97 research outputs found

    Tree-ring variation in teak (Tectona grandis L.) from Allapalli, Maharashtra in relation to moisture and Palmer Drought Severity Index, India

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    We developed a ring-width chronology of teak (Tectona grandis L.) from a moisture stressed area in Maharashtra, India. Bootstrapped correlation analysis indicated that moisture index (MI) and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) showed better performance rather than same year rainfall over the region. Tree-ring variations were most correlated positively with PDSI during different seasons compared with MI. Significant strong positive correlation with MI, and negative association with temperature and potential evapotranspiration (PET) were found during previous and current year post-monsoon (ON). This study shows that the moisture availability during the post-monsoon of the previous year has a significant role in the development of annual growth rings. The reconstructed previous year post-monsoon (ON) moisture index for the period 1866-1996 indicates 3.5 and 29.3 years periodicities

    Biallelic P4HTM variants associated with HIDEA syndrome and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I deficiency

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    We report a patient with profound congenital hypotonia, central hypoventilation, poor visual behaviour with retinal hypopigmentation, and significantly decreased mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I activity in muscle, who died at 7 months of age having made minimal developmental progress. Biallelic predicted truncating P4HTM variants were identified following trio whole-genome sequencing, consistent with a diagnosis of hypotonia, hypoventilation, intellectual disability, dysautonomia, epilepsy and eye abnormalities (HIDEA) syndrome. Very few patients with HIDEA syndrome have been reported previously and mitochondrial abnormalities were observed in three of four previous cases who had a muscle biopsy, suggesting the possibility that HIDEA syndrome represents a primary mitochondrial disorder. P4HTM encodes a transmembrane prolyl 4-hydroxylase with putative targets including hypoxia inducible factors, RNA polymerase II and activating transcription factor 4, which has been implicated in the integrated stress response observed in cell and animal models of mitochondrial disease, and may explain the mitochondrial dysfunction observed in HIDEA syndrome

    On forecasting the Indian summer monsoon: The intriguing season of 2002

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    This year, the rainfall over India during the first half of the summer monsoon season was 30 below normal. This has naturally led to a lot of concern and speculation about the causes. We have shown that the deficit in rainfall is a part of the natural variability. Analysis of the past data suggests that there is a 78 chance that seasonal mean rainfall this year will be 10 or more below the long-term average value. We discuss briefly how forecasts for seasonal rainfall are generated, whether this event could have been foreseen, and share our perspective on the problems and prospects of forecasting the summer monsoon rainfall over the Indian region

    Cardiorespiratory Progression Over 5 Years and Role of Corticosteroids in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: A Single-Site Retrospective Longitudinal Study

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    Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) boys treated with corticosteroids (CS) have prolonged survival and respiratory function when compared to CS-naïve. /\ud Research question: The differential impact of frequently used corticosteroids and their regimens on long-term (>5 years) cardiorespiratory progression in DMD children is unknown. / Study Design and Methods: Retrospective longitudinal study including DMD children followed at Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre (Great Ormond Street Hospital London), May 2000-June 2017. Patients enrolled in any interventional clinical trials were excluded. We collected patients’ anthropometrics, respiratory (forced vital capacity, FVC% predicted and absolute FVC, non-invasive ventilation requirement, NIV) and cardiac (left ventricular shortening function, LVFS%) function. CS-naïve patients had never received CS. CS-treated took either deflazacort or prednisolone, daily or intermittently (10 days on/10 days off) for >1 month. Average longitudinal models were fitted for yearly respiratory (FVC%P) and cardiac (LVFS%) progression. A time-to-event analysis to FVC%P<50%, NIV start and cardiomyopathy (LVFS<28%) was performed in CS-treated (daily and intermittent) vs CS-naïve patients. / Results: There were 270 patients, mean age at baseline 6.2 (±2.3) years. Median follow-up 5.6 (± 3.5) years. At baseline, 263 were ambulant. Sixty-six were CS-daily, 182 CS-intermittent >60% treatment, 22 CS-naïve. Yearly FVC%P declined similarly from 9 years (5.9% and 6.9%/year, p=0.27) in CS-daily and CS-intermittent. CS-daily declined from a higher FVC%P than CS-intermittent (p2 years later than CS-treated. LVFS% declined by 0.53%/year in CS-treated irrespective of CS regimen, significantly slower (p<0.01) than CS-naïve progressing by 1.17%/year. Age at cardiomyopathy was 16.6 in CS-treated (p<0.05) irrespective of regimen and 13.9 years in CS-naïve. / Interpretation: CS irrespective of their regimen significantly improved respiratory function and delayed NIV requirement and cardiomyopathy

