University Health Network
Recent publications
Nuclear receptor-binding SET domain-containing 2 (NSD2) plays important roles in gene regulation, largely through its ability to dimethylate lysine 36 of histone 3 (H3K36me2). Despite aberrant activity of NSD2 reported in numerous cancers, efforts to selectively inhibit the catalytic activity of this protein with small molecules have been unsuccessful to date. Here, we report the development of UNC8153, a novel NSD2-targeted degrader that potently and selectively reduces the cellular levels of both NSD2 protein and the H3K36me2 chromatin mark. UNC8153 contains a simple warhead that confers proteasome-dependent degradation of NSD2 through a novel mechanism. Importantly, UNC8153-mediated reduction of H3K36me2 through the degradation of NSD2 results in the downregulation of pathological phenotypes in multiple myeloma cells including mild antiproliferative effects in MM1.S cells containing an activating point mutation and antiadhesive effects in KMS11 cells harboring the t(4;14) translocation that upregulates NSD2 expression.
Background: In solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients, the primary vaccination series against COVID-19 is three doses followed by boosters. We determined whether a fourth dose booster induced Omicron BA.4/5 neutralizing antibodies and T-cells in a large multicenter cohort study. Methods: Serum was collected 4-6 weeks post third and fourth dose of mRNA vaccine in 222 SOT recipients. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were measured using a pseudovirus neutralization assay targeting the Omicron BA.4/5 spike protein. A subset underwent T-cell testing. Results: Median age of the cohort was 63 years (IQR 50-68) with 61.7% men. BA.4/5 nAb detection increased from 26.6%(59/222) post third dose to 53.6%(119/222) post fourth dose (p<0.0001). In patients with breakthrough infection prior to fourth dose (n=27), nAb were detected in 77.8% and median nAb titers were significantly higher compared to those with four vaccine doses alone (p<0.0001). Factors associated with a low BA.4/5 neutralization response after fourth dose were older age (OR 0.96, 95%CI 0.94-0.99), mycophenolate use (OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.20-0.77) and prednisone use (OR 0.34, 95%CI 0.18-0.63), and vaccine type (OR 0.72, 95%CI 0.51-0.99) while breakthrough infection prior to fourth dose (OR 3.6, 95%CI 1.3-9.9) was associated with a greater nAb response. Polyfunctional BA.4/5-specific CD4+ T-cells significantly increased after four doses and were identified in 76.9% of patients at a median frequency of 213 per 106 cells (IQR 98-650). Conclusion: In summary, a booster significantly increases BA.4/5-specific neutralization and polyfunctional CD4+ T-cell responses, suggesting protection from severe disease even with new Omicron variants. However, SOT recipients that are older, on mycophenolate and prednisone need further preventative strategies.
Objectives: The human umbilical cord normally inserts in the central region of the placental disc. There is conflicting evidence about whether or not peripheral cord insertions (<3.0 cm from the placental edge) are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. The relative importance of peripheral cord insertions and pathology within the placenta in mediating adverse outcomes has not been fully established. Methods: Sonographic measurement of the cord insertion and detailed placental pathology was performed in 309 participants. Associations between cord insertion site, placental pathology and adverse pregnancy outcomes (preeclampsia, preterm birth, small for gestational age) were examined. Results: Ninety-three participants (30%) were identified by pathological examination to have a peripheral cord insertion site. Only 41 of the 93 peripheral cords (44%) were detected by prenatal ultrasound. Peripherally inserted cords were associated with diagnostic placental pathology (p<0.0001), most commonly with maternal vascular malperfusion, within which 85% had an adverse pregnancy outcome. In cases of isolated peripheral cords, without placental pathology, the incidence of adverse outcomes was not statistically different compared to those with central cord insertions and no placental pathology (31% vs. 18%, p=0.3). A peripheral cord with an abnormal umbilical artery pulsatility index (UA PI) corresponded to an adverse outcome in 96% of the cases compared to 29% when the UA PI was normal. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that peripheral cord insertion often is part of the spectrum of findings of maternal vascular malperfusion disease and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, adverse outcomes were uncommon when there was an isolated peripheral cord insertion and no placental pathology. Therefore additional sonographic and biochemical features of maternal vascular malperfusion should be sought when a peripheral cord is observed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Local production of generic medicines in developing countries has a critical role to meet public health needs by ensuring the availability of essential medicines and providing patients' relief from the burden of unaffordable medical bills. Compliance with bioequivalence (BE) requirements increase the quality and competitiveness of generic drugs regardless of the source. In this regard, a regional BE center has been established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to serve the needs of Ethiopia and neighbouring countries. The present study aimed to assess the knowledge and perceptions of health professionals working in Addis Ababa regarding local production and BE studies of generic medicines. A cross-sectional survey was employed and physician participants working at public hospitals and pharmacists from various practice settings were selected using convenient sampling technique. Data was collected using self-administered structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data and multinomial logistic regression analyses was used to assess predictors of health professionals' perception towards the source of drugs. Statistically significant association was declared at p-value < 0.05. A total of 416 participants responded and 272 (65.4%) of them were male. Nearly half of the study participants (n = 194) preferred the imported products. Compared to physicians, participants with diploma (AOR = 0.40; 95%CI: 0.18-0.91, p = 0.028) and bachelor degree and above holders (AOR = 0.32; 95%CI: 0.15-0.68, p = 0.003) in pharmacy were more likely to prefer locally produced products. Participants who practiced in pharmaceutical industries (AOR = 0.40, 95%CI: 0.22-0.77, p = 0.006) preferred locally manufactured products as compared to those practicing in the hospital. While a majority (321, 77.2%) believed in the advantages of doing BE studies locally, only 106 (25.5%) recognized that local pharmaceutical manufacturers did not implement BE studies for their generic products and lack of enforcement by the national regulatory body was raised as a reason for not conducting BE studies by most of the participants (67.9%). The present study revealed a modest preference by physicians and pharmacy professionals towards locally produced products. Majority of participants supported the idea of doing BE studies locally. However, manufacturers and regulators should devise ways to increase health professionals' confidence in local products. Strengthening local BE study capacity is also highly recommended.
Purpose: To report the genotype and phenotype of a cohort of unselected uveal melanoma (UM) patients who had germline multi-gene panel genetic testing, including the BAP1 gene, from a large multi-ethnic cancer centre. We describe the central role of the medical genetics clinic in collaboration with oncologists in a mainstreaming model to facilitate genetic testing, counselling and streamlining of patients with hereditary cancer predisposition. Methods: A retrospective chart review of clinical and genetic findings of unselected UM patients who had germline genetic testing between December 2019 and October 2021 was conducted. Extracted DNA from peripheral blood samples were analyzed with a multi-gene panel that included at least six genes associated with hereditary melanoma. The correlation between the genotype and the phenotype of the cohort was evaluated. Statistical analysis comprised descriptive and comparative statistics with significance assigned at p < .05. The genetics clinic streamlined patients among the relevant oncology clinics for cancer screening in germline BAP1 positive individuals. Results: In unselected UM patients, 3.5% (4/114) tested positive for a BAP1 pathogenic variant. Germline BAP1 status was associated with a family history of mesothelioma (p = .0015) and metastatic disease (p = .017). There were no other significant associations between the patient- or tumour-related characteristics and germline BAP1 results. Conclusion: A germline BAP1 mutation was detected in 3.5% of unselected UM patients. The oncologist-initiated and genetics-led mainstreaming model is a straightforward process and can be utilized for offering genetic testing to all UM patients.
DICER1 syndrome is a tumor predisposition syndrome that is associated with up to 30 different neoplastic lesions, usually affecting children and adolescents. Here we identify a group of mesenchymal tumors which is highly associated with DICER1 syndrome, and molecularly distinct from other DICER1-associated tumors. This group of DICER1-associated mesenchymal tumors encompasses multiple well-established clinicopathological tumor entities and can be further divided into three clinically meaningful classes designated “low-grade mesenchymal tumor with DICER1 alteration” (LGMT DICER1), “sarcoma with DICER1 alteration” (SARC DICER1), and primary intracranial sarcoma with DICER1 alteration (PIS DICER1). Our study not only provides a combined approach to classify DICER1-associated neoplasms for improved clinical management but also suggests a role for global hypomethylation and other recurrent molecular events in sarcomatous differentiation in mesenchymal tumors with DICER1 alteration. Our results will facilitate future investigations into prognostication and therapeutic approaches for affected patients.
