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Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) was the first neuromodulation device approved for treatment of epilepsy. In more than 20 years of study, VNS has consistently demonstrated efficacy in treating epilepsy. After 2 years, approximately 50% of patients experience at least 50% reduced seizure frequency. Adverse events with VNS treatment are rare and include surgical adverse events (including infection, vocal cord paresis, and so forth) and stimulation side effects (hoarseness, voice change, and cough). Future developments in VNS, including closed-loop and noninvasive stimulation, may reduce side effects or increase efficacy of VNS.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We sought to replicate previous findings that low endogenous opioid (EO) function predicts greater morphine analgesia and extended these findings by examining whether circulating endocannabinoids and related lipids moderate EO-related predictive effects. Individuals with chronic low-back pain (n = 46) provided blood samples for endocannabinoid analyses, then underwent separate identical laboratory sessions under 3 drug conditions: saline placebo, intravenous (i.v.) naloxone (opioid antagonist; 12-mg total), and i.v. morphine (0.09-mg/kg total). During each session, participants rated low-back pain intensity, evoked heat pain intensity, and nonpain subjective effects 4 times in sequence after incremental drug dosing. Mean morphine effects (morphine-placebo difference) and opioid blockade effects (naloxone-placebo difference; to index EO function) for each primary outcome (low-back pain intensity, evoked heat pain intensity, and nonpain subjective effects) were derived by averaging across the 4 incremental doses. The association between EO function and morphine-induced back pain relief was significantly moderated by endocannabinoids [2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA)]. Lower EO function predicted greater morphine analgesia only for those with relatively lower endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids also significantly moderated EO effects on morphine-related changes in visual analog scale-evoked pain intensity (2-AG), drug liking (AEA and 2-AG), and desire to take again (AEA and 2-AG). In the absence of significant interactions, lower EO function predicted significantly greater morphine analgesia (as in past work) and euphoria. Results indicate that EO effects on analgesic and subjective responses to opioid medications are greatest when endocannabinoid levels are low. These findings may help guide development of mechanism-based predictors for personalized pain medicine algorithms.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a new class of anticancer therapies that amplify T-cell-mediated immune responses against cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown important benefits in phase 3 trials, and several agents have been approved for specific malignancies. Although adverse events from immune checkpoint inhibitors are a common occurrence, cardiotoxic effects are uncommon, but are often serious complications with a relatively high mortality. Most cardiotoxic effects appear to be inflammatory in nature. Clinical assessment of a combination of biomarkers, electrocardiography, cardiac imaging, and endomyocardial biopsy can be used to confirm a possible diagnosis. In this Review, we discuss the epidemiology of immune checkpoint inhibitor-mediated cardiotoxic effects, as well as their clinical presentation, subtypes, risk factors, pathophysiology, and clinical management, including the introduction of a new surveillance strategy.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Optimal management of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is unclear. One treatment, surgical ligation, is associated with adverse outcomes. We reviewed data from the Kids' Inpatient Database (2000-2012) to determine if PDA ligation rates: (1) changed over time, (2) varied geographically, or (3) influenced surgical complication rates. In 2012, 47,900 infants <1500g birth weight were born in the United States, including 2,800 undergoing PDA ligation (5.9%). Ligation was more likely in infants <1000g (85.9% vs. 46.2%), and associated with necrotizing enterocolitis (59.2% vs. 37.5%), BPD (54.6% vs. 15.2%), severe intraventricular hemorrhage (16.4% vs. 5.3%), and hospital transfer (37.6% vs. 16.4%). Ligation rates peaked in 2006 at 87.4 per 1000 hospital births, dropping to 58.8 in 2012, and were consistently higher in Western states. Infants undergoing ligation were more likely to experience comorbidities. Rates of ligation-associated vocal cord paralysis increased over time (1.2-3.9%); however, mortality decreased (12.4-6.5%). Thus, PDA ligation has become less frequent, although infants being ligated are smaller and more medically complex. Despite increase in some complications, mortality rates improved perhaps reflecting advances in care.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Adherence to diabetes management is a challenge for adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Positive psychology interventions have improved adherence to treatment recommendations in adults with chronic health conditions but have not been widely tested in pediatric populations. We hypothesized that higher engagement with a text-messaging intervention to promote positive affect would increase the effects on diabetes management among adolescents with T1D. Adolescents with T1D (n = 48) and their caregivers were randomized to either an attention control condition or a novel positive psychology intervention delivered through personalized automated text messaging. We examined rates of engagement (percent response to text messages) in relation to demographic factors, and we explored the effect of engagement in relation to adherence and glycemic control. Adolescent engagement was good (mean response rate of 76%) over the 8-week intervention. Engagement was related to adolescents' gender, race, baseline glycemic control, and blood glucose monitoring, but not to treatment type (pump vs. injection), diabetes duration, age, or household income. There was a significant effect of level of engagement on better caregiver-reported adherence, but adolescents' engagement was not related to self-reported adherence or glycemic control. These results indicate feasibility and initial efficacy of using automated text-messaging to deliver an intervention aimed at promoting adherence in adolescents with T1D.
