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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a resting-state condition can reveal the co-activation of specific brain regions in distributed networks, called resting-state networks, which are selected by independent component analysis (ICA) of the fMRI data. One of the major difficulties with component analysis is the automatic selection of the ICA features related to brain activity. In this study we describe a method designed to automatically select networks of potential functional relevance, specifically, those regions known to be involved in motor function, visual processing, executive functioning, auditory processing, memory, and the default-mode network. To do this, image analysis was based on probabilistic ICA as implemented in FSL software. After decomposition, the optimal number of components was selected by applying a novel algorithm which takes into account, for each component, Pearson's median coefficient of skewness of the spatial maps generated by FSL, followed by clustering, segmentation, and spectral analysis. To evaluate the performance of the approach, we investigated the resting-state networks in 25 subjects. For each subject, three resting-state scans were obtained with a Siemens Allegra 3 T scanner (NYU data set). Comparison of the visually and the automatically identified neuronal networks showed that the algorithm had high accuracy (first scan: 95%, second scan: 95%, third scan: 93%) and precision (90%, 90%, 84%). The reproducibility of the networks for visual and automatic selection was very close: it was highly consistent in each subject for the default-mode network (≥92%) and the occipital network, which includes the medial visual cortical areas (≥94%), and consistent for the attention network (≥80%), the right and/or left lateralized frontoparietal attention networks, and the temporal-motor network (≥80%). The automatic selection method may be used to detect neural networks and reduce subjectivity in ICA component assessment.
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Nutritional research has shifted recently from alleviating nutrient deficiencies to chronic disease prevention. We investigated the activity of indicaxanthin, a bioavailable phytochemical of the betalain class from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Miller) in a rat model of acute inflammation. Rat pleurisy was achieved by injection of 0.2 mL of λ-carrageenin in the pleural cavity, and rats were killed 4, 24, and 48 h later; exudates were collected to analyze inflammatory parameters, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); cells recruited in pleura were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. Indicaxanthin (0.5, 1, or 2 μmol/kg), given orally before carrageenin, time- and dose-dependently, reduced the exudate volume (up to 70%) and the number of leukocytes recruited in the pleural cavity (up to 95%) at 24 h. Pretreatment with indicaxanthin at 2 μmol/kg inhibited the carrageenin-induced release of PGE(2) (91.4%), NO (67.7%), IL-1β (53.6%), and TNF-α (71.1%), and caused a decrease of IL-1β (34.5%), TNF-α (81.6%), iNOS (75.2%), and COX2 (87.7%) mRNA, as well as iNOS (71.9%) and COX-2 (65.9%) protein expression, in the recruited leukocytes. Indicaxanthin inhibited time- and dose- dependently the activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the whole inflammatory cascade. A pharmacokinetic study with a single 2 μmol/kg oral administration showed a maximum 0.22 ± 0.02 μmol/L (n = 15) plasma concentration of indicaxanthin, with a half-life of 1.15 ± 0.11 h. When considering the high bioavailability of indicaxanthin in humans, our findings suggest that this dietary pigment has the potential to improve health and prevent inflammation-based disorders.
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Fexofenadine hydrochloride is a non-sedating antihistamine that is used in the treatment of symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. A pooled analysis of pharmacokinetic data from children 6 months to 12 years of age and adults was conducted to identify the dose(s) in children that produce exposures comparable to those in adults for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The pharmacokinetic parameter database included peak and overall exposure data from 269 treatment exposures from 136 adult subjects, and 90 treatment exposures from 77 pediatric allergic rhinitis patients. The data were pooled and analysed using NONMEM software, version 5.0. A covariate model based on body weight and age and a power function model based on body weight were identified as appropriate models to describe the variability in fexofenadine oral clearance and peak concentration, respectively. Individual oral clearance estimates were on average 44%, 36% and 61% lower in children 6 to 12 years (n=14), 2 to 5 years (n=21), and 6 months to 2 years (n=42), respectively, compared with adults. Trial simulations (n=100) were carried out based on the final pharmacostatistical models and parameter estimates to identify the appropriate dose(s) in children relative to the marketed dose of 60 mg fexofenadine hydrochloride in adults. The trials were designed as crossover studies in 18 subjects comprising various potential dosing regimens with and without weight stratification. Pharmacokinetic parameter variability was assumed to have a log-normal distribution. Individual weights and ages were simulated using mean (SD) estimates derived from the studies used in this analysis and proportional measurement/model mis-specification errors derived from the analysis were incorporated into the simulation. The results indicated that a 30 mg dose of fexofenadine hydrochloride administered to children 1 to 12 years of age and weighing >10.5 kg and a 15 mg dose administered to children 6 months and older and weighing
Antihistamines have been evaluated for usefulness in the treatment of asthma for more than 50 years. Interest was limited until the introduction of newer compounds that were free of much of the dose-limiting sedation associated with the earlier drugs.
