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(1/21969) Abnormal calcium metabolism in normocalcaemic sarcoidosis.

In studies of calcium metabolism in 13 unselected patients with untreated sarcoidosis all were normocalcaemic but five had hypercalcuria. All had normal renal function. Calcium absorption was indexed by a double isotope test. 45Ca hyperabsorption occurred in six patients. Ten kinetic studies were carried out with 47Ca and in six bone turnover was increased. 45Ca absorption correlated well with the calculated bone uptake rate of calcium, and with urine calcium excretion. These results suggest that in sarcoidosis abnormalities in calcium metabolism are fairly common although they rarely result in sustained hypercalcaemia.  (+info)

(2/21969) Urinary lithium: distribution shape, reference values, and evaluation of exposure by inductively coupled plasma argon-emission spectrometry.

Inductively coupled plasma argon-emission spectrometry (ICPAES) was used to evaluate the lithium content of undiluted urine samples. The method can be performed with 1 mL of urine in a single tube using a routine ICPAES analysis for rapid and convenient assessment of lithium exposure in humans. Urine samples obtained from male workers (n = 86) who had not been exposed to lithium were used for the determination of this element by ICPAES. The obtained concentrations were corrected using a specific gravity of 1.024. The particular frequency distribution resulted in a log-normal distribution diagram for anatomical spread. Geometric mean value for urinary lithium in the nonexposed male workers was 23.5 microg/L, and the confidence interval from a log-normal distribution was 11.0 to 50.5 microg/L. Taking into consideration a short biological half-life and the massive urine excretion of lithium, urinary lithium was considered to be a useful index for monitoring of exposure. Calibration curves obtained for lithium standards had good sensitivity and linearity. Good reproducibility was assessed by lithium addition to urine samples. It was concluded that the obtained lithium reference values would be useful for the early diagnosis of lithium intoxication or in the assessment of the degree of exposure to lithium in subjects at risk.  (+info)

(3/21969) Physiological characteristics of capacity constraints in working memory as revealed by functional MRI.

A fundamental characteristic of working memory is that its capacity to handle information is limited. While there have been many brain mapping studies of working memory, the physiological basis of its capacity limitation has not been explained. We identified characteristics of working memory capacity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy subjects. Working memory capacity was studied using a parametric 'n-back' working memory task involving increasing cognitive load and ultimately decreasing task performance. Loci within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) evinced exclusively an 'inverted-U' shaped neurophysiological response from lowest to highest load, consistent with a capacity-constrained response. Regions outside of DLPFC, in contrast, were more heterogeneous in response and often showed early plateau or continuously increasing responses, which did not reflect capacity constraints. However, sporadic loci, including in the premotor cortex, thalamus and superior parietal lobule, also demonstrated putative capacity-constrained responses, perhaps arising as an upstream effect of DLPFC limitations or as part of a broader network-wide capacity limitation. These results demonstrate that regionally specific nodes within the working memory network are capacity-constrained in the physiological domain, providing a missing link in current explorations of the capacity characteristics of working memory.  (+info)

(4/21969) The functional anatomy of the normal human auditory system: responses to 0.5 and 4.0 kHz tones at varied intensities.

Most functional imaging studies of the auditory system have employed complex stimuli. We used positron emission tomography to map neural responses to 0.5 and 4.0 kHz sine-wave tones presented to the right ear at 30, 50, 70 and 90 dB HL and found activation in a complex neural network of elements traditionally associated with the auditory system as well as non-traditional sites such as the posterior cingulate cortex. Cingulate activity was maximal at low stimulus intensities, suggesting that it may function as a gain control center. In the right temporal lobe, the location of the maximal response varied with the intensity, but not with the frequency of the stimuli. In the left temporal lobe, there was evidence for tonotopic organization: a site lateral to the left primary auditory cortex was activated equally by both tones while a second site in primary auditory cortex was more responsive to the higher frequency. Infratentorial activations were contralateral to the stimulated ear and included the lateral cerebellum, the lateral pontine tegmentum, the midbrain and the medial geniculate. Contrary to predictions based on cochlear membrane mechanics, at each intensity, 4.0 kHz stimuli were more potent activators of the brain than the 0.5 kHz stimuli.  (+info)

(5/21969) A survey of serum and dietary carotenoids in captive wild animals.

