ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0067.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: COVID-19; Disease-behaviour dynamics model; Prophylactic attitude; Vaccination; Perceived disease prevalence
Online: 5 December 2022 (08:28:57 CET)
In this age of mass media and, in particular, social media-driven perception of reality, coupling disease and prophylactic opinion dynamics models can provide better insights into disease evolution than using a disease model alone. We develop in this work two disease-opinion dynamics models based on the epidemiology of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the availability or not of imperfect vaccines. We assume that susceptibility to infection decreases with the level of prophylactic attitude (personal hygiene, social distancing), and changes in prophylactic attitudes of susceptible individuals occur in response to perceived disease prevalence and vaccination coverage and efficacy in the population. We derive and discuss the disease-free equilibriums and reproduction numbers in the introduced models. We further assess the impacts of the distribution of opinions at disease introduction, the ability to detect presymptomatic, asymptomatic and symptomatic positive COVID-19 cases, the behavioural responses to the outbreak and the introduction of vaccination, and the effects of distortions of disease prevalence by public policy and mass media on disease dynamics. The insights highlighted from the proposed models are expected to make informative contributions to public policy in a context of opinion fluxes in response to perceived disease prevalence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0357.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics Keywords: predictive modeling; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; cross-sectional study; neurodegenerative disease
Online: 24 January 2022 (12:59:55 CET)
In recent years, metabolomics has been used as a powerful tool to better understand the physiology of neurodegenerative diseases and identify potential biomarkers for progression. We used targeted and untargeted aqueous, and lipidomic profiles of the metabolome from human cerebrospinal fluid to build multivariate predictive models distinguishing patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and healthy age-matched controls. We emphasize several statistical challenges associated with metabolomic studies where the number of measured metabolites far exceeds sample size. We found strong separation in the metabolome between PD and controls, as well as between PD and AD, with weaker separation between AD and controls. Consistent with existing literature, we found alanine, kynurenine, tryptophan, and serine to be associated with PD classification against controls, while alanine, creatine, and long chain ceramides were associated with AD classification against controls. We conducted a univariate pathway analysis of untargeted and targeted metabolite profiles and find that vitamin E and urea cycle metabolism pathways are associated with PD, while the aspartate/asparagine and c21-steroid hormone biosynthesis pathways are associated with AD. We also found that the amount of metabolite missingness varied by phenotype, highlighting the importance of examining missing data in future metabolomic studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0145.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: multilevel analysis; periodontal disease; nonsurgical periodontal therapy; risk factor; modelling; periodontal healing
Online: 18 February 2019 (07:31:01 CET)
This retrospective study aimed to investigate the effect of known risk factors on nonsurgical periodontal treatment (NSPT) response using a pocket depth fine-tuning multilevel linear model (MLM). Thirty-seven patients (24 males and 13 females) with moderate to severe chronic periodontitis were treated with nonsurgical periodontal therapy. Follow-up visits at 3, 6, and 12 months included measurement of several clinical periodontal parameters. Data were extracted from a database system. Probing depth (PD) and Clinical Attachment Loss (CAL) reductions after NSPT in an overall of 1416 initially affected sites (baseline PD ≥ 4 mm), distributed on 536 teeth, were analyzed against known risk factors at three hierarchical levels (patient, tooth and site). The variance component models fitted to assess the three-level variance of PD and CAL decrease for each post-treatment follow-up showed that all levels contributed significantly to the overall variance (P < 0.001). Patients that underwent NSPT and were continually monitored had very curative results. All three hierarchical levels included risk factors who had impact on the to influence the magnitude of PD and CAL reduction. Specifically, the tooth’s type, surfaces involved and teeth mobility site-level risk factors showed the highest influence on these reductions, being highly relevant factors for the NSPT success.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0091.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: induced pluripotent stem cells; disease modelling; neuronal differentiation; cholinergic neurons; Alzheimer’s disease; frontotemporal dementia
Online: 4 August 2020 (11:17:44 CEST)
The study of neurodegenerative diseases using pluripotent stem cells requires new methods to assess neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration of specific neuronal subtypes. The cholinergic system, characterized by its use of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, is one of the first to degenerate in Alzheimer’s disease and is also affected in frontotemporal dementia. We developed a differentiation protocol to generate basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) aided by the use of small molecule inhibitors and growth factors. Ten iPSC lines were successfully differentiated into BFCNs using this protocol. The neuronal cultures were characterised through RNA and protein expression, and functional analysis of neurons was confirmed by whole-cell patch clamp. We have developed a reliable protocol using only small molecule inhibitors and growth factors, while avoiding transfection or cell sorting methods, to achieve a BFCN culture that expresses the characteristic markers of cholinergic neurons.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0174.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: computational modeling; agent based modeling; systems biology; multiple sclerosis; immunity; degenerative disease.
Online: 16 January 2020 (12:00:22 CET)
As of today, 20 disease modifying drugs (DMD) have been approved for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and, based on their efficacy, they can be grouped into moderate-efficacy DMDs and high-efficacy DMDs. The choice of the drug mostly relies on the judgement and experience of neurologists and the evaluation of therapeutic response can only be obtained by monitoring clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) status during follow up. In an era where therapies are focused on personalization, the aim of this study is to develop a modeling infrastructure to predict the evolution of relapsing MS and the response to treatments. We built a computational modeling infrastructure named UISS (Universal Immune System Simulator) able to simulate the main features and dynamics of the immune system activities. We extended UISS to simulate all the underlying MS pathogenesis and its interaction with the host immune system. This simulator is a multi-scale, multi-organ, agent based simulator with an attached module capable of simulating the dynamics of specific biological pathways at the molecular level. We simulated six MS patients with different relapsing-remitting courses. These patients were characterized on the basis of their age, sex, presence of oligoclonal bands, therapy and MRI lesion load at onset. The simulator framework is made freely available and can be used following the links provided in the availability section. Even though the model can be further personalized employing immunological parameters and genetic information, based on the available data we generated a few simulation scenarios for each patient, including those who matched the real clinical and MRI history. Moreover, for two patients, the simulator anticipated the timing of subsequent relapses, which really occurred, suggesting that UISS may have the potential to assist MS specialists in predicting the course of the disease and the response to treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0155.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: disease spread; herd immunity; hierarchy of social clusters; ultrametric spaces; trees; social barriers; linear growing barriers; energy landscapes
Online: 7 June 2021 (09:16:21 CEST)
In spite of numerous predictions, the natural herd immunity for covid-19 visru had not been approahed anywhere in the world. Thus, the traditional mathematical models of disease spread demonstrated their inability to describe adequately the covid-19 pandemic. In author's works, the novel model of the disease spread was developed. This model reflects the basic features of the covid-19 pandemic: a) the social clustering character of virus spread, b) . Social clustering is mathematically modelled with ultrametric spaces having the treelike geometry encoding hierarchy of the regulation constraints. The virus spread is described by ultrametric diffusion or random walk on the hierarchic energy landscape. In contrast to the standard models which are characterized by the exponential decrease of the probability to become infected - at the stage of approaching of the herd immunity, the ultrametric model is characterized by the power law. Moreover, the model gives the possibility to quantify the influence of restriction measures up to the lockdown. Our main result is that the play with restrictions, including lockdowns, is counterproductive and leads to the essential slowdown of approaching the herd immunity or even makes this impossible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0208.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; graph theory; mutual information; network model; connection mechanism; functional magnetic resonance imaging; topological structures; anatomical distance
Online: 21 January 2019 (16:55:13 CET)
Abnormal connections in brain networks of healthy people always bring the problems of cognitive impairments and degeneration of specific brain circuits, which may finally result in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Exploring the development of the brain from normal controls (NC) to AD is an essential part of human research. Although connections changes have been found in the development, the connection mechanism that drives these changes remain incompletely understood. The purpose of this study is to explore the connection changes in brain networks in the process from NC to AD, and uncover the underlying connection mechanism that shapes the topologies of AD brain networks. In particular, we propose a model named MINM from the perspective of topology-based mutual information to achieve our aim. MINM concerns the question of estimating the connection probability between two cortical regions with the consideration of both the mutual information of their observed network topologies and their Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In addition, MINM considers establishing and deleting connections, simultaneously, during the networks modeling from the stage of NC to AD. Experiment results show that MINM is sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of real brain networks such as characteristic path length, network efficiency, and transitivity, and it also provides an excellent fit to the real brain networks in degree distribution compared to experiential models. Thus, we anticipate that MINM may explain the connection mechanism for the formation of the brain network organization in AD patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0340.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Cannabidiol; Alzheimer's disease; Huntington's disease; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; Prion disease; Proteinopathies
Online: 21 May 2020 (09:43:09 CEST)
Cannabidiol is a well-known non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa, which exerts a broad range of neuropharmacological activities in the central nervous systems. Over the past years, compelling evidence from preclinical and clinical studies support therapeutic potentials of cannabidiol in various neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the accumulation of misfolded or aggregated protein due to the defective protein homeostasis or proteostasis network, termed as proteinopathies. Because of its role in the protein homeostasis network, cannabidiol could be a potent molecule to revert not only age-associated neurodegeneration but also other protein misfolding disorders. In this review, we discuss the potentiality of cannabidiol as a pharmacological modulator of the proteostasis network, highlighting its neuroprotective and aggregates clearing system inducing potentials in the neurodegenerative diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0338.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: disease incidence; emerging disease; Cultivated forage crops; plant pathology; disease incidence; emerging disease
Online: 24 January 2022 (09:57:58 CET)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important forage crops in the world. In Bolivia it is cultivated in different parts of the High Andes and in the Interandean Valleys. The species is affected by several fungal diseases which reduce production, but before 2016 hardly any mention had been made of virus disease in the region. The aims of the present work were: 1) to describe the symptomology of this apparent viral disease, and ii) determine its effects on the yield of different alfalfa cultivars available from the CIF-UMSS. In 2016, a plot was established at Tiquipaya (Dept. of Cochabamba) (altitude 2480 m) was planted with 12 alfalfa cultivars. Disease incidence values were estimated and the area under the disease progress curves (AUDPC) calculated. The disease progress curves themselves were analyzed using logit functions for polycyclic diseases, and yields were determined. Disease symptoms included deformation of the folioles, thickened veins, the presence of vein enations and papillae on the abaxial leaves, reduced plant size - all symptoms of infection apparently caused by Alfalfa Dwarf Virus. The different cultivars returned different incidence values. They also returned different apparent infection rates ranging from 0.072/day for Cóndor, to 0.113/day for Tamborada. The different cultivars returned different dry weight yields, with yields inversely related to the AUDPC. In conclusion, based on the foliar symptoms registered, the viral disease is associated with the Alfalfa Dwarf Virus. The twelve cultivars evaluated presented different incidence levels of the viral disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0534.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Crohn's disease; renal disease; amyloidosis
Online: 23 July 2020 (07:50:19 CEST)
Crohn's disease (CD) results from an aberrant immune response against the commensal microbiota in genetically susceptible hosts. However, the nature of the immune defects, the microflora involved and the genetic susceptibility remain incompletely defined and controversial. Extraintestinal manifestations occur in up to 25-35% of patients and generally precede the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms, which are often of a colonic nature and are influenced by disease activity. Renal manifestations can be considered dependent on the same immune mechanism that determines inflammatory bowel disease in CD. This review seeks to describe the current state of association between CD and kidney disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0036.v1
Online: 4 February 2020 (04:51:50 CET)
Crohn's disease (CD) results from an aberrant immune response against commensal microbiota in genetically susceptible hosts. However, the nature of immune defects, the microflora involved, and genetic susceptibility remain incompletely defined and controversial. This review seeks to describe the present state of association between CD and renal disease; moreover, we highlight the convergence of CD with amyloidosis that can trigger sustained inflammation, producing the pathological alteration observed in both diseases. The following MESH terms were searched in PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), and Web of Science: “Crohn´s disease” and “renal disease.” The R RISmed package was used for PubMed and PMC. The abnormal humoral immune response is described along with alterations in immune cell migration mechanisms in CD during inflammation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0329.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Genetic testing; bioethics
Online: 21 June 2018 (04:38:35 CEST)
Over the last decade, advances in our understanding about the genetic architecture of complex traits and common diseases, have increased our ability to perform susceptibility genetic testing for diseases in asymptomatic individuals. These technological developments raise complex ethical, legal and social considerations. Here we discuss a series of ethical issues associated with susceptibility genetic testing for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. These include, amongst others, informed consent, disclosure of results and unexpected findings, mandatory screening, privacy and confidentiality, and stigma and genetic discrimination. As knowledge of the genetic basis of these diseases continues growing, and as genetic testing becomes more widespread, we anticipate that it will become increasingly important for scientists and clinicians to engage in the conversation about the ethical, social and policy implications of these technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0023.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: gluten; celiac disease; antibodies; Ménière’s disease; vertigo
Online: 2 May 2017 (05:49:26 CEST)
Background: Meniere's disease (MD) has been recently linked to gluten assumption. Approximately 75% of MD patients show positive skin test to food and about 50% of the positive responses are specific to the gliadin acid extract fraction. Aim of this study was to investigate the humoral immune responses to wheat antigens and related autoantigens in MD patients. Methods. We assessed the reactivity of sera from 28 patients with definite MD and 100 healthy controls against a repertoire of 51 antigens usually associated with immune reaction to gluten. Results. MD patients showed an increase of anti-wheat IgA, anti-cerebellar peptide IgA and anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65 IgM compared to healthy controls. In particular, the increase of anti-wheat IgA and GAD 65 IgM has been confirmed in a subgroup of MD patients symptomatically responding to a gluten free diet (GFD). Conclusion. In MD patients, an increase of the antibody production against gluten biomarkers was observed; in particular, anti-wheat IgA seems to be associated to clinical response to GFD.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0396.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: neurodegenerative disease; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Huntington’s disease; multiple sclerosis; tryptophan; kynurenines; biomarkers; personalized medicine
Online: 13 November 2020 (20:57:22 CET)
Neurodegenerative diseases are multifactorial, initiated by a series of the causative complex which develops into a certain clinical picture. The pathogenesis and disease course vary from patient to patient. Thus, it should be likewise to the treatment. Peripheral biomarkers are to play a central role for tailoring a personalized therapeutic plan for patients who suffered from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others. Nevertheless, the use of biomarkers in clinical practice is still underappreciated and data presented in biomarker research for clinical use is still uncompelling, compared to abundant data available for drug research and development. So is the case with kynurenines (KYNs) and the kynurenine pathway (KP) enzymes which have been associated with a wide range of diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, neurologic diseases, and psychiatric disorders. This review article discusses current knowledge of the KP alteration observed in the central nervous system as well as the periphery, its involvement in pathogenesis and disease progression, and emerging evidence of roles of microbiota to the gut-brain axis, searching for practical peripheral biomarkers which ensure personalized treatment plans for neurodegenerative diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s Disease; Clinical trial; Precision medicine.
