Human voice contains rich information. Few longitudinal studies have been conducted to investigate the potential of voice to monitor cognitive health. The objective of this study is to identify voice biomarkers that are predictive of future dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Framingham Heart Study. The vocal responses to neuropsychological tests were recorded, which were then diarized to identify participant voice segments. Acoustic features were extracted with the OpenSMILE toolkit (v2.1). The association of each acoustic feature with incident dementia was assessed by Cox proportional hazards models.
Our study included 6, 528 voice recordings from 4, 849 participants (mean age 63 ± 15 years old, 54.6% women). The majority of participants (71.2%) had one voice recording, 23.9% had two voice recordings, and the remaining participants (4.9%) had three or more voice recordings. Although all asymptomatic at the time of examination, participants who developed dementia tended to have shorter segments than those who were dementia free (P < 0.001). Additionally, 14 acoustic features were significantly associated with dementia after adjusting for multiple testing (P < 0.05 / 48 = 1 × 10–3). The most significant acoustic feature was jitterDDP_sma_de (P = 7.9 × 10–7), which represents the differential frame-to-frame Jitter. A voice based linear classifier was also built that was capable of predicting incident dementia with area under curve of 0.812.
Multiple acoustic and linguistic features are identified that are associated with incident dementia among asymptomatic participants, which could be used to build better prediction models for passive cognitive health monitoring.
Despite its high frequency of occurrence, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, is difficult to recognize and diagnose, particularly in pediatric populations. Conventional methods to diagnose mTBI primarily rely on clinical questionnaires and sometimes include neuroimaging or pencil and paper neuropsychological testing. However, these methods are time consuming, require administration/interpretation from health professionals, and lack adequate test sensitivity and specificity. This study explores the use of BrainCheck Sport, a computerized neurocognitive test that is available on iPad, iPhone, or computer desktop, for mTBI assessment. The BrainCheck Sport Battery consists of 6 gamified traditional neurocognitive tests that assess areas of cognition vulnerable to mTBI such as attention, processing speed, executing functioning, and coordination.
We administered BrainCheck Sport to 10 participants diagnosed with mTBI at the emergency department of Children’s hospital or local high school within 96 h of injury, and 115 normal controls at a local high school. Statistical analysis included Mann-Whitney U test, chi-square tests, and Hochberg tests to examine differences between the mTBI group and control group on each assessment in the battery. Significant metrics from these assessments were used to build a logistic regression model that distinguishes mTBI from control participants.
BrainCheck Sport was able to detect significant differences in Coordination, Stroop, Immediate/Delayed Recognition between normal controls and mTBI patients. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of our logistic regression model found a sensitivity of 84% and specificity of 81%, with an area under the curve of 0.884.
BrainCheck Sport has potential in distinguishing mTBI from control participants, by providing a shorter, gamified test battery to assess cognitive function after brain injury, while also providing a method for tracking recovery with the opportunity to do so remotely from a patient’s home.
Research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is heterogeneous with numerous subtypes. Through a proprietary interactive ML system, several underlying biological mechanisms associated with AD pathology were uncovered. This paper is an introduction to emerging analytic efforts that can more precisely elucidate the heterogeneity of AD.
A public AD data set (GSE84422) consisting of transcriptomic data of postmortem brain samples from healthy controls (n = 121) and AD (n = 380) subjects was analyzed. Data were processed by an artificial intelligence platform designed to discover potential drug repurposing candidates, followed by an interactive augmented intelligence program.
Using perspective analytics, six perspective classes were identified: Class I is defined by TUBB1, ASB4, and PDE5A; Class II by NRG2 and ZNF3; Class III by IGF1, ASB4, and GTSE1; Class IV is defined by cDNA FLJ39269, ITGA1, and CPM; Class V is defined by PDE5A, PSEN1, and NDUFS8; and Class VI is defined by DCAF17, cDNA FLJ75819, and SLC33A1. It is hypothesized that these classes represent biological mechanisms that may act alone or in any combination to manifest an Alzheimer’s pathology.
