Browsing by Subject "IMPROVEMENT"

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  • Rautavaara, Joonas; Kerola, Tuomas; Kaartinen, Kati; Vilpakka, Mari; Aitkoski, Atte; Anttonen, Olli; Ahvonen, Jani; Koistinen, Juhani; Vääräniemi, Kati; Miettinen, Marja; Antti, Ylitalo; Laine, Kaisa; Ojanen, Seppo; Nieminen, Tuomo (2022)
    Background Knowledge of arrhythmias in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is mainly based on ambulatory electrocardiography (ECG) studies and observations during haemodialysis (HD). We used insertable cardiac monitors (ICMs) to define the prevalence of arrhythmias, focusing on bradyarrhythmias, in ESRD patients treated with several dialysis modes including home therapies. Moreover, we assessed whether these arrhythmias were detected in baseline or ambulatory ECG recordings. Methods Seventy-one patients with a subcutaneous ICM were followed for up to 3 years. Asystole (>= 4.0 s) and bradycardia (heart rate = 4 beats) episodes, ventricular tachyarrhythmias and atrial fibrillation (AF) were collected and verified visually. A baseline ECG and a 24- to 48-h ambulatory ECG were recorded at recruitment and once a year thereafter. Results At recruitment, 44 patients were treated in in-centre HD, 12 in home HD and 15 in peritoneal dialysis. During a median follow-up of 34.4 months, 18 (25.4%) patients had either an asystolic or a bradycardic episode. The median length of each patient's longest asystole was 6.6 s and that of a bradycardia 13.5 s. Ventricular tachyarrhythmias were detected in 16 (23%) patients, and AF in 34 (51%) patients. In-centre HD and Type II diabetes were significantly more frequent among those with bradyarrhythmias, whereas no bradyarrhythmias were found in home HD. No bradyarrhythmias were evident in baseline or ambulatory ECG recordings. Conclusions Remarkably many patients with ESRD had bradycardia or asystolic episodes, but these arrhythmias were not detected by baseline or ambulatory ECG.
  • Relander, Kristiina; Hietanen, Marja; Nuotio, Krista; Ijäs, Petra; Tikkala, Irene; Saimanen, Eija; Lindsberg, Perttu J.; Soinne, Lauri (2021)
    Background: Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) has been associated with both postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) and improvement (POCI). However, the prognostic significance of postoperative cognitive changes related to CEA is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between postoperative cognitive changes after CEA and long-term survival. Methods: We studied 43 patients 1 day before CEA as well as 4 days and 3 months after surgery with an extensive neuropsychological test array, and followed them for up to 14 years. POCD and POCI relative to baseline were determined with the reliable change index derived from 17 healthy controls. Associations between POCD/POCI and mortality within the patient group were studied with Cox regression analyses adjusted for confounders. Results: POCD in any functional domain was evident in 28% of patients 4 days after surgery and in 33% of patients 3 months after surgery. POCI was shown in 23% of patients at 4 days and in 44% of patients at 3 months. POCD at 3 months was associated with higher long-term mortality (hazard ratio 5.0, 95% CI 1.8-13.9, p = 0.002) compared with patients with no cognitive decline. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that POCD in a stable phase, 3 months after CEA predicts premature death. Evaluation of postoperative cognitive changes is essential, and POCD in a stable phase after CEA should prompt scrutiny of underlying factors and better adherence to therapies to prevent recurrences and to promote early intervention in imminent deterioration.
  • Kantola, Taru; Mäklin, Suvi; Koivusalo, Anna-Maria; Räsänen, Pirjo; Rissanen, Anne; Roine, Risto; Sintonen, Harri; Höckerstedt, Krister; Isoniemi, Helena (2010)
  • Berner, Daniel; Roesti, Marius; Bilobram, Steven; Chan, Simon K.; Kirk, Heather; Pandoh, Pawan; Taylor, Gregory A.; Zhao, Yongjun; Jones, Steven J. M.; DeFaveri, Jacquelin (2019)
    The threespine stickleback is a geographically widespread and ecologically highly diverse fish that has emerged as a powerful model system for evolutionary genomics and developmental biology. Investigations in this species currently rely on a single high-quality reference genome, but would benefit from the availability of additional, independently sequenced and assembled genomes. We present here the assembly of four new stickleback genomes, based on the sequencing of microfluidic partitioned DNA libraries. The base pair lengths of the four genomes reach 92-101% of the standard reference genome length. Together with their de novo gene annotation, these assemblies offer a resource enhancing genomic investigations in stickleback. The genomes and their annotations are available from the Dryad Digital Repository (
  • Valkonen, Kati; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Airaksinen, Katja; Nurminen, Jussi; Kivisaari, Riku; Renvall, Hanna; Pekkonen, Eero (2022)
    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has proven its clinical efficacy in Parkinson's disease (PD), but its exact mechanisms and cortical effects continue to be unclear. Subthalamic (STN) DBS acutely modifies auditory evoked responses, but its long-term effect on auditory cortical processing remains ambiguous. We studied with magnetoencephalography the effect of long-term STN DBS on auditory processing in patients with advanced PD. DBS resulted in significantly increased contra-ipsilateral auditory response latency difference at similar to 100 ms after stimulus onset compared with preoperative state. The effect is likely due to normalization of neuronal asynchrony in the auditory pathways. The present results indicate that STN DBS in advanced PD patients has long-lasting effects on cortical areas outside those confined to motor processing. Whole-head magnetoencephalography provides a feasible tool to study motor and non-motor neural networks in PD, and to track possible changes related to cortical reorganization or plasticity induced by DBS.
