56 research outputs found

    Mitochondrial diseases in Hong Kong: prevalence, clinical characteristics and genetic landscape

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    Abstract Objective To determine the prevalence of mitochondrial diseases (MD) in Hong Kong (HK) and to evaluate the clinical characteristics and genetic landscape of MD patients in the region. Methods This study retrospectively reviewed the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of MD patients from participating public hospitals in HK between January 1985 to October 2020. Molecularly and/or enzymatically confirmed MD cases of any age were recruited via the Clinical Analysis and Reporting System (CDARS) using relevant keywords and/or International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes under the HK Hospital Authority or through the personal recollection of treating clinicians among the investigators. Results A total of 119 MD patients were recruited and analyzed in the study. The point prevalence of MD in HK was 1.02 in 100,000 people (95% confidence interval 0.81–1.28 in 100,000). 110 patients had molecularly proven MD and the other nine were diagnosed by OXPHOS enzymology analysis or mitochondrial DNA depletion analysis with unknown molecular basis. Pathogenic variants in the mitochondrial genome (72 patients) were more prevalent than those in the nuclear genome (38 patients) in our cohort. The most commonly involved organ system at disease onset was the neurological system, in which developmental delay, seizures or epilepsy, and stroke-like episodes were the most frequently reported presentations. The mortality rate in our cohort was 37%. Conclusion This study is a territory-wide overview of the clinical and genetic characteristics of MD patients in a Chinese population, providing the first available prevalence rate of MD in Hong Kong. The findings of this study aim to facilitate future in-depth evaluation of MD and lay the foundation to establish a local MD registry

    Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition)

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    In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for bona fide autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field

    Prevalence of sleep disturbances during COVID-19 outbreak in an urban Chinese population: a cross-sectional study

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    Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic is a large-scale public health emergency that likely precipitated sleep disturbances in the community. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of sleep disturbances during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This web-based cross-sectional study recruited 1138 Hong Kong adults using convenience sampling over a two-week period from 6th April 2020. The survey collected data on sleep disturbances, mood, stress, stock of infection control supplies, perceived risk of being infected by COVID-19, and sources for acquiring COVID-19 information. The participants were asked to compare their recent sleep and sleep before the outbreak. The Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was used to assess their current insomnia severity. Prevalence was weighted according to 2016 population census. Results: The weighted prevalence of worsened sleep quality, difficulty in sleep initiation, and shortened sleep duration since the outbreak were 38.3%, 29.8%, and 29.1%, respectively. The prevalence of current insomnia (ISI score of ≥10) was 29.9%. Insufficient stock of masks was significantly associated with worsened sleep quality, impaired sleep initiation, shortened sleep duration, and current insomnia in multivariate logistic regression (adjusted OR = 1.57, 1.72, 1.99, and 1.96 respectively, all p < 0.05). Conclusion: A high proportion of people in Hong Kong felt that their sleep had worsened since the COVID-19 outbreak. Insufficient stock of masks was one of the risk factors that were associated with sleep disturbances. Adequate and stable supply of masks may play an important role to maintain the sleep health in the Hong Kong general population during a pandemic outbreak

    Novel Programmed Cell Death as Therapeutic Targets in Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

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    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe visual loss among the elderly. AMD patients are tormented by progressive central blurring/loss of vision and have limited therapeutic options to date. Drusen accumulation causing retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell damage is the hallmark of AMD pathogenesis, in which oxidative stress and inflammation are the well-known molecular mechanisms. However, the underlying mechanisms of how RPE responds when exposed to drusen are still poorly understood. Programmed cell death (PCD) plays an important role in cellular responses to stress and the regulation of homeostasis and diseases. Apart from the classical apoptosis, recent studies also discovered novel PCD pathways such as pyroptosis, necroptosis, and ferroptosis, which may contribute to RPE cell death in AMD. This evidence may yield new treatment targets for AMD. In this review, we summarized and analyzed recent advances on the association between novel PCD and AMD, proposing PCD’s role as a therapeutic new target for future AMD treatment

    Development and validation of risk prediction models for COVID-19 positivity in a hospital setting

