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The prenatal detection of structural cardiac malformations has greatly benefited from the advances in echo Doppler technology and the in-depth training of specialists in this area. This opens up new possibilities, now and in the future, for developing in utero therapies. It also allows a better knowledge of the underlying mechanisms and developmental timing that lead to structural congenital heart disease (CHD), based on a marked progress involving genetic and epigenetic causes. Gene mutations are discovered in the fetus and parents, and pathways can be unraveled using mouse transgene technology. Epigenetic causes are also receiving attention, but have thus far been underestimated as approximately 85% of CHD is determined to have a multifactorial background that combines a genetic susceptibility with epigenetic influences. Studies in animal models, including chicken, quail, zebrafish, and even more primitive Chordates, contribute relevant data. In essence, cardiac development shows basic similarities of the major processes involved between species. Therefore mechanisms unraveled in animal models can be reliably used in understanding normal human cardiac development and CHD .
Crises, wars, and disasters are remarkably increasing across the world. Responders are frequently tackled with an ever-greater number of challenges, and undoubtedly, they are physically and mentally affected during and after their missions, during which posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is considered high-risk. To the authors’ knowledge, no studies have addressed which type of incident has the greatest influence to trigger stress, and consequently, to cause PTSD for the responders after their missions.
A prospective longitudinal study was conducted with 69 participants of the “Safety and Security” course at the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid of the Federal Ministry of Interior Affairs (Berlin, Germany). The course is certified by the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) guidelines of Europe’s New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi; Center for International Peace Operations; Berlin, Germany). Four incidents were evaluated: hostage-taking, carjacking, evacuation, and border-crossing. The participants completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) before and after each incident. For each incident, the delta of the PANAS scores was calculated. The differences between the described incidents, as well as the differences between novice and experienced responders, were evaluated.
The hostage-taking incident had the greatest influence on the participants’ temper, followed by carjacking and evacuation. Ultimately, the border-crossing event had the least effect on the responders. Novices were more affected by hostage-taking than experienced responders; however, no significant difference had been demonstrated between novices and experienced responders for the other evaluated incidents.
Different incidents have big psychological impacts on humanitarian responders, in which consequences vary from short-term effects to PTSD. Therefore, humanitarian responders should be selected very carefully. They should also have more specific preparation for their missions. Mental after-care should be obligatory. Further studies are needed to understand and avoid reasons for the development of PTSD or other potential problems of responders.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Little is known about the neural substrates of suicide risk in mood disorders. Improving the identification of biomarkers of suicide risk, as indicated by a history of suicide-related behavior (SB), could lead to more targeted treatments to reduce risk.
Participants were 18 young adults with a mood disorder with a history of SB (as indicated by endorsing a past suicide attempt), 60 with a mood disorder with a history of suicidal ideation (SI) but not SB, 52 with a mood disorder with no history of SI or SB (MD), and 82 healthy comparison participants (HC). Resting-state functional connectivity within and between intrinsic neural networks, including cognitive control network (CCN), salience and emotion network (SEN), and default mode network (DMN), was compared between groups.
Several fronto-parietal regions (k > 57, p < 0.005) were identified in which individuals with SB demonstrated distinct patterns of connectivity within (in the CCN) and across networks (CCN-SEN and CCN-DMN). Connectivity with some of these same regions also distinguished the SB group when participants were re-scanned after 1–4 months. Extracted data defined SB group membership with good accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity (79–88%).
These results suggest that individuals with a history of SB in the context of mood disorders may show reliably distinct patterns of intrinsic network connectivity, even when compared to those with mood disorders without SB. Resting-state fMRI is a promising tool for identifying subtypes of patients with mood disorders who may be at risk for suicidal behavior.
Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex and progressive condition that is either idiopathic or heritable, or associated with one or multiple health conditions, with or without congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease. Recent developments have tremendously increased the armamentarium of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in children and young adults with pulmonary hypertension that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. These modalities include non-invasive imaging, pharmacotherapy, interventional and surgical procedures, and supportive measures. The optimal, tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for pulmonary hypertension in the young are rapidly evolving but still face enormous challenges: Healthcare providers need to take the patient’s age, development, disease state, and family concerns into account when initiating advanced diagnostics and treatment. Therefore, there is a need for guidance on core and advanced medical training in paediatric pulmonary hypertension. The Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology working group “pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and transplantation” has produced this document as an expert consensus statement; however, all recommendations must be considered and applied in the context of the local and national infrastructure and legal regulations.
Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are less aware of their cholesterol levels and have a higher burden of associated adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes than non-Latino whites. Investigations of the associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in this population have often occurred within the context of metabolic syndrome and are limited to select lipids despite the fact that triglycerides (TGs) may be more relevant to the health of Hispanics/Latinos.
