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J. Clin. Med., Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2017)

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Cover Story The review presented by Cervantes Gracia and colleagues discusses the most prominent molecules that [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impact of Cannabis Use on Treatment Outcomes among Adults Receiving Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for PTSD and Substance Use Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 14; doi:10.3390/jcm6020014
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Research has demonstrated a strong link between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in general and cannabis use disorders in particular. Yet, few studies have examined the impact of cannabis use on treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring
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Background: Research has demonstrated a strong link between trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in general and cannabis use disorders in particular. Yet, few studies have examined the impact of cannabis use on treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring PTSD and SUDs. Methods: Participants were 136 individuals who received cognitive-behavioral therapies for co-occurring PTSD and SUD. Multivariate regressions were utilized to examine the associations between baseline cannabis use and end-of-treatment outcomes. Multilevel linear growth models were fit to the data to examine the cross-lagged associations between weekly cannabis use and weekly PTSD symptom severity and primary substance use during treatment. Results: There were no significant positive nor negative associations between baseline cannabis use and end-of-treatment PTSD symptom severity and days of primary substance use. Cross-lagged models revealed that as cannabis use increased, subsequent primary substance use decreased and vice versa. Moreover, results revealed a crossover lagged effect, whereby higher cannabis use was associated with greater PTSD symptom severity early in treatment, but lower weekly PTSD symptom severity later in treatment. Conclusion: Cannabis use was not associated with adverse outcomes in end-of-treatment PTSD and primary substance use, suggesting independent pathways of change. The theoretical and clinical implications of the reciprocal associations between weekly cannabis use and subsequent PTSD and primary substance use symptoms during treatment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Help-Seeking in Suicidal Situations: Paramount and yet Challenging. Interactions between Significant Others of Suicidal Persons and Health Care Providers
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 17; doi:10.3390/jcm6020017
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
Significant others are often crucial for suicidal persons or suicide attempters’ access to care, yet little is known about their efforts to seek help. This article presents the findings of a qualitative pilot study carried out in Switzerland on the help-seeking process of
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Significant others are often crucial for suicidal persons or suicide attempters’ access to care, yet little is known about their efforts to seek help. This article presents the findings of a qualitative pilot study carried out in Switzerland on the help-seeking process of 18 significant others, their perception of the care received by their loved one, and the interactions and collaboration they experienced with professionals. Most significant others repeatedly sought out support for their loved one and themselves. The help-seeking process seemed mostly difficult, was seldom successful on the first attempt, and was filled with multiple difficulties, such as availability and continuity of care and cooperation issues with professionals. Two-thirds of participants were not satisfied with the care provided to their loved ones and half of them faced challenges in their cooperation with professionals, i.e., poor sharing of information or not being acknowledged as partners or supported by professionals. Based on their experience, providing education about suicidal crises and care programs to significant others might lighten their burden and improve their cooperation with professionals, who in turn may benefit from training in communication issues and specific methods of cooperation with significant others in suicidal situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Interaction between Physicians and Patients)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Mitochondrial Supplements on Mitochondrial Activity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 18; doi:10.3390/jcm6020018
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction is typically guided by expert opinion with a paucity of empirical evidence of the effect of treatment on mitochondrial activity. We examined citrate synthase and Complex I and IV activities using a validated buccal swab method in 127 children
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Treatment for mitochondrial dysfunction is typically guided by expert opinion with a paucity of empirical evidence of the effect of treatment on mitochondrial activity. We examined citrate synthase and Complex I and IV activities using a validated buccal swab method in 127 children with autism spectrum disorder with and without mitochondrial disease, a portion of which were on common mitochondrial supplements. Mixed-model linear regression determined whether specific supplements altered the absolute mitochondrial activity as well as the relationship between the activities of mitochondrial components. Complex I activity was increased by fatty acid and folate supplementation, but folate only effected those with mitochondrial disease. Citrate synthase activity was increased by antioxidant supplementation but only for the mitochondrial disease subgroup. The relationship between Complex I and IV was modulated by folate while the relationship between Complex I and Citrate Synthase was modulated by both folate and B12. This study provides empirical support for common mitochondrial treatments and demonstrates that the relationship between activities of mitochondrial components might be a marker to follow in addition to absolute activities. Measurements of mitochondrial activity that can be practically repeated over time may be very useful to monitor the biochemical effects of treatments. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Barriers to Seeking Help for Skin Cancer Detection in Rural Australia
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcm6020019