Second generation H1 antihistamines are considered first-line therapy for allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria, largely because of their nonsedating effects. Evaluating pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters and clinical efficacy of a drug is important, but models to predict clinical efficacy are lacking. Receptor occupancy (RO), a predictor for human pharmacodynamics and antihistamine potency that takes into account the affinity of the drug for the receptor and its free plasma concentration, may be a more accurate way to predict a drug's clinical efficacy. This study was designed to assess the concept of RO as a surrogate for clinical efficacy, using examples of second generation oral antihistamines. A literature review was conducted using MEDLINE. Search terms included allergy, allergic rhinitis, drug efficacy, over-the-counter drugs, perennial allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis, second generation antihistamines, chronic idiopathic urticaria, and treatment outcomes. Abstracts and posters from recent allergy-related society meetings were also used. RO of several second generation H1 antihistamines was derived from noncomparative and head-to-head studies. Fexofenadine and levocetirizine showed similar RO at 4 hours, both higher than that of desloratadine. Levocetirizine established higher RO than fexofenadine or desloratadine at 12 and 24 hours. RO for these agents appeared to correlate with pharmacodynamic activity in skin wheal and flare studies and with efficacy in allergen challenge chamber studies. Parameters affecting RO included time from dosing, pH, and dosing regimen. RO did not appear to be linearly related to drug concentration. Results indicate that RO is an accurate predictor of in vivo pharmacodynamic activity and clinical efficacy.
The MIR-15A/-16-1 tumor suppressor microRNAs (miRNAs) are deleted in leukemic cells from more than 50% of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). As these miRNAs are also less abundant in patients without genomic deletion, their downregulation in CLL is likely to be caused by additional mechanisms. We found the primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs) of MIR-15a/-16/-15b to be elevated and processing intermediates (precursor miRNAs) to be reduced in cells from CLL patients (22/38) compared with non-malignant B-cells (n=14), indicating a block of miRNA maturation at the DROSHA processing step. Using a luciferase reporter assay for pri-miR processing we validated the defect in primary CLL cells. The block of miRNA maturation is restricted to specific miRNAs and can be found in the cell line MEC-2, but not in MEC-1, even though both are derived from the same CLL patient. In these cells, the RNA-specific deaminase ADARB1 leads to reduced pri-miRNA processing, but full processing efficiency is recovered upon deletion of the RNA-binding domains or nuclear localization of ADARB1. Thus, we show that, apart from genomic deletion or transcriptional downregulation, aberrant processing of miRNA leads to specific reduction of miRNAs in leukemic cells. This represents a novel oncogenic mechanism in the pathogenesis of CLL.
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Among 1729 patients, 744 (43%) were female and mean (SD) age was 58 (11) years. Although C-07 participants with stage III disease with an enterocyte subtype showed a statistically significant benefit from oxaliplatin in the discovery cohort (hazard ratio, 0.22 [95% CI, 0.09-0.56]; P = .001 [N = 65]), no statistically significant benefit was observed in the validation cohort (hazard ratio, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.22-1.24]; P = .14 [N = 70]). The stemlike subtype was associated with poor prognosis and lack of benefit from oxaliplatin treatment (HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.73-1.34]; P = .96 [N = 367]). Examination of the different subtyping methods shows that all 3 methods robustly identified patients with poor prognosis (stemlike, CCS-3, and CMS-4) in both stage II and III.
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Urticaria is mainly caused by mast cell-derived histamine through the histamine H(1) receptor. Antihistamines are occasionally used on demand upon a recurrence of urticaria; therefore, rapidly acting agents should be explored. The onset of action is assumed to depend on time to maximum concentration (T(max)), but the speed of action needs to be evaluated not only through blood concentration analysis but also by measuring in vivo effectiveness.
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Various clinical pictures may be identified within the relationship between alcoholism and epilepsy: a) epilepsy existing prior to the drink habit in which attacks are facilitated by intake of alcohol: b) convulsive syndrome coming on following prolonged intake of alcohol (real alcoholic epilepsy); c) convulsive attacks arising after acute intake of alcohol. Within the field of real alcoholic epilepsy two forms can be distinguished. One is generally reversible and arises 5-10 years following the start of the alcohol habis, the other tardive, starting years later irreversible). These pictures probably have different aetiopathogenetic mechanisms and this implies a different therapeutic approach.
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Bilastine, a piperidine derivative, is a novel potent H1 antihistamine. It is at least as potent as cetirizine or fexofenadine in in vitro studies. In animal studies it demonstrates dose-dependent antihistaminic and antiallergic effects. In humans its metabolism is not affected by age, gender or renal function but may be affected by coadministration of P glycoprotein inhibitors. Efficacy of bilastine in therapy of allergic rhinitis patients has been documented in several large controlled clinical trials showing bilastine being at least as effective as cetirizine or desloratadine. No significant suppressive effect on central nervous system could be demonstrated when bilastine was used in the recommended doses.
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The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the diagnostic and treatment challenges posed by AR in school-age children. The paper discusses and compares the available treatment modalities for this age group, with a focus on their beneficial and adverse effects.
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Methadone plasma concentrations are decreased by nelfinavir. Methadone clearance and the drug interactions have been attributed to CYP3A4, but actual mechanisms of methadone clearance and the nelfinavir interaction are unknown. We assessed nelfinavir effects on methadone pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, intestinal and hepatic CYP3A4/5 activity, and intestinal P-glycoprotein transport activity. CYP3A4/5 and transporters were assessed using alfentanil and fexofenadine, respectively.