Open Reading Frame brings together a selection of recent publication highlights from elsewhere in  the open access ecosystem. This week we take a look at the past few weeks in medicine.

 

Predicting oral cancer development with microarray analysis
Early identification of cancer is key to increasing the effectiveness of therapy, and oral potentially malignant lesions (OPMLs) can be an early sign of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) development. In a systematic review, researchers have synthesized the evidence for gene profile alterations in OPMLs that undergo malignant transformation, and suggest a set of commonly dysregulated genes. The authors conclude that these genetic alterations, detected through microarray analysis, could be important in identifying which OPMLs may develop into cancer, and could be used to guide OSCC diagnosis and therapy.
Majeed and Farah. Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology

 

Online interventions: a promising approach to increase physical activity in obese people?
Sedentary behavior is emerging as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although physical activity is known to reduce this risk, many people do not do enough exercise. A new intervention combining face-to-face interviews and emails carried out in the USA has been found to increase activity and reduce waist circumference in obese women, suggesting that internet-based motivational interventions could help to decrease sedentary behavior and reduce the risk of preventable disease.
Adams et al. Frontiers in Public Health

 

The global burden of depression
Depressive disorders, characterized by a persistent low mood and feelings of hopelessness, are common mental disorders that occur in people of all ages across the globe. As part of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study, researchers have identified depressive disorders as a major cause of global disease burden. The study also showed that major depressive disorder contributes to the burden allocated to suicide and ischemic heart disease, reinforcing the importance of treating depressive disorders as a public health priority and developing cost-effective interventions.
Ferrari et al. PLOS Medicine

 

New insights into the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a systemic inflammatory disease primarily affecting the joints, is caused by a number of genetic and environmental factors. New research has identified a link between Prevotella copri bacteria and disease in new-onset RA patients. Also, higher levels of these bacteria correlated with a reduction in beneficial microbes. These results provide further insights into the pathogenesis of RA, and suggest that Prevotella bacteria could be a potential therapeutic target.
Scher et al. eLife

 

Indicators of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women
Endothelial dysfunction is an initial step involved in the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease. Research carried out in Japanese women has investigated the link between uric acid – a known marker of cardiovascular risk in some populations – and endothelial dysfunction. Interestingly, the researchers found that uric acid is significantly associated with endothelial dysfunction in postmenopausal women, but not in premenopausal women. These findings highlight important differences based on menopausal status, and suggest that uric acid could be measured as an early indicator of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.
Maruhashi et al. BMJ Open

 

Is home-based rehabilitation a feasible strategy for COPD patients?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an important strategy to improve lung function and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, not all patients are able to attend rehabilitation centers as often as necessary, which can result in reduced adherence to treatment. To address this problem, a clinical trial has been carried out to assess the effect of a home-based pulmonary rehabilitation program for COPD patients. The program, which involved biweekly supervision, did not lead to significant improvements in quality of life, but is able to maintain clinical stability of symptoms, suggesting that home-based programs should be explored further as an option for COPD patients who cannot travel to rehabilitation centers.
Dias et al. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

 

Written by Claire Barnard, Senior Editor for BMC Medicine.

 

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