776 research outputs found

    Central Executive Dysfunction and Deferred Prefrontal Processing in Veterans with Gulf War Illness.

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    Gulf War Illness is associated with toxic exposure to cholinergic disruptive chemicals. The cholinergic system has been shown to mediate the central executive of working memory (WM). The current work proposes that impairment of the cholinergic system in Gulf War Illness patients (GWIPs) leads to behavioral and neural deficits of the central executive of WM. A large sample of GWIPs and matched controls (MCs) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a varied-load working memory task. Compared to MCs, GWIPs showed a greater decline in performance as WM-demand increased. Functional imaging suggested that GWIPs evinced separate processing strategies, deferring prefrontal cortex activity from encoding to retrieval for high demand conditions. Greater activity during high-demand encoding predicted greater WM performance. Behavioral data suggest that WM executive strategies are impaired in GWIPs. Functional data further support this hypothesis and suggest that GWIPs utilize less effective strategies during high-demand WM

    The effects of anatabine on non-invasive indicators of muscle damage: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study

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    Background: Anatabine (ANA), a minor tobacco alkaloid found in the Solanaceae family of plants, may exhibit anti-inflammatory activity, which may be useful to aid in recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine the effects of ANA supplementation on the recovery of isometric strength and selected non-invasive indicators of muscle damage. Methods: A double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover design was used to study eighteen men (mean ± SD age = 22.2 ± 3.1 yrs; body mass = 80.3 ± 15.7 kg) who participated in two randomly-ordered conditions separated by a washout period. The ANA condition consisted of consuming 6–12 mg anatabine per day for 10 days, while testing took place during days 7–10. The placebo (PLA) condition was identical except that the PLA supplement contained no ANA. Maximal voluntary isometric peak torque (PT) of the forearm flexors, arm circumference, hanging joint angle, and subjective pain ratings were measured before (PRE), immediately after (POST), and 24, 48, and 72 h after six sets of 10 maximal, eccentric isokinetic forearm flexion muscle actions. Resting heart rate and blood pressure were measured at PRE and 72 h in each condition. Results: For PT, hanging joint angle, arm circumference, and subjective pain ratings, there were no condition x time (p \u3e 0.05) interactions, there were no main effects for condition (p \u3e 0.05), but there were main effects for time (p \u3c 0.001). There were no condition x time (p \u3e 0.05) interactions and no main effects for condition (p \u3e 0.05) or time (p \u3e 0.05) for blood pressure or resting heart rate. Conclusions: ANA supplementation had no effect on the recovery of muscle strength, hanging joint angle, arm swelling, or subjective pain ratings after a bout of maximal eccentric exercise in the forearm flexors. Therefore, ANA may not be beneficial for those seeking to improve recovery from heavy eccentric exercise. Future studies should examine the effects of ANA on the pro-inflammatory cytokine responses to exercise-induced muscle damage and the chronic low-grade inflammation observed in obese and elderly individuals

    Physician decision making in selection of second-line treatments in immune thrombocytopenia in children.

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    Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an acquired autoimmune bleeding disorder which presents with isolated thrombocytopenia and risk of hemorrhage. While most children with ITP promptly recover with or without drug therapy, ITP is persistent or chronic in others. When needed, how to select second-line therapies is not clear. ICON1, conducted within the Pediatric ITP Consortium of North America (ICON), is a prospective, observational, longitudinal cohort study of 120 children from 21 centers starting second-line treatments for ITP which examined treatment decisions. Treating physicians reported reasons for selecting therapies, ranking the top three. In a propensity weighted model, the most important factors were patient/parental preference (53%) and treatment-related factors: side effect profile (58%), long-term toxicity (54%), ease of administration (46%), possibility of remission (45%), and perceived efficacy (30%). Physician, health system, and clinical factors rarely influenced decision-making. Patient/parent preferences were selected as reasons more often in chronic ITP (85.7%) than in newly diagnosed (0%) or persistent ITP (14.3%, P = .003). Splenectomy and rituximab were chosen for the possibility of inducing long-term remission (P < .001). Oral agents, such as eltrombopag and immunosuppressants, were chosen for ease of administration and expected adherence (P < .001). Physicians chose rituximab in patients with lower expected adherence (P = .017). Treatment choice showed some physician and treatment center bias. This study illustrates the complexity and many factors involved in decision-making in selecting second-line ITP treatments, given the absence of comparative trials. It highlights shared decision-making and the need for well-conducted, comparative effectiveness studies to allow for informed discussion between patients and clinicians

    Increasing confidence and changing behaviors in primary care providers engaged in genetic counselling.

