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The Maintain Your Brain trial (MYB) is one of the largest internet-delivered multidomain RCT designed to target modifiable risk factors for dementia. It comprises four intervention modules: physical activity, nutrition, mental health, and cognitive training. This paper explains the MYB Nutrition Module, which is a fully online intervention promoting the adoption of the ‘traditional’ Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet) pattern for those participants reporting dietary intake that does not indicate adherence to a Mediterranean-type cuisine or those who have chronic diseases/risk factors for dementia known to benefit from this type of diet. Participants who were eligible for the Nutrition Module were assigned to one of the three diet streams: Main, Malnutrition, and Alcohol group, according to their medical history and adherence to the MedDiet at baseline. A short dietary questionnaire was administered weekly during the first 10 weeks and then monthly during the 3-year follow-up to monitor whether participants adopted or maintained the MedDiet pattern during the intervention. As the Nutrition Module is a fully online intervention, resources that promoted self-efficacy, self-management, and process of change were important elements to be included in the module development. The Nutrition Module is unique in that it is able to individualize the dietary advice according to both the medical and dietary history of each participant; the results from this unique intervention will contribute substantively to the evidence that links the Mediterranean-type diet with cognitive function and the prevention of dementia and will increase our understanding of the benefits of a MedDiet in a Western country.
Exposure to early life adversity (ELA) has been identified as a major risk factor in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). It is hypothesized that a mediating mechanism may be environmentally induced alterations in gene function. In our REDEEM (Research in depression: endocrinology, epigenetics and neuroimaging) project we are examining possible epigenetic difference in some previously investigated target genes relevant to depression. To this end, methylation of the following genes were measured: NR3C1 (HPA axis), SLC6A4 (serotonin neurotransmitter function), and CD3ɛ (T cell receptor gene). We also looked at possible trans-generational transmission of epigenetic markers in a mother-baby sample.
DNA was isolated from depressed patients and controls and babies and a portion of the above genes, encompassing our regions of interest, were amplified by PCR. Percentage methylation levels were measured by pyrosequencing. mRNA was also measured for some gene products to see if function was related to methylation. HPA axis function was measured with serial saliva samples throughout the day.
to date: Methylation was increased in the CD3ɛ promoter in depressed subjects relative to controls. In the total group, those exposed to ELA had significantly increased methylation at this site. Levels of CD3ɛ mRNA levels were inversely related to methylation. There were some relationships between maternal ELA and baby methylation at the sites examined.
Consistent with an allostatic model of ELA damage, our findings suggest an alteration in epigenetic function in acquired immunity and the HPA axis, mediated by ELA. Findings will be discussed.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To identify the intracochlear electrode position in cochlear implant recipients and determine the correlation to speech perception for two peri-modiolar electrode arrays.
Post-operative cone-beam computed tomography images of 92 adult recipients of the ‘CI512’ electrode and 18 adult recipients of the ‘CI532’ electrode were analysed. Phonemes scores were recorded pre-implantation, and at 3 and 12 months post-implantation.
All CI532 electrodes were wholly within scala tympani. Of the 79 CI512 electrodes intended to be in scala tympani, 58 (73 per cent) were in scala tympani, 14 (17 per cent) were translocated and 7 (9 per cent) were wholly in scala vestibuli. Thirteen CI512 electrodes were deliberately inserted into scala vestibuli. Speech perception scores for post-lingual recipients were higher in the scala tympani group (69.1 per cent) compared with the scala vestibuli (54.2 per cent) and translocation (50 per cent) groups (p < 0.05). Electrode location outside of scala tympani independently resulted in a 10.5 per cent decrease in phoneme scores.
Cone-beam computed tomography was valuable for demonstrating electrode position. The rate of scala tympani insertion was higher in CI532 than in CI512 electrodes. Scala vestibuli insertion and translocation were associated with poorer speech perception outcomes.
