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Background: Insertion of an external ventricular drain (EVD) is performed to treat elevated intracranial pressure. EVD catheters are associated with complications such as EVD catheter infection (ECI), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and suboptimal catheter placement. As part of the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative, we sought to investigate the national rate of such complications and their risk factors. Methods: Prospective study of 273 patients from eight academic Canadian neurosurgery centres Results: Infection rate was 6% and predicted by smaller incisions and not peri-procedure antibiotics, tunneling distance, type of antiseptic used or catheter flushing (p>0.05). The mean duration of EVD was 17.7±3.7 in ECI and ventriculitis group which was significantly higher than in patients without ECI (9.4±8.1) (p=0.045). Although the risk of developing ICH was 9.3%, symptomatic ICH was rare. Pre-procedure pharmacological DVT prophylaxis predicted EVD-related ICH(OR 4.73). The rate of suboptimal catheter location was 31% and predicted by the number of passes (p=0.02), but not image guidance, level of training or catheter placement in an operating room setting (p>0.05). Conclusions: This study reports EVD complication rates and their associated risk factors observed within an academic, multicentre Canadian cohort. This information will help to identify strategies to increase the safety of this common neurosurgical procedure.
Introduction: While negative consequences of incident delirium on functional and cognitive decline have been widely studied, very limited data is available regarding functional and cognitive outcomes in Emergency Department (ED) patients. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the impact of ED stay-associated delirium on older patient's functional and cognitive status at 60 days post-ED visit. Methods: This study is a planned sub-analysis of a large multicentre prospective cohort study (the INDEED study). This project took place between March and July of the years 2015 and 2016 within 5 participating EDs across the province of Quebec. Independent non-delirious patients aged □65, with an ED stay at least 8hrs were monitored until 24hrs post-ward admission. A 60-day follow-up phone assessment was also conducted. Participants were screened for delirium using the validated Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and the severity of its symptoms was measured using the Delirium Index. Functional and cognitive status were assessed at baseline as well as at the 60-day follow-up using the validated OARS and TICS-m. Results: A total of 608 patients were recruited, 393 of which completed the 60-day follow-up. Sixty-nine patients obtained a positive CAM during ED-stay or within the first 24 hours following ward admission. At 60-days, those patients experienced a loss of 3.1 (S.D. 4.0) points on the OARS scale compared to non-delirious patients who lost 1.6 (S.D. 3.0) (p = 0.03). A significant difference in cognitive function was also noted at 60-days, as delirious patients’ TICS-m score decreased by 2.1 (S.D. 6.2) compared to non-delirious patients, who showed a minor improvement of 0.5 (S.D. 5.8) (p = 0.01). Conclusion: People who developed ED stay-associated delirium have lower baseline functional and cognitive status than non-delirious patients and they will experience a more significant decline at 60 days post-ED visit.
Introduction: Delirium is a frequent pathology in the elderly presenting to the emergency department (ED) and is seldom recognised. This condition is associated with many medical complications and has been shown to increase the hospital length-of-stay. The objective of this study was to identify the predictor factors of developing delirium in this high-risk population. Methods: Design: This study was part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Participants: Patients aged 65 and older, initially free of delirium and with an ED stay of 8h or longer, were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Measures: Clinical and demographic variables were collected by interview and chart review. A research professional assessed their delirium status twice daily using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). Analyses: A classification tree was used to select predictors and cut-points that minimized classification error of patients with incident delirium. After literature review, nineteen predictors were considered for inclusion in the model (eight non-modifiable and eleven modifiable factors). Results: Among the 605 patients included in this study, incident delirium was detected by the CAM in 69 patients (11.4%). In total, fourteen variables were included in a preliminary model, of which six were intrinsic to the patient and eight were modifiable in the ED. Variables with the greatest impact in the prediction of delirium includes age, cognitive status, ED length of stay, autonomy in daily activities, fragility and mobility during