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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.
We provide an update on diagnostic methods for the detection of urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) in men and highlight that satisfactory urine-antigen diagnostics for UGS lag much behind that for intestinal schistosomiasis, where application of a urine-based point-of-care strip assay, the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) test, is now advocated. Making specific reference to male genital schistosomiasis (MGS), we place greater emphasis on parasitological detection methods and clinical assessment of internal genitalia with ultrasonography. Unlike the advances made in defining a clinical standard protocol for female genital schistosomiasis, MGS remains inadequately defined. Whilst urine filtration with microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma haematobium is a convenient but error-prone proxy of MGS, we describe a novel low-cost sampling and direct visualization method for the enumeration of ova in semen. Using exemplar clinical cases of MGS from our longitudinal cohort study among fishermen along the shoreline of Lake Malawi, the portfolio of diagnostic needs is appraised including: the use of symptomatology questionnaires, urine analysis (egg count and CCA measurement), semen analysis (egg count, circulating anodic antigen measurement and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis) alongside clinical assessment with portable ultrasonography.
Tonsillectomy is one of the most common otolaryngological procedures. Nonetheless, there is still no universally approved ‘gold standard’ technique.
To compare the safety and efficacy of argon plasma coagulation and coblation techniques in tonsillectomy.
A multi-institutional, retrospective cohort study was conducted, comprising 283 patients who underwent bilateral tonsillectomies performed by a single surgeon between 2014 and 2017. The outcome measures included: operative time, intra-operative blood loss, post-operative pain and post-operative haemorrhage.
In the argon plasma coagulation group, mean operative time and post-operative haemorrhage rate were significantly reduced, p = 0.0006 and p = 0.003 respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of post-operative pain and intra-operative blood loss.
The argon plasma coagulation technique is easy, safe and efficacious. Argon plasma coagulation tonsillectomy seems cost-effective compared to coblation tonsillectomy: the single-use disposable electrode tip and wand used in this study cost AUD$76.50 and AUD$380 respectively. Argon plasma coagulation appears to be a favourable alternative to current modalities such as coblation.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease that disproportionately affects Indigenous Australians. We have previously reported the localization of a novel T2D locus by linkage analysis to chromosome 2q24 in a large admixed Indigenous Australian pedigree (Busfield et al. (2002). American Journal of Human Genetics, 70, 349–357). Here we describe fine mapping of this region in this pedigree, with the identification of SNPs showing strong association with T2D: rs3845724 (diabetes p = 7 × 10−4), rs4668106 (diabetes p = 9 × 10−4) and rs529002 (plasma glucose p = 3 × 10−4). These associations were successfully replicated in an independent collection of Indigenous Australian T2D cases and controls. These SNPs all lie within the gene encoding ceramide synthase 6 (CERS6) and thus may regulate ceramide synthesis.
The present review evaluated the effectiveness of environmental-based interventions aimed at improving the dietary and physical activity behaviours and body composition indices of adults in institutions.
A systematic review was conducted. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, Scopus and Athena) were searched for relevant articles published between database inception and October 2017. Searching, selecting and reporting were undertaken according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement.
Military establishments and maritime workplaces.
Adults in institutions, aged 18–45 years.
A total of 27842 articles were screened for eligibility, nine studies (reported in eleven articles) were included in the review. Five studies used multilevel strategies and four used environmental strategies only. Duration of follow-up ranged from 3 weeks to 10 years. Eight of the studies reported significant positive effects on dietary behaviours, but effect sizes varied. The study that targeted physical activity had no effect on activity levels but did have a significant positive effect on physical fitness. No evidence was identified that the studies resulted in improvements in body composition indices.
The evidence base appears to be in favour of implementing environmental interventions in institutions to improve the dietary behaviours of adults. However, due to the small number of studies included in the review, and the variable methodological quality of the studies and intervention reporting, further well-designed evaluation studies are required.
Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Innovative methods to manage frailty are critical to managing the needs of an ageing population. Evidence suggests there are opportunities to reverse or prevent frailty through early intervention. However, little is known about older adults’, families’ and practitioners’ beliefs about the malleability of frailty. This study examined European stakeholders’ accounts of the acceptability and feasibility of frailty screening and prevention to inform future intervention development. Semi-structured focus groups and individual interviews were conducted in three European Union countries (Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom) with key stakeholders – frail and non-frail older adults, family care-givers, and health and social care professionals. Thematic analysis identified four themes: synchronicity between the physical and the psychological in frailty, living with frailty in the social world, the need for a new kind of care, and screening for and preventing frailty. Findings emphasised the need for a holistic approach to frailty care and early intervention. Integrated care services and advocacy were important in the organisation of care. Central to all stakeholders was the significance of the psychological and social alongside the physical elements of frailty and frailty prevention. Support and care for older adults and their family care-givers needs to be accessible and co-ordinated. Interventions to prevent frailty must encompass a social dimension to help older adults maintain a sense of self while building physical and psychological resilience.
Acute mastoiditis remains the commonest intratemporal complication of otitis media in the paediatric population. There has been a lack of consensus regarding the diagnosis and management of acute mastoiditis, resulting in considerable disparity in conservative and surgical management.
To review the current literature, proposing recommendations for the management of paediatric acute mastoiditis and appraising the treatment outcomes.
A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases.
Twenty-one studies were included, with a total of 564 patients. Cure rates of medical treatment, conservative surgery and mastoidectomy were 95.9 per cent, 96.3 per cent and 89.1 per cent, respectively.
Mastoidectomy may be the most definitive treatment available; however, reviewed data suggest that conservative treatment alone has high efficacy as first-line treatment in uncomplicated cases of acute mastoiditis, and conservative therapy may be an appropriate first-line management when treating acute mastoiditis.
An evolution of the low-frequency pulse profile of PSR B2217+47 is observed during a six-year observing campaign with the LOFAR telescope at 150 MHz. The evolution is manifested as a new component in the profile trailing the main peak. The leading part of the profile, including a newly-observed weak component, is steady during the campaign. The transient component is not visible in simultaneous observations at 1500 MHz using the Lovell telescope, implying a chromatic effect. A variation in the dispersion measure of the source is detected in the same timespan. Precession of the pulsar and changes in the magnetosphere are investigated to explain the profile evolution. However, the listed properties favour a model based on turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM). This interpretation is confirmed by a strong correlation between the intensity of the transient component and main peak in single pulses. Since PSR B2217+47 is the fourth brightest pulsar visible to LOFAR, we speculate that ISM-induced pulse profile evolution might be relatively common but subtle and that SKA-Low will detect many similar examples. In this scenario, similar studies of pulse profile evolution could be used in parallel with scintillation arcs to characterize the properties of the ISM.
We performed detailed spectral analysis of the planetary nebula NGC 2371 and its nucleus. The central star of NGC 2371 is a member of the 0 VI PNNi class, and it shows luminosity variations (Bond & Ciardullo 1990, ASP Conf. Ser. vol 11, Confrontation between Stellar Pulsation and Evolution, C. Cacciari & G. Clementini (eds.), p. 529) that could be associated to nonradial pulsations. From the spectrum of NGC 2371 we calculate the nebular parameters and the abundance of the most prominent ions. The nucleus is hot (Teff ≥ 120,000K) and luminous (V=15.4), it is probably close to the blue bend of the post-AGB evolutionary sequence, and shows prominent O VI emission with (so far) unique double narrow-broad feature, as shown in the Figures. This feature can not be related to the shock front of the fast wind into the planetary nebula. This star has been analyzed together with the other O VI PNNi known. A preliminary correlation between the stellar parameters and the total O VI strength have been derived, and the locus of NGC 2371 on the logTeff – logL/L⊙ plane have been studied in relation to the locus of the post-AGB nonradial instability strips. These results, together with a study on the other O VI central stars of planetary nebulae, will be published in the near future.
The Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-funded program at the University of Washington (UW), established the Drug and Device Advisory Committee (DDAC) to provide product-specific scientific and regulatory mentoring to investigators seeking to translate their discoveries into medical products. An 8-year retrospective analysis was undertaken to evaluate the impact of the DDAC programs on commercialization metrics.
Tracked metrics included the number of teams who consulted with the DDAC, initiated a clinical trial, formed a startup, or were successful obtaining federal small business innovation awards or venture capital. The review includes historical comparisons of the startup rates for the UW School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, two ITHS-affiliated institutions that have had different DDAC utilization rates.
Between 2008 and 2016, the DDAC supported 161 unique project teams, 28% of which went on to form a startup. The commercialization rates for the UW School of Medicine increased significantly following integration of the DDAC into the commercialization programs offered by the UW technology transfer office.
A formalized partnership between preclinical consulting and the technology transfer programs provides an efficient use of limited development funds and a more in-depth vetting of the business opportunity and regulatory path to development.
Unusual speleothems, associated with hyperalkaline (pH > 12) groundwaters
have formed within a shallow, abandoned railway tunnel at Peak Dale,
Derbyshire, UK. The hyperalkaline groundwaters are produced by the leaching
of a thin layer (<2 m) of old lime-kiln waste on the soil-bedrock surface
above the tunnel by rainwater. This results in a different reaction and
chemical process to that more commonly associated with the formation of
calcium carbonate speleothems from Ca-HCO3-type groundwaters and
degassing of CO2. Stalagmites within the Peak Daletunnel have
grown rapidly (averaging 33 mm y–1), following the closure of the
tunnel 70 years ago. They have an unusual morphology comprising a central
sub-horizontally-laminated column of micro- to nano-crystalline calcium
carbonate encompassed by an outer sub-vertical assymetricripple-laminated
layer. The stalagmites are composed largely of secondary calcite forming
pseudomorphs (<1 mm) that we believe to be predominantly after the 'cold
climate' calcium carbonate polymorph, ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate:
CaCO3·6H2O), withminor volumes of small (<5 μm)
pseudomorphs after vaterite. The tunnel has a near constant temperature of
8–9°C, which is slightly above the previously published crystallization
temperatures for ikaite (<6°C). Analysis of a stalagmite actively growing
at the time ofsampling, and preserved immediately within a dry nitrogen
cryogenic vessel, indicates that following crystallization of ikaite,
decomposition to calcite occurs rapidly, if not instantaneously. We believe
this is the first occurrence of this calcium carbonate polymorph observed
Observations in psychiatric in-patient settings are used to reduce suicide, self-harm, violence and absconding risk. The study aims were to describe the characteristics of in-patients who died by suicide under observation and examine their service-related antecedents.
A national consecutive case series in England and Wales (2006–2012) was examined.
There were 113 suicides by in-patients under observation, an average of 16 per year. Most were under intermittent observation. Five deaths occurred while patients were under constant observation. Patient deaths were linked with the use of less experienced staff or staff unfamiliar with the patient, deviation from procedures and absconding.
We identified key elements of observation that could improve safety, including only using experienced and skilled staff for the intervention and using observation levels determined by clinical need not resources.
Systematic review and analysis of definitions of translational research.
Materials and methods
The final corpus was comprised of 33 papers, each read by at least 2 reviewers. Definitions were mapped to a common set of research processes for presentation and analysis. Influence of papers and definitions was further evaluated using citation analysis and agglomerative clustering.
All definitions were mapped to common research processes, revealing most common labels for each process. Agglomerative clustering revealed 3 broad families of definitions. Citation analysis showed that the originating paper of each family has been cited ~10 times more than any other member.
Although there is little agreement between definitions, we were able to identify an emerging consensus 5-phase (T0–T4) definition for translational research. T1 involves processes that bring ideas from basic research through early testing in humans. T2 involves the establishment of effectiveness in humans and clinical guidelines. T3 primarily focuses on implementation and dissemination research while T4 focuses on outcomes and effectiveness in populations. T0 involves research such as genome-wide association studies which wrap back around to basic research.
We used systematic review and analysis to identify emerging consensus between definitions of translational research phases.