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Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Lisa M Rogers, Amy M Cordero, Christine M Pfeiffer, Dorothy B Hausman, Becky L Tsang, Luz María De-Regil, Jorge Rosenthal, Hilda Razzaghi, Eugene C Wong, Aliki P Weakland, Lynn B Bailey
Inadequate folate status in women of reproductive age (WRA) can lead to adverse health consequences of public health significance, such as megaloblastic anemia (folate deficiency) and an increased risk of neural tube defect (NTD)-affected pregnancies (folate insufficiency). Our review aims to evaluate current data on folate status of WRA. We queried eight databases and the World Health Organization Micronutrients Database, identifying 45 relevant surveys conducted between 2000 and 2014 in 39 countries. Several types of folate assays were used in the analysis of blood folate, and many surveys used folate cutoffs not matched to the assay...
September 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Michael G Dieterle, Krishna Rao, Vincent B Young
Clostridium difficile is the leading infectious cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. C. difficile infection (CDI) places a heavy burden on the healthcare system, with nearly half a million infections yearly and an approximate 20% recurrence risk after successful initial therapy. The high incidence has driven new research on improved prevention such as the emerging use of probiotics, intestinal microbiome manipulation during antibiotic therapies, vaccinations, and newer antibiotics that reduce the disruption of the intestinal microbiome...
September 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Daniel E Roth, Steven A Abrams, John Aloia, Gilles Bergeron, Megan W Bourassa, Kenneth H Brown, Mona S Calvo, Kevin D Cashman, Gerald Combs, Luz María De-Regil, Maria Elena Jefferds, Kerry S Jones, Hallie Kapner, Adrian R Martineau, Lynnette M Neufeld, Rosemary L Schleicher, Tom D Thacher, Susan J Whiting
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for bone health and may influence the risks of respiratory illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and chronic diseases of adulthood. Because many countries have a relatively low supply of foods rich in vitamin D and inadequate exposure to natural ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, an important proportion of the global population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency. There is general agreement that the minimum serum/plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration (25(OH)D) that protects against vitamin D deficiency-related bone disease is approximately 30 nmol/L; therefore, this threshold is suitable to define vitamin D deficiency in population surveys...
September 18, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Shashank Ghai, Gerd Schmitz, Tong-Hun Hwang, Alfred O Effenberg
Our study analyzed the effects of real-time auditory feedback on intermodal learning during a bilateral knee repositioning task. Thirty healthy participants were randomly allocated to control and experimental groups. Participants performed an active knee joint repositioning task for the four target angles (20°, 40°, 60°, and 80°) bilaterally, with or without additional real-time auditory feedback. Here, the frequency of auditory feedback was mapped to the knee's angle range (0-90°). Retention measurements were performed on the same four angles, without auditory feedback, after 15 min and 24 hours...
September 17, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Sai Krishna Athuluri-Divakar, Yujin Hoshida
Chronic fibrotic liver disease caused by viral or metabolic etiologies is a high-risk condition for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Even after curative treatment of early-stage HCC tumor, the carcinogenic microenvironment persists in the remnant diseased liver and supports the development of de novo HCC tumors (de novo HCC recurrence). Therefore, prevention of HCC development in patients at risk of not only first-primary but also second-primary HCC tumors is theoretically the most impactful strategy to improve patient prognosis...
September 17, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Xi Gu, Jinqi Xue, Liping Ai, Lisha Sun, Xudong Zhu, Yulun Wang, Caigang Liu
Staphylococcal nuclease domain-containing 1 (SND1) expression is crucial for breast cancer metastasis; however, the clinical implications of SND1 expression in breast cancer remain unclear. This study investigated the relationship of SND1 protein expression both with metastasis and the prognoses of 144 breast cancer patients over a 10-year follow-up. Chi-square tests revealed that the percentages of positive SND1 expression in breast cancer tumors were significantly associated with larger tumor size (>2 cm, P = 0...
September 14, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Suzanne S Gisbertz, Eliza R C Hagens, Jelle P Ruurda, Paul M Schneider, Li Jie Tan, Sergey A Domrachev, Jens Hoeppner, Mark I van Berge Henegouwen
Esophageal surgery for esophageal cancer has been performed for over a century now. Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) was first described in 1992, and it is now a standard approach in many countries. However, MIE is technically difficult and requires a long learning curve. It takes >100 cases to train for MIE with gastric tube reconstruction with an intrathoracic anastomosis. A possible option to overcome several challenges of MIE might be the use of a robotic system. A robot-assisted MIE was first described in 2005, and long-term results have shown its feasibility and safety...
