Publications by authors named "Ji Chen"

634 Publications

Soil and ambient air mercury as an indicator of coal-fired power plant emissions: a case study in North China.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550081, China.

Coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) are an important anthropogenic mercury (Hg) source in China, and it is crucial to understand the environmental impacts of this detrimental element emitted from this source. In the present study, field experiments were conducted for measuring Hg in ambient atmosphere and upland agricultural soils within a radius of 10 km surrounding a large scale coal-fired power plant (1550 MW) in Tangshan, Hebei province. Short-term (20 min) average of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM or Hg) in ambient air varying from 1.5 to 9.0 ng/m and total Hg (THg) in surface agricultural soil (0-20 cm) varying from 9.2 to 43.5 μg/kg at different sites were observed. THg in two soil cores decreased with depth, with concentrations being 2-2.5 times higher in the surface layer than that in the deep layer (50-60 cm), indicating the possibility of the atmospheric input of Hg. Based on the information of the total atmospheric Hg emission since this CFPP's operation in 1970s and the increased THg in nearby soils, it was estimated that about 3.9% discharged Hg has accumulated in the nearby agricultural soils. The low retention rate of the total emitted Hg by soils is a result of high proportion of Hg (79.5%) in stack gas emission and potential loss of Hg from soil surface reemission. The positive shifting (~ 0.5‰) of Hg isotopic signature (δHg) from deep soil to surface soil reflected Hg deposition from nearby CFPP emissions that are featured with much heavier Hg isotopic signatures inherited from feed coal (δHg: -0.50‰) and different combustion products (δHg: -0.95 to 3.71‰) compared with that in deep soil layer (δHg: ca -1.50‰). Overall, this study demonstrated that this CFPP has a slight but distinguishable effect on the elevation of ambient GEM and agricultural soil THg in the local environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12842-9DOI Listing
February 2021

Mesenchymal stromal cell-mediated immune regulation: A promising remedy in the therapy of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Stem Cells 2021 Feb 23. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology and National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases and Shaanxi International Joint Research Center for Oral Diseases,Center for Tissue Engineering, School of Stomatology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major threat to global public health, with increasing prevalence as well as high morbidity and mortality, to which immune dysfunction has been recognized as a crucial contributor. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), obtained from various sources and possessing potent immunomodulatory abilities, have displayed great therapeutic potential for T2DM. Interestingly, the immunomodulatory capabilities of MSCs are endowed and plastic. Among the multiple mechanisms involved in MSC-mediated immune regulation, the paracrine effects of MSCs have attracted much attention. Of note, extracellular vesicles (EVs), an important component of MSC secretome, have emerged as pivotal mediators of their immunoregulatory effects. Particularly, the necrobiology of MSCs, especially apoptosis, has recently been revealed to affect their immunomodulatory functions in vivo. In specific, a variety of preclinical studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of MSCs on improving islet function and ameliorating insulin resistance. More importantly, clinical trials have further uncovered the therapeutic potential of MSCs for T2DM. In this review, we outline current knowledge regarding the plasticity and underlying mechanisms of MSC-mediated immune modulation, focusing on the paracrine effects. We also summarize the applications of MSC-based therapies for T2DM in both preclinical studies and clinical trials, with particular emphasis on the modulation of immune system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.3357DOI Listing
February 2021

cAMP-PKA signaling is involved in regulation of spinal HCN channels function in diabetic neuropathic pain.

Neurosci Lett 2021 Feb 19;750:135763. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Physiology, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, 563000, China. Electronic address:

The cyclic adenosine monophosphate-protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA) signaling acts a pivotal part in hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels-mediated neuropathic and inflammatory pain. However, there has been no evidence of cAMP-PKA signaling is involved in regulation of spinal HCN channels function in the occurrence of diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). The study aimed to elucidate the impact of HCN channels on neuropathic pain in a rat model of diabetes induced by streptozotocin, and whether cAMP-PKA signaling is involved in regulation of HCN channels function. In this report, we evaluated the effect of intrathecal administration of HCN channel blockers ZD7288, cAMP inhibitor SQ22536 and PKA inhibitor H-89 on nociceptive behavior in DNP rats. The mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT) was measured to evaluate pain behavior in rats. Protein expression levels of HCN2, HCN4 channels and PKA in the spinal dorsal horn of rats were assessed. Furthermore, the levels of cAMP in rat spinal dorsal horn was analyzed. We discovered that DNP rats showed significant mechanical allodynia and are related to the increased HCN2 and HCN4 channels expression, enhanced cAMP production and elevated the expression of PKA protein in the spinal dorsal horn, which were attenuated by intrathecal ZD7288. Furthermore, intrathecal injection of SQ22536 and H-89 significantly reduced the HCN2 and HCN4 channels expression in the spinal dorsal horn of DNP rats. Our findings indicate that HCN channels of the spinal dorsal horn participate in the pathogenesis of allodynia in rats with DNP, which could be regulated by cAMP-PKA signaling. Therefore, HCN channels and cAMP-PKA signaling are potential targets for hyperalgesia treatment in DNP patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2021.135763DOI Listing
February 2021

Switching to iGlarLixi vs Continuation of Daily or Weekly GLP-1 RA in Insufficiently Controlled Type 2 Diabetes: A LixiLan-G Trial Subgroup Analysis by HbA and GLP-1 RA Use at Screening.