Objectives: Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare, non-malignant haematological disorder associated with disabling fatigue and reduced health-related quality of life. Post-hoc analysis of PEGASUS phase 3 trial (NCT03500549) characterised improvements in patient-reported fatigue measured by Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-fatigue) instrument item-level ratings for pegcetacoplan and eculizumab for the treatment of PNH. Methods: Item-level responder analysis was conducted on a ≥2-level change from baseline (CFB) clinically important response (CIR) for the FACIT-fatigue 13 individual items rated on a 5-level Likert scale. We evaluated ≥2-level change against the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of the FACIT-fatigue total score (≥5 points) and clinical parameters, haemoglobin (Hb; ≥1 g/dL) and normalised absolute reticulocyte count (ARC; 30-100 pg/cells). Logistic regressions estimated baseline-to-Week-16 FACIT-fatigue item-level transitional probabilities; Kaplan-Meier analysis estimated time to FACIT-fatigue item CIR. Results: Pegcetacoplan versus eculizumab was associated with significantly greater odds of Week 16 CIR across 8/13 items and on total score MCID (OR=11.19 [3.73:33.57]) and faster times to responses. The item-level CIR threshold also showed clinical relevance on Hb level and ARC normalization. Conclusions: Compared with eculizumab, pegcetacoplan was associated with clinically meaningful greater improvements on a majority of FACIT-fatigue items. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Background Psychosocial support is a crucial component of adequate rare disease care, but to date psychosocial support needs of this patient population are insufficiently met. Within Q.RARE.LI, we strive to evaluate the effectiveness of a structured, transdiagnostic, and location-independent psychosocial support intervention in routine care of patients with rare autoimmune liver diseases in five countries and prepare its implementation. Methods Within an effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial, we aim to a) investigate the effectiveness of the intervention in routine care in five diverse healthcare systems and b) assess implementation outcomes, examine and prepare the implementation context, and develop country-specific implementation strategies. To assess effectiveness, we will include N = 240 patients with rare autoimmune liver diseases. Within a two-armed randomized controlled trial (allocation ratio 1:1), we will compare structured and peer-delivered psychosocial support in addition to care-as-usual (CAU) with CAU alone. Outcomes will be assessed via electronic database entry prior to intervention, directly after, and at a three-month follow-up. Our primary effectiveness outcome will be mental health-related quality of life at post-assessment. Secondary outcomes include depression and anxiety severity, perceived social support, helplessness, and disease acceptance. Implementation outcomes will be assessed within a mixed-methods process evaluation. In a quantitative cross-sectional survey, we will examine perceived acceptability and feasibility in patients, peer-counselors, and healthcare providers involved in delivery of the intervention. In qualitative focus groups, we will analyze the implementation context and determine barriers and facilitators for implementation with different stakeholders (patients and/or representatives, peer-counselors, healthcare providers, health insurers). Based on these results, we will derive country-specific implementation strategies and develop a concrete implementation plan for each country. Discussion The intervention is expected to help patients adjust to their disease and improve their mental quality of life. The transdiagnostic and location-independent program has the potential to reach patients for psychosocial support who are usually hard to reach. By preparing the implementation in five countries, the project can help to make low-threshold psychosocial support available to many patients with rare diseases and improve comprehensive healthcare for an often neglected group. Trial registration ISRCTN15030282
