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Background: Continuous electroencephalographic (cEEG) monitoring is essential to diagnosing non-convulsive seizures (NCS), reported to occur in 7-46% of at-risk critically ill patients. However, cEEG is labour-intensive, and given scarcity of resources at most centres cEEG is feasible in only selected patients. We aim to evaluate the clinical utility of cEEG at our centre in order to optimize further cEEG allocation among critically ill patients. Methods: Using a clinical database, we identified critically ill children who underwent cEEG monitoring in 2016, 2017 and 2018. We abstracted underlying diagnoses, indication for cEEG monitoring, cEEG findings, and associated changes in management. Results: Over this three year period, 928 cEEGs were performed. Among the 100 studies analyzed to date, primary indications for monitoring were characterization of events of unclear etiology (32%), diagnosis of NCS (30%), and monitoring of therapy for seizures (17%). Seizures were captured in 31% of patients (22% subclinical only, 5% electroclinical only, 4% both), which resulted in a treatment change in 90% of cases. Non-epileptic events were captured in 26% of patients. Conclusions: cEEG yielded clinically meaningful information in 57% of cases, frequently resulting in management changes. Subgroup analyses by cEEG indication and ICU location will be presented.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Background: Flow cytometry in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is used as an adjunct to cytology to increase the sensitivity of detecting central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma. We aim to evaluate CSF flow cytometry as a diagnostic tool for lymphoma in patients presenting with undifferentiated neurologic symptoms. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all CSF flow cytometry samples sent in the Calgary region from 2012-2015. Clinical data, laboratory investigations, radiologic imaging studies, and pathological data were analyzed. Clinical review extended to 2 years post CSF flow cytometric testing. Results: The number of samples of CSF flow cytometry that were positive for a hematological malignancy was 43/763 (5.6%). The overall sensitivity of the test was 72.9%. A positive result was more likely to occur in patients with a prior history of a hematological malignancy or abnormal enhancement on MRI (p<0.0001). In fact, CSF flow cytometry was negative in all patients who did not have a previous hematological malignancy or abnormal enhancement on MRI (n = 247). Conclusions: CSF flow cytometry has very limited role in the screening for primary CNS lymphoma, unless a strictly endorsed testing algorithm is applied. It is, however, an invaluable tool in assessing CNS involvement in patients with previous diagnosis of hematolymphoid malignancy.
Background: Registered EEG technologists (RETs) are trained in both the technical aspects of EEG and in preliminary EEG interpretation. However, there is little research evaluating the accuracy of EEG interpretation by RETs. Methods: Retrospective study of consecutive routine EEG recordings performed at SickKids Hospital. Preliminary reports by RETs and final reports by neurophysiologists were compared in 5 domains: background activity, focal abnormalities, ictal and inter-ictal epileptiform discharges and summary. Results: 500 EEG recordings were analyzed. Sensitivity and specificity of RET reports was high for the assessment of background (85%, 93%), focal slowing (84%, 93%) and inter-ictal epileptiform discharges (92%, 90%). RET reports identified ictal EEG patterns in 32 cases vs. 29 cases identified by neurophysiologists. RET reports were 100% accurate for noting no EEG change for all of 11 cases with non-epileptic events. Conclusions: Preliminary EEG reports by RETs were sensitive and specific for all EEG domains analyzed. In the majority of cases, the preliminary interpretation made by the RET was concordant with the final report of the neurophysiologist. Given these findings, RETs may be able to participate in the screening of routine EEG recordings in order to enhance the productivity of busy EEG laboratories.
Risk populations for HIV infections tend to neglect condom use, making alternative preventive approaches necessary. Accordingly, we modelled the risk of sexual HIV transmission for condom use vs. use of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) systems with subsequent exclusion of potential sexual partners with a correctly or falsely positive test from unprotected sex with and without the use of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in a bio-statistical approach. We combined a previously described model of transmission risk for HIV-exposed individuals with a newly suggested model of risk of HIV exposure for sexually active HIV-negative individuals. The model was adapted for several stages of infection and different strategies of HIV infection prevention.
HIV prevention with RDTs can reduce the transmission risk by up to 97% compared with having sex without any prevention and up to 80% compared with condom use. Nevertheless, RDT-based prevention strategies demonstrate a lack of protection in several stages of infection; in particular, RNA-based RDT systems may fail under treatment. RDT-based pre-screening of potential sex partners prior to unprotected sexual contacts substantially reduces HIV transmission risk. Combination of different prevention strategies is advisable for high-risk groups.
