The latest medical research on General Medicine / Internal Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about general medicine / internal medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Hyperendemic rheumatic heart disease in a remote Australian town identified by echocardiographic screening.

Medical Journal of Australia

Using echocardiographic screening, to estimate the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in a remote Northern Territory town.

Definite or borderline RHD, based on World Heart Federation criteria; history of acute rheumatic fever (ARF), based on Australian guidelines for diagnosing ARF.

People aged 5-20 years living in Maningrida, West Arnhem Land (population, 2610, including 2366 Indigenous Australians), March 2018 and November 2018.

The screening participation rate was 72%. The median age of the 613 participants was 11 years (interquartile range, 8-14 years); 298 (49%) were girls or women, and 592 (97%) were Aboriginal Australians. Definite RHD was detected in 32 screened participants (5.2%), including 20 not previously diagnosed with RHD; in five new cases, RHD was classified as severe, and three of the participants involved required cardiac surgery. Borderline RHD was diagnosed in 17 participants (2.8%). According to NT RHD register data at the end of the study period, 88 of 849 people in Maningrida and the surrounding homelands aged 5-20 years (10%) were receiving secondary prophylaxis following diagnoses of definite RHD or definite or probable ARF.

Passive case finding for ARF and RHD is inadequate in some remote Australian communities with a very high burden of RHD, placing children and young people with undetected RHD at great risk of poor health outcomes. Active case finding by regular echocardiographic screening is required in such areas.

Advance Care Planning Video Intervention Among Long-Stay Nursing Home Residents: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Internal Medicine

Standardized, evidenced-based approaches to conducting advance care planning (ACP) in nursing homes are lacking.

To test the effect of an ACP video program on hospital transfers, burdensome treatments, and hospice enrollment among long-stay nursing home residents with and without advanced illness.

The Pragmatic Trial of Video Education in Nursing Homes was a pragmatic cluster randomized clinical trial conducted between February 1, 2016, and May 31, 2019, at 360 nursing homes (119 intervention and 241 control) in 32 states owned by 2 for-profit corporations. Participants included 4171 long-stay residents with advanced dementia or cardiopulmonary disease (hereafter referred to as advanced illness) in the intervention group and 8308 long-stay residents with advanced illness in the control group, 5764 long-stay residents without advanced illness in the intervention group, and 11 773 long-stay residents without advanced illness in the control group. Analyses followed the intention-to-treat principle.

Five 6- to 10-minute ACP videos were made available on tablet computers or online. Designated champions (mostly social workers) in intervention facilities were instructed to offer residents (or their proxies) the opportunity to view a video(s) on admission and every 6 months. Control facilities used usual ACP practices.

Twelve-month outcomes were measured for each resident. The primary outcome was hospital transfers per 1000 person-days alive in the advanced illness cohort. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of residents with or without advanced illness experiencing 1 or more hospital transfer, 1 or more burdensome treatment, and hospice enrollment. To monitor fidelity, champions completed reports in the electronic record whenever they offered to show residents a video.

The study included 4171 long-stay residents with advanced illness in the intervention group (2970 women [71.2%]; mean [SD] age, 83.6 [9.1] years), and 8308 long-stay residents with advanced illness in the control group (5857 women [70.5%]; mean [SD] age, 83.6 [8.9] years), 5764 long-stay residents without advanced illness in the intervention group (3692 women [64.1%]; mean [SD] age, 81.5 [9.2] years), and 11 773 long-stay residents without advanced illness in the control group (7467 women [63.4%]; mean [SD] age, 81.3 [9.2] years). There was no significant reduction in hospital transfers per 1000 person-days alive in the intervention vs control groups (rate [SE], 3.7 [0.2]; 95% CI, 3.4-4.0 vs 3.9 [0.3]; 95% CI, 3.6-4.1; rate difference [SE], -0.2 [0.3]; 95% CI, -0.5 to 0.2). Secondary outcomes did not significantly differ between trial groups among residents with and without advanced illness. Based on champions' reports, 912 of 4171 residents with advanced illness (21.9%) viewed ACP videos. Facility-level rates of showing ACP videos ranged from 0% (14 of 119 facilities [11.8%]) to more than 40% (22 facilities [18.5%]).

This study found that an ACP video program was not effective in reducing hospital transfers, decreasing burdensome treatment use, or increasing hospice enrollment among long-stay residents with or without advanced illness. Intervention fidelity was low, highlighting the challenges of implementing new programs in nursing homes. Identifier: NCT02612688.

