ResearchPad - critical-review https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Gut Microbial Metabolites and Biochemical Pathways Involved in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Effects of Diet and Nutrition on the Microbiome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12379 The food we consume and its interactions with the host and their gut microbiota affect normal gut function and health. Functional gut disorders (FGDs), including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can result from negative effects of these interactions, leading to a reduced quality of life. Certain foods exacerbate or reduce the severity and prevalence of FGD symptoms. IBS can be used as a model of perturbation from normal gut function with which to study the impact of foods and diets on the severity and symptoms of FGDs and understand how critical processes and biochemical mechanisms contribute to this impact. Analyzing the complex interactions between food, host, and microbial metabolites gives insights into the pathways and processes occurring in the gut which contribute to FGDs. The following review is a critical discussion of the literature regarding metabolic pathways and dietary interventions relevant to FGDs. Many metabolites, for example bile acids, SCFAs, vitamins, amino acids, and neurotransmitters, can be altered by dietary intake, and could be valuable for identifying perturbations in metabolic pathways that distinguish a “normal, healthy” gut from a “dysfunctional, unhealthy” gut. Dietary interventions for reducing symptoms of FGDs are becoming more prevalent, but studies investigating the underlying mechanisms linked to host, microbiome, and metabolite interactions are less common. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the recent literature to assist with further progression of research in this field.

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<![CDATA[Dynamic MRI for articulating joint evaluation on 1.5 T and 3.0 T scanners: setup, protocols, and real-time sequences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9795 Dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive method that can be used to increase the understanding of the pathomechanics of joints. Various types of real-time gradient echo sequences used for dynamic MRI acquisition of joints include balanced steady-state free precession sequence, radiofrequency-spoiled sequence, and ultra-fast gradient echo sequence. Due to their short repetition time and echo time, these sequences provide high temporal resolution, a good signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution, and soft tissue contrast. The prerequisites of the evaluation of joints with dynamic MRI include suitable patient installation and optimal positioning of the joint in the coil to allow joint movement, sometimes with dedicated coil support. There are currently few recommendations in the literature regarding appropriate protocol, sequence standardizations, and diagnostic criteria for the use of real-time dynamic MRI to evaluate joints. This article summarizes the technical parameters of these sequences from various manufacturers on 1.5 T and 3.0 T MRI scanners. We have reviewed pertinent details of the patient and coil positioning for dynamic MRI of various joints. The indications and limitations of dynamic MRI of joints are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Microparticle encoding technologies for high-throughput multiplexed suspension assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N452bf5df-62f4-479d-842f-d4adb19b1978

Bead-based assays are a revolutionary new technology for the analysis of large numbers of biomolecules. We present a critical analysis of methods for encoding beads for use in assays.

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<![CDATA[Are Common Sense Model constructs and self-efficacy simultaneously correlated with self-management behaviors and health outcomes: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7f7df34a-c386-4ce4-b2e9-64d7614d0040

This systematic review answered two questions among adults with chronic conditions: When included in the same statistical model, are Common Sense Model constructs and self-efficacy both associated with (1) self-management behaviors and (2) health outcomes? We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and included 29 articles. When included in the same statistical model, Common Sense Model constructs and self-efficacy were both correlated with outcomes. Self-efficacy was more consistently associated with self-management behaviors, and Common Sense Model constructs were more consistently associated with health outcomes. Findings support the continued inclusion and integration of both frameworks to understand and/or improve chronic illness self-management and outcomes.

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<![CDATA[The use of generic avoidant coping scales for psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disability: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4a72af2f-bb2e-4f84-b5db-c8b40913513b

This systematic review examined the validity of generic coping-with-stress measures in the relationships between avoidance-type coping and psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disability. Major data bases were searched for studies on the association between avoidance-type coping and psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disability. Findings indicated that reliance upon avoidance-type coping is linked to reports of poorer psychosocial adaptation. The veracity of these findings must be treated cautiously owing to conceptual, structural, psychometric, and other issues. Users of generic coping measures should consider these concerns prior to empirically investigating the link between generic avoidance-type coping measures and psychosocial adaptation among people with chronic illness and disability.

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<![CDATA[Review of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Sediment Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Benthic Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8fafb245-27f0-4e5d-86d2-0c576a740fe5

ABSTRACT

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments can pose harm to the benthic community. Numerous sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) for the protection of benthic life are available to assess the risk of individual PAHs and PAH mixtures in sediments. Sediment quality guidelines are derived using empirical or mechanistic approaches. Empirically based guidelines are derived using databases of paired sediment chemistry and biological responses and relating sediment concentration to the frequency of an adverse response. Mechanistically based SQGs are derived by considering the inherent aqueous toxicity of the chemical to different biota coupled with site‐specific sediment characteristics (i.e., organic C) known to influence PAH bioavailability. Additionally, SQGs are derived to be either protective or predictive of adverse effects in benthic organisms. The objective of this critical review was to evaluate SQGs for use in screening‐level risk assessments to identify sediments that may pose a risk to the benthic community. SQGs for PAHs were compiled and compared, and performance evaluated for predicting the presence and absence of toxicity using an extensive field data set. Furthermore, a 2‐carbon equilibrium partitioning model and direct measurement of porewater via passive sampling were evaluated for improved performance in higher tiered risk assessments. Recommendations for the use of SQGs in screening evaluations, enhancements to current approaches, and opportunities to refine site risk estimate assessments using passive sampling measurements are discussed. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2019;15:505–518. © 2019 SETAC

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<![CDATA[The Fate of Copper Added to Surface Water: Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6de29059-2a3d-4c7f-8a5d-4e42c41e2ced

Abstract

The fate and effects of copper in the environment are governed by a complex set of environmental processes that include binding to inorganic and organic ligands in water, soil, and sediments. In natural waters, these interactions can limit copper bioavailability and result in copper transport from the water column to the sediment. In the present study, data on the fate of copper added to lakes, microcosms, and mesocosms were compiled and analyzed to determine copper removal rates from the water column. Studies on copper behavior in sediment were also reviewed to assess the potential for remobilization. A previously developed, screening‐level fate and transport model (tableau input coupled kinetic equilibrium transport–unit world model [TICKET–UWM]) was parameterized and applied to quantify copper removal rates and remobilization in a standardized lake setting. Field and modeling results were reconciled within a framework that links copper removal rates to lake depths and solids fluxes. The results of these analyses provide converging evidence that, on a large scale, copper is removed relatively quickly from natural waters. For the majority of studies examined, more than 70% of the added copper was removed from the water column within 16 d of dosing. This information may be useful in the context of environmental hazard and risk assessment of copper. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:1386‒1399. © 2019 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

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<![CDATA[Improving the Measurement of Transactional Sex in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c973e49d5eed0c48496b403

Background:

Transactional sex, or informal sexual exchange, is considered to be an important contributing factor to the disproportionately high HIV infection rates experienced by adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa. Nonetheless, confusion remains over how best to define and measure this practice, hindering efforts to mitigate the role of transactional sex in the epidemic. We critically review current measures and offer evidence-based recommendations for improvement.

Setting:

Although transactional sex is practiced around the world, we focus attention on the definition and measurement of this practice in sub-Saharan Africa, given the role it plays in young women's risk of HIV in this region.

Methods:

We relied on both secondary and primary data sources. We draw on a systematic review of literature on transactional sex from sub-Saharan Africa and interview data from both key informants and cognitive interviews (n = 160) with young women (ages 14–24) and men (ages 18–35) in Uganda and Tanzania.

Results:

We find current measures are inconsistent, conflate transactional sex with sex work, and fail to capture the gendered nature of the practice. We provide an evidence-based definition of transactional sex that guides our measurement recommendations. We then detail the development of improved measures through cognitive interviews. Finally, we offer recommended approaches to improved measurement of transactional sex for women and men in large-scale surveys.

Conclusions:

Improved measures are critical for accurate estimation of the prevalence of transactional sex and assessment of the extent to which transactional sex determines HIV risk.

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<![CDATA[Enhancing clinician and patient understanding of radiology reports: a scoping review of international guidelines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbb27070b-b689-4ae2-8043-b8048171ea3c <![CDATA[MicroRNAs and lncRNAs in senescence: A re‐view]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b02d54c463d7e5f497baad4

Abstract

Cellular senescence is a stress response to a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic insults that cause genomic or epigenomic perturbations. It is now widely recognized as a potent tumor suppressor mechanism as well as a biological process impacting aging and organismal development. Like other cell fate decisions, senescence is executed and maintained by an intricate network of transcription factors (TFs), chromatin modifiers, and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). Altogether, these factors cooperate to implement the gene expression program that initiates and sustains the senescent phenotype. In the context of senescence, microRNAs (miRs) and long ncRNAs have been found to play regulatory roles at both the transcriptional and post‐transcriptional levels. In this review, we discuss recent developments in the field and point toward future research directions to gain a better understanding of ncRNAs in senescence. © 2015 IUBMB Life, 67(4):255–267, 2015

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<![CDATA[Transitioning patients with immune thrombocytopenia to second‐line therapy: Challenges and best practices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ef06f463d7e61215782c6

Abstract

In patients with immune thrombocytopenia who do not adequately respond to first‐line therapy, there is no clear consensus on which second‐line therapy to initiate and when. This situation leads to suboptimal approaches, including prolonged exposure to treatments that are not intended for long‐term use (eg, corticosteroids) and overuse of off‐label therapies (eg, rituximab) while approved, more efficacious options exist. These approaches may not only fail to address symptoms and burden of disease, but may also worsen health‐related quality of life. A better understanding of available second‐line treatments may ensure best use of therapeutic options and thereby optimize patient outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Effect of neurostimulation on cognition and mood in refractory epilepsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb3000d5eed0c484960a10

Summary

Epilepsy is a common, debilitating neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Mood disorders and cognitive deficits are common comorbidities in epilepsy that, like seizures, profoundly influence quality of life and can be difficult to treat. For patients with refractory epilepsy who are not candidates for resection, neurostimulation, the electrical modulation of epileptogenic brain tissue, is an emerging treatment alternative. Several forms of neurostimulation are currently available, and therapy selection hinges on relative efficacy for seizure control and amelioration of neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Here, we review the current evidence for how invasive and noninvasive neurostimulation therapies affect mood and cognition in persons with epilepsy. Invasive therapies include vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), deep brain stimulation (DBS), and responsive neurostimulation (RNS). Noninvasive therapies include trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Overall, current evidence supports stable cognition and mood with all neurostimulation therapies, although there is some evidence that cognition and mood may improve with invasive forms of neurostimulation. More research is required to optimize the effects of neurostimulation for improvements in cognition and mood.

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<![CDATA[Management of post‐traumatic epilepsy: An evidence review over the last 5 years and future directions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb2f48d5eed0c48495e404

Summary

Post‐traumatic epilepsy (PTE) is a relatively underappreciated condition that can develop as a secondary consequence following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The aim of this rapid evidence review is to provide a synthesis of existing evidence on the effectiveness of treatment interventions for the prevention of PTE in people who have suffered a moderate/severe TBI to increase awareness and understanding among consumers. Electronic medical databases (n = 5) and gray literature published between January 2010 and April 2015 were searched for studies on the management of PTE. Twenty‐two eligible studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. No evidence was found for the effectiveness of any pharmacological treatments in the prevention or treatment of symptomatic seizures in adults with PTE. However, limited high‐level evidence for the effectiveness of the antiepileptic drug levetiracetam was identified for PTE in children. Low‐level evidence was identified for nonpharmacological interventions in significantly reducing seizures in patients with PTE, but only in a minority of cases, requiring further high‐level studies to confirm the results. This review provides an opportunity for researchers and health service professionals to better understand the underlying pathophysiology of PTE to develop novel, more effective therapeutic targets and to improve the quality of life of people with this condition.

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<![CDATA[Onchocerciasis‐associated epilepsy: From recent epidemiological and clinical findings to policy implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb2f4ad5eed0c48495e462

Summary

A high prevalence of epilepsy is reported in many onchocerciasis‐endemic regions. In this paper we discuss recent epidemiological and clinical aspects as well as public health implications of onchocerciasis‐associated epilepsy (OAE) and propose a strategy to reduce the burden of disease. OAE probably presents in a variety of clinical manifestations, including the nodding syndrome and the Nakalanga syndrome. The most common clinical presentation, however, is generalized (primarily tonic‐clonic) seizures. A characteristic of OAE is the onset of seizures between the ages of 3 and 18 years and clustering in certain families and villages close to rapid‐flowing black‐fly‐infested rivers. A strategy combining active surveillance for epilepsy with early treatment with antiepileptic drugs and prevention of onchocerciasis by increasing the geographical and therapeutic coverage of community‐directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTi) may considerably decrease the burden of disease.

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<![CDATA[Interneuronopathies and their role in early life epilepsies and neurodevelopmental disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb2f32d5eed0c48495df66

Summary

GABAergic interneurons control the neural circuitry and network activity in the brain. The advances in genetics have identified genes that control the development, maturation, and integration of GABAergic interneurons and implicate them in the pathogenesis of epileptic encephalopathies and neurodevelopmental disorders. For example, mutations of the aristaless‐related homeobox X‐linked gene (ARX) may result in defective GABAergic interneuronal migration in infants with epileptic encephalopathies like West syndrome (WS), Ohtahara syndrome, or X‐linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia (XLAG). The concept of “interneuronopathy,” that is, impaired development, migration, or function of interneurons, has emerged as a possible etiopathogenic mechanism for epileptic encephalopathies. Treatments that enhance γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels may help seizure control but do not necessarily show disease modifying effect. On the other hand, interneuronopathies can be seen in other conditions in which epilepsy may not be the primary manifestation, such as autism. In this review, we plan to outline briefly the current state of knowledge on the origin, development, and migration and integration of GABAergic interneurons, present neurodevelopmental conditions, with or without epilepsy, that have been associated with interneuronopathies, and discuss the evidence linking certain types of interneuronal dysfunction with epilepsy and/or cognitive or behavioral deficits.

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<![CDATA[In Situ Sediment Treatment Using Activated Carbon: A Demonstrated Sediment Cleanup Technology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ae659eb463d7e4cd6a6cc57

This paper reviews general approaches for applying activated carbon (AC) amendments as an in situ sediment treatment remedy. In situ sediment treatment involves targeted placement of amendments using installation options that fall into two general approaches: 1) directly applying a thin layer of amendments (which potentially incorporates weighting or binding materials) to surface sediment, with or without initial mixing; and 2) incorporating amendments into a premixed, blended cover material of clean sand or sediment, which is also applied to the sediment surface. Over the past decade, pilot- or full-scale field sediment treatment projects using AC—globally recognized as one of the most effective sorbents for organic contaminants—were completed or were underway at more than 25 field sites in the United States, Norway, and the Netherlands. Collectively, these field projects (along with numerous laboratory experiments) have demonstrated the efficacy of AC for in situ treatment in a range of contaminated sediment conditions. Results from experimental studies and field applications indicate that in situ sequestration and immobilization treatment of hydrophobic organic compounds using either installation approach can reduce porewater concentrations and biouptake significantly, often becoming more effective over time due to progressive mass transfer. Certain conditions, such as use in unstable sediment environments, should be taken into account to maximize AC effectiveness over long time periods. In situ treatment is generally less disruptive and less expensive than traditional sediment cleanup technologies such as dredging or isolation capping. Proper site-specific balancing of the potential benefits, risks, ecological effects, and costs of in situ treatment technologies (in this case, AC) relative to other sediment cleanup technologies is important to successful full-scale field application. Extensive experimental studies and field trials have shown that when applied correctly, in situ treatment via contaminant sequestration and immobilization using a sorbent material such as AC has progressed from an innovative sediment remediation approach to a proven, reliable technology. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2015; 11:195–207. © 2014 The Authors. Published 2014 SETAC.

