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Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent, and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterize the association between plasma concentrations of 35 polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis the odds and 95% confidence intervals (CI-s) of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/L) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation (SD) higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per SD) was associated with 29% lower odds of elevated hsCRP (95% CI: 50%-1%). In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR= 0.66, 95%CI 0.46-0.96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR=0.58, 95%CI 0.39-0.86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR= 0.63, 95% CI 0.46-0.87), ferulic acid (OR= 0.65, 95%CI 0.44-0.96), and caffeic acid (OR= 0.69, 95%CI 0.51-0.93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR= 0.67, 95%CI 0.48-0.93). This study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is one of the most common disorders among professional musicians, nevertheless, little is known about the disease. With this systematic review, prevalence, risk factors and treatment procedures for MPA were assessed, and for the first time, quality assessments were carried out for all studies using standardized assessment tools. A systematic literature search was conducted via search algorithms in the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycArticles, PsycInfo and ERIC. Included were case reports, case–control, cohort, cross-sectional and intervention studies examining professional musicians with MPA. For quality assessment, adapted tools of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute were used. A total of 43 studies were included (10 case reports, 21 intervention, 11 cross-sectional, one cohort study). Quality ratings ranged from −11 to 6 out of a maximum of 15/16 points for cross-sectional/cohort studies and −4 to 11 out of 18 points for intervention studies. The prevalence of MPA was between 16.5% and 60%. More women than men were affected and musicians older than 45–50 years reported less MPA than younger musicians. Regarding treatment cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and β-blockers were most often researched with beneficial results for CBT. However, studies with adequate control groups for CBT interventions are needed to clarify its efficacy. Studies showed methodological weaknesses, especially in the selection of participants, recording of influencing factors, blinding of interventions, randomization of participants and analysis of comorbidity. Recommendations for further research are made.
The Wisconsin Twin Project comprises multiple longitudinal studies that span infancy to early adulthood. We summarize recent papers that show how twin designs with deep phenotyping, including biological measures, can inform questions about phenotypic structure, etiology, comorbidity, heterogeneity, and gene–environment interplay of temperamental constructs and mental and physical health conditions of children and adolescents. The general framework for investigations begins with rich characterization of early temperament and follows with study of experiences and exposures across childhood and adolescence. Many studies incorporate neuroimaging and hormone assays.
Background: Asymmetric motor symptoms are typical in Parkinson’s disease (PD), with potential implications on disease course. Imaging modalities have demonstrated asymmetry, including thinning of motor-related cortex in the contralateral hemisphere of symptomatic side. The objective is to assess correlation between lateralized symptoms and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) characteristics of pyramidal tract. Methods: 34 PD patients and 30 controls were evaluated. Disease dominance was assessed using UDPRS III. DTI was performed with 60-directional 3Tesla MRI protocol. A 1cm3 subcortical region of interest was positioned underneath motor cortex. Primary outcome was the difference in fibers between disease-dominant and non disease-dominant cortex. Results: There was a significantly higher number of fibers in the hemisphere corresponding to disease dominance (p=0.0031). The same was true for seed number (p=0.0032) and fractional anisotropy (p=0.0427). Based on 23 patients operated on, the threshold for stimulation-induced side effects on the left side was inversely correlated with number of fibers in left ROI (Spearman -0.497, p=0.0158). Conclusions: Based on current literature we expected a reduction of fibers in the contralateral hemisphere to symptom dominant side. Surprisingly, DTI analysis showed an inverse correlation. The underlying pathophysiology remains unclear with the possibility of a compensatory mechanism or compacting of fibers underneath a shrinking motor cortex.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis is a multi-systemic, heterogenous, life-threatening disease. Patisiran resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL at 18-months compared to placebo, and was generally well-tolerated in the Phase 3 APOLLO study. Methods: Multi-center, OLE study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of long-term patisiran dosing for ≤ 5 years in hATTR amyloidosis patients with polyneuropathy who have completed the APOLLO study (NCT02510261). Endpoints include safety, tolerability and long-term efficacy of patisiran. Measures of clinical benefit are the same endpoints used in APOLLO including changes in mNIS+7 composite neuropathy impairment score and QoL (Norfolk QoL-DN) Results: As of December 2017, 184 of 186 (99%) patients who completed APOLLO and 25 patients from the Ph 2 OLE study enrolled in the Global OLE study. Baseline data for 211(APOLLO/placebo, n=49; APOLLO/patisiran, n=137 and patisiran Ph 2 OLE, n=25) patients included: median age 61 years (26-84); 74% males; 46% V30M. Interim safety data and 12-month efficacy results will be presented. Conclusions: The global OLE study includes a diverse population of hATTR amyloidosis patients. Interim data will include the long-term safety and maintenance of effect in patients continuing on patisiran, as well as the impact of treatment with patisiran on patients previously treated with placebo.
