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Osterhues A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Ali N.S.,Pennsylvania Hospital | Michels K.B.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Michels K.B.,Harvard University
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2013

The worldwide prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) has fallen noticeably during the past 30 years, but the specific etiology and causative mechanism of NTDs remain unknown. Since introduction of mandatory fortification of grains with folic acid, a further decrease in NTD prevalence has been reported in North America and other countries with large variations among ethnic subgroups. However, a significant portion of NTDs still persists. Population data suggest that women of childbearing age may not yet be adequately targeted, while the general population may be overfortified with folic acid. While an excessive folate intake may be associated with adverse effects, there remains uncertainty about the minimum effective folate intake and status required for NTD prevention, and the safe upper folate level. Besides folate, several other lifestyle and environmental factors as well as genetic variations may influence NTD development, possibly by affecting one-carbon metabolism and thus epigenetic events. In conclusion, mandatory folic acid fortification plays a significant part in the reduction of NTD prevalence, but possibly at a cost and with a portion of NTDs remaining. More effective preventive strategies require better understanding of the etiology of this group of birth defects. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Duskin A.,Pennsylvania Hospital | Eisenberg R.A.,University of Pennsylvania
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2010

Inflammatory arthritis presents in a variety of diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to hepatitis. Antibodies to autoantigens or to microbial constituents are commonly associated with these conditions. In some cases, the antibodies have diagnostic and prognostic relevance. It cannot as yet be determined definitively that any of them mediate joint damage, although the evidence from animal models indicates that this mechanism is likely. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the spectrum of antibodies found in a variety of inflammatory arthritides. The relevant animal models are also discussed. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Delamarter R.,Spine Institute | Zigler J.E.,The Texas Institute | Balderston R.A.,Pennsylvania Hospital | Cammisa F.P.,Hospital for Special Surgery | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A | Year: 2011

Background: Disc replacement arthroplasty previously has been shown to be an effective alternative to spine fusion for the treatment of single-level lumbar degenerative disc disease. The purpose of the present study was to determine the twenty-four-month results of a clinical trial of the ProDisc-L total disc replacement as compared with spinal fusion for the treatment of degenerative disc disease at two contiguous vertebral levels from L3 to S1. Methods: A total of 237 patients were treated in a randomized controlled trial designed as a non-inferiority study for regulatory application purposes. Blocked randomization was performed with use of a 2:1 ratio of total disc arthroplasty to circumferential arthrodesis. Evaluations, including patient self-assessments, physical and neurological examinations, and radiographic examinations, were performed preoperatively, six weeks postoperatively, and three, six, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four months postoperatively. Results: At twenty-four months, 58.8% (eighty-seven) of 148 patients in the total disc replacement group were classified as a statistical success, compared with 47.8% (thirty-two) of sixty-seven patients in the arthrodesis group; non-inferiority was demonstrated. The mean Oswestry Disability Index in both groups significantly improved from baseline (p < 0.0001); the mean percentage improvement for the total disc replacement group was significantly better than that for the arthrodesis group (p = 0.0282). An established clinical criterion for success, a ≥15-point improvement in the Oswestry Disability Index from baseline, occurred in 73.2% (109) of 149 patients in the total disc replacement group and 59.7% (thirty-seven) of sixty-two patients in the arthrodesis group. The Short Form-36 physical component scores were significantly better for the total disc replacement group as compared with the arthrodesis group (p = 0.0141 at twenty-fourmonths). Visual analog scale scores for satisfaction significantly favored total disc replacement from three to twenty-four months. At twenty-four months, 78.2% (111) of 142 patients in the total disc replacement group and 62.1% (thirty-six) of fifty-eight patients in the arthrodesis group responded "yes" when asked if theywould have the same surgery again. Lumbar spine range ofmotion on radiographs averaged 7.8° at the superior disc and 6.2° at the inferior disc in patients with total disc replacement. Reduction in narcotics usage significantly favored the total disc replacement group at twenty-four months after surgery (p = 0.0020). Conclusions: Despite the relatively short duration of follow-up and design limitations, the present study suggests that two-level lumbar disc arthroplasty is an alternative to and offers clinical advantages in terms of pain relief and functional recovery in comparison with arthrodesis. Longer-term follow-up is needed to determine the risks for implant wear and/or degenerative segment changes. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence. Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated. Source

Waterman J.J.,Pennsylvania Hospital | Kapur R.,University of Pennsylvania
Current Sports Medicine Reports | Year: 2012

Gastrointestinal (GI) complaints are common among athletes with rates in the range of 30%to 70%. Both the intensity of sport and the type of sporting activity have been shown to be contributing factors in the development of GI symptoms. Three important factors have been postulated as contributing to the pathophysiology of GI complaints in athletes: mechanical forces, altered GI blood flow, and neuroendocrine changes. As a result of those factors, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), nausea, vomiting, gastritis, peptic ulcers, GI bleeding, or exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP) may develop. GERD may be treated with changes in eating habits, lifestyle modifications, and training modifications. Nausea and vomiting may respond to simple training modifications, including no solid food 3 hours prior to an athletic event. Mechanical trauma, decreased splanchnic blood flow during exercise, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) contribute to gastritis, GI bleeding, and ulcer formation in athletes. Acid suppression with protonpump inhibitors may be useful in athletes with persistence of any of the above symptoms. ETAP is a common, poorly-understood, self-limited acute abdominal pain which is difficult to treat. ETAP incidence increases in athletes beginning a new exercise programor increasing the intensity of their current exercise program. ETAP may respond to changes in breathing patterns or may resolve simply with continued training. Evaluation of the athlete with upper GI symptoms requires a thorough history, a detailed training log, a focused physical examination aimed at ruling out potentially serious causes of symptoms, and follow-up laboratory testing based on concerning physical examination findings. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine. Source

Amber I.,Pennsylvania Hospital | Fiester A.,University of Pennsylvania
American Journal of Roentgenology | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE. Radiologists' delivery of imaging results to patients remains controversial. One model of communication suggests limiting disclosure to normal results. We argue that disclosing radiologic findings to patients is justified in all categories of results. CONCLUSION. Once a doctor-patient relationship has been established, we claim that it is morally justifiable for radiologists to communicate findings directly to their patients. The practice guidelines that we advocate employ a sliding scale based on the diagnostic confidence of imaging results. © American Roentgen Ray Socoety. Source

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