Diabetes Obes Metab 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Aims: In people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) requiring intensification beyond glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) and oral antihyperglycaemic drugs (OADs), switching to iGlarLixi was shown to be efficacious and well-tolerated in the LixiLan-G trial. This exploratory analysis of LixiLan-G assessed the efficacy and safety of switching to iGlarLixi versus continuing GLP-1 RA therapy, stratified by screening HbA level (≥7.0-≤7.5 %; >7.5-≤8.0 %; >8.0-≤9.0 %) and previous GLP-1 RA regimen at screening (once/twice daily or once weekly).

Materials And Methods: Endpoints for all subgroups included: change in HbA , achievement of HbA <7 % and hypoglycaemia events. Adverse events and changes in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-hour postprandial plasma glucose (PPG), 2-hour PPG excursion and weight were analysed by previous GLP-1 RA regimen.

Results: Switching to iGlarLixi in all subgroups resulted in significantly greater reductions in HbA and proportions of participants reaching HbA <7 % (including with no documented hypoglycaemia) at Week 26 compared with continued GLP-1 RA. Switching to iGlarLixi also led to significantly greater reductions in FPG, 2-hour PPG, and 2-hour PPG excursion, irrespective of previous GLP-1 RA regimen. Rates of hypoglycaemia were low, but slightly higher in those who switched to iGlarLixi for all subgroups. Modest weight gain was seen with iGlarLixi, irrespective of previous GLP-1 RA regimen.

Conclusions: Switching to iGlarLixi improved glycaemic control, regardless of screening HbA or previous GLP-1 RA type, offering a simple, efficacious and well-tolerated treatment intensification option for people with T2D inadequately controlled by GLP-1 RAs and OADs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dom.14345DOI Listing
February 2021

Long term outcomes of participants in the PARAMEDIC2 randomised trial of adrenaline in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Resuscitation 2021 Mar 30;160:84-93. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham B91 2JL, UK. Electronic address:

Aims: We recently reported early outcomes in patients enrolled in a randomised trial of adrenaline in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: the PARAMEDIC2 (Prehospital Assessment of the Role of Adrenaline: Measuring the Effectiveness of Drug Administration in Cardiac Arrest) trial. The purpose of the present paper is to report long-term survival, quality of life, functional and cognitive outcomes at 3, 6 and 12-months.

Methods: PARAMEDIC2 was a pragmatic, individually randomised, double blind, controlled trial with an economic evaluation. Patients were randomised to either adrenaline or placebo. This paper reports results on the modified Rankin Scale scores at 6-months, survival at 6 and 12-months, as well as other cognitive, functional and quality of life outcomes collected at 3 and 6 months (Two Simple Questions, the Mini Mental State Examination, the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline Evaluation for Cardiac Arrest, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist - Civilian Version, Short-Form 12-item Health Survey and the EuroQoL EQ-5D-5L).

Results: 8014 patients were randomised with confirmed trial drug administration. At 6-months, 78 (2.0%) of the patients in the adrenaline group and 58 (1.5%) of patients in the placebo group had a favourable neurological outcome (adjusted odds ratio 1.35 [95% confidence interval: 0.93, 1.97]). 117 (2.9%) patients were alive at 6-months in the adrenaline group compared with 86 (2.2%) in the placebo group (1.43 [1.05, 1.96], reducing to 107 (2.7%) and 80 (2.0%) respectively at 12-months (1.38 [1.00, 1.92]). Measures of 3 and 6-month cognitive, functional and quality of life outcomes were reduced, but there was no strong evidence of differences between groups.

Conclusion: Adrenaline improved survival through to 12-months follow-up. The study did not find evidence of improvements in favourable neurological outcomes. (ISCRTN 73485024).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2021.01.019DOI Listing
March 2021

Association of Psychiatric Disorders With Mortality Among Patients With COVID-19.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

Importance: To date, the association of psychiatric diagnoses with mortality in patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not been evaluated.

Objective: To assess whether a diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder, mood disorder, or anxiety disorder is associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort study assessed 7348 consecutive adult patients for 45 days following laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between March 3 and May 31, 2020, in a large academic medical system in New York. The final date of follow-up was July 15, 2020. Patients without available medical records before testing were excluded.

Exposures: Patients were categorized based on the following International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnoses before their testing date: (1) schizophrenia spectrum disorders, (2) mood disorders, and (3) anxiety disorders. Patients with these diagnoses were compared with a reference group without psychiatric disorders.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Mortality, defined as death or discharge to hospice within 45 days following a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) test result.

Results: Of the 26 540 patients tested, 7348 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 54 [18.6] years; 3891 [53.0%] women). Of eligible patients with positive test results, 75 patients (1.0%) had a history of a schizophrenia spectrum illness, 564 (7.7%) had a history of a mood disorder, and 360 (4.9%) had a history of an anxiety disorder. After adjusting for demographic and medical risk factors, a premorbid diagnosis of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder was significantly associated with mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.67; 95% CI, 1.48-4.80). Diagnoses of mood disorders (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.87-1.49) and anxiety disorders (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.65-1.41) were not associated with mortality after adjustment. In comparison with other risk factors, a diagnosis of schizophrenia ranked behind only age in strength of an association with mortality.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study of adults with SARS-CoV-2-positive test results in a large New York medical system, adults with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder diagnosis were associated with an increased risk for mortality, but those with mood and anxiety disorders were not associated with a risk of mortality. These results suggest that schizophrenia spectrum disorders may be a risk factor for mortality in patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.4442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841576PMC
January 2021

Heavy Metal(loid)s Contamination in Ground Dust and Associated Health Risks at a Former Indigenous Zinc Smelting Area.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Jan 21;18(3). Epub 2021 Jan 21.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China.