Countergradient Variation in Reptiles: Thermal Sensitivity of Developmental and Metabolic Rates Across Locally Adapted Populations.

Frontiers in Physiology

Environmental temperature is a key driver of variation in developmental physiological rates in reptiles. Cooler temperatures extend development tim...

Cyclophilin D: An Integrator of Mitochondrial Function.

Frontiers in Physiology

Cyclophilin D (CypD) is a mitochondrial peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase, well-known for regulating the mitochondrial permeability transition po...

The Role of Danger Associated Molecular Patterns in Human Fetal Membrane Weakening.

Frontiers in Physiology

The idea that cellular stress (including that precipitated by stretch), plays a significant role in the mechanisms initiating parturition, has gain...

The Identity of Organisms in Scientific Practice: Integrating Historical and Relational Conceptions.

Frontiers in Physiology

We address the identity of biological organisms at play in experimental and modeling practices. We first examine the central tenets of two general ...

Healing Mechanism of Ruptured Fetal Membrane.

Frontiers in Physiology

Preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM) typically leads to spontaneous preterm birth within several days. In a few rare cases, however, amni...

Role of the Extracellular Matrix in Loss of Muscle Force With Age and Unloading Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Biochemical Analysis, and Computational Models.

Frontiers in Physiology

The focus of this review is the application of advanced MRI to study the effect of aging and disuse related remodeling of the extracellular matrix ...

Visual Attack on the Moving Prey by Cuttlefish.

Frontiers in Physiology

Visual attack for prey capture in cuttlefish involves three well characterized sequential stages: attention, positioning, and seizure. This visuall...

Changes in Myocardial Metabolism Preceding Sudden Cardiac Death.

Frontiers in Physiology

Heart disease is widely recognized as a major cause of death worldwide and is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Centuries of res...

Biology of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3), and Its Therapeutic Implications in Cardiovascular Pathology.

Frontiers in Physiology

Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) is unique among the four TIMPs due to its extracellular matrix (ECM)-binding property and broad ran...

Mitochondrial Utilization of Competing Fuels Is Altered in Insulin Resistant Skeletal Muscle of Non-obese Rats (Goto-Kakizaki).

Frontiers in Physiology

Insulin-resistant skeletal muscle is characterized by metabolic inflexibility with associated alterations in substrate selection, mediated by peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor δ (PPARδ). Although it is established that PPARδ contributes to the alteration of energy metabolism, it is not clear whether it plays a role in mitochondrial fuel competition. While nutrient overload may impair metabolic flexibility by fuel congestion within mitochondria, in absence of obesity defects at a mitochondrial level have not yet been excluded. We sought to determine whether reduced PPARδ content in insulin-resistant rat skeletal muscle of a non-obese rat model of T2DM (Goto-Kakizaki, GK) ameliorate the inhibitory effect of fatty acid (i.e., palmitoylcarnitine) on mitochondrial carbohydrate oxidization (i.e., pyruvate) in muscle fibers.

Bioenergetic function was characterized in oxidative soleus (S) and glycolytic white gastrocnemius (WG) muscles with measurement of respiration rates in permeabilized fibers in the presence of complex I, II, IV, and fatty acid substrates. Mitochondrial content was measured by citrate synthase (CS) and succinate dehydrogenase activity (SDH). Western blot was used to determine protein expression of PPARδ, PDK isoform 2 and 4.

CS and SDH activity, key markers of mitochondrial content, were reduced by ∼10-30% in diabetic vs. control, and the effect was evident in both oxidative and glycolytic muscles. PPARδ (p < 0.01), PDK2 (p < 0.01), and PDK4 (p = 0.06) protein content was reduced in GK animals compared to Wistar rats (N = 6 per group). Ex vivo respiration rates in permeabilized muscle fibers determined in the presence of complex I, II, IV, and fatty acid substrates, suggested unaltered mitochondrial bioenergetic function in T2DM muscle. Respiration in the presence of pyruvate was higher compared to palmitoylcarnitine in both animal groups and fiber types. Moreover, respiration rates in the presence of both palmitoylcarnitine and pyruvate were reduced by 25 ± 6% (S), 37 ± 6% (WG) and 63 ± 6% (S), 57 ± 8% (WG) compared to pyruvate for both controls and GK, respectively. The inhibitory effect of palmitoylcarnitine on respiration was significantly greater in GK than controls (p < 10-3).

With competing fuels, the presence of fatty acids diminishes mitochondria ability to utilize carbohydrate derived substrates in insulin-resistant muscle despite reduced PPARδ content.