Online: 5 July 2021 (16:08:41 CEST)
Concomitant neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are common in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Furthermore, AD biomarkers are associated with cognitive decline and dementia in PD patients during life. Here, we highlight the considerable overlap between AD and PD, emphasizing neuropathological, biomarker, and mechanistic studies. We suggest that precision medicine approaches may successfully identify PD patients most likely to develop concomitant AD. The ability to identify PD patients at high risk for future concomitant AD in turn provides an ideal cohort for trials of AD-directed therapies in PD patients, aimed at delaying or preventing cognitive symptoms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0435.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: chronic kidney disease; hemodialysis; cardiovascular disease; echocardiography; child
Online: 4 July 2019 (10:37:00 CEST)
Assessment of cardiac function is the leading parameter when evaluating the state of the cardiovascular system of patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. The aim of the paper: to assess the state of the cardiovascular system of these patients using new sensitive echocardiography and Doppler techniques and thus advance the prevention of cardiovascular disease.Method: Twenty children with end-stage renal insufficiency on chronic hemodialysis and twenty healthy controls underwent echocardiographic monitoring using standard Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging. Structural and functional changes in the left ventricle were evaluated.Results: Patients on hemodialysis had significantly greater left ventricular mass indices compared to the controls (p<0.001). The patients on hemodialysis had preserved systolic function – their fractional shortening, ejection fraction and Sm (systolic myocardial velocity) did not differ significantly compared to the controls (p>0.05). Early diastolic function in children on hemodialysis was also preserved: the E/A and Em/Am ratio did not differ significantly from the control group (p>0.05). Children on hemodialysis exhibited impaired late diastolic function (compliance index), that is, considerably higher E/Em compared to controls (p<0.00). Myocardial Performance Index values showed statistically significant elevation in children on hemodialysis compared to the control group (p<0.001).Conclusion: Tissue Doppler in tandem with conventional Pulsed Doppler can provide additional information on left ventricular filling pressures (E/Em) in children on hemodialysis. It is therefore recommended to perform routine measuring of Em waves and the E/Em ratio, not only in order to evaluate myocardial relaxation and ventricular filling pressures, but primarily to stratify risk and provide a prognosis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0383.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Calabria; Italy; neurodegenerative diseases; Alzheimer’s disease; Frontotemporal dementia; Par-kinson’s disease; Niemann Pick type C disease; Spino-cerebellar ataxia; Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; Gerstmann Straussler Scheincker disease
Online: 22 August 2022 (11:23:49 CEST)
Although originally multi-ethnic in its structure, nowadays the Calabria region of southern Italy represents an area with a low genetic heterogeneity and a high level of consanguinity that allows rare mutations to be maintained due to the founder effect. A complex research methodology ranging from clinical activity to genealogical reconstruction of families/populations along the centuries, creation of databases, and molecular/genetic research, has been modelled on the characteristics of the Calabrian population for more than three decades. This methodology allows to the identification of several novel genetic mutations or variants associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, in this population it has been reported a higher prevalence of several hereditary neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Niemann Pick type C disease, Spino-cerebellar ataxia, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and Gerstmann Straussler Scheincker disease. Thus, Calabria constitutes a model for the study of neurodegenerative diseases, a sort of "outdoor laboratory" useful for the advancement of knowledge in this field. Here, we summarize and discuss some results of research data supporting the view that Calabria is a genetic isolate and could represent a useful model for the study and characterization of neurodegenerative diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0393.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Parkinson's disease; Huntington's disease; Integration; Shared patterns; Neurodegeneration; Multi-Omics; Alzheimer's Disease; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Online: 19 October 2020 (15:44:47 CEST)
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are heterogeneous, progressive diseases with frequently overlapping symptoms characterized by a loss of neurons. Studies suggested relations between neurodegenerative diseases for many years, e.g., regarding the aggregation of toxic proteins or triggering endogenous cell death pathways. Within this study, publicly available genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data were gathered from 188 studies and more than one million patients to detect shared genetic patterns between the neurodegenerative diseases and the analyzed omics-layers within conditions. The results show a remarkably high number of shared genes between the transcriptomic and proteomic levels for all diseases while showing a significant relation between genomic and proteomic data only in some cases. A set of 139 genes was found to be differentially expressed in several transcriptomic experiments of all four diseases. These 139 genes showed overrepresented GO-Terms and pathways mainly involved in stress response, cell development, cell adhesion, and the cytoskeleton. Furthermore, the overlap of two and three omics-layers per disease were used to search for overrepresented pathways and GO-Terms. Taken together, we could confirm the existence of many relations between Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis on the transcriptomic and proteomic level by analyzing the pathways and GO-Terms arising in these intersections. The significance of the connection between the transcriptomic and proteomic data for all four analyzed neurodegenerative diseases showed that exploring these omics-layers simultaneously holds new insights that do not emerge from analyzing these omics-layers separately. Our data therefore suggests addressing human patients with neurodegenerative diseases as complex biological systems by integrating multiple underlying data sources.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0048.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ulcerative colitis; biomarkers; diagnosis; inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn’s disease
Online: 2 August 2021 (14:39:13 CEST)
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is one of the two disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) along with Crohn’s disease (CD), with complex pathogenesis, requiring costly invasive investigations. Objective: to examine the most recent biomarkers proposed for UC diagnosis; to establish the strategy used to make the differential diagnosis between UC and CD relying on these biomarkers, also adding the benefit of finding new non-invasive tools in managing this condition. The search was performed in a single database (Web of Science) using the specific keywords „ulcerative colitis”, „biomarkers” and „diagnosis” for the last five years. Study eligibility criteria: clinical trials on adults and pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis compared with Crohn’s disease. Results: We selected 57 studies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and clinical case series (CCS), summarizing the latest most specific biomarkers in diagnosis of UC. Limitations: we considered RCTs and CCS from one database, limited to the search topics. Our findings indicate a important number of potential biomarkers with diagnostic value, which bring the advantage of a non-invasive method to approach this challenging disorder.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0178.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; genetics; gene regulatory network; miRNAs
Online: 18 June 2019 (13:07:49 CEST)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are the most common neurodegenerative disorders related to aging. Though several risk factors are shared between these two diseases, the exact relationship between these two diseases is still unknown. In this paper, we analyzed how these diseases relate to each other from a genomics viewpoint. Using an extensive literature search, we accumulated the list of genes from the major genome-wide association (GWAS) studies. However, we found only one gene (HLA-DRB5) reported in these GWAS studies that are common between AD and PD. We also listed all the miRNAs that have been previously reported for AD and PD. Here we found 15 different miRNAs that were reported in both diseases. In order to get better insights, we predicted the gene coexpression network for both AD and PD. Network analysis on these networks show six clusters of genes related to AD and four clusters of genes related to PD.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0270.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; clinical trial fails; disease-modifying treatments; alzheimer’s disease biomarkers; combination treatment; clinical trial designs
Online: 24 September 2019 (11:23:25 CEST)
Despite all scientific efforts and many protracted and expensive clinical trials, no new drug has been approved by FDA for treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) since 2003. Indeed, more than 200 investigational programs have failed or have been abandoned in the last decade. The most probable explanations for failures of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) for AD may include late initiation of treatments during the course of AD development, inappropriate drug dosages, erroneous selection of treatment targets, and mainly an inadequate understanding of the complex pathophysiology of AD, which may necessitate combination treatments rather than monotherapy. Clinical trials’ methodological issues have also been criticized. Current drug-development research for AD is aimed to overcome these drawbacks. Preclinical and prodromal AD populations, as well as traditionally investigated populations representing all the clinical stages of AD, are included in recent trials. Systematic use of biomarkers in staging preclinical and prodromal AD and of a single primary outcome in trials of prodromal AD are regularly integrated. The application of amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration biomarkers, including new biomarkers—such as Tau positron emission tomography, neurofilament light chain (blood and CSF biomarker of axonal degeneration) and neurogranin (CSF biomarker of synaptic functioning)—to clinical trials allows more precise staging of AD. Additionally, use of the Bayesian statistics, modifiable clinical trial designs, and clinical trial simulators enrich the trial methodology. Besides, combination therapy regimens are currently assessed in clinical trials. The abovementioned diagnostic and statistical advances, which have been recently integrated in clinical trials, are consequential to the recent failures of studies of disease-modifying treatments. Their experiential rather than theoretical origins may better equip potentially successful drug-development strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0152.v1
Online: 13 September 2022 (02:33:37 CEST)
A synoptic review of plant disease epidemics and outbreaks was made using two complementary approaches. The first approach involved reviewing scientific literature published in 2021, in which quantitative data related to new plant disease epidemics or outbreaks had been obtained via surveys or similar methodologies. The second approach involved retrieving new pest presence records added to the CABI Distribution Database in 2021. The literature review for the first approach had two stages. Stage 1 aimed to identify publications on plant diseases caused by pathogen taxonomic groups and led to retrieval of 99 core articles describing studies in 62 categories (pathogen species or species complexes) across more than 40 host species in 6 continents. In Stage 2, the core articles were augmented with further articles providing more context and information for the pathogen species identified in Stage 1. When both sets of articles were combined, the pathogen species with more than 5 articles were: Bursephalenchus xylophilus, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, cassava mosaic viruses, citrus tristeza virus, Erwinia amylovora, Fusarium spp. complexes, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense, Magnaporthe oryzae, maize lethal necrosis co-infecting viruses, Meloidogyne spp. complexes, Pseudomonas syringae pvs, Puccinia striiformis f.sp tritici, Xylella fastidiosa, and Zymoseptoria tritici. The automated search of the CABI Distribution Database led to 617 new distribution records from 283 plant pathogens in 2021 and was followed by manual review of all pathogens with more than 4 new records, to identify confirmed first reports in a new location. A total of 15 pathogens was identified: apple hammerhead viroid, apple rubbery wood viruses, Aphelenchoides besseyi, Biscogniauxia mediterranea, Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, citrus tristeza virus, Colletotrichum siamense, cucurbit chlorotic yellows virus, Erwinia rhapontici, Erysiphe corylacearum, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical Race 4, Globodera rostochiensis, Nothophoma quercina, potato spindle tuber viroid, and tomato brown rugose fruit virus. Although 3 very important pathogens – Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, citrus tristeza virus and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense – were represented in the results of both approaches, in general the two approaches revealed distinct sets of plant disease outbreaks and new records, with little overlap in the results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0447.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Urology Keywords: acute kidney disease; chronic kidney disease; gene therapy; cell therapy
Online: 25 January 2023 (04:29:25 CET)
The rising global incidence of acute and chronic kidney diseases has increased the demand for renal replacement therapy. This issue, compounded with the limited availability of viable kidneys for transplantation, has propelled the search for alternative strategies to address the growing health and economic burdens associated with these conditions. In the search for such alternatives, significant efforts have been devised to augment the current and primarily supportive management of renal injury with novel regenerative strategies. For example, gene- and cell-based approaches that utilize recombinant peptides/proteins, gene, cell, organoid, and RNAi technologies have shown promising outcomes primarily in experimental models. Supporting research has also been conducted to improve our understanding of the critical aspects that facilitate the development of efficient gene- and cell-based techniques that the complex structure of the kidney has traditionally limited. This manuscript is intended to communicate efforts that have driven the development of such therapies by identifying the vectors and delivery routes needed to drive exogenous transgene incorporation that may support the treatment of acute and chronic kidney diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0209.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Systems Biology; Systems Medicine; Disease Mechanisms; Disease Maps; Network Biology
Online: 13 December 2022 (01:06:32 CET)
As a conceptual model of disease mechanisms, a disease map integrates available knowledge and is applied for data interpretation, predictions and hypothesis generation. It is possible to model disease mechanisms on different levels of granularity and adjust the approach to the goals of a particular project. This rich environment together with requirements for high-quality network reconstruction makes it challenging for new curators and groups to be quickly introduced to the development methods. In this review, we offer a step-by-step guide for developing a disease map within its mainstream pipeline that involves using the CellDesigner tool for creating and editing diagrams and the MINERVA Platform for online visualisation and exploration. We also describe how the Neo4j graph database environment can be used for managing and querying efficiently such a resource. For assessing the interoperability and reproducibility we apply FAIR principles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0179.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Population genetics; Pigmentary traits; Phototype; Pleiotropy; Skin disease; Eye disease
Online: 10 November 2022 (01:06:40 CET)
Human pigmentation has been largely associated with different disease prevalence among populations, but most of these studies are observational and inconclusive. Known to be genetically determined, pigmentary traits have been largely studied by GWAS, mostly in Caucasian ancestry cohorts from North Europe, identifying robustly, several loci involved in many of the pigmentary traits. Here, we conduct a detailed analysis of 13 pigmentary-related traits in a South European cohort of Caucasian ancestry (n=20,000). We observed fair phototype strongly associated with non-melanoma skin cancer and other dermatoses and confirmed by PRS-approach the shared genetic basis with skin and eye diseases, such as melanoma (OR=0.95), non-melanoma skin cancer (OR=0.93), basal cell carcinoma (OR=0.97) and darker phototype with vitiligo (OR=1.02), and cataracts (OR=1.04). Detailed genetic analyses revealed 37 risk loci associated with 10 out of 13 analyzed traits, and 16 fine-mapped genes significantly associated with at least two pigmentary traits. Some of them widely reported, such as MC1R, HERC2, OCA2, TYR, TYRP1, SLC45A2, and unveiling three new candidates RP11-1084J3.4, C1QTNF3 and C17orf112, not reported in GWAS Catalog. These results highlight the importance of phototype assessment as a genetic proxy of skin functionality when evaluating disease screening in mixed populations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0042.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s Disease; Parkinson’s Disease; eye movements; Rough Set; Machine Learning
Online: 2 November 2022 (04:12:08 CET)
Humans are a vision-dominated species, and what we see depends on where we look. Therefore, eye movements (EM) are essential to our interactions with the environment, and experimental findings show EM is affected in neurodegenerative disorders (ND). It could be a reason for some cognitive and movement disorders in ND. Therefore, we aim to determine if changes in EM-evoked responses can tell us about ND, such as Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) progression in different stages. In the present review, we have analyzed the results of neurological, psychological, and EM (saccades, antisaccades, pursuit) tests to predict disease progression with Machine Learning (ML) methods. Described predictive algorithms are using various approaches, including Granular Computing, Naive Bayes, Decision Trees/Tables, Logistic Regression, C-/LinearSVC, KNC, and Random Forest. We demonstrated that EM is a robust biomarker for assessing symptom progression in PD and AD. There are also navigation problems in 3D space in both diseases. Consequently, we investigated EM experiments in the virtual space and how they may help find neurodegeneration-related brain changes. In conclusion: EM parameters with clinical symptoms are powerful precision instruments that, in addition to predictions of ND progression with the help of ML, could be used to indicate the different preclinical stages of both diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0320.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: crohn's disease; inflmmatory bowel disease; quality of life; ulcerative colitis
Online: 24 May 2022 (04:33:57 CEST)
Background: Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Questionnaire-32 (CUCQ-32) is a validated questionnaire to measure the quality of life (QoL) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, it does not have stoma specific questions and can be lengthy. This study aimed to validate a subset of the CUCQ-32 that would be suitable for patients with a stoma. Methods: Baseline data were collected from a cohort of patients with acute ulcerative colitis who were participating in the CONSTRUCT multi-centre clinical trial. A subset of the CUCQ-32 questions was selected by stepwise regression. Further validation was examined using data from the UK IBD biological therapies audit. Construct validity was carried out using the EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ5D) questionnaire, Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (SCCAI) and the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI). Literature review and an expert focus group identified supplementary questions to cover patients with a stoma. Test-retest analysis was done during the patients’ second follow up visits. Results: Using the data from 124 patients, a short version questionnaire (CUCQ-12) was developed. Further validation using data from 484 patients with IBD as part of the UK IBD biological therapies audit. Using the data from 61 patients with a stoma, we identified 5 stoma specific questions for the CUCQ-12+. The CUCQ-12+ demonstrated excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α= 0.86); established effective reproducibility (intra-class correlation coefficient= 0.74); correlated well with the EQ5D (r= - 0.48), HBI (r= 0.45) and SCCAI (r= 0.43); and represented good responsiveness statistics (>0.5). Conclusions: CUCQ-12+ is a valid and reliable QoL measure that can be used for all patients with IBD in clinical practice including patients with a stoma.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0073.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Mitochondrial dysfunction; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; Neurodegeneration; Amyloid beta; Parkin
Online: 3 September 2021 (16:01:26 CEST)
Mitochondrial dysfunctions remained a pivotal mechanism in manifold neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial homeostasis within the cell is an essential aspect of cell biology. Mitochondria which is also known as the power-generating set of the cell, have a dominant role in several processes associated with the genomic integrity and cellular equilibrium maintenance. They are involved in maintaining optimal cells functioning and guidance from possible DNA damage which could lead to mutations and onset of diseases. Conversely, system perturbations which could be due to environmental factors or senescence induce changes in the physiological balance and result in the mitochondrial functions impairment. The focal point of this review focuses on mitochondrial dysfunction as a significant condition in the onset of neuronal disintegration. We explain the pathways associated with the dysfunction of the mitochondria which are common amongst the most recurring neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Do mitochondrial dysfunctions represent an early event in causing a shift towards neuropathological processes?
