Propensity score-based analysis of long-term follow-up in patients supported with durable centrifugal left ventricular assist devices: the EUROMACS analysis

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2021 Apr 19:ezab144. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezab144. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The HeartWare HVAD (HW) and the HeartMate3 (HM3) are presently the most commonly used continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices worldwide. We compared the outcomes of patients supported with either of these 2 devices based on data from the EUROMACS (European Registry for Patients with Mechanical Circulatory Support).

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the survival and complications profile in propensity score-matched adult patients enrolled in the EUROMACS between 01 January 2016 and 01 September 2020 and supported with either an HW or HM3. Matching included demographic parameters, severity of cardiogenic shock and risk-modifying end-organ parameters that impact long-term survival. Survival on device and major postoperative adverse events were analysed.

RESULTS: Following 1:1 propensity score matching, each group consisted of 361 patients. Patients were well balanced (<0.1 standardized mean difference). The median follow-up was similar in both groups [396 (interquartile range (IQR) 112-771) days for HW and 376 (IQR 100-816) days for HM3]. The 2-year survival was similar in both groups [HW: 61% 95% confidence interval (CI) (56-67%) vs HM3: 68% 95% CI (63-73%) (stratified hazard ratio for mortality: 1.13 95% CI (0.83-1.54), P = 0.435].The cumulative incidence for combined major adverse events and unexpected readmissions was similar in both groups [subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) 1.0 (0.84-1.21), P = 0.96]. Patients in the HW group demonstrated a higher risk of device malfunction [SHR 2.44 (1.45-3.71), P < 0.001], neurological dysfunction [SHR 1.29 (1.02-1.61), P = 0.032] and intracranial bleeding [SHR 1.76 (1.13-2.70), P = 0.012].

CONCLUSIONS: Mid-term survival in both groups was similar in a propensity-matched analysis. The risk of device malfunction, neurological dysfunction and intracranial bleeding was significantly higher in HW patients.

PMID:33871594 | DOI:10.1093/ejcts/ezab144

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Design of a consensus-based geriatric assessment tailored for older chronic kidney disease patients: results of a pragmatic approach

Eur Geriatr Med. 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1007/s41999-021-00498-0. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Unidentified cognitive decline and other geriatric impairments are prevalent in older patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Despite guideline recommendation of geriatric evaluation, routine geriatric assessment is not common in these patients. While high burden of vascular disease and existing pre-dialysis care pathways mandate a tailored geriatric assessment, no consensus exists on which instruments are most suitable in this population to identify geriatric impairments. Therefore, the aim of this study was to propose a geriatric assessment, based on multidisciplinary consensus, to routinely identify major geriatric impairments in older people with advanced CKD.

METHODS: A pragmatic approach was chosen, which included focus groups, literature review, inventory of current practices, an expert consensus meeting, and pilot testing. In preparation of the consensus meeting, we composed a project team and an expert panel (n = 33), drafted selection criteria for the selection of instruments, and assessed potential instruments for the geriatric assessment.

RESULTS: Selection criteria related to general geriatric domains, clinical relevance, feasibility, and duration of the assessment. The consensus-assessment contains instruments in functional, cognitive, psychological, somatic, patient preferences, nutritional status, and social domains. Administration of (seven) patient questionnaires and (ten) professional-administered instruments, by nurse (practitioners), takes estimated 20 and 40 min, respectively. Results are discussed in a multidisciplinary meeting including at least nephrology and geriatric expertise, informing nephrology treatment decisions, and follow-up interventions among which comprehensive geriatric assessment.

CONCLUSION: This first multidisciplinary consensus on nephrology-tailored geriatric assessment intent to benefit clinical care and enhance research comparability for older patients with advanced CKD.