Indigenous zinc smelting (IZS) is a backward technique that releases a great deal of heavy metal(loid)s into the environment. However, the contamination of heavy metal(loid)s in ground dust and the associated health risks in such areas are poorly known. In this study, a former IZS area in Guizhou, China, was surveyed during 2008-2018 with 15 elements (Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, In, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Tl, Zn) being analyzed. The results indicate that most elements (e.g., Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Sn, Zn) in ground dust decreased significantly after the cessation of the IZS in 2006; nevertheless, some elements still remained at relatively high levels in 2018, e.g., Pb (average: 762 ± 647 mg/kg), Zn (average: 1287 ± 753 mg/kg), Cd (average: 7.76 ± 5.06 mg/kg), and As (average: 41.9 ± 34.8 mg/kg), indicating they might come from the local contaminated soils, slag residues and smelting potteries. In terms of the impacts on human health, children have both higher non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks than that of adults, with the latter subpopulation having a lower risk than the threshold values. Pb and As were the two elements with the highest non-carcinogenic risk for children, the hazard index of local children was still higher than the threshold of 1 (e.g., 1.43 for As, 2.09 for Pb) in 2018. The carcinogenic risk of As exposure to children dropped more than two times to 6.42 × 10 in 2018, which falls below the tolerable range (10-10). This study revealed that although the concentration of heavy metal(loid)s in ground dust and linked health risk in the IZS area has reduced dramatically after the cessation of IZS, continued removal of slag residues and smelting potteries is necessary for further decreasing the human health risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864351PMC
January 2021

Imaging the Nanoscale Distribution of Phosphoinositides in the Cell Plasma Membrane with Single-Molecule Localization Super-Resolution Microscopy.

Methods Mol Biol 2021 ;2251:91-104

Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Phosphoinositides make up only a small fraction of cellular phospholipids yet control cell function in a fundamental manner. Through protein interactions, phosphoinositides define cellular organelle identity and regulate protein function and organization and recruitment at the cytosol-membrane interface. As a result, perturbations on phosphoinositide metabolism alter cell physiology and lead to a wide range of human diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Among seven phosphoinositide members, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P, also known as PI(4,5)P or PIP) is abundant in the plasma membrane. Besides its role in the second messenger pathway of phospholipase C that cleaves PtdIns(4,5)P to form diacylglycerol and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP), PtdIns(4,5)P regulates membrane trafficking and the function of the cytoskeleton, ion channels, and transporters. The nanoscale organization of PtdIns(4,5)P in the plasma membrane becomes essential to understand cellular signaling specificity in time and space. Here, we describe a single-molecule method to visualize the nanoscale distribution of PtdIns(4,5)P in the plasma membrane by using super-resolution microscopy and the dual-color fluorescent probes based on the PLC pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. This approach can be extended to image other phosphoinositides by changing the specific probes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1142-5_6DOI Listing
January 2021

Durable Effects of iGlarLixi Up to 52 Weeks in Type 2 Diabetes: The LixiLan-G Extension Study.

Diabetes Care 2021 Mar 19;44(3):774-780. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

MedStar Health Research Institute, Hyattsville, MD.

Objective: In the LixiLan-G trial, switching to iGlarLixi, a once-daily titratable fixed-ratio combination of insulin glargine 100 units/mL and the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) lixisenatide, improved glucose control in type 2 diabetes uncontrolled with GLP-1 RAs over 26 weeks versus continuing prior GLP-1 RA. A prespecified, 26-week, single-arm extension of LixiLan-G aimed to determine the durability of iGlarLixi efficacy and safety over 52 weeks.

Research Design And Methods: Participants with type 2 diabetes uncontrolled by GLP-1 RAs (glycated hemoglobin [HbA] 7-9% [53-75 mmol/mol]) were initially randomized to switch to iGlarLixi or continue prior GLP-1 RA. Those randomized to iGlarLixi who completed the 26-week primary end point period could continue iGlarLixi open-label treatment over a 26-week extension to assess durability of efficacy and safety.

Results: Glycemic control achieved with iGlarLixi at week 26 (mean HbA 6.7% [50 mmol/mol]) was maintained at week 52 (mean HbA 6.7% [50 mmol/mol]; mean ± SD change from baseline at week 52: -1.0 ± 0.9% [11 ± 10 mmol/mol]). Proportions of participants reaching HbA <7% (53 mmol/mol) with iGlarLixi were similar at week 26 (62%) and 52 (64%), as were those reaching this target without documented symptomatic (<3.0 mmol/L) hypoglycemia (57% and 58%). Safety of iGlarLixi was similar at weeks 26 and 52, with low rates of documented symptomatic hypoglycemia and gastrointestinal events.

Conclusions: The efficacy and safety of iGlarLixi at the end of the 26-week randomized treatment period was maintained over the 26-week extension period in the LixiLan-G trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-2023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896258PMC
March 2021

Improvement of intestinal flora: accompany with the antihypertensive effect of electroacupuncture on stage 1 hypertension.

Chin Med 2021 Jan 7;16(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Acupuncture and Moxibustion College, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No.37, Road Shi-Er-Qiao, Jinniu District, Chengdu, 610075, Sichuan, China.

Background: Increasing evidence have indicated the relationship between intestinal dysbiosis and hypertension. We aimed to evaluate the effect of the electroacupuncture (EA) on intestinal microbiota in patients with stage 1 hypertension.

