this research, a new yielding steel prop with high stable load capacity was introduced, which features sustaining large deformation in the field. Based on principle stress method and elastic-plastic theory, a mathematical model of load capacity was proposed for the new prop. The results show that the stable load capacity of the prop increases linearly with the increase of the effective number of the steel balls. Meanwhile, the stable load capacity of the prop increases initially and decreases afterwards with the increase of the radius of the steel ball. Under the fixed radius of the steel ball, the stable load capacity will increase with the decrease of the gap between the inner tube and the outer tube. The stable load capacity of the prop calculated using the theoretical model quantitatively agrees with that of the experimental tests, with only an error within 5%.

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Fluconazole-Pyridoxine Bis-Triazolium Compounds with Potent Activity against Pathogenic Bacteria and Fungi Including Their Biofilm-Embedded Forms

Two novel quaternary ammonium salts, bis-triazolium derivatives of fluconazole and pyridoxine, were synthesized by reaction of fluconazole with pyridoxine-based synthetic intermediates. The leading compound demonstrated pronounced antimycotic and antibacterial in vitro activity, comparable to or exceeding that of the reference antifungal (fluconazole, terbinafine) and antibacterial/antiseptic (miramistin, benzalkonium chloride) agents. In contrast to many antimicrobials, the leading compound was also active against biofilm-embedded staphylococci and Escherichia coli. While no biofilm structure destruction occurred, all compounds were able to diffuse into the matrix and reduce the number of colony-forming units by three orders of magnitude at 16 × MBC. The leading compound was significantly less toxic than miramistin and benzalkonium chloride and more toxic than the reference antifungal drugs. The obtained results make the described chemotype a promising starting point for the development of new broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapies with powerful effect on fungal and bacterial pathogens including their biofilm-embedded forms.

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Cigarette Smoking and Adipose Tissue: The Emerging Role in Progression of Atherosclerosis

Smoking is an established risk factor for atherosclerosis through several underlying pathways. Moreover, in the development of atherosclerotic plaque formation, obesity, defined as excess fat mass accumulation, also plays a vital role in dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. Substantial evidence shows that cigarette smoking induces multiple pathological effects in adipose tissue, such as differentiation of adipocytes, lipolysis, and secretion properties in adipose tissue. Therefore, there is an emerging speculation in which adipose tissue abnormality induced by smoking or nicotine is likely to accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis. Herein, this review aims to investigate the possible interplay between smoking and adipose tissue dysfunction in the development of atherosclerosis.

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Effects of TLR3 and TLR9 Signaling Pathway on Brain Protection in Rats Undergoing Sevoflurane Pretreatment during Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Objective. To investigate the effects of TLR3 and TLR9 signaling pathway on brain injury during CPB in rats pretreated with sevoflurane and its possible molecular mechanism. Methods. SD rats were randomly assigned to sham group, CPB group, and Sev group. Brain tissue was obtained at before CPB (), at CPB for 30 minutes (), 1 hour after CPB (), and 3 hours after CPB (). ELISA was used to measure S100-β and IL-6. Western blot was utilized to determine TLR3 and TLR9 expression. TUNEL was applied to detect neuronal apoptosis. Results. Compared with CPB group, at , at termination after 1 hour of CPB (), , 2 hours after CPB () and , S100-β and IL-6 decreased in Sev group. Compared with CPB group, IFN-β were increased in Sev group, except . Compared with CPB group, TLR3 expression increased, and TLR9 and NF-κB decreased in Sev group. The apoptotic neurons were less in Sev group than in CPB group (). Conclusion. Sevoflurane intervention can activate TLR3 and TLR9 signaling pathway, upregulate TLR3 expression and downstream TRIF expression, decrease TLR9 expression, and downregulate downstream NF-κB expression in CPB rat models, thereby mitigating brain injury induced by inflammatory response during CPB.

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Distributed Tracking Control for Discrete-Time Multiagent Systems with Novel Markovian Switching Topologies

Distributed discrete-time coordinated tracking control problem is investigated for multiagent systems in the ideal case, where agents with a fixed graph combine with a leader-following group, aiming to expand the function of the traditional one in some scenes. The modified union switching topology is derived from a set of Markov chains to the edges by introducing a novel mapping. The issue on how to guarantee all the agents tracking the leader is solved through a PD-like consensus algorithm. The available sampling period and the feasible control gain are calculated in terms of the trigonometric function theory, and the mean-square bound of tracking errors is provided finally. Simulation example is presented to demonstrate the validity of the theoretical results.

