Κυριακή, 11 Νοεμβρίου 2018

Effects of chronic γ-irradiation on growth and sexual maturation of the Tohoku hynobiid salamander, Hynobius lichenatus

Publication date: January 2019

Source: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 196

Author(s): Shoichi Fuma, Haruhi Soeda, Sadao Ihara, Kumi Matsui, Isao Kawaguchi, Takahiro Ishikawa, Yoshihisa Kubota, Yoshito Watanabe, Tatsuo Aono

Abstract

There are still considerable gaps in knowledge regarding the biological effects of chronic ionising radiation exposure in amphibians. To fill these gaps, Tohoku hynobiid salamanders, Hynobius lichenatus (Amphibia, Caudata), were chronically irradiated with 137Cs γ-rays from embryonic to adult stages over 1954 days, and the effects on their growth and sexual maturation were examined under laboratory conditions. Irradiation at a dose rate of 33 μGy h−1 had some stimulatory effects on growth (body weight increase) of H. lichenatus, while growth was temporarily or permanently suppressed at 150 or 510 μGy h−1, respectively. On day 1802, secondary sexual characteristics (a tubercle at the anterior angle of the cloacal vent for males and ovisac development for females) were observed in 91% of the salamanders irradiated at 33 μGy h−1, and in a similar percentage of non-irradiated controls. At 150 and 510 μGy h−1, secondary sexual characteristics were not observed in any individuals. These results suggest that the derived consideration reference level (DCRL) of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) for Reference Frog, i.e. 40–400 μGy h−1, is applicable for the protection of H. lichenatus, and that growth and sexual maturation of this salamander may not have been adversely affected even in the most severely contaminated area in Fukushima, where the highest dose rate to salamanders was estimated to be 50 μGy h−1. However, observations in the contaminated area are required to confirm this conclusion, considering the possible confounding factors which may make this salamander more sensitive to radiation in the natural environment than under laboratory conditions.



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Measurement of ambient dose equivalent rates by walk survey around Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant using KURAMA-II until 2016

Publication date: Available online 10 November 2018

Source: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

Author(s): Masaki Andoh, Hideaki Yamamoto, Takashi Kanno, Kimiaki Saito

Abstract

Ambient dose equivalent rates in various environments related to human lives were measured by walk surveys using the KURAMA-II systems from 2013 to 2016 within an 80-km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The dose rate of the locations where the walk survey was performed decreased to about 38% of its initial value in the 42 months from June 2013 to the December 2016, which was beyond that attributable to the physical decay of radiocaesium. The ecological half-life of the slow decreasing component was evaluated to be 4.1 ± 0.2 y. The air dose rates decreased depending on the level of the evacuation areas, and the decrease in the dose rates was slightly larger in populated areas where humans are active. The dose rates as measured by walk surveys exhibited a good correlation with those by car-borne surveys, suggesting that car-borne survey data are reflecting the air dose rates in living environments surrounding roads. The comparison of walk survey data with car-borne survey data indicated that the air dose rate varies largely even within a 100 m square area, and the variation is enhanced by human activities. The dose rates measured by the walk surveys were estimated to be medial of those along roads and those of undisturbed flat ground, and they were found to be decreasing quickly compared with the air dose rate from the flat ground fixed-point measurements.



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Reward association alters brain responses to emotional stimuli: ERP evidence

Publication date: Available online 10 November 2018

Source: International Journal of Psychophysiology

Author(s): Ningxuan Chen, Ping Wei

Abstract

We investigated the effects of reward learning on the processing of emotional faces using event-related potentials (ERPs). A simple choice game was used to imbue angry and happy faces with a high or low probability of reward. ERPs were recorded in a subsequent test phase in which participants performed a visual search task to discriminate the emotion of a face singleton as being angry or happy without any reward. Results revealed a significant interaction between reward-history and emotion for the N1 and P2 components, in which the difference between the mean amplitudes for angry and happy faces was smaller in the high-reward association condition than in the low-reward association condition. This reward-modulation effect indicates that reward association reduced the initial visual awareness and hence attentional allocation to angry faces. Moreover, we found a positive relationship between the personal trait of reward sensitivity and the reward-modulation effect for the late-latency response-selection related slow positive wave (SPW) component and the behavioral response accuracy, suggesting that participants with higher reward sensitivity may employ more cognitive resources to evaluate the reward history during the late decision stage of emotional processing. Our study contributes to a better understanding of how reward-association history affects both the perceptual and executive levels of emotional face processing.



