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Johnson K.P.,Oak Street Health | Johnson K.P.,University of Florida
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014

The rate of DNA mutation and divergence is highly variable across the tree of life. However, the reasons underlying this variation are not well understood. Comparing the rates of genetic changes between hosts and parasite lineages that diverged at the same time is one way to begin to understand differences in genetic mutation and substitution rates. Such studies have indicated that the rate of genetic divergence in parasites is often faster than that of their hosts when comparing single genes. However, the variation in this relative rate of molecular evolution across different genes in the genome is unknown. We compared the rate of DNA sequence divergence between humans, chimpanzees and their ectoparasitic lice for 1534 protein-coding genes across their genomes. The rate of DNA substitution in these orthologous genes was on average 14 times faster for lice than for humans and chimpanzees. In addition, these rates were positively correlated across genes. Because this correlation only occurred for substitutions that changed the amino acid, this pattern is probably produced by similar functional constraints across the same genes in humans, chimpanzees and their ectoparasites.


Bested A.C.,Oak Street Health | Logan A.C.,CAMNR | Selhub E.M.,Harvard University
Gut Pathogens | Year: 2013

Mental health disorders, depression in particular, have been described as a global epidemic. Research suggests that a variety of lifestyle and environmental changes may be driving at least some portion of the increased prevalence. One area of flourishing research involves the relationship between the intestinal microbiota (as well as the related functional integrity of the gastrointestinal tract) and mental health. In order to appreciate the recent scientific gains in this area, and its potential future directions, it is critical to review the history of the topic. Probiotic administration (e.g. Lactobacillus) and fecal microbiota transfer for conditions associated with depression and anxiety is not a new concept. Here, in the first of a 3-part series, we begin by reviewing the origins of the contemporary research, providing a critical appraisal of what has become a revisionist history of the controversial term 'autointoxication'. We argue that legitimate interests in the gut-brain-microbiota connection were obscured for decades by its association with a narrow historical legacy. Historical perspectives provide a very meaningful context to the current state of the contemporary research as outlined in parts II and III. © 2013 Bested et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Greaves L.,Oak Street Health
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Smoking cigarettes is a gendered activity with sex- and gender-specific uptake trends and cessation patterns. While global male smoking rates have peaked, female rates are set to escalate in the 21st century, especially in low and middle income countries. Hence, smoking cessation for women will be an ongoing issue and requires refreshed attention. Public health and health promotion messages are being challenged to be increasingly tailored, taking gender into account. Women-centred approaches that include harm-reduction, motivational interviewing and trauma-informed elements are the new frontiers in interventions to encourage smoking cessation for women. Such approaches are linked to the meanings of smoking to women, the adaptive function of, and the overall role of smoking cigarettes in the context of women’s lives. These approaches respect gender and sex-related factors that affect smoking and smoking cessation and respond to these issues, not by reinforcing destructive or negative gender norms, but with insight. This article discusses a women-centred approach to smoking cessation that could underpin initiatives in clinical, community or public health settings and could inform campaigns and messaging. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Weiss M.D.,Oak Street Health | Salpekar J.,George Washington University
CNS Drugs | Year: 2010

An estimated 2550 of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience problems with sleep. The most common sleep problems reported in children with ADHD include delayed sleep onset, sleep or bedtime resistance, prolonged tiredness upon waking and daytime sleepiness. Higher incidences of sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder and sleep-disordered breathing have been reported in paediatric ADHD populations compared with control populations. In some cases, medications for ADHD andor co-morbid disorders may also contribute to sleep disturbances. Assessment tools, such as parent-child questionnaires and sleep diaries, can help clinicians evaluate sleep disturbances. Sleep problems may potentially exacerbate ADHD symptoms, and interventions targeted at ensuring adequate sleep (including behavioural, dietary, specific pharmacological agents for treatment-induced insomnia, and melatonin) could in turn potentially attenuate symptoms associated with ADHD, such as irritability. Whether metabolic or neurological pathways common to both sleep and ADHD may be disrupted, and whether targeting treatments to these pathways may simultaneously improve both ADHD and sleep symptoms, needs further elucidation. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.