Baseline data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, collected from 2008 to 2011, was used to investigate the associations of lipid levels (i.e., TG, total cholesterol, TC; low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C and HDL-C) with cognition (i.e., learning, memory, verbal fluency, and digit symbol substitution, DSS), adjusting for relevant confounders.
In 7413 participants ages 45 to 74 years from Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South American backgrounds, separate, fully adjusted linear regression models revealed that TG levels were inversely associated with DSS performance; however, this relationship was no longer significant once additional cardiovascular disease risk factors were added to the model (p = .06). TC and LDL-C levels (separately) were positively associated with learning and verbal fluency regardless of adjustments (p-values < .05). Separate analyses investigating the effect modification by background and sex revealed a particularly robust association between TC levels and DSS performance for Puerto Ricans and Central Americans (albeit in opposite directions) and an inverse relationship between TG levels and DSS performance for women (p-values < .02).
It is important to consider individual lipid levels and demographic characteristics when investigating associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in Hispanics/Latinos.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of major depressive disorder (MDD). Cognitive remediation may improve cognition in MDD, yet so far, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. This study investigated changes in intrinsic neural activity in MDD after a cognitive remediation trial.
In a longitudinal design, 20 patients with MDD and pronounced cognitive deficits and 18 healthy controls (HC) were examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. MDD patients received structured cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) over 5 weeks. The whole-brain fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations was computed before the first and after the last training session. Univariate methods were used to address regionally-specific effects, and a multivariate data analysis strategy was employed to investigate functional network strength (FNS).
MDD patients significantly improved in cognitive function after CRT. Baseline comparisons revealed increased right caudate activity and reduced activity in the left frontal cortex, parietal lobule, insula, and precuneus in MDD compared to HC. In patients, reduced FNS was found in a bilateral prefrontal system at baseline (p < 0.05, uncorrected). In MDD, intrinsic neural activity increased in right inferior frontal gyrus after CRT (p < 0.05, small volume corrected). Left inferior parietal lobule, left insula, left precuneus, and right caudate activity showed associations with cognitive improvement (p < 0.05, uncorrected). Prefrontal network strength increased in patients after CRT, but this increase was not associated with improved cognitive performance.
Our findings support the role of intrinsic neural activity of the prefrontal cortex as a possible mediator of cognitive improvement following CRT in MDD.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections in 592 hospitals immediately declined after federal value-based incentive program implementation, but this was fully attributable to a concurrent surveillance case definition revision. Post revision, more hospitals had favorable standardized infection ratios, likely leading to artificial inflation of their performance scores unrelated to changes in patient safety.
Nanobamus macrorhinus Schoch and Milner, 2014 is a small amphibamiform temnospondyl from the early Permian Arroyo Formation of Texas. It is most readily characterized by an elongate and partially subdivided naris. This condition is superficially reminiscent of that seen in the coeval trematopids, the group to which N. macrorhinus was originally referred to under an interpretation of the holotype as a larval form. This was discounted by later workers, but the amphibamiform affinities of the specimen were not formalized until recently. The specimen has never been described in the context of its amphibamiform affinities and remains poorly characterized, never having been sampled in a phylogenetic analysis. Here we present a complete, updated osteological description of N. macrorhinus, including an improved characterization of its unique mosaic of plesiomorphic and apomorphic features and clarification of the taxon's autapomorphies. Our analysis of the taxon's phylogenetic position within Amphibamiformes shows that N. macrorhinus was recovered as diverging after basal amphibamiforms, e.g., the micropholids, and before derived amphibamiforms, e.g., the amphibamids. This is supported by the unique mixture of retained plesiomorphies, e.g., nonforeshortened postparietals and an oval choana, and apomorphies, e.g., a narrow interorbital region and slender palatal rami of the pterygoid. These results reflect the complexity of terrestrial amphibamiform diversity and provide further insight into the evolutionary history of the lissamphibian stem in terrestrial environments.
The SCN5A gene is implicated in many arrhythmogenic and cardiomyopathic processes. We identified a novel SCN5A variant in a family with significant segregation in individuals affected with progressive sinus and atrioventricular nodal disease, atrial arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, and early sudden cardiac arrest.
A patient pedigree was created following the clinical evaluation of three affected individuals, two monozygotic twins and a paternal half-brother, which lead to the evaluation of a paternal half-sister (four siblings with the same father and three mothers) all of whom experienced varying degrees of atrial arrhythmias, conduction disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy in addition to a paternal history of unexplained death in his 50s with similar autopsy findings. The index male underwent sequencing of 58 genes associated with cardiomyopathies. Sanger sequencing was used to provide data for bases with insufficient coverage and for bases in some known regions of genomic segmental duplications. All clinically significant and novel variants were confirmed by independent Sanger sequencing.
