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Functional abilities are needed for activities of daily living. In general, these skills expand with age. We hypothesised that, in contrast to what is normally expected, children surviving the Fontan may have deterioration of functional abilities, and that peri-Fontan stroke is associated with this deterioration. All children registered in the Western Canadian Complex Pediatric Therapies Follow-up Program who survived a Fontan operation in the period 1999–2016 were eligible for inclusion. At the age of 2 years (pre-Fontan) and 4.5 years (post-Fontan), the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-II general adaptive composite score was determined (population mean: 100, standard deviation: 15). Deterioration of functional abilities was defined as ⩾1 standard deviation decrease in pre- to post-Fontan scores. Perioperative strokes were identified through chart review. Multivariable logistic regression analysis determined predictors of deterioration of functional abilities. Of 133 children, with a mean age at Fontan of 3.3 years (standard deviation 0.8) and 65% male, the mean (standard deviation) general adaptive composite score was 90.6 (17.5) at 2 years and 88.3 (19.1) at 4.5 years. After Fontan, deterioration of functional abilities occurred in 34 (26%) children, with a mean decline of 21.8 (7.1) points. Evidence of peri-Fontan stroke was found in 10 (29%) children who had deterioration of functional abilities. Peri-Fontan stroke (odds ratio 5.00 (95% CI 1.74, 14.36)) and older age at Fontan (odds ratio 1.67 (95% CI 1.02, 2.73)) predicted functional deterioration. The trajectory of functional abilities should be assessed in this population, as more than 25% experience deterioration. Efforts to prevent peri-Fontan stroke, and to complete the Fontan operation at an earlier age, may lead to reduction of this deterioration.
The following account is based on a review lecture given recently at the British Society of Parasitology. We point out that nematode parasites cause very widespread infections of humans, particularly in economically underdeveloped areas where sanitation and hygiene are not adequate. In the absence of adequate clean water and effective vaccines, control and prophylaxis relies on anthelmintic drugs. Widespread use of anthelmintics to control nematode parasites of animals has given rise to the development of resistance and so there is a concern that similar problems will occur in humans if mass drug administration is continued. Recent research on the cholinergic anthelmintic drugs has renewed enthusiasm for the further development of cholinergic anthelmintics. Here we illustrate the use of three parasite nematode models, Ascaris suum, Oesophagostomum dentatum and Brugia malayi, microfluidic techniques and the Xenopus oocyte expression system for testing and examining the effects of cholinergic anthelmintics. We also show how the combination of derquantel, the selective nematode cholinergic antagonist and abamectin produce increased inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the nematode body muscle. We are optimistic that new compounds and combinations of compounds can limit the effects of drug resistance, allowing anthelmintics to be continued to be used for effective treatment of human and animal helminth parasites.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
Abortion and stillbirth are important reproductive disorders in the dairy industry and are often caused by infectious agents. This study investigated whether bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), Brucella spp., and Neospora caninum are associated with abortion and/or stillbirth in dairy cattle in Ethiopia. Dairy cattle from 99 farms were categorized as cases (n = 134) or controls (n = 268) according to reproductive data. Blood samples were screened for antibodies for these infectious agents. The overall proportion of cattle that were seropositive for BVDV, Brucella spp., and N. caninum was 11·7%, 3·2%, and 17·2%, respectively. Seropositivity for BVDV and Brucella spp. was similar for cases and controls, but significantly more cases were seropositive for N. caninum (29·8%) than controls (10·8%). This is the first report demonstrating N. caninum is common in dairy cattle in Ethiopia, and is probably a greater impediment to reproductive success in Ethiopian dairy farms than either BVDV or Brucella spp.
The subaqueous margins of calving glaciers have the potential to make significant contributions to glacier mass loss. However, to date, very little is known about the morphology and development of subaqueous margins. A unique combination of sub-bottom profile and bathymetric data collected between 2008 and 2010 in proglacial lakes at Mueller, Hooker and Tasman glaciers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps reveal subaqueous ice ramps extending up to 510 m from the terminus of each glacier. Ice ramp surfaces are undulating and covered with a thick layer (up to 10 m) of unsorted sediment derived from supraglacial and englacial debris, lateral moraines and deltaic deposits. A cyclic calving pattern, relatively stable lake level and the debris cover appear to control the development and maintenance of these ice ramps. High subaerial retreat rates generally correspond to high subaqueous calving rates, although the highest subaerial retreat rates are not associated with the largest ice ramp. Debris mantling the subaqueous ice ramp surfaces insulates the ice from melting and also reduces buoyant forces acting on the terminus. Comparisons with previous studies show that the ice ramps evolve over time with changes in glacier dynamics and water-body properties.
