Initial Study (initial + study)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Follow-up of an exercise-based treatment for children with reading difficulties

DYSLEXIA, Issue 2 2007
David Reynolds
Abstract This study reports the results of a long-term follow-up of an exercise-based approach to dyslexia-related disorders (Reynolds, Nicolson, & Hambly, Dyslexia, 2003; 9(1): 48,71). In the initial study, children at risk of dyslexia were identified in 3 years of a junior school. One half then undertook a 6 month, home-based exercise programme. Evaluation after 6 months indicated that the exercise group improved significantly more than the controls on a range of cognitive and motor skills. Critics had suggested that the improvement might be attributable to artifactual issues including Hawthorne effects; an initial literacy imbalance between the groups; and inclusion of non-dyslexic participants. The present study evaluated the issue of whether the gains were maintained over the following 18 months, and whether they were in some sense artifactual as postulated by critics of the original study. Comparison of (age-adjusted) initial and follow-up performance indicated significant gains in motor skill, speech/language fluency, phonology, and working memory. Both dyslexic and non-dyslexic low achieving children benefited. There was also a highly significant reduction in the incidence of symptoms of inattention. Interestingly there were no significant changes in speeded tests of reading and spelling, but there was a significant improvement in (age-adjusted) reading (NFER). It is concluded that the gains were indeed long-lasting, and that the alternative hypotheses based on potential artifacts were untenable, and that the exercise treatment therefore achieved its applied purpose. Further research is needed to determine the underlying reasons for the benefits. Possible (and potentially synergistic) explanations include: improved cerebellar function (neural level); improved learning ability and/or attentional ability (cognitive level); improved self-esteem and self-efficacy (affective level); and improved parental/familial support (social level). Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Routine Transesophageal Echocardiography for the Evaluation of Cerebral Emboli in Elderly Patients

Sergey Vitebskiy M.D.
Background: Approximately 20% of cerebral infarctions are cardioembolic in nature. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is widely regarded as the initial study of choice for evaluating cardiac source of embolism. Although the majority of cerebrovascular accidents occur in elderly patients, the value of TEE in this population is poorly defined. Methods: We compared 491 patients older than 65 years with suspected embolic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) who had undergone TEE evaluation between April 2000 and February 2004 to an age-, sex-, and time-matched control group that consisted of 252 patients. Studies were reviewed for abnormalities associated with thromboembolic disease. Results: The overall incidence of stroke risk factors was significantly higher in the study than in the control group. However, the four patients with left atrial thrombi had a history of atrial fibrillation. Although ascending and aortic arch sessile atheromata were observed more frequently in the study than control group, there were no significant differences in the incidence of either complex or mobile aortic atheromata. The incidence of atrial septal aneurysm was higher in the stroke/TIA group, but not in association with patent foramen ovale. Finally, there were also no differences in the incidence of spontaneous echocontrast, and/or patent foramen ovale between study and control groups. Conclusions: We conclude: (1) There is a higher incidence of abnormalities implicated as sources of thromboembolic disease on TEE in elderly patients with cerebral infarctions, but (2) this incidence is driven by the presence of sessile aortic atheroma and atrial septal aneurysm. Until the benefits of specific therapies for these conditions are known, routine TEE in elderly patients with suspected embolic neurological events appears to be unwarranted. [source]

Active Vegetations Can Be Differentiated from Chronic Vegetations by Visual Inspection of Standardized Two-Dimensional Echocardiograms

The ability to differentiate active from chronic valvular vegetations (VEGs) by digital image processing and by visual observation was evaluated in 18 patients with a clinical diagnosis of infective endocarditis (IE). Two-dimensional echocardiographic (2-DE) examinations were performed on all patients at diagnosis and after a mean period of 52 days. Two comparable images (active and chronic) from the same patient and in the same phase of the cardiac cycle were digitized, magnified, and displayed on a high resolution monitor. The mean pixel intensity (MPI) was 72 ± 14 in the active stage and 143 ± 23 in the chronic stage (P < 0.0001). The VEG size was 0.64 ± 0.15 cm2 in the active stage and decreased to 0.46 ± 0.17 cm2 in the chronic stage (P < 0.001). Two experienced echocar-diographers, who were blinded to the age of the VEGs, identified each echocardiographic image as active or chronic based on visual observation of density of the VEGs. The VEGs were correctly identified as active or chronic in 17 out of the 18 patients. In summary, although digital image processing of 2-DE may be useful, the density of VEGs assessed by visual inspection will help differentiate between active and chronic VEGs of IE. The standardization procedure at the time of the initial study and use of identical gain settings in subsequent studies are key factors in making this distinction. [source]

Individualized assessment and treatment program for alcohol dependence: results of an initial study to train coping skills

