Παρασκευή, 28 Ιουλίου 2017

Tonic noradrenergic activity modulates explorative behavior and attentional set shifting: Evidence from pupillometry and gaze pattern analysis

Abstract

A constant task for every living organism is to decide whether to exploit rewards associated with current behavior or to explore the environment for more rewarding options. Current empirical evidence indicates that exploitation is related to phasic whereas exploration is related to tonic firing mode of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. In humans, this exploration-exploitation trade-off is subserved by the ability to flexibly switch attention between task-related and task-irrelevant information. Here, we investigated whether this function, called attentional set shifting, is related to exploration and tonic noradrenergic discharge. We measured pretrial baseline pupil dilation, proved to be strongly correlated with the activity of the locus coeruleus, while human participants took part in well-known tasks of attentional set shifting. Study 1 used the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, whereas in Study 2, the Intra/Extradimensional Set Shifting Task was used. Both tasks require participants to choose between different compound stimuli based on feedback provided for their previous decisions. During the task, stimulus-reward contingencies change periodically, thus participants are repeatedly required to reassess which stimulus features are relevant (i.e., they shift their attentional set). Our results showed that baseline pupil diameter steadily decreased when the stimulus-reward contingencies were stable, whereas they suddenly increased when these contingencies changed. Analysis of looking patterns also confirmed the presence of exploratory behavior during attentional set shifting. Thus, our results suggest that tonic firing mode of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus is implicated in attentional set shifting, as it regulates the amount of exploration.



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Comorbid anxiety moderates the relationship between depression history and prefrontal EEG asymmetry

Abstract

The internalizing spectrum of psychiatric disorders—depression and anxiety—are common, highly comorbid, and challenging to treat. Individuals with childhood onset depression have a particularly poor prognosis. There is compelling evidence that individuals with depression display reduced resting-state EEG activity at sensors overlying the left prefrontal cortex, even during periods of remission, but it remains unknown whether this asymmetry is evident among individuals with a comorbid anxiety disorder. Here, we demonstrate that women with a history of childhood onset depression and no anxiety disorder (n = 37) show reduced left lateral frontal activity compared to psychiatrically healthy controls (n = 69). In contrast, women with a history of childhood onset depression and pathological levels of anxious apprehension (n = 18)—as indexed by a current generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or separation anxiety disorder diagnosis—were statistically indistinguishable from healthy controls. Collectively, these observations suggest that anxious apprehension can mask the relationship between prefrontal EEG asymmetry and depression. These findings have implications for understanding (a) prefrontal EEG asymmetry as a neurophysiological marker of depression, (b) the comorbidity of depression and anxiety, and (c) failures to replicate the relationship between prefrontal EEG asymmetry and depression. More broadly, they set the stage for developing refined interventions for internalizing psychopathology.



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Mechanisms of Mendelian dominance

Abstract

Genetic dominance has long been considered as a qualitative reflection of interallelic interactions. Dominance arises from many multiple sources whose unifying theme is the existence of non-linear relationships between the genotypic and phenotypic values. One of the clearest examples are dominant negative mutations (DNMs) in which a defective subunit poisons a macromolecular complex. Dominance can also be due to the presence of a heterozygous null allele, as is the case of haploinsufficiency. Dominance can also be influenced by epistatic (interloci) interactions. For instance, a pre-existing genetic variant can make possible the expression of a pathogenic variant in a seemingly 'dominant' fashion. Such interactions, which can make an individual more or less sensitive to a particular pathogenic variant, will also be discussed.

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Table of Contents



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Table of Contents



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Editorial Board



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Table of Contents



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Reply to letter to the editor titled “Reliability of smartphone-based teleradiology for evaluating thoracolumbar spine fractures: statistical issue to avoid misinterpretation”

First, we would like to thank Dr Sabour for taking interest in our recent publication on the reliability of smartphone-based teleradiology for evaluating thoracolumbar spine fractures [1], especially as it is out of his field of expertise. We agree that proper statistical methodology, as was done by our team, is the basic foundation on which any conclusion and recommendation can be made.

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Table of Contents



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Meetings Calendar



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Reliability of smartphone-based teleradiology for evaluating thoracolumbar spine fractures: statistical issue to avoid misinterpretation

I was interested in reading the paper by Stahl and colleagues published in the February 2017 issue of The Spine Journal [1]. The purpose of the authors was to compare the reliability of interpreting computed tomography (CT) scans viewed by orthopedic surgeons in two ways for diagnosing, classifying, and treatment planning for thoracolumbar spine fractures: (1) captured as video clips from standard workstation-based picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and sent via a smartphone-based instant messaging application for viewing on a smartphone; and (2) viewed directly on a PACS [1].

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Trans-ancestry Fine Mapping and Molecular Assays Identify Regulatory Variants at the ANGPTL8 HDL-C GWAS Locus

Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified variants associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) located in or near the ANGPTL8 gene. Given the extensive sharing of GWAS loci across populations, we hypothesized that at least one shared variant at this locus affects HDL-C. The HDL-C-associated variants are coincident with expression quantitative trait loci for ANGPTL8 and DOCK6 in subcutaneous adipose tissue; however, only ANGPTL8 expression levels are associated with HDL-C levels. We identified a 400-bp promoter region of ANGPTL8 and enhancer regions within 5 kb that contribute to regulating expression in liver and adipose. To identify variants functionally responsible for the HDL-C association, we performed fine-mapping analyses and selected 13 candidate variants that overlap putative regulatory regions to test for allelic differences in regulatory function. Of these variants, rs12463177-G increased transcriptional activity (1.5-fold, P=0.004) and showed differential protein binding. Six additional variants (rs17699089, rs200788077, rs56322906, rs3760782, rs737337, and rs3745683) showed evidence of allelic differences in transcriptional activity and/or protein binding. Taken together, these data suggest a regulatory mechanism at the ANGPTL8 HDL-C GWAS locus involving tissue-selective expression and at least one functional variant.



