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The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
We assessed venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk, barriers to prescribing VTE prophylaxis and completion of VTE risk assessment in psychiatric in-patients. This was a cross-sectional study conducted across three centres. We used the UK Department of Health VTE risk assessment tool which had been adapted for psychiatric patients.
Of the 470 patients assessed, 144 (30.6%) were at increased risk of VTE. Patients on old age wards were more likely to be at increased risk than those on general adult wards (odds ratio = 2.26, 95% CI 1.51–3.37). Of those at higher risk of VTE, auditors recorded concerns about prescribing prophylaxis in 70 patients (14.9%). Only 20 (4.3%) patients had a completed risk assessment.
Mental health in-patients are likely to be at increased risk of VTE. VTE risk assessment is not currently embedded in psychiatric in-patient care. There is a need for guidance specific to this population.
The majority of self-management interventions are designed with a narrow focus on patient skills and fail to consider their potential as “catalysts” for improving care delivery. A project was undertaken to develop a patient self-management resource to support evidence-based, person-centered care for cancer pain and overcome barriers at the levels of the patient, provider, and health system.
The project used a mixed-method design with concurrent triangulation, including the following: a national online survey of current practice; two systematic reviews of cancer pain needs and education; a desktop review of online patient pain diaries and other related resources; consultation with stakeholders; and interviews with patients regarding acceptability and usefulness of a draft resource.
Findings suggested that an optimal self-management resource should encourage pain reporting, build patients’ sense of control, and support communication with providers and coordination between services. Each of these characteristics was identified as important in overcoming established barriers to cancer pain care. A pain self-management resource was developed to include: (1) a template for setting specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals of care, as well as identifying potential obstacles and ways to overcome these; and (2) a pain management plan detailing exacerbating and alleviating factors, current strategies for management, and contacts for support.
Significance of results
Self-management resources have the potential for addressing barriers not only at the patient level, but also at provider and health system levels. A cluster randomized controlled trial is under way to test effectiveness of the resource designed in this project in combination with pain screening, audit and feedback, and provider education. More research of this kind is needed to understand how interventions at different levels can be optimally combined to overcome barriers and improve care.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
Abnormalities in reward circuit function are considered a core feature of addiction. Yet, it is still largely unknown whether these abnormalities stem from chronic drug use, a genetic predisposition, or both.
In the present study, we investigated this issue using a large sample of adolescent children by applying structural equation modeling to examine the effects of several dopaminergic polymorphisms of the D1 and D2 receptor type on the reward function of the ventral striatum (VS) and orbital frontal cortex (OFC), and whether this relationship predicted the propensity to engage in early alcohol misuse behaviors at 14 years of age and again at 16 years of age.
The results demonstrated a regional specificity with which the functional polymorphism rs686 of the D1 dopamine receptor (DRD1) gene and Taq1A of the ANKK1 gene influenced medial and lateral OFC activation during reward anticipation, respectively. Importantly, our path model revealed a significant indirect relationship between the rs686 of the DRD1 gene and early onset of alcohol misuse through a medial OFC × VS interaction.
These findings highlight the role of D1 and D2 in adjusting reward-related activations within the mesocorticolimbic circuitry, as well as in the susceptibility to early onset of alcohol misuse.
Electronic data capture is essential to advancing family-centered coordinated care in early intervention (EI). The purpose of this paper is to report on EI service coordinator response to piloting an electronic parent-reported outcome (e-PRO) assessment as part of their routine workflow, including lessons learned that may inform future phases of e-PRO implementation.
This second pilot study involved families enrolled in a large EI program (n=1040 families) in concert with their implementation of a statewide quality improvement initiative for care plan development and outcomes reporting. A total of 22 EI service coordinators and supervisors were engaged in 3 phases: initial e-PRO intervention, peer-mentor enhancement, and standard recruitment protocol.
Implementation of the e-PRO intervention and peer-mentoring enhancement yielded low enrollment rates over the first 6 months (n=17). A standard recruitment protocol has resulted in enrollment growth (n=83) towards the targeted enrollment rate (n=832).
This study reports on early insights for building and sustaining a productive academic-community partnership for e-PRO implementation to support family-centered coordinated care. Lessons learned from this academic-community partnership with respect to strategies for enhancing community significance, collaboration, return, and control are discussed as they inform further development of this intervention before scale-up.
In this paper, we describe the development of an International Space Station experiment, BioRock. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate biofilm formation and microbe–mineral interactions in space. The latter research has application in areas as diverse as regolith amelioration and extraterrestrial mining. We describe the design of a prototype biomining reactor for use in space experimentation and investigations on in situ Resource Use and we describe the results of pre-flight tests.