Accumulation of carotenoids varies greatly among animal species and is not fully characterized. Circulating carotenoid concentration data in captive wild animals are limited and may be useful for their management. Serum carotenoid concentrations and dietary intakes were surveyed and the extent of accumulation categorized for 76 species of captive wild animals at Brookfield Zoo. Blood samples were obtained opportunistically from 275 individual animals immobilized for a variety of reasons; serum was analyzed for alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and canthaxanthin. Total carotenoid content of diets was calculated from tables and chemical analyses of commonly consumed dietary components. Diets were categorized as low, moderate or high in carotenoid content as were total serum carotenoid concentrations. Animals were classified as unknown, high, moderate or low (non-) accumulators of dietary cartenoids. Nonaccumulators had total serum carotenoid concentrations of 0-101 nmol/L, whereas accumulators had concentrations that ranged widely, from 225 to 35,351 nmol/L. Primates were uniquely distinguished by the widest range of type and concentration of carotenoids in their sera. Most were classified as high to moderate accumulators. Felids had high accumulation of beta-carotene regardless of dietary intake, whereas a wide range of exotic birds accumulated only the xanthophylls, lutein + zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin or cryptoxanthin. The exotic ungulates, with the exception of the bovids, had negligible or nondetectable carotenoid serum concentrations despite moderate intakes. Bovids accumulated only beta-carotene despite moderately high lutein + zeaxanthin intakes. Wild captive species demonstrated a wide variety of carotenoid accumulation patterns, which could be exploited to answer remaining questions concerning carotenoid metabolism and function.  (+info)

(6/21969) Sensitivity of [11C]phenylephrine kinetics to monoamine oxidase activity in normal human heart.

Phenylephrine labeled with 11C was developed as a radiotracer for imaging studies of cardiac sympathetic nerves with PET. A structural analog of norepinephrine, (-)-[11C]phenylephrine (PHEN) is transported into cardiac sympathetic nerve varicosities by the neuronal norepinephrine transporter and stored in vesicles. PHEN is also a substrate for monoamine oxidase (MAO). The goal of this study was to assess the importance of neuronal MAO activity on the kinetics of PHEN in the normal human heart. MAO metabolism of PHEN was inhibited at the tracer level by substituting deuterium atoms for the two hydrogen atoms at the alpha-carbon side chain position to yield the MAO-resistant analog D2-PHEN. METHODS: Paired PET studies of PHEN and D2-PHEN were performed in six normal volunteers. Hemodynamic and electrocardiographic responses were monitored. Blood levels of intact radiotracer and radiolabeled metabolites were measured in venous samples taken during the 60 min dynamic PET study. Myocardial retention of the tracers was regionally quantified as a retention index. Tracer efflux between 6 and 50 min after tracer injection was fit to a single exponential process to obtain a washout half-time for all left ventricular regions. RESULTS: Although initial heart uptake of the two tracers was similar, D2-PHEN cleared from the heart 2.6 times more slowly than PHEN (mean half-time 155+/-52 versus 55+/-10 min, respectively; P < 0.01). Correspondingly, heart retention of D2-PHEN at 40-60 min after tracer injection was higher than PHEN (mean retention indices 0.086+/-0.018 versus 0.066+/-0.011 mL blood/ min/mL tissue, respectively; P < 0.003). CONCLUSION: Efflux of radioactivity from normal human heart after uptake of PHEN is primarily due to metabolism of the tracer by neuronal MAO. Related mechanistic studies in the isolated rat heart indicate that vesicular storage of PHEN protects the tracer from rapid metabolism by neuronal MAO, suggesting that MAO metabolism of PHEN leaking from storage vesicles leads to the gradual loss of PHEN from the neurons. Thus, although MAO metabolism influences the rate of clearance of PHEN from the neurons, MAO metabolism is not the rate-determining step in the observed efflux rate under normal conditions. Rather, the rate at which PHEN leaks from storage vesicles is likely to be the rate-limiting step in the observed efflux rate.  (+info)

(7/21969) Anatomic validation of spatial normalization methods for PET.

