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Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Loes C A Rutten-Jacobs, Natalia S Rost
Cerebral small-vessel disease (cSVD) is a common cause of stroke, functional decline, vascular cognitive impairment, and dementia. Pathological processes in the brain's microcirculation are tightly interwoven with pathology in the brain parenchyma, and this interaction has been conceptualized as the neurovascular unit (NVU). Despite intensive research efforts to decipher the NVU's structure and function to date, molecular mechanisms underlying cSVD remain poorly understood, which hampers the development of cSVD-specific therapies...
January 8, 2019: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Rixin Zheng, Liang Xie, Weiqing Liu, Yuchen Guo, Yuan Wang, Yunshu Wu, Yuting Liu, Hongke Luo, Ning Kang, Quan Yuan
Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11), a secreted member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily, has been reported to have the capacity to reverse age-related pathologic changes and regulate organ regeneration after injury; however, the role of GDF11 in fracture healing and bone repair is still unclear. Here, we established a fracture model in 12-week-old male mice to observe two healing states: the cartilaginous callus and bony callus formation phases. Our results showed that recombinant GDF11 (rGDF11) injection inhibits cartilaginous callus maturation and hard callus formation, thereby impairing fracture healing in vivo...
December 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Heather L Rusch, Michael Rosario, Lisa M Levison, Anlys Olivera, Whitney S Livingston, Tianxia Wu, Jessica M Gill
There is a growing interest in the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation for sleep disturbed populations. Our study sought to evaluate the effect of mindfulness meditation interventions on sleep quality. To assess for relative efficacy, comparator groups were restricted to specific active controls (such as evidenced-based sleep treatments) and nonspecific active controls (such as time/attention-matched interventions to control for placebo effects), which were analyzed separately. From 3303 total records, 18 trials with 1654 participants were included...
December 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Vanessa Pike, Stanley Zlotkin
Excessive micronutrient intake causes a variety of adverse health effects, depending on dose and duration. The risk of excess intake carries significant implications for micronutrient delivery interventions, particularly when such programs are overlapping. To minimize risk and provide public health guidance, several countries and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization have set upper intake levels (ULs) for various life-stage populations using the risk assessment framework...
December 19, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Eileen M Harwood, Amy R Jones, Darin Erickson, Dedra Buchwald, Japera Johnson-Hemming, Harlan P Jones, Spero Manson, Richard McGee, Ann Smith, Clifford J Steer, Jamboor K Vishwanatha, Anne M Weber-Main, Kolawole S Okuyemi
A hallmark of success for early career biomedical researchers is the acquisition of research funding. There are marked disparities among principal investigators who submit grants and the likelihood of receiving national funding. The National Research Mentoring Network was funded by the National Institutes of Health to diversify the biomedical research workforce and included grantsmanship training for early career researchers. Self-efficacy in developing research grant applications is significantly improved over time with training and experience...
December 5, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Gabriela Meneses, Graciela Cárdenas, Alejandro Espinosa, Dunia Rassy, Ivan Nicolás Pérez-Osorio, Brandon Bárcena, Agnes Fleury, Hugo Besedovsky, Gladis Fragoso, Edda Sciutto
Sepsis occurs when a systemic infection induces an uncontrolled inflammatory response that results in generalized organ dysfunction. The exacerbated peripheral inflammation can induce, in turn, neuroinflammation which may result in severe impairment of the central nervous system (CNS). Indeed, the ensuing blood-brain barrier disruption associated with sepsis promotes glial activation and starts a storm of proinflammatory cytokines in the CNS that leads to brain dysfunction in sepsis survivors. Endotoxic shock induced in mice by peripheral injection of lipopolysaccharides closely resembles the peripheral and central inflammation observed in sepsis...
