300 research outputs found

    Systematic review of communication technologies to promote access and engagement of young people with diabetes into healthcare

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    Background: Research has investigated whether communication technologies (e.g. mobile telephony, forums, email) can be used to transfer digital information between healthcare professionals and young people who live with diabetes. The systematic review evaluates the effectiveness and impact of these technologies on communication. Methods: Nine electronic databases were searched. Technologies were described and a narrative synthesis of all studies was undertaken. Results: Of 20,925 publications identified, 19 met the inclusion criteria, with 18 technologies assessed. Five categories of communication technologies were identified: video-and tele-conferencing (n = 2); mobile telephony (n = 3); telephone support (n = 3); novel electronic communication devices for transferring clinical information (n = 10); and web-based discussion boards (n = 1). Ten studies showed a positive improvement in HbA1c following the intervention with four studies reporting detrimental increases in HbA1c levels. In fifteen studies communication technologies increased the frequency of contact between patient and healthcare professional. Findings were inconsistent of an association between improvements in HbA1c and increased contact. Limited evidence was available concerning behavioural and care coordination outcomes, although improvement in quality of life, patientcaregiver interaction, self-care and metabolic transmission were reported for some communication technologies. Conclusions: The breadth of study design and types of technologies reported make the magnitude of benefit and their effects on health difficult to determine. While communication technologies may increase the frequency of contact between patient and health care professional, it remains unclear whether this results in improved outcomes and is often the basis of the intervention itself. Further research is needed to explore the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of increasing the use of communication technologies between young people and healthcare professionals

    Weight-related teasing in the school environment: associations with psychosocial health and weight control practices among adolescent boys and girls

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    Weight-related teasing has been found to be associated with low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, body dissatisfaction, and weight control behaviors in adolescents. While research has typically examined weight-related teasing directed towards the individual, little is known about weight-related teasing at the school level. This study aimed to determine the association between the school-level prevalence of weight-related teasing and psychosocial factors, body dissatisfaction and weight control behaviors in adolescents. Adolescents (N = 2,793; 53.2 % female) attending 20 US public middle and high schools were surveyed as part of the Eating and Activity in Teens (EAT) 2010 study. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate the association between school-level weight-related teasing and health variables, controlling for individual-level weight-related teasing, clustering of individuals within schools, and relevant covariates. A greater school-level prevalence of weight-related teasing was associated with lower self-esteem and greater body fat dissatisfaction in girls, and greater depressive symptoms in boys, over and above individual-level weight-related teasing.Dieting was associated with the school-level prevalence of weight-related teasing in analysis adjusted for covariates in girls, but not following adjustment for individual-level weight-related teasing. Unhealthy weight control behaviors, extreme weight control behaviors, and muscle-enhancing behaviors were not associated with the school-level prevalence of weight-related teasing in girls or boys. Findings from the current study, in conjunction with previous findings showing associations between weight-related teasing, psychological concerns, and weight control behaviors, highlight the importance of implementing strategies to decrease weight-related teasing in schools

    Comparative Analysis of Acid Sphingomyelinase Distribution in the CNS of Rats and Mice Following Intracerebroventricular Delivery

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    Niemann-Pick A (NPA) disease is a lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) caused by a deficiency in acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) activity. Previously, we reported that biochemical and functional abnormalities observed in ASM knockout (ASMKO) mice could be partially alleviated by intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of hASM. We now show that this route of delivery also results in widespread enzyme distribution throughout the rat brain and spinal cord. However, enzyme diffusion into CNS parenchyma did not occur in a linear dose-dependent fashion. Moreover, although the levels of hASM detected in the rat CNS were determined to be within the range shown to be therapeutic in ASMKO mice, the absolute amounts represented less than 1% of the total dose administered. Finally, our results also showed that similar levels of enzyme distribution are achieved across rodent species when the dose is normalized to CNS weight as opposed to whole body weight. Collectively, these data suggest that the efficacy observed following ICV delivery of hASM in ASMKO mice could be scaled to CNS of the rat

    TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access

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    Plant traits-the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants-determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait-based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits-almost complete coverage for 'plant growth form'. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait-environmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives

    rs5888 Variant of SCARB1 Gene Is a Possible Susceptibility Factor for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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    Major genetic factors for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have recently been identified as susceptibility risk factors, including variants in the CFH gene and the ARMS2 LOC387715/HTRA1locus. Our purpose was to perform a case-control study in two populations among individuals who did not carry risk variants for CFHY402H and LOC387715 A69S (ARMS2), called “study” individuals, in order to identify new genetic risk factors. Based on a candidate gene approach, we analyzed SNP rs5888 of the SCARB1 gene, coding for SRBI, which is involved in the lipid and lutein pathways. This study was conducted in a French series of 1241 AMD patients and 297 controls, and in a North American series of 1257 patients with advanced AMD and 1732 controls. Among these individuals, we identified 61 French patients, 77 French controls, 85 North American patients and 338 North American controls who did not carry the CFH nor ARMS2 polymorphisms. An association between AMD and the SCARB1 gene was seen among the study subjects. The genotypic distribution of the rs5888 polymorphism was significantly different between cases and controls in the French population (p<0.006). Heterozygosity at the rs5888 SNP increased risk of AMD compared to the CC genotypes in the French study population (odds ratio (OR) = 3.5, CI95%: 1.4–8.9, p<0.01) and after pooling the 2 populations (OR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.6–5.3, p<0.002). Subgroup analysis in exudative forms of AMD revealed a pooled OR of 3.6 for individuals heterozygous for rs5888 (95% CI: 1.7–7.6, p<0.0015). These results suggest the possible contribution of SCARB1, a new genetic factor in AMD, and implicate a role for cholesterol and antioxidant micronutrient (lutein and vitamin E) metabolism in AMD