ADDICTION, Issue 11 2009
Mark D. Litt
ABSTRACT Aims Cognitive,behavioral treatments (CBT) are among the most popular interventions offered for alcohol and other substance use disorders, but it is not clear how they achieve their effects. CBT is purported to exert its beneficial effects by altering coping skills, but data supporting coping changes as the mechanism of action are mixed. The purpose of this pilot study was to test a treatment in which coping skills were trained in a highly individualized way, allowing us to determine if such training would result in an effective treatment. Design Participants were assigned randomly to a comprehensive packaged CBT program (PCBT), or to an individualized assessment and treatment program (IATP). The IATP program employed experience sampling via cellphone to assess coping skills prior to treatment, and provided therapists with a detailed understanding of patients' coping strengths and deficits. Setting Out-patient treatment. Participants A total of 110 alcohol-dependent men and women. Measurements Participants in both conditions completed experience sampling of situations, drinking and coping efforts prior to, and following, 12 weeks of treatment. Time-line follow-back procedures were also used to record drinking at baseline and post-treatment. Findings IATP yielded higher proportion of days abstinent (PDA) at post-treatment (P < 0.05) than did PCBT, and equivalent heavy drinking days. IATP also elicited more momentary coping responses and less drinking in high-risk situations, as recorded by experience sampling at post-treatment. Post-treatment coping response rates were associated with decreases in drinking. Conclusions The IATP approach was more successful than PCBT at training adaptive coping responses for use in situations presenting a high risk for drinking. The highly individualized IATP approach may prove to be an effective treatment strategy for alcohol-dependent patients. [source]

An early lesion in hepatic carcinogenesis: Loss of heterozygosity in human cirrhotic livers and dysplastic nodules at the 1p36-p34 region

HEPATOLOGY, Issue 6 2001
Min Sun
Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) of chromosome 1 has been suggested, by karyotyping, to be an initial episode in human hepatocarcinogenesis. However, this alteration has not yet been investigated in cirrhotic nodules (CNs) or dysplastic nodules (DNs). In an initial study from explanted or resected cirrhotic livers, LOH in 1p36-p32 was examined in 31 hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), 25 low-grade dysplastic nodules (LGDNs), and 24 high-grade dysplastic nodules (HGDNs). In HCCs, LOH was detected most frequently at loci D1S2843 (1p36.1) (28.6%), D1S513 (1p34.3) (29.2%), and MYCL1 (1p34.1) (28.6%). In HGDN and LGDN, LOH incidences at D1S513 were 11.1% and 13.6%, respectively. To further refine those results and to determine sequential relationships among CN, DN, and HCC, LOH was next studied in an additional 53 HCCs, 56 HGDNs, 30 LGDNs, and 215 CNs from 11 explanted human cirrhotic livers, including 30 "nodule-in-nodule" lesions. Seven markers between D1S2843 (1p36.12) and MYCL1 (1p34.1), and 1 each at D1S484 (1q24.1), IGF2R-3 (6q26), and TP53 (17p13.1) were used. LOH at D1S2843 and D1S513 was detected in HCCs (20.4% and 23.5%, respectively), HGDNs (7.7% and 18.5%), LGDNs (13.6% and 6.9%), and CNs surrounding either HCCs or DNs (7.4% and 8.3%). These results demonstrate that LOH at D1S2843 and D1S513 are early events in human liver carcinogenesis. Data from CN surrounding either HCCs or DN, and also nodule-in-nodule lesions, provide evidence supporting a CN,DN,HCC progression. Different deletion patterns from multiple HCCs and DNs suggest independent origins for carcinogenesis in the same individual. [source]

Emodin reverses CCl4 induced hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymatic and ultrastructural changes: The in vivo evidence

Monika Bhadauria
Aim:, The curative effect of emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methyl anthraquinone), an active compound of the plant species Ventilago maderaspatana Gaertn, was evaluated against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymatic and ultrastructural alterations in rats. Methods:, Female rats were administered CCl4 (1.5 mL/kg, ip) followed by varying doses of emodin (20, 30 and 40 mg/kg, oral po) after 24 h of CCl4 administration. Animals were euthanized after 24 h of last administration to determine liver function tests in serum, hepatic light microscopic and ultrastructural changes, activity of CYP enzymes, microsomal lipid peroxidation and protein contents, hexobarbitone induced sleep time and bromosulphalein retention. Results:, The CCl4 induced-toxic effects were observed with sharp elevation in the release of serum transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase and ,-glutamyl transpeptidase. An initial study for an optimum dose of emodin among different dose levels revealed that a 30 mg/kg dose was effective in restoring all the enzymatic variables and liver histoarchitecture in a dose dependent manner. Exposure to CCl4 diminished the activities of CYP enzymes (i.e. aniline hydroxylase and amidopyrine-N-demethylase and microsomal protein contents with concomitant increase in microsomal lipid peroxidation). Emodin at 30 mg/kg effectively reversed the CCl4 induced hepatotoxic events, which was consistent with ultrastructural observations. Hexobarbitone-induced sleep time and plasma bromosulphalein retention also improved liver functions after emodin therapy. Conclusion:, By reversal CYP activity and ultrastructural changes, emodin shows a strong hepatoprotective abilities. [source]

