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The correlation between ATP concentration and bacterial burden in the patient care environment was assessed. These findings suggest that a correlation exists between ATP concentration and bacterial burden, and they generally support ATP technology manufacturer-recommended cutoff values. Despite relatively modest discriminative ability, this technology may serve as a useful proxy for cleanliness.
Research shows that cognitive rehabilitation (CR) has the potential to improve goal performance and enhance well-being for people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This single subject, multiple baseline design (MBD) research investigated the clinical efficacy of an 8-week individualised CR intervention for individuals with early stage AD.
Three participants with early stage AD were recruited to take part in the study. The intervention consisted of eight sessions of 60–90 minutes of CR. Outcomes included goal performance and satisfaction, quality of life, cognitive and everyday functioning, mood, and memory self-efficacy for participants with AD; and carer burden, general mental health, quality of life, and mood of carers.
Visual analysis of MBD data demonstrated a functional relationship between CR and improvements in participants’ goal performance. Subjective ratings of goal performance and satisfaction increased from baseline to post-test for three participants and were maintained at follow-up for two. Baseline to post-test quality of life scores improved for three participants, whereas cognitive function and memory self-efficacy scores improved for two.
Our findings demonstrate that CR can improve goal performance, and is a socially acceptable intervention that can be implemented by practitioners with assistance from carers between sessions. This study represents one of the promising first step towards filling a practice gap in this area. Further research and randomised-controlled trials are required.
Introduction: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that high-quality, evidence-based guidelines be developed for emergency medical services (EMS). The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has outlined a strategy that will see this task fulfilled, consisting of multiple working groups focused on all aspects of guideline development and implementation. A first step, and our objective, was a cataloguing and appraisal of the current guidelines targeting EMS providers. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE (1175), EMBASE (519), PubMed (14), Trip (416), and guidelines.gov (64) through May 1, 2016. Two independent reviewers screened titles for relevance to prehospital care, and then abstracts for essential guideline features, including a systematic review, a grading system, and an association between level of evidence and strength of recommendation. All disagreements were moderated by a third party. Citations meeting inclusion criteria were appraised with the AGREE II tool, which looks at six different domains of guideline quality, containing a total of 23 items rated from 1 to 7. Each guideline was appraised by three separate reviewers, and composite scores were calculated by averaging the scaled domain totals. Results: After primary (kappa 97%) and secondary (kappa 93%) screening, 49 guidelines were retained for full review. Only three guidelines obtained a score of >90%, the topics of which included aeromedical transport, analgesia in trauma, and resuscitation of avalanche victims. Only two guidelines scored between 80% and 90%, the topics of which included stroke and pediatric seizure management. One guideline, splinting in an austere environment, scored between 70% and 80%. Nine guidelines scored between 60% and 70%, the topics of which included ischemic stroke, cardiovascular life support, hemorrhage control, intubation, triage, hypothermia, and fibrinolytic use. Of the remaining guidelines, 14 scored between 50% and 60%, and 20 obtained a score of <50%. Conclusion: There are few high-quality, evidence-based guidelines in EMS. Of those that are published, the majority fail to meet established quality measures. Although a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in the prehospital field continues to limit guideline development, suboptimal methodology is also commonplace within the existing literature.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Epidemiology formed the basis of ‘the Barker hypothesis’, the concept of ‘developmental programming’ and today’s discipline of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Animal experimentation provided proof of the underlying concepts, and continues to generate knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Interventions in humans, based on DOHaD principles, will be informed by experiments in animals. As knowledge in this discipline has accumulated, from studies of humans and other animals, the complexity of interactions between genome, environment and epigenetics, has been revealed. The vast nature of programming stimuli and breadth of effects is becoming known. As a result of our accumulating knowledge we now appreciate the impact of many variables that contribute to programmed outcomes. To guide further animal research in this field, the Australia and New Zealand DOHaD society (ANZ DOHaD) Animals Models of DOHaD Research Working Group convened at the 2nd Annual ANZ DOHaD Congress in Melbourne, Australia in April 2015. This review summarizes the contributions of animal research to the understanding of DOHaD, and makes recommendations for the design and conduct of animal experiments to maximize relevance, reproducibility and translation of knowledge into improving health and well-being.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
To identify and systematically evaluate user-friendly smartphone snoring apps.