Precision technologies and data have had relatively modest impacts in grass-based livestock ruminant production systems compared with other agricultural sectors such as arable. Precision technologies promise increased efficiency, reduced environmental impact, improved animal health, welfare and product quality. The benefits of precision technologies have, however, been relatively slow to be realised on pasture based farms. Though there is significant overlap with indoor systems, implementing technology in grass-based dairying brings unique opportunities and challenges. The large areas animals roam and graze in pasture based systems and the associated connectivity challenges may, in part at least, explain the comparatively lower adoption of such technologies in pasture based systems. With the exception of sensor and Bluetooth-enabled plate metres, there are thus few technologies designed specifically to increase pasture utilisation. Terrestrial and satellite-based spectral analysis of pasture biomass and quality is still in the development phase. One of the key drivers of efficiency in pasture based systems has thus only been marginally impacted by precision technologies. In contrast, technological development in the area of fertility and heat detection has been significant and offers significant potential value to dairy farmers, including those in pasture based systems. A past review of sensors in health management for dairy farms concluded that although the collection of accurate data was generally achieved, the processing, integration and presentation of the resulting information and decision-support applications were inadequate. These technologies’ value to farming systems is thus unclear. As a result, it is not certain that farm management is being sufficiently improved to justify widespread adoption of precision technologies currently. We argue for a user need-driven development of technologies and for a focus on how outputs arising from precision technologies and associated decision support applications are delivered to users to maximise their value. Further cost/benefit analysis is required to determine the efficacy of investing in specific precision technologies, potentially taking account of several yet to ascertained farm specific variables.
This research aims to explore the submerged landscapes of the Pilbara of western Australia, using predictive archaeological modelling, airborne LiDAR, marine acoustics, coring and diver survey. It includes excavation and geophysical investigation of a submerged shell midden in Denmark to establish guidelines for the underwater discovery of such sites elsewhere.
Introduction: High quality Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) saves lives, however skill retention after standard Basic Life support (BLS) courses has been shown to be poor. Our goal was to develop a student-run, mentorship based program to allow repetitive practice of BLS skills while minimizing resource commitment and time requirements. Methods: We developed a top down training program that relied on online teaching resources, regular simulation training and near-peer feedback. First year medical students were given the opportunity to participate in the program and baseline CPR quality was documented. They were then divided into intervention and control groups. The intervention group participated in bi-monthly 40-minute small group training sessions directed by senior medical students and monitored by a staff physician. The control group received no further training. At the end of the 8-month study period CPR quality was documented for all participants. Results: We included data from 54 medical students. Overall compression depth and rate were monitored using Laderall SimMan 3G(TM) high-fidelity CPR mannequins. Average rate and depth of compression were significantly improved in the intervention group relative to both the control group that did not receive training, as well as relative to the intervention groups own pre intervention values (both with p values below 0.05 using Mann-Whitney tests and an intention to treat analysis for loss to follow up). Conclusion: Our study demonstrated a significant improvement in CPR quality as a result of our intervention. Survey data also indicated positive feedback from participants in relation to comfort with in-hospital CPR. As such we intend to continue to run this program, identifying participants each year whom can move into training and leadership roles to help foster CPR and basic resuscitation in our medical community.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder associated with disrupted connectivity within the thalamic-cortico-cerebellar network. Resting-state functional connectivity studies have reported thalamic hypoconnectivity with the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex as well as thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory cortical regions in SZ patients compared with healthy comparison participants (HCs). However, fundamental questions remain regarding the clinical significance of these connectivity abnormalities.
Resting state seed-based functional connectivity was used to investigate thalamus to whole brain connectivity using multi-site data including 183 SZ patients and 178 matched HCs. Statistical significance was based on a voxel-level FWE-corrected height threshold of p < 0.001. The relationships between positive and negative symptoms of SZ and regions of the brain demonstrating group differences in thalamic connectivity were examined.
HC and SZ participants both demonstrated widespread positive connectivity between the thalamus and cortical regions. Compared with HCs, SZ patients had reduced thalamic connectivity with bilateral cerebellum and anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, SZ patients had greater thalamic connectivity with multiple sensory-motor regions, including bilateral pre- and post-central gyrus, middle/inferior occipital gyrus, and middle/superior temporal gyrus. Thalamus to middle temporal gyrus connectivity was positively correlated with hallucinations and delusions, while thalamus to cerebellar connectivity was negatively correlated with delusions and bizarre behavior.
