341 research outputs found

    Resource Accessibility and Navigation for the Autism Spectrum Community

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    Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1 in 35 children in New Jersey. Families and individuals with ASD require various types of resources and social support, but at times face obstacles in accessing these resources. The aim of our project was to identify issues in resource accessibility in the ASD community in South Jersey. We conducted literature reviews and interviews with local stakeholders. Our research revealed three main areas that pose challenges in resource accessibility such as: difficulty in acquiring a formal diagnosis, difficulty in navigating available resources, and disparities in available resources based on age. We proposed a need for advertising the use of resource databases and systems of care. Further research is still required to determine the best ways to connect families to different types of resources and assist them. Key words: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Resource Navigation, Resource Disparitie

    Expression of c-fos in hilar mossy cells of the dentate gyrus in vivo.

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    Granule cells (GCs) of the dentate gyrus (DG) are considered to be quiescent--they rarely fire action potentials. In contrast, the other glutamatergic cell type in the DG, hilar mossy cells (MCs) often have a high level of spontaneous activity based on recordings in hippocampal slices. MCs project to GCs, so activity in MCs could play an important role in activating GCs. Therefore, we investigated whether MCs were active under basal conditions in vivo, using the immediate early gene c-fos as a tool. We hypothesized that MCs would exhibit c-fos expression even if rats were examined randomly, under normal housing conditions. Therefore, adult male rats were perfused shortly after removal from their home cage and transfer to the laboratory. Remarkably, most c-fos immunoreactivity (ir) was in the hilus, especially temporal hippocampus. C-fos-ir hilar cells co-expressed GluR2/3, suggesting that they were MCs. C-fos-ir MCs were robust even when the animal was habituated to the investigator and laboratory where they were euthanized. However, c-fos-ir in dorsal MCs was reduced under these circumstances, suggesting that ventral and dorsal MCs are functionally distinct. Interestingly, there was an inverse relationship between MC and GC layer c-fos expression, with little c-fos expression in the GC layer in ventral sections where MC expression was strong, and the opposite in dorsal hippocampus. The results support the hypothesis that a subset of hilar MCs are spontaneously active in vivo and provide other DG neurons with tonic depolarizing input

    Evaluation of polygenic risk scores for breast and ovarian cancer risk prediction in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

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    Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 94 common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with breast cancer (BC) risk and 18 associated with ovarian cancer (OC) risk. Several of these are also associated with risk of BC or OC for women who carry a pathogenic mutation in the high-risk BC and OC genes BRCA1 or BRCA2. The combined effects of these variants on BC or OC risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers have not yet been assessed while their clinical management could benefit from improved personalized risk estimates. Methods: We constructed polygenic risk scores (PRS) using BC and OC susceptibility SNPs identified through population-based GWAS: for BC (overall, estrogen receptor [ER]-positive, and ER-negative) and for OC. Using data from 15 252 female BRCA1 and 8211 BRCA2 carriers, the association of each PRS with BC or OC risk was evaluated using a weighted cohort approach, with time to diagnosis as the outcome and estimation of the hazard ratios (HRs) per standard deviation increase in the PRS. Results: The PRS for ER-negative BC displayed the strongest association with BC risk in BRCA1 carriers (HR = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23 to 1.31, P = 8.2 x 10(53)). In BRCA2 carriers, the strongest association with BC risk was seen for the overall BC PRS (HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.17 to 1.28, P = 7.2 x 10(-20)). The OC PRS was strongly associated with OC risk for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. These translate to differences in absolute risks (more than 10% in each case) between the top and bottom deciles of the PRS distribution; for example, the OC risk was 6% by age 80 years for BRCA2 carriers at the 10th percentile of the OC PRS compared with 19% risk for those at the 90th percentile of PRS. Conclusions: BC and OC PRS are predictive of cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. Incorporation of the PRS into risk prediction models has promise to better inform decisions on cancer risk management

    In vivo imaging of the lung inflammatory response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its modulation by azithromycin

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    Chronic inflammation of the airways is a central component in lung diseases and is frequently associated with bacterial infections. Monitoring the pro-inflammatory capability of bacterial virulence factors in vivo is challenging and usually requires invasive methods

    Identification of a BRCA2-Specific modifier locus at 6p24 related to breast cancer risk

