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An interesting aspect of complex plasma is its ability to self-organize into a variety of structural configurations and undergo transitions between these states. A striking phenomenon is the isotropic-to-string transition observed in electrorheological complex plasma under the influence of a symmetric ion wake field. Such transitions have been investigated using the Plasma Kristall-4 (PK-4) microgravity laboratory on the International Space Station. Recent experiments and numerical simulations have shown that, under PK-4-relevant discharge conditions, the seemingly homogeneous direct current discharge column is highly inhomogeneous, with large axial electric field oscillations associated with ionization waves occurring on microsecond time scales. A multi-scale numerical model of the dust–plasma interactions is employed to investigate the role of the electric field in the charge of individual dust grains, the ion wake field and the order of string-like structures. Results are compared with those for dust strings formed in similar conditions in the PK-4 experiment.
We describe an approach to the evaluation and isolation of hospitalized persons under investigation (PUIs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at a large US academic medical center. Only a small proportion (2.9%) of PUIs with 1 or more repeated severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) after a negative NAAT were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been found in Florida, USA, from the panhandle in the north to Miami and surrounding areas in the southern parts of the state, in both definitive and intermediate hosts in a limited studies completed in 2015. Additional studies have identified this parasite in a variety of intermediate hosts, both native and non-native gastropod species, with new host species recorded. Many areas in Florida with higher A. cantonensis prevalence were those with a high human population density, which suggests it is a matter of time before human infections occur in Florida. Case reports in the state currently involve non-human primates and include a gibbon and orangutan in Miami. Here, we report the current status of A. cantonensis in the state, as well as the infection in a capuchin monkey and presumptive infection in a red ruffed lemur in Gainesville, Florida.
Culturally transmitted traits that have deleterious effects on health-related traits can be regarded as cultural pathogens. A cultural pathogen can produce coupled dynamics with its associated health-related traits, so that understanding the dynamics of a health-related trait benefits from consideration of the dynamics of the associated cultural pathogen. Here, we treat anti-vaccine sentiment as a cultural pathogen, modelling its ‘infection’ dynamics with the infection dynamics of the associated vaccine-preventable disease. In a coupled susceptible–infected–resistant (SIR) model, consisting of an SIR model for the anti-vaccine sentiment and an interacting SIR model for the infectious disease, we explore the effect of anti-vaccine sentiment on disease dynamics. We find that disease endemism is contingent on the presence of the sentiment, and that presence of sentiment can enable diseases to become endemic when they would otherwise have disappeared. Furthermore, the sentiment dynamics can create situations in which the disease suddenly returns after a long period of dormancy. We study the effect of assortative sentiment-based interactions on the dynamics of sentiment and disease, identifying a tradeoff whereby assortative meeting aids the spread of a disease but hinders the spread of sentiment. Our results can contribute to finding strategies that reduce the impact of a cultural pathogen on disease, illuminating the value of cultural evolutionary modelling in the analysis of disease dynamics.
We studied circadian thyrotropin (TSH) and prolactin (PRL) response to synthetic thyrotropin-releasing-hormone (protirelin) infusion (200μg IV) at 8 am and 11 pm in 35 drug-free inpatients with DSM III-R Major Depressive Episode and in 22 hospitalized controls. In each group, maximum TSH and PRL responses were lower at 8 am than at 11 pm. The difference between 11 pm-ΔTSH and 8 am-ΔJTSH (ΔΔTSH) was significantly lower in depressed patients compared to controls. No such blunting was observed in PRL responses to protirelin in depressed patients. In the overall population, TSH response to protirelin (ie8 am-ΔTSH, 11 pm-ΔTSH, ΔΔTSH) correlated significantly with TSH circadian parameters (ie mesor and amplitude). These correlations were also observed with PRL (except for ΔΔPRL). TSH mesor and amplitude were lower in depressives than in controls. In contrast, PRL mesor and amplitude were not significantly different between diagnostic groups. ΔΔTSH is thus a chronobiological refinement to the measure of thyroid axis dysfunction in major depression. The blunted TSH response to protirelin suggests that the TRH receptors of the pituitary thyrotrophs are hyposensitive in major depression.
