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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health concern because of the high mortality rate of young people and a high proportion among the trauma. According to studies, patients visiting the emergency department (ED) with TBI comprise 1.4% of all ED patients.
The authors think that the characteristics of patients with TBI will vary according to the age group. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the clinical and social characteristics of patients with TBI visiting the ED by age group.
Trauma patients who conducted brain CT at the ED of Korean University Hospital (three hospitals) for 3 years from March 2013 to February 2016 were enrolled. Medical records were investigated retrospectively. The GCS scores were estimated at initial ED arrival. The primary outcome was to determine the characteristics of each age groups with gender, severity (by GSC score), trauma mechanism, and admission rate.
A total of 15,567 TBI patients received brain CT evaluation during the investigation period. Based on age, patients in their 50s were the most common (16.5%). Regarding the severity, the ratio of mild was higher in under patients under 9 (99.3%); the ratio of severe was higher for patients in their 20s (4.6%). In almost every age group, the male ratio of TBI was higher, except for females aged 70 or older. Under 19 years of age, the ambulance utilization rate was lower than any other age group. The most common injury mechanism was a collision, the next was a traffic accident, and in under 9, a fall was the most common. 70.1% of patients returned home after treatments.
Identifying the characteristics of patients with TBI visiting ED is fundamental. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously collect basic data on TBI among patients visiting the ED.
Preliminary evidence suggests that hoarding disorder (HD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may show distinct patterns of brain activation during executive performance, although results have been inconclusive regarding the specific neural correlates of their differential executive dysfunction. In the current study, we aim to evaluate differences in brain activation between patients with HD, OCD and healthy controls (HCs) during response inhibition, response switching and error processing.
We assessed 17 patients with HD, 18 patients with OCD and 19 HCs. Executive processing was assessed inside a magnetic resonance scanner by means of two variants of a cognitive control protocol (i.e. stop- and switch-signal tasks), which allowed for the assessment of the aforementioned executive domains.
OCD patients performed similar to the HCs, differing only in the number of successful go trials in the switch-signal task. However, they showed an anomalous hyperactivation of the right rostral anterior cingulate cortex during error processing in the switch-signal task. Conversely, HD patients performed worse than OCD and HC participants in both tasks, showing an impulsive-like pattern of response (i.e. shorter reaction time and more commission errors). They also exhibited hyperactivation of the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex during successful response switching and abnormal deactivation of frontal regions during error processing in both tasks.
Our results support that patients with HD and OCD present dissimilar cognitive profiles, supported by distinct neural mechanisms. Specifically, while alterations in HD resemble an impulsive pattern of response, patients with OCD present increased error processing during response conflict protocols.
Answer set programming (ASP) is one of the major declarative programming paradigms in the area of logic programming and non-monotonic reasoning. Despite that ASP features a simple syntax and an intuitive semantics, errors are common during the development of ASP programs. In this paper we propose a novel debugging approach allowing for interactive localization of bugs in non-ground programs. The new approach points the user directly to a set of non-ground rules involved in the bug, which might be refined (up to the point in which the bug is easily identified) by asking the programmer a sequence of questions on an expected answer set. The approach has been implemented on top of the ASP solver wasp. The resulting debugger has been complemented by a user-friendly graphical interface, and integrated in aspide, a rich integrated development environment (IDE) for answer set programs. In addition, an empirical analysis shows that the new debugger is not affected by the grounding blowup limiting the application of previous approaches based on meta-programming.
In this work, we study the hard-magnetic properties and its influence on the microstructure of MnBi-based glass-coated microwires obtained by Taylor-Ulitovsky process, as well as their magnetic and thermal dependence in the range of 200 K-360 K. We obtained glass-coated microwires pieces trough of the Taylor-Ulitovsky process. Glass-coated microwires exhibited the formation of Low-Temperature Intermetallic Phase (LTIP)-MnBi, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) elemental chemical composition analysis showed LTIP regions interspersed within Bi- and Mn-rich areas. Magnetic properties were determined by vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), for which a considerable intrinsic coercivity field (iHc) up to 6000 Oe at 360 K, together with a saturation magnetization (Ms) of 57.49 emu/cm3. Therefore, this combination of properties renders LTIP is a promising precursor with potential for applications at high temperatures.