While parasite infection can have substantial fitness consequences in organisms, the predictors of parasite prevalence and intensity are often complex and vary depending on the host species. Here, we examined correlates of Haemoproteus (a common malaria parasite) prevalence and intensity in an opportunistically breeding songbird, the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra). Specifically, we quantified Haemoproteus prevalence and intensity in crossbills caught in the Grand Teton National Park from 2010 to 2013. We found that parasite prevalence varies seasonally and across years, with the highest number of infected individuals occurring in the summer, although there was variation across summers sampled, and that prevalence was positively related to annual mean cone crop sizes (a measure of crossbill food abundance) and daily ambient temperature (a correlate of vector abundance). Parasite intensity was significantly and positively related to one measure of innate immunity, leucocyte counts per blood volume. Finally, neither crossbill age, ecomorph, nor sex had significant effects on parasite infection intensity; however, parasite prevalence did significantly vary among ecomorph and age classes. These results support the interpretation that a combination of physiological (specifically immune activity) and environmental factors affects parasite prevalence and infection intensity in this opportunistically breeding avian species.
The GALLEX collaboration aims at the detection of solar neutrinos in a radiochemical experiment employing 30 tons of Gallium in form of concentrated aqueous Gallium-chloride solution. The detector is primarily sensitive to the otherwise inaccessible pp-neutrinos. Details of the experiment have been repeatedly described before [1-7]. Here we report the present status of implementation in the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (Italy). So far, 12.2 tons of Gallium are at hand. The present status of development allows to start the first full scale run at the time when 30 tons of Gallium become available. This date is expected to be January, 1990.
A brief description is given of the Skylab ten color photoelectric photometer and the programs of measurements made during Skylab missions SL-2 and SL-3. Results obtained on the polarized brightness of zodiacal light at five points on the antisolar hemisphere are discussed and compared with other published data for the north celestial pole, south ecliptic pole, at elongation 90 degrees on the ecliptic, and at two places near the north galactic pole.
In an earlier paper Sparrow et al. (1976) found the polarized brightness of zodiacal light to have solar color at five sky positions for which there were fixed-position observations from Skylab: north celestial pole, south ecliptic pole, vernal equinox, and two places near the north galactic pole. The brightness and degree of polarization of zodiacal light at these sky positions are derived using Pioneer 10 observations of background starlight from beyond the asteroid belt (Weinberg et al., 1974; Schuerman et al., 1976) and the assumption that the zodiacal light is also solar color in total light.
The Skylab flight spare 10-color photopolarimeter (Weinberg, et al., 1975; Sparrow, et al., 1977) is being refurbished for use in Space Shuttle mission STS-4, a test flight currently scheduled for October 1980. Observations will be made of zodiacal light, background starlight, and the Shuttle-induced atmosphere (spacecraft corona), with emphasis on regions of sky closer than 90° to the sun.
The impact of haematozoan infection on host fitness has received substantial attention since Hamilton and Zuk posited that parasites are important drivers of sexual selection. However, short-term studies testing the assumption that these parasites consistently reduce host fitness in the wild have produced contradictory results. To address this complex issue, we conducted a long-term study examining the relationship between naturally occurring infection with Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, and lifetime reproductive success and survival of Mountain White-crowned Sparrows. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that birds infected with haematozoan parasites have reduced survival (as determined by overwinter return rates) and reproductive success. Contrary to expectation, there was no relationship between Haemoproteus and Plasmodium infection and reproduction or survival in males, nor was there a relationship between Plasmodium infection and reproduction in females. Interestingly, Haemoproteus-infected females had significantly higher overwinter return rates and these females fledged more than twice as many chicks during their lifetimes as did uninfected females. We discuss the impact of parasitic infections on host fitness in light of these findings and suggest that, in the case of less virulent pathogens, investment in excessive immune defence may decrease lifetime reproduction.
This paper gives a bird's-eye view of the various ingredients that make up a modern, model-checking-based approach to performability evaluation: Markov reward models, temporal logics and continuous stochastic logic, model-checking algorithms, bisimulation and the handling of non-determinism. A short historical account as well as a large case study complete this picture. In this way, we show convincingly that the smart combination of performability evaluation with stochastic model-checking techniques, developed over the last decade, provides a powerful and unified method of performability evaluation, thereby combining the advantages of earlier approaches.