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0143.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: AMDV; Aleutian disease; mink parvovirus; Aleutian mink disease virus; vaccine
Online: 5 August 2021 (11:13:05 CEST)
Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) is known to cause the most significant disease in the mink industry. It is globally widespread and manifested as a deadly plasmacytosis and hyperglobulinemia. So far, measures to control viral spread have been limited to manual serological testing for AMDV-positive mink. Further, due to the persistent nature of this virus, attempts to eradicate Aleutian disease (AD) have largely failed. Therefore, effective strategies to control viral spread are of crucial importance for wildlife protection. One potentially key tool in the fight against this disease is by immunization of mink against AMDV. Throughout many years, several researchers have tried to develop AMDV vaccines and demonstrated varying degrees of protection in mink by those vaccines. Despite these attempts, there are currently no vaccines available against AMDV, allowing the continuation of the spread of Aleutian disease. Herein, we summarize previous AMDV immunization attempts in mink as well as other preventative measures with the purpose to shed light on future studies designing such a potentially crucial preventative tool against Aleutian disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0313.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Pig; PRRS; PRRS virus; immune response; disease resistance; disease control
Online: 14 July 2021 (09:40:20 CEST)
The control of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is still a major issue worldwide in the pig farming sector. Despite extensive research efforts and the practical experience gained so far, the syndrome still heavily affects farmed pigs worldwide and challenges established beliefs in veterinary virology and immunology. The clinical and economic repercussions of PRRS are based on concomitant, additive features of virus pathogenicity, host susceptibility and influence of environmental, microbial and non-microbial stressors. This makes a case for integrated, multi-disciplinary research efforts in which the three types of contributing factors are critically evaluated toward the development of successful disease control strategies. These could be definitely eased by the definition of reliable markers of disease risk and virus pathogenicity. As for the host’s susceptibility to PRRSV infection and disease onset, the roles of both innate and adaptive immune responses are still ill-defined. In particular, the overt discrepancy between passive and active immunity and the uncertain role of adaptive immunity vis-à-vis an established PRRSV infection should prompt the scientific community to the development of novel research schemes, in which apparently diverging and contradictory findings could be reconciled, and eventually brought to a satisfactory conceptual framework.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0576.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Hypericum oblongifolium; Alzheimer’s disease; Folecitin; Memory impairment; Neurodegenerative disease; Neuroprotection
Online: 23 June 2021 (11:25:28 CEST)
Neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, are commonly associated with persistent neuro-inflammation, and there is an urgent need to discover new therapeutic agents that may target the various pathways involved in neurodegeneration. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of folecitin, a flavonoid isolated from Hypericum oblongifolium, against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced oxidative stress associated with neurodegeneration, amyloidogenic Aβ production pathway, and memory dysfunction in mice. LPS was administered i.p. at 250 µg/kg/day for 3 weeks, followed by the administration of folecitin at a dose of 30 mg/kg/day for the last two weeks. A Western blot technique was used to assess the expression of different proteins involved in oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, and neuronal synapse. Results indicated that folecitin significantly reduced LPS-induced apoptotic neurodegeneration, including the expression of BAX, Caspase-3, and PARP-1 proteins, inhibited BACE1, and the amyloidogenic Aβ production pathway. Folecitin improved both pre- and post-neuronal synapse, as well as memory dysfunction. Furthermore, folecitin significantly activated endogenous antioxidant proteins such as Nrf-2 and HO-1 via stimulating the phosphorylation of Akt proteins. These findings suggest that folecitin may be a suitable lead to design new drugs for neurotoxin-triggered neurodegenerative disorders.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Crohn’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Exclusive Enteral Nutrition, Mucosal Healing
Online: 16 February 2021 (15:58:08 CET)
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease whose prevalence is increasing worldwide. Among medical strategies, the dietary therapy with exclusive enteral nutrition is recommended as first line option, at least for children, because it induces clinical remission and mucosal healing. Modulen®, a polymeric TGF-β2 enriched formula, has a good palatability and is widely used. For the first time in the literature, this review outlines and discusses the clinical outcomes obtained with this therapy, as well as the potential mechanisms of action of its compounds. It can be explained by its TGF-β2 content but also by its protein and lipid composition. Further well-designed studies are required to improve our knowledge and to optimize therapeutic strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0145.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Periodontitis; Periodontal disease; Mendelian Randomization; Bioinformatics; Oral Health
Online: 7 October 2020 (08:26:14 CEST)
Latest evidence revealed a possible association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and periodontitis. We explored the causal relationship of this association through two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) in European ancestry populations. To this end, we used openly accessible data of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on PD and periodontitis. As instrumental variables for periodontitis, seventeen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a GWAS of periodontitis (1817 periodontitis cases vs. 2215 controls) and forty-five SNPs from a GWAS of PD (20,184 cases and 397,324 controls). Eight non-overlapping SNPs of periodontitis from an additional GWAS assisted in the validation of association being studied. Multiple approaches of MR were carried-out. There was no evidence of genetic liability of periodontitis being associated with a higher risk of PD (B= -0.0003, Standard Error [SE] 0.0003, P = 0.26). The eight independent SNPs (B= -0.0000, SE 0.0001, P = 0.99) validated this outcome. We found no association of genetically primed PD towards periodontitis (B= -0.0001, SE 0.0001, P = 0.19). This MR study found no conclusive evidence to support a bidirectional causal genetic liability between PD and periodontitis. Further GWAS studies are needed to confirm the consistency of these results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0748.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Verticillium dahliae; plant-pathogen interactions; disease resistance; integrated disease management
Online: 30 September 2020 (14:10:04 CEST)
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a valuable horticultural crop grown and consumed worldwide. Optimum production is hindered by several factors of which Verticillium dahliae, the cause of Verticillium wilt, is one of the major biological constraints in temperate production regions. V. dahliae is difficult to manage because it is a vascular pathogen, has a broad host range and worldwide distribution, and can persist in soil for years. Understanding the pathogen virulence and genetic diversity, host resistance, and plant-pathogen interactions can ultimately inform the development of integrated strategies to manage the disease. In recent years, considerable research has focused on providing new insight into these processes as well as the development and integration of environment-friendly management approaches. In this review, we discuss and summarize the recent findings on the race and population structure of V. dahliae; pathogenicity factors; host genes, proteins, and enzymes involved in defense; the emergent management strategies, and recent approaches to managing Verticillium wilt in tomatoes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0050.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Periodontitis; Periodontal disease; protein-protein network interaction; Bioinformatics
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:13:12 CEST)
Recent studies supported a clinical association between Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and periodontitis. Hence, investigating possible protein interactions between these two conditions is of interest. In this study, we conducted a protein-protein network interaction analysis with recognized genes encoding proteins for PD and periodontitis. Genes of interest were collected via GWAS database. Then, we conducted a protein interaction analysis using STRING database, with a highest confidence cut-off of 0.9. Our protein network casted a comprehensive analysis of potential protein-protein interactions between PD and periodontitis. This analysis may underpin valuable information for new candidate molecular mechanisms between PD and periodontitis and may serve new potential targets for research purposes. These results should be carefully interpreted giving the limitations of this approach.