PMID:33871790 | DOI:10.1007/s41999-021-00498-0

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Similar EEG Activity Patterns During Experimentally-Induced Auditory Illusions and Veridical Perceptions

Front Neurosci. 2021 Apr 1;15:602437. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.602437. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

Hallucinations and illusions are two instances of perceptual experiences illustrating how perception might diverge from external sensory stimulations and be generated or altered based on internal brain states. The occurrence of these phenomena is not constrained to patient populations. Similar experiences can be elicited in healthy subjects by means of suitable experimental procedures. Studying the neural mechanisms underlying these experiences not only has the potential to expand our understanding of the brain’s perceptual machinery but also of how it might get impaired. In the current study, we employed an auditory signal detection task to induce auditory illusions by presenting speech snippets at near detection threshold intensity embedded in noise. We investigated the neural correlates of auditory false perceptions by examining the EEG activity preceding the responses in speech absent (false alarm, FA) trials and comparing them to speech present (hit) trials. The results of the comparison of event-related potentials (ERPs) in the activation period vs. baseline revealed the presence of an early negativity (EN) and a late positivity (LP) similar in both hits and FAs, which were absent in misses, correct rejections (CR) and control button presses (BPs). We postulate that the EN and the LP might represent the auditory awareness negativity (AAN) and centro-parietal positivity (CPP) or P300, respectively. The event-related spectral perturbations (ERSPs) exhibited a common power enhancement in low frequencies (<4 Hz) in hits and FAs. The low-frequency power enhancement has been frequently shown to be accompanied with P300 as well as separately being a marker of perceptual awareness, referred to as slow cortical potentials (SCP). Furthermore, the comparison of hits vs. FAs showed a significantly higher LP amplitude and low frequency power in hits compared to FAs. Generally, the observed patterns in the present results resembled some of the major neural correlates associated with perceptual awareness in previous studies. Our findings provide evidence that the neural correlates associated with conscious perception, can be elicited in similar ways in both presence and absence of externally presented sensory stimuli. The present findings did not reveal any pre-stimulus alpha and beta modulations distinguishing conscious vs. unconscious perceptions.

PMID:33867913 | PMC:PMC8047478 | DOI:10.3389/fnins.2021.602437

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Unraveling the Big Sleep: Molecular Aspects of Stem Cell Dormancy and Hibernation

Front Physiol. 2021 Apr 1;12:624950. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.624950. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

Tissue-resident stem cells may enter a dormant state, also known as quiescence, which allows them to withstand metabolic stress and unfavorable conditions. Similarly, hibernating mammals can also enter a state of dormancy used to evade hostile circumstances, such as food shortage and low ambient temperatures. In hibernation, the dormant state of the individual and its cells is commonly known as torpor, and is characterized by metabolic suppression in individual cells. Given that both conditions represent cell survival strategies, we here compare the molecular aspects of cellular quiescence, particularly of well-studied hematopoietic stem cells, and torpor at the cellular level. Critical processes of dormancy are reviewed, including the suppression of the cell cycle, changes in metabolic characteristics, and cellular mechanisms of dealing with damage. Key factors shared by hematopoietic stem cell quiescence and torpor include a reversible activation of factors inhibiting the cell cycle, a shift in metabolism from glucose to fatty acid oxidation, downregulation of mitochondrial activity, key changes in hypoxia-inducible factor one alpha (HIF-1α), mTOR, reversible protein phosphorylation and autophagy, and increased radiation resistance. This similarity is remarkable in view of the difference in cell populations, as stem cell quiescence regards proliferating cells, while torpor mainly involves terminally differentiated cells. A future perspective is provided how to advance our understanding of the crucial pathways that allow stem cells and hibernating animals to engage in their ‘great slumbers.’

PMID:33867999 | PMC:PMC8047423 | DOI:10.3389/fphys.2021.624950

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Unilateral versus bilateral nodal irradiation: Current evidence in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Head Neck. 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1002/hed.26713. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Cancers of the head and neck region often present with nodal involvement. There is a long-standing convention within the community of head and neck radiation oncology to irradiate both sides of the neck electively in almost all cases to include both macroscopic and microscopic disease extension (so called elective nodal volume). International guidelines for the selection and delineation of the elective lymph nodes were published in the early 2000s and were updated recently. However, diagnostic imaging techniques have improved the accuracy and reliability of nodal staging and as a result, small metastases that used to remain undetected and were thus in the past included in the elective nodal volume, will now be included in high-dose volumes. Furthermore, the elective nodal areas are situated close to the parotid glands, the submandibular glands and the swallowing muscles. Therefore, irradiation of a smaller, more selected volume of the elective nodes could reduce treatment-related toxicity. Several researchers consider the current bilateral elective neck irradiation strategies an overtreatment and show growing interest in a unilateral nodal irradiation in selected patients. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the current evidence about the indications and benefits of unilateral nodal irradiation and the use of SPECT/CT-guided nodal irradiation in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck.

