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Background and Purpose- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) StrokeNet provides a nationwide infrastructure to advance stroke research. Capitalizing on this unique opportunity, the NIH StrokeNet Training Core (NSTC) was established with the overarching goal of enhancing the professional development of a diverse spectrum of professionals who are embedded in the stroke clinical trials network of the NIH StrokeNet. Methods- This special report provides a descriptive account of the rationale, organization, and activities of the NSTC since its inception in 2013. Current processes and their evolution over time for facilitating training of NIH StrokeNet trainees have been highlighted. Data collected for monitoring training are summarized. Outcomes data (publications and grants) collected by NSTC was supplemented by publicly available resources. Results- The NSTC comprises of cross-network faculty, trainees, and education coordinators. It helps in the development and monitoring of training programs and organizes educational and career development activities. Trainees are provided directed guidance towards their mandated research projects, including opportunities to present at the International Stroke Conference. The committee has focused on developing sustainable models of peer-to-peer interaction and cross-institutional mentorships. A total of 124 professionals (43.7% female, 10.5% underrepresented minorities) have completed training between 2013 and 2018, of whom 55% were clinical vascular neurologists. Of the total, 85% transitioned to a formal academic position and 95% were involved in stroke research post-training. Altogether, 1659 indexed publications have been authored or co-authored by NIH StrokeNet Trainees, of which 58% were published during or after their training years. Based on data from 109 trainees, 33% had submitted 72 grant proposals as principal or co-principal investigators of which 22.2% proposals have been funded. Conclusions- NSTC has provided a foundation to foster nationwide training in stroke research. Our data demonstrate strong contribution of trainees towards academic scholarship. Continued innovation in educational methodologies is required to adapt to unique training opportunities such as the NIH StrokeNet.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Impacts of mindfulness-based programs on blood pressure remain equivocal, possibly because the programs are not adapted to engage with determinants of hypertension, or due to floor effects. Primary objectives were to create a customized Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, and to evaluate acceptability, feasibility, and effects on hypothesized proximal self-regulation mechanisms. Secondary outcomes included modifiable determinants of blood pressure (BP), and clinic-assessed systolic blood pressure (SBP).
METHODS - This was a Stage 1 single-arm trial with one year follow-up. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were performed to evaluate acceptability and feasibility. Self-regulation outcomes, and determinants of BP, were assessed using validated questionnaires or objective assessments. The MB-BP curriculum was adapted from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to direct participants' mindfulness skills towards modifiable determinants of blood pressure.
RESULTS - Acceptability and feasibility findings showed that of 53 eligible participants, 48 enrolled (91%). Of these, 43 (90%) attended at least 7 of the 10 MB-BP classes; 43 were followed to one year (90%). Focus groups (n = 19) and semi-structured interviews (n = 10) showed all participants viewed the delivery modality favorably, and identified logistic considerations concerning program access as barriers. A priori selected primary self-regulation outcomes showed improvements at one-year follow-up vs. baseline, including attention control (Sustained Attention to Response Task correct no-go score, p<0.001), emotion regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Score, p = 0.02), and self-awareness (Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, p<0.001). Several determinants of hypertension were improved in participants not adhering to American Heart Association guidelines at baseline, including physical activity (p = 0.02), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-consistent diet (p<0.001), and alcohol consumption (p<0.001). Findings demonstrated mean 6.1 mmHg reduction in SBP (p = 0.008) at one year follow-up; effects were most pronounced in Stage 2 uncontrolled hypertensives (SBP≥140 mmHg), showing 15.1 mmHg reduction (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION - MB-BP has good acceptability and feasibility, and may engage with self-regulation and behavioral determinants of hypertension.
Transformative technologies are enabling the construction of three-dimensional maps of tissues with unprecedented spatial and molecular resolution. Over the next seven years, the NIH Common Fund Human Biomolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) intends to develop a widely accessible framework for comprehensively mapping the human body at single-cell resolution by supporting technology development, data acquisition, and detailed spatial mapping. HuBMAP will integrate its efforts with other funding agencies, programs, consortia, and the biomedical research community at large towards the shared vision of a comprehensive, accessible three-dimensional molecular and cellular atlas of the human body, in health and under various disease conditions.
Antimalarials (AMs) reduce disease activity and improve survival in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but studies have reported low AM prescribing frequencies. Using a real-world electronic health record cohort, we examined if patient or provider characteristics impacted AM prescribing. We identified 977 SLE cases, 94% of whom were ever prescribed an AM. Older patients and patients with SLE nephritis were less likely to be on AMs. Current age (odds ratio = 0.97, < 0.01) and nephritis (odds ratio = 0.16, < 0.01) were both significantly associated with ever AM use after adjustment for sex and race. Of the 244 SLE nephritis cases, only 63% were currently on AMs. SLE nephritis subjects who were currently prescribed AMs were more likely to be followed by a rheumatologist than a nephrologist and less likely to have undergone dialysis or renal transplant (both < 0.001). Non-current versus current SLE nephritis AM users had higher serum creatinine ( < 0.001), higher urine protein ( = 0.05), and lower hemoglobin levels ( < 0.01). As AMs reduce disease damage and improve survival in patients with SLE, our results demonstrate an opportunity to target future efforts to improve prescribing rates among multi-specialty providers.
BACKGROUND - Geospatial technology has facilitated the discovery of disease distributions and etiology and helped target prevention programs. Globally, gastric cancer is the leading infection-associated cancer, and third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, with marked geographic variation. Central and South America have a significant burden, particularly in the mountainous regions. In the context of an ongoing population-based case-control study in Central America, our aim was to examine the spatial epidemiology of gastric cancer subtypes and H. pylori virulence factors.
METHODS - Patients diagnosed with gastric cancer from 2002 to 2013 in western Honduras were identified in the prospective gastric cancer registry at the principal district hospital. Diagnosis was based on endoscopy and confirmatory histopathology. Geospatial methods were applied using the ArcGIS v10.3.1 and SaTScan v9.4.2 platforms to examine regional distributions of the gastric cancer histologic subtypes (Lauren classification), and the H. pylori CagA virulence factor. Getis-Ord-Gi hot spot and Discrete Poisson SaTScan statistics, respectively, were used to explore spatial clustering at the village level (30-50 rural households), with standardization by each village's population. H. pylori and CagA serologic status was determined using the novel H. pylori multiplex assay (DKFZ, Germany).
RESULTS - Three hundred seventy-eight incident cases met the inclusion criteria (mean age 63.7, male 66.3%). Areas of higher gastric cancer incidence were identified. Significant spatial clustering of diffuse histology adenocarcinoma was revealed both by the Getis-Ord-GI* hot spot analysis (P-value < 0.0015; range 0.00003-0.0014; 99%CI), and by the SaTScan statistic (P-value < 0.006; range 0.0026-0.0054). The intestinal subtype was randomly distributed. H. pylori CagA had significant spatial clustering only in association with the diffuse histology cancer hot spot (Getis-Ord-Gi* P value ≤0.001; range 0.0001-0.0010; SaTScan statistic P value 0.0085). In the diffuse gastric cancer hot spot, the lowest age quartile range was 21-46 years, significantly lower than the intestinal cancers (P = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS - Geospatial methods have identified a significant cluster of incident diffuse type adenocarcinoma cases in rural Central America, suggest of a germline genetic association. Further genomic and geospatial analyses to identify potential spatial patterns of genetic, bacterial, and environmental risk factors may be informative.