Using a limited transcriptomic public database, six different classes that drive AD were uncovered, supporting the premise that AD is a heterogeneously complex disorder. The perspective classes highlighted genetic pathways associated with vasculogenesis, cellular signaling and differentiation, metabolic function, mitochondrial function, nitric oxide, and metal ion metabolism. The interplay among these genetic factors reveals a more profound underlying complexity of AD that may be responsible for the confluence of several biological factors. These results are not exhaustive; instead, they demonstrate that even within a relatively small study sample, next-generation machine intelligence can uncover multiple genetically driven subtypes. The models and the underlying hypotheses generated using novel analytic methods may translate into potential treatment pathways.
Glycemic homeostasis is an essential mechanism for the proper working of an organism. However, balance in blood lipid and protein levels also plays an important role. The discovery of the hormone insulin and the description of its function for glycemic control made fundamental scientific progress in this field. However, since then our view of the problem has been deeply influenced only in terms of glucose and insulin (in an insulin-centric and glucose-centric way). Based on recent scientific discoveries, a fine and sophisticated network of hormonal and metabolic interactions, involving almost every apparatus and tissue of the human body, has been theorized. Efficient metabolic homeostasis is founded on these intricate interactions. Although it is still not fully defined, this complex network can undergo alterations that lead to metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus (DM). The endocrine pancreas plays a crucial role in the metabolic balance of an organism, but insulin is just one of the elements involved and each single pancreatic islet hormone is worthy of our concern. Moreover, pancreatic hormones need to be considered in a general view, concerning both their systemic function as direct mediators and as hormones, which, in turn, are regulated by other hormones or other substances. This more complex scenario should be taken into account for a better understanding of the pathophysiology and the therapeutic algorithms of DM. As a consequence, improvements in modern medicine could help to contemplate this new perspective. This review is focused on some aspects of gut-pancreas interaction, aiming to integrate this synergy into a wider context involving other organs and tissues.
This commentary is the product of a concerted effort to understand the needs, barriers, and gaps in the field of speech and language biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It distills interviews, surveys, and extensive correspondence with global leaders in the areas of dementia research, clinical trials, linguistics, and data analytics into an idealized clinical-study design for the harmonized collection of voice recordings. The ultimate goal of the effort is to democratize the ongoing speech and language analytics efforts by making such rich datasets available to the wider research ecosystem.
Quantitative analysis of brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) perfusion imaging is dependent on normative datasets that are challenging to produce. This study investigated the combination of SPECT neuroimaging from a large clinical population rather than small numbers of controls. The authors hypothesized this “population template” would demonstrate noninferiority to a control dataset, providing a viable alternative for quantifying perfusion abnormalities in SPECT neuroimaging.
A total of 2, 068 clinical SPECT scans were averaged to form the “population template”. Validation was three-fold. First, the template was imported into SPECT brain analysis software, MIMneuro®, and compared against its control dataset of 90 individuals through its region and cluster analysis tools. Second, a cohort of 100 cognitively impaired subjects was evaluated against both the population template and MIMneuro®’s normative dataset to compute region-based metrics. Concordance and intraclass correlation coefficients, mean square deviations, total deviation indices, and limits of agreement were derived from these data to measure agreement and test for noninferiority. Finally, the same patients were clinically read in CereMetrix® to confirm that expected perfusion patterns appeared after comparison to the template.
MIMneuro®’s default threshold for normality is ± 1.65 z-score and this served as our noninferiority margin. Direct comparison of the template to controls produced no regions that exceeded this threshold and all clusters identified were far from statistically significant. Agreement measures revealed consistency between the softwares and that CereMetrix® results were noninferior to MIMneuro®, albeit with proportional bias. Visual analysis also confirmed that expected perfusion patterns appeared when individual scans were compared to the population template within CereMetrix®.
The authors demonstrated a population template was noninferior to a smaller control dataset despite inclusion of abnormal scans. This suggests that our patient-based population template can serve as an alternative for identifying and quantifying perfusion abnormalities in brain SPECT.