PMID:33871090 | DOI:10.1002/hed.26713

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Comment on “Trimorphs of 4-bromophenyl 4-bromobenzoate. Elastic, brittle, plastic” by S. Saha and G. R. Desiraju, <em>Chem. Commun.</em>, 2018, 54, 6348

Chem Commun (Camb). 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1039/d0cc07668f. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

A re-refinement of the published but chemically implausible, crystal structure of “Form III” of 4-bromophenyl 4-bromobenzoate shows that it is not a polymorph, but instead a co-crystal containing both 4-bromophenyl 4-bromobenzoate (≈25%) and likely 4-bromophenyl 4-nitrobenzoate (≈75%).

PMID:33870973 | DOI:10.1039/d0cc07668f

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Impaired High-Density Lipoprotein Function in Patients With Heart Failure

J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Apr 17:e019123. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.019123. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Background We recently showed that, in patients with heart failure, lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration was a strong predictor of death or hospitalization for heart failure. In a follow-up study, we suggested that this association could be partly explained by HDL proteome composition. However, whether the emerging concept of HDL function contributes to the prognosis of patients with heart failure has not been addressed. Methods and Results We measured 3 key protective HDL function metrics, namely, cholesterol efflux, antioxidative capacity, and anti-inflammatory capacity, at baseline and after 9 months in 446 randomly selected patients with heart failure from BIOSTAT-CHF (A Systems Biology Study to Tailored Treatment in Chronic Heart Failure). Additionally, the relationship between HDL functionality and HDL proteome composition was determined in 86 patients with heart failure. From baseline to 9 months, HDL cholesterol concentrations were unchanged, but HDL cholesterol efflux and anti-inflammatory capacity declined (both P<0.001). In contrast, antioxidative capacity increased (P<0.001). Higher HDL cholesterol efflux was associated with lower mortality after adjusting for BIOSTAT-CHF risk models and log HDL cholesterol (hazard ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71-0.92; P=0.001). Other functionality measures were not associated with outcome. Several HDL proteins correlated with HDL functionality, mainly with cholesterol efflux. Apolipoprotein A1 emerged as the main protein associated with all 3 HDL functionality measures. Conclusions Better HDL cholesterol efflux at baseline was associated with lower mortality during follow-up, independent of HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol efflux and anti-inflammatory capacity declined during follow-up in patients with heart failure. Measures of HDL function may provide clinical information in addition to HDL cholesterol concentration in patients with heart failure.

PMID:33870728 | DOI:10.1161/JAHA.120.019123

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Loneliness, worries, anxiety, and precautionary behaviours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal analysis of 200,000 Western and Northern Europeans

Lancet Reg Health Eur. 2021 Mar;2:100020. doi: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2020.100020.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world instituted various public-health measures. Our project aimed to highlight the most significant similarities and differences in key mental-health indicators between four Western and Northern European countries, and identify the population subgroups with the poorest mental-health outcomes during the first months of the pandemic.

METHODS: We analysed time-series survey data of 205,084 individuals from seven studies from Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the UK to assess the impact of the pandemic and associated lockdowns. All analyses focused on the initial lockdown phase (March-July 2020). The main outcomes were loneliness, anxiety, and COVID-19-related worries and precautionary behaviours.

FINDINGS: COVID-19-related worries were consistently high in each country but decreased during the gradual reopening phases. While only 7% of the respondents reported high levels of loneliness in the Netherlands, percentages were higher in the rest of the three countries (13-18%). In all four countries, younger individuals and individuals with a history of mental illness expressed the highest levels of loneliness.

