ResearchPad - research-report https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Unlike Many Disease Resistances, Rx1-Mediated Immunity to Potato Virus X Is Not Compromised at Elevated Temperatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13087 Specificity in the plant immune system is mediated by Resistance (R) proteins. Most R genes encode intracellular NLR-type immune receptors and these pathogen sensors require helper NLRs to activate immune signaling upon pathogen perception. Resistance conferred by many R genes is temperature sensitive and compromised above 28°C. Many Solanaceae R genes, including the potato NLR Rx1 conferring resistance to Potato Virus X (PVX), have been reported to be temperature labile. Rx1 activity, like many Solanaceae NLRs, depends on helper-NLRs called NRC’s. In this study, we investigated Rx1 resistance at elevated temperatures in potato and in Nicotiana benthamiana plants stably expressing Rx1 upon rub-inoculation with GFP-expressing PVX particles. In parallel, we used susceptible plants as a control to assess infectiousness of PVX at a range of different temperatures. Surprisingly, we found that Rx1 confers virus resistance in N. benthamiana up to 32°C, a temperature at which the PVX::GFP lost infectiousness. Furthermore, at 34°C, an Rx1-mediated hypersensitive response could still be triggered in N. benthamiana upon PVX Coat-Protein overexpression. As the Rx1-immune signaling pathway is not temperature compromised, this implies that at least one N. benthamiana helper NRC and its downstream signaling components are temperature tolerant. This finding suggests that the temperature sensitivity for Solanaceous resistances is likely attributable to the sensor NLR and not to its downstream signaling components.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Variability of 3′-Proximal Region of Genomes of Orf Viruses Isolated From Sheep and Wild Japanese Serows (<i>Capricornis crispus</i>) in Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13015 Orf virus is a prototype species of the genus Parapoxvirus, subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, family Poxviridae. Japanese orf viruses, infecting sheep and wild Japanese serows (Capricornis crispus), have been considered to be genetically closely related based on the sequence identities of the open reading frames (ORFs) 11, 20, and 132 in their genomes. However, since the genome size of orf viruses is about 140 kbp long, genetic variation among Japanese orf viruses remains unclear. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of ORFs 117, 119, 125, and 127 located in the 3′-proximal region of the viral genome using two strains from sheep and three strains from Japanese serows isolated from 1970 to 2007, and compared them with the corresponding sequences of reference orf viruses from other countries. Sequence analysis revealed that ORFs 125 and 127, which encode the inhibitor of apoptosis and viral interleukin (IL)-10, respectively, were highly conserved among the five Japanese orf viruses. However, high genetic variability with deletions or duplications was observed in ORFs 117 and 119, which encode granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and IL-2 inhibition factor (GIF), and inducer of cell apoptosis, respectively, in one strain from sheep and two strains from Japanese serows. Our results suggest that genetic variability exists in Japanese orf viruses even in the same host species. This is the first report of genetic variability of orf viruses in Japan.

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<![CDATA[Telemedicine Facilitation of Transfer Coordination From Emergency Departments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13006 Interhospital transfers are costly to patients and to the health care system. The use of telemedicine may enable more efficient systems by decreasing transfers or diverting transfers from crowded referral emergency departments (EDs) to alternative appropriate facilities. Our primary objective is to describe the prevalence of telemedicine for transfer coordination among US EDs, the ways in which it is used, and characteristics of EDs that use telemedicine for transfer coordination.MethodsWe used the 2016 National Emergency Department Inventory–USA survey to identify telemedicine-using EDs. We then surveyed all EDs using telemedicine for transfer coordination and a sample of EDs using telemedicine for other clinical applications. We used a multivariable logistic regression model to identify characteristics independently associated with use of telemedicine for transfer coordination.ResultsOf the 5,375 EDs open in 2016, 4,507 responded to National Emergency Department Inventory–USA (84%). Only 146 EDs used telemedicine for transfer coordination; of these, 79 (54%) used telemedicine to assist with clinical care for local admission, 117 (80%) to assist with care before transfer, and 92 (63%) for arranging transfer to a different hospital. Among telemedicine-using EDs, lower ED annual visit volume (odds ratio 5.87, 95% CI 2.79 to 12.36) was independently associated with use of telemedicine for transfer coordination.ConclusionAlthough telemedicine has potential to improve efficiency of regional emergency care systems, it is infrequently used for coordination of transfer between EDs. When used, it is most often to assist with clinical care before transfer. ]]> <![CDATA[Online Crowdfunding Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12814 <![CDATA[Food insecurity in females with phenylketonuria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10773 Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder characterized by insufficient metabolism of phenylalanine. Depending on severity, patients follow a low‐phenylalanine diet and may consume medical food (MF) and low‐protein modified foods; dietary and medical treatment can be expensive. This study assessed prevalence of food insecurity (FI), the lack of resources to access enough nutritious food to have an active, healthy life, in females with PKU and examined associations with diet and metabolic control. Participants were recruited from a research‐based camp in 2018. Adult and adolescent modules of the USDA Household Food Security survey were utilized to categorize participants as food secure [high food security (FS) or marginal FS] or food insecure (low FS or very low FS); results were compared to the general U.S. population. Dietary intake via three‐day food records and plasma amino acids were also assessed. Thirty females 11‐58 years of age (mean = 21.4 years) participated. Twelve (40%), including seven adolescents (44%) and five adults (36%), were FI compared to the U.S. prevalence of 11.1%. MF protein intake was significantly lower in those with very low FS compared to high FS and low FS (P = .04). Age and intact protein intake were significantly higher in those with very low FS compared to high FS (P < .05). Our study suggests adolescent and adult females with PKU have a higher prevalence of FI than the general U.S. population. Those with very low FS were older, consumed more dietary phenylalanine and intact protein, and less MF protein. Clinicians should consider screening for FI in patients with PKU.