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
This study explores rural South Australians’ barriers to help-seeking for skin cancer detection. A total of 201 randomly selected rural adults (18–94 years, 66% female) were presented with a skin-cancer-related scenario via telephone and were asked the extent to which various barriers would
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This study explores rural South Australians’ barriers to help-seeking for skin cancer detection. A total of 201 randomly selected rural adults (18–94 years, 66% female) were presented with a skin-cancer-related scenario via telephone and were asked the extent to which various barriers would impede their help-seeking, based on an amended version of the Barriers to Help-Seeking Scale. Older (≥63 years) and less educated participants endorsed barriers more strongly than their younger, more educated counterparts in the following domains; “Concrete barriers and distrust of caregivers”, “Emotional control”, “Minimising problem and Normalisation”, “Need for control and self-reliance” (every domain other than “Privacy”). Socioeconomic disadvantage, gender, and farmer status did not predict stronger overall barriers, but some gender and occupation-related differences were detected at the item level. Farmers were also more likely to endorse the “Minimising problem and normalization” domain than their non-farmer working rural counterparts. Widely endorsed barriers included the tendency to minimise the problem, a desire to remain in control/not be influenced by others, reluctance to show emotion or complain, and having concerns about privacy or waiting times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Interaction between Physicians and Patients)

Review

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Open AccessReview Mechanisms by Which B Cells and Regulatory T Cells Influence Development of Murine Organ-Specific Autoimmune Diseases
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jcm6020013
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1390 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Experiments with B cell-deficient (B−/−) mice indicate that a number of autoimmune diseases require B cells in addition to T cells for their development. Using B−/− Non-obese diabetic (NOD) and NOD.H-2h4 mice, we demonstrated that development of spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT), Sjogren’s syndrome
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Experiments with B cell-deficient (B−/−) mice indicate that a number of autoimmune diseases require B cells in addition to T cells for their development. Using B−/− Non-obese diabetic (NOD) and NOD.H-2h4 mice, we demonstrated that development of spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT), Sjogren’s syndrome and diabetes do not develop in B−/− mice, whereas all three diseases develop in B cell-positive wild-type (WT) mice. B cells are required early in life, since reconstitution of adult mice with B cells or autoantibodies did not restore their ability to develop disease. B cells function as important antigen presenting cells (APC) to initiate activation of autoreactive CD4+ effector T cells. If B cells are absent or greatly reduced in number, other APC will present the antigen, such that Treg are preferentially activated and effector T cells are not activated. In these situations, B−/− or B cell-depleted mice develop the autoimmune disease when T regulatory cells (Treg) are transiently depleted. This review focuses on how B cells influence Treg activation and function, and briefly considers factors that influence the effectiveness of B cell depletion for treatment of autoimmune diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B Cells in Autoimmunity)
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Open AccessReview Effector Mechanisms of Neutrophils within the Innate Immune System in Response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 15; doi:10.3390/jcm6020015
Received: 5 August 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
Neutrophils have a significant yet controversial role in the innate immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection, which is not yet fully understood. In addition to neutrophils’ well-known effector mechanisms, they may also help control infection of M. tb through
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Neutrophils have a significant yet controversial role in the innate immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) infection, which is not yet fully understood. In addition to neutrophils’ well-known effector mechanisms, they may also help control infection of M. tb through the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are thought to further promote the killing of M. tb by resident alveolar macrophages. Cytokines such as IFN-γ have now been shown to serve an immunomodulatory role in neutrophil functioning in conjunction to its pro-inflammatory function. Additionally, the unique transcriptional changes of neutrophils may be used to differentiate between infection with M. tb and other bacterial and chronic rheumatological diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Adversely, during the innate immune response to M. tb, inappropriate phagocytosis of spent neutrophils can result in nonspecific damage to host cells due to necrotic lysis. Furthermore, some individuals have been shown to be more genetically susceptible to tuberculosis (TB) due to a “Trojan Horse” phenomenon whereby neutrophils block the ability of resident macrophages to kill M. tb. Despite these aforementioned negative consequences, through the scope of this review we will provide evidence to support the idea that neutrophils, while sometimes damaging, can also be an important component in warding off M. tb infection. This is exemplified in immunocompromised individuals, such as those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or Type 2 diabetes mellitus. These individuals are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) due to a diminished innate immune response associated with decreased levels of glutathione. Consequently, there has been a worldwide effort to limit and contain M. tb infection through the use of antibiotics and vaccinations. However, due to several significant limitations, the current bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine (BCG, vaccine against TB) does not meet the criteria for universal utilization for all ages and populations across the globe. New research involving neutrophils has yielded a new vaccine called M. smegmatis-Ag85C-MPT51-HspX (mc2-CMX) that has been shown to elicit a humoral and cellular response against M. tb in mice that is superior to the BCG vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neutrophil Functions: From Immunity to Disease)
