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Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disorder leading to the growth of hamartomas in multiple organs, including cardiac rhabdomyomas. Children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma require frequent admissions to intensive care units, have major complications, namely, arrhythmias, cardiac outflow tract obstruction and heart failure, affecting the quality of life and taking on high healthcare cost. Currently, there is no standard pharmacological treatment for this condition, and the management includes a conservative approach and supportive care. Everolimus has shown positive effects on subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, renal angiomyolipoma and refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. However, evidence supporting efficacy in symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma is limited to case reports. The ORACLE trial is the first randomised clinical trial assessing the efficacy of everolimus as a specific therapy for symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma.
ORACLE is a phase II, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre protocol trial. A total of 40 children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex will be randomised to receive oral everolimus or placebo for 3 months. The primary outcome is 50% or more reduction in the tumour size related to baseline. As secondary outcomes we include the presence of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, intracardiac obstruction, adverse events, progression of tumour reduction and effect on heart failure.
ORACLE protocol addresses a relevant unmet need in children with tuberous sclerosis complex and cardiac rhabdomyoma. The results of the trial will potentially support the first evidence-based therapy for this condition.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
Three new species of the Neotropical genus Barbacenia (Velloziaceae, Pandanales) from Tocantins, Brazil, are described and illustrated, based on morphology and leaf anatomy. The known species richness of the genus is mapped within the countries of South America and the states of Brazil.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The scaling of turbulent motions is investigated by considering the flow in the eigenframe of the local strain-rate tensor. The flow patterns in this frame of reference are evaluated using existing direct numerical simulations of homogeneous isotropic turbulence over a Reynolds number range from
up to 1131, and also with reference to data for inhomogeneous, anisotropic wall turbulence. The average flow in the eigenframe reveals a shear layer structure containing tube-like vortices and a dissipation sheet, whose dimensions scale with the Kolmogorov length scale,
. The vorticity stretching motions scale with the Taylor length scale,
, while the flow outside the shear layer scales with the integral length scale,
. Furthermore, the spatial organization of the vortices and the dissipation sheet defines a characteristic small-scale structure. The overall size of this characteristic small-scale structure is
in all directions based on the coherence length of the vorticity. This is considerably larger than the typical size of individual vortices, and reflects the importance of spatial organization at the small scales. Comparing the overall size of the characteristic small-scale structure with the largest flow scales and the vorticity stretching motions on the scale of
shows that transitions in flow structure occur where
and 250. Below these respective transitional Reynolds numbers, the small-scale motions and the vorticity stretching motions are progressively less well developed. Scale interactions are examined by decomposing the average shear layer into a local flow, which is induced by the shear layer vorticity, and a non-local flow, which represents the environment of the characteristic small-scale structure. The non-local strain is
in width and height, which is consistent with observations in high Reynolds number flow of a
wide instantaneous shear layer with many
-scale vortical structures inside (Ishihara et al., Flow Turbul. Combust., vol. 91, 2013, pp. 895–929). In the average shear layer, vorticity aligns with the intermediate principal strain at small scales, while it aligns with the most stretching principal strain at larger scales, consistent with instantaneous turbulence. The length scale at which the alignment changes depends on the Reynolds number. When conditioning the flow in the eigenframe on extreme dissipation, the velocity is strongly affected over large distances. Moreover, the associated peak velocity remains Reynolds number dependent when normalized by the Kolmogorov velocity scale. It signifies that extreme dissipation is not simply a small-scale property, but is associated with large scales at the same time.
Several studies have shown that maternal low-protein (LP) diet induces detrimental effects in cardiovascular system and oxidative stress in male animals. Additional studies suggested that female has lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. However until present data, the possible effects of estradiol on the undernutrition during gestational and lactation periods are not discussed. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a maternal LP diet during gestational and lactation period on oxidative balance in the female rat hearts ventricles at two ages. Dams were fed with normal protein (NP) or a LP diet during the gestational and lactation period, and their female offspring were divided into age groups (22 or 122 days, corresponding to a low or high estrogen level) composing four experimental groups. Evaluating the nutritional effect showed an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers and decrease in enzymatic defense in LP-22D compared with NP-22D. In contrast, no changes were observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyls, but an increase in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in the LP-122D compared with NP-122D. The global oxy-score in the LP-22D group indicated a predominance of oxidative damage when compared with NP-22D, while in LP-122D group the global oxy-score was restored to NP-122D levels. Evaluating the estradiol effect, our data show a significant decrease in oxidative stress with increase in CAT and GST activity, associated with increase in intracellular thiols. Our data suggest that in situation with low levels of estradiol, hypoproteic diet during gestation and lactation period has detrimental effects on heart, however when estradiol levels raise, the detrimental effects induced are mitigated.
