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Patients diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) are treated with surgery followed by fractionated radiotherapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide. Patients are monitored with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, treatment-related changes frequently mimic disease progression. We reviewed a series of patients undergoing surgery for presumed first-recurrence GBM, where pathology reports were available for tissue diagnosis, in order to better understand factors associated with a diagnosis of treatment-related changes on final pathology.
Patient records at a single institution between 2005 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Pathology reports were reviewed to determine diagnosis of recurrent GBM or treatment effect. Survival analysis was performed interrogating overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Correlation with radiation treatment plans was also examined.
One-hundred-twenty-three patients were identified. One-hundred-sixteen patients (94%) underwent resection and seven underwent biopsy. Treatment-related changes were reported in 20 cases (16%). These patients had longer median OS and PFS from the time of recurrence than patients with true disease progression. However, there was no significant difference in OS from the time of initial diagnosis. Treatment effect was associated with surgery within 90 days of completing radiation. In patients receiving radiation at our institution (n = 53), larger radiation target volume and a higher maximum dose were associated with treatment effect.
Treatment effect was associated with surgery nearer to completion of radiation, a larger radiation target volume, and a higher maximum point dose. Treatment effect was associated with longer PFS and OS from the time of recurrence, but not from the time of initial diagnosis.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
Laryngeal amyloidosis represents approximately 1 per cent of all benign laryngeal lesions, and can cause variable symptoms depending on anatomical location and size. Treatment ranges from observation through to endoscopic microsurgery, laser excision and laryngectomy.
To highlight the diversity of presentations, increase awareness of paediatric amyloidosis and update the reader on current management.
Five cases are illustrated. Four adult patients were female, and the one child, the second youngest in the literature, was male. Amyloid deposits were identified in all laryngeal areas, including the supraglottis, glottis and subglottis. Treatment consisted of balloon dilatation, endoscopic excision, laser cruciate incision, and resection with carbon dioxide laser, a microdebrider and coblation wands.
Laryngeal amyloidosis remains a rare and clinically challenging condition. Diagnosis should be considered for unusual appearing submucosal laryngeal lesions. Treatment of this disease needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and managed within an appropriate multidisciplinary team.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the utility of an evidence-based assessment (EBA) model to establish a multimodal set of tools for identifying students at risk for perceived post-injury academic problems. Methods: Participants included 142 students diagnosed with concussion (age: M=14.95; SD=1.80; 59% male), evaluated within 4 weeks of injury (median=16 days). Demographics, pre-injury history, self- and parent-report measures assessing symptom severity and executive functions, and cognitive test performance were examined as predictors of self-reported post-injury academic problems. Results: Latent class analysis categorized participants into “high” (44%) and “low” (56%) levels of self-reported academic problems. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed significant discriminative validity for self- and parent-reported symptom severity and executive dysfunction and self-reported exertional response for identifying students reporting low versus high academic problems. Parent-reported symptom ratings [area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC)=.79] and executive dysfunction (AUC=.74), and self-reported ratings of executive dysfunction (AUC=.84), symptoms (AUC=.80), and exertional response (AUC=.70) each classified students significantly better than chance (ps<.001). Hierarchical logistic regression indicated that, of the above, self-reported symptoms and executive dysfunction accounted for the most variance in the prediction of self-reported academic problems. Conclusions: Post-concussion symptom severity and executive dysfunction significantly predict perceived post-injury academic problems. EBA modeling identified the strongest set of predictors of academic challenges, offering an important perspective in the management of concussion by applying traditional strengths of neuropsychological assessment to clinical decision making. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1038–1049)
Lactobacillus fermentum Lf2 is a strain which is able to produce high levels (approximately 1 g/l) of crude exopolysaccharide (EPS) when it is grown in optimised conditions. The aim of this work was to characterize the functional aspects of this EPS extract, focusing on its application as a dairy food additive. Our findings are consistent with an EPS extract that acts as moderate immunomodulator, modifying s-IgA and IL-6 levels in the small intestine when added to yogurt and milk, respectively. Furthermore, this EPS extract, in a dose feasible to use as a food additive, provides protection against Salmonella infection in a murine model, thus representing a mode of action to elicit positive health benefits. Besides, it contributes to the rheological characteristics of yogurt, and could function as a food additive with both technological and functional roles, making possible the production of a new functional yogurt with improved texture.
