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Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Introduction: Recently there have been many studies performed on the effectiveness of implementing LEAN principals to improve wait times for emergency departments (EDs), but there have been relatively few studies on implementing these concepts on length of stay (LOS) in the ED. This research aims to explore the initial feasibility of applying the LEAN model to length-of-stay metrics in an ED by identifying areas of non-value added time for patients staying in the ED. Methods: In this project we used a sample of 10,000 ED visits at the Health Science Centre in St. John's over a 1-year period and compared patients’ LOS in the ED on four criteria: day of the week, hour of presentation, whether laboratory tests were ordered, and whether diagnostic imaging was ordered. Two sets of analyses were then performed. First a two-sided Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to evaluate whether ordering either lab tests or diagnostic imaging affected LOS. Second a generalized linear model (GLM) was created using a 10-fold cross-validation with a LASSO operator to analyze the effect size and significance of each of the four criteria on LOS. Additionally, a post-test analysis of the GLM was performed on a second sample of 10,000 ED visits in the same 1-year period to assess its predictive power and infer the degree to which a patient's LOS is determined by the four criteria. Results: For the Wilcoxon rank-sum test there was no significant difference in LOS for patients who were ordered diagnostic imaging compared to those who were not (p = 0.6998) but there was a statistically significant decrease in LOS for patients who were ordered lab tests compared to those who were not (p = 2.696 x 10-10). When assessing the GLM there were two significant takeaways: ordering lab tests reduced LOS (95% CI = 42.953 - 68.173min reduction), and arriving at the ED on Thursday increased LOS significantly (95% CI = 6.846 – 52.002min increase). Conclusion: This preliminary analysis identified several factors that increased patients’ LOS in the ED, which would be suitable for potential LEAN interventions. The increase in LOS for both patients who are not ordered lab tests and who visit the ED on Thursday warrant further investigation to identify causal factors. Finally, while this analysis revealed several actionable criteria for improving ED LOS the relatively low predictive power of the final GLM in the post-test analysis (R2 = 0.00363) indicates there are more criteria that influence LOS for exploration in future analyses.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Background: Limbic encephalitis (LE) is a rare autoimmune syndrome affecting limbic system structures and causing variety of manifestations including memory changes, temporal epilepsies, and psychiatric symptoms. It is a rare disease in children but with a well-recognizable combination of clinical, neuroimaging and/or histological signature. Beyond the association with anti-neuronal auto-antibodies, no clear immune system phenotype has been associated with limbic encephalitis. Our aim is to characterize the clinical and paraclinical features of non-paraneoplasic limbic encephalitis and to correlate them with potential underlying immune deficiencies. Methods: Retrospective case series of seven patients with limbic encephalitis recruited at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) with a focus on the immune- and neuro-phenotypes, including anti-neuronal antibodies, lymphocyte sub-typing, key markers of immunoglobulin and complement systems. Literature review showed 77 cases of non-paraneoplastic non-NMDA limbic encephalitis. Results: Symptoms included temporal epilepsy (n=5), psychiatric symptoms such as ADHD or autistic symptoms (n=2), and memory changes (n=3). One patient was positive for both voltage gated potassium channel antibodies (VGKC) and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO) and two were positive only for anti TPO antibodies. One patient showed low CD19, and immunoglobulins. Three patients showed chronic low CD56 cell count. Conclusions: The study is still ongoing, but at least 3 patients already display some traits of immune dysregulation.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
There is limited longitudinal research that has looked at the longer term incidence of depressive symptoms, comparing women with a hysterectomy to women without a hysterectomy. We aimed to investigate the association between hysterectomy status and the 12-year incidence of depressive symptoms in a mid-aged cohort of Australian women, and whether these relationships were modified by use of exogenous hormones.
We used generalised estimating equation models for binary outcome data to assess the associations of the incidence of depressive symptoms (measured by the 10-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) across five surveys over a 12-year period, in women with a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation, or a hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy compared with women without a hysterectomy. We further stratified women with hysterectomy by their current use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). Women who reported prior treatment for depression were excluded from the analysis.
Compared with women without a hysterectomy (n = 4002), both women with a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation (n = 884) and women with a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy (n = 450) had a higher risk of depressive symptoms (relative risk (RR) 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–1.36 and RR 1.44; 95% CI 1.22–1.68, respectively). There were differences in the strength of the risk for women with a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation, compared with those without, when we stratified by current MHT use. Compared with women without a hysterectomy who did not use MHT, women with a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation who were also MHT users had a higher risk of depressive symptoms (RR 1.57; 95% CI 1.31–1.88) than women with a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation but did not use MHT (RR 1.17; 95% CI 1.02–1.35). For women with a hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy, MHT use did not attenuate the risk. We could not rule out, however, that the higher risk seen among MHT users may be due to confounding by indication, i.e. MHT was prescribed to treat depressive symptoms, but their depressive symptoms persisted.