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    ObjectivesTo develop: (1) two validated risk prediction models for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) positivity using readily available parameters in a general hospital setting; (2) nomograms and probabilities to allow clinical utilisation.MethodsPatients with and without COVID-19 were included from 4 Hong Kong hospitals. The database was randomly split into 2:1: for model development database (n = 895) and validation database (n = 435). Multivariable logistic regression was utilised for model creation and validated with the Hosmer-Lemeshow (H-L) test and calibration plot. Nomograms and probabilities set at 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 were calculated to determine sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV).ResultsA total of 1330 patients (mean age 58.2 ± 24.5 years; 50.7% males; 296 COVID-19 positive) were recruited. The first prediction model developed had age, total white blood cell count, chest x-ray appearances and contact history as significant predictors (AUC = 0.911 [CI = 0.880-0.941]). The second model developed has the same variables except contact history (AUC = 0.880 [CI = 0.844-0.916]). Both were externally validated on the H-L test (p = 0.781 and 0.155, respectively) and calibration plot. Models were converted to nomograms. Lower probabilities give higher sensitivity and NPV; higher probabilities give higher specificity and PPV.ConclusionTwo simple-to-use validated nomograms were developed with excellent AUCs based on readily available parameters and can be considered for clinical utilisation

    Effect of recombinant zoster vaccine on incidence of Herpes zoster after autologous stem cell transplantation : a randomized clinical trial

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    IMPORTANCE Herpes zoster, a frequent complication following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), is associated with significant morbidity. A nonlive adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine has been developed to prevent posttransplantation zoster. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy and adverse event profile of the recombinant zoster vaccine in immunocompromised autologous HSCT recipients. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 3, randomized, observer-blinded study conducted in 167 centers in 28 countries between July 13, 2012, and February 1, 2017, among 1846 patients aged 18 years or older who had undergone recent autologous HSCT. INTERVENTIONS Participants were randomized to receive 2 doses of either recombinant zoster vaccine (n=922) or placebo (n=924) administered into the deltoid muscle; the first dose was given 50 to 70 days after transplantation and the second dose 1 to 2 months thereafter. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end point was occurrence of confirmed herpes zoster cases. RESULTS Among 1846 autologous HSCT recipients (mean age, 55 years; 688 [37%] women) who received 1 vaccine or placebo dose, 1735 (94%) received a second dose and 1366 (74%) completed the study. During the 21-month median follow-up, at least 1 herpes zoster episode was confirmed in 49 vaccine and 135 placebo recipients (incidence, 30 and 94 per 1000 person-years, respectively), an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 0.32 (95% CI, 0.22-0.44; P<.001), equivalent to 68.2% vaccine efficacy. Of 8 secondary end points, 3 showed significant reductions in incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (vaccine, n=1; placebo, n=9; IRR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.00-0.78; P=.02) and of other prespecified herpes zoster-related complications (vaccine, n=3; placebo, n=13; IRR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.04-0.81; P=.02) and in duration of severe worst herpes zoster-associated pain (vaccine, 892.0 days; placebo, 6275.0 days; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.89; P=.01). Five secondary objectives were descriptive. Injection site reactions were recorded in 86% of vaccine and 10% of placebo recipients, of which pain was the most common, occurring in 84% of vaccine recipients (grade 3: 11%). Unsolicited and serious adverse events, potentially immune-mediated diseases, and underlying disease relapses were similar between groups at all time points. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among adults who had undergone autologous HSCT, a 2-dose course of recombinant zoster vaccine compared with placebo significantly reduced the incidence of herpes zoster over a median follow-up of 21 months. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0161041

    Effect of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine on Incidence of Herpes Zoster After Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation A Randomized Clinical Trial

    No full text
    IMPORTANCE Herpes zoster, a frequent complication following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), is associated with significant morbidity. A nonlive adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine has been developed to prevent posttransplantation zoster. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy and adverse event profile of the recombinant zoster vaccine in immunocompromised autologous HSCT recipients. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 3, randomized, observer-blinded study conducted in 167 centers in 28 countries between July 13, 2012, and February 1, 2017, among 1846 patients aged 18 years or older who had undergone recent autologous HSCT. INTERVENTIONS Participants were randomized to receive 2 doses of either recombinant zoster vaccine (n=922) or placebo (n=924) administered into the deltoid muscle; the first dose was given 50 to 70 days after transplantation and the second dose 1 to 2 months thereafter. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end point was occurrence of confirmed herpes zoster cases. RESULTS Among 1846 autologous HSCT recipients (mean age, 55 years; 688 {[}37\%] women) who received 1 vaccine or placebo dose, 1735 (94\%) received a second dose and 1366 (74\%) completed the study. During the 21-month median follow-up, at least 1 herpes zoster episode was confirmed in 49 vaccine and 135 placebo recipients (incidence, 30 and 94 per 1000 person-years, respectively), an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 0.32 (95\% CI, 0.22-0.44; P<.001), equivalent to 68.2\% vaccine efficacy. Of 8 secondary end points, 3 showed significant reductions in incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (vaccine, n=1; placebo, n=9; IRR, 0.1; 95\% CI, 0.00-0.78; P=.02) and of other prespecified herpes zoster-related complications (vaccine, n=3; placebo, n=13; IRR, 0.22; 95\% CI, 0.04-0.81; P=.02) and in duration of severe worst herpes zoster-associated pain (vaccine, 892.0 days; placebo, 6275.0 days; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95\% CI, 0.42-0.89; P=.01). Five secondary objectives were descriptive. Injection site reactions were recorded in 86\% of vaccine and 10\% of placebo recipients, of which pain was the most common, occurring in 84\% of vaccine recipients (grade 3: 11\%). Unsolicited and serious adverse events, potentially immune-mediated diseases, and underlying disease relapses were similar between groups at all time points. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among adults who had undergone autologous HSCT, a 2-dose course of recombinant zoster vaccine compared with placebo significantly reduced the incidence of herpes zoster over a median follow-up of 21 months. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0161041