INTERPRETATION: The pandemic and associated country lockdowns had a major impact on the mental health of populations, and certain subgroups should be closely followed to prevent negative long-term consequences. Younger individuals and individuals with a history of mental illness would benefit from tailored public-health interventions to prevent or counteract the negative effects of the pandemic. Individuals across Western and Northern Europe have thus far responded in psychologically similar ways despite differences in government approaches to the pandemic.

FUNDING: See the Funding section.

PMID:33870246 | PMC:PMC8042675 | DOI:10.1016/j.lanepe.2020.100020

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Homage to Felsenstein 1981, or why are there so few/many species?

Evolution. 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1111/evo.14235. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

If there are no constraints on the process of speciation, then the number of species might be expected to match the number of available niches and this number might be indefinitely large. One possible constraint is the opportunity for allopatric divergence. In 1981, Felsenstein used a simple and elegant model to ask if there might also be genetic constraints. He showed that progress towards speciation could be described by the build-up of linkage disequilibrium among divergently-selected loci and between these loci and those contributing to other forms of reproductive isolation. Therefore, speciation is opposed by recombination, because it tends to break down linkage disequilibria. Felsenstein then introduced a crucial distinction between ‘two-allele’ models, which are subject to this effect, and ‘one-allele’ models, which are free from the recombination constraint. These fundamentally important insights have been the foundation for both empirical and theoretical studies of speciation ever since. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID:33870499 | DOI:10.1111/evo.14235

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Green space, air pollution, traffic noise and saliva cortisol in children: The PIAMA study

Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 2;5(2):e141. doi: 10.1097/EE9.0000000000000141. eCollection 2021 Apr.

ABSTRACT

Green space, air pollution, and traffic noise exposure may be associated with stress levels in children. A flattened diurnal cortisol slope (the decline in cortisol concentrations from awakening to evening) is an indicator of chronic stress. We examined associations of green space, ambient air pollution, and traffic noise with the diurnal cortisol slope in children 12 years of age.

METHODS: At age 12 years, 1,027 participants of the Dutch PIAMA birth cohort collected three saliva samples during 1 day. We estimated residential exposure to green space (i.e., the average Normalized Difference Vegetation Index [NDVI] and percentages of green space in circular buffers of 300 m and 3,000 m), air pollution, and traffic noise. Associations of these exposures with the diurnal cortisol slope (in nmol/L per hour) were assessed by multiple linear regression, adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Higher average NDVI and total percentage of green space in a 3,000 m buffer were associated with a larger diurnal decrease in cortisol levels (adjusted difference [95% confidence interval] = -0.11 nmol/L/hr [-0.21, 0.00 nmol/L/hr] per interquartile range increase in the average NDVI; -0.13 nmol/L/hr [-0.26, 0.00 nmol/L/hr] per interquartile range increase in the total percentage of green space). These associations were largely driven by associations with the percentage of agricultural green space and by associations in children living in nonurban areas. We observed no relationships between air pollution or traffic noise and the diurnal cortisol slope.

CONCLUSIONS: Residential exposure to green space in a buffer of 3,000 m may be associated with lower stress levels in children 12 years of age.

PMID:33870014 | PMC:PMC8043724 | DOI:10.1097/EE9.0000000000000141

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Cardiovascular Risk Factors are Associated with Future Cancer

JACC CardioOncol. 2021 Mar;3(1):48-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.12.003. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The extent to which co-occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer is due to shared risk factors or other mechanisms is unknown.

OBJECTIVES: We investigated the association of standard CVD risk factors, CVD biomarkers, preexisting CVD, and ideal CV health metrics with the development of future cancer.

METHODS: We prospectively followed Framingham Heart Study and PREVEND participants free of cancer at baseline, and ascertained histology-proven cancer. We studied the association of baseline CV risk factors, 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk score, established CVD biomarkers, prevalent CVD, and AHA Life’s Simple 7 CV health score with incident cancer using multivariable Cox models. Analyses of interim CVD events with incident cancer used time-dependent covariates.

