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Open access

Sophie van Rijn, Kimberly Kuiper, Nienke Bouw, Evelien Urbanus, and Hanna Swaab

Investigating sex chromosome trisomies (SCTs) may help in understanding neurodevelopmental pathways underlying the risk for neurobehavioral problems and psychopathology. Knowledge about the neurobehavioral phenotype is needed to improve clinical care and early intervention for children with SCT. This is especially relevant considering the increasing number of early diagnosed children with the recent introduction of noninvasive prenatal screening. The TRIXY Early Childhood Study is a longitudinal study designed to identify early neurodevelopmental risks in children with SCT, aged 1–7 years. This review summarizes the results from the TRIXY Early Childhood Study, focusing on early behavioral symptoms in areas of autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and communication disorders, and underlying neurocognitive mechanisms in domains of language, emotion regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition. Behavioral symptoms were assessed through structured behavior observation and parental questionnaires. Neurocognition was measured using performance tests, eyetracking, and psychophysiological measures of arousal. In total, 209 children aged 1–7 years were included: 107 children with SCT (33 XXX, 50 XXY, and 24 XYY) and 102 age-matched population controls. Study outcomes showed early behavioral symptoms in young children with SCT, and neurocognitive vulnerabilities, already from an early age onward. Neurobehavioral and neurocognitive difficulties tended to become more pronounced with increasing age and were rather robust, independent of specific karyotype, pre/postnatal diagnosis, or ascertainment strategy. A more longitudinal perspective on neurodevelopmental ‘at-risk’ pathways is warranted, also including studies assessing the effectiveness of targeted early interventions. Neurocognitive markers that signal differences in neurodevelopment may prove to be helpful in this. Focusing on early development of language, social cognition, emotion regulation, and executive functioning may help in uncovering early essential mechanisms of (later) neurobehavioral outcome, allowing for more targeted support and early intervention.

Open access

Izabelle Lövgren, Azadeh Abravan, Abigail Bryce-Atkinson, and Marcel van Herk

Brain tumours make up nearly one-third of paediatric malignancies. Over time, advancements in oncological treatments like radiotherapy have helped reduce normal-tissue toxicity when treating cancers in the brain. However, clinicians are still facing a trade-off between treatment efficacy and potential side effects. The aim of this review is to address the late effects of cranial irradiation on the neuroendocrine system and to identify factors that make patients more vulnerable to radiation-induced endocrine sequelae. Radiation damage to the hypothalamic–pituitary axis, which orchestrates hormone release, can lead to endocrinopathy; up to 48.8% of children who have undergone cranial irradiation develop a hormone deficiency. This may lead to further health complications that can appear up to decades after the last treatment, lowering the patients’ quality of life and increasing long-term costs as lifelong hormone replacement therapy may be required. Growth hormone deficiency is the most common sequelae, followed by either thyroid or gonadotropic hormone deficiency. Adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency tends to be the least common. Identified factors that increase the risk of late endocrine deficiency include total radiation dose, age at treatment, and time since last treatment. However, as there are various other factors that may potentiate the damage, a universal solution proven to be most effective in sparing the endocrine tissues is yet to be identified. Until then, accounting for the identified risk factors during treatment planning may in some cases help reduce the development of endocrine sequelae in childhood cancer survivors.

Open access

J Gebauer, R Skinner, R Haupt, L Kremer, H van der Pal, G Michel, G T Armstrong, M M Hudson, L Hjorth, H Lehnert, and T Langer

Many long-term childhood cancer survivors suffer from treatment-related late effects, which may occur in any organ and include a wide spectrum of conditions. Long-term follow-up (LTFU) is recommended to facilitate early diagnosis and to ensure better health outcomes. Due to the heterogeneity of these sequelae, different specialists work together in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. Experts from both pediatric and internal medicine are involved in age-appropriate care by providing a transition process. Hence, LTFU of childhood cancer survivors is a prototypic example of multidisciplinary care for patients with complex needs treated in a specialized setting. International collaborations of healthcare professionals and scientists involved in LTFU of childhood cancer survivors, such as the International Guideline Harmonization Group, compile surveillance recommendations that can be clinically adopted all over the world. These global networks of clinicians and researchers make a joint effort to address gaps in knowledge, increase visibility and awareness of cancer survivorship and provide an excellent example of how progress in clinical care and scientific research may be achieved by international and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Open access

Reshma Aziz Merchant, Michael Wong Wai Kit, Jia Yi Lim, and John E Morley


To investigate the association of normal BMI with central obesity (CO), high BMI with CO, high BMI without CO, and normal BMI without CO, with function and cognition in older adults.


Cross-sectional study involving 754 participants ≥ 65 years. Data collected include demographics, cognition, and physical measurements.


