Background: For optimal recommendations in cardiovascular training for the general population, knowing the essential parameters for physical fitness is required. Heart rate recovery (HRR) is an easy-to-measure parameter and is discussed to derive the physical fitness of an individual subject. This study evaluates HRR as a potential physical fitness parameter for public health programs, as it is measured in every ergometry.
Methods: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we analyzed HRR regarding physical fitness (W/kg (IAT: individual anaerobic threshold)). In total, we analyzed 1234 performance protocols in cycle ergometry. Significance tests (p < 0.001) and multiple linear regression were performed.
Results: The analysis of HRR and weight-related performance showed a significant correlation with a moderate coefficient of determination (R-2 = 0.250). The coefficient of determination increases from very weak correlation levels at 1 min post-workout towards weak to moderate levels of correlation at 5 min post-workout.
Conclusions: In this study HRR and the weight-related performance at the IAT showed a significant correlation with a mean strength. Thus, a prediction or conclusion on physical performance based singularly on HRR decrease is not recommended. However, in preventive medicine, HRR should be measured and observed on a long-term basis, for analysis of vagal activity and to draw to inferences of mortality.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Active exercise therapy plays an essential role in tackling the global burden of obesity. Optimizing recommendations in individual training therapy requires that the essential parameters heart rate HR(IAT) and work load (W/kg(IAT) at individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) are known. Performance diagnostics with blood lactate is one of the most established methods for these kinds of diagnostics, yet it is also time consuming and expensive.
Methods: To establish a regression model which allows HR(IAT) and (W/kg(IAT) to be predicted without measuring blood lactate, a total of 1234 performance protocols with blood lactate in cycle ergometry were analyzed. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to predict the essential parameters (HR(IAT)) (W/kg(IAT)) by using routine parameters for ergometry without blood lactate.
Results: HR(IAT) can be predicted with an RMSE of 8.77 bpm (p < 0.001), R2 = 0.799 (|R| = 0.798) without performing blood lactate diagnostics during cycle ergometry. In addition, it is possible to predict W/kg(IAT) with an RMSE (root mean square error) of 0.241 W/kg (p < 0.001), R2 = 0.897 (|R| = 0.897).
Conclusions: It is possible to predict essential parameters for training management without measuring blood lactate. This model can easily be used in preventive medicine and results in an inexpensive yet better training management of the general population, which is essential for public health.Weniger anzeigen
Chronic back pain has a high prevalence, especially in older adults, and seriously affects sufferers' quality of life. Segmental stabilization exercise (SSE) is often used during physiotherapy to enhance core stability. The execution of SSE requires the selective contraction of deep abdominal and back muscles. Motor learning can be supported using ultrasound imaging as visual biofeedback. ULTRAWEAR is a mobile ultrasound system that provides deep learning-based biofeedback on SSE execution, which is currently under development. We interviewed 15 older chronic back pain patients (CBPPs) to investigate their pain management behavior, experience with SSE, as well as their needs and requirements for ULTRAWEAR. We also gathered information about future-usage scenarios. CBPPs reported a high willingness to use the system as a feedback tool both in physiotherapeutic practices and at home. The automated detection and evaluation of muscle contraction states was highlighted as a major benefit of the system compared to the more subjective feedback provided by traditional methods such as palpation. The system to be developed was perceived as a helpful solution to support learning about SSE.Weniger anzeigen
In times of social and ecological crises, such as COVID-19 with lockdowns and implementing the impact of climate change, mental health degrades. Being outdoors in nature can be health-promoting, can decrease depression, and increase mental well-being. This pilot study investigated the relationships between nature-based therapy, mental health, and individuals' connectedness to nature. We hypothesize that nature-based therapy has a positive impact on individual mental health and connectedness to nature. A mixed-method approach was used to evaluate the effectiveness of nature-based therapy for young psychosomatic patients. The results demonstrated improvements in mental well-being and connectedness to nature through therapy. Additionally, depression scores decreased. Patients reported the importance of the therapist setting the space, the supportive environment, the poems that fostered the nature connection, improvement at the soul level, and overall doing something meaningful. Every patient experienced nature-based therapy as effective. To conclude, the study gives a first insight into the processes of nature-based therapy in the German population at work and the effectiveness of nature-based therapy. Further questions, e.g., season effects, longitudinal effects, and whether patients with low connectedness to nature gain more out of the intervention remain unanswered.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Excessive alcohol consumption is a major public health problem, with substance use early in life contributing to higher levels of use later in life. Virtual reality (VR) is an innovative technology for alcohol prevention among adolescents that could solve the problem of insufficient outreach to the target group of young people. The co-created German Virtual LimitLab simulation is one of the few examples of VR-based alcohol prevention tools and consists of a virtual house party simulation. The aims of Virtual LimitLab are to increase the users' awareness of how social pressure can influence their own decision-making as well as to enable various actions and communication strategies in order to train competencies when dealing with alcohol. The present study thus aims to explore adolescents' content- and technique-specific perceptions of Virtual LimitLab in order to gain insights into user experiences and to test the prototype with the German target group.