Summary: In this paper we build on work investigating the feasibility of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in emergency departments (EDs), estimating the prevalence of hepatitis B, C and HIV infections among persons attending two inner-London EDs, identifying factors associated with testing positive in an ED. We also undertook molecular characterisation to look at the diversity of the viruses circulating in these individuals, and the presence of clinically significant mutations which impact on treatment and control.
Blood-borne virus (BBV) testing in non-traditional settings is feasible, with emergency departments (ED) potentially effective at reaching vulnerable and underserved populations. We investigated the feasibility of BBV testing within two inner-London EDs. Residual samples from biochemistry for adults (⩾18 years) attending The Royal Free London Hospital (RFLH) or the University College London Hospital (UCLH) ED between January and June 2015 were tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)Ag/Ab, anti-hepatitis C (HCV) and HBsAg. PCR and sequence analysis were conducted on reactive samples. Sero-prevalence among persons attending RFH and UCLH with residual samples (1287 and 1546), respectively, were 1.1% and 1.0% for HBsAg, 1.6% and 2.3% for anti-HCV, 0.9% and 1.6% for HCV RNA, and 1.3% and 2.2% for HIV. For RFH, HBsAg positivity was more likely among persons of black vs. white ethnicity (odds ratio 9.08; 95% confidence interval 2.72–30), with anti-HCV positivity less likely among females (0.15, 95% CI 0.04–0.50). For UCLH, HBsAg positivity was more likely among non-white ethnicity (13.34, 95% CI 2.20–80.86 (Asian); 8.03, 95% CI 1.12–57.61 (black); and 8.11, 95% CI 1.13–58.18 (other/mixed)). Anti-HCV positivity was more likely among 36–55 year olds vs. ⩾56 years (7.69, 95% CI 2.24–26.41), and less likely among females (0.24, 95% CI 0.09–0.65). Persons positive for HIV-markers were more likely to be of black vs. white ethnicity (4.51, 95% CI 1.63–12.45), and less likely to have one ED attendance (0.39, 95% CI 0.17–0.88), or female (0.12, 95% CI 0.04–0.42). These results indicate that BBV-testing in EDs is feasible, providing a basis for further studies to explore provider and patient acceptability, referral into care and cost-effectiveness.
There is increasing evidence of an association between depressive symptoms and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in cross-sectional studies, but the longitudinal association between depressive symptoms and risk of MCI onset is less clear. The authors investigated whether baseline symptom severity of depression was predictive of time to onset of symptoms of MCI.
These analyses included 300 participants from the BIOCARD study, a cohort of individuals who were cognitively normal at baseline (mean age = 57.4 years) and followed for up to 20 years (mean follow-up = 2.5 years). Depression symptom severity was measured using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D). The authors assessed the association between dichotomous and continuous HAM-D and time to onset of MCI within 7 years versus after 7 years from baseline (reflecting the mean time from baseline to onset of clinical symptoms in the cohort) using Cox regression models adjusted for gender, age, and education.
At baseline, subjects had a mean HAM-D score of 2.2 (SD = 2.8). Higher baseline HAM-D scores were associated with an increased risk of progression from normal cognition to clinical symptom onset ≤ 7 years from baseline (p = 0.043), but not with progression > 7 years from baseline (p = 0.194). These findings remained significant after adjustment for baseline cognition.
