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This study reveals the characteristic nature and the use of optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters (OSLD) as an in vivo dosimetry tool for head and neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Materials and methods:
Calibration and characterisation of OSLD such as sensitivity, reproducibility, dose-rate dependence, beam quality dependence, output factor measurement and comparison of two bleaching techniques using halogen and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) were initially performed. Later, eye dose measurements were performed for head and neck IMRT patients using OSLD and were compared with the corresponding dose calculated by the treatment planning system (TPS).
While the sensitivity was found to be within ±5%, the dose-rate dependence and reproducibility were found to be within ±3%. The OSLD showed an under-response of 3% for 15 MV and an increase in response by 5% for Co60 (1·25 MeV) when compared with the 6 MV X-ray beam. Therefore, a separate calibration for different beam energies is required. The percentage deviation of OSLD to that of TPS was found to be within ±2·77%. The OSLD has been successfully used for the in vivo dosimetry of patients who received IMRT. Hence, it is concluded that OSLDs can serve as effective dosimeters for in vivo dosimetry.
Number and procedures of involuntary hospital admissions vary in Europe according to the different socio-cultural contexts. The European Commission has funded the EUNOMIA study in 12 European countries in order to develop European recommendations for good clinical practice in involuntary hospital admissions. The recommendations have been developed with the direct and active involvement of national leaders and key professionals, who worked out national recommendations, subsequently summarized into a European document, through the use of specific categories. The need for standardizing the involuntary hospital admission has been highlighted by all centers. In the final recommendations, it has been stressed the need to: providing information to patients about the reasons for hospitalization and its presumable duration; protecting patients’ rights during hospitalization; encouraging the involvement of family members; improving the communication between community and hospital teams; organizing meetings, seminars and focus-groups with users; developing training courses for involved professionals on the management of aggressive behaviors, clinical aspects of major mental disorders, the legal and administrative aspects of involuntary hospital admissions, on communication skills. The results showed the huge variation of involuntary hospital admissions in Europe and the importance of developing guidelines on this procedure.
To tackle the problem of soil erosion and moisture stress, the government of Ethiopia introduced a yearly mass campaign where communities get together and implement various soil and water conservation (SWC) and water harvesting (WH) practices. Although the interventions are believed to have reduced soil erosion/sediment yield and enhanced surface and ground water, quantitative information on the impacts of various options at different scales is scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the impacts different land uses, SWC and WH interventions on water and suspended sediment yield (SSY) at plot and watershed scales in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Standard erosion plot experiments and hydrological stations were used to monitor the daily water and SSY during 2014 to 2017. The results show differences between treatments both at plot and watershed scales. Runoff and soil loss were reduced by an average 27 and 37%, respectively due to SWC practices at the plot level. Overall, SWC practices implemented at the watershed level reduced sediment yield by about 74% (in the year 2014), although the magnitude of sediment reduction due to the SWC interventions reduced over time. At both scales it was observed that as the number of years since SWC measures have been in place increased, their effectiveness declined due to the lack of maintenance. This study also revealed that extrapolating of plot data to watershed scale causes over or under estimation of net erosion.
We present continuation of the multi-wavelength (from X-ray to optical) monitoring of the nearby changing look (CL) active galactic nucleus in the galaxy NGC 1566 performed with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory,the MASTER Global Robotic Network over the period 2007–2019. We also present continuation of optical spectroscopy using the South African Astronomical Observatory 1.9-m telescope between Aug. 2018 and Mar. 2019. We investigate remarkable re-brightenings in of the light curve following the decline from the bright phase observed at Dec. 2018 and at the end of May 2019. For the last optical spectra (31 Nov. 2018–28 Mar. 2019) we see dramatic changes compared to 2 Aug. 2018, accompanied by the fading of broad emission lines and high-ionization [FeX]6374Å line. Effectively, one more CL was observed for this object: changing from Sy1.2 to the low state as Sy 1.8–Sy1.9 type. Some possible explanations of the observed CL are discussed.