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    BackgroundScreening and counseling for genetic conditions is an increasingly important part of primary care practice, particularly given the paucity of genetic counselors in the United States. However, primary care physicians (PCPs) often have an inadequate understanding of evidence-based screening; communication approaches that encourage shared decision-making; ethical, legal, and social implication (ELSI) issues related to screening for genetic mutations; and the basics of clinical genetics. This study explored whether an interactive, web-based genetics curriculum directed at PCPs in non-academic primary care settings was superior at changing practice knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors when compared to a traditional educational approach, particularly when discussing common genetic conditions.MethodsOne hundred twenty one PCPs in California and Pennsylvania physician practices were randomized to either an Intervention Group (IG) or Control Group (CG). IG physicians completed a 6 h interactive web-based curriculum covering communication skills, basics of genetic testing, risk assessment, ELSI issues and practice behaviors. CG physicians were provided with a traditional approach to Continuing Medical Education (CME) (clinical review articles) offering equivalent information.ResultsPCPs in the Intervention Group showed greater increases in knowledge compared to the Control Group. Intervention PCPs were also more satisfied with the educational materials, and more confident in their genetics knowledge and skills compared to those receiving traditional CME materials. Intervention PCPs felt that the web-based curriculum covered medical management, genetics, and ELSI issues significantly better than did the Control Group, and in comparison with traditional curricula. The Intervention Group felt the online tools offered several advantages, and engaged in better shared decision making with standardized patients, however, there was no difference in behavior change between groups with regard to increases in ELSI discussions between PCPs and patients.ConclusionWhile our intervention was deemed more enjoyable, demonstrated significant factual learning and retention, and increased shared decision making practices, there were few differences in behavior changes around ELSI discussions. Unfortunately, barriers to implementing behavior change in clinical genetics is not unique to our intervention. Perhaps the missing element is that busy physicians need systems-level support to engage in meaningful discussions around genetics issues. The next step in promoting active engagement between doctors and patients may be to put into place the tools needed for PCPs to easily access the materials they need at the point-of-care to engage in joint discussions around clinical genetics

    A dual-center cohort study on the association between early deep sedation and clinical outcomes in mechanically ventilated patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: The COVID-SED study

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    BACKGROUND: Mechanically ventilated patients have experienced greater periods of prolonged deep sedation during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Multiple studies from the pre-COVID era demonstrate that early deep sedation is associated with worse outcome. Despite this, there is a lack of data on sedation depth and its impact on outcome for mechanically ventilated patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to characterize the emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU) sedation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to determine if early deep sedation was associated with worse clinical outcomes. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Dual-center, retrospective cohort study conducted over 6 months (March-August, 2020), involving consecutive, mechanically ventilated adults. All sedation-related data during the first 48 h were collected. Deep sedation was defined as Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale of - 3 to - 5 or Riker Sedation-Agitation Scale of 1-3. To examine impact of early sedation depth on hospital mortality (primary outcome), we used a multivariable logistic regression model. Secondary outcomes included ventilator-, ICU-, and hospital-free days. RESULTS: 391 patients were studied, and 283 (72.4%) experienced early deep sedation. Deeply sedated patients received higher cumulative doses of fentanyl, propofol, midazolam, and ketamine when compared to light sedation. Deep sedation patients experienced fewer ventilator-, ICU-, and hospital-free days, and greater mortality (30.4% versus 11.1%) when compared to light sedation (p \u3c 0.01 for all). After adjusting for confounders, early deep sedation remained significantly associated with higher mortality (adjusted OR 3.44; 95% CI 1.65-7.17; p \u3c 0.01). These results were stable in the subgroup of patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The management of sedation for mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU has changed during the COVID pandemic. Early deep sedation is common and independently associated with worse clinical outcomes. A protocol-driven approach to sedation, targeting light sedation as early as possible, should continue to remain the default approach

    Archeological Investigations at the Santa Maria Creek Site (41CW104) Caldwell County, Texas

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    The excavations by Atkins at the Santa Maria Creek site (41CW104) described in the following report have succeeded in bringing together a myriad of information regarding aboriginal occupations in eastern Central Texas at the dawn of the Historic period. The analysis of the materials recovered from National Register of Historic Places testing and data recovery has demonstrated that even a site buried in sandy, bioturbated sediments can still significantly add to the archeological record. This becomes even more important for areas such as Caldwell County, Texas, which have witnessed few such investigations. The report utilized a wide array of analytical techniques to unravel the site, including extensive ethnohistorical research, artifact analysis, special studies, and experimental archeology

    Trophoblast glycoprotein is required for efficient synaptic vesicle exocytosis from retinal rod bipolar cells

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    IntroductionRod bipolar cells (RBCs) faithfully transmit light-driven signals from rod photoreceptors in the outer retina to third order neurons in the inner retina. Recently, significant work has focused on the role of leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins in synaptic development and signal transduction at RBC synapses. We previously identified trophoblast glycoprotein (TPBG) as a novel transmembrane LRR protein localized to the dendrites and axon terminals of RBCs.MethodsWe examined the effects on RBC physiology and retinal processing of TPBG genetic knockout in mice using immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, electroretinogram recording, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and time-resolved membrane capacitance measurements.ResultsThe scotopic electroretinogram showed a modest increase in the b-wave and a marked attenuation in oscillatory potentials in the TPBG knockout. No effect of TPBG knockout was observed on the RBC dendritic morphology, TRPM1 currents, or RBC excitability. Because scotopic oscillatory potentials primarily reflect RBC-driven rhythmic activity of the inner retina, we investigated the contribution of TPBG to downstream transmission from RBCs to third-order neurons. Using electron microscopy, we found shorter synaptic ribbons in TPBG knockout axon terminals in RBCs. Time-resolved capacitance measurements indicated that TPBG knockout reduces synaptic vesicle exocytosis and subsequent GABAergic reciprocal feedback without altering voltage-gated Ca2+ currents.DiscussionTPBG is required for normal synaptic ribbon development and efficient neurotransmitter release from RBCs to downstream cells. Our results highlight a novel synaptic role for TPBG at RBC ribbon synapses and support further examination into the mechanisms by which TPBG regulates RBC physiology and circuit function
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