Methods: Four semi-structured focus groups with adolescents aged 15-18 years (n = 13) were conducted and analyzed using thematic analyses. A user experience questionnaire (UEQ-S) was applied in order to quantitatively assess adolescents' satisfaction with Virtual LimitLab.
Results: Three main themes were identified (VR experience, content, and technical aspects). Participants positively assessed both the content and the technical aspects of Virtual LimitLab. This trend was also seen by the UEQ-S data, which yielded positive ratings for both pragmatic and hedonic quality. The broad variety of options in the simulation that allow the user to try new behaviors was perceived particularly positively. In general, Virtual LimitLab was regarded as an innovative tool that encourages adolescents to think critically about their personal alcohol consumption. Technical errors in the simulation and users' difficulties in identifying with the simulation were the main points of criticism.
Conclusions: Feedback from adolescent users revealed positive and therefore promising results when using Virtual LimitLab as a gaming alcohol-prevention tool. Some technical aspects still need to be improved in order to further refine the prototype, and suggestions for expanding the content of the application have already been made.Weniger anzeigen
Introduction: People experiencing homelessness face lower life expectancy, higher prevalence of somatic and mental diseases and a more difficult access to healthcare compared to people in secure living. During the COVID-19 pandemic transmission rates were higher among people experiencing homelessness and preventive public health measures were not properly adapted to the specific needs of people experiencing homelessness. Thus, goal of our study was understanding the determinants of acceptability and access of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Materials and methods: We conducted a qualitative interview study with twenty guideline interviews with adult people currently experiencing homelessness in Berlin, Germany (August 2021 - April 2022). Participants were approached in a purposive sampling strategy. The interviews were analyzed with qualitative content analysis according to Mayring.
Results: Acceptance and attitude toward the COVID-19 vaccine is influenced by confidence in the vaccine as well as in the political and healthcare system, the individual COVID-19 risk perception and sense of collective responsibility. Overall, the acceptance of the vaccine was high among our participants. Facilities offering low threshold COVID-19 vaccines for people experiencing homelessness were perceived as helpful. Language barriers and the need for identity documents were major barriers to access the COVID 19 vaccine.
Discussion: People experiencing homelessness are a marginalized and vulnerable group often underrepresented in the public and scientific discourse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, preventive public health measures, including the COVID-19 vaccine, failed to consider specific needs of people experiencing homelessness. Multidimensional strategy to enhance inclusive healthcare are needed to improve access and to reduce discrimination and stigmatization.Weniger anzeigen
Introduction: Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) may occur due to changes in weighting prior beliefs and new evidence in the belief updating process. It is still unclear whether the acquisition or integration of stable beliefs is altered, and whether such alteration depends on the level of environmental and belief precision, which reflects the associated uncertainty. This motivated us to investigate uncertainty-related dynamics of belief updating in relation to PLEs using an online study design.
