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Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the influence of lower limb loss (LL) on mental workload by assessing neurocognitive measures in individuals with unilateral transtibial (TT) versus those with transfemoral (TF) LL while dual-task walking under varying cognitive demand. Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded as participants performed a task of varying cognitive demand while being seated or walking (i.e., varying physical demand). Results: The findings revealed both groups of participants (TT LL vs. TF LL) exhibited a similar EEG theta synchrony response as either the cognitive or the physical demand increased. Also, while individuals with TT LL maintained similar performance on the cognitive task during seated and walking conditions, those with TF LL exhibited performance decrements (slower response times) on the cognitive task during the walking in comparison to the seated conditions. Furthermore, those with TF LL neither exhibited regional differences in EEG low-alpha power while walking, nor EEG high-alpha desynchrony as a function of cognitive task difficulty while walking. This lack of alpha modulation coincided with no elevation of theta/alpha ratio power as a function of cognitive task difficulty in the TF LL group. Conclusions: This work suggests that both groups share some common but also different neurocognitive features during dual-task walking. Although all participants were able to recruit neural mechanisms critical for the maintenance of cognitive-motor performance under elevated cognitive or physical demands, the observed differences indicate that walking with a prosthesis, while concurrently performing a cognitive task, imposes additional cognitive demand in individuals with more proximal levels of amputation.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
A nineteen element mercuric iodide (HgI2) detector array has been developed in order to investigate the potential of using this technology for in-vivo x-ray and gamma-ray imaging. A prototype cross-grid detector array was constructed with hexagonal pixels of 1.9 mm diameter (active area = 3.28 mm2) and 0.2 mm thick septa. The overall detector active area is roughly 65 mm2. A detector thickness of 1.2 mm was used to achieve about 100% efficiency at 60 keV and 67% efficiency at 140 keV The detector fabrication, geometry and structure were optimized for charge collection and to minimize crosstalk between elements. A section of a standard high resolution cast-lead gamma-camera collimator was incorporated into the detector to provide collimation matching the discrete pixel geometry. Measurements of spectral and spatial performance of the array were made using 241-Am and 99m-Tc sources. These measurements were compared with similar measurements made using an optimized single HgI2 x-ray detector with active area of about 3 mm2 and thickness of 500 μm.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with attentional and processing abnormalities. Such abnormalities are also seen in healthy subjects with sleep disruption. We hypothesised cognitive abnormalities in BD patients would be worse in those with objectively verified sleep abnormalities.
Forty-six BD patients and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment over 21 days alongside mood questionnaires. Cognitive function was assessed with a range of tasks including Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT), Attention Network Task (ANT) and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST). BD participants with normal and abnormal sleep were compared with age- and sex-matched controls.
BD patients had longer response times and made more lapses (responses >500 ms) than controls on the PVT (both p < 0.001). However, patients with normal sleep patterns did not differ from controls while those with sleep abnormalities did (p < 0.001). An identical pattern of effects were seen with the ANT response times, with the abnormality in bipolar abnormal sleepers related to the executive attentional network. Similarly, patients made fewer correct responses on the DSST compared with the controls (p < 0.001). Bipolar normal sleepers did not differ while those with abnormal sleep did (p < 0.001). All these differences were seen in bipolar abnormal sleepers who were euthymic (p < 0.01) and across the main abnormal sleep phenotypes.
We confirm impairment in attention and processing speed in BD. Rather than sleep abnormalities exacerbating such dysfunction, the impairments were confined to bipolar abnormal sleepers, consistent with sleep disturbance being the main driver of cognitive dysfunction.
To determine whether probiotic prophylaxes reduce the odds of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults and children.
Individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), adjusting for risk factors.
We searched 6 databases and 11 grey literature sources from inception to April 2016. We identified 32 RCTs (n=8,713); among them, 18 RCTs provided IPD (n=6,851 participants) comparing probiotic prophylaxis to placebo or no treatment (standard care). One reviewer prepared the IPD, and 2 reviewers extracted data, rated study quality, and graded evidence quality.
Probiotics reduced CDI odds in the unadjusted model (n=6,645; odds ratio [OR] 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25–0.55) and the adjusted model (n=5,074; OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.23–0.55). Using 2 or more antibiotics increased the odds of CDI (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.11–4.37), whereas age, sex, hospitalization status, and high-risk antibiotic exposure did not. Adjusted subgroup analyses suggested that, compared to no probiotics, multispecies probiotics were more beneficial than single-species probiotics, as was using probiotics in clinical settings where the CDI risk is ≥5%. Of 18 studies, 14 reported adverse events. In 11 of these 14 studies, the adverse events were retained in the adjusted model. Odds for serious adverse events were similar for both groups in the unadjusted analyses (n=4,990; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.26) and adjusted analyses (n=4,718; OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.89–1.28). Missing outcome data for CDI ranged from 0% to 25.8%. Our analyses were robust to a sensitivity analysis for missingness.