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<![CDATA[A patient survey on the impact of alkaptonuria symptoms as perceived by the patients and their experiences of receiving diagnosis and care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10772 Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an ultrarare and multifaceted disease characterized by the absence of functional homogentisate 1,2‐dioxygenase activity, the enzyme responsible for breakdown of homogentisic acid—a tyrosine‐degradation product. The presymptomatic phase of the disease makes diagnosis difficult, with many patients unidentified or diagnosed late in life.ObjectiveTo date, no study has analyzed the perceived impact of different symptoms or the experiences of individuals through the patient journey in the context of AKU. This study aimed to examine patients' perceptions of AKU symptoms and their impact on quality of life as well as patients' experiences of being diagnosed and living with the disease.MethodsData for this study were collected using a quantitative self‐report questionnaire administered online to people with AKU.ResultsData from 45 participants indicate that symptoms with the highest impact for patients are those related to pain and ruptures, disability and inability to perform normal routines, emotional/mental health issues, and heart complications. Findings also revealed significant delays in contact with healthcare services and time to diagnosis. Furthermore, patients reported difficulty in receiving information about AKU, treatment and care, and long‐term disease management support.ConclusionsTime to diagnosis and care of AKU is significantly delayed. Symptoms of AKU with the highest impact on quality of life for patients are those related to pain and disability and the inability to perform normal routines. Bridging any gaps between patients with AKU and healthcare professionals through education could help improve patients' experiences with AKU through the patient journey. ]]> <![CDATA[Exercise Promotes Neurite Extensions from Grafted Dopaminergic Neurons in the Direction of the Dorsolateral Striatum in Parkinson’s Disease Model Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10115 Cell transplantation is expected to be a promising treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD), in which re-innervation of the host striatum by grafted dopamine (DA) neurons is essential. In particular, the dorsolateral part of the striatum is important because it is the target of midbrain A9 DA neurons, which are degenerated in PD pathology. The effect of exercise on the survival and maturation of grafted neurons has been reported in several neurological disease models, but never in PD models.Objective:We investigated how exercise influences cell transplantation for PD, especially from the viewpoint of cell survival and neurite extensions.Methods:Ventral mesencephalic neurons from embryonic (E12.5) rats were transplanted into the striatum of adult 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. The host rats then underwent treadmill training as exercise after the transplantation. Six weeks after the transplantation, they were sacrificed, and the grafts in the striatum were analyzed.Results:The addition of exercise post-transplantation significantly increased the number of surviving DA neurons. Moreover, it promoted neurite extensions from the graft toward the dorsolateral part of the striatum.Conclusions:This study indicates a beneficial effect of exercise after cell transplantation in PD. ]]> <![CDATA[Individually Tailored Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Daily Functioning in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10112 Parkinson’s disease (PD) is often associated with psychological distress and lowered daily functioning. The availability of psychological interventions tailored for people with Parkinson is very limited.Objective:To study if guided individually-tailored internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) provide additional value to standard medical treatment for PD.Methods:Seventy-seven individuals with PD and self-reported problems with general function measured with the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS > 15) were randomized to 10 weeks of either ICBT combined with standard medical treatment, or standard medical treatment plus being on waitlist to ICBT (CONTROL). Change in the main outcome WSAS, as well as secondary measures such as quality of life, depression, anxiety and insomnia symptoms were investigated post treatment.Results:Participants receiving ICBT reported significantly higher functioning after treatment (WSAS group difference –4.56, controlled effect size g = 0.69, significant group by time interaction, Wχ2= 26.23, p = 0.001). However, only around one third of participants in the treatment group were classified as treatment responders, defined as having a 30% reduction on the WSAS post treatment. Patient involvement and ratings of ICBT credibility were high. Symptoms of anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms were significantly lower after treatment compared to CONTROL. There were also positive effects on Parkinson-specific function and quality of life in the treatment group.Conclusions:ICBT as an addition to standard medical treatment was credible and improved functioning for some individuals with PD. Still, the treatment needs further development in order to help a larger proportion of individuals with PD.Trial registration number:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02627885. ]]> <![CDATA[Innovative Recruitment Strategies to Increase Diversity of Participation in Parkinson’s Disease Research: The Fox Insight Cohort Experience]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10109 Clinical research in Parkinson’s disease (PD) faces practical and ethical challenges due to two interrelated problems: participant under-recruitment and lack of diversity. Fox Insight (FI) is a web-based longitudinal study collecting patient-reported outcomes and genetic data worldwide to inform therapeutic studies. FI’s online platform provides an opportunity to evaluate online strategies for recruiting large, diverse research cohorts.Objective:This project aimed to determine 1) whether FI’s digital marketing was associated with increased enrollment overall and from under-represented patient groups, compared to traditional recruitment methods; 2) the clinical and demographic characteristics of samples recruited online, and 3) the cost