Cisplatin-conjugated Gelpart: initial study in vitro

Shinichi Ohta
Aim:, In Japan, Gelpart (Nippon Kayaku, Tokyo, Japan) is commercially available as an embolic agent made of gelatin for hepatocellular carcinoma. The object of this study was to develop cisplatin-conjugated Gelpart, confirm its bonding capability and confirm cisplatin-release from it in vitro. Methods:, Gelpart (80 mg) were immersed in 50 mL of the cisplatin solution (0.3 mg/mL) at 38°C for 1 hour to allow conjugation to cisplatin. Half of them were washed with double distilled water and centrifuged seven times to remove the uncombined cisplatin from Gelpart. Five mg of washed Gelpart and 5 mg unwashed Gelpart were freeze-dried and the platinum concentrations in these Gelpart were analyzed. In an in vitro release test, 30 mg of each cisplatin-conjugated Gelpart were placed in 10 mL of phosphate buffered salts (PBS) containing 0.01 wt.% Tween 80 and the system was shaken reciprocally at 72 strokes/min at 38°C. At different time intervals (1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours), 5 mL of the supernatant was pipetted out and immediately after that the same volume of PBS was added. The platinum concentration of the solutions sampled was measured and the release rate from cisplatin-conjugated Gelpart was calculated. Results:, The platinum concentrations (µg/g) of unwashed Gelpart and washed Gelpart were, respectively, 9563.5 ± 101.1 and 6396.5 ± 14.8. The release rates (%) from unwashed Gelpart and from washed Gelpart were, respectively, 43.1, 56.3, 56.5, 58.5, 60.9 and 5.8, 6.7, 8.5, 11.0, 12.0. Conclusion:, Gelpart had a bonding capability to cisplatin and an ability of sustained release from it. Cisplatin-conjugated Gelpart might become a simple embolic agent with drug delivery systems. [source]

Proton collisions with the water dimer at keV energies

O. Quinet
Abstract Proton collisions with the water dimer are studied using a nonadiabatic, direct, time-dependent approach called electron nuclear dynamics (END). Fragmentation of the water dimer in collisions with protons at energies of 5.0, 1.0 keV and 200 eV is the primary aim of this initial study of water clusters using END. We report on the initial fragmentation dynamic, that is, for times less than 200 fs. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2009 [source]

Development and Validation of a Geriatric Knowledge Test for Medical Students

Ming Lee PhD
Objectives: To assesses the reliability and validity of a geriatrics knowledge test designed for medical students. Design: Cross-sectional studies. Setting: An academic medical center. Participants: A total of 343 (86% of those sampled) medical students participated in the initial study, including 137 (76%) first-year, 163 (96%) third-year, and 43 (86% of those sampled) fourth-year students in the 2000,2001 academic year. To cross-validate the instrument, another 165 (92%) third-year and 137 (76%) first-year students participated in the study in the 2001,2002 academic year. Measurements: An 18-item geriatrics knowledge test was developed. The items were selected from a pool of 23 items. An established instrument assessing the clinical skills of medical students was included in the validation procedure. Results: The instrument demonstrated good reliability (Cronbach ,=0.80) and known-groups and concurrent validity. Geriatrics knowledge scores increased progressively with the higher level of medical training (mean percentage correct=31.3, 65.3, and 66.5 for the first-year, third-year, and fourth-year classes, respectively, P<.001). A significant (P<.01) relationship was found between the third-year students' geriatrics knowledge and their clinical skills. Similar results, except the relationship between knowledge and clinical skills, were found in the cross-validation study, supporting the reliability and known-groups validity of the test. Conclusion: The 18-item geriatrics knowledge test demonstrated sound reliability and validity. The average scores of the student groups indicated substantial room for growth. The relationship between geriatrics knowledge and overall clinical skills needs further investigation. [source]

Outcomes of the International Union of Crystallography Commission on Powder Diffraction Round Robin on Quantitative Phase Analysis: samples 2, 3, 4, synthetic bauxite, natural granodiorite and pharmaceuticals

Nicola V. Y. Scarlett
The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Commission on Powder Diffraction (CPD) has sponsored a round robin on the determination of quantitative phase abundance from diffraction data. The aims of the round robin have been detailed by Madsen et al. [J. Appl. Cryst. (2001), 34, 409,426]. In summary, they were (i) to document the methods and strategies commonly employed in quantitative phases analysis (QPA), especially those involving powder diffraction, (ii) to assess levels of accuracy, precision and lower limits of detection, (iii) to identify specific problem areas and develop practical solutions, (iv) to formulate recommended procedures for QPA using diffraction data, and (v) to create a standard set of samples for future reference. The first paper (Madsen et al., 2001) covered the results of sample 1 (a simple three-phase mixture of corundum, fluorite and zincite). The remaining samples used in the round robin covered a wide range of analytical complexity, and presented a series of different problems to the analysts. These problems included preferred orientation (sample 2), the analysis of amorphous content (sample 3), microabsorption (sample 4), complex synthetic and natural mineral suites, along with pharmaceutical mixtures with and without an amorphous component. This paper forms the second part of the round-robin study and reports the results of samples 2 (corundum, fluorite, zincite, brucite), 3 (corundum, fluorite, zincite, silica flour) and 4 (corundum, magnetite, zircon), synthetic bauxite, natural granodiorite and the synthetic pharmaceutical mixtures (mannitol, nizatidine, valine, sucrose, starch). The outcomes of this second part of the round robin support the findings of the initial study. The presence of increased analytical problems within these samples has only served to exacerbate the difficulties experienced by many operators with the sample 1 suite. The major difficulties are caused by lack of operator expertise, which becomes more apparent with these more complex samples. Some of these samples also introduced the requirement for skill and judgement in sample preparation techniques. This second part of the round robin concluded that the greatest physical obstacle to accurate QPA for X-ray based methods is the presence of absorption contrast between phases (microabsorption), which may prove to be insurmountable in some circumstances. [source]

People with intellectual disabilities on probation: an initial study

Jonathan Mason
Abstract The two studies in this paper aim to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of people with intellectual disabilities in the probation service in England. Study one screened the abilities of a sample of 70 probationers in one single probation service. Study two compares a sub-set of these to an equal number of control participants in order to further investigate the characteristics of those with intellectual disability on probation. Nearly 6% of service users appeared to have an intellectual disability, and 11% fell into the bottom 5% of the general population in terms of their intellectual and social functioning. We conclude that a significant minority of those in the probation service have an intellectual disability or similar needs. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Statistical Discrimination of Liquid Gasoline Samples from Casework