their hospital stay. The diagnostic performance of the model applied to the study sample gave a sensitivity of 78.3% (95% CI: 66.7 to 87.3), a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI: 99.3 to 100.0), a PPV of 100.0% (95% CI: 93.4 to 100.0) and a NPV of 97.3% (95% CI: 95.6 to 98.5). Conclusion: The delirium risk model developed in this study shows promising results with elevated sensitivity and specificity values. Considering the limited ability to predict and detect delirium among physicians, the potential increase in sensitivity provided by this tool could be beneficial to patients. This model will ultimately serve to identify high-risk patients with the goal of developing strategies to alter modifiable risk factors and subsequently decrease the incidence of delirium in this population.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
Background: Malignant gliomas are the most common and deadly brain tumors. Mean survival rate for a patient diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains slightly over one year. Standard of care consists of treatment with temozolomide (TMZ) and radiotherapy. Recent work has highlighted functions of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in GBM progression and TMZ response even though the information regarding these newly discovered molecules is sparse. The overarching objective of this project was thus to assess the expression of select lncRNAs in GBM tumor samples and in models of TMZ resistance. Methods: A qRT-PCR-based approach was undertaken to measure six lncRNAs in 19 primary GBM samples, four GBM cell lines and in-house developed TMZ-resistant GBM cells. Results: Elevated levels of Hotair and H19 were observed in primary GBM tumors while decreased expression of MEG3 was recorded in the same samples. Interestingly, levels of PANDA increased 3.4-fold in GBM cells resistant to TMZ when compared with their sensitive counterparts. Conclusions: Overall, this work provides evidence of lncRNA deregulation in GBM tumors and reveals a previously unexplored lncRNA potentially involved in TMZ resistance. Modulation of lncRNA targets via RNAi-mediated approaches is envisioned to clarify their function and to strengthen their position as therapeutic options in GBMs.
Introduction: Prevalence and incidence of delirium in older patients admitted to acute and long-term care facilities ranges between 9.6% and 89% but little is known in the context of emergency department (ED) incident delirium. Literature regarding the incidence of delirium in the ED and its potential impacts on hospital length of stay (LOS), functional status and unplanned ED readmissions is scant, its consequences have yet to be clearly identified in order to orient modern acute medical care. Methods: This study is part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Three Canadian EDs completed the two years prospective study (March-July 2015 and Feb-May 2016). Patients aged 65 years old, initially free of delirium with an ED stay 8hours were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Patients were assessed 2x/day during their entire ED stay and up to 24 hours on hospital ward by research assistants (RA). The primary outcome of this study was incident delirium in the ED or within 24 h of ward admission. Functional and cognitive status were assessed using validated Older Americans’ Resources and Services and the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status- modified tools. The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) was used to detect incident delirium. ED and hospital administrative data were collected. Inter-observer agreement was realized among RA. Results: Incident delirium was not different between sites, nor between phases, nor between times from one site to another. All phases confounded, there is between 7 to 11% of ED related incident delirious episodes. Differences were seen in ED LOS between sites in non-delirious patients, but also between some sites for delirious participants (p<0.05). Only one site had a difference in ED LOS between their delirious and non-delirious patients, respectively of 52.1 and 40.1 hours (p<0.05). There is also a difference between sites in the time between arrival to the ED and the incidence of delirium (p=0.003). Kappa statistics were computed to measure inter-rater reliability of the CAM. Based on an alpha of 5%, 138 patients would allow 80% power for an estimated overall incidence proportion of 15 % with 5% precision.. Other predictive delirium variables, such as cognitive status, environmental factors, functional status, comorbidities, physiological status, and ED and hospital length of stay were similar between sites and phases. Conclusion: The fact that incidence of delirium was the same for all sites, despite the differences of ED LOS and different time periods suggest that many other modifiable and non-modifiable factors along LOS influenced the incidence of ED induced delirium. Emergency physician should concentrate on improving senior-friendly environment for the ED.
