2,353 research outputs found

    SOX9 transduction of a human chondrocytic cell line identifies novel genes regulated in primary human chondrocytes and in osteoarthritis

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    The transcription factor SOX9 is important in maintaining the chondrocyte phenotype. To identify novel genes regulated by SOX9 we investigated changes in gene expression by microarray analysis following retroviral transduction with SOX9 of a human chondrocytic cell line (SW1353). From the results the expression of a group of genes (SRPX, S100A1, APOD, RGC32, CRTL1, MYBPH, CRLF1 and SPINT1) was evaluated further in human articular chondrocytes (HACs). First, the same genes were investigated in primary cultures of HACs following SOX9 transduction, and four were found to be similarly regulated (SRPX, APOD, CRTL1 and S100A1). Second, during dedifferentiation of HACs by passage in monolayer cell culture, during which the expression of SOX9 progressively decreased, four of the genes (S100A1, RGC32, CRTL1 and SPINT1) also decreased in their expression. Third, in samples of osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage, which had decreased SOX9 expression compared with age-matched controls, there was decreased expression of SRPX, APOD, RGC32, CRTL1 and SPINT1. The results showed that a group of genes identified as being upregulated by SOX9 in the initial SW1353 screen were also regulated in expression in healthy and OA cartilage. Other genes initially identified were differently expressed in isolated OA chondrocytes and their expression was unrelated to changes in SOX9. The results thus identified some genes whose expression appeared to be linked to SOX9 expression in isolated chondrocytes and were also altered during cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis

    The Potential of Current Noninvasive Wearable Technology for the Monitoring of Physiological Signals in the Management of Type 1 Diabetes: Literature Survey

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    BackgroundMonitoring glucose and other parameters in persons with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can enhance acute glycemic management and the diagnosis of long-term complications of the disease. For most persons living with T1D, the determination of insulin delivery is based on a single measured parameter—glucose. To date, wearable sensors exist that enable the seamless, noninvasive, and low-cost monitoring of multiple physiological parameters.ObjectiveThe objective of this literature survey is to explore whether some of the physiological parameters that can be monitored with noninvasive, wearable sensors may be used to enhance T1D management.MethodsA list of physiological parameters, which can be monitored by using wearable sensors available in 2020, was compiled by a thorough review of the devices available in the market. A literature survey was performed using search terms related to T1D combined with the identified physiological parameters. The selected publications were restricted to human studies, which had at least their abstracts available. The PubMed and Scopus databases were interrogated. In total, 77 articles were retained and analyzed based on the following two axes: the reported relations between these parameters and T1D, which were found by comparing persons with T1D and healthy control participants, and the potential areas for T1D enhancement via the further analysis of the found relationships in studies working within T1D cohorts.ResultsOn the basis of our search methodology, 626 articles were returned, and after applying our exclusion criteria, 77 (12.3%) articles were retained. Physiological parameters with potential for monitoring by using noninvasive wearable devices in persons with T1D included those related to cardiac autonomic function, cardiorespiratory control balance and fitness, sudomotor function, and skin temperature. Cardiac autonomic function measures, particularly the indices of heart rate and heart rate variability, have been shown to be valuable in diagnosing and monitoring cardiac autonomic neuropathy and, potentially, predicting and detecting hypoglycemia. All identified physiological parameters were shown to be associated with some aspects of diabetes complications, such as retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy, as well as macrovascular disease, with capacity for early risk prediction. However, although they can be monitored by available wearable sensors, most studies have yet to adopt them, as opposed to using more conventional devices.ConclusionsWearable sensors have the potential to augment T1D sensing with additional, informative biomarkers, which can be monitored noninvasively, seamlessly, and continuously. However, significant challenges associated with measurement accuracy, removal of noise and motion artifacts, and smart decision-making exist. Consequently, research should focus on harvesting the information hidden in the complex data generated by wearable sensors and on developing models and smart decision strategies to optimize the incorporation of these novel inputs into T1D interventions.</p

    Factors in AIDS Dementia Complex Trial Design: Results and Lessons from the Abacavir Trial