Spatial normalization methods, which are indispensable for intersubject analysis in current PET studies, have been improved in many aspects. These methods have not necessarily been evaluated as anatomic normalization methods because PET images are functional images. However, in view of the close relation between brain function and morphology, it is very intriguing how precisely normalized brains coincide with each other. In this report, the anatomic precision of spatial normalization is validated with three different methods. METHODS: Four PET centers in Japan participated in this study. In each center, six normal subjects were recruited for both H2(15)O-PET and high-resolution MRI studies. Variations in the location of the anterior commissure (AC) and size and contours of the brain and the courses of major sulci were measured in spatially normalized MR images for each method. Spatial normalization was performed as follows. (a) Linear: The AC-posterior commissure and midsagittal plane were identified on MRI and the size of the brain was adjusted to the Talairach space in each axis using linear parameters. (b) Human brain atlas (HBA): Atlas structures were manually adjusted to MRI to determine linear and nonlinear transformation parameters and then MRI was transformed with the inverse of these parameters. (c) Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) 95: PET images were transformed into the template PET image with linear and nonlinear parameters in a least-squares manner. Then, coregistered MR images were transformed with the same parameters used for the PET transformation. RESULTS: The AC was well registered in all methods. The size of the brain normalized with SPM95 varied to a greater extent than with other approaches. Larger variance in contours was observed with the linear method. Only SPM95 showed significant superiority to the linear method when the courses of major sulci were compared. CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that SPM95 is as effective a spatial normalization as HBA, although it does not use anatomic images. Large variance in structures other than the AC and size of the brain in the linear method suggests the necessity of nonlinear transformations for effective spatial normalization. Operator dependency of HBA also must be considered.  (+info)

(8/21969) Energy cost of sport rock climbing in elite performers.

OBJECTIVES: To assess oxygen uptake (VO2), blood lactate concentration ([La(b)]), and heart rate (HR) response during indoor and outdoor sport climbing. METHODS: Seven climbers aged 25 (SE 1) years, with a personal best ascent without preview or fall (on sight) ranging from 6b to 7a were assessed using an indoor vertical treadmill with artificial rock hand/foot holds and a discontinuous protocol with climbing velocity incremented until voluntary fatigue. On a separate occasion the subjects performed a 23.4 m outdoor rock climb graded 5c and taking 7 min 36 s (SE 33 s) to complete. Cardiorespiratory parameters were measured using a telemetry system and [La(b)] collected at rest and after climbing. RESULTS: Indoor climbing elicited a peak oxygen uptake (VO2climb-peak) and peak HR (HRpeak) of 43.8 (SE 2.2) ml/kg/min and 190 (SE 4) bpm, respectively and increased blood lactate concentration [La(b)] from 1.4 (0.1) to 10.2 (0.6) mmol/l (p < 0.05). During outdoor climbing VO2 and HR increased to about 75% and 83% of VO2climb-peak and HRpeak, respectively. [La(b)] increased from 1.3 (0.1) at rest to 4.5 mmol/l (p < 0.05) at 2 min 32 s (8 s) after completion of the climb. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that for elite climbers outdoor sport rock climbs of five to 10 minutes' duration and moderate difficulty require a significant portion of the VO2climb-peak. The higher HR and VO2 for outdoor climbing and the increased [La(b)] could be the result of repeated isometric contractions, particularly from the arm and forearm muscles.  (+info)