Moderate quality (ie, certainty) evidence suggests that probiotic prophylaxis may be a useful and safe CDI prevention strategy, particularly among participants taking 2 or more antibiotics and in hospital settings where the risk of CDI is ≥5%.
Previous research has shown relatively diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation and heightened psychophysiological responses during the recollection of personal events in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the origin of these abnormalities is unknown. Twin studies provide the opportunity to determine whether such abnormalities reflect familial vulnerabilities, result from trauma exposure, or are acquired characteristics of PTSD.
In this case–control twin study, 26 male identical twin pairs (12 PTSD; 14 non-PTSD) discordant for PTSD and combat exposure recalled and imagined trauma-unrelated stressful and neutral life events using a standard script-driven imagery paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging and concurrent skin conductance measurement.
Diminished activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery was observed in the individuals with PTSD, relative to other groups.
Diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery may be an acquired characteristic of PTSD. If replicated, this finding could be used prospectively to inform diagnosis and the assessment of treatment response.
Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are at a risk for neurodevelopmental delays. Current guidelines recommend systematic evaluation and management of neurodevelopmental outcomes with referral for early intervention services. The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial represents the largest cohort of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome ever assembled. Data on life events and resource utilisation have been collected annually. We sought to determine the type and prevalence of early intervention services used from age 1 to 4 years and factors associated with utilisation of services.
Data from 14-month neurodevelopmental assessment and annual medical history forms were used. We assessed the impact of social risk and geographic differences. Fisher exact tests and logistic regression were used to evaluate associations.
Annual medical history forms were available for 302 of 314 children. Greater than half of the children (52–69%) were not receiving services at any age assessed, whereas 20–32% were receiving two or more therapies each year. Utilisation was significantly lower in year 4 (31%) compared with years 1–3 (with a range from 40 to 48%) (p<0.001). Social risk factors were not associated with the use of services at any age but there were significant geographic differences. Significant delay was reported by parents in 18–43% of children at ages 3 and 4.
Despite significant neurodevelopmental delays, early intervention service utilisation was low in this cohort. As survival has improved for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, attention must shift to strategies to optimise developmental outcomes, including enrolment in early intervention when merited.
Biological tissues have complex, three-dimensional (3D) organizations of cells and matrix factors that provide the architecture necessary to meet morphogenic and functional demands. Disordered cell alignment is associated with congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and neurodegenerative diseases and repairing or replacing these tissues using engineered constructs may improve regenerative capacity. However, optimizing cell alignment within engineered tissues requires quantitative 3D data on cell orientations and both efficient and validated processing algorithms. We developed an automated method to measure local 3D orientations based on structure tensor analysis and incorporated an adaptive subregion size to account for multiple scales. Our method calculates the statistical concentration parameter, κ, to quantify alignment, as well as the traditional orientational order parameter. We validated our method using synthetic images and accurately measured principal axis and concentration. We then applied our method to confocal stacks of cleared, whole-mount engineered cardiac tissues generated from human-induced pluripotent stem cells or embryonic chick cardiac cells and quantified cardiomyocyte alignment. We found significant differences in alignment based on cellular composition and tissue geometry. These results from our synthetic images and confocal data demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of our method to measure alignment in 3D tissues.
Subjective reports of insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD). It is unclear to what extent these relate to underlying circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD). In this study we aimed to objectively assess sleep and circadian rhythm in a cohort of patients with BD compared to matched controls.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment with respiratory sleep studies, prolonged accelerometry over 3 weeks, sleep questionnaires and diaries, melatonin levels, alongside mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires.
Twenty-three (50%) patients with BD had abnormal sleep, of whom 12 (52%) had CRD and 29% had obstructive sleep apnoea. Patients with abnormal sleep had lower 24-h melatonin secretion compared to controls and patients with normal sleep. Abnormal sleep/CRD in BD was associated with impaired functioning and worse QoL.
BD is associated with high rates of abnormal sleep and CRD. The association between these disorders, mood and functioning, and the direction of causality, warrants further investigation.
Types of melter feed materials affect glass production rates. This study focuses on the effects of alumina sources on melting behavior of high-alumina high-level-waste melter feeds containing different alumina sources, namely, gibbsite, boehmite, and corundum. The heat flow from the glass melt to the cold cap, a floating layer of the reacting feed, is partially hindered by a foam layer at the bottom of the cold cap. Volume expansion tests and thermoanalytical methods revealed that a slow-melting feed with corundum foamed extensively, whereas a fast-melting feed with boehmite had a low reaction heat and produced less stable foam. The foam thickness, a critical factor for the rate of melting, estimated using the relationship between the heat conductivity and foam porosity was in reasonable agreement with experimental observation.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.