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    ABSTRACT: Emotions and feelings are the bricks of our social life and yet we often forget that they have a significant impact on our physical wellbeing. Indeed, a growing number of studies have shown that both an imbalanced or improved emotional state can significantly influence the way our immune system responds. In this commentary, we have summarized the most recent studies on the effects of different types of emotional states on the immune system and we have also explored the effects of mood modulator approaches on the immune response. We hope this commentary will prompt scientists and clinicians to think about the therapeutic value and potential of emotions and feelings in immune-related diseases. At the same time, we think that this commentary will shed some light on the scientific truth behind the very famous expression "It's in my blood" when we talk about feelings and personality.
    Biochemical Pharmacology 08/2014; 91(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2014.07.016
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    International Journal of Surgery (London, England) 07/2014; 12(9). DOI:10.1016/j.ijsu.2014.07.268
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    ABSTRACT: Individual bacteria and shifts in the composition of the microbiome have been associated with human diseases including cancer. To investigate changes in the microbiome associated with oral cancers, we profiled cancers and anatomically matched contralateral normal tissue from the same patient by sequencing 16S rDNA hypervariable region amplicons. In cancer samples from both a discovery and a subsequent confirmation cohort, abundance of Firmicutes (especially Streptococcus) and Actinobacteria (especially Rothia) was significantly decreased relative to contralateral normal samples from the same patient. Significant decreases in abundance of these phyla were observed for pre-cancers, but not when comparing samples from contralateral sites (tongue and floor of mouth) from healthy individuals. Weighted UniFrac principal coordinates analysis based on 12 taxa separated most cancers from other samples with greatest separation of node positive cases. These studies begin to develop a framework for exploiting the oral microbiome for monitoring oral cancer development, progression and recurrence.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e98741. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0098741
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the relationship between the reduction in salt intake that occurred in England, and blood pressure (BP), as well as mortality from stroke and ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Analysis of the data from the Health Survey for England. England, 2003 N=9183, 2006 N=8762, 2008 N=8974 and 2011 N=4753, aged ≥16 years. BP, stroke and IHD mortality. From 2003 to 2011, there was a decrease in mortality from stroke by 42% (p<0.001) and IHD by 40% (p<0.001). In parallel, there was a fall in BP of 3.0±0.33/1.4±0.20 mm Hg (p<0.001/p<0.001), a decrease of 0.4±0.02 mmol/L (p<0.001) in cholesterol, a reduction in smoking prevalence from 19% to 14% (p<0.001), an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption (0.2±0.05 portion/day, p<0.001) and an increase in body mass index (BMI; 0.5±0.09 kg/m(2), p<0.001). Salt intake, as measured by 24 h urinary sodium, decreased by 1.4 g/day (p<0.01). It is likely that all of these factors (with the exception of BMI), along with improvements in the treatments of BP, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, contributed to the falls in stroke and IHD mortality. In individuals who were not on antihypertensive medication, there was a fall in BP of 2.7±0.34/1.1±0.23 mm Hg (p<0.001/p<0.001) after adjusting for age, sex, ethnic group, education, household income, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable intake and BMI. Although salt intake was not measured in these participants, the fact that the average salt intake in a random sample of the population fell by 15% during the same period suggests that the falls in BP would be largely attributable to the reduction in salt intake rather than antihypertensive medications. The reduction in salt intake is likely to be an important contributor to the falls in BP from 2003 to 2011 in England. As a result, it would have contributed substantially to the decreases in stroke and IHD mortality.