Thalamic hyperconnectivity with sensory regions and hypoconnectivity with cerebellar regions in combination with their relationship to clinical features of SZ suggest that thalamic dysconnectivity may be a core neurobiological feature of SZ that underpins positive symptoms.
To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
The antimicrobial use (AU) option within the National Healthcare Safety Network summarizes antimicrobial prescribing data as a standardized antimicrobial administration ratio (SAAR). A hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program found that greater involvement of an infectious disease physician in prospective audit and feedback procedures was associated with reductions in SAAR values across multiple antimicrobial categories.
To investigate the importance of anatomical variation in acquiring skills in virtual reality cochlear implant surgery.
Eleven otolaryngology residents participated in this study. They were randomly allocated to practice cochlear implant surgery on the same specimen or on different specimens for four weeks. They were then tested on two new specimens, one standard and one challenging. Videos of their performance were de-identified and reviewed independently, by two blinded consultant otolaryngologists, using a validated assessment scale. The scores were compared between groups.
On the standard specimen, the round window preparation score was 2.7 ± 0.4 for the experimental group and 1.7 ± 0.6 for the control group (p = 0.01). On the challenging specimen, instrument handling and facial nerve preservation scores of the experimental group were 3.0 ± 0.4 and 3.5 ± 0.7 respectively, while the control group received scores of 2.1 ± 0.8 and 2.4 ± 0.9 respectively (p < 0.05).
Training on temporal bones with differing anatomies is beneficial in the development of expertise.
Adults with tetralogy of Fallot experience atrial tachyarrhythmias; however, there are a few data on the outcomes of radiofrequency ablation. We examined the characteristics, outcome, and predictors of recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias after radiofrequency ablation in tetralogy of Fallot patients.
Retrospective data were collected from 2004 to 2013. In total, 56 ablations were performed on 37 patients. We identified two matched controls per case: patients with tetralogy of Fallot but no radiofrequency ablation and not known to have atrial tachyarrhythmias. Acute success was 98%. Left atrial arrhythmias increased in frequency over time. The mean follow-up was 41 months; 78% were arrhythmia-free. Number of cardiac surgeries, age, and presence of atrial fibrillation were predictors of recurrence. Lone cavo-tricuspid isthmus-dependent flutter reduced the likelihood of atrial fibrillation. Right and left atria in patients with tetralogy of Fallot were larger in ablated cases than controls. NYHA class was worse in cases and improved after ablation; baseline status predicted death. Of matched non-ablated controls, a number of them had atrial fibrillation. These patients were excluded from the case–control study but analysed separately. Most of them had died during follow-up, whereas of the matched ablated cases all were alive and the majority in sinus rhythm.
Patients with tetralogy of Fallot and atrial tachyarrhythmias have more dilated atria than those without atrial tachyarrhythmias. Radiofrequency ablation improves functional status. Left atrial ablation is more commonly required with repeat procedures. There is a high prevalence of atrial tachyarrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, in patients with tetralogy of Fallot; early radiofrequency ablation may have a protective effect against this.
A number of thin silicon films are prepared through ultra-high-vacuum evaporation on optical quality fused quartz substrates with different growth temperatures. Through an analysis of grazing incidence X-ray diffraction results, a phase transition, from amorphous-to-crystalline, is found corresponding to increases in the growth temperature. The corresponding Raman spectra are also observed to change their form as the films go through this phase transition. Using a Raman peak decomposition process, this phase transition is then quantitatively characterized through the determination of the amount of intermediate-range order and the crystalline volume fraction for the various growth temperatures considered in this analysis. The possible device consequences of these results are then commented upon.
