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- Overview of the Publications From the Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS): A Whole System Evaluation Study. [REVIEW]
- Glob Adv Health Med 2014 Jan; 3(1):54-70.
Anthroposophic medicine is a physician-provided complementary therapy system that was founded by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman. Anthroposophic therapy includes special medicinal products, artistic therapies, eurythmy movement exercises, and special physical therapies. The Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS) was a prospective observational multicenter study of 1631 outpatients starting anthroposophic therapy for anxiety disorders, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, low back pain, migraine, and other chronic indications under routine conditions in Germany. AMOS INCORPORATED TWO FEATURES PROPOSED FOR THE EVALUATION OF INTEGRATIVE THERAPY SYSTEMS: (1) a sequential approach, starting with the whole therapy system (use, safety, outcomes, perceived benefit), addressing comparative effectiveness and proceeding to the major system components (physician counseling, anthroposophic medicinal products, art therapy, eurythmy therapy, rhythmical massage therapy) and (2) a mix of different research methods to build an information synthesis, including pre-post analyses, prospective comparative analyses, economic analyses, and safety analyses of individual patient data. AMOS fostered two methodological innovations for the analysis of single-arm therapy studies (combined bias suppression, systematic outcome comparison with corresponding cohorts in other studies) and the first depression cost analysis worldwide comparing primary care patients treated for depression vs depressed patients treated for another disorder vs nondepressed patients. A total of 21 peer-reviewed publications from AMOS have resulted. This article provides an overview of the main research questions, methods, and findings from these publications: anthroposophic treatment was safe and was associated with clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and quality of life without cost increase; improvements were found in all age, diagnosis, and therapy modality groups and were retained at 48-month follow-up; nonrespondent bias, natural recovery, regression to the mean, and adjunctive therapies together could explain a maximum of 37% of the improvement.
- A Case of IgG4-Related Disease with Bronchial Asthma and Chronic Rhinosinusitis in Korea. [Journal Article]
- J Korean Med Sci 2014 Apr; 29(4):599-603.
IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is characterized by a systemic involvement of tumor-like lesions with IgG4-positive plasmacytes. We experienced a case of IgG4-RD developed in a patient with bronchial asthma (BA) and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). A 55-yr-old female patient with BA and CRS complained of both eyes and neck swelling as well as a recurrent upper respiratory infection in recent 1 yr. The serum levels of IgG4, creatinine, and pancreatic enzymes were elevated. A biopsy of the submandibular gland showed an abundant infiltration of IgG4-positive plasmacytes. Her symptoms remarkably improved after the treatment of a systemic steroid that has been maintained without recurrence. We report a rare case of IgG4-RD developed in a patient with BA and CRS.
- Excess weight in preschool children with a history of severe bronchiolitis is associated with asthma. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Pediatr Pulmonol 2014 Apr 19.
The relationship between excess weight gain and asthma in childhood remains inadequately defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate, as part of a prospective post-bronchiolitis follow-up, whether there is a link between earlier or current overweight or obesity and asthma or asthma symptoms at 5-7 years of age.In all, 151 former bronchiolitis patients were followed-up until the mean age of 6.45 years. At the control visit, the weights and heights were measured, and the asthma symptoms and medications for asthma were recorded. The weight status was expressed as body mass index (BMI) z-scores (zBMI).There were 10 obese and 31 overweight (zBMI over national references) children. In adjusted analyses, presence of current asthma at 6-7 years of age (aOR 3.05, 95% CI 1.02-9.93) differed between overweight and normal weight children. Further, asthma ever, asthma at age 4-5 years, asthma at age 5-6 years, use of bronchodilators ever and use of ICSs during the last 12 months were more common in currently overweight than in normal weight children. Obesity was associated only with current asthma and asthma ever. Instead, there were no significant associations between birth weight, excess weight gain in infancy, or overweight at age 1.5 years, and later asthma, asthma symptoms or use of asthma medication.Asthma was more common in currently overweight than in normal weight former bronchiolitis patients at preschool age and early school age. Pediatr Pulmonol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Approach to Chronic Cough. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Indian J Pediatr 2014 Apr 22.