All relatives tested were shown to have the same SCN5A variant of unknown significance (p. Asp197His) and the monozygotic twins shared a co-occurring NEXN (p. Glu575*). Segregation analysis demonstrates likely pathogenic trait for the SCN5A variant with an additional possible role for the NEXN variant in combination.
There is compelling clinical evidence suggesting that the SCN5A variant p. Asp197His may be re-classified as likely pathogenic based on the segregation analysis of our family of interest. Molecular mechanism studies are pending.
Exposure of the nuclear counterstain DAPI to just a few seconds of UV excitation light during fluorescence imaging can photoconvert the dye to stable green- and red-emitting forms, resulting in imaging artifacts in multi-color staining experiments. This article reviews the published literature on photoconversion and compares the effect of different mounting media on photoconversion of DAPI in stained tissue sections. Once photoconversion is recognized as a potential source of non-specific fluorescence, careful imaging practices or reagent selection can be used to avoid it.
The sternocleidomastoid can be used as a pedicled flap in head and neck reconstruction. It has previously been associated with high complication rates, likely due in part to the variable nature of its blood supply.
To provide clinicians with an up-to-date review of clinical outcomes of sternocleidomastoid flap surgery in head and neck reconstruction, integrated with a review of vascular anatomical studies of the sternocleidomastoid.
A literature search of the Medline and Web of Science databases was conducted. Complications were analysed for each study. The trend in success rates was analysed by date of the study.
Reported complication rates have improved over time. The preservation of two vascular pedicles rather than one may have contributed to improved outcomes.
The sternocleidomastoid flap is a versatile option for patients where prolonged free flap surgery is inappropriate. Modern vascular imaging techniques could optimise pre-operative planning.
Six on-farm studies determined the effects of a rolled rye cover crop, herbicide program, and planting technique on cotton stand, weed control, and cotton yield in Georgia. Treatments included: (1) rye drilled broadcast with 19-cm row spacing and a broadcast-herbicide program (2) rye drilled with a 25-cm rye-free zone in the cotton row and a broadcast-herbicide program (3) rye drilled with a 25-cm rye-free zone in the cotton row with PPI and PRE herbicides banded in the cotton planting row, and (4) no cover crop (i.e., weedy cover) with broadcast herbicides. At two locations, cotton stand was lowest with rye drilled broadcast; at these sites the rye-free zone maximized stand equal to the no-cover system. At a third location, cover crop systems resulted in greater stand, due to enhanced soil moisture preservation compared with the no-cover system. Treatments did not influence cotton stand at the other three locations and did not differ in the control of weeds other than Palmer amaranth at any location. Treatments controlled Palmer amaranth equally at three locations; however, differences were observed at the three locations having the greatest glyphosate-resistant plant densities. For these locations, when broadcasting herbicides, Palmer amaranth populations were reduced 82% to 86% in the broadcast rye and rye-free zone systems compared with the no-cover system at harvest. The system with banded herbicides was nearly 21 times less effective than the similar system broadcasting herbicides. At these locations, yields in the rye broadcast and rye-free zone systems with broadcast herbicides were increased 9% to 16% compared with systems with no cover or a rye-free zone with PPI and PRE herbicides banded. A rolled rye cover crop can lessen weed emergence and selection pressure while improving weed control and cotton yield, but herbicides should be broadcast in fields heavily infested with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.
Chemical bonding in native oxides of GaAs, before and after etching, is detected by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). It is correlated with surface energy engineering (SEE), measured via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA), and oxygen coverage, measured by High Resolution Ion Beam Analysis (HR-IBA).
Before etching, GaAs native oxides are found to be hydrophobic with an average surface energy, γT, of 33 ± 1 mJ/m2, as measured by 3LCAA. After dilute NH4OH etching, GaAs becomes highly hydrophilic and its surface energy, γT, increases by a factor 2 to a reproducible value of 66 ± 1 mJ/m2. Using HR-IBA, oxygen coverage on GaAs is found to decrease from 7.2 ± 0.5 monolayers (ML) to 3.6 ± 0.5 ML. The 1.17 ratio of Ga to As, measured by HR-IBA, remains constant after etching.
XPS is used to measure oxidation of Ga and As, as well as surface stoichiometry on two locations of several GaAs(100) wafers before and after etching. The relative proportions of Ga and As are unaffected by adventitious carbon contamination. The 1.16 Ga:As ratio, measured by XPS, matches HR-IBA analysis. The proportions of oxidized Ga and As do not change significantly after etching. However, the initial ratio of As2O5 to As2O3, within the oxidized As, significantly decreases after etching from approximately 3:1 to 3:2.
Absolute oxygen coverage, as a function of surface processing, is determined within 0.5 ML by HR-IBA. XPS offers insight into these modifications by detecting electronic states and phase composition changes of GaAs oxides. The changes in surface chemistry are correlated to changes in hydro-affinity and surface energies measured by 3LCAA.