Technology in diabetes is rapidly evolving, with the aim of helping affected people to safely optimize their blood glucose control. New technologies are now considered as an essential tool for managing glycemia predominantly in people with type 1 diabetes, and clinical trials have demonstrated that in these subjects the use of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems are associated with improved glycemic control along with a better quality of life. Literature regarding technologies and type 2 diabetes is relatively lacking, but innovations may have an important role also in the management of these patients. Some studies in adults with type 2 diabetes have shown benefits with the use of CGM in terms of glycemic variability and improved therapeutic adjustments. Clinical trials about CSII and CGM use in type 2 diabetes may have some pitfalls and future studies are needed to assess how these advanced systems could improve clinical outcomes and also ensure cost-effectiveness in this population. In this narrative review, we aim to highlight the most relevant studies on this topic and to focus on the potential role of new technological devices in type 2 diabetes management.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common liver alteration worldwide. It encompasses a spectrum of disorders that range from simple steatosis to a progressive form, defined non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), that can lead to advanced fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. On liver histology, NASH is characterized by the concomitant presence of significant fat accumulation and inflammatory reaction with hepatocellular injury. Until now, liver biopsy is still required to differentiate simple steatosis from NASH and evaluate the degree of liver fibrosis. Unfortunately, this technique has well-known limitations, including invasiveness and expensiveness. Moreover, it may be biased by sampling error and intra- or inter-observed variability. Furthermore, due to the increasing prevalence of NAFLD worldwide, to program a systematic screening with liver biopsy is not imaginable. In recent years, different techniques were developed and validated with the aim of non-invasively identifying NASH and assess liver fibrosis degrees. The non-invasive tests range from simple blood-tests analyses to composite scores and complex imaging techniques. Nevertheless, even if they could represent cost-effective strategies for diagnosing NASH, advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis, their accuracy and consequent usefulness are to be discussed. With this aim, in this review the authors summarize the current state of non-invasive assessment of NAFLD. In particular, in addition to the well-established tests, the authors describe the future perspectives in this field, reporting the latest tests based on OMICS, gut-miocrobioma and micro-RNAs. Finally, the authors provide an accurate assessment of how these non-invasive tools perform in clinical practice depending on the clinical context, with the aim of giving the clinicians a useful tool to try to resolve the diagnostic conundrum of NAFLD.
The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the close relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are multiple, complex and only partially known. The purpose of this paper was to review the current knowledge of these mechanisms in a unified manner. Subjects with NAFLD and T2DM have established insulin resistance (IR), which exacerbates the two comorbidities. IR worsens NAFLD by increasing the accumulation of free fatty acids (FFAs) in the liver. This occurs due to an increase in the influx of FFAs from peripheral adipose tissue by the activation of hormone-sensitive lipase. In addition, there is de novo increased lipogenesis, a transcription factor, the sterols regulatory element-binding transcription factor 1c (SREBP-1c), which activates the expression of several genes strongly promotes lipogenesis by the liver and facilitate storage of triglycerides. Lipids accumulation in the liver induces a chronic stress in the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocytes. Genome-wide association studies have identified genetic variants associated with NAFLD severity, but unrelated to IR. In particular, the alteration of patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 contributes to the susceptibility to NAFLD. Furthermore, the lipotoxicity of ceramides and diacylglycerol, well known in T2DM, triggers a chronic inflammatory process favoring the progression from hepatic steatosis to steatohepatitis. Reactive oxygen species produced by mitochondrial dysfunction trigger both liver inflammation and beta-cells damage, promoting the progression of both NAFLD and T2DM. The close association between NAFLD and T2DM is bidirectional, as T2DM may trigger both NAFLD onset and its progression, but NAFLD itself may contribute to the development of IR and T2DM. Future studies on the mechanisms will have to deepen the knowledge of the interaction between the two pathologies and should allow the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of NAFLD, currently substantially absent.