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Effects of Various Extents of High-Frequency Hearing Loss on Speech Recognition and Gap Detection at Low Frequencies in Patients with Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This study explored whether the time-compressed speech perception varied with the degree of hearing loss in high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss (HF SNHL) individuals. 65 HF SNHL individuals with different cutoff frequencies were recruited and further divided into mildly, moderately, and/or severely affected subgroups in terms of the averaged thresholds of all frequencies exhibiting hearing loss. Time-compressed speech recognition scores under both quiet and noisy conditions and gap detection thresholds within low frequencies that had normal thresholds were obtained from all patients and compared with data from 11 age-matched individuals with normal hearing threshold at all frequencies. Correlations of the time-compressed speech recognition scores with the extents of HF SNHL and with the 1 kHz gap detection thresholds were studied across all participants. We found that the time-compressed speech recognition scores were significantly affected by and correlated with the extents of HF SNHL. The time-compressed speech recognition scores also correlated with the 1 kHz gap detection thresholds except when the compression ratio of speech was 0.8 under quiet condition. Above all, the extents of HF SNHL were significantly correlated with the 1 kHz gap thresholds.

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Neural Mechanisms of Autonomic Dysfunction in Neurological Diseases



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Expression of Cancer Stem Cell Marker CD44 and Its Polymorphisms in Patients with Chronic Gastritis, Precancerous Gastric Lesion, and Gastric Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Multicenter Study in Thailand

Here we investigated CD44 protein expression and its polymorphisms in patients with chronic gastritis, precancerous gastric lesions, and gastric cancer; and we evaluated our result with the risk of CD44 protein expression and clinicopathological characteristics. Our results obtained by analyzing 162 gastric cancer patients, 125 chronic gastritis, and 165 precancerous gastric lesions from three study centers in Thailand showed that CD44 expression was significantly higher in patients with precancerous gastric lesions and gastric cancer while patients with chronic gastritis were negative for CD44 staining (). We further observed the significant association of variant genotype; gastric cancer patients carrying AG or GG of CD44 rs187116 had more increased risk of CD44 expression than wild-type (WT) carriers (AG: odds ratio (OR) = 5.67; 95% CI = 1.57–7.23; and GG: OR = 8.32; 95% CI = 2.94–11.42; ), but no significant difference in the risk of CD44 expression due to polymorphism in patients with precancerous gastric lesions. Our results suggested that CD44 expression could be used as a marker for the prediction of gastric cancer development, particularly in patients with precancerous gastric lesions carrying AG or GG, who were selected to surveillance follow-up for gastric cancer prevention.

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Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 7: Immune Modulation of NYVAC-Based HIV Vaccines by Combined Deletion of Viral Genes that Act on Several Signalling Pathways

Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 7: Immune Modulation of NYVAC-Based HIV Vaccines by Combined Deletion of Viral Genes that Act on Several Signalling Pathways

Viruses doi: 10.3390/v10010007

Authors: Carmen Gómez Beatriz Perdiguero Cristina Sánchez-Corzo Carlos Sorzano Mariano Esteban

An HIV-1 vaccine continues to be a major target to halt the AIDS pandemic. The limited efficacy of the RV144 phase III clinical trial with the canarypox virus-based vector ALVAC and a gp120 protein component led to the conclusion that improved immune responses to HIV antigens are needed for a more effective vaccine. In non-human primates, the New York vaccinia virus (NYVAC) poxvirus vector has a broader immunogenicity profile than ALVAC and has been tested in clinical trials. We therefore analysed the HIV immune advantage of NYVAC after removing viral genes that act on several signalling pathways (Toll-like receptors—TLR—interferon, cytokines/chemokines), as well as genes of unknown immune function. We generated a series of NYVAC deletion mutants and studied immune behaviour (T and B cell) to HIV antigens and to the NYVAC vector in mice. Our results showed that combined deletion of selected vaccinia virus (VACV) genes is a valuable strategy for improving the immunogenicity of NYVAC-based vaccine candidates. These immune responses were differentially modulated, positive or negative, depending on the combination of gene deletions. The deletions also led to enhanced antigen- or vector-specific cellular and humoral responses. These findings will facilitate the development of optimal NYVAC-based vaccines for HIV and other diseases.



