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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A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Voxelotor in Sickle Cell Disease.

N Engl J

Deoxygenated sickle hemoglobin (HbS) polymerization drives the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease. Therefore, direct inhibition of HbS polymerization has potential to favorably modify disease outcomes. Voxelotor is an HbS polymerization inhibitor.

In a multicenter, phase 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we compared the efficacy and safety of two dose levels of voxelotor (1500 mg and 900 mg, administered orally once daily) with placebo in persons with sickle cell disease. The primary end point was the percentage of participants who had a hemoglobin response, which was defined as an increase of more than 1.0 g per deciliter from baseline at week 24 in the intention-to-treat analysis.

A total of 274 participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive a once-daily oral dose of 1500 mg of voxelotor, 900 mg of voxelotor, or placebo. Most participants had sickle cell anemia (homozygous hemoglobin S or hemoglobin Sβ0-thalassemia), and approximately two thirds were receiving hydroxyurea at baseline. In the intention-to-treat analysis, a significantly higher percentage of participants had a hemoglobin response in the 1500-mg voxelotor group (51%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 41 to 61) than in the placebo group (7%; 95% CI, 1 to 12). Anemia worsened between baseline and week 24 in fewer participants in each voxelotor dose group than in those receiving placebo. At week 24, the 1500-mg voxelotor group had significantly greater reductions from baseline in the indirect bilirubin level and percentage of reticulocytes than the placebo group. The percentage of participants with an adverse event that occurred or worsened during the treatment period was similar across the trial groups. Adverse events of at least grade 3 occurred in 26% of the participants in the 1500-mg voxelotor group, 23% in the 900-mg voxelotor group, and 26% in the placebo group. Most adverse events were not related to the trial drug or placebo, as determined by the investigators.

In this phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving participants with sickle cell disease, voxelotor significantly increased hemoglobin levels and reduced markers of hemolysis. These findings are consistent with inhibition of HbS polymerization and indicate a disease-modifying potential. (Funded by Global Blood Therapeutics; HOPE number, NCT03036813.).

The Dark That Matters: Long Non-coding RNAs as Master Regulators of Cellular Metabolism in Non-communicable Diseases.

Frontiers in Physiology

Non-coding RNAs are pivotal for many cellular functions, such as splicing, gene regulation, chromosome structure, and hormone-like activity. Here, ...

High-Intensity Interval Training: A Potential Exercise Countermeasure During Human Spaceflight.

Frontiers in Physiology

High-intensity interval training (HIT) is an effective approach for improving a range of physiological markers associated with physical fitness. A ...

Role of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Autophagy Axis in Severe Burn-Induced Intestinal Tight Junction Barrier Dysfunction in Mice.

Frontiers in Physiology

Severe burn injury induces intestinal barrier dysfunction; however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Our previous studies have shown that ...

Predictive Approach Identifies Molecular Targets and Interventions to Restore Angiogenesis in Wounds With Delayed Healing.

Frontiers in Physiology

Impaired angiogenesis is a hallmark of wounds with delayed healing, and currently used therapies to restore angiogenesis have limited efficacy. Her...

Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: A Review of Cardiac and Noncardiac Pathophysiology.

Frontiers in Physiology

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is one of the largest unmet clinical needs in 21st-century cardiology. It is a complex disor...

Is Experimental Evolution of an Increased Aerobic Exercise Performance in Bank Voles Mediated by Endocannabinoid Signaling Pathway?

Frontiers in Physiology

The level of physical activity achieved in a given situation depends on both physiological abilities and behavioral characteristics (motivation). We used a unique animal model to test a hypothesis that evolution of an increased aerobic exercise performance can be facilitated by evolution of motivation to undertake physical activity, mediated by brain endocannabinoid system. Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from "aerobic" A lines selected for 22 generations for high swim-induced aerobic metabolism (VO2swim) achieved 65% higher "voluntary maximum" VO2swim than voles from unselected, "control" C lines. In C lines, VO2swim was 24% lower than the maximum forced-running aerobic metabolism (VO2run), while in A lines VO2swim and VO2run were practically the same. Thus, the selection changed both the aerobic capacity and motivation to exercise at the top performance level. We applied a pharmacological treatment manipulation to test a hypothesis that the endocannabinoid signaling pathway 1) affects the voles performance in the aerobic exercise trials, and 2) has been modified in the selection process. Administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist (Rimonabant) did not affect the level of metabolism, but administration of the endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor (AM404) decreased VO2swim both in A and C lines (4%, p = 0.03) and tended to decrease VO2run (2%, p = 0.07). The significant effect of AM404 suggests the involvement of endocannabinoids in signaling pathways controlling the motivation to be active. However, the response to AM404 did not differ between A and C lines (interaction effect, p ≥ 0.29). Thus, the results did not provide a support to the hypothesis that modifications of endocannabinoid signaling have played a role in the evolution of increased aerobic exercise performance in our experimental evolution model system.

