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Body mass index z-score (BMIz) based on the CDC growth charts is widely used, but it is inaccurate above the 97th percentile. We explored the performance of alternative metrics based on the absolute distance or % distance of a child’s BMI from the median BMI for sex and age.
We used longitudinal data from 5628 children who were first examined < 12 y to compare the tracking of three BMI metrics: distance from median, % distance from median, and % distance from median on a log scale. We also explored the effects of adjusting these metrics for age differences in the distribution of BMI. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to compare tracking of the metrics.
The association between lower birth weight and increased disease risk in adulthood has drawn attention to the physiological processes that shape the gestational environment. We implement genome-wide transcriptional profiling of maternal blood samples to identify subsets of genes and associated transcription control pathways that predict offspring birth weight. Female participants (N = 178, mean = 27.0 years) in a prospective observational birth cohort study were contacted between 2009 and 2014 to identify new pregnancies. An in-home interview was scheduled for early in the third trimester (mean = 30.3 weeks) to collect pregnancy-related information and a blood sample, and birth weight was measured shortly after delivery. Transcriptional activity in white blood cells was determined with a whole-genome gene expression direct hybridization assay. Fifty transcripts were differentially expressed in association with offspring birth weight, with 18 up-regulated in relation to lower birth weight, and 32 down-regulated. Examination of transcription control pathways identified increased activity of NF-κB, AP-1, EGR1, EGR4, and Gfi families, and reduced the activity of CEBP, in association with lower birth weight. Transcript origin analyses identified non-classical CD16+ monocytes, CD1c+ myeloid dendritic cells, and neutrophils as the primary cellular mediators of differential gene expression. These results point toward a systematic regulatory shift in maternal white blood cell activity in association with lower offspring birth weight, and they suggest that analyses of gene expression during gestation may provide insight into regulatory and cellular mechanisms that influence birth outcomes.
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.
As the Environmental Protection Agency adds ever more sites to the National Priorities List for Superfund clean-up, there is a tremendous need for a fast method of screening for contaminants. In the case of inorganics, we can apply field-portable X-ray fluorescence technology.
With commercially available field-portable X-ray fluorescence equipment using in-situ measurements we can quickly screen a site (hundreds of measurements), input the data to a portable computer, process it, and print a colored concentration isopleth map of the contaminant of interest, all in realtime.
The in-situ measurement approach pioneered by Lockheed is the key to rapid screening capability. Problems arising from particle size distribution, soil heterogeneity, and bulk density are minimized by employing site-specific standards in the construction of our calibration curves. Inherent in these site-specific standards are all the matrix problems which occur in the routine samples.
The strength of field-portable X-ray fluorescence technology is the accuracy of analysis above the quantitation limits. The difficulty in measuring low concentrations near the detection limit is the weak point of field-portable units.
NOTICE: Although this research was funded in part by the U.S. EPA through Contract 68-03-3249 to Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Company, it has not undergone Agency review and does not necessarily reflect Agency policy.
Objective: To conduct a formative evaluation of a transitional intervention for family caregivers, with assessment of feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, and potential benefits. Methods: The intervention aimed to provide emotional support, information on community resources, and information and support for development of coping skills for the caregivers of patients aged 65 and older who were to be discharged home from an acute medical hospital admission. We used a one-group, pre- and three-month post-test study design. Results: Ninety-one patient-caregiver dyads were recruited. Of these, 63 caregivers (69%) received all five planned intervention sessions, while 60 (66%) completed the post-test. There were significant reductions in caregiver anxiety and depression following the intervention, and high rates of satisfaction. Discussion: This transitional intervention should be further evaluated, preferably with a control group, either as a stand-alone intervention or as one component of a comprehensive transitional intervention for older patients and their caregivers.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Mental health support in Sierra Leone is sparse, and qualitative research into the feasibility of implementing psychological interventions is equally underdeveloped. Following the 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust were commissioned to develop a psychological intervention that UK clinicians could train national staff with minimal psychological experience to deliver to their peers. Following the completion of the stepped care, group-based cognitive–behavioural therapy intervention, qualitative interviews were conducted with the national team to identify key barriers and enablers to implementation of and engagement with this intervention. This article describes the key themes that came out of those interviews, and discusses the implications of these findings for future clinical teams.
A few studies examine the time evolution of delirium in long-term care (LTC) settings. In this work, we analyze the multivariate Delirium Index (DI) time evolution in LTC settings.
The multivariate DI was measured weekly for six months in seven LTC facilities, located in Montreal and Quebec City. Data were analyzed using a hidden Markov chain/latent class model (HMC/LC).