To date, only a few sporadic cases of infections due to Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) producers have been reported in Portugal. Here, we report for the first time an outbreak of K. pneumoniae KPC-3 producers in a tertiary-care hospital during 2013. Twenty-seven ertapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae were identified in patients at a tertiary-care hospital during 2013 isolated predominantly from urine (48·1%) and blood (25·9%) cultures. All isolates were highly resistant to β-lactam antibiotics and most showed intermediate resistance to imipenem. The more frequent β-lactamases were TEM- (77·7%), CTX-M- (70·3%) and KPC-type (66·6%). KPC-3 was identified by sequencing. The blaKPC−3 gene was associated with an IncF plasmid, and efficiently transferred to E. coli J53. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing revealed three clusters of isolates which were further characterized by multi-locus sequence typing as ST11, ST15 and ST348. Ertapenem-resistant ST15 was already in circulation in the hospital, related to expression of OmpK36 modified porin, but the other two sequence types had not been previously found in the hospital. We conclude that the IncF plasmid mediated transfer of KPC-3 in the outbreak and that implementation of carbapenemase gene screening in isolates from patients on admission to hospital is advisable in order to control dissemination of these antimicrobial resistance elements.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
Cysticercosis, a leading cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries, has been controlled or eradicated in industrialized countries. This paradigm has recently been challenged, with human neurocysticercosis (NCC) being increasingly diagnosed in these countries. In order to assess the NCC burden in Portugal, a retrospective study on NCC hospitalizations (2006–2013) was conducted based on the national database on hospital morbidity: 357 hospitalized cases were detected. NCC was most frequent in the following age groups: 20–64 years (n = 197, 55·2%) >64 years (n = 111, 31·1%), and <20 years (n = 49, 13·7%). In the Norte and Centro regions cases tended to be older than in the Lisboa and Vale do Tejo Region. The results raise concerns for imported and autochthonous disease, suggesting the Lisboa and Vale do Tejo Region, due to its higher frequency of cases at younger ages, as a priority for research and intervention, and further suggest that NCC should be under surveillance (notifiable). The National Observatory of Cysticercosis and Taeniasis has been established and will define NCC cases as well as monitoring and surveillance.
Salivary gland transfer surgery can reduce xerostomia in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients undergoing primary chemoradiation. A potential drawback of salivary gland transfer is the treatment delay associated with the surgery, and its complications. This study aimed to determine whether the treatment delay affects patient survival and to evaluate patient quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
A retrospective analysis of 138 patients (salivary gland transfer group, n = 58; non-salivary gland transfer group, n = 80) was performed. Patient survival was compared between these groups using multivariate analysis. Salivary gland transfer patients were further evaluated for surgical complications and for quality of life using the head and neck module of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Salivary gland transfer and non-salivary gland transfer patients had comparable baseline clinical characteristics. Salivary gland transfer patients experienced a median treatment delay of 16.5 days before chemoradiation (p = 0.035). Multivariate analysis showed that this did not, however, correspond to a survival disadvantage (p = 0.24 and p = 0.97 for disease-free and disease-specific survival, respectively). A very low complication rate was reported for the salivary gland transfer group (1.7 per cent). Questionnaire scores for the item ‘xerostomia’ were very low in salivary gland transfer patients.
The treatment delay associated with salivary gland transfer surgery does not negatively affect patient survival. Oropharyngeal squamous cell patients have an excellent quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
The experiment, conducted at Bahia, Brazil, from May to August 2010, aimed to evaluate the nitrogen (N) balance, urea excretion and microbial protein synthesis in lactating goats fed pelleted concentrates with the addition of crude protein (CP), obtained by replacing alfalfa hay with soybean meal. The diets consisted of different levels of CP and 200 g of roughage (Tifton 85 hay)/kg. Maize and mesquite bran were used as the energy source, with maize replaced by mesquite bran in the ratio of 1·7:1. Eight female Saanen goats were used, confined in individual pens and allocated to a 4 × 4 Latin square design. The N balance in the body was positive, and loss of body weight (–0·03 g/day) was observed for the diet with 190 g CP/kg. The concentration (mg/dl) of urea in urine, milk and blood plasma was positively influenced in a linear form, and the highest rate of increase was found in urine, with 2 mg/dl for every 10 g CP/kg added to the diet. The microbial protein synthesis was not affected, but the diets reduced the microbial protein (44 g/day) and its ruminal production efficiency (30 g/kg total digestible nutrients). The levels above 190 g of CP are not recommended because of the energy expenditure required to excrete the urea.