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) exhibit multi-wavelength properties that are representative of the underlying physical processes taking place in the vicinity of the accreting supermassive black hole. The black hole mass and the accretion rate are fundamental for understanding the growth of black holes, their evolution, and the impact on the host galaxies. Recent results on reverberation-mapped AGNs show that the highest accretion rate objects have systematic shorter time-lags. These super-Eddington accreting massive black holes (SEAMBHs) show BLR size 3-8 times smaller than predicted by the Radius-Luminosity (R-L) relationship. Hence, the single-epoch virial black hole mass estimates of highly accreting AGNs have an overestimation of a factor of 3-8 times. SEAMBHs likely have a slim accretion disk rather than a thin disk that is diagnostic in X-ray. I will present the extreme X-ray properties of a sample of dozen of SEAMBHs. They indeed have a steep hard X-ray photon index, Γ, and demonstrate a steeper power-law slope, ασx.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis a hereditary, multi-systemic and life-threatening disease resulting in neuropathy and cardiomyopathy. In the APOLLO study, patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting hepatic TTR production resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL compared to placebo and was generally well tolerated. Methods: APOLLO, a Phase 3 study of patisiran vs. placebo (NCT01960348) prespecified a cardiac subpopulation (n=126 of 225 total) that included patients with baseline left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥ 13mm and no medical history of aortic valve disease or hypertension. Cardiac measures included structure and function by electrocardiography, changes in NT-proBNP and 10-MWT gait speed. Results: At 18 months, patisiran treatment resulted in a mean reduction in LV wall thickness of 1 mm (p=0.017) compared to baseline, which was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in LV end diastolic volume (+8.31 mL, p=0.036), global longitudinal strain (-1.37%, p=0.015) and NT-proBNP (55% reduction, p=7.7 x 10-8) (Figure 1). Gait speed was also improved relative to placebo (+0.35 m/sec, p=7.4 x 10-9). Rate of death or hospitalization was lower with patisiran. mNIS+7 results in the cardiac subpopulation will also be presented. Conclusions: These data suggest patisiran has the potential to halt or reverse cardiac manifestations of hATTR amyloidosis.
Preserving of vision is the main goal in vision research. The presented research evaluates the preservation of visual function in Royal College of Surgeon (RCS) rats using a depth perception test. Rats were placed on a stage with one side containing an illusory steep drop (“cliff”) and another side with a minimal drop (“table”). Latency of stage dismounting and the percentage of rats that set their first foot on the “cliff” side were determined. Nondystrophic Long–Evans (LE) rats were tested as control. Electroretinogram and histology analysis were used to determine retinal function and structure. Four-week-old RCS rats presented a significantly shorter mean latency to dismount the stage compared with 6-week-old rats (mean ± standard error, 13.7 ± 1.68 vs. 20.85 ± 6.5 s, P = 0.018). Longer latencies were recorded as rats aged, reaching 45.72 s in 15-week-old rats (P < 0.00001 compared with 4-week-old rats). All rats at the age of 4 weeks placed their first foot on the table side. By contrast, at the age of 8 weeks, 28.6% rats dismounted on the cliff side and at the age of 10 and 15 weeks, rats randomly dismounted the stage to either table or cliff side. LE rats dismounted the stage faster than 4-week-old RCS rats, but the difference was not statistically significant (7 ± 1.58 s, P = 0.057) and all LE rats dismounted on the table side. The latency to dismount the stage in RCS rats correlated with maximal electroretinogram b-wave under dark and light adaptation (Spearman’s rho test = −0.603 and −0.534, respectively, all P < 0.0001), outer nuclear layer thickness (Spearman’s rho test = −0.764, P = 0.002), and number of S- and M-cones (Spearman’s rho test = −0.763 [P = 0.002], and −0.733 [P = 0.004], respectively). The cliff avoidance test is an objective, quick, and readily available method for the determination of RCS rats’ visual function.