Pathologic examination of hepatic metastasectomies from patients with metastatic small intestinal or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor frequently reveals micrometastases undetectable by radiologic or macroscopic gross examination. This finding raises the possibility that undetectable micrometastases remain in these patients after metastasectomy. Here we examined liver resections for micrometastases and assessed their impact on prognosis. Hepatic metastasectomies from 65 patients with neuroendocrine tumor of the small intestine (N = 43) or pancreas (N = 22) were reviewed for the presence of micrometastases, which were defined as microscopic tumor foci ≤1 mm in greatest dimension. Medical records were also reviewed for patient demographics, clinical history, and follow-up data. Micrometastasis was identified in 36 (55%) of 65 hepatic resection specimens. More hepatic micrometastases were seen in small intestinal cases than in pancreatic cases (29/43, 67%, versus 7/22, 32%; P < .01). They were typically present within portal tracts, sometimes with extension into the periportal region or sinusoidal spaces away from the portal tracts. Patients without hepatic micrometastases had fewer macrometastases or more R0 hepatic resections than those with micrometastases. The presence of hepatic micrometastases was associated with poor overall survival both before (hazard ratio [HR] 3.43; 95% CI 1.14-10.30; P = .03) and after accounting for confounding variables in stratified Cox regression (HR 4.82; 95% CI 1.0621.79; P = .04). In conclusion, hepatic micrometastases are common in patients with metastatic small intestinal or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor and are independently associated with poor prognosis. These data suggest that surgical resection of hepatic metastases is likely not curative in these patients.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The non-fluent/agrammatic variant of primary progressive aphasia (nfvPPA) presents with a gradual decline in grammar and motor speech resulting from selective degeneration of speech-language regions in the brain. There has been considerable progress in identifying treatment approaches to remediate language deficits in other primary progressive aphasia variants; however, interventions for the core deficits in nfvPPA have yet to be systematically investigated. Further, the neural mechanisms that support behavioural restitution in the context of neurodegeneration are not well understood. We examined the immediate and long-term benefits of video implemented script training for aphasia (VISTA) in 10 individuals with nfvPPA. The treatment approach involved repeated rehearsal of individualized scripts via structured treatment with a clinician as well as intensive home practice with an audiovisual model using 'speech entrainment'. We evaluated accuracy of script production as well as overall intelligibility and grammaticality for trained and untrained scripts. These measures and standardized test scores were collected at post-treatment and 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up visits. Treatment resulted in significant improvement in production of correct, intelligible scripted words for trained topics, a reduction in grammatical errors for trained topics, and an overall increase in intelligibility for trained as well as untrained topics at post-treatment. Follow-up testing revealed maintenance of gains for trained scripts up to 1 year post-treatment on the primary outcome measure. Performance on untrained scripts and standardized tests remained relatively stable during the follow-up period, indicating that treatment helped to stabilize speech and language despite disease progression. To identify neural predictors of responsiveness to intervention, we examined treatment effect sizes relative to grey matter volumes in regions of interest derived from a previously identified speech production network. Regions of significant atrophy within this network included bilateral inferior frontal cortices and supplementary motor area as well as left striatum. Volumes in a left middle/inferior temporal region of interest were significantly correlated with the magnitude of treatment effects. This region, which was relatively spared anatomically in nfvPPA patients, has been implicated in syntactic production as well as visuo-motor facilitation of speech. This is the first group study to document the benefits of behavioural intervention that targets both linguistic and motoric deficits in nfvPPA. Findings indicate that behavioural intervention may result in lasting and generalized improvement of communicative function in individuals with neurodegenerative disease and that the integrity of spared regions within the speech-language network may be an important predictor of treatment response.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) reduce cardiovascular events in the general population. Maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients are at high cardiovascular risk but few studies have directly addressed the comparative efficacy of these drugs. MHD disrupts the normally atheroprotective actions of high density lipoprotein (HDL), therefore, we compared ACEI or ARB treatment on HDL functions in MHD.
