Royal Brisbane Hospital Campus

Herston, Australia

Royal Brisbane Hospital Campus

Herston, Australia
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Yin J.K.,Childrens Hospital at Westmead | Yin J.K.,University of Sydney | Lahra M.M.,Childrens Hospital at Westmead | Lahra M.M.,University of Sydney | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2011

Background: Influenza outbreaks in the childcare setting are a significant cause of excess winter morbidity. This study explored methods of follow up and sample collection for a proposed randomised controlled trial of influenza vaccination in children attending childcare. Methods: The study was conducted in four Sydney childcare centres during 2007. Healthy children aged 6-59 months eligible for vaccination were recruited in two centres, with another two acting as controls. Data on influenza-like illness (ILI: ≥37.8°C plus at least one respiratory symptom) occurrence were collected weekly. In those children with an ILI, parents were asked to collect nasal swabs and send via surface mail for viral polymerase chain reaction. Vaccine efficacy (VE) for ILI was estimated overall and for subgroups aged 6-23 and 24-59 months using the formula VE = 1 - relative risk (RR). Results: Sixty-three per cent (151/238) of eligible children had parents give consent. Sixty-three children received influenza vaccine and 88 participated as controls. Of 26 specimens returned, a virus was detected in 18 (69%); none with influenza. Two symptomatic children had positive near-patient influenza tests in general practice (one a vaccine failure). The RR with 95% confidence interval in all children and those aged 6-23 months were less than one, 0.56 (0.32-1.02) and 0.46 (0.15-1.45), respectively. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility and utility of parent-collected and mailed respiratory specimens for VE research in the childcare setting. Two-thirds of parent-collected swabs proved positive for at least one virus. Finding ways to reduce reluctance of parents to submit samples could improve the representativeness of samples collected and the power of the study. No evidence was found for influenza VE, but point estimates were in the direction of protection. © 2011 The Authors.


Sahama I.,University of Queensland | Sinclair K.,The Royal Childrens Hospital | Fiori S.,IRCCS Stella Maris | Pannek K.,CSIRO | And 3 more authors.
Movement Disorders | Year: 2014

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research in identifying altered brain structure and function in ataxia-telangiectasia, an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder, is limited. Diffusion-weighted MRI were obtained from 11 ataxia telangiectasia patients (age range, 7-22 years; mean, 12 years) and 11 typically developing age-matched participants (age range, 8-23 years; mean, 13 years). Gray matter volume alterations in patients were compared with those of healthy controls using voxel-based morphometry, whereas tract-based spatial statistics was employed to elucidate white matter microstructure differences between groups. White matter microstructure was probed using quantitative fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity measures. Reduced gray matter volume in both cerebellar hemispheres and in the precentral-postcentral gyrus in the left cerebral hemisphere was observed in ataxia telangiectasia patients compared with controls (P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons). A significant reduction in fractional anisotropy in the cerebellar hemispheres, anterior/posterior horns of the medulla, cerebral peduncles, and internal capsule white matter, particularly in the left posterior limb of the internal capsule and corona radiata in the left cerebral hemisphere, was observed in patients compared with controls (P< 0.05). Mean diffusivity differences were observed within the left cerebellar hemisphere and the white matter of the superior lobule of the right cerebellar hemisphere (P< 0.05). Cerebellum-localized gray matter changes are seen in young ataxia telangiectasia patients along with white matter tract degeneration projecting from the cerebellum into corticomotor regions. The lack of cortical involvement may reflect early-stage white matter motor pathway degeneration within young patients. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.


Sahama I.,University of Queensland | Sinclair K.,Royal Childrens Hospital | Pannek K.,CSIRO | Lavin M.,Royal Brisbane Hospital Campus | And 2 more authors.
Cerebellum | Year: 2014

The human genetic disorder ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is characterised by neurodegeneration, immunodeficiency, radiosensitivity, cell cycle checkpoint defects, genomic instability and cancer predisposition. Progressive cerebellar ataxia represents the most debilitating aspect of this disorder. At present, there is no therapy available to cure or prevent the progressive symptoms of A-T. While it is possible to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with immunodeficiency and deficient lung function, neither the predisposition to cancer nor the progressive neurodegeneration can be prevented. Significant effort has focused on improving our understanding of various clinical, genetic and immunological aspects of A-T; however, little attention has been directed towards identifying altered brain structure and function using MRI. To date, most imaging studies have reported radiological anomalies in A-T. This review outlines the clinical and biological features of A-T along with known radiological imaging anomalies. In addition, we briefly discuss the advent of high-resolution MRI in conjunction with diffusion-weighted imaging, which enables improved investigation of the microstructural tissue environment, giving insight into the loss in integrity of motor networks due to abnormal neurodevelopmental or progressive neurodegenerative processes. Such imaging approaches have yet to be applied in the study of A-T and could provide important new information regarding the relationship between mutation of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene and the integrity of motor circuitry. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.


Lim Y.C.,Royal Brisbane Hospital Campus | Lim Y.C.,University of Queensland | Roberts T.L.,Royal Brisbane Hospital Campus | Roberts T.L.,University of Queensland | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2012

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common form of brain tumor with a poor prognosis and resistance to radiotherapy. Recent evidence suggests that glioma-initiating cells play a central role in radio resistance through DNA damage checkpoint activation and enhanced DNA repair. To investigate this inmore detail, we compared the DNA damage response in nontumor forming neural progenitor cells (NPC) and glioma-initiating cells isolated from GBM patient specimens. As observed for GBM tumors, initial characterization showed that glioma-initiating cells have long-term self-renewal capacity. They express markers identical toNPCs and have the ability to form tumors in an animal model. In addition, these cells are radioresistant to varying degrees, which could not be explained by enhanced nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Indeed, NHEJ in glioma-initiating cells was equivalent, or in some cases reduced, as compared with NPCs. However, there was evidence for more efficient homologous recombination repair in glioma-initiating cells. We did not observe a prolonged cell cycle nor enhanced basal activation of checkpoint proteins as reported previously. Rather, cell-cycle defects in the G1-S and S-phase checkpoints were observed by determining entry into S-phase and radioresistant DNA synthesis following irradiation. These data suggest that homologous recombination and cell-cycle checkpoint abnormalities may contribute to the radioresistance of glioma-initiating cells and that both processes may be suitable targets for therapy. ©2012 AACR.

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