An analysis of prevalence and associated common risk factors of ED and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) was performed in Russian Federation by cross-sectional multicenter survey. International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score and International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) were used for data collection in 1225 men between 20 and 77 years interviewed in six regions of Russian Federation. In addition, each participant's social, demographic, lifestyle, sexual and medical history was taken with special emphasis on risk factors for ED. Upon the basis of IIEF erectile domain score interpretation, ED was found in 530 (48.9%) men, consisting of mild and mild to moderate, moderate and severe ED in 375 (34.6%), 78 (7.2%) and 77 (7.1%) respondents, respectively. According to IPSS assessment, LUTSs were present in 649 (59.9%) responders; inclusive 370 (34.2%), 216 (19.9%) and 63 (5.8%) men with mild, moderate and severe LUTS, respectively. Men with both ED and LUTS shared common co-morbidities and lifestyle risk factors with age-adjusted odds ratio between 1.2 and 5.2. In logistic regression model (R2=0.361), the strongest associated with ED factor found was IPSS symptom score, followed by hypertension, IPSS-related quality of life, age, diabetes mellitus, obesity and unmotivated fatigue
In studies of massive changes in social life, researchers often have to rely on low-quality retrospective data such as memoirs and manipulated government reports as opposed to reliable data such as vital registration. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was an unpredictable event with large-scale consequences for the lives of millions of Russians. Beginning in the 1960s, the Soviet Union started to fall into a deep demographic crisis.1 The end of Communism was accompanied by a further increase in total mortality, with unprecedented fluctuations during the next two decades. Several studies were done in a bid to explain this.2
This paper briefly analyzes the quality of cause-specific mortality statistics at old ages in Russia. Two aspects were the focus of the work: the regional differences in approaches for choosing the underlying cause of death and the comparison of the Russian coding practice with the practices of several other European countries. The results of the study indicate that there are certain problems with the quality of cause-of-death coding at old ages in Russia. No unified approach to coding deaths caused by senility is used at the subnational level, which leads to the distortion of the regional cause-specific mortality structures. Furthermore, for many groups of causes Russian death rates are much lower than those in European countries. This peculiarity is caused by the specificity of the Russian cause-of-death coding practice, which results in underestimating the mortality from certain causes at old ages.
Tk-hefu is an artificial peptide designed based on the α-hairpinin scaffold, which selectively blocks voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3. Here we present its spatial structure resolved by NMR spectroscopy and analyze its interaction with channels using computer modeling. We apply protein surface topography to suggest mutations and increase Tk-hefu affinity to the Kv1.3 channel isoform. We redesign the functional surface of Tk-hefu to better match the respective surface of the channel pore vestibule. The resulting peptide Tk-hefu-2 retains Kv1.3 selectivity and displays ∼15 times greater activity compared with Tk-hefu. We verify the mode of Tk-hefu-2 binding to the channel outer vestibule experimentally by site-directed mutagenesis. We argue that scaffold engineering aided by protein surface topography represents a reliable tool for design and optimization of specific ion channel ligands.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) play an important role in synaptic plasticity and learning, as well as in nociception and mechanosensation. ASICs are involved in pain and in neurological and psychiatric diseases, but their therapeutic potential is limited by the lack of ligands activating them at physiological pH. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We extracted, purified and determined the structure of a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid, lindoldhamine, (LIN) from laurel leaves. Its effect on ASIC3 channels were characterized, using two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiological recordings from Xenopus laevis oocytes. KEY RESULTS At pH 7.4 or higher, LIN activated a sustained, proton-independent, current through rat and human ASIC3 channels, but not rat ASIC1a or ASIC2a channels. LIN also potentiated proton-induced transient currents and promoted recovery from desensitization in human, but not rat, ASIC3 channels. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS We describe a novel ASIC subtype-specific agonist LIN, which induced proton-independent activation of human and rat ASIC3 channels at physiological pH. LIN also acts as a positive allosteric modulator of human, but not rat, ASIC3 channels. This unique, species-selective, ligand of ASIC3, opens new avenues in studies of ASIC structure and function, as well as providing new approaches to drug design.