The analysis sample included 276 LTC residents. Four ordered latent classes were identified: fairly healthy (low “disorientation” and “memory impairment,” negligible other DI symptoms), moderately ill (low “inattention” and “disorientation,” medium “memory impairment”), clearly sick (low “disorganized thinking” and “altered level of consciousness,” medium “inattention,” “disorientation,” “memory impairment” and “hypoactivity”), and very sick (low “hypoactivity,” medium “altered level of consciousness,” high “inattention,” “disorganized thinking,” “disorientation” and “memory impairment”). Four course types were also identified: stable, improvement, worsening, and non-monotone. Class order was associated with increasing cognitive impairment, frequency of both prevalent/incident delirium and dementia, mortality rate, and decreasing performance in ADL.
Four ordered latent classes and four course types were found in LTC residents. These results are similar to those reported previously in acute care (AC); however, the proportion of very sick residents at enrolment was larger in LTC residents than in AC patients. In clinical settings, these findings could help identify participants with a chronic clinical disorder. Our HMC/LC approach may help understand coexistent disorders, e.g. delirium and dementia.
A 36C1 peak has been found at about 37 ka BP in the Guliya ice core, drilled from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This peak is indicative of enhanced cosmogenic isotope production in the atmosphere, rather than a change in accumulation rate. Comparison with the records of 10Be and 36C1 in ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland indicates that peaks of the cosmogenic isotopes are global, and that they can be used as time markers for dating ice cores. Interestingly, the 37 ka BP global event coincided with a cold period.
A detailed history of volcanism covering the last 2840 years is reconstructed from the top 100.42 m of a 109.91 m ice core from Dome A (DA2005 ice core), East Antarctica. Using two known volcanic stratigraphic markers, the mean accumulation rate during the period AD 1260-1964 is found to be 23.2 mmw.e. a-1, consistent with the previously reported accumulation rate at Dome A. This mean accumulation rate is used to date the entire core. Volcanic eruptions in the period 840 BC-AD1998 are detected as outstanding sulphate events. Seventy-eight eruptions are identified, with a mean of 2.7 eruptions per century. Comparisons with previous Antarctic ice-core volcanic records are made to assess the quality of this new DA2005 record. In terms of dates for volcanic events, the DA2005 record is in good agreement with previous records in the second millennium ad (ad 1000-1998). A series of volcanic signatures found in both the DA2005 record and several other Antarctic ice-core records in the first millennium ad (ad 1-1000) appear to validate the DA2005 record during this time period. For the older periods, direct comparisons are difficult between the DA2005 record and other Antarctic ice-core records due to the lack of well-dated stratigraphic horizons.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
High conflict and low warmth in families may contribute to immune cells developing a tendency to respond to threats with exaggerated inflammation that is insensitive to inhibitory signaling. We tested associations between family environments and expression of genes bearing response elements for transcription factors that regulate inflammation: nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and glucocorticoid receptor. The overall sample (47 families) completed interviews, questionnaires, and 8-week daily diary assessments of conflict and warmth, which were used to create composite family conflict and warmth scores. The diaries assessed upper respiratory infection (URI) symptoms, and URI episodes were clinically verified. Leukocyte RNA was extracted from whole blood samples provided by a subsample of 42 children (8–13 years of age) and 73 parents. In children, higher conflict and lower warmth were related to greater expression of genes bearing response elements for the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB, and more severe URI symptoms. In parents, higher conflict and lower warmth were also related to greater NF-κB–associated gene expression. Monocytes and dendritic cells were implicated as primary cellular sources of differential gene expression in the sample. Consistent with existing conceptual frameworks, stressful family environments were related to a proinflammatory phenotype at the level of the circulating leukocyte transcriptome.
To review the clinical signs of vocal fold paresis on laryngeal videostroboscopy, to quantify its impact on patients’ quality of life and to confirm the benefit of laryngeal electromyography in its diagnosis.
Twenty-nine vocal fold paresis patients were referred for laryngeal electromyography. Voice Handicap Index 10 results were compared to 43 patients diagnosed with vocal fold paralysis. Laryngeal videostroboscopy analysis was conducted to determine side of paresis.
Blinded laryngeal electromyography confirmed vocal fold paresis in 92.6 per cent of cases, with vocal fold lag being the most common diagnostic sign. The laryngology team accurately predicted side of paresis in 76 per cent of cases. Total Voice Handicap Index 10 responses were not significantly different between vocal fold paralysis and vocal fold paresis groups (26.08 ± 0.21 and 22.93 ± 0.17, respectively).
Vocal fold paresis has a significant impact on quality of life. This study shows that laryngeal electromyography is an important diagnostic tool. Patients with persisting dysphonia and apparently normal vocal fold movement, who fail to respond to appropriate speech therapy, should be investigated for a diagnosis of vocal fold paresis.
