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Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Atom probe tomography (APT) is a powerful technique to characterize buried three-dimensional nanostructures in a variety of materials. Accurate characterization of those nanometer-scale clusters and precipitates is of great scientific significance to understand the structure–property relationships and the microstructural evolution. The current widely used cluster analysis method, a variant of the density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise algorithm, can only accurately extract clusters of the same atomic density, neglecting several experimental realities, such as density variations within and between clusters and the nonuniformity of the atomic density in the APT reconstruction itself (e.g., crystallographic poles and other field evaporation artifacts). This clustering method relies heavily on multiple input parameters, but ideal selection of those parameters is challenging and oftentimes ambiguous. In this study, we utilize a well-known cluster analysis algorithm, called ordering points to identify the clustering structures, and an automatic cluster extraction algorithm to analyze clusters of varying atomic density in APT data. This approach requires only one free parameter, and other inputs can be estimated or bounded based on physical parameters, such as the lattice parameter and solute concentration. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated by application to several small-scale model datasets and a real APT dataset obtained from an oxide-dispersion strengthened ferritic alloy specimen.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
Background: Advances in surgical leads have been thought to potentially enable improved low-back pain relief using SCS. A recently introduced 32-contact surgical lead, which couples multiple independent current control and anatomically-based neural targeting stimulation algorithms, allows for patient-specific programming optimization. We present a real world study of this surgical lead. Methods: A multi-center, consecutive, observational study of a new 32-contact surgical lead was carried out, using the Precision Spectra SCS System (Boston Scientific) in 100 subjects out to 12 months post-implant. We examined procedural information, programming parameters, and clinical outcomes including pain reduction (NRS), activities of daily living, and change in pain medications. Results: Surgical lead placement distribution was between T7 and L2, with most at top of T9 (26%). A mean reduction of 5.1 points (SD 2.15, p<0.001) from 7.8 (baseline) to 2.6 in overall pain was observed. A subset of subjects reporting low-back pain only exhibited a mean decrease of 6.0 points (SD 2.12, p<0.001) from 8.3 (baseline) to 2.2. Of these, 83.1% of subjects showed ≥50% back pain reduction. Increases in activities of daily living and reduction in pain medication usage were also observed in majority of subjects. Conclusions: Subjects implanted with a 32-contact surgical lead using a neural targeting algorithm demonstrated significant low-back pain reduction.
We present optical and IR observations of the dwarf nova OY Car during the May 1985 superoutburst. From them we find that the superhump has a temperature of ~8000K and an area of order half the size of the red dwarf or accretion disk. We also compare the behaviour during two simultaneous optical/IR observations. Whilst the light curves in the two pass bands are similar during one observation, in the other observation they show marked differences that may be due to a cool region in the outer disk.
Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.
We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.
We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. The atmospheric conditions at Dome C deliver a high sensitivity, high photometric precision, wide-field, high spatial resolution, and high-cadence imaging capability to the PILOT telescope. These capabilities enable a unique scientific potential for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents a series of projects dealing with the nearby Universe that have been identified as key science drivers for the PILOT facility. Several projects are proposed that examine stellar populations in nearby galaxies and stellar clusters in order to gain insight into the formation and evolution processes of galaxies and stars. A series of projects will investigate the molecular phase of the Galaxy and explore the ecology of star formation, and investigate the formation processes of stellar and planetary systems. Three projects in the field of exoplanet science are proposed: a search for free-floating low-mass planets and dwarfs, a program of follow-up observations of gravitational microlensing events, and a study of infrared light-curves for previously discovered exoplanets. Three projects are also proposed in the field of planetary and space science: optical and near-infrared studies aimed at characterising planetary atmospheres, a study of coronal mass ejections from the Sun, and a monitoring program searching for small-scale Low Earth Orbit satellite debris items.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
