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    46221 research outputs found

    Effects of distal nerve injuries on dorsal-horn neurons and glia: Relationships between lesion size and mechanical hyperalgesia

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    Penetrating limb injuries are common and usually heal without long-lasting effects, even when nerves are cut. However, rare nerve-injury patients develop prolonged and disabling chronic pain (neuralgia). When pain severity is disproportionate to severity of the inciting injury, physicians and insurers may suspect exaggeration and limit care or benefits, although the nature of the relationship between lesion-size and the development and persistence of neuralgia remains largely unknown. We compared cellular changes in the spinal dorsal-horn (the initial CNS pain-processing area) after partial or total tibial-nerve axotomies in male Sprague–Dawley rats to determine if these changes are proportional to the numbers of peripheral axons cut. Unoperated rats provided controls. Plantar hind-paw responses to touch, pin, and cold were quantitated bilaterally to identify hyperalgesic rats. We also compared data from nerve-injured rats with or without hyperalgesic responses to mechanical hind-paw stimulation to evaluate concordance between pain behaviors and dorsal-horn cellular changes. Hyperalgesia was no less prevalent or severe after partial than after total axotomy. L5 spinal-cord sections from rats killed 7 days postoperatively were labeled for markers of primary afferents (substance P calcitonin gene-related peptide isolectin B4, gamma aminobutyric acid, and glial fibrillary acidic protein), then labeled cells were stereologically quantitated in somatotopically defined dorsal-horn regions. Total axotomy reduced markers of primary afferents more than partial axotomy. In contrast, GABA-immunoreactive profiles were similarly reduced after both lesions, and in rats with sensory loss versus hyperalgesia. Numbers of GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes increased independently of lesion size and pain status. Small nerve injuries can thus have magnified and disproportionate effects on dorsal-horn neurons and glia, perhaps providing a biological correlate for the disproportionate pain of post-traumatic neuralgias (including complex regional pain syndrome-I) that follow seemingly minor nerve injuries. However, the presence of similar dorsal-horn changes in rats without pain behaviors suggests that not all transcellular responses to axotomy are pain-specific

    Development of a Rapid Salivary Proteomic Platform for Oral Feeding Readiness in the Preterm Newborn

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    Oral feeding competency is a major determinant of length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. An infant must be able to consistently demonstrate the ability to take all required enteral nutrition by mouth before discharge home. Most infants born prematurely (<37 weeks) will require days, if not weeks, to master this oral feeding competency skill. Inappropriately timed feeding attempts can lead to acute and long-term morbidities, prolonged hospitalizations, and increased health-care costs. Previously, a panel of five genes involved in essential developmental pathways including sensory integration (nephronophthisis 4, Plexin A1), hunger signaling [neuropeptide Y2 receptor (NPY2R), adenosine-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)], and facial development (wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 3) required for oral feeding success were identified in neonatal saliva. This study aimed to translate these five transcriptomic biomarkers into a rapid proteomic platform to provide objective, real-time assessment of oral feeding skills, to better inform care, and to improve neonatal outcomes. Total protein was extracted from saliva of 10 feeding-successful and 10 feeding-unsuccessful infants matched for age, sex, and post-conceptional age. Development of immunoassays was attempted for five oral feeding biomarkers and two reference biomarkers (GAPDH and YWHAZ) to normalize for starting protein concentrations. Normalized protein concentrations were correlated to both feeding status at time of sample collection and previously described gene expression profiles. Only the reference proteins and those involved in hunger signaling were detected in neonatal saliva at measurable levels. Expression patterns for NPY2R and AMPK correlated with the gene expression patterns previously seen between successful and unsuccessful feeders and predicted feeding outcome. Salivary proteins associated with hunger signaling are readily quantifiable in neonatal saliva and may be utilized to assess oral feeding readiness in the newborn. This study lays the foundation for the development of an informative, rapid, proteomic platform to assess neonatal oral feeding maturation

    Sparsity enables estimation of both subcortical and cortical activity from MEG and EEG

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    Subcortical structures play a critical role in brain function. However, options for assessing electrophysiological activity in these structures are limited. Electromagnetic fields generated by neuronal activity in subcortical structures can be recorded noninvasively, using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). However, these subcortical signals are much weaker than those generated by cortical activity. In addition, we show here that it is difficult to resolve subcortical sources because distributed cortical activity can explain the MEG and EEG patterns generated by deep sources. We then demonstrate that if the cortical activity is spatially sparse, both cortical and subcortical sources can be resolved with M/EEG. Building on this insight, we develop a hierarchical sparse inverse solution for M/EEG. We assess the performance of this algorithm on realistic simulations and auditory evoked response data, and show that thalamic and brainstem sources can be correctly estimated in the presence of cortical activity. Our work provides alternative perspectives and tools for characterizing electrophysiological activity in subcortical structures in the human brain