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Soccer player revives man with CPR on flight to tournament

Eastern Washington University soccer team player Ashley Valdivieso took immediate action and began chest compressions on the man in the aisle of the plan

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Managing diabetes and liver disease association

Publication date: Available online 9 November 2018

Source: Arab Journal of Gastroenterology

Author(s): Abd Elkhalek Hamed, Medhat Elsahar, Nadia M. Elwan, Sara Elnakib, Mervat Naguib, Hanan Hamed Soliman, Ashraf Ahmed Aboubakr, Amany AbdelMaqsod, Heba Sedrak, Samir N. Assaad, Reda Elwakil, Gamal Esmat, Samira Salh, Taymour Mostafa, Sherif Mogawer, Sameh Emil Sadek, Maha M. Saber, Hanan Ezelarab, Asem Ashraf Mahmoud, Souad Sultan

Abstract

There is strong association between liver diseases and diabetes (DM) which is higher than expected by a chance association of two very common disorders. It can be classified into three categories: Liver disease related to diabetes, hepatogenous diabetes (HD), and liver disease occurring coincidentally with DM. The criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes associating liver disease are the same for primary diabetes. Two hours post glucose load is a better screening test for HD. HbA1c may not be suitable for diagnosis or monitoring of diabetes associating advanced liver disease. Apart from the increased cardiovascular risk in patients with type 2 DM (T2 DM) and NAFLD, the cardiovascular and retinopathy risk is low in HD. Patients with metabolic derangement should be screened for NAFLD which in turn may predict T2 DM development. Similarly, patients with established T2 DM should also be screened for NAFLD which further contributes to diabetes worsening.

Diabetes is a significant risk factor for progression of the chronic liver disease. It is associated with poor patient survival.

Treatment of diabetes associating liver disease appears beneficial. Metformin, if tolerated and not contraindicated, is recommended as a first-line therapy for patients with diabetes and chronic liver disease (CLD). If the hepatic disease is severe, insulin secretagogues should be avoided because of the increased risk of hypoglycaemia. Pioglitazone may be useful in patients with fatty liver disease. DPP-4 inhibitors showed effectiveness and safety for the treatment of T2 DM in CLD patients up to those with child B stage. GLP-1 receptor agonists and SGLT-2 inhibitors exhibit positive effects on weight and are associated with minimal risk of hypoglycaemia. Insulin must be used with caution, as hypoglycaemia may be a problem. Insulin analogues are preferred in the context of hypoglycaemia

Statins can be used to treat dyslipidaemia in NAFLD, also the use of angiotensin II receptor antagonist for hypertension is safe and beneficial

Given the clear association between diabetes mellitus and hepatocellular carcinoma, the strict control of glycaemia with insulin sensitizers can be essential in its prevention.

The addition of DM to the currently used scores (Child-Pugh and MELD scores) may enhance the sensitivity and the specificity for prediction of morbidity and mortality rates in cirrhotic patients.

In the new era of directly acting antiviral agents (DAAs) for HCV treatment, it is recommended to follow up lipid profile and blood sugar levels following SVR in order to adjust doses of medications used in diabetic (SVR is associated with reduction in insulin requirements) and dyslipidaemic patients (rebound increase in the lipid profile after clearing the virus may increase risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)). The issues of post liver transplant diabetes and relation between DM and chronic HBV are highlighted.

This narrative review and Consensus-based practice guidance (under revision and criticism) are based on a formal review and analysis of the recently published world literature on the topic (Medline search up to September 2017); and the experience of the authors and independent reviewers.



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Implementation of pressure injury prevention best practices across six Canadian rehabilitation sites: results from the Spinal Cord Injury Knowledge Mobilization Network

Publication date: Available online 9 November 2018

Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author(s): Carol Y. Scovil, Jude J. Delparte, Saagar Walia, Heather M. Flett, Stacey D. Guy, Michelle Wallace, Anthony S. Burns, Dalton L. Wolfe, SCI KMN Group

Abstract
Objective

To utilize the theoretical frameworks of implementation science to implement pressure injury (PI) prevention best practices in spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation.

Design

Quality Improvement

Setting

Six Canadian SCI rehabilitation centers

Participants

Inpatients admitted 2011-2015

Interventions

The SCI Knowledge Mobilization Network (SCI KMN) selected and implemented two PI prevention best practices at six Canadian SCI rehabilitation centers: (1) completing a comprehensive PI risk assessment comprised of a structured risk assessment instrument followed by an individualized, interprofessional risk factor determination and prevention plan; and (2) providing structured and individualized PI prevention patient education. Active Implementation Frameworks provided a systematic approach to best practice implementation.

Outcome Measures

Implementation indicators (completion rates) and patient outcomes (PI incidence; patient education survey).

