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The Comparative Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury in Humans and Animal Models: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Animal models have been used in preclinical research to examine potential new treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI), including mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation. MSC transplants have been studied in early human trials. Whether the animal models represent the human studies is unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis has examined the effects of MSC transplants in human and animal studies. Following searches of PubMed, Clinical Trials and the Cochrane Library, published papers were screened, and data were extracted and analysed. MSC transplantation was associated with significantly improved motor and sensory function in humans, and significantly increased locomotor function in animals. However, there are discrepancies between the studies of human participants and animal models, including timing of MSC transplant post-injury and source of MSCs. Additionally, difficulty in the comparison of functional outcome measures across species limits the predictive nature of the animal research. These findings have been summarised, and recommendations for further research are discussed to better enable the translation of animal models to MSC-based human clinical therapy.
Tears evoke the intention to offer social support: A systematic investigation of the interpersonal effects of emotional crying across 41 countriesTearful crying is a ubiquitous and likely uniquely human phenomenon. Scholars have argued that emotional tears serve an attachment function: Tears are thought to act as a social glue by evoking social support intentions. Initial experimental studies supported this proposition across several methodologies, but these were conducted almost exclusively on participants from North America and Europe, resulting in limited generalizability. This project examined the tears-social support intentions effect and possible mediating and moderating variables in a fully pre-registered study across 7007 participants (24,886 ratings) and 41 countries spanning all populated continents. Participants were presented with four pictures out of 100 possible targets with or without digitally-added tears. We confirmed the main prediction that seeing a tearful individual elicits the intention to support, d = 0.49 [0.43, 0.55]. Our data suggest that this effect could be mediated by perceiving the crying target as warmer and more helpless, feeling more connected, as well as feeling more empathic concern for the crier, but not by an increase in personal distress of the observer. The effect was moderated by the situational valence, identifying the target as part of one's group, and trait empathic concern. A neutral situation, high trait empathic concern, and low identification increased the effect. We observed high heterogeneity across countries that was, via split-half validation, best explained by country-level GDP per capita and subjective well-being with stronger effects for higher-scoring countries. These findings suggest that tears can function as social glue, providing one possible explanation why emotional crying persists into adulthood.
The impact of factor infusion frequency on health-related quality of life in people with haemophiliaAbstract Background Some studies suggest that people with haemophilia (PwH) who use prophylaxis value low frequency of clotting factor administration more than a lower risk of bleeding. However, more frequent infusions offer the potential of reducing joint disease and pain, which in turn may improve functioning and quality of life. Aims To explore the impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) aspects of haemophilia associated with adherence and annual infusion rate in the context of factors influencing treatment that are important to patients, including prophylaxis, chronic pain, concomitant conditions and hospital admission. Materials and methods HRQoL was assessed in participants with severe haemophilia in the ‘Cost of Haemophilia in Europe: a Socioeconomic Survey’ (CHESS) study who were using prophylaxis. Patients using on-demand treatment were excluded. This multivariate analysis examined the interaction between factors potentially influencing treatment and HRQoL, and minor and major bleeds. Results From the total CHESS population (n=1,285), 338 (26%) participants provided responses for major and minor bleeds and target joints, and 145 (11%) provided EQ-5D-3L responses. Major and minor bleeds were associated with pain. Patients with severe chronic pain reported a substantial negative impact on HRQoL; but this was significantly improved by increases in the annual infusion rate. This was not apparent in participants with mild or moderate pain. Conclusion Increasing the frequency of prophylaxis infusions is associated with improved quality of life in PwH who have severe chronic pain. However, increasing the number of infusions per week in those with mild or moderate chronic pain with the intention of improving prophylactic effect may not have the same effect.
Critical analysis of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust Aged Veterans Fund.Relatively little research is available regarding the specific needs of older military veterans and the services introduced to support them. In 2016, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust launched the Aged Veterans Fund (AVF), to understand the impact that military service may have on ageing, and to support initiatives targeting their health and well-being. This fund was financed for 5 years and included 19 UK portfolio projects. The paper presents a retrospective evaluation on the processes and impact of the AVF, with the intent of informing policy, educational services, service providers and stakeholders of the lessons learnt. The inclusion criteria was veterans and their families aged 65 years of age or over. In 2019, data were drawn from documentary evidence related to the programmes. Qualitative analysis were performed on 78 eligible sources and 10 themes were identified. Programmes were rolled out via collaborative partnerships referrals, focusing on person-centred or skill-exchange approaches. Challenges were encountered, such as capacity and timelines issues. A limited amount of associated cost-savings was observed, even if examples of sustainability and high satisfaction were reported. Evidence was found of programmes boosting health and well-being outcomes, in raising awareness, and in positively impacting on clinical practice, such as re-admission rates. The AVF programmes were successful in their intent to provide support to older veterans and their families. The findings provide indicators of the next steps required for the support of ageing veterans. Further investigation of the cost-effectiveness of age-friendly veterans' services is needed. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]