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Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is characterized by growth of benign tumors in the skin, brain, kidneys, lung and heart. Prognosis is mostly determined by the extent of brain involvement as tumors in the brain lead to seizures and cognitive problems. Epilepsy is highly associated with the cognitive abnormalities in TSC and recent evidence suggests anti-epileptic treatment before onset of seizures reduces epilepsy severity and risk of mental retardation. Screening and potential identification of TSC in utero via ultrasound would allow for prophylactic seizure management in these children. The sensitivity of antenatal ultrasound in the identification of brain abnormalities associated with TSC has not yet been published. In this case, we review the antenatal ultrasounds of a child with TSC for evidence of brain abnormalities in utero. Methods: Retrospective review Results: Retrospective review of antenatal ultrasounds showed some evidence of intracranial abnormalities. Ultrasound at 34 weeks and 4 days gestation revealed an echogenic density in the right ventricle that correlates with SEGA on post-natal MRI brain at 12 days of life. Post-natal brain ultrasound at 37 weeks revealed multiple cranial abnormalities not seen in utero. Conclusions: There are limitations to antenatal neurosonography in the detection of intracranial abnormalities associated with TSC.
Background: Fundoscopy is an important component of the neurological examination, but can be challenging in uncooperative children. This study explores whether playing a video during eye examination, improves the success, duration and ease of pediatric fundoscopy. Methods: We completed a prospective, multi-clinic, block-randomized trial. Patients 1-4 years were recruited in the emergency department, neurology, spinal cord and general pediatric clinic. Patients were randomized (by eye examined) to video/non-video assisted fundoscopy. Successful exams were defined as visualizing the fundus within 60 seconds. Time to visualize optic disc was recorded and difficulty of exam was examined using a 10-point Likert scale. Results: 101 subjects were recruited, with a mean age of 2.8 years. Overall, there was a 20% absolute improvement in the success rate of visualizing the optic disc in the video versus non-video group (p<0.01). Time to visualize optic disc was also improved (Δ5.3s, p<0.01). Improvement in ease of examination with video were noted by caregivers and practitioners (p<0.01). Conclusion: Playing a video improved the ease, duration and most importantly the success of fundoscopy in younger children. This simple, inexpensive adjunct has great potential to improve the ease and efficacy of this aspect of the neurological examination.
During the period from 1995 to 2011, radiocarbon measurements from the coast around Hartlepool in NE England have revealed anomalous enrichments in seawater, sediment, and marine biota. These cannot be explained on the basis of atomic weapons testing or authorized nuclear industry discharges, including those from the nearby advanced gas-cooled reactor. Enhanced 14C-specific activities have also been observed since 2005 in biota during routine monitoring at Hartlepool by the Food Standards Agency, but are reported as “likely” originating from a “nearby non-nuclear source.” Studies undertaken in Hartlepool and Teesmouth during 2005 and 2011 suggest that the 14C discharges are in the vicinity of Greatham Creek, with activity levels in biota analogous to those measured at Sellafield, which discharges TBq activities of 14C per annum. However, if the discharges are into Greatham Creek or even the River Tees, it is proposed that they would be much smaller than those at Sellafield and the high specific activities would be due to much smaller dilution factors. The discharge form of the 14C remains unclear. The activity patterns in biota are similar to those at Sellafield, suggesting that initial inputs are dissolved inorganic carbon (DI14C). However, the mussel/seaweed ratios are more akin to those found around Amersham International, Cardiff, which is known to discharge 14C in an organic form. 14C analysis of a sediment core from Seal Sands demonstrated excess 14C to the base of the core (43–44 cm). 210Pb dating of the core (0–32 cm) produced an accumulation rate of 0.7 g cm−2 yr−1, implying that 14C discharges have occurred from the 1960s until the present day.
From 1994 onwards, radiocarbon discharges from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant have been made largely to the northeast Irish Sea. They represent the largest contributor to UK and European populations of the collective dose commitment derived from the entire nuclear industry discharges. Consequently, it is important to understand the long-term fate of 14C in the marine environment. Research undertaken in 2000 suggested that the carbonate component of northeast Irish Sea sediments would increase in 14C activity as mollusk shells, which have become enriched in Sellafield-derived 14C, are broken down by physical processes including wave action and incorporated into intertidal and subtidal sediments. The current study, undertaken in 2011, tested this hypothesis. The results demonstrate significant increases in 14C enrichments found in whole mussel shells compared to those measured in 2000. Additionally, in 2000, there was an enrichment above ambient background within only the largest size fraction (>500 μm) of the intertidal inorganic sediment at Nethertown and Flimby (north of Sellafield). In comparison, the present study has demonstrated 14C enrichments above ambient background in most size fractions at sites up to 40 km north of Sellafield, confirming the hypothesis set out more than a decade ago.
