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To evaluate the safety and efficacy of pregabalin in relieving the symptoms of GAD in patients ≥65 years of age.
This was a multicenter, randomized, flexible-dose, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trial of pregabalin in the treatment of GAD. Randomization was 2:1, pregabalin:placebo. Patients underwent an 8-week double-blind, flexible-dosage (150-600 mg/d) treatment phase, including a 1-week dose-escalation period (50 mg/d to 150 mg/d). The primary efficacy assessment was change from baseline to endpoint-LOCF in HAM-A total score. Additionally, change from baseline to week 8 (observed cases) in HAM-A psychic and somatic factors was evaluated.
Mean age at GAD onset was 56 years; 77% of patients were women; mean age at enrollment was 72 years; mean duration of GAD was 17 years. Mean change from baseline in HAM-A total score was –12.84 (n=177) for the pregabalin group and –10.7 (n=96) for the placebo group (P=.0437). At week 8, patients treated with pregabalin had significant improvement in both the HAM-A psychic (–7.8 vs –6.3, P=.0111) and somatic (–6.6 vs –5.4, P=.0248) factors. The most common adverse events (AEs) among pregabalin-treated patients were dizziness (20.3%), somnolence (13.0%), headache (10.2%), and nausea (9.0%). Most AEs were mild-to-moderate and self-limiting. Discontinuation rates due to AEs were 10.7% and 9.4% in the pregabalin and placebo groups, respectively.
Pregabalin was effective in reducing the symptoms of GAD in patients aged 65 years and older, and it was safe and well tolerated in this population.
Public awareness of ‘red flag’ symptoms for head and neck cancer is low. There is a lack of evidence regarding patient concerns and expectations in consultations for cancer assessment.
This prospective questionnaire study examined the symptoms, concerns and expectations of 250 consecutive patients attending an ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ clinic at a tertiary referral centre.
The patients’ most frequent responses regarding their concerns were ‘no concerns’ (n = 72, 29 per cent); ‘all symptoms’ were a cause for concern (n = 65, 26 per cent) and ‘neck lump’ was a symptom causing concern (n = 37, 17 per cent). The expectations of patients attending clinic were that they would find out what was wrong with them, followed by having no expectations at all. Overall patient knowledge of red flag symptoms was lacking and their expectations were low.
Patients with non-cancer symptoms are frequently referred with suspected cancer. Patients with red flag symptoms are not aware of their significance and they have low expectations of healthcare.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
There is little consensus on how best to manage head and neck cancer with palliative intent. Predicting outcome is difficult and reported survival varies. The present study sought to delineate local practice and outcomes in patients treated with palliative intent.
The clinical records of all head and neck cancer patients treated with palliative intent presenting between 2015 and 2016 to our multidisciplinary team were reviewed.
Eighty-four patients (21.5 per cent) were treated with palliative intent. All had squamous cell carcinoma. Mean survival time was 151 days (standard deviation = 121.1; range, 8–536 days). Of the patients, 83.3 per cent had a palliative care referral; 74.1 per cent had a hospice referral. Patients received a variety of interventions, and there was an associated complication in 8.2 per cent. The mean number of days spent in hospital for interventions was 11.9 days (standard deviation = 12.5; range, 0–41 days).
Different interventions are used to manage head and neck cancer patients with palliative intent, and these may be associated with significant morbidity. Survival time is variable, often several months; thus, any treatment must take into account morbidity in conjunction with the patient's wishes.
Swimming propagules (embryos and larvae) are a critical component of the life histories of benthic marine animals. Larvae that feed (planktotrophic) have been assumed to swim faster, disperse farther and have more complex behavioural patterns than non-feeding (lecithotrophic) larvae. However, a number of recent studies challenge these early assumptions, suggesting a need to revisit them more formally. The current review presents a quantitative analysis of swimming speed and body size in planktotrophic and lecithotrophic propagules across five major marine phyla (Porifera, Cnidaria, Annelida, Mollusca and Echinodermata). Results of the comparative study showed that swimming speed differences among ciliated propagules can be driven by taxonomy, adult mobility (motile vs sessile) and/or larval nutritional mode. On a phylogenetic level, distinct patterns emerge across phyla and life stages, whereby planktotrophic propagules swim faster in some of them, and lecithotrophic propagules swim faster in others. Interestingly, adults with sessile and sedentary lifestyles produce propagules that swam faster than the propagules produced by motile adults. Understanding similarities and differences among marine propagules associated with different reproductive strategies and adult lifestyles are significant from ecological, evolutionary and applied perspectives. Patterns of swimming can directly impact the dispersal/recruitment potential with incidence on the design of larval rearing methods and marine protected areas.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Electoral forensics involves examining election results for anomalies to efficiently identify patterns indicative of electoral irregularities. However, there is disagreement about which, if any, forensics tool is most effective at identifying fraud, and there is no method for integrating multiple tools. Moreover, forensic efforts have failed to systematically take advantage of country-specific details that might aid in diagnosing fraud. We deploy a Bayesian additive regression trees (BART) model–a machine-learning technique–on a large cross-national data set to explore the dense network of potential relationships between various forensic indicators of anomalies and electoral fraud risk factors, on the one hand, and the likelihood of fraud, on the other. This approach allows us to arbitrate between the relative importance of different forensic and contextual features for identifying electoral fraud and results in a diagnostic tool that can be relatively easily implemented in cross-national research.
