ResearchPad - short-paper https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Correlation between the migration scale index and the number of new confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 cases in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11133 In late December 2019, patients of atypical pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Subsequently, a novel coronavirus was identified as the causative pathogen which was named SARS-CoV-2. As of 12 February 2020, more than 44 000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been confirmed in China and continue to expand. Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China have launched first-level response to major public health emergencies one after another from 23 January 2020, which means restricting movement of people among provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The aim of this study was to explore the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and to depict the effect of restricting population movement. In this study, Excel 2010 was used to demonstrate the temporal distribution at the day level and SPSS 23.0 was used to analyse the correlation between the migration scale index and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. We found that since 23 January 2020, Wuhan migration scale index has dropped significantly and since 26 January 2020, Hubei province migration scale index has dropped significantly. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and showed a downward trend from 6 February 2020. New confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province gradually increased since 24 January 2020, and maintained at a high level from 24 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, then showed a downward trend. Wuhan migration scale index from 9 January to 22 January, 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Wuhan from 22 January to 4 February. Hubei province migration scale index from 10 January to 23 January and 11 January to 24 January was correlated with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in China except for Hubei province from 22 January to 4 February. Our findings suggested that people who left Wuhan from 9 January to 22 January, and those who left Hubei province from 10 January to 24 January, led to the outbreak in the rest of China. The ‘Wuhan lockdown’ and the launching of the first-level response to this major public health emergency may have had a good effect on controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. Although new COVID-19 cases continued to be confirmed in China outside Wuhan and Hubei provinces, in our opinion, these are second-generation cases.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Home Quarantine on Physical Activity Among Older Adults Living at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Qualitative Interview Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncc17e081-0343-4b78-b0c0-ba849c05d029 Older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions are at risk of death from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2). In this period of quarantine, one of the reasons for going out is physical activity. This issue is important, as the impact of a sedentary lifestyle might be lower for children and young adults, but is far more severe for older adults. Although older adults need to stay at home because they have a higher risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), they need to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity is important for older adults, especially to maintain their level of independence, mental health, and well-being. Maintaining mobility in old age is necessary, as it may predict loss of independence in older adults.ObjectiveOur first objective was to evaluate the impact of this quarantine period on physical activity programs and on the physical and mental health of older adults. Our second objective was to discuss alternatives to physical activity programs that could be suggested for this population to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.MethodsWe conducted a qualitative survey using semistructured interviews with professionals (managers in charge of physical activity programs for older adults and sports trainers who run these physical activity programs) from the French Federation of Physical Education and Voluntary Gymnastics (FFPEVG) and older adults participating in a physical activity program of the FFPEVG. We followed a common interview guide. For analysis, we carried out a thematic analysis of the interviews.ResultsThis study suggests that the COVID-19 epidemic has affected, before quarantine measures, the number of seniors attending group physical activity programs in the two study territories. In addition, despite the decline in their participation in group physical activities before the quarantine, older adults expressed the need to perform physical activity at home. There is a need to help older adults integrate simple and safe ways to stay physically active in a limited space. A national policy to support older adults for physical activity at home appears essential in this context.ConclusionsGiven the results of our study, it seems necessary to globally communicate how important it is for older adults to maintain physical activity at home. We are concerned about the level of independence and mental health state of older adults after the end of quarantine if there is no appropriate campaign to promote physical activity among them at home. ]]> <![CDATA[Evidence for communication of peripheral iron status to cerebrospinal fluid: clinical implications for therapeutic strategy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4d36738f-805c-418e-9dd0-a80375a5320f

Background

Iron is crucial for proper functioning of all organs including the brain. Deficiencies and excess of iron are common and contribute to substantial morbidity and mortality. Whereas iron’s involvement in erythropoiesis drives clinical practice, the guidelines informing interventional strategies for iron repletion in neurological disorders are poorly defined. The objective of this study was to determine if peripheral iron status is communicated to the brain.