Methods: 93 hypertensive patients and 15 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. Applying a highly accurate oscillometric device to evaluate the antihypertensive effect of EA. 16S rRNA sequencing was used to profile stool microbial communities from Healthy group, Before treatment (BT) group and After treatment (AT) group, and various multivariate analysis approaches were used to assess diversity, composition and abundance of intestinal microbiota.

Results: In this study, EA significantly decreased the blood pressure (BP) of hypertensive patients. Higher abundance of Firmicutes and lower Bacteroidetes abundance were observed in the BT group compared to the Healthy group. And EA treatment significantly decreased the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio compared to the BT group. Moreover, at the genus level, there was an increased abundance of Escherichia-Shigella in patients with hypertension, while Blautia were decreased, and EA reversed these changes.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that EA can effectively lower BP and improve the structure of intestinal microbiota which are correlate with the alteration of blood pressure by electroacupuncture.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrial.gov, NCT01701726. Registered 5 October 2012, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01701726.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13020-020-00417-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792359PMC
January 2021

Rehabilitation Exercise and psycholoGical support After covid-19 InfectioN' (REGAIN): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Trials 2021 Jan 6;22(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Objectives: The primary objective is to determine which of two interventions: 1) an eight week, online, home-based, supervised, group rehabilitation programme (REGAIN); or 2) a single online session of advice (best-practice usual care); is the most clinically and cost-effective treatment for people with ongoing COVID-19 sequelae more than three months after hospital discharge.

Trial Design: Multi-centre, 2-arm (1:1 ratio) parallel group, randomised controlled trial with embedded process evaluation and health economic evaluation.

Participants: Adults with ongoing COVID-19 sequelae more than three months after hospital discharge Inclusion criteria: 1) Adults ≥18 years; 2) ≥ 3 months after any hospital discharge related to COVID-19 infection, regardless of need for critical care or ventilatory support; 3) substantial (as defined by the participant) COVID-19 related physical and/or mental health problems; 4) access to, and able/supported to use email and internet audio/video; 4) able to provide informed consent; 5) able to understand spoken and written English, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi or Mandarin, themselves or supported by family/friends.

Exclusion Criteria: 1) exercise contraindicated; 2) severe mental health problems preventing engagement; 3) previous randomisation in the present study; 4) already engaged in, or planning to engage in an alternative NHS rehabilitation programme in the next 12 weeks; 5) a member of the same household previously randomised in the present study.

Intervention And Comparator: Intervention 1: The Rehabilitation Exercise and psycholoGical support After covid-19 InfectioN (REGAIN) programme: an eight week, online, home-based, supervised, group rehabilitation programme. Intervention 2: A thirty-minute, on-line, one-to-one consultation with a REGAIN practitioner (best-practice usual care).

Main Outcomes: The primary outcome is health-related quality of life (HRQoL) - PROMIS® 29+2 Profile v2.1 (PROPr) - measured at three months post-randomisation. Secondary outcomes include dyspnoea, cognitive function, health utility, physical activity participation, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, depressive and anxiety symptoms, work status, health and social care resource use, death - measured at three, six and 12 months post-randomisation.

Randomisation: Participants will be randomised to best practice usual care or the REGAIN programme on a 1:1.03 basis using a computer-generated randomisation sequence, performed by minimisation and stratified by age, level of hospital care, and case level mental health symptomatology. Once consent and baseline questionnaires have been completed by the participant online at home, randomisation will be performed automatically by a bespoke web-based system.

Blinding (masking): To ensure allocation concealment from both participant and REGAIN practitioner at baseline, randomisation will be performed only after the baseline questionnaires have been completed online at home by the participant. After randomisation has been performed, participants and REGAIN practitioners cannot be blind to group allocation. Follow-up outcome assessments will be completed by participants online at home.

Numbers To Be Randomised (sample Size): A total of 535 participants will be randomised: 263 to the best-practice usual care arm, and 272 participants to the REGAIN programme arm.

Trial Status: Current protocol: Version 3.0 (27th October 2020) Recruitment will begin in December 2020 and is anticipated to complete by September 2021.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN:11466448 , 23rd November 2020 FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol Version 3.0 (27th October 2020) is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interests of expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol. The study protocol has been reported in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Clinical Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04978-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785779PMC
January 2021

An open source graphical user interface for wireless communication and operation of wearable robotic technology.

J Rehabil Assist Technol Eng 2020 Jan-Dec;7:2055668320964056. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Functional & Applied Biomechanics Section, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Introduction: Wearable robotic exoskeletons offer the potential to move gait training from the clinic to the community thereby providing greater therapy dosage in more naturalistic settings. To capitalize on this potential, intuitive and robust interfaces are necessary between robotic devices and end users. Such interfaces hold great promise for research if they are also designed to record data from the robot during its use.

Methods: We present the design and validation of an open source graphical user interface (GUI) for wireless operation of and real-time data logging from a pediatric robotic exoskeleton. The GUI was designed for trained users such as an engineer or clinician. A simplified mobile application is also provided to enable exoskeleton operation by an end-user or their caretaker. GUI function was validated during simulated walking with the exoskeleton using a motion capture system.

Results: Our results demonstrate the ability of the GUI to wirelessly operate and save data from exoskeleton sensors with high fidelity comparable to motion capture.

