Glottal incompetence, i.e., reduced ability to produce effective glottal closure, is a problem often associated with aging. The study protocol is presented to determine whether blood substance P (SP) serves as an indicator of glottal closure function among the elderly. SP is involved in the neuromuscular mechanisms of cough; reduced concentration of SP may be a marker for increased risk of aspiration pneumonia. The antihypertensive angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, which also inhibits degradation of SP, has been found to be effective in preventing aspiration pneumonia by strengthening the cough reflex. In this study, we will employ National Hospital Organization self-controlled vocal exercise (NHOEx), which has been shown to improve glottal closure by strengthening the laryngeal adduction muscles. We hypothesize that improved glottal closure by NHOEx may lead to the increase in the plasma concentration of SP, which reflects effective cough reflex. Maximum phonation time (MPT), an indicator of glottal closure, will be measured to assess improvement of glottis-closing function. The study will include 180 patients over 65 years old with dysphonia, dysphagia, or MPT of less than 15 seconds. Based on the speculation that the improved MPT may be associated with changes in SP expression, we will measure the plasma SP before and after 6-month treatment of glottal incompetence using NHOEx. The goal is to verify the reliability of SP as an indicator for glottal closure and swallowing function. Measurement of plasma SP may be helpful for earlier detection of subjects with higher risk of aspiration pneumonia among the elderly.
Exercise is recommended for older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and increased physical activity contributes to better management of their condition. The conventional exercise test with treadmill or cycle ergometer (CE) for assessing physical capacity, such as peak oxygen uptake (VO2) and anaerobic threshold (AT), is not always usable for older patients with T2DM. The incremental sit-to-stand (ISTS) exercise is an incremental exercise test using external signals to control the sit-to-stand rate in a given time frame and can be performed in a small space using only a chair. This study aimed to examine the validity of the physical capacity assessment during the ISTS exercise, based on the relationships between the ISTS performance, peak VO2, AT on ISTS exercise and CE test, in older patients with T2DM. Twenty-two patients with T2DM (10 men, 12 women; mean age, 68.0 years; range, 61-77 years) performed ISTS exercise (according to an existing protocol) and CE test in a randomized manner. Peak VO2, AT, and completion time were determined for the ISTS exercise and CE test. Peak VO2 during ISTS exercise was significantly associated with that during the CE test (r = 0.89, p < 0.01). The completion time on the ISTS exercise was significantly associated with peak VO2 (r = 0.80, p < 0.01) and AT on the ISTS exercise (r = 0.78, p < 0.01). The ISTS exercise is a useful tool to determine the physical capacity and estimate peak VO2 and AT in older people with T2DM.
Verbal or physical abuse from coaches has negative effects on young athletes, and the parents of athletes also have an influence on the sports environment. It is therefore important to understand parents’ attitudes towards abuse against their children from the coaches. This study aimed to elucidate the characteristics of parents who accept the infliction of verbal or physical abuse on their children from coaches of youth sports teams. A cross-sectional study using self-report questionnaires was conducted with parents of young athletes (n = 6,493). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess the factors associated with parents’ acceptability of verbal or physical abuse against their children. The proportion of parents who were accepting of verbal or physical abuse was 21.5%. Acceptability of verbal or physical abuse was significantly associated with male (odds ratio: 1.67, 95% confidence interval: 1.43-1.95), younger age (1.24, 1.09-1.41), lower educational attainment (1.32, 1.17-1.50), smoking habits (1.42, 1.23-1.63), experience of playing on a team with high levels of competition during their junior or high school days (1.31, 1.15-1.50), and experience of verbal and physical abuse by their own former coaches (3.59, 3.03-4.26 and 1.17, 1.02-1.35). About 58% and 28% of parents had experienced verbal and physical abuse from their own former coaches, and parents who had experienced verbal abuse themselves were most likely to be accepting of verbal or physical abuse towards their children. Educating parents is considered to be important for preventing and eradicating abuse against young athletes.
Esophageal carcinosarcoma is a rare tumor composed of neoplastic squamous epithelium and sarcomatous spindle cells. The origin of spindle cells remains unknown; however, the majority of sarcomatous components are currently considered to be derived from existing carcinomatous cells via epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We report a case of esophageal carcinosarcoma harboring basaloid squamous cell carcinoma successfully treated with preoperative chemotherapy. A 78-year-old man complaining dysphagia was diagnosed as esophageal carcinosarcoma. After two courses of preoperative chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil, curative esophagectomy with lymph node dissection was performed thoracoscopically. Histopathological findings of the resected specimen revealed the mixture of basaloid squamous cell carcinoma and sarcomatous spindle cells. A transitional zone between both components was also detected. As fibrosis was identified around both two components, the findings indicated that both carcinomatous and sarcomatous neoplasms disappeared by preoperative chemotherapy. Final pathological diagnosis was esophageal carcinosarcoma with basaloid squamous cell carcinoma. No recurrent lesions have been detected for 25 months after the surgery. Sarcomatous spindle cells could be derived from the components of basaloid squamous cell carcinoma in our present case due to the presence of histological transition between two components. In addition, the marked immunoreactivity of vimentin (an EMT marker) detected in the tumor cells of basaloid squamous cell carcinoma could be consistent with the concept of monoclonal origin via EMT. The regimen targeting squamous cell carcinoma could also be effective in the treatment of sarcomatous components. Preoperative therapy might achieve the improvement of clinical outcome of patients with esophageal carcinosarcoma.
