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The Brain Health Test-7 (BHT-7) is a revised tool from the original BHT, containing more tests about frontal lobe function. It was developed with theaim of identifying patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia.
Here we report the validity of the BHT-7 versus the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in differentpsychiatry or neurology clinics.
Patients with memory complaints were recruited in this study from the outpatient clinic of psychiatry or neurology in 3 different kinds of hospitals. Allpatients underwent the evaluation of the BHT-7, MMSE, MoCA, and clinical dementia rating (CDR). The clinical diagnosis (normal, MCI, dementia) was made by consensus meeting, taking into account all available data.
Demographic data and the scores of the MMSE, MoCA, and BHT-7 between groups were compared. Logistic regression was adopted for analysis of optimal cutoff values, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve,and the area under the ROC curve (AUC).
We enrolled a total of 1090 subjects (normal 402, MCI 317, dementia 371); of them, 705 (64.7%) were female. There was a statistically significant differencein age, years of education, and 3 cognitive test scores among the 3 groups.
Compared with the MMSE and MoCA, the BHT-7 performed slightly betterthan MMSE and MoCA in differentiating MCI or dementia from the normalcontrols (Table 1). For BHT- 7, the cutoff point was 17 between normal andMCI, and 14 between normal and dementia. These cutoff points for BHT-7were consistent through 3 different clinical settings, but inconsistent for MMSE and MoCA. The testing time for the BHT-7 was about 5-7 minutes, shorter than that of the MMSE and MoCA.
Compared with MMSE and MoCA, the BHT-7 showed slightly better performance in differentiating normal from MCI or dementia subjects. The testing time for the BHT-7 was shorter, and its cutoff points were consistent through different outpatient clinic settings. The results support that BHT-7 is auseful cognitive screening tool for MCI or early dementia in various hospital settings.
Comparisons of the performance of BHT-7, MMSE, MoCA
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that is characterised by a dysregulation of the immune system, which causes inflammation responses, excessive oxidative stress and a reduction in the number of cluster of differentiation (CD)4+CD25+forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)+ T cells. Supplementation with certain Lactobacillus strains has been suggested to be beneficial in the comprehensive treatment of SLE. However, little is known about the effect and mechanism of certain Lactobacillus strains on SLE. To investigate the effects of Lactobacillus on SLE, NZB/W F1 mice were orally gavaged with Lactobacillus paracasei GMNL-32 (GMNL-32), Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-89 (GMNL-89) and L. reuteri GMNL-263 (GMNL-263). Supplementation with GMNL-32, GMNL-89 and GMNL-263 significantly increased antioxidant activity, reduced IL-6 and TNF-α levels and significantly decreased the toll-like receptors/myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 signalling in NZB/W F1 mice. Notably, supplementation with GMNL-263, but not GMNL-32 and GMNL-89, in NZB/W F1 mice significantly increased the differentiation of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T cells. These findings reveal beneficial effects of GMNL-32, GMNL-89 and GMNL-263 on NZB/W F1 mice and suggest that these specific Lactobacillus strains can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment of SLE patients.
Probiotics are known to regulate host immunity by interacting with systemic and mucosal immune cells as well as intestinal epithelial cells. Supplementation with certain probiotics has been reported to be effective against various disorders, including immune-related diseases. However, little is known about the effectiveness of Lactobacillus paracasei GMNL-32 (GMNL-32), Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-89 (GMNL-89) and L. reuteri GMNL-263 (GMNL-263) in the management of autoimmune diseases, especially systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). NZB/W F1 mice, which are a lupus-prone animal model, were orally gavaged with GMNL-32, GMNL-89 or GMNL-263 to investigate the effects of these Lactobacillus strains on liver injuries in NZB/W F1 mice. The results thus obtained reveal that supplementary GMNL-32, GMNL-89 or GMNL-263 in NZB/W F1 mice ameliorates hepatic apoptosis and inflammatory indicators, such as matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and C-reactive protein and inducible nitric oxide synthase expressions. In addition, supplementation with GMNL-32, GMNL-89 or GMNL-263 in NZB/W F1 mice reduced the expressions of hepatic IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α proteins by suppressing the mitogen-activated protein kinase and NF-κB signalling pathways. These findings, presented here for the first time, reveal that GMNL-32, GMNL-89 and GMNL-263 mitigate hepatic inflammation and apoptosis in lupus-prone mice and may support an alternative remedy for liver disorders in cases of SLE.
Expression of cell adhesion molecules by endothelium and the attachment of monocytes to endothelium may play a major role in atherosclerosis. Ellagic acid (EA) is a phenolic compound found in fruits and nuts including raspberries, strawberries, grapes and walnuts. Previous studies have indicated that EA possesses antioxidant activity in vitro. In the present study, we investigated the effects of EA on the formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species, the translocation of NFκB and expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and endothelial leucocyte adhesion molecule (E-selectin) induced by IL-1β in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). We found that EA significantly reduced the binding of human monocytic cell line, U937, to IL-1β-treated HUVEC. The production of reactive oxygen species by IL-1β was dose-dependently suppressed by EA. Supplementation with increasing doses of EA up to 50 μmol/l was most effective in inhibiting the expression of VCAM-1 and E-selectin. Furthermore, the inhibition of IL-1β-induced adhesion molecule expression by EA was manifested by the suppression of nuclear translocation of p65 and p50. In conclusion, EA inhibits IL-1β-induced nuclear translocation of p65 and p50, thereby suppressing the expression of VCAM-1 and E-selectin, resulting in decreased monocyte adhesion. Thus, EA has anti-inflammatory properties and may play an important role in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
In vitro folate deficiency is associated with S phase accumulation and apoptosis in various cell types. To investigate the role of p53 and two apoptosis-related molecules, bcl-2 and Fas antigen (Apo-1, CD95), in the mechanism whereby folate-deficient lymphocytes accumulate and undergo apoptosis in the S phase, normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes were cultured for 3–9 d in control medium or in specially ordered and formulated HAM’ F-10 medium lacking folic acid, thymidine and hypoxanthine. Cells were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin for the final 72 h prior to harvesting. The results indicate that p53 expression was downregulated in folate-deficient lymphocytes when compared with the control lymphocytes during the relevant period of S phase accumulation and apoptosis. In addition, folate deficiency was also found to downregulate IL-2, Fas antigen and bcl-2 expression, in terms of either mRNA or protein levels. The downregulation of Fas antigen suggests that folate deficiency-induced apoptosis probably does not occur via the Fas pathway. As IL-2 is a known inducer of bcl-2, and the downregulation of bcl-2 induces apoptosis, the downregulation of IL-2 and bcl-2 is suggested to play an important role in apoptosis. The complete rescue of folate-deficient lymphocytes from apoptosis was achieved by folic acid, thymidine or hypoxanthine alone or thymidine and hypoxanthine in combination. These results suggest that IL-2 depletion by folate deficiency in lymphocytes reduces the bcl-2 level, thereby triggering deoxynucleoside triphosphate pool imbalance and p53-independent apoptosis.
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