240 research outputs found

    Metformin and cancer: Technical and clinical implications for FDG-PET imaging

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    Metformin is the most widely used hypoglycemic agent. Besides its conventional indications, increasing evidence demonstrate a potential efficacy of this biguanide as an anticancer drug. Possible mechanisms of actions seem to be independent from its hypoglycemic effect and seem to involve the interference with key pathways in cellular proliferation and glycolysis. To date, many clinical trials implying the use of metformin in cancer treatment are on-going. The increasing use of (18)F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in cancer evaluation raises a number of questions about the possible interference of the biguanide on FDG distribution. In particular, the interferences exerted by metformin on AMP-activated protein kinase pathway (the cellular energy sensor), on insulin levels and on Hexokinase could potentially have repercussion on glucose handling and thus on FDG distribution. A better comprehension of the impact of metformin on FDG uptake is needed in order to optimize the use of PET in this setting. This evaluation would be useful to ameliorate scans interpretation in diabetic patients under chronic metformin treatment and to critically interpret images in the context of clinical trials. Furthermore, collecting prospective data in this setting would help to verify whether FDG-PET could be a valid tool to appreciate the anticancer effect of this new therapeutic approach

    The circumscription of problematic species of <i>Ophioglossum</i> (Ophioglossaceae) from Southern South America: a palynological approach

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    The genus Ophioglossum has around 25 species with a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. It has historically posed a number of taxonomic problems due to the lack of morphological characters upon which to base species delimitations. In order to address this, we analyzed the sculpture patterns of spores from ten critical taxa from southern South America. Palynological data was compared with the morphology of the sporophyte. The sculpturing pattern was the most valuable and consistent taxonomic character upon which to base species delimitation in Ophioglossum. Nomenclatural types of studied species were examined. The name Ophioglossum melipillense is reinstated and the other species recognized to the genus Ophioglossum s.s. in this region are the following: O. crotalophoroides, O. nudicaule, O. opacum, and O. vulgatum. Ophioglossum fernandezianum appears to be a doubtful species. Ophioglossum lusitanicum is excluded from the study area, but the lectotype of O. lusitanicum is designated, and a revised synonymy is presented.Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Muse

    Comparative diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT for breast cancer recurrence

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    In the last decades, in addition to conventional imaging techniques and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) has been shown to be relevant in the detection and management of breast cancer recurrence in doubtful cases in selected groups of patients. While there are no conclusive data indicating that imaging tests, including FDG PET/CT, produce a survival benefit in asymptomatic patients, FDG PET/CT can be useful for identifying the site of relapse when traditional imaging methods are equivocal or conflicting and for identifying or confirming isolated loco-regional relapse or isolated metastatic lesions. The present narrative review deals with the potential role of FDG PET in these clinical settings by comparing its accuracy and impact with conventional imaging modalities such as CT, ultrasound, bone scan, 18F-sodium fluoride PET/CT (18F-NaF PET/CT) as well as MRI. Patient-focused perspectives in terms of patients\ue2\u80\u99 satisfaction and acceptability are also discussed

    Phase and amplitude electroencephalography correlations change with disease progression in people with idiopathic rapid eye-movement sleep behavior disorder