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most prevalent liver chronic disease worldwide. The pathogenesis of NAFLD is complex and involves many metabolic enzymes and multiple pathways. Posttranslational modifications of proteins (PMPs) added another layer of complexity to the pathogenesis of NAFLD. PMPs change protein properties and regulate many biological functions, including cellular localization, stability, intracellular signaling, and protein function. Lysine acetylation is a common reversible PMP that consists of the transfer of an acetyl group from acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) to a lysine residue on targeted proteins. The deacetylation reaction is catalyzed by deacetylases called sirtuins. This review summarizes the role of acetylation in NAFLD with a focus on sirtuins 1 and 3.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a serious condition that can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and all of its components. According to data, around 25–30% of population has NAFLD. Giving the growing incidence of MetS, obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2, NAFLD related terminal-stage liver disease is becoming prevailing indication for liver transplantation. In order to prevent terminal stage of this disease, it is crucial to determine those that are in risk group, to modify their risk factors and monitor their potential progression. In the absence of other causes of chronic liver disease, the prime diagnosis of NAFLD in daily clinical practice includes anamnesis, laboratory results (increased levels of aminotransferases and gammaglutamil transferases) and imaging methods. The biggest challenge with NAFLD patients is to differentiate simple steatosis from nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and detection of fibrosis, that is the main driver in NAFLD progression. The gold standard for NAFLD diagnosis still remains the liver biopsy (LB). However, in recent years many noninvasive methods were invented, such as transient elastography (TE). TE (FibroScan®, Echosens, Paris, France) is used for diagnosis of pathological differences of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) and controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). Investigations in the last years have confirmed that elastographic parameters of steatsis (CAP) and fibrosis (LSM) are reliable biomarkers to non-invasively assess liver steatosis and fibrosis respectively in NAFLD patients. A quick, straightforward and non-invasive method for NAFLD screening in patients with MetS components is TE-CAP. Once diagnosed, the next step is to determine the presence of fibrosis by LSM which should point out high risk patients. Those patients should be referred to hepatologists. LB may be avoided in a substantial number of patients if TE with CAP is used for screening.
The prevalence of nonalcoholic or more recently re-defined metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is rapidly growing worldwide. It is characterized by hepatic fat accumulation exceeding 5% of liver weight not attributable to alcohol consumption. MAFLD refers to an umbrella of conditions ranging from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis which may finally progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. MAFLD is closely related to components of the metabolic syndrome and to environmental factors. In addition to the latter, genetic predisposition plays a key role in MAFLD pathogenesis and strictly contributes to its progressive forms. The candidate genes which have been related to MAFLD hereditability are mainly involved in lipids remodeling, lipid droplets assembly, lipoprotein packaging and secretion, de novo lipogenesis, and mitochondrial redox status. In the recent years, it has emerged the opportunity to translate the genetics into clinics by aggregating the genetic variants mostly associated with MAFLD in polygenic risk scores. These scores might be used in combination with metabolic factors to identify those patients at higher risk to develop more severe liver disease and to schedule an individual therapeutic approach.
Diabetes and cancer are widespread worldwide and the number of subjects presenting both diseases increased over the years. The management of cancer patients having diabetes represents a challenge not only because of the complexity and heterogeneity of these pathologies but also for the lack of standardised clinical guidelines. The diagnosis of cancer is traumatizing and monopolizes the attention of both patients and caregivers. Thus, pre-existent or new-onset diabetes can be overshadowed thus increasing the risk for short- and long-term adverse events. Moreover, drugs used for each disease can interfere with the clinical course of the concomitant disease, making challenging the management of these patients. Over the years, this issue has become more relevant because of the increased patients’ life expectancy due to the improved efficacy of diabetes and cancer therapies.
The purpose of this review is to highlight what is known and what should be taken into consideration to optimise the clinical management of patients with diabetes and cancer. Due to the complexity of these diseases, a multidisciplinary, shared approach, including all the protagonists involved, is necessary to improve patients’ quality of life and lifespan.