Electroless (chemical) copper deposition, followed by electrolytic (galvanic) copper deposition, is used to construct electrical interconnects for electronic components on insulating substrate materials. As smooth substrates, such as glass or flexible materials like polyimide or polyethylene terephthalate, are used increasingly, achieving the required level of adhesion becomes more difficult. The film strain is one key variable that influences film adhesion. Standard X-ray diffraction based strain analysis was adapted for in situ strain monitoring during and after wet-chemical copper deposition. The results show that adding nickel suppresses an initial compressive strain that frequently appears in Ni-free baths. Adding ruthenium complexes to a standardized electroless copper formulation gradually shifts the strain from tensile to compressive. Spontaneous recrystallization at room temperature was monitored in detail for films obtained by direct current galvanic copper plating.
In 2003, a National Electrostatics Corporation (NEC) 5MV tandem accelerator mass spectrometer was installed at SUERC, providing the radiocarbon laboratory with 14C measurements to 4–5‰ repeatability. In 2007, a 250kV single-stage accelerator mass spectrometer (SSAMS) was added to provide additional 14C capability and is now the preferred system for 14C analysis. Changes to the technology and to our operations are evident in our copious quality assurance data: typically, we now use the 134-position MC-SNICS source, which is filled to capacity. Measurement of standards shows that spectrometer running without the complication of on-line δ13C evaluation is a good operational compromise. Currently, 3‰ 14C/13C measurements are routinely achieved for samples up to nearly 3 half-lives old by consistent sample preparation and an automated data acquisition algorithm with sample random access for measurement repeats. Background and known-age standard data are presented for the period 2003–2008 for the 5MV system and 2007–2008 for the SSAMS, to demonstrate the improvements in data quality.
Little is known about the aetiology of brain tumours. One putative factor suggested from animal models is a protective effect of dietary Zn. We tested the hypothesis that increased compared with low dietary Zn intake is protective against brain tumour development. We conducted a population-based case–control study in the UK, of adults aged 18–69 years, between 2001 and 2004 aiming to identify possible risk factors. Dietary information was collected from 637 cases diagnosed with a glioma or meningioma, and 876 controls. Data were obtained from a self-completed FFQ. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted, adjusting for socio-demographic factors, season of questionnaire return, multivitamin supplementation and energy intake. Although a weak protective effect was observed for the third quartile of intake (normal compared with low intake) in the meningioma group, this was limited to the specific brain tumour subtype and quartile, and was not significant after also adjusting for intake of other elements. Overall there was no significant effect of Zn intake. No association or dose–response relationship was observed between increased compared with low Zn intake and risk of glioma or meningioma.
The radiocarbon results (and Bayesian modeling) of 15 samples of carbonized food residues removed from the external surface of rim sherds of cooking pots indicate that shellyware pottery first appeared in Perth, Scotland, around cal AD 910–1020 (95% probability) and that it had disappeared by cal AD 1020–1140 (95% probability). Previously, it had been suggested that this pottery could not date to before AD 1150. These data, together with 14C analyses carried out on leather artifacts and a sample of wattle from a ditch lining, also demonstrate that there was occupation in Perth about 100 yr or more prior to the granting of royal burgh status to Perth in the 1120s.
The intertidal biota from Parton beach, close to the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, were all found to be enriched in radiocarbon relative to ambient background. The degree of enrichment appears to reflect the positions of the biota in the food chain once the dilution in seaweed from atmospheric uptake is taken into account. Close to the low-water mark, the order was mussels > limpets > anemones winkles > seaweed. The same order was observed close to the high-water mark, except that anemones were absent from this area. The activities in the biogeochemical fractions of the water column reflect the fact that discharges are primarily in the form of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), which is subsequently transferred to the particulate organic carbon (POC) and, to a lesser extent, the dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and finally, the particulate inorganic carbon (PIC). Analysis of intertidal sediment suggests that there is likely to be a gradual increase in the specific activity of 14C in the inorganic component of this material as Sellafield contaminated organisms die and their shells are ground down by natural processes.
This study was undertaken to investigate the neuromuscular blocking profile and cardiovascular effects of Org 9487, a new aminosteroidal, non-depolarizing, neuromuscular blocking agent structurally related to vecuronium, in anaesthetized animals and in isolated muscle preparations. In in vitro functional assays of neuromuscular blocking activity, Org 9487 was between eight and 15 times less potent than vecuronium. In cats and monkeys the potency of Org 9487 was approximately one-seventh and one-twentieth, respectively, that of vecuronium. In both species, Org 9487 induced rapidly developing (onset times between 1.5 min and 1.9 min) neuromuscular paralysis, which was shorter-lasting than that of vecuronium and similar in time course to suxamethonium. The vagal: neuromuscular blocking dose ratio for Org 9487 was 3 and ganglion block was seen only at approximately 20 times the neuromuscular blocking dose. There was no evidence in the rat that Org 9487, administered at doses up to 3mg kg−1, inhibited noradrenaline re uptake. In anaesthetized dogs, Org 9487 (3 × 90% blocking dose) induced only relatively small and transient haemodynamic effects. The administration of clinically relevant doses of neostigmine or pyridostigmine shortened the time–course profile of Org 9487, even when administered during profound neuromuscular block. In animals, Org 9487 is a low potency, nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent with a time course profile similar to that of suxamethonium. Although Org 9487 is less selective than vecuronium for the neuromuscular junction, it is unlikely to produce prohibitive cardiovascular side effects in man.