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A Functional Link Between Bir1 and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ctf19 Kinetochore Complex Revealed Through Quantitative Fitness Analysis

The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) is a key regulator of eukaryotic cell division, consisting of the protein kinase Aurora B/Ipl1 in association with its activator (INCENP/Sli15) and two additional proteins (Survivin/Bir1 and Borealin/Nbl1). Here we report a genome-wide genetic interaction screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the bir1-17 mutant, identifying through quantitative fitness analysis deletion mutations that act as enhancers and suppressors. Gene knockouts affecting the Ctf19 kinetochore complex were identified as the strongest enhancers of bir1-17, while mutations affecting the large ribosomal subunit or the mRNA nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway caused strong phenotypic suppression. Thus cells lacking a functional Ctf19 complex become highly dependent on Bir1 function and vice versa. The negative genetic interaction profiles of bir1-17 and the cohesin mutant mcd1-1 showed considerable overlap, underlining the strong functional connection between sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome bi-orientation. Loss of some Ctf19 components such as Iml3 or Chl4 impacted differentially on bir1-17 compared with mutations affecting other CPC components: despite the synthetic lethality shown by either iml3 or chl4 in combination with bir1-17, neither gene knockout showed any genetic interaction with either ipl1-321 or sli15-3. Our data therefore imply a specific functional connection between the Ctf19 complex and Bir1 that is not shared with Ipl1.



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Genome-Wide Analysis of the First Sequenced Mycoplasma capricolum Subsp. capripneumoniae Strain M1601

Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae (Mccp) is a common pathogen of goats that causes contagious caprine pleuropneumonia. We closed the gap and corrected rRNA operons in the draft genome of Mccp M1601, a strain isolated from an infected goat in a farm in Gansu, China. The genome size of M1601 is 1,016,707 bp with a GC content of 23.67%. We identified 915 genes (occupying 90.27% of the genome), of which 713 are protein-coding genes (excluding 163 pseudogenes). No genomic islands and complete insertion sequences were found in the genome. Putative determinants associated with the organism's virulence were analyzed, and 26 genes (including one adhesion protein gene, two capsule synthesis gene clusters, two lipoproteins, hemolysin A, ClpB, and proteins involved in pyruvate metabolism and cation transport) were potential virulence factors. In addition, two transporter systems (ATP-binding cassette transporters and phosphotransferase) and two secretion systems (Sec and signal recognition particle pathways) were observed in the Mccp genome. Genome synteny analysis reveals a good collinear relationship between M1601 and Mccp type strain F38. Phylogenetic analysis based on 11 single-copy core genes of 31 Mycoplasma strains revealed good collinearity between M1601 and Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum and close relationship among Mycoplasma mycoides cluster strains. Our genome-wide analysis of Mccp M1601 provides helpful information on the pathogenic mechanisms and genetics of Mccp.



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Parental Opioid Abuse: Barriers to Care, Policy, and Implications for Primary Care Pediatric Providers

Parental opioid use is affecting the physical, developmental, and mental health of the pediatric population nationwide and raises questions of safety when these children remain in the care of opioid-addicted parents. Pediatric providers face many barriers to identifying and caring for children beyond the neonatal period who have been affected by parental opioid abuse both in utero and in the home. These barriers include communication between providers and services, identification of intrauterine exposure, parental opioid abuse screening, and knowledge of child protective services involvement.

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Evaluating the Use of a Stability Guideline for Long-Term Ventilator–Dependent Children Discharging to Home: A Quality Improvement Project

Defining stability before discharge for children with severe chronic lung disease requiring home ventilation has historically been dependent on an individual provider's opinion.

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Developing a Transition Care Coordination Program for Youth With Spina Bifida

This quality improvement pilot study focused on developing and facilitating readiness for transition in youth with spina bifida. The results contribute to a broader institution-wide initiative at a subspecialty pediatric organization.

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A model to estimate survival in ambulatory patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: can it predict the natural course of hepatocellular carcinoma?

Several hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) staging systems are available including the newly developed staging system, the Model to Estimate Survival in Ambulatory HCC patients (MESIAH); however, whether these staging systems could predict the natural course of HCC is largely unknown.

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Renal function changes in HCV-infected patients with chronic kidney disease during and after treatment with direct antiviral agents



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An Unusual Cause of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding



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A model to estimate survival in ambulatory patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: can it predict the natural course of hepatocellular carcinoma?

Several hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) staging systems are available including the newly developed staging system, the Model to Estimate Survival in Ambulatory HCC patients (MESIAH); however, whether these staging systems could predict the natural course of HCC is largely unknown.