Methods

We used a bi-chamber cell culture model of the blood–brain-barrier to determine transcytosis of iron delivered by transferrin as a metric of iron transport. In the apical chamber (representative of the blood) we placed transferrin complexed with iron59 and in the basal chamber (representative of the brain) we placed human cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples (N = 24) were collected via lumbar puncture. The integrity of the tight junctions were monitored throughout the experiments using RITC-Dextran.

Results

We demonstrate that iron transport correlates positively with plasma hemoglobin concentrations but not serum ferritin levels.

Conclusions

The clinical ramifications of these findings are several- fold. They suggest that erythropoietic demands for iron take precedence over brain requirements, and that the metric traditionally considered to be the most specific test reflecting total body iron stores and relied upon to inform treatment decisions–i.e., serum ferritin–may not be the preferred peripheral indicator when attempting to promote brain iron uptake. The future direction of this line of investigation is to identify the factor(s) in the CSF that influence iron transport at the level of the BBB.

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<![CDATA[A Mobile Health Platform to Disseminate Validated Institutional Measurements During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Utilization-Focused Evaluation Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nba333c68-0f09-43fb-8c92-d17fbf8bd831

Background

As part of the response plans for the current outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), authorities are drafting and implementing containment measures across jurisdictions worldwide in the effort to slow down transmission and reduce the infection rate. A solid communication strategy is needed to increase the reach of valid information to health professionals, reduce misinformation, and efficiently implement recommended measures.

Objective

The aim of this paper is to describe the utilization of a dedicated mobile health (mHealth) platform to disseminate up-to-date and validated information about SARS-CoV-2 to all medical staff of the Children’s Hospital at the University Hospitals of Geneva.

Methods

Three documents containing institutional information concerning screening, local containment procedures, and frequently asked questions and answers for parents were made available to the staff through a mobile app developed in the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Using a third-party statistics tool, we anonymously monitored user activity as well as content utilization patterns since the diagnosis of the first case of SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland on February 25, 2020.

Results

From February 25, 2020, to March 13, 2020 (18 days), information documents on SARS-CoV-2 were viewed 859 times, which accounted for 35.6% of the total content views (total views=332). User activity increased significantly with 50.8 (SD 14.4) users per day in this period as compared to the previous weeks (mean 26.4, SD 9.8; P<.001). In addition, session numbers per day more than doubled during the aforementioned period (P<.001). In a survey, medical staff found the information easy to find within the app. On a 10-point Likert scale, the ability of the app to reassure staff in clinical practice was rated as 7.6 (SD 2.1), time-saving ability was rated as 8.5 (SD 2.1), and the need to look for information from other sources was rated as 5.9 (SD 3.3).

Conclusions

The use of an mHealth solution to disseminate novel coronavirus–related information seemed to be an effective and time-saving communication channel within our institution during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Medical staff felt reassured and informed in daily practice. More research should be done on the clinical impact and outcomes of the integration of mHealth solutions as a communication channel of validated information within health institutions.

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<![CDATA[Genetic control of anti-idiotypic vaccination against coronavirus infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb581e65b-cb6c-4e4a-b6bf-cfd3858b41d4

Abstract

The idiotypic network can be experimentally altered to induce protective immune responses against microbial pathogens. Both internal image and noninternal image anti‐idiotypic (anti‐Id) antibodies have been shown to trigger antigen (Ag)‐specific immune responses. Therefore, mechanisms of anti‐Id vaccination appear to go beyond structural mimicry of Ag, but remain undefined. Using the neurotropic murine coronavirus animal model, we have previously shown that a polyclonal noninternal image anti‐Id (Ab2) could vaccinate BALB/c mice. To characterize its mode of action, we have examined the immune modulating capability of this Ab2 in vivo in strains of mice with different H‐2 haplotypes. Even though only internal image anti‐Id are expected to induce non‐genetically restricted immunity, this noninternal image Ab2 induced protective immunity in four of eight genetically different strains of mice susceptible to coronavirus infection. These were BALB/c (H‐2d), DBA/1 (H‐2d), DBA/1 (H‐2q), and SWR (H‐2q) mice. Protection was generally correlated with the induction of specific antiviral Ab (Ab3) that showed biological properties, such as virus neutralization in vitro, similar to the initial Ab1. To evaluate the genetic implication of the H‐2 haplotypes in protection, congenic mice were also tested. Vaccination profiles suggest that cooperation between background gene(s) of the BALB/c mouse with H‐2d and H‐2q loci is necessary for an optimal protective immune response, although the main genetic element(s) regulating the antiviral response to Ab2 inoculation appeared to be located outside the major histocompatibility complex. These results are consistent with the ability of Ab2 to induce protective antiviral antibodies in genetically different animals by biological mimicry.

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<![CDATA[Secukinumab for psoriasis in a patient with familial Mediterranean fever]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd5b255b7-780f-43e1-80cf-8739a0f792b6 ]]> <![CDATA[Discrepant molecular and clinical diagnoses in Beckwith-Wiedemann and Silver-Russell syndromes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9b6091e7-5ecb-493e-b71d-8f6873c618de

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) are two imprinting disorders associated with opposite molecular alterations in the 11p15.5 imprinting centres. Their clinical diagnosis is confirmed by molecular testing in 50–70% of patients. The authors from different reference centres for BWS and SRS have identified single patients with unexpected and even contradictory molecular findings in respect to the clinical diagnosis. These patients clinically do not fit the characteristic phenotypes of SRS or BWS, but illustrate their clinical heterogeneity. Thus, comprehensive molecular testing is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management, to avoid premature clinical diagnosis and anxiety for the families.

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<![CDATA[Quality of Medical Advice Provided Between Members of a Web-Based Message Board for Patients With Implantable Defibrillators: Mixed-Methods Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9bf5d45c-af0d-4887-bdd5-d9a6980519b5

Background

Patients use Web-based medical information to understand medical conditions and treatments. A number of efforts have been made to understand the quality of professionally created content; however, none have described the quality of advice being provided between anonymous members of Web-based message boards.

Objective

The objective of this study was to characterize the quality of medical information provided between members of an anonymous internet message board addressing treatment with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Methods

We quantitatively analyzed 2 years of discussions using a mixed inductive-deductive framework, first, for instances in which members provided medical advice and, then, for the quality of the advice.

Results

We identified 82 instances of medical advice within 127 discussions. Advice covered 6 topical areas: (1) Device information, (2) Programming, (3) Cardiovascular disease, (4) Lead management, (5) Activity restriction, and (6) Management of other conditions. Across all advice, 50% (41/82) was deemed generally appropriate, 24% (20/82) inappropriate for most patients, 6% (5/82) controversial, and 20% (16/82) without sufficient context. Proportions of quality categories varied between topical areas. We have included representative examples.

Conclusions

The quality of advice shared between anonymous members of a message board regarding ICDs varied considerably according to topical area and the specificity of advice. This report provides a model to describe the quality of the available Web-based patient-generated material.

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<![CDATA[Carbohydrate restriction and dietary cholesterol modulate the expression of HMG-CoA reductase and the LDL receptor in mononuclear cells from adult men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daaaab0ee8fa60ba9187

The liver is responsible for controlling cholesterol homeostasis in the body. HMG-CoA reductase and the LDL receptor (LDL-r) are involved in this regulation and are also ubiquitously expressed in all major tissues. We have previously shown in guinea pigs that there is a correlation in gene expression of HMG-CoA reductase and the LDL-r between liver and mononuclear cells. The present study evaluated human mononuclear cells as a surrogate for hepatic expression of these genes. The purpose was to evaluate the effect of dietary carbohydrate restriction with low and high cholesterol content on HMG-CoA reductase and LDL-r mRNA expression in mononuclear cells. All subjects were counseled to consume a carbohydrate restricted diet with 10–15% energy from carbohydrate, 30–35% energy from protein and 55–60% energy from fat. Subjects were randomly assigned to either EGG (640 mg/d additional dietary cholesterol) or SUB groups [equivalent amount of egg substitute (0 dietary cholesterol contributions) per day] for 12 weeks. At the end of the intervention, there were no changes in plasma total or LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) compared to baseline (P > 0.10) or differences in plasma total or LDL-C between groups. The mRNA abundance for HMG-CoA reductase and LDL-r were measured in mononuclear cells using real time PCR. The EGG group showed a significant decrease in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA (1.98 ± 1.26 to 1.32 ± 0.92 arbitrary units P < 0.05) while an increase was observed for the SUB group (1.13 ± 0.52 to 1.69 ± 1.61 arbitrary units P < 0.05). Additionally, the LDL-r mRNA abundance was decreased in the EGG group (1.72 ± 0.69 to 1.24 ± 0.55 arbitrary units P < 0.05) and significantly increased in the SUB group (1.00 ± 0.60 to 1.67 ± 1.94 arbitrary units P < 0.05). The findings indicate that dietary cholesterol during a weight loss intervention alters the expression of genes regulating cholesterol homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[A possible case of spontaneous Loa loa encephalopathy associated with a glomerulopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daceab0ee8fa60bb549a

It is well known that renal and neurological complications may occur after antifilarial treatment of patients infected with Loa loa. Conversely, spontaneous cases of visceral complications of loiasis have been rarely reported. A 31-year-old Congolese male patient who had not received any antifilarial drug developed oedema of the lower limbs, and then transient swellings of upper limbs. Two months after, he developed troubles of consciousness within several hours. At hospital, the patient was comatose with mild signs of localization. Laboratory tests and an abdominal echography revealed a chronic renal failure due to a glomerulopathy. Three weeks after admission, Loa microfilariae were found in the cerebrospinal fluid, and a calibrated blood smear revealed a Loa microfilaraemia of 74,200 microfilariae per ml. The level of consciousness of the patient improved spontaneously, without any specific treatment, but several days after becoming completely lucid, the patient died suddenly, from an undetermined cause. Unfortunately, no biopsy or autopsy could be performed. The role of Loa loa in the development of the renal and neurological troubles of this patient is questionable. But the fact that such troubles, which are known complications of Loa infection, were found concomitantly in a person harbouring a very high microfilarial load suggests that they might have been caused by the filarial parasite. In areas endemic for loiasis, examinations for a Loa infection should be systematically performed in patients presenting an encephalopathy or a glomerulopathy.

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<![CDATA[Pharmacogenetic interaction between dexamethasone and Cd36-deficient segment of spontaneously hypertensive rat chromosome 4 affects triacylglycerol and cholesterol distribution into lipoprotein fractions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db10ab0ee8fa60bcbd20

Dexamethasone (DEX) is known to induce diabetes and dyslipidemia. We have compared fasting triacylglycerol and cholesterol concentrations across 20 lipoprotein fractions and glucose tolerance in control (standard diet) and DEX-treated 7-month-old males of two rat strains, Brown Norway (BN) and congenic BN.SHR-(Il6-Cd36)/Cub (BN.SHR4). These two inbred strains differ in a defined segment of chromosome 4, originally transferred from the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) including the mutant Cd36 gene, a known target of DEX. Compared to BN, the standard-diet-fed BN.SHR4 showed higher cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations across many lipoprotein fractions, particularly in small VLDL and LDL particles. Total cholesterol was decreased by DEX by more than 21% in BN.SHR4 contrasting with the tendency to increase in BN (strain*DEX interaction p = 0.0017). Similar pattern was observed for triacylglycerol concentrations in LDL. The LDL particle size was significantly reduced by DEX in both strains. Also, while control BN and BN.SHR4 displayed comparable glycaemic profiles during oral glucose tolerance test, we observed a markedly blunted DEX induction of glucose intolerance in BN.SHR4 compared to BN. In summary, we report a pharmacogenetic interaction between limited genomic segment with mutated Cd36 gene and dexamethasone-induced glucose intolerance and triacylglycerol and cholesterol redistribution into lipoprotein fractions.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for the association of the DAOA (G72) gene with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but not for the association of the DAO gene with schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b94345

Background

Previous linkage and association studies have implicated the D-amino acid oxidase activator gene (DAOA)/G30 locus or neighbouring region of chromosome 13q33.2 in the genetic susceptibility to both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the D-amino acid oxidase (DAO) gene located at 12q24.11 have also been found to show allelic association with schizophrenia.

Methods

We used the case control method to test for genetic association with variants at these loci in a sample of 431 patients with schizophrenia, 303 patients with bipolar disorder and 442 ancestrally matched supernormal controls all selected from the UK population.

Results

Ten SNPs spanning the DAOA locus were genotyped in these samples. In addition three SNPs were genotyped at the DAO locus in the schizophrenia sample. Allelic association was detected between the marker rs3918342 (M23), 3' to the DAOA gene and both schizophrenia (χ2 = 5.824 p = 0.016) and bipolar disorder (χ2 = 4.293 p = 0.038). A trend towards association with schizophrenia was observed for two other DAOA markers rs3916967 (M14, χ2 = 3.675 p = 0.055) and rs1421292 (M24; χ2 = 3.499 p = 0.062). A test of association between a three marker haplotype comprising of the SNPs rs778293 (M22), rs3918342 (M23) and rs1421292 (M24) and schizophrenia gave a global empirical significance of p = 0.015. No evidence was found to confirm the association of genetic markers at the DAO gene with schizophrenia.

Conclusion

Our results provide some support for a role for DAOA in susceptibility to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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<![CDATA[Role of LOX-1 and ROS in oxidized low-density lipoprotein induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition of NRK52E]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da23ab0ee8fa60b7f953

Background

To investigate the effect of oxidized low density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) on tubular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (TEMT) induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and its mechanism.

Methods

NRK-52E cells were incubated with ox-LDL (0, 25, 50, and 100 μg/ml) for 24 hours or pre-treated with the chemical inhibitor of the LOX-1 receptor polyinosinic acid (poly I) and carrageenan or the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the cells were then exposed to 50 μg/ml of ox-LDL.The expression of LOX-I, E-cadherin, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were analyzed by real-time PCR, western blotting analysis, immunofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Results

Ox-LDL increased the expression of LOX-1 mRNA and protein in a dose-dependent manner from 0 to 100 μg/ml (P < 0.05). Following the increase in the LOX-1 protein level, the lipid intake, ROS generation and α-SMA expression increased; however, the E-cadherin level decreased. The pre-treatment with poly I or carrageenan or NAC significantly inhibited the LOX-1 expression, α-SMA expression, the lipid intake and ROS generation and reversed decrease of E-cadherin expression induced by ox-LDL. Meanwhile, the ROS generation were associated with a increase in the LOX-1 expression. The α-SMA expression was positively correlated with the ROS generation and LOX-1 expression, and the E-cadherin expression was negatively correlated with the ROS generation and LOX-1 expression.

Conclusions

LOX-1 and ROS may play a important role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition of NRK52E induced by OX-LDL.

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<![CDATA[A window of opportunity? Motor skills and perceptions of competence of children in Kindergarten]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db09ab0ee8fa60bc98bd

Background

Our aim was to examine the relationship between motor skill proficiency and perceptions of competence of children in their first year of school. We also explored gender-based differences.

Findings

Participants were 260 kindergarten children (mean age = 5y 9 m; boys = 52%) from eight schools; representing 78% of eligible children in those schools. Motor skills were measured using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and perceptions of physical competence were assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Motor skill scores were generally low (percentile ranks ranged from 16 - 24) but perceptions of physical competence were positive (boys = 18.1/24.0, girls = 19.5/24.0). A MANOVA showed a significant overall effect for gender (Wilk's lambda = .84 with F (3, 254) = 15.84, p < 0.001) and univariate F tests were significant for all outcome variables. The relationship between object control skills and perceptions of physical competence among girls was not significant; however all other correlations were modest but significant.

Conclusions

Although motor skill levels were quite low, the children generally held positive perceptions of their physical competence. These positive perceptions provide a window of opportunity for fostering skillfulness. The modest relationships between perceptions of competence and motor skill proficiency suggest that the children are beginning to make self-judgments at a young age. Accordingly, opportunities for children to become and feel physically competent need to occur early in their school or preschool life.

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<![CDATA[Gln27Glu variant of Beta2-adrenoceptor gene affects male type fat accumulation in women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97d57

Background

The β2-adrenergic receptor (BAR2) is the main lipolytic receptor in white human adipose tissue. There is a functional glutamine 27 glutamic acid (Gln27Glu, rs 1042714) polymorphism in its gene, which has been variably associated with body mass index. This gene variant may be associated with male-type adiposity in women and thus increased cardiovascular risk. We investigated whether the BAR2 Gln27Glu polymorphism is associated with visceral fat and coronary intima thickness in women.

Methods

The amount of mesenteric and omental fat was directly measured and anthropometric measurements were done from 112 forensic autopsy cases of women aged 15 to 49 years. The thickness of the coronary intima, which reflects the severity of atherosclerosis, was measured by computerized image analysis. The BAR2 Gln27Glu polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction.

Results

We found that the amount of visceral fat was significantly higher in women with the Glu allele (689 ± 555 g) compared to Gln/Gln homozygotes (481 ± 392 g, P = 0.023). The waist-hip ratio also tended to be higher in women with the Glu allele compared to Gln/Gln homozygotes (p = 0.050). There were no statistically significant differences between the genotype groups in BMI or the thickness of coronary intima.

Conclusion

The Glu allele of the BAR2 gene may be a risk factor for visceral fat accumulation in young to middle-aged women. However, this polymorphism was not associated with preclinical atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Neighborhood sampling: how many streets must an auditor walk?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da89ab0ee8fa60b9d3a3

This study tested the representativeness of four street segment sampling protocols using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan (PEDS) in eleven neighborhoods surrounding public housing developments in Houston, TX. The following four street segment sampling protocols were used (1) all segments, both residential and arterial, contained within the 400 meter radius buffer from the center point of the housing development (the core) were compared with all segments contained between the 400 meter radius buffer and the 800 meter radius buffer (the ring); all residential segments in the core were compared with (2) 75% (3) 50% and (4) 25% samples of randomly selected residential street segments in the core. Analyses were conducted on five key variables: sidewalk presence; ratings of attractiveness and safety for walking; connectivity; and number of traffic lanes. Some differences were found when comparing all street segments, both residential and arterial, in the core to the ring. Findings suggested that sampling 25% of residential street segments within the 400 m radius of a residence sufficiently represents the pedestrian built environment. Conclusions support more cost effective environmental data collection for physical activity research.

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<![CDATA[Dietary meat fats and burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors, in the elderly: a report from the MEDIS study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db35ab0ee8fa60bd2b69

Dietary fats have long been associated with human health, and especially cardiovascular disease (CVD). Some observational studies have shown that reduction in dietary fats, and particularly cholesterol is associated with lower cardiovascular risk; however, other prospective studies or randomized controlled trials of dietary fat reduction or modification have shown varying results on CVD morbidity and mortality. In this work we evaluated the relationships between dietary fats and a cluster of CVD risk factors (i.e., diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension), among elderly individuals without known CVD. In particular, dietary and clinical data from 1486 elderly (aged 65 to 100 years) men and women living in Cyprus, Mitilini, Samothraki, Cephalonia, Crete, Lemnos, Syros, Naxos, Corfu and Zakynthos islands, and participated in the MEDIS study, were analysed. Data analysis revealed that 18.5% of males and 33.3% of females had three or four cardiovascular disease risk factors; the major source of fat was olive oil (mean intake for men and women 50.0 ± 19.3 g/day and 46.0 ± 16.8 g/day, p < 0.001). In addition it was observed that a 5% increase in energy adjusted fat intake from meat was associated with a 21% increase in the likelihood of having one additional CVD risk factor (95%CI 6%-39%); no significant associations were observed regarding the other types of fat consumed by the elderly participants. These findings may state a hypothesis that the consumption of fat only from meat or its products seems to increase the burden of CVD risk factors among CVD-free, elderly people.