  • Relander, Kristiina; Hietanen, Marja; Rämö, Juhani; Vento, Antti; Tikkala, Irene; Roine, Risto O.; Lindsberg, Perttu J.; Soinne, Lauri (2022)
    BackgroundStenosing atherosclerosis in both coronary and carotid arteries can adversely affect cognition. Also their surgical treatments, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA), are associated with cognitive changes, but the mechanisms of cognitive decline or improvement may not be the same. This study was designed to compare the cognitive profile and outcome in patients undergoing surgical treatment for coronary or carotid disease. MethodsA total of 100 CABG patients and 44 CEA patients were recruited in two previously reported studies. They were subjected to a comprehensive neuropsychological examination prior to surgery and in the acute (3-8 days) and stable (3 months) phase after operation. A group of 17 matched healthy controls were assessed with similar intervals. We used linear mixed models to compare cognitive trajectories within six functional domains between the CABG, CEA and control groups. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) and improvement (POCI) were determined with the reliable change index method in comparison with healthy controls. ResultsBefore surgery, the CEA patients performed worse than CABG patients or healthy controls in the domains of executive functioning and processing speed. The CABG patients exhibited postoperative cognitive dysfunction more often than the CEA patients in most cognitive domains in the acute phase but had regained their performance in the stable phase. The CEA patients showed more marked postoperative improvement in executive functioning than the CABG group in the acute phase, but the difference did not reach significance in the stable phase. ConclusionOur findings suggest that anterior cerebral dysfunction in CEA patients impairs preoperative cognition more severely than global brain dysfunction in CABG patients. However, CEA may have more beneficial effects on cognition than CABG, specifically in executive functions mainly operated by the prefrontal lobes. In addition, the results underline that POCD is a heterogeneous condition and dependent on type of revascularization surgery.
  • Leino, Sakari; Kohtala, Samuel; Rantamäki, Tomi; Koski, Sini K.; Rannanpää, Saara; Salminen, Outi (2018)
    BackgroundThe treatment of Parkinson's disease is often complicated by levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists can alleviate LID in animal models but may be less effective in conditions of severe dopaminergic denervation. While the mechanisms of LID remain incompletely understood, elevated corticostriatal levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been suggested to play a role. Here, female mice with near-total unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nigrostriatal lesions were chronically treated with levodopa, and the effects of the 7 nicotinic receptor partial agonist AZD0328 and nicotine on LID were assessed. At the end of the experiment, BDNF protein levels in the prefrontal cortex and striatum were measured.ResultsFive-day treatments with three escalating doses of AZD0328 and a 10-week treatment with nicotine failed to alleviate LID. BDNF levels in the lesioned striatum correlated positively with LID severity, but no evidence was found for a levodopa-induced elevation of corticostriatal BDNF in the lesioned hemisphere. The nicotine treatment decreased BDNF levels in the prefrontal cortex but had no effect on striatal BDNF.ConclusionsThe findings suggest that treatment of LID with nicotinic agonists may lose its effectiveness as the disease progresses, represent further evidence for a role for BDNF in LID, and expand previous knowledge on the effects of long-term nicotine treatment on BDNF.