Background Late-onset infections (LOI) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among patients in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Gloving after hand hygiene may be a pragmatic approach to prevent infections that arise when healthcare workers’ hands transmit pathogens to neonates. Objective To determine the feasibility of conducting a multicenter, open-labeled randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine whether a protocol that requires healthcare workers (HCWs) in a level 3 NICU to wear non-sterile gloves plus hand hygiene reduces the occurrence of a late-onset infection, compared to hand hygiene alone. Methods In this single-center pilot study, we recruited neonates admitted to the McMaster Children’s Hospital NICU from June 2017 to May 2018. The NICU was randomized to begin with the standard (control) arm for 6 months (June 2017 to Dec 2017), followed by the gloving (GloveCare) arm for 6 months (Jan 2018 to July 2018), with a 2-week washout period in-between to educate healthcare workers about gloving. We measured numerous feasibility outcomes including enrollment, event rate, and compliance with hand hygiene (Moment 1: before patient contact, Moment 2: before clean procedure, Moment 3: after body fluid contact, Moment 4: after patient contact) and gloving compliance. Results We enrolled 750 neonates (390 Standard care, 360 GloveCare) and achieved 100% enrollment. We found higher hand hygiene compliance during the standard care arm compared to the GloveCare for all four moments of hand hygiene (Moment 1: 87% vs 79%, OR=1.86 (1.34, 2.59); Moment 2: OR=1.73 (1.00, 3.01); Moment 3: OR=1.11 (0.62, 1.98); Moment 4: OR=1.65 (1.27, 2.14)). We developed and validated a method to calculate glove compliance, which ranged from 48 to 85%, and was highest for moment 3 (doffing after a procedure or body fluid exposure risk). No adverse events were documented for patients or staff. Discussion Reduction in hand hygiene compliance in the GloveCare arm presents a pragmatic challenge in ascertaining the effectiveness of gloving to prevent LOI. Most LOIs were non-sterile-site infections, which is considered a less patient-important or clinically relevant outcome compared to sterile-site LOI. Ensuring efficient collection and validation of hand hygiene and gloving data is imperative. Conclusion The pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of this intervention though modifications to improve hand hygiene compliance during GloveCare will be important prior to a multicenter cluster RCT to assess the efficacy of non-sterile glove-based care in preventing LOI in the NICU. Trial registration, NCT03078335
Background: Religiosity has been suggested to be protective against substance use disorder (SUD) initiation but its impact of the progression of development is not known. Aims: This study investigated the impact of religiosity/spirituality on the development of heavy use and SUD following substance use initiation (alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco) utilizing data from the 2012 to 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Method: Individuals with a known age at onset of substance initiation were included (n = 30,590, n = 11,126, and n = 14,083; for alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco users, respectively). Religiosity was measured by importance of religious/spiritual beliefs and frequency of religious service attendance. The percentage of individuals who progressed to an SUD after substance initiation in each substance was estimated. Discrete-time analysis and survival analysis were used to measure the impact of religiosity on the progression from substance initiation to heavy use and from heavy use to SUD. Results: After controlling for various variables, religious services attendance frequency was statistically associated with a slower progression from substance initiation to heavy use for all three substances: tobacco by 8% to 15%, cannabis by 5% to 26%, and alcohol 9% (p ⩽ .01). Religious importance was associated with slower progression to heavy use in cannabis users by 16% to 21% (p ⩽ .02). Religiosity (believes and attendance) was associated with slowed progression from heavy use to SUD development in alcohol users only. Conclusions: The findings illustrate strongest association between attending religious services and lower probabilities of progressing to heavy/daily use after substance use initiation for alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis users. This indicates the potential use of religious services as social support for individuals with risky substance use.
This cross-sectional study compares rates of subcutaneous and intravenous administration of medications and fluids among patients with cancer in 2 acute palliative care units in the US and Canada.