The currently ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected globally human health and economy. Research in progress has shown facts associated with this disease and raised questions relevant for disease control and prevention. In this perspective, the collaboration between science and art in visual communication using the artwork “Enseñanza” (“Teaching”) contributes to the representation of the lessons learned from COVID-19 and the way forward. To advance preparedness for current and future pandemics, the authors propose to address international collaborations, support to science, access to food supplies and health services, sustainable development and a “One Health” approach searching a balanced interaction of humanity with nature and a more holistic approach to disease prevention and control.
Pooled prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) globally is about 25%. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with advanced fibrosis has been linked with substantial morbidity and mortality, without having to-date any licensed treatment. C-C chemokine receptor (CCR) antagonists have been investigated as candidates for the treatment of NASH. Inhibition of CCR2 is expected to mitigate hepatic inflammation, through reducing the activation of Kupffer cells, as well as the infiltration of monocytes and macrophages into the liver. Inhibition of CCR5 is expected to mitigate hepatic fibrogenesis, through impairing the activation of hepatic stellate cells, as well as to mitigate hepatic inflammation, through impairing the activation of Kupffer cells and macrophages. Cenicriviroc (CVC) is the first in class, dual inhibitor of CCR2 and CCR5. After exhibiting favorable results in animal models, CVC was shown to be beneficial in NASH patients with more severe fibrosis at a phase 2b trial (CENTAUR) and is currently at a phase 3 clinical trial (AURORA). Apart from CVC, other CCR5 mono-antagonists, such as maraviroc, are under evaluation in clinical trials with human immunodeficiency virus patients with NAFLD. The aim of this review was to summarize existing evidence on CVC and other CCR antagonists in NASH patients, primarily focusing on their clinical efficacy and safety.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a substantial and growing problem worldwide and has become the second most common indication for liver transplantation as it may progress to cirrhosis and develop complications from portal hypertension primarily caused by advanced fibrosis and erratic tissue remodeling. However, elevated portal venous pressure has also been detected in experimental models of fatty liver and in human NAFLD when fibrosis is far less advanced and cirrhosis is absent. Early increases in intrahepatic vascular resistance may contribute to the progression of liver disease. Specific pathophenotypes linked to the development of portal hypertension in NAFLD include hepatocellular lipid accumulation and ballooning injury, capillarization of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, enhanced contractility of hepatic stellate cells, activation of Kupffer cells and pro-inflammatory pathways, adhesion and entrapment of recruited leukocytes, microthrombosis, angiogenesis and perisinusoidal fibrosis. These pathological events are amplified in NAFLD by concomitant visceral obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and dysbiosis, promoting aberrant interactions with adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and gut microbiota. Measurement of the hepatic venous pressure gradient by retrograde insertion of a balloon-tipped central vein catheter is the current reference method for predicting outcomes of cirrhosis associated with clinically significant portal hypertension and guiding interventions. This invasive technique is rarely considered in the absence of cirrhosis where currently available clinical, imaging and laboratory correlates of portal hypertension may not reflect early changes in liver hemodynamics. Availability of less invasive but sufficiently sensitive methods for the assessment of portal venous pressure in NAFLD remains therefore an unmet need. Recent efforts to develop new biomarkers and endoscopy-based approaches such as endoscopic ultrasound-guided measurement of portal pressure gradient may help achieve this goal. In addition, cellular and molecular targets are being identified to guide emerging therapies in the prevention and management of portal hypertension.
To test if the impairment of mononuclear cell (MNC) migration in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is due to the reduction of the endoglin (ENG) receptor on the cell surface and oxidative stress.
MNCs of HHT patients and normal controls were subjected to migration assay. Fractions of MNCs were pre-incubated with antibodies specific to HHT causative genes ENG [hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1)] or activin receptor-like kinase 1 [ALK1, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2 (HHT2)], AMD3100 or Diprotin-A to block ENG, ALK1 C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) or CD26 (increased in HHT1 MNCs) before migration assay. The MNCs were allowed to migrate toward stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) for 18 h. The expression of CXCR4, CD26, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) in MNCs and nitric oxide levels in the plasma were analyzed.