  • van der Vossen, Eduard W. J.; Bastos, Diogo; Stols-Goncalves, Daniela; de Goffau, Marcus C.; Davids, Mark; Pereira, Joao P. B.; Li Yim, Andrew Y. F.; Henneman, Peter; Netea, Mihai G.; de Vos, Willem M.; de Jonge, Wouter; Groen, Albert K.; Nieuwdorp, Max; Levin, Evgeni (2021)
    Accumulating evidence shows that microbes with their theater of activity residing within the human intestinal tract (i.e., the gut microbiome) influence host metabolism. Some of the strongest results come from recent fecal microbial transplant (FMT) studies that relate changes in intestinal microbiota to various markers of metabolism as well as the pathophysiology of insulin resistance. Despite these developments, there is still a limited understanding of the multitude of effects associated with FMT on the general physiology of the host, beyond changes in gut microbiome composition. We examined the effect of either allogenic (lean donor) or autologous FMTs on the gut microbiome, plasma metabolome, and epigenomic (DNA methylation) reprogramming in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in individuals with metabolic syndrome measured at baseline (pre-FMT) and after 6 weeks (post-FMT). Insulin sensitivity was determined with a stable isotope-based 2 step hyperinsulinemic clamp and multivariate machine learning methodology was used to uncover discriminative microbes, metabolites, and DNA methylation loci. A larger gut microbiota shift was associated with an allogenic than with autologous FMT. Furthemore, the data results of the the allogenic FMT group data indicates that the introduction of new species can potentially modulate the plasma metabolome and (as a result) the epigenome. Most notably, the introduction of Prevotella ASVs directly correlated with methylation of AFAP1, a gene involved in mitochondrial function, insulin sensitivity, and peripheral insulin resistance (Rd, rate of glucose disappearance). FMT was found to have notable effects on the gut microbiome but also on the host plasma metabolome and the epigenome of immune cells providing new avenues of inquiry in the context of metabolic syndrome treatment for the manipulation of host physiology to achieve improved insulin sensitivity.
  • Moore, Andrew; Derry, Sheena; Eccleston, Christopher; Kalso, Eija (2013)
  • Leino, Viljami; Rantaharju, Jarno; Rantalaiho, Teemu; Rummukainen, Kari; Suorsa, Joni; Tuominen, Kimmo (2017)
    We study the evolution of the coupling in SU(2) gauge field theory with N-f = 8 fundamental fermion flavors on the lattice. This model is expected to have an infrared fixed point at high coupling. We use HEX-smeared Wilson-clover action, and measure the gradient flow running coupling with Dirichlet boundary conditions. Extrapolating our results to continuum, we find an infrared fixed point at g(*)(2) = 8.24(59)(-1.64)(+0.97), with statistical and systematic error estimates. We also measure the anomalous dimension of the quark mass operator, and find its value at the fixed point. gamma(*) similar or equal to 0.15 +/- 0.02, although for this quantity a reliable continuum limit is still lacking.
  • Tuominen, Kimmo (2017)
    We will discuss some recent results in the determination of the location of the conformal window in SU(2) gauge theory with N-f fermions in the fundamental representation of the gauge group. In particular, we will demonstrate that the long distance behavior of the continuum theory with N-f = 6 is governed by an infrared stable fixed point.
  • Koivu, Maija; Huotarinen, Antti; Scheperjans, Filip; Laakso, Aki; Kivisaari, Riku; Pekkonen, Eero (2018)
    Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and adverse effects of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) and the possible correlation between electrode location and clinical outcome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 87 PD-related STN-DBS operations at Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) from 2007 to 2014. The changes of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III score, Hoehn & Yahr stage, antiparkinson medication, and adverse effects were studied. We estimated the active electrode location in three different coordinate systems: direct visual analysis of MRI correlated to brain atlas, location in relation to the nucleus borders and location in relation to the midcommisural point. Results: At 6 months after operation, both levodopa equivalent doses (LEDs; 35%, Wilcoxon signed-rank test = 0.000) and UPDRS part III scores significantly decreased (38%, Wilcoxon signed-rank test = 0.000). Four patients (5%) suffered from moderate DBS-related dysarthria. The generator and electrodes had to be removed in one patient due to infection (1%). Electrode coordinates in the three coordinate systems correlated well with each other. On the left side, more ventral location of the active contact was associated with greater LED decrease. Conclusions: STN-DBS improves motor function and enables the reduction in anti-parkinson medication with an acceptable adverse effect profile. More ventral location of the active contact may allow stronger LED reduction. Further research on the correlation between contact location, clinical outcome, and LED reduction is warranted.
  • Penna, Suprasanna; Jain, S. Mohan (2017)
    Agricultural sustainability and food security are major challenges facing continued population growth. Integration of existing and new technologies for the induction and exploitation of genetic diversity towards developing healthier, nutritious and productive crops is the need of the hour. Mutagenesis is a proven technology for the development of improved or novel varieties with desirable traits. Several mutant genes have been successfully explored, either directly or indirectly, to complement crop productivity. The advent of genomics approaches and plant genome sequencing has benefitted mutation discovery and mutant characterization. Plant mutant repositories are being established to serve as platforms for basic and applied research in crop improvement. This review briefly outlines the impact and molecular/genomic characterization of induced mutations in crop improvement.
