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We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
Resonant optical dipole antennas, consisting either of two arms coupled by a small gap or of a single, uncoupled arm only, are fabricated by the application of electron beam lithography and gold evaporation. Using dark-field microscopy, scattering spectra of structures with varied antenna arm length and varied gap size are obtained. The results show not only a spectral redshift for coupled structures compared to single arm structures, but also that the far-field scattering intensity is significantly higher for two arm structures with gap. In addition to the dipole structures, first fabrication results on quadrupole antennas and split-ring antennas are presented, offering novel pathways for an enhancement of the optical response function.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
Background: High levels of uric acid (UA) are associated with various peripheral neuropathies. Furthermore, uric acid levels have been found to correlate with both the clinical and electrophysiological severity of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy, mainly with sensory functions. Objectives: To determine whether higher UA levels are associated negatively with nerve function in healthy subjects. Methods: A total of 126 healthy subjects recruited prospectively for another study were included. We extracted demographic data, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (TCNS), electrophysiological findings, vibration perception thresholds (VPT), and laboratory test results including UA, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and lipid levels. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 56 ± 17 years with 56% females. Males had higher UA values compared with females. Univariate beta regression coefficient analysis between UA levels and demographic, clinical, electrophysiological, and laboratory findings showed significant positive correlations with male gender, components of the metabolic syndrome, and with VPT, while an inverse correlation was found with electrophysiological sensory parameters. A multivariate regression model showed positive correlations only with BMI, finger VPT, and triglycerides. Conclusion: Higher UA levels correlate with lower sensory nerve function in healthy subjects, expanding the evidence of possible negative influence of UA on peripheral nerves, although a causative role has not yet established.
Objectives: Apathy is a debilitating symptom of Huntington’s disease (HD) and manifests before motor diagnosis, making it an excellent therapeutic target in the preclinical phase of Huntington’s disease (prHD). HD is a neurological genetic disorder characterized by cognitive and motor impairment, and psychiatric abnormalities. Apathy is not well characterized within the prHD. In previous literature, damage to the caudate and putamen has been correlated with increased apathy in other neurodegenerative and movement disorders. The objective of this study was to determine whether apathy severity in individuals with prHD is related to striatum volumes and cognitive control. We hypothesized that, within prHD individuals, striatum volumes and cognitive control scores would be related to apathy. Methods: We constructed linear mixed models to analyze striatum volumes and cognitive control, a composite measure that includes tasks assessing with apathy scores from 797 prHD participants. The outcome variable for each model was apathy, and the independent variables for the four separate models were caudate volume, putamen volume, cognitive control score, and motor symptom score. We also included depression as a covariate to ensure that our results were not solely related to mood. Results: Caudate and putamen volumes, as well as measures of cognitive control, were significantly related to apathy scores even after controlling for depression. Conclusions: The behavioral apathy expressed by these individuals was related to regions of the brain commonly associated with isolated apathy, and not a direct result of mood symptoms. (JINS, 2019, 25, 462–469)
Lumbar puncture (LP) performed with the assistance of ultrasound (US) may improve success rate, with fewer puncture attempts and less pain.
To explore the utility of US-assisted LP in a neuromuscular clinic.
We performed a prospective, randomized, open-label study between May 2016 and January 2017. The primary outcome measure was LP success rate, and the secondary outcome measures included procedure time, number of attempts, and the levels of pain, anxiety, and satisfaction.
Lumbar puncture was performed in 40 consecutive patients. Ultrasound-assisted LP had a 100% success rate, compared with 85% (95% confidence interval: 58%-96%) without US assistance, although this difference failed to reach statistical significance. Ultrasound-assisted LP was associated with less pain and, also in patients >60 years of age, with fewer needle insertions. Both groups reported high satisfaction rates, regardless of the use of US.
Ultrasound-assisted LP has a high success rate and less pain than unassisted LP, and can be accomplished easily in the outpatient neuromuscular clinic setting equipped with US.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), yielding significant improvements in approximately 50% of patients. There is significant room for improvement in the outcomes of treatment, especially in recovery.
We aimed to compare metacognitive therapy (MCT) with the gold standard treatment, CBT, in patients with GAD (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00426426).
A total of 246 patients with long-term GAD were assessed and 81 were randomised into three conditions: CBT (n = 28), MCT (n = 32) and a wait-list control (n = 21). Assessments were made at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 2 year follow-up.
Both CBT and MCT were effective treatments, but MCT was more effective (mean difference 9.762, 95% CI 2.679–16.845, P = 0.004) and led to significantly higher recovery rates (65% v. 38%). These differences were maintained at 2 year follow-up.
MCT seems to produce recovery rates that exceed those of CBT. These results demonstrate that the effects of treatment cannot be attributed to non-specific therapy factors.
Declaration of interest
A.W. wrote the treatment protocol in MCT and several books on CBT and MCT, and receives royalties from these. T.D.B. wrote the protocol in CBT and has published several articles and chapters on CBT and receives royalties from these. All other authors declare no competing interests.
Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) allows for high-resolution three-dimensional imaging with minimal photo-damage. By viewing the sample from different directions, different regions of large specimens can be imaged optimally. Moreover, owing to their good spatial resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio, LSFM data are well suited for image deconvolution. Here we present the Huygens Fusion and Deconvolution Wizard, a unique integrated solution for restoring LSFM images, and show that improvements in signal and resolution of 1.5 times and higher are feasible.
To study the frequency of laboratory test abnormalities, and electrophysiological correlations, we performed a retrospective chart review of 226 patients with polyneuropathy. The frequency of laboratory test abnormalities, and correlations with electrophysiological findings were explored. Abnormal glucose handling tests were the most common findings (54%), followed by paraproteinemia (21%) and anemia (21%). The frequencies of paraproteinemia and anemia in our cohort were significantly higher than previously reported. In addition, several laboratory abnormalities correlated with electrophysiological findings of median neuropathy at the wrist, expanding current knowledge about the deleterious effects of various metabolic and hematologic derangements at this site.
The process of the magnetic polarity reversal of the Sun has been an important subject in the solar physics. The objective of this study is to investigate how solar global magnetic field change over solar cycle by tracking the migration of open magnetic flux regions. The results show that the open magnetic fluxes migrate from one pole to the other crossing the equator during a solar cycle. The migration rate is approximately 10 m s−1, comparable to meridional flow. The results have been published in Scientific Reports (Huang et al. (2017)).