Background Blended learning, which combines face-to-face learning and e-learning, has grown rapidly to be commonly used in education. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of this learning approach has not been completely quantitatively synthesized and evaluated using knowledge outcomes in health education. Objective The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of blended learning compared to that of traditional learning in health education. Methods We performed a systematic review of blended learning in health education in MEDLINE from January 1990 to July 2019. We independently selected studies, extracted data, assessed risk of bias, and compared overall blended learning versus traditional learning, offline blended learning versus traditional learning, online blended learning versus traditional learning, digital blended learning versus traditional learning, computer-aided instruction blended learning versus traditional learning, and virtual patient blended learning versus traditional learning. All pooled analyses were based on random-effect models, and the I2 statistic was used to quantify heterogeneity across studies. Results A total of 56 studies (N=9943 participants) assessing several types of learning support in blended learning met our inclusion criteria; 3 studies investigated offline support, 7 studies investigated digital support, 34 studies investigated online support, 8 studies investigated computer-assisted instruction support, and 5 studies used virtual patient support for blended learning. The pooled analysis comparing all blended learning to traditional learning showed significantly better knowledge outcomes for blended learning (standardized mean difference 1.07, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.28, I2=94.3%). Similar results were observed for online (standardized mean difference 0.73, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.86, I2=94.9%), computer-assisted instruction (standardized mean difference 1.13, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.79, I2=78.0%), and virtual patient (standardized mean difference 0.62, 95% CI 0.18 to 1.06, I2=78.4%) learning support, but results for offline learning support (standardized mean difference 0.08, 95% CI –0.63 to 0.79, I2=87.9%) and digital learning support (standardized mean difference 0.04, 95% CI –0.45 to 0.52, I2=93.4%) were not significant. Conclusions From this review, blended learning demonstrated consistently better effects on knowledge outcomes when compared with traditional learning in health education. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to explore the utility of different design variants of blended learning.
Inflammation and oxidative stress are common and co-substantial pathological processes accompanying, promoting, and even initiating numerous cancers. The canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) generally work in opposition. If one of them is upregulated, the other one is downregulated and vice versa. WNT/β-catenin signaling is upregulated in inflammatory processes and oxidative stress and in many cancers, although there are some exceptions for cancers. The opposite is observed with PPARγ, which is generally downregulated during inflammation and oxidative stress and in many cancers. This helps to explain in part the opposite and unidirectional profile of the canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling and PPARγ in these three frequent and morbid processes that potentiate each other and create a vicious circle. Many intracellular pathways commonly involved downstream will help maintain and amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancer. Thus, many WNT/β-catenin target genes such as c-Myc, cyclin D1, and HIF-1α are involved in the development of cancers. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NFκB) can activate many inflammatory factors such as TNF-α, TGF-β, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, MMP, vascular endothelial growth factor, COX2, Bcl2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase. These factors are often associated with cancerous processes and may even promote them. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated by cellular alterations, stimulate the production of inflammatory factors such as NFκB, signal transducer and activator transcription, activator protein-1, and HIF-α. NFκB inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and therefore activates the canonical WNT pathway. ROS activates the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) signaling in many cancers. PI3K/Akt also inhibits GSK-3β. Many gene mutations of the canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway giving rise to cancers have been reported (CTNNB1, AXIN, APC). Conversely, a significant reduction in the expression of PPARγ has been observed in many cancers. Moreover, PPARγ agonists promote cell cycle arrest, cell differentiation, and apoptosis and reduce inflammation, angiogenesis, oxidative stress, cell proliferation, invasion, and cell migration. All these complex and opposing interactions between the canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway and PPARγ appear to be fairly common in inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancers.
Increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients, continue to experience symptoms months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19. Amongst these symptoms, several are related to neurological manifestations, including fatigue, anosmia, hypogeusia, headaches and hypoxia. However, the involvement of the autonomic nervous system, expressed by a dysautonomia, which can aggregate all these neurological symptoms has not been prominently reported. Here, we hypothesize that dysautonomia, could occur in secondary COVID-19 infection, also referred to as “long COVID” infection. 39 participants were included from December 2020 to January 2021 for assessment by the Department of physical medicine to enhance their physical capabilities: 12 participants with COVID-19 diagnosis and fatigue, 15 participants with COVID-19 diagnosis without fatigue and 12 control participants without COVID-19 diagnosis and without fatigue. Heart rate variability (HRV) during a change in position is commonly measured to diagnose autonomic dysregulation. In this cohort, to reflect HRV, parasympathetic/sympathetic balance was estimated using the NOL index, a multiparameter artificial intelligence-driven index calculated from extracted physiological signals by the PMD-200 pain monitoring system. Repeated-measures mixed-models testing group effect were performed to analyze NOL index changes over time between groups. A significant NOL index dissociation over time between long COVID-19 participants with fatigue and control participants was observed (p = 0.046). A trend towards significant NOL index dissociation over time was observed between long COVID-19 participants without fatigue and control participants (p = 0.109). No difference over time was observed between the two groups of long COVID-19 participants (p = 0.904). Long COVID-19 participants with fatigue may exhibit a dysautonomia characterized by dysregulation of the HRV, that is reflected by the NOL index measurements, compared to control participants. Dysautonomia may explain the persistent symptoms observed in long COVID-19 patients, such as fatigue and hypoxia. Trial registration: The study was approved by the Foch IRB: IRB00012437 (Approval Number: 20-12-02) on December 16, 2020.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease, in which the primary etiology remains unknown. AD presents amyloid beta (Aβ) protein aggregation and neurofibrillary plaque deposits. AD shows oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. In AD, canonical Wingless-Int (Wnt)/β-catenin pathway is downregulated, whereas peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is increased. Downregulation of Wnt/β-catenin, through activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) by Aβ, and inactivation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling involve oxidative stress in AD. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa plant. In PC12 cells, Aβ-induced tau protein hyperphosphorylation is inhibited by CBD. This inhibition is associated with a downregulation of p-GSK-3β, an inhibitor of Wnt pathway. CBD may also increase Wnt/β-catenin by stimulation of PPARγ, inhibition of Aβ and ubiquitination of amyloid precursor protein. CBD attenuates oxidative stress and diminishes mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species generation. CBD suppresses, through activation of PPARγ, pro-inflammatory signaling and may be a potential new candidate for AD therapy.