    Pro-apoptotic Bid is required for the resolution of the effector phase of inflammatory arthritis

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    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by hyperplasia of the synovial lining and destruction of cartilage and bone. Recent studies have suggested that a lack of apoptosis contributes to the hyperplasia of the synovial lining and to the failure in eliminating autoreactive cells. Mice lacking Fas or Bim, two pro-apoptotic proteins that mediate the extrinsic and intrinsic death cascades, respectively, develop enhanced K/BxN serum transfer-induced arthritis. Since the pro-apoptotic protein Bid functions as an intermediate between the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways, we examined the role that it plays in inflammatory arthritis. Mice deficient in Bid (Bid-/-) show a delay in the resolution of K/BxN serum transfer-induced arthritis. Bid-/- mice display increased inflammation, bone destruction, and pannus formation compared to wild-type mice. Furthermore, Bid-/- mice have elevated levels of CXC chemokine and IL-1β in serum, which are associated with more inflammatory cells throughout the arthritic joint. In addition, there are fewer apoptotic cells in the synovium of Bid-/- compared to Wt mice. These data suggest that extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways cooperate through Bid to limit development of inflammatory arthritis

    Dementia Revealed: Novel Chromosome 6 Locus for Late-Onset Alzheimer Disease Provides Genetic Evidence for Folate-Pathway Abnormalities

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    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) have consistently observed strong evidence of association with polymorphisms in APOE. However, until recently, variants at few other loci with statistically significant associations have replicated across studies. The present study combines data on 483,399 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a previously reported GWAS of 492 LOAD cases and 496 controls and from an independent set of 439 LOAD cases and 608 controls to strengthen power to identify novel genetic association signals. Associations exceeding the experiment-wide significance threshold () were replicated in an additional 1,338 cases and 2,003 controls. As expected, these analyses unequivocally confirmed APOE's risk effect (rs2075650, ). Additionally, the SNP rs11754661 at 151.2 Mb of chromosome 6q25.1 in the gene MTHFD1L (which encodes the methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (NADP+ dependent) 1-like protein) was significantly associated with LOAD (; Bonferroni-corrected P = 0.022). Subsequent genotyping of SNPs in high linkage disequilibrium () with rs11754661 identified statistically significant associations in multiple SNPs (rs803424, P = 0.016; rs2073067, P = 0.03; rs2072064, P = 0.035), reducing the likelihood of association due to genotyping error. In the replication case-control set, we observed an association of rs11754661 in the same direction as the previous association at P = 0.002 ( in combined analysis of discovery and replication sets), with associations of similar statistical significance at several adjacent SNPs (rs17349743, P = 0.005; rs803422, P = 0.004). In summary, we observed and replicated a novel statistically significant association in MTHFD1L, a gene involved in the tetrahydrofolate synthesis pathway. This finding is noteworthy, as MTHFD1L may play a role in the generation of methionine from homocysteine and influence homocysteine-related pathways and as levels of homocysteine are a significant risk factor for LOAD development

    Combinatorial Mismatch Scan (CMS) for loci associated with dementia in the Amish

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    BACKGROUND: Population heterogeneity may be a significant confounding factor hampering detection and verification of late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) susceptibility genes. The Amish communities located in Indiana and Ohio are relatively isolated populations that may have increased power to detect disease susceptibility genes. METHODS: We recently performed a genome scan of dementia in this population that detected several potential loci. However, analyses of these data are complicated by the highly consanguineous nature of these Amish pedigrees. Therefore we applied the Combinatorial Mismatch Scanning (CMS) method that compares identity by state (IBS) (under the presumption of identity by descent (IBD)) sharing in distantly related individuals from such populations where standard linkage and association analyses are difficult to implement. CMS compares allele sharing between individuals in affected and unaffected groups from founder populations. Comparisons between cases and controls were done using two Fisher's exact tests, one testing for excess in IBS allele frequency and the other testing for excess in IBS genotype frequency for 407 microsatellite markers. RESULTS: In all, 13 dementia cases and 14 normal controls were identified who were not related at least through the grandparental generation. The examination of allele frequencies identified 24 markers (6%) nominally (p ≤ 0.05) associated with dementia; the most interesting (empiric p ≤ 0.005) markers were D3S1262, D5S211, and D19S1165. The examination of genotype frequencies identified 21 markers (5%) nominally (p ≤ 0.05) associated with dementia; the most significant markers were both located on chromosome 5 (D5S1480 and D5S211). Notably, one of these markers (D5S211) demonstrated differences (empiric p ≤ 0.005) under both tests. CONCLUSION: Our results provide the initial groundwork for identifying genes involved in late-onset Alzheimer's disease within the Amish community. Genes identified within this isolated population will likely play a role in a subset of late-onset AD cases across more general populations. Regions highlighted by markers demonstrating suggestive allelic and/or genotypic differences will be the focus of more detailed examination to characterize their involvement in dementia
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