Results

Following implementation, risk assessment completion rates improved from 46% to 82% (p<0.05). Between initial (2012-13) and full (2014-15) implementation stages, completion rates improved for both interprofessional risk factor determination (67% to 96%) and prevention plans (67% to 94%). Documentation of patient education also increased to 86% (71% pre-implementation). The incidence of PIs at rehabilitation admission was 22%, with 14% of individuals developing new PIs during rehabilitation. The overall PI prevalence was 30%. Considering only PIs of stage 2 or greater, prevalence was 21% and incidence 7%. There were no statistically significant differences in PI incidence between pre- and post-implementation. Patient education surveys indicated that PI education improved patients' knowledge of prevention strategies.

Conclusions

Active Implementation Frameworks supported successful implementation of PI prevention best practices across the six participating SCI KMN sites. Achieving a reduction in PI incidence will require additional measures, and there is an ongoing need to strengthen the evidence base underpinning PI prevention guidelines.



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Improvement of upper limb motor control and function after competitive and non-competitive volleyball exercises in chronic stroke survivors: A randomized clinical trial

Publication date: Available online 9 November 2018

Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Author(s): Mahbubeh Mandehgary Najafabadi, Akram Azad, Hajar Mehdizadeh, Saeed Behzadipour, Maliheh Fakhar, Parvaneh Taghavi Azar Sharabiani, Mohamad Parnianpour, Ghorban Taghizadeh, Kinda Khalaf

Abstract
Objectives

To investigate the effects of competitive and non-competitive volleyball exercises on the functional performance and motor control of the upper limbs in chronic stroke survivors.

Design

Randomized clinical trial.

Setting

Outpatient rehabilitation center.

Participants

Forty-eight chronic stroke survivors.

Interventions

Participants were randomly assigned to competitive (n=16) or non-competitive (n=16) volleyball exercise groups (60 min/day volleyball exercise + 30 min/day traditional rehabilitation, 3 day/week for 7 weeks) and control group (n=16).

Main outcome measures

Reach and grasp motor control measures were evaluated through kinematic analysis. Functional outcomes were assessed via Motor Activity Log, Wolf Motor Function Test, Box and Block Test, as well as, Wrist Position Sense Test.

Results

Significant improvement of functional performance was observed in both competitive (P <0.0001) and non-competitive volleyball exercise groups (P <0.01), but not in the control group (P >0.05), with the exception of Wolf Motor Function Test score. Volleyball training, in general, resulted in more efficient spatiotemporal control of reach and grasp functions, as well as less dependence on feedback control as compared to the control group. Moreover, the competitive volleyball exercise group exhibited greater improvement in both functional performance and motor control levels.

Conclusions

Volleyball team exercises, especially in a competitive format, resulted in enhancing the efficacy of the pre-programming and execution of reach and grasp movements, as well as a shift from feedback to feedforward control of the affected upper limb in chronic stroke survivors. This may well be a potential underlying mechanism for improving functional performance.



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RNA sequencing-based transcriptomic profiles of embryonic lens development for cataract gene discovery

Abstract

Isolated or syndromic congenital cataracts are heterogeneous developmental defects, making the identification of the associated genes challenging. In the past, mouse lens expression microarrays have been successfully applied in bioinformatics tools (e.g., iSyTE) to facilitate human cataract-associated gene discovery. To develop a new resource for geneticists, we report high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) profiles of mouse lens at key embryonic stages (E)10.5 (lens pit), E12.5 (primary fiber cell differentiation), E14.5 and E16.5 (secondary fiber cell differentiation). These stages capture important events as the lens develops from an invaginating placode into a transparent tissue. Previously, in silico whole-embryo body (WB)-subtraction-based "lens-enriched" expression has been effective in prioritizing cataract-linked genes. To apply an analogous approach, we generated new mouse WB RNA-seq datasets and show that in silico WB subtraction of lens RNA-seq datasets successfully identifies key genes based on lens-enriched expression. At ≥2 counts-per-million expression, ≥1.5 log2 fold-enrichment (p < 0.05) cutoff, E10.5 lens exhibits 1401 enriched genes (17% lens-expressed genes), E12.5 lens exhibits 1937 enriched genes (22% lens-expressed genes), E14.5 lens exhibits 2514 enriched genes (31% lens-expressed genes), and E16.5 lens exhibits 2745 enriched genes (34% lens-expressed genes). Biological pathway analysis identified genes associated with lens development, transcription regulation and signaling pathways, among other functional groups. Furthermore, these new RNA-seq data confirmed high expression of established cataract-linked genes and identified new potential regulators in the lens. Finally, we developed new lens stage-specific UCSC Genome Brower annotation tracks and made these publicly accessible through iSyTE (https://research.bioinformatics.udel.edu/iSyTE/) for user-friendly visualization of lens gene expression/enrichment to prioritize genes from high-throughput data from cataract cases.