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Bioactive substances; Biopesticide; Blast disease; Disease management; Plant growth promotion
Online: 9 August 2020 (22:38:01 CEST)
Rice is consumed as a staple food by majority of the people in the world and failure in rice crop, due to any reason, poses a severe threat of starvation. Rice blast, caused by a fungus blast has been ranked among the most important plant diseases. It is by far the most threatening disease of ric crop and it is found wherever rice is grown. All of the rice blast disease management strategies that have been employed have limited success and rice blast has never been eliminated from a region in which rice is grown. Hence there is need to look for the best remedy in terms of effectiveness and organic nature of the method etc. This study was aimed to determine the plant growth promoting and biopesticidal effects of bioactive components present in a mixture of Piper caninum and Piper betle var. Nigra leaf extracts. . The extracts were applied in the field to determine their inhibition effects against blast disease, growth and yield improvement.. Extract of both the plants promoted plant growth and exhibited antifungal activity against rice blast fungus, Pyricularia oryzae. However the synergistic effect of the mixture of the two extracts exhibited greater effects than an effect of a single extract. . All treatments reduced the intensity of blast disease on week 15 with disease intensity by 7.90%. The extracts could increase plant height, the numbers of tillers, number of leaves, number of grains per panicle number of heads per panicle, and the full-grain weight hill.. The highest potential yield (t/ha) was observed in the 2% extract treatment, and all treatment results significantly differed from that of the control. The potential grain yield was 3.23 t/ha in the control, while that in the treatment ranged from 3.81 t/ha to 5.61 t/ha. The high grain yield observed with the treatment was caused by the low intensity of blast disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0062.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Lyme disease; Borrelia burgdorferi; Tickborne disease; Chronic infection; Spirochete culture
Online: 8 March 2018 (07:08:02 CET)
Introduction: Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that generates controversy among medical providers and researchers. One of the key topics of debate is the existence of persistent infection with the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in patients who have been treated with recommended doses of antibiotics yet remain symptomatic. Persistent spirochetal infection despite antibiotic therapy has recently been demonstrated in non-human primates. We present evidence of persistent Borrelia infection despite antibiotic therapy in patients with ongoing Lyme disease symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this pilot study, culture of body fluids and tissues was performed in a randomly selected group of 12 patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms who had been treated or who were being treated with antibiotics. Cultures were also performed on a group of 10 control subjects without Lyme disease. The cultures were subjected to corroborative microscopic, histopathological and molecular testing for Borrelia organisms in four independent laboratories in a blinded manner. Results: Motile spirochetes identified histopathologically as Borrelia were detected in culture specimens, and these spirochetes were genetically identified as Borrelia burgdorferi by three distinct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia burgdorferi were cultured from the blood of seven subjects, from the genital secretions of ten subjects, and from a skin lesion of one subject. Cultures from control subjects without Lyme disease were negative for Borrelia using these methods. Conclusions: Using multiple corroborative detection methods, we showed that patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms may have ongoing spirochetal infection despite antibiotic treatment, similar to findings in non-human primates. The optimal treatment for persistent Borrelia infection remains to be determined.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0220.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: heart disease; coronary artery disease; machine learning; deep learning; predictive features; coronary artery disease diagnosis; health informatics
Online: 20 January 2020 (09:11:14 CET)
Heart disease is one of the most common diseases in middle-aged citizens. Among the vast number of heart diseases, coronary artery disease (CAD) is considered a common cardiovascular disease with a high death rate. The most popular tool for diagnosing CAD is the use of medical imaging, e.g., angiography. However, angiography is known for being costly and also associated with a number of side effects. Hence, the purpose of this study is to increase the accuracy of coronary heart disease diagnosis by selecting significant predictive features in order of their ranking. In this study, we propose an integrated method using machine learning. The machine learning methods of random trees (RTs), the decision tree of C5.0, support vector machine (SVM), the decision tree of Chi-squared automatic interaction detection (CHAID) are used in this study. The proposed method shows promising results and the study confirms that the RTs model outperforms other models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0271.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: chronic kidney disease; disease progression; end stage renal disease; mortality; health-related behaviors; physical activity; smoking; alcohol
Online: 26 June 2019 (15:38:12 CEST)
Healthy life style is associated with decreased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and mortality in the general population. However, there is no definitive evidence on the benefits of physical activity and other health-related behaviors in the early-stage CKD. This study aimed to explore the association between health-related behaviors and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and mortality in the early stages of CKD. The National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database from January 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2016 was used to screen 83,470 subjects with early stage CKD. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between health-related behaviors and ESRD and death. Kaplan-Meier curves for mortality and ESRD were plotted according to the physical activity, smoking status and alcohol consumption pattern. Risk of death decreased significantly in subjects who engaged in sufficient physical activity (adjusted Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.73; 95% CI: 0.64-0.83; p < 0.001). Risk of ESRD and death increased significantly in the current smoker with adjusted HR of 1.44 (95% CI: 1.06-1.95; p < 0.02) and 1.61 (95% CI: 1.44-1.80; p < 0.001) respectively. Therefore, systematic interventions to encourage physical activity and smoking cessation need to be actively considered in the early stages of CKD.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0099.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: vascular endothelial function; inflammation; oxidative stress; cardiovascular disease prevention; disease management
Online: 6 July 2020 (09:08:34 CEST)
In atherosclerosis patients, vascular endothelial dysfunction is commonly observed with damage of vascular endothelial glycocalyx, an extracellular matrix-bound to and encapsulating the endothelial cell lining the blood vessel wall. Unfavorable lifestyle; smoking and physical inactivity, also induces glycocalyx degradation. Moreover, the vascular endothelial glycocalyx is damaged by various unfavorable disease conditions like as dehydration, acute infectious disease, trauma, sepsis, ARDS, Kawasaki disease, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, dementia, microvascular angina, acute coronary syndrome, and heart failure. The vascular endothelial glycocalyx has been shown to be important not only as a physical cytoprotective barrier for vascular endothelial cells but also as a mechanism that regulates intracellular cell signaling. Therefore, vascular endothelial glycocalyx has great potential to explore new strategies for assessing the benefit conditions of our healthy vasculature.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0328.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; disease management; prevention and control; public health; disease outbreaks
Online: 23 March 2020 (01:49:47 CET)
The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed a significant concern in many countries due to the rapid rate of transmission between humans. Taking advantage of the experience of the last epidemics in 2002 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and 2012 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), some regions of the world were well- prepared for the new outbreak. However, other countries needed to be adapted to the situation promptly. Many management strategies were established, and some restrictions were introduced in some regions. In this review, we aimed to determine countries’ public responses to the epidemic of COVID-19 and how they developed administrative approaches towards the outbreak.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0190.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: epigenetics; nucleic acids; RNA; DNA; cardiovascular disease; chronic disease; aging, metabolism
Online: 16 November 2019 (00:59:04 CET)
RNA epigenetics is perhaps the most recent aspect of interest for translational epigeneticists. RNA modifications create such an extensive network of epigenetically driven combination whose role in physiology and pathophysiology is still far from being elucidated. Not surprisingly, some of the players determining changes into RNA structure are in common with those involved in DNA and chromatin structure regulation, while other molecules seem very specific to RNA. It is envisaged, then, that new small molecules, acting selectively on RNA epigenetic changes, will be reported soon, opening new therapeutic interventions based on the correction of the RNA epigenetic landscape. In this review, we shall summarize some aspects of RNA epigenetics limited to those in which the potential clinical translatability to cardiovascular disease is emerging.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0289.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; clinical trials
Online: 25 July 2019 (11:38:57 CEST)
A nutritional approach could be a promising strategy to prevent or slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, since there is no effective therapy for these diseases so far. The beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids are now well established by a plethora of studies through their involvement in multiple biochemical functions, including synthesis of antinflammatory mediators, cell membrane fluidity, intracellular signalling and gene expression. This systematic review will consider epidemiological studies and clinical trials that assessed the impact of supplementation or dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Indeed, treatment with omega-3 fatty acids, being safe and well tolerated, represent a valuable and biologically plausible tool in the management of neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0511.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: coeliac disease; Crohn’s disease; dysplasia; histotype; overall survival; tumor infiltrating lymphocyte.
Online: 20 November 2018 (16:43:14 CET)
Small bowel carcinomas (SBC) are uncommon neoplasms, whose predisposing conditions include hereditary syndromes and immune-mediated intestinal disorders, including coeliac disease (CD) and Crohn’s disease (CrD). Although both CD-associated SBC (CD-SBC) and CrD-associated SBC (CrD-SBC) arise from an inflammatory background, they differ substantially in tumour cell phenotype, frequency of microsatellite instability and nuclear β-catenin expression, as well as in prognosis. For these patients, high tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte density and glandular/medullary histotype represent independent positive prognostic factors. Dysplasia adjacent to SBC is rare and characterized by intestinal phenotype and nuclear β-catenin in CD, while it is frequent and typified by gastro-pancreatobiliary marker expression and preserved membranous β-catenin in CrD. Recent evidence suggests that Epstein-Barr virus-positive dysplasia and SBC, albeit exceptional, do exist and are associated with CrD. In this review we summarize the novel pathological and molecular insights of clinical and therapeutic interest to guide the care of CD-SBC and CrD-SBC.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0302.v1
Online: 17 January 2023 (09:07:35 CET)
Background: Senescence is a cellular ageing process in all multicellular organisms. It is characterized by a decline in cellular functions and proliferation, resulting in increased cellular damage and death. This condition plays an essential role in the ageing process and significantly contributes to the development of age-related complications. On the other hand, ferroptosis is a systemic cell death characterized by excessive iron accumulation followed by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Oxidative stress is a common trigger of this condition and may be induced by various factors such as toxins, drugs, and inflammation. Ferroptosis is linked to numerous illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer. Relevance of these conditions to ageing and disease: Senescence is believed to contribute to the decline in tissue and organ function that occurs with ageing. It has also been linked to the development of age-related pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. In particular, senescent cells have been shown to produce inflammatory cytokines and other pro-inflammatory molecules that can contribute to these conditions. On the other hand, ferroptosis has been linked to the development of various health disorders, including neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, and cancer . It is known to play a role in developing these diseases by promoting the death of damaged or diseased cells and contributing to the inflammation often associated with them. Both senescence and ferroptosis are complex processes that are still not fully understood. Further research is needed to thoroughly understand the role of these processes in ageing and disease, and to identify potential interventions to target these processes to prevent or treat age-related conditions. Objectives: This systematic review aims to assess the potential mechanisms underlying the link connecting senescence, ferroptosis, ageing, and disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0364.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: leptospirosis; dysbiosis; Weil's disease
Online: 21 November 2022 (03:26:33 CET)
Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease, causing about 60,000 deaths annually. One of the reasons for the severe course of leptospirosis is a cytokine storm, which develops as a result of an excessive immune response. The gut microbiota that resides in the gastrointestinal tract provides essential health benefits to its host, particularly by regulating immune homeostasis and a bidirectional relationship with many internal organs. A change in the gut microbiota can be caused not only by antibiotics, but also by infectious agents such as the coronavirus or the flu virus. It is known that L. interrogans can change the microbiota of mice. Thus, gut dysbiosis in leptospirosis can affect the clinical course of the disease, through the gut–organ axis. Modulation of intestinal microbiota by probiotics and/or fecal microbiota transplantation in leptospirosis may become an important area of scientific research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0256.v1
Online: 22 January 2020 (09:24:53 CET)
Pompe disease is a glycogen storage disease caused by a deficiency in acid α-glucosidase (GAA) – a hydrolase necessary for the degradation of lysosomal glycogen. This deficiency in GAA results in muscle and neuronal glycogen accumulation, which causes respiratory insufficiency. Pompe disease rodent models provide a means of assessing respiratory pathology and are important for pre-clinical studies of novel therapies that aim to treat respiratory dysfunction and improve quality of life. This review aims to compile and summarize existing manuscripts which characterize the respiratory phenotype of Pompe rodent models. Manuscripts included in this review were selected utilizing specific search terms and exclusion criteria. Analysis of these findings demonstrate that Pompe disease rodent models have respiratory physiological defects as well as pathologies in the diaphragm, tongue, phrenic and hypoglossal motor nucleus, phrenic and hypoglossal nerves, neuromuscular junctions, and airway smooth muscle and higher order respiratory control centers. Overall, the culmination of these pathologies contributes to severe respiratory dysfunction, underscoring the importance of characterizing the respiratory phenotype while developing effective therapies for patients.
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Hypoxia Inducible Factor; HIF; Ischemia; Hypoxia; Adaptation; Alzheimer’s Disease; Parkinson Disease; Neurodegeneration
Online: 26 February 2021 (15:34:31 CET)
Hypoxia is one of the most common pathological conditions which results from ischemic injury, trauma, inflammatory conditions, tumors, The adaptation of the body to hypoxia is a phenomenon that is of great importance both in normal conditions and in Most of the cellular response’ reactions to hypoxia is associated with a family of transcription factors called hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF). They induce the expression of a wide range of genes that help cells adapt to a hypoxic HIF functions are currently being extensively studied. In 2019, William G. Kaelin and Gregg Semenza from the USA and Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe from the UK received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the basic mechanisms of adaptation to hypoxia and investigation of the role of HIF factor in the regulation of the hormone erythropoietin Based on its pivotal physiological importance, the HIF factor attracts more and more attention as a new potential target for treating a large number of diseases associated with Most of the experimental work dealing with the HIF factor is focused on its role in liver and However, increasing amount of experimental results clearly demonstrates that the HIF factor-based response represents an universal adaptation mechanism for all kinds of tissues, including the nervous system where HIF is critical for regulating neurogenesis, nerve cell differentiation, and neuronal This review provides actual overview about the complex role of HIF-1 in the adaptation of nerve cells to hypoxia with the focus on its potential role by various neuronal
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0234.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis; Chytridiomycosis; Amphibian pathogen; Amphibian disease; Culex quinquefasciatus, vector-borne disease
Online: 26 March 2019 (10:01:02 CET)
The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease responsible for the worldwide decline of amphibian species. To mitigate these declines, it is necessary to identify the various vectors by which the fungus can be transmitted between individuals and populations. The objective of this study was to determine whether adult female mosquitoes can carry and transfer Bd fungal cells. Mosquitoes were exposed to net soaked in a live Bd zoospore suspension to determine whether they are able to externally acquire the fungus. Another group was placed into containers with a sterile and Bd-inoculated agar plate to determine whether mosquitoes could transfer Bd between these surfaces. Bd DNA was found to be present on mosquito legs exposed to inoculated netting and agar plates suggesting that Bd can be transmitted by the mosquito over short distances This is the first study to demonstrate that an insect host may be a mechanical vector of Bd and suggests that we should begin to consider the role of mosquitoes in the dissemination and control of the fungus.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0481.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: protein tau; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative disease; synaptic dysfunction; Aβ-peptides; tau-imaging
Online: 27 August 2018 (11:25:45 CEST)
One of the most commonly known chronic neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), manifests the common type of dementia in 60–80% of cases. From a clinical standpoint, a patent cognitive decline and a severe change in personality, as caused by a loss of neurons, is~usually evident in AD with about 50 million people affected in 2016. The disease progression in patients is distinguished by a gradual plummet in cognitive functions, eliciting symptoms such as memory loss, and eventually requiring full-time medical care. From a histopathological standpoint, the~defining characteristics are intracellular aggregations of hyper-phosphorylated tau protein, known as neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and depositions of amyloid β-peptides (Aβ) in the brain. The~abnormal phosphorylation of tau protein is attributed to a wide gamut of neurological disorders known as tauopathies. In addition to the hyperphosphorylated tau lesions, neuroinflammatory processes could occur in a sustained manner through astro-glial activation, resulting in the disease progression. Recent findings have suggested a strong interplay between the mechanism of Tau phosphorylation, disruption of microtubules, and synaptic loss and pathology of AD. The mechanisms underlying these interactions along with their respective consequences in Tau pathology are still ill-defined. Thus, in this review: (1) we highlight the interplays existing between Tau pathology and AD; and (2) take a closer look into its role while identifying some promising therapeutic advances including state of the art imaging~techniques.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0573.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Borrelia miyamotoi, Ixodes, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, reservoir species, tick-borne disease, vector
Online: 30 December 2022 (08:08:13 CET)
Borrelia miyamotoi is an emerging tick-borne pathogen in the Northern hemisphere and is the causative agent of Borrelia miyamotoi disease (BMD). B. miyamotoi is vectored by the same hard-bodied ticks as Lyme disease Borrelia, yet phylogenetically groups with relapsing fever Borrelia, and thus has been uniquely labeled a hard tick-borne relapsing fever Borrelia. Burgeoning research has uncovered new aspects of B. miyamotoi in human patients, nature, and the lab. Of particular interest are novel findings on disease pathology, prevalence, diagnostic methods, ecological maintenance, transmission, and genetic characteristics. Herein we review recent literature on B. miyamotoi, discuss how findings adapt to current Borrelia doctrines, and briefly consider what remains unknown about B. miyamotoi.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0352.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; Panama disease; epidemiology; disease impact; loss; yield; management.