Depression and anxiety in Parkinson's disease are common and frequently co-morbid, with significant impact on health outcome. Nevertheless, management is complex and often suboptimal. The existence of clinical subtypes would support stratified approaches in both research and treatment.
Five hundred and thirteen patients with Parkinson's disease were assessed annually for up to 4 years. Latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to identify classes that may conform to clinically meaningful subgroups, transitions between those classes over time, and baseline clinical and demographic features that predict common trajectories.
In total, 64.1% of the sample remained in the study at year 4. LTA identified four classes, a ‘Psychologically healthy’ class (approximately 50%), and three classes associated with psychological distress: one with moderate anxiety alone (approximately 20%), and two with moderate levels of depression plus moderate or severe anxiety. Class membership tended to be stable across years, with only about 15% of individuals transitioning between the healthy class and one of the distress classes. Stable distress was predicted by higher baseline depression and psychiatric history and younger age of onset of Parkinson's disease. Those with younger age of onset were also more likely to become distressed over the course of the study.
Psychopathology was characterized by relatively stable anxiety or anxious-depression over the 4-year period. Anxiety, with or without depression, appears to be the prominent psychopathological phenotype in Parkinson's disease suggesting a pressing need to understanding its mechanisms and improve management.
Becoming widowed is a significant event. There is considerable evidence that surviving partners report substantial changes in their wellbeing and mental health. Changes can occur prior to partner's death as an anticipatory effect and consequently during the period after partner's death. For most, declines in wellbeing and mental health dissipate over time. However, there is a limited long-term evidence to compare age-normative trajectories in mental health and wellbeing with the trajectories of those who transition into widowhood.
Participants (n = 652) were older adults (aged 65–94 years at baseline) from the 16-year Melbourne Longitudinal Studies on Healthy Ageing project who were either married or de facto (n = 577), or recently widowed (n = 75). Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) examined the immediate and long-term impact of widowhood. GEE piecewise regression analyses examined the trajectories of wellbeing and mental health in those who transitioned into widowed with time centered at time of partner's death. Analyses were stratified by gender.
For both men and women, becoming widowed was strongly related to a strong decline in positive affect post partner's death. Otherwise, no long-term impact of widowhood on negative affect or depressive symptomology was reported.
The impact of widowhood reports differential impacts on different indicators of wellbeing and mental health, which were inconsistent between men and women.
There is limited evidence on the acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions to narrow the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, aims and methods of the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) collaborative research hub. AFFIRM is investigating strategies for narrowing the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa in four areas. First, it is assessing the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions by conducting randomised controlled trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. The AFFIRM Task-sharing for the Care of Severe mental disorders (TaSCS) trial in Ethiopia aims to determine the acceptability, affordability, effectiveness and sustainability of mental health care for people with severe mental disorder delivered by trained and supervised non-specialist, primary health care workers compared with an existing psychiatric nurse-led service. The AFFIRM trial in South Africa aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of a task-sharing counselling intervention for maternal depression, delivered by non-specialist community health workers, and to examine factors influencing the implementation of the intervention and future scale up. Second, AFFIRM is building individual and institutional capacity for intervention research in sub-Saharan Africa by providing fellowship and mentorship programmes for candidates in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Each year five Fellowships are awarded (one to each country) to attend the MPhil in Public Mental Health, a joint postgraduate programme at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. AFFIRM also offers short courses in intervention research, and supports PhD students attached to the trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. Third, AFFIRM is collaborating with other regional National Institute of Mental Health funded hubs in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, by designing and executing shared research projects related to task-sharing and narrowing the treatment gap. Finally, it is establishing a network of collaboration between researchers, non-governmental organisations and government agencies that facilitates the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice. This article describes the developmental process of this multi-site approach, and provides a narrative of challenges and opportunities that have arisen during the early phases. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this work is the nurturing and sustaining of partnerships between African mental health researchers, policy makers, practitioners and international collaborators.