of this online recruitment.Method:FI recruitment during a 6-week baseline period without digital promotion was compared to recruitment during several periods of digital outreach. Separate online recruiting intervals included general online study promotion and unique Facebook and Google ad campaigns targeting under-represented subgroups: early PD, late/advanced PD, and residents of underrepresented/rural geographic areas.Results:Early PD, late PD, and geotargeting campaigns enrolled more individuals in their respective cohorts compared to baseline. All online campaigns also yielded greater total FI enrollment, attracting more participants who were non-White, Hispanic, older, female, and had lower educational attainment and income, and more medical comorbidities. Cost per new participant ranged from $21 (Facebook) to $108 (Google).Conclusion:Digital marketing may allow researchers to increase, accelerate, and diversify recruitment for PD clinical studies, by tailoring digital ads to target PD cohort characteristics. ]]> <![CDATA[Substantia Nigra Volume Dissociates Bradykinesia and Rigidity from Tremor in Parkinson’s Disease: A 7 Tesla Imaging Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10097 In postmortem analysis of late stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) neuronal loss in the substantial nigra (SN) correlates with the antemortem severity of bradykinesia and rigidity, but not tremor.Objective:To investigate the relationship between midbrain nuclei volume as an in vivo biomarker for surviving neurons in mild-to-moderate patients using 7.0 Tesla MRI.Methods:We performed ultra-high resolution quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) on the midbrain in 32 PD participants with less than 10 years duration and 8 healthy controls. Following blinded manual segmentation, the individual volumes of the SN, subthalamic nucleus, and red nucleus were measured. We then determined the associations between the midbrain nuclei and clinical metrics (age, disease duration, MDS-UPDRS motor score, and subscores for bradykinesia/rigidity, tremor, and postural instability/gait difficulty).Results:We found that smaller SN correlated with longer disease duration (r = –0.49, p = 0.004), more severe MDS-UPDRS motor score (r = –0.42, p = 0.016), and more severe bradykinesia-rigidity subscore (r = –0.47, p = 0.007), but not tremor or postural instability/gait difficulty subscores. In a hemi-body analysis, bradykinesia-rigidity severity only correlated with SN contralateral to the less-affected hemi-body, and not contralateral to the more-affected hemi-body, possibly reflecting the greatest change in dopamine neuron loss early in disease. Multivariate generalized estimating equation model confirmed that bradykinesia-rigidity severity, age, and disease duration, but not tremor severity, predicted SN volume.Conclusions:In mild-to-moderate PD, SN volume relates to motor manifestations in a motor domain-specific and laterality-dependent manner. Non-invasive in vivo 7.0 Tesla QSM may serve as a biomarker in longitudinal studies of SN atrophy and in studies of people at risk for developing PD. ]]> <![CDATA[Comparison of an Online-Only Parkinson’s Disease Research Cohort to Cohorts Assessed In Person]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10092 Online tools for data collection could be of value in patient-oriented research. The Fox Insight (FI) study collects data online from individuals with self-reported Parkinson’s disease (PD). Comparing the FI cohort to other cohorts assessed through more traditional (in-person) observational research studies would inform the representativeness and utility of FI data.Objective:To compare self-reported demographic characteristics, symptoms, medical history, and PD medication use of the FI PD cohort to other recent observational research study cohorts assessed with in-person visits.Methods:The FI PD cohort (n = 12,654) was compared to 3 other cohorts, selected based on data accessibility and breadth of assessments: Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI; PD n = 422), Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP; n = 700), and PD participants in the LRRK2 consortium without LRRK2 mutations (n = 508). Demographics, motor and non-motor assessments, and medications were compared across cohorts. Where available, identical items on surveys and assessments were compared; otherwise, expert opinion was used to determine comparable definitions for a given variable.Results:The proportion of females was significantly higher in FI (45.56%) compared to PPMI (34.36%) and PDBP (35.71%). The FI cohort had greater educational attainment as compared to all other cohorts. Overall, prevalence of difficulties with motor experiences of daily living and non-motor symptoms in the FI cohort was similar to other cohorts, with only a few significant differences that were generally small in magnitude. Missing data were rare for the FI cohort, except on a few variables.Discussion:Patterns of responses to patient-reported assessments obtained online on the PD cohort of the FI study were similar to PD cohorts assessed in-person. ]]> <![CDATA[An Assessment of LRRK2 Serine 935 Phosphorylation in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease and G2019S <i>LRRK2</i> Cohorts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10091 The phosphorylated form of LRRK2, pS935 LRRK2, has been proposed as a target modulation biomarker for LRRK2 inhibitors. The primary aim of the study was to characterize and qualify this biomarker for therapeutic trials of LRRK2 inhibitors in Parkinson’s disease (PD). To this end, analytically validated assays were used to monitor levels of pS935 LRRK2 and total LRRK2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from the following donor groups: healthy controls, idiopathic PD, and G2019S carriers with and without PD. Neither analyte correlated with age, gender, or disease severity. While total LRRK2 levels were similar across the four groups, there was a significant reduction in pS935 LRRK2 levels in disease-manifesting G2019S carriers compared to idiopathic PD. In aggregate, these data indicate that phosphorylation of LRRK2 at S935 may reflect a state marker for G2019S LRRK2-driven PD, the underlying biology for which requires investigation in future studies. This study also provides critical foundational data to inform the integration of pS935 and total LRRK2 levels as biomarkers in therapeutic trials of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors.