Online: 15 July 2021 (10:12:43 CEST)
The effective management of Fusarium wilt of bananas (FW) depends on the knowledge of the disease dynamics in time and space. The objectives of this work were: To estimate disease intensity and impact, and to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamic of FW. Fields planted with Silk (n = 10), Pome (n = 17) or Cavendish (n = 3) banana subgroups were surveyed in Brazil, totaling 95 ha. In each field, all plants were visually assessed and diseased plants were georeferenced. The incidence of FW and the impact of the disease on yield on a regional scale were estimated. Spatial patterns were analyzed using quadrat- and distance-based methods. FW incidence ranged from 0.09 to 41.42%, being higher in Silk fields (median = 14.26%). Impacts of epidemics on yield ranged from 18.4 to 8,192.5 kg.ha-1.year-1, with a median of 935.2 kg.ha-1.year-1. The higher economic impact of the disease was observed on Silk cultivar with a median loss of US$ 910.5 ha-1.year-1. Overall, estimated losses increased on average by US$ 109.8 ha-1.year-1 at each 1% of incidence. Aggregation of FW was detected by all analytical methods in 13 fields (1 of Cavendish, 11 of Pome and 1 of Silk). In the other 17 fields, at least one analytical method did not reject the null hypothesis of randomness. One field (5 ha), composed of six plots, was selected for spatial and temporal studies during two years with bi-monthly assessments. A sigmoidal curve represented the FW progress and the Gompertz model best fitted disease progress. The level of aggregation varied over time, and evidence of secondary infection to neighboring and distant plants were detected. FW is a widespread problem in Brazil and yield losses can be of high magnitude. Epidemiology-based management strategies can now be better established.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0270.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: predation; spillover; transmission; disease ecology; cross-species transmission; pathogens; contact behavior; zoonotic disease
Online: 10 December 2020 (17:50:01 CET)
Predator-prey interactions present heightened opportunities for pathogen spillover, as predators are exposed to novel parasites through consumption of prey harboring potentially infectious agents. Epizootics with high morbidity and mortality have been recorded following prey-to-predator spillover events with significant conservation implications, particularly for sensitive species. However, relatively few virulent infections following prey consumption are reported, given the very large number of exposures that presumably occur. Further, many transmitted agents are infectious but clinically silent and thus go unrecognized. Mechanisms that determine outcome of predator exposure to prey-based pathogens therefore represent an important, understudied component of disease dynamics that should be considered in modeling approaches and empirical research to better understand disease risk and emergence, particularly in vulnerable or threatened species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0684.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Clinical application; dimethyl fumarate; disease; fumaric acid esters; oxidative stress; inflammation; Nrf2; disease
Online: 28 September 2020 (11:03:25 CEST)
Fumaric acid esters (FAEs) are small molecules with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is the best characterised FAE and is approved and registered for the treatment of psoriasis and Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). Psoriasis and RRMS share an immune-mediated aetiology, driven by severe inflammation and oxidative stress. DMF, as well as monomethyl fumarate and diroximel fumarate, are commonly prescribed first-line agents with favourable safety and efficacy profiles. The potential benefits of FAEs against other diseases that appear pathogenically different but share the pathologies of oxidative stress and inflammation are currently investigated.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: seaweed; metabolites; neuroprotection; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; ischemic stroke; computer-aided drug discovery
Online: 21 May 2020 (09:49:29 CEST)
Beyond their significant contribution to the dietary and industrial supplies, marine algae are considered to be a potential source of some unique metabolites with diverse health benefits. The pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol homeostasis, protein clearance and anti-amyloidogenic potentials of algal metabolites endorse their protective efficacy against oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and impaired proteostasis which are known to be implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders and the associated complications after cerebral ischemia and brain injuries. As was evident in various preclinical studies, algal compounds conferred neuroprotection against a wide range of neurotoxic stressors, such as oxygen/glucose deprivation, hydrogen peroxide, glutamate, amyloid β, or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and, therefore, hold therapeutic promise for brain disorders. While a significant number of algal compounds with promising neuroprotective capacity have been identified over the last decades, a few of them have had access to clinical trials. However, the recent approval of an algal oligosaccharide, sodium oligomannate, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease enlightened the future of marine algae-based drug discovery. In this review, we briefly outline the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries for identifying the targets of pharmacological intervention, and then review the literature on the neuroprotective potentials of algal compounds along with the underlying pharmacological mechanism, and present an appraisal on the recent therapeutic advances. We also propose a rational strategy to facilitate algal metabolites-based drug development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0407.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: glial cells; astrocytes; NG2 glia; microglia; oligodendrocytes; Alzheimer’s disease; neurodegenerative disease; Aβ-peptides
Online: 14 September 2018 (03:13:57 CEST)
Even though Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is of significant interest to the scientific community, its pathogenesis is very complicated and not well-understood. A great deal of progress has been made in AD research recently and with the advent of these new insights more therapeutic benefits may be identified that could help patients around the world. Much of the research in AD thus far has been very neuron-oriented; however, recent studies suggest that glial cells, i.e., microglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (NG2 glia), are linked to the pathogenesis of AD and may offer several potential therapeutic targets against AD. In addition to a number of other functions, glial cells are responsible for maintaining homeostasis (i.e., concentration of ions, neurotransmitters, etc.) within the central nervous system (CNS) and are crucial to the structural integrity of neurons. This review explores the: (i) role of glial cells in AD pathogenesis; (ii) complex functionalities of the components involved; and (iii) potential therapeutic targets that could eventually lead to a better quality of life for AD patients
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0442.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: microplastics; pathogens; disease modelling; transmission
Online: 28 October 2022 (07:09:27 CEST)
Marine wildlife and aquaculture species can accumulate large amounts of microplastic particles (<1 mm), threatening the health of marine populations and ecosystems and posing a risk to food safety and human health. The uptake of chemicals from microplastics seems to decrease the immune capacity of bivalves and corals to fight pathogenic bacteria, thereby increasing their vulnerability to disease. Moreover, major pathogens of bivalves, fish, and humans, including several Vibrio species, have been shown to be specifically enriched in the microbial communities adhered to marine microplastic debris (MMD). Microplastics can therefore serve as an important vector for and regulator of pathogen transmission and disease dynamics. Here, we outline a theoretical, three-perspective approach for studying the relationship between MMD and disease. First, we provide a framework for retrospective analysis of MMD and pathogen loads in marine animal tissues to assess the relationships between them, their bioaccumulation over time, and their relationship to other environmental variables. The results from such an analysis can be used to decide whether a compound or pathogen should be considered an emerging substance or organism. Second, we describe an experimental design for testing the effect of a variety of microplastics on in vivo pathogen removal (i.e., the phagocytic activity of hemocytes) and infection intensity in two study model species (oysters and zebrafish). Finally, we create a theoretical susceptible-infected microplastic particle and pathogen transmission model for bivalves and fish. Overall, the experiments and models we propose will pave the way for future research designed to assess the role of MMD as a vector for marine and human pathogens. This multi-faceted approach needs to be an urgent priority of the EU Strategic Research Innovation Agenda for addressing marine disease challenges related to MMD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0091.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; novel tetracycline; neuroprotection
Online: 3 August 2022 (12:08:08 CEST)
The antibiotic tetracycline demeclocycline (DMC) was recently reported to rescue α-synuclein (α-Syn) fibril-induced pathology. However, the antimicrobial activity of DMC precludes its po-tential use in long-term neuroprotective treatments. Here, we synthesized a DMC derivative with residual antibiotic activity and improved neuroprotective effects. The molecule, called de-rivative demeclocycline (DDMC), was obtained by the removal of both dimethylamino substitu-ents at position 4 and the reduction of the hydroxyl group at position 12a on ring A of DMC. The modifications strongly diminished its antibiotic activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, this compound preserved the low toxicity of DMC in dopaminergic cell lines while improving its ability to interfere with α-Syn amyloid-like aggregation, showing the highest effectiveness of all tetracyclines tested. Likewise, DDMC demonstrated the ability to reduce seeding induced by the exogenous addition of α-Syn preformed fibrils (α-SynPFF ) in ex vitro models and in SH-SY5Y-α-Syn-tRFP cells. In addition, in the presence of DDMC, α-SynPFF were less inflammogenic, as they dampened the release of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and glutamate by microglial cells compared to control fibrils. Our results suggest that DDMC may be a promising drug candidate for hit-to-lead development and preclinical studies in PD and other synucleinopathies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0302.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Neuroproteomics; Alzheimer’s disease biomarker; neurodegeneration
Online: 22 June 2022 (03:44:49 CEST)
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive decline. The two cardinal neuropathological hallmarks of AD include buildup of cerebral β amyloid (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of hyperphosphorylated tau. The current disease-modifying treatments are still not effective enough to lower the rate of cognitive decline. The paucity of early detection and disease progression biomarkers also seems to present a major obstacle to AD drug development. The current established readouts based on expression levels of amyloid beta, tau and phospho tau have shown many discrepancies in patient samples when linked to disease progression. There is an urgent need to identify diagnostic and disease progression biomarkers from blood, CSF or other biofluids that can facilitate early detection of the disease and provide pharmacodynamic readouts for new drugs being tested in clinical trials. Advances in proteomic approaches using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, are now being increasingly applied to study AD disease mechanisms, identify drug targets and novel disease biomarkers. In this report, we describe applications of the quantitative proteomic approaches for understanding AD pathophysiology, summarize the current knowledge gained from proteomic investigations of AD and discuss development and validation of new predictive and diagnostic disease biomarkers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0160.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Bibliometric; Parkinson’s Disease; Phenolic compound
Online: 12 May 2022 (07:58:20 CEST)
Objective: The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the 100 most cited articles on Parkinson's disease (PD) and phenolic compounds (PCs). Methods: Articles were selected in the Web of Science Core Collection up to January 2022 based on predetermined inclusion criteria, and the following bibliometric parameters were extracted: the number of citations, title, keywords, authors, year, study design, tested PC and therapeutic target. MapChart was used to create worldwide networks, and VOSviewer software was used to create bibliometric networks. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to identify the most researched PCs and therapeutic targets in PD. Results: The most cited article was also the oldest. The most recent article was published in 2020. Asia and China were the continent and the country with the most articles in the list (55% and 29%, respectively). In vitro studies were the most common experimental designs among the 100 most cited articles (46%). The most evaluated PC was epigallocatechin. Oxidative stress was the most studied therapeutic target. Conclusion: Despite the demonstrations in laboratorial studies, the results obtained point to the need for clinical studies to better elucidate this association.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0326.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: organic; conventional; potato; quality; disease
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:44:40 CEST)
Interest in organic foods is increasing at a moment when humanity is facing a range of health challenges including the concern that some conventionally produced foods may pose possible adverse effects on human and livestock health. With the increasing human population, intensive production is increasingly trending towards high-input systems that aim to close yield gaps, increase crop yields, and develop new crop varieties with higher yield potential and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, all within the context of incorporating specific traits to satisfy consumer demand. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the most consumed foods under different cultural diets, however its production faces some challenges related to soilborne diseases, marketable yield and quality, sugars and dry matter content of the produced tubers, tuber content in terms of nitrate, minerals, vitamins, bioactive compounds and antioxidants, and consumer appreciation regarding the sensory characteristics of tubers and processed products. Different studies have been investigating some of these challenges, with sometimes straightforward and sometimes connflicting results. This variability in research results indicates the general non-transferability of the results from one location to another under the same management practices in addition to differences in plant material. This review compares some characteristics of raw or boiled potato and processed products from potato tubers grown organically and conventionally. Ideally, such information may be of benefit in decision making by consumers in their dietary choices, by potato growers in their selection of crop management practices, and by scientists looking at potential areas for future research on potatoes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0672.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: aging; telomeres; senescence; mortality; disease
Online: 28 July 2020 (10:07:22 CEST)
The last 20 years have seen a surge in scientific activity and promising results in the study of aging and longevity. Many researchers have focused on telomeres, which are composed of a series of TTAGGG repeat nucleotide sequences at the ends of each chromosome. Measurements of the length of these telomere strands show that they decrease in length with increasing age, leading many authors to propose that when the length of these telomere strands decreases sufficiently, the cells enter into a state of replicative senescence, eventually leading to disease and death. These ideas are supported by evidence that short telomere length is correlated with increased mortality. In this paper, we extend this idea to make an actual calculation of the predicted mortality rate caused by short telomere length induced senescence (STLIS). We derive a simple equation for the mathematical relationship between telomere length and mortality rate. Using only 3 parameters based on telomere length measurement data of Canadians, we have calculated both the magnitude and the age dependence of the mortality rate, for both men and women. We show that these calculated data are in good quantitative agreement with the actual number of Canadians that die. This agreement provides strong evidence (but not proof) that the mechanism of STLIS plays an important role in the major diseases of aging (e.g., cardiovascular disease, many cancers, and diabetes mellitus) which dominate human mortality. This result represents significant progress in our understanding the factors behind the cause of aging.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0118.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: paediatric; immunology; infectious disease; gastroenterology
Online: 9 June 2020 (05:11:12 CEST)
Paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS) is a newly described condition. It has a spectrum of presentations related to hyperinflammation and cytokine storm. We report the first case of PIMS-TS in a child on established anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (anti-TNF-α) therapy; a 10 year-old girl with ulcerative colitis treated with infliximab. The patient had 6-weeks of daily fever with mucocutaneous, gastrointestinal, renal and hematologic involvement. Biomarkers of hyperinflammation were present including: hyperferritinaemia (up to 691 µ/L; normal 15-80 µg/L), C-reactive protein (CRP) (>100mg/L for >10 days, normal 0-5 mg/L), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) consistently >100mm/hr (normal 0-15 mm/hr), raised white cell count with neutrophilia, elevated D-dimer and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), anaemia and Mott cells on bone marrow analysis. Extensive investigations for alternative diagnoses for pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO) were negative. The condition was refractory to treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) but improved within 24hrs of high dose methylprednisolone. Infliximab treatment followed and the patient has remained well at follow up. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology for SARS-CoV-2 were negative. Current series report such negative findings in up to half of cases. The patient experienced a milder clinical phenotype without cardiac involvement, shock or organ failure. It is postulated that prior anti-TNF-α therapy attenuated the disease course. Infliximab therapy may interfere with serology testing and produce false negative results. This case supports the need for investigation into infliximab as primary therapy for PIMS-TS.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0406.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: unroofing curettage; Sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease; pilonidal sinus; complex pilonidal disease; lay open technique; recurrence
Online: 29 June 2022 (10:31:26 CEST)
Sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition with an incidence of 26:100,000 in the United States. However, its etiology and optimal treatment remain controversial. We included 129 and 74 patients with simple and complex sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease, respectively. The primary outcome was pilonidal sinus recurrence after unroofing curettage. Secondary outcomes were pain scores, time to return to work/school, and time to complete recovery. At a median follow-up of 53 months, the recurrence rate was 4.9% in all patients, not significantly higher in subjects with the complex disease. Duration of surgery (15.4 vs. 12.2 min), time to return to school/work (9.8 vs. 7.7 days), and complete healing time (44 vs. 36 days) were longer in patients with the complex disease. Postoperative complication rates, pain scores, and quality of life scores between the two groups did not differ. Unroofing curettage may be a good first-choice treatment for both simple and complex sacrococcygeal pilonidal disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0296.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: dapsone; disulfiram; chronic Lyme disease; Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome; babesia; bartonella; persisters; biofilms.