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Renal function changes in HCV-infected patients with chronic kidney disease during and after treatment with direct antiviral agents



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An Unusual Cause of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding



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Sagittal lumbo-pelvic alignment in patients with low back pain and the effects of a high-load lifting exercise and individualized low-load motor control exercises – a randomized controlled trial

Background ContextAssessment of posture and lumbo-pelvic alignment is often a main focus in the classification and treatment of patients with low back pain. However, little is known regarding the effects of motor control interventions on objective measures of lumbo-pelvic alignment.PurposeThe primary aim of this study was to describe the variation of sagittal lumbo-pelvic alignment in patients with nociceptive mechanical low back pain. The secondary aim was to compare the effects of a high-load lifting exercise (HLL) and low-load motor control exercises (LMC) on change in lumbo-pelvic alignment with a special emphasis on patients with high and low degrees of lumbar lordosis (lu) and sacral angle (sa).

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Ambulance Operator Coordinator - City of Downey

Under general supervision, this non-sworn position plans, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the effectiveness of the Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance transport component of the Downey Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services Program. The following examples are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by persons assigned to this classification. Coordinate the medical ...

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In pursuit of our ancestors' hand laterality

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Publication date: October 2017
Source:Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 111
Author(s): Amèlia Bargalló, Marina Mosquera, Sergi Lozano
The aim of this paper is to apply a previously published method (Bargalló and Mosquera, 2014) to the archaeological record, allowing us to identify the hand laterality of our ancestors and determine when and how this feature, which is exhibited most strongly in humans, appeared in our evolutionary history. The method focuses on identifying handedness by looking at the technical features of the flakes produced by a single knapper, and discovering how many flakes are required to ascertain their hand preference.This method can potentially be applied to the majority of archaeological sites, since flakes are the most abundant stone tools, and stone tools are the most widespread and widely-preserved remains from prehistory. For our study, we selected two Spanish sites: Gran Dolina-TD10.1 (Atapuerca) and Abric Romaní (Barcelona), which were occupied by pre-Neanderthal and Neanderthal populations, respectively.Our analyses indicate that a minimum number of eight flakes produced by the same knapper is required to ascertain their hand preference. Even though this figure is relatively low, it is quite difficult to obtain from many archaeological sites. In addition, there is no single technical feature that provides information about handedness, instead there is a combination of eight technical features, localised on the striking platforms and ventral surfaces. The raw material is not relevant where good quality rocks are used, in this case quartzite and flint, since most of them retain the technical features required for the analysis. Expertise is not an issue either, since the technical features analysed here only correlate with handedness (Bargalló and Mosquera, 2014). Our results allow us to tentatively identify one right-handed knapper among the pre-Neanderthals of level TD10.1 at Gran Dolina (Atapuerca), while four of the five Neanderthals analysed from Abric Romaní were right-handed. The hand preference of the fifth knapper from that location (AR5) remains unclear.



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Man arrested after stealing ambulance from hospital

Ricky Lewis Reams, 57, was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and trying to elude law enforcement in a motor vehicle

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Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health After the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes: An Investigation of the Long-term Gendered Impacts of Disasters

Abstract

Introduction Natural disasters in resource-poor countries have differential effects on socially disadvantaged groups such as women. In addition to the acute reproductive health needs of women during the immediate response phase of a disaster, research suggests that maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) may continue to be seriously impacted for numerous months, even years, after the event. Methods This ethnographic field research investigates the impacts of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes on mothers and children under five on the 6-month anniversary of the earthquakes. Results Though families were not channeling household funds away from health care expenses for pregnant and lactating women and children under five, the findings suggest that a delayed response by the Nepali government in administering funds for rebuilding combined with an ongoing fuel crisis were negatively impacting families' abilities to provide adequate shelter, warmth, cooking gas, and transportation for mothers and young children. This study highlights the importance of understanding the impacts of specific social and political contexts on intra-household family finances as they relate to MNCH, not just variables related to the disaster itself. Discussion Future research and policies on MNCH during the long-term recovery period after a natural disaster such as the 2015 Nepal earthquakes therefore should take into account the social and political context as well as institute multiple periodic assessments of MNCH in the first few years following the disaster.



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Targeted next-generation sequencing for identifying genes related to horse temperament

Abstract

It is a fundamental challenge to discover the association of genetic traits with phenotypic traits. In this study, we aimed to identify possible genetic traits related to horse temperament. Based on previous findings, we selected 71 candidate genes related to temperamental trait and examined them in the human and horse reference genomes (hg38 and equCab2, respectively). We found 16 orthologous genes and, by comparing with the human reference genome, 17 homologous genes in the horse reference genome. We designed probes specific for the 33 horse genes. Using the probes, we built sequencing libraries of the genomic DNA samples from eight aggressive and eight docile horses, and sequenced the constructed libraries using the Illumina Hiseq2500 platform. Through the analysis of the targeted exome sequences, we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes. SNPs could be served as genetic markers to evaluate aggressive or docile levels of horses. To examine whether any genetic variants are associated with horse temperament, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the SNP data. GWAS analysis identified ten variants (p-value <0.05) which could be related to horse temperament. We validated the variants using Sanger sequencing. The most significant variants were found in MAOA (c.1164+41T>C) and AR (c.1047+27G>T) genes with 8.09 × 10−4p-value. We suggest that the variants might be used to assess horse temperament and to determine superior horses for riding or racing.