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<![CDATA[EASE LID 2: A 2-Year Open-Label Trial of Gocovri (Amantadine) Extended Release for Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10087 Gocovri® (amantadine) extended release capsules are approved for the treatment of dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) receiving levodopa-based therapy.Objective:To evaluate the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of Gocovri in patients with PD experiencing levodopa-induced dyskinesia.Methods:In this 2-year open-label trial, patients completing double-blind Gocovri clinical trials or excluded from prior trials because of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) received Gocovri 274 mg once daily at bedtime. The primary objective was to evaluate long-term safety and tolerability. In addition, dyskinesia and OFF time were assessed using Part IV (Motor Complications) scores on the Movement Disorder Society–Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS).Results:Among 223 enrolled patients (mean PD duration, 11.7 years; mean levodopa use, 9.3 years), 75.8% completed 1 year of treatment and 57.8% completed the trial, with a median treatment duration of 1.9 years. Common adverse events were fall (32.7%), hallucination (24.2%), peripheral edema (16.1%), constipation (13.5%), and urinary tract infection (10.3%); 31 patients (13.9%) discontinued because of adverse events considered related to study drug. At baseline, MDS-UPDRS Part IV scores were lower for patients continuing Gocovri (mean, 6.5 points) than for previous placebo (9.4) or DBS groups (10.5) but were similar for all groups by week 8 (6.3, 6.2, 6.4, respectively), and remained low for the duration of the trial (at week 100: 6.9, 7.3, 7.0, respectively).Conclusions:In patients with PD, Gocovri showed long-term safety and tolerability consistent with double-blind trial findings, and durable reduction in motor complications (dyskinesia and OFF time). ]]> <![CDATA[Modelling Modifiable Predictors of Age-Related Cognitive Decline: Exercise, Aortic Stiffness, and the Importance of Physical Fitness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10076 Previous modelling found that fitness and aortic stiffness both independently predicted spatial working memory (SWM) performance in older people. There is also evidence that greater engagement in moderate intensity exercise contributes to better cognitive performance, potentially working through improving fitness and aortic stiffness.Objective:To investigate the effect of exercise on the previously established relationships between fitness, aortic stiffness, and SWM, and whether these associations differ between older adults of higher and lower fitness.Methods:One hundred and two residents of independent living facilities, aged 60–90 (M = 77.5, SD = 6.9) participated in the study. Measures included computerized cognitive assessment, the Six-Minute Walk fitness test, the CHAMPS physical activity questionnaire, and aortic pulse wave analysis. Multiple structural equation models were used to test hypotheses.Results:Overall, exercise levels had a small additional effect in predicting SWM, working exclusively through fitness, although this was only true for those of lower than average fitness. Additionally, it was found that while fitness was the most important factor in predicting SWM in those of lower fitness, aortic stiffness was the strongest predictor in those of higher fitness.Conclusion:Fitness and aortic stiffness are strong predictors of cognition in older people, and greater engagement in exercise predicted better cognition in those who were of lower fitness. Fitter older people may benefit more from interventions which target aortic stiffness in order to preserve cognitive performance as they age, while those who are less fit may benefit most from improving fitness first, including through increased physical activity. ]]> <![CDATA[Interaction of MOPS buffer with glass–ceramic scaffold: Effect of (PO<sub>4</sub>)<sup>3−</sup> ions in SBF on kinetics and morphology of formatted hydroxyapatite]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8265 The international standard ISO 23317:2014 for the in vitro testing of inorganic biomaterials in simulated body fluid (SBF) uses TRIS buffer to maintain neutral pH. In our previous papers, we investigated the interaction of a glass–ceramic scaffold with TRIS and HEPES buffers. Both of them speeded up glass–ceramic dissolution and hydroxyapatite (HAp) precipitation, thereby demonstrating their unsuitability for the in vitro testing of highly reactive biomaterials. In this article, we tested MOPS buffer (3‐[N‐morpholino] propanesulfonic acid), another amino acid from the group of “Goods buffers”. A highly reactive glass–ceramic scaffold (derived from Bioglass®) was exposed to SBF under static–dynamic conditions for 13/15 days. The kinetics and morphology of the newly precipitated HAp were studied using two different concentrations of (PO4)3− ions in SBF. The pH value and the SiIV, Ca2+, and (PO4)3− concentrations in the SBF leachate samples were measured every day (AAS, spectrophotometry). The glass–ceramic scaffold was monitored by SEM/EDS, XRD, WD‐XRF, and BET before and after 1, 3, 7, 11, and 13/15 days of exposure. As in the case of TRIS and HEPES, the preferential dissolution of the glass–ceramic crystalline phase (Combeite) was observed, but less intensively. The lower concentration of (PO4)3− ions slowed down the kinetics of HAp precipitation, thereby causing the disintegration of the scaffold structure. This phenomenon shows that the HAp phase was predominately generated by the presence of (PO4)3− ions in the SBF, not in the glass–ceramic material. Irrespective of this, MOPS buffer is not suitable for the maintenance of pH in SBF.

