Identity development in adolescents with mental problems
- Background: In the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), “Identity” is an essential diagnostic criterion for personality disorders (self-related personality functioning) in the alternative approach to the diagnosis of personality disorders in Section III of DSM-5. Integrating a broad range of established identity concepts, AIDA (Assessment of Identity Development in Adolescence) is a new questionnaire to assess pathology-related identity development in healthy and disturbed adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Aim of the present study is to investigate differences in identity development between adolescents with different psychiatric diagnoses.
Methods: Participants were 86 adolescent psychiatric in- and outpatients aged 12 to 18 years. The test set includes the questionnaire AIDA and two semi-structured psychiatric interviews (SCID-II, K-DIPS). The patients were assigned to three diagnostic groups (personality disorders, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders). Differences were analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA.
Results: In line with our hypotheses, patients with personality disorders showed the highest scores in all AIDA scales with T>70. Patients with externalizing disorders showed scores in an average range compared to population norms, while patients with internalizing disorders lay in between with scores around T=60. The AIDA total score was highly significant between the groups with a remarkable effect size of f= 0.44.
Conclusion: Impairment of identity development differs between adolescent patients with different forms of mental disorders. The AIDA questionnaire is able to discriminate between these groups. This may help to improve assessment and treatment of adolescents with severe psychiatric problems.
Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Cancer Patients: A Four-Arm Randomized Trial on the Effectiveness of Electroacupuncture
Hans Helge Bartsch
- Purpose. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common and dose-limiting side effect of cytostatic drugs. Since there are no proven therapeutic procedures against CIPN, we were interested to define the role of electroacupuncture (EA) from which preliminary data showed promising results. Methods. In a randomized trial with a group sequential adaptive design in patients with CIPN, we compared EA (LV3, SP9, GB41, GB34, LI4, LI11, SI3, and HT3; n=14) with hydroelectric baths (HB, n=14), vitamin B1/B6 capsules (300/300 mg daily; VitB, n=15), and placebo capsules (n=17). The statistical power in this trial was primarily calculated for proving EA only, so results of HB and VitB are pilot data. Results. CIPN complaints improved by 0.8 +- 1.2 (EA), 1.7 +- 1.7 (HB), 1.6 +- 2.0 (VitB), and 1.3 +- 1.3 points (placebo) on a 10-point numeric rating scale without significant difference between treatment groups or placebo. In addition no significant differences in sensory nerve conduction studies or quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30) were found. Conclusions. The used EA concept, HB, and VitB were not superior to placebo. Since, contrary to our results, studies with different acupuncture concepts showed a positive effect on CIPN, the effect of acupuncture on CIPN remains unclear. Further randomized, placebo controlled studies seem necessary. This trial is registered with DRKS00004448.
Methylglyoxal Induces Platelet Hyperaggregation and Reduces Thrombus Stability by Activating PKC and Inhibiting PI3K/Akt Pathway
- Diabetes is characterized by a dysregulation of glucose homeostasis and platelets from patients with diabetes are known to be hyper-reactive and contribute to the accelerated development of vascular diseases. Since many of the deleterious effects of glucose have been attributed to its metabolite methylgyloxal (MG) rather than to hyperglycemia itself, the aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of MG on platelet function. Washed human platelets were pre-incubated for 15 min with MG and platelet aggregation, adhesion on matrix-coated slides and signaling (Western blot) were assessed ex vivo. In vivo, the effect of MG on thrombus formation was determined using the FeCl3-induced carotid artery injury model. MG potentiated thrombin-induced platelet aggregation and dense granule release, but inhibited platelet spreading on fibronectin and collagen. In vivo, MG accelerated thrombus formation but decreased thrombus stability. At the molecular level, MG increased intracellular Ca2+ and activated classical PKCs at the same time as inhibiting PI3K/Akt and the β3-integrin outside-in signaling. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the enhanced MG concentration measured in diabetic patients can directly contribute to the platelet dysfunction associated with diabetes characterized by hyperaggregability and reduced thrombus stability.
HIF1A Reduces Acute Lung Injury by Optimizing Carbohydrate Metabolism in the Alveolar Epithelium
Christoph H. Borchers
Thomas J. Mariani
Douglas J. Kominsky
Holger K. Eltzschig
- Background: While acute lung injury (ALI) contributes significantly to critical illness, it resolves spontaneously in many instances. The majority of patients experiencing ALI require mechanical ventilation. Therefore, we hypothesized that mechanical ventilation and concomitant stretch-exposure of pulmonary epithelia could activate endogenous pathways important in lung protection.
