, eBioMedicine, Volume 79, May 2022
Background: The effect of long-term exposure to air pollution on the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is still controversial, and the role of the interactions of air pollution with genetic risk and lifestyle in COPD risk is unclear. Methods: We included 452762 participants derived from the UK Biobank. Annual concentrations of air pollutions, including particle matter (PM2.5, PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), were assessed using land-use regression model.
, Preventive Medicine, Volume 152, November 2021
We explore ethical premises and practical implications of using genetic testing to predict suicide risk. Twin studies indicate heritable components of suicide risk, intertwined with the heritability of mental disorders, and possibly other traits. Current genetics research has abandoned searching for single gene Mendelian determinants, in favour of complex probabilistic epigenetic models. Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) might identify thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), each contributing very little to the variance associated with behavioral phenotypes.
, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Volume 9, November 2021
Background: The impact of COVID-19 on physical and mental health and employment after hospitalisation with acute disease is not well understood. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of COVID-19-related hospitalisation on health and employment, to identify factors associated with recovery, and to describe recovery phenotypes.
eClinicalMedicine, Volume 37, July 2021
This study supports SDGs 3 and 10 by investigating the role of genetic ancestry in ethnic disparities in type 2 diabetes, and interactions with socioeconomic deprivation. The effects of environmental risk factors were found to differ among ancestry groups, suggesting the need for group-specific interventions.
Background: Many causes of vision impairment can be prevented or treated. With an ageing global population, the demands for eye health services are increasing. We estimated the prevalence and relative contribution of avoidable causes of blindness and vision impairment globally from 1990 to 2020. We aimed to compare the results with the World Health Assembly Global Action Plan (WHA GAP) target of a 25% global reduction from 2010 to 2019 in avoidable vision impairment, defined as cataract and undercorrected refractive error.
, Medical Image Analysis, Volume 67, January 2021
The enormous social and economic cost of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has driven a number of neuroimaging investigations for early detection and diagnosis. Towards this end, various computational approaches have been applied to longitudinal imaging data in subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), as serial brain imaging could increase sensitivity for detecting changes from baseline, and potentially serve as a diagnostic biomarker for AD. However, current state-of-the-art brain imaging diagnostic methods have limited utility in clinical practice due to the lack of robust predictive power.
, EBioMedicine, Volume 59, September 2020
Background: Cholinergic neuronal loss is one of the hallmarks of AD related neurodegeneration; however, preclinical promise of α7 nAChR drugs failed to translate into humans. CHRFAM7A, a uniquely human fusion gene, is a negative regulator of α7 nAChR and was unaccounted for in preclinical models. Methods: Molecular methods: Function of CHRFAM7A alleles was studied in vitro in two disease relevant phenotypic readouts: electrophysiology and Aβ uptake. Genome edited human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) were used as a model system with the human context.
, EBioMedicine, Volume 58, August 2020
Background: Microglia, the brain's principal immune cell, are increasingly implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the molecular interfaces through which these cells contribute to amyloid beta (Aβ)-related neurodegeneration are unclear. We recently identified microglial contributions to the homeostatic and disease-associated modulation of perineuronal nets (PNNs), extracellular matrix structures that enwrap and stabilize neuronal synapses, but whether PNNs are altered in AD remains controversial.
, Neuron, Volume 104, 20 November 2019
Neuropathic pain (NeuP) arises due to injury of the somatosensory nervous system and is both common and disabling, rendering an urgent need for non-addictive, effective new therapies. Given the high evolutionary conservation of pain, investigative approaches from Drosophila mutagenesis to human Mendelian genetics have aided our understanding of the maladaptive plasticity underlying NeuP. Successes include the identification of ion channel variants causing hyper-excitability and the importance of neuro-immune signaling.