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Journal: Journal of clinical medicine


Current strategies for preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease to offspring include techniques known as mitochondrial replacement and mitochondrial gene editing. This technology has already been applied in humans on several occasions, and the first baby with donor mitochondria has already been born. However, these techniques raise several ethical concerns, among which is the fact that they entail genetic modification of the germline, as well as presenting safety problems in relation to a possible mismatch between the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, maternal mitochondrial DNA carryover, and the “reversion” phenomenon. In this essay, we discuss these questions, highlighting the advantages of some techniques over others from an ethical point of view, and we conclude that none of these are ready to be safely applied in humans.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Mitochondrial DNA, Ethics, Mitochondrial disease


Drug-induced interstitial lung disease (DIILD) occurs as a result of numerous agents, but the risk often only becomes apparent after the marketing authorisation of such agents.


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous disorder of significant societal impact that is proposed to involve both host and environmentally derived aetiologies that may be autoimmune in nature. Immune-related symptoms of at least moderate severity persisting for prolonged periods of time are common in ME/CFS patients and B cell depletion therapy is of significant therapeutic benefit. The origin of these symptoms and whether it is infectious or inflammatory in nature is not clear, with seeking evidence of acute or chronic virus infections contributing to the induction of autoimmune processes in ME/CFS being an area of recent interest. This article provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence supporting an infectious aetiology for ME/CFS leading us to propose the novel concept that the intestinal microbiota and in particular members of the virome are a source of the “infectious” trigger of the disease. Such an approach has the potential to identify disease biomarkers and influence therapeutics, providing much-needed approaches in preventing and managing a disease desperately in need of confronting.

Concepts: Medicine, Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Therapy, Symptom, Novel, Fatigue


By the sixth decade of life, nearly one quarter of the population has substantial muscle atrophy, or sarcopenia. Despite the creation of a standardized definition of sarcopenia by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People, variability may exist in the diagnostic criteria utilized for clinical sarcopenia research. The primary objectives of this review were to characterize diagnostic criteria used for measurement of sarcopenia in original studies, and to describe associations between sarcopenia and important clinical outcomes. We performed a literature review of the term “sarcopenia” in PubMed. Inclusion criteria were English language, original data, a clear and specific definition for diagnosing sarcopenia, and the analysis of sarcopenia’s effect on a clinical outcome. A total of 283 studies met inclusion criteria. More than half of the included sarcopenia investigations were level IV studies (54.1%), while 43.1% provided level II evidence. Under one third (27.6%) of studies examined sarcopenia with regard to surgical outcomes. In terms of diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia, 264 (93.3%) studies used measures of skeletal muscle mass, with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) being the most common modality (43.6%). Sarcopenia was found to be a consistent predictor of chronic disease progression, all-cause mortality, poorer functional outcomes, and postoperative complications. In conclusion, there is substantial evidence that sarcopenia impacts both medical and surgical outcomes. However, current research has utilized heterogeneous diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia. Further efforts to standardize the modalities used to diagnose sarcopenia in clinical research and practice will help strengthen our ability to study this important phenomenon.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Medicine, Diagnosis, Muscle, Muscle atrophy, Sarcopenia, Clinical research, Atrophy


The impact of diabetes on perioperative outcomes remains incompletely understood. Our purpose is to evaluate post-operative complications and mortality in patients with diabetes. Using the institutional and clinical databases of three university hospitals from 2009⁻2015, we conducted a matched study of 16,539 diabetes patients, aged >20 years, who underwent major surgery. Using a propensity score matching procedure, 16,539 surgical patients without diabetes who underwent surgery were also selected. Logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for post-operative complications and in-hospital mortality associated with diabetes. Patients with diabetes had a higher risk of postoperative septicemia (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01⁻1.74), necrotizing fasciitis (OR 3.98, 95% CI 1.12⁻14.2), cellulitis (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.46⁻3.03), acute pyelonephritis (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.01⁻3.41), infectious arthritis (OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.19⁻12.7), and in-hospital mortality (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.07⁻2.13) compared to people without diabetes. Previous admission for diabetes (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.85⁻2.93), HbA1c >8% (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.64⁻2.33) and fasting glucose >180 mg/dL (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.68⁻2.16) were predictors for post-operative adverse events. Diabetes patients who underwent surgery had higher risks of infectious complications and in-hospital mortality compared with patients without diabetes who underwent similar major surgeries.


Quadrilateral space syndrome (QSS) is a rare disorder characterized by axillary nerve and posterior humeral circumflex artery (PHCA) compression within the quadrilateral space. Impingement is most frequently due to trauma, fibrous bands, or hypertrophy of one of the muscular borders. Diagnosis can be complicated by the presence of concurrent traumatic injuries, particularly in athletes. Since many other conditions can mimic QSS, it is often a diagnosis of exclusion. Conservative treatment is often first trialed, including physical exercise modification, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage. In patients unrelieved by conservative measures, surgical decompression of the quadrilateral space may be indicated.