  • Virtanen, Jorma I.; Vehkalahti, Kimmo I.; Vehkalahti, Miira M. (2015)
    Background: Health behaviors play a major role in the prevention of the most common oral diseases. To investigate health behaviors related to the potential transmission of oral bacteria from mother to child using novel multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Methods: Mothers (n = 313) with children under three years attending two municipal child health clinics in Finland completed a self-administered questionnaire on health knowledge and behaviors such as sharing a spoon with their child, kissing on the lips, and the mothers' tooth brushing, smoking, age, and level of education. We used MCA to reveal the relationships between the mothers' behaviors and background factors, along with unconditional, binary, multivariable logistic regression models, odds ratios (OR) and their 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI). Results: Of the mothers, 38 % kissed their child on the lips and 14 % shared a spoon with their child; 11 % believed that oral bacteria cannot be transmitted from mother to child. Two-thirds (68 %) of them reported tooth brushing twice daily, and 80 % were non-smokers. MCA revealed two diverging dimensions of the mothers' behaviors: a 'horizontal' one showing clear evidence of relationships between tooth brushing, smoking, age and education, whereas the 'vertical' one revealed the mothers' habits of kissing the child on the lips and sharing a spoon related to each other. Spoon sharing was related to the kissing on lips (OR 10.3), a higher level of education (OR 3.1), and, inversely, older age (OR 0.1), whereas kissing on lips behavior was inversely related to a higher level of education (OR 0.5). Conclusion: The study revealed two diverging dimensions of the mothers' health behaviors. More emphasis in health education ought to be put to how to avoid bacterial transmission from caregiver to child during feeding.
  • Antinluoma, Markku; Ilomäki, Liisa; Toom, Auli (2021)
    Building professional learning communities (PLC) has become a widely recognized strategy for school development and for student achievement. Four Finnish comprehensive schools were identified as being ready to be PLCs in a previous quantitative study, and the purpose of this study was to investigate practices of PLCs in these schools. In this paper, we used data from qualitative multiple-case study, which investigated practices of leadership, culture, teacher collaboration, professional learning, and development. The results showed that the principals had played the main role in the progression of schools as PLCs. Principals were described as visionary leaders who had started positive progression, shared the leadership, and created commitment to common goals. The results indicated also that a change of leaders can have a positive effect. Decision-making processes were participative, inclusive, democratic, and collaborative, aiming for a satisfactory level of consensus. Relationships among staff were reported as being based on mutual trust and openness, and members were encouraged to express their opinions. Common responsibility of students, peer support, encouragement, and co-teaching were practiced. Co-teaching practices were identified as an effective form of collaborative work-embedded professional learning which is related to the core principles of professional learning communities. Structural conditions were reported as barriers to schools' development as PLCs.
  • Jiang, Zhong-qing; Wang, Jing; Stoddard, Fred; Salovaara, Hannu; Sontag-Strohm, Tuula (2020)
    Abstract: Faba bean protein has good functionalities, but it is little used in the food industry. This study identified a challenge from unfavourable starch gelation when utilizing faba bean for producing protein-based emulsion gel foods, and developed processing methods to overcome that. Two types of protein-based emulsion gel foods, namely yogurt and tofu analogue products, were prepared. The processing methods in this study involved steps of thermal pre-treatment of the beans, dehulling, milling, adding plant oil, homogenization, prevention of starch gelation, and inducing protein gelation. Two methods for preventing starch gelation were studied, namely starch removal and hydrolysis. The gel texture, water-holding capacity, and structural properties of the gel products were evaluated. Both starch-gelation prevention methods produced yogurt and tofu analogue products having typical emulsion gel properties. Hydrolysis of starch was favourable for producing the yogurt analogue, because the hydrolysate compounds improved the gel strength and viscosity. Moreover, it utilized the whole flour, meaning all the nutrients from the cotyledon were used and no side-stream was created. In contrast, starch removal was slightly better than hydrolysis for producing the tofu analogue, because the hydrolysate lowered the gel strength and water-holding capacity of the products. It is both possible and ecologically sustainable to utilize whole faba bean flour for making emulsion gel products.