    Feature Selection is Critical for 2-Year Prognosis in Advanced Stage High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer by Using Machine Learning

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    Introduction Accurate prediction of patient prognosis can be especially useful for the selection of best treatment protocols. Machine Learning can serve this purpose by making predictions based upon generalizable clinical patterns embedded within learning datasets. We designed a study to support the feature selection for the 2-year prognostic period and compared the performance of several Machine Learning prediction algorithms for accurate 2-year prognosis estimation in advanced-stage high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) patients. Methods The prognosis estimation was formulated as a binary classification problem. Dataset was split into training and test cohorts with repeated random sampling until there was no significant difference (p = 0.20) between the two cohorts. A ten-fold cross-validation was applied. Various state-of-the-art supervised classifiers were used. For feature selection, in addition to the exhaustive search for the best combination of features, we used the-chi square test of independence and the MRMR method. Results Two hundred nine patients were identified. The model's mean prediction accuracy reached 73%. We demonstrated that Support-Vector-Machine and Ensemble Subspace Discriminant algorithms outperformed Logistic Regression in accuracy indices. The probability of achieving a cancer-free state was maximised with a combination of primary cytoreduction, good performance status and maximal surgical effort (AUC 0.63). Standard chemotherapy, performance status, tumour load and residual disease were consistently predictive of the mid-term overall survival (AUC 0.63–0.66). The model recall and precision were greater than 80%. Conclusion Machine Learning appears to be promising for accurate prognosis estimation. Appropriate feature selection is required when building an HGSOC model for 2-year prognosis prediction. We provide evidence as to what combination of prognosticators leads to the largest impact on the HGSOC 2-year prognosis

    Efficacy and safety of onasemnogene abeparvovec in children with spinal muscular atrophy type 1: real-world evidence from 6 infusion centres in the United Kingdom

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    Background: Real-world data on the efficacy and safety of onasemnogene abeparvovec (OA) in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are needed, especially to overcome uncertainties around its use in older and heavier children. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of OA in patients with SMA type 1 in the UK, including patients ≥2 years old and weighing ≥13.5 kg. / Methods: This observational cohort study used data from patients with genetically confirmed SMA type 1 treated with OA between May 2021 and January 2023, at 6 infusion centres in the United Kingdom. Functional outcomes were assessed using age-appropriate functional scales. Safety analyses included review of liver function, platelet count, cardiac assessments, and steroid requirements. / Findings: Ninety-nine patients (45 SMA therapy-naïve) were treated with OA (median age at infusion: 10 [range, 0.6–89] months; median weight: 7.86 [range, 3.2–20.2] kg; duration of follow-up: 3–22 months). After OA infusion, mean ± SD change in CHOP-INTEND score was 11.0 ± 10.3 with increased score in 66/78 patients (84.6%); patients aged 100 U/L (95% CI, 2.3–223.7; P = 0.008) and 21.2-fold increased odds of steroid doubling, as per treatment protocol (95% CI, 2.2–209.2; P = 0.009) in patients weighing ≥13.5 kg versus <8.5 kg. Weight at infusion was positively correlated with steroid treatment duration (r = 0.43; P < 0.001). Worsening transaminitis, despite doubling of oral prednisolone, led to treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone in 5 children. Steroid-sparing immunosuppressants were used in 5 children to enable steroid weaning. Two deaths apparently unrelated to OA were reported. / Interpretation: OA led to functional improvements and was well tolerated with no persistent clinical complications, including in older and heavier patients. / Funding: Novartis Innovative Therapies AG provided a grant for independent medical writing services

    The Genetic Landscape of Complex Childhood-Onset Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders

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    Acord transformatiu CRUE-CSICThis work was supported by an NIHR Professorship (to M.A.K.). M.A.K. has received funding from the Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research and Wellcome Trust. B.P.-D. was supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III, PI 18/01319 and PI21/00248, and has received funding from Beca José Castillejos (CAS14/00328). K.J.P. was supported by an MRC Clinician-Scientist Fellowship (511015) and was supported by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and Fight for Sight. S.S.M. has received funding from the Winston Churchill Memorial trust and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.Background and Objective: The objective of this study was to better delineate the genetic landscape and key clinical characteristics of complex, early-onset, monogenic hyperkinetic movement disorders. Methods: Patients were recruited from 14 international centers. Participating clinicians completed standardized proformas capturing demographic, clinical, and genetic data. Two pediatric movement disorder experts reviewed available video footage, classifying hyperkinetic movements according to published criteria. Results: One hundred forty patients with pathogenic variants in 17 different genes (ADCY5, ATP1A3, DDC, DHPR, FOXG1, GCH1, GNAO1, KMT2B, MICU1, NKX2.1, PDE10A, PTPS, SGCE, SLC2A1, SLC6A3, SPR, and TH) were identified. In the majority, hyperkinetic movements were generalized (77%), with most patients (69%) manifesting combined motor semiologies. Parkinsonism-dystonia was characteristic of primary neurotransmitter disorders (DDC, DHPR, PTPS, SLC6A3, SPR, TH); chorea predominated in ADCY5-, ATP1A3-, FOXG1-, NKX2.1-, SLC2A1-, GNAO1-, and PDE10A-related disorders; and stereotypies were a prominent feature in FOXG1- and GNAO1-related disease. Those with generalized hyperkinetic movements had an earlier disease onset than those with focal/segmental distribution (2.5 ± 0.3 vs. 4.7 ± 0.7 years; P = 0.007). Patients with developmental delay also presented with hyperkinetic movements earlier than those with normal neurodevelopment (1.5 ± 2.9 vs. 4.7 ± 3.8 years; P < 0.001). Effective disease-specific therapies included dopaminergic agents for neurotransmitters disorders, ketogenic diet for glucose transporter deficiency, and deep brain stimulation for SGCE-, KMT2B-, and GNAO1-related hyperkinesia. Conclusions: This study highlights the complex phenotypes observed in children with genetic hyperkinetic movement disorders that can lead to diagnostic difficulty. We provide a comprehensive analysis of motor semiology to guide physicians in the genetic investigation of these patients, to facilitate early diagnosis, precision medicine treatments, and genetic counseling. © 2022 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

    Clinical history and management recommendations of the smooth muscle dysfunction syndrome due to ACTA2 arginine 179 alterations

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    Smooth muscle dysfunction syndrome (SMDS) due to heterozygous ACTA2 arginine 179 alterations is characterized by patent ductus arteriosus, vasculopathy (aneurysm and occlusive lesions), pulmonary arterial hypertension, and other complications in smooth muscle-dependent organs. We sought to define the clinical history of SMDS to develop recommendations for evaluation and management. Medical records of 33 patients with SMDS (median age 12 years) were abstracted and analyzed. All patients had congenital mydriasis and related pupillary abnormalities at birth and presented in infancy with a patent ductus arteriosus or aortopulmonary window. Patients had cerebrovascular disease characterized by small vessel disease (hyperintense periventricular white matter lesions; 95%), intracranial artery stenosis (77%), ischemic strokes (27%), and seizures (18%). Twelve (36%) patients had thoracic aortic aneurysm repair or dissection at median age of 14 years and aortic disease was fully penetrant by the age of 25 years. Three (9%) patients had axillary artery aneurysms complicated by thromboembolic episodes. Nine patients died between the ages of 0.5 and 32 years due to aortic, pulmonary, or stroke complications, or unknown causes. Based on these data, recommendations are provided for the surveillance and management of SMDS to help prevent early-onset life-threatening complications

    O6-Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase protein expression by immunohistochemistry in brain and non-brain systemic tumours: systematic review and meta-analysis of correlation with methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction

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    Background: The DNA repair protein O6-Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) confers resistance to alkylating agents. Several methods have been applied to its analysis, with methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) the most commonly used for promoter methylation study, while immunohistochemistry (IHC) has become the most frequently used for the detection of MGMT protein expression. Agreement on the best and most reliable technique for evaluating MGMT status remains unsettled. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of the correlation between IHC and MSP. Methods A computer-aided search of MEDLINE (1950-October 2009), EBSCO (1966-October 2009) and EMBASE (1974-October 2009) was performed for relevant publications. Studies meeting inclusion criteria were those comparing MGMT protein expression by IHC with MGMT promoter methylation by MSP in the same cohort of patients. Methodological quality was assessed by using the QUADAS and STARD instruments. Previously published guidelines were followed for meta-analysis performance. Results Of 254 studies identified as eligible for full-text review, 52 (20.5%) met the inclusion criteria. The review showed that results of MGMT protein expression by IHC are not in close agreement with those obtained with MSP. Moreover, type of tumour (primary brain tumour vs others) was an independent covariate of accuracy estimates in the meta-regression analysis beyond the cut-off value. Conclusions Protein expression assessed by IHC alone fails to reflect the promoter methylation status of MGMT. Thus, in attempts at clinical diagnosis the two methods seem to select different groups of patients and should not be used interchangeably
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