Methods: We selected a sample (n = 300) of participants who performed a belief updating task with sudden change points and provided self-report questionnaires for PLEs. The task required participants to observe bags dropping from a hidden helicopter, infer its position, and dynamically update their belief about the helicopter's position. Participants could optimize performance by adjusting learning rates according to inferred belief uncertainty (inverse prior precision) and the probability of environmental change points. We used a normative learning model to examine the relationship between adherence to specific model parameters and PLEs.
Results: PLEs were linked to lower accuracy in tracking the outcome (helicopter location) (beta = 0.26 +/- 0.11, p = 0.018) and to a smaller increase of belief precision across observations after a change point (beta = -0.003 +/- 0.0007, p < 0.001). PLEs were related to slower belief updating when participants encountered large prediction errors (beta = -0.03 +/- 0.009, p = 0.001). Computational modeling suggested that PLEs were associated with reduced overall belief updating in response to prediction errors (beta(PE) = -1.00 +/- 0.45, p = 0.028) and reduced modulation of updating at inferred environmental change points (beta(CPP) = -0.84 +/- 0.38, p = 0.023).
Discussion: We conclude that PLEs are associated with altered dynamics of belief updating. These findings support the idea that the process of balancing prior belief and new evidence, as a function of environmental uncertainty, is altered in PLEs, which may contribute to the development of delusions. Specifically, slower learning after large prediction errors in people with high PLEs may result in rigid beliefs. Disregarding environmental change points may limit the flexibility to establish new beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence. The present study fosters a deeper understanding of inferential belief updating mechanisms underlying PLEs.Weniger anzeigen
Background: Research exploring the effects of yoga therapy (YT) on individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) is scarce. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore possible mechanisms of actions and processes, as well as adverse effects of a novel yoga-based group intervention (YoGI) for in-patients with SSD in a German university hospital setting.
Material and methods: A longitudinal qualitative study was integrated into a rater-blinded randomized controlled trial, exploring the impact of a 4-week YoGI as add-on treatment. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants receiving YoGI (n = 19) in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) and a control group (n = 14) which only received TAU. Interviews were conducted at baseline (n = 33) and 4 weeks post-intervention (N = 28) to assess the participant's experiences and how they changed over time. The interviews (N = 61) were audio-taped, translated, coded, and analyzed by means of inductive thematic analysis. Separate case summaries were prepared for each participant to analyze longitudinal changes within subjects. The research team members collaboratively discussed the final list of themes and subcodes. Rater-based questionnaires, such as the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS), and Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP) were administered at baseline to assess clinical outcomes.
Results: At baseline, participants reported a desire to improve their stress- and symptom management. A minority of participants expressed reservations toward yoga, and several psychosocial barriers were named, including worries about symptom exacerbation. At post-intervention, four mechanisms of change became evident from the interviews: (1) acquiring competence in relaxation, (2) increased interoceptive awareness, (3) feeling connected, and (4) a sense of spiritual wellbeing. A small number of participants reported difficulties with YoGI.
Conclusion: Generally, YoGI positively influenced participants' experiences of their inpatient stay, regarding distress, self- and body awareness, social connectedness, and spiritual wellbeing. However, participants also illuminated necessary adjustments to improve the intervention. YoGI will therefore be adapted and further developed in an iterative process based on a participant involvement approach. The efficacy regarding outcomes and processes needs to be investigated in a future larger-scaled randomized controlled trial.Weniger anzeigen
The mandible (lower jaw) bone is aesthetically responsible for shaping the lower face, physiologically in charge of the masticatory movements, and phonetically accountable for the articulation of different phonemes. Thus, pathologies that result in great damage to the mandible severely impact the lives of patients. Mandibular reconstruction techniques are mainly based on the use of flaps, most notably free vascularized fibula flaps. However, the mandible is a craniofacial bone with unique characteristics. Its morphogenesis, morphology, physiology, biomechanics, genetic profile, and osteoimmune environment are different from any other non-craniofacial bone. This fact is especially important to consider during mandibular reconstruction, as all these differences result in unique clinical traits of the mandible that can impact the results of jaw reconstructions. Furthermore, overall changes in the mandible and the flap post-reconstruction may be dissimilar, and the replacement process of the bone graft tissue during healing can take years, which in some cases can result in postsurgical complications. Therefore, the present review highlights the uniqueness of the jaw and how this factor can influence the outcome of its reconstruction while using an exemplary clinical case of pseudoarthrosis in a free vascularized fibula flap.Weniger anzeigen
Objective: In the field of non-treatable muscular dystrophies, promising new gene and cell therapies are being developed and are entering clinical trials. Objective assessment of therapeutic effects on motor function is mandatory for economical and ethical reasons. Main shortcomings of existing measurements are discontinuous data collection in artificial settings as well as a major focus on walking, neglecting the importance of hand and arm movements for patients' independence. We aimed to create a digital tool to measure muscle function with an emphasis on upper limb motility.