Purpose The study investigated peer and caregiver navigators’ motivations for providing support, i.e., benefit finding, their mental and physical health, and program satisfaction. Methods A web-based peer navigation program was conducted for prostate cancer patients and caregivers over a 6-month time period. In a one-arm observational study, peer and caregiver navigators were asked to complete standardized mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Cancer Worry Scale), quality of life (EQ-5D-5L, EQ-VAS), and social support (ENRICHD Social Support Instrument) scales pre- and post-intervention and questionnaires addressing motivations, benefits, and program satisfaction post-intervention. Results Both peer and caregiver navigators reported very low anxiety and depressive symptoms across time. Cancer worry increased over time with 25% of participants exceeding the symptom threshold at baseline and 33% at follow-up. Quality of life was very high but slightly decreased over time (90.0% vs. 84.4%; p = .005), indicative of a greater number of navigators reporting pain/discomfort at follow-up. Social support was high (86.9% vs. 85.9%) and remained so. Top five role endorsements were (1) a feeling of belonging, (2) being involved in something good, (3) giving back, (4) feeling better as a person, and (5) improved communication skills. Program satisfaction was very high with support from program staff rated highest. Conclusions The study indicates that peer and caregiver navigators exhibited favorable physical and mental health across time. Furthermore, they experienced several benefits from navigation including a sense of meaning and the wish to give back. Results suggest that support provision within the peer and caregiver navigation program has also salutary effects for navigators.
DCAF1 is a substrate receptor of two distinct E3 ligases (CRL4DCAF1 and EDVP), plays a critical physiological role in protein degradation, and is considered a drug target for various cancers. Antagonists of DCAF1 could be used toward the development of therapeutics for cancers and viral treatments. We used the WDR domain of DCAF1 to screen a 114-billion-compound DNA encoded library (DEL) and identified candidate compounds using similarity search and machine learning. This led to the discovery of a compound (Z1391232269) with an SPR KD of 11 μM. Structure-guided hit optimization led to the discovery of OICR-8268 (26e) with an SPR KD of 38 nM and cellular target engagement with EC50 of 10 μM as measured by cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA). OICR-8268 is an excellent tool compound to enable the development of next-generation DCAF1 ligands toward cancer therapeutics, further investigation of DCAF1 functions in cells, and the development of DCAF1-based PROTACs.
Importance: Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of therapeutic-dose heparin in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 produced conflicting results, possibly due to heterogeneity of treatment effect (HTE) across individuals. Better understanding of HTE could facilitate individualized clinical decision-making. Objective: To evaluate HTE of therapeutic-dose heparin for patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and to compare approaches to assessing HTE. Design, setting, and participants: Exploratory analysis of a multiplatform adaptive RCT of therapeutic-dose heparin vs usual care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in 3320 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 enrolled in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia between April 2020 and January 2021. Heterogeneity of treatment effect was assessed 3 ways: using (1) conventional subgroup analyses of baseline characteristics, (2) a multivariable outcome prediction model (risk-based approach), and (3) a multivariable causal forest model (effect-based approach). Analyses primarily used bayesian statistics, consistent with the original trial. Exposures: Participants were randomized to therapeutic-dose heparin or usual care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. Main outcomes and measures: Organ support-free days, assigning a value of -1 to those who died in the hospital and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 for those who survived to hospital discharge; and hospital survival. Results: Baseline demographic characteristics were similar between patients randomized to therapeutic-dose heparin or usual care (median age, 60 years; 38% female; 32% known non-White race; 45% Hispanic). In the overall multiplatform RCT population, therapeutic-dose heparin was not associated with an increase in organ support-free days (median value for the posterior distribution of the OR, 1.05; 95% credible interval, 0.91-1.22). In conventional subgroup analyses, the effect of therapeutic-dose heparin on organ support-free days differed between patients requiring organ support at baseline or not (median OR, 0.85 vs 1.30; posterior probability of difference in OR, 99.8%), between females and males (median OR, 0.87 vs 1.16; posterior probability of difference in OR, 96.4%), and between patients with lower body mass index (BMI <30) vs higher BMI groups (BMI ≥30; posterior probability of difference in ORs >90% for all comparisons). In risk-based analysis, patients at lowest risk of poor outcome had the highest propensity for benefit from heparin (lowest risk decile: posterior probability of OR >1, 92%) while those at highest risk were most likely to be harmed (highest risk decile: posterior probability of OR <1, 87%). In effect-based analysis, a subset of patients identified at high risk of harm (P = .05 for difference in treatment effect) tended to have high BMI and were more likely to require organ support at baseline. Conclusions and relevance: Among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, the effect of therapeutic-dose heparin was heterogeneous. In all 3 approaches to assessing HTE, heparin was more likely to be beneficial in those who were less severely ill at presentation or had lower BMI and more likely to be harmful in sicker patients and those with higher BMI. The findings illustrate the importance of considering HTE in the design and analysis of RCTs. Trial registration: Identifiers: NCT02735707, NCT04505774, NCT04359277, NCT04372589.