Conclusion: The GUI code, available in a public repository with a detailed description and step-by-step tutorial, is configurable to interact with any robotic device operated by a microcontroller and therefore represents a potentially powerful tool for deployment and evaluation of community based robotics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2055668320964056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739088PMC
December 2020

Linking microbial functional gene abundance and soil extracellular enzyme activity: Implications for soil carbon dynamics.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Dec 28. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Emerging evidence indicates that enzyme-catalyzed transformation and degradation of soil organic matter at the ecosystem scale is more likely driven by microbial functional gene abundance, rather than short term induction/repression responses. In this paper, we are trying to highlight the potential links between microbial functional gene abundance and soil extracellular enzyme activity. Those links will likely offer a new path for optimizing the model performance of microbial-mediated soil C dynamics from microbial functional gene perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15506DOI Listing
December 2020

Intrinsic Connectivity Patterns of Task-Defined Brain Networks Allow Individual Prediction of Cognitive Symptom Dimension of Schizophrenia and Are Linked to Molecular Architecture.

Biol Psychiatry 2021 Feb 3;89(3):308-319. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine: Brain and Behavior (INM-7), Research Center Jülich, Jülich, Germany; Institute of Systems Neuroscience, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Background: Despite the marked interindividual variability in the clinical presentation of schizophrenia, the extent to which individual dimensions of psychopathology relate to the functional variability in brain networks among patients remains unclear. Here, we address this question using network-based predictive modeling of individual psychopathology along 4 data-driven symptom dimensions. Follow-up analyses assess the molecular underpinnings of predictive networks by relating them to neurotransmitter-receptor distribution patterns.

Methods: We investigated resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 147 patients with schizophrenia recruited at 7 sites. Individual expression along negative, positive, affective, and cognitive symptom dimensions was predicted using a relevance vector machine based on functional connectivity within 17 meta-analytic task networks following repeated 10-fold cross-validation and leave-one-site-out analyses. Results were validated in an independent sample. Networks robustly predicting individual symptom dimensions were spatially correlated with density maps of 9 receptors/transporters from prior molecular imaging in healthy populations.

Results: Tenfold and leave-one-site-out analyses revealed 5 predictive network-symptom associations. Connectivity within theory of mind, cognitive reappraisal, and mirror neuron networks predicted negative, positive, and affective symptom dimensions, respectively. Cognitive dimension was predicted by theory of mind and socioaffective default networks. Importantly, these predictions generalized to the independent sample. Intriguingly, these two networks were positively associated with D receptor and serotonin reuptake transporter densities as well as dopamine synthesis capacity.

Conclusions: We revealed a robust association between intrinsic functional connectivity within networks for socioaffective processes and the cognitive dimension of psychopathology. By investigating the molecular architecture, this work links dopaminergic and serotonergic systems with the functional topography of brain networks underlying cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770333PMC
February 2021

Identification of four genes associated with cutaneous metastatic melanoma.

Open Med (Wars) 2020 11;15(1):531-539. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Dermatology, Zhangjiagang TCM Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, 77 Changan South Road, Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, 215600, China.

Background: Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive cancer with increasing incidence and mortality rates worldwide. Metastasis is one of the primary elements that influence the prognosis of patients with cutaneous melanoma. This study aims to clarify the potential mechanism underlying the low survival rate of metastatic melanoma and to search for novel target genes to improve the survival rate of patients with metastatic tumors.

Methods: Gene expression dataset and clinical data were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas portal. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, and their functions were studied through gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analyses. Survival and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to screen out candidate genes that could affect the prognosis of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Results: After a series of comprehensive statistical analysis, 464 DEGs were identified between primary tumor tissues and metastatic tissues. Survival and multivariate Cox regression analyses revealed four vital genes, namely, , , , and , that affect the prognosis of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Conclusion: This study provides a new direction for studying the pathogenesis of metastatic melanoma. The genes related to cutaneous metastatic melanoma that affect the overall survival time of patients were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/med-2020-0190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712158PMC
June 2020

Overexpression of Enhanced Biomass and Stress Tolerance by Promoting Polysaccharide Accumulation in .

Front Plant Sci 2020 16;11:533767. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Institute for New Rural Development, Sichuan Agricultural University, Yaan, China.

Uridine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase (UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, UGPase), as one of the key enzymes in polysaccharide synthesis, plays important roles in the growth and development of plants. In this study, the gene of was overexpressed. The expression of and genes playing roles in the same and other saccharide synthesis pathways was determined, and the total soluble polysaccharide was also tested in wild-type and transgenic seedlings. We also performed freezing and osmotic stress treatments to determine whether overexpression of could influence stress resistance in transgenic seedlings. Results showed that mRNA expression levels of and its metabolic upstream and downstream genes in the transgenic seedlings were increased compared to the expression of these genes in wild-type seedlings. Additionally, most genes involved in the biosynthesis of mannan polysaccharides were significantly upregulated. The total polysaccharide and mannose content of transgenic seedlings were increased compared to the content of wild type, and enhanced stress tolerance was found in the overexpressed seedlings compared to the wild type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.533767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7703667PMC
November 2020

EPHA5 mutations predict survival after immunotherapy in lung adenocarcinoma.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 12 3;13(1):598-618. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