Methods: suMus provides a custom-made App running on smartwatches. Movement data are sent to the backend of a suMus web-based platform, from which they can be extracted as CSV data. Fifty patients with neuromuscular diseases assessed the pool of suMus activities in a first orientation phase. suMus performance was hence validated in four upper extremity exercises based on the feedback of the orientation phase. We monitored the arm metrics in a cohort of healthy volunteers using the suMus application, while completing each exercise at low frequency in a metabolic chamber. Collected movement data encompassed average acceleration, rotation rate as well as activity counts. Spearman rank tests correlated movement data with energy expenditure from the metabolic chamber.
Results: Our novel application "suMus, " sum of muscle activity, collects muscle movement data plus Patient-Related-Outcome-Measures, sends real-time feedback to patients and caregivers and provides, while ensuring data protection, a long-term follow-up of disease course. The application was well received from the patients during the orientation phase. In our pilot study, energy expenditure did not differ between overnight fasted and non-fasted participants. Acceleration ranged from 1.7 & PLUSMN; 0.7 to 3.2 +/- 0.5 m/sec(2) with rotation rates between 0.9 & PLUSMN; 0.5 and 2.0 & PLUSMN; 3.4 rad/sec. Acceleration and rotation rate as well as derived activity counts correlated with energy expenditure values measured in the metabolic chamber for one exercise (r = 0.58, p < 0.03).Conclusion: In the analysis of slow frequency movements of upper extremities, the integration of the suMus application with smartwatch sensors characterized motion parameters, thus supporting a use in clinical trial outcome measures. Alternative methodologies need to complement indirect calorimetry in validating accelerometer-derived energy expenditure data.Weniger anzeigen
The faithful formation and, consequently, function of a synapse requires continuous and tightly controlled delivery of synaptic material. At the presynapse, a variety of proteins with unequal molecular properties are indispensable to compose and control the molecular machinery concerting neurotransmitter release through synaptic vesicle fusion with the presynaptic membrane. As presynaptic proteins are produced mainly in the neuronal soma, they are obliged to traffic along microtubules through the axon to reach the consuming presynapse. This anterograde transport is performed by highly specialised and diverse presynaptic precursor vesicles, membranous organelles able to transport as different proteins such as synaptic vesicle membrane and membrane-associated proteins, cytosolic active zone proteins, ion-channels, and presynaptic membrane proteins, coordinating synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis. This review aims to summarise and categorise the diverse and numerous findings describing presynaptic precursor cargo, mode of trafficking, kinesin-based axonal transport and the molecular mechanisms of presynaptic precursor vesicles biogenesis in both vertebrate and invertebrate model systems.Weniger anzeigen
Studies of a communication deficit in the European Union (EU) have hardly taken a systematic look at the site where most of the political communication output is being created: within the elite bubble of EU politicians and correspondents in Brussels. This study builds on the communication culture approach to describe and explain the basic attitudinal patterns of EU politicians and journalists who critically shape the political communication output coming out of Brussels that is being consumed by European citizens. Based on a survey with more than 300 participating politicians and journalists, this study demonstrates that the internationalised communication context in Brussels reduces differences between the attitudes of actors from professional and national groups. We demonstrate that there is a tendency toward common elitist attitudes, complemented by a highly negative view of the public and a cynical mode of political communication. However, we observe predominantly national contact networks in Brussels and partly differing attitudes among some sub-groups of politicians and journalists, reflecting the partly conflicting national configurations of the European political and media system and the principal-agent relationships of EU politicians and journalists with their constituencies and media outlets.Weniger anzeigen