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    Study Objectives Increased phase synchronization in electroencephalography (EEG) bands might reflect the activation of compensatory mechanisms of cognitive decline in people with neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we investigated whether altered large-scale couplings of brain oscillations could be linked to the balancing of cognitive decline in a longitudinal cohort of people with idiopathic rapid eye-movement sleep behavior disorder (iRBD). Methods We analyzed 18 patients (17 males, 69.7 +/- 7.5 years) with iRBD undergoing high-density EEG (HD-EEG), presynaptic dopaminergic imaging, and clinical and neuropsychological (NPS) assessments at two time points (time interval 24.2 +/- 5.9 months). We thus quantified the HD-EEG power distribution, orthogonalized amplitude correlation, and weighted phase-lag index at both time points and correlated them with clinical, NPS, and imaging data. Results Four patients phenoconverted at follow-up (three cases of parkinsonism and one of dementia). At the group level, NPS scores decreased over time, without reaching statistical significance. However, alpha phase synchronization increased and delta amplitude correlations decreased significantly at follow-up compared to baseline. Both large-scale network connectivity metrics were significantly correlated with NPS scores but not with sleep quality indices or presynaptic dopaminergic imaging data. Conclusions These results suggest that increased alpha phase synchronization and reduced delta amplitude correlation may be considered electrophysiological signs of an active compensatory mechanism of cognitive impairment in people with iRBD. Large-scale functional modifications may be helpful biomarkers in the characterization of prodromal stages of alpha-synucleinopathies.Peer reviewe

    Brain hypermetabolism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a FDG PET study in ALS of spinal and bulbar onset

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    Specific biological markers for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have not yet been established. Functional studies have shown abnormalities in the anatomo-functional connectivity of the limbic-striatal "social" brain. This study aimed to investigate regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at rest. Thirteen patients with ASD of normal intelligence and ten IQ-, sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HC) underwent PET/CT using [1- 11 C]butanol, a perfusion tracer. As compared to HC, ASD showed significant CBF increases in the right parahippocampal, posterior cingulate, primary visual and temporal cortex, putamen, caudatus, substantia nigra and cerebellum. No statistically significant correlation between CBF and IQ was found. The limbic, posterior associative and cerebellar cortices showed increased blood flow in ASD, confirming previous findings about the neurobiology of ASD

    SARS-CoV-2-related encephalitis with prominent parkinsonism: clinical and FDG-PET correlates in two patients

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    Considering the similarities with other pandemics due to respiratory virus infections and subsequent development of neurological disorders (e.g. encephalitis lethargica after the 1918 influenza), there is growing concern about a possible new wave of neurological complications following the worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2. However, data on COVID-19-related encephalitis and movement disorders are still limited. Herein, we describe the clinical and neuroimaging (FDG-PET/CT, MRI and DaT-SPECT) findings of two patients with COVID-19-related encephalopathy who developed prominent parkinsonism. None of the patients had previous history of parkinsonian signs/symptoms, and none had prodromal features of Parkinson's disease (hyposmia or RBD). Both developed a rapidly progressive form of atypical parkinsonism along with distinctive features suggestive of encephalitis. A possible immune-mediated etiology was suggested in Patient 2 by the presence of CSF-restricted oligoclonal bands, but none of the patients responded favorably to immunotherapy. Interestingly, FDG-PET/CT findings were similar in both cases and reminiscent of those observed in post-encephalitic parkinsonism, with cortical hypo-metabolism associated with hyper-metabolism in the brainstem, mesial temporal lobes, and basal ganglia. Patient's FDG-PET/CT findings were validated by performing a Statistical Parametric Mapping analysis and comparing the results with a cohort of healthy controls (n = 48). Cerebrum cortical thickness map was obtained in Patient 1 from MRI examinations to evaluate the structural correlates of the metabolic alterations detected with FDG-PET/CT. Hypermetabolic areas correlated with brain regions showing increased cortical thickness, suggesting their involvement during the inflammatory process. Overall, these observations suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection may trigger an encephalitis with prominent parkinsonism and distinctive brain metabolic alterations

    Effect of starvation on brain glucose metabolism and 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose uptake: an experimental in-vivo and ex-vivo study