Women with a hysterectomy (with and without bilateral oophorectomy) have a higher risk of new incidence of depressive symptoms in the longer term that was not explained by lifestyle or socio-economic factors.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
There is some suggestion that infection with pandemic influenza may increase long-term mortality risks. Therefore we aimed to determine if exposure to a severe outbreak of pandemic influenza on a troopship in 1918 impacted on lifespan in the survivors. The troopship with the outbreak cohort had 1107 personnel and the comparison cohort was from two contemporaneous troopships (1108 randomly selected personnel). Data were collected from online individual military files. The main finding was that there was no statistically significant difference in the lifespan of the outbreak cohort and the comparison cohort (means of 71·5 and 71·0 years, respectively). Indeed, the outbreak cohort was actually more likely to survive into the period from 1950 onwards (P = 0·036) and to participate in the Second World War (P = 0·043). There were no significant differences between the cohorts in terms of occupational class, but the comparison cohort had a higher proportion of rural occupations (33·3% vs. 27·0%, P < 0·001) and was very slightly older in mid-1918 (27·8 vs. 27·2 years, P = 0·028). In conclusion, this study found no support for the hypothesis that exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic adversely impacted on the lifespan in the survivors, at least in this male and military-age population.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
In New Zealand, efforts to control acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and its sequelae have focused on school-age children in the poorest socioeconomic areas; however, it is unclear whether this approach is optimal given the strong association with demographic risk factors other than deprivation, especially ethnicity. The aim of this study was to estimate the stratum-specific risk of ARF by key sociodemographic characteristics. We used hospitalization and disease notification data to identify new cases of ARF between 2010 and 2013, and used population count data from the 2013 New Zealand Census as our denominator. Poisson logistic regression methods were used to estimate stratum-specific risk of ARF development. The likelihood of ARF development varied considerably by age, ethnicity and deprivation strata: while risk was greatest in Māori and Pacific children aged 10–14 years residing in the most extreme deprivation, both of these ethnic groups experienced elevated risk across a wide age range and across deprivation levels. Interventions that target populations based on deprivation will include the highest-risk strata, but they will also (a) include groups with very low risk of ARF, such as non-Māori/non-Pacific children; and (b) exclude groups with moderate risk of ARF, such as Māori and Pacific individuals living outside high deprivation areas.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
We assessed evidence of exposure to viruses and bacteria in an unmanaged and long-isolated population of Soay sheep (Ovis aries) inhabiting Hirta, in the St Kilda archipelago, 65 km west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The sheep harbour many metazoan and protozoan parasites but their exposure to viral and bacterial pathogens is unknown. We tested for herpes viral DNA in leucocytes and found that 21 of 42 tested sheep were infected with ovine herpesvirus 2 (OHV-2). We also tested 750 plasma samples collected between 1997 and 2010 for evidence of exposure to seven other viral and bacterial agents common in domestic Scottish sheep. We found evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp., with overall seroprevalence of 6·5%. However, serological evidence indicated that the population had not been exposed to border disease, parainfluenza, maedi-visna, or orf viruses, nor to Chlamydia abortus. Some sheep tested positive for antibodies against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) but, in the absence of retrospective faecal samples, the presence of this infection could not be confirmed. The roles of importation, the pathogen–host interaction, nematode co-infection and local transmission warrant future investigation, to elucidate the transmission ecology and fitness effects of the few viral and bacterial pathogens on Hirta.
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.
High-intensity laser–solid interactions generate relativistic electrons, as well as high-energy (multi-MeV) ions and x-rays. The directionality, spectra and total number of electrons that escape a target-foil is dependent on the absorption, transport and rear-side sheath conditions. Measuring the electrons escaping the target will aid in improving our understanding of these absorption processes and the rear-surface sheath fields that retard the escaping electrons and accelerate ions via the target normal sheath acceleration (TNSA) mechanism. A comprehensive Geant4 study was performed to help analyse measurements made with a wrap-around diagnostic that surrounds the target and uses differential filtering with a FUJI-film image plate detector. The contribution of secondary sources such as x-rays and protons to the measured signal have been taken into account to aid in the retrieval of the electron signal. Angular and spectral data from a high-intensity laser–solid interaction are presented and accompanied by simulations. The total number of emitted electrons has been measured as
with an estimated total energy of
Cu target with 140 J of incident laser energy during a
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Premorbid risk for major depressive disorder (MDD) and predictors of an earlier onset and recurrent course were examined in two studies in a large, community-based sample of parents and offspring, prospectively assessed from late childhood into adulthood. In Study 1 (N = 2,764 offspring and their parents), parental psychiatric status, offspring personality at age 11, and age 11 offspring internalizing and externalizing symptoms predicted the subsequent development of MDD, as did poor quality parent–child relationships, poor academic functioning, early pubertal development, and childhood maltreatment by age 11. Parental MDD and adult antisocial behavior, offspring negative emotionality and disconstraint, externalizing symptoms, and childhood maltreatment predicted an earlier onset of MDD, after accounting for course; lower positive emotionality, trait anxiety, and childhood maltreatment predicted recurrent MDD, after accounting for age of onset. In Study 2 (N = 7,146), we examined molecular genetic risk for MDD by extending recent reports of associations with glutamatergic system genes. We failed to confirm associations with MDD using either individual single nucleotide polymorphism based tests or gene-based analyses. Overall, results speak to the pervasiveness of risk for MDD, as well as specific risk for early onset MDD; risk for recurrent MDD appears to be largely a function of its often earlier onset.