Abstract: Parkinson’ disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease worldwide. To date, there is no disease-modifying agent, and current medical treatment only provides symptomatic benefits. Early diagnosis of PD would be useful in clinical practice to identify patients for clinical trials, test potential drugs and neuroprotective agents and track their therapeutic effect. Considerable progress has been made in the discovery and validation of diagnostic biomarkers for PD. In particular, blood-based biomarkers have shown promise in identifying PD patients in samples from independent clinical trials. Evaluation of these biomarkers in de novo patients and individuals at risk for PD remains a top priority. Here, we review the current advances and challenges toward the clinical translation of these biomarkers into a blood-based test for PD.
Abstract: Quantitative and qualitative characterization of fluorinated molecules represents an important task. Fluorine-based medicinal chemistry is a fast-growing research area due to the positive impact of fluorine in drug discovery, and clinical and molecular imaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography). Common detection methods include fluorinated-based labelling using radioactive isotopes or fluorescent dyes. Nevertheless, these molecular imaging methods can be harmful for health due to the potential instability of fluorochromes and cytoxicity of radioisotopes. Therefore, these methods often require expensive precautionary measures. In this context, we have developed, validated and patented carbon-fluorine spectroscopy (CFS™), recently renamed Spectro-Fluor™ technology, which among a non-competitive family of in-house made devices called PLIRFA™ (Pulsed Laser Isochronic Raman and Fluorescence Apparatus™), allows reliable detection of Carbon-Fluorine (C-F) bonds. C-F bonds are known to be stable and safe labels once incorporated to any type of molecules, cells, compounds or (nano-) materials. In this pioneered research study, we used Spectro-Fluor™ to assess biomarkers. As a proof-of-principle experiment, we have established a three-step protocol intended to rapid protein detection, which simply consisted of: (i) incorporating a sufficient concentration of an aromatic amino-acid (fluorinated versus non-fluorinated) into cultured cells; (ii) simultaneously isolating the fluorinated protein of interest and the non-fluorinated form of the protein (control) by immune-precipitation; (iii) comparatively analyzing the respective spectrum obtained for the two protein forms by Spectro-Fluor™. Thereby, we were able to differentiate, from colon cancer cells HCT-116, the fluorinated and non-fluorinated forms of p21, a key transcriptional factor and downstream target of p53, the so-called “guardian of the genome”. Taken together, our data again demonstrates the beneficial alternative use of Spectro-Fluor™, which once combined with an innovative methodology permits one to quickly, reliably, safely and cost-effectively detect physiological or pathological proteins in cells.
Abstract: A feared complication to liver trauma is delayed vascular complication, such as pseudoaneurysm and arteriovenous fistula (PS/AF) seen as focal enhancement on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) in the arterial phase. A hyperdense area termed transient hepatic attenuation difference (THAD) representing altered hepatic blood flow can be seen in the arterial phase near the liver lesion. The objective of this study was to describe THAD and PS/AF on follow-up CT after blunt liver trauma, and to evaluate if THAD influenced the evaluation of PS/AF. Three radiology residents retrospectively evaluated scans of 78 patients. The gold standard for PS/AF was an evaluation by an experienced senior radiologist, while THAD was a consensus between the residents. PS/AF was present in 14% and THAD in 54%. THAD was located in the periphery of the lesion with hazy borders and mean HU levels of 100, while PS/AF was located within the lesion with focal enhancement and mean HU levels of 170 (p < 0.05). In evaluation of PS/AF, the likelihood of agreement between the observers and the gold standard was 89% when THAD was present, and 98% when THAD was absent (p = 0.04). THAD is common and can hamper the evaluation of PS/AF.
Abstract: Smartphone-based devices and applications (SBDAs) with cost effectiveness and remote sensing are the most promising and effective means of delivering mobile healthcare (mHealthcare). Several SBDAs have been commercialized for the personalized monitoring and/or management of basic physiological parameters, such as blood pressure, weight, body analysis, pulse rate, electrocardiograph, blood glucose, blood glucose saturation, sleeping and physical activity. With advances in Bluetooth technology, software, cloud computing and remote sensing, SBDAs provide real-time on-site analysis and telemedicine opportunities in remote areas. This scenario is of utmost importance for developing countries, where the number of smartphone users is about 70% of 6.8 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide with limited access to basic healthcare service. The technology platform facilitates patient-doctor communication and the patients to effectively manage and keep track of their medical conditions. Besides tremendous healthcare cost savings, SBDAs are very critical for the monitoring and effective management of emerging epidemics and food contamination outbreaks. The next decade will witness pioneering advances and increasing applications of SBDAs in this exponentially growing field of mHealthcare. This article provides a critical review of commercial SBDAs that are being widely used for personalized healthcare monitoring and management.
Abstract: Gastric varices that arise secondary to the splenic vein occlusion can result in gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. Endoscopic color Doppler ultrasonography (ECDUS) was performed in 16 patients with gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. This study retrospectively evaluated the role of ECDUS in the diagnosis of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. Thirteen patients had co-existing pancreatic diseases: 8 with chronic pancreatitis, 4 with cancer of the pancreatic body or tail and 1 with severe acute pancreatitis. Of the remaining 3 patients, 1 had myeloproliferative disease, 1 had advanced gastric cancer, and the third had splenic vein occlusion due to an obscure cause. The endoscopic findings of gastric varices were: variceal form (F) classified as enlarged tortuous (F2) in 12 cases and large, coil-shaped (F3) in 4 cases, and positive for erosion or red color sign of the variceal surface in 4 cases and negative in 12 cases. ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow clearly depicted a round fundal region at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body in all 16 cases. The velocities of F3 type gastric varices were significantly higher than those of the F2 type. The wall thickness of varices positive for erosion or red color sign was significantly less than the negative cases. I conclude that ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow depicted specific findings of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion at the round fundal region at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body.
Abstract: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a real-time optical imaging technique that is similar in principle to ultrasonography, but employs light instead of sound waves and allows depth-resolved images with near-microscopic resolution. Endoscopic OCT allows the evaluation of broad-field and subsurface areas and can be used ancillary to standard endoscopy, narrow band imaging, chromoendoscopy, magnification endoscopy, and confocal endomicroscopy. This review article will provide an overview of the clinical utility of endoscopic OCT in the gastrointestinal tract and of recent achievements using state-of-the-art endoscopic 3D-OCT imaging systems.