The consequences of minor trauma involving a head injury (MT-HI) in independent older adults are largely unknown. This study assessed the impact of a head injury on the functional outcomes six months post-injury in older adults who sustained a minor trauma.
This multicenter prospective cohort study in eight sites included patients who were aged 65 years or older, previously independent, presenting to the emergency department (ED) for a minor trauma, and discharged within 48 hours. To assess the functional decline, we used a validated test: the Older Americans’ Resources and Services Scale. The cognitive function of study patients was also evaluated. Finally, we explored the influence of a concomitant injury on the functional decline in the MT-HI group.
All 926 eligible patients were included in the analyses: 344 MT-HI patients and 582 minor trauma without head injury. After six months, the functional decline was similar in both groups: 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively (RR=0.79 [95% CI: 0.55–1.14]). The proportion of patients with mild cognitive disabilities was also similar: 21.7% and 22.8%, respectively (RR=0.91 [95% CI: 0.71–1.18]). Furthermore, for the group of patients with a MT-HI, the functional outcome was not statistically different with or without the presence of a co-injury (RR=1.35 [95% CI: 0.71–2.59]).
This study did not demonstrate that the occurrence of a MT-HI is associated with a worse functional or cognitive prognosis than other minor injuries without a head injury in an elderly population, six months after injury.
Notre objectif primaire est de mesurer l’incidence d’HPI selon quatre définitions différentes retrouvées dans la littérature. Notre principal objectif secondaire est d’évaluer l’impact de la présence d’instabilité hémodynamique avant l’intubation sur l’incidence d’HPI. Le deuxième objectif secondaire consiste à déterminer l’incidence de l’HPI en fonction de l’intervalle de temps durant lequel la première hypotension survient.
Une cohorte prospective a été constituée par les patients intubés en salle de réanimation à l’hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus entre le 28/06/2011 et le 12/07/2012. L’HPI était globalement définie comme ≥1 mesure de tension artérielle systolique <90 mmHg suivant l’intubation. Les différentes définitions étudiées faisaient varier le temps de mesure de la tension artérielle (TA) après l’intubation, soit 1) jusqu’à 5 minutes, 2) jusqu’à 15 minutes, 3) jusqu’à 30 minutes et 4) en tout temps lors du séjour en salle de réanimation.
Au cours de la période à l’étude, 155 patients ont été intubés sur place dont 81 patients qui répondaient aux critères d’inclusion. L’incidence de l’HPI pour chaque définition est respectivement de 9.9%, 18.5%, 24.7% et 28.4%. La comparaison entre chacune de ces incidences révèle une différence statistiquement significative (p<0.05), à l’exception des deux dernières. L’incidence cumulative d’HPI à tout moment suivant l’intubation chez les patients présentant une hypotension pré-intubation est de 62.5% (IC 95% 28.5-87.5) en opposition aux patients hémodynamiquement stables en pré-intubation qui présentaient une incidence d’HPI de 24.7% (IC 95% 16.1-35.8).
L’hypotension post-intubation est un effet indésirable fréquent chez les patients au département d’urgence et son incidence varie de façon significative en fonction de la définition temporelle utilisée au sein d’une même cohorte de patients.
Enrichment of tissues with ≥20-carbon n-3 PUFA like EPA is associated with positive cardiovascular outcomes. Stearidonic acid (SDA; 18 : 4n-3) and α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18 : 3n-3) are plant-derived dietary n-3 PUFA; however, direct comparisons of their impact on tissue n-3 PUFA content are lacking. Ahiflower® oil extracted from Buglossoides arvensis seeds is the richest known non-genetically modified source of dietary SDA. To investigate the safety and efficacy of dietary Ahiflower oil, a parallel-group, randomised, double-blind, comparator-controlled phase I clinical trial was performed. Diets of healthy subjects (n 40) were supplemented for 28 d with 9·1 g/d of Ahiflower (46 % ALA, 20 % SDA) or flax seed oil (59 % ALA). Blood and urine chemistries, blood lipid profiles, hepatic and renal function tests and haematology were measured as safety parameters. The fatty acid composition of fasting plasma, erythrocytes, polymorphonuclear cells and mononuclear cells were measured at baseline and after 14 and 28 d of supplementation. No clinically significant changes in safety parameters were measured in either group. Tissue ALA and EPA content increased in both groups compared with baseline, but EPA accrual in plasma and in all cell types was greater in the Ahiflower group (time × treatment interactions, P ≤ 0·01). Plasma and mononuclear cell eicosatetraenoic acid (20 : 4n-3) and docosapentaenoic acid (22 : 5n-3) content also increased significantly in the Ahiflower group compared with the flax group. In conclusion, the consumption of Ahiflower oil is safe and is more effective for the enrichment of tissues with 20- and 22-carbon n-3 PUFA than flax seed oil.