Methods and Findings: To examine transcriptional responses during ALI, we exposed pulmonary epithelia to cyclic mechanical stretch conditions—an in vitro model resembling mechanical ventilation. A genome-wide screen revealed a transcriptional response similar to hypoxia signaling. Surprisingly, we found that stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor 1A (HIF1A) during stretch conditions in vitro or during ventilator-induced ALI in vivo occurs under normoxic conditions. Extension of these findings identified a functional role for stretch-induced inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) in mediating normoxic HIF1A stabilization, concomitant increases in glycolytic capacity, and improved tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle function. Pharmacologic studies with HIF activator or inhibitor treatment implicated HIF1A-stabilization in attenuating pulmonary edema and lung inflammation during ALI in vivo. Systematic deletion of HIF1A in the lungs, endothelia, myeloid cells, or pulmonary epithelia linked these findings to alveolar-epithelial HIF1A. In vivo analysis of 13C-glucose metabolites utilizing liquid-chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry demonstrated that increases in glycolytic capacity, improvement of mitochondrial respiration, and concomitant attenuation of lung inflammation during ALI were specific for alveolar-epithelial expressed HIF1A.
Conclusions: These studies reveal a surprising role for HIF1A in lung protection during ALI, where normoxic HIF1A stabilization and HIF-dependent control of alveolar-epithelial glucose metabolism function as an endogenous feedback loop to dampen lung inflammation.
Function of Survivin in Trophoblastic Cells of the Placenta
- Background: Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity worldwide and its pathogenesis is not totally understood. As a member of the chromosomal passenger complex and an inhibitor of apoptosis, survivin is a well-characterized oncoprotein. Its roles in trophoblastic cells remain to be defined.
Methods: The placental samples from 16 preeclampsia patients and 16 well-matched controls were included in this study. Real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were carried out with placental tissues. Primary trophoblastic cells from term placentas were isolated for Western blot analysis. Cell proliferation, cell cycle analysis and immunofluorescence staining were performed in trophoblastic cell lines BeWo, JAR and HTR-8/SVneo.
Results: The survivin gene is reduced but the protein amount is hardly changed in preeclamptic placentas, compared to control placentas. Upon stress, survivin in trophoblastic cells is phosphorylated on its residue serine 20 by protein kinase A and becomes stabilized, accompanied by increased heat shock protein 90. Depletion of survivin induces chromosome misalignment, abnormal centrosome integrity, and reduced localization and activity of Aurora B at the centromeres/kinetochores in trophoblastic metaphase cells.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that survivin plays pivotal roles in cell survival and proliferation of trophoblastic cells. Further investigations are required to define the function of survivin in each cell type of the placenta in the context of proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, migration and invasion.
Personalizing HIV Therapy, Mission Impossible?
Nils von Hentig
- Sustained HIV suppression depends on a number of factors including therapy adherence, management of side effects, viral resistance and individual characteristics of patients and therapeutic settings. Treatment response rates range up to 90% in therapy naïve patients but decline to approximately 50% in patients who received several antiretrovirals during treatment history. Furthermore, HIV protease inhibitors (PI) and non nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) plasma concentrations display high inter- and intra individual variability and the therapeutic window is comparably narrow. In this therapeutic setting the personalization of dosing regimens has been suggested in many cases to tailor the ARV plasma concentrations with the intention to maximize therapy success and minimize side effects in the individual. However, personalizing therapy by modifying the dosing regimen bears the danger of losing therapeutic efficacy, increasing side effects or causing viral resistance.
This topical review identifies pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models of antiretroviral therapy appraising the potential application to HIV therapy and discusses its future in the light of new drug classes and fix-dose combinations.
Non-equivalence of antibiotic generic drugs and risk for intensive care
Charles James Kirkpatrick
- Background: The underlying axiom in applying generic drugs is the equivalence of their active ingredient with the (usually more expensive) innovator product, an all-embracing statement with the insidious result that physicians assume that the generic products have been subjected to the same rigorous testing regimens as the brand-name products. The present paper presents novel experimental data on an investigator-blinded comparison between the innovator imipenem antibiotic, and a number of its generics.