To calculate the financial burden of recurrent respiratory papilloma. This study is UK-based, where up until now no financial estimates have been calculated for this group of patients.
Recurrent respiratory papilloma is caused by the human papilloma virus (subtypes 6 and 11). The burden for the patient and the healthcare system is significant given the recurrent nature of the disease.
Data were collected, using a questionnaire completed during routine clinical follow up, from a single centre managing recurrent respiratory papilloma in Glasgow, Scotland. Cost information was sourced from the Scottish Government's Information Services Division.
Fourteen patients with active recurrent respiratory papilloma between 2013 and 2014 were identified. The direct measurable cost to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde amounted to £107 478.
Recurrent respiratory papilloma is a benign condition, but the financial implications of diagnosis are significant. Recurrent respiratory papilloma has a natural history of relapse and remission, and patients may require healthcare input over a period of several years.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Monozygotic (MZ) twins provide a natural system for investigating developmental plasticity and the potential epigenetic origins of disease. A major difference in the intrauterine environment between MZ pairs is whether they share a common placenta or have separate placentas. Using DNA methylation measured at >400,000 points in the genome on the Illumina HumanMethylation450 array, we demonstrate that the co-twins of MZ pairs (average age of 14) that shared a common placenta (n = 18 pairs) have more similar DNA methylation levels in blood throughout the genome relative to those with separate placentas (n = 16 pairs). Functional annotation of the genomic regions that show significantly different correlation between monochorionic (MC) and dichorionic (DC) MZ pairs found an over-representation of genes involved in the regulation of transcription, neuronal development, and cellular differentiation. These results support the idea that prenatal environmental exposures may have a lasting effect on an individual's epigenetic landscape, and the potential for these changes to have functional consequences.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Monozygotic (MZ) twins form an important system for the study of biological plasticity in humans. While MZ twins are generally considered to be genetically identical, a number of studies have emerged that have demonstrated copy-number differences within a twin pair, particularly in those discordant for disease. The rate of autosomal copy-number variation (CNV) discordance within MZ twin pairs was investigated using a population sample of 376 twin pairs genotyped on Illumina Human610-Quad arrays. After CNV calling using both QuantiSNP and PennCNV followed by manual annotation, only a single CNV difference was observed within the MZ twin pairs, being a 130 KB duplication of chromosome 5. Five other potential discordant CNV were called by the software, but excluded based on manual annotation of the regions. It is concluded that large CNV discordance is rare within MZ twin pairs, indicating that any CNV difference found within phenotypically discordant MZ twin pairs has a high probability of containing the causal gene(s) involved.
Although Jane Eyre begins by proclaiming that she ‘never liked long walks’, one of the most peculiar and memorable episodes of Jane Eyre (1847) finds the novel's heroine fleeing Thornfield to wander the English countryside, nearly perishing of exposure and hunger. This episode is notable not only for its drama, or for the irony of the once-indoorsy Jane's situation, but in that Jane nearly dies in the midst of the very natural world that has been strongly and repeatedly used to characterize her as something more (or less) than human herself. Throughout the novel Jane shows an innate sensitivity to and association with the natural world, and particularly in the interviews with Rochester that immediately precede her crisis, Jane is described in terms that are far more wild and nature-based than human. Her flight from Thornfield and her subsequent wandering, however, throw this natural characterization into a deadly crisis. Jane nearly dies of exposure; the poetic language that had turned her into a creature of nature is swiftly undermined, and any romance in Rochester's characterization of Jane as a bird is undone when, starving, she eats porridge meant for a pig.
Jane's affiliation with nature is not simply a romantic fantasy imposed by Rochester: entwined throughout Jane's turn to nature and her traumatic experience in it are practical questions of her own economic status.
Breastfeeding has been an important survival trait during human history, though it has long been recognized that individuals differ in their exact breastfeeding behavior. Here our aims were, first, to explore to what extent genetic and environmental influences contributed to the individual differences in breastfeeding behavior; second, to detect possible genetic variants related to breastfeeding; and lastly, to test if the genetic variants associated with breastfeeding have been previously found to be related with breast size. Data were collected from a large community-based cohort of Australian twins, with 3,364 women participating in the twin modelling analyses and 1,521 of them included in the genome-wide association study (GWAS). Monozygotic (MZ) twin correlations (rMZ = 0.52, 95% CI 0.46–0.57) were larger than dizygotic (DZ) twin correlations (rDZ = 0.35, 95% CI 0.25–0.43) and the best-fitting model was the one composed by additive genetics and unique environmental factors, explaining 53% and 47% of the variance in breastfeeding behavior, respectively. No breastfeeding-related genetic variants reached genome-wide significance. The polygenic risk score analyses showed no significant results, suggesting breast size does not influence breastfeeding. This study confers a replication of a previous one exploring the sources of variance of breastfeeding and, to our knowledge, is the first one to conduct a GWAS on breastfeeding and look at the overlap with variants for breast size.