1,569 research outputs found

    Tolerance to the Prophylactic Effects of Carbamazepine and Related Mood Stabilizers in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorders

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    Tolerance development after successful long-term treatment of bipolar disorder is under recognized, as are ways to prevent or show its occurrence or reverse it once it has occurred. We review the clinical literature which suggests that tolerance can develop to most treatment approaches in bipolar illness and present an animal model of tolerance development to anticonvulsant effects of carbamazepine or lamotrigine on amgydala-kindled seizures. In this model tolerance does not have a pharmacokinetic basis, but is contingent upon the drug being present in the brain at the time of amygdala stimulation. The occurrence of seizures in the absence of drug is sufficient to reverse tolerance and re-establish anticonvulsant efficacy. Based on the model, we hypothesize that some episode-induced compensatory adaptive changes in gene expression fail to occur in tolerant subjects and that episodes off medication re-induce these changes and renew drug effectiveness. Approaches that slow or reverse tolerance development in the animal model are reviewed so that they can be tested for their applicability in the clinic. Criteria for assessing tolerance development are offered in the hope that this will facilitate a more systemic literature about its prevalence, prevention, and reversal. Careful longitudinal monitoring of episode occurrence is essential to understanding tolerance development in the affective disorder and its treatment

    Considering the influence of coronary motion on artery-specific biomechanics using fluid-structure interaction simulation

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    The endothelium in the coronary arteries is subject to wall shear stress and vessel wall strain, which influences the biology of the arterial wall. This study presents vessel-specific fluid-structure interaction (FSI) models of three coronary arteries, using directly measured experimental geometries and boundary conditions. FSI models are used to provide a more physiologically complete representation of vessel biomechanics, and have been extended to include coronary bending to investigate its effect on shear and strain. FSI both without- and with-bending resulted in significant changes in all computed shear stress metrics compared to CFD (p = 0.0001). Inclusion of bending within the FSI model produced highly significant changes in Time Averaged Wall Shear Stress (TAWSS) + 9.8% LAD, + 8.8% LCx, - 2.0% RCA; Oscillatory Shear Index (OSI) + 208% LAD, 0% LCx, + 2600% RCA; and transverse wall Shear Stress (tSS) + 180% LAD, + 150% LCx and + 200% RCA (all p < 0.0001). Vessel wall strain was homogenous in all directions without-bending but became highly anisotropic under bending. Changes in median cyclic strain magnitude were seen for all three vessels in every direction. Changes shown in the magnitude and distribution of shear stress and wall strain suggest that bending should be considered on a vessel-specific basis in analyses of coronary artery biomechanics

    Usefulness of coronary calcium scoring to myocardial perfusion SPECT in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in a predominantly high risk population

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    Coronary calcium scoring (CCS) adds to the diagnostic performance of myocardial perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to assess the presence of significant coronary artery disease (CAD). Patients with a high pre-test likelihood are expected to have a high CCS which potentially could enhance the diagnostic performance of myocardial perfusion SPECT in this specific patient group. We evaluated the added value of CCS to SPECT in the diagnosis of significant CAD in patients with an intermediate to high pre-test likelihood. In total, 129 patients (mean age 62.7 +/- A 9.7 years, 65 % male) with stable anginal complaints and intermediate to high pre-test likelihood of CAD (median 87 %, range 22-95) were prospectively included in this study. All patients received SPECT and CCS imaging preceding invasive coronary angiography (CA). Fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurements were acquired from patients with angiographically estimated 50-95 % obstructive CAD. For SPECT a SSS &gt; 3 was defined significant CAD. For CCS the optimal cut-off value for significant CAD was determined by ROC curve analysis. The reference standard for significant CAD was a FFR of &lt; 0.80 acquired by CA. Significant CAD was demonstrated in 64 patients (49.6 %). Optimal CCS cut-off value for significant CAD was &gt; 182.5. ROC curve analysis for prediction of the presence of significant CAD for SPECT, CCS and the combination of CCS and SPECT resulted in an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.88 (95 % CI 81-94), 0.75 (95 % CI 66-83 %) and 0.92 (95 % CI 87-97 %) respectively. The difference of the AUC between SPECT and the combination of CCS and SPECT was 0.05 (P = 0.12). The addition of CCS did not significantly improve the diagnostic performance of SPECT in the evaluation of patients with a predominantly high pre-test likelihood of CAD

    Behavioral determinants as predictors of return to work after long-term sickness absence: an application of the theory of planned behavior

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    Background The aim of this prospective, longitudinal cohort study was to analyze the association between the three behavioral determinants of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) model-attitude, subjective norm and self-efficacy-and the time to return-to-work (RTW) in employees on long-term sick leave. Methods The study was based on a sample of 926 employees on sickness absence (maximum duration of 12 weeks). The employees filled out a baseline questionnaire and were subsequently followed until the tenth month after listing sick. The TPB-determinants were measured at baseline. Work attitude was measured with a Dutch language version of the Work Involvement Scale. Subjective norm was measured with a self-structured scale reflecting a person's perception of social support and social pressure. Self-efficacy was measured with the three subscales of a standardised Dutch version of the general self-efficacy scale (ALCOS): willingness to expend effort in completing the behavior, persistence in the face of adversity, and willingness to initiate behavior. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to identify behavioral determinants of the time to RTW. Results Median time to RTW was 160 days. In the univariate analysis, all potential prognostic factors were significantly associated (P < 0.15) with time to RTW: work attitude, social support, and the three subscales of self-efficacy. The final multivariate model with time to RTW as the predicted outcome included work attitude, social support and willingness to expend effort in completing the behavior as significant predictive factors. Conclusions This prospective, longitudinal cohort-study showed that work attitude, social support and willingness to expend effort in completing the behavior are significantly associated with a shorter time to RTW in employees on long-term sickness absence. This provides suggestive evidence for the relevance of behavioral characteristics in the prediction of duration of sickness absence. It may be a promising approach to address the behavioral determinants in the development of interventions focusing on RTW in employees on long-term sick leave