METHODS AND RESULTS - HDL was isolated at the starting point (pre) and 3-6 months later (post) in 30 MHD randomly assigned to placebo, ramipril or valsartan. Outcomes included cholesterol efflux, inflammatory cytokine response, effects on Toll-like receptors (TLR), superoxide production, methylarginine and serum amyloid A (SAA) levels. HDL from ARB- or ACEI-treated subjects was more effective in maintaining efflux than HDL of placebo. HDL from ARB- or ACEI-treated subjects but not placebo lessened cellular superoxide production. In contrast, neither ARB nor ACEI improved HDL anti-inflammatory effect. Indeed, HDL of ACEI-treated subjects potentiated the cytokine responses in association with activation of TLR but did not alter the HDL content of methylarginines or SAA.
CONCLUSION - Both ACEI and ARB stabilized HDL cholesterol acceptor function and sustained cellular anti-oxidative effects but not anti-inflammatory effects, and ACEI-treatment instead amplified the HDL inflammatory response. The findings reveal possible utility of antagonizing angiotensin actions in MDH and suggest a possible mechanism for superiority of ARB vs ACEI in the setting of advanced kidney disease.
Copyright © 2018 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - We sought to determine the outcome of suicidal hanging and the impact of targeted temperature management (TTM) on hanging-induced cardiac arrest (CA) through an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) multicenter retrospective study.
METHODS - We analyzed hanging patient data and TTM variables from January 1992 to December 2015. Cerebral performance category score of 1 or 2 was considered good neurologic outcome, while cerebral performance category score of 3 or 4 was considered poor outcome. Classification and Regression Trees recursive partitioning was used to develop multivariate predictive models for survival and neurologic outcome.
RESULTS - A total of 692 hanging patients from 17 centers were analyzed for this study. Their overall survival rate was 77%, and the CA survival rate was 28.6%. The CA patients had significantly higher severity of illness and worse outcome than the non-CA patients. Of the 175 CA patients who survived to hospital admission, 81 patients (46.3%) received post-CA TTM. The unadjusted survival of TTM CA patients (24.7% vs 39.4%, p < 0.05) and good neurologic outcome (19.8% vs 37.2%, p < 0.05) were worse than non-TTM CA patients. However, when subgroup analyses were performed between those with an admission Glasgow Coma Scale score of 3 to 8, the differences between TTM and non-TTM CA survival (23.8% vs 30.0%, p = 0.37) and good neurologic outcome (18.8% vs 28.7%, p = 0.14) were not significant. Targeted temperature management implementation and post-CA management varied between the participating centers. Classification and Regression Trees models identified variables predictive of favorable and poor outcome for hanging and TTM patients with excellent accuracy.
CONCLUSION - Cardiac arrest hanging patients had worse outcome than non-CA patients. Targeted temperature management CA patients had worse unadjusted survival and neurologic outcome than non-TTM patients. These findings may be explained by their higher severity of illness, variable TTM implementation, and differences in post-CA management. Future prospective studies are necessary to ascertain the effect of TTM on hanging outcome and to validate our Classification and Regression Trees models.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - Therapeutic study, level IV; prognostic study, level III.