    Effect of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine on Incidence of Herpes Zoster After Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation A Randomized Clinical Trial

    No full text
    IMPORTANCE Herpes zoster, a frequent complication following autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), is associated with significant morbidity. A nonlive adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine has been developed to prevent posttransplantation zoster. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy and adverse event profile of the recombinant zoster vaccine in immunocompromised autologous HSCT recipients. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Phase 3, randomized, observer-blinded study conducted in 167 centers in 28 countries between July 13, 2012, and February 1, 2017, among 1846 patients aged 18 years or older who had undergone recent autologous HSCT. INTERVENTIONS Participants were randomized to receive 2 doses of either recombinant zoster vaccine (n=922) or placebo (n=924) administered into the deltoid muscle; the first dose was given 50 to 70 days after transplantation and the second dose 1 to 2 months thereafter. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary end point was occurrence of confirmed herpes zoster cases. RESULTS Among 1846 autologous HSCT recipients (mean age, 55 years; 688 [37%] women) who received 1 vaccine or placebo dose, 1735 (94%) received a second dose and 1366 (74%) completed the study. During the 21-month median follow-up, at least 1 herpes zoster episode was confirmed in 49 vaccine and 135 placebo recipients (incidence, 30 and 94 per 1000 person-years, respectively), an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 0.32 (95% CI, 0.22-0.44; P&lt;.001), equivalent to 68.2% vaccine efficacy. Of 8 secondary end points, 3 showed significant reductions in incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (vaccine, n=1; placebo, n=9; IRR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.00-0.78; P=.02) and of other prespecified herpes zoster-related complications (vaccine, n=3; placebo, n=13; IRR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.04-0.81; P=.02) and in duration of severe worst herpes zoster-associated pain (vaccine, 892.0 days; placebo, 6275.0 days; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.42-0.89; P=.01). Five secondary objectives were descriptive. Injection site reactions were recorded in 86% of vaccine and 10% of placebo recipients, of which pain was the most common, occurring in 84% of vaccine recipients (grade 3: 11%). Unsolicited and serious adverse events, potentially immune-mediated diseases, and underlying disease relapses were similar between groups at all time points. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among adults who had undergone autologous HSCT, a 2-dose course of recombinant zoster vaccine compared with placebo significantly reduced the incidence of herpes zoster over a median follow-up of 21 months. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0161041

    Exercise reduces body fat and improves insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell function in overweight and obese male Taiwanese adolescents

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    Abstract Background Improvements in insulin resistance and pancreatic β-cell function have been shown following exercise in adults with obesity; however, few adolescent-based studies have been conducted. This study examined the impact of exercise training on body fat and insulin sensitivity and secretion in overweight and obese adolescents. Methods The effects of a 12-week exercise program on the parameters of adiposity and glucose homeostasis were investigated in 47 overweight and obese male adolescents. Results After the exercise training program, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and body fat were significantly decreased (P < 0.001). Improvements in insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR: 1.40 vs. 0.86, P < 0.001) and the disposition index (5.84 vs. 12.77, P < 0.001) were also observed. Compared to baseline, oral glucose tolerance tests showed reduced glucose and insulin levels at all time points following the exercise training (all P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis of overweight and obese adolescents with abnormal glucose tolerance revealed that there was no difference in plasma glucose levels as compared to the lean group. Conclusions A 12-week exercise training is effective in reducing body fat and improving insulin sensitivity and secretion. In addition, the benefits of the exercise intervention were even experienced by those with impaired glucose tolerance
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