Females had a higher prevalence of high BMI with CO and a lower prevalence of high BMI without CO than males (61.0% vs 44.6% and 4.6% vs 15.0%, respectively). Within gender, CO groups, regardless of BMI, had lower mini-mental state examination (MMSE), handgrip strength (HGS), and longer timed-up-and-go (TUG) scores. Overall, the high BMI without CO group had the highest MMSE scores, HGS, and shortest TUG. Amongst males, HGS was significantly lower in the normal BMI with CO group (B −3.28, 95% CI −6.32 to −0.23, P = 0.04). CO, regardless of normal/high BMI, had significantly longer TUG time (B 2.65, 95% CI 0.45 to 4.84, P = 0.02; B 1.07, 95% CI 0.25 to 1.88, P = 0.01, respectively) than normal BMI without CO group. CO was associated with lower MMSE scores in both genders but significant only in males with normal BMI and CO (B −1.60, 95% CI −3.15 to −0.06, P = 0.04).


CO may be a better predictor of obesity and adverse outcomes in older adults. High BMI without CO was associated with better outcomes especially in males but require further validation. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to ascertain the impact of BMI and/or CO on function, cognition, mortality, and gender differences.

Open access

Richard H Tuligenga

The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the effect of intensive vs standard glycaemic control on cognitive decline in type 2 diabetic patients. A systematic search of PubMed and ALOIS was conducted from inception up to October 30, 2014. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of type 2 diabetic patients comparing the rate of change in cognitive function among participants assigned to intensive vs standard glycaemic control were included. An inverse-variance-weighted random effects model was used to calculate standardised mean differences (SMDs) and 95% CIs. A total of 24 297 patients from five RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Follow-up ranged from 3.3 to 6.2 years. The result from the pooled analysis showed that intensive glycaemic control was not associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in patients with type 2 diabetes, compared with standard glycaemic control (SMD=0.02; 95% CI=−0.03 to 0.08) although there was some heterogeneity across individual studies (I 2=68%, P for heterogeneity=0.01). There are few diabetes control trials including cognitive endpoints and a small number of trials comparing intensive and standard treatment strategies. Currently, intensive glycaemic control should not be recommended for prevention of cognitive decline in patients with type 2 diabetes because there is no evidence of its effectiveness. Moreover, the use of intensive diabetes treatment results in an increase of risk of hypoglycaemia, which is linked to a greater risk of poor cognition.

Open access

Patricia Iozzo and Maria Angela Guzzardi

The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions and keeps growing. Obesity seems implicated in the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and vice versa. Growing scientific efforts are being devoted to the identification of central mechanisms underlying the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. Glucose brain handling undergoes dynamic changes during the life-course, suggesting that its alterations might precede and contribute to degenerative changes or signaling abnormalities. Imaging of the glucose analog 18F-labeled fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) by positron emission tomography (PET) is the gold-standard for the assessment of cerebral glucose metabolism in vivo. This review summarizes the current literature addressing brain glucose uptake measured by PET imaging, and the effect of insulin on brain metabolism, trying to embrace a life-course vision in the identification of patterns that may explain (and contribute to) the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. The current evidence supports that brain hypermetabolism and brain insulin resistance occur in selected high-risk conditions as a transient phenomenon, eventually evolving toward normal or low values during life or disease progression. Associative studies suggest that brain hypermetabolism predicts low BDNF levels, hepatic and whole body insulin resistance, food desire and an unfavorable balance between anticipated reward from food and cognitive inhibitory control. Emerging mechanistic links involve the microbiota and the metabolome, which correlate with brain metabolism and cognition, deserving attention as potential future prevention targets.

Open access

W N H Koek, N Campos-Obando, B C J van der Eerden, Y B de Rijke, M A Ikram, A G Uitterlinden, J P T M van Leeuwen, and M C Zillikens


Sex differences in calcium and phosphate have been observed. We aimed to assess a relation with age.


We used the laboratory values of serum calcium, phosphate and albumin from three different samples ( 2005, 2010 and 2014 years) using the hospital information system of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. The samples were divided into three age groups: 1–17, 18–44 and ≥45 years. Sex differences in calcium and phosphate were analyzed using ANCOVA, adjusting for age and serum albumin. Furthermore, sex by age interactions were determined and we analyzed differences between age groups stratified by sex.


In all three samples there was a significant sex × age interaction for serum calcium and phosphate, whose levels were significantly higher in women compared to men above 45 years. No sex differences in the younger age groups were found. In men, serum calcium and phosphate levels were highest in the youngest age group compared to age groups of 18–44 and ≥45 years. In women, serum calcium levels were significantly higher in the age group 1–17 and the age group ≥45 years compared to the 18–44 years age group. In women, serum phosphate was different between the three different age groups with highest level in the group 1–17 years and lowest in the group 18–44 years.


There are age- dependent sex differences in serum calcium and phosphate. Furthermore, we found differences in serum calcium and phosphate between different age groups. Underlying mechanisms for these age- and sex- differences are not yet fully elucidated.