Low quality chaffed meadow hay, containing 10·5 g N/kg dry matter (DM), was fed to four artificially reared sambar (tropical) deer (Cervus unicolor) and four red (temperate) deer (Cervus elaphus) confined indoors in metabolism crates at Palmerston North, New Zealand, during March and April 1994. Measurements were made of DM intake (DMI), apparent digestibility, nitrogen (N) retention and the time spent eating and ruminating. Voluntary food intake (VFI), measured over days 7–11, was substantially greater for red deer than for sambar deer (67 v. 36 gDM/kgW0·75/day). Dry matter intake of red deer was then restricted, so that apparent digestibility could be better compared between the two species. Eating and ruminating time/gDMI and chews during eating/gDMI were all greater for sambar deer than for red deer. Apparent digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and energy were low (c. 0·42) and not different between deer species. Apparent digestibility of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and cellulose were highest for red deer, but lignin apparent digestibility was highest for sambar deer. Both deer species lost weight and were in negative N balance. However, despite their lower N intake, sambar deer lost significantly less N and liveweight per day (– 5·6 g and – 118 g) than red deer (– 12·2 g and – 258 g). It was concluded that red deer responded to a diet of low quality roughage by increasing VFI and cellulose digestion, whilst sambar deer responded with a lower VFI but greater chewing activity, improved lignin digestion and better N conservation. Rumen mean retention time should be measured in future experiments with sambar deer and red deer fed on low quality forage diets.
Artificially reared sambar (tropical) deer and red (temperate) deer were confined indoors in metabolism cages and fed chaffed lucerne hay ad libitum for 4-week periods during summer and winter at Flock House Agricultural Centre, New Zealand, during 1992. Measurements were made of voluntary feed intake (VFI), apparent digestibility, faeces particle size distribution, eating and ruminating time and the rate of chewing during eating and ruminating. Red deer reduced VFI (kg DMI/day) markedly from summer to winter, associated with a reduction in the duration of each eating bout. Sambar deer slightly increased VFI over this time, associated with an increase in chewing frequency. Digestive efficiency was similar in both species, and the critical particle size for leaving the rumen was passage through a 1 mm sieve for both species. Time spent eating/g DMI was greater for sambar deer than for red deer during summer, but there was no difference during winter. Relative to red deer, sambar deer consistently spent more time ruminating/g DMI, and spent a greater proportion of total ruminating time as daytime ruminating and had more daytime ruminating bouts. Duration of each ruminating bout (min) was similar for the two deer species, but sambar deer had less chews/bolus ruminated but more rumination boli/h than red deer. Differences between sambar deer and red deer were more pronounced in ruminating than in eating behaviour, and sambar deer may have evolved a different rumination pattern to break down low-quality tropical forages more effectively.
We have evaluated the physical properties and animal efficacy of a hyaluronic acid (HA) based bioresorbable membrane for the prevention of post-surgical adhesions. Test methods were developed to measure the dry and wet tensile properties and ia Xilm tissue adhesiveness of the membranes. The thin membranes were found to have sufficient strength and flexibility in the dry state for surgical handling. When hydrated in buffered saline, the membranes became weaker and more elastic. The membranes exhibited a high degree of tissue adhesiveness and significantly reduced adhesion formation in a rat cecal abrasion model.
Dietary manipulation was used to produce a similar series of milks from both Friesian and Jersey cows. The gross compositions of the milks, the fatty acid (FA) composition of the milk fats, the distribution of molecular sizes in the triglycerides of the milk fat, the melting properties of the milk fats, and the whipping properties of creams containing 360 and 400 g fat/kg were measured. Changes in gross composition and FA composition were as expected from the use of dietary oil supplements, but it was established that the mathematical relation between 18:0 and 18:1 differed between breeds, the Jersey yielding a milk fat with a lower proportion of 18:1 for a given value of 18:0. Control diets free from added fat produced milk fats with essentially unimodal triglyceride distributions, whereas fatrich diets produced bimodal distributions. The slight differences in these distributions between breeds were merely a reflection of variations in FA composition rather than in synthetic procedures. Differences in the whipping properties of creams containing 360 and 400 g fat/kg were consistent with literature observations. Dietary manipulation had little effect on the whipping properties of creams derived from Friesian cows, but caused considerable changes in the corresponding properties of the creams from Jersey cows. The only property that behaved similarly in the creams from the two breeds was the butter time, i.e. the time taken for butter granules to form on prolonged whipping of the cream. A major determinant of the butter time appeared to be the proportion of the fat that was molten at the temperature at which the whipping experiments were carried out.