The Apple iTunes app store was searched for snoring apps that allow recording and playback. Snoring apps were downloaded, evaluated and rated independently by four authors. Two patients underwent polysomnography, and the data were compared with simultaneous snoring app recordings, and one patient used the snoring app at home.
Of 126 snoring apps, 13 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The most critical app feature was the ability to graphically display the snoring events. The Quit Snoring app received the highest overall rating. When this app's recordings were compared with in-laboratory polysomnography data, app snoring sensitivities ranged from 64 to 96 per cent, and snoring positive predictive values ranged from 93 to 96 per cent. A chronic snorer used the app nightly for one month and tracked medical interventions. Snoring decreased from 200 to 10 snores per hour, and bed partner snoring complaint scores decreased from 9 to 2 (on a 0–10 scale).
Select smartphone apps are user-friendly for recording and playing back snoring sounds. Preliminary comparison of more than 1500 individual snores demonstrates the potential clinical utility of such apps; however, further validation testing is recommended.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
A new beam-combination and detection system has been installed in the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer working at the red end of the visual spectrum (λλ 500–950 nm) to complement the existing blue-sensitive system (λλ 430–520 nm) and to provide an increase in sensitivity. Dichroic beam-splitters have been introduced to allow simultaneous observations with both spectral systems, albeit with some restriction on the spectral range of the longer wavelength system (λλ 550–760 nm). The blue system has been upgraded to allow remote selection of wavelength and spectral bandpass, and to enable simultaneous operation with the red system with the latter providing fringe-envelope tracking. The new system and upgrades are described and examples of commissioning tests presented. As an illustration of the improvement in performance the measurement of the angular diameter of the southern F supergiant δ CMa is described and compared with previous determinations.
Fifty years after the hyporheic zone was first defined (Orghidan, 1959), there are still gaps in the knowledge regarding the role of biodiversity in hyporheic processes. First, some methodological questions remained unanswered regarding the interactions between biodiversity and physical processes, both for the study of habitat characteristics and interactions at different scales. Furthermore, many questions remain to be addressed to help inform our understanding of invertebrate community dynamics, especially regarding the trophic niches of organisms, the functional groups present within sediment, and their temporal changes. Understanding microbial community dynamics would require investigations about their relationship with the physical characteristics of the sediment, their diversity, their relationship with metabolic pathways, their interactions with invertebrates, and their response to environmental stress. Another fundamental research question is that of the importance of the hyporheic zone in the global metabolism of the river, which must be explored in relation to organic matter recycling, the effects of disturbances, and the degradation of contaminants. Finally, the application of this knowledge requires the development of methods for the estimation of hydrological exchanges, especially for the management of sediment clogging, the optimization of self-purification, and the integration of climate change in environmental policies. The development of descriptors of hyporheic zone health and of new metrology is also crucial to include specific targets in water policies for the long-term management of the system and a clear evaluation of restoration strategies.
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by stereotyped/obsessional behaviours and social and communicative deficits. However, there is significant variability in the clinical phenotype; for example, people with autism exhibit language delay whereas those with Asperger syndrome do not. It remains unclear whether localized differences in brain anatomy are associated with variation in the clinical phenotype.
We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to investigate brain anatomy in adults with ASD. We included 65 adults diagnosed with ASD (39 with Asperger syndrome and 26 with autism) and 33 controls who did not differ significantly in age or gender.