Nicholas D. K. Petraco Ph.D.
Abstract:, The intention of this study was to differentiate liquid gasoline samples from casework by utilizing multivariate pattern recognition procedures on data from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A supervised learning approach was undertaken to achieve this goal employing the methods of principal component analysis (PCA), canonical variate analysis (CVA), orthogonal canonical variate analysis (OCVA), and linear discriminant analysis. The study revealed that the variability in the sample population was sufficient enough to distinguish all the samples from one another knowing their groups a priori. CVA was able to differentiate all samples in the population using only three dimensions, while OCVA required four dimensions. PCA required 10 dimensions of data in order to predict the correct groupings. These results were all cross-validated using the "jackknife" method to confirm the classification functions and compute estimates of error rates. The results of this initial study have helped to develop procedures for the application of multivariate analysis to fire debris casework. [source]

Coping over time: the parents of children with autism

D. E. Gray
Abstract Background Although coping with autism has been examined in a number of papers, virtually no research exists on how families cope over time. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal study of parents coping with autism over a period of approximately a decade. Methods The research method for the study was based on ethnographic methods that emphasized in-depth interviews and participant observation. The sample for this study consisted of 28 parents (19 mothers and nine fathers) of children with autism. The instrument for the interviews consisted of questions concerning: the child's medical history and referral experience, the child's present symptomatology, the effects of the child's problems on the parent's well-being, the effects of autism on the family's social life, parental coping strategies, illness conceptualization and the parents' expectations for the future. Results and conclusions Coping strategies changed from the time of the initial study, as fewer parents coped through reliance on service providers, family support, social withdrawal and individualism and relatively more parents coped through their religious faith and other emotion-focused strategies. The results tentatively support previous research on coping that indicates that aging is linked to the use of more emotion-focused coping strategies. [source]


Anton Montsant
Diatoms are unicellular brown algae that likely arose from the endocytobiosis of a red alga into a single-celled heterotroph and that constitute an algal class of major importance in phytoplankton communities around the globe. The first whole-genome sequence from a diatom species, Thalassiosira pseudonana Hasle et Heimdal, was recently reported, and features that are central to diatom physiology and ecology, such as silicon and nitrogen metabolism, iron uptake, and carbon concentration mechanisms, were described. Following this initial study, the basic cellular systems controlling cell signaling, gene expression, cytoskeletal structures, and response to stress have been cataloged in an attempt to obtain a global view of the molecular foundations that sustain such an ecologically successful group of organisms. Comparative analysis with several microbial, plant, and metazoan complete genome sequences allowed the identification of putative membrane receptors, signaling proteins, and other components of central interest to diatom ecophysiology and evolution. Thalassiosira pseudonana likely perceives light through a novel phytochrome and several cryptochrome photoreceptors; it may lack the conserved RHO small-GTPase subfamily of cell-polarity regulators, despite undergoing polarized cell-wall synthesis; and it possesses an unusually large number of heat-shock transcription factors, which may indicate the central importance of transcriptional responses to environmental stress. The availability of the complete gene repertoire will permit a detailed biochemical and genetic analysis of how diatoms prosper in aquatic environments and will contribute to the understanding of eukaryotic evolution. [source]


ABSTRACT Cocoa butter has a distinct texture due to unique interactions of polymorphic lipid structures. Part of chocolate's appeal is smooth mouthfeel; as fat or sugar bloom forms, textural change is perceived. Correlation of instrumental and sensory texture analysis has not been conducted in stored chocolate. The objective of this study was to analyze texture and color of dark and milk chocolate stored under conditions leading to fat and/or sugar bloom by instrumental and sensory measurements. Milk and dark chocolate was stored 5 weeks at various temperatures and relative humidity (RH), followed by instrumental and sensory texture analysis. All attributes, except springiness, were significantly affected by treatments. According to partial least squares linear regression, instrumental hardness, cohesiveness, chewiness and gumminess modeled sensory hardness. The 30.0C incubator experienced temperature fluctuations, resulting in severe fat bloom. Temperature fluctuations during storage had more influence on texture perception than storage at high temperatures or high RH. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS This research serves as an initial study on textural aspects of chocolate quality upon storage that is the first report to correlate instrumental textural analysis of chocolate to sensory evaluation. Storage temperature and humidity of chocolate greatly impacts consumer texture perception, which is valuable information to small chocolate handlers and manufacturers who have noted to us that many of the larger companies may have this information , but it is not widely available. It also sets the stage for more detailed studies on texture and flavor of chocolate during storage. Although many storage studies on chocolate exist, those that intertwine studies of quality from both an instrumental and a sensory standpoint are lacking. [source]

Fabrication of Thick (>10 ,m) GeO2 Ceramic Films by a Facile Liquid Phase Deposition Process