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Epileptic spikes in Rasmussen’s encephalitis: migratory pattern and short-term evolution. A MEG study

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Publication date: Available online 28 July 2017
Source:Clinical Neurophysiology
Author(s): Davide Rossi Sebastiano, Elisa Visani, Dunja Duran, Elena Freri, Ferruccio Panzica, Luisa Chiapparini, Francesca Ragona, Tiziana Granata, Silvana Franceschetti
ObjectiveWe aimed this study at identifying cortical areas involved in the generation of interictal spikes in Rasmussen's Encephalitis (RE) patients using magnetoencephalography (MEG), at comparing spike localization with the degree of cortical atrophy detected by MRI, and at identifying short-term changes during the follow-up .MethodsFive patients with RE underwent two MEG and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (six months interval). The sources of visually detected spikes were estimated using equivalent current dipoles technique; these were then superimposed on individual MRI and clustered; the locations of the clusters were related to the MRI stage of cortical atrophy.ResultsAll patients showed spikes and clusters located in different cortical areas in both recordings; the locations had a limited correspondence with cortical atrophy. The second recordings showed changes in the localisation of spikes and clusters, and confirmed the dissimilarities with neuroradiological abnormalities.ConclusionsThe presence of clusters of spikes of variable localisation suggests that RE progresses in a multifocal and fluctuating manner. The cortical areas most involved in epileptogenesis did not completely coincide with the most atrophic areas.SignificanceMEG can contribute to evaluating multifocal hemispheric spikes in RE and to better understand the time course of epileptogenic process.



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Electrophysiological brain mapping: basics of recording evoked potentials induced by electrical stimulation and its physiological spreading in the human brain

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Publication date: Available online 28 July 2017
Source:Clinical Neurophysiology
Author(s): Marion Vincent, David Guiraud, Hugues Duffau, Emmanuel Mandonnet, François Bonnetblanc




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Epileptic spikes in Rasmussen’s encephalitis: migratory pattern and short-term evolution. A MEG study

Rasmussen's encephalitis (RE) is a severe immunomediated disorder that typically begins in childhood with the progressive atrophy of one cerebral hemisphere, worsening neurological deficits, and refractory epilepsy (Bien et al., 2002a; Bien et al., 2005; Olson et al., 2013). Although it can occasionally have atypical features, it usually has three stages that occur within months or a few years of each other: after a non-specific prodromal period, the acute phase is characterised by progressive cortical dysfunction with frequent focal onset seizures or epilepsia partialis continua (EPC), and the late stage is characterised by neurological and cognitive deficits and persistent seizures (Olson et al., 2013).

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Electrophysiological brain mapping: basics of recording evoked potentials induced by electrical stimulation and its physiological spreading in the human brain

Being able to change or inhibit the activity of a region or population of neurons in the brain is an essential approach in fundamental neuroscience, as it helps the researcher to determine the functional role of neurons. This approach is also important at a more applied level, for brain function mapping during neurosurgical procedures (Desmurget et al. 2007). It is well known that electrical stimulation (ES) affects neural activity by modifying the voltage gradient along the neuronal cell inducing depolarization or hyperpolarization of the membrane.

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Beneficial or deleterious effects of vascular endothelial growth factor may depend on the isoform involved?

Abstract

Stevens et al. studied the protective effect of the overexpression of the VEGF-A165b splice isoform in the kidney, leading to rescue of abnormal glomerular permeability and proteinuria, that was present in knock out mice of all VEGF-A isoforms.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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Increased Ca buffering underpins remodelling of Ca2+ handling in old sheep atrial myocytes

Abstract

Many cardiovascular diseases, including those affecting the atria, are associated with advancing age. Arrhythmias, including those in the atria, can arise due to electrical remodelling or alterations in Ca2+ homeostasis. In the atria, age-associated changes in the action potential have been documented. However, little is known about remodelling of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis in the healthy aged heart.

Using single atrial myocytes from young and aged Welsh Mountain sheep, we show the free Ca2+ transient amplitude and rate of decay of systolic Ca2+ decrease with age while sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca content increases. An increase in intracellular Ca buffering explains both the decrease in Ca2+ transient amplitude and decay kinetics in the absence of any change in SERCA function. Ageing maintained the integrated Ca2+ influx via ICa-L but decreased peak ICa-L. Decreased peak ICa-L was found to be responsible for the age-associated increase in SR Ca content but not the decrease in Ca2+ transient amplitude. Instead decreased peak ICa-L offsets increased SR load such that Ca2+ release from the SR was maintained in ageing.

Our results highlight a novel mechanism by which increased Ca buffering decreases systolic Ca2+ in old atria. Furthermore, we have shown for the first time that SR Ca content is increased in old atrial myocytes.

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A rare association of celiac disease and rectal neuroendocrine tumor

Abstract

Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated enteropathy which is triggered by dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. Increased risk of all gastrointestinal cancers was found during the first year after diagnosis of CD. Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are a heterogeneous tumor group originating from the diffuse neuroendocrine system. Today, the incidences of both GEP-NETs and CD have increased due to the increased availability of diagnostic tools and awareness. Association of GEP-NETs with CD is rarely seen. Here we aimed to present a case in which we diagnosed CD with concurrent rectal NET. Association of CD and rectal NET has not been reported in the literature, and we believe that our case report can contribute to the epidemiological data.



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A sensible approach to making sense of oxygen sensing

Abstract

The ability to sense and respond appropriately to low PO2 (hypoxia) is critical for the survival of aerobic organisms.

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Computational reproducibility of “Goal relevance and goal conduciveness appraisals lead to differential autonomic reactivity in emotional responding to performance feedback” (Kreibig, Gendolla, & Scherer, 2012): A guide and new evidence

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Publication date: Available online 6 June 2017
Source:International Journal of Psychophysiology
Author(s): Sylvia D. Kreibig
The emerging field of the psychophysiology of motivation bears many new findings, but little replication. Using my own data (Kreibig, Gendolla, & Scherer, 2012), I test the reproducibility of this specific study, provide the necessary materials to make the study reproducible, and instantiate proper reproducibility practices that other researchers can use as a road map toward the same goal. In addition, based on re-analyses of the original data, I report new evidence for the motivational effects of emotional responding to performance feedback. Specifically, greater appraisal of goal relevance amplifies the emotional response to events appraised as conducive (i.e., effort mobilization), but not to those appraised as obstructive to a person's goals (i.e., effort withdrawal). I conclude by providing a ten-step road map of best practices to facilitate computational reproducibility for future studies.



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Non-contact measurement of heart response reflected in human eye

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Publication date: Available online 28 July 2017
Source:International Journal of Psychophysiology
Author(s): Sangin Park, Myoung Ju Won, Dong Won Lee, Mincheol Whang
This study aims to develop a non-contact measurement technique for cardiac response that uses an infrared image of the patient's pupil. The pupil contraction rhythm is related to the autonomic balance and major organs (such as the heart) via a neural pathway. In this study, the response of the heart was determined by analyzing the pupillary rhythm based on the harmonic frequencies between them. Seventy undergraduate volunteers of both genders, (35 females and 35 males), with ages ranging between 20 and 30years (mean: 24.52±0.64years) were asked to conduct a simple conversation, perform slight movements, and experience sound stimuli to evoke arousal, relaxation, happiness, sadness, or a neutral mood in this experiment. Electrocardiograms and pupil images were measured and analyzed, and the harmonic frequencies were identified to determine the relational response. The cardiac time (heart rate (HR), beats per minute (BPM), the standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (NN) intervals (SDNN), the mean squared differences in the successive N-N intervals (rMSSD), and the percentage difference between adjacent normal interbeat (R-R) intervals>50 (pNN50)) and frequency (very low frequency (VLF), low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), VLF/HF, and LF/HF) parameters were also observed with regard to the effects of the movement, conversation, and physiological state. The cardiac response was stable, showing less significance than the effects of the three conditions. Therefore, multi-cardiac measurements were successfully obtained from a simple, low-cost, non-invasive, and non-contact data acquisition method in this study.



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Cognitive conflict increases processing of negative, task-irrelevant stimuli

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Publication date: Available online 28 July 2017
Source:International Journal of Psychophysiology
Author(s): Tomasz S. Ligeza, Miroslaw Wyczesany
The detection of cognitive conflict is thought to trigger adjustments in executive control. It has been recently shown that cognitive conflict increases processing of stimuli that are relevant to the ongoing task and that these modulations are exerted by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, it is still unclear whether such control influences are unspecific and might also affect the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli.The aim of the study was to examine if cognitive conflict affects processing of neutral and negative, task-irrelevant pictures. Participants responded to congruent (non-conflict) or to incongruent (conflict-eliciting) trials of a modified flanker task. Each response was followed by a presentation of a neutral or negative picture. The late positive potential (LPP) in response to picture presentation was used to assess the level of picture processing after conflict vs non-conflict trials. Connectivity between the DLPFC and attentional and perceptual areas during picture presentation was analysed to check if the DLPFC might be a source of these modulations.ERP results showed an effect of cognitive conflict only on processing of negative pictures: LPP in response to negative pictures was increased after conflict trials, whereas LPP in response to neutral pictures remained unchanged. Cortical connectivity analysis showed that conflict trials intensified information flow from the DLPFC towards attentional and perceptual regions.Results suggest that cognitive conflict increases processing of task-irrelevant stimuli; however, they must display high biological salience. Increase in cognitive control exerted by the DLPFC over attentional and perceptual regions is a probable mechanism of the effect.



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The joy of heartfelt music: An examination of emotional and physiological responses

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Publication date: Available online 27 July 2017
Source:International Journal of Psychophysiology
Author(s): Emily Lynar, Erin Cvejic, Emery Schubert, Ute Vollmer-Conna
Music-listening can be a powerful therapeutic tool for mood rehabilitation, yet quality evidence for its validity as a singular treatment is scarce. Specifically, the relationship between music-induced mood improvement and meaningful physiological change, as well as the influence of music- and person-related covariates on these outcomes are yet to be comprehensively explored. Ninety-four healthy participants completed questionnaires probing demographics, personal information, and musical background. Participants listened to two prescribed musical pieces (one classical, one jazz), an "uplifting" piece of their own choice, and an acoustic control stimulus (white noise) in randomised order. Physiological responses (heart rate, respiration, galvanic skin response) were recorded throughout. After each piece, participants rated their subjective responses on a series of Likert scales. Subjectively, the self-selected pieces induced the most joy, and the classical piece was perceived as most relaxing, consistent with the arousal ratings proposed by a music selection panel. These two stimuli led to the greatest overall improvement in composite emotional state from baseline. Psycho-physiologically, self-selected pieces often elicited a "eustress" response ("positive arousal"), whereas classical music was associated with the highest heart rate variability. Very few person-related covariates appeared to affect responses, and music-related covariates (besides self-selection) appeared arbitrary. These data provide strong evidence that optimal music for therapy varies between individuals. Our findings additionally suggest that the self-selected music was most effective for inducing a joyous state; while low arousal classical music was most likely to shift the participant into a state of relaxation. Therapy should attempt to find the most effective and "heartfelt" music for each listener, according to therapeutic goals.



