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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 264 matches for " Fergus Shanahan "
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Systemic Inflammatory Markers and Disease Severity in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease—The Effect of Acute Exercise and Pulmonary Rehabilitation  [PDF]
Amani I. El Gammal, Rob O’Farrell, Liam O’Mahony, Fergus Shanahan, Kieran Killian, Terence M. O’Connor
Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases (OJRD) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/ojrd.2015.51003
Abstract: Background: Decreased physical capacity and increased systemic inflammatory response are frequently observed in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The relationship between the inflammatory response and disease severity and the immunological response to exercise were addressed in COPD. Objective: The first objective was to identify systemic biomarkers and their relationship with COPD severity. The second objective was to examine the effect of both acute exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation on these biomarkers. Methods: Forty subjects participated in the study. Thirty-two patients with moderate or severe COPD and 8 healthy non-smokers completed the study. Spirometry was preformed. Physical capacity was determined by a progressive symptom-limited cycle ergo meter (incremental) test. Blood samples were analyzed for C-reactive protein (CRP), pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α), pro-fibrotic cytokines (TGF-β) and oxidative burst in circulating leukocytes before and after exercise, and before and after pulmonary rehabilitation. Results: IL-6, CRP, WCC and TGF-β were higher in COPD (p < 0.05) than eight healthy controls. WCC, IL-6, TNF-α, CRP and TGF-β were negatively related to forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (r = 0.4054, 0.3221, 0.1528, 0.1846 and 0.1187, respectively). Acute exercise increased circulating leucocytes and oxidative stress in both groups (p = 0.000, 0.0049 respectively), while IL-6 was increased in COPD group ((p = 0.0115) and circulating TNF-α in healthy control (p = 0.0369). Pulmonary rehabilitation didn’t modify the levels of inflammatory mediators. Conclusions: Reduced lung function is associated with increased levels of systemic inflammatory markers and acute exercise can further increase this inflammatory response. However pulmonary rehabilitation is unlikely to exacerbate systemic inflammation in COPD.
Shining a Light on Intestinal Traffic
Carola T. Murphy,Kenneth Nally,Fergus Shanahan,Silvia Melgar
Clinical and Developmental Immunology , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/808157
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), encompassing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is associated with enhanced leukocyte infiltration to the gut, which is directly linked to the clinical aspects of these disorders. Thus, leukocyte trafficking is a major target for IBD therapy. Past and emerging techniques to study leukocyte trafficking both in vitro and in vivo have expanded our knowledge of the leukocyte migration process and the role of inhibitors. Various strategies have been employed to target chemokine- and integrin-ligand interactions within the multistep adhesion cascade and the S1P/S1PR1 axis in leukocyte migration. Though there is an abundance of preclinical data demonstrating efficacy of leukocyte trafficking inhibitors, many have yet to be confirmed in clinical studies. Vigilance for toxicity and further research is required into this complex and emerging area of IBD therapy.
Human methanogen diversity and incidence in healthy and diseased colonic groups using mcrA gene analysis
Pauline D Scanlan, Fergus Shanahan, Julian R Marchesi
BMC Microbiology , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-8-79
Abstract: DNA faecal extracts (207 in total) from a group of healthy controls and five gastrointestinal disease groups were investigated. Colorectal cancer, polypectomised, irritable bowel syndrome and the control group had largely equivalent numbers of individuals positive for methanogens (range 45–50%). Methanogen incidence in the inflammatory bowel disease groups was reduced, 24% for ulcerative colitis and 30% for Crohn's disease. Four unique mcrA gene restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles were identified and bioinformatic analyses revealed that the majority of all sequences (94%) retrieved from libraries were 100% identical to Methanobrevibacter smithii mcrA gene. In addition, mcrA gene sequences most closely related to Methanobrevibacter oralis and members of the order Methanosarcinales were also recovered.The mcrA gene serves as a useful biomarker for methanogen detection in the human gut and the varying trends of methanogen incidence in the human gut could serve as important indicators of intestinal function. Although Methanobrevibacter smithii is the dominant methanogen in both the distal colon of individuals in health and disease, the diversity of methanogens is greater than previously reported. In conclusion, the low incidence of methanogens in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the functionality of the methanogens and impact of methane production in addition to competitive interactions between methanogens and other microbial groups in the human gastrointestinal tract warrants further investigation.The methanogens are a group of microorganisms within the Kingdom Euryarchaeota of the domain Archaea [1]. Methanogenesis is a process confined exclusively to the methanogens and utilises substrates such as hydrogen, CO2, acetate, formate, methanol and methylamines for methane generation. The methanogenic archaea are widely distributed in natural environments including the gastrointestinal tracts of ruminants, termites and humans [2-4]. Studies to date indicated that