Introduction: It is documented that physicians and nurses fail to detect delirium in more than half of cases from various clinical settings, which could have serious consequences for seniors and for our health care system. The present study aimed to describe the rate of documented incident delirium in 5 Canadian Emergency departments (ED) by health professionals (HP). Methods: This study is part of the multicenter prospective cohort INDEED study. Patients aged 65 years old, initially free of delirium with an ED stay 8hours were followed up to 24h after ward admission. Delirium status was assessed twice daily using the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) by trained research assistants (RA). HP reviewed patient charts to assess detection of delirium. HP had no specific routine detection of delirious ED patients. Inter-observer agreement was realized among RA. Comparison of detection between RA and HP was realized with univariate analyses. Results: Among the 652 included patients, 66 developed a delirium as evaluated with the CAM by the RA. Among those 66 patients, only 10 deliriums (15.2%) were documented in the patients medical file by the HP. 54 (81.8%) patients with a CAM positive for delirium by the RA were not recorded by the HP, 2 had incomplete charts. The delirium index was significantly higher in the HP reported group compared to the HP not reported, respectively 7.1 and 4.5 (p<0.05). Other predictive delirium variables, such as cognitive status, functional status, comorbidities, physiological status, and ED and hospital length of stay were similar between groups. Conclusion: It seems that health professionals missed 81.8% of the potential delirious ED patients in comparison to routine structured screening of delirium. HP could identify patients with a greater severity of symptoms. Our study points out the need to better identify elders at risk to develop delirium and the need for fast and reliable tools to improve the screening of this disorder.
Background: Improving diagnostic and therapeutic tools associated with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive brain tumour, is crucial as average patient survival remains slightly over a year. Challenges include early diagnosis and acquired drug resistance. Improving these challenges notably require a multidisciplinary team and a dedicated brain tumour specimen collection initiative. We hypothesize that implementing such an approach in Moncton would provide significant benefits to GBM patients and researchers in New Brunswick. Methods: A Brain Tumour Tissue Repository was instigated to collect and preserve primary tumour specimens. Storage of circulating samples from patients undergoing temozolomide (TMZ) therapy was also performed. In parallel, molecular leads were investigated in different GBM models to identify therapeutic targets. Results: Collection of 7 primary specimens was accomplished in 2016. Over 15 primary samples are housed in the tumour biorepository to date with circulating samples collected from 3 patients. Additionally, numerous deregulated non-coding RNAs were identified by qRT-PCR in GBM models and shown to be modulated following TMZ treatment warranting further investigation. Conclusions: Overall, these results provide novel therapeutic leads for GBMs and, most importantly, highlight the instigation of a New Brunswick-based brain tumor biorepository which will undoubtedly strengthen brain tumour research in the Maritimes.
Background: No standardized method of resident operative-case logging exists. Our study sought to develop a standardized form used by residents to log operative-cases. Methods: Members of the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC), a national resident-led research organization have created a standardized document based on the current Royal College objectives for operative procedures (section 5). Modifications to structure and content will be guided via consensus from Canadian neurosurgery program-directors. Results: Program directors in each CNRC collaborative institution will be asked to modify the standardized form. The CNRC currently involves thirteen of the fourteen Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Additional consensus, if necessary, can be reached at the Royal College meeting for program directors of neurosurgery March 20th 2017. Conclusions: A standardized operative-case log represents the first step in a prospective study towards compiling operative volume of all Canadian neurosurgical residents over one academic year. Such data will be essential to guide informed decisions with regard to Royal College requirements as Canadian neurosurgical programs transition to a competency based framework.
Background: Communicating with senior neurosurgical colleagues during residency necessitates a reliable and versatile smartphone. Smartphones and their apps are commonplace. They enhance communication with colleagues, provide the ability to access patient information and results, and allow access to medical reference applications. Patient data safety and compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA, 2004) in Canada remain a public concern that can significantly impact the way in which mobile smartphones are utilized by resident physicians Methods: Through the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC), an online survey characterizing smartphone ownership and utilization of apps among Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows was completed in April 2016. Results: Our study had a 47% response rate (80 surveys completed out of 171 eligible residents and fellows). Smartphone ownership was almost universal with a high rate of app utilization for learning and facilitating the care of patients. Utilization of smartphones to communicate and transfer urgent imaging with senior colleagues was common. Conclusions: Smartphone and app utilization is an essential part of neurosurgery resident workflow. In this study we characterize the smartphone and app usage within a specialized cohort of residents and suggest potential solutions to facilitate greater PHIPA adherence
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) was founded in November 2015 as a resident-led national network for multicentre research. We present an annual report of our activities. Methods: CNRC meetings and publications were reviewed and summarized. The status of ongoing and future studies was collected from project leaders. Results: In its first year, the CNRC produced two papers accepted for publication in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences: A CNRC launch letter and a study of operative volume at Canadian neurosurgery residency programs. Three manuscripts are in preparation: 1) a study of the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, 2) an assessment of mobile devices usage patterns and 3) a validation study of the most utilized neurosurgery mobile apps. In addition, protocols for two multi-centre studies are currently undergoing national Research Ethics Board review: A retrospective study of the incidence and predictors of cerebellar mutism and a prospective registry of external ventricular drain procedures and complications. The network is now a registered not-for-profit organization endorsed by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society. Conclusions: The CNRC is a feasibile, relevant and productive resident-led national research network. As the CNRC matures, we look forward to expanding the scope and impact of its projects.