Chengbin Jing
GeO2 thick (>10 ,m) ceramic films were fabricated by facile liquid-phase deposition. The solubility of hexagonal GeO2 in water was increased ten times on adding aqueous ammonia at 70°C because of the formation of soluble Ge5O112,. With the addition of sulfuric acid, the alkaline GeO2,aqueous ammonia was neutralized, leading to the transformation of Ge5O112, into GeO2 precipitates. When the H2SO4/NH4OH molar ratio was higher than 11.7, immediate precipitation of GeO2 particles took place in the solution with no GeO2 particles deposited on the substrate. When the H2SO4/NH4OH molar ratio was decreased from 5.85 to 0.29, the precipitation process was retarded, leading to the gradual growth of uniform hexagonal GeO2 thick films on the substrates. The compactness of the film increased with a decrease in the H2SO4/NH4OH molar ratio. The growth of the GeO2 crystal film followed the Bravais,Freidel,Donnay,Harker and Hartman,Perdok models, and the cubic GeO2 particles with a size of about 10 ,m were finally formed on the film. No GeO2 precipitate was produced on the substrate when the GeO2,aqueous ammonia had an excessively low H2SO4/NH4OH molar ratio (,0.15) because the GeO2 solute did not reach the saturation level and the nucleation process could not take place on the substrate. The particles on the film surface deposited from the solution with an H2SO4/NH4OH molar ratio of 0.29 exhibited a nanopore structure. An initial study using this film as a support for KNO3 catalyst was carried out and the result revealed that the catalyst showed good catalytic activity of diesel soot oxidation. [source]

Initial results of remediation activities to restore hypereutrophic Villerest Reservoir (Roanne, France)

Abstract We examined the impacts of remediation activities aimed at improving the water quality of hypereutrophic Villerest Reservoir, in which Microcystis aeruginosa dominated during the summer. We also compared nutrients and chlorophyll a data from this study with the results of a previous study on the reservoir. Between the two studies, the nitrogen and phosphorus loads into the reservoir from the main tributary decreased by 70% and 80%, respectively. Within the reservoir, the quantities of ammonia-nitrogen were similar in the two studies, and the total nitrogen was significantly higher in this study compared to the initial study. Both the phosphate-phosphorus and total phosphorus concentrations decreased significantly between the two studies. However, the statistically significant decrease in phosphate-phosphorus and total phosphorus did not always lead to a significant decrease in chlorophyll a concentrations. The nitrogen/phosphorus mass ratio during the present study remained well above five, the critical value below which summer blooms of Microcystis aeruginosa were observed in Villerest Reservoir. These study results indicated that the remediation activities being used to improve the water quality of Villerest Reservoir were off to a good start. [source]

Use of the ,nutriceutical', bovine colostrum, for the treatment of distal colitis: results from an initial study

Z. Khan
Summary Background : Bovine colostrum is a rich source of nutrients, antibodies and growth factors. Aim : To examine the efficacy of colostrum enemas in the treatment of distal colitis using a randomized, double-blind, controlled protocol. Methods : Fourteen patients (eight female), with a mean age of 45 years (range, 16,75 years) and mild to moderately severe distal colitis (Powell-Tuck scoring system), received colostrum enema (100 mL of 10% solution) or placebo (albumin solution) b.d. for 4 weeks. Both groups also received mesalazine (1.6 g/day) or, if already taking it, had a dose increment of 1.6 g/day. Disease activity was documented at 0, 2 and 4 weeks. Results : After 4 weeks, the colostrum group showed a mean reduction in symptom score of ,,2.9 (95% confidence interval (CI), ,,5.4 to ,,0.3), whereas the placebo group showed a mean response of +,0.5 (95% CI, ,,2.4 to +3.4). The histological score improved in five of the eight patients in the colostrum group (mean response, ,,0.9; 95% CI, ,,1.69 to ,,0.03), whereas the histological scores only improved in two of the six patients in the placebo group (mean response, 0.2; 95% CI, ,,2.4 to +2.6). Conclusions : Bovine colostrum enema shows potential as a novel therapy for left-sided colitis with additional benefits over using mesalazine alone. Further studies appear to be warranted. [source]

Seasonal variability in exercise test responses in Ghana

Emmanuel O. D. Addo-Yobo
Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is widely used in epidemiological studies to investigate the prevalence of asthma. We aimed to determine seasonal variations in the prevalence of EIB in Ghanaian school children from urban-rich (UR), urban-poor (UP), and rural (R) schools. We have previously reported the prevalence of EIB in 9,16-year-old children to be 3.1% in the dry season, with UR children having a significantly higher prevalence of both EIB and atopy compared to UP or R children. In the current study, the prevalence of EIB was assessed in the same 1,095 children in the wet season (5 months following the initial study) using the same methodology. Exercise provocation consisted of free running outdoors for 6 min. In the wet season, 17/1,095 children [mean 1.55%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.91,2.47] had a positive response to exercise, compared to our previous report of 34 children (mean 3.1%, 95% CI: 2.15,4.32) with EIB in the dry season (dry vs. wet season, difference 1.55, 95% CI: 0.41,2.69). The proportion of children with a positive response to exercise in the UR school fell from 4.2% (25/599) to 1.3% (8/599) (difference 2.9, 95% CI: 1.2,4.5). In the wet season, there was no difference in the prevalence of EIB among the UR, UP, and R children. Only five of 1,095 subjects (mean 0.5%, 95% CI: 0.15,1.07) demonstrated EIB in both seasons. In conclusion, although exercise challenge remains a useful tool for determining asthma prevalence in epidemiological studies, seasonal variations in the pattern of responses may occur and the results should be interpreted with caution. [source]