The cold, dry, and stable air above the summits of the Antarctic plateau provides the best ground-based observing conditions from optical to sub-millimetre wavelengths to be found on the Earth. Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope (PILOT) is a proposed 2 m telescope, to be built at Dome C in Antarctica, able to exploit these conditions for conducting astronomy at optical and infrared wavelengths. While PILOT is intended as a pathfinder towards the construction of future grand-design facilities, it will also be able to undertake a range of fundamental science investigations in its own right. This paper provides the performance specifications for PILOT, including its instrumentation. It then describes the kinds of projects that it could best conduct. These range from planetary science to the search for other solar systems, from star formation within the Galaxy to the star formation history of the Universe, and from gravitational lensing caused by exo-planets to that produced by the cosmic web of dark matter. PILOT would be particularly powerful for wide-field imaging at infrared wavelengths, achieving near diffraction-limited performance with simple tip–tilt wavefront correction. PILOT would also be capable of near diffraction-limited performance in the optical wavebands, as well be able to open new wavebands for regular ground-based observation, in the mid-IR from 17 to 40 μm and in the sub-millimetre at 200 μm.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
Although several studies have reported that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment has demonstrable efficacy in patients with depression, the parameters needed to optimize therapeutic efficacy remain unclear. To this end we determined the efficacy of low-frequency right rTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) compared to two forms of bilateral rTMS to the DLPFC: (1) sequential low-frequency right-sided followed by high-frequency left-sided rTMS and (2) sequential low-frequency rTMS to both hemispheres.
A total of 219 patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) were randomized to a 4-week course of rTMS applied with one of the three treatment conditions. Outcomes were assessed with standard rating scales.
Overall, slightly more than 50% of the patients achieved clinical response criteria. There was no substantial difference in response between the unilateral and bilateral treatment groups. Successful response to rTMS was predicted by a greater degree of baseline depression severity.
There is no substantial difference in efficacy between unilateral right-sided rTMS and the two forms of bilateral rTMS assessed in the study. Furthermore, our results call into question the specificity between frequency and laterality and rTMS response.
Certain health risks have been associated with recreational exposure to faecally polluted water. Canoeing in certain South African waters is considered to be a high risk activity with regard to schistosomiasis. gastroenteritis and possibly hepatitis. In a cross-sectional study, a serosurvey was conducted amongst canoeists to ascertain whether or not they had a higher seroprevalence to hepatitis A virus. Norwalk virus and Schistosoma spp. than non-canoeists. In comparisons between the two groups, a significant association could not be demonstrated between canoeing and antibody response to hepatitis A and Norwalk viruses (P-values for age-adjusted χ2 were 0·083 and 0·219 respectively), but a significant association could be demonstrated between canoeing and the antibody response to Schistosoma spp. (P > 0·001: age-adjusted).
To assess the prevalence of zinc inadequacy based on dietary intakes and plasma zinc concentrations and, simultaneously, the prevalence of inadequate intakes of energy, protein, calcium and iron.
A cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of subsistence farming households in Sidama, Southern Ethiopia.
Dietary intakes were calculated from 1-day weighed food records and 40 repeats from 99 pregnant women in the third trimester using analysed values of major staple foods for zinc, iron, calcium and phytate. The distribution of observed intakes was adjusted for usual intakes and the prevalence of inadequacy estimated using the estimated average requirement (EAR) cutpoint method. Prevalence of inadequacy for zinc, protein and iron intakes were compared with those based on biochemical measures.
Prevalence of zinc inadequacy was very high: 99% for US FNB EAR and 100% for IZiNCG EAR compared to 72% based on low plasma zinc concentrations. Corresponding prevalence estimates for iron were much lower: 4% for inadequate intakes based on US FNB EAR vs. 8.7% for iron deficiency anaemia (haemoglobin < 110 g l−1; ferritin < 12 μg l−1) and 32.3% for low storage iron. Prevalence of inadequacy for protein was 100% for adjusted intakes and 91% for serum albumin < 32 g l−1. For calcium, 74% were at risk for inadequate intakes.