Among the solar proxies, κ1 Cet, stands out as potentially having a mass very close to solar and a young age. We report magnetic field measurements and planetary habitability consequences around this star, a proxy of the young Sun when life arose on Earth. Magnetic strength was determined from spectropolarimetric observations and we reconstruct the large-scale surface magnetic field to derive the magnetic environment, stellar winds, and particle flux permeating the interplanetary medium around κ1 Cet. Our results show a closer magnetosphere and mass-loss rate 50 times larger than the current solar wind mass-loss rate when Life arose on Earth, resulting in a larger interaction via space weather disturbances between the stellar wind and a hypothetical young-Earth analogue, potentially affecting the habitability. Interaction of the wind from the young Sun with the planetary ancient magnetic field may have affected the young Earth and its life conditions.
Background: Because glioblastoma is currently incurable, the goal of therapy is the optimization of the patient’s quality of life (QOL). Tumor location is critical in screening surgical candidates, yet the impact of tumor location on QOL has never been demonstrated. By using a novel computer-driven algorithm, we set out to investigate the impact of tumor location on QOL. Methods: The tumors of fourty consecutive glioblastoma patients were segmented and the Euclidian distance between 90 brain regions and each tumor’s margin was calculated and correlated to the patients’ self-reported QOL as measured by the SNAS questionnaire. Results: QOL was statistically associated with proximity to three areas: the right para-hypocampal gyrus, the right posterior cingulate cortex and the right postcentral gyrus. We postulate that the adverse relation between proximity to these areas and QOL results from disruption in large-scale networks involved in high-order functions such as visuospatial memory. While harder to detect with a bedside clinical examination, such deficits are likely more impactful on QOL than those related to the motor cortex or Broca’s area. Conclusions: Tumor proximity to right parietooccipital region are associated with decreased QOL. This should be considered in the management strategies of glioma patients.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a new consortium of neurosurgery residency programs set-up to facilitate the planning and implementation of multi-center studies. As a trainee-led organization, it will focus on resident-initiated, resident-driven projects. The goal of this study is to assess the demographics of Canadian neurosurgery residents, with particular focus on their academic and subspecialty interests. Methods: After approval by the CNRC, an online survey will be sent to all Canadian neurosurgery residents and fellows with reminders at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. Anonymous, basic demographic data will be collected. Specific interest towards the various subspecialties, research and academic vs community practice will be measured. The data will be crossed with the ongoing Canadian Neurosurgery Operative Landscape study to assess the impact of case volume on academic and subspecialty interests. Results: This is the first study providing a snapshot of Canadian neurosurgery residents at all levels of training. The study is ongoing and the official results will be presented at the meeting. As one of the first CNRC studies, it will also demonstrate the effectiveness of the collaborative. Conclusions: Understanding the demographics and interests of Canadian neurosurgery residents will allow the CNRC to better fulfill its mission.