Patients with a deletion at chromosome 22q11.2 (22q11DS) have 30% lifetime risk of developing a psychosis. People fulfilling clinical criteria for ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis have 30% risk of developing a psychosis within 2 years. Both high-risk groups show white-matter (WM) abnormalities in microstructure and volume compared to healthy controls (HC), which have been related to psychotic symptoms. Comparisons of WM pathology between these two groups may specify WM markers related to genetic and clinical risk factors.
Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and WM volume with structural MRI, in 23 UHR patients, 21 22q11DS patients, and 33 HC.
Compared to UHR patients 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD in corpus callosum (CC), cortical fasciculi, and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), (2) higher FA in CC and ATR, and (3) lower occipital and superior temporal gyrus WM volume. Compared to HC, 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD throughout cortical fasciculi and (2) higher FA in ATR, CC and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Compared to HC, UHR patients had (1) higher mean MD, RD, and AD in CC, ATR and cortical fasciculi, (2) no differences in FA.
UHR and 22q11DS patients share a susceptibility for developing psychosis yet were characterized by distinct patterns of WM alterations relative to HC. While UHR patients were typified by signs suggestive of aberrant myelination, 22q11DS subjects showed signs suggestive of lower axonal integrity.
Little is known about predictors of recovery from bipolar depression.
We investigated affective instability (a pattern of frequent and large mood shifts over time) as a predictor of recovery from episodes of bipolar depression and as a moderator of response to psychosocial treatment for acute depression.
A total of 252 out-patients with DSM-IV bipolar I or II disorder and who were depressed enrolled in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) and were randomised to one of three types of intensive psychotherapy for depression (n = 141) or a brief psychoeducational intervention (n = 111). All analyses were by intention-to-treat.
Degree of instability of symptoms of depression and mania predicted a lower likelihood of recovery and longer time until recovery, independent of the concurrent effects of symptom severity. Affective instability did not moderate the effects of psychosocial treatment on recovery from depression.
Affective instability may be a clinically relevant characteristic that influences the course of bipolar depression.
Human toxocarosis is a chronic tissue parasitosis most often caused by Toxocara canis. The seroprevalence can reach up to 50%, especially among children and adolescents. The anthelmintics used in the treatment have moderate efficacy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic activity of quinones and their derivatives against T. canis larvae and the cytotoxicity of the larvicidal compounds. The compounds were evaluated at 1 mg mL−1 concentration in microculture plates containing third stage larvae in an Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 environment, incubated at 37 °C in 5% CO2 tension for 48 h. Five naphthoxiranes were selected for the cytotoxicity analysis. The cell viability evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and lactate dehydrogenase assays using murine peritoneal macrophages isolated from C57BL/6 mice revealed that the naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) were less cytotoxic at a concentration of 0·05 mg mL−1. The efficacy of naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) was examined in murine toxocarosis also. The anthelmintic activity was examined by evaluating the number of larvae in the brain, carcass, liver, lungs, heart, kidneys and eyes. Compound (3) demonstrated anthelmintic activity similar to that of albendazole by decreasing the number of larvae in the organs of mice and thus could form the basis of the development of a new anthelmintic drug.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive neurocutaneous malignancy. This study investigated whether patients with Merkel cell carcinoma in the head and neck had poorer outcomes than patients with Merkel cell carcinoma located elsewhere.
A retrospective study was performed of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma treated at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal, Canada, from 1993 to 2013. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics and disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were examined according to the Kaplan–Meier method.
Twenty-seven patients were identified. Although basic clinicopathological characteristics and treatments were similar between head and neck and non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma groups, disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were significantly lower in the head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma group (log-rank test; p = 0.043 and p = 0.001, respectively). Mortality was mainly due to distant metastasis.
Patients with head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma had poorer survival rates than patients with non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma in our study. The tendency to obtain close margins, a less predictable metastatic pattern, and/or intrinsic tumour factors related to the head and neck may explain this discrepancy.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
The aim of this study was analyzed if the flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body composition in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, part of the pups was evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control (C60) was fed with control diet. EW was divided in control (EWC60); flaxseed flour (EWFF60); flaxseed oil (EWFO60) diets until 60 days. Body mass, length and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were determined. EW21 (v. C21) and EWC60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) mass, length and body composition. EWFO60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) body mass and length, body and trunk lean mass, bone mineral density and content and bone area. Flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to recovery of body composition after early weaning.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.