Chronic cough does affect quality of life in children. Most of the times it is treated with over-the-counter cough syrups and antibiotics. The etiology of chronic cough is so diverse, that treatment needs to be directed to the specific etiology, rather than treating symptomatically. Grossly, chronic cough is classified as specific and non-specific cough. Allergic conditions, followed by tuberculosis are more commonly encountered etiologies in India. Baseline investigations to be performed are chest radiograph and peak flow metry. If specific cause of cough is not obvious, then therapeutic trial with β2 agonist, followed by peak flowmetry to evaluate reversibility of airway hypersensitivity, is useful to label the child asthmatic or non-asthmatic. Rampant uses of antibiotics need to be avoided for conditions like asthma. If tuberculosis is diagnosed or suspected, it is better to treat the child, rather than giving therapeutic trial. Over-the-counter cough syrups are as good as placebo, and should be avoided. Trial of anti asthma, anti allergic rhinitis and anti reflux therapies are avoided, unless the diagnosis is one of these conditions. If the child is distressed or the case seems to be complicated, it is best to refer the child to a tertiary care centre and keep a close follow up.
- Profiling of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath as a strategy to find early predictive signatures of asthma in children. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(4):e95668.
Wheezing is one of the most common respiratory symptoms in preschool children under six years old. Currently, no tests are available that predict at early stage who will develop asthma and who will be a transient wheezer. Diagnostic tests of asthma are reliable in adults but the same tests are difficult to use in children, because they are invasive and require active cooperation of the patient. A non-invasive alternative is needed for children. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) excreted in breath could yield such non-invasive and patient-friendly diagnostic. The aim of this study was to identify VOCs in the breath of preschool children (inclusion at age 2-4 years) that indicate preclinical asthma. For that purpose we analyzed the total array of exhaled VOCs with Gas Chromatography time of flight Mass Spectrometry of 252 children between 2 and 6 years of age. Breath samples were collected at multiple time points of each child. Each breath-o-gram contained between 300 and 500 VOCs; in total 3256 different compounds were identified across all samples. Using two multivariate methods, Random Forests and dissimilarity Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis, we were able to select a set of 17 VOCs which discriminated preschool asthmatic children from transient wheezing children. The correct prediction rate was equal to 80% in an independent test set. These VOCs are related to oxidative stress caused by inflammation in the lungs and consequently lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, we showed that VOCs in the exhaled breath predict the subsequent development of asthma which might guide early treatment.
- Pulmonary Vasculature and Critical Asthma Syndromes: a Comprehensive Review. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2014 Apr 22.
One of the important factors and consequences in persistent asthma is the change in the vasculature of the airways and lung parenchyma. These changes could contribute to worsening asthma control and predispose asthmatics to critical asthma syndromes. For many years, the contribution of vasculature to severe asthma was limited to discussion of small and medium vessel vasculitis commonly referred to as Churg - Strauss syndrome. This comprehensive review will explore the known mechanisms that are associated with remodeling of the vasculature in a variety of critical asthma presentations. Inflammation of pulmonary and bronchial small blood vessels may contribute significantly but silently to asthma pathobiology. Inflammation in the vasculature of the lung parenchyma can decrease lung capacity while inflammation in airway vasculature can decrease airflow. This review will provide a modern perspective on Churg-Strauss syndromes with a focus on phenotyping, mechanism, and ultimately modern therapeutic approaches. Vascular remodeling and airway remodeling are not mutually exclusive concepts in understanding the progression of asthma and frequency of acute exacerbations. Furthermore, the contribution of vascular leak, particularly in the parenchymal vasculature, has become an increasingly recognized component of certain presentations of poorly controlled, severe persistent asthmatic and during exacerbations. We highlight how these mechanisms can contribute to some the severe presentations of influenza infection in patients with a history of asthma. The ultimate aim of this review is to summarize the current literature concerning vasculitis and the contribution of airway and parenchymal vascular remodeling to presentation of persistent asthma and its consequences during acute exacerbations and critical asthma syndromes.
- RGMb is a novel binding partner for PD-L2 and its engagement with PD-L2 promotes respiratory tolerance. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Exp Med 2014 Apr 21.