In Japan, some measles outbreaks were initiated by a tourist from oversea and foreign workers recently. Moreover, rubella outbreak emerged since July 2018 mainly in the South Kanto, and the outbreak is currently ongoing in 2019. It is important to maintain a high measles-rubella combined vaccine (MR) coverage for measles-rubella control. Vaccination coverage for the second dose of MR (MR2) is 90.8% in Tokyo in 2016, which was the third worst among all prefectures in Japan. The purpose of this study was to clarify determinant factors of vaccination coverage for MR2 in Tokyo. Data were obtained for 49 wards and cities in Tokyo in 2016. We regressed vaccination coverage of MR2 on the times of notification by mail, the proportion of households receiving welfare payments, and the proportion of non-Japanese elementary school students. In addition to the simplest specification, five factors were included separately as explanatory variables: the proportion of public health nurses; the ratio of the number of pediatric medical facilities to the number of preschool and elementary school children; the moving-in rate; the proportion of households with a single parent; and the proportion of households with husband and wife both working. Results show that a high proportion of households receiving welfare payments, notification by two or more letters, and moving-in rate or a lower proportion of non-Japanese elementary school students improve coverage. In conclusion, the health authorities can exert efforts to reduce burden of time spent for vaccination and provide sufficient information to improve coverage.
Vascular calcification is a typical feature of atherosclerosis and is associated with adverse cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Several studies have suggested that adenosine, an ATP metabolite may function as an endogenous regulator of arterial calcification. However, its effects on vascular smooth muscle cell calcification have not been clarified. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of adenosine on vascular calcification in vitro by utilizing the culture of human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). Osteoblastic differentiation of HASMCs was induced by the treatment with oncostatin M and osteogenic differentiation medium. Adenosine and its metabolically stable analogue, 2-chloroadenosine (CADO) significantly reduced matrix mineralization and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities in HASMCs. The mRNA expression of tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) was down-regulated by adenosine and CADO, but the mRNA expression of other osteoblastic differentiation markers, such as Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and bone sialoprotein (BSP)-II, was not significantly affected by these two reagents. Among the adenosine receptor (AR) subtype-selective agonists used, only IB-MECA (A3 AR-selective agonist) significantly decreased in vitro mineralization and ALP activities in HASMCs, but not with CCPA (A1 AR-selective agonist), CGS21680 (A2a AR-selective agonist), or BAY60-6583 (A2b AR-selective agonist). Importantly, IB-MECA also down-regulated expression of TNAP mRNA. Finally, knockdown of A3 AR, but not A1 AR, A2a AR, or A2b AR, significantly reversed the inhibitory actions of adenosine, CADO, or IB-MECA on in vitro calcification and ALP activities in HASMCs. These data suggest that adenosine attenuates HASMC calcification through A3 AR.
Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a recently recognized disease, characterized by high serum IgG4 concentrations and IgG4-producing plasma cell expansion with fibrotic or sclerotic changes in affected organs. Recent work has focused on the relationship between IgG4-RD and malignancies, but there is no report of malignancies associated with IgG4-RD in head and neck regions. The aim of this study was to analyze the clinicopathological characteristics of malignancies in patients with IgG4-RD in head and neck regions. We retrospectively analyzed 26 patients with IgG4-RD (12 men and 14 women aged 60.6 ± 11.6 years). The mean follow-up period was 26.6 months (from 12 to 96 months). These patients were divided into single-lesion group (n = 12) with IgG4-RD only in head and neck regions and multiple-lesion group (n = 14) with IgG4-RD in other regions. There was no significant difference in serum IgG4 concentrations between the single-lesion group (459.4 ± 336.4 mg/dL) and the multiple-lesion group (908.0 ± 739.2 mg/dL) (P = 0.07), whereas the IgG4/IgG ratio was significantly lower in the single-lesion group (22.8 ± 11.0%; n = 11) compared with the multiple-lesion group (31.7 ± 15.0%; n = 11, P = 0.02). Among the 26 patients, two patients (7.7%), both in the multiple-lesion group, developed life-threatening malignancies (salivary duct carcinoma in the submandibular gland and lymphoma in the orbital tissue). All physicians need to keep in mind the possible coexistence of malignancies in patients with IgG4-RD with high IgG4/IgG ratio and multiple lesions at the time of diagnosis.
Resolution of regional disparities in cancer mortality is global challenge. Establishing an equal system of cancer treatment throughout the country is required under the Cancer Control Act in Japan. The types of treated cancer may reflect practical experience at the institutions and cooperation to other institutions. This study investigated the types treated at the institutions in rural communities of Japan. A questionnaire survey was conducted for 811 public rural institutions (clinics and small-to-middle-sized hospitals [< 200 beds]) in 2013. The survey’s items included the types of treated cancer (14 categories: stomach, colon, breast, liver, biliary tract, pancreatic, prostate, esophageal, lung, renal, urinary tract, testicular, hematopoietic, and others) and the first five types were defined as major cancers. The data were analyzed between hospitals and clinics. The response rate was about 60%, and of 177 hospitals and 281 clinics, 54 hospitals (30%) and 10 clinics (3%) reported the types of cancer. The median number of cancer types in hospitals was significantly greater than that of clinics (4 [interquartile range 3.0-7.8]) vs. 1 [1.0-1.8], P < 0.01). The prevalence of hospitals treating at least one of five major cancers was significantly greater than that of clinics (96% vs. 30%, P < 0.01). The prevalence of clinics treating prostate cancer was significantly greater than that of hospitals (31% vs. 70%, P = 0.03). In conclusion, most types of cancer are treated at small-to-middle-sized hospitals, except for prostate cancer, providing basic information about cancer treatment in rural communities of Japan.