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Journal: Journal of clinical medicine


(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.


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.


Aging is accompanied by a decrease in physical capabilities (e.g., strength loss) and cognitive decline. The observed bidirectional relationship between physical activity and brain health suggests that physical activities could be beneficial to maintain and improve brain functioning (e.g., cognitive performance). However, the exercise type (e.g., resistance training, endurance training) and their exercise variables (e.g., load, duration, frequency) for an effective physical activity that optimally enhance cognitive performance are still unknown. There is growing evidence that resistance training induces substantial brain changes which contribute to improved cognitive functions. A relative new method in the field of resistance training is blood flow restriction training (BFR). While resistance training with BFR is widely studied in the context of muscular performance, this training strategy also induces an activation of signaling pathways associated with neuroplasticity and cognitive functions. Based on this, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that resistance training with BFR is a promising new strategy to boost the effectiveness of resistance training interventions regarding cognitive performance. To support our hypothesis, we provide rationales of possible adaptation processes induced by resistance training with BFR. Furthermore, we outline recommendations for future studies planning to investigate the effects of resistance training with BFR on cognition.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease, caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Recently, investigators have focused on the gut microbiota, which is thought to be an environmental agent affecting the development of RA. Here we review the evidence from animal and human studies that supports the role of the gut microbiota in RA. We and others have demonstrated that the abundance of Prevotella copri is increased in some early RA. We have also used gnotobiotic experiments to show that dysbiosis in RA patients contributed to the development of Th17 cell-dependent arthritis in intestinal microbiota-humanized SKG mice. On the other hand, Prevotella histicola from human gut microbiota suppressed the development of arthritis. In summary, Prevotella species are involved in the pathogenesis of arthritis.

Concepts: Immune system, Human, Bacteria, Gut flora, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Autoimmunity, Systemic autoimmune diseases


Arterial Blood Pressure (ABP) and photoplethysmography (PPG) are both useful techniques to monitor cardiovascular status. Though ABP monitoring is more widely employed, this procedure of signal acquisition whether done invasively or non-invasively may cause inconvenience and discomfort to the patients. PPG, however, is simple, noninvasive, and can be used for continuous measurement. This paper focuses on analyzing the similarities in time and frequency domains between ABP and PPG signals for normotensive, prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects and the feasibility of the classification of subjects considering the results of the analysis performed. From a database with 120 records of ABP and PPG, each 120 s in length, the records where separated into epochs taking into account 10 heartbeats, and the following statistical measures were performed: Correlation ®, Coherence (COH), Partial Coherence (pCOH), Partial Directed Coherence (PDC), Directed Transfer Function (DTF), Full Frequency Directed Transfer Function (ffDTF) and Direct Directed Transfer Function (dDTF). The correlation coefficient was r > 0.9 on average for all groups, indicating a strong morphology similarity. For COH and pCOH, coherence (linear correlation in frequency domain) was found with significance (p < 0.01) in differentiating between normotensive and hypertensive subjects using PPG signals. For the dataset at hand, only two synchrony measures are able to convincingly distinguish hypertensive subjects from normotensive control subjects, i.e., ffDTF and dDTF. From PDC, DTF, ffDTF, and dDTF, a consistent, a strong significant causality from ABP→PPG was found. When all synchrony measures were combined, an 87.5 % accuracy was achieved to detect hypertension using a Neural Network classifier, suggesting that PPG holds most informative features that exist in ABP.


Sperm cryopreservation has been utilized routinely for over 40 years to preserve fertility in men undergoing cancer therapy and allow conception for infertile couples. This article provides a concise and up-to-date review of the literature and covers the latest advances in sperm cryopreservation and its array of clinical indications. Over recent years, the scope of clinical indications used for sperm cryopreservation has expanded widely. Consequently, more patient groups are eligible for sperm freezing, requiring specialist resources and higher running costs. Although sperm cryopreservation prior to cancer therapy is readily available in many countries, referral rates by oncology specialists and levels of patient engagement with cryopreservation services are both reported as low. Furthermore, sperm banking continues to raise ethical issues such whether sperm donation should be anonymous and whether sperm can be utilized posthumously by the surviving partner without consent from the patient. This review focuses on the technological advances and ethical controversies in sperm cryopreservation, and how better understanding of these issues could lead to improved access to fertility preserving treatment for patients.

Concepts: Patient, Sperm, Patience, Fertility, Spermatozoon, Philosophy, Ethics, Technology


During exercise, non-invasive ventilation (NIV) prolongs endurance in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but routine use is impractical. The VitaBreath device provides portable NIV (pNIV); however, it can only be used during recovery. We assessed the effect of pNIV compared to pursed lip breathing (PLB) on exercise tolerance. Twenty-four COPD patients were randomised to a high-intensity (HI: 2-min at 80% peak work rate (WRpeak) alternated with 2-min recovery; n = 13), or a moderate-intensity (MOD: 6-min at 60% WRpeak alternated with 2-min recovery; n = 11) protocol, and within these groups two tests were performed using pNIV and PLB during recovery in balanced order. Upon completion, patients were provided with pNIV; use over 12 weeks was assessed. Compared to PLB, pNIV increased exercise tolerance (HI: by 5.2 ± 6.0 min; MOD: by 5.8 ± 6.7 min) (p < 0.05). With pNIV, mean inspiratory capacity increased and breathlessness decreased by clinically meaningful margins during recovery compared to the end of exercise (HI: by 140 ± 110 mL and 1.2 ± 1.7; MOD: by 170 ± 80 mL and 1.0 ± 0.7). At 12 weeks, patients reported that pNIV reduced anxiety (median: 7.5/10 versus 4/10, p = 0.001) and recovery time from breathlessness (17/24 patients; p = 0.002); 23/24 used the device at least weekly. pNIV increased exercise tolerance by reducing dynamic hyperinflation and breathlessness in COPD patients.


Despite growing social acceptance, the LGBTQ population continues to face barriers to healthcare including fear of stigmatization by healthcare providers, and providers' lack of knowledge about LGBTQ-specific health issues. This analysis focuses on the assessment of quantitative and qualitative responses from a subset of providers who identified as specialists that treat one or more of the seven cancers that may be disproportionate in LGBTQ patients.

Concepts: Health care provider, Scientific method, Medicine, Cancer, Oncology, Sociology, Qualitative research, Quantitative research


Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases and conditions. Oxidative stress occurs once the antioxidant defenses of the body become overwhelmed and are no longer able to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS). The ROS can then go unchallenged and are able to cause oxidative damage to cellular lipids, DNA and proteins, which will eventually result in cellular and organ dysfunction. Although not always the primary cause of disease, mitochondrial dysfunction as a secondary consequence disease of pathophysiology can result in increased ROS generation together with an impairment in cellular energy status. Mitochondrial dysfunction may result from either free radical-induced oxidative damage or direct impairment by the toxic metabolites which accumulate in certain metabolic diseases. In view of the importance of cellular antioxidant status, a number of therapeutic strategies have been employed in disorders associated with oxidative stress with a view to neutralising the ROS and reactive nitrogen species implicated in disease pathophysiology. Although successful in some cases, these adjunct therapies have yet to be incorporated into the clinical management of patients. The purpose of this review is to highlight the emerging evidence of oxidative stress, secondary mitochondrial dysfunction and antioxidant treatment efficacy in metabolic and non-metabolic diseases in which there is a current interest in these parameters.

Concepts: Metabolism, Mitochondrion, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Reactive oxygen species, Hydrogen peroxide, Electron transport chain