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Gastrointest. Disord., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 3 articles

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Review
Colorectal Cancer Screening: Have We Addressed Concerns and Needs of the Target Population?
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 173-203; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/gidisord3040018 - 16 Oct 2021
Abstract
Despite the recognized benefits of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, uptake is still suboptimal in many countries. In addressing this issue, one important element that has not received sufficient attention is population preference. Our review provides a comprehensive summary of the up-to-date evidence relative [...] Read more.
Despite the recognized benefits of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, uptake is still suboptimal in many countries. In addressing this issue, one important element that has not received sufficient attention is population preference. Our review provides a comprehensive summary of the up-to-date evidence relative to this topic. Four OVID databases were searched: Ovid MEDLINE® ALL, Biological Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, and Global Health. Among the 742 articles generated, 154 full texts were selected for a more thorough evaluation based on predefined inclusion criteria. Finally, 83 studies were included in our review. The general population preferred either colonoscopy as the most accurate test, or fecal occult blood test (FOBT) as the least invasive for CRC screening. The emerging blood test (SEPT9) and capsule colonoscopy (nanopill), with the potential to overcome the pitfalls of the available techniques, were also favored. Gender, age, race, screening experience, education and beliefs, the perceived risk of CRC, insurance, and health status influence one’s test preference. To improve uptake, CRC screening programs should consider offering test alternatives and tailoring the content and delivery of screening information to the public’s preferences. Other logistical measures in terms of the types of bowel preparation, gender of endoscopist, stool collection device, and reward for participants can also be useful. Full article
Hypothesis
Microbiome–Gut Dissociation: Investigating the Origins of Obesity
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 156-172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/gidisord3040017 - 30 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The reduction of excessive weight remains a major public health challenge, with control currently limited to a calorie reduction strategy. Currently, attempts are being made at revisiting the fibre hypothesis based on the African studies of Denis Burkitt, that the lack of dietary [...] Read more.
The reduction of excessive weight remains a major public health challenge, with control currently limited to a calorie reduction strategy. Currently, attempts are being made at revisiting the fibre hypothesis based on the African studies of Denis Burkitt, that the lack of dietary fibre in the modern diet was responsible for the occurrence of obesity and many of the other non-communicable diseases of what he called “Western civilization”. However, the dilemma is that Burkitt himself stressed that other peoples of his day, such as the Maasai, remained healthy without consuming such high fibre diets. Equally, the present obesity epidemic is accompanied by diseases of a malfunctioning immune system and of poor mental health that do not seem to be adequately explained simply by a deficiency of dietary fibre. Though unknown in Burkitt’s day, an increasing degradation of a mutualistic intestinal microbiome would offer a better fit to the observed epidemiology, especially if the microbiome is not effectively passed on from mother to child at birth. Taking the broader view, in this article we posit a view of the microbiome as a cofactor of mammalian evolution, in which a maternal microbial inheritance complements the parental genetic inheritance of the animal, both engaging epigenetic processes. As this would require the microbiome to be fully integrated with the animal as it develops into an adult, so we have a meaningful evolutionary role for the microbiome–gut–brain axis. By a failure to correctly establish a microbiome–gut interface, the inhibition of maternal microbial inheritance sets the scene for the future development of non-communicable disease: compromised immune system function on the one hand and dysfunctional gut–brain communication on the other. The basic principle is that the fully functioning, diverse, microbiome achieves interkingdom communication by the generation of messenger chemicals, semiochemicals. It is envisaged that the in situ detection of these as yet ill-defined chemical entities by means of an ingestible sensor would indicate the severity of disease and provide a guide as to its amelioration. Full article
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Review
A Survey of Methodologies for Assessing Mast Cell Density and Activation in Patients with Functional Abdominal Pain Disorders
Gastrointest. Disord. 2021, 3(4), 142-155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/gidisord3040016 - 30 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The aim was to assess methods utilized in assessing mast cell involvement in functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs), specifically to describe variability in methods utilized to assess both mast cell density and activation and determine if a consensus exists. After a literature search [...] Read more.
The aim was to assess methods utilized in assessing mast cell involvement in functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs), specifically to describe variability in methods utilized to assess both mast cell density and activation and determine if a consensus exists. After a literature search identified 70 manuscripts assessing mast cell density, data were extracted including FAPD diagnosis, site of biopsy, selection of microscopic fields analyzed, selection of mucosal region analyzed, method of mast cell identification, method to assess mast cell density, and if performed, method to assess mast cell activation. There appears to be some consensus favoring inmmunohistochemical stains over histochemical stains for identifying mast cells. Otherwise, considerable variability exists in methodology for assessing mast cell density and activation. Regardless of method, approximately 80% of studies found increased mast cell density and/or activation in comparison to controls with no method being superior. A wide variety of methods have been employed to assess mast cell density and activation with no well-established consensus and inadequate data to recommend specific approaches. The current methodology providing physiologic information needs to be translated to a standard methodology providing clinical information with the development of criteria establishing abnormal density and/or activation, and more importantly, predicting treatment response. Full article
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