  • Rabiei, Sepideh; Mohebbi, Simin Z.; Yazdani, Reza; Virtanen, Jorma I. (2014)
  • Göbüz, Göker; Liu, Chang; Jiang, Zhong-qing; Pulkkinen, Marjo; Piironen, Vieno; Sontag-Strohm, Tuula; Heinonen, Marina (2018)
    The course of protein-lipid co-oxidation was investigated in oil-in-water emulsions stabilized with proteins extracted from microwave-treated (MWT) and conventional thermal-treated (CTT) faba beans stored at 37 degrees C for 7days. Emulsions prepared with proteins from untreated (UT) faba beans and soy protein isolate (SP) were monitored for comparison. Lipid oxidation was detected through formation of primary and secondary oxidation products while protein oxidation was examined via tryptophan fluorescence degradation in interface and aqueous phase. Oxidation of proteins was more emphasized in the interfacial layers of MWT, CTT, and SP emulsions than in UT emulsions due to the prominence of radical chain-driven co-oxidation mechanism while lipoxygenase (LOX) activity in UT and MWT emulsions resulted in high amounts of hydroperoxides and abundance in lipid oxidation volatiles. Conventional thermal treatment provided better oxidative stability than microwave treatment reflected in lower levels of hydroperoxides and relative lack of diversity in lipid volatiles. Among detected volatiles, formation of ketones was more distinguished in MWT, CTT, and SP emulsions while UT emulsions contained a more diverse range of alkenals and alkanals. Ketones are known to form mainly through radical recombination reactions which combined with the results of protein oxidation supports that radical transfer reactions between proteins and lipids were the driving force behind oxidation in MWT, CTT, and SP emulsions. Treatments of faba beans resulted in increased oxidative stability of emulsified lipids and lower degradation of aqueous phase proteins.
  • Strandberg, Timo; Strandberg, Arto; Pitkälä, Kaisu; Benetos, Athanase (2018)
    Sauna-type bathing has increased worldwide, and it has been related to both harmful and beneficial effects. There are few studies of bathing in sauna in very old age. The series consists of 524 mostly home-living survivors of the Helsinki Businessmen Study (HBS, mean age 86 years, range 80-95), who in 2015 responded to a questionnaire survey about lifestyle (including sauna bathing), prevalent diseases, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL, RAND-36). Of the men 57.6% (n = 302) reported all-year round and 17.6% (n = 92) part-year sauna bathing. Sauna was currently used mostly once a week, but 10% bathed more than twice a week. Median time in the hot room was 15 min at 80 A degrees C. Among 45.7% of the men, the habit had decreased with ageing, and 130 (24.8%) did not attend sauna. However, 92.2% of the latter had discontinued an earlier habit, respective proportions 20.7% and 75.0% among all-year and part-year users. Overall, reasons for decreased sauna bathing were nonspecific or related to mobility problems or diverse health reasons (n = 63). The most frequent motivations for sauna were relaxation and hygienic reasons. Of the RAND-36 domains physical function, vitality, social functioning, and general health were significantly better among sauna users than non-users. These differences partly remained after adjusting for prevalent diseases and mobility-disability. Regular sauna bathing was common among octogenarian men and was associated with better HRQoL. However, reverse causality must be taken into account in this cross-sectional study. The bathing habit seemed to be prudent and had decreased in almost half of the cohort.
  • Lindfors, Matias; Vehviläinen, Juho; Siironen, Jari; Kivisaari, Riku; Skrifvars, Markus B.; Raj, Rahul (2018)
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. However, it remains undetermined whether long-term outcomes after TBI have improved over the past two decades. We conducted a retrospective analysis of consecutive TBI patients admitted to an academic neurosurgical ICU during 1999-2015. Primary outcomes of interest were 6-month all-cause mortality (available for all patients) and 6-month Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS, available from 2005 onwards). GOS was dichotomized to favourable and unfavourable functional outcome. Temporal changes in outcome were assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis, adjusting for age, sex, GCS motor score, pupillary light responsiveness, Marshall CT classification and major extracranial injury. Altogether, 3193 patients were included. During the study period, patient age and admission Glasgow Coma Scale score increased, while the overall TBI severity did not change. Overall unadjusted 6-month mortality was 25% and overall unadjusted unfavourable outcome (2005-2015) was 44%. There was no reduction in the adjusted odds of 6-month mortality (OR 0.98; 95% CI 0.96-1.00), but the adjusted odds of favourable functional outcome significantly increased (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.04-1.11). Subgroup analysis showed outcome improvements only in specific subgroups (conservatively treated patients, moderate-to-severe TBI patients, middle-aged patients). During the past two decades, mortality after significant TBI has remained largely unchanged, but the odds of favourable functional outcome have increased significantly in specific subgroups, implying an improvement in quality of care. These developments have been paralleled by notable changes in patient characteristics, emphasizing the importance of continuous epidemiological monitoring.