279 research outputs found

    The pharmacology of visual hallucinations in synucleinopathies

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    Visual hallucinations (VH) are commonly found in the course of synucleinopathies like Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The incidence of VH in these conditions is so high that the absence of VH in the course of the disease should raise questions about the diagnosis. VH may take the form of early and simple phenomena or appear with late and complex presentations that include hallucinatory production and delusions. VH are an unmet treatment need. The review analyzes the past and recent hypotheses that are related to the underlying mechanisms of VH and then discusses their pharmacological modulation. Recent models for VH have been centered on the role played by the decoupling of the default mode network (DMN) when is released from the control of the fronto-parietal and salience networks. According to the proposed model, the process results in the perception of priors that are stored in the unconscious memory and the uncontrolled emergence of intrinsic narrative produced by the DMN. This DMN activity is triggered by the altered functioning of the thalamus and involves the dysregulated activity of the brain neurotransmitters. Historically, dopamine has been indicated as a major driver for the production of VH in synucleinopathies. In that context, nigrostriatal dysfunctions have been associated with the VH onset. The efficacy of antipsychotic compounds in VH treatment has further supported the notion of major involvement of dopamine in the production of the hallucinatory phenomena. However, more recent studies and growing evidence are also pointing toward an important role played by serotonergic and cholinergic dysfunctions. In that respect, in vivo and post-mortem studies have now proved that serotonergic impairment is often an early event in synucleinopathies. The prominent cholinergic impairment in DLB is also well established. Finally, glutamatergic and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic modulations and changes in the overall balance between excitatory and inhibitory signaling are also contributing factors. The review provides an extensive overview of the pharmacology of VH and offers an up to date analysis of treatment options

    Primary tumor sidedness and benefit from FOLFOXIRI plus bevacizumab as initial therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. Retrospective analysis of the TRIBE trial by GONO

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    Right-sided metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients have poor prognosis and achieve limited benefit from first-line doublets plus a targeted agent. In this unplanned analysis of the TRIBE study, we investigated the prognostic and predictive impact of primary tumor sidedness in mCRC patients and the differential impact of the intensification of the chemotherapy in subgroups defined according to both primary tumor sidedness and RAS and BRAF mutational status

    A Critical Review of Alien Limb-Related Phenomena and Implications for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies

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    Consensus criteria on corticobasal degeneration (CBD) include alien limb (AL) phenomena. However, the gist of the behavioral features of AL is still “a matter of debate.” CBD-related AL has so far included the description of involuntary movements, frontal release phenomena (frontal AL), or asomatognosia (posterior or “real” AL). In this context, the most frequent symptoms are language and praxis deficits and cortical sensory misperception. However, asomatognosia requires, by definition, intact perception and cognition. Thus, to make a proper diagnosis of AL in the context of CBD, cognitive and language dysfunctions must be carefully verified and objectively assessed. We reviewed the current literature on AL in CBD and now propose that the generic use of the term AL should be avoided. This catchall AL term should instead be deconstructed. We propose that the term AL is appropriate to describe clinical features associated with specific brain lesions. More discrete sets of regionally bound clinical signs that depend on dysfunctions of specific brain areas need to be assessed and presented when posing the diagnosis. Thus, in our opinion, the AL term should be employed in association with precise descriptions of the accompanying involuntary movements, sensory misperceptions, agnosia-asomatognosia contents, and the presence of utilization behavior. The review also offers an overview of functional magnetic resonance imaging-based studies evaluating AL-related phenomena. In addition, we provide a complementary set of video clips depicting CBD-related involuntary movements that should not mistakenly be interpreted as signs of AL

    Dose dependence of efficacy but not of safety in sublingual immunotherapy

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    Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) currently represents, as indicated by meta-analysis of its efficacy and safety, a valid option to the generally used traditional subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) for treating respiratory allergy. Regarding efficacy, recent studies demonstrated that, similar to what has already been observed in SCIT as well as in experimental and clinical studies about the magnitudo of allergen exposure, the effectiveness on both clinical symptoms and immunologic changes depends on the amount of allergen administered during treatment. In addition, in vitro studies addressed with the role of dendritic cells, currently considered to be of pivotal importance in orienting toward tolerance the immune response to allergens, showed that the internalisation of allergen molecules, which is followed by tolerogenic presentation to T cells, depends on the amount of allergen. However, such dose dependence is not apparent concerning the safety. In fact, the comparison of studies respectively conducted with high and low allergen doses did not show differences in the rate of systemic reactions, which in any case never had the presentation of anaphylaxis, and instead a significant difference in the rate of local reactions, following the oral and gastrointestinal contact with the allergen extract, in favour of high dose studies

    Zinc intake, status and indices of cognitive function in adults and children: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    In developing countries, deficiencies of micronutrients are thought to have a major impact on child development; however, a consensus on the specific relationship between dietary zinc intake and cognitive function remains elusive. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the relationship between zinc intake, status and indices of cognitive function in children and adults. A systematic literature search was conducted using EMBASE, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library databases from inception to March 2014. Included studies were those that supplied zinc as supplements or measured dietary zinc intake. A meta-analysis of the extracted data was performed where sufficient data were available. Of all of the potentially relevant papers, 18 studies met the inclusion criteria, 12 of which were randomised controlled trials (RCTs; 11 in children and 1 in adults) and 6 were observational studies (2 in children and 4 in adults). Nine of the 18 studies reported a positive association between zinc intake or status with one or more measure of cognitive function. Meta-analysis of data from the adult’s studies was not possible because of limited number of studies. A meta-analysis of data from the six RCTs conducted in children revealed that there was no significant overall effect of zinc intake on any indices of cognitive function: intelligence, standard mean difference of <0.001 (95% confidence interval (CI) –0.12, 0.13) P=0.95; executive function, standard mean difference of 0.08 (95% CI, –0.06, 022) P=0.26; and motor skills standard mean difference of 0.11 (95% CI –0.17, 0.39) P=0.43. Heterogeneity in the study designs was a major limitation, hence only a small number (n=6) of studies could be included in the meta-analyses. Meta-analysis failed to show a significant effect of zinc supplementation on cognitive functioning in children though, taken as a whole, there were some small indicators of improvement on aspects of executive function and motor development following supplementation but high-quality RCTs are necessary to investigate this further

    Testicular germ-cell tumours and penile squamous cell carcinoma: Appropriate management makes the difference

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    Germ-cell tumours (GCT) of the testis and penile squamous cell carcinoma (PeSCC) are a rare and a very rare uro-genital cancers, respectively. Both tumours are well defined entities in terms of management, where specific recommendations - in the form of continuously up-to-dated guide lines-are provided. Impact of these tumour is relevant. Testicular GCT affects young, healthy men at the beginning of their adult life. PeSCC affects older men, but a proportion of these patients are young and the personal consequences of the disease may be devastating. Deviation from recommended management may be a reason of a significant prognostic worsening, as proper treatment favourably impacts on these tumours, dramatically on GCT and significantly on PeSCC. RARECAREnet data may permit to analyse how survivals may vary according to geographical areas, histology and age, leading to assume that non-homogeneous health-care resources may impact the cure and definitive outcomes. In support of this hypothesis, some epidemiologic datasets and clinical findings would indicate that survival may improve when appropriate treatments are delivered, linked to a different accessibility to the best health institutions, as a consequence of geographical, cultural and economic barriers. Finally, strong clues based on epidemiological and clinical data support the hypothesis that treatment delivered at reference centres or under the aegis of a qualified multi-institutional network is associated with a better prognosis of patients with these malignancies. The ERN EURACAN represents the best current European effort to answer this clinical need
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