September 7, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Kyly C Whitfield, Megan W Bourassa, Bola Adamolekun, Gilles Bergeron, Lucien Bettendorff, Kenneth H Brown, Lorna Cox, Aviva Fattal-Valevski, Philip R Fischer, Elizabeth L Frank, Laurent Hiffler, Lwin Mar Hlaing, Maria Elena Jefferds, Hallie Kapner, Sengchanh Kounnavong, Maral P S Mousavi, Daniel E Roth, Maria-Nefeli Tsaloglou, Frank Wieringa, Gerald F Combs
Thiamine is an essential micronutrient that plays a key role in energy metabolism. Many populations worldwide may be at risk of clinical or subclinical thiamine deficiencies, due to famine, reliance on staple crops with low thiamine content, or food preparation practices, such as milling grains and washing milled rice. Clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency are variable; this, along with the lack of a readily accessible and widely agreed upon biomarker of thiamine status, complicates efforts to diagnose thiamine deficiency and assess its global prevalence...
August 27, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Mickael Chevallay, Elfriede Bollschweiler, Servarayan M Chandramohan, Thomas Schmidt, Oliver Koch, Giovanni Demanzoni, Stefan Mönig, William Allum
Management of gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma is a controversial topic. The rising incidence of this cancer requires a clear consensus to ensure proper management. Application of oncological principles for tumors of the esophagus or stomach is not possible because of comparative differences in the biology of GEJ adenocarcinoma, leading to different therapeutic options. Staging work-up with endoscopy, endosonography, and PET is essential to inform the choice of neoadjuvant treatment and surgical approach to GEJ adenocarcinoma...
August 23, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Maureen K Kessler, Daniel J Becker, Alison J Peel, Nathan V Justice, Tamika Lunn, Daniel E Crowley, Devin N Jones, Peggy Eby, Cecilia A Sánchez, Raina K Plowright
Old World fruit bats (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) provide critical pollination and seed dispersal services to forest ecosystems across Africa, Asia, and Australia. In each of these regions, pteropodids have been identified as natural reservoir hosts for henipaviruses. The genus Henipavirus includes Hendra virus and Nipah virus, which regularly spill over from bats to domestic animals and humans in Australia and Asia, and a suite of largely uncharacterized African henipaviruses. Rapid change in fruit bat habitat and associated shifts in their ecology and behavior are well documented, with evidence suggesting that altered diet, roosting habitat, and movement behaviors are increasing spillover risk of bat-borne viruses...
August 23, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Stefan Mönig, Mickael Chevallay, Nadja Niclauss, Thomas Zilli, Wentao Fang, Ajay Bansal, Jens Hoeppner
Early carcinomas of the esophagus are histologically classified as adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma and microscopically subdivided into mucosal and submucosal carcinomas depending on infiltration depth. The prevalence of lymph node metastasis in mucosal carcinoma remains low. However, lymph node metastases arise frequently from tumors with submucosal infiltration, with increasing prevalence in the deeper submucosal sublayers. According to current German guidelines, endoscopic resection is the recommended treatment in mucosal adenocarcinoma without histologic risk factors (lymphatic invasion 1, vascular invasion 1, >grade 2, R1-margin)...
August 23, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Ahmed Khattab, Carol Nelson-Williams, Vivienne Cabreza, Anne Macdonald, Erin Loring, Jeffrey Saland, Maria I New
Mutations in the gene NR0B1 have been associated with several clinical phenotypes of X-linked adrenal hypoplasia congenita (AHC). The degree and onset of adrenal insufficiency and involvement of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism is variable and may not be concordant with the identified mutation. We review a patient with AHC in which prenatal estriol levels were low, presenting with early-onset mineralocorticoid deficiency in the newborn period followed by glucocorticoid deficiency 2 years later. The reported child is hemizygous for a novel mutation that is deemed de novo in the ligand-binding site of the protein (DAX1) expressed by NR0B1...
August 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Dripta Roy Choudhury, Krishnapillai Madhavan Nair, Nagalla Balakrishna, Kankipati Vijaya Radhakrishna, Sudip Ghosh, Sylvia Fernandez Rao
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a significant public health issue in India affecting nearly all vulnerable segments of the population. Causes of IDA include low consumption of iron-rich foods combined with poor iron bioavailability of nonheme iron sources. To date, interventions aimed at correcting IDA focus on increasing iron intake through iron supplementation or fortification strategies. In contrast, dietary diversification is a long-term sustainable approach to improve bioavailable iron intake. In this context, the inclusion of vitamin C-rich fruits in the regular diet has proven to improve iron absorption, but the effect on iron status is inconclusive...