Compared to the controls, fewer HHT1 MNCs and similar number of HHT2 MNCs migrated toward SDF-1α. Diprotin-A pre-treatment improved HHT1 MNC-migration, but had no effect on normal and HHT2 MNCs. Pre-incubation with an anti-ENG antibody reduced the migration of normal MNCs. Diprotin-A did not improve the migration of ENG antibody pre-treated MNCs. Anti-ALK1 antibody had no effect on MNC-migration. AMD3100 treatment reduced normal and HHT MNC-migration. ENG mRNA level was reduced in HHT1 and HHT2 MNCs. ALK1 mRNA was reduced in HHT2 MNCs only. CD26 expression was higher in HHT1 MNCs. Pre-treatment of MNCs with anti-ENG or anti-ALK1 antibody had no effect on CD26 and CXCR4 expression. The expression of antioxidant enzymes, SOD1, was reduced in HHT1 MNCs, which was accompanied with an increase of ROS in HHT MNCs and nitric oxide in HHT1 plasma.
Reduction of ENG receptor on MNC surface reduced monocyte migration toward SDF-1α independent of CD26 expression. Increased oxidative stress could alter HHT MNC migration behavior.
Epigenetic variation of DNA methylation of the mu-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) has been identified in the blood and saliva of individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and infants with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS). It is unknown whether epigenetic variation in OPRM1 exists within placental tissue in women with OUD and whether it is associated with NOWS outcomes. In this pilot study, the authors aimed to 1) examine the association between placental OPRM1 DNA methylation levels and NOWS outcomes, and 2) compare OPRM1 methylation levels in opioid-exposed versus non-exposed control placentas.
Placental tissue was collected from eligible opioid (n = 64) and control (n = 29) women after delivery. Placental DNA was isolated and methylation levels at six cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites within the OPRM1 promoter were quantified. Methylation levels were evaluated for associations with infant NOWS outcome measures: need for pharmacologic treatment, length of hospital stay (LOS), morphine treatment days, and treatment with two medications. Regression models were created and adjusted for clinical co-variates. Methylation levels between opioid and controls placentas were also compared.
The primary opioid exposures were methadone and buprenorphine. Forty-nine (76.6%) of the opioid-exposed infants required pharmacologic treatment, 10 (15.6%) two medications, and average LOS for all opioid-exposed infants was 16.5 (standard deviation 9.7) days. There were no significant associations between OPRM1 DNA methylation levels in the six CpG sites and any NOWS outcome measures. No significant differences were found in methylation levels between the opioid and control samples.
No significant associations were found between OPRM1 placental DNA methylation levels and NOWS severity in this pilot cohort. In addition, no significant differences were seen in OPRM1 methylation in opioid versus control placentas. Future association studies examining methylation levels on a genome-wide level are warranted.
Recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have tested the efficacy of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) to specifically treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We performed a meta-analysis of RCTs to investigate the efficacy of GLP-1 RAs for treatment of NAFLD or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
We systematically searched PubMed and ClinicalTrials.Gov databases utilizing specific terms to identify placebo-controlled or head-to-head RCTs (last research on March 1, 2020) involving NAFLD patients with the aim of evaluating the efficacy of GLP-1 RAs to treat NAFLD/NASH. Primary outcomes were changes in serum liver enzymes, liver fat content, or histologic resolution of NASH. Weighted mean differences (WMD) were used to test the differences between the treatment arms.