RESULTS: Among 20,305 participants (mean age 50 ± 14 years, 54% women), 2,548 incident cancer cases occurred over a median follow-up of 15.0 (13.3-15.0) surveillance years. Traditional CVD risk factors including age, sex, and smoking status were independently associated with cancer (P <0.001 for all). Estimated 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk was also associated with future cancer (HR 1.16 per 5% increase in risk, 95% CI 1.14-1.17, P<0.001). We found that natriuretic peptides (NP) (tertile 3 vs 1: HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.03-1.91, p=0.035) was associated with incident cancer, but not high sensitivity troponin (hs-cTn) (p=0.47). Prevalent CVD and the development of interim CV events were not associated with higher risk of subsequent cancer. However, ideal CV health was associated with lower future cancer risk (HR 0.95 per 1-point increase in AHA health score, 95% CI 0.92-0.99, p=0.009).

CONCLUSIONS: CVD risk as captured by traditional CVD risk factors, 10-year atherosclerotic CVD risk score, and NP concentrations are associated with increased risk of future cancer. Conversely, a heart healthy lifestyle is associated with a reduced risk of future cancer. Our data suggest that the association between CVD and future cancer is attributable to shared risk factors.

PMID:33870217 | PMC:PMC8045786 | DOI:10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.12.003

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Contact to Natives Among Recent Turkish Migrants in Germany: Gender Differences and Potential Explanations

Front Sociol. 2020 Aug 21;5:60. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2020.00060. eCollection 2020.

ABSTRACT

Migrant men and women still differ extensively in their integration chances within receiving societies. Research suggests that next to educational discrepancies and traditional gender roles, migrant men benefit particularly from their contact to natives who facilitate the access to other relevant resources such as employment. However, we know actually very little about how recent migrant men and women build their social networks within receiving societies, how their networks differ, and why they potentially differ. In this paper I therefore study Turkish migrants in Germany within their first years after migration and the extent to which Turkish men and women differ in their likelihood to have contact to natives. Theoretically, I explore three main determinants for potential gender differences: Family influence, opportunity structure, and personal preferences. I thereby make use of the two-wave data from the “Social Cultural Integration Processes” Project (SCIP) which studies migrants within their first 3 years after migration. I find that after 3 years after migration Turkish women are not only more likely to report to have no contact to natives than Turkish men; Even if they do have contact, this contact occurs significantly less frequent among Turkish women than among Turkish men. Results suggest that Turkish women, who migrated for family reasons are exposed to the influence of the family in the receiving country, which is often found to govern social behavior. Also, compared to Turkish men, Turkish women are less likely to be employed which limits their opportunity to meet natives. Gendered preferences for contact to natives, however, do not explain why Turkish women have less contact to natives than Turkish men.

PMID:33869466 | PMC:PMC8022483 | DOI:10.3389/fsoc.2020.00060

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Revealing Charge Carrier Mobility and Defect Densities in Metal Halide Perovskites via Space-Charge-Limited Current Measurements

ACS Energy Lett. 2021 Mar 12;6(3):1087-1094. doi: 10.1021/acsenergylett.0c02599. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

ABSTRACT

Space-charge-limited current (SCLC) measurements have been widely used to study the charge carrier mobility and trap density in semiconductors. However, their applicability to metal halide perovskites is not straightforward, due to the mixed ionic and electronic nature of these materials. Here, we discuss the pitfalls of SCLC for perovskite semiconductors, and especially the effect of mobile ions. We show, using drift-diffusion (DD) simulations, that the ions strongly affect the measurement and that the usual analysis and interpretation of SCLC need to be refined. We highlight that the trap density and mobility cannot be directly quantified using classical methods. We discuss the advantages of pulsed SCLC for obtaining reliable data with minimal influence of the ionic motion. We then show that fitting the pulsed SCLC with DD modeling is a reliable method for extracting mobility, trap, and ion densities simultaneously. As a proof of concept, we obtain a trap density of 1.3 × 1013 cm-3, an ion density of 1.1 × 1013 cm-3, and a mobility of 13 cm2 V-1 s-1 for a MAPbBr3 single crystal.

