Erectile dysfunction is prevalent in men over 40 years, affecting their quality of life and that of their partners. The aims of this study were:a) To evaluate the internal reliability of the male erectile dysfunction specific quality of life (MED-QoL) scale and explore its factor structure.b) To evaluate the effect of simvastatin on subscales of the MED-QoL in men over forty years with erectile dysfunction.
Severe pediatric sepsis continues to be associated with high mortality rates in children. Thus, an important area of biomedical research is to identify biomarkers that can classify sepsis severity and outcomes. The complex and heterogeneous nature of sepsis makes the prospect of the classification of sepsis severity using a single biomarker less likely. Instead, we employ machine learning techniques to validate the use of a multiple biomarkers scoring system to determine the severity of sepsis in critically ill children. The study was based on clinical data and plasma samples provided by a tertiary care center's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) from a group of 45 patients with varying sepsis severity at the time of admission. Canonical Correlation Analysis with the Forward Selection and Random Forests methods identified a particular set of biomarkers that included Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), and Bicarbonate (HCO[Formula: see text]) as having the strongest correlations with sepsis severity. The robustness and effectiveness of these biomarkers for classifying sepsis severity were validated by constructing a linear Support Vector Machine diagnostic classifier. We also show that the concentrations of Ang-1, Ang-2, and HCO[Formula: see text] enable predictions of the time dependence of sepsis severity in children.
We introduce Iterative Feature Removal (IFR) as an unbiased approach for selecting features with diagnostic capacity from large data sets. The algorithm is based on recently developed tools in machine learning that are driven by sparse feature selection goals. When applied to genomic data, our method is designed to identify genes that can provide deeper insight into complex interactions while remaining directly connected to diagnostic utility. We contrast this approach with the search for a minimal best set of discriminative genes, which can provide only an incomplete picture of the biological complexity.
We address the identification of optimal biomarkers for the rapid diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. We employ both canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and sparse support vector machine (SSVM) classifiers to select the best subset of biomarkers from a large hematological data set collected from infants with suspected sepsis from Yale-New Haven Hospitals Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). CCA is used to select sets of biomarkers of increasing size that are most highly correlated with infection. The effectiveness of these biomarkers is then validated by constructing a sparse support vector machine diagnostic classifier. We find that the following set of five biomarkers capture the essential diagnostic information (in order of importance): Bands, Platelets, neutrophil CD64, White Blood Cells, and Segs. Further, the diagnostic performance of the optimal set of biomarkers is significantly higher than that of isolated individual biomarkers. These results suggest an enhanced sepsis scoring system for neonatal sepsis that includes these five biomarkers. We demonstrate the robustness of our analysis by comparing CCA with the Forward Selection method and SSVM with LASSO Logistic Regression.
A decline in serum progesterone or antagonism of progesterone receptor function results in preterm labor and birth. Whether characteristics of premature remodeling of the cervix after antiprogestins or ovariectomy are similar to that at term was the focus of the present study. Groups of pregnant rats were treated with vehicle, a progesterone receptor antagonist (onapristone or mifepristone), or ovariectomized on day 17 postbreeding. As expected, controls given vehicle delivered at term while rats delivered preterm after progesterone receptor antagonist treatment or ovariectomy. Similar to the cervix before term, the preterm cervix of progesterone receptor antagonist-treated rats was characterized by reduced cell nuclei density, decreased collagen content and structure, as well as a greater presence of macrophages per unit area. Thus, loss of nuclear progesterone receptor-mediated actions promoted structural remodeling of the cervix, increased census of resident macrophages, and preterm birth much like that found in the cervix at term. In contrast to the progesterone receptor antagonist-induced advance in characteristics associated with remodeling, ovariectomy-induced loss of systemic progesterone did not affect hypertrophy, extracellular collagen, or macrophage numbers in the cervix. Thus, the structure and macrophage census in the cervix appear sufficient for premature ripening and birth to occur well before term. With progesterone receptors predominantly localized on cells other than macrophages, the findings suggest that interactions between cells may facilitate the loss of progesterone receptor-mediated actions as part of a final common mechanism that remodels the cervix in certain etiologies of preterm and with parturition at term.
In this study, we examine the prevalence and distribution of worry, its content, and its associations with quality of life and depression, based on a large sample of community-dwelling elderly. We will attempt to distinguish between pathological and non-pathological worry based on these associations.
Whats known on the subject? and What will the study add? Erectile dysfunction is often associated with endothelial dysfunction. It is also recognized as a marker for underlying vascular disease. This study tests the hypothesis that statin therapy may improve erectile function and also reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events via a reduction in serum cholesterol and by improving endothelial function. The study will also determine whether the treatment improves quality of life related to sexual function.