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    Common genetic variants contribute to the observed variation in breast cancer risk for BRCA2 mutation carriers; those known to date have all been found through population-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS). To comprehensively identify breast cancer risk modifying loci for BRCA2 mutation carriers, we conducted a deep replication of an ongoing GWAS discovery study. Using the ranked P-values of the breast cancer associations with the imputed genotype of 1.4 M SNPs, 19,029 SNPs were selected and designed for inclusion on a custom Illumina array that included a total of 211,155 SNPs as part of a multi-consortial project. DNA samples from 3,881 breast cancer affected and 4,330 unaffected BRCA2 mutation carriers from 47 studies belonging to the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 were genotyped and available for analysis. We replicated previously reported breast cancer susceptibility alleles in these BRCA2 mutation carriers and for several regions (including FGFR2, MAP3K1, CDKN2A/B, and PTHLH) identified SNPs that have stronger evidence of association than those previously published. We also identified a novel susceptibility allele at 6p24 that was inversely associated with risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers (rs9348512; per allele HR‚Ää=‚Ää0.85, 95% CI 0.80-0.90, P‚Ää=‚Ää3.9√ó10‚ąí8). This SNP was not associated with breast cancer risk either in the general population or in BRCA1 mutation carriers. The locus lies within a region containing TFAP2A, which encodes a transcriptional activation protein that interacts with several tumor suppressor genes. This report identifies the first breast cancer risk locus specific to a BRCA2 mutation background. This comprehensive update of novel and previously reported breast cancer susceptibility loci contributes to the establishment of a panel of SNPs that modify breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers. This panel may have clinical utility for women with BRCA2 mutations weighing options for medical prevention of breast cancer

    Functional mechanisms underlying pleiotropic risk alleles at the 19p13.1 breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility locus

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    A locus at 19p13 is associated with breast cancer (BC) and ovarian cancer (OC) risk. Here we analyse 438 SNPs in this region in 46,451 BC and 15,438 OC cases, 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 73,444 controls and identify 13 candidate causal SNPs associated with serous OC (P=9.2 × 10-20), ER-negative BC (P=1.1 × 10-13), BRCA1-associated BC (P=7.7 × 10-16) and triple negative BC (P-diff=2 × 10-5). Genotype-gene expression associations are identified for candidate target genes ANKLE1 (P=2 × 10-3) and ABHD8 (P<2 × 10-3). Chromosome conformation capture identifies interactions between four candidate SNPs and ABHD8, and luciferase assays indicate six risk alleles increased transactivation of the ADHD8 promoter. Targeted deletion of a region containing risk SNP rs56069439 in a putative enhancer induces ANKLE1 downregulation; and mRNA stability assays indicate functional effects for an ANKLE1 3′-UTR SNP. Altogether, these data suggest that multiple SNPs at 19p13 regulate ABHD8 and perhaps ANKLE1 expression, and indicate common mechanisms underlying breast and ovarian cancer risk

    An original phylogenetic approach identified mitochondrial haplogroup T1a1 as inversely associated with breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers

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    Introduction: Individuals carrying pathogenic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are involved in DNA double-strand break repair, DNA alterations that can be caused by exposure to reactive oxygen species, a main source of which are mitochondria. Mitochondrial genome variations affect electron transport chain efficiency and reactive oxygen species production. Individuals with different mitochondrial haplogroups differ in their metabolism and sensitivity to oxidative stress. Variability in mitochondrial genetic background can alter reactive oxygen species production, leading to cancer risk. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that mitochondrial haplogroups modify breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Methods: We genotyped 22,214 (11,421 affected, 10,793 unaffected) mutation carriers belonging to the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 for 129 mitochondrial polymorphisms using the iCOGS array. Haplogroup inference and association detection were performed using a phylogenetic approach. ALTree was applied to explore the reference mitochondrial evolutionary tree and detect subclades enriched in affected or unaffected individuals. Results: We discovered that subclade T1a1 was depleted in affected BRCA2 mutation carriers compared with the rest of clade T (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.55; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.34 to 0.88; P = 0.01). Compared with the most frequent haplogroup in the general population (that is, H and T clades), the T1a1 haplogroup has a HR of 0.62 (95% CI, 0.40 to 0.95; P = 0.03). We also identified three potential susceptibility loci, including G13708A/rs28359178, which has demonstrated an inverse association with familial breast cancer risk. Conclusions: This study illustrates how original approaches such as the phylogeny-based method we used can empower classical molecular epidemiological studies aimed at identifying association or risk modification effects.Peer reviewe
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