Open access

Sandra N Slagter, Robert P van Waateringe, André P van Beek, Melanie M van der Klauw, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, and Jana V van Vliet-Ostaptchouk


To evaluate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its individual components within sex-, body mass index (BMI)- and age combined clusters. In addition, we used the age-adjusted blood pressure thresholds to demonstrate the effect on the prevalence of MetS and elevated blood pressure.

Subjects and methods

Cross-sectional data from 74,531 Western European participants, aged 18–79 years, were used from the Dutch Lifelines Cohort Study. MetS was defined according to the revised NCEP-ATPIII. Age-adjusted blood pressure thresholds were defined as recommended by the eight reports of the Joint National Committee (≥140/90 mmHg for those aged <60 years, and ≥150/90 mmHg for those aged ≥60 years).


19.2% men and 12.1% women had MetS. MetS prevalence increased with BMI and age. Independent of BMI, abdominal obesity dominated MetS prevalence especially in women, while elevated blood pressure was already highly prevalent among young men. Applying age-adjusted blood pressure thresholds resulted in a 0.2–11.9% prevalence drop in MetS and 6.0–36.3% prevalence drop in elevated blood pressure, within the combined sex, BMI and age clusters.


We observed a gender disparity with age and BMI for the prevalence of MetS and, especially, abdominal obesity and elevated blood pressure. The strict threshold level for elevated blood pressure in the revised NCEP-ATPIII, results in an overestimation of MetS prevalence.

Open access

Sebastião Freitas de Medeiros, Márcia Marly Winck Yamamoto, Matheus Antônio Souto de Medeiros, Bruna Barcelo Barbosa, José Maria Soares Junior, and Edmund Chada Baracat


To verify whether aging can modify the clinical and biochemical characteristics of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Material and methods

This observational cross-sectional study was conducted at the reproductive endocrinology clinics of Julio Muller University Hospital and Tropical Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Cuiabá, MT, Brazil, between 2003 and 2017. Both, 796 PCOS and 444 non-PCOS normal cycling women underwent the same examination. PCOS was diagnosed using the Rotterdam criteria as recommended for adolescent and adult subjects. Anthropometric, metabolic, and endocrinological modifications with aging were initially examined in the two groups: control and PCOS. Further analyses were performed after a 5-year age stratification of data throughout the reproductive period. All participants signed a consent form approved by the local ethical committee.


Biomarkers of adiposity were more remarkable in African descendant PCOS women. Body weight, waist/hip ratio, fat mass, and BMI were higher in PCOS women and tended to increase at all 5 age-strata, between ≤19 and 35 years of age. Serum androgen levels decreased with aging, markedly in PCOS subjects (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons), but remained elevated when compared with the levels found in controls. Carbohydrate markers, triglycerides, and total cholesterol tended to increase over time in PCOS (P < 0.01 for all age-strata comparisons). Total cholesterol also tended to increase with age in non-PCOS women (P = 0.041).


The present study has shown that the advancing age influences many features of PCOS women. Biochemical hyperandrogenism, the core criterion recommended in the current systems to define the syndrome, showed statistically significant tendencies to decrease with aging progression but did not normalize. The use of age-adjusted features for the diagnosis of PCOS are recommended.

Open access

Luca Boeri, Paolo Capogrosso, Walter Cazzaniga, Edoardo Pozzi, Luigi Candela, Federico Belladelli, Davide Oreggia, Eugenio Ventimiglia, Nicolò Schifano, Giuseppe Fallara, Marina Pontillo, Costantino Abbate, Emanuele Montanari, Francesco Montorsi, and Andrea Salonia


We aimed to test the association between age, BMI and sex-hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) in a homogenous cohort of white-European men presenting for primary couple’s infertility.


Retrospective study.


Data from 1547 infertile men were analysed. Health-significant comorbidities were scored with the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI). Fasting serum hormones were measured in every patient. Age was considered according to quartile groups (<33, 33-41, >41 years) and BMI as normal weight (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25.0–29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (>30 kg/m2). Descriptive statistics and linear regression analysis tested the associations between age, BMI and SHBG.


Median SHBG levels increased across quartiles of age and decreased along with BMI increases (all P < 0.001). For each year increase in age, SHBG increased 0.32 nmol/L; conversely, for each unit increase in BMI, SHBG decreased by 1.1 nmol/L (all P < 0.001). SHBG levels decline with increasing BMI was greater than SHBG progressive increase with age. Overall, BMI explained 3.0 times more of the variability in SHBG than did ageing. At multivariate linear model, age and BMI were the most significant factors influencing SHBG concentration (all P < 0.001), after accounting for CCI, albumin levels and smoking status.


We found a wide distribution of SHBG concentrations across age and BMI values in primary infertile men. The association between BMI and lowered SHBG levels seems to be greater than the association of ageing with increased SHBG.