Healthcare2016, 4(3), 60; doi:10.3390/healthcare4030060 (registering DOI) - published 25 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), generated in the microenvironment of cancer cells, can drive the proliferation, invasion, and migration of cancer cells by activating G protein-coupled LPA receptors. Moreover, in cancer cells that have metastasized to bone, LPA signaling can promote osteolysis by inducing cancer cell production of cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-8, which can stimulate osteoblasts to secrete RANKL, a key promoter of osteoclastogenesis. Indeed, in cancers prone to metastasize to bone, LPA appears to be a major driver of the expansion of osteolytic bone metastases. Activation of NADPH oxidase has been shown to play a mediating role in the signaling pathways by which LPA, as well as RANKL, promote osteolysis. In addition, there is reason to suspect that Nox4 activation is a mediator of the feed-forward mechanism whereby release of TGF-beta from bone matrix by osteolysis promotes expression of PTHrP in cancer cells, and thereby induces further osteolysis. Hence, measures which can down-regulate NADPH oxidase activity may have potential for slowing the expansion of osteolytic bone metastases in cancer patients. Phycocyanin and high-dose statins may have utility in this regard, and could be contemplated as complements to bisphosphonates or denosumab for the prevention and control of osteolytic lesions. Ingestion of omega-3-rich flaxseed or fish oil may also have potential for controlling osteolysis in cancer patients.
Abstract: This study examined the biopsychosocial characteristics of chronic low back pain (CLBP) in an understudied but increasingly larger part of the population: the elderly (i.e., 65 years and older). A new innovative physical functioning measure (postural control, which is a proxy for the common problem of slips and falls in the elderly) was part of this biopsychosocial evaluation. Also, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-developed Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) was also part of this comprehensive evaluation. Two demographically-matched groups of elderly participants were evaluated: one with CLBP (n = 24); and the other without (NCLBP, n = 24). Results revealed significant differences in most of these measures between the two groups, further confirming the importance of using a biopsychosocial approach for future studies of pain and postural control in the elderly.
Abstract: Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours are known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This cross-sectional analysis aimed to describe lifestyle behaviours and CVD risk markers in young overweight and obese Australian women and explore associations between individual and combined lifestyle behaviours with CVD risk markers. Lifestyle behaviours assessed were diet quality, alcohol intake, physical activity, sitting time and smoking status, and were combined to generate a Healthy Lifestyle Score (HLS) (0–5). Objectively measured CVD risk markers were body mass index (BMI), %body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, and plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. Analysis included 49 women aged 18–35 years, with BMI 25.0 to 34.9 kg/m2. The mean ± SD Australian Recommended Food Score was 33.5 ± 9.3 points, alcohol 3.3 ± 2.4 standard drinks/day, physical activity 207 ± 225 min/week and sitting time 578 ± 213 min/day. All participants were non-smokers. The proportion of participants outside normal reference ranges was 83.7% for waist circumference (n = 41), blood pressure 0% (n = 0), total cholesterol 26.2% (n = 11), HDL cholesterol 38.6% (n = 17), LDL cholesterol 22.7% (n = 10), and triglycerides 4.2% (n = 2). Physical activity was inversely associated with body fat (β = −0.011%, p = 0.005), diastolic blood pressure (β = −0.010 mmHg, p = 0.031) and waist circumference (β = −0.013 cm, p = 0.029). Most participants (59.2%, n = 29) had a HLS ≤ 2. No significant associations were found between HLS and CVD risk markers. Insufficient physical activity was the primary lifestyle factor associated with increased CVD risk markers, which suggests interventions targeting physical activity in young women may potentially improve cardiovascular health.
Abstract: Low back pain remains a major health problem with huge societal cost. Biomedical models fail to explain the disability seen in response to reported back pain and therefore patients’ beliefs, cognitions and related behaviours have become a focus for both research and practice. This study used the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire and had two aims: To examine the extent to which pain beliefs are related to disability, anxiety and depression; and to assess whether those relationships are mediated by pain self-efficacy and locus of control. In a sample of 341 chronic low back pain patients, organic and psychological pain beliefs were related to disability, anxiety and depression. However, organic pain beliefs were more strongly related to disability and depression than psychological pain beliefs. Regression analyses revealed that these relationships were in part independent of pain self-efficacy and locus of control. Further, mediation analyses revealed indirect pathways involving self-efficacy and, to a lesser extent chance locus of control, between organic pain beliefs, on the one hand, and disability, anxiety and depression, on the other. In contrast, psychological pain beliefs were only directly related to disability, anxiety and depression. Although longitudinal data are needed to corroborate our findings, this study illustrates the importance of beliefs about the nature of pain and beliefs in one’s ability to cope with pain in determining both physical and mental health outcomes in chronic low back pain patients.
Abstract: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in healthy controls (HC) and pain-free migraine patients found activations to pain-related words in brain regions known to be activated while subjects experience pain. The aim of the present study was to identify neural activations induced by pain-related words in a sample of chronic back pain (CBP) patients experiencing current chronic pain compared to HC. In particular, we were interested in how current pain influences brain activations induced by pain-related adjectives. Subjects viewed pain-related, negative, positive, and neutral words; subjects were asked to generate mental images related to these words during fMRI scanning. Brain activation was compared between CBP patients and HC in response to the different word categories and examined in relation to current pain in CBP patients. Pain-related words vs. neutral words activated a network of brain regions including cingulate cortex and insula in subjects and patients. There was stronger activation in medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior midcingulate cortex in CPB patients than in HC. The magnitude of activation for pain-related vs. negative words showed a negative linear relationship to CBP patients’ current pain. Our findings confirm earlier observations showing that pain-related words activate brain networks similar to noxious stimulation. Importantly, CBP patients show even stronger activation of these structures while merely processing pain-related words. Current pain directly influences on this activation.
Abstract: Most younger workers, less than 25 years old, receive no training in worker safety. We report the feasibility and outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of an electronically delivered safety and health curriculum for younger workers entitled, PUSH (Promoting U through Safety and Health). All younger workers (14–24 years old) hired for summer work at a large parks and recreation organization were invited to participate in an evaluation of an online training and randomized into an intervention or control condition. Baseline and end-of-summer online instruments assessed acceptability, knowledge, and self-reported attitudes and behaviors. One-hundred and forty participants (mean age 17.9 years) completed the study. The innovative training was feasible and acceptable to participants and the organization. Durable increases in safety and health knowledge were achieved by intervention workers (p < 0.001, effect size (Cohen’s d) 0.4). However, self-reported safety and health attitudes did not improve with this one-time training. These results indicate the potential utility of online training for younger workers and underscore the limitations of a single training interaction to change behaviors. Interventions may need to be delivered over a longer period of time and/or include environmental components to effectively alter behavior.