The article traces the remains of the theory of “comparative institutional advantage”, which was crucial during the early development of the “varieties of capitalism” approach to economics but fell into oblivion quickly afterwards. It follows the discussions of the concept over time and works out possible reasons – theoretical, methodological, and discursive – for the theory's decay. In conclusion, many arguments of the theory seem outdated today but it is a great witness to the zeitgeist of comparative political economy and institutional theory of the millennium.
In North America, the raccoon-associated variant of rabies virus (RRV) is of special concern, given its relatively rapid spread throughout the eastern USA and its potential public health impact due to high raccoon host densities in urban areas. Northward expansion of this epizootic included an outbreak in the Canadian province of Quebec in 2006–2009 due to trans-border spread from the State of Vermont. To inform a more proactive approach to future control efforts, this study uses phylogenetic analyses to explore the role of geography and alternative carnivore hosts in the dynamics of RRV spread within Vermont. Specifically, we sought to examine whether striped skunks, a species frequently infected by RRV, could be part of the maintenance host community. Whole genome sequencing of 160 RRV samples from Vermont and neighbouring US states were used for fine-scale phylogeographic analyses. Results, together with the complete surveillance record of raccoon rabies since its entry into Vermont in 1994, document incursions by two distinct viral lineages and identify topographical features of the landscape which have significantly influenced viral spread, resulting in a complex distribution pattern of viral variants throughout the state. Results of phylogenetic cluster analysis and discrete state reconstruction contained some evidence of skunk-to-skunk and skunk-to-raccoon transmission but overall failed to support a role for skunks as alternative maintenance hosts.
This study addresses aspects of the phylogenetic relationships of the commercial Tehuelche scallop, Aequipecten tehuelchus s.l. (Bivalvia: Pectinidae), from southern South America using molecular techniques. The Tehuelche scallop presents two different putative subspecies, A. t. tehuelchus and A. t. madrynensis, and a potentially related sympatric species, Flexopecten felipponei. The Tehuelche scallop is a very important component of ecosystems and is the target of artisanal fisheries in the northern Patagonian gulfs of Argentina. Despite its importance, the systematic relationships of these taxa have not been fully addressed. The main goal of this study is to place the Tehuelche scallop within a partial phylogenetic framework of the family Pectinidae. Scallops were sampled at 10 localities distributed along the south-western Atlantic Ocean. Phylogenetic reconstructions were carried out from two mitochondrial (12S rRNA and 16S rRNA) and two nuclear markers (28S rRNA and H3) using Bayesian, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony analyses. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that the two putative subspecies of the Tehuelche scallop together with F. felipponei form a monophyletic clade, without differentiating at the specific level. Observed differences would be the result of phenotypic plasticity, probably caused by environmental factors. However, further analysis using genes with faster evolution rate are needed to corroborate it. Our phylogenetic analysis resolved to Aequipecten as polyphyletic. The Tehuelche scallop has a basal position within the Argopecten group and we recommend that it should be transferred to this genus. The relationship between the hypotheses about the origin of the Tehuelche scallop implicit in the literature and our results are discussed.
The assessment of inter-regional functional connectivity (FC) has allowed for the description of the putative mechanism of action of treatments such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Nevertheless, the possible FC alterations of other clinically-effective DBS targets have not been explored. Here we evaluated the FC patterns of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in patients with OCD, as well as their association with symptom severity.
Eighty-six patients with OCD and 104 healthy participants were recruited. A resting-state image was acquired for each participant and a seed-based analysis focused on our two regions of interest was performed using statistical parametric mapping software (SPM8). Between-group differences in FC patterns were assessed with two-sample t test models, while the association between symptom severity and FC patterns was assessed with multiple regression analyses.
In comparison with controls, patients with OCD showed: (1) increased FC between the left STN and the right pre-motor cortex, (2) decreased FC between the right STN and the lenticular nuclei, and (3) increased FC between the left BNST and the right frontopolar cortex. Multiple regression analyses revealed a negative association between clinical severity and FC between the right STN and lenticular nucleus.
This study provides a neurobiological framework to understand the mechanism of action of DBS on the STN and the BNST, which seems to involve brain circuits related with motor response inhibition and anxiety control, respectively.
