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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 45023 matches for " Michael Berk "
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Pathways to new drug discovery in neuropsychiatry
Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-151
Abstract: There is currently a crisis in drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders, with a profound, yet unexpected drought in new drug development across the spectrum. In this commentary, the sources of this dilemma and potential avenues to redress the issue are explored. These include a critical review of diagnostic issues and of selection of participants for clinical trials, and the mechanisms for identifying new drugs and new drug targets. Historically, the vast majority of agents have been discovered serendipitously or have been modifications of existing agents. Serendipitous discoveries, based on astute clinical observation or data mining, remain a valid option, as is illustrated by the suggestion in the paper by Wahlqvist and colleagues that treatment with sulfonylurea and metformin reduces the risk of affective disorder. However, the identification of agents targeting disorder-related biomarkers is currently proving particularly fruitful. There is considerable hope for genetics as a purist, pathophysiologically valid pathway to drug discovery; however, it is unclear whether the science is ready to meet this promise. Fruitful paradigms will require a break from the orthodoxy, and creativity and risk may well be the fingerprints of success. See related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/150
Cardiac-self efficacy predicts adverse outcomes in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients  [PDF]
Adrienne O’Neil, Michael Berk, Justin Davis, Lesley Stafford
Health (Health) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/health.2013.57A3002

Background: Little is known about the predictive role of Cardiac Self Efficacy (CSE) in the ensuing months following a coronary event. We sought to determine whether CSE predicts adverse events in the months following discharge in patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Design: Data from a prospective study of 193 patients recently hospitalized for CAD. Methods: Data were collected via participant self-report and medical records at 3-month post-discharge (baseline; T1), 6-month post-discharge (T2) and 9-month post-discharge (T3). CSE was measured using the Cardiac Self Efficacy Scale. Multi-variate regression modeling was applied to explore the association between baseline CSE scores and cardiac-related hospital admissions and functional cardiac status at T2 and T3. Other outcomes included any hospital admissions, self-reported mental and physical health at follow up. Results: Higher CSE scores at baseline significantly predicted better cardiac functioning and self-rated mental and physical health at both T2 and T3 (with one exception); this was consistent across all five models. While baseline CSE did not predict cardiac or other hospital admission at T2, CSE was a significant predictor of both outcomes at T3; higher CSE scores resulted in reductions in likelihood of hospital admissions. After adjustment for psychosocial variables however, neither association remained. Baseline depression explained the association between baseline CSE and any cardiac admissions, as well as baseline CSE and any hospital admissions at T3 follow up. Conclusions: While CSE can predict key outcomes following a CAD event, much of the association can be explained by the presence of depression.

Moving towards a population health approach to the primary prevention of common mental disorders
Jacka Felice N,Mykletun Arnstein,Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-149
Abstract: There is a need for the development of effective universal preventive approaches to the common mental disorders, depression and anxiety, at a population level. Poor diet, physical inactivity and smoking have long been recognized as key contributors to the high prevalence noncommunicable diseases. However, there are now an increasing number of studies suggesting that the same modifiable lifestyle behaviors are also risk factors for common mental disorders. In this paper we point to the emerging data regarding lifestyle risk factors for common mental disorders, with a particular focus on and critique of the newest evidence regarding diet quality. On the basis of this most recent evidence, we consequently argue for the inclusion of depression and anxiety in the ranks of the high prevalence noncommunicable diseases influenced by habitual lifestyle practices. We believe that it is both feasible and timely to begin to develop effective, sustainable, population-level prevention initiatives for the common mental illnesses that build on the established and developing approaches to the noncommunicable somatic diseases.
