25 research outputs found

    Spinal cord compression is associated with brain plasticity in degenerative cervical myelopathy.

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    The impact of spinal cord compression severity on brain plasticity and prognostic determinates is not yet fully understood. We investigated the association between the severity of spinal cord compression in patients with degenerative cervical myelopathy, a progressive disease of the spine, and functional plasticity in the motor cortex and subcortical areas using functional magnetic resonance imaging. A 3.0 T MRI scanner was used to acquire functional images of the brain in 23 degenerative cervical myelopathy patients. Patients were instructed to perform a structured finger-tapping task to activate the motor cortex to assess the extent of cortical activation.

    Cortical activation during imagined walking for people with lower limb loss: a pilot study

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    Each year in Canada, a substantial number of adults undergo limb amputation, with lower limb amputation (LLA) the most prevalent. Enhancing walking ability is crucial for optimizing rehabilitation outcomes, promoting participation, and facilitating community reintegration. Overcoming challenges during the acute post-amputation phase and sub-acute rehabilitation necessitates alternative approaches, such as motor imagery and mental practice, to maximize rehabilitation success. However, the current evidence on activation patterns using motor imagery in individuals with LLA is limited. The primary objective was to assess the feasibility of observing brain activation during imagined walking in individuals with LLA utilizing 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Eight individuals with LLA and 11 control subjects participated. Consistent with representations of the lower limbs, both control and amputee groups demonstrated bilateral activation in the medial surface of the primary motor and somatosensory cortices. However, individuals with lower limb amputations exhibited significantly greater activation during imagined walking, particularly in frontal regions and the medial surface of the primary motor and supplementary motor cortices. Furthermore, the volume of activation in the bilateral primary motor cortices was higher for participants with amputations compared to controls. The protocol developed in this study establishes a foundation for evaluating the effects of a gait training program that incorporates mental imagery alongside conventional rehabilitation practices, in contrast to standard care alone. This pilot investigation holds potential to enhance our understanding of brain plasticity in individuals with LLA and pave the way for more effective rehabilitation strategies to optimize functional recovery and community reintegration

    Intracellular coexpression of CXC- and CC– chemokine receptors and their ligands in human melanoma cell lines and dynamic variations after xenotransplantation

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    BackgroundChemokines have been implicated in tumor progression and metastasis. In melanoma, chemokine receptors have been implicated in organ selective metastasis by regulating processes such as chemoattraction, adhesion and survival.MethodsIn this study we have analyzed, using flow cytometry, the systems formed by the chemokine receptors CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR7, CCR7 and CCR10 and their ligands in thirteen human melanoma cell lines (five established from primary tumors and eight established from metastasis from different tissues). WM-115 and WM-266.4 melanoma cell lines (obtained from a primary and a metastatic melanoma respectively) were xenografted in nude mice and the tumors and cell lines derived from them were also analyzed.ResultsOur results show that the melanoma cell lines do not express or express in a low degree the chemokine receptors on their cell surface. However, melanoma cell lines show intracellular expression of all the aforementioned receptors and most of their respective ligands. When analyzing the xenografts and the cell lines obtained from them we found variations in the intracellular expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors that differed between the primary and metastatic cell lines. However, as well as in the original cell lines, minute or no expression of the chemokine receptors was observed at the cell surface.ConclusionsCoexpression of chemokine receptors and their ligands was found in human melanoma cell lines. However, this expression is intracellular and receptors are not found at the cell membrane nor chemokines are secreted to the cell medium. The levels of expressed chemokine receptors and their ligands show dynamic variations after xenotransplantation that differ depending on the origin of the cell line (from primary tumor or from metastasis)

    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

    Evaluating the Effects of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Mutation D614G on Transmissibility and Pathogenicity.

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    Global dispersal and increasing frequency of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variant D614G are suggestive of a selective advantage but may also be due to a random founder effect. We investigate the hypothesis for positive selection of spike D614G in the United Kingdom using more than 25,000 whole genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences. Despite the availability of a large dataset, well represented by both spike 614 variants, not all approaches showed a conclusive signal of positive selection. Population genetic analysis indicates that 614G increases in frequency relative to 614D in a manner consistent with a selective advantage. We do not find any indication that patients infected with the spike 614G variant have higher COVID-19 mortality or clinical severity, but 614G is associated with higher viral load and younger age of patients. Significant differences in growth and size of 614G phylogenetic clusters indicate a need for continued study of this variant

    Genomic assessment of quarantine measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 importation and transmission

