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Individuals with lower limb amputation experience reduced ankle push-off work in the absence of functional muscles spanning the joint, leading to decreased walking performance. Conventional energy storage and return (ESR) prostheses partially compensate by storing mechanical energy during midstance and returning this energy during the terminal stance phase of gait. These prostheses can provide approximately 30% of the push-off work performed by a healthy ankle–foot during walking. Novel prostheses that return more normative levels of mechanical energy may improve walking performance. In this work, we designed a Decoupled ESR (DESR) prosthesis which stores energy usually dissipated at heel-strike and loading response, and returns this energy during terminal stance, thus increasing the mechanical push-off work done by the prosthesis. This decoupling is achieved by switching between two different cam profiles that produce distinct, nonlinear torque–angle mechanics. The cams automatically interchange at key points in the gait cycle via a custom magnetic switching system. Benchtop characterization demonstrated the successful decoupling of energy storage and return. The DESR mechanism was able to capture energy at heel-strike and loading response, and return it later in the gait cycle, but this recycling was not sufficient to overcome mechanical losses. In addition to its potential for recycling energy, the DESR mechanism also enables unique mechanical customizability, such as dorsiflexion during swing phase for toe clearance, or increasing the rate of energy release at push-off.
Background: There are few published reports on the safety and efficacy of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) in the presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy. Our objective was to describe institutional experience with pediatric SEEG in terms of (1) insertional complications, (2) identification of the epileptogenic zone and (3) seizure outcome following SEEG-tailored resections. Methods: Retrospective review of 29 patients pediatric drug resistant epilepsy patients who underwent presurgical SEEG between 2005 – 2018. Results: 29 pediatric SEEG patients (15 male; 12.4 ± 4.6 years old) were included in this study with mean follow-up of 6.0 ± 4.1 years. SEEG-related complications occurred in 1/29 (3%)—neurogenic pulmonary edema. A total of 190 multi-contact electrodes (mean of 7.0 ± 2.5per patient) were implanted across 30 insertions which captured 437 electrographic seizures (mean 17.5 ± 27.6 per patient). The most common rationale for SEEG was normal MRI with surface EEG that failed to identify the EZ (16/29; 55%). SEEG-tailored resections were performed in 24/29 (83%). Engel I outcome was achieved following resections in 19/24 cases (79%) with 5.9 ± 4.0 years of post-operative follow-up. Conclusions: Stereoelectroencephalography in presurgical evaluation of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy is a safe and effective way to identify the epileptogenic zone permitting SEEG-tailored resection.
The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015–2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015–2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015–2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.
Background: Selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) is a surgical option in well-selected cases of pediatric medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The objective of this study was to compare the surgical outcome and the rate of reoperation for ongoing or recurrent seizures between SAH and anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) in pediatric TLE. Methods: Retrospective review of 78 pediatric intractable TLE patients referred to the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at our institution between 1988 and 2015 treated initially with either a trans-middle temporal gyrus SAH (19) or ATL (59). Patients underwent baseline long-term video electroencephalography and 1.5-Tesla MRI. Neuropsychological testing was performed preoperatively and 12-months postoperatively (including reoperations). Results: The mean follow-up was 64 months (range, 12-186 months). The average age at initial surgery was 10.6±5 years with an average delay of 5.7±4 years between seizure onset and surgery. Ultimately 78% were seizure-free (61/78) at most recent follow-up. Seizure freedom after initial surgical treatment was achieved in 81% of patients who underwent ATL (48 patients) versus 42% in SAH (8 patients; p<0.001). Of patients with ongoing disabling seizures following SAH, reoperation (ATL) was offered in 8 resulting in seizure freedom in 63%, without interval neuropsychological decline. Conclusions: SAH amongst well-selected pediatric TLE results in significantly worse seizure control compared with ATL.
Negative bias and aberrant neural processing of emotional faces are trait-marks of depression but findings in healthy high-risk groups are conflicting.
