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A primary challenge facing the development of interventions for dyslexia is identifying effective predictors of intervention response. While behavioral literature has identified core cognitive characteristics of response, the distinction of reading versus executive cognitive contributions to response profiles remains unclear, due in part to the difficulty of segregating these constructs using behavioral outputs. In the current study we used functional neuroimaging to piece apart the mechanisms of how/whether executive and reading network relationships are predictive of intervention response. We found that readers who are responsive to intervention have more typical pre-intervention functional interactions between executive and reading systems compared to nonresponsive readers. These findings suggest that intervention response in dyslexia is influenced not only by domain-specific reading regions, but also by contributions from intervening domain-general networks. Our results make a significant gain in identifying predictive bio-markers of outcomes in dyslexia, and have important implications for the development of personalized clinical interventions.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Neurocognitive evaluations are commonly integrated with clinical assessment to evaluate adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Study goal is to identify measures most strongly related to ADHD diagnosis and to determine their utility in screening processes.
PARTICIPANTS - 230 students who were evaluated at the Vanderbilt University Psychological and Counseling Center between July 2013 and October 2015.
METHODS - We retrospectively examined charts, including clinical diagnosis, family history, childhood parental reported and current self-reported ADHD symptoms, psychiatric comorbidities, and continuous performance test (CPT).
RESULT - Positive report of childhood and current ADHD symptoms, and lack of comorbid psychiatric symptoms were strongly associated with clinical diagnosis. CPT results were not associated with an ADHD diagnosis. The absence of reported childhood and current ADHD symptoms may serve as a contradictory marker for ADHD diagnosis.
CONCLUSION - Clinical assessment of ADHD symptoms and ADHD childhood history, but not CPT, contributes to an accurate diagnosis of ADHD in college-aged adults.
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the targets of over half of all prescribed drugs today. The UniProt database has records for about 800 proteins classified as GPCRs, but drugs have only been developed against 50 of these. Thus, there is huge potential in terms of the number of targets for new therapies to be designed. Several breakthroughs in GPCRs biased pharmacology, structural biology, modelling and scoring have resulted in a resurgence of interest in GPCRs as drug targets. Therefore, an international conference, sponsored by the Royal Society, with world-renowned researchers from industry and academia was recently held to discuss recent progress and highlight key areas of future research needed to accelerate GPCR drug discovery. Several key points emerged. Firstly, structures for all three major classes of GPCRs have now been solved and there is increasing coverage across the GPCR phylogenetic tree. This is likely to be substantially enhanced with data from x-ray free electron sources as they move beyond proof of concept. Secondly, the concept of biased signalling or functional selectivity is likely to be prevalent in many GPCRs, and this presents exciting new opportunities for selectivity and the control of side effects, especially when combined with increasing data regarding allosteric modulation. Thirdly, there will almost certainly be some GPCRs that will remain difficult targets because they exhibit complex ligand dependencies and have many metastable states rendering them difficult to resolve by crystallographic methods. Subtle effects within the packing of the transmembrane helices are likely to mask and contribute to this aspect, which may play a role in species dependent behaviour. This is particularly important because it has ramifications for how we interpret pre-clinical data. In summary, collaborative efforts between industry and academia have delivered significant progress in terms of structure and understanding of GPCRs and will be essential for resolving problems associated with the more difficult targets in the future.
The misuse of stimulant medication among college students is a prevalent and growing problem. The purpose of this review and meta-analysis is to summarize the current research on rates and demographic and psychosocial correlates of stimulant medication misuse among college students, to provide methodological guidance and other ideas for future research, and to provide some preliminary suggestions for preventing and reducing misuse on college campuses. Random-effects meta-analysis found that the rate of stimulant medication misuse among college students was estimated at 17 % (95 % CI [0.13, 0.23], p < .001) and identified several psychological variables that differentiated misusers and nonusers, including symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, problems associated with alcohol use, and marijuana use. A qualitative review of the literature also revealed that Greek organization membership, academic performance, and other substance use were associated with misuse. Students are misusing primarily for academic reasons, and the most common source for obtaining stimulant medication is peers with prescriptions. Interpretation of findings is complicated by the lack of a standard misuse definition as well as validated tools for measuring stimulant misuse. The relation between stimulant medication misuse and extra curricular participation, academic outcomes, depression, and eating disorders requires further investigation, as do the reasons why students divert or misuse and whether policies on college campuses contribute to the high rates of misuse among students. Future research should also work to develop and implement effective prevention strategies for reducing the diversion and misuse of stimulant medication on college campuses.
The newly formed Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC) aims to support the growing numbers of university centres engaged in drug discovery that have emerged in response to recent changes in the drug discovery ecosystem.
Pharmacogenomics is aimed at advancing our knowledge of the genetic basis of variable drug response. The Center for Personalized Therapeutics within the University of Chicago comprises basic, translational and clinical research as well as education including undergraduate, graduate, medical students, clinical/postdoctoral fellows and faculty. The Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics is the educational arm of the Center aimed at training clinical and postdoctoral fellows in translational pharmacology and pharmacogenomics. Research runs the gamut from basic discovery and functional studies to pharmacogenomic implementation studies to evaluate physician adoption of genetic medicine. The mission of the Center is to facilitate research, education and implementation of pharmacogenomics to realize the true potential of personalized medicine and improve the lives of patients.