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    Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from international travel is a priority. We evaluated the effectiveness of travellers being required to quarantine for 14-days on return to England in Summer 2020. We identified 4,207 travel-related SARS-CoV-2 cases and their contacts, and identified 827 associated SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Overall, quarantine was associated with a lower rate of contacts, and the impact of quarantine was greatest in the 16–20 age-group. 186 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were sufficiently unique to identify travel-related clusters. Fewer genomically-linked cases were observed for index cases who returned from countries with quarantine requirement compared to countries with no quarantine requirement. This difference was explained by fewer importation events per identified genome for these cases, as opposed to fewer onward contacts per case. Overall, our study demonstrates that a 14-day quarantine period reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the onward transmission of imported cases, mainly by dissuading travel to countries with a quarantine requirement

    Changes in symptomatology, reinfection, and transmissibility associated with the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7: an ecological study

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    Background The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 was first identified in December, 2020, in England. We aimed to investigate whether increases in the proportion of infections with this variant are associated with differences in symptoms or disease course, reinfection rates, or transmissibility. Methods We did an ecological study to examine the association between the regional proportion of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant and reported symptoms, disease course, rates of reinfection, and transmissibility. Data on types and duration of symptoms were obtained from longitudinal reports from users of the COVID Symptom Study app who reported a positive test for COVID-19 between Sept 28 and Dec 27, 2020 (during which the prevalence of B.1.1.7 increased most notably in parts of the UK). From this dataset, we also estimated the frequency of possible reinfection, defined as the presence of two reported positive tests separated by more than 90 days with a period of reporting no symptoms for more than 7 days before the second positive test. The proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections with the B.1.1.7 variant across the UK was estimated with use of genomic data from the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium and data from Public Health England on spike-gene target failure (a non-specific indicator of the B.1.1.7 variant) in community cases in England. We used linear regression to examine the association between reported symptoms and proportion of B.1.1.7. We assessed the Spearman correlation between the proportion of B.1.1.7 cases and number of reinfections over time, and between the number of positive tests and reinfections. We estimated incidence for B.1.1.7 and previous variants, and compared the effective reproduction number, Rt, for the two incidence estimates. Findings From Sept 28 to Dec 27, 2020, positive COVID-19 tests were reported by 36 920 COVID Symptom Study app users whose region was known and who reported as healthy on app sign-up. We found no changes in reported symptoms or disease duration associated with B.1.1.7. For the same period, possible reinfections were identified in 249 (0·7% [95% CI 0·6–0·8]) of 36 509 app users who reported a positive swab test before Oct 1, 2020, but there was no evidence that the frequency of reinfections was higher for the B.1.1.7 variant than for pre-existing variants. Reinfection occurrences were more positively correlated with the overall regional rise in cases (Spearman correlation 0·56–0·69 for South East, London, and East of England) than with the regional increase in the proportion of infections with the B.1.1.7 variant (Spearman correlation 0·38–0·56 in the same regions), suggesting B.1.1.7 does not substantially alter the risk of reinfection. We found a multiplicative increase in the Rt of B.1.1.7 by a factor of 1·35 (95% CI 1·02–1·69) relative to pre-existing variants. However, Rt fell below 1 during regional and national lockdowns, even in regions with high proportions of infections with the B.1.1.7 variant. Interpretation The lack of change in symptoms identified in this study indicates that existing testing and surveillance infrastructure do not need to change specifically for the B.1.1.7 variant. In addition, given that there was no apparent increase in the reinfection rate, vaccines are likely to remain effective against the B.1.1.7 variant. Funding Zoe Global, Department of Health (UK), Wellcome Trust, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), National Institute for Health Research (UK), Medical Research Council (UK), Alzheimer's Society

    Evaluating the Effects of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Mutation D614G on Transmissibility and Pathogenicity

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    Global dispersal and increasing frequency of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein variant D614G are suggestive of a selective advantage but may also be due to a random founder effect. We investigate the hypothesis for positive selection of spike D614G in the United Kingdom using more than 25,000 whole genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences. Despite the availability of a large dataset, well represented by both spike 614 variants, not all approaches showed a conclusive signal of positive selection. Population genetic analysis indicates that 614G increases in frequency relative to 614D in a manner consistent with a selective advantage. We do not find any indication that patients infected with the spike 614G variant have higher COVID-19 mortality or clinical severity, but 614G is associated with higher viral load and younger age of patients. Significant differences in growth and size of 614G phylogenetic clusters indicate a need for continued study of this variant

    Genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in a UK university identifies dynamics of transmission