The results corroborated involvement of endocannabinoids in the regulation of physical activity, but did not support the hypothesis that modification of endocannabinoid signaling played a role in the evolution of increased aerobic exercise performance in our experimental evolution model.

Post-cardioversion Improvement in LV Function Defined by 4D Flow Patterns and Energetics in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation.

Frontiers in Physiology

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a prevalent cause of cardiovascular morbidity, including thromboembolism and heart failure. Left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) detected in AF patients may be either precursor or consequence of the arrythmia. Successful cardioversion of chronic AF is often followed by a transient period of left atrial (LA) stunning, where depressed mechanical atrial contraction persists despite reinstitution of sinus rhythm. To determine if AF-associated LVD would improve with resolution of LA dysfunction, AF patients were examined immediately and 4 weeks after cardioversion to sinus rhythm. 4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) assesses ventricular function according to the volumes and energetics of functional components of the LV volume. Previously, described 4D CMR markers of LVD include decreased volume and end-diastolic kinetic energy (KE) of the Direct flow, which is the portion of LV volume that passes directly from inflow to outflow in a single cycle. We hypothesize that impaired LV flow patterns and energetics will be found immediately after cardioversion during atrial stunning, and that those parameters will improve as atrial function returns.

Ten patients with a history of AF underwent CMR 2-3 h (Time-1) and 4 weeks (Time-2), following electrical cardioversion to sinus rhythm. 4D phase-contrast velocity data and morphological images were acquired at a 3T CMR system. Using a previously evaluated method, pathlines were emitted from the LV end diastolic volume (LVEDV) and traced forward and backward in time until end-systole. The LVEDV was automatically separated into four functional flow components whose volume and KE were calculated.

Left atrial fractional area change increased over the follow-up period (P = 0.001), indicating recovery of LA mechanical function. LVEF increased between Time-1 and Time-2 (P = 0.003); LVEDVI did not change (P = 0.319). Over that interval, the ratios of Direct flow/LVEDV volume and KE increased (P = 0.001 and P = 0.003, respectively), while the ratios of Residual volume/LVEDV volume and KE decreased (P = 0.001 and P = 0.005, respectively).

Post-cardioversion recovery of LA function was associated with improvements in conventional and 4D CMR markers of LV function. Flow-specific measures demonstrate the negative but potentially reversible impact of LA dysfunction on volume and energetic aspects of LV function.

Physiological Validation of an Airborne Ultrasound Based Surface Motion Camera for a Contactless Characterization of Breathing Pattern in Humans.

Frontiers in Physiology

Characterizing the breathing pattern in naturally breathing humans brings important information on respiratory mechanics, respiratory muscle, and b...

Pectin Digestion in Herbivorous Beetles: Impact of Pseudoenzymes Exceeds That of Their Active Counterparts.

Frontiers in Physiology

Many protein families harbor pseudoenzymes that have lost the catalytic function of their enzymatically active counterparts. Assigning alternative ...

Myokine/Adipokine Response to "Aerobic" Exercise: Is It Just a Matter of Exercise Load?

Frontiers in Physiology

Exercise health benefits are partly mediated by exertional changes in several myokines/adipokines. This study aimed to compare the acute response of some of these biomarkers to aerobic exercise performed at the intensity corresponding to the maximum fat oxidation rate (FATmax) or the "anaerobic" threshold (AT).

Following a cross-over, counterbalanced design, 14 healthy untrained men (23 ± 1 years) performed a 45-min exercise bout at their FATmax or AT intensity (been previously determined through incremental exercise tests). The concentration of interleukin (IL)-15, follistatin, myostatin, fibroblast-growth factor (FGF)-21, irisin, resistin, and omentin was measured at baseline and 0, 1, 3, 24, 48, and 72 h post-exercise.

AT exercise was performed at a higher intensity (85 ± 8 vs. 52 ± 14% of maximal oxygen uptake [VO2 max], p < 0.001) and induced a higher energy expenditure (p < 0.001) than FATmax, whereas a greater fat oxidation was observed in the latter (p < 0.001). A higher peak response of FGF-21 (+90%, p < 0.01) and follistatin (+49%, p < 0.05) was found after AT-exercise, as well as a trend toward a higher peak level of omentin (+13%, p = 0.071) and a greater decrease in resistin (-16%, p = 0.073).

Increasing exercise load (from FATmax to AT) results in a higher response of FGF-21, follistatin and omentin to aerobic exercise, with the subsequent potential cardiometabolic benefits. No effects were, however, observed on the remainder of biomarkers. Future research should address if manipulating other exercise variables (e.g., type, frequency) can promote a higher myokine/adipokine response.