To explore the influence of psychiatric distress and substance use on viral load suppression in HIV-infected patients taking ART we analyzed socio-demographic characteristics, CD4+ cells count and viral loads, the Symptom Check List-90 and the Addiction Severity Index of 75 patients who had taken ART for at least 6 month. Using viral load data as the marker of ART success, we divided the sample into two groups. Comparison of the groups showed that education, marriage, and female gender are predictors of optimal viral load suppression. Overall results failed to demonstrate substance use and psychiatric distress as predictors of viral load suppression
Adenosine serves many functions within the CNS, including inhibitory and excitatory control of neurotransmission. The understanding of adenosine dynamics in the brain is of fundamental importance. The goal of the present study was to explore subsecond adenosine fluctuations in the rat brain in vivo.
Long Evans rats were anesthetized and a carbon fiber electrode was positioned in the motor cortex or dorsal striatum. Real time electrochemical recordings were made at the carbon fiber electrodes every 100ms by applying a triangular waveform (-0.4 to +1.5V, 400V/s). Adenosine spikes were identified by the background-subtracted cyclic voltammogram.
The frequency of detected adenosine spikes was relatively stable in both tested regions, and the time intervals between spikes were regular and lasted from 1 to 5s within an animal. Spike frequency ranged from 0.5 to 1.5Hz in both the motor cortex and the dorsal striatum. Average spike amplitudes were 85±11 and 66±7nM for the motor cortex and the dorsal striatum, respectively.
COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS:
The current study established that adenosine signaling can operate on a fast time scale (within seconds) to modulate brain functions.
This finding suggests that spontaneous adenosine release may play a fast, dynamic role in regulating an organism's response to external events. Therefore, adenosine transmission in the brain may have characteristics similar to those of classical neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
Russian Federation has made a strong legal commitment to the human right to health through the ratification of several key international human rights laws. Current public health care policies also demonstrate that Russian Federation has committed itself to provide the human right to health protection of people residing with its jurisdiction. All residents of Russia are eligible for medical care free of charge. Medical services are provided directly to patients by government health care providers. This includes general and specialist medical care, hospitalization, diagnostic laboratory services, dental care, maternity care and transportation, free drugs for disabled, medical rehabilitation, etc. The legal basis for the human right to health at the federal level is provided by a variety of legislative acts (codes, federal laws), presidential decrees, decisions and proposals of the government of the Russian Federation, and orders of the government and of the Ministry of Health and other ministries. The legal basis at the regional level is provided by legislative instruments enacted by the governments of the Subjects of Russian Federation.
With low take-up of both private health insurance and the existing public drug reimbursement scheme, it is thought that less than 5% of the Russian population have access to free outpatient drug treatment. This represents a major policy challenge for a country grappling with reforms of its healthcare system and experiencing low or no economic growth and significant associated reductions in spending on social services. In this paper, we draw on data from a recent Levada-Center survey to examine the attitudes and social solidarity of the Russian population towards drug policies in general and towards the introduction of a proposed voluntary drug insurance system in particular. In addition to being among the first to explore these important questions in the post-Communist setting, we make three important contributions to the emerging policy debates. First, we find that, if introduced immediately and without careful planning and preparation, Russia’s voluntary drug insurance scheme is likely to collapse financially due to the over-representation of high-risk unhealthy individuals opting in to the scheme. Second, the negative attitude of higher income groups towards the redistribution of wealth to the poor may further impede government efforts to introduce voluntary drug insurance. Finally, we argue that Russia currently lacks the breadth and depth of social solidarity necessary for implementing this form of health financing.
During the last decade, the role and meaning of research and technology organisations (RTOs) and their contribution to the innovation potential of countries has been questioned. In this paper, RTOs are understood as “…organisations with significant core government funding (25% or greater) which supply services to firms individually or collectively in support of scientific and technological innovation and which devote much of their capability (50% or more of their labour) to remaining integrated with the science base…” (Hales, 2001). Transitional economies like Russia face substantial challenges with national and regional innovation policies for supporting and enabling knowledge transfer. In this context, RTOs often maintain obsolete behavioural schemes of non-market public institutions isolated from the real economic sector. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and explain some unexpected knowledge transfer phenomena crucial for efficient regional innovation policies using Russian RTOs as example.