Overall, we found 7 placebo-controlled or head-to-head RCTs involving 472 middle-aged individuals (66% men; 77% with established diabetes) followed for a median of 16 weeks that have used liraglutide or exenatide to treat NAFLD on imaging (n = 6) or biopsy (n = 1). Compared to placebo or reference therapy, treatment with GLP-1 RAs decreased serum alanine aminotransferase [n = 7 studies; WMD: –8.77 IU/L, 95% confidence intervals (CI) –17.69 to 0.14 IU/L; I2 = 87.3%], gamma-glutamyltransferase levels (n = 4 studies; WMD: –10.17 IU/L, 95% CI –14.27 IU/L to –6.07 IU/L; I2 = 0%) and imaging-defined liver fat content (n = 4 studies; WMD: –6.23%, 95% CI –8.95% to –3.51%; I2 = 85.9%). In one RCT involving 55 patients with biopsy-proven NASH, a 48-week treatment with liraglutide also led to a greater histological resolution of NASH than placebo.
GLP-1 RAs (mostly liraglutide) seem to be a promising treatment option for NAFLD or NASH.
Rational government of patient fluxes from primary care to hepatology clinic is a priority of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) research. Estimating pre-test probability of disease, risk of fibrosis progression, and exclusion of competing causes of liver disease must be addressed. Here we propose a novel taxonomic classification of NAFLD based on hepatic, pathogenic and systemic features of disease in the individual patient. The variable course of disease in any given patient remains a clinical enigma. Therefore, future studies will have to better characterize the role of genetic polymorphisms, family and personal history, diet, alcohol, physical activity and drugs as modifiers of the course of disease and clues to the early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. A better understanding of these, together with a taxonomic diagnosis, may prompt a more accurate personalization of care. For example, understanding the putative role of psycho-depression in NAFLD promises to revolutionize disease management in a proportion of cases. Similarly, sex differences in outcome and response to treatment are insufficiently characterized. More studies are awaited regarding those forms of NAFLD which occur secondary to endocrine derangements. The intersections between NAFLD and the lung must better be defined. These include the bi-directional associations of NAFLD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnoea syndrome, as well as the totally unexplored chapter of NAFLD and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Finally, the therapeutic roles of intermittent fasting and anticoagulation must be assessed. In conclusion, over the last 20 years, NAFLD has taught us a lot regarding the pathogenic importance of insulin resistance, the limitations of correcting this in the treatment of NAFLD, the root causes of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, sex differences in disease and the role of nuclear receptors. However, the overwhelming COVID-19 pandemic is now expected to reset the priorities of public health.
Left ventricular ejection fraction is the critical parameter used for heart failure classification, decision making and assessing prognosis. It is defined as a volumetric ratio and is essentially a composite of arterial and ventricular elastances, but not intrinsic contractility. The clinician should be aware of its numerous limitations when measuring and reporting it. And make a step toward more insightful understanding of hemodynamics.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Despite extensive studies, the heterogeneity of the risk factors as well as different disease mechanisms complicate the goals toward effective diagnosis and management. Recently, it has been shown that sex differences play a role in the prevalence and progression of NAFLD. In vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies revealed that the lower prevalence of NAFLD in premenopausal as compared to postmenopausal women and men is mainly due to the protective effects of estrogen and body fat distribution. It has been also described that males and females present differential pathogenic features in terms of biochemical profiles and histological characteristics. However, the exact molecular mechanisms for the gender differences that exist in the pathogenesis of NAFLD are still elusive. Lipogenesis, oxidative stress, and inflammation play a key role in the progression of NAFLD. For NAFLD, only a few studies characterized these mechanisms at the molecular level. Therefore, we aim to review the reported differential molecular mechanisms that trigger such different pathogenesis in both sexes. Differences in lipid metabolism, glucose homeostasis, oxidative stress, inflammation, and fibrosis were discussed based on the evidence reported in recent publications. In conclusion, with this review, we hope to provide a new perspective for the development of future practice guidelines as well as a new avenue for the management of the disease.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a disease regularly seen in clinical practice. At present, CKD is described as a change of kidney structure and/or function and it is classified in relation to cause, values of glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria category. Seeing that CKD is closely linked to the development of end-stage renal disease and other comorbidities, the determination of additional independent predictors for CKD is clinically necessary. At present, there is evidence associating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with CKD, thereby suggesting that NAFLD patients may require intensive surveillance to reduce their risk of CKD. In 2008, genome-wide association studies documented an association between the variant rs738409 (C > G p.I148M) in the patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) gene (mainly implicated in the lipid regulation) and the entire spectrum of NAFLD (i.e., liver steatosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma). In the last years, accumulating epidemiological evidence suggests the existence of a relationship between PNPLA3 rs738409 and risk of CKD, indicating that rs738409 may also contribute to the kidney injury. This is of particular scientific interest, as such association may explain, at least in part, the epidemiological association between liver and kidney disease. In this narrative review, we will discuss the accumulating evidence regarding the association between PNPLA3 rs738409 and risk of CKD, the putative biological mechanisms underpinning such relationship, and the possible future perspective.