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Stuttering as a matter of delay in neural activation: a combined TMS/EEG study

Publication date: Available online 10 November 2018

Source: Clinical Neurophysiology

Author(s): Pierpaolo Busan, Giovanni Del Ben, Lucia Roberta Russo, Simona Bernardini, Giulia Natarelli, Giorgio Arcara, Paolo Manganotti, Piero Paolo Battaglini

Abstract
Objective

Brain dynamics in developmental stuttering (DS) are not well understood. The supplementary motor area (SMA) plays a crucial role, since it communicates with regions related to planning/execution of movements, and with sub-cortical regions involved in paced/voluntary acts (such as speech). We used TMS combined with EEG to shed light on connections in DS, stimulating the SMA.

Methods

TMS/EEG was recorded in adult DS and fluent speakers (FS), stimulating the SMA during rest. TMS-evoked potentials and source distribution were evaluated.

Results

Compared to FS, stutterers showed lower activity of neural sources in early time windows: 66-82 ms in SMA, and 91-102 ms in the left inferior frontal cortex and left inferior parietal lobule. Stutterers, however, showed higher activations in later time windows (i.e. from 260-460 ms), in temporal/premotor regions of the right hemisphere.

Conclusions

These findings represent the functional counterpart to known white matter and cortico-basal-thalamo-cortical abnormalities in DS. They also explain how white matter abnormalities and cortico-basal-thalamo-cortical dysfunctions may be associated in DS. Finally, a mechanism is proposed in which compensatory activity of the non-dominant (right) hemisphere is recruited.

Significance

DS may be a disorder of neural timing that appears to be delayed compared to FS; new mechanisms that support stuttering symptoms are inferred; the SMA may be a promising target for neuro-rehabilitation.



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New Alert Criteria for Intraoperative Somatosensory Evoked Potential Monitoring

Publication date: Available online 10 November 2018

Source: Clinical Neurophysiology

Author(s): Marc R. Nuwer



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Reduced delta-band modulation underlies the loss of P300 responses in disorders of consciousness

Publication date: Available online 9 November 2018

Source: Clinical Neurophysiology

Author(s): Gonzalo Rivera-Lillo, Daniel Rojas-Líbano, Pablo Burgos, Jose I. Egaña, Srivas Chennu, Pedro E. Maldonado

Abstract
Objective

The P300 component of a sensory event-related potential is one of the major electrophysiological markers used to explore remnants of cognitive function in patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC). However, measuring the P300 in patients is complicated by significant inter-trial variability commonly observed in levels of arousal and awareness. To overcome this limitation, we analyzed single-trial modulation of power in the delta and theta frequency bands, which underlie the P300.

Methods

In a preliminary cross-sectional study using a 24-channel EEG and a passive own-name oddball paradigm, we analyzed event-related synchronization (ERS) across trials in the delta and theta bands in a sample of 10 control and 12 DoC subjects.

Results

In comparison to controls, DoC subjects presented a low percentage of trials where delta ERS was observed. In particular, coordinated modulation between delta and theta in response to the stimulus was absent, with a high percentage of trials where only theta ERS was observed. Further, we found a positive correlation between the percentage of epochs with delta ERS and the strength of the P300.

Conclusions

Reduced modulation of spectral activity in the delta band in response to stimuli indicates a dissociation in the activity of the neural networks that oscillate in delta and theta ranges and contribute to the generation of the P300.

Significance

The reduction in spectral modulation observed in DoC provides a deeper understanding of neurophysiological dysfunction and the means to develop a more fine-grained marker of residual cognitive function in individual patients.



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The ftsA gene as a molecular marker for phylogenetic studies in Bradyrhizobium and identification of Bradyrhizobium japonicum

Abstract

The use of ftsA gene sequences for taxonomic studies of the genus Bradyrhizobium bacteria was assessed. The ftsA gene codes for an actin-like protein involved in prokaryotic cell division. Up to now, this gene has not been used as a phylogenetic marker for analysis of bacteria establishing root nodule symbiosis with Fabaceae plants. In this study, the ftsA gene sequences obtained for bradyrhizobia forming N2 fixing symbiosis with four Genisteae tribe plants growing in Poland and most of the type strains of the genus Bradyrhizobium species were analyzed and evaluated as molecular markers for phylogenetic studies of these bacteria for the first time. The ftsA gene sequences of all bradyrhizobial strains with completely or partially sequenced genomes, available in the GenBank database, were also included into the analysis. The phylogeny of the ftsA gene was compared to the phylogenies of other chromosomal genes commonly used in the studies of Bradyrhizobium bacteria. The results showed that the phylogenies of ftsA and the core genes recA and glnII were congruent, making the ftsA gene useful as a phylogenetic marker. Analysis of the ftsA gene sequences revealed a single-nucleotide polymorphism unique to Bradyrhizobium japonicum strains, and the potential use of this SNP for identification of this species was discussed.



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