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Kew K.M.,St Georges, University of London
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2014

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are anti-inflammatory drugs that have proven benefits for people with worsening symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and repeated exacerbations. They with budesonide (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.34); this was the only significant difference reported between the two drugs. However, this pneumonia-related deaths were too rare to permit conclusions to be drawn. Budesonide and fluticasone, delivered alone or in combination with a LABA, are associated with increased risk of serious adverse pneumonia events, but neither significantly affected mortality compared with controls. The safety concerns highlighted in this review should be balanced with recent cohort data and established randomised evidence of efficacy regarding exacerbations and quality of life. Comparison of the two drugs revealed no statistically significant difference in serious pneumonias, mortality or serious adverse events. Fluticasone was associated with higher risk of any pneumonia when compared with budesonide (i.e. less serious cases dealt with in the community), but variation in the definitions used by the respective manufacturers is a potential confounding factor in their comparison.Primary research should accurately measure pneumonia outcomes and should clarify both the definition and the method of diagnosis used, especially for new formulations such as fluticasone furoate, for which little evidence of the associated pneumonia risk is currently available. Similarly, systematic reviews and cohorts should address the reliability of assigning 'pneumonia' as an adverse event or cause of death and should determine how this affects the applicability of findings. Source

Markus H.S.,St Georges, University of London
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2011

Stroke represents an enormous health problem worldwide. It describes a clinical syndrome which can be caused by a number of different pathologies, rather than a single disease. Over 80% of strokes are ischaemic, as opposed to haemorrhagic. This review covers advances in the genetics of both monogenic and multifactorial ischaemic stroke. Like many other complex diseases, progress in identifying genes for multifactorial stroke has been disappointing. However, genome-wide association study (GWAS) technology is starting to have a major impact on our understanding of the genetics of stroke. Early studies have shown that genetic associations identified with other diseases known to be associated with stroke, such as coronary heart disease and atrial fibrillation, are themselves genetic risk factors for stroke. A number of stroke GWASs are nearing completion; these have identified novel associations with ischaemic stroke. Most associations reported to date are with specific stroke subtypes. This parallels findings from monogenic causes of stroke where individual mutations usually predispose to specific stroke subtypes. This has implications for the understanding of the pathogenesis of stroke, and emphasizes the importance of careful stroke subtyping in genetic epidemiology studies. So far, studies have looked for genetic risk factors for stroke acting independently of environmental factors. However, we know that conventional environmental risk factors are important in stroke pathogenesis, and considerable evidence suggests that gene-environment interactions will be important. Identifying these is likely to require much larger sample sizes. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Papadopoulos M.C.,St Georges, University of London | Verkman A.S.,University of California at San Francisco
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2012

Neuromyelitis optica is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the CNS. The discovery of circulating IgG1 antibodies against the astrocyte water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and the evidence that AQP4-IgG is involved in the development of neuromyelitis optica revolutionised our understanding of the disease. However, important unanswered questions remain-for example, we do not know the cause of AQP4-IgG-negative disease, how astrocyte damage causes demyelination, the role of T cells, why peripheral AQP4-expressing organs are undamaged, and how circulating AQP4-IgG enters neuromyelitis optica lesions. New drug candidates have emerged, such as aquaporumab (non-pathogenic antibody blocker of AQP4-IgG binding), sivelestat (neutrophil elastase inhibitor), and eculizumab (complement inhibitor). Despite rapid progress, randomised clinical trials to test new drugs will be challenging because of the small number of individuals with the disorder. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

The second heart field (SHF) contains progenitors of all heart chambers, excluding the left ventricle. The SHF is patterned, and the anterior region is known to be destined to form the outflow tract and right ventricle. The aim of this study was to map the fate of the posterior SHF (pSHF). We examined the contribution of pSHF cells, labeled by lipophilic dye at the 4- to 6-somite stage, to regions of the heart at 20 to 25 somites, using mouse embryo culture. Cells more cranial in the pSHF contribute to the atrioventricular canal (AVC) and atria, whereas those more caudal generate the sinus venosus, but there is intermixing of fate throughout the pSHF. Caudal pSHF contributes symmetrically to the sinus venosus, but the fate of cranial pSHF is left/right asymmetrical. Left pSHF moves to dorsal left atrium and superior AVC, whereas right pSHF contributes to right atrium, ventral left atrium, and inferior AVC. Retrospective clonal analysis shows the relationships between AVC and atria to be clonal and that right and left progenitors diverge before first and second heart lineage separation. Cranial pSHF cells also contribute to the outflow tract: proximal and distal at 4 somites, and distal only at 6 somites. All outflow tract-destined cells are intermingled with those that will contribute to inflow and AVC. These observations show asymmetric fate of the pSHF, resulting in unexpected left/right contributions to both poles of the heart and can be integrated into a model of the morphogenetic movement of cells during cardiac looping. Source

Kew K.M.,St Georges, University of London
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2014

Pharmacological therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is aimed at relieving symptoms, improving quality of life and preventing or treating exacerbations.Treatment tends to begin with one mcg, budesonide 400 mcg and formoterol/mometasone combination were ranked lower within their classes. There was considerable overlap in credible intervals and rankings for both classes and individual treatments. Trough FEV1 Trough FEV1 data were available in 46 studies (n = 47,409). At six months, 41 pairwise comparisons were made between 20 treatments in 31 studies (n = 29,271). As for SGRQ, combination LABA/ICS was the highest ranked class, with a mean improvement over placebo of 133.3 mL at six months (95% CrI 100.6 to 164.0) and slightly less at 12 months (mean difference (MD) 100, 95% CrI 55.5 to 140.1). LAMAs (MD 103.5, 95% CrI 81.8 to 124.9) and LABAs (MD 99.4, 95% CrI 72.0 to 127.8) showed roughly equivalent results at six months, and ICSs were the fourth ranked class (MD 65.4, 95% CrI 33.1 to 96.9). As with SGRQ, initial differences between classes were not so prominent at 12 months. Indacaterol and salmeterol/fluticasone were ranked slightly better than others in their class, and formoterol 12, aclidinium, budesonide and formoterol/budesonide combination were ranked lower within their classes. All credible intervals for individual rankings were wide. This network meta-analysis compares four different classes of long-acting inhalers for people with COPD who need more than short-acting bronchodilators. Quality of life and lung function were improved most on combination inhalers (LABA and ICS) and least on ICS alone at 6 and at 12 months. Overall LAMA and LABA inhalers had similar effects, particularly at 12 months. The network has demonstrated the benefit of ICS when added to LABA for these outcomes in participants who largely had an FEV1 that was less than 50% predicted, but the additional expense of combination inhalers and any potential for increased adverse events (which has been established by other reviews) require consideration. Our findings are in keeping with current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. Source

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