Detailed ionic analyses of Dyer Plateau snow show that major soluble impurities in snow consist of sodium (Na+), chloride (Cl−), nitrate (NO3−), sulfate (SO42−), and acidity (H+). The ratios of Na+ to Cl− concentrations are close to that of sea water, indicating little or no fractionation of sea-salt aerosols. The analyses of core sections from three sites along a 10 km transect show that local spatial variation of snow chemistry in this area is minimal and that temporal (decadal, inter-annual and sub-annual) variations in snow chemistry are very well preserved.
Anion analyses of the upper 181 m section of two 235 m ice cores yield a data set of 485 years (1505-1989) of annual snow accumulation and fluxes of Cl−, NO3−, and non-sea-salt (nss) SO42−. No significant long-term trends are observed in any of the anion fluxes. This is consistent with other Antarctic ice-core records showing no significant anthropogenic atmospheric pollution in the high southern latitudes. Linear regression analysis shows that Cl− flux is independent of snow-accumulation rate. Significant positive correlations are found between accumulation rate and both NO3− flux and background nss-SO42− flux. These results suggest that dry deposition is primarily responsible for air-to-ground Cl− flux while wet deposition dominates the NO3− and nss-SO42− flux (≥90% and ≥75%, respectively). The nss-S042− fluxes provide a chronology of explosive volcanic emissions reaching the Antarctic region for the past 485 years.
The delirium index (DI) is a valid measure of delirium severity. We proposed to describe longitudinal patterns of severity scores in older long-term care (LTC) residents.
A prospective cohort study of 280 residents in seven LTC facilities in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, was conducted. DI, Barthel Index, Mini-Mental State Examination, Charlson Comorbidity Index, Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, dementia assessment by an MD, and prevalent or incident probable delirium defined according to the Confusion Assessment Method were completed at baseline. The DI was also assessed weekly for 6 months. Demographic characteristics were abstracted from resident charts. Cluster analysis for longitudinal data was used to describe longitudinal patterns of DI scores.
During the 24 weeks following enrolment, 28 (10.0%) of 280 residents who had prevalent delirium and 76 (27.1%) who had incident delirium were included in our analysis. Average observation period was 18.3 weeks. Four basic types of time evolution patterns were discovered: Improvement, Worsening, Fluctuating, and Steady, including 22%, 18%, 25%, and 35%, of the residents, respectively. With the exception of the Worsening pattern, the average trajectory was stabilized at the 4th week or earlier. Poor baseline cognitive and physical function and greater severity of delirium predicted worse trajectories over 24 weeks.
The longitudinal patterns of DI scores found in LTC residents resemble those found in an earlier study of delirium in acute care (AC) settings. However, compared to AC patients, LTC residents have a smaller DI variability over time, a less frequent Improvement pattern, and more frequent Worsening and Fluctuating patterns.
Conflict-affected communities face poverty and mental health problems, with sexual violence survivors at high risk for both given their trauma history and potential for exclusion from economic opportunity. To address these problems, we conducted a randomized controlled trial of a group-based economic intervention, Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), for female sexual violence survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In March 2011, 66 VSLA groups, with 301 study participants, were randomized to the VSLA program or a wait-control condition. Data were collected prior to randomization, at 2-months post-program in June 2012, and 8-months later for VSLA participants only. Outcome data included measures of economic and social functioning and mental health severity. VSLA program effect was derived by comparing intervention and control participants' mean changes from baseline to 2-month follow-up.
At follow-up, VSLA study women reported significantly greater per capita food consumption and significantly greater reductions in stigma experiences compared with controls. No other study outcomes were statistically different. At 8-month follow-up, VSLA participants reported a continued increase in per capita food consumption, an increase in economic hours worked in the prior 7 days, and an increase in access to social resources.
While female sexual violence survivors with elevated mental symptoms were successfully integrated into a community-based economic program, the immediate program impact was only seen for food consumption and experience of stigma. Impacts on mental health severity were not realized, suggesting that targeted mental health interventions may be needed to improve psychological well-being.
Delirium is defined as a neurocognitive disorder characterized by sudden onset, fluctuating course, and disturbances in level of consciousness, attention, orientation, memory, thought, perception, and behavior (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It occurs in hyperactive, hypoactive, or mixed forms in up to 50% of older hospital patients (Inouye et al., 2014) and 70% of older long-term care residents (McCusker et al., 2011), many with pre-existing dementia (Fick et al., 2002).
The heights of solar radio sources at 1424 MHz and 696 MHz have been measured during the years 1965 and 1966. Solar activity at this time was near minimum. The number of radio sources appearing on the solar disk rarely exceeded three at any time and it thus was possible to resolve the majority of these with a high resolution grating interferometer. Many of the previous height measurements at these frequencies have been made near times of maximum solar activity and the confusion of sources within the beam has limited their accuracy. The number of sources studied here is quite considerably higher than in any previous investigation at these frequencies, and the period of observation has been continuous.