We aimed to describe patient preferences for a broad range of secondary findings (SF) from genomic sequencing (GS) and factors driving preferences. We assessed preference data within a trial of the Genomics ADvISER, (SF decision aid) among adult cancer patients. Participants could choose from five categories of SF: (1) medically actionable; (2) polygenic risks; (3) rare diseases; (4) early-onset neurological diseases; and (5) carrier status. We analyzed preferences using descriptive statistics and drivers of preferences using multivariable logistic regression models. The 133 participants were predominantly European (74%) or East Asian or mixed ancestry (13%), female (90%), and aged > 50 years old (60%). The majority chose to receive SF. 97% (129/133) chose actionable findings with 36% (48/133) choosing all 5 categories. Despite the lack of medical actionability, participants were interested in receiving SF of polygenic risks (74%), carrier status (75%), rare diseases (59%), and early-onset neurologic diseases (53%). Older participants were more likely to be interested in receiving results for early-onset neurological diseases, while those exhibiting lower decisional conflict were more likely to select all categories. Our results highlight a disconnect between cancer patient preferences and professional guidelines on SF, such as ACMG's recommendations to only return medically actionable secondary findings. In addition to clinical evidence, future guidelines should incorporate patient preferences.
Background: A concern with long-term opioid use is the increased risk arising when opioids are used concurrently with drugs that can potentiate their associated adverse effects. The drugs most often encountered are benzodiazepines (BZDs) and gabapentinoids. Our study objectives were to examine trends in the concurrent use of opioids and BZDs, or gabapentinoids, in a Canadian nursing home population over an 11-year period, and current resident-level correlates of this concurrent use. Methods: We conducted a population-based, repeated cross-sectional study among Ontario nursing home residents (>65 years) dispensed opioids between April 2009 and February 2020. For the last study year, we examined cross-sectional associations between resident characteristics and concurrent use of opioids with BZDs or gabapentinoids. Linked data on nursing home residents from clinical and health administrative databases was used. The yearly proportions of residents who were dispensed an opioid concurrently with a BZD or gabapentinoid were plotted with percent change derived from log-binomial regression models. Separate modified Poisson regression models estimated resident-level correlates of concurrent use of opioids with BZDs or gabapentinoids. Results: Over the study period, among residents dispensed an opioid there was a 53.2% relative decrease (30.7% to 14.4%) in concurrent BZD and a 505.4% relative increase (4.4% to 26.6%) in concurrent gabapentinoid use. In adjusted models, increasing age and worsening cognition were inversely associated with the concurrent use of both classes, but most other significantly related covariates were unique to each drug class (e.g., sex and anxiety disorders for BZD, pain severity and presence of pain-related conditions for gabapentinoids). Conclusions: Co-administration of BZDs or gabapentinoids in Ontario nursing home residents dispensed opioids remains common, but the pattern of co-use has changed over time. Observed covariates of concurrent use in 2019/20 suggest distinct but overlapping resident populations requiring consideration of the relative risks versus benefits of this co-use and monitoring for potential harm.