Gender differences in depression are well established. Whether these differences persist into late life and in the years preceding death is less clear. There is a suggestion that there is no increased likelihood of depression in late life, but that there is an increase in depressive symptomology, particularly with proximity to death. We compared trajectories of probable depression and depressive symptomology between men and women over age and distance-to-death metrics to determine whether reports of depressive symptoms are more strongly related to age or mortality.
Participants (N = 2,852) from the Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project had a mean age of 75 years (SD = 5.68 years) at baseline and were observed for up to 16 years prior to death. Multi-level regression models estimated change in depressive symptomology and probable depression over two time metrics, increasing age, and distance-to-death.
Increases in depressive symptomology were reported over increasing age and in the years approaching death. Only male participants reported increased probable depression in the years preceding death. Models that utilized distance-to-death metrics better represented changes in late-life depression, although any changes in depression appear to be accounted for by co-varying physical health status.
As death approaches, there are increases in the levels of depressive symptomology even after controlling for socio-demographic and health covariates. In line with increases in suicide rates in late life, male participants were at greater risk of reporting increases in depressive symptomology.
Stressful life events have long been suspected to contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity. The few studies examining the relationship between stressful events and neuroimaging markers have been small and inconsistent. This study examined whether different types of stressful events and perceived stress could predict the development of brain lesions.
This was a secondary analysis of 121 patients with MS followed for 48 weeks during a randomized controlled trial comparing stress management therapy for MS (SMT-MS) to a waitlist control (WLC). Patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans every 8 weeks. Every month, patients completed an interview measure assessing stressful life events and self-report measures of perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, which were used to predict the presence of gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) and T2 lesions on MRI scans 29–62 days later. Participants classified stressful events as positive or negative. Negative events were considered ‘major’ if they involved physical threat or threat to the patient's family structure, and ‘moderate’ otherwise.
Positive stressful events predicted decreased risk for subsequent Gd+ lesions in the control group [odds ratio (OR) 0.53 for each additional positive stressful event, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.30–0.91] and less risk for new or enlarging T2 lesions regardless of group assignment (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55–0.99). Across groups, major negative stressful events predicted Gd+ lesions (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.18–2.64) and new or enlarging T2 lesions (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.11–2.23) whereas moderate negative stressful events, perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms did not.
Major negative stressful events predict increased risk for Gd+ and T2 lesions whereas positive stressful events predict decreased risk.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is one of three Square Kilometre Array Precursor telescopes and is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the Murchison Shire of the mid-west of Western Australia, a location chosen for its extremely low levels of radio frequency interference. The MWA operates at low radio frequencies, 80–300 MHz, with a processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for both linear polarisations, and consists of 128 aperture arrays (known as tiles) distributed over a ~3-km diameter area. Novel hybrid hardware/software correlation and a real-time imaging and calibration systems comprise the MWA signal processing backend. In this paper, the as-built MWA is described both at a system and sub-system level, the expected performance of the array is presented, and the science goals of the instrument are summarised.
The Carnegie Hubble Program (CHP) is a Warm Spitzer program with the aim of reducing the uncertainty in the Hubble constant to below 3%. The program is calibrated using Galactic Cepheids with precise parallax distances from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), combined with a large sample of Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We extend the Cepheid distance scale to the Local Group and beyond, into the regime probed by the Tully–Fisher relation. The entire program—from Galactic Cepheids to the most distant galaxies—uses the Spitzer/IRAC instrument. Completing the entire program with a single instrument on a single telescope virtually eliminates instrumental effects, whilst moving to the mid-infrared drastically reduces the reddening and metallicity effects that trouble the optical Cepheid distance scale. Our first measurement of the Hubble constant, using only two CHP galaxies tied into the HST Key Project results has produced a measurement of H0 = 74.3 ± 2.1 (systematic) km s−1 Mpc−1, which corresponds to a systematic uncertainty of 2.8%.