    Programmability of Chemical Reaction Networks

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    Motivated by the intriguing complexity of biochemical circuitry within individual cells we study Stochastic Chemical Reaction Networks (SCRNs), a formal model that considers a set of chemical reactions acting on a finite number of molecules in a well-stirred solution according to standard chemical kinetics equations. SCRNs have been widely used for describing naturally occurring (bio)chemical systems, and with the advent of synthetic biology they become a promising language for the design of artificial biochemical circuits. Our interest here is the computational power of SCRNs and how they relate to more conventional models of computation. We survey known connections and give new connections between SCRNs and Boolean Logic Circuits, Vector Addition Systems, Petri Nets, Gate Implementability, Primitive Recursive Functions, Register Machines, Fractran, and Turing Machines. A theme to these investigations is the thin line between decidable and undecidable questions about SCRN behavior

    The potential impact of climate change on Australia's soil organic carbon resources

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    BACKGROUND: Soil organic carbon (SOC) represents a significant pool of carbon within the biosphere. Climatic shifts in temperature and precipitation have a major influence on the decomposition and amount of SOC stored within an ecosystem and that released into the atmosphere. We have linked net primary production (NPP) algorithms, which include the impact of enhanced atmospheric CO(2 )on plant growth, to the SOCRATES terrestrial carbon model to estimate changes in SOC for the Australia continent between the years 1990 and 2100 in response to climate changes generated by the CSIRO Mark 2 Global Circulation Model (GCM). RESULTS: We estimate organic carbon storage in the topsoil (0–10 cm) of the Australian continent in 1990 to be 8.1 Gt. This equates to 19 and 34 Gt in the top 30 and 100 cm of soil, respectively. By the year 2100, under a low emissions scenario, topsoil organic carbon stores of the continent will have increased by 0.6% (49 Mt C). Under a high emissions scenario, the Australian continent becomes a source of CO(2 )with a net reduction of 6.4% (518 Mt) in topsoil carbon, when compared to no climate change. This is partially offset by the predicted increase in NPP of 20.3% CONCLUSION: Climate change impacts must be studied holistically, requiring integration of climate, plant, ecosystem and soil sciences. The SOCRATES terrestrial carbon cycling model provides realistic estimates of changes in SOC storage in response to climate change over the next century, and confirms the need for greater consideration of soils in assessing the full impact of climate change and the development of quantifiable mitigation strategies

    Subclinical Epileptiform Process in Patients with Unipolar Depression and Its Indirect Psychophysiological Manifestations

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    BACKGROUND: According to recent clinical findings epileptiform activity in temporolimbic structures may cause depressive and other psychiatric symptoms that may occur independently of any seizure in patient's history. In addition in these patients subclinical seizure-like activity with indirect clinical manifestations likely may occur in a form of various forms of cognitive, affective, memory, sensory, behavioral and somatic symptoms (the so-called complex partial seizure-like symptoms). A typical characteristic of epileptiform changes is increased neural synchrony related to spreading of epileptiform activity between hemispheres even in subclinical conditions i.e. without seizures. These findings suggest a hypothesis that measures reflecting a level of synchronization and information transfer between hemispheres could reflect spreading of epileptiform activity and might be related to complex partial seizure-like symptoms. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Suitable data for such analysis may provide various physiological signals reflecting brain laterality, as for example bilateral electrodermal activity (EDA) that is closely related to limbic modulation influences. With this purpose we have performed measurement and analysis of bilateral EDA and compared the results with psychometric measures of complex partial seizure-like symptoms, depression and actually experienced stress in 44 patients with unipolar depression and 35 healthy controls. The results in unipolar depressive patients show that during rest conditions the patients with higher level of complex partial seizure like symptoms (CPSI) display increased level of EDA transinformation (PTI) calculated between left and right EDA records (Spearman correlation between CPSI and PTI is r = 0.43, p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: The result may present potentially useful clinical finding suggesting that increased EDA transinformation (PTI) could indirectly indicate increased neural synchrony as a possible indicator of epileptiform activity in unipolar depressive patients treated by serotoninergic antidepresants

    Review for the generalist: evaluation of anterior knee pain

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    Anterior knee pain is common in children and adolescents. Evaluation and management is challenging and requires a thorough history and physical exam, and understanding of the pediatric skeleton. This article will review common causes of chronic anterior knee pain in the pediatric population with a focus on patellofemoral pain

    An assessment of the Jenkinson and Collison synoptic classification to a continental mid-latitude location

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    A weather-type catalogue based on the Jenkinson and Collison method was developed for an area in south-west Russia for the period 1961--2010. Gridded sea level pressure data was obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis. The resulting catalogue was analysed for frequency of individual types and groups of weather types to characterise long-term atmospheric circulation in this region. Overall, the most frequent type is anticyclonic (A) (23.3 {%}) followed by cyclonic (C) (11.9 {%}); however, there are some key seasonal patterns with westerly circulation being significantly more common in winter than summer. The utility of this synoptic classification is evaluated by modelling daily rainfall amounts. A low level of error is found using a simple model based on the prevailing weather type. Finally, characteristics of the circulation classification are compared to those for the original JC British Isles catalogue and a much more equal distribution of flow types is seen in the former classification
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