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Influences on Immunization Decision-Making among US Parents of Young Children

Abstract

Objectives This study assessed influences on vaccination decisions among parents of young children and examined common vaccination information and advice sources. Methods Using panel samples of parents of children under 7 years, web-based surveys were conducted in 2012 (n = 2603) and 2014 (n = 2518). A vaccine decision-making typology (non-hesitant acceptors, hesitant acceptors, delayers, and refusers) was established and weighted population estimates of potential factors influencing parental vaccination decision (e.g., provider influence, source of information and advice) were computed by year and decision type. Results Delayers and refusers were more likely than acceptors to know someone whose child experienced a severe reaction to a vaccine or delayed/refused vaccine(s). High proportions of delayers (2012: 33.4%, 2014: 33.9%) and refusers (2012: 49.6%, 2014: 58.6%) reported selecting their healthcare provider based on whether the provider would allow them to delay/refuse vaccines. Providers were the most frequently reported trusted vaccine information source among all parents, though more often by acceptors than refusers (2012, 2014: p < 0.01). We found differing patterns of provider advice-seeking and internet as a reliable vaccine information source by group. Among those who had considered delay/refusal, trust in their healthcare provider's advice was the most common reason cited for their decision reversal. Conclusions for Practice Provider trust and communication along with varying degrees of personal-network influences likely contribute to immunization decisions of parents. Vaccine hesitant parents often seek providers amenable to accommodating their vaccine beliefs. Providers may benefit from vaccine communication training as their recommendations may influence hesitant parents to immunize their children.



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Adolescent Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge and Attitudes and Adult Contraceptive Behavior

Abstract

Objectives Ineffective and inconsistent contraceptive use is common among adults, perhaps due to limited knowledge about reproduction and unfavorable attitudes toward contraception. Knowledge and attitudes are first developed in adolescence. We test whether adolescent knowledge and attitudes have long-term implications for adult contraceptive behavior. Methods Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health, our analytical sample (n = 6662) consists of those asked sex and contraception questions at Wave I (1995; students aged 15 and older) and who were sexually active and not pregnant at the time of the Wave IV (2007–2008) survey. We examined whether adolescent attitudes toward contraception, knowledge of condoms and reproduction, and confidence in contraceptive knowledge were predictive of adult contraceptive efficacy and consistency using logistic regression. Results In models adjusted for a range of socioeconomic, demographic, and life course factors, favorable attitudes toward contraception in adolescence increased the odds (aOR 1.21, CI 1.08–1.36) of using more effective methods rather than a less effective or no method of contraception in adulthood, as did more accurate condom knowledge (aOR 1.07, CI 1.00-1.14) and more accurate reproductive knowledge (aOR 1.07, CI 1.00-1.13). Adolescents with more favorable attitudes toward contraception also used contraception more consistently as adults (aOR 1.27, CI 1.14–1.43), as did those with more accurate condom knowledge (aOR 1.10, CI 1.03–1.18). Conclusions Attitudes towards contraception and knowledge about condoms and reproduction acquired during adolescence are predictive of adult contraceptive behavior. Results suggest that comprehensive sex education during adolescence could improve effective contraceptive behavior throughout the life course.



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Women’s Perspectives of Needs Surrounding Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Qualitative Assessment of the Neighborhood Impact of Adverse Birth Outcomes

Abstract

Objectives African Americans are two times more likely to suffer adverse birth outcomes (i.e., low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality) when compared to all other ethnic groups and this pattern is no different for Douglas County, Nebraska, where the majority of African Americans in Nebraska reside. Our goal was to identify factors, as described by local women, that contribute to adverse birth outcomes in the predominantly African American community of Northeast Douglas County in Omaha, NE, to ensure that these women's voices were included in the development of interventions to improve their neighborhood's birth outcomes. The paper describes the results of a qualitative needs assessment of these women which will aid in the design and implementation of neighborhood-based solutions. Methods We brought together a group of women with varying levels of birthing experience, time spent living in the neighborhood, and overall community involvement. Individual in-depth, in person, and telephone interviews were used to collect participants' perceptions of birth outcomes, neighborhood resources for pregnant women, and neighborhood strengths and weaknesses. Results The needs assessment identified that, although women in this neighborhood have experience with adverse birth outcomes, these experiences are not discussed resulting in a lack of awareness of the wide spread racial disparities in birth outcomes and the efforts and resources to address this public health problem. Conclusions for Practice This study reveals the power of direct conversations with women impacted by adverse birth outcomes, as they must be primary partners in any efforts to improve birth outcomes.