Healthy middle-aged dizygotic twins (N = 42) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): 22 twins had a co-twin history of depression (high-risk) and 20 were without co-twin history of depression (low-risk). During fMRI, participants viewed fearful and happy faces while performing a gender discrimination task. After the scan, they were given a faces dot-probe task, a facial expression recognition task and questionnaires assessing mood, personality traits and coping.
Unexpectedly, high-risk twins showed reduced fear vigilance and lower recognition of fear and happiness relative to low-risk twins. During face processing in the scanner, high-risk twins displayed distinct negative functional coupling between the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex and pregenual anterior cingulate. This was accompanied by greater fear-specific fronto-temporal response and reduced fronto-occipital response to all emotional faces relative to baseline. The risk groups showed no differences in mood, subjective state or coping.
Less susceptibility to fearful faces and negative cortico-limbic coupling during emotional face processing may reflect neurocognitive compensatory mechanisms in middle-aged dizygotic twins who remain healthy despite their familial risk of depression.
A high proportion of patients with remitted major depressive disorder (MDD) will experience recurring episodes, whilst some develop resilience and remain in recovery. The neural basis of resilience to recurrence is elusive. Abnormal resting-state connectivity of the subgenual cingulate cortex (sgACC) was previously found in cross-sectional studies of MDD, suggesting its potential pathophysiological importance. The current study aimed to investigate whether resting-state connectivity to a left sgACC seed region distinguishes resilient patients from those developing recurring episodes.
A total of 47 medication-free remitted MDD patients and 38 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at baseline. Over 14 months, 30 patients remained resilient whilst 17 experienced a recurring episode.
Attenuated interhemispheric left-to-right sgACC connectivity distinguished the resilient from the recurring-episode and control groups and was not correlated with residual depressive symptoms.
The current study revealed a neural signature of resilience to recurrence in MDD and thereby elucidates the role of compensatory adaptation in sgACC networks.
Serum thyroglobulin is used as a surrogate marker for well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma recurrence. This study investigates whether thyroglobulin measured at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy predicts disease-free survival.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients with well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma presenting from 1989 to 2010 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales, Australia. Disease-free survival of patients with a significantly elevated stimulated thyroglobulin level (27.5 µg/l or higher) at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy was compared to that of patients without a significantly elevated thyroglobulin level using univariate analysis.
Patients with a thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher had an increased relative risk of disease recurrence of 4.50 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.35–15.04). If lateral neck dissection was required at the time of surgery, patients also had an increased relative risk of macroscopic disease recurrence of 4.94 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.47–16.55).
An elevated thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy is a prognostic indicator for macroscopic disease recurrence in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma.
Trypanosoma cruzi, causative agent of Chagas disease, co-infects its triatomine vector with its sister species Trypanosoma rangeli, which shares 60% of its antigens with T. cruzi. Additionally, T. rangeli has been observed to be pathogenic in some of its vector species. Although T. cruzi–T. rangeli co-infections are common, their effect on the vector has rarely been investigated. Therefore, we measured the fitness (survival and reproduction) of triatomine species Rhodnius prolixus infected with just T. cruzi, just T. rangeli, or both T. cruzi and T. rangeli. We found that survival (as estimated by survival probability and hazard ratios) was significantly different between treatments, with the T. cruzi treatment group having lower survival than the co-infected treatment. Reproduction and total fitness estimates in the T. cruzi and T. rangeli treatments were significantly lower than in the co-infected and control groups. The T. cruzi and T. rangeli treatment group fitness estimates were not significantly different from each other. Additionally, co-infected insects appeared to tolerate higher doses of parasites than insects with single-species infections. Our results suggest that T. cruzi–T. rangeli co-infection could ameliorate negative effects of single infections of either parasite on R. prolixus and potentially help it to tolerate higher parasite doses.