Cytochromes P450 (CYP) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) are two enzyme families that play an important role in drug metabolism, catalyzing either the functionalization or glucuronidation of xenobiotics. However, their mutual interactions are poorly understood. In this study, the functional interactions of human CYP2D6 with four human UGTs (UGT1A7, UGT1A8, UGT1A9, and UGT2A1) were investigated using our previously established co-expression model system in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The substrate employed was propranolol because it is well metabolized by CYP2D6. Moreover, the CYP2D6 metabolite 4-hydroxypropranolol is a known substrate for the four UGTs included in this study. Co-expression of either UGT1A7, UGT1A8, or UGT1A9 was found to increase the activity of CYP2D6 by a factor of 3.3, 2.1 or 2.8, respectively, for the conversion of propranolol to 4-hydroxypropranolol. In contrast, UGT2A1 co-expression did not change CYP2D6 activity. On the other hand, the activities of all four UGTs were completely suppressed by co-expression of CYP2D6. This data corroborates our previous report that CYP2D6 is involved in functional CYP-UGT interactions and suggest that such interactions can contribute to both adverse drug reactions and changes in drug efficacy.Weniger anzeigen
Phoenixin is a pleiotropic peptide, whose known functions have broadened significantly over the last decade. Initially first described as a reproductive peptide in 2013, phoenixin is now recognized as being implicated in hypertension, neuroinflammation, pruritus, food intake, anxiety as well as stress. Due to its wide field of involvement, an interaction with physiological as well as psychological control loops has been speculated. It has shown to be both able to actively reduce anxiety as well as being influenced by external stressors. Initial rodent models have shown that central administration of phoenixin alters the behavior of the subjects when confronted with stress-inducing situations, proposing an interaction with the perception and processing of stress and anxiety. Although the research on phoenixin is still in its infancy, there are several promising insights into its functionality, which might prove to be of value in the pharmacological treatment of several psychiatric and psychosomatic illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as the increasingly prevalent stress-related illnesses of burnout and depression. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge of phoenixin, its interactions with physiological processes as well as focus on the recent developments in stress response and the possible novel treatment options this might entail.Weniger anzeigen
This is the first case report on two children presenting with immediate and severe hemolytic anemia following the administration of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIGs) in the context of pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS). Hemolytic anemia was described as a significant decrease in hemoglobin and an increase in lactate dehydrogenase after the second administration of high-dose IVIGs was performed. Both patients were found to have AB blood group. One of our patients showed massive pallor, weakness, and inability to walk in association with hemolysis. However, in both cases, the anemia was self-limiting and transfusion of red blood cells was not required: both patients recovered without persistent impact. Nonetheless, we aim to draw attention to this widely unknown adverse effect of IVIG, especially in the context of PIMS-TS. We suggest determining the patient's blood group prior to high-dose IVIG infusion and replacing the second IVIG through high-dose steroids or anticytokine therapy. Using IVIGs containing lower titers of specifically anti-A or anti-B antibodies to avoid isoagglutinin-caused hemolytic anemia is desirable; however, the information is not routinely available.Weniger anzeigen
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are Gram-negative bacteria that cause chronic gastritis and are considered the main risk factor for the development of gastric cancer. H. pylori have evolved to survive the harsh luminal environment of the stomach and are known to cause damage and signaling aberrations in gastric epithelial cells, which can result in premalignant and malignant pathology. As well as colonizing the gastric mucus and surface epithelial cells, a subpopulation of H. pylori can invade deep into the gastric glands and directly interact with progenitor and stem cells. Gland colonization therefore bears the potential to cause direct injury to long-lived cells. Moreover, this bacterial subpopulation triggers a series of host responses that cause an enhanced proliferation of stem cells. Here, we review recent insights into how gastric gland colonization by H. pylori is established, the resulting pro-carcinogenic epithelial signaling alterations, as well as new insights into stem cell responses to infection. Together these point towards a critical role of gland-associated H. pylori in the development of gastric cancer.Weniger anzeigen