    BMJ Open 04/2014; 4(4):e004549. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004549
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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims Chronic visceral pain is common both in patients with identifiable organic disease and also in those without any structural, biochemical or immunological abnormality such as in the functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). We aim to provide a contemporaneous summary of pathways involved in visceral nociception and how a variety of mechanisms may influence an individual's experience of visceral pain. Methods In this narrative review, we have brought together evidence through a detailed search of Medline in addition to using our experience and exposure to recent research developments from ourselves and other research groups. Results FGIDs are a heterogeneous group of disorders whose aetiology largely remains an enigma. The germane hypothesis for the genesis and maintenance of chronic visceral pain in FGIDs is the concept of visceral hypersensitivity. A number of peripheral and central mechanisms have been proposed to account for this epiphenomenon. In the periphery, inflammatory mediators activate and sensitize nociceptive afferent nerves by reducing their transduction thresholds and by inducing the expression and recruitment of hitherto silent nociceptors culminating in an increase in pain sensitivity at the site of injury known as primary hyperalgesia. Centrally, secondary hyperalgesia, defined as an increase in pain sensitivity in anatomically distinct sites, occurs at the level of the spinal dorsal horn. Moreover, the stress responsive physiological systems, genetic and psychological factors may modulate the experience of visceral pain. We also address some novel aetiological concepts in FGIDs, namely the gastrointestinal microbiota, connective tissue abnormalities and the gastrointestinal neuromuscular disorders. Firstly, the gastrointestinal microbiota is a diverse and dynamic ecosystem, that safeguards the host from external pathogens, aids in the metabolism of polysaccharides and lipids, modulates intestinal motility, in addition to modulating visceral perception. Secondly, connective tissue disorders, which traditionally have been considered to be confined largely to the musculoskeletal system, have an increasing evidence base demonstrating the presence of visceral manifestations. Since the sensorimotor apparatus of the GI tract is embedded within connective tissue it should not be surprising that such disorder may result in visceral pain and abnormal gut motility. Thirdly, gastrointestinal neuromuscular diseases refer to a heterogeneous group of disorders in which symptoms arise from impaired GI motor activity often manifesting as abnormal transit with or without radiological evidence of transient or persistent dilation of the viscera. Although a number of these are readily recognizable, such as achalasia or Hirschsprung's disease, the cause in a number of patients is not. An international working group has recently addressed this “gap”, providing a comprehensive morphologically based diagnostic criteria. Conclusions/implications Although marked advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms that contribute to the development and maintenance of visceral pain, many interventions have failed to produce tangible improvement in patient outcomes. In the last part of this review we highlight an emerging approach that has allowed the definition and delineation of temporally stable visceral pain clusters, which may improve participant homogeneity in future studies, potentially facilitate stratification of treatment in FGID and lead to improvements in diagnostic criteria and outcomes.
    Scandinavian Journal of Pain 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.sjpain.2014.01.002
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    ABSTRACT: Despite compelling evidence of the effect of intelligence on delinquency and violent crime, there is limited data on its impact on population violence. We aimed to determine the association of categories of intelligence with violent behaviors in the general population and the extent of the impact of social class on these associations. A randomly selected sample of 14,738 individuals was derived from 2 British national surveys of adults aged 16 years and older. We measured self-reported violent behavior in the past 5 years, including: repetition, injury, violence while intoxicated, familial and extra-familial victim types and intimate partner violence. We examined the moderating role of social class on all outcomes. The increased risk of violence among persons of below average IQ was explained by social class at population level. High IQ had an overall protective effect on all outcomes except violence towards family members, irrespective of socio-economic circumstances. Social class moderated the association of IQ with violence by decreasing its protective effect among those in the lowest socio-economic positions. Our findings suggest that the association of IQ and violence is not linear but protective on population level. Social class has both an explaining and a moderating role in this association.
    Personality and Individual Differences 04/2014; 61-62. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2014.01.012
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    ABSTRACT: A novel LDL-receptor gene variant was found responsible for previously undetected familial hypercholesterolaemia and acute myocardial infarction in a young man.
    04/2014; 5(4):2042533313518917. DOI:10.1177/2042533313518917
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    ABSTRACT: Trigeminal neuralgia is a sudden, unilateral, brief, stabbing, recurrent pain in the distribution of one or more branches of the fifth cranial nerve. Pain occurs in paroxysms which last from a few seconds to 2 minutes. The frequency of the paroxysms ranges from a few to hundreds of attacks a day. Periods of remission can last for months to years, but tend to shorten over time. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments in people with trigeminal neuralgia? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We found 14 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: ablative neurosurgical techniques to the Gasserian ganglion, baclofen, carbamazepine, clonazepam, cryotherapy of peripheral nerves, gabapentin, lamotrigine, microvascular decompression, nerve block, oxcarbazepine, peripheral acupuncture, phenytoin, proparacaine eye drops, sodium valproate, stereotactic radiosurgery, tizanidine, and topiramate.