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<![CDATA[Initial experience with the Codman Certas adjustable valve in the management of patients with hydrocephalus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b6ed

Background

A new adjustable valve, the Codman CertasTM valve for treatment of hydrocephalus was introduced into clinical practice in January 2011. It has 8 different settings with an opening pressure varying from 36 to over 400 mm H2O at a flow rate of 20 mL/h. The 8th setting is designed to provide a "virtual off" function. The objective of this report is to describe the initial clinical experience with the CertasTM valve and evaluate clinical usage with the main focus on the portable adjustment device - Therapeutic Management System (TMS), the “virtual off” setting and compatibility with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Findings

Forty-two patients with hydrocephalus from different etiologies were treated with the CertasTM adjustable shunt system. Data regarding implantation procedures, the use of the TMS system, x-ray imaging, and MRI procedures were recorded prospectively. All patients had clinical follow-up at four weeks after implantation and every three months until a stable clinical condition was obtained.

The mean time for follow-up was 8.6 months (1–16.6). Seventy-one adjustments were performed with the TMS, 12 were problematic. Twenty-nine MRI procedures were performed and did not cause accidental resetting. Five patients were treated with the "virtual off" function for a period.

Conclusions

We found the CertasTM valve valuable in the treatment of hydrocephalus, usability of the TMS was high because it is small and portable, but in some cases we experienced adjustment problems with the first procedures performed by a surgeon, indicating that there is a learning curve. The "virtual off" function provided a possibility of treating over-drainage without the need for shunt ligation or other invasive procedures.

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<![CDATA[Towards an understanding of salient neighborhood boundaries: adolescent reports of an easy walking distance and convenient driving distance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf3e2

Numerous studies have examined the association between the surrounding neighborhood environment and physical activity levels in adolescents. Many of these studies use a road network buffer or Euclidean distance buffer around an adolescent's home to represent the appropriate geographic area for study (i.e., neighborhood). However, little empirical research has examined the appropriate buffer size to use when defining this area and there is little consistency across published research as to the buffer size used. In this study, 909 12th grade adolescent girls of diverse racial and geographic backgrounds were asked to report their perceptions of an easy walking distance and a convenient driving distance. These two criterions are often used as the basis for defining one's neighborhood.

The mean easy walking distance in minutes reported by adolescent girls was 14.8 minutes (SD = 8.7). The mean convenient driving distance in minutes reported was 17.9 minutes (SD = 10.8). Nested linear multivariate regression models found significant differences in reported 'easy walking distance' across race and BMI. White adolescents reported on average almost 2 minutes longer for an easy walking distance compared to African American adolescents. Adolescents who were not overweight or at risk for overweight reported almost 2 minutes fewer for an easy walking distance relative to those who were overweight or at risk for overweight. Significant differences by urban status were found in the reported 'convenient driving distance'. Those living in non-urban areas reported on average 3.2 minutes more driving time as convenient compared to those living in urban areas. Very little variability in reported walking and driving distances was explained by the predictors used in the models (i.e., age, race, BMI, physical activity levels, urban status and SES).

This study suggests the use of a 0.75 mile buffer to represent an older female adolescent's neighborhood, which can be accessed through walking. However, determining the appropriate area inclusive of car travel should be tailored to the geographic location of the adolescent since non-urban adolescents are willing to spend more time driving to destinations. Further research is needed to understand the substantial variability across adolescent perceptions of an easy walking and convenient driving distance.

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<![CDATA[Exploration of auditory P50 gating in schizophrenia by way of difference waves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2eab0ee8fa60b836c2

Electroencephalographic measures of information processing encompass both mid-latency evoked potentials like the pre-attentive auditory P50 potential and a host of later more cognitive components like P300 and N400.

Difference waves have mostly been employed in studies of later event related potentials but here this method along with low frequency filtering is applied exploratory on auditory P50 gating data, previously analyzed in the standard format (reported in Am J Psychiatry 2003, 160:2236-8). The exploration was motivated by the observation during visual peak detection that the AEP waveform was different in the patient group, although this was not reflected by the peak measures. The sample included un-medicated schizophrenia spectrum patients (n = 17) and healthy controls (n = 24). The patients had an attenuated difference P50. This attenuation was primarily seen in the sub-sample of patients with severe negative symptoms. The difference attenuation was due to low amplitude at the first stimulus. This suggests an abnormality in readiness more than an abnormality in gating in the patient group.

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