Endothelial cells and immune cells are major regulators of cancer progression and prognosis. Endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis are required for providing nutrients and oxygen to the nascent tumor and infiltration of immune cells to the tumor is dependent on endothelial cell activation. Myeloid cells and innate lymphocytes have an important role in shaping the tumor microenvironment by crosstalking with cancer cells and structural cells, including endothelial cells. Innate immune cells can modulate the activation and functions of tumor endothelial cells, and, in turn, endothelial cell expression of adhesion molecules can affect immune cell extravasation. However, the mechanisms underlying this bidirectional crosstalk are not fully understood. In this review, we will provide an overview of the current knowledge on the pathways regulating the crosstalk between innate immune cells and endothelial cells during tumor progression and discuss their potential contribution to the development of novel anti-tumor therapeutic approaches.Weniger anzeigen
Introduction: Osteolytic bone metastasis in advanced breast cancer stages are a major complication for patient ' s quality life and a sign of low survival prognosis. Permissive microenvironments which allow cancer cell secondary homing and later proliferation are fundamental for metastatic processes. The causes and mechanisms behind bone metastasis in breast cancer patients are still an unsolved puzzle. Therefore, in this work we contribute to describe bone marrow pre-metastatic niche in advanced breast cancer patients.
Results: We show an increase in osteoclasts precursors with a concomitant imbalance towards spontaneous osteoclastogenesis which can be evidenced at bone marrow and peripheral levels. Pro-osteoclastogenic factors RANKL and CCL-2 may contribute to bone resorption signature observed in bone marrow. Meanwhile, expression levels of specific microRNAs in primary breast tumors may already indicate a pro-osteoclastogenic scenario prior to bone metastasis.
Discussion: The discovery of prognostic biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets linked to bone metastasis initiation and development are a promising perspective for preventive treatments and metastasis management in advanced breast cancer patients.Weniger anzeigen
While short-term effects of artificial light on human sleep are increasingly being studied, reports on long-term effects induced by season are scarce. Assessments of subjective sleep length over the year suggest a substantially longer sleep period during winter. Our retrospective study aimed to investigate seasonal variation in objective sleep measures in a cohort of patients living in an urban environment. In 2019, three-night polysomnography was performed on 292 patients with neuropsychiatric sleep disturbances. Measures of the diagnostic second nights were averaged per month and analyzed over the year. Patients were advised to sleep "as usual" including timing, except alarm clocks were not allowed. Exclusion criteria: administration of psychotropic agents known to influence sleep (N = 96), REM-sleep latency > 120 min (N = 5), technical failure (N = 3). Included were 188 patients: [46.6 +/- 15.9 years (mean +/- SD); range 17-81 years; 52% female]; most common sleep-related diagnoses: insomnia (N = 108), depression (N = 59) and sleep-related breathing disorders (N = 52). Analyses showed: 1. total sleep time (TST) longer during winter than summer (up to 60 min; not significant); 2. REM-sleep latency shorter during autumn than spring (about 25 min, p = 0.010); 3. REM-sleep longer during winter than spring (about 30 min, p = 0.009, 5% of TST, p = 0.011); 4. slow-wave-sleep stable winter to summer (about 60-70 min) with 30-50 min shorter during autumn (only significant as % of TST, 10% decrease, p = 0.017). Data suggest seasonal variation in sleep architecture even when living in an urban environment in patients with disturbed sleep. If replicated in a healthy population, this would provide first evidence for a need to adjust sleep habits to season.Weniger anzeigen