Innervation of the cervix is important for normal timing of birth because transection of the pelvic nerve forestalls birth and causes dystocia. To discover whether transection of the parasympathetic innervation of the cervix affects cervical ripening in the process of parturition was the objective of the present study. Rats on Day 16 of pregnancy had the pelvic nerve (PnX) or the vagus nerve (VnX) or both pathways (PnX+VnX) transected, sham-operated (Sham) or nonpregnant rats served as controls. Sections of fixed peripartum cervix were stained for collagen or processed by immunohistochemistry to identify macrophages and nerve fibers. All Sham controls delivered by the morning of Day 22 postbreeding, while births were delayed in more than 75% of neurectomized rats by more than 12 h. Dystocia was evident in more than 25% of the PnX and PnX+VnX rats. Moreover, on prepartum Day 21, serum progesterone was increased severalfold in neurectomized versus Sham rats. Assessments of cell nuclei counts indicated that the cervix of neurectomized rats and Sham controls had become equally hypertrophied compared to the unripe cervix in nonpregnant rats. Collagen content and structure were reduced in the cervix of all pregnant rats, whether neurectomized or Shams, versus that in nonpregnant rats. Stereological analysis of cervix sections found reduced numbers of resident macrophages in prepartum PnX and PnX+VnX rats on Day 21 postbreeding, as well as in VnX rats on Day 22 postbreeding compared to that in Sham controls. Finally, nerve transections blocked the prepartum increase in innervation that occurred in Sham rats on Day 21 postbreeding. These findings indicate that parasympathetic innervation of the cervix mediates local inflammatory processes, withdrawal of progesterone in circulation, and the normal timing of birth. Therefore, pelvic and vagal nerves regulate macrophage immigration and nerve fiber density but may not be involved in final remodeling of the extracellular matrix in the prepartum cervix. These findings support the contention that immigration of immune cells and enhanced innervation are involved in processes that remodel the cervix and time parturition.
We present an approach for constructing nonlinear empirical mappings from high-dimensional domains to multivariate ranges. We employ radial basis functions and skew radial basis functions for constructing a model using data that are potentially scattered or sparse. The algorithm progresses iteratively, adding a new function at each step to refine the model. The placement of the functions is driven by a statistical hypothesis test that accounts for correlation in the multivariate range variables. The test is applied on training and validation data and reveals nonstatistical or geometric structure when it fails. At each step, the added function is fit to data contained in a spatiotemporally defined local region to determine the parameters--in particular, the scale of the local model. The scale of the function is determined by the zero crossings of the autocorrelation function of the residuals. The model parameters and the number of basis functions are determined automatically from the given data, and there is no need to initialize any ad hoc parameters save for the selection of the skew radial basis functions. Compactly supported skew radial basis functions are employed to improve model accuracy, order, and convergence properties. The extension of the algorithm to higher-dimensional ranges produces reduced-order models by exploiting the existence of correlation in the range variable data. Structure is tested not just in a single time series but between all pairs of time series. We illustrate the new methodologies using several illustrative problems, including modeling data on manifolds and the prediction of chaotic time series.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a variety of metabolic, cardiovascular, and endocrine factors contribute to male pelvic health. In particular, a growing body of evidence suggests a relationship between lower urinary tract symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia, overactive bladder, erectile dysfunction, and the metabolic syndrome. This article explores these relationships, focusing on the role of the autonomic nervous system and hyperinsulinemia, together with their implications for urological practice.
The transneuronal tracer pseudorabies virus was used to test the hypothesis that connections from the cervix to the forebrain and hypothalamus are maintained with pregnancy. The virus was injected into the cervix of nonpregnant or pregnant mice, and, after 5 days, virus-labeled cells and fibers were found in specific forebrain regions and, most prominently, in portions of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. With pregnancy, fewer neurons and fibers were evident in most brain regions compared to that in nonpregnant mice. In particular, little or no virus was found in the medial and ventral parvocellular subdivisions, anteroventral periventricular nucleus, or motor cortex in pregnant mice. By contrast, labeling of virus was sustained in the dorsal hypothalamus and suprachiasmatic nucleus in all groups. Based upon image analysis of digitized photomicrographs, the area with label in the rostral and medial parvocellular paraventricular nucleus and magnocellular subdivisions was significantly reduced in mice whose cervix was injected with virus during pregnancy than in nonpregnant mice. The findings indicate that connections from the cervix to brain regions that are involved in sensory input and integrative autonomic functions are reduced during pregnancy. The findings raise the possibility that remaining pathways from the cervix to the forebrain and hypothalamus may be important for control of pituitary neuroendocrine secretion, as well as for effector functions in the cervix as pregnancy nears term.
In contrast to the uterus, the cervix is well innervated during pregnancy and the density of nerve fibers increases before birth. To assess neural connections between the cervix and the spinal cord, the cervix of pregnant mice was injected with the trans-synaptic retrograde neural tract tracer pseudorabies virus (PRV). After 5 days, the virus was present in nerve cells and fibers in specific areas of the sensory, autonomic, and motor subdivisions of the thoracolumbar spinal cord. In nonpregnant controls, the virus was predominantly distributed in laminae I-III in the dorsal gray sensory areas with the heaviest label in the substantia gelatinosa compared with the autonomic or motor areas. Labeled cells and processes were sparse in other regions, except for a prominent cluster in the intermediolateral column (lamina VII). Photomicrographs of spinal cord sections were digitized, and the total area with the virus was estimated. Compared with nonpregnant controls, the area with PRV was significantly decreased in all the spinal cord subdivisions in pregnant mice except in the intermediolateral column. However, areas with the virus were equivalent in mice injected with PRV at 4 days or 1 day before birth. These findings suggest that the predominant innervation of the murine cervix is from the sensory regions of the thoracolumbar spinal cord, and that these connections diminish with pregnancy. The results raise the possibility that the remaining connections from sensory and autonomic subdivisions, particularly the intermediolateral column, of the thoracolumbar spinal cord may be important for increased density of nerve fibers in the cervix as pregnancy nears term.
The presence of neuropeptides and neuroreceptors in the bone have been reported in several studies. Bone turn-over seems to be controlled by the nervous system. The actual pathway or the control mechanism is still under investigation. In this study we investigate the changes in osteoblast cells if they are in co-culture with primary cortical brain cells. After seven days in co-culture with the primary fetal brain cells the osteoblast cells exhibited hypertrophic morphological changes and showed stronger ALP activity.
The theory of illumination subspaces is well developed and has been tested extensively on the Yale Face Database B (YDB) and CMU-PIE (PIE) data sets. This paper shows that if face recognition under varying illumination is cast as a problem of matching sets of images to sets of images, then the minimal principal angle between subspaces is sufficient to perfectly separate matching pairs of image sets from nonmatching pairs of image sets sampled from YDB and PIE. This is true even for subspaces estimated from as few as six images and when one of the subspaces is estimated from as few as three images if the second subspace is estimated from a larger set (10 or more). This suggests that variation under illumination may be thought of as useful discriminating information rather than unwanted noise.
Both loneliness and social networks have been linked with mood and wellbeing. However, few studies have examined these factors simultaneously in community-dwelling participants. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between social network, loneliness, depression, anxiety and quality of life in community dwelling older people living in Dublin.
Prepartum cervical ripening is associated with remodeling of collagen structure and with inflammation. Progesterone withdrawal is critical for parturition, but the effects of progesterone decline on cervical morphology are unknown. The present study tested the hypothesis that progesterone withdrawal promotes processes associated with remodeling of the cervix. Adult, virgin, female C57BL/6 mice received silastic capsules with oil vehicle or estradiol plus progesterone to parallel concentrations in circulation during pregnancy. After 17 days of estradiol and progesterone treatment, the progesterone implant was removed from one group. Mice in each group were killed 15, 18, or 19 days after placement of capsules. Sections of cervix were stained for collagen, and the densities of macrophages, neutrophils, and area with nerve fibers were assessed. Treatment with gonadal steroids promoted hypertrophy of the cervix, as well as reduced collagen and increased area with nerve fibers compared with vehicle-treated controls. Removal of the progesterone capsule did not affect hypertrophy or innervation, but it did reduce collagen. By contrast, significantly more macrophages and neutrophils were present in the cervix on Days 18 and 19 (i.e., by 24 and 48 h after withdrawal of the progesterone capsule); the immune cell census was equivalent to that in vehicle controls. Findings indicate that gonadal steroids, comparable to those during pregnancy, promote hypertrophy and suppress immigration of immune cells in the cervix. Therefore, in a nonpregnant murine model for parturition, progesterone withdrawal is suggested to recruit immune cells and processes that remodel the cervix.
The hypogastric nerve is a major pathway innervating the uterine cervix, yet its contribution to the processes of cervical ripening and parturition is not known. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of hypogastric nerve transection on remodeling of the cervix and timing of birth. As an initial goal, processes associated with remodeling of the peripartum cervix were studied. The cervix was obtained from time-dated pregnant rats on days 15, 19, 21, and 21.5 of pregnancy, and post partum on the day of birth (day 22). The cervix was excised, post-fixed overnight, and sections stained to evaluate collagen content and structure or processed by immunohistochemistry to identify macrophages or nerve fibers. The census of macrophages and density of nerve fibers in the cervix peaked on day 21, the day before birth, and then declined post partum. These results replicate in time course and magnitude previous studies in mice. To address the main objective, the hypogastric nerve was bilaterally transected on day 15 post-breeding; sham-operated rats served as controls. Pups were born in both groups at normal term. Transection of the hypogastric nerves did not affect remodeling of collagen or the census of macrophages or the density of nerve fibers in the cervix. These findings support the contention that enhanced innervation and immigration of immune cells are associated with remodeling of the cervix and parturition, but that a neural pathway other than the hypogastric nerve may participate in the process of cervical ripening.
To understand mechanisms underlying overactive bladder (OAB) and voiding dysfunction (VD) in neurologically normal women.
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