• Uncertainty, Anxiety and Isolation: Experiencing the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown as a Woman with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

      Atkinson, Lou; Kite, Chris; McGregor, G; James, Tamsin; Clark, Cain C T; Randeva, Harpal S; Kyrou, Ioannis; Aston University; University of Chester; Coventry University; University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire; University of Warwick
      Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdown measures presented a significant risk to physical and mental wellbeing in affected populations. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are predisposed to several cardio-metabolic risk factors which increase the susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and also exhibit increased likelihood of impaired mental health wellbeing. Therefore, these women who usually receive care from multiple primary and specialist healthcare services may be disproportionately impacted by this pandemic and the related restrictions. This study aimed to explore the lived experience of the first UK national lockdown as a woman with PCOS. Methods: As part of a larger cross-sectional study, 12 women with PCOS living in the UK during the first national COVID-19 lockdown were recruited to a qualitative study. Telephone interviews were conducted in June/July of 2020, and data collected were subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Five themes were identified. “My PCOS Journey” describes participants’ experiences of diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management of their PCOS. “Living Through Lockdown” describes the overall experience and impact of the lockdown on all aspects of participants’ lives. “Self-care and Managing Symptoms” describe multiple challenges to living well with PCOS during the lockdown, including lack of access to supplies and services, and disruption to weight management. “Healthcare on Hold” describes the uncertainty and anxiety associated with delays in accessing specialised healthcare for a range of PCOS aspects, including fertility treatment. “Exacerbating Existing Issues” captures the worsening of pre-existing mental health issues, and an increase in health anxiety and feelings of isolation. Conclusion: For the women with PCOS in this study, the COVID-19 pandemic and the first national lockdown was mostly experienced as adding to the pre-existing challenges of living with their condition. The mental health impact experienced by the study participants was increased due to lack of access to their normal support strategies, limitations on healthcare services and uncertainty about their risk of COVID-19.
    • Use of GMHAT/PC in old age population in India

      Krishna, Murali; Ramya, M.; Sharma, Vimal; Jones, Steven; University of Chester (Indian Psychiatric society, 2017)
      Book chapter
    • Using magnetic nanoparticles for gene transfer to neural stem cells: stem cell propagation method influences outcomes

      Pickard, Mark R.; Adams, Christopher F.; Barraud, Perrine; Chari, Divya M.; Keele University, United Kingdom; University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2015-04-24)
      Genetically engineered neural stem cell (NSC) transplants offer a key strategy to augment neural repair by releasing therapeutic biomolecules into injury sites. Genetic modification of NSCs is heavily reliant on viral vectors but cytotoxic effects have prompted development of non-viral alternatives, such as magnetic nanoparticle (MNPs). NSCs are propagated in laboratories as either 3-D suspension "neurospheres" or 2-D adherent "monolayers". MNPs deployed with oscillating magnetic fields ("magnetofection technology") mediate effective gene transfer to neurospheres but the efficacy of this approach for monolayers is unknown. It is important to address this issue as oscillating magnetic fields dramatically enhance MNP-based transfection in transplant cells (e.g., astrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursors) propagated as monolayers. We report for the first time that oscillating magnetic fields enhanced MNP-based transfection with reporter and functional (basic fibroblast growth factor; FGF2) genes in monolayer cultures yielding high transfection versus neurospheres. Transfected NSCs showed high viability and could re-form neurospheres, which is important as neurospheres yield higher post-transplantation viability versus monolayer cells. Our results demonstrate that the combination of oscillating magnetic fields and a monolayer format yields the highest efficacy for MNP-mediated gene transfer to NSCs, offering a viable non-viral alternative for genetic modification of this important neural cell transplant population.
    • What is the effect of aerobic exercise intensity on cardiorespiratory fitness in those undergoing cardiac rehabilitation? A systematic review with meta-analysis

      Mitchell, Braden L.; Lock, Merilyn J.; Parfitt, Gaynor; Buckley, John P.; Davison, Kade; Eston, Roger; University of South Australia, University Centre Shrewsbury/University of Chester (BMJ, 2018-08-18)
      18 Objective: Assess the role of exercise intensity on changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in 19 patients with cardiac conditions attending exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation. 20 Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis. 21 Data sources: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO and Web of Science. 22 Eligibility criteria for selection: Studies assessing change in CRF (reported as peak oxygen uptake; 23 V̇O2peak) in patients post-myocardial infarction and revascularisation, following exercise-based 24 cardiac rehabilitation. Studies establishing V̇O2peak via symptom-limited exercise test with ventilatory 25 gas analysis and reported intensity of exercise during rehabilitation were included. Studies with 26 mean ejection fraction <40% were excluded. 27 Results: 128 studies including 13,220 patients were included. Interventions were classified as 28 moderate, moderate-to-vigorous or vigorous intensity based on published recommendations. 29 Moderate and moderate-to-vigorous intensity interventions were associated with a moderate 30 increase in relative V̇O2peak (standardised mean difference ± 95% CI = 0.94 ± 0.30 and 0.93 ± 0.17, 31 respectively), and vigorous-intensity exercise with a large increase (1.10 ± 0.25). Moderate and 32 vigorous intensity interventions were associated with moderate improvements in absolute V̇O2peak 33 (0.63 ± 0.34 and 0.93 ± 0.20, respectively), whereas moderate-to-vigorous intensity interventions 34 elicited a large effect (1.27 ± 0.75). Large heterogeneity among studies was observed for all analyses. 35 Subgroup analyses yielded statistically significant, but inconsistent, improvements in CRF. 36 Conclusion: Engagement in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation was associated with significant 37 improvements in both absolute and relative V̇O2peak. Although exercise of vigorous intensity 38 produced the greatest pooled effect for change in relative V̇O2peak, differences in pooled effects 39 between intensities could not be considered clinically meaningful.
    • Will Plan S put learned societies in jeopardy?

      Purton, Mary; Michelangeli, Francesco; Fésüs, László (Wiley, 2019-02-25)