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Panagopoulos V.N.,VA St. Louis Health Care System | Panagopoulos V.N.,University of Washington | Ralevski E.,Yale University
Psychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Rationale: Ghrelin is a fast-acting hormone that is produced primarily by the stomach and by the brain although in smaller quantities. The regulation and the secretion of ghrelin are complex and not limited to aspects of feeding. Ghrelin exerts powerful effects on multiple processes, and it has been demonstrated that it mediates the rewarding properties of food as well as of drugs of abuse. Objectives: The purpose of this review is to summarize the findings of preclinical and clinical studies related to ghrelin's possible role in addiction for each specific class of substances. Questions related to ghrelin's involvement in addiction are highlighted. Recurrent methodological issues that render the interpretation of the findings challenging are discussed. Also, the potential of targeting ghrelin as a pharmacologic treatment strategy for addiction is explored. Results: Ghrelin signaling is implicated in the mediation of behavioral and biochemical effects of drugs of abuse that are cardinal for the development of addiction, especially for alcohol, nicotine, and stimulants. The available literature implicating ghrelin in opioid or cannabis use disorders is currently limited and inconclusive. Conclusions: There is intriguing, although not always consistent, evidence for the involvement of ghrelin signaling in aspects of addiction, especially in the cases of alcohol, nicotine, and stimulants. Further research, particularly in humans, is recommended to replicate and expand on the findings of the current literature. Improved and novel methodologies that take into account the volatile and complex nature of ghrelin are required to clarify the inconsistencies of the findings. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Purnell J.Q.,Washington University in St. Louis | Gernes R.,Washington University in St. Louis | Stein R.,University of Washington | Sherraden M.S.,University of Missouri-St. Louis | Knoblock-Hahn A.,VA St. Louis Health Care System
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2014

In light of the obesity epidemic, there is growing interest in the use of financial incentives for dietary behavior change. Previous reviews of the literature have focused on randomized controlled trials and found mixed results. The purpose of this systematic review is to update and expand on previous reviews by considering a broader range of study designs, including randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental, observational, and simulation studies testing the use of financial incentives to change dietary behavior and to inform both dietetic practice and research. The review was guided by theoretical consideration of the type of incentive used based on the principles of operant conditioning. There was further examination of whether studies were carried out with an institutional focus. Studies published between 2006 and 2012 were selected for review, and data were extracted regarding study population, intervention design, outcome measures, study duration and follow-up, and key findings. Twelve studies meeting selection criteria were reviewed, with 11 finding a positive association between incentives and dietary behavior change in the short term. All studies pointed to more specific information on the type, timing, and magnitude of incentives needed to motivate individuals to change behavior, the types of incentives and disincentives most likely to affect the behavior of various socioeconomic groups, and promising approaches for potential policy and practice innovations. Limitations of the studies are noted, including the lack of theoretical guidance in the selection of incentive structures and the absence of basic experimental data. Future research should consider these factors, even as policy makers and practitioners continue to experiment with this potentially useful approach to addressing obesity. © 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Gerstein H.C.,Hamilton Health Sciences | Bigger J.T.,Columbia University | Buse J.B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Cushman W.C.,Veterans Affairs Medical Center | And 13 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE: In the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, ∼4 years of intensive versus standard glycemic control in participants with type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors had a neutral effect on the composite cardiovascular outcome, increased cardiovascular and total mortality, and reduced nonfatal myocardial infarction. Effects of the intervention during prolonged follow-up were analyzed. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: All surviving ACCORD participants were invited to participate in the ACCORD Follow-on (ACCORDION) study, during which participants were treated according to their health care provider's judgment. Cardiovascular and other health-related outcomes were prospectively collected and analyzed using an intention-to-treat approach according to the group to which participants were originally allocated. RESULTS: A total of 8,601 people, representing 98% of those who did not suffer a primary outcome or death during the ACCORD trial, were monitored for a median of 8.8 years and a mean of 7.7 years from randomization. Intensive glucose lowering for a mean of 3.7 years had a neutral long-term effect on the primary composite outcome (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death), death from any cause, and an expanded composite outcome that included all-cause death. Moreover, the risk of cardiovascular mortality noted during the active phase (hazard ratio 1.49; 95% CI 1.19, 1.87; P < 0.0001) decreased (HR 1.20; 95% CI 1.03, 1.39; P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: In high-risk people with type 2 diabetes monitored for 9 years, a mean of 3.7 years of intensive glycemic control had a neutral effect on death and nonfatal cardiovascular events but increased cardiovascular-related death. © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.


Goodrich G.L.,Palo Alto Health Care System | Martinsen G.L.,Palo Alto Health Care System | Flyg H.M.,Palo Alto Health Care System | Kirby J.,Palo Alto Health Care System | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development | Year: 2013

Although traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone at any time, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought it renewed attention. Fortunately, most cases of TBI from the recent conflicts are mild TBI (mTBI). Still, many physical, psychological, and social problems are associated with mTBI. Among the difficulties encountered are oculomotor and vision problems, many of which can impede daily activities such as reading. Therefore, correct diagnosis and treatment of these mTBI-related vision problems is an important part of patient recovery. Numerous eye care providers in the Department of Veterans Affairs, in military settings, and in civilian practices specialize and are proficient in examining patients who have a history of TBI. However, many do not have this level of experience working with and treating patients with mTBI. Recognizing this, we used a modified Delphi method to derive expert opinions from a panel of 16 optometrists concerning visual examination of the patient with mTBI. This process resulted in a clinical tool containing 17 history questions and 7 examination procedures. This tool provides a set of clinical guidelines that can be used as desired by any eye care provider either as a screening tool or adjunct to a full eye examination when seeing a patient with a history of mTBI. The goal of this process was to provide optimal and uniform vision care for the patient with mTBI.


Matthieu M.M.,VA St. Louis Health Care System | Matthieu M.M.,Saint Louis University | Gardiner G.,VA St. Louis Health Care System | Ziegemeier E.,VA St. Louis Health Care System | Buxton M.,Washington University in St. Louis
Military Medicine | Year: 2014

Veterans in need of social services may access many different community agencies within the public and private sectors. Each of these settings has the potential to be a pipeline for attaining needed health, mental health, and benefits services; however, many service providers lack information on how to conceptualize where Veterans go for services within their local community. This article describes a conceptual framework for outreach that uses a service sector segmented approach. This framework was developed to aid recruitment of a provider-based sample of stakeholders (N = 70) for a study on improving access to the Department of Veterans Affairs and community-based suicide prevention services. Results indicate that although there are statistically significant differences in the percent of Veterans served by the different service sectors (F(9, 55) = 2.71, p = 0.04), exposure to suicidal Veterans and providers' referral behavior is consistent across the sectors. Challenges to using this framework include isolating the appropriate sectors for targeted outreach efforts. The service sector segmented approach holds promise for identifying and referring at-risk Veterans in need of services. © 2014, AMSUS. All rights reserved.

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