Fifty years after the hyporheic zone was first defined (Orghidan, 1959), there are still gaps in the knowledge regarding the role of biodiversity in hyporheic processes. First, some methodological questions remained unanswered regarding the interactions between biodiversity and physical processes, both for the study of habitat characteristics and interactions at different scales. Furthermore, many questions remain to be addressed to help inform our understanding of invertebrate community dynamics, especially regarding the trophic niches of organisms, the functional groups present within sediment, and their temporal changes. Understanding microbial community dynamics would require investigations about their relationship with the physical characteristics of the sediment, their diversity, their relationship with metabolic pathways, their interactions with invertebrates, and their response to environmental stress. Another fundamental research question is that of the importance of the hyporheic zone in the global metabolism of the river, which must be explored in relation to organic matter recycling, the effects of disturbances, and the degradation of contaminants. Finally, the application of this knowledge requires the development of methods for the estimation of hydrological exchanges, especially for the management of sediment clogging, the optimization of self-purification, and the integration of climate change in environmental policies. The development of descriptors of hyporheic zone health and of new metrology is also crucial to include specific targets in water policies for the long-term management of the system and a clear evaluation of restoration strategies.
The effects of ion irradiation damage on dislocation generation and propagation in austenitic stainless steels were studied by means of in situ transmission electron microscopy and electron tomography. Tensile samples were irradiated in situ to a dose on the order of 1017 ions/m2 with 1MeV Kr+ and strained at 300 K as well as 673 K. Dislocation motion through the irradiation-obstacle field was jerky and discontinuous, dislocation pile-ups formed in grain interiors and at boundaries, long straight dislocations were generated decorating the channel-matrix walls, and dislocation cross-slip within the channel created debris along the channel leading to channel widening. Electron tomography was applied for the first time to reveal new detail about the dislocation reactions in the channel wall.
With increasing resistance to anti-parasitic drugs, it has become more important to detect and recognize phenotypes of resistant isolates. Molecular methods of detecting resistant isolates are limited at present. Here, we introduce a microfluidic bioassay to measure phenotype using parameters of nematode locomotion. We illustrate the technique on larvae of an animal parasite Oesophagostomum dentatum. Parameters of sinusoidal motion such as propagation velocity, wavelength, wave amplitude, and oscillation frequency depended on the levamisole-sensitivity of the isolate of parasitic nematode. The levamisole-sensitive isolate (SENS) had a mean wave amplitude of 135 μm, which was larger than 123 μm of the levamisole-resistant isolate (LEVR). SENS had a mean wavelength of 373 μm, which was less than 393 μm of LEVR. The mean propagation velocity of SENS, 149 μm s−1, was similar to LEVR, 143 μm s−1. The propagation velocity of the isolates was inhibited by levamisole in a concentration-dependent manner above 0·5 μm. The EC50 for SENS was 3 μm and the EC50 for LEVR was 10 μm. This microfluidic technology advances present-day nematode migration assays and provides a better quantification and increased drug sensitivity. It is anticipated that the bioassay will facilitate study of resistance to other anthelmintic drugs that affect locomotion.
Although the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) were designed for routine clinical use, completion rates in clinical settings rarely exceed 60%. We evaluated two initiatives to increase completion rates: timely feedback to clinicians, useful at individual, team and service levels, and improved supporting materials (tabulated glossaries for all versions covering the life-span).
Clinicians in South Shore Health district provided ratings on all outpatient referrals over 12 months as part of routine care. Data were captured using the Nova Scotia routine administrative data system. Completion rates rose from 61% to 86% (n=1190). Clinicians' ratings of the instrument's ease of use were significantly improved.
Use of a tabulated glossary and enhanced feedback of clinically useful information improved clinician support for the routine measurement of health outcomes with HoNOS.
Obesity is a global epidemic; increased consumption of energy-dense food and reduced physical activity levels are likely to be the main drivers. Previous cross-sectional research has shown that sedentary males, unlike their active counterparts, are unable to compensate for previous energy intake (EI). Using a longitudinal design a 6-week exercise intervention was found to improve short-term appetite control, leading to a more ‘sensitive’ eating behaviour in response to previous EI, both acutely at a test meal and for the next 24 h. Although the mechanisms whereby acute and chronic exercise improves short-term appetite remain unknown, post-ingestive satiety peptides are likely to be involved. Acute exercise was found to increase postprandial levels of polypeptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-1 and pancreatic polypeptide but to have no impact on ghrelin, suggesting that exercise can trigger physiological changes in satiety hormone secretion that could help in appetite control and weight maintenance. In the context of an increased availability of highly-palatable food, dietary restraint may be increasingly important. Although restraint has been associated with abnormal eating behaviour, in the laboratory no counter-regulation was found in restrained eaters when presented with a buffet meal 60 min after a high-energy preload or when a pasta-meal was presented 3 h after preloading. Although restraint was not found to impact on polypeptide YY or TAG, lower postprandial glucose and insulin plasma levels were observed in restrained eaters, together with increased feelings of fullness. In conclusion, short-term appetite control seems to be favourably modified by exercise, while the impact of restraint on appetite seems to be more complex.