Concepts: Muscle, Exercise, Physical therapy, Exercise physiology, Massage, Axillary nerve, Posterior humeral circumflex artery, Quadrangular space


(1) Objective: To examine the relationship between the choice of second-generation antidepressant drug treatment and long-term weight change; (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study to investigate the relationship between choice of antidepressant medication and weight change at two years among adult patients with a new antidepressant treatment episode between January, 2006 and October, 2009 in a large health system in Washington State. Medication use, encounters, diagnoses, height, and weight were collected from electronic databases. We modeled change in weight and BMI at two years after initiation of treatment using inverse probability weighted linear regression models that adjusted for potential confounders. Fluoxetine was the reference treatment; (3) Results: In intent-to-treat analyses, non-smokers who initiated bupropion treatment on average lost 7.1 lbs compared to fluoxetine users who were non-smokers (95% CI: -11.3, -2.8; p-value < 0.01); smokers who initiated bupropion treatment gained on average 2.2 lbs compared to fluoxetine users who were smokers (95% CI: -2.3, 6.8; p-value = 0.33). Changes in weight associated with all other antidepressant medications were not significantly different than fluoxetine, except for sertraline users, who gained an average of 5.9 lbs compared to fluoxetine users (95% CI: 0.8, 10.9; p-value = 0.02); (4) Conclusion: Antidepressant drug therapy is significantly associated with long-term weight change at two years. Bupropion may be considered as the first-line drug of choice for overweight and obese patients unless there are other existing contraindications.

Concepts: Serotonin, Antidepressant, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Bupropion, Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, Antidepressants


There is a growing interest in the use of augmented reality (AR) to assist children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); however, little investigation has been conducted into the safety of AR devices, such as smartglasses. The objective of this report was to assess the safety and potential negative effects of the Empowered Brain system, a novel AR smartglasses-based social communication aid for people with ASD. The version of the Empowered Brain in this report utilized Google Glass (Google, Mountain View, CA, USA) as its hardware platform. A sequential series of 18 children and adults, aged 4.4 to 21.5 years (mean 12.2 years), with clinically diagnosed ASD of varying severity used the system. Users and caregivers were interviewed about the perceived negative effects and design concerns. Most users were able to wear and use the Empowered Brain (n = 16/18, 89%), with most of them reporting no negative effects (n = 14/16, 87.5%). Caregivers observed no negative effects in users (n = 16/16, 100%). Most users (77.8%) and caregivers (88.9%) had no design concerns. This report found no major negative effects in using an AR smartglasses-based social communication aid across a wide age and severity range of people with ASD. Further research is needed to explore longer-term effects of using AR smartglasses in this population.


A new application for omega-3 fatty acids has recently emerged, concerning the treatment of several mental disorders. This indication is supported by data of neurobiological research, as highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) are highly concentrated in neural phospholipids and are important components of the neuronal cell membrane. They modulate the mechanisms of brain cell signaling, including the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways. The aim of this review is to provide a complete and updated account of the empirical evidence of the efficacy and safety that are currently available for omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. The main evidence for the effectiveness of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been obtained in mood disorders, in particular in the treatment of depressive symptoms in unipolar and bipolar depression. There is some evidence to support the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of conditions characterized by a high level of impulsivity and aggression and borderline personality disorders. In patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, small-to-modest effects of omega-3 HUFAs have been found. The most promising results have been reported by studies using high doses of EPA or the association of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In schizophrenia, current data are not conclusive and do not allow us either to refuse or support the indication of omega-3 fatty acids. For the remaining psychiatric disturbances, including autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and substance use disorder, the data are too scarce to draw any conclusion. Concerning tolerability, several studies concluded that omega-3 can be considered safe and well tolerated at doses up to 5 g/day.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Eicosapentaenoic acid


Cutaneous nerve entrapment plays an important role in neuropathic pain syndrome. Due to the advancement of ultrasound technology, the cutaneous nerves can be visualized by high-resolution ultrasound. As the cutaneous nerves course superficially in the subcutaneous layer, they are vulnerable to entrapment or collateral damage in traumatic insults. Scanning of the cutaneous nerves is challenging due to fewer anatomic landmarks for referencing. Therefore, the aim of the present article is to summarize the anatomy of the limb cutaneous nerves, to elaborate the scanning techniques, and also to discuss the clinical implications of pertinent entrapment syndromes of the medial brachial cutaneous nerve, intercostobrachial cutaneous nerve, medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve, lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve, posterior antebrachial cutaneous nerve, superficial branch of the radial nerve, dorsal cutaneous branch of the ulnar nerve, palmar cutaneous branch of the median nerve, anterior femoral cutaneous nerve, posterior femoral cutaneous nerve, lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, sural nerve, and saphenous nerve.