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This Week in JAMA
April 3, 2002

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 2002;287(13):1613. doi:10.1001/jama.287.13.1613

Edited by Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, and Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD, MPH

Confocal laser scanning micrograph of a mucosal biofilm in an experimental model of otitis media.

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Neuroimaging Assessment of Parkinson Disease Therapy

In the CALM-PD trial, the onset of dopaminergic motor complications after 2 years of follow-up was delayed in patients with early Parkinson disease who received initial treatment with pramipexole compared with those who received levodopa therapy. In this neuroimaging substudy of the CALM-PD trial, the Parkinson Study Group used single-photon emission computed tomography with β-CIT imaging ligand, a biomarker of dopamine transporter density, to compare rates of dopamine neuron degeneration in the 2 study groups. Loss of striatal β-CIT uptake was significantly less in the pramipexole group compared with the levodopa group at 22, 34, and 46 months after baseline.

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Potential Biomarkers for Prostate and Ovarian Cancer

Two studies reported in this issue of THE JOURNAL evaluated the usefulness of up-regulated genes that were identified as potential biomarkers for prostate and ovarian cancer using complementary DNA microarray techniques. Rubin and colleaguesArticle found an association between α-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase protein expression and prostate cancer in prostatectomy specimens and in prostate needle-biopsy specimens. Kim and colleaguesArticle found an association between levels of osteopontin expressed in ovarian cancer cells and tissue specimens and levels measured in plasma and ovarian cancer.

Confocal laser scanning micrograph of a mucosal biofilm in an experimental model of otitis media.
Genetic Variants and Response to Drug Therapy

Genetic polymorphisms for drug receptors, drug-metabolizing enzymes, and drug-effector pathways may modify the response of patients to pharmacotherapy. Psaty and colleaguesArticle found that in patients with hypertension who carried the Trp460 variant allele of the α-adducin gene, which has been associated with high rates of renal sodium reabsorption and salt-sensitive hypertension, diuretic therapy was associated with a lower risk of the combined outcome of myocardial infarction or stroke than other antihypertensive therapies. Higashi and colleaguesArticle found an association between 2 genetic variants of the hepatic microsomal enzyme CYP2CP, the principal enzyme involved in warfarin metabolism, and increased risk of excess anticoagulation and bleeding events in patients receiving warfarin.


Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strains colonize the nasopharyngeal tract as part of the normal flora but may also cause acute infections in the respiratory tract and other sites. Vitovski and colleagues found that nontypeable H influenzae strains isolated from symptomatic patients had significantly higher IgA1 protease levels compared with strains from throat swabs of asymptomatic carriers.

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Experimental Models Explore Disease Mechanisms

Three investigations in this issue of THE JOURNAL used experimental models to identify factors that may be important in the pathogenesis of disease. Bodary and colleaguesArticle found that leptin contributed to arterial thrombosis following vascular injury in mice, an effect that appeared to be mediated through the platelet leptin receptor. Ehrlich and colleaguesArticle demonstrated the presence of viable bacteria growing as a mucosal biofilm in a chinchilla model of otitis media, and suggest that biofilm formation may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of chronic otitis media with effusion. Coopersmith and colleaguesArticle found that inhibition of gut epithelial apoptosis by overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 in the intestinal epithelium of transgenic mice was associated with improved survival in a murine model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia–induced sepsis.

Medical News & Perspectives

Building on knowledge gleaned from laboratory studies, many researchers are developing and testing a host of new anti-HIV agents.

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Federal Funding of Biomedical Research

Frist highlights notable achievements of federally funded research in the United States and discusses the need for collaboration among government agencies, the scientific and medical communities, and the public to improve translation of research advances into better clinical care and patient outcomes.

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Future of Biomedical Research

Pollard describes the reductionistic approach in biomedical research, which links molecular mechanisms, often studied in model organisms, to human physiology and disease states, and discusses how new knowledge of molecular mechanisms of disease will alter clinical practice.

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JAMA Patient Page

For your patients: Information about basic science research.

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