Methods: Particulate matter contamination of each group was visualized by means of a membrane filter method. Functional studies in an animal model–the dorsal skinfold chamber technique in mice-designed to simulate the state of microcirculatory dysfunction in intensive care patients was performed, in order to assess the influence of the particulate matter of each group on the functional capillary density of the striated skin muscle, after their intravenous injection.
Results: The results showed massive particulate contamination of the generics, in a size range relevant for impacting the microcirculation. The particulate contamination contributed in some generic groups to a significant shutdown of tissue perfusion.
Conclusion: The presented data underscore the need to raise the regulatory barriers for the entry of generics to the market, well beyond the simplistic proof of “bioequivalence”, which in no measure deals with the essential questions of quality and patient safety. If generics are used, they should be tested by a filter technique and optical microscopy, to ensure the absence especially of small particulate contaminants and their purity.
Biglycan: a multivalent proteoglycan providing structure and signals
Madalina V. Nastase
Marian F. Young
- Research over the past few years has provided fascinating results indicating that biglycan, besides being a ubiquitous structural component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), may act as a signaling molecule. Proteolytically released from the ECM, biglycan acts as a danger signal signifying tissue stress or injury. As a ligand of innate immunity receptors and activator of the inflammasome, biglycan stimulates multifunctional proinflammatory signaling linking the innate to the adaptive immune response. By clustering several types of receptors on the cell surface and orchestrating their downstream signaling events, biglycan is capable to autonomously trigger sterile inflammation and to potentiate the inflammatory response to microbial invasion. Besides operating in a broad biological context, biglycan also displays tissue-specific affinities to certain receptors and structural components, thereby playing a crucial role in bone formation, muscle integrity, and synapse stability at the neuromuscular junction. This review attempts to provide a concise summary of recent data regarding the involvement of biglycan in the regulation of inflammation and the musculoskeletal system, pointing out both a signaling and a structural role for this proteoglycan. The potential of biglycan as a novel therapeutic target or agent for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and skeletal muscular dystrophies is also addressed.
Altered Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in Language-Related Brain Regions in Association with Verbal Memory Performance in Euthymic Bipolar Patients
Vincent van de Ven
David E. J. Linden
- Potential abnormalities in the structure and function of the temporal lobes have been studied much less in bipolar disorder than in schizophrenia. This may not be justified because language-related symptoms, such as pressured speech and flight of ideas, and cognitive deficits in the domain of verbal memory are amongst the hallmark of bipolar disorder (BD), and contribution of temporal lobe dysfunction is therefore likely. In the current study, we examined resting-state functional connectivity (FC) between the auditory cortex (Heschl’s gyrus [HG], planum temporale [PT]) and whole brain using seed correlation analysis in n = 21 BD euthymic patients and n = 20 matched healthy controls and associated it with verbal memory performance. In comparison to controls BD patients showed decreased functional connectivity between Heschl’s gyrus and planum temporale and the left superior and middle temporal gyrus. Additionally, fronto-temporal functional connectivity with the right inferior frontal/precentral gyrus and the insula was increased in patients. Verbal episodic memory deficits in the investigated sample of BD patients and language-related symptoms might therefore be associated with a diminished FC within the auditory/temporal gyrus and a compensatory fronto-temporal pathway.
Cross-Sectional Study Assessing HIV Related Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior in Namibian Public Sector Employees in Capital and Regional Settings
Til R. Kiderlen
- The study objective was to assess the current status of HIV knowledge, attitudes and behavior (KAB) among employees of Namibian ministries. As most HIV campaigning takes place in the capital of Windhoek, an additional aim was to compare Windhoek to four regions (Hardap, Erongo, Oshana, and Caprivi). Between January and March 2011 a cross-sectional survey was conducted in two Namibian ministries, with participants selected randomly from the workforce. Data collection was based on questionnaires. 832 participants were included in the study (51.6% male). Nearly 90% of participants reported to have been tested for HIV before. Knowledge about HIV transmission ranged from 67% to 95% of correct answers, with few differences between the capital and regions. However, a knowledge gap regarding HIV transmission and prevention was seen. In particular, we found significantly lower knowledge regarding transmission from mother-to-child during pregnancy and higher rate of belief in a supernatural role in HIV transmission. In addition, despite many years of HIV prevention activities, a substantial proportion of employees had well-known HIV risk factors including multiple concurrent partnership rates (21%), intergenerational sex (19%), and lower testing rates for men (82% compared to women with 91%).