Dietary carotenoid intake, especially from fruits and vegetables, has been associated with a reduced incidence of several chronic diseases. However, its bioavailability can vary, depending on the food matrix and host factors. Recently, it has been suggested that divalent minerals negatively impinge on carotenoid bioavailability by reducing bile-salt and non-esterified fatty-acid levels in the gut, which normally aid in emulsifying carotenoids. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether supplemental Ca would negatively influence carotenoid absorption in humans. A total of twenty-five healthy, non-obese men (age: 20–46 years, BMI<30 kg/m2) were recruited for this postprandial, randomised, crossover, double-blinded trial. Following a randomised block design, each participant received (after 2-week washout periods), on three occasions separated by 1 week, 270 g of spinach-based meals (8·61 (sd 1·08) mg carotenoids/100 g fresh weight), supplemented with 0, 500 or 1000 mg of Ca (as calcium carbonate), with each participant acting as his or her own control. Blood samples were collected at regular postprandial intervals for up to 10 h following test meal intake, and standardised lunches were served. TAG-rich lipoprotein fractions were separated and carotenoid concentrations determined. AUC for meals without supplemented Ca were 22·72 (sem 2·78) nmol×h/l (lutein), 0·19 (sem 3·90) nmol×h/l (β-carotene) and 2·80 (sem 1·75) nmol×h/l (β-cryptoxanthin). No significant influence of supplementation with either 500 or 1000 mg of supplemental Ca was found. In conclusion, Ca – the most abundant divalent mineral in the diet – given at high but physiological concentrations, does not appear to have repercussions on the bioavailability of carotenoids from a spinach-based meal.
Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is increasingly common, and is expanding worldwide. Wind farms cause mortality of flying animals through collision with moving rotor blades, and from electrocution on associated power lines. Avian mortality rates have been estimated from birds collected under turbines over varying time intervals. However, without adequate and frequent monitoring, dead birds may be removed by scavengers and thus cause an underestimation of fatalities. In this paper, we tested experimentally for possible errors arising in avian mortality caused by the removal of carcasses by scavengers. At two different wind farms and associated power lines in southern Spain, we placed pigeon and quail carcasses to determine their disappearance rate. All dead pigeons were radio-tagged to estimate distances taken by scavengers. We found significant differences in carcass disappearance rates of pigeons and quails, and between wind farms and power lines but not between habitats. All quails and 45% of pigeon carcasses had disappeared by the third and fourteenth day, respectively. Less than half (40%) of the carcasses were found < 100 m from where they were deposited. While scavenging losses may vary according to the location of the wind farm or power line, here we propose a method to estimate correctly the number of fatalities at any wind farm and power line. Using this method, we can improve our understanding of the real impact of wind structures on adjacent bird communities, and adopt appropriate measures to ensure their conservation.
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is known to be associated with elevated serum ferritin levels. The possible association with other Fe markers has been less well studied. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association of soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) and ferritin levels with the MetS components, insulin resistance and glycosylated Hb (HbA1C). The sample consisted of 725 adults, aged 19–93 years (284 men, 151 premenopausal and 290 postmenopausal women), from the Croatian island of Vis. Serum sTfR and ferritin levels were measured by immunoturbidimetry and electrochemiluminescence assays, respectively. The MetS was defined using modified international consensus criteria. Logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the associations adjusting for age, fibrinogen, smoking status, alcohol consumption and BMI. Prevalence of the MetS was 48·7 %. Standardised values of ferritin were positively associated with all of the MetS components (except high blood pressure and waist circumference) in men (P<0·05). Ferritin was significantly associated with the MetS in men (adjusted OR 1·78 (95 % CI 1·31, 2·42)) and postmenopausal women (1·71 (95 % CI 1·12, 2·62)). Interestingly, sTfR was independently and positively associated with homoeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance in men (adjusted β=0·44 (95 % CI 0·14, 0·75), P=0·004) and postmenopausal women (adjusted β coefficient=0·34 (95 % CI 0·05, 0·63), P=0·020). However, there was no significant relationship between serum sTfR levels and the MetS or its components. Neither ferritin nor sTfR was significantly associated with HbA1C (P>0·05). sTfR levels could be spuriously elevated in subjects with insulin resistance and without association with the MetS or its components. We conclude that different markers of Fe metabolism are not consistently associated with cardiometabolic risk.