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<![CDATA[Public Priorities and Concerns Regarding COVID-19 in an Online Discussion Forum: Longitudinal Topic Modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8148 <![CDATA[Risk Factors for Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Infants With Patent Arterial Duct. A Retrospective Matched Paired Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7858 Background: The development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in neonates with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is not well-understood. Our aim was to find risk factors for NEC in children with a significant PDA and to assess differences in mortality and duration of hospital stay between patients with PDA and those with PDA and NEC.

Methods: We performed a retrospective single center case control study including infants with PDA scheduled for treatment. We compared multiple patient data between patients with PDA and those with PDA and NEC from 2004 to 2018 using 1:2 and 1:1 matching.

Results: We used 1:2 matching with 26 NEC patients (cases) and 52 PDA patients without NEC (controls) and 1:1 matching with 5 NEC patients and 5 PDA patients without NEC. NEC patients had lower Apgar score (1′), more congenital malformations, more suspected sepsis, less hypotension, higher minimum platelet count and higher CRP-values during the week before NEC (P < 0.05, respectively). The mortality was higher in NEC cases [29% (9/31)] compared to the control patients [2% (1/57), P < 0.001]. Lower Apgar score (1′) was correlated with an increased risk of NEC stage III. Hypotension was inversely correlated with the odds of NEC (OR 0.3).