Eph receptors constitute the largest family of RTKs, and their associations with antitumor immunity and immunotherapy are largely unknown. By integrating genomic, transcriptomic and clinical data from cohorts in public databases, we identified EPHA5 as the most common mutated gene of Eph receptors in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Moreover, compared with EPHA5 wild-type (WT) patients, EPHA5-mutant (Mut) patients exhibited significantly enhanced infiltration of CD8 T cells and M1 macrophages, reduced recruitment of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) into the tumor site, as well as the increased level of chemokine, interferon-gamma, inhibitory immune checkpoint signatures, tumor mutation burden (TMB) and tumor neoantigen burden (TNB). Additionally, EPHA5 mutation cooccurred with homologous recombination (HR) or mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations. These data were validated in the LUAD cell line H1299 and a Chinese LUAD cohort. Most importantly, clinical analysis of a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) immunotherapy cohort indicated that LUAD patients with EPHA5 mutations who were treated with immunotherapy had markedly prolonged survival times. Our results revealed the correlation of EPHA5 mutations with tumor immune microenvironment and predictive factors for immunotherapy, implying the potential of EPHA5 mutations as a prognostic marker for the prognosis of LUAD patients to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834994PMC
December 2020

Identification of COVID-19 Clinical Phenotypes by Principal Component Analysis-Based Cluster Analysis.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 12;7:570614. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Geriatrics, Xinhua Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

COVID-19 has been quickly spreading, making it a serious public health threat. It is important to identify phenotypes to predict the severity of disease and design an individualized treatment. We collected data from 213 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital from January 1 to March 30, 2020. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis were used to classify patients. We identified three distinct subgroups of COVID-19. Cluster 1 was the largest group (52.6%) and characterized by oldest age, lowest cellular immune function, and albumin levels. 38.5% of subjects were grouped into Cluster 2. Most of the lab results in Cluster 2 fell between those of Clusters 1 and 3. Cluster 3 was the smallest cluster (8.9%), characterized by youngest age and highest cellular immune function. The incidence of respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), heart failure, and usage of non-invasive mechanical ventilation in Cluster 1 was significantly higher than others ( < 0.05). Cluster 1 had the highest death rate of 30.4% ( = 0.005). Although there were significant differences in age between Clusters 2 and 3 ( < 0.001), we found that there was no difference in demand for medical resources. We identified three distinct clusters of the COVID-19 patients. The results show that age alone could not be used to assess a patient's condition. Specifically, management of albumin, and immune function are important in reducing the severity of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.570614DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690648PMC
November 2020

The effect of plant-based dietary patterns on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled intervention trials.

J Hypertens 2021 Jan;39(1):23-37

University of Warwick, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nutrition, Warwick Medical School, Division of Health Sciences.

Objectives: The consumption of strict vegetarian diets with no animal products is associated with low blood pressure (BP). It is not clear whether less strict plant-based diets (PBDs) containing some animal products exert a similar effect. The main objective of this meta-analysis was to assess whether PBDs reduce BP in controlled clinical trials.

Methods: We searched Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Medline, Embase, and Web of Science to identify controlled clinical trials investigating the effect of PBDs on BP. Standardized mean differences in BP and 95% confidence intervals were pooled using a random effects model. Risk of bias, sensitivity, heterogeneity, and publication bias were assessed.

Results: Of the 790 studies identified, 41 clinical trials met the inclusion criteria (8416 participants of mean age 49.2 years). In the pooled analysis, PBDs were associated with lower SBP [Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension -5.53 mmHg (95% confidence intervals -7.95,-3.12), Mediterranean -0.95 mmHg (-1.70,-0.20), Vegan -1.30 mmHg (-3.90,1.29), Lacto-ovo vegetarian -5.47 mmHg (-7.60,-3.34), Nordic -4.47 mmHg (-7.14,-1.81), high-fiber -0.65 mmHg (-1.83,0.53), high-fruit and vegetable -0.57 mmHg (-7.45,6.32)]. Similar effects were seen on DBP. There was no evidence of publication bias and some heterogeneity was detected. The certainty of the results is high for the lacto-ovo vegetarian and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension diets, moderate for the Nordic and Mediterranean diets, low for the vegan diet, and very low for the high-fruit and vegetable and high-fiber diets.

Conclusion: PBDs with limited animal products lower both SBP and DBP, across sex and BMI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002604DOI Listing
January 2021

The color center singlet state of oxygen vacancies in TiO.

J Chem Phys 2020 Nov;153(20):204704

Institut für Chemie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Brook-Taylor-St. 2, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.

Oxygen vacancies are ubiquitous in TiO and play key roles in catalysis and magnetism applications. Despite being extensively investigated, the electronic structure of oxygen vacancies in TiO remains controversial both experimentally and theoretically. Here, we report a study of a neutral oxygen vacancy in TiO using state-of-the-art quantum chemical electronic structure methods. We find that the ground state is a color center singlet state in both the rutile and the anatase phases of TiO. Specifically, embedded coupled cluster with singles, doubles, and perturbative triples calculations find, for an oxygen vacancy in rutile, that the lowest triplet state energy is 0.6 eV above the singlet state, and in anatase, the triplet state energy is higher by 1.4 eV. Our study provides fresh insights into the electronic structure of the oxygen vacancy in TiO, clarifying earlier controversies and potentially inspiring future studies of defects with correlated wave function theories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0030658DOI Listing
November 2020

Systematic review and meta-analyses of the relationship between short sleep and incidence of obesity and effectiveness of sleep interventions on weight gain in preschool children.

