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Najjar S.,New York University | Pearlman D.M.,New York University | Pearlman D.M.,The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Schizophrenia Research | Year: 2015

Background: Neuroinflammation and white matter pathology have each been independently associated with schizophrenia, and experimental studies have revealed mechanisms by which the two can interact in vitro, but whether these abnormalities simultaneously co-occur in people with schizophrenia remains unclear. Method: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Web of Science from inception through 12 January 2014 for studies reporting human data on the relationship between microglial or astroglial activation, or cytokines and white matter pathology in schizophrenia. Results: Fifteen studies totaling 792 subjects (350 with schizophrenia, 346 controls, 49 with bipolar disorder, 37 with major depressive disorder and 10 with Alzheimer's disease) met all eligibility criteria. Five neuropathological and two neuroimaging studies collectively yielded consistent evidence of an association between schizophrenia and microglial activation, particularly in white rather than gray matter regions. Ultrastructural analysis revealed activated microglia near dystrophic and apoptotic oligodendroglia, demyelinating and dysmyelinating axons and swollen and vacuolated astroglia in subjects with schizophrenia but not controls. Two neuroimaging studies found an association between carrier status for a functional single nucleotide polymorphism in the interleukin-1β gene and abnormal white as well as gray matter volumes in schizophrenia but not controls. A neuropathological study found that orbitofrontal white matter neuronal density was increased in schizophrenia cases exhibiting high transcription levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines relative to those exhibiting low transcription levels and to controls. Schizophrenia was associated with decreased astroglial density specifically in subgenual cingulate white matter and anterior corpus callosum, but not other gray or white matter areas. Astrogliosis was consistently absent. Data on astroglial gene expression, mRNA expression and protein concentration were inconsistent. Conclusion: Neuroinflammation is associated with white matter pathology in people with schizophrenia, and may contribute to structural and functional disconnectivity, even at the first episode of psychosis. © 2014. Source

Faerber A.E.,The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Horvath R.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | Stillman C.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | O'Connell M.L.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making | Year: 2015

Background: Patients with no history of stroke but with stenosis of the carotid arteries can reduce the risk of future stroke with surgery or stenting. At present, a physicians' ability to recommend optimal treatments based on an individual's risk profile requires estimating the likelihood that a patient will have a poor peri-operative outcomes and the likelihood that the patient will survive long enough to gain benefit from the procedure. We describe the development of the CArotid Risk Assessment Tool (CARAT) into a 2-year mortality risk calculator within the electronic medical record, integrating the tool into the clinical workflow, training the clinical team to use the tool, and assessing the feasibility and acceptability of the tool in one clinic setting. Methods: We modified an existing clinical flowsheet with the local electronic medical record for the CARAT risk model. To understand how CARAT would fit into the existing clinical workflow, we observed the clinic and talked with the clinical staff to develop a process map for the existing clinical workflow. CARAT was completed by the clinic nurse for patients identified on the clinic schedule as having carotid narrowing. We analyzed post-implementation assessment in two ways: quantifying the proportion of eligible patients with whom CARAT was utilized, and surveying surgeons to understand the impact of CARAT on decision-making and clinical workflow. Results: With minimum investment of institutional resources, we were able to produce a workable tool and pilot the tool in our clinic within a 6 month time period. Over 4 months, 287 patients were seen in the clinic with carotid narrowing, and clinic staff completed CARAT for 195 (68%). Per-surgeon completion rates ranged from 29 to 81%. Most patients (191 of 195, 98%) patients had a low 2-year calculated mortality risk. Most surgeons believed the risk assessment aligned with their expectations of patient predicted risk. Conclusions: We successfully integrated CARAT into the existing electronic medical record and have preliminary evidence that CARAT can be a valuable tool for evaluating mortality risk for patients with diseased carotid arteries. Accuracy of the risk calculations must be evaluated in larger, multi-center studies. © 2015 Faerber et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

Adachi-Mejia A.M.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | Adachi-Mejia A.M.,The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Practice | Longacre M.R.,Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center | Longacre M.R.,Community Health Research Program | And 9 more authors.
Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives: The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Among the many possible routes of access for youth, school vending machines provide ready availability of sugar-sweetened beverages. The purpose of this study was to determine variation in high school student access to sugar-sweetened beverages through vending machines by geographic location - urban, town or rural - and to offer an approach for analysing school vending machine content. Study design: Cross-sectional observational study. Methods: Between October 2007 and May 2008, trained coders recorded beverage vending machine content and machine-front advertising in 113 machines across 26 schools in New Hampshire and Vermont, USA. Results: Compared with town schools, urban schools were significantly less likely to offer sugar-sweetened beverages (P = 0.002). Rural schools also offered more sugar-sweetened beverages than urban schools, but this difference was not significant. Advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages were highly prevalent in town schools. Conclusions: High school students have ready access to sugar-sweetened beverages through their school vending machines. Town schools offer the highest risk of exposure; school vending machines located in towns offer up to twice as much access to sugar-sweetened beverages in both content and advertising compared with urban locations. Variation by geographic region suggests that healthier environments are possible and some schools can lead as inspirational role models. © 2013 The Royal Society for Public Health. Source

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