Racial disparities in opioid use disorder (OUD) management exist, however, and there is limited research on factors that influence opioid cessation in different population groups.
We employed multiple machine learning prediction algorithms least absolute shrinkage and selection operator, random forest, deep neural network, and support vector machine to assess factors associated with ceasing opioid use in a sample of 1,192 African Americans (AAs) and 2,557 individuals of European ancestry (EAs) who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition criteria for OUD. Values for nearly 4,000 variables reflecting demographics, alcohol and other drug use, general health, non-drug use behaviors, and diagnoses for other psychiatric disorders, were obtained for each participant from the Semi-Structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism, a detailed semi-structured interview.
Support vector machine models performed marginally better on average than other machine learning methods with maximum prediction accuracies of 75.4% in AAs and 79.4% in EAs. Subsequent stepwise regression considered the 83 most highly ranked variables across all methods and models and identified less recent cocaine use (AAs: odds ratio (OR) = 1.82, P = 9.19 × 10−5; EAs: OR = 1.91, P = 3.30 × 10−15), shorter duration of opioid use (AAs: OR = 0.55, P = 5.78 × 10−6; EAs: OR = 0.69, P = 3.01 × 10−7), and older age (AAs: OR = 2.44, P = 1.41 × 10−12; EAs: OR = 2.00, P = 5.74 × 10−9) as the strongest independent predictors of opioid cessation in both AAs and EAs. Attending self-help groups for OUD was also an independent predictor (P < 0.05) in both population groups, while less gambling severity (OR = 0.80, P = 3.32 × 10−2) was specific to AAs and post-traumatic stress disorder recovery (OR = 1.93, P = 7.88 × 10−5), recent antisocial behaviors (OR = 0.64, P = 2.69 × 10−3), and atheism (OR = 1.45, P = 1.34 × 10−2) were specific to EAs. Factors related to drug use comprised about half of the significant independent predictors in both AAs and EAs, with other predictors related to non-drug use behaviors, psychiatric disorders, overall health, and demographics.
These proof-of-concept findings provide avenues for hypothesis-driven analysis, and will lead to further research on strategies to improve OUD management in EAs and AAs.
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a blinding morbidity of preterm infants, which represents a significant clinical problem, accounting for up to 40% of all childhood blindness. ROP displays a range of severity, though even mild disease may result in life-long visual impairment. This is complicated by the fact that our current treatments have significant ocular and potentially systemic effects. Therefore, disease prevention is desperately needed to mitigate the life-long deleterious effects of ROP for preterm infants. Although ROP demonstrates a delayed onset of retinal disease following preterm birth, representing a potential window for prevention, we have been unable to sufficiently alter the natural disease course and meaningfully prevent ROP. Prevention therapeutics requires knowledge of early ROP molecular changes and risk, occurring prior to clinical retinal disease. While we still have an incomplete understanding of these disease mechanisms, emerging data integrating contributions of maternal/placental pathobiology with ROP are poised to inform novel approaches to prevention. Herein, we review the molecular basis for current prevention strategies and the clinical outcomes of these interventions. We also discuss how insights into early ROP pathophysiology may be gained by a better understanding of maternal and placental factors playing a role in preterm birth.