Mechanisms of Action of Probiotics in Intestinal Diseases
Ann M. O'Hara,Fergus Shanahan
The Scientific World Journal , 2007, DOI: 10.1100/tsw.2007.26
Fas ligand expression in human and mouse cancer cell lines; a caveat on over-reliance on mRNA data
Ryan Aideen,Lane Sinead,Shanahan Fergus,O'Connell Joe
Journal of Carcinogenesis , 2006,
Abstract: Background During carcinogenesis, tumors develop multiple mechanisms for evading the immune response, including upregulation of Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L) expression. Expression of FasL may help to maintain tumor cells in a state of immune privilege by inducing apoptosis of anti-tumor immune effector cells. Recently this idea has been challenged by studies reporting that tumor cells of varying origin do not express FasL. In the present study, we aimed to comprehensively characterize FasL expression in tumors of both murine and human origin over a 72 hour time period. Methods RNA and protein was extracted from six human (SW620, HT29, SW480, KM12SM, HCT116, Jurkat) and three mouse (CMT93, CT26, B16F10) cancer cell lines at regular time intervals over a 72 hour time period. FasL expression was detected at the mRNA level by RT-PCR, using intron spanning primers, and at the protein level by Western Blotting and immunofluorescence, using a polyclonal FasL- specific antibody. Results Expression of FasL mRNA and protein was observed in all cell lines analysed. However, expression of FasL mRNA varied dramatically over time, with cells negative for FasL mRNA at many time points. In contrast, 8 of the 9 cell lines constitutively expressed FasL protein. Thus, cells can abundantly express FasL protein at times when FasL mRNA is absent. Conclusion These findings demonstrate the importance of complete analysis of FasL expression by tumor cells in order to fully characterize its biological function and may help to resolve the discrepancies present in the literature regarding FasL expression and tumor immune privilege.
Esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis characterized by barium esophagography: a case report
Owen J O'Connor, Adrian Brady, Fergus Shanahan, Eamonn Quigley, Michael O'Riordain, Michael M Maher
Journal of Medical Case Reports , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-4-145
Abstract: We present a case of esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis in a 72-year-old Caucasian man who presented with dysphagia and with a background history of alcohol abuse. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy of our patient showed an esophageal stricture with abnormal mucosal appearances, but no malignant cells were seen at biopsy. Appearances on a barium esophagram were pathognomonic for esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis.We demonstrate the enduring usefulness of barium esophagography in the characterization of abnormal mucosal appearances at endoscopy.Esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis is a rare condition characterized by the dilatation of submucosal glands. Based on approximately 250 cases reported to date, this condition is slightly more common in men than in women [1,2]. Intramural pseudodiverticulosis is most commonly associated with gastrooesophageal reflux and esophagitis and less commonly with alcoholism, diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, tuberculosis, Mallory-Weiss syndrome and achalasia [3,4]. The average age at presentation is 54 years and patients typically present with dysphagia, which is frequently associated with stricture formation, as in case we describe here [3,4]. Symptoms usually respond well to anti-inflammatory medication and balloon dilatation of strictures.A 72-year-old Caucasian man (height: 170 cm, weight: 85 kg) presented with a 4-year history of mild dysphagia for solid foods. His medical history was notable for alcohol abuse and associated alcoholic hepatitis. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was initially performed on our patient. At endoscopy, a stricture of the mid-esophagus with numerous tiny erythematous macules on the mucosal surface was seen (Figure 1). There was clinical uncertainty about the cause of the stricture and the mucosal appearances. A barium esophagogram was performed (Figures 2A and 2B). Barium esophagogram demonstrated a smooth stricture of the mid-esophagus with numerous small (2 mm to 4 mm), fl
Minimization of Radiation Exposure due to Computed Tomography in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Patrick D. Mc Laughlin,Owen J. O’Connor,Siobhán B. O’Neill,Fergus Shanahan
ISRN Gastroenterology , 2012, DOI: 10.5402/2012/790279
Minimization of Radiation Exposure due to Computed Tomography in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Patrick D. Mc Laughlin,Owen J. O’Connor,Siobhán B. O’Neill,Fergus Shanahan,Michael M. Maher
ISRN Gastroenterology , 2012, DOI: 10.5402/2012/790279