As one of its rules, thoroughgoing eclecticism in New Testament textual criticism puts great store by an author's consistency of language, style and usage when assessing variation. This article examines the theoretical justification for such a rule and sets out a number of examples from throughout the New Testament to show how such an application works, even when the preferred solutions may go against traditional principles of text-critics such as the age, quality or quantity of witnesses in supporting a selected initial text. One section deals with conjectural emendation.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
Additive manufacturing (AM) holds tremendous promise in terms of revolutionizing manufacturing. However, fundamental hurdles limit the widespread adoption of this technology. First, production rates are extremely low. Second, the physical size of the parts is generally small, less than a cubic foot. Third, the mechanical properties of the polymer parts are generally poor, limiting the potential for direct part replacement and functional use of the polymer components. This article describes various ways in which carbon fibers (CFs) can be used to address these fundamental hurdles. First, CF-reinforced polymers developed for AM have demonstrated specific strengths approaching aerospace-quality aluminum. Second, CF additions can radically reduce the distortion and warping of the material during deposition, which enables large-scale, out-of-the-oven, high deposition rate manufacturing. Finally, the complementary nature of CF technology and AM is discussed, showing how merging the two manufacturing processes enables the construction of complex components that would not be possible with either technology alone.
This paper looks at alternative long-term care (LTC) funding models and options. It analyses six global models and the potential applications to the UK. The paper provides a demographic overview for each of the six countries to illustrate the increasing global demand for LTC and the funding thereof which is becoming a global critical issue. It examines the approaches each country has taken to address the funding issue with varying degrees of public/private co-operation and partnerships. The authors hope that the lessons learned from these other markets will assist the UK as they try to come to grips with their growing social care funding issue.
The title apocryphal New Testament is given to a range of amorphous texts that seem to have originated from the second century onwards. The main apocryphal gospel texts are the Protevangelium of James, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, the Arabic Infancy Gospel, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Nicodemus. A variation of the stories in the Protevangelium is to be seen in the later Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. Several apocryphal gospels relate incidents about Jesus as an infant and a young boy. Just as the apocryphal gospels amplify events relating to Jesusʾ birth, childhood and death, so the apocryphal acts tell us about the founding fathers of the church. It is in the field of painting and the plastic arts that the influence of the apocryphal traditions is most obviously and strongly felt.
The incidence of papillary thyroid cancer is rising, with an increase in the number of microcarcinomas being discovered. There is controversy in the literature regarding the optimal management of these tumours. This study aimed to review our institution's experience with the presentation and management of papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.
Retrospective analysis from the Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute, from 1987 to 2009.
A total of 228 patients were analysed. Papillary thyroid microcarcinomas were discovered incidentally in 116 (50.9 per cent) patients and non-incidentally in the remaining 112 (49.1 per cent) patients. Amongst the non-incidental group, 11.6 per cent of patients presented with lateral cervical lymph node involvement. Non-incidental microcarcinomas were significantly associated with younger age (<45 years) (p = 0.007) and larger tumours (5–10 mm) (p < 0.001). Only four patients in the incidental group suffered recurrent disease (locoregional). No patient developed distant metastatic disease or died during follow up.
Papillary thyroid microcarcinomas present both incidentally and non-incidentally, with equal prevalence. Non-incidental tumours not infrequently present with cervical lymph node disease. The patient outcome is generally excellent.
Corpus callosum malformation and dysfunction are increasingly recognized causes of cognitive and behavioral disability. Individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum (AgCC) offer unique insights regarding the cognitive skills that depend specifically upon callosal connectivity. We examined the impact of AgCC on cognitive inhibition, flexibility, and processing speed using the Color-Word Interference Test (CWIT) and Trail Making Test (TMT) from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. We compared 36 individuals with AgCC and IQs within the normal range to 56 matched controls. The AgCC cohort was impaired on timed measures of inhibition and flexibility; however, group differences on CWIT Inhibition, CWIT Inhibition/Switching and TMT Number-Letter Switching appear to be largely explained by slow performance in basic operations such as color naming and letter sequencing. On CWIT Inhibition/Switching, the AgCC group was found to commit significantly more errors which suggests that slow performance is not secondary to a cautious strategy. Therefore, while individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum show real deficits on tasks of executive function, this impairment appears to be primarily a consequence of slow cognitive processing. Additional studies are needed to investigate the impact of AgCC on other aspects of higher order cortical function. (JINS, 2012, 18, 521–529)