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A novel and high efficient AAV6 mutant

Abstract

Adeno-associated virus has been gaining prominence in its use as a highly secure virus gene vector with low immunogenicity in the field of human gene therapy. However, wild-type adeno-associated virus sometimes has low transduction efficiency for certain tissues or cells both in vivo and in vitro. Thus, achieving the desired level of expression often requires a large dose. Large doses of viral injection in clinical applications will not only trigger the body’s immune response but will come at a high production cost. To improve the transduction efficiency of adeno-associated virus 6 (AAV6), we herein used fusion PCR to mutate a specific amino acid of the VP2 region of the wild-type AAV6 (AAV6-WT) and obtained AAV6-S663L, AAV6Y705 + 731F + T492A, AAV6Y705 + 731F + T492 V + S663 V and so on. We concluded that AAV6-S663L was the most efficient AAV6 mutant. When HEK293 cells were infected in vitro with a virus at a multiplicity of infection value of 1000, the transduction rate of AAV6-WT was only 43.8%, while that of AAV6-S663L was 83.9%. This highly efficient AAV6 mutant is highly significant for the future use of AAV6 in gene therapy.



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Utility of high-throughput DNA sequencing in the study of the human papillomaviruses

Abstract

The Papillomaviridae family is probably the most diverse group of viruses that affect vertebrates. The study of the relationship between infection by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the development of neoplastic epithelial lesions is of particular interest because of the high prevalence of HPV-related carcinomas in populations of developing countries. To understand the mechanisms of infection and their association with different clinical manifestations, molecular tools play an important role in the description of new types of HPV, the characterization of effector properties of the viral factors, the specific diagnosis and monitoring of HPV types, and the alteration patterns at genetic level in the host. Technological advances in the field of DNA sequencing have led to the development of different next-generation sequencing systems, allowing obtaining a large amount of data and broadening the applications to study viral diseases. In this review, we summarize the main approaches and their perspectives where the use of massively parallel sequencing has been proved as a useful tool in the research of the HPV infection.



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Relationships of Marsh Soil Strength to Belowground Vegetation Biomass in Louisiana Coastal Marshes

Abstract

Wetland plants are subject to a range of physical stresses (e.g. inundation, salinity) that affect their productivity or health, which in turn may translate into wetland soils that vary in resistance to physical perturbations in the coastal setting. A primary goal of this study was to test a newly developed instrument designed to measure in-situ resistance to shear failure (soil strength) of marsh soils. The Wetland Soil Strength Tester (WSST) was used at 11 marsh types in coastal Louisiana, where soil bulk density ranged from organic to mineral (0.02–1.24 g cm−3). Based on analyses of live and dead components of both above and belowground biomass, live belowground biomass explained the most variation in marsh soil strength among the vegetation types. The WSST was capable of detecting in-situ live root biomass differences for 8 of 11 marsh types, where only the young deltaic marsh types were not significant. For all the sample plots (n = 227), an increase of 10-Nm soil strength corresponded to an increase of 200 g m−2 of live belowground biomass (R2 = 0.35, p < 0.0001). WSST measurements, combined with other monitoring data, may help in the assessment of wetland condition.



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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 40: Risk Factors for Internet Gaming Disorder: Psychological Factors and Internet Gaming Characteristics

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 40: Risk Factors for Internet Gaming Disorder: Psychological Factors and Internet Gaming Characteristics

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010040

Authors: Mi Rho Hyeseon Lee Taek-Ho Lee Hyun Cho Dong Jung Dai-Jin Kim In Choi

Background: Understanding the risk factors associated with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is important to predict and diagnose the condition. The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors that predict IGD based on psychological factors and Internet gaming characteristics; Methods: Online surveys were conducted between 26 November and 26 December 2014. There were 3568 Korean Internet game users among a total of 5003 respondents. We identified 481 IGD gamers and 3087 normal Internet gamers, based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria. Logistic regression analysis was applied to identify significant risk factors for IGD; Results: The following eight risk factors were found to be significantly associated with IGD: functional and dysfunctional impulsivity (odds ratio: 1.138), belief self-control (1.034), anxiety (1.086), pursuit of desired appetitive goals (1.105), money spent on gaming (1.005), weekday game time (1.081), offline community meeting attendance (2.060), and game community membership (1.393; p &lt; 0.05 for all eight risk factors); Conclusions: These risk factors allow for the prediction and diagnosis of IGD. In the future, these risk factors could also be used to inform clinical services for IGD diagnosis and treatment.