Conclusions: NEC increased mortality in infants with PDA. Hypotension did not increase the risk of NEC in infants with PDA. Routine clinical parameters were not able to predict NEC in infants who suffer from PDA.

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<![CDATA[Orbital Magnetic Resonance Imaging May Contribute to the Diagnosis of Optic Nerve Lymphoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7857 Background: Optic nerve lymphoma can present a diagnostic challenge because of its confusing clinical features and the difficulty of obtaining lesion tissue for biopsy. The objective of this study was to find some flags of lymphomatous infiltration of optic nerves.

Methods: We report two cases of optic nerve lymphoma and conduct a literature review to determine whether a common diagnostic characteristic can be identified.

Results: We examined 22 optic nerve lymphoma cases. Thirteen cases were systemic lymphoma infiltration of the optic nerve, five were primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), and four were primary isolated optic nerve lymphoma. Twenty patients manifested significant enlargement of the lesions in orbital/brain MRI. Seventeen contrast-enhanced MRIs showed abnormal enhancement of the optic nerve. All PCNSL and isolated optic nerve lymphoma patients in the series showed marked enhancement. Moderate and subtle enhancement was found in systemic lymphoma patients only. At the enhancement site, six isolated optic nerve lymphoma and PCNSL patients presented intrinsic enhancement, ten systemic patients showed both optic nerve and sheath enhancement, and one demonstrated sheath enhancement. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests showed elevated protein levels in six patients, and a neoplasm in one patient. We found abnormality of CSF immunity in both of our patients.

Conclusion: Combined characteristics of orbital MRI and CSF tests may facilitate expeditious suspicion establishment of optic nerve lymphoma.

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<![CDATA[Where Is the Action in Perception? An Exploratory Study With a Haptic Sensory Substitution Device]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7855 Enactive cognitive science (ECS) and ecological psychology (EP) agree that active movement is important for perception, but they remain ambiguous regarding the precise role of agency. EP has focused on the notion of sensorimotor invariants, according to which bodily movements play an instrumental role in perception. ECS has focused on the notion of sensorimotor contingencies, which goes beyond an instrumental role because skillfully regulated movements are claimed to play a constitutive role. We refer to these two hypotheses as instrumental agency and constitutive agency, respectively. Evidence comes from a variety of fields, including neural, behavioral, and phenomenological research, but so far with confounds that prevent an experimental distinction between these hypotheses. Here we advance the debate by proposing a novel double-participant setup that aims to isolate agency as the key variable that distinguishes bodily movement in active and passive conditions of perception. We pilot this setup with a psychological study of width discrimination using the Enactive Torch, a haptic sensory substitution device. There was no evidence favoring the stronger hypothesis of constitutive agency over instrumental agency. However, we caution that during debriefing several participants reported using cognitive strategies that did not rely on spatial perception. We conclude that this approach is a viable direction for future research, but that greater care is required to establish and confirm the desired modality of first-person experience.

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<![CDATA[Attentional Bias to Facial Expressions of Different Emotions – A Cross-Cultural Comparison of ≠Akhoe Hai||om and German Children and Adolescents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7563 The attentional bias to negative information enables humans to quickly identify and to respond appropriately to potentially threatening situations. Because of its adaptive function, the enhanced sensitivity to negative information is expected to represent a universal trait, shared by all humans regardless of their cultural background. However, existing research focuses almost exclusively on humans from Western industrialized societies, who are not representative for the human species. Therefore, we compare humans from two distinct cultural contexts: adolescents and children from Germany, a Western industrialized society, and from the ≠Akhoe Hai||om, semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers in Namibia. We predicted that both groups show an attentional bias toward negative facial expressions as compared to neutral or positive faces. We used eye-tracking to measure their fixation duration on facial expressions depicting different emotions, including negative (fear, anger), positive (happy), and neutral faces. Both Germans and the ≠Akhoe Hai||om gazed longer at fearful faces, but shorter on angry faces, challenging the notion of a general bias toward negative emotions. For happy faces, fixation durations varied between the two groups, suggesting more flexibility in the response to positive emotions. Our findings emphasize the need for placing research on emotion perception into an evolutionary, cross-cultural comparative framework that considers the adaptive significance of specific emotions, rather than differentiating between positive and negative information, and enables systematic comparisons across participants from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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