In the context of COVID-19 pandemic and growing tensions worldwide regarding healthcare facilities, there is an urgent need for effective treatments likely to reduce the crunch of ICU beds. Following the assumption by Mehta and colleagues who exhorted physicians to screen patients with severe COVID-19 for hyperinflammation and investigate immunomodulatory drugs in this setting, we relate our short-term -yet promising -experience regarding IL6 blockade with tocilizumab in 30 selected patients of less than 80 years of age, >5 days of prior disease duration, severe (i.e. requiring strictly over 6L/min of oxygen therapy) rapidly deteriorating (i.e. increase by more than 3L/min of oxygen flow within the previous 12 hours) COVID-19-related pneumonia. By comparison with a control group of patients (matched for age, gender and disease severity using the inverse probability of treatment weighted methodology) that did not receive . CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license It is made available under a is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. (which was not certified by peer review)
Radiation therapy induces DNA damage and inflammation leading to fibrosis. Fibrosis can occur 4 to 12 months after radiation therapy. This process worsens with time and years. Radiation-induced fibrosis is characterized by fibroblasts proliferation, myofibroblast differentiation, and synthesis of collagen, proteoglycans and extracellular matrix. Myofibroblasts are non-muscle cells that can contract and relax. Myofibroblasts evolve towards irreversible retraction during fibrosis process. In this review, we discussed the interplays between transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR γ) in regulating the molecular mechanisms underlying the radiation-induced fibrosis, and the potential role of PPAR γ agonists. Overexpression of TGF-β and canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway stimulate fibroblasts accumulation and myofibroblast differentiation whereas PPAR γ expression decreases due to the opposite interplay of canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway. Both TGF-β1 and canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway stimulate each other through the Smad pathway and non-Smad pathways such as phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/serine/threonine kinase (PI3K/Akt) signaling. WNT/β-catenin pathway and PPAR γ interact in an opposite manner. PPAR γ agonists decrease β-catenin levels through activation of inhibitors of the WNT pathway such as Smad7, glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 β) and dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1). PPAR γ agonists also stimulate phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression, which decreases both TGF-β1 and PI3K/Akt pathways. PPAR γ agonists by activating Smad7 decrease Smads pathway and then TGF-β signaling leading to decrease radiation-induced fibrosis. TGF-β1 and canonical WNT/β-catenin pathway promote radiation-induced fibrosis whereas PPAR γ agonists can prevent radiation-induced fibrosis.
Canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling is involved in most of the mechanisms that lead to the formation and development of cancer cells. It plays a central role in three cyclic processes, which are the cell division cycle, the immune cycle, and circadian rhythms. When the canonical WNT pathway is upregulated as in cancers, the increase in β-catenin in the nucleus leads to activation of the expression of numerous genes, in particular CYCLIN D1 and cMYC, where the former influences the G1 phase of the cell division cycle, and the latter, the S phase. Every stage of the immune cycle is disrupted by the canonical WNT signaling. In numerous cancers, the dysfunction of the canonical WNT pathway is accompanied by alterations of the circadian genes (CLOCK, BMAL1, PER). Induction of these cyclic phenomena leads to the genesis of thermodynamic mechanisms that operate far from equilibrium, and that have been called “dissipative structures.” Moreover, upregulation of the canonical WNT/β-catenin signaling is important in the myofibroblasts of the cancer stroma. Their differentiation is controlled by the canonical WNT /TGF-β1 signaling. Myofibroblasts present ultraslow contractile properties due to the presence of the non-muscle myosin IIA. Myofibroblats also play a role in the inflammatory processes, often found in cancers and fibrosis processes. Finally, upregulated canonical WNT deviates mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation toward the Warburg glycolysis metabolism, which is characteristic of cancers. Among all these cancer-generating mechanisms, the upregulated canonical WNT pathway would appear to offer the best hope as a therapeutic target, particularly in the field of immunotherapy.
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