These results suggest that low levels of depressive symptoms may be predictive of clinical symptom onset within approximately 7 years among cognitively normal individuals and may be useful in identifying persons at risk for MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To create a searchable public registry of all Quality Improvement (QI) projects. To incentivize the medical professionals at UF Health to initiate quality improvement projects by reducing startup burden and providing a path to publishing results. To reduce the review effort performed by the internal review board on projects that are quality improvement Versus research. To foster publication of completed quality improvement projects. To assist the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality & Patient Safety in managing quality improvement across the hospital system. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: This project used a variant of the spiral software development model and principles from the ADDIE instructional design process for the creation of a registry that is web based. To understand the current registration process and management of quality projects in the UF Health system a needs assessment was performed with the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality & Patient Safety to gather project requirements. Biweekly meetings were held between the Quality Improvement office and the Clinical and Translational Science – Informatics and Technology teams during the entire project. Our primary goal was to collect just enough information to answer the basic questions of who is doing which QI project, what department are they from, what are the most basic details about the type of project and who is involved. We also wanted to create incentive in the user group to try to find an existing project to join or to commit the details of their proposed new project to a data registry for others to find to reduce the amount of duplicate QI projects. We created a series of design templates for further customization and feature discovery. We then proceed with the development of the registry using a Python web development framework called Django, which is a technology that powers Pinterest and the Washington Post Web sites. The application is broken down into 2 main components (i) data input, where information is collected from clinical staff, Nurses, Pharmacists, Residents, and Doctors on what quality improvement projects they intend to complete and (ii) project registry, where completed or “registered” projects can be viewed and searched publicly. The registry consists of a quality investigator profile that lists contact information, expertise, and areas of interest. A dashboard allows for the creation and review of quality improvement projects. A search function enables certain quality project details to be publicly accessible to encourage collaboration. We developed the Registry Matching Algorithm which is based on the Jaccard similarity coefficient that uses quality project features to find similar quality projects. The algorithm allows for quality investigators to find existing or previous quality improvement projects to encourage collaboration and to reduce repeat projects. We also developed the QIPR Approver Algorithm that guides the investigator through a series of questions that allows an appropriate quality project to get approved to start without the need for human intervention. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: A product of this project is an open source software package that is freely available on GitHub for distribution to other health systems under the Apache 2.0 open source license. Adoption of the Quality Improvement Project Registry and promotion of it to the intended audience are important factors for the success of this registry. Thanks goes to the UW-Madison and their QI/Program Evaluation Self-Certification Tool (https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3lVeNuKe8FhKc73) used as example and inspiration for this project. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This registry was created to help understand the impact of improved management of quality projects in a hospital system. The ultimate result will be to reduce time to approve quality improvement projects, increase collaboration across the UF Health Hospital system, reduce redundancy of quality improvement projects and translate more projects into publications.
Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9–39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0–20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5–7.0), male–male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8–362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01–2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2–5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.
The death of a child has been associated with adverse parental outcomes, including a heightened risk for psychological distress, poor physical health, loss of employment income, and diminished psychosocial well-being. Psychosocial standards of care for centers serving pediatric cancer patients recommend maintaining at least one meaningful contact between the healthcare team and bereaved parents to identify families at risk for negative psychosocial sequelae and to provide resources for bereavement support. This study assessed how this standard is being implemented in current healthcare and palliative care practices, as well as barriers to its implementation.
Experts in the field of pediatric palliative care and oncology created a survey that was posted with review and permission on four listservs. The survey inquired about pediatric palliative and bereavement program characteristics, as well as challenges and barriers to implementation of the published standards of care.
The majority of participants (N = 100) self-reported as palliative care physicians (51%), followed by oncologists (19%). Although 59% of staff reported that their center often or always deliver bereavement care after a child's death, approximately two-thirds reported having no policy for the oncology team to routinely assess bereavement needs. Inconsistent types of bereavement services and varying duration of care was common. Twenty-eight percent of participants indicated that their center has no systematic contact with bereaved families after the child's death. Among centers where contacts are made, the person who calls the bereaved parent is unknown to the family in 30% of cases. Few centers (5%) use a bereavement screening or assessment tool.
Significance of results
Lack of routine assessment of bereavement needs, inconsistent duration of bereavement care, and tremendous variability in bereavement services suggest more work is needed to promote standardized, policy-driven bereavement care. The data shed light on multiple areas and opportunities for improvement.
