LabBook October 24, 2014

Fall colors on the UChicago quad, October 22, 2014

Fall colors on the UChicago quad, October 22, 2014

This week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians:

Naltrexone Improves Quit Rates, Attenuates Smoking Urge, and Reduces Alcohol Use in Heavy Drinking Smokers Attempting to Quit Smoking: including Daniel Fridberg, Jon Grant and Andrea King — Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research

From the abstract: “Heavy drinking smokers (HDS) have more difficulty quitting smoking than lighter drinkers or abstainers. The opioid antagonist naltrexone may improve smoking quit rates and reduce alcohol use in drinker–smokers, but its relative efficacy in smokers with a range of drinking patterns is unknown. The current study tested the hypothesis that HDS would show differential benefit of naltrexone versus placebo relative to moderate-to-light or nondrinking smokers in terms of improving smoking outcomes and reducing alcohol consumption … Naltrexone significantly increased 12-week smoking abstinence rates and decreased smoking urge and alcohol use among HDS, but not moderate-to-light or nondrinking smokers. Mediation analyses in HDS revealed that naltrexone’s effect on smoking urge during the first 4 weeks of treatment mediated its effect on quit rates.”

Effects of obesity on health-related quality of life in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus: including Karen Onel – Lupus

From the abstract: “This study evaluated the effects of obesity on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures in juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE) … Among the 202 jSLE patients, 25% (n = 51) were obese. Obesity had a significant negative impact on HRQOL in jSLE, even after adjusting for differences in current corticosteroid use, disease activity, disease damage, gender and race between groups. Obese jSLE patients had lower physical functioning compared to non-obese jSLE patients, and to non-obese and obese healthy controls. Compared to their non-obese counterparts, obese jSLE patients also had worse school functioning, more pain, worse social functioning and emotional functioning. Parents of obese jSLE patients worry more … Our study demonstrates the detrimental effects of obesity on patient-reported outcomes in jSLE.”

Potential antigenic explanation for atypical H1N1 infections among middle-aged adults during the 2013–2014 influenza season: including Sarah Andrews, Nai-Ying Zheng, Min Huang and Yunping Huang — PNAS

From the abstract: “Influenza viruses typically cause a higher disease burden in children and the elderly, who have weaker immune systems. During the 2013–2014 influenza season, H1N1 viruses caused an unusually high level of disease in middle-aged adults. Here, we show that recent H1N1 strains possess a mutation that allows viruses to avoid immune responses elicited in middle-aged adults. We show that current vaccine strains elicit immune responses that are predicted to be less effective in some middle-aged adults. We suggest that new viral strains should be incorporated into seasonal influenza vaccines so that proper immunity is elicited in all humans, regardless of age and pre-exposure histories.”

Chronic Sleep Fragmentation Induces Endothelial Dysfunction and Structural Vascular Changes in Mice: including David Gozal — Sleep

From the abstract: “Sleep fragmentation (SF) is a common occurrence and constitutes a major characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). SF has been implicated in multiple OSA-related morbidities, but it is unclear whether SF underlies any of the cardiovascular morbidities of OSA. We hypothesized that long-term SF exposures may lead to endothelial dysfunction and altered vessel wall structure … Long-term SF induces vascular endothelial dysfunction and mild blood pressure increases. SF also leads to morphologic vessel changes characterized by elastic fiber disruption and disorganization, increased recruitment of inflammatory cells, and altered expression of senescence markers, thereby supporting a role for SF in the cardiovascular morbidity of OSA.”

About Matt Wood (468 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer for the University of Chicago Medicine and editor of the Science Life blog.
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