Multimodal approaches are of growing interest in the study of neural processes. To this end much attention has been paid to the integration of electroencephalographic (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data because of their complementary properties. However, the simultaneous acquisition of both types of data causes serious artifacts in the EEG, with amplitudes that may be much larger than those of EEG signals themselves. The most challenging of these artifacts is the ballistocardiogram (BCG) artifact, caused by pulse-related electrode movements inside the magnetic field. Despite numerous efforts to find a suitable approach to remove this artifact, still a considerable discrepancy exists between current EEG-fMRI studies. This paper attempts to clarify several methodological issues regarding the different approaches with an extensive validation based on event-related potentials (ERPs). More specifically, Optimal Basis Set (OBS) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) based methods were investigated. Their validation was not only performed with measures known from previous studies on the average ERPs, but most attention was focused on task-related measures, including their use on trial-to-trial information. These more detailed validation criteria enabled us to find a clearer distinction between the most widely used cleaning methods. Both OBS and ICA proved to be able to yield equally good results. However, ICA methods needed more parameter tuning, thereby making OBS more robust and easy to use. Moreover, applying OBS prior to ICA can optimize the data quality even more, but caution is recommended since the effect of the additional ICA step may be strongly subject-dependent.
Stuckler, King and McKee (2012) (hereafter, SKM) are unhappy that their bold claims that rapid mass privatisation was an important cause of post-communist mortality fluctuations have been disputed. In defending their claims, SKM variously accuse those questioning them of statistical manipulation and obscurantism , ideological bias, conflicts of interest, misrepresentation, denialism (e.g. as in climate change denial) and data torture. These are uncomfortable associations for any researcher. So, let me be clear, no one is denying the occurrence of unprecedented spikes inmortality and morbidity in the early 1990s across parts of the post-communist world; what is being questioned is the assertion that rapid mass privatisation was “a crucial determinant of differences in adult mortality trends”. This claim, stemming from a cross-national analysis covering 24 countries for up to 14 years, hardly merits associationwith the vast body of impressive scientific theory and evidence underpinning the link between environmental damage and climate change. Nevertheless, the discussion is important because it goes to the heart of what, when and how much can be claimed from small scale, cross-national data analysis. While SKM have raised an interesting question, their claims are far louder and bolder than the data justify and there are lessons, for social scientists and epidemiologists, that can be drawn from this. Moreover, their claim that it is wrong for their critics to explore their findings without putting forward and testing alternative hypotheses is anti-scientific (Popper, 2005, p.39): falsifiability defines the scientific endeavour. In their response to my article (Gerry, 2012) SKM state that I am part of a game of“statistical obscurantism”. They advance this allegation in four stages by: (i) revisiting the key facts and concepts; (ii) repeating discussion of the methodological challenges; (iii) comparing Russia (a mass privatiser) with Belarus (not a mass privatiser); and (iv) providing a set of regressions which they claim demonstrate “data torture”. I will take these in turn.
X-ray bone images are used in the areas such as bone age assessment, bone mass assessment and examination of bone fractures. Medical image analysis is a very challenging problem due to large variability in topologies, medical structure complexities and poor image modalities such as noise, low contrast, several kinds of artifacts and restrictive scanning methods. Computer aided analysis leads to operator independent, subjective and fast results.
In this study, near field effect of X-ray source is eliminated from hand radiographic images. Firstly, near field effect of X-ray source is modeled, then the parameters of the model are estimated by using genetic algorithms. Near field effect is corrected for all image pixels retrospectively.
Two different categories of images are analyzed to show the performance of the developed algorithm. These are original X-ray hand images and phantom hand images. Phantom hand images are used to analyze the effect of noise. Two performance criteria are proposed to test the developed algorithm: Hand segmentation performance and variance value of the pixels in the background. It is observed that the variance value of the pixels in the background decreases, and hand segmentation performance increases after retrospective correction process is applied.
Rigid amphipathic fusion inhibitors (RAFIs) are a family of nucleoside derivatives that inhibit the infectivity of several enveloped viruses by interacting with virion envelope lipids and inhibiting fusion between viral and cellular membranes. Here we tested the antiviral activity of two RAFIs, 5-(Perylen-3-ylethynyl)-arabino-uridine (aUY11) and 5-(Perylen-3-ylethynyl) uracil-1-acetic acid (cm1UY11) against African swine fever virus (ASFV), for which no effective vaccine is available. Both compounds displayed a potent, dose-dependent inhibitory effect on ASFV infection in Vero cells. The major antiviral effect was observed when aUY11 and cm1UY11 were added at early stages of infection and maintained during the complete viral cycle. Furthermore, virucidal assay revealed a significant extracellular anti-ASFV activity for both compounds. We also found decrease in the synthesis of early and late viral proteins in Vero cells treated with cm1UY11. Finally, the inhibitory effect of aUY11 and cm1UY11 on ASFV infection in porcine alveolar macrophages was confirmed. Overall, our study has identified novel anti-ASFV compounds with potential for future therapeutic developments.