    BMJ (online) 02/2014; 348(mar12 4):g474. DOI:10.1136/bmj.g474
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    ABSTRACT: Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) encompasses malignancies that arise in the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract. Recent high throughput DNA sequencing revealed HNSCC genes mutations that contribute to several cancer cell characteristics, including dysregulation of cell proliferation and death, intracellular proinflammatory signaling, and autophagy. The PYRIN-domain containing NLR (Nucleotide-binding domain, Leucine rich Repeats - containing) proteins have recently emerged as pivotal modulators of cell death, autophagy, inflammation, and metabolism. Their close physiologic association with cancer development prompted us to determine whether mutations within the NLRP (PYRIN-containing NLR) gene family were associated with HNSCC genome instability and their clinicopathologic correlations. Catastrophic mutational events underlie cancer cell genome instability and mark a point-of-no-return in cancer cell development and generation of heterogeneity. The mutation profiles of 62 patients with primary conventional type HNSCC excluding other histologic variants were analyzed. Associations were tested using Fisher's Exact test or Mann-Whitney U test. Mutations in NLRP were associated with elevated genome instability as characterized by higher mutation rates. Clinically, NLRP mutations were more frequently found in HNSCC arising in the floor of mouth (50.0%) in comparison with HNSCC at other head and neck locations (14.8%). These mutations were clustered at the leucine rich repeats region of NLRP proteins, and affected NLRP genes were mostly localized at chromosomes 11p15.4 and 19q13.42-19q13.43. Twenty novel NLRP mutations were identified in HNSCC, and mutations in this group of genes were correlated with increased cancer cell genome mutation rates, and such features could be a potential molecular biomarker of HNSCC genome instability.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85619. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085619
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was the generation of central nervous system (CNS)-excluded cannabinoid receptor agonists to test the hypothesis that inhibition of spasticity, due to CNS autoimmunity, could be controlled by affecting neurotransmission within the periphery. Procedures included identification of chemicals and modeling to predict the mode of exclusion; induction and control of spasticity in the ABH mouse model of multiple sclerosis; conditional deletion of CB1 receptor in peripheral nerves; side-effect profiling to demonstrate the mechanism of CNS-exclusion via drug pumps; genome-wide association study in N2(129×ABH) backcross to map polymorphic cannabinoid drug pump; and sequencing and detection of cannabinoid drug-pump activity in human brain endothelial cell lines. Three drugs (CT3, SAB378 and SAD448) were identified that control spasticity via action on the peripheral nerve CB1 receptor. These were peripherally restricted via drug pumps that limit the CNS side effects (hypothermia) of cannabinoids to increase the therapeutic window. A cannabinoid drug pump is polymorphic and functionally lacking in many laboratory (C57BL/6, 129, CD-1) mice used for transgenesis, pharmacology, and toxicology studies. This phenotype was mapped and controlled by 1-3 genetic loci. ABCC1 within a cluster showing linkage is a cannabinoid CNS-drug pump. Global and conditional CB1 receptor-knockout mice were used as controls. In summary, CNS-excluded CB1 receptor agonists are a novel class of therapeutic agent for spasticity.-Pryce, G., Visintin, C., Ramagopalan, S. V., Al-Izki, S., De Faveri, L. E., Nuamah, R. A., Mein, C. A., Montpetit, A., Hardcastle, A. J., Kooij, G., de Vries, H. E., Amor, S., Thomas, S. A., Ledent, C., Marsicano, G., Lutz, B., Thompson, A. J., Selwood, D. L., Giovannoni, G., Baker, D. Control of spasticity in a multiple sclerosis model using central nervous system-excluded CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists.
    The FASEB Journal 01/2014; 28(1):117-130. DOI:10.1096/fj.13-239442
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