Online: 29 April 2022 (10:12:41 CEST)
Lyme disease and associated co-infections are increasing worldwide and approximately 20% of individuals develop chronic Lyme disease (CLD)/Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS) despite early antibiotics. A 7–8-week protocol of double dose dapsone combination therapy (DDDCT) for CLD/PTLDS results in symptom remission in approximately 50% of patients for one year or longer, with published culture studies indicating higher doses of dapsone demonstrate efficacy against resistant biofilm forms of Borrelia burgdorferi. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate higher doses of dapsone in the treatment of resistant CLD/PTLDS and associated co-infections. Twenty-five patients with a history of Lyme and associated co-infections, most of whom had ongoing symptoms despite several courses of DDDCT, took one or more courses of high dose pulsed dapsone combination therapy (200 mg dapsone X 3-4 days and/or 200 mg BID x 4 days), depending on persistent symptoms. The majority of patients noticed sustained improvement in 8 major Lyme symptoms, including fatigue, pain, headaches, neuropathy, insomnia, cognition, and sweating, where dapsone dosage, not just treatment length, positively affected outcomes. High dose pulsed dapsone combination therapy may represent a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of resistant CLD/PTLDS, and should be confirmed in randomized, controlled clinical trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0233.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: chronic kidney disease; gene polymorphism; angiotensin-converting enzyme; cardiovascular disease; cardiovascular mortality risk; genotype
Online: 26 April 2022 (10:05:25 CEST)
The association between angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion (ACE I/D) polymorphisms and plasma ACE levels may allow for the optimization of a preventive intervention to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the chronic kidney disease (CKD) population. In this study, we aimed to analyze the association between ACE I/D polymorphism and cardiovascular mortality risk among non-hemodialyzed chronic kidney disease patients. This cross-sectional study examined 70 patients of Javanese ethnic origin with stable CKD who did not receive hemodialysis. ACE I/D polymorphisms, plasma ACE levels, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk, and cardiovascular mortality risk were investigated. As per our findings, the I allele was found to be more frequent (78.6) than the D allele (21.4), and the DD genotype was less frequent than the II genotype (4.3 vs. 61.4). The ACE I/D polymorphism had a significant direct positive effect on plasma ACE levels (path coefficient = 0.302, p = 0.021). Similarly, plasma ACE levels had a direct and significant positive effect on the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (path coefficient = 0.410, p = 0.000). Moreover, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk had a significant positive effect on cardiovascular mortality risk (path coefficient = 0.918, p = 0.000). The ACE I/D polymorphism had no direct effect on ASCVD and cardiovascular mortality risk. However, our findings show that the indirect effects of high plasma ACE levels may be a factor in the increased risk of ASCVD and cardiovascular mortality in Javanese CKD patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0363.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Platelet; ACKR3/CXCR7; Thrombosis; Thrombo-inflammation; Anti-platelet therapy; Cardiovascular disease; Coronary artery disease
Online: 22 December 2021 (12:27:01 CET)
The manifold actions of the pro-inflammatory and regenerative chemokine CXCL12/SDF-1α are executed through the canonical GProteinCoupledReceptor CXCR4, and the non-canonical ACKR3/CXCR7. Platelets express CXCR4, ACKR3/CXCR7, and are a vital source of CXCL12/SDF-1α themselves. In recent years, a regulatory impact of the CXCL12-CXCR4-CXCR7 axis on platelet biogenesis i.e. megakaryopoiesis, thrombotic and thrombo-inflammatory ac-tions have been revealed through experimental and clinical studies. Platelet surface expression of ACKR3/CXCR7 is significantly enhanced following myocardial infarction (MI) in acute coro-nary syndrome (ACS) patients, also associated with improved functional recovery and progno-sis. The therapeutic implications of ACKR3/CXCR7 in myocardial regeneration and improved recovery following an ischemic episode, are well documented. Cardiomyocytes, cardi-ac-fibroblasts, endothelial lining of the blood vessels perfusing the heart, besides infiltrating platelets and monocytes, all express ACKR3/CXCR7. This review recapitulates ligand induced differential trafficking of platelet CXCR4-ACKR3/CXCR7 affecting their surface availability, and in regulating thrombo-inflammatory platelet functions and survival through CXCR4 or ACKR3/CXCR7. It emphasizes the pro-thrombotic influence of CXCL12/SDF-1α exerted through CXCR4, as opposed to the anti-thrombotic impact of ACKR3/CXCR7. Offering an innovative translational perspective, this review also discusses the advantages and challenges of utilizing ACKR3/CXCR7 as a potential anti-thrombotic strategy in platelet associated cardiovascular dis-orders, particularly in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients post-MI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0222.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ocular surface disease; dry eye disease; antioxidant; Xanthohumol; drug delivery; drug formulation; PLGA; nanoparticles
Online: 8 April 2021 (09:09:24 CEST)
Elevated levels of oxidative stress in the corneal epithelium contribute to the progression of dry eye disease pathology. Previous studies have shown that antioxidant therapeutic intervention is a promising avenue to reduce disease burden and slow disease progression. In this study, we evaluated the pharmacological efficacy of Xanthohumol in preclinical models for dry eye disease. Xanthohumol is a naturally occurring prenylated chalconoid that promotes the transcription of phase II antioxidant enzymes. Xanthohumol exerted a dose-response in preventing tert-butylhydroxide-induced loss of cell viability in human corneal epithelial (HCE-T) cells and resulted in a significant increase in expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), the master regulator of the endogenous antioxidant system. Xanthohumol-encapsulating poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (PLGA NP) were cytoprotective against oxidative stress in vitro, and significantly reduced corneal fluorescein staining in the mouse desiccating stress/ scopolamine model for dry eye disease in vivo by reducing oxidative stress-associated DNA damage in corneal epithelial cells. PLGA NP represent a safe and efficacious drug delivery vehicle for hydrophobic small molecules to the ocular surface. Optimization of NP-based antioxidant formulations with the goal to minimize instillation frequency may represent future therapeutic options for dry eye disease and related ocular surface disease.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: periodontal disease; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; exercise; clinical trial; oral microbiota; saliva components
Online: 14 January 2021 (13:13:47 CET)
Exercise can be hypothesized to play an important role in NAFLD treatment by changing the oral bacterial flora and in the mechanism underlying periodontal disease. We performed salivary component analysis before and after an exercise regimen, and genome analysis of the oral bacterial flora to elucidate the underlying mechanism. Obese middle-aged men with NAFLD and periodontal disease were allocated to 12-week exercise (n=49) or dietary restriction (n=21) groups. We collected saliva to compare the oral microflora; performed predictive analysis of metagenomic functions; and measured the salivary immunoglobulin A, cytokine, bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and lactoferrin concentrations. The exercise group showed improvements in clinical indices of oral environment. Salivary component analysis revealed significant reductions in LPS, and lactoferrin during the exercise regimen. Diversity analysis of oral bacterial flora revealed higher alpha- and beta-diversity after the exercise regimen. Analysis of the microbial composition revealed that the numbers of Campylobacter (+83.9%), Corynebacterium (+142.3%), Actinomyces (+75.9%), and Lautropia (+172.9%) were significantly higher and that of Prevotella (−28.3%) was significantly lower. The findings suggest that an exercise regimen improves the oral environment of NAFLD patients by increasing the diversity of the oral microflora and reducing the number of periodontal bacteria that produce LPS and its capability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0103.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: climate change; vector-borne disease; artificial intelligence; explainable AI; geospatial modeling; infectious disease; arbovirus
Online: 4 September 2020 (12:21:32 CEST)
As recent history has shown, changing climate not only threatens to increase the spread of known disease, but also the emergence of new and dangerous phenotypes. This occurred most recently with West Nile virus: a virus previously known for mild febrile illness rapidly emerged to become a major cause of mortality and long-term disability throughout the world. As we move forward, into increasingly uncertain times, public health research must begin to incorporate a broader understanding of the determinants of disease emergence – what, how, why, and when. The increasing mainstream availability of high-quality open data and high-powered analytical methods presents promising new opportunities. Up to now, quantitative models of disease outbreak risk have been largely based on just a few key drivers, namely climate and large-scale climatic effects. Such limited assessments, however, often overlook key interacting processes and downstream determinants more likely to drive local manifestation of disease. Such pivotal determinants may include local host abundance, human behavioral variability, and population susceptibility dynamics. The results of such analyses can therefore be misleading in cases where necessary downstream requirements are not fulfilled. It is therefore important to develop models that include climate and higher-level climatic effects alongside the downstream non-climatic factors that ultimately determine individual disease manifestation. Today, few models attempt to comprehensively address such dynamics: up until very recently, the technology simply hasn’t been available. Herein, we present an updated overview of current perspectives on the varying drivers and levels of interactions that drive disease spread. We review the predominant analytical paradigms, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and highlight promising new analytical solutions. Our focus is on the prediction of arboviruses, particularly West Nile virus, as these diseases represent the pinnacle of epidemiological complexity – solution to which would serve as an effective “gatekeeper”. We present the current state-of-the-art with respect to known drivers of arbovirus outbreak risk and severity, differentially highlighting the impact of climate and non-climatic drivers. The reality of multiple classes of drivers interacting at different geospatial and temporal scales requires advanced new methodologies. We therefore close out by presenting and discussing some promising new applications of AI. Given the reality of accelerating disease risks due to climate change, public health and other related fields must begin the process of updating their research programs to incorporate these much needed, new capabilities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0137.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Lysosomal Storage Disorders; GM2 gangliosidoses; Tay-Sachs disease; Sandhoff disease; β-Hexosaminidases; Therapeutic alternatives
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:05:13 CEST)
GM2 gangliosidoses are a group of pathologies characterized by GM2 ganglioside accumulation into the lysosome due to mutations on the genes encoding for the β-hexosaminidases subunits or the GM2 activator protein. Three GM2 gangliosidoses have been described: Tay-Sachs disease, Sandhoff disease, and the AB variant. Central nervous system dysfunction is the main characteristic of GM2 gangliosidoses patients that include neurodevelopment alterations, neuroinflammation, and neuronal apoptosis. Currently, there is not approved therapy for GM2 gangliosidoses, but different therapeutic strategies have been studied including hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, enzyme replacement therapy, substrate reduction therapy, pharmacological chaperones, and gene therapy. The blood-brain barrier represents a challenge for the development of therapeutic agents for these disorders. In this sense, alternative routes of administration (e.g. intrathecal or intracerebroventricular) have been evaluated, as well as the design of fusion peptides that allow the protein transport from the brain capillaries to the central nervous system. In this review, we outline the current knowledge about clinical and physiopathological findings of GM2 gangliosidoses, as well as the ongoing proposals to overcome some limitations of the traditional alternatives by using novel strategies such as molecular Trojan horses or advanced tools of genome editing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0611.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: Lysosomal Disorders; Glycogen storage disease Type II; Pompe disease; LOPD; Pregnancy; Enzyme Replacement Therapy
Online: 25 July 2020 (15:48:01 CEST)
There is limited data on pregnancy outcomes in Pompe Disease (PD) resulting from deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase. Late-onset PD is characterized by progressive proximal muscle weakness and decline of respiratory function secondary to the involvement of the respiratory muscles. In a cohort of twenty-five females, the effects of both PD on the course of pregnancy and the effects of pregnancy on PD were investigated. Reproductive history, course of pregnancy, use of Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), PD symptoms, and outcomes of each pregnancy were obtained through a questionnaire. Among 20 subjects that reported one or more pregnancies, one subject conceived while on ERT and continued therapy through two normal pregnancies with worsening of weakness during pregnancy and improvement postpartum. While fertility was not affected, pregnancy may worsen symptoms, or cause initial symptoms to arise. Complications with pregnancy or birth were not higher, except for an increase in the rate of stillbirths (3.8% compared to the national average of 0.2-0.7%). Given small sample size and possible bias of respondents being only women who have been pregnant, further data may be needed to better analyze the effects of pregnancy on PD, and the effects of ERT on pregnancy outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0308.v5
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-Cov-2; Mortality rate; Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Respiratory disease; Diabetes; Kidney diseases; April; May
Online: 3 June 2020 (05:49:12 CEST)
Covid-19 has given a halt to all the activities in the world. Europe was most affected, followed by the United States of America. It has taken more than 350000 lives until now. In this study, we have assessed the severity of Covid-19 by analyzing the mortality rate of Covid-19 and other chronic diseases. The Covid-19 data and “death rate” data caused by other diseases were downloaded from the world health organization (WHO) website. A normalized method was used to see the mortality rate of Covid-19 in comparison to other diseases. The deaths caused by Covid-19 in April 2020 have overtaken the average number of deaths caused by Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases in Belgium, the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, France, and Ireland. Covid-19 was found to be strongly correlated with non-communicable respiratory diseases and Cancer with correlation coefficients 0.73 and 0.67 respectively. The severity of Covid-19 in the United States of America (USA) was moderate. The severity of Covid-19 in Asian countries was found to be low. Europe showed the highest diversity in the mortality rate of Covid-19. On average, except for a few European countries, Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and non-communicable respiratory diseases were still more lethal and caused more deaths than Covid-19.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: One Health; zoonotic disease; zoonotic disease control; anthrax; brucellosis; rabies; rift valley fever; zoonotic influenza
Online: 24 September 2021 (14:19:16 CEST)
Effectively preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases requires a One Health approach that involves collaboration across sectors responsible for human health, animal health (both domestic and wildlife), and the environment, as well as other partners. Here we describe the Generalizable One Health Framework (GOHF), a five-step framework that provides structure for using a One Health approach in zoonotic disease programs being implemented at the local, sub-national, national, regional, or international level. Part of the framework is a toolkit that compiles existing resources and presents them following a stepwise schematic, allowing users to identify relevant resources as they are required. Coupled with recommendations for implementing a One Health approach for zoonotic disease prevention and control in technical domains including laboratory, surveillance, preparedness and response, this framework can mobilize One Health and thereby enhance and guide capacity building to combat zoonotic disease threats at the human-animal-environment interface.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0602.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: epigenetic mechanisms of disease; fetal programming; obstructive sleep apnea; DNA methylation; histone modifications; chronic disease