August 21, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Hugo O Besedovsky
Evidence indicates that activated immune cells release products, typically cytokines, that can convey information to the brain about the type of ongoing peripheral immune responses. This evidence led colleagues and me to categorize the immune system as another sensorial system that, upon receiving this information, can emit neuroendocrine signals with immunoregulatory functions that can also reset homeostatic mechanisms. Here, I discuss evidence and clues indicating (1) possible mechanisms by which cytokines, such as those of the interleukin 1 (IL-1) family, can reset energy homeostasis to balance the high fuel requirement of the immune system and the brain; and (2) the possibility that the tripartite synapse, which includes astrocytes as a third component, processes and integrates immune signals at brain levels with other sensorial signals that the central nervous system permanently receives...
August 20, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Cyril Caminade, K Marie McIntyre, Anne E Jones
Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. Climate directly impacts health through climatic extremes, air quality, sea-level rise, and multifaceted influences on food production systems and water resources. Climate also affects infectious diseases, which have played a significant role in human history, impacting the rise and fall of civilizations and facilitating the conquest of new territories. Our review highlights significant regional changes in vector and pathogen distribution reported in temperate, peri-Arctic, Arctic, and tropical highland regions during recent decades, changes that have been anticipated by scientists worldwide...
August 18, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Steve Paulson, Paul Davies, Ard Louis, Lucianne Walkowicz
From the birth of galaxies to the self-organizing dynamics of our planet to the ongoing expansion of the universe, the more we discover about the evolution of the cosmos, the more acutely we realize the enormity of what remains to be known. Just this year astrophysicists at the University of Nottingham confirmed that there are at least two trillion galaxies in the cosmos, 10 times more than had been previously thought. What guidance or wisdom can the study of cosmology and astrophysics offer us in our search for meaning and purpose? In conversation with Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, theoretical physicists Paul Davies and Ard Louis, and astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz share their perceptions based on years of gazing upward and beyond our own intimate planet...
August 18, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Tamara Braunschmid, Irene Kührer, Martina Mittlböck, Maria Westerhoff, Sonja Kappel-Latif, Lindsay Brammen, Kausilia K Krishnadath, Wayne A Phillips, Michael Gnant, Daniela Kandioler
Technological progress within the last 15-20 years has significantly increased our knowledge about the molecular basis of cancer development, tumor progression, and treatment response. As a consequence, a vast number of biomarkers have been proposed, but only a small fraction of them have found their way into clinical use. The aim of this paper is to describe the specific demands a clinically relevant biomarker should meet and how biomarkers can be tested stepwise. We name this procedure the "triple-R principle": robustness, reproducibility, and relevance...
August 15, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Di Chen, Rong Xie, Bing Shu, Alan L Landay, Changli Wei, Jochen Reiser, Anna Spagnoli, Alfonso Torquati, Christopher B Forsyth, Ali Keshavarzian, D Rick Sumner
Over the last two decades, it has become increasingly apparent that Wnt signaling plays a critical role in development and adult tissue homeostasis in multiple organs and in the pathogenesis of many diseases. In particular, a crucial role for Wnt signaling in bone development and bone tissue homeostasis has been well recognized. Numerous genome-wide association studies confirmed the importance of Wnt signaling in controlling bone mass. Moreover, ample evidence suggests that Wnt signaling is essential for kidney, intestine, and adipose tissue development and homeostasis...
August 12, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Yunhao Qin, Shibing Tang, Gehua Zhen, Qiang Ding, Sheng Ding, Xu Cao
Camurati-Engelmann disease (CED) is a genetic bone-modeling disorder mainly caused by mutations in the gene that encodes transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Symptoms of CED include bone pain, fractures, and dysplasia. Currently, effective therapies for bone fracture and dysplasia in CED are urgently needed. We have demonstrated that TGF-β1 is a coupling factor for bone remodeling and is aberrantly activated in CED. Daily injection of TGF-β type 1 receptor inhibitor (TβR1I) attenuated CED symptoms, but this systemic administration caused serious side effects...
August 9, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Kimberly G Lockwood, Anna L Marsland, Karen A Matthews, Peter J Gianaros
There are distinct racial disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, with Black individuals at much greater risk than White individuals. Although many factors contribute to these disparities, recent attention has focused on the role of discrimination as a stress-related factor that contributes to racial disparities in CVD. As such, it is important to understand the mechanisms by which discrimination might affect CVD. Recent studies have examined these mechanisms by focusing on neurobiological mediators of CVD risk...
August 8, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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