The design of nanostructured materials based on natural components, such as clay minerals, offers new solutions to biomedical challenges such as more efficient and storage-stable vaccines. Clay-lipid hybrid materials have proved useful as adjuvants in influenza vaccines and with a possible projection to leishmaniasis vaccines and other pathogens. Self-assembly of phospholipid molecules on the surface of microfibrous sepiolite and lamellar Mg/Al layered double hydroxide renders a biocompatible lipid bilayer membrane that ensures non-degrading immobilization of proteins and other biological species including viral particles and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Immunization tests in mice showed the superior immunogenicity of a clay-lipid-supported virus compared to a commercial aluminium hydroxide adjuvant.
From early costumbrista novels like Eugenio Díaz's Manuela (1858,Manuela) and Jorge Isaacs's María (1867. Maria, a South American Romance) up through more recent narrative by authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, Laura Restrepo, and Alfredo Molano, much of Colombian literature deals explicitly with the relationships between human societies and the environments they inhabit. In the nineteenth century, literary depictions of Colombian ecosystems most often looked to assess their value and possibilities for integration into postcolonial nation-building projects. Many twentieth- and twenty-first century works take a more critical stance toward these projects, drawing attention to the gaps between the political discourse of development and Colombia's socioeconomic realities and attesting to the effects of these modernizing projects for Colombia's diverse human populations and environments. Perhaps because of the nation's history of political conflict, however, critics have tended to focus almost exclusively on the representation of social relations in Colombian narrative, often discounting even the most detailed representations of local environments as the mere setting for social and political struggles. By singling out and privileging social representation, this style of criticism fosters a binary opposition that subordinates nature to the social in ways that are often not so clear in the works themselves, thus transforming what many authors present as complex, lived environments or “places” into abstract spaces for the elaboration of social theory.
Recent critical work has revisited this problem, examining more closely the specificity of relations between local societies and their environments as well as the dynamics of exchange, transculturation, and environmental modification that emerge in the incorporation of local environments into larger economic and political systems. In this chapter, representations of nature and social relations are revealed to be mutually constitutive rather than discrete categories. This ecocritical approach looks to disentangle the correspondences between aesthetics, social and political practices, economic regimes, and specific environments, while eschewing the kind of nineteenth-century environmental determinism that justified European neocolonialism by classifying the tropics as pathological spaces that engendered inferior, unbalanced, and ill human inhabitants. These studies remind us that social relations never exist abstractly; rather, they arise through regimes of material and symbolic practices employed in concrete environments at particular historical junctures.
Compact solar flares are triggered by sudden energy release in magnetically confined plasma. This class of flares is well suited to be studied with numerical hydrodynamic models. In particular, one can compare the evolution of observed and synthetic X-ray spectra, computed under various assumptions for the mechanism of impulsive energy deposition, to constrain theoretical models and their parameter space. We discuss recent results on solar flares along this line, non thermal to models of energy depositions by relativistic electron beams. We shall also discuss possible applications of X-ray spectral synthesis to stellar flares.
The aim of the present study was to validate figural drawing scales depicting extremely lean to extremely obese subjects to obtain proxies for BMI and waist circumference in postal surveys.
Reported figural scales and anthropometric data from a large population-based postal survey were validated with measured anthropometric data from the same individuals by means of receiver-operating characteristic curves and a BMI prediction model.
Adult participants in a Scandinavian cohort study first recruited in 1990 and followed up twice since.
Individuals aged 38–66 years with complete data for BMI (n 1580) and waist circumference (n 1017).
Median BMI and waist circumference increased exponentially with increasing figural scales. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses showed a high predictive ability to identify individuals with BMI > 25·0 kg/m2 in both sexes. The optimal figural scales for identifying overweight or obese individuals with a correct detection rate were 4 and 5 in women, and 5 and 6 in men, respectively. The prediction model explained 74 % of the variance among women and 62 % among men. Predicted BMI differed only marginally from objectively measured BMI.
Figural drawing scales explained a large part of the anthropometric variance in this population and showed a high predictive ability for identifying overweight/obese subjects. These figural scales can be used with confidence as proxies of BMI and waist circumference in settings where objective measures are not feasible.