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Potential Impacts of Modifiable Behavioral and Environmental Exposures on Reducing Burden of Under-five Mortality Associated with Household Air Pollution in Nepal

Abstract

Objectives Household air pollution (HAP) is one of the leading causes of respiratory illness and deaths among young children in low and lower-middle income countries. This study examines for the first time trends in the association between HAP from cooking fuel and under-five mortality and measures the potential impact of interventions to reduce HAP using Nepal Demographic and Health Survey datasets (2001–2011). Methods A total of 17,780 living children across four age-groups (neonatal 0–28 days, post-neonatal 1–11 months, child 12–59 months and under-five 0–59 months) were included and multi-level logistic regression models were used for analyses. Population attributable fractions of key risk factors and potential impact fractions assessing the impact of previous interventions to reduce exposure prevalence were also calculated. Results Use of cooking fuel was associated with total under-five mortality (OR 2.19, 95% CI 1.37–3.51, P = 0.001) in Nepal, with stronger associations evident for sub-group analyses of neonatal mortality (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.47–4.82, P = 0.001). Higher association was found in rural areas and for households without a separate kitchen using polluting fuel for cooking, and in women who had never breastfed for all age-groups of children. PIF estimates, assuming a 63% of reduction of HAP based on previously published interventions in Nepal, suggested that a burden of 40% of neonatal and 33% of under-five mortality cases associated with an indoor kitchen using polluting fuel could be avoidable. Conclusion Improved infrastructure and behavioral interventions could help reduce the pollution from cooking fuel in the household resulting in further reduction in under-five mortality in Nepal.



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Endoscopic treatment of fistulas after sleeve gastrectomy: A comparison of internal drainage versus closure

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

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Better at-home drug management needed to counter rising errors

Reuters Health News

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Increased risk of acute arterial events in young patients and severely active IBD: A nationwide French cohort study

Gut

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As drug prices drop, generics makers fight back with deals

Reuters Health News

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Multicenter analysis of transanal tube placement for prevention of anastomotic leak after low anterior resection

Journal of Surgical Oncology

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US Senator expands opioid probe to distributors, drugmakers

Reuters Health News

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Surgical management of pancreatic necrosis: A practice management guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma

The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

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Depression and insomnia among individuals with celiac disease or on a gluten-free diet in the USA: Results from a national survey

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

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Active immunization for prevention of de novo hbv infection after adult living donor liver transplantation with hbc(+) graft

Liver Transplantation

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Does OPTINAB strategy (stop-and-go) work in treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) with nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine?

Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

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Learning curve for the thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula

Asian Journal of Endoscopic Surgery

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Celecoxib oral administration for prevention of post–endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis: A randomized prospective trial

Pancreas

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US Senate poised for healthcare showdown

Reuters Health News

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Liver allograft biopsies with histological cholestasis: A clinicopathological study of 254 cases from a single centre

Journal of Clinical Pathology

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Chronic hepatitis C virus infection and neurocognitive function in adult survivors of childhood cancer

Cancer

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Comparison of toxicity and treatment outcomes in HIV-positive versus HIV-negative patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal

American Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Effect of serum triglycerides on clinical outcomes in acute pancreatitis: Findings from a regional integrated health care system

Pancreas

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Induction therapy for locally advanced, resectable esophagogastric cancer: A phase I trial of vandetanib (ZD6474), paclitaxel, carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and radiotherapy followed by resection

American Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Hepatobiliary scintigraphy to evaluate liver function in associating liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy: Liver volume overestimates liver function

Surgery

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Validation of the ALBI grade-based integrated model as a predictor for sorafenib-failed hepatocellular carcinoma

Liver International

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Paired motor cortex and cervical epidural electrical stimulation timed to converge in the spinal cord promotes lasting increases in motor responses

Abstract

Convergent activity in neural circuits can generate changes at their intersection. The rules of paired electrical stimulation are best understood for paradigms that stimulate input circuits and their targets. We took a different approach by targeting the interaction of descending motor pathways and large-diameter afferents in the spinal cord. We hypothesized that pairing stimulation of motor cortex and cervical spinal cord would strengthen motor responses through their convergence. We placed epidural electrodes over motor cortex and the dorsal cervical spinal cord in rats; motor evoked potentials (MEPs) were measured from biceps. MEPs evoked from motor cortex were robustly augmented with spinal epidural stimulation delivered at an intensity below the threshold for provoking an MEP. Augmentation was critically dependent on the timing and position of spinal stimulation. When the spinal stimulation was timed to coincide with the descending volley from motor cortex stimulation, MEPs were more than doubled. We then tested effect of repeated pairing of motor cortex and spinal stimulation. Repetitive pairing caused strong augmentation of cortical MEPs and spinal excitability that lasted up to an hour after just 5 min of pairing. Additional physiology experiments support the hypothesis that paired stimulation is mediated by convergence of descending motor circuits and large diameter afferents in the spinal cord. The large effect size of this paradigm and the conservation of the circuits being manipulated between rats and humans makes it worth pursuing for recovery of sensory-motor function after injury to the central nervous system.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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The Impact of Sex of Child on Breastfeeding in the United States

Abstract

Background Sex of child has been shown to impact breastfeeding duration in India, Australia, Scandinavia, Latin America, and, within the US, in a sample in Eastern Connecticut and in a separate sample of Indian and Chinese immigrants. Objectives The objective of this study is to examine differences in breastfeeding initiation and duration by sex of child across racial/ethnic groups in the US. Methods We used the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System 2009–2010 and logistic regression to examine whether sex of child impacts breastfeeding initiation and duration for at least 8 weeks by women's racial/ethnic group. Results Among the 66,107 women in our sample representing 12 different race/ethnic groups, Hispanic women (n = 9049) had lower odds of breastfeeding initiation (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.81, 95% CI 0.71–0.93) and breastfeeding duration (AOR = .87, 95% CI 0.80–0.96) if they have sons compared to Hispanic women who have daughters. Sex of child did not impact the odds of breastfeeding initiation or duration among any other race/ethnic group. Conclusion We have shown that, for Hispanics in the US, sex of child may have an impact on breastfeeding, a health behavior that has a variety of positive impacts on infants throughout their lives. Boys, relative to girls, were at a disadvantage in breastfeeding initiation and duration. Future work is necessary to unpack the mechanisms behind these findings. In particular, how sex of child impacts how mothers and fathers view the nutritional needs of their children and breastfeeding more broadly.