Mahon P.R.,Oak Street Health
Intensive and Critical Care Nursing | Year: 2014

The aim of this study is to examine key features within the cultural context in a Canadian Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) environment as experienced by nurses and to identify what these influences are and how they shape nurses' intentions to remain at critically ill children's bedsides for the duration of their careers.This is a qualitative study which follows a critical ethnographic approach. Over 20. hours of observation and face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted. Approximately one third of the nursing population at the research site PICU were interviewed (N=31).Participants describe a complex process of becoming an expert PICU nurse that involved several stages. By the time participants became experts in this PICU they believed they had significantly narrowed the power imbalance that exists between nursing and medicine. This study illuminates the role both formal and informal education plays in breaking the power barrier for nurses in the PICU. This level of expertise and mutual respect between professions aids in retaining nurses in the PICU. The lack of autonomy and/or respect shown to nurses by administrators appears to be one of the major stressors in nurses' working lives and can lead to attrition from the PICU.Family Centred Care (FCC) is practiced in paediatrics and certainly accentuated in the PICU as there is usually only one patient assigned per nurse, who thus afforded the time to provide comprehensive care to both the child and the family. This is considered one of the satisfiers for nurses in the PICU and tends to encourage retention of nurses in the PICU. However, FCC was found to be an inadequate term to truly encompass the type of holistic care provided by nurses in the PICU. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Bested A.C.,Oak Street Health | Logan A.C.,CAMNR | Selhub E.M.,Harvard University
Gut Pathogens | Year: 2013

In recent years there has been a renewed interest concerning the ways in which the gastrointestinal tract - its functional integrity and microbial residents - might influence human mood (e.g. depression) and behavioral disorders. Once a hotbed of scientific interest in the early 20th century, this area lay dormant for decades, in part due to its association with the controversial term 'autointoxication'. Here we review contemporary findings related to intestinal permeability, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, lipopolysaccharide endotoxin (LPS) exposure, D-lactic acid, propionic acid, and discuss their relevance to microbiota and mental health. In addition, we include the context of modern dietary habits as they relate to depression, anxiety and their potential interaction with intestinal microbiota. © 2013 Bested et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Mitchell S.,University of British Columbia | Shaw D.,Oak Street Health
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2015

The rapidly rising number of individuals who are overweight and obese has been called a worldwide epidemic of obesity with >35% of adults today considered to be overweight or obese. Women are more likely to be overweight and obese than their male counterparts, which has farereaching effects on reproductive health and specifically pregnancy, with obese women facing an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, operative delivery, fetal macrosomia, and neonatal morbidity. The etiology of obesity is highly complex encompassing genetic, environmental, physiologic, cultural, political, and socioeconomic factors, making it challenging to develop effective interventions on both a local and global scale. This article describes the extent and the cost of the obesity epidemic, which, although historically seen as a disease of higheincome countries, is now clearly a global epidemic that impacts lowe and middleeincome countries and indigenous groups who bear an evereincreasing burden of this disease. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


In recent years, there have been huge advances in the use of genetically modified mice to study pathophysiological mechanisms involved in schizophrenia. This has allowed rapid progress in our understanding of the role of several proposed gene mechanisms in schizophrenia, and yet this research has also revealed how much still remains unresolved. Behavioral studies in genetically modified mice are reviewed with special emphasis on modeling psychotic-like behavior. I will particularly focus on observations on locomotor hyperactivity and disruptions of prepulse inhibition (PPI). Recommendations are included to address pharmacological and methodological aspects in future studies. Mouse models of dopaminergic and glutamatergic dysfunction are then discussed, reflecting the most important and widely studied neurotransmitter systems in schizophrenia. Subsequently, psychosis-like behavior in mice with modifications in the most widely studied schizophrenia susceptibility genes is reviewed. Taken together, the available studies reveal a wealth of available data which have already provided crucial new insight and mechanistic clues which could lead to new treatments or even prevention strategies for schizophrenia.


Greaves L.,Oak Street Health | Greaves L.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

Tobacco use and exposure is unequally distributed across populations and countries and among women and men. These trends and patterns reflect and cause gender and economic inequities along with negative health impacts. Despite a commitment to gender analysis in the preamble to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control there is much yet to be done to fully understand how gender operates in tobacco control. Policies, program and research in tobacco control need to not only integrate gender, but rather operationalize gender with the goal of transforming gender and social inequities in the course of tobacco control initiatives. Gender transformative tobacco control goes beyond gender sensitive efforts and challenges policy and program developers to apply gender theory in designing their initiatives, with the goal of changing negative gender and social norms and improving social, economic, health and social indicators along with tobacco reduction. This paper outlines what is needed to progress tobacco control in enhancing the status of gendered and vulnerable groups, with a view to reducing gender and social inequities due to tobacco use and exposure. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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