An academic, business, and community alliance comprising 285 organizations, including 43 national groups represented on a Blue Ribbon Panel organized by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, targeted Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin for high involvement/intervention consisting of community organization and other political action to support passage of primary seat belt laws. State-level alliance activities began in January 2003. All six states enacted a primary seat belt law between 2004 and 2009. From January 2003 to May 2010, passage of primary legislation was 4.5 times as likely (95% CI 1.90, 10.68) in states with high versus low alliance involvement. Positive interaction between high alliance involvement and offers of federal incentives may have occurred as well. This evidence of success suggests that academic-business-community alliances for action to promote evidence-based public health policy may be effective.
BACKGROUND - Hypertension, a strong determinant of cardiovascular disease risk, has been documented among elite, professional American-style football (ASF) players. The risk of increased blood pressure (BP) and early adulthood hypertension among the substantially larger population of collegiate ASF athletes is not known.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We conducted a prospective, longitudinal study to examine BP, the incidence of hypertension, and left ventricular remodeling among collegiate ASF athletes. Resting BP and left ventricular structure were assessed before and after a single season of competitive ASF participation in 6 consecutive groups of first-year university athletes (n=113). ASF participation was associated with significant increases in systolic BP (116±8 versus 125±13 mm Hg; P<0.001) and diastolic BP (64±8 mm Hg versus 66±10 mm Hg; P<0.001). At the postseason assessment, the majority of athletes met criteria for Joint National Commission (seventh report) prehypertension (53 of 113, 47%) or stage 1 hypertension (16 of 113, 14%). Among measured characteristics, lineman field position, intraseason weight gain, and family history of hypertension were the strongest independent predictors of postseason BP. Among linemen, there was a significant increase in the prevalence of concentric left ventricular hypertrophy (2 of 64 [3%] versus 20 of 64 [31%]; P<0.001) and change in left ventricular mass correlated with intraseason change in systolic BP (R=0.46, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS - Collegiate ASF athletes may be at risk for clinically relevant increases in BP and the development of hypertension. Enhanced surveillance and carefully selected interventions may represent important opportunities to improve later-life cardiovascular health outcomes in this population.
Although the college years represent a high-risk period for depressive symptoms and insomnia, little research has explored their prevalence, comorbidities and risk factors within this developmental period. Two studies were conducted; the first evaluated the prevalence and comorbidity of depressive symptoms and insomnia in 1338 students (ages 18-23 years) from a large Southwestern University. Mild depressive symptoms were endorsed by 19% of students and 14.5% reported moderate to severe symptoms. Forty-seven percent of students reported mild insomnia and 22.5% endorsed moderate to severe insomnia severity. A second study investigated perceived stress as a potential mediator of the relation between self-reported childhood adversity and concurrent depressive symptoms and insomnia. Undergraduates (N = 447) from a Southwestern and Southeastern University reported prior childhood adversity, current perceived stress, insomnia and depressive symptoms. Self-reported childhood adversity predicted higher levels of depressive symptoms and insomnia severity, partially mediated by perceived stress. Results support the high prevalence of depressive symptoms and insomnia among undergraduates. The risk for depressive and insomnia symptoms may be increased among students who experienced greater levels of childhood adversity.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
BACKGROUND - The management of genitourinary malignancies requires a multidisciplinary care team composed of urologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. A genitourinary (GU) oncology clinical database is an invaluable resource for patient care and research. Although electronic medical records provide a single web-based record used for clinical care, billing, and scheduling, information is typically stored in a discipline-specific manner and data extraction is often not applicable to a research setting. A GU oncology database may be used for the development of multidisciplinary treatment plans, analysis of disease-specific practice patterns, and identification of patients for research studies. Despite the potential utility, there are many important considerations that must be addressed when developing and implementing a discipline-specific database.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - The creation of the GU oncology database including prostate, bladder, and kidney cancers with the identification of necessary variables was facilitated by meetings of stakeholders in medical oncology, urology, and radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill with a template data dictionary provided by the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Utilizing Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap, version 4.14.5), the UNC Genitourinary OncoLogy Database (UNC GOLD) was designed and implemented.
RESULTS - The process of designing and implementing a discipline-specific clinical database requires many important considerations. The primary consideration is determining the relationship between the database and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) given the potential applications for both clinical and research uses. Several other necessary steps include ensuring information technology security and federal regulation compliance; determination of a core complete dataset; creation of standard operating procedures; standardizing entry of free text fields; use of data exports, queries, and de-identification strategies; inclusion of individual investigators' data; and strategies for prioritizing specific projects and data entry.
CONCLUSIONS - A discipline-specific database requires a buy-in from all stakeholders, meticulous development, and data entry resources to generate a unique platform for housing information that may be used for clinical care and research with IRB approval. The steps and issues identified in the development of UNC GOLD provide a process map for others interested in developing a GU oncology database.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.