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Replicating Evidence-Based Practices with Flexibility for Perinatal Home Visiting by Paraprofessionals

Abstract

Introduction Strategies are needed to improve the efficacy of paraprofessional home visitors for pregnant women in the United States. This study evaluates the maternal and child outcomes when evidence-based practices (EBP) are replicated with flexibility, rather than fidelity to a manualized intervention. Methods Pregnant mothers (N = 203) in five clinics were recruited in the waiting rooms and randomized to standard clinic care as the control condition (n = 104) or standard care plus home visiting (n = 99). Home visitors (n = 9) were selected, trained in foundational skills common to EBP and four problem domains (weight control, breastfeeding, daily habits, and depression). Independent interviewers assessed targeted outcomes at birth (82%) and 6 months later (83%). Results: Home visitors, called Mentor Mothers [MM], made an average of 14.9 home visits or telephone contacts (SD = 9; total contacts = 1491) addressing maternal daily habits, breastfeeding, and depression. Intervention and control mothers were similar in weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), depression and social support at baseline and 6 months later. The percentage of low birth weight babies was similar; intervention infants' growth (weight/height Z score) tended to be significantly better compared to the control condition. Discussion: There are many explanations for the failure to find significant benefits: insufficient statistical power; the benefits of repeated assessments by warm, supportive peers to improve outcomes; or the failure of EBP and the need to maintain replication with fidelity. All study mothers had better outcomes than documented among comparable published samples of low-income, Latina and Korean–American mothers in Los Angeles, CA. ClinicalTrials.gov registration NCT01687634.



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The Effect of Weekly Set Volume on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis

Abstract

Background

Strength training set organisation and its relationship to the development of muscular strength have yet to be clearly defined. Current meta-analytical research suggests that different population groups have distinctive muscular adaptations, primarily due to the prescription of the strength training set dose.

Objectives

We conducted a meta-analysis with restrictive inclusion criteria and examined the potential effects of low (LWS), medium (MWS) or high weekly set (HWS) strength training on muscular strength per exercise. Secondly, we examined strength gain variations when performing multi-joint or isolation exercises, and probed for a potential relationship between weekly set number and stage of subjects' training (trained versus untrained).

Methods

Computerised searches were performed on PubMed, MEDLINE, SWETSWISE, EMBASE and SPORTDiscus™ using the terms 'strength training', 'resistance training', 'single sets', 'multiple sets' and 'volume'. As of September 2016, 6962 potentially relevant studies were identified. After review, nine studies were deemed eligible per pre-set inclusion criteria. Primary data were pooled using a random-effect model. Outcomes for strength gain, strength gain with multi-joint and isolation exercise were analysed for main effects. Sensitivity analyses were calculated for several subgroups by separating the data set and by calculation of separate analyses for each subgroup. Heterogeneity between studies was assessed using the Cochran Q and I 2 statistics.

Results

Pre- versus post-training strength analysis comprised 61 treatment groups from nine studies. For combined multi-joint and isolation exercises, pre- versus post- training strength gains were greater with HWS compared with LWS [mean effect size (ES) 0.18; 95% CI 0.06–0.30; p = 0.003]. The mean ES for LWS was 0.82 (95% CI 0.47–1.17). The mean ES for HWS was 1.01 (95% CI 0.70–1.32). Separate analysis of the effects of pre- versus post-training strength for LWS or MWS observed marginally greater strength gains with MWS compared with LWS (ES 0.15; 95% CI 0.01–0.30; p = 0.04). The mean ES for LWS was 0.83 (95% CI 0.53–1.13). The mean ES for MWS was 0.98 (95% CI 0.62–1.34). For multi-joint exercises, greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.18; 95% CI 0.01–0.34; p = 0.04). The mean ES for LWS was 0.81 (95% CI 0.65–0.97). The mean ES for HWS was 1.00 (95% CI 0.77–1.23). For isolation exercises, greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.23; 95% CI 0.06–0.40; p = 0.008). The mean ES for LWS was 0.95 (95% CI 0.30–1.60). The mean ES for HWS was 1.10 (95% CI 0.26–1.94). For multi-joint and isolation exercise-specific one repetition maximum (1 RM), marginally greater strength gains were observed with HWS compared with LWS (ES 0.14; 95% CI −0.01 to 0.29; p = 0.06). The mean ES for LWS was 0.80 (95% CI 0.47–1.13). The mean ES for HWS was 0.97 (95% CI 0.68–1.26).

Conclusion

This meta-analysis presents additional evidence regarding a graded dose–response relationship between weekly sets performed and strength gain. The use of MWS and HWS was more effective than LWS, with LWS producing the smallest pre- to post-training strength difference. For novice and intermediate male trainees, the findings suggest that LWSs do not lead to strength gains compared with MWS or HWS training. For those trainees in the middle ground, not a novice and not advanced, the existing data provide a relationship between weekly sets and strength gain as set configurations produced different pre- to post-training strength increases. For well trained individuals, the use of either MWS or HWS may be an appropriate dose to produce strength gains.



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