This article presents a conceptual clarification of asymmetric hypotheses and a discussion of methodologies available to test them. Despite the existence of a litany of theories that posit asymmetric hypotheses, most empirical studies fail to capture their core insight: boundaries separating zones of data from areas that lack data are substantively interesting. We discuss existing set-theoretic and large-N approaches to the study of asymmetric hypotheses, introduce new ones from the literatures on stochastic frontier and data envelopment analysis, evaluate their relative merits, and give three examples of how asymmetric hypotheses can be studied with this suite of tools.
Alzheimer's disease has become an important public health burden for older adults. Clinicians face a challenging task to efficiently evaluate cognition in dementia in clinical settings. We sought to assess the validity and inter-correlations of brief cognitive assessments in a cohort of severely demented patients.
In total, 49 individual patients (N = 49) ranging in age from 62 to 97 years old were included in this performance improvement project. Over the course of two–three sessions, five cognitive instruments were administered to each patient: Severe Impairment Battery (SIB), Severe Impairment Battery-8 (SIB-8), Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Severe Mini Mental State Examination (sMMSE) and Brief Interview of Mental Status (BIMS). We sought to assess patient factors that might have been barriers to optimal performance on cognitive/functional tests. Researchers assessed her impression of the participants’ difficulty comprehending instructions, distractibility, apparent fatigue, and frustration, which were the four barriers rated.
Data were analyzed for 49 patients from the inpatient dementia unit with a total of 51 samples. All of the inter-correlations between the five cognitive instruments had Spearman coefficients of (rs) > 0.7 and were statistically significant with p < 0.001. The SIB-8 and sMMSE were positively correlated with the SIB. The perceived barrier scores ranged from 0- no issue to 1-mild issue on all five cognitive instruments.
Brief cognitive tests designed for severe dementia such as the SIB-8 and sMMSE have been evaluated in this project to be shorter in administration duration and highly correlated with gold standard instruments: the SIB and MMSE.
We estimate a system-of-equations model designed to measure the interaction between intertemporal patterns of changes in population, employment, and agricultural land densities. The model is applied to West Virginia for the 1990–1999 period. Consistent with recent findings on migration patterns, the results show that jobs followed people. New jobs were captured by commuters, while agricultural land losses were occurring in the commuters’ counties of origin or bedroom communities. However, counties with relatively more profitable and concentrated agricultural enterprises were less susceptible to alternative land use pressure than counties with less productive or fragmented agricultural land. Elasticities indicate population change is elastic, whereas employment and agricultural land density changes are inelastic to factors affecting them. Growth management, when combined with agricultural land retention programs, may be most effective at preserving agricultural land in high growth or potential growth areas.
When using a willingness-to-pay (WTP) format in contingent valuation (CV) to value watershed restoration, respondents may protest by questioning why they should pay to clean up a pollution problem that someone else created. Using a sample selection interval data model based on Bhat (1994) and Brox, Kumar, and Stollery (2003), we found that the decision to protest and WTP values were correlated. Protest sample selection bias resulted in a 300 percent overestimate of mean WTP per respondent. Using different ad hoc treatments of protesters, protest bias resulted in moderate effects (−10 percent to +14 percent) after controlling for sample selection bias.
There are relatively small but observable changes in functional ability in those without Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. The present study seeks to understand whether these individuals go on to develop MCI or dementia by assessing the association between baseline Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) and conversion independent and after adjustment for cognitive tests.
The NACC database was used to conduct the analysis of which 7,625 participants were initially identified as having more than one visit and who were cognitively normal at their first visit. Cox proportional hazards were used to fit three models that controlled for executive and non-executive cognitive domains. A similar model was used to assess the effect of FAQ subcategories on conversion.
Of these individuals, 1,328 converted to either MCI or dementia by visit 10. Converters had a total visit 1 FAQ score significantly higher than non-converters indicating more functional impairment at baseline. After adjustment for cognitive tests, the association between visit 1 FAQ and subsequent conversion was not attenuated. Doing taxes, remembering dates, and traveling were individually identified as significant predictors of conversion.
The FAQ can be used as an indirect measure of functional ability and is associated with conversion to MCI or dementia. There is a selective and significant association between changes in financial ability and conversion that is in accordance with other research of financial capacity.