72 research outputs found

    Policing organized crime : a new direction

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    Recent criminological research in the Netherlands underscores the fact that organized crime is embedded in society and the overall picture makes it clear that police emphasis on a crime fighting model of the police, based solely on criminal law will not be entirely effective. Therefore, the Twente police force developed a new strategy of policing organized crime in their region. This strategy is based on criminological knowledge and on the approach of community policing: preventive, pro-active and integrated actions taken by various partners of the police in order to reduce illegal activities of organized crime groups. This strategy, however, can only succeed when two conditions are satisfied. First, this approach can only function in an open democratic society in which numerous public and private organizations and the public feel responsible for the emergence of organized crime in their environment. Secondly, the police force and their partners must be (relatively) free of corruption. This implies that this strategy can only be effective in societies in which organized crime has not deeply penetrated democratic institutions and business organizations

    Complement activation capacity in plasma before and during high-dose prednisolone treatment and tapering in exacerbations of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

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    BACKGROUND: Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) are characterized by intestinal inflammation mainly caused by a disturbance in the balance between cytokines and increased complement (C) activation. Our aim was to evaluate possible associations between C activation capacity and prednisolone treatment. METHODS: Plasma from patients with exacerbations of UC (n = 18) or CD (n = 18) were collected before and during high dose prednisolone treatment (1 mg/kg body weight) and tapering. Friedman's two way analysis of variance, Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed-rank sum test were used RESULTS: Before treatment, plasma from CD patients showed significant elevations in all C-mediated analyses compared to the values obtained from 38 healthy controls (p < 0.02), and in mannan binding lectin (MBL)-concentration and MBL-C4-activation capacity (AC) values compared to UC patients (p < 0.02). Before treatment, plasma from UC patients showed significant elevations only in the classical pathway-mediated C3-AC compared to values obtained from healthy controls (p < 0.01). After treatment was initiated, significant reductions, which persisted during follow-up, were observed in the classical pathway-mediated C3-AC and MBL-C4-AC in plasma from CD patients (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that C activation capacity is up-regulated significantly in plasma from CD patients. The decreases observed after prednisolone treatment reflect a general down-regulation in immune activation

    Pathophysiological subtypes of Alzheimer's disease based on cerebrospinal fluid proteomics.

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    Alzheimer's disease is biologically heterogeneous, and detailed understanding of the processes involved in patients is critical for development of treatments. CSF contains hundreds of proteins, with concentrations reflecting ongoing (patho)physiological processes. This provides the opportunity to study many biological processes at the same time in patients. We studied whether Alzheimer's disease biological subtypes can be detected in CSF proteomics using the dual clustering technique non-negative matrix factorization. In two independent cohorts (EMIF-AD MBD and ADNI) we found that 705 (77% of 911 tested) proteins differed between Alzheimer's disease (defined as having abnormal amyloid, n = 425) and controls (defined as having normal CSF amyloid and tau and normal cognition, n = 127). Using these proteins for data-driven clustering, we identified three robust pathophysiological Alzheimer's disease subtypes within each cohort showing (i) hyperplasticity and increased BACE1 levels; (ii) innate immune activation; and (iii) blood-brain barrier dysfunction with low BACE1 levels. In both cohorts, the majority of individuals were labelled as having subtype 1 (80, 36% in EMIF-AD MBD; 117, 59% in ADNI), 71 (32%) in EMIF-AD MBD and 41 (21%) in ADNI were labelled as subtype 2, and 72 (32%) in EMIF-AD MBD and 39 (20%) individuals in ADNI were labelled as subtype 3. Genetic analyses showed that all subtypes had an excess of genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease (all P &gt; 0.01). Additional pathological comparisons that were available for a subset in ADNI suggested that subtypes showed similar severity of Alzheimer's disease pathology, and did not differ in the frequencies of co-pathologies, providing further support that found subtypes truly reflect Alzheimer's disease heterogeneity. Compared to controls, all non-demented Alzheimer's disease individuals had increased risk of showing clinical progression (all P &lt; 0.01). Compared to subtype 1, subtype 2 showed faster clinical progression after correcting for age, sex, level of education and tau levels (hazard ratio = 2.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.2, 5.1; P = 0.01), and subtype 3 at trend level (hazard ratio = 2.1; 95% confidence interval = 1.0, 4.4; P = 0.06). Together, these results demonstrate the value of CSF proteomics in studying the biological heterogeneity in Alzheimer's disease patients, and suggest that subtypes may require tailored therapy