Obes Rev 2021 Feb 15;22(2):e13113. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Division of Health Sciences (Mental Health and Wellbeing), Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

The aim of this study is to determine (a) whether short sleep is associated with the incidence of obesity and (b) whether interventions beneficial for sleep reduce weight gain in preschool children. We systematically searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane up to 12/09/2019. (a) Studies that were included were prospective, had follow-up ≥1 year, with sleep duration at baseline and required outcome measures. (b) Intervention trials with sleep intervention and measures of overweight or obesity were included. Data were extracted according to PRISMA guidelines. (a) The risk of developing overweight/obesity was greater in short sleeping children (13 studies, 42 878 participants, RR: 1.54; 95% CI, 1.33 to 1.77; p < 0.001). Sleep duration was associated with a significant change in BMI z-score (10 studies, 11 cohorts and 29 553 participants) (mean difference: -0.02 unit per hour sleep; -0.03 to -0.01; p < 0.001). (b) Four of the five intervention studies reported improved outcomes: for BMI (-0.27 kg/m ; -0.50 to -0.03; p = 0.03); for BMI z-score (-0.07 unit; -0.12 to -0.02; p = 0.006). Short sleep duration is a risk factor or marker of the development of obesity in preschool children. Intervention studies suggest that improved sleep may be beneficially associated with a reduced weight gain in these children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13113DOI Listing
February 2021

Salvage thoracotomy for atraumatic tension haemothorax in a patient with neurofibromatosis type 1: an Australian experience.

Authors:
Ji Chen Levi Bassin

ANZ J Surg 2020 Nov 25. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.16458DOI Listing
November 2020

Screening and Intervention to Prevent Falls and Fractures in Older People.

N Engl J Med 2020 11;383(19):1848-1859

From the Institute of Health Research, University of Exeter (S.E.L., C.H., R.S.), and Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (R.S.), Exeter, the Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, Division of Health Sciences, University of Warwick (J.B., C.J., R. Lall, E.W., S.F., M.U.), and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (M.U.), Coventry, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds (R. Longo, C.B.), and the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (K.W.) - all in the United Kingdom, and the Institute of Statistical Research and Training, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh (A.H.).

Background: Community screening and therapeutic prevention strategies may reduce the incidence of falls in older people. The effects of these measures on the incidence of fractures, the use of health resources, and health-related quality of life are unknown.

Methods: In a pragmatic, three-group, cluster-randomized, controlled trial, we estimated the effect of advice sent by mail, risk screening for falls, and targeted interventions (multifactorial fall prevention or exercise for people at increased risk for falls) as compared with advice by mail only. The primary outcome was the rate of fractures per 100 person-years over 18 months. Secondary outcomes were falls, health-related quality of life, frailty, and a parallel economic evaluation.

Results: We randomly selected 9803 persons 70 years of age or older from 63 general practices across England: 3223 were assigned to advice by mail alone, 3279 to falls-risk screening and targeted exercise in addition to advice by mail, and 3301 to falls-risk screening and targeted multifactorial fall prevention in addition to advice by mail. A falls-risk screening questionnaire was sent to persons assigned to the exercise and multifactorial fall-prevention groups. Completed screening questionnaires were returned by 2925 of the 3279 participants (89%) in the exercise group and by 2854 of the 3301 participants (87%) in the multifactorial fall-prevention group. Of the 5779 participants from both these groups who returned questionnaires, 2153 (37%) were considered to be at increased risk for falls and were invited to receive the intervention. Fracture data were available for 9802 of the 9803 participants. Screening and targeted intervention did not result in lower fracture rates; the rate ratio for fracture with exercise as compared with advice by mail was 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91 to 1.59), and the rate ratio with multifactorial fall prevention as compared with advice by mail was 1.30 (95% CI, 0.99 to 1.71). The exercise strategy was associated with small gains in health-related quality of life and the lowest overall costs. There were three adverse events (one episode of angina, one fall during a multifactorial fall-prevention assessment, and one hip fracture) during the trial period.

Conclusions: Advice by mail, screening for fall risk, and a targeted exercise or multifactorial intervention to prevent falls did not result in fewer fractures than advice by mail alone. (Funded by the National Institute of Health Research; ISRCTN number, ISRCTN71002650.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2001500DOI Listing
November 2020

The effect of airway management on CPR quality in the PARAMEDIC2 randomised controlled trial.

Resuscitation 2021 Jan 12;158:8-13. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK; Heartlands Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, B9 5SS, UK.

Introduction: Good quality basic life support (BLS) is associated with improved outcome from cardiac arrest. Chest compression fraction (CCF) is a BLS quality indicator, which may be influenced by the type of airway used. We aimed to assess CCF according to the airway strategy in the PARAMEDIC2 study: no advanced airway, supraglottic airway (SGA), tracheal intubation, or a combination of the two. Our hypothesis was that tracheal intubation was associated with a decrease in the CCF compared with alternative airway management strategies.

Methods: PARAMEDIC2 was a multicentre double-blinded placebo-controlled trial of adrenaline vs placebo in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Data showing compression rate and ratio from patients recruited by London Ambulance Service (LAS) as part of this study was collated and analysed according to the advanced airway used during the resuscitation attempt.

Results: CPR process data were available from 286/ 2058 (13.9%) of the total patients recruited by LAS. The mean compression rate for the first 5 min of data recording was the same in all groups (P = 0.272) and ranged from 104.2 (95% CI of mean: 100.5, 107.8) min to 108.0 (95% CI of mean: 105.1, 108.3) min. The mean compression fraction was also similar across all groups (P = 0.159) and ranged between 74.7% and 78.4%. There was no difference in the compression rates and fractions across the airway management groups, regardless of the duration of CPR.