Terrorism and natural catastrophes have made disaster preparedness a critical issue. Despite the documented vulnerabilities of children during and following disasters, gaps remain in health care systems regarding pediatric disaster preparedness. This research study examined changes in knowledge acquisition of pediatric disaster preparedness among medical and non-medical personnel at a children’s hospital who completed an online training course of five modules: planning, triage, age-specific care, disaster management, and hospital emergency code response.
A multi-disciplinary team within the Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California USA) developed an online training course. Available archival course data from July 2009 to August 2012 were analyzed through linear growth curve multi-level modeling, with module total score as the outcome (0 to 100 points), attempt as the Level 1 variable (any module could be repeated), role in the hospital (medical or non-medical) as the Level 2 variable, and attempt by role as the cross-level effect.
A total of 44,115 module attempts by 5,773 course participants (3,686 medical personnel and 2,087 non-medical personnel) were analyzed. The average module total score upon first attempt across all participants ranged from 60.28 to 80.11 points, and participants significantly varied in how they initially scored. On average in the planning, triage, and age-specific care modules: total scores significantly increased per attempt across all participants (average rate of change ranged from 0.59 to 1.84 points) and medical personnel had higher total scores initially and through additional attempts (average difference ranged from 13.25 to 16.24 points). Cross-level effects were significant in the disaster management and hospital emergency code response modules: on average, total scores were initially lower among non-medical personnel compared to medical personnel, but non-medical personnel increased their total scores per attempt by 3.77 points in the disaster management module and 6.40 points in the hospital emergency code response module, while medical personnel did not improve their total scores through additional attempts.
Medical and non-medical hospital personnel alike can acquire knowledge of pediatric disaster preparedness. Key content can be reinforced or improved through successive training in an online course.
PhamPK, BeharSM, BergBM, UppermanJS, NagerAL. Pediatric Online Disaster Preparedness Training for Medical and Non-Medical Personnel: A Multi-Level Modeling AnalysisPrehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(4):349–354.
Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between on-field, objective signs immediately following sport-related concussion and self-reported symptom endorsement within 1 day post injury. Methods: A retrospective case series of 237 concussed high school athletes was performed. On-field signs were evaluated immediately post injury. Self-reported symptoms (2 clusters) were collected within 1 day post injury. A two-step structural equation model and follow-up bivariate regression analyses of significant on-field signs and symptom clusters were performed. Results: Signs of immediate memory, β=0.20, p=.04, and postural instability, β=0.19, p < .01, significantly predicted a greater likelihood of endorsing the cognitive-migraine-fatigue symptom cluster within 1 day post injury. Regarding signs correlated with specific symptoms, immediate memory was associated with symptoms of trouble remembering, χ2=37.92, p < .001, odds ratio (OR)=3.89 (95% confidence interval (CI) [2.47, 6.13]), and concentration difficulties, χ2=10.84, p=.001, OR=2.13 (95% CI [1.37, 3.30]). Postural instability was associated with symptom endorsement of trouble remembering, χ2=12.08, p < .001, OR=1.76 (95% CI [1.29, 2.40]). Conclusions: Certain post-concussion on-field signs exhibited after injury were associated with specific symptom endorsement within 1 day post injury. Based on these associations, individualized education-based interventions and academic accommodations may help reduce unanticipated worry from parents, students, and teachers following a student-athlete’s sport-related concussion, especially in cases of delayed onset symptoms. (JINS, 2018, 24, 476–485)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health threat. Emergence of AMR occurs naturally, but can also be selected for by antimicrobial exposure in clinical and veterinary medicine. Despite growing worldwide attention to AMR, there are substantial limitations in our understanding of the burden, distribution and determinants of AMR at the population level. We highlight the importance of population-based approaches to assess the association between antimicrobial use and AMR in humans and animals. Such approaches are needed to improve our understanding of the development and spread of AMR in order to inform strