ResearchPad - physiological-processes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Fruit and vegetable consumption in Europe according to gender, educational attainment and regional affiliation—A cross-sectional study in 21 European countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13846 The purpose of the present study was to examine fruit and vegetable consumption according to gender, educational attainment and regional affiliation in Europe.DesignCross-sectional study.Setting21 European countries.Participants37 672 adults participating in the 7th round of the European Social Survey.Main outcome measuresFruit and vegetable consumption was measured using two single frequency questions. Responses were dichotomized into low (<once a day) and high (≥once a day) consumption. The association between consumption of fruit and vegetables and gender, educational level, regional affiliation was examined using logistic regression analyses.ResultsOverall, females showed increased odds of consuming fruit (OR 1.71 (95%CI:1.62, 1.79) and vegetable (1.59 (1.51, 1.67)) compared to males and high educated participants showed increased odds of consuming fruit (1.53 (1.43, 1.63)) and vegetables (1.86 (1.74, 2.00)) compared to low educated participants. Our results also showed that participants living in Eastern Europe had the lowest odds of consuming fruit and vegetables, whereas participants from Southern- and Northern Europe had the highest odds of consuming fruit and vegetables, respectively. Results from interaction analyses confirmed the positive association between fruit and vegetable consumption and educational level, although for some European regions, decreased odds of fruit and vegetables was observed among medium educated participants compared to those with low education.ConclusionsOverall, the present study showed that being female and having a high education were associated with increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. However, the direction and strength of these relationships depends on regional affiliations. ]]> <![CDATA[Amino acids serve as an important energy source for adult flukes of <i>Clonorchis sinensis</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13829 Clonorchiasis, closely related to cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, has led to a negative socioeconomic impact in global areas especially some Asian endemic regions. Owing to the emergence of drug resistance and hypersensitivity reactions after the massive and repeated use of praziquantel as well as the lack of effective vaccines, searching for new strategies that prevent and treat clonorchiasis has become an urgent matter. Clonorchis sinensis, the causative agent of clonorchiasis, long-term inhabits the microaerobic and limited-glucose environment of the bile ducts. Adequate nutrients are essential for adult flukes to resist the adverse condition and survive in the crowed habitat. Studies on energy metabolism of adult flukes are beneficial for further exploring host-parasite interactions and developing novel anti-parasitic drugs. Our results suggest that gluconeogenesis probably plays a vital role in energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and exogenous amino acids might be an essential energy source for adult flukes to successfully survive in the host. Our foundational study opens a new avenue for explaining energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and provides a valuable strategy that the gluconeogenesis pathway will be a potential and novel target for the prevention and treatment of clonorchiasis.

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<![CDATA[The association between national income and adult obesity prevalence: Empirical insights into temporal patterns and moderators of the association using 40 years of data across 147 countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13857 At a country level, population obesity prevalence is often associated with economic affluence, reflecting a potential adverse outcome concomitant with economic growth. We estimated the pattern and strength of the empirically observed relationship between national income and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating role of countries’ macro-environments on this relationship.MethodsWe assembled data on national obesity prevalence, income and a range of variables that characterize macro-environments related to 147 countries from multiple international organizations and databases. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the relationship (elasticities) between national income (using Gross Domestic Product Per Capita, GDPPC) and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating effects of five different dimensions (globalization orientation, demographic characteristics, economic environment, labor market characteristics, and strength of health policies) of countries’ macro-environments on the income elasticities. Using the latest (2019–2024) available national income growth projections from the International Monetary Fund, we forecast future global trends in obesity prevalence.FindingsOver the 40-years 1975–2014, adult obesity prevalence increased at a declining rate with GDPPC across the 147 countries. The mean income elasticity estimates were 1.23 (95% credible interval 1.04–1.42) for males and 1.01 (0.82–1.18) for females. The elasticities were positively associated with the extent of political globalization and negatively associated with urbanization and share of agriculture in the national GDP. Income based projections indicate that obesity prevalence would continue to grow at an average annual rate of 2.47% across the studied countries during 2019–2024.ConclusionsPopulation obesity prevalence exhibits a positive relationship with national income and there is no evidence that the relationship, while weakening, actually turns negative at higher income levels (“obesity Kuznets curve”). Based on current trends, global obesity prevalence will continue to increase during 2019–2024, with the rate of growth higher in low- and middle-income countries. As most people currently live in low- and middle-income countries with rising incomes, our findings underscore the urgent societal imperatives for effective policy initiatives, especially those that target the concomitant “nutrition transition” process with economic affluence, to break or at least further weaken the positive relationship of population obesity prevalence with national income. ]]> <![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

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<![CDATA[Brazilian vegetarians diet quality markers and comparison with the general population: A nationwide cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7851 Vegetarianism is an increasingly common practice worldwide. Despite good evidence from other countries regarding vegetarians’ diet quality, data from the Brazilian population is still scarce.ObjectiveTo characterize the vegetarian Brazilian population and evaluate their diet quality compared to the general Brazilian population.MethodsWe performed a nationwide cross-sectional study using an online self-administered questionnaire, previously validated for the Brazilian population, to evaluate diet quality markers of vegetarians. The invitation to participate in the survey was spread nationwide, aimed at vegetarian communities. Individuals who considered themselves vegetarians and were at least 18 years old were eligible to participate. The results on regular intake and intake adequacy were compared among vegetarians and between genders using the Pearson’s chi-square test. The body mass index (BMI) were analyzed by the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey post-hoc test. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test verified normality. All analyses considered bilateral hypotheses and a significance level of 5% (p <0.05).ResultsBrazilian vegetarians presented better diet quality markers, such as higher regular weekly intake and adequate daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and lower regular intake of soft drinks when compared to the general Brazilian population. Vegetarians also presented a proportionally higher consumption of natural foods and lower consumption of processed foods. Among vegetarians, a higher proportion of vegans showed positive results regarding diet markers analysis, when compared to vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians, and semi-vegetarians.ConclusionsVegetarians showed better results of diet adequacy when compared to the general population in Brazil, and vegans fared better when compared with other vegetarians. Despite the good results found, a large proportion of the participants still did not achieve the fruits and vegetables daily intake, according to the World Health Organization recommendations. ]]> <![CDATA[Functional and structural consequences of epithelial cell invasion by <i>Bordetella pertussis</i> adenylate cyclase toxin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7693 Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whopping cough, produces an adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) that plays a key role in the host colonization by targeting innate immune cells which express CD11b/CD18, the cellular receptor of CyaA. CyaA is also able to invade non-phagocytic cells, via a unique entry pathway consisting in a direct translocation of its catalytic domain across the cytoplasmic membrane of the cells. Within the cells, CyaA is activated by calmodulin to produce high levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and alter cellular physiology. In this study, we explored the effects of CyaA toxin on the cellular and molecular structure remodeling of A549 alveolar epithelial cells. Using classical imaging techniques, biochemical and functional tests, as well as advanced cell mechanics method, we quantify the structural and functional consequences of the massive increase of intracellular cyclic AMP induced by the toxin: cell shape rounding associated to adhesion weakening process, actin structure remodeling for the cortical and dense components, increase in cytoskeleton stiffness, and inhibition of migration and repair. We also show that, at low concentrations (0.5 nM), CyaA could significantly impair the migration and wound healing capacities of the intoxicated alveolar epithelial cells. As such concentrations might be reached locally during B. pertussis infection, our results suggest that the CyaA, beyond its major role in disabling innate immune cells, might also contribute to the local alteration of the epithelial barrier of the respiratory tract, a hallmark of pertussis.

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<![CDATA[An electrodiffusive, ion conserving Pinsky-Rinzel model with homeostatic mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7780 Neurons generate their electrical signals by letting ions pass through their membranes. Despite this fact, most models of neurons apply the simplifying assumption that ion concentrations remain effectively constant during neural activity. This assumption is often quite good, as neurons contain a set of homeostatic mechanisms that make sure that ion concentrations vary quite little under normal circumstances. However, under some conditions, these mechanisms can fail, and ion concentrations can vary quite dramatically. Standard models are thus not able to simulate such conditions. Here, we present what to our knowledge is the first multicompartmental neuron model that accounts for ion concentration variations in a way that ensures complete and consistent ion concentration and charge conservation. In this work, we use the model to explore under which activity conditions the ion concentration variations become important for predicting the neurodynamics. We expect the model to be of great value for the field of neuroscience, as it can be used to simulate a range of pathological conditions, such as spreading depression or epilepsy, which are associated with large changes in extracellular ion concentrations.

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<![CDATA[Constitutive hydrogen inhalation prevents vascular remodeling via reduction of oxidative stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne1330967-900e-43ee-b1f2-140543b0d511

Molecular hydrogen is thought to have an inhibitory effect on oxidative stress, thereby attenuating the onset and progression of various diseases including cardiovascular disease; however, few reports have assessed the preventive effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on of vascular remodeling. Here, we investigated the effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on vascular neointima formation using a cuff-induced vascular injury mouse model. After constitutive inhalation of compressed hydrogen gas (O2 21%, N2 77.7%, hydrogen 1.3%) or compressed air only (O2 21%, N2 79%) by C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks from 8 weeks of age in a closed chamber, inflammatory cuff injury was induced by polyethylene cuff placement around the femoral artery under anesthesia, and hydrogen gas administration was continued until sampling of the femoral artery. Neointima formation, accompanied by an increase in cell proliferation, was significantly attenuated in the hydrogen group compared with the control group. NADPH oxidase NOX1 downregulation in response to cuff injury was shown in the hydrogen group, but the expression levels of NADPH oxidase subunits, p40phox and p47phox, did not differ significantly between the hydrogen and control groups. Although the increase in superoxide anion production did not significantly differ between the hydrogen and control groups, DNA damage was decreased as a result of reduction of reactive oxygen species such as hydroxyl radical (⋅OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) in the hydrogen group. These results demonstrate that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas attenuates vascular remodeling partly via reduction of oxidative stress, suggesting that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas at a safe concentration in the living environment could be an effective strategy for prevention of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Trajectories of fatigue among stroke patients from the acute phase to 18 months post-injury: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc2795b82-f9e4-46cc-9fc3-23c3f213e7d4

Introduction

Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is a common symptom affecting 23–75% of stroke survivors. It is associated with increased risk of institutionalization and death, and it is of many patients considered among the worst symptoms to cope with after stroke. Longitudinal studies focusing on trajectories of fatigue may contribute to understanding patients’ experience of fatigue over time and its associated factors, yet only a few have been conducted to date.

Objectives

To explore whether subgroups of stroke survivors with distinct trajectories of fatigue in the first 18 months post stroke could be identified and whether these subgroups differ regarding sociodemographic, medical and/or symptom-related characteristics.

Materials and methods

115 patients with first-ever stroke admitted to Oslo University Hospital or Buskerud Hospital were recruited and data was collected prospectively during the acute phase and at 6, 12 and 18 months post stroke. Data on fatigue (both pre- and post-stroke), sociodemographic, medical and symptom-related characteristics were collected through structured interviews, standardized questionnaires and from the patients’ medical records.

Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to identify latent classes, i.e., subgroups of patients, based on their Fatigue Severity Scales (FSS) scores at the four time points. Differences in sociodemographic, medical, and symptom-related characteristics between the latent classes were evaluated using univariate and multivariable ordinal regression analyses.

Results and their significance

Using GMM, three latent classes of fatigue trajectories over 18 months were identified, characterized by differing levels of fatigue: low, moderate and high. The mean FSS score for each class remained relatively stable across all four time points. In the univariate analyses, age <75, pre-stroke fatigue, multiple comorbidities, current depression, disturbed sleep and some ADL impairment were associated with higher fatigue trajectories. In the multivariable analyses, pre-stroke fatigue (OR 4.92, 95% CI 1.84–13.2), multiple comorbidities (OR 4,52,95% CI 1.85–11.1) and not working (OR 4.61, 95% CI 1.36–15,7) were the strongest predictor of higher fatigue trajectories The findings of this study may be helpful for clinicians in identifying patients at risk of developing chronic fatigue after stroke.

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<![CDATA[Identification of separation-related problems in domestic cats: A questionnaire survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N096b59e8-8c6c-4ade-a9c3-2213a89d5014

Identifying and preventing the occurrence of separation-related problems (SRP) in companion animals are relevant to animal welfare and the quality of human-pet interactions. The SRP are defined as a set of behaviors and physiological signs displayed by the animal when separated from its attachment person. In cats, SRP has been insufficiently studied. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a questionnaire for cat owners which identifies behaviors that may indicate SRP, as well as relates the occurrence of SRP to the management practices applied in the sampled cats. The associations of SRP with cats’ characteristics, as well as owner, environmental, and management traits were investigated. The questionnaire was developed based on the scientific literature about separation anxiety syndrome in dogs and a few papers in cats, and it was completed by 130 owners of 223 cats. Analysis of owners’ answers was done through categorization and acquisition of relative frequencies of each response category, followed by Fisher’s exact test, chi-square tests in contingency table and Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Among the sampled animals, 13.45% (30 / 223) met at least one of the behavioral criteria we used to define SRP. Destructive behavior was the most frequently reported behavior (66.67%, 20 / 30), followed by excessive vocalization (63.33%, 19 / 30), urination in inappropriate places (60.00%, 18 / 30), depression-apathy (53.33%, 16 / 30), aggressiveness (36.67%, 11 / 30) and agitation-anxiety (36.67%, 11 / 30) and, in lower frequency, defecation in inappropriate places (23.33%, 7 / 30). The occurrence of SRP was associated with the number of females living in the residence (P = 0.01), with not having access to toys (P = 0.04), and no other animal residing in the house (P = 0.04). Separation-related problems in domestic cats are difficult to identify due to the limited amount of knowledge regarding the issue. The questionnaire developed in this study supported identification of the main behaviors likely related to SRP in cats and could be used as a starting point for future research.

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<![CDATA[Long-term effect of the Brazilian Workers’ Food Program on the nutritional status of manufacturing workers: A population-based prospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N23375fc9-a89d-407e-9d06-75f348bd7d78

Background

The Brazilian Workers Food Program (WFP) is a public policy program of nutritional assistance to workers, with the main objective of improving nutritional conditions, which was implemented 40 years ago and serves over 21.4 million workers.

Objectives

To compare the long-term change in anthropometric indicators of the nutritional status and dietary intake between workers of manufacturing industries adherent to and non-adherent to the WFP.

Methods

A prospective cohort study, based on a combined stratified and multistage probability sampling, was carried out, with two waves with a 4-year interval. The change in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and dietary intake at lunch by the 24-hour recall method were compared between groups with analysis of covariance.

Results

A total of 273 workers in 16 industries from an initial cohort of 1069 workers in 26 industries of the State of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil were evaluated in the two waves. The mean age was 37±10 years and 53.1% were male, with no differences between groups in age and sex distribution. BMI increased in both groups (0.44 kg/m2 in non-WFP, p = 0.003, and 0.56 kg/m2 in WFP, p = 0.0006) and WC increased in the WFP group (1.50 cm, p = 0.0006). BMI change over time did not show statistical differences between groups (p = 0.54) but WC had a greater increase in the WFP group (difference 1.37 cm, p = 0.047). There were no differences between groups in the change over time of the dietary intake.

Conclusion

BMI and WC increased over time in manufacturing workers of industries both adherent and non-adherent to the WFP, but with a greater increase of WC in the WFP group. In order to achieve the objectives of the WFP, there will be a need for periodic evaluation and monitoring of nutritional indicators in these workers and implementation of monitoring and enforcement actions of the WFP.

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<![CDATA[Risk and protective factors for post-traumatic stress among New Zealand military personnel: A cross sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88434cd0-9137-4283-905a-485946610b9a

Background

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) is prevalent among military personnel. Knowledge of the risk and protective factors associated with PTS in this population may assist with identifying personnel who would benefit from increased or targeted support.

Aims

To examine factors associated with PTS among New Zealand military personnel.

Methods

For this cross-sectional study, currently serving and retired military personnel were invited to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire included a measure of PTS (the Military Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist; PCL-M), where scores ≥30 indicate the experience of significant PTS symptoms and scores ≥45 indicate a presumptive clinical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress. Potential risk and protective factors associated with PTS were examined using logistic regression modelling.

Results

1817 military personnel completed the questionnaire. PCL-M scores were ≥30 for 549 (30%) participants and ≥45 for 179 (10%) participants. Factors associated with higher PCL-M scores were trauma exposure, older age, male sex, and Māori ethnicity. Factors associated with lower PCL-M scores were greater length of service, psychological flexibility, and better quality sleep.

Conclusions

PTS was found to be prevalent among New Zealand military personnel. The experience of trauma was strongly associated with PTS. However, factors such as psychological flexibility (the ability to adapt to changes in circumstances) and good sleep were protective, suggesting that these factors could be key targets for interventions designed to reduce PTS among military personnel in New Zealand.

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<![CDATA[Overnight polysomnography and the recording of sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians – possible protective effects of wind instruments on respiration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88c23519-1215-408d-ac46-2899835df1cf

Our study is the first to objectively assess sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians. We hypothesized low sleep quality due to high work demands and irregular work-sleep schedules, and a better respiration for wind instrument (WI) players than string instrument (SI) players due to habitual upper airway muscles training. We recorded overnight polysomnography with 29 professional orchestra musicians (21 men, 14 WI/ 15 SI). The musicians presented a sleep efficiency of 88% (IQR 82–92%) with WI having a significant higher sleep efficiency than SI (89%, 85–93% vs. 85%, 74–89%; p = 0.029). The group had a total sleep time around 6 hours (377min, 340-421min) with signs of increased NREM 1 (light sleep) and decreased REM (dream sleep). The musicians displayed an apnea-hypopnea-index of 2.1events/hour (0.7–5.5) and an oxygen saturation of 98% (97–100%). While SI player exhibited declining sleep-related respiration with age (breathing events: r = 0.774, p = 0.001, oxygen: r = -0.647, p = 0.009), WI player showed improved respiration with age (breathing events: r = -0.548, p = 0.043; oxygen: r = 0.610, p = 0.020). Our study is the first objective investigation of sleep pattern and respiration during sleep with overnight polysomnography in professional orchestra musicians. While sleep and respiration were unexpectedly good, our results revealed possible signs of sleep deprivation and an interesting age-related pattern on respiration depending on instrument. While sample size was small and results modest, these findings present first objective evidence towards the assumption that habitual playing of a WI–and training of the upper airway muscles–may have a protective effect on respiration.

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<![CDATA[Assessing the effects of intratendinous genipin injections: Mechanical augmentation and spatial distribution in an ex vivo degenerative tendon model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N537496c4-2c39-41e6-9ca3-002a318b88b6

Background

Tendinopathy is a common musculoskeletal disorder and current treatment options show limited success. Genipin is an effective collagen crosslinker with low cytotoxicity and a promising therapeutic strategy for stabilizing an intratendinous lesion.

Purpose

This study examined the mechanical effect and delivery of intratendinous genipin injection in healthy and degenerated tendons.

Study design

Controlled laboratory study

Methods

Bovine superficial digital flexor tendons were randomized into four groups: Healthy control (N = 25), healthy genipin (N = 25), degenerated control (N = 45) and degenerated genipin (N = 45). Degeneration was induced by Collagenase D injection. After 24h, degenerated tendons were subsequently injected with either 0.2ml of 80mM genipin or buffer only. 24h post-treatment, samples were cyclically loaded for 500 cycles and then ramp loaded to failure. Fluorescence and absorption assays were performed to analyze genipin crosslink distribution and estimate tissue concentration after injection.

Results

Compared to controls, genipin treatment increased ultimate force by 19% in degenerated tendons (median control 530 N vs. 633 N; p = 0.0078). No significant differences in mechanical properties were observed in healthy tendons, while degenerated tendons showed a significant difference in ultimate stress (+23%, p = 0.049), stiffness (+27%, p = 0.037), work to failure (+42%, p = 0.009), and relative stress relaxation (-11%, p < 0.001) after genipin injection. Fluorescence and absorption were significantly higher in genipin treated tendons compared to control groups. A higher degree of crosslinking (+45%, p < 0.001) and a more localized distribution were observed in the treated healthy compared to degenerated tendons, with higher genipin tissue concentrations in healthy (7.9 mM) than in degenerated tissue (2.3 mM).

Conclusion

Using an ex-vivo tendinopathy model, intratendinous genipin injections recovered mechanical strength to the level of healthy tendons. Measured by genipin tissue distribution, injection is an effective method for local delivery.

Clinical relevance

This study provides a proof of concept for the use of intratendinous genipin injection in the treatment of tendinopathy. The results demonstrate that a degenerated tendon can be mechanically augmented by a clinically viable method of local genipin delivery. This warrants further in vivo studies towards the development of a clinically applicable treatment based on genipin.

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<![CDATA[Do parents counter-balance the carbon emissions of their children?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nea582d41-f072-4a93-882b-8bb6cca64243

It is well understood that adding to the population increases CO2 emissions. At the same time, having children is a transformative experience, such that it might profoundly change adult (i.e., parents’) preferences and consumption. How it might change is, however, unknown. Depending on if becoming a parent makes a person “greener” or “browner,” parents may either balance or exacerbate the added CO2 emissions from their children. Parents might think more about the future, compared to childless adults, including risks posed to their children from environmental events like climate change. But parenthood also adds needs and more intensive competition on your scarce time. Carbon-intensive goods can add convenience and help save time, e.g., driving may facilitate being in more places in one day, compared to public transportation or biking. Pre-prepared food that contain red meat may save time and satisfy more household preferences, relative to vegetarian food. We provide the first rigorous test of whether parents are greener or browner than other adults. We create a unique dataset by combining detailed micro data on household expenditures of all expenditure groups particularly important for CO2 emissions (transportation, food, and heating/electricity) with CO2 emissions, and compare emissions from Swedish adults with and without children. We find that parents emit more CO2 than childless adults. Only a small fraction of adults permanently choose not to have children, which means any meaningful self-selection into parenthood based on green preferences is unlikely. Our findings suggest that having children might increase CO2 emissions both by adding to the population and by increasing CO2 emissions from those choosing to have children.

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<![CDATA[Clinical impact of melatonin on breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy; effects on cognition, sleep and depressive symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf52b3d22-02a5-4e7e-bb1d-9e73ca6c7e6b

This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial tested the hypothesis that 20mg of melatonin before and during the first cycle of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer (ACBC) reduced the side effects associated with cognitive impairment. We evaluated the effects of melatonin on cognition, depressive symptoms and sleep quality, and whether these effects were related to serum levels of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin kinase B (TrkB). Thirty-six women were randomly assigned to receive melatonin or placebo for 10 days. To evaluate cognitive performance, we used the Trail-Making-Test Parts A and B (A-B), Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) and an inhibitory task type Go / No-Go. Our results revealed that melatonin improved executive function on TMT scores, enhanced episodic memory (immediate and delayed) and recognition on RAVLT, and increased verbal fluency in the orthographic COWAT. The TMT-A-B(A-B) were negatively correlated with baseline levels of TrkB and BDNF, respectively. At the end of treatment, changes in TrkB and BDNF were inversely associated with depressive symptoms and sleep quality, but not with the TMT scores. These results suggest a neuroprotective effect of melatonin to counteract the adverse effects of ACBC on cognitive function, sleep quality and depressive symptoms.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations in a murine model of anthrax]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne17111d7-5152-4c88-81b1-0e84a1b58e42

The in vivo efficacy of liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin in two formulations, lipoquin and apulmiq, were evaluated against the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin is attractive as a therapy since it allows for once daily dosing and achieves higher concentrations of the antibiotic at the site of initial mucosal entry but lower systemic drug concentrations. The in vivo efficacy of lipoquin and apulmiq delivered by intranasal instillation was studied at different doses and schedules in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) therapy model and in a delayed treatment model of murine inhalational anthrax. In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control. Ciprofloxacin, lipoquin and apulmiq provided a high level of protection (87–90%) after 7 days of therapy when administered within 24 hours of exposure. Reducing therapy to only three days still provided protection of 60–87%, if therapy was provided within 24 hours of exposure. If treatment was initiated 48 hours after exposure the survival rate was reduced to 46–65%. These studies suggest that lipoquin and apulmiq may be attractive therapies as PEP and as part of a treatment cocktail for B. anthracis.

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<![CDATA[New physiological bench test reproducing nocturnal breathing pattern of patients with sleep disordered breathing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N13bd4ad3-60c6-4376-997d-f10f1c975c0e

Previous studies have shown that Automatic Positive Airway Pressure devices display different behaviors when connected to a bench using theoretical respiratory cycle scripts. However, these scripts are limited and do not simulate physiological behavior during the night. Our aim was to develop a physiological bench that is able to simulate patient breathing airflow by integrating polygraph data. We developed an algorithm analyzing polygraph data and transformed this information into digital inputs required by the bench hardware to reproduce a patient breathing profile on bench. The inputs are respectively the simulated respiratory muscular effort pressure input for an artificial lung and the sealed chamber pressure to regulate the Starling resistor. We did simulations on our bench for a total of 8 hours and 59 minutes for a breathing profile from the demonstration recording of a Nox T3 Sleep Monitor. The simulation performance results showed that in terms of relative peak-valley amplitude of each breathing cycle, simulated bench airflow was biased by only 1.48% ± 6.80% compared to estimated polygraph nasal airflow for a total of 6,479 breathing cycles. For total respiratory cycle time, the average bias ± one standard deviation was 0.000 ± 0.288 seconds. For patient apnea events, our bench simulation had a sensitivity of 84.7% and a positive predictive value equal to 90.3%, considering 149 apneas detected both in polygraph nasal simulated bench airflows. Our new physiological bench would allow personalizing APAP device selection to each patient by taking into account individual characteristics of a sleep breathing profile.

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<![CDATA[Tracking the brain in myotonic dystrophies: A 5-year longitudinal follow-up study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accf4d5eed0c4849903d9

Objectives

The aim of this study was to examine the natural history of brain involvement in adult-onset myotonic dystrophies type 1 and 2 (DM1, DM2).

Methods

We conducted a longitudinal observational study to examine functional and structural cerebral changes in myotonic dystrophies. We enrolled 16 adult-onset DM1 patients, 16 DM2 patients, and 17 controls. At baseline and after 5.5 ± 0.4 years participants underwent neurological, neuropsychological, and 3T-brain MRI examinations using identical study protocols that included voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging. Data were analyzed by (i) group comparisons between patients and controls at baseline and follow-up, and (ii) group comparisons using difference maps (baseline–follow-up in each participant) to focus on disease-related effects over time.

Results

We found minor neuropsychological deficits with mild progression in DM1 more than DM2. Daytime sleepiness was restricted to DM1, whereas fatigue was present in both disease entities and stable over time. Comparing results of cross-sectional neuroimaging analyses at baseline and follow-up revealed an unchanged pattern of pronounced white matter alterations in DM1. There was mild additional gray matter reduction in DM1 at follow-up. In DM2, white matter reduction was of lesser extent, but there were some additional alterations at follow-up. Gray matter seemed unaffected in DM2. Intriguingly, longitudinal analyses using difference maps and comparing them between patients and controls did not reveal any significant differences of cerebral changes over time between patients and controls.

Conclusion

The lack of significant disease-related progression of gray and white matter involvement over a period of five years in our cohort of DM1 and DM2 patients suggests either a rather slowly progressive process or even a stable course of cerebral changes in middle-aged adult-onset patients. Being the first longitudinal neuroimaging trial in DM1 and DM2, this study provides useful additional information regarding the natural history of brain involvement.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence and correlates of anemia among children aged 6-23 months in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c193ad5eed0c484b4d207

Background

Anemia, the world’s most common micro-nutrient deficiency disorder, can affect a person at any time and at all stages of life. Though all members of the community may face the problem, children aged 6–23 months are particularly at higher risk. If left untreated, it adversely affects the health, cognitive development, school achievement, and work performance. However, little was investigated among young children in Sub-Saharan countries including Ethiopia. This research aimed to investigate its magnitude and correlates to address the gap and guide design of evidence based intervention.

Methods

A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from May -June 2016 in rural districts of Wolaita Zone. Multi-stage sampling technique was applied and 990 mother-child pairs were selected. Socio-demography, health and nutritional characteristics were collected by administering interview questionnaire to mothers/care-givers. Blood samples were taken to diagnose anemia by using HemoCue device, and the status was determined using cut-offs used for children aged 6–59 months. Hemoglobin concentration below 11.0 g/dl was considered anemic. Data were analyzed with Stata V14. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regressions were applied to identify candidates and predictor variables respectively. Statistical significance was determined at p-value < 0.05 at 95% confidence interval.

Results

The mean hemoglobin level of children was 10.44±1.3g/dl, and 65.7% of them were anemic. Among anemic children, 0.4% were severely anemic (<7.0g/dl), while 28.1% and 37.2% were mildly (10.0–10.9g/dl) and moderately (7.0–9.9g/dl) anemic, respectively. In the multivariable analysis, having maternal age of 35 years and above (AOR = 1.96), being government employee (AOR = 0.29), being merchant (AOR = 0.43) and ‘other’ occupation (AOR = 3.17) were correlated with anemia in children in rural Wolaita. Similarly, receiving anti-helminthic drugs (AOR = 0.39), being female child (AOR = 1.76), consuming poor dietary diversity (AOR = 1.40), and having moderate household food insecurity (AOR = 1.72) were associated with anemia in rural Wolaita.

Conclusion

A large majority of children in the rural Wolaita were anemic and the need for proven public health interventions such as food diversification, provision of anti-helminthic drugs and ensuring household food security is crucial. In addition, educating women on nutrition and diet diversification, as well as engaging them with alternative sources of income might be interventions in the study area.

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