PMID:33869770 | PMC:PMC8043077 | DOI:10.1021/acsenergylett.0c02599

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Helpers compensate for age-related declines in parental care and offspring survival in a cooperatively breeding bird

Evol Lett. 2021 Jan 20;5(2):143-153. doi: 10.1002/evl3.213. eCollection 2021 Apr.

ABSTRACT

Offspring from elderly parents often have lower survival due to parental senescence. In cooperatively breeding species, where offspring care is shared between breeders and helpers, the alloparental care provided by helpers is predicted to mitigate the impact of parental senescence on offspring provisioning and, subsequently, offspring survival. We test this prediction using data from a long-term study on cooperatively breeding Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis). We find that the nestling provisioning rate of female breeders declines with their age. Further, the total brood provisioning rate and the first-year survival probability of offspring decline progressively with age of the female breeder, but these declines are mitigated when helpers are present. This effect does not arise because individual helpers provide more care in response to the lower provisioning of older dominant females, but because older female breeders have recruited more helpers, thereby receiving more overall care for their brood. We do not find such effects for male breeders. These results indicate that alloparental care can alleviate the fitness costs of senescence for breeders, which suggests an interplay between age and cooperative breeding.

PMID:33868710 | PMC:PMC8045936 | DOI:10.1002/evl3.213

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A Recurrent Neural-Network-Based Real-Time Dynamic Model for Soft Continuum Manipulators

Front Robot AI. 2021 Mar 18;8:631303. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2021.631303. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces and validates a real-time dynamic predictive model based on a neural network approach for soft continuum manipulators. The presented model provides a real-time prediction framework using neural-network-based strategies and continuum mechanics principles. A time-space integration scheme is employed to discretize the continuous dynamics and decouple the dynamic equations for translation and rotation for each node of a soft continuum manipulator. Then the resulting architecture is used to develop distributed prediction algorithms using recurrent neural networks. The proposed RNN-based parallel predictive scheme does not rely on computationally intensive algorithms; therefore, it is useful in real-time applications. Furthermore, simulations are shown to illustrate the approach performance on soft continuum elastica, and the approach is also validated through an experiment on a magnetically-actuated soft continuum manipulator. The results demonstrate that the presented model can outperform classical modeling approaches such as the Cosserat rod model while also shows possibilities for being used in practice.

PMID:33869294 | PMC:PMC8044932 | DOI:10.3389/frobt.2021.631303

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A Family Affair: Addressing the Challenges of Factor H and the Related Proteins

Front Immunol. 2021 Mar 30;12:660194. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.660194. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

Inflammation is a common denominator of diseases. The complement system, an intrinsic part of the innate immune system, is a key driver of inflammation in numerous disorders. Recently, a family of proteins has been suggested to be of vital importance in conditions characterized by complement dysregulation: the human Factor H (FH) family. This group of proteins consists of FH, Factor H-like protein 1 and five Factor H-related proteins. The FH family has been linked to infectious, vascular, eye, kidney and autoimmune diseases. In contrast to FH, the functions of the other highly homologous proteins are largely unknown and, hence, their role in the different disease-specific pathogenic mechanisms remains elusive. In this perspective review, we address the major challenges ahead in this emerging area, including 1) the controversies about the functional roles of the FH protein family, 2) the discrepancies in quantification of the FH protein family, 3) the unmet needs for validated tools and 4) limitations of animal models. Next, we also discuss the opportunities that exist for the immunology community. A strong multidisciplinary approach is required to solve these obstacles and is only possible through interdisciplinary collaboration between biologists, chemists, geneticists and physicians. We position this review in light of our own perspective, as principal investigators of the SciFiMed Consortium, a consortium aiming to create a comprehensive analytical system for the quantitative and functional assessment of the entire FH protein family.

PMID:33868311 | PMC:PMC8044877 | DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2021.660194

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Biologische interacties bij depressie: inzichten uit preklinische studies

​​Depressie is een psychische stoornis die wordt beschouwd als een belangrijke wereldwijde gezondheidslast. “Majeure depressie” (MD) wordt beschouwd …

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Migration after union dissolution in the United States: The role of non-resident family

Soc Sci Res. 2021 May;96:102539. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2021.102539. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

ABSTRACT

Separation from a spouse or cohabiting partner is associated with a high likelihood of moving, even over long distances. In this paper, we use longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the United States to analyze the role of non-resident family in the migration of separated people immediately after and in the years following union dissolution. We explore both migration in general and return migration among separated people, drawing comparisons to married and never-married people. We find that having parents, children, or siblings living close by substantially deters migration, especially among separated people. We also find marked positive effects of having family members in the county where the respondent grew up on the likelihood of returning there. Separated people are especially likely to return, compared to others, if they have parents in their county of origin. Furthermore, a lack of an effect of years of education on migration, and a negative effect of this variable on return migration, suggest that migration after separation is less related to human-capital considerations than other types of migration.

PMID:33867010 | DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2021.102539

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Global Differences in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: The PARAGON-HF Trial

Circ Heart Fail. 2021 Apr 19:CIRCHEARTFAILURE120007901. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.120.007901. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a global public health problem with important regional differences. We investigated these differences in the PARAGON-HF trial (Prospective Comparison of Angiotensin Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitor With Angiotensin Receptor Blocker Global Outcomes in HFpEF), the largest and most inclusive global HFpEF trial.

METHODS: We studied differences in clinical characteristics, outcomes, and treatment effects of sacubitril/valsartan in 4796 patients with HFpEF from the PARAGON-HF trial, grouped according to geographic region.

RESULTS: Regional differences in patient characteristics and comorbidities were observed: patients from Western Europe were oldest (mean 75±7 years) with the highest prevalence of atrial fibrillation/flutter (36%); Central/Eastern European patients were youngest (mean 71±8 years) with the highest prevalence of coronary artery disease (50%); North American patients had the highest prevalence of obesity (65%) and diabetes (49%); Latin American patients were younger (73±9 years) and had a high prevalence of obesity (53%); and Asia-Pacific patients had a high prevalence of diabetes (44%), despite a low prevalence of obesity (26%). Rates of the primary composite end point of total hospitalizations for HF and death from cardiovascular causes were lower in patients from Central Europe (9 per 100 patient-years) and highest in patients from North America (28 per 100 patient-years), which was primarily driven by a greater number of total hospitalizations for HF. The effect of treatment with sacubitril-valsartan was not modified by region (interaction P>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with HFpEF recruited worldwide in PARAGON-HF, there were important regional differences in clinical characteristics and outcomes, which may have implications for the design of future clinical trials.

REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01920711.

PMID:33866828 | DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.120.007901

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Female emancipation in a male dominant, sexually dimorphic primate under natural conditions

PLoS One. 2021 Apr 19;16(4):e0249039. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249039. eCollection 2021.

ABSTRACT

In most group-living animals, a dominance hierarchy reduces the costs of competition for limited resources. Dominance ranks may reflect prior attributes, such as body size, related to fighting ability or reflect the history of self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing a conflict (the winner-loser effect), or both. As to prior attributes, in sexually dimorphic species, where males are larger than females, males are assumed to be dominant over females. As to the winner-loser effect, the computational model DomWorld has shown that despite the female’s lower initial fighting ability, females achieve some degree of dominance of females over males. In the model, this degree of female dominance increases with the proportion of males in a group. This increase was supposed to emerge from the higher fraction of fights of males among themselves. These correlations were confirmed in despotic macaques, vervet monkeys, and in humans. Here, we first investigate this hypothesis in DomWorld and next in long-term data of 9,300 observation hours on six wild groups of robust capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus; S. nigritus, and S. xanthosternos) in three Brazilian sites. We test whether both the proportion of males and degree of female dominance over males are indeed associated with a higher relative frequency of aggression among males and a higher relative frequency of aggression of females to males. We confirm these correlations in DomWorld. Next, we confirm in empirical data of capuchin monkeys that with the proportion of males in the group there is indeed an increase in female dominance over males, and in the relative frequency of both male-male aggression and aggression of females to males and that the female dominance index is significantly positively associated with male male aggression. Our results reveal that adult sex ratio influences the power relation between the sexes beyond predictions from socioecological models.

PMID:33872318 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0249039

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