The quantification of operational risk has to deal with various concerns regarding data, much more than other types of risk which banks and insurers are obliged to manage. One of the main questions that worries both researchers and practitioners is the bias in the data on the operational losses amounts recorded. We support the assertions made by several authors and defend that this concern is serious when modeling operational losses data and, typically, is presented in all the databases. We show that it's possible, based on mild assumptions on the internal procedures put in place to manage operational losses, to make parametric inference using loss data statistics, that is, to estimate the parameters for the losses amounts, taking in consideration the bias that, not being considered, generates a two fold error in the estimators for the mean loss amount and the total loss amount, the former being overvalued and the last undervalued. In this paper, we do not consider the existence of a threshold for which, all losses above, are reported and available for analysis and estimation procedures. In this sense, we follow a different approach to the parametric inference. Here, we consider that the probability that a loss is reported and ends up recorded for analysis, increases with the size of the loss, what causes the bias in the database but, at the same time, we do not consider the existence of a threshold, above which, all losses are recorded. Hence, no loss has probability one of being recorded, in what we defend is a realist framework. We deduce the general formulae, present simulations for common theoretical distributions used to model (operational reported) losses amounts, estimate the impact for not considering the bias factor when estimating the value at risk and estimate the true total operational losses the bank incurred.
Some females are at an increased risk of developing bulimia. However, etiological factors and their interplay remain controversial. The present study analyzed Sticefe Model for eating disorders in a non-clinical population by examining gender differences with respect to the following risk factors: body mass index (BMI), body dissatisfaction, perceived social pressure to be thin, body-thin internalization, and dieting behavior. A sample of 162 American college students (64 males and 91 females) was surveyed, and validated scales were used. The Sticey model was tested using Structural Equation Modeling. Our results supported Stice r Dual Pathway Model of bulimic pathology for females but not for males. Females reported significantly higher body dissatisfaction, perceived pressure to be thin and weight-loss oriented behaviors than males (p < .05), but no gender differences were found in their degree of body thin internalization (p > .05), a key predictor of body dissatisfaction (r = .33; p < .01). Participants with higher BMI reported greater social pressure to be thin than those with lower BMI (p < .05). However, females engaged in dietary restraint, the main risk factor for eating disorders, regardless of their BMI (p > .05) although their BMI was significantly lower than males (d = 0,51). The results of this study fail to support the role of BMI as a predictor of dietary restraint in females, the main risk factor of eating disorders. Males may abstain from dietary restraint to gain muscular volume and in turn increase their BMI. Implications are discussed.
The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus is a threatened species throughout its worldwide range. The Iberian Peninsula holds 50% of its global population, which has declined by 25% over the last 20 years. Despite this negative global trend, an increase in the number of individuals over the last 25 years has been observed in Catalonia, where it has colonised areas in which it was previously unknown. In this study, we describe the demographic evolution of an increasing population of Egyptian Vultures in central and eastern Catalonia and we apply population models and maximum likelihood procedures to investigate both the main demographic processes driving the observed trends and the viability of the population. The number of pairs in this region increased from one to 22 in the period 1988–2012. The best-supported models suggest that adult survival in this population may be higher than in other Iberian populations and that furthermore, there is a continuous influx of immigrants. Based on the most likely scenarios, Population Viability Analysis predicts that the population will continue to increase. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the adult survival rate has the greatest influence on population dynamics so conservation efforts will be more effective if concentrated on improving this rate.
The main role of early nutritional programming in the current rise of obesity and associated diseases is well known. However, translational studies are mostly based in postnatal food excess and, thus, there is a paucity of information on the phenotype of individuals with prenatal deficiencies but adequate postnatal conditions. Thus, we assessed the effects of prenatal programming (comparing descendants from females fed with a diet fulfilling 100 or only 50% of their nutritional requirements for pregnancy) on gene expression, patterns of growth and fattening, metabolic status and puberty attainment of a swine model of obesity/leptin resistance with controlled postnatal nutrition and opportunity of exercise. Maternal restriction was related to changes in the relationships among gene expression of positive (insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2) and negative (myostatin) regulators of muscle growth, with negative correlations in gilts from restricted pregnancies and positive relationships in the control group. In spite of these differences, the patterns of growth and fattening and the metabolic features during juvenile growth were similar in control gilts and gilts from restricted pregnancies. Concomitantly, there was a lack of differences in the timing of puberty attainment. However, after reaching puberty and adulthood, females from restricted pregnancies were heavier and more corpulent than control gilts, though such increases in weight and size were not accompanied by increases in adiposity. In conclusion, in spite of changes in gene expression induced by developmental programming, the propensity for higher weight and adiposity of individuals exposed to prenatal malnutrition may be modulated by controlled food intake and opportunity of physical exercise during infant and juvenile development.