Morphological and molecular analysis of bromeliad-inhabiting ciliates in Ecuador

The microbial inhabitants of Neotropical forests are poorly known. According to Finlay (2002, Science, 296:1061,1063) the majority of taxa in tropical forests should be previously described elsewhere. Conversely, Foissner (1999, Protist, 150:363,368) points to examples of endemic protists, and states that while we can identify the common species there are few trained taxonomists to identify the rare ones in large sampling investigations. To test these hypotheses, I am following up on an initial study of Foissner et al. (2003, Europ. J. Protistol., 39:365,372) of the ciliates inhabiting waters in canopy, sub-canopy and terrestrial bromeliad tanks in two Ecuadorian forests. Using morphological (protargol, silver nitrate, and silver carbonate stains; scanning electron micrographs) and molecular methods (SSU and ITS sequencing) I will concentrate my investigations on the colpodid taxa found free-living in the bromeliad tanks in two Ecuadorian forests. If I find many new taxa, Finlay's hypothesis may not be applicable to atleast bromeliad-inhabiting ciliates. [source]

Differential Capture of Serum Proteins for Expression Profiling and Biomarker Discovery in Pre- and Posttreatment Head and Neck Cancer Samples,

Gary L. Freed MD
Abstract Introduction: A long-term goal of our group is to develop proteomic-based approaches to the detection and use of protein biomarkers for improvement in diagnosis, prognosis, and tailoring of treatment for head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). We have previously demonstrated that protein expression profiling of serum can identify multiple protein biomarker events that can serve as molecular fingerprints for the assessment of HNSCC disease state and prognosis. Methods: An automated Bruker Daltonics (Billerica, MA) ClinProt matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer was used. Magnetic chemical affinity beads were used to differentially capture serum proteins prior to MALDI-TOF analysis. The resulting spectra were analyzed using postprocessing software and a pattern recognition genetic algorithm (ClinProt 2.0). An HNSCC cohort of 48 sera samples from 24 patients consisting of matched pretreatment and 6 to 12 month posttreatment samples was used for further analysis. Low-mass differentially expressed peptides were identified using MALDI-TOF/TOF. Results: In the working mass range of 1,000 to 10,000 m/z, approximately 200 peaks were resolved for ionic bead capture approaches. For spectra generated from weak cation bead capture, a k-nearest neighbor genetic algorithm was able to correctly classify 94% normal from pretreatment HNSCC samples, 80% of pretreatment from posttreatment samples, and 87% of normal from posttreatment samples. These peptides were then analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectometry for sequence identification directly from serum processed with the same magnetic bead chemistry or alternatively after gel electrophoresis separation of the captured proteins. We were able to compare this with similar studies using surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization (SELDI)-TOF to show this method as a valid tool for this process with some improvement in the identification of our groups. Conclusions: This initial study using new high-resolution MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry coupled with bead fractionation is suitable for automated protein profiling and has the capability to simultaneously identify potential biomarker proteins for HNSCC. In addition, we were able to show improvement with the MALDI-TOF in identifying groups with HNSCC when compared with our prior data using SELDI-TOF. Using this MALDI-TOF technology as a discovery platform, we anticipate generating biomarker panels for use in more accurate prediction of prognosis and treatment efficacies for HNSCC. [source]

Sequence variation in ,-methylacyl-CoA racemase and risk of early-onset and familial prostate cancer

THE PROSTATE, Issue 14 2007
Albert M. Levin
Abstract BACKGROUND Expression of the ,-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR) gene has been established as a sensitive and specific biomarker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. An initial study has also suggested that the risk of familial (but not sporadic) prostate cancer may be associated with germline variation in the AMACR gene. METHODS In a study of brothers discordant for the diagnosis of prostate cancer (including 449 affected and 394 unaffected men) from 332 familial and early-onset prostate cancer families, we used conditional logistic regression and family-based association tests to investigate the association between prostate cancer and five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging common haplotype variation within the coding and regulatory regions of AMACR. RESULTS The strongest evidence for prostate cancer association was for SNP rs3195676, with an estimated odds ratio of 0.58 (95% confidence interval,=,0.38,0.90; P,=,0.01 for a recessive model). This non-synonymous SNP (nsSNP) results in a methionine-to-valine substitution at codon 9 (M9V) in exon 2 of the AMACR gene. Three additional nsSNPs showed suggestive evidence for prostate cancer association (P,,,0.10). CONCLUSIONS Our results confirm an initial report of association between the AMACR gene and the risk of familial prostate cancer. These findings emphasize the value of studying early-onset and familial prostate cancer when attempting to identify genetic variation associated with prostate cancer. Prostate 67: 1507,1513, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Evaluation of the NK2 Homeobox 1 Gene (NKX2-1) as a Hirschsprung's Disease Locus THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN RETRACTED

M.-M. Garcia-Barceló
Summary Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR, colonic aganglionosis) is an oligogenic entity that usually requires mutations in RET and other interacting loci. Decreased levels of RET expression may lead to the manifestation of HSCR. We previously showed that RET transcription was decreased due to alteration of the NKX2,1 binding site by two HSCR-associated RET promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This prompted us to investigate whether DNA alterations in NKX2-1 could play a role in HSCR by affecting the RET -regulatory properties of the NKX2,1 protein. Our initial study on 86 Chinese HSCR patients revealed a Gly322Ser amino acid substitution in the NKX2,1 protein. In this study, we have examined 102 additional Chinese and 70 Caucasian patients and 194 Chinese and 60 Caucasian unselected, unrelated, subjects as controls. The relevance of the DNA changes detected in NKX2-1 by direct sequencing were evaluated using bioinformatics, reporter and binding-assays, mouse neurosphere culture, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence techniques. Met3Leu and Pro48Pro were identified in 2 Caucasian and 1 Chinese patients respectively. In vitro analysis showed that Met3Leu reduced the activity of the RET promoter by 100% in the presence of the wild-type or HSCR-associated RET promoter SNP alleles. The apparent binding affinity of the NKX2,1 mutated protein was not decreased. The Met3Leu mutation may affect the interaction of NKX2,1 with its protein partners. The absence of NKX2-1 expression in mouse but not in human gut suggests that the role of NKX2,1 in gut development differs between the two species. NKX2-1 mutations could contribute to HSCR by affecting RET expression through defective interactions with other transcription factors. [source]