Online: 27 July 2021 (11:45:08 CEST)
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has significant negative effects on health and behavior in childhood including depression, failure to thrive, neurocognitive impairment, and behavioral issues. It is strongly associated with an increased risk for chronic adult disease such as obesity and diabetes, accelerated atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction. Accumulating evidence suggests that adult-onset non-communicable diseases may originate from early life through a process by which an insult applied at a critical developmental window causes long-term effects on the structure or function of an organism. Recently, much attention has been paid to the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of adult disease susceptibility. Epigenetic mechanisms that influence adaptive variability include histone modifications, non-coding RNAs, and DNA methylation. This review will highlight what is currently known about the phenotypic associations of epigenetic modifications in pediatric OSA and will emphasize the importance of epigenetic changes as both modulators of chronic disease and potential therapeutic targets.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0783.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: ursolic acid; oleanolic acid; neuroprotection; ischaemia; neurodegeneration; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; neuro-inflammation; cancer; glioblastoma
Online: 31 March 2021 (16:17:04 CEST)
Ursolic and oleanolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that are known to be involved in the plant defence system against water loss and pathogens. Nowadays these triterpenoids are also regarded as potential pharmaceutical compounds and there is mounting experimental data that either purified compounds or triterpenoid-enriched plant extracts exert various beneficial effects, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anticancer, on model systems of both human or animal origin. Some of those effects have been linked to the ability of ursolic and oleanolic acids to modulate intracellular antioxidant systems and also inflammation- and cell death-related pathways. Therefore, our aim was to review the current knowledge about the distribution of ursolic and oleanolic acids in plants, bioavailability and pharmacokinetic properties of these triterpenoids and their derivatives, and to discuss their neuromodulatory effects in vitro and in vivo.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0100.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: neurodegenerative disease; protein misfolding; glacial; lakes; montmorillonite; bentonite; mineral; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; ALS; Parkinson’s disease
Online: 6 July 2020 (09:11:18 CEST)
Scientists have observed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease clusters around certain lakes in the regions of northern New England and northern Ohio. A Parkinson’s disease cluster has also been observed in Vancouver. Cyanobacteria toxin exposure has been considered as a potential risk factor to explain this association. It is reported here that these regions have several commonalities in their environment, including a notable geologic history, the presence of abundant glacial sediments, and possible mineral and bentonite exposures. The possible association with and significance of these risk factors in ALS and Parkinson’s disease is discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0137.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: almonds; lipids; heart disease; cardiovascular disease; nuts; dyslipidaemia; cholesterol; low density lipoprotein; high density lipoprotein
Online: 21 November 2017 (05:40:00 CET)
Background: Several preventive strategies to reduce dyslipidaemia, have been suggested of which dietary modification features as an important one. Addition of almonds in our daily diets has been proposed to beneficially impact the lipid profile. This review critically examines the available evidence assessing the effect of almonds on dyslipidaemia in the South Asian (particularly Indian) context. Methods: An extensive review comprising of epidemiological studies, clinical trials, meta-analyses and systematic reviews was conducted from published literature from across the world. Studies examining the effect of almonds on different aspects of dyslipidaemia viz. high LDL-C, low HDL-C, triglyceridaemia, high total cholesterol levels have been included. Results: Dyslipidaemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and strategies to manage dyslipidaemia have been shown to reduce the incidence of CVD. Although there are proven pharmacological therapies to help manage this condition, there are not many nutritional interventions which can impact dyslipidaemia. Almonds have been shown to reduce LDL-C which is a known risk factor for CHD, in several studies and the effect of almonds has been well documented in systematic reviews and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Conclusions: Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only to reduce LDL-C levels, but also to maintain HDL-C levels. This review informs about the use of this simple nutritional strategy which may help manage known major risk factors for heart disease such as high LDL-C and low HDL-C levels especially in the context of South Asians.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0460.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: multiepitope; recombinant protein; immunodiagnosis; Chagas disease
Online: 26 December 2022 (02:17:58 CET)
Background: Chagas disease is still a neglected disease considered a public health problem. Early diagnosis of cases is important to improve the prognosis of infected patients and prevent transmission. Serological tests are the method of choice for diagnosis. However, two serological tests are currently recommended to confirm positive cases. In this sense, more sensitive and specific serological tests need to be developed to overcome the problems currently faced. This study aimed to develop a new recombinant multiepitope protein for the diagnosis of Chagas disease, hereafter named rTC. Methods: The rTC was constructed based on amino acid sequences from different combinations of Trypanossoma cruzi antigens in the same polypeptide and tested in ELISA for detecting different Chagas disease. Results: rTC1 was able to discriminate between indeterminate (IND) and cardiac (CARD) cases and cross-reactive diseases, and healthy samples, with 96.6% sensitivity and 97.96% specificity, respectively. Conclusion: These data suggest a preliminary study that rTC1 has the po-tential to be tested in future studies against a larger serological panel for the diagnosis of Chagas disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0480.v1
Online: 29 August 2022 (09:36:50 CEST)
Background. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the main cause of disabilities over the industrialized countries. Cognitive decline appears in the chronic phase of the pathology consecutively to cellular and molecular processes. Here we described the use of KCC2, a neuronal-specific potassium-chloride transporters as potent biomarker to predict cognitive dysfunctions after TBI. Methods. Using neuronal and total exosomes collection from blood serum in control and TBI subjects we were able to anticipate the decline of cognitive performance. Results. After TBI, we observed a significative and persistant loss of KCC2 expression in the blood exosomes that is correlated to changes in network activity and cellular processes such as secondary neurogenesis. Also we correlated this KCC2 loss in expression to the appearance of the cognitive decline observed in mice and more particularly we correlate the KCC2 loss of expression to the appearance of the depressive-like behavior. Conclusion. According to our protocol, we were able to confirm our previous findings in agreement with the potential therapeutic effect of bumetanide in the prevention of the post traumatic depression after TBI, by restoring the KCC2 expression thus preventing the massive neuronal death of interneurons and the secondary neurogenesis effect observed in such model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0097.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Cardiovascular Disease; Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning
Online: 6 July 2022 (10:32:15 CEST)
The pervasiveness of cardiovascular disease and physician misdiagnosis creates the urgent need for artificial intelligence models to improve diagnosis accuracy. The first objective of this study was to train machine learning models on publicly available data sets containing simple medical information of patients to diagnose cardiovascular disease. The Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) assembled for this task performed optimally with an F1 score of 0.8968. This prompted the creation of an open-source, automated cardiovascular disease diagnosis tool, powered by the MLP. The second objective of this study was to employ a meta-learning methodology called Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME) to understand the impact of different features on the model's diagnosis in the form of marginal probabilities. K-Means Clustering was employed to segment the data into ten clusters, after which each data example was passed through LIME. The resulting histograms depict the complex relationship between feature, cluster, and impact on diagnosis. A series of P-values with contrasting orders of magnitude shows the nuances in the MLP's understanding of patients from different clusters. The results of meta-learning analysis reveal that the most important features for cardiovascular disease diagnosis are fasting blood sugar, type of chest pain, and slope of the ST segment on an electrocardiogram. Future experiments should replicate the novel methodology introduced in this study on data sets containing more specialized medical features in order to gain practical medical insights about different types of cardiovascular disease represented by each cluster. Finally, feature engineering pathways should be explored with consideration of these results to create versatile diagnosis models not only for cardiovascular disease, but adaptable to other diseases as well.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0308.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: prion disease; biomarkers; diagnosis; dementia; neurodegeneration
Online: 24 February 2022 (10:00:00 CET)
Prion diseases are progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorders with a low incidence (1.5–2 cases per million per year). Genetic (10-15%), acquired (anecdotal) and sporadic (85%) forms of the disease have been described. The clinical spectrum of prion diseases is very varied, although the most common symptoms are rapidly progressive dementia, cerebellar ataxia and myoclonus. Mean life expectancy from the onset of symptoms is 6 months. There are currently diagnostic criteria based on clinical phenotype as well as neuroimaging biomarkers (magnetic resonance imaging), neurophysiological tests (electroencephalogram and polysomnogram) and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers (14-3-3 protein and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC)). The sensitivity and specificity of some of these tests (electroencephalogram and 14-3-3 protein) is under debate and the applicability of other tests such as RT-QuIC is not universal. However, the usefulness of these biomarkers beyond the most frequent prion disease, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, remains unclear. Therefore, research is being carried out on new, more efficient cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers (total tau, ratio total tau/phosphorylated tau and neurofilament light chain) and potential blood biomarkers (neurofilament light chain among others) to try to universalize access to early diagnosis in the case of prion diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0157.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Microbiome; Cattle; Johne’s disease; Dysbiosis; Mastitis
Online: 8 November 2021 (15:17:16 CET)
: Cattle farming is an ancient practice, with roots in the early Neolithic era that has retained its status in the food industry today, with global beef market revenue amounting to $385.7B, as of 2018. Hence, cattle maintenance is naturally essential to cater to nutritional requirements of modern civilization. This extensive review aims to provide a holistic overview of cattle microbiome, analysing the native microbial composition within respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive tract, and skin. The dysbiosis associated with various diseases such as bovine respiratory disease, bovine digital dermatitis, mastitis, Johne's disease, uterine diseases (metritis and endometritis) and metabolic disorders (ruminal acidosis and ketosis) has been discussed. Moreover, various non-antibiotic microbial therapies including phage therapy, prebiotics and probiotics have been examined as potential means to reduce disease-associated dysbiosis. In general, this review highlights the importance of the microbiome in maintenance of health in cattle and its potential in alleviating bovine diseases, with an aim to enhance cattle health and production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0082.v1
Online: 3 November 2021 (14:08:46 CET)
PSD-95 (Dlg4) is an ionotropic glutamate receptor scaffolding protein essential in synapse stability and neurotransmission. PSD-95 levels are reduced during aging and in neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease (HD), and it is believed to contribute to synaptic dysfunction and behavioral deficits. However, the mechanism responsible for PSD-95 dysregulation under these conditions is unknown. The Heat Shock transcription Factor 1 (HSF1), canonically known for its role in protein homeostasis, is also depleted in both aging and HD. Synaptic protein levels, including PSD-95, are influenced by alterations in HSF1 levels and activity, but the direct regulatory relationship between PSD-95 and HSF1 has yet to be determined. Here, we showed that HSF1 chronic or acute depletion in cell lines and mice decreased PSD-95 expression. Furthermore, HSF1(+/-) mice had reduced PSD-95 synaptic puncta that paralleled a loss in thalamo-striatal excitatory synapses, an important circuit disrupted early in HD. We demonstrated that HSF1 binds to regulatory elements present in the PSD-95 gene and directly regulates PSD-95 expression. HSF1 DNA-binding on the PSD-95 gene was disrupted in an age-dependent manner in WT mice and worsened in HD cells and mice, leading to reduced PSD-95 levels. These results demonstrate a direct role of HSF1 in synaptic gene regulation that has important implications in synapse maintenance in basal and pathological conditions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0359.v1
Online: 21 September 2021 (12:01:29 CEST)
Our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis has developed with several hypotheses over the last 40 years, including the Amyloid and Tau hypotheses, respectively. More recently, the p53 protein, well-known as ‘the guardian of the genome,’ has gained attention for its role in the early evolution of AD. This is due to p53’s central role in the control of oxidative stress and potential involvement in both Amyloid and Tau pathways. p53 is commonly regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), which affect its conformation, increasing its capacity to adopt multiple structural and functional states, including those that can influence several processes in AD. The following review will explore the impact of p53 post-translational modifications (PTMs) on its function and consequential involvement in AD pathogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0379.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Population screening; eye disease; prevalence; awareness
Online: 16 July 2021 (14:36:36 CEST)
Background and Objectives: Vision impairments and related blindness are major public health problems. Prevalence of eye disease and barriers to optimal care markedly vary among different geographic areas. In the Abruzzo region (Central Italy), an epidemiological surveillance on the state of ocular health in the population aged over 50 years was performed in 2019. Materials and Methods: Participants were sampled to be representative of the region inhabitants. Data were collected through a telephone interview and an eye examination. Prevalence of cataract, glaucoma, retinopathy, maculopathy was assessed. The Cohen’s kappa (k) was used to measure the agreement between presence of eye disease and awareness of the disease by the participants. Results: Overall, 983 people with mean age of 66.0±9.5 years were included in the study. The prevalence of cataract, glaucoma, maculopathy, and retinopathy was 52.6%, 5.3%, 5.6%, and 29.1%, respectively. Among the total of affected people, those aware of their condition were 21.8% (k=0.12, slight agreement) for cataract, 65.4% (k=0.78, substantial agreement) for glaucoma, 7.1% (k=0.10, slight agreement) for maculopathy, and 0% for retinopathy (k=-0.004, agreement lower than that expected by chance). Refractive defects were corrected in the vast majority of participants. Conclusion: In the Abruzzo region, about two third of citizens aged 50 years or over suffer from cataract, glaucoma, retinopathy or maculopathy, which are recognized as leading causes of blindness. Many people with eye disease do not know they have it. These data can be used by clinicians and policymakers to undertake clinical, political, and social actions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0573.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Antioxidants; resveratrol; MitoQ; SkQ; neurodegenerative disease