Purpose To better understand patients’ perspectives on virtual care (VC) delivered by advanced practice physiotherapists (APPs) for hip/knee, foot/ankle, shoulder/elbow, and low back related symptoms. Method A patient satisfaction questionnaire was developed and distributed electronically to all patients seen by APPs from August 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The questionnaire contained quantitative items using a 5-point Likert scale and open-ended questions that yielded qualitative findings. Descriptive statistics were applied to the quantitative data. Qualitative findings were analyzed using a qualitative description approach to identify recurrent themes. Results Response rate was 74% (374/505) across all clinics. Videoconference was the most common delivery method (91.7%). Overall satisfaction with VC was very high (4.7–4.8/5). Emergent qualitative themes were related to Personal Connection; Preparatory Materials; Virtual Physical Examination; Practical Advantages of VC; Virtual Waiting Room; and Technical Issues. Conclusion Overall, across several facets including personal connection, patient experience with VC for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions was rated high. Clinically, a systematic approach to the physical examination with preparatory patient education materials was key to positive patient experience.
Background Depression among adolescents is a seriously disabling public health problem with an extremely high prevalence. Identifying risk factors of depression at an early stage is important to reduce the disease burden. Childhood maltreatment (CM) is one of the major risk factors for depression. The key mediating processes that how CM affects the development of depression, however, still need further clarification. The present study tested the mediating effect of self-esteem, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems between CM and depressive symptoms. Potential sex differences in the foregoing associations were also explored. Methods A three-wave longitudinal study was carried out among 1,957 middle and high school students from 69 classes in 10 public schools in the Guangdong province of China. Data collection started when students were in grades 7 and 10 (median age: 13.0, range: 11–18) between January and April 2019, and the students were followed up once a year thereafter. Self-reported CM, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, internalizing and externalizing problems, and other demographics were collected. The multiple serial mediation analysis was conducted. Results We found that CM was positively related to subsequent internalizing and externalizing problems, as well as depressive symptoms, while self-esteem was negatively related to depressive symptoms. Serial mediation analysis indicated that self-esteem (mediator 1) and internalizing problems (mediator 2) sequentially mediated the path from CM to depressive symptoms in the overall and male population. Moreover, with externalizing problems as mediator 2, self-esteem (mediator 1) acted as a partial mediator in the association between CM and depressive symptoms in males, whereas externalizing problems played a complete mediating role in females. Conclusion Findings revealed that self-esteem and internalizing problems sequentially mediated the influence of CM on depressive symptoms whereas externalizing problems played an independent mediating role. In addition, sex differences need to be taken into consideration when designing prevention and intervention strategies, given the different psychosocial processes between boys and girls.
The amyloid hypothesis has so far been at the forefront of explaining the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to cognitive decline and eventual death. Recent evidence, however, points to additional factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. These include the neurovascular hypothesis, the mitochondrial cascade hypothesis, the inflammatory hypothesis, the prion hypothesis, the mutational accumulation hypothesis, and the autoimmunity hypothesis. The purpose of this review was to briefly discuss the factors that are associated with autoimmunity in humans, including sex, the gut and lung microbiomes, age, genetics, and environmental factors. Subsequently, it was to examine the rise of autoimmune phenomena in AD, which can be instigated by a blood-brain barrier breakdown, pathogen infections, and dysfunction of the glymphatic system. Lastly, it was to discuss the various ways by which immune system dysregulation leads to AD, immunomodulating therapies, and future directions in the field of autoimmunity and neurodegeneration. A comprehensive account of the recent research done in the field was extracted from PubMed on 31 January 2022, with the keywords "Alzheimer's disease" and "autoantibodies" for the first search input, and "Alzheimer's disease" with "IgG" for the second. From the first search, 19 papers were selected, because they contained recent research on the autoantibodies found in the biofluids of patients with AD. From the second search, four papers were selected. The analysis of the literature has led to support the autoimmune hypothesis in AD. Autoantibodies were found in biofluids (serum/plasma, cerebrospinal fluid) of patients with AD with multiple methods, including ELISA, Mass Spectrometry, and microarray analysis. Through continuous research, the understanding of the synergistic effects of the various components that lead to AD will pave the way for better therapeutic methods and a deeper understanding of the disease.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.
1,958 members
Marina Englesakis
  • Library & Information Services
Muhammad Atif Zahoor
  • Toronto General Research Institute
Shirin Tajali
  • Lyndhurst Center
Harish Handral
  • Advanced Medical Discovery Institute
Toronto, Canada