ARCHAEOMETRY, Issue 4 2009
This project follows on from an initial study of Celtic gold coins from the Middle Rhine/Moselle region, which was based on material found at the Martberg, a Late Iron Age/Roman sanctuary and settlement (River Moselle, western Germany; Bendall 2003). The earlier work was expanded to encompass over 100 examples of various other regional Celtic gold coinages from the collection of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz. The alloy (Au,Ag,Cu) and trace element compositions (in particular Ni, Sb and Pt) were determined by EPMA and LA,ICP,MS, respectively, and their Pb isotope signatures were measured by LA,MC,ICP,MS. Of the 28 trace elements measured, only Ni, Sb and Pt were found to show meaningful variations and so only they are presented here. In particular, differences in the Pt/Au ratios between various groups of earlier coinage (imitations of Philippus and Alexander/Nike staters, Sch. 23 and some early Boian coins) on the one hand, and the majority of the Boian and the southern rainbow cup coinages on the other, indicate a significant difference in the gold sources exploited for these regional coinages. The Pb isotope data confirm previous conclusions that the contribution of gold to the total lead in the Au,Ag,Cu coin alloys can be detected, especially for coins with over 70% gold, and show that possible gold sources include both eastern Mediterranean and Alpine sources. Combining the Pb isotope data with the Pt/Au ratios allows the potential gold sources to be further differentiated. [source]

Peritoneal T Cell Responses Can Be Polarized Toward Th1 or Th2 in Children on Chronic Peritoneal Dialysis

Sabrina Chiesa
Abstract:, Peritoneal T cell responses can be polarized toward Th1 or Th2 in children on chronic peritoneal dialysis. Previous studies on the peritoneal immune system described the presence of activated T lymphocytes in peritoneal effluents from subjects on chronic peritoneal dialysis (CPD). Since Th1/Th2 polarized response can influence the outcome of specific infectious diseases, we investigated if activated Th1/Th2 cells can be detected in peritoneal effluents during peritoneal dialysis, in order to better understand the role of T cells in the mechanisms of peritoneal defense. We have studied 8 children (4 males, 4 females, mean age 5.8 ± 5.7 years, range 0.3,13.4) on CPD. Peritoneal cells have been isolated from peritoneal effluents by centrifugation. Immunofluorescent staining of intracellular cytokines for flow cytometric analysis was used to detect the percentage of T cells producing either IFN-, (Th1) or IL-4 (Th2). In the initial study 3 months after CPD initiation, high percentages of IFN-, positive peritoneal T cells (38% and 63%) were detected in two subjects; this finding is consistent with a Th1 polarization of peritoneal T cells. In another subject, high percentages of IL-4 positive T cells (31%) were detected, suggesting a Th2 polarization of peritoneal T cell response. Small amounts of either Th1 or Th2 T cells (2,4%) were also detected in the other subjects. At the 1 year follow-up, Th1 polarization persisted in one subject (18% IFN-, positive peritoneal T cells), in another a shift from Th1 to Th2 was observed, and in the other subject a down regulation of both T cell subsets occurred. The finding that a predominance of T cells producing either IFN-, or IL-4 was found in 3 out of 8 children strongly suggests that peritoneal T cell responses can be polarized toward Th1 or Th2. The decrease of Th1 and/or Th2 polarized T cells in the peritoneum of 4 out of 6 subjects (after 1 year) suggests that CPD can play an immunosuppressive role on T cell peritoneal responses. Further studies are needed in order to define whether different T helper activation patterns are associated with a higher risk of peritoneal infection or of peritoneal damage. [source]

Predictors of treatment outcome in dually-diagnosed antisocial youth: an initial study of forensic inpatients

Richard Rogers Ph.D.
The safe and effective management of adolescent offenders is a top priority for inpatient forensic programs. Treatment successes were examined for adolescent offenders on four parameters, specifically hospital course, level of improvement, time to discharge, and rapidity of improvement. Hospital course was predicted primarily by the breadth of polysubstance abuse with modest but independent contributions by psychopathic characteristics, and aggressive conduct-disorder symptoms. An important finding for treatment was that level of improvement at discharge was only marginally affected by psychopathic traits. In addition, rapidity of improvement was predicted only by decreased polysubstance abuse. Approximately one-fourth of the adolescent offenders experienced a substantial decrease in psychopathic characteristics. This finding was unexpected because the generic treatment program did not target the core elements of psychopathy. Even in the absence of nontreatment controls, this diminution of psychopathic traits in 25% of adolescent offenders raises important questions about the temporal stability of these traits and their potential amenability to generic interventions. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Utilities of the P -value Distribution Associated with Effect Size in Clinical Trials,