We report that programmed death ligand 2 (PD-L2), a known ligand of PD-1, also binds to repulsive guidance molecule b (RGMb), which was originally identified in the nervous system as a co-receptor for bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). PD-L2 and BMP-2/4 bind to distinct sites on RGMb. Normal resting lung interstitial macrophages and alveolar epithelial cells express high levels of RGMb mRNA, whereas lung dendritic cells express PD-L2. Blockade of the RGMb-PD-L2 interaction markedly impaired the development of respiratory tolerance by interfering with the initial T cell expansion required for respiratory tolerance. Experiments with PD-L2-deficient mice showed that PD-L2 expression on non-T cells was critical for respiratory tolerance, but expression on T cells was not required. Because PD-L2 binds to both PD-1, which inhibits antitumor immunity, and to RGMb, which regulates respiratory immunity, targeting the PD-L2 pathway has therapeutic potential for asthma, cancer, and other immune-mediated disorders. Understanding this pathway may provide insights into how to optimally modulate the PD-1 pathway in cancer immunotherapy while minimizing adverse events.
- Association between Breastfeeding and Severity of Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infection. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Pediatr Infect Dis J 2014 Apr 18.
In a cross-sectional analysis of 629 mother-infants dyads, breastfeeding (ever vs. never) was associated with a decreased relative odds of a lower versus upper respiratory tract infection (AOR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.99). There was not a significant association between breastfeeding and bronchiolitis severity score or length of hospital stay.
- Association Study on ADAM33 Polymorphisms in Mite-Sensitized Persistent Allergic Rhinitis in a Chinese Population. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(4):e95033.
The ADAM33 gene has been identified as a potentially important asthma candidate gene and polymorphisms in this gene have been shown to be associated with asthma and seasonal allergic rhinitis.To assess whether the ADAM33 polymorphisms are associated with persistent allergic rhinitis (PER) due to house dust mites in a Chinese population.In a hospital-based case-control study of 515 patients with mite-sensitized PER and 495 healthy controls, we genotyped seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ADAM33. Serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein, total IgE and allergen-specific IgE against Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae were measured by the ImmunoCAP assays.In the single-locus analysis, three polymorphisms, rs3918392 (F1), rs528557 (S2) and rs2787093, were significantly associated with mite-sensitized PER. SNP S2 was associated with significantly increased risk both of asthmatic and nonasthmatic mite-sensitized PER. In the combined genotypes analysis, individuals with 2-4 risk alleles had a significantly higher risk of mite-sensitized PER (adjusted OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.50-2.62) than those with 0-1 risk alleles. Haplotype-based association analysis revealed that the ACAGCCT haplotype might have potential to protect against mite-sensitized PER (adjusted OR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.49-0.90).Polymorphisms in the ADAM33 gene may contribute to susceptibility of mite-sensitized PER in this Chinese population.
- Decreased sputum caveolin-1 associated with. [Journal Article]
- Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis 2014; 31(1):55-61.
To determine serum and sputum Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) levels and their associations with transforming growth factor- ß (TGF-ß) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) in systemic sclerosis (SSc).Serum and induced sputum samples from 55 patients with SSc, 25 asthma patients and 16 healthy volunteers (HC) were tested for Cav-1 and TGF-ß by the ELISA technique. As a possible downstream signaling regulator of TGF-ß, Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent profibrotic protein, was also measured in all serum and sputum samples and relations with Cav-1 and TGF-ß were sought. All scleroderma patients were evaluated for their clinical and laboratory parameters. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) and high resolution computerized tomography (HRCT) were performed for the diagnosis of ILD. The alveolitis-fibrosis index and the SSc disease severity scores were noted for each patient. Serum Cav-1 levels were lower in SSc compared to HC (p<0.01). Cav-1 levels were significantly lower in the sputum of SSc patients compared to both control groups (p<0.001). It was also found significantly lower in SSc-ILD compared to those without ILD (0.19±0.04 vs 0.25±0.07, respectively, p<0.01). Although no difference was found in the serum TGF-ß levels among the groups, sputum TGF-ß levels correlated positively with the alveolitis index (r=0.34) and correlated inversely with FVC measurements (r=-0.44, p<0.05) among SSc patients. Serum ET-1 was significantly higher in SSc patients (p<0.01) but no association was found between ET-1 and Cav-1 or TGF-ß. These results suggest that decreased sputum Cav-1 levels is associated with SSc related-ILD and may be used as a marker for the detection of SSc-ILD.