Conclusion: There was no significant difference in the compression fraction associated with the airway management strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2020.11.005DOI Listing
January 2021

Antithrombotic therapy and the risk of new-onset dementia in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation.

Postgrad Med J 2020 Nov 12. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Little is known about the relationship of antithrombotic therapy and the risk of dementia in patients with AF without clinical stroke.

Method: This was an observational study based on a hospital AF registry. Patients aged 65-85 years at the time of AF diagnosis were identified via the computerised database of the clinical management system. Patients with prior stroke or known cognitive dysfunction were excluded. The primary outcome was newly diagnosed dementia during the follow-up period.

Results: 3284 patients (mean age 76.4±5.3 years, 51.6% male) were included for analysis. The mean CHADS-VASc score was 3.94±1.44. 18.5% patients were prescribed warfarin, 39.8% were prescribed aspirin and 41.7% were prescribed no antithrombotic therapy. After a mean follow-up of 3.6 years, 71 patients (2.2%) developed dementia, giving rise to an incidence of 0.61%/year. The incidence of dementia were 1.04%/year, 0.69%/year and 0.14%/year for patients on no therapy, aspirin and warfarin, respectively. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that age ≥75 years, female gender and high CHADS-VASc score were associated with significantly higher risk of dementia; warfarin use was associated with significantly lower risk of dementia (HR: 0.14%, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.36, p<0.001). Patients on warfarin with time in therapeutic range (TTR) ≥65% had a non-significant trend towards a lower risk of dementia compared with those with TTR <65%.

Conclusion: In elderly AF patients, warfarin therapy was associated with a significantly lower risk of new-onset dementia compared those with no therapy or aspirin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-137916DOI Listing
November 2020

An Inorganic-Rich Solid Electrolyte Interphase for Advanced Lithium-Metal Batteries in Carbonate Electrolytes.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Feb 16;60(7):3661-3671. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20740, USA.

In carbonate electrolytes, the organic-inorganic solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formed on the Li-metal anode surface is strongly bonded to Li and experiences the same volume change as Li, thus it undergoes continuous cracking/reformation during plating/stripping cycles. Here, an inorganic-rich SEI is designed on a Li-metal surface to reduce its bonding energy with Li metal by dissolving 4m concentrated LiNO in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as an additive for a fluoroethylene-carbonate (FEC)-based electrolyte. Due to the aggregate structure of NO ions and their participation in the primary Li solvation sheath, abundant Li O, Li N, and LiN O grains are formed in the resulting SEI, in addition to the uniform LiF distribution from the reduction of PF ions. The weak bonding of the SEI (high interface energy) to Li can effectively promote Li diffusion along the SEI/Li interface and prevent Li dendrite penetration into the SEI. As a result, our designed carbonate electrolyte enables a Li anode to achieve a high Li plating/stripping Coulombic efficiency of 99.55 % (1 mA cm , 1.0 mAh cm ) and the electrolyte also enables a Li||LiNi Co Mn O (NMC811) full cell (2.5 mAh cm ) to retain 75 % of its initial capacity after 200 cycles with an outstanding CE of 99.83 %.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202012005DOI Listing
February 2021

Myocardial Injury in Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19.

Circulation 2020 12 5;142(24):2393-2395. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine (N.R.S., C.L.A., N.K., L.R., A.Q-C., A.S.J., G.I.F., J.S.H., J.S.B.), New York University School of Medicine.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.050434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736200PMC
December 2020

Rhein Protects Against Neurological Deficits After Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice Inhibiting Neuronal Pyroptosis.

Front Pharmacol 2020 30;11:564367. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

College of Anesthesiology, Weifang Medical University, Weifang, China.

Neurological dysfunction provoked by traumatic brain injury (TBI) makes a huge impact on individual learning ability, memory level, social participation, and quality of life. Pyroptosis, the caspase-1-dependent cell death, which is associated with the release of numerous pro-inflammatory factors, plays a major role in the pathological process after TBI. Inhibition of pyroptosis has been shown to be an attractive strategy for the treatment of various neurological disorders. Here, we found that Rhein, an anthraquinone derived from the medicinal plant rhubarb, attenuated TBI-induced upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, blood lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and pyroptosis-related proteins, as well as reduced neurological dysfunction in a mouse TBI model. Consistently, Rhein inhibitd equiaxial stretch-induced neuron pyroptosis, LDH release, and upregulation of pro-inflammatory factors . Thus, our study suggested that Rhein protected against neurological deficits after TBI inhibiting neuronal pyroptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.564367DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7554525PMC
September 2020

Dramatic uneven urbanization of large cities throughout the world in recent decades.

Nat Commun 2020 10 23;11(1):5366. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, 9 Duxue Road, Shenzhen, 518055, China.

The world has experienced dramatic urbanization in recent decades. However, we still lack information about the characteristics of urbanization in large cities throughout the world. After analyzing 841 large cities with built-up areas (BUAs) of over 100 km from 2001 to 2018, here we found an uneven distribution of urbanization at different economic levels. On average, large cities in the low-income and lower-middle-income countries had the highest urban population growth, and BUA expansion in the upper-middle-income countries was more than three times that of the high-income countries. Globally, more than 10% of BUAs in 325 large cities showed significant greening (P < 0.05) from 2001 to 2018. In particular, China accounted for 32% of greening BUAs in the 841 large cities, where about 108 million people lived. Our quantitative results provide information for future urban sustainable development, especially for rational urbanization of the developing world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19158-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7584620PMC
October 2020