H.M. James Hung
Abstract The P -value, which is widely used for assessing statistical evidence in randomized comparative clinical trials, is a function of the observed effect size of the experimental treatment relative to the control treatment. The relationship of the P -value with the observed effect size at study completion and the effect size anticipated at the design stage has potential usefulness in providing guidance for planning and interpretation of a clinical trial. The post-trial power associated with a statistically significant P -value from a completed study is also a random variable and its use may assist in planning a follow-up trial to confirm the statistically significant findings in an initial study. A measure of robustness is explored to quantify the degree of sensitivity of the observed P -value to potential bias that may be contained in the observed effect size. [source]

Microarray analysis of changes in renal phenotype in the ethylene glycol rat model of urolithiasis: potential and pitfalls

Daniel H.-C.
OBJECTIVES To investigate, in an initial study, the use of microarray analysis (MA) to develop an information base for urolithiasis. MA enables the screening of thousands of genes simultaneously making it the technique of choice for situations where the results are known, but the underlying mechanisms are not. Little is known about the pathological changes occurring in the kidney during urolithiasis and this has severely hampered efforts to develop effective therapeutics. MATERIALS AND METHODS Male rats were treated with 0.75% ethylene glycol for 2, 4 or 8 weeks; after death the kidneys were processed for RNA isolation and MA, conducted using a rat-based chip (one kidney/chip) and the results confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR, 21 probe sets; control, four rats; treated, five rats). Targets were defined as different by the software if the fold change (FC) was ,,2, and sorted into functional categories using a data-mining tool. The repeatability of MA was investigated by subjecting the 4-week samples to MA in two independent runs. RESULTS The results for targets with a FC of , 2 were plotted (y = 1.01x , 0.75; r2 0.84). Comparing the results obtained by RT-PCR and MA showed a good qualitative correlation for those targets having a FC of ,,5 as determined by MA. Changes in the expression of genes associated with tubule function and regulation, oxidative damage, and inflammation were the most common in the functional categories. Changes in the expression of tubule-specific markers indicated that there was damage to the proximal (,-adducin, organic anion and cation transporters, sodium-hydrogen exchange protein-isoform 3) and distal tubules (,-adducin, kallikrein) at 2 and 4 weeks. Increased expression of mitochondrial uncoupling protein indicated that there were changes to the mitochondria and oxidative stress at 2 and 4 weeks. CONCLUSION This study shows the power of MA as an exploratory technique, and changes in the expression of several physiologically important genes whose expression has not previously been reported to be affected by hyperoxaluria or calcium oxalate crystalluria. [source]

Use of electrolysis as an adjunct to liver resection

B. G. Fosh
Background: Patients with hepatic metastases are potentially curable if all the diseased tissue can be resected. Unfortunately, only 10,20 per cent of patients are suitable for curative resection. Electrolysis is a novel non-thermal method of tissue ablation. When used in conjunction with surgery it may increase the number of resectable liver tumours with curative treatment. Methods: All patients had been deemed inoperable using currently accepted criteria. Nine patients with hepatic deposits from colorectal carcinoma underwent combined surgical resection and electrolytic ablation of metastases. Results: The treatment was associated with minimal morbidity. Within the electrolytically treated area seven patients had no radiological evidence of recurrence at a median follow-up of 9 (range 6,43) months; local recurrence was detected in two patients. Six of the nine patients had metastases elsewhere in the liver with four having extrahepatic metastases. Three patients remain tumour free. Three patients died. The median survival was 17 (range 9,24) months from the time of treatment. Discussion: Electrolysis with resection may confer a disease-free and overall survival benefit. The small size of this initial study precludes statistical analysis, but preliminary results are encouraging. © 2002 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd [source]

Synthesis of Peptidyl Ene Diones: Selective Inactivators of the Cysteine Proteinases

Paul Darkins
A series of synthetic peptides in which the C-terminal carboxyl grouping (-CO2H) of each has been chemically converted into a variety of ene dione derivatives (-CO-CH=CH-CO-X; X = -H, -Me, -OBut, -OEt, -OMe, -CO-OMe), have been prepared and tested as inactivators against typical members of the serine and cysteine protease families. For example, the sequences Cbz-Pro-Phe-CH=CH-CO-OEt (I) which fulfils the known primary and secondary specificity requirements of the serine protease chymotrypsin, and Cbz-Phe-Ala-CH=CH-CO-OEt (II) which represents a general recognition sequence for cysteine proteases such as cathepsins B, L and S, have been tested as putative irreversible inactivators of their respective target proteases. It was found that, whereas II, for example, functioned as a time-dependent, irreversible inactivator of each of the cysteine proteases, I behaved only as a modest competitive reversible inhibitor of chymotrypsin. Within the simple ester sequences Cbz-Phe-Ala-CH=CH-CO-R, the rank order of inhibitor effectiveness decreases in the order R = -OMe > -OEt >> -OBut. It was also found that the presence of both an unsaturated double bond and an ester (or , -keto ester) moiety were indispensable for obtaining irreversible inactivators. Of the irreversible inactivators synthesized, Cbz-Phe-Ala-CH=CH-CO-CO-OEt (which contains a highly electrophilic , -keto ester grouping) was found to be the most effective exhibiting, for example, second-order rate constants of approximately 1.7 × 106m,1min,1 and approximately 4.9 × 104m,1min,1 against recombinant human cathepsin S and human spleenic cathepsin B, respectively. This initial study thus holds out the promise that this class of inactivator may well be specific for the cysteine protease subclass. [source]