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Open AccessReview Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Mechanisms in Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 16; doi:10.3390/jcm6020016
Received: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by low platelet counts. The pathogenesis of ITP remains unclear although both antibody‐mediated and/or T cell‐mediated platelet destruction are key processes. In addition, impairment of T cells, cytokine imbalances, and the contribution of the
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Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by low platelet counts. The pathogenesis of ITP remains unclear although both antibody‐mediated and/or T cell‐mediated platelet destruction are key processes. In addition, impairment of T cells, cytokine imbalances, and the contribution of the bone marrow niche have now been recognized to be important. Treatment strategies are aimed at the restoration of platelet counts compatible with adequate hemostasis rather than achieving physiological platelet counts. The first line treatments focus on the inhibition of autoantibody production and platelet degradation, whereas second‐line treatments include immunosuppressive drugs, such as Rituximab, and splenectomy. Finally, thirdline treatments aim to stimulate platelet production by megakaryocytes. This review discusses the pathophysiology of ITP and how the different treatment modalities affect the pathogenic mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thrombocytopenia and ITP: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Telehealth: Increasing Access to High Quality Care by Expanding the Role of Technology in Correctional Medicine
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcm6020020
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
The United States (US) has a large correctional population. However, many incarcerated persons lack access to evidence-based, up-to-date medical care, particularly by subspecialty providers, due to limitations of geography, travel, cost and other resources. The use of telehealth technologies can remove these barriers,
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The United States (US) has a large correctional population. However, many incarcerated persons lack access to evidence-based, up-to-date medical care, particularly by subspecialty providers, due to limitations of geography, travel, cost and other resources. The use of telehealth technologies can remove these barriers, increasing access to high quality, multidisciplinary care. Studies have shown that, with telemedicine, timely triage and medical management can be provided across many disciplines, which may lead to improved clinical outcomes and significant cost savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Telemedicine - Technical Developments and Clinical Practice)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Oxidative Stress in COPD: Sources, Markers, and Potential Mechanisms
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcm6020021
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Markers of oxidative stress are increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are able to alter biological molecules, signaling pathways and antioxidant molecule function, many of which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD. However, the involvement
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Markers of oxidative stress are increased in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are able to alter biological molecules, signaling pathways and antioxidant molecule function, many of which have been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD. However, the involvement of ROS in the development and progression of COPD is not proven. Here, we discuss the sources of ROS, and the defences that have evolved to protect against their harmful effects. We address the role that ROS may have in the development and progression of COPD, as well as current therapeutic attempts at limiting the damage they cause. Evidence has indicated that the function of several key cells appears altered in COPD patients, and expression levels of important oxidant and antioxidant molecules may be abnormal. Therapeutic trials attempting to restore equilibrium to these molecules have not impacted upon all facets of disease and whilst the theory behind ROS influence in COPD appears sound, current models testing relevant pathways to tissue damage are limited. The heterogeneity seen in COPD patients presents a challenge to our understanding, and further research is essential to identify potential targets and stratified COPD patient populations where ROS therapies may be maximally efficacious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Oxidant Stress in Disease)
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Open AccessReview CVD and Oxidative Stress
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcm6020022
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 12 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, it is known that oxidative stress plays at least two roles within the cell, the generation of cellular damage and the involvement in several signaling pathways in its balanced normal state. So far, a substantial amount of time and effort has been
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Nowadays, it is known that oxidative stress plays at least two roles within the cell, the generation of cellular damage and the involvement in several signaling pathways in its balanced normal state. So far, a substantial amount of time and effort has been expended in the search for a clear link between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the effects of oxidative stress. Here, we present an overview of the different sources and types of reactive oxygen species in CVD, highlight the relationship between CVD and oxidative stress and discuss the most prominent molecules that play an important role in CVD pathophysiology. Details are given regarding common pharmacological treatments used for cardiovascular distress and how some of them are acting upon ROS-related pathways and molecules. Novel therapies, recently proposed ROS biomarkers, as well as future challenges in the field are addressed. It is apparent that the search for a better understanding of how ROS are contributing to the pathophysiology of CVD is far from over, and new approaches and more suitable biomarkers are needed for the latter to be accomplished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Oxidant Stress in Disease)
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