Here we review molecular information related to resistance to the cholinergic anthelmintics in nematodes. The amount of molecular information available varies between the nematode species, with the best understood so far being C. elegans. More information is becoming available for some other parasitic species. The cholinergic anthelmintics act on nematode nicotinic acetylcholine receptors located on somatic muscle cells. Recent findings demonstrate the presence of multiple types of the nicotinic receptors in several nematodes and the numerous genes required to form these multimeric proteins. Not only are the receptors the product of several genes but they are subject to modulation by several other proteins. Mutations altering these modulatory proteins could alter sensitivity to the cholinergic anthelmitics and thus lead to resistance. We also discuss the possibility that resistance to the cholinergic anthelmintics is not necessarily the result of a single mutation but may well be polygenic in nature. Additionally, the mutations resulting in resistance may vary between different species or between resistant isolates of the same species. A list of candidate genes to examine for SNPs is presented.
Here we review recent studies on the mode of action of the cholinergic anthelmintics (levamisole, pyrantel etc.). We also include material from studies on the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The initial notion that these drugs act on a single receptor population, while attractive, has proven to be an oversimplification. In both free living and parasitic nematodes there are multiple types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) on the somatic musculature. Each type has different (sometimes subtly so) pharmacological properties. The implications of these findings are: (1) combinations of anthelmintic that preferentially activate a broad range of nAChR types would be predicted to be more effective; (2) in resistant isolates of parasite where a subtype has been lost, other cholinergic anthelmintics may remain effective. Not only are there multiple types of nAChR, but relatively recent research has shown these receptors can be modulated; it is possible to increase the response of a parasite to a fixed concentration of drug by altering the receptor properties (e.g. phosphorylation state). These findings offer a potential means of increasing efficacy of existing compounds as an alternative to the costly and time consuming development of new anthelmintic agents.
Dizygotic twinning in humans is influenced by genetic factors suggesting inherited variation affects follicle development and predisposes to double ovulations. In a previous study, we conducted a detailed examination of follicle development and variation in hormone concentrations during the menstrual cycle in mothers of DZ twins (MODZT) compared with an age-matched control group of mothers of singletons. We did not detect differences in FSH concentrations between mothers of twins and mothers of singletons. Serum inhibin concentrations were measured by a radioimmunoassay that did not distinguish between dimeric inhibin A and B forms and free inhibin α subunit. We therefore analyzed the samples from this study with specific assays to determine whether concentrations of inhibin A and B were different between MODZT and controls and therefore contribute to the twinning phenotype. There were no significant differences between MODZT with single ovulations and control women in inhibin A and B concentrations during the cycle, including the critical period for the selection of the dominant follicle. These data suggest that the genetic cause of twinning is not associated with changes in FSH concentrations or recognised feedback mechanisms regulating FSH release.
This work refers to a study performed on polymorphous silicon (pm-Si:H) at excitation frequencies of 13.56 and 27.12 MHz in a large area PECVD reactor. The plasma was characterised by impedance probe measurements, aiming to identify the plasma conditions that lead to produce pm-Si:H films. The films produced were characterised by spectroscopic ellipsometry, infrared and Raman spectroscopy and hydrogen exodiffusion experiments, which are techniques that permit the structural characterisation of the pm-Si films and to study the possible differences between the films deposited at 13.56 and 27.12 MHz. Conductivity measurements were also performed to determine the transport properties of the films produced. The set of data obtained show that the 27.12 MHz pm-Si:H can be grown at higher rates with less hydrogen dilution and power density, being the resulting films denser, chemically more stable and with improved performances than the pm-Si:H films grown at 13.56 MHz.
Using thermally induced hydrosilylation, organic molecules were covalently bonded to H-terminated crystalline silicon (111) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) surfaces. The resulting chemical surface structure was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and compared to that of silicon surfaces covered by a native oxide or terminated with hydrogen. For both kinds of substrates, the presence of oxygen on the surface is found to hinder the hydrosilylation reaction. Stable H-termination as a starting point for a successful hydrosilylation can be obtained on a-Si:H surfaces with much less technological effort than on crystalline silicon surfaces. Photoconductivity measurements of the different a-Si:H surfaces at low intensity of illumination (monomolecular recombination regime) indicate that the hydrosilylated surface has less defects than the H-terminated surfaces or surfaces covered with native oxide. Spin-dependent photoconductivity measurements identify the dominant paramagnetic defect at the hydrosilylated a-Si:H surface to be the silicon dangling bond.
In this work we present results of a study performed on MIS diodes with the following structure: substrate (glass) / Cr (2000Å) / a-Si:H n+ (400Å) / a-Si:H i (5500Å) / oxide (0-40Å) / Au (100Å) to determine the influence of the oxide passivation layer grown by different techniques on the electrical performance of MIS devices. The results achieved show that the diodes with oxides grown using hydrogen peroxide present higher rectification factor (2×106)and signal to noise (S/N) ratio (1×107 at -1V) than the diodes with oxides obtained by the evaporation of SiO2, or by the chemical deposition of SiO2 by plasma of HMDSO (hexamethyldisiloxane), but in the case of deposited oxides, the breakdown voltage is higher, 30V instead of 3-10 V for grown oxides. The ideal oxide thickness, determined by spectroscopic ellipsometry, is dependent on the method used to grow the oxide layer and is in the range between 6 and 20 Å. The reason for this variation is related to the degree of compactation of the oxide produced, which is not relevant for applications of the diodes in the range of ± 1V, but is relevant when high breakdown voltages are required.