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    Background: The close connection between neuronal activity and glucose consumption accounts for the clinical value of 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) imaging in neurodegenerative disorders. Nevertheless, brain metabolic response to starvation (STS) might hamper the diagnostic accuracy of FDG PET/CT when the cognitive impairment results in a severe food deprivation. Methods: Thirty six-week-old BALB/c female mice were divided into two groups: \u201ccontrol\u201d group (n = 15) were kept under standard conditions and exposed to fasting for 6 h before the study; the remaining \u201cSTS\u201d mice were submitted to 48 h STS (absence of food and free access to water) before imaging. In each group, nine mice were submitted to dynamic micro-PET imaging to estimate brain and skeletal muscle glucose consumption (C- and SM-MRGlu*) by Patlak approach, while six mice were sacrificed for ex vivo determination of the lumped constant, defined as the ratio between CMRGlu* and glucose consumption measured by glucose removal from the incubation medium (n = 3) or biochemical analyses (n = 3), respectively. Results: CMRGlu* was lower in starved than in control mice (46.1 \ub1 23.3 vs 119.5 \ub1 40.2 nmol 7 min 121 7 g 121 , respectively, p &lt; 0.001). Ex vivo evaluation documented a remarkable stability of lumped constant as documented by the stability of GLUT expression, G6Pase activity, and kinetic features of hexokinase-catalyzed phosphorylation. However, brain SUV in STS mice was even (though not significantly) higher with respect to control mice. Conversely, a marked decrease in both SM-MRGlu* and SM-SUV was documented in STS mice with respect to controls. Conclusions: STS markedly decreases brain glucose consumption without altering measured FDG SUV in mouse experimental models. This apparent paradox does not reflect any change in lumped constant. Rather, it might be explained by the metabolic response of the whole body: the decrease in FDG sequestration by the skeletal muscle is as profound as to prolong tracer persistence in the bloodstream and thus its availability for brain uptak

    The Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test: Discriminative Values in a Naturalistic Cohort

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    Background: Neuropsychological assessment is still the basis for the first evaluation of patients with cognitive complaints. The Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) generates several indices that could have different accuracy in the differential diagnosis between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other disorders. Objective: In a consecutive series of naturalistic patients, the accuracy of the FCSRT indices in differentiating patients with either mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD or AD dementia from other competing conditions was evaluated. Methods: We evaluated the accuracy of the seven FCSRT indices in differentiating patients with AD from other competing conditions in 434 consecutive outpatients, either at the MCI or at the early dementia stage. We analyzed these data through the receiver operating characteristics curve, and we then generated the odds-ratio map of the two indices with the best discriminative value between pairs of disorders. Results: The immediate and the delayed free total recall, the immediate total recall, and the index of sensitivity of cueing were the most useful indices and allowed to distinguish AD from dementia with Lewy bodies and psychiatric conditions with very high accuracy. Accuracy was instead moderate in distinguishing AD from behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, vascular cognitive impairment, and other conditions. Conclusion: By using odd-ratio maps and comparison-customized cut-off scores, we confirmed that the FCSRT represents a useful tool to characterize the memory performance of patients with MCI and thus to assist the clinician in the diagnosis process, though with different accuracy values depending on the clinical hypothesis

    Assessment of skeletal tumor load in metastasized castration-resistant prostate cancer patients: A review of available methods and an overview on future perspectives

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    Metastasized castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), is the most advanced form of prostate neoplasia, where massive spread to the skeletal tissue is frequent. Patients with this condition are benefiting from an increasing number of treatment options. However, assessing tumor response in patients with multiple localizations might be challenging. For this reason, many computational approaches have been developed in the last decades to quantify the skeletal tumor burden and treatment response. In this review, we analyzed the progressive development and diffusion of such approaches. A computerized literature search of the PubMed/Medline was conducted, including articles between January 2008 and March 2018. The search was expanded by manually reviewing the reference list of the chosen articles. Thirty-five studies were identified. The number of eligible studies greatly increased over time. Studies could be categorized in the following categories: automated analysis of 2D scans, SUV-based thresholding, hybrid CT-and SUV-based thresholding, and MRI-based thresholding. All methods are discussed in detail. Automated analysis of bone tumor burden in mCRPC is a growing field of research; when choosing the appropriate method of analysis, it is important to consider the possible advantages as well as the limitations thoroughly
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