LabBook: January 16, 2015

Meet Jabu, an 8-year-old yellow lab that will be part of a new pet therapy program for adult oncology patients at UChicago Medicine.

Meet Jabu, an 8-year-old yellow lab that will be part of a new pet therapy program for adult oncology patients at UChicago Medicine.

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

Can you ask? We just did! Assessing sexual function and concerns in patients presenting for initial gynecologic oncology consultation: Vanessa Kennedy, Emily Abramsohn, Jennifer Makelarski, Rachel Barber, Kristen Wroblewski, Meaghan Tenney, Nita Karnik Lee, S. Diane Yamada, and Stacy Tessler Lindau — Gynecologic Oncology

From the abstract: “To describe patterns of response to, and assess sexual function and activity elicited by, a self-administered assessment incorporated into a new patient intake form for gynecologic oncology consultation … New patients completed a self-administered intake form, including six brief sexual activity and function items … Nearly all new patients presenting for gynecologic oncology consultation answered self-administered items to assess sexual activity and function. Further study is needed to determine the role of pre-treatment identification of sexual function concerns in improving sexual outcomes associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

Costs Associated With Health Care–Associated Infections in Cardiac Surgery: including David Meltzer — Journal of the American College of Cardiology

From the abstract: “Health care–associated infections (HAIs) are the most common noncardiac complications after cardiac surgery and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Current information about their economic burden is limited. This research was designed to determine the cost associated with major types of HAIs during the first 2 months after cardiac surgery … Hospital cost, [length of stay], and readmissions are strongly associated with HAIs. These associations suggest the potential for large reductions in costs if HAIs following cardiac surgery can be reduced.”

Excoriation disorder: Impulsivity and its clinical associations: including Eric Leppink, Katherine Derbyshire, and Jon Grant — Journal of Anxiety Disorders

From the abstract: “Excoriation disorder is the repetitive scratching or picking of skin that leads to physical damage, distress, and functional impairment. Skin picking has been associated with impulsivity and problems with inhibition. We hypothesized that problems in these areas could be disease severity markers. We recruited 73 adults meeting DSM-5 criteria for excoriation disorder, and 50 adult controls. Those with excoriation disorder were categorized as either “high impulsive” (HI) or “low impulsive” (LI) using either a neurocognitive task of motor impulsivity (Stop Signal Task) or the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale’s (BIS-11) motor impulsivity subscale. The HI subjects, based on the BIS-11, showed higher urges scores, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. These data suggest that impulsivity may reflect a specific clinical presentation among those with excoriation disorder, but the clinical characteristics differ depending upon the impulsivity measure used. Agreement on how to measure various domains of impulsivity may be important in better understanding the disorder psychopathology and so improve future treatments.”

High preexisting serological antibody levels correlate with diversification of the influenza vaccine response: Sarah Andrews, Kaval Kaur, Noel Pauli, Min Huang, Yunping Huang and Patrick Wilson — Journal of Virology

From the abstract: “Reactivation of memory B cells allows for a rapid and robust immune response upon challenge with the same antigen. Variant influenza strains generated through antigenic shift or drift are encountered multiple times over the lifetime of an individual. One might predict, then, that upon vaccination with the trivalent influenza vaccine across multiple years, the antibody response would become more and more dominant towards strains consistently present in the vaccine at the expense of more divergent strains. However, when we analyzed the vaccine-induced plasmablast, memory and serological response to the trivalent influenza vaccine between 2006 and 2013, we found that the B cell response was most robust against more divergent strains. Overall the antibody response was highest when one or more strains contained in the vaccine varied from year to year. This suggests that in the broader immunological context of viral antigen exposure, the B cell response to variant influenza strains is not dictated by the composition of the memory B cell precursor pool. The outcome is instead a diversified B cell response.”

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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