Women Versus Men With Chronic Atrial Fibrillation: Insights From the Standard Versus Atrial Fibrillation spEcific managemenT studY (SAFETY).

Women Versus Men with Chronic Atrial Fibrillation: Insights from the Standard Versus Atrial Fibrillation spEcific managemenT studY (SAFETY).

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e65795
Ball J, Carrington MJ, Wood KA, Stewart S,

Gender-based clinical differences are increasingly being identified as having significant influence on the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD), including atrial fibrillation (AF).To perform detailed clinical phenotyping on a cohort of hospitalised patients with chronic forms of AF to understand if gender-based differences exist in the clinical presentation, thrombo-embolic risk and therapeutic management of high risk patients hospitalised with chronic AF.We are undertaking the Standard versus Atrial Fibrillation spEcific managemenT studY (SAFETY) – a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of an AF-specific management intervention versus usual care. Extensive baseline profiling of recruited patients was undertaken to identify gender-specific differences for risk delineation.We screened 2,438 patients with AF and recruited 335 into SAFETY. Of these, 48.1% were women who were, on average, 5 years older than their male counterparts. Women and men displayed divergent antecedent profiles, with women having a higher thrombo-embolic risk but being prescribed similar treatment regimens. More women than men presented to hospital with co-morbid thyroid dysfunction, depression, renal impairment and obesity. In contrast, more men presented with coronary artery disease (CAD) and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Even when data was age-adjusted, women were more likely to live alone (odds ratio [OR] 2.33; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.47 to 3.69), have non-tertiary education (OR 2.69; 95% CI 1.61 to 4.48) and be symptomatic (OR 1.93; 95% CI 1.06 to 3.52).Health care providers should be cognisant of gender-specific differences in an attempt to individualise and, hence, optimise the management of patients with chronic AF and reduce potential morbidity and mortality. HubMed – depression


Prenatal exposure to urban air nanoparticles in mice causes altered neuronal differentiation and depression-like responses.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e64128
Davis DA, Bortolato M, Godar SC, Sander TK, Iwata N, Pakbin P, Shih JC, Berhane K, McConnell R, Sioutas C, Finch CE, Morgan TE

Emerging evidence suggests that excessive exposure to traffic-derived air pollution during pregnancy may increase the vulnerability to neurodevelopmental alterations that underlie a broad array of neuropsychiatric disorders. We present a mouse model for prenatal exposure to urban freeway nanoparticulate matter (nPM). In prior studies, we developed a model for adult rodent exposure to re-aerosolized urban nPM which caused inflammatory brain responses with altered neuronal glutamatergic functions. nPMs are collected continuously for one month from a local freeway and stored as an aqueous suspension, prior to re-aerosolization for exposure of mice under controlled dose and duration. This paradigm was used for a pilot study of prenatal nPM impact on neonatal neurons and adult behaviors. Adult C57BL/6J female mice were exposed to re-aerosolized nPM (350 µg/m(3)) or control filtered ambient air for 10 weeks (3×5 hour exposures per week), encompassing gestation and oocyte maturation prior to mating. Prenatal nPM did not alter litter size, pup weight, or postnatal growth. Neonatal cerebral cortex neurons at 24 hours in vitro showed impaired differentiation, with 50% reduction of stage 3 neurons with long neurites and correspondingly more undifferentiated neurons at Stages 0 and 1. Neuron number after 24 hours of culture was not altered by prenatal nPM exposure. Addition of exogenous nPM (2 µg/ml) to the cultures impaired pyramidal neuron Stage 3 differentiation by 60%. Adult males showed increased depression-like responses in the tail-suspension test, but not anxiety-related behaviors. These pilot data suggest that prenatal exposure to nPM can alter neuronal differentiation with gender-specific behavioral sequelae that may be relevant to human prenatal exposure to urban vehicular aerosols. HubMed – depression


Invisible emotional expressions influence social judgments and pupillary responses of both depressed and non-depressed individuals.

Front Psychol. 2013; 4: 291
Laeng B, Sæther L, Holmlund T, Wang CE, Waterloo K, Eisemann M, Halvorsen M

We used filtered low spatial frequency images of facial emotional expressions (angry, fearful, happy, sad, or neutral faces) that were blended with a high-frequency image of the same face but with a neutral facial expression, so as to obtain a “hybrid” face image that “masked” the subjective perception of its emotional expression. Participants were categorized in three groups of participants: healthy control participants (N = 49), recovered previously depressed (N = 79), and currently depressed individuals (N = 36), All participants were asked to rate how friendly the person in the picture looked. Simultaneously we recorded, by use of an infrared eye-tracker, their pupillary responses. We expected that depressed individuals (either currently or previously depressed) would show a negative bias and therefore rate the negative emotional faces, albeit the emotions being invisible, as more negative (i.e., less friendly) than the healthy controls would. Similarly, we expected that depressed individuals would overreact to the negative emotions and that this would result in greater dilations of the pupil’s diameter than those shown by controls for the same emotions. Although we observed the expected pattern of effects of the hidden emotions on both ratings and pupillary changes, both responses did not differ significantly among the three groups of participants. The implications of this finding are discussed. HubMed – depression



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