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    OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of adding abacavir (Ziagen, ABC) to optimal stable background antiretroviral therapy (SBG) to AIDS dementia complex (ADC) patients and address trial design. DESIGN: Phase III randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. SETTING: Tertiary outpatient clinics. PARTICIPANTS: ADC patients on SBG for ≥8 wk. INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomized to ABC or matched placebo for 12 wk. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the change in the summary neuropsychological Z score (NPZ). Secondary measures were HIV RNA and the immune activation markers β-2 microglobulin, soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor 2, and quinolinic acid. RESULTS: 105 participants were enrolled. The median change in NPZ at week 12 was +0.76 for the ABC + SBG and +0.63 for the SBG groups (p = 0.735). The lack of efficacy was unlikely related to possible limited antiviral efficacy of ABC: at week 12 more ABC than placebo participants had plasma HIV RNA ≤400 copies/mL (p = 0.002). There were, however, other factors. Two thirds of patients were subsequently found to have had baseline resistance to ABC. Second, there was an unanticipated beneficial effect of SBG that extended beyond 8 wk to 5 mo, thereby rendering some of the patients at baseline unstable. Third, there was an unexpectedly large variability in neuropsychological performance that underpowered the study. Fourth, there was a relative lack of activity of ADC: 56% of all patients had baseline cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV-1 RNA <100 copies/mL and 83% had CSF β-2 microglobulin <3 nmol/L at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of ABC to SBG for ADC patients was not efficacious, possibly because of the inefficacy of ABC per se, baseline drug resistance, prolonged benefit from existing therapy, difficulties with sample size calculations, and lack of disease activity. Assessment of these trial design factors is critical in the design of future ADC trials

    The current understanding of precision medicine and personalised medicine in selected research disciplines:study protocol of a systematic concept analysis

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    INTRODUCTION: The terms ‘precision medicine’ and ‘personalised medicine’ have become key terms in health-related research and in science-related public communication. However, the application of these two concepts and their interpretation in various disciplines are heterogeneous, which also affects research translation and public awareness. This leads to confusion regarding the use and distinction of the two concepts. Our aim is to provide a snapshot of the current understanding of these concepts. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Our study will use Rodgers’ evolutionary concept analysis to systematically examine the current understanding of the concepts ‘precision medicine’ and ‘personalised medicine’ in clinical medicine, biomedicine (incorporating genomics and bioinformatics), health services research, physics, chemistry, engineering, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and to identify their respective attributes (clusters of characteristics) and surrogate and related terms. A systematic search of the literature will be conducted for 2016–2022 using databases relevant to each of these disciplines: ACM Digital Library, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, F1000Research, IEEE Xplore, PubMed/Medline, Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science. These are among the most representative databases for the included disciplines. We will examine similarities and differences in definitions of ‘precision medicine’ and ‘personalised medicine’ in the respective disciplines and across (sub)disciplines, including attributes of each term. This will enable us to determine how these two concepts are distinguished. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Following ethical and research standards, we will comprehensively report the methodology for a systematic analysis following Rodgers’ concept analysis method. Our systematic concept analysis will contribute to the clarification of the two concepts and distinction in their application in given settings and circumstances. Such a broad concept analysis will contribute to non-systematic syntheses of the concepts, or occasional systematic reviews on one of the concepts that have been published in specific disciplines, in order to facilitate interdisciplinary communication, translational medical research and implementation science

    Training evaluation: a case study of training Iranian health managers

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The Ministry of Health and Medical Education in the Islamic Republic of Iran has undertaken a reform of its health system, in which-lower level managers are given new roles and responsibilities in a decentralized system. To support these efforts, a United Kingdom-based university was contracted by the World Health Organization to design a series of courses for health managers and trainers. This process was also intended to develop the capacity of the National Public Health Management Centre in Tabriz, Iran, to enable it to organize relevant short courses in health management on a continuing basis. A total of seven short training courses were implemented, three in the United Kingdom and four in Tabriz, with 35 participants. A detailed evaluation of the courses was undertaken to guide future development of the training programmes.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The Kirkpatrick framework for evaluation of training was used to measure participants' reactions, learning, application to the job, and to a lesser extent, organizational impact. Particular emphasis was put on application of learning to the participants' job. A structured questionnaire was administered to 23 participants, out of 35, between one and 13 months after they had attended the courses. Respondents, like the training course participants, were predominantly from provincial universities, with both health system and academic responsibilities. Interviews with key informants and ex-trainees provided supplemental information, especially on organizational impact.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Participants' preferred interactive methods for learning about health planning and management. They found the course content to be relevant, but with an overemphasis on theory compared to practical, locally-specific information. In terms of application of learning to their jobs, participants found specific information and skills to be most useful, such as health systems research and group work/problem solving. The least useful areas were those that dealt with training and leadership. Participants reported little difficulty in applying learning deemed "useful", and had applied it often. In general, a learning area was used less when it was found difficult to apply, with a few exceptions, such as problem-solving. Four fifths of respondents claimed they could perform their jobs better because of new skills and more in-depth understanding of health systems, and one third had been asked to train their colleagues, indicating a potential for impact on their organization. Interviews with key informants indicated that job performance of trainees had improved.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The health management training programmes in Iran, and the external university involved in capacity building, benefited from following basic principles of good training practice, which incorporated needs assessment, selection of participants and definition of appropriate learning outcomes, course content and methods, along with focused evaluation. Contracts for external assistance should include specific mention of capacity building, and allow for the collaborative development of courses and of evaluation plans, in order to build capacity of local partners throughout the training cycle. This would also help to develop training content that uses material from local health management situations to demonstrate key theories and develop locally required skills. Training evaluations should as a minimum assess participants' reactions and learning for every course. Communication of evaluation results should be designed to ensure that data informs training activities, as well as the health and human resources managers who are investing in the development of their staff.</p

    Experiences of young people and their caregivers of using technology to manage type 1 diabetes mellitus: Systematic literature review and narrative synthesis

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    Background: In the last decade, diabetes management has begun to transition to technology-based care, with young people being the focus of many technological advances. Yet, detailed insights into the experiences of young people and their caregivers of using technology to manage type 1 diabetes mellitus are lacking.Objective: The objective of our study was to describe the breadth of experiences and perspectives on diabetes technology use among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their caregivers.Methods: This systematic literature review used integrated thematic analysis to guide a narrative synthesis of the included studies. We analyzed the perspectives and experiences of young people with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their caregivers reported in qualitative studies, quantitative descriptive studies, and studies with a mixed methods design.Results:Seventeen articles met the inclusion criteria, and they included studies on insulin pump, glucose sensors, and remote monitoring systems. The following eight themes were derived from the analysis: (1) expectations of the technology prior to use, (2) perceived impact on sleep and overnight experiences, (3) experiences with alarms, (4) impact on independence and relationships, (5) perceived usage impact on blood glucose control, (6) device design and features, (7) financial cost, and (8) user satisfaction. While many advantages of using diabetes technology were reported, several challenges for its use were also reported, such as cost, the size and visibility of devices, and the intrusiveness of alarms, which drew attention to the fact that the user had type 1 diabetes mellitus. Continued use of diabetes technology was underpinned by its benefits outweighing its challenges, especially among younger people.Conclusions: Diabetes technologies have improved the quality of life of many young people with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their caregivers. Future design needs to consider the impact of these technologies on relationships between young people and their caregivers, and the impact of device features and characteristics such as size, ease of use, and cost.</p

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy on stroke risk by brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases: subgroup analyses of the RESTART randomised, open-label trial

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    Background Findings from the RESTART trial suggest that starting antiplatelet therapy might reduce the risk of recurrent symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage compared with avoiding antiplatelet therapy. Brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases (such as cerebral microbleeds) are associated with greater risks of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage. We did subgroup analyses of the RESTART trial to explore whether these brain imaging features modify the effects of antiplatelet therapy

    A user preference analysis of commercial breath ketone sensors to inform the development of portable breath ketone sensors for diabetes management in young people

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    BACKGROUNDPortable breath ketone sensors may help people with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) avoid episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis; however, the design features preferred by users have not been studied. We aimed to elucidate breath sensor design preferences of young people with T1DM (age 12 to 16) and their parents to inform the development of a breath ketone sensor prototype that would best suit their diabetes management needs.RESEARCH DESIGNS AND METHODSTo elicit foundational experiences from which design preference ideas could be generated, two commercially available breath ketone sensors, designed for ketogenic diet monitoring, were explored over one week by ten young people with T1DM. Participants interacted with the breath ketone sensing devices, and undertook blood ketone testing, at least twice daily for five days to simulate use within a real life and ambulatory care setting. Semi-structured interviews were conducted post-testing with the ten young participants and their caregivers (n = 10) to elicit preferences related to breath sensor design and use, and to inform the co-design of a breath ketone sensor prototype for use in T1DM self-management. We triangulated our data collection with key informant interviews with two diabetes educators working in pediatric care about their perspectives related to young people using breath ketone sensors.RESULTSParticipants acknowledged the non-invasiveness of breath sensors as compared to blood testing. Affordability, reliability and accuracy were identified as prerequisites for breath ketone sensors used for diabetes management. Design features valued by young people included portability, ease of use, sustainability, readability and suitability for use in public. The time required to use breath sensors was similar to that for blood testing. The requirement to maintain a 10-second breath exhalation posed a challenge for users. Diabetes educators highlighted the ease of use of breath devices especially for young people who tended to under-test using blood ketone strips.CONCLUSIONSBreath ketone sensors for diabetes management have potential that may facilitate ketone testing in young people. Our study affirms features for young people that drive usability of breath sensors among this population, and provides a model of user preference assessment.</p

    Compressed representation of a partially defined integer function over multiple arguments

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    In OLAP (OnLine Analitical Processing) data are analysed in an n-dimensional cube. The cube may be represented as a partially defined function over n arguments. Considering that often the function is not defined everywhere, we ask: is there a known way of representing the function or the points in which it is defined, in a more compact manner than the trivial one

    Factors in AIDS Dementia Complex Trial Design: Results and Lessons from the Abacavir Trial

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    To determine the efficacy of adding abacavir (Ziagen, ABC) to optimal stable background antiretroviral therapy (SBG) to AIDS dementia complex (ADC) patients and address trial design
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