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Upscaling the pollutant emission from mixed recycled aggregates under compaction for civil applications

Abstract

In general terms, plant managers of sites producing construction wastes assess materials according to concise, legally recommended leaching tests that do not consider the compaction stage of the materials when they are applied on-site. Thus, the tests do not account for the real on-site physical conditions of the recycled aggregates used in civil works (e.g., roads or embankments). This leads to errors in estimating the pollutant potential of these materials. For that reason, in the present research, an experimental procedure is designed as a leaching test for construction materials under compaction. The aim of this laboratory test (designed specifically for the granular materials used in civil engineering infrastructures) is to evaluate the release of pollutant elements when the recycled aggregate is tested at its commercial grain-size distribution and when the material is compacted under on-site conditions. Two recycled aggregates with different gypsum contents (0.95 and 2.57%) were used in this study. In addition to the designed leaching laboratory test, the conventional compliance leaching test and the Dutch percolation test were performed. The results of the new leaching method were compared with the conventional leaching test results. After analysis, the chromium and sulphate levels obtained from the newly designed test were lower than those obtained from the conventional leaching test, and these were considered more seriously pollutant elements. This result confirms that when the leaching behaviour is evaluated for construction aggregates without density alteration, crushing the aggregate and using only the finest fraction, as is done in the conventional test (which is an unrealistic situation for aggregates that are applied under on-site conditions), the leaching behaviour is not accurately assessed.



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Antifouling booster biocide extraction from marine sediments: a fast and simple method based on vortex-assisted matrix solid-phase extraction

Abstract

This paper reports the development of an analytical method employing vortex-assisted matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) for the extraction of diuron, Irgarol 1051, TCMTB (2-thiocyanomethylthiobenzothiazole), DCOIT (4,5-dichloro-2-n-octyl-3-(2H)-isothiazolin-3-one), and dichlofluanid from sediment samples. Separation and determination were performed by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry. Important MSPD parameters, such as sample mass, mass of C18, and type and volume of extraction solvent, were investigated by response surface methodology. Quantitative recoveries were obtained with 2.0 g of sediment sample, 0.25 g of C18 as the solid support, and 10 mL of methanol as the extraction solvent. The MSPD method was suitable for the extraction and determination of antifouling biocides in sediment samples, with recoveries between 61 and 103% and a relative standard deviation lower than 19%. Limits of quantification between 0.5 and 5 ng g−1 were obtained. Vortex-assisted MPSD was shown to be fast and easy to use, with the advantages of low cost and reduced solvent consumption compared to the commonly employed techniques for the extraction of booster biocides from sediment samples. Finally, the developed method was applied to real samples. Results revealed that the developed extraction method is effective and simple, thus allowing the determination of biocides in sediment samples.



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Dynamic linkages between road transport energy consumption, economic growth, and environmental quality: evidence from Pakistan

Abstract

The focus of the present research work is to investigate the dynamic relationship between economic growth, road transport energy consumption, and environmental quality. To this end, we rely on time series data for the period 1971 to 2014 in the context of Pakistan. To use sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission from transport sector as a new proxy for measuring environmental quality, the present work employs time series technique ARDL which allows energy consumption from the transport sector, urbanization, and road infrastructure to be knotted by symmetric relationships with SO2 emissions and economic growth. From the statistical results, we confirm that road infrastructure boosts economic growth. Simultaneously, road infrastructure and urbanization hampers environmental quality and causes to accelerate emission of SO2 in the atmosphere. Furthermore, economic growth has a diminishing negative impact on total SO2 emission. Moreover, we did not find any proof of the expected role of transport energy consumption in SO2 emission. The acquired results directed that care should be taken in the expansion of road infrastructure and green city policies and planning are required in the country.



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Factors that affect the willingness of residents to pay for solid waste management in Hong Kong

Abstract

In Hong Kong, problems involving solid waste management have become an urgent matter in recent years. To solve these problems, the Hong Kong government proposed three policies, namely, waste charging, landfill extension, and development of new incinerators. In this study, a large sample questionnaire survey was conducted to examine the knowledge and attitude of residents on the three policies, the amount of their daily waste disposal, and their willingness to pay (WTP). Results reveal that only 22.7% of respondents are aware of the earliest time that one of the landfills will be sated, and more than half of respondents support the three policies. However, more than one third of residents (36.1%) are unwilling to pay the minimum waste charge amount of HK$30 estimated by the Council for Sustainable Development in Hong Kong. Logit model results indicate that five key factors affect WTP, namely, knowledge of residents on the timing of landfill fullness, degree of support in waste charge policy, amount of daily waste disposal, age, and income. These results suggest that strong and rigorous promotional and educational programs are needed to improve the knowledge and positive attitude of residents towards recycling methods and the three policies. However, subsidy should be provided to low-income groups who cannot afford to pay the waste charge.



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