During foetal development, calcium requirements are met as a consequence of maternal adaptations independent of vitamin D status. In contrast, after birth, dependency on vitamin D appears necessary for calcium metabolism and skeletal health. We used a rodent model (Sprague-Dawley rats), to determine if maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy had a deleterious effect on bone structure at birth. Vitamin D deplete females were maintained under deplete conditions until birth of the pups, whereupon all dams were fed a vitamin D replete diet. Offspring were harvested at birth, and 140 days of age. Bones were analyzed using micro-computed tomography and strength tested to study differences in bone structure, density and strength and subjected to elemental analysis using plasma mass spectrometry to determine strontium, barium and calcium contents. Offspring from deplete mothers displayed altered trabecular parameters in the femur at birth and 140 days of age. In addition, at 140 days of age there was evidence of premature mineralization of the secondary ossification centre of the femoral head. Elemental analysis showed increased strontium uptake in the femur of the developmentally vitamin D-deficient offspring. Vitamin D depletion during development in the offspring may have a long-lasting effect, despite repletion of vitamin D from birth. This may have consequences for human health given the low vitamin D levels seen during pregnancy and current lifestyle of sun avoidance due to the risk of skin cancer.
This paper describes a semi-automated conductive ink process used for packaging MEMS devices. The method is applied to packaging of MEMS sensors for wind tunnel testing. The primary advantage of the method is a reduction in surface topology between the package and the integrated MEMS sensors. In this paper we explore the relationship between trace dimensions, resistivity, and deposition parameters such as feed rate, tip-substrate separation and tip diameter. Using this procedure it is possible to generate interconnects between a PC board and MEMS sensor chip with a topology of less than 25 micrometers.
The five solid-solid phase transformations of pure Pu are typically represented in idealized thermal expansion plots as having sharp onsets and finishes with linear expansion behavior between the transitions. These behaviors are in reality less common, and the various transitions may have bursting behavior, curved onsets and finishes, and non-linear thermal expansion. In this presentation we will review the transformation behavior of diverse set of pure Pu types. These types include zone-refined pure Pu, electro-refined pure Pu, pure Pu doped with 1000 appm Ga, and alpha-phase Pu within an as-cast 1.9 atomic. % Ga alloy.
A strong resonance in the inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES) of cerium oxide was reported recently. Here, it is shown that dominance of the indirect channel of the resonant inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (RIPES) is so complete that the photon energy dependence can be explained in terms of emission associated with a single photon energy.
The electronic response of actinide systems under high-pressure conditions is undoubtedly of broad scientific interest but simultaneously very difficult to qualify. We will focus here on the use of inelastic x-ray scattering and its significance for actinides research through recent examples. IXS indeed combines several advantages that turn it into a powerful probe of the electronic and valence properties of f-electron systems. Besides element and orbital selectivity, resonant IXS can overcome core-hole lifetime broadening thus providing sharper spectral features and finer details about the electronic structure. Second, non-dipolar transitions are allowed in non-resonant IXS at high momentum transfer; thus “giant dipolar” Fano-like resonances that overwhelms the electron response at the O4,5 edges can be avoided. Recent results of IXS under pressure in Am and U under pressure are presented along with perspectives for actinides research at SOLEIL synchrotron.
Many metallic actinide systems host partially filled 5f electrons in the low-energy spectrum. Consequently, they exhibit diverse quantum mechanical phenomena such as magnetism, superconductivity, a mysterious hidden-order phase, or heavy-fermion behavior. Here we present results of a unified theoretical method based on the self-consistent GW formalism for the electronic many-body self-energy. We calculate the dynamic electronic correlation spectra starting from materials specific first-principles electronic band-structure. In particular, we present results for four isostructural intermetallic actinides PuCoIn5, PuCoGa5, PuRhGa5, and UCoGa5. A common underlying property of these materials is a strong spin–orbit coupling split band structure that enables substantial spin fluctuations. In a feedback effect on the electronic structure they create electronic ‘hot spots’, where the single-particle spectral weight is maximum, resulting in a universal peak-dip-hump feature. These results are in good agreement with experiments, suggesting that actinides are adequately described by the intermediate Coulomb interaction regime, where both itinerant (peak) and localized (hump) features coexist.