The thermal transformations which take place in solid methyl-substituted ammonium perchlorates have been studied using high-temperature X-ray diffraction and differential thermal analysis techniques. In the temperature range from 20°C to their decomposition temperature (above 300°C), ammonium perchlorate and tetramethyl ammonium perchlorate undergo only one enantiomorphic phase transition, namely at 240 and 340°C (with decomposition), respectively. This I—II transition is ascribed to the beginning of the free rotation of the ClO4− ions. The rotation of the cations, however, begins below room temperature. If the symmetry of the cation is lowered by having both methyl groups and hydrogens arranged around the nitrogen (as in monomethyl, dimethyl, and trimethyl ammonium perchlorates), there is an additional enantiomorphic phase transition. This I—II transformation is ascribed to the rotation of the cations which have, in the partially substituted ions, two sets of non-equivalent symmetry axes (different moments of inertia). The temperatures of transformation are discussed in terms of the space requirements for rotation. Symmetries and cell dimensions of some modifications were determined.
BACTOT, Quebec’s healthcare-associated bloodstream infection (HABSI) surveillance program has been operating since 2007. In this study, we evaluated the changes in HABSI rates across 10 years of BACTOT surveillance under a Bayesian framework.
A retrospective, cohort study of eligible hospitals having participated in BACTOT for at least 3 years, regardless of their entry date. Multilevel Poisson regressions were fitted independently for cases of HABSI, catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CA-BSIs), non–catheter-associated primary BSIs (NCA-BSIs), and BSIs secondary to urinary tract infections (BSI-UTIs) as the outcome and log of patient days as the offset. The log of the mean Poisson rate was decomposed as the sum of a surveillance year effect, period effect, and hospital effect. The main estimate of interest was the cohort-level rate in years 2–10 of surveillance relative to year 1.
Overall, 17,479 cases and 33,029,870 patient days were recorded for the cohort of 77 hospitals. The pooled 10-year HABSI rate was 5.20 per 10,000 patient days (95% CI, 5.12–5.28). For HABSI, CA-BSI, and BSI-UTI, there was no difference between the estimated posterior rates of years 2–10 compared to year 1. The posterior means of the NCA-BSI rate ratios increased from the seventh year until the tenth year, when the rate was 29% (95% confidence interval, 1%–89%) higher than the first year rate.
HABSI rates and those of the most frequent subtypes remained stable over the surveillance period. To achieve reductions in incidence, we recommend that more effort be expended in active interventions against HABSI alongside surveillance.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
Advance care planning (ACP) increases quality of life and satisfaction with care for those with cancer and their families, yet these important conversations often do not occur. Barriers include patients’ and families’ emotional responses to cancer, such as anxiety and sadness, which can lead to avoidance of discussing illness-related topics such as ACP. Interventions that address psychological barriers to ACP are needed. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a mindfulness intervention designed to cultivate patient and caregiver emotional and relational capacity to respond to the challenges of cancer with greater ease, potentially decreasing psychological barriers to ACP and enhancing ACP engagement.
The Mindfully Optimizing Delivery of End-of-Life (MODEL) Care intervention provided 12 hours of experiential training to two cohorts of six to seven adults with advanced-stage cancer and their family caregivers (n = 13 dyads). Training included mindfulness practices, mindful communication skills development, and information about ACP. Patient and caregiver experiences of the MODEL Care program were assessed using semistructured interviews administered immediately postintervention and open-ended survey questions delivered immediately and at 4 weeks postintervention. Responses were analyzed using qualitative methods.
Four salient themes were identified. Patients and caregivers reported the intervention (1) enhanced adaptive coping practices, (2) lowered emotional reactivity, (3) strengthened relationships, and (4) improved communication, including communication about their disease.
Significance of results
The MODEL Care intervention enhanced patient and caregiver capacity to respond to the emotional challenges that often accompany advanced cancer and decreased patient and caregiver psychological barriers to ACP.
The analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen has been used as a fingerprint for understanding the trophic interactions of organisms. Most of these studies have been applied to free-living organisms, while parasites have largely been neglected. Studies dealing with parasites so far have assessed the carbon and nitrogen signatures in endoparasites or ectoparasites of different hosts, without showing general trends concerning the nutritional relationships within host–parasite associations. Moreover, in most cases such systems involved a single host and parasite species. The present study is therefore the first to detail the trophic interactions of a freshwater monogenean–host model using δ13C and δ15N, where a single monogenean species infects two distinctly different hosts. Host fishes, Labeobarbus aeneus and Labeobarbus kimberleyensis from the Vaal Dam, South Africa, were assessed for the monogenean parasite Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon, individuals of which were removed from the gills of the hosts. The parasites and host muscle samples were analysed for signatures of δ13C and δ15N using an elemental analyser connected to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Host fish appear to use partly different food sources, with L. aeneus having slightly elevated δ13C signatures compared to L. kimberleyensis, and showed only small differences with regard to their nitrogen signatures, suggesting that both species range on the same trophic level. Carbon and nitrogen signatures in P. ichthyoxanthon showed that the parasites mirrored the small differences in dietary carbon sources of the host but, according to δ15N signatures, the parasite ranged on a higher trophic level than the hosts. This relationship resembles predator–prey relationships and therefore suggests that P. ichthyoxanthon might act as a micropredator, similar to blood-sucking arthropods such as mites and fleas.
Marine n-3 PUFA may improve autonomic dysfunction by an increase in heart rate variability (HRV) and may reduce the risk of malignant ventricular arrhythmias. Only a few smaller studies have examined such effects in patients on chronic dialysis, who often have autonomic dysfunction and a high risk of sudden cardiac death, which accounts for almost 30 % of all deaths. This cross-sectional study investigated the association between the plasma phospholipid content of n-3 PUFA and 24-h HRV or ventricular arrhythmias in patients on chronic dialysis. A 48-h Holter monitoring was performed on 169 patients on in-centre dialysis (83 %), home haemodialysis (10 %) or peritoneal dialysis (7 %) obtaining data on arrhythmias (n 152) and 24-h HRV (n 135). The mean overall HRV (standard deviation of normal intervals (SDNN)) was low and 71 % had a reduced overall HRV (SDNN<100 ms) indicating autonomic dysfunction. No significant associations between plasma phospholipid content of total marine n-3 PUFA, EPA (22 : 5n-3) or DHA (22 : 6n-3) and time-domain or frequency-domain HRV were detected in crude or adjusted linear regression analysis. However, a higher plasma phospholipid content of DHA was associated with a significantly lower proportion of patients with ventricular tachycardia (higher DHA-tertile: 9 % v. lower DHA-tertile: 28 %, P=0·02). In conclusion, the content of marine n-3 PUFA in plasma phospholipids was not associated with 24-h HRV, but a higher plasma phospholipid content of DHA was associated with a lower occurrence of ventricular tachycardia suggesting an antiarrhythmic effect of marine n-3 PUFA in patients on chronic dialysis.
Human mesenchymal stem cells were reseeded in decellularized human bone subject to a controlled mechanical loading to create a bone-on-chip that was cultured for over 26 months. The cell morphology and their secretome were characterized using immunohistochemistry and in situ immunofluorescence under confocal microscopy. The presence of stem cell derived osteocytes was confirmed at 547 days. Different cell populations were identified. Some cells were connected by long processes and formed a network. Comparison of the MSCs in vitro reorganization and calcium response to in situ mechanical stimulation were compared to MLOY4 cells reseeded on human bone. The bone-on-chip produced an ECM of which the strength was nearly a quarter of native bone after 109 days and that contained calcium minerals at 39 days and type I collagen at 256 days. The cytoplasmic calcium concentration variations seemed to adapt to the expected in vivo mechanical load at the successive stages of cell differentiation in agreement with studies using fluid shear flow stimulation. Some degree of bone-like formation over a long period of time with the formation of a newly formed matrix was observed.
Reports of changes in patients’ social behavior during deep brain stimulation (DBS) raised the question whether DBS induces changes in personality. This study explored if (1) DBS is associated with changes in personality in patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD), (2) how personality dimensions and depression are associated, and (3) if TRD patients’ self-ratings of personality are valid.
TRD patients were assessed before DBS (n = 30), 6 months (t2, n = 21), 2 (t3, n = 17) and 5 years (t4, n = 11) after the initiation of DBS of the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (slMFB-DBS). Personality was measured with the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), depression severity with Hamilton (HDRS), and Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
Personality dimensions did not change with slMFB-DBS compared with baseline. Extraversion was negatively correlated with HDRS28 (r = −0.48, p < 0.05) and MADRS (r = −0.45, p < 0.05) at t2. Inter-rater reliability was high for the NEO-FFI at baseline (Cronbach's α = 0.74) and at t4 (α = 0.65). Extraversion [t(29) = −5.20; p < 0.001] and openness to experience [t(29) = −6.96; p < 0.001] differed statistically significant from the normative sample, and did not predict the antidepressant response.
slMFB-DBS was not associated with a change in personality. The severity of depression was associated with extraversion. Personality of TRD patients differed from the healthy population and did not change with response, indicating a possible scar effect. Self-ratings of personality seem valid to assess personality during TRD.