Abstract: Patient awareness and concern regarding the potential health risks from ionizing radiation have peaked recently (Coakley et al., 2011) following widespread press and media coverage of the projected cancer risks from the increasing use of computed tomography (CT) (Berrington et al., 2007). The typical young and educated patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may in particular be conscious of his/her exposure to ionising radiation as a result of diagnostic imaging. Cumulative effective doses (CEDs) in patients with IBD have been reported as being high and are rising, primarily due to the more widespread and repeated use of CT (Desmond et al., 2008). Radiologists, technologists, and referring physicians have a responsibility to firstly counsel their patients accurately regarding the actual risks of ionizing radiation exposure; secondly to limit the use of those imaging modalities which involve ionising radiation to clinical situations where they are likely to change management; thirdly to ensure that a diagnostic quality imaging examination is acquired with lowest possible radiation exposure. In this paper, we synopsize available evidence related to radiation exposure and risk and we report advances in low-dose CT technology and examine the role for alternative imaging modalities such as ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging which avoid radiation exposure. 1. Introduction Increased exposure to ionising radiation in patients with Crohn’s disease has been documented in recent publications and is a significant cause for concern [1, 2]. Improvements in CT hardware and software have greatly expanded its role in the diagnosis and characterisation of IBD, the detection of complications, and the assessment of response to treatment [2]. These advances have been hugely beneficial to the management of many patients, but CT may on occasion become a victim of its own success when IBD patients may undergo CT examination for a less than robust indication and the radiologist’s report may not have any impact upon patient management. In these cases, the potential for carcinogenesis as a result of radiation exposure is difficult to justify. 2. Ionizing Radiation: Potential Hazards in IBD Patient Cancer induction is the primary concern for IBD patients who are routinely exposed to ionizing radiation. IBD patients can be subjected to serial imaging studies over prolonged periods of followup due to early age of presentation and, sometimes, decades of active disease [2]. In addition, IBD patients are already at increased risk of certain malignancies such as
Examining the Effects of Digital Social Networks on New Physical Human Interactions and Social Networks: A Validation of Dunbar’s Numbers  [PDF]
Fergus J. D. Keatinge
Social Networking (SN) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/sn.2015.43009
Abstract: The digital social network of a user, who had undergone two radical locational changes, was analyzed to assess if digital social networks were influencing the ability of the user to create new physical social bonds in regards to proximal distance of existing social interactions and if new physical social networks conformed to Dunbar’s theorem of the social network size limit. The social network data (users equating to nodes and physical friendships to links) was implemented into the network analysis software “Gephi”. Standard network measures were assessed on the three digital sub-networks with the user removed from the calculations. Two separation algorithms were assessed on the network data, the Force Atlas algorithm and the Fruchterman Reingold algorithm. The results contradicted with existing research indicating that existing digital social networks did not have an effect on the creation of new social bonds after a radical locational change. The creation of new physical social networks conformed in part to Dunbar’s network size limit theorem and existing social links did not affect the user’s ability to create new social partnerships.
Influential Factors in the Econometric Modeling of the Price of Wheat in the United States of America  [PDF]
Fergus J. D. Keatinge
Agricultural Sciences (AS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/as.2015.68073
Abstract: Wheat is a staple agricultural grain commodity used within the United States and is grown in nearly every state. Modeling the price of Hard Winter Red wheat (the most common type of wheat) is of extreme economic and social importance. The 2008 financial crisis had a drastic effect on the price of food in real terms, tightening household budgets and increasing the US percentage of citizen classed below the poverty line. Understanding the influential factors in the econometric modeling of the price of wheat allows for more effective governmental intervention and price stabilization. Results indicate that the price of wheat is influenced by a combination of 5 separate functions: “supply”, “demand”, “macroeconomic”, “climate” and “natural resource” related functions. These functions derive from a wide variety of different data sources. The functions were determined and then incorporated into an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model taking into account variable interaction, variable transformation and time. This regression exercise resulted in a good model, explaining just over 90% of the variation in the price of wheat. Yet, results indicate that the model though sensitive to sharp decreases in the price of wheat is insensitive to sharp increases in the price of wheat. Ideas are discussed of ways of improving the price model. These include the addition of other variables, such as financial speculation/increased use of climate related variables and the idea of using alternative statistical modeling techniques in place of robust OLS regression modeling, such as SVAR models and Spline GARCH models. This research implies that further research into the modeling of the price of wheat within the US has useful potential for a more productive outcome.
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