    Whole Gene Capture Analysis of 15 CRC Susceptibility Genes in Suspected Lynch Syndrome Patients

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    Background and Aims Lynch Syndrome (LS) is caused by pathogenic germline variants in one of the mismatch repair (MMR) genes. However, up to 60% of MMR-deficient colorectal cancer cases are categorized as suspected Lynch Syndrome (sLS) because no pathogenic MMR germline variant can be identified, which leads to difficulties in clinical management. We therefore analyzed the genomic regions of 15 CRC susceptibility genes in leukocyte DNA of 34 unrelated sLS patients and 11 patients with MLH1 hypermethylated tumors with a clear family history. Methods Using targeted next-generation sequencing, we analyzed the entire non-repetitive genomic sequence, including intronic and regulatory sequences, of 15 CRC susceptibility genes. In addition, tumor DNA from 28 sLS patients was analyzed for somatic MMR variants. Results Of 1979 germline variants found in the leukocyte DNA of 34 sLS patients, one was a pathogenic variant (MLH1 c.1667+1delG). Leukocyte DNA of 11 patients with MLH1 hypermethylated tumors was negative for pathogenic germline variants in the tested CRC susceptibility genes and for germline MLH1 hypermethylation. Somatic DNA analysis of 28 sLS tumors identified eight (29%) cases with two pathogenic somatic variants, one with a VUS predicted to pathogenic and LOH, and nine cases (32%) with one pathogenic somatic variant (n = 8) or one VUS predicted to be pathogenic (n = 1). Conclusions This is the first study in sLS patients to include the entire genomic sequence of CRC susceptibility genes. An underlying somatic or germline MMR gene defect was identified in ten of 34 sLS patients (29%). In the remaining sLS patients, the underlying genetic defect explaining the MMRdeficiency in their tumors might be found outside the genomic regions harboring the MMR and other known CRC susceptibility genes

    Global and local sea level during the Last Interglacial: A probabilistic assessment

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    The Last Interglacial (LIG) stage, with polar temperatures likely 3-5 C warmer than today, serves as a partial analogue for low-end future warming scenarios. Based upon a small set of local sea level indicators, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) inferred that LIG global sea level (GSL) was about 4-6 m higher than today. However, because local sea levels differ from GSL, accurately reconstructing past GSL requires an integrated analysis of globally distributed data sets. Here we compile an extensive database of sea level indicators and apply a novel statistical approach that couples Gaussian process regression of sea level to Markov Chain Monte Carlo modeling of geochronological errors. Our analysis strongly supports the hypothesis that LIG GSL was higher than today, probably peaking at 6-9 m. Our results highlight the sea level hazard associated with even relatively low levels of sustained global warming.Comment: Preprint version of what has since been published in Natur

    Resilience trinity: safeguarding ecosystem functioning and services across three different time horizons and decision contexts

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    Ensuring ecosystem resilience is an intuitive approach to safeguard the functioning of ecosystems and hence the future provisioning of ecosystem services (ES). However, resilience is a multi-faceted concept that is difficult to operationalize. Focusing on resilience mechanisms, such as diversity, network architectures or adaptive capacity, has recently been suggested as means to operationalize resilience. Still, the focus on mechanisms is not specific enough. We suggest a conceptual framework, resilience trinity, to facilitate management based on resilience mechanisms in three distinctive decision contexts and time-horizons: i) reactive, when there is an imminent threat to ES resilience and a high pressure to act, ii) adjustive, when the threat is known in general but there is still time to adapt management, and iii) provident, when time horizons are very long and the nature of the threats is uncertain, leading to a low willingness to act. Resilience has different interpretations and implications at these different time horizons, which also prevail in different disciplines. Social ecology, ecology, and engineering are often implicitly focussing on provident, adjustive, or reactive resilience, respectively, but these different notions and of resilience and their corresponding social, ecological, and economic trade-offs need to be reconciled. Otherwise, we keep risking unintended consequences of reactive actions, or shying away from provident action because of uncertainties that cannot be reduced. The suggested trinity of time horizons and their decision contexts could help ensuring that longer-term management actions are not missed while urgent threats to ES are given priority

    Recurrent candidiasis and early-onset gastric cancer in a patient with a genetically defined partial MYD88 defect