In this study, we examined the impact of routine use of a passive disinfection cap for catheter hub decontamination in hematology–oncology patients.
A tertiary care cancer center in New York City
In this multiphase prospective study, we used 2 preintervention phases (P1 and P2) to establish surveillance and baseline rates followed by sequential introduction of disinfection caps on high-risk units (HRUs: hematologic malignancy wards, hematopoietic stem cell transplant units and intensive care units) (P3) and general oncology units (P4). Unit-specific and hospital-wide hospital-acquired central-line–associated bloodstream infection (HA-CLABSI) rates and blood culture contamination (BCC) with coagulase negative staphylococci (CONS) were measured.
Implementation of a passive disinfection cap resulted in a 34% decrease in hospital-wide HA-CLABSI rates (combined P1 and P2 baseline rate of 2.66–1.75 per 1,000 catheter days at the end of the study period). This reduction occurred only among high-risk patients and not among general oncology patients. In addition, the use of the passive disinfection cap resulted in decreases of 63% (HRUs) and 51% (general oncology units) in blood culture contamination, with an estimated reduction of 242 BCCs with CONS. The reductions in HA-CLABSI and BCC correspond to an estimated annual savings of $3.2 million in direct medical costs.
Routine use of disinfection caps is associated with decreased HA-CLABSI rates among high-risk hematology oncology patients and a reduction in blood culture contamination among all oncology patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1401–1408
Objective: To review the role of handwriting analysis in psychiatry.
Method: Case-report and review of key papers.
Results: M, a 27-year-old man, presented with incoherent speech, palilalia, logoclonia, incongruous affect, paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations. M was diagnosed with schizophrenia and cannabis misuse, complicated by speech and language difficulties. M spent long periods writing on pieces of paper; towards the start of his admission, his writing was unintelligible but became more intelligible as his psychosis resolved. M's handwriting demonstrates clinical features of psychosis (e.g. clang associations) and graphological abnormalities associated with schizophrenia in the literature (rigidity in letter-formation, mechanical expressions, and tendency toward over-use of straight lines).
Conclusion: Analysis of handwriting is likely to play a limited role in psychiatric diagnosis but may prove useful in monitoring clinical improvement in certain patients.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.
We have studied the influence of a deuterium diffusion on the electrical characteristics of the 2D gas present in AlGaN/GaN heterostructures. The deuterium diffusion is performed by exposing the structures to a rf remote deuterium plasma. We find that both the sheet carrier concentration and the electron mobility decrease and that these effects are partly reversible under thermal annealing. These results suggest that deuterium behave as acceptors in the 2D gas region. The negatively charged deuterium act as additional scattering centers for electrons.
Electrical properties of yttria-stabilised zirconia/alumina (YSZ/AI2O3) composites were tentatively foreseen by simulating their complex impedance spectra. A digital image-based model was developed to describe the electrical conduction process in polycrystalline mono- or multi-phase materials. The microstructure of each polycrystalline sample was reconstructed using the Voronoi tessellation technique (in fact, ad hoc modifications with respect to the original algorithm were introduced) and it was then converted into a threedimensional electrical network according to a set of well-defined rules. The network was solved via an iterative procedure for different frequency values and successively the Nyquist plot generated The complex impedance spectra of different composites were simulated considering the alumina content (5,10 and 15 %wt) as a parameter; both the bulk and grain boundary electrical conductivity were calculated and the Arrhenius plots obtained. Experimental and simulated results were compared and discussed.
To determine if compliance with annual tuberculosis skin testing correlated with the number of cases of tuberculosis seen in patients and healthcare workers.
Survey using a written questionnaire.
Setting and Participants:
159 Veterans' Administration facilities.
Hospitals that reported that >80% of their healthcare workers received annual skin tests saw 12.7 patient cases per 10,000 admissions and 4.0 healthcare worker cases per 10,000 personnel. Facilities in which <20% of their healthcare workers were given annual skin tests saw 4.5 cases per 10,000 admissions and 1.6 cases in healthcare workers per 10,000 personnel (P<.001 for patients and P=.31 for healthcare workers). The ratio of the median number of patients placed in acid-fast bacilli (AFB) isolation to the median number of patients with confirmed tuberculosis was 12. There was no correlation of this ratio with the number of cases of tuberculosis in patients or healthcare workers seen in each facility.
Compliance with annual tuberculosis skin testing was related directly to the rate of tuberculosis seen in patients. More standardized policies for placing patients in AFB isolation are needed to control for potentially costly variation among facilities. These measures should have highest priority in the control of tuberculosis in the healthcare setting, before implementing still more expensive interventions.