De-Dollarization and European Energy Policy: Testing Brent and WTI  [PDF]
Berk Cem
Open Journal of Social Sciences (JSS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.38008
Abstract: Historically most of the oil trade has been made with US Dollars. This has important practical implications. For example, US Dollar is always a reserve currency since it has to be obtained to trade oil. There were previous attempts to trade in Euros such as Iraq however recently there is more support from resource countries such as Russia, China and Iran. A dedollarization campaign against petrodollar has already been started. This can be done by exporting oil, gas and gold with currencies other than US Dollar, such as Ruble, Yuan or Rial or most importantly an international reserve currency which could be Euros as a strong alternative to US Dollar. This is possible due to monetary policy practice of European Central Bank and support from European Union. This increases the value of Euro, decreases interest rates and helps European economy with increased interest on European assets. This paper investigates Brent and WTI for the changes in the value of major currencies. Brent is traditionally a European oil index, and oil is produced in North Sea whereas, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) is a Texas based US oil index. Both indices are used as international benchmarks of oil. The data for this research is daily between February 2011 and September 2014. The WTI and Brent are represented by variables from NYSE exchange traded funds namely Teucrium WTI Crude Oil ETF (WTI), and United States Brent Oil ETF(BRENT). The currencies analyzed for the study are EUR/USD, USD/CHF, USD/JPY, USD/RUB, USD/SAR and USD/ ZAR. The analysis includes unit root tests, vector autoregression (VAR), vector error correction model (VECM), cointegration and Granger Causality. Finally European Energy Policy implications, and opportunities and challenges of oil trade in Euros are discussed.
Managing Real Estate Exposure: An Empirical Analysis on Interest Rate Risk  [PDF]
Cem Berk
Journal of Financial Risk Management (JFRM) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/jfrm.2017.63019
Abstract: Real estate is an illiquid investment with cyclical returns, so risk management techniques should be used for sustainable returns. The risk management techniques include asset based, portfolio, insurance and derivatives solutions. Asset based solutions include the risk character of the real estate, based on where it’s located and how well it is developed. Some property such as foreclosure and those require maintenance is riskier than others. Portfolio solutions allow real estate companies to include real estate with different location and segments such as office and retail. Using this, the risk is limited to the systematic component, where asset based-idiosyncratic risk is tried to be reduced when included enough number of assets to the basket. The management should be capable of determining which risks taking and which to transfer. Some risks such as earthquake, fire, vehicle crush, terrorist activities are rare in nature but can cause severe damage when it takes place. The insurance policies can cover these events which most of the time are reinsured. In addition derivatives are available to hedge some of the risks. These can be traded on the market or over-the-counter. By using derivatives it is possible to hedge interest rate risk, inflation, currency risks, and property price changes. To hedge interest rate risk which is also studied in this paper, instruments such as cap, swap, and collar are available. The research is investigating the role of interest rate risk in the performance of real estate management companies. The variables used in this research are 30 years treasury yield, and exchange closing price for CBRE Group Inc., Colliers International Group, and Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. The data is daily for the period 16 June 2004 and 19 June 2015. The methods used are Johansen Cointegration and Granger Causality. The results of the study
Is diagnosis enough to guide interventions in mental health? Using case formulation in clinical practice
Macneil Craig A,Hasty Melissa K,Conus Philippe,Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-111
Abstract: While diagnosis has traditionally been viewed as an essential concept in medicine, particularly when selecting treatments, we suggest that the use of diagnosis alone may be limited, particularly within mental health. The concept of clinical case formulation advocates for collaboratively working with patients to identify idiosyncratic aspects of their presentation and select interventions on this basis. Identifying individualized contributing factors, and how these could influence the person's presentation, in addition to attending to personal strengths, may allow the clinician a deeper understanding of a patient, result in a more personalized treatment approach, and potentially provide a better clinical outcome.
Cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence and anxiety disorders: a systematic review of population-based, epidemiological studies
Moylan Steven,Jacka Felice N,Pasco Julie A,Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-123
Abstract: Background Multiple studies have demonstrated that rates of smoking and nicotine dependence are increased in individuals with anxiety disorders. However, significant variability exists in the epidemiological literature exploring this relationship, including study design (cross-sectional versus prospective), the population assessed (random sample versus clinical population) and diagnostic instrument utilized. Methods We undertook a systematic review of population-based observational studies that utilized recognized structured clinical diagnostic criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Classification of Diseases (ICD)) for anxiety disorder diagnosis to investigate the relationship between cigarette smoking, nicotine dependence and anxiety disorders. Results In total, 47 studies met the predefined inclusion criteria, with 12 studies providing prospective information and 5 studies providing quasiprospective information. The available evidence suggests that some baseline anxiety disorders are a risk factor for initiation of smoking and nicotine dependence, although the evidence is heterogeneous and many studies did not control for the effect of comorbid substance use disorders. The identified evidence however appeared to more consistently support cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence as being a risk factor for development of some anxiety disorders (for example, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder), although these findings were not replicated in all studies. A number of inconsistencies in the literature were identified. Conclusions Although many studies have demonstrated increased rates of smoking and nicotine dependence in individuals with anxiety disorders, there is a limited and heterogeneous literature that has prospectively examined this relationship in population studies using validated diagnostic criteria. The most consistent evidence supports smoking and nicotine dependence as increasing the risk of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. The literature assessing anxiety disorders increasing smoking and nicotine dependence is inconsistent. Potential issues with the current literature are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.
Using lithium as a neuroprotective agent in patients with cancer
Khasraw Mustafa,Ashley David,Wheeler Greg,Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-131
Abstract: Neurocognitive impairment is being increasingly recognized as an important issue in patients with cancer who develop cognitive difficulties either as part of direct or indirect involvement of the nervous system or as a consequence of either chemotherapy-related or radiotherapy-related complications. Brain radiotherapy in particular can lead to significant cognitive defects. Neurocognitive decline adversely affects quality of life, meaningful employment, and even simple daily activities. Neuroprotection may be a viable and realistic goal in preventing neurocognitive sequelae in these patients, especially in the setting of cranial irradiation. Lithium is an agent that has been in use for psychiatric disorders for decades, but recently there has been emerging evidence that it can have a neuroprotective effect. This review discusses neurocognitive impairment in patients with cancer and the potential for investigating the use of lithium as a neuroprotectant in such patients.
Co-prescription of medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus: a nationwide population-based study with focus on gender differences
Svendal Gjertrud,Fasmer Ole,Engeland Anders,Berk Michael
BMC Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-148
Abstract: Background Studies have shown a correlation between bipolar disorder and diabetes mellitus. It is unclear if this correlation is a part of common pathophysiological pathways, or if medication for bipolar disorder has negative effects on blood sugar regulation. Methods The Norwegian prescription database was analyzed. Prescriptions for lithium, lamotrigine, carbamazepine and valproate were used as proxies for bipolar disorder. Prescriptions for insulin and oral anti-diabetic agents were used as proxies for diabetes mellitus. We explored the association between medication for bipolar disorder and diabetes medication by logistic regression Results We found a strong association between concomitant use of medication to treat diabetes mellitus and mood stabilizers for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Females had a 30% higher risk compared to men of being treated for both disorders. Persons using oral anti-diabetic agents had higher odds of receiving valproate than either lithium or lamotrigine. Use of insulin as monotherapy seemed to have lower odds than oral anti-diabetic agents of co-prescription of mood stabilizers, compared to the general population. Conclusions This study showed a strong association between the use of mood stabilizers and anti-diabetic agents. The association was stronger among women than men.
Longitudinal analysis of gene expression profiles using functional mixed-effects models
Maurice Berk,Cheryl Hemingway,Michael Levin,Giovanni Montana
Statistics , 2013,
Abstract: In many longitudinal microarray studies, the gene expression levels in a random sample are observed repeatedly over time under two or more conditions. The resulting time courses are generally very short, high-dimensional, and may have missing values. Moreover, for every gene, a certain amount of variability in the temporal profiles, among biological replicates, is generally observed. We propose a functional mixed-effects model for estimating the temporal pattern of each gene, which is assumed to be a smooth function. A statistical test based on the distance between the fitted curves is then carried out to detect differential expression. A simulation procedure for assessing the statistical power of our model is also suggested. We evaluate the model performance using both simulations and a real data set investigating the human host response to BCG exposure.
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