The main reform of healthcare system in Russia had begun by introduction of compulsory healthcare insurance in 1993. Since this time, Russia went through number of steps of healthcare system modernization. Most attention was paid to the resource allocation, medical equipment and drug provision, the problem of the low quality of care was repeatedly addressed. Major direction of the efforts was the creation of obligatory technical standards of care.
I studied the volume of publication found in MEDLINE for period 1991-2014 and in the relevant Russian journals not covered by MEDLINE as well as legislation on health care introduced since 1991.
The reviewfound that despite some increase in volume of funding of health care system, and provision of incentives for quality, the progress with health care quality assurance is slow. The methodology of development of evidence based guidelines is not accepted. The control over conflict of interest of participants of the development of the guiding documents is not introduced. Economic factors are not systematically addressed in decisions on provision of health care interventions. The practice of the health technology assessment does not exist. The system of financial incentives for the quality of care dominates and is developing without evidence based criteria and evidence of its efficacy.
The documents prescribing quality healthcare are developing non-systematically in Russia. The acceptance of the modern methodology of guideline development, health technology assessment and control over conflict of interest is needed as a minimum prerequisite for the progress in the quality assurance.
At the beginning of the 20th century, medicine as an academic discipline and a vocational training was quite similar in Russia and in western Europe. Most professors in Russian medical faculties had some international training. Pirogov, Sechenov, Mechnikoff, and Pavlov, just to name a few, were not only exceptional scientists but typical with their international training and research experience. Yet medicine as a service to the public was under developed. The access to a nurse or doctor was very limited, as described depressingly clearly in Anton Checkhov’s short stories. Some doctors devotedly served their poor compatriots. Being prone to socialist views, these doctors created the important argument against the Tsarist regime
Today in Russia and all over the world significant efforts are invested in building biobanks—specialized facilities for storing biological materials for research and medical purposes. The successful functioning of biobanks depends directly on people’s willingness to donate their biological materials. No previous studies of people’s attitudes toward donations to biobanks have been undertaken in Russia. The goal of this study was to measure attitudes toward biobank donation among young Russians and to evaluate potential sociodemographic and personality factors that play a role in a person’s readiness to become a donor. Data from 542 students at Saint Petersburg State University were collected from group-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Only one-fifth of the students knew about the existence of biobanks, while roughly the same number believed they might have heard something about them but were not absolutely certain. However, the students indicated a relatively high level of readiness to become biobank donors (74%). Willingness to be a biobank donor was correlated significantly with studying biology and was just modestly correlated with students’ values. In addition, we found gender-specific differences in the biobank characteristics that students felt were important in making a decision about whether to donate. The study demonstrated that today the attitudes of the general population (at least, those of the subgroup studied, students) do not pose a problem for the further development of biobanking in Russia.
Aims: To describe HIV-related risk behaviours, HIV testing and HIV status among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in the 2000 in European countries with highprevalence HIV epidemics among PWID. Methods: Data from 12 cross-sectional studies among PWID from seven countries were used. Meta-analysis was used to synthesize the data and meta-regression to explain heterogeneity [in addition to deriving adjusted odds ratios (AORmeta)]. Results: Data on 1791 PWID from western (the West) and 3537 from central and eastern (the East) European countries were available. The mean age of participating PWIDs was 30.6 years (SD 7.9), 75% were men, and 36% [95% confidence interval 34–37%) were HIV-infected (30% West, 38% East); 22% had not previously been tested for HIV. The prevalence of reported high-risk behaviour was significantly higher among PWID from the East. Comparison of HIV-infected and uninfected PWID within countries yielded similar results across all countries: HIV-infected PWID were less likely to be sexually active [AORmeta 0.69 (0.58–0.81)], reported less unprotected sex [AORmeta 0.59 (0.40–0.83)], but reported more syringe sharing [AORmeta 1.70 (1.30– 2.00)] and more frequent injecting [AORmeta 1.40 (1.20–1.70)] than their HIVuninfected counterparts. Conclusion: Despite the absolute differences in reported risk behaviours among PWID in western and eastern Europe, the associations of risk behaviours with HIV status were similar across the sites and regions. There is a substantial potential for further HIV transmission and acquisition based on the continuous risk behaviours reported. HIV prevention and harm reduction interventions targeting PWID should be evaluated.