    The infant brain in the social world: Moving toward interactive social neuroscience with functional near-infrared spectroscopy

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    Typically developing infants rapidly acquire a sophisticated array of social skills within the first year of life. These social skills are largely learned within the context of day-to-day interactions with caregivers. While social neuroscience has made great gains in our knowledge of the underlying neural circuitry of social cognition and behavior, much of this work has focused on experiments that sacrifice ecological validity for experimental control. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a promising methodology for measuring brain activity in the context of naturalistic social interactions. Here, we review what we have learned from fNIRS studies that have used traditional experimental stimuli to study social development during infancy. We then discuss recent infant fNIRS studies that have utilized more naturalistic social stimuli, followed by a discussion of applications of this methodology to the study of atypical social development, with a focus on infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. We end with recommendations for applying fNIRS to studies of typically developing and at-risk infants in naturalistic social situations

    Sequence data and association statistics from 12,940 type 2 diabetes cases and controls

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    To investigate the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) to high resolution, the GoT2D and T2D-GENES consortia catalogued variation from whole-genome sequencing of 2,657 European individuals and exome sequencing of 12,940 individuals of multiple ancestries. Over 27M SNPs, indels, and structural variants were identified, including 99% of low-frequency (minor allele frequency [MAF] 0.1–5%) non-coding variants in the whole-genome sequenced individuals and 99.7% of low-frequency coding variants in the whole-exome sequenced individuals. Each variant was tested for association with T2D in the sequenced individuals, and, to increase power, most were tested in larger numbers of individuals (>80% of low-frequency coding variants in ~82 K Europeans via the exome chip, and ~90% of low-frequency non-coding variants in ~44 K Europeans via genotype imputation). The variants, genotypes, and association statistics from these analyses provide the largest reference to date of human genetic information relevant to T2D, for use in activities such as T2D-focused genotype imputation, functional characterization of variants or genes, and other novel analyses to detect associations between sequence variation and T2D

    Plasma Metabolites From Choline Pathway and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in the PREDIMED (Prevention With Mediterranean Diet) Study

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    Background: The relationship between plasma concentrations of betaine and choline metabolism and major cardiovascular disease (CVD) end points remains unclear. We have evaluated the association between metabolites from the choline pathway and risk of incident CVD and the potential modifying effect of Mediterranean diet interventions. Methods and Results: We designed a case‐cohort study nested within the PREDIMED (Prevention With Mediterranean Diet) trial, including 229 incident CVD cases and 751 randomly selected participants at baseline, followed up for 4.8 years. We used liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry to measure, at baseline and at 1 year of follow‐up, plasma concentrations of 5 metabolites in the choline pathway: trimethylamine N‐oxide, betaine, choline, phosphocholine, and α‐glycerophosphocholine. We have calculated a choline metabolite score using a weighted sum of these 5 metabolites. We used weighted Cox regression models to estimate CVD risk. The multivariable hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) per 1‐SD increase in choline and α‐glycerophosphocholine metabolites were 1.24 (1.05–1.46) and 1.24 (1.03–1.50), respectively. The baseline betaine/choline ratio was inversely associated with CVD. The baseline choline metabolite score was associated with a 2.21‐fold higher risk of CVD across extreme quartiles (95% confidence interval, 1.36–3.59; P<0.001 for trend) and a 2.27‐fold higher risk of stroke (95% confidence interval, 1.24–4.16; P<0.001 for trend). Participants in the higher quartiles of the score who were randomly assigned to the control group had a higher risk of CVD compared with participants in the lower quartile and assigned to the Mediterranean diet groups (P=0.05 for interaction). No significant associations were observed for 1‐year changes in individual plasma metabolites and CVD. Conclusions: A metabolite score combining plasma metabolites from the choline pathway was associated with an increased risk of CVD in a Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Clinical Trial Registration URL: http://www.controlled-trials.com. Unique identifier: ISRCTN35739639

    Measuring Temperature Induced Phase Change Kinetics in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissues Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy, MR Imaging and Spectroscopy and OCT