VBM revealed that subjects with ASD had a significant reduction in grey-matter volume of medial temporal, fusiform and cerebellar regions, and in white matter of the brainstem and cerebellar regions. Furthermore, within the subjects with ASD, brain anatomy varied with clinical phenotype. Those with autism demonstrated an increase in grey matter in frontal and temporal lobe regions that was not present in those with Asperger syndrome.
Adults with ASD have significant differences from controls in the anatomy of brain regions implicated in behaviours characterizing the disorder, and this differs according to clinical subtype.
Using farmer resource typologies, adaptability analysis and an on-farm mother and baby trial approach, we evaluated the production risks of alternative maize-legume crop combinations for smallholder farmers in Chisepo, central Malawi between 1998 and 2002. Production benefits and risks of four soil fertility and food legumes, pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), tephrosia (Tephrosia vogelii) and mucuna (Mucuna pruriens), intercropped or rotated with maize, were compared by 32 farmers in 4 farmer resource groups (RGs) of different wealth status. The calculation of lower confidence limits was used to determine the production risk of the crops. Alternative crop technologies presented different risks to farmers of different wealth status, and the degree of risk affected their choice of soil fertility management strategy. The better-resourced farmers (RG 1) had larger yields with all crop combinations than the poorly resourced farmers (RG 4). Legumes integrated with maize significantly (p < 0.001) raised maize grain yields by between 0.5 t ha−1 and 3.4 t ha−1, when compared with sole crop unfertilized maize. Fertilized maize was less of a risk for the better-resourced farmers (RG 1 and RG 2), and it yielded well when combined with the legumes. Maize-legume intercrops yielded more and were associated with less risk than the maize-legume rotations. Maize intercropped with pigeonpea was predicted overall to be the least risky technology for all RGs. We conclude that new crop technologies may pose more risk to poorly resourced farmers than to wealthier farmers.
Several prior reports have found that some young children with autism spectrum disorder [ASD; including autism and Asperger's syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)] have a significant increase in head size and brain weight. However, the findings from older children and adults with ASD are inconsistent. This may reflect the relatively small sample sizes that were studied, clinical heterogeneity, or age-related brain differences.
Hence, we measured head size (intracranial volume), and the bulk volume of ventricular and peripheral cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), lobar brain, and cerebellum in 114 people with ASD and 60 controls aged between 18 and 58 years. The ASD sample included 80 people with Asperger's syndrome, 28 with autism and six with PDD-NOS.
There was no significant between-group difference in head and/or lobar brain matter volume. However, compared with controls, each ASD subgroup had a significantly smaller cerebellar volume, and a significantly larger volume of peripheral CSF.
Within ASD adults, the bulk volume of cerebellum is reduced irrespective of diagnostic subcategory. Also the significant increase in peripheral CSF may reflect differences in cortical maturation and/or ageing.
To identify associations between dietary glycaemic index (GI) and weight, body mass index and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), lipoprotein fractions, triacylglycerols (TAG) and blood pressure (BP) – in an older British population.
Cross-sectional dietary, anthropometric and biochemical data from the National Diet and Nutritional Survey for adults aged over 65 years were reanalysed using a hierarchical regression model. Associations between body weight, CVD risk factors, and dietary factors including GI and fibre intakes were explored among 1152 healthy older people living in the UK between 1994 and 1995.
In the unadjusted model, GI was significantly and directly associated with TAG (β = 0.008 ± 0.003) and diastolic BP (β = 0.325 ± 0.164) in males. These relationships were attenuated and non-significant after adjustment for potential confounding factors. WHR (β = 0.003 ± 0.001) and TAG (β = 0.005 ± 0.002) were significantly predicted by GI in males and females combined. The association with WHR was attenuated by adjustment for sex, age, region and social class; the relationship with TAG was non-significant after adjustment for other potential dietary confounders.
After controlling for potential confounders, no clear links were detected between GI and body weight or other CVD risk factors. This study provides little evidence for advising the consumption of a low-GI diet in the elderly to prevent weight gain or improve other CVD risk factors.