Background: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) is a trainee-led multi-centre collaboration made up of representatives from 12 of 14 neurosurgical centres with residency programs. To demonstrate the potential of this collaborative network, we gathered administrative operative data from each centre in order to provide a snapshot of the operative landscape in Canadian neurosurgery. Methods: Residents from each training program provided adult neurosurgical operative data for the 2014 calendar year, including the number of surgeries in the subcategories cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerve. Because some residency programs have surgeries distributed among more than one hospital, we calculated mean case load per residency program and per hospital. Results: Interim results from 6 neurosurgery residency programs are presented (with data from other programs forthcoming). Overall, there were on average 2,352 operative cases per residency program (n=6) and 1,176 operative cases per adult hospital (n=12). Among 5 programs with more detailed operative data, the mean numbers of cranial, spinal, peripheral nerve, and miscellaneous surgeries per residency program were 757 (47%), 487 (30%), 47 (3%), and 319 (20%) respectively. Conclusions: We show as a proof-of-concept that a trainee-led nation-wide research collaborative can generate meaningful data in a Canadian context.
Background: The goals of evidence-based neurosurgery are to improve surgical outcomes, reduce complications, and provide an objective basis for altering practice. The need for higher quality studies, typically prospective and multicentre, has been growing especially in light of the evolving complexity of neurosurgical interventions and heterogeneity of patient populations. In the United Kingdom (UK), trainee-led research collaboratives have been established to tackle this problem. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the potential role for a resident-led research collaborative in neurosurgery in Canada based on the UK experience. Methods: A literature review of trainee-led collaboratives was conducted utilizing PubMed and Medline. Identified articles were reviewed for study quality and clinical relevance to explore the potential benefits of collaboratives. Results: In the UK, 27 collaboratives have been established in various specialties by trainees. Some published high quality trials with implications on their clinical fields. Evidence suggests that such endeavors improves trainees’ research skills and may help cultivate a research culture tailored towards clinical trials. Conclusions: Given the growing evidence for research collaboratives in the UK, we propose launching the Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative (CNRC) which currently represents 12 out of 14 neurosurgery programs in Canada, and planning its first multicenter prospective study.
Surface rotation rates of young solar-type stars display drastic changes at the end of the pre-main sequence through the early main sequence. This may trigger corresponding changes in the magnetic dynamos operating in these stars, which ought to be observable in their surface magnetic fields. We present here the first results of an observational effort aimed at characterizing the evolution of stellar magnetic fields through this critical phase. We observed stars from open clusters and associations, which range from 20 to 600 Myr, and used Zeeman Doppler Imaging to characterize their complex magnetic fields. We find a clear trend towards weaker magnetic fields for older ages, as well as a tight correlation between magnetic field strength and Rossby number over this age range. Comparing to results for younger T Tauri stars, we observe a very significant change in magnetic strength and geometry, as the radiative core develops during the late pre-main sequence.
The surface rotation rates of young solar-type stars decrease rapidly with age from the end of the pre-main sequence though the early main sequence. This suggests that there is also an important change in the dynamos operating in these stars, which should be observable in their surface magnetic fields. Here we present early results in a study aimed at observing the evolution of these magnetic fields through this critical time period. We are observing stars in open clusters and stellar associations to provide precise ages, and using Zeeman Doppler Imaging to characterize the complex magnetic fields. Presented here are results for six stars, three in the in the β Pic association (~10 Myr old) and three in the AB Dor association (~100 Myr old).
Recent results showed that the magnetic field of M-dwarf (dM) stars, currently the main targets in searches for terrestrial planets, is very different from the solar one, both in topology as well as in intensity. In particular, the magnetised environment surrounding a planet orbiting in the habitable zone (HZ) of dM stars can differ substantially to the one encountered around the Earth. These extreme magnetic fields can compress planetary magnetospheres to such an extent that a significant fraction of the planet's atmosphere may be exposed to erosion by the stellar wind. Using observed surface magnetic maps for a sample of 15 dM stars, we investigate the minimum degree of planetary magnetospheric compression caused by the intense stellar magnetic fields. We show that hypothetical Earth-like planets with similar terrestrial magnetisation (~1 G) orbiting at the inner (outer) edge of the HZ of these stars would present magnetospheres that extend at most up to 6.1 (11.7) planetary radii. To be able to sustain an Earth-sized magnetosphere, the terrestrial planet would either need to orbit significantly farther out than the traditional limits of the HZ; or else, if it were orbiting within the life-bearing region, it would require a minimum magnetic field ranging from a few G to up to a few thousand G.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.