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    Gastric cancer is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. A woman who suffered from recurrent candidiasis throughout her life developed diffuse-type gastric cancer at the age of 23 years. Using whole-exome sequencing we identified a germline homozygous missense variant in MYD88. Immunological assays on peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed an impaired immune response upon stimulation with Candida albicans, characterized by a defective production of the cytokine interleukin-17. Our data suggest that a genetic defect in MYD88 results in an impaired immune response and may increase gastric cancer risk

    Prevalence of amyloid PET positivity in dementia syndromes: a meta-analysis

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    IMPORTANCE: Amyloid-β positron emission tomography (PET) imaging allows in vivo detection of fibrillar plaques, a core neuropathological feature of Alzheimer disease (AD). Its diagnostic utility is still unclear because amyloid plaques also occur in patients with non-AD dementia. OBJECTIVE: To use individual participant data meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of amyloid positivity on PET in a wide variety of dementia syndromes. DATA SOURCES: The MEDLINE and Web of Science databases were searched from January 2004 to April 2015 for amyloid PET studies. STUDY SELECTION: Case reports and studies on neurological or psychiatric diseases other than dementia were excluded. Corresponding authors of eligible cohorts were invited to provide individual participant data. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Data were provided for 1359 participants with clinically diagnosed AD and 538 participants with non-AD dementia. The reference groups were 1849 healthy control participants (based on amyloid PET) and an independent sample of 1369 AD participants (based on autopsy). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Estimated prevalence of positive amyloid PET scans according to diagnosis, age, and apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 status, using the generalized estimating equations method. RESULTS: The likelihood of amyloid positivity was associated with age and APOE ε4 status. In AD dementia, the prevalence of amyloid positivity decreased from age 50 to 90 years in APOE ε4 noncarriers (86% [95% CI, 73%-94%] at 50 years to 68% [95% CI, 57%-77%] at 90 years; n = 377) and to a lesser degree in APOE ε4 carriers (97% [95% CI, 92%-99%] at 50 years to 90% [95% CI, 83%-94%] at 90 years; n = 593; P < .01). Similar associations of age and APOE ε4 with amyloid positivity were observed in participants with AD dementia at autopsy. In most non-AD dementias, amyloid positivity increased with both age (from 60 to 80 years) and APOE ε4 carriership (dementia with Lewy bodies: carriers [n = 16], 63% [95% CI, 48%-80%] at 60 years to 83% [95% CI, 67%-92%] at 80 years; noncarriers [n = 18], 29% [95% CI, 15%-50%] at 60 years to 54% [95% CI, 30%-77%] at 80 years; frontotemporal dementia: carriers [n = 48], 19% [95% CI, 12%-28%] at 60 years to 43% [95% CI, 35%-50%] at 80 years; noncarriers [n = 160], 5% [95% CI, 3%-8%] at 60 years to 14% [95% CI, 11%-18%] at 80 years; vascular dementia: carriers [n = 30], 25% [95% CI, 9%-52%] at 60 years to 64% [95% CI, 49%-77%] at 80 years; noncarriers [n = 77], 7% [95% CI, 3%-18%] at 60 years to 29% [95% CI, 17%-43%] at 80 years. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among participants with dementia, the prevalence of amyloid positivity was associated with clinical diagnosis, age, and APOE genotype. These findings indicate the potential clinical utility of amyloid imaging for differential diagnosis in early-onset dementia and to support the clinical diagnosis of participants with AD dementia and noncarrier APOE ε4 status who are older than 70 years

    Loss of maturity and homeostatic functions in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex-derived astrocytes

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    IntroductionConstitutive activation of the mTOR pathway, as observed in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), leads to glial dysfunction and subsequent epileptogenesis. Although astrocytes are considered important mediators for synaptic clearance and phagocytosis, little is known on how astrocytes contribute to the epileptogenic network.MethodsWe employed singlenuclei RNA sequencing and a hybrid fetal calf serum (FCS)/FCS-free cell culture model to explore the capacity of TSC-derived astrocytes to maintain glutamate homeostasis and clear debris in their environment.ResultsWe found that TSC astrocytes show reduced maturity on RNA and protein level as well as the inability to clear excess glutamate through the loss of both enzymes and transporters complementary to a reduction of phagocytic capabilities.DiscussionOur study provides evidence of mechanistic alterations in TSC astrocytes, underscoring the significant impairment of their supportive functions. These insights enhance our understanding of TSC pathophysiology and hold potential implications for future therapeutic interventions