The Durban Diabetes Study (DDS) is a population-based cross-sectional survey of an urban black population in the eThekwini Municipality (city of Durban) in South Africa. The survey combines health, lifestyle and socioeconomic questionnaire data with standardised biophysical measurements, biomarkers for non-communicable and infectious diseases, and genetic data. Data collection for the study is currently underway and the target sample size is 10 000 participants. The DDS has an established infrastructure for survey fieldwork, data collection and management, sample processing and storage, managed data sharing and consent for re-approaching participants, which can be utilised for further research studies. As such, the DDS represents a rich platform for investigating the distribution, interrelation and aetiology of chronic diseases and their risk factors, which is critical for developing health care policies for disease management and prevention. For data access enquiries please contact the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research (APCDR) at firstname.lastname@example.org or the corresponding author.
Historically, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have suffered excess morbidity and mortality from influenza. We investigated the risk factors for death from 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in persons residing in five states with substantial AI/AN populations. We conducted a case-control investigation using pandemic influenza fatalities from 2009 in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Controls were outpatients with influenza. We reviewed medical records and interviewed case proxies and controls. We used multiple imputation to predict missing data and multivariable conditional logistic regression to determine risk factors. We included 145 fatal cases and 236 controls; 22% of cases were AI/AN. Risk factors (P < 0·05) included: older age [adjusted matched odds ratio (mOR) 3·2, for >45 years vs. <18 years], pre-existing medical conditions (mOR 7·1), smoking (mOR 3·0), delayed receipt of antivirals (mOR 6·5), and barriers to healthcare access (mOR 5·3). AI/AN race was not significantly associated with death. The increased influenza mortality in AI/AN individuals was due to factors other than racial status. Prevention of influenza deaths should focus on modifiable factors (smoking, early antiviral use, access to care) and identifying high-risk persons for immunization and prompt medical attention.
It is often assumed that some individuals reliably increase energy intake (EI) post-exercise (‘compensators’) and some do not (‘non-compensators’), leading researchers to examine the characteristics that distinguish these two groups. However, it is unclear whether EI post-exercise is stable over time. The present study examined whether compensatory eating responses to a single exercise bout are consistent within individuals across three pairs of trials. Physically inactive, overweight/obese women (n 28, BMI 30·3 (sd 2·9) kg/m2) participated in three pairs of testing sessions, with each pair consisting of an exercise (30 min of moderate-intensity walking) and resting testing day. EI was measured using a buffet meal 1 h post-exercise/rest. For each pair, the difference in EI (EIdiff= EIex− EIrest) was calculated, where EIex is the EI of the exercise session and EIrest is the EI of the resting session, and women were classified as a ‘compensator’ (EIex>EIrest) or ‘non-compensator’ (EIex≤ EIrest). The average EI on exercise days (3328·0 (sd 1686·2) kJ) was similar to those on resting days (3269·4 (sd 1582·4) kJ) (P= 0·67). Although EI was reliable within individuals across the three resting days (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0·75, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·87; P< 0·001) and three exercise days (ICC 0·83, 95 % CI 0·70, 0·91; P< 0·001), the ICC for EIdiff across the three pairs of trials was low (ICC 0·20, 95 % CI − 0·02, 0·45; P= 0·04), suggesting that compensatory eating post-exercise is not a stable construct. Moreover, the classification of ‘compensators’/‘non-compensators’ was not reliable (κ =− 0·048; P= 0·66). The results were unaltered when ‘relative’ EI was used, which considers the energy expenditure of the exercise/resting sessions. Acute compensatory EI following an exercise bout is not reliable in overweight women. Seeking to understand what distinguishes ‘compensators’ from ‘non-compensators’ based on a single eating episode post-exercise is not justified.
At the present moment, zinc oxide is primarily being used as an electronic material for low-field thin-film transistor and transparent conducting oxide device applications. In this paper, we present some recent results on the steady-state electron transport within zinc oxide suggesting that this material may also be considered as an alternative material to gallium nitride for high-power and high-frequency electron device applications. The expected device performance that may be obtained from zinc oxide-based devices is then projected and contrasted with that expected from gallium nitride-based devices. It is shown that zinc oxide-based devices have a slight advantage when compared with the case of gallium nitride.