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<![CDATA[Ketogenic diet for treatment of intractable epilepsy in adults: A meta‐analysis of observational studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb2ffed5eed0c484960998

Summary

The ketogenic diet (KD) is an effective treatment for children with drug‐resistant epilepsy and has been widely used in young children. Adult patients with intractable epilepsy would also benefit from this dietary treatment. However, only a few studies have been published, and the use of the KD in intractable epilepsy in adults has been limited. This meta‐analysis summarized the findings of the relevant published studies to identify the efficacy of the KD for the treatment of intractable epilepsy in adults. In this meta‐analysis, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library were used for searching studies concerning the effects of the KD and its major subtypes with intractable epilepsy in adults published up to January 10, 2017. The primary outcomes were seizure freedom, seizure reduction by 50% or more, and seizure reduction by <50%. The quality of the methodology of the observational studies was reviewed by using the Newcastle‐Ottawa Scale. We identified 402 articles, of which, 16 studies including 338 patients met the inclusion criteria. The results of the meta‐analysis showed that the combined efficacy rates of all the symptoms of seizure freedom, seizure reduction by 50% or more, and seizure reduction below 50% in adults with intractable epilepsy were 13%, 53%, and 27%, respectively. The adverse reactions of the KD were mild, whereas low glycemic index diet (LGID) and low‐dose fish oil diet (LFOD) may have fewer side effects. Weight loss, high level of low‐density lipoprotein, and elevated total cholesterol were most frequent. The meta‐analysis indicates that the KD for refractory epilepsy in adults is a well‐tolerated treatment and that its side effects are acceptable, which show that the KD is a promising treatment in adult intractable epilepsy. Further research is needed to assess which type of diet or ratio is more effective in the KD treatment.

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<![CDATA[The right and the wrong with epilepsy and her science]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfb2f3dd5eed0c48495e13c

Summary

This is a commentary and an opinion paper attempting a critical reassessment of the methods and practices of epilepsy research as we see it. The enormous progress in the field of epilepsy in recent years is a cause of celebration. Advances have been made on most fronts, and the position of patients with epilepsy in society has greatly improved. However, there have also been culs‐de‐sac and dead ends of modern science and clinical practice which are also intriguing. It may be true that we can learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. In this opinion paper, we have listed some of the successes and some of the failures of past epilepsy practice, and also areas of current practice and theory which we feel are likely to prove mistaken. The underlying reasons for misdirected practices and theories include, in our view, the influence of fashion, bad science, and the bureaucracies of practice and academic medicine. As a result, some findings are far from objective. Recognition is the first step to remediation, and hopefully future research will minimize some of the pitfalls mentioned in this article and bring the “End of Epilepsy,” as defined and predicted by Oswei Temkin, closer than it is today.

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<![CDATA[Use of acupuncture to alleviate side effects in radiation oncology: Current evidence and future directions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b40fbd5463d7e611aa2d83d

Several reports have shown that acupuncture is an effective method of complementary medicine; however, only a few of these reports have focused on oncological patients treated with radiation therapy. Most of these studies discuss a benefit of acupuncture for side-effect reduction; however, not all could demonstrate significant improvements. Thus, innovative trial designs are necessary to confirm that acupuncture can alleviate side effects related to radiation therapy. In the present manuscript, we perform a broad review and discuss pitfalls and limitations of acupuncture in parallel with standard radiation therapy, which lead the way to novel treatment concepts.

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