The high prevalence of inadequate intakes of zinc and protein was reasonably consistent with those based on biochemical measures. Such dietary deficits could be overcome by regular consumption of cellular animal protein. In contrast, both dietary and biochemical measures of iron inadequacy were low.
A case-control study was undertaken in an acute district general hospital to identify risk factors for hospital-acquired bacteraemia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Cases of hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia were defined as consecutive patients from whom MRSA was isolated from a blood sample taken on the third or subsequent day after admission. Controls were randomly selected from patients admitted to the hospital over the same time period with a length of stay of more than 2 days who did not have bacteraemia. Data on 42 of the 46 cases of hospital-acquired bacteraemia and 90 of the 92 controls were available for analysis. There were no significant differences in the age or sex of cases and controls. After adjusting for confounding factors, insertion of a central line [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 35·3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·8–325·5] or urinary catheter (aOR 37·1, 95% CI 7·1–193·2) during the admission, and surgical site infection (aOR 4·3, 95% CI 1·2–14·6) all remained independent risk factors for MRSA bacteraemia. The adjusted population attributable fraction, showed that 51% of hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia cases were attributable to a urinary catheter, 39% to a central line, and 16% to a surgical site infection. In the United Kingdom, measures to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia in acute general hospitals should focus on improving infection control procedures for the insertion and, most importantly, care of central lines and urinary catheters.
Recognition of widespread carbonate volcanism in central Spain has led to another case in France, of similar age (23–0 Ma) but with entirely new features. More than 100 new carbonate volcanoes are indicated already, adding a wholly unexpected dimension to this form of activity. Eruptions form layers, mostly of glassy nephelinite fragments in a dolomitic matrix, but some layers are largely dolomite. Major new findings are phenocrysts of dolomite, magnesite and calcite in silicate glass, and spectacular dolomite-nephelinite melt immiscibility, neither recorded previously. Most volcanic carbonatites are Ca rich, and dolomite is rare. The Limagne dolomites share links with those in Spain and Zambia, with chromite a hallmark in all three. Limagne is exceptional in being the first case where dolomite has erupted with co-genetic silicate melt. Mantle debris and magnesite indicate a source within ∼ 100–150 km. Chromite in the dolomite globules, and in the enclosing silicate glass, is similar to that in high-temperature kimberlites, indicating immiscibility in the deep mantle. Recognition of two large, previously undetected provinces of carbonate volcanism in Europe, where there has been active research for >200 y, must lead to the inference that similar cases may await discovery on other continents.
The mucosal immune system fulfils the primary function of defence against potential pathogens that may enter across vulnerable surface epithelia. However, a secondary function of the intestinal immune system is to discriminate between pathogen-associated and ‘harmless’ antigens, expressing active responses against the former and tolerance to the latter. Control of immune responses appears to be an active process, involving local generation of IgA and of regulatory and/or regulated T lymphocytes. Two important periods of maximum exposure to novel antigens occur in the young animal, immediately after birth and at weaning. In both cases the antigenic composition of the intestinal contents can shift suddenly, as a result of a novel diet and of colonisation by novel strains and species of bacteria. Changes in lifestyles of man, and husbandry of animals, have resulted in weaning becoming much more abrupt than previously in evolution, increasing the number of antigens that must be simultaneously evaluated by neonates. Thus, birth and weaning are likely to represent hazard and critical control points in the development of appropriate responses to pathogens and harmless dietary and commensal antigens. Neonates are born with relatively undeveloped mucosal immune systems. At birth this factor may prevent both expression of active immune responses and development of tolerance. However, colonisation by intestinal flora expands the mucosal immune system in antigen-specific and non-specific ways. At weaning antibody to fed proteins can be detected, indicating active immune responses to fed proteins. It is proposed that under normal conditions the ability of the mucosal immune system to mount active responses to foreign antigens develops simultaneously with the ability to control and regulate such responses. Problems arise when one or other arm of the immune system develops inappropriately, resulting in inappropriate effector responses to harmless food proteins (allergy) or inadequate responses to pathogens (disease susceptibility).