Online: 25 February 2021 (10:22:18 CET)
Growing evidence from neurodegenerative disease research supports an early pathogenic role for mitochondrial dysfunction in affected neurons that precedes morphological and functional deficits. Resulting oxidative stress and respiratory malfunction contribute to neuronal toxicity and may enhance the vulnerability of neurons to continued assault by aggregation-prone proteins. Consequently, targeting mitochondria with antioxidant therapy may be a non-invasive, inexpensive, and viable means of strengthening neuronal health and slowing disease progression, thereby extending quality of life. We review the pre-clinical and clinical findings available to date of the natural bioactive phenol resveratrol and two synthetic mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants MitoQ and SkQ.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0352.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Graves’ disease; autoimmunity; dendritic cells; methimazole
Online: 14 December 2020 (15:50:00 CET)
Graves’ disease (GD) is hyperthyroidism associated with organ-specific autoimmune inflammation. GD occurs more frequently in adults than in children, however, pediatric patients are a therapeutic challenge due to cycles of remissions and relapses requiring constant monitoring at every stage of treatment administered. Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered a link between innate and adaptive immunity. DCs as antigen-presenting cells (APCs) are involved in antigen presentation to T lymphocytes, thereby, initiate shift towards effector cells. In accordance, DCs participates also in the modulation of tolerance to specific antigens. To date, the data on DC role in Graves’ pathological processes are scarce. Therefore, here we evaluated frequencies and role of circulating DCs in GD pediatric patients treated with methimazole. Flow cytometric analysis was implemented to evaluate mDC1, mDC2 and pDC cells and their correlation with clinical GD-related parameters. We found significantly higher levels of DC subsets in patients at admission. Furthermore, methimazole treatment seemed to effectively reduce subsets of DCs which, in addition, were found to differentialy correlate with thyroid function. Our study shed a new light on DCs role in pediatric GD pathomechanism. Further studies are required for mechanistic assessment of DCs exact role in disease progression and influence on thyroid function.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0079.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Mitochondria; Alzheimer’s Disease; mitophagy; neurodegeneration; aging
Online: 3 December 2020 (10:36:29 CET)
Stress mechanisms have long been associated with neuronal loss and neurodegenerative diseases. The origin of cell stress and neuronal loss likely stems from multiple pathways. These include (but are not limited to) bioenergetic failure, neuroinflammation, and loss of proteostasis. Cells have adapted compensatory mechanisms to overcome stress and circumvent death. One mechanism is mitophagy. Recent studies have implicated mitophagy in several neurodegenerative diseases and clinical trials are underway which target mitophagy pathways. Here, we review mitophagy pathways, the role of mitophagy in neurodegeneration, potential therapeutics, and the need for further study.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0115.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Celiac disease; Early programming; Perinatal nutrition
Online: 6 October 2020 (09:49:37 CEST)
Experimental and epidemiological evidence has shown that modifications of the intrauterine environment can have deleterious consequences for individuals, expressed as an increased risk of suffering non-communicable pathologies in adult life, which is known as the hypothesis of the early origin of diseases or programming fetal. On the other hand, changes in gene expression patterns through epigenetic modifications can be the basis for long-term maintenance of the effects of fetal programming. In this sense, epigenetics comprises the study of intrauterine disturbances, which develop diseases in the adult, including Celiac Disease (CD). In addition, early feeding practices could influence the risk of CD development, such as breastfeeding timing and duration and age at gluten introduction in the diet. Gluten acts as a trigger for CD in genetically predisposed subjects, although approximately 30% of the world population has HLA DQ2 or DQ8, the prevalence of the disease is only 1-3%. It is not known what factors act to modify the risk of disease in genetically at risk subjects. Taking into account all these considerations, the aim of the current review is to elucidate the role of early programming and the effect of early nutrition on the development and progression of CD.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0688.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: lung disease; pulmonary embolis; circulating anticoagulant
Online: 31 August 2020 (03:26:55 CEST)
The quarantine imposed as the response to the COVID 19 pandemic has been related to an increase in cases of thromboembolism in Non-COVID19 patients .We report the case of a patient with pulmonary thromboembolism without usual triggering causes during the quarantine period, related to a previously undiagnosed hypercoagulable condition.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0475.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; disease severity; comorbid conditions
Online: 21 August 2020 (07:47:44 CEST)
Results: A total of 6270 individuals were assessed (1615 severe and 4655 non-severe patients). The median age was 63 (95% CI: 49-74) and 47 (95% CI: 19-63) years in the severe and non-severe groups, respectively. Moreover, about 41% of patients had comorbidities. Severity was higher in patients with history of cerebrovascular disease: OR 4.85 (95% CI: 3.11-7.57). The odds of being in severe group increase by 4.81(95% CI: 3.43-6.74) for history of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This was 4.19 (95% CI: 2.84-6.19) for chronic lung disease and 3.18, 95% CI: 2.09-4.82 for cancer .The odds ratio of a diabetes and hypertension were 2.61 (95% CI: 2.02-3.3), and 2.37( 95% CI: 1.80-3.13) respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0567.v1
Online: 23 July 2020 (13:12:36 CEST)
Exercise training influences the risk of vascular thrombosis in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Mitochondrial functionalities in platelets involve the cellular bioenergetics and thrombogenesis. This study aimed to elucidate the effect of cycling exercise training (CET) on platelet mitochondrial bioenergetics in PAD patients. Forty randomly selected patients with PAD engaged in general rehabilitation (GR) with CET (i.e., cycling exercise at ventilation threshold for 30 min/day, 3 days/week) (GR+CET, n=20) or to a control group that only received GR course (n=20) for 12 weeks. Systemic aerobic capacity and platelet mitochondrial bioenergetics that included oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and electron transport system (ETS) were measured using automatic gas analysis and high-resolution respirometry, respectively. The experimental results demonstrated that GR+CET for 12 weeks significantly (i) elevated VO2peak and lowered VE-VCO2 slope, (ii) raised resting ankle-brachial index and enhanced cardiac output response to exercise, (iii) increased the distance in 6-minute walk test and raised the Short Form-36 physical/mental component scores, and (iv) enhanced capacities of mitochondrial OXPHOS and ETS in platelets by activating FADH2 (Complex II)-dependent pathway. Moreover, changes in VO2peak levels were positively associated with changes in platelet OXPHOS and ETS capacities. However, no significant changes in systemic aerobic capacity, platelet mitochondrial bioenergetics, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) occurred following GR alone. Hence, we conclude that CET effectively increases the capacities of platelet mitochondrial bioenergetics by enhancing Complex II activity in patients with PAD. Moreover, the exercise regimen also enhanced functional exercise capacity, consequently improving HRQoL in PAD patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0181.v1
Online: 9 July 2020 (10:49:11 CEST)
Given the pace of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and its relatively high mortality rate, COVID-19, has the potential to become the most severe pandemic in recent times. This virus’s spread across international borders has triggered different responses in countries around the globe with a spectrum of mild, moderate to severe outcomes. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with many densely populated cities, presents a unique situation for the explosive spread of SARS-CoV-2. However, at the point of this writing, the number of reported confirmed infection and mortality is comparatively lower to other countries with dense urban populations. The exact reasons for this are not clear but include societal, political and infrastructural factors that will influence the course of the outbreak in Nigeria. In this perspective, we have described the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and its associated peculiarities. We identify critical steps that remain to be taken to contain and control the outbreak in Nigeria.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0168.v1
Online: 10 May 2020 (14:48:23 CEST)
Trees provide key ecosystem services, but the health and sustainability of these plants is under increasing biotic and abiotic threat, including from the growing incidences of non-native invasive plant pests (including pathogens). The island of Ireland (Ireland and Northern Ireland) is generally accepted to have a high plant health status, in part due to its island status and because of the national and international regulations aimed at protecting plant health. To establish a baseline of the current pest threats to tree health for the island of Ireland, the literature and unpublished sources were reviewed to produce a dataset of pests of trees on the island of Ireland. The dataset contains 396 records of pests of trees on the island of Ireland, the majority of pests being arthropods and fungi, and indicating potentially more than 44 non-native pest introductions. The reliability of many (378) of the records was judged to be high, therefore the dataset provides a robust assessment of the state of pests of trees recorded on the island of Ireland. We analyse this dataset and review the history of plant pest invasions, including (i) discussion on notable native and non-native pests of trees, (ii) pest interceptions at borders and (iii) pests and climate change. The dataset establishes an important baseline for the knowledge of plant pests on the island of Ireland, and will be a valuable resource for future plant health research and policy making.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0355.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: vitamin D; ACE2; diabetes; cardiovascular disease
Online: 20 April 2020 (01:37:43 CEST)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus which causes respiratory illness. Older adults and people who have previous chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.Hypovitaminosis D is attributed to the increased risk of lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as well as diabetes, Cardiovascular event and associated comorbidities, which are the main causes of severe clinical problem in COVID-19 patients. Considering the protective role of vitamin D through modulating the innate and adaptive immune system as well as inhibition of Renin Angiotensin System (RAS), vitamin D supplementation might boost the immune system of COVID-19 patients and reduce severity of the disease in vitamin D deficient individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0388.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: celiac disease; gut microbiota; mendelian randomization
Online: 26 March 2020 (14:08:31 CET)
Celiac disease (CeD) is a complex immune-mediated inflammatory condition triggered by ingestion of gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. Literature suggests that alterations in gut microbiota composition and function precede the onset of CeD. Considering that microbiota is partly determined by host genetics, we speculate that the genetic makeup of CeD patients could elicit disease development through alterations in the intestinal microbiota. To evaluate potential causal relationships between gut microbiota and CeD, we performed a Two-Sample Mendelian Randomization analysis (2SMR). Exposure data were obtained from the raw results of a previous Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) of gut microbiota, and outcome data from summary statistics of CeD GWAS and Immunochip studies. We have identified a number of putative associations between gut microbiota SNPs associated with CeD. Regarding bacterial composition, most of the associated SNPs are related to Firmicutes phylum, whose relative abundance has been previously reported to be altered in CeD patients. In terms of functional units, we have linked a number of SNPs to several bacterial metabolic pathways that seem to be related to CeD. Overall, this study represents the first 2SMR approach to elucidate the relationship between microbiome and CeD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0150.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: cardiovascular disease; smoking; drinking; underserved; disparities
Online: 11 February 2020 (14:55:10 CET)
The number one leading cause of death in 2017 for Americans was cardiovascular disease, and health disparities can exacerbate risks. This study evaluates the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n=437,436) to estimate population risks for behavioral, socio-economic, psychological, and biological factors. A general linear model with a quasi-binomial link function indicated higher risks for the following groups: smokers, individuals with higher body-mass index scores, persons unable to work, individuals with depression, workers who missed more days due to mental issues, the elderly, those in race categories “indigenous Americans, Alaskan non-Hispanics” or “other, non-Hispanic,” and individuals with lower income. The results confirm previous studies and raise more questions about drinking and cardiovascular disease. Policy and ethical considerations are also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0383.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Huntington’s disease, CAG, kinetics, repeat expansions
Online: 8 August 2019 (13:11:08 CEST)
Huntington’s disease (HD) is one of the most well defined “repeat diseases”, associated with a short repeated genetic sequence, CAG.First, taking into account that a phenocopy of HD has a different repeat that is associated with a different gene, I suggest that the gene is not important for HD, only the repeat sequence is important, in agreement with Lee et al (2019) who reached the same conclusion using a GWAS technique.Second, taking into account that a phenocopy of HD has a CTG repeat rather than a CAG repeat, and that the toxin should be the same for both disease types and that the third base in a codon is the least important, I suggest that the reading frame is shifted for the repeat expansions and that the A/T substitution takes place on the third base. The most likely sense and antisense reading frames are then (GCA)n and (GCT)n and (GCT)n and (GCA)n and the corresponding amino acid is polyalanine.Third, the more repeats, the earlier the HD onset (Brinkman et al, 1997; Wexler, 2004). I suggest that this relationship can be thought of as a rate equation. If the concentration is proportional to the probability of creating a polyalanine of length m in a repeat expansion of length n, the corresponding equation is borne out by the data on age of onset and repeat length and m is found to be about 30.6. This explains for the first time, at least approximately, why HD is not active unless there are at least 36 CAG repeats.If true, HD may be the first disease where frameshifting is the cause of the disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0007.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Vitamin C, Periodontal disease, Periodontitis, Gingivitis
Online: 3 June 2019 (08:46:35 CEST)
Vitamin C is important in preventing and slowing the progression of many diseases. There is significant evidence linking periodontal disease and vitamin C. We aimed to systematically review studies addressing the relationship between vitamin C and periodontal disease and the preventive ability of vitamin C against periodontal disease. Electric searches were performed using PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. Studies addressing the relationships between periodontal disease and vitamin C in adults aged over 18 years were included. Quality assessment was done using Critical Appraisal Skills Program guideline and GRADE-CERQual. Seventy hundred and sixteen articles were retrieved and fifteen articles (7 cross-sectional studies, 2 case-control studies, 2 cohort studies, and 4 randomized controlled trial [RCT]) were selected by reviewing all articles. Vitamin C intake and blood level were negatively related to periodontal disease in all 7 cross-sectional studies. Subjects who suffer from periodontitis presented lower vitamin C intake and lower blood vitamin C level than subjects without periodontal disease in the two case-control studies. Patients with lower dietary intake or lower blood level of vitamin C showed greater progression of periodontal disease than did the controls. Intervention using vitamin C administration improved gingival bleeding in gingivitis but not in periodontitis. Alveolar bone absorption was also not improved. The present systematic review suggested that vitamin C contributes to reduced risk of periodontal disease.