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    Monitoring phase transition in adipose tissue and formation of lipid crystals is important in Cryo-procedures such as Selective Cryolipolysis (SC). We exploited a Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) method to monitor the onset of fat phase transition (freezing/melting) in human abdominal adipose tissue. The changes in optical scattering were compared to Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) measurements as the gold standard method for measuring phase transition. For some samples, concurrent in vitro measurements of optical scattering using NIRS and the MR signal parameters (T2*) as well as spectral parameters using MR Spectroscopy were performed in a 3 T MR scanner during a cooling/heating cycle. To further investigate phase-transition in adipose tissue in microscopic level, an identical cooling/heating procedure was replicated on a small piece of fat harvested from the same tissue while being imaged under Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). For all methods, their relationship with temperature shows inflexions in a narrow range, characteristic of lipid phase transition. In particular, the good agreement between DSC and Optical measurements suggests that such NIRS methods can be used to improve dosimetry and to minimize variations of clinical outcome for cryo-procedures

    Acupuncture in Critically Ill Patients Improves Delayed Gastric Emptying

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    BACKGROUND Malnutrition remains a severe problem in the recovery of critically ill patients and leads to increased in-hospital morbidity and in-hospital stay. Even though early enteral nutrition has been shown to improve overall patient outcomes in the intensive care unit (ICU), tubefeed administration is often complicated by delayed gastric emptying and gastroesophageal reflux. Acupuncture has been successfully used in the treatment and prevention of perioperative nausea and vomiting. In this study we evaluated whether acupuncture can improve gastric emptying in comparison with standard promotility drugs in critically ill patients receiving enteral feeding. METHODS Thirty mechanically ventilated neurosurgical ICU patients with delayed gastric emptying, defined as a gastric residual volume (GRV) >500 mL for ≥2 days, were prospectively and randomly assigned to either the acupoint stimulation group (ASG; bilateral transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation at Neiguan, PC-6) or the conventional promotility drug treatment group (DTG) over a period of 6 days (metoclopramide, cisapride, erythromycin). Patients in the ASG group did not receive any conventional promotility drugs. Successful treatment (feeding tolerance) was defined as GRV <200 mL per 24 hours. RESULTS Demographic and hemodynamic data were similar in both groups. After 5 days of treatment, 80% of patients in the ASG group successfully developed feeding tolerance versus 60% in the DTG group. On treatment day 1, GRV decreased from 970 ± 87 mL to 346 ± 71 mL with acupoint stimulation (P = 0.003), whereas patients in the DTG group showed a significant increase in GRV from 903 ± 60 mL to 1040 ± 211 mL (P = 0.015). In addition, GRV decreased and feeding balance (defined as enteral feeding volume minus GRV) increased in more patients in the ASG group (14 of 15) than in the DTG group (7 of 15; P = 0.014). On treatment day 1, the mean feeding balance was significantly higher in the ASG group (121 ± 128 mL) than in the DTG group (-727 ± 259 mL) (P = 0.005). Overall, the feeding balance improved significantly on all days of treatment in comparison with the DTG group. Patients in the DTG group did not show an increase in feeding balance until day 6. CONCLUSIONS We introduce a new protocol for acupuncture administration in the critical care setting. We demonstrated that this protocol was more effective than standard promotility medication in the treatment of delayed gastric emptying in critically ill patients. Acupoint stimulation at Neiguan (PC-6) may be a convenient and inexpensive option (with few side effects) for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in critically ill patients

    Inflammatory signals from photoreceptor modulate pathological retinal angiogenesis via c-Fos

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    Pathological neovessels growing into the normally avascular photoreceptors cause vision loss in many eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and macular telangiectasia. Ocular neovascularization is strongly associated with inflammation, but the source of inflammatory signals and the mechanisms by which these signals regulate the disruption of avascular privilege in photoreceptors are unknown. In this study, we found that c-Fos, a master inflammatory regulator, was increased in photoreceptors in a model of pathological blood vessels invading photoreceptors: the very low-density lipoprotein receptor–deficient (Vldlr−/−) mouse. Increased c-Fos induced inflammatory cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), leading to activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and increased TNFα–induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3) in Vldlr−/− photoreceptors. IL-6 activated the STAT3/vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) pathway directly, and elevated TNFAIP3 suppressed SOCS3 (suppressor of cytokine signaling 3)–activated STAT3/VEGFA indirectly. Inhibition of c-Fos using photoreceptor-specific AAV (adeno-associated virus)-hRK (human rhodopsin kinase)–sh_c-fos or a chemical inhibitor substantially reduced the pathological neovascularization and rescued visual function in Vldlr−/− mice. These findings suggested that the photoreceptor c-Fos controls blood vessel growth into the normally avascular photoreceptor layer through the inflammatory signal–induced STAT3/VEGFA pathway


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