November 29, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Brenda A Z Abu, Wilna Oldewage-Theron, Richmond N O Aryeetey
In Ghana, iodine deficiency was first reported in 1994 among 33% of the population. A nationwide Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program plus other complementary interventions were subsequently implemented as a response. Our paper reviews the current risks of excess iodine status in Ghana and identifies policy and research gaps. A mixed methods review of 12 policies and institutional reports and 13 peer-reviewed articles was complemented with consultations with 23 key informants (salt producers and distributors, food processors, regulatory agency officials, and healthcare providers) purposively sampled between May and August 2017...
November 29, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Julia Hidalgo, Aude Lemonsu, Valéry Masson
Cities modify their local climate, and at the same time they suffer from the local impacts of climate change. Our paper discusses the progress and obstacles in three active research topics that contribute to increasing the capability within the urban climate research community for transferring local climate knowledge to society. The first is linked to the production of urban surface descriptions useful for urban climate studies. The concept of local climate zones is now widely used to represent urban climate variability at the neighborhood scale...
November 29, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Renuka Jayatissa, Dulitha N Fernando
In recent decades, Sri Lanka has made substantial progress in reducing the burden of micronutrient deficiencies in children by the provision of vitamin A megadose and micronutrient supplementation programs for children of 6-23 months, along with universal iodization of salt. Consumption of voluntarily fortified foods by children was also considerably increased. The objective of our study here was to review such interventions, which are beneficial in childhood, and to assess the risk of toxicity due to excessive intakes of iron, vitamin A, and iodine...
November 28, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Kelly A Sagar, Staci A Gruber
Cannabis use is becoming increasingly popular as a growing number of states pass legislation to legalize cannabis and cannabis-derived products for recreational and/or medical purposes. Given the widespread use of cannabis, it is critical to understand the neural consequences related to cannabis use. In this review, we focus on evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that document acute and residual alterations in brain function during tasks spanning a variety of cognitive domains: executive function, attention and working memory, memory, motor skills, error monitoring, and reward and affective processing...
November 13, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Zhixun Zhao, Xueliang Zhu, Na Wu, Xiaodong Qin, Caiyun Huang, Guohua Wu, Qiang Zhang, Zhidong Zhang
The role of interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase R (PKR) in capripoxvirus (CaPV)-infected cells remains unknown. In this study, we show that CaPV infection triggered PKR and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) protein phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner, and that this leads to decreased CaPV replication. Overexpression of PKR compromised viral gene expression and inhibited sheeppox virus (SPPV) replication. Downregulation of PKR with siRNAs significantly decreased eIF2α phosphorylation and reduced the mRNA level of IFN-β, which increased virus replication...
November 1, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Francesca Pistollato, Manuel Masias, Pablo Agudo, Francesca Giampieri, Maurizio Battino
About 1 of 10 women, particularly those older than 60 years of age, shows some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency. Thyroid diseases are generally characterized by perturbations of thyroid signaling homeostasis. The most common examples of thyroid diseases include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and several types of thyroid cancers. Phytochemicals have been shown to have either beneficial or detrimental effects on thyroid function. Some flavonoids have been reported to affect the expression and the activity of several thyroid-related enzymes and proteins, and for this reason some concerns have been raised about the possible thyroid-disruptive properties of foods enriched in these substances...
November 1, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Kunming Tian, Sayoko Ogura, Peter J Little, Suo-Wen Xu, Tatsuya Sawamura
LOX-1 (lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1; also known as OLR1) is the dominant receptor that recognizes and internalizes oxidized low-density lipoproteins (ox-LDLs) in endothelial cells. Several genetic variants of LOX-1 are associated with the risk and severity of coronary artery disease. The LOX-1-ox-LDL interaction induces endothelial dysfunction, leukocyte adhesion, macrophage-derived foam cell formation, smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, and platelet activation. LOX-1 activation eventually leads to the rupture of atherosclerotic plaques and acute cardiovascular events...
November 1, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Luis A Mejia, Wan-Yuan Kuo, Filiberto Beltran-Velazquez
Countries around the world have been implementing public health interventions to provide vitamins and minerals. There is a concern that the cumulative micronutrient contribution of coexisting programs, when targeting the same population, may exceed their safe levels of intake, thus potentially challenging the primum non nocere principle. We assessed the regulatory framework of such interventions and determined qualitatively whether there were provisions in the regulations that called for coordination among programs to ensure their innocuousness...
October 22, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Laura E Webb, Ruut Veenhoven, Jes Lynning Harfeld, Margit Bak Jensen
Today, we see a growing concern for the quality of life of nonhuman animals and an accompanying call for viable means of assessing how well animals thrive. Past research focused on minimizing negatives such as stress, while more recent endeavors strive to promote positives such as happiness. But what is animal happiness? Although often mentioned, the term lacks a clear definition. With recent advances in the study of animal emotion, current interest into positive rather than negative experiences, and the call for captive and domesticated animals to have good lives, the time is ripe to examine the concept of animal happiness...
October 22, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Nikki Johnston, Peter W Dettmar, Frank G Ondrey, Rahul Nanchal, Sang-Hyuk Lee, Jonathan M Bock
Extra-esophageal reflux is suspected to cause a wide range of clinical symptoms in the upper airways. Diagnosis and treatment has focused on acid, but realization of the role of nonacid reflux has resulted in research investigating the use of pepsin as a biomarker for gastric reflux and aspiration. Pepsin analysis can complement the use of questionnaires and office-based diagnosis and lessen the dependency on invasive and expensive diagnostic tests. Furthermore, pepsin as a first-line diagnostic biomarker has been shown to improve the accuracy of reflux diagnosis...
December 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Valter Nilton Felix
Forced pneumatic dilatation (PD) of the cardia is one of the most consecrated therapeutic measures for esophageal achalasia. The procedure only achieved better standardization with the appearance of the Rigiflex balloon. Results and predictive factors of success and failure of PD are reviewed, right after the description of the main technical aspects of the procedure. The success rates, providing control of dysphagia for about 1 year from the procedure using the Rigiflex balloon, are quite satisfactory, with success in more than 75% of patients...
December 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Alain Schoepfer, Carine Blanchard, Heather Dawson, Alfredo Lucendo, Aurelio Mauro, Camillo Ribi, Ekaterina Safroneeva, Edoardo V Savarino, Roberto Penagini
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) represents a chronic, local immune-mediated esophageal disease, characterized clinically by symptoms related to esophageal dysfunction and histologically by eosinophil-predominant inflammation. Other systemic and local causes of esophageal eosinophilia should be excluded. Clinical manifestations or pathologic data should not be interpreted in isolation. EoE was first described as a distinct disease entity in 1993. Most patients are diagnosed with underlying food allergies. The first diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines were published in 2007 with a first update in 2011...
December 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Xuchen Zhang, Deepa Patil, Robert D Odze, Lei Zhao, Mikhail Lisovsky, Maha Guindi, Robert Riddell, Andrew Bellizzi, Rhonda K Yantiss, Ilke Nalbantoglu, Henry D Appelman
The esophagus, a straight tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach, has the complex architecture common to the rest of the gastrointestinal tract with special differences that relate to its function as a conduit of ingested substances. For instance, it has submucosal glands that are unique and have a specific protective function. It has a squamous lining that exists nowhere else in the gut except the anus and it has a different submucosal nerve plexus when compared to the stomach and intestines. All of the layers of the esophageal wall and the specialized structures including blood and lymphatic vessels and nerves have specific responses to injury...
December 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
E Michael Lewiecki, Neil Binkley, John P Bilezikian
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a versatile technology that is widely used in clinical practice in the management of osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases. It is a safe and inexpensive procedure that measures bone mineral density (BMD) to diagnose osteoporosis, assess fracture risk, and monitor osteoporosis treatment. However, DXA has been subjected to recurring claims that it is overutilized, too expensive, and not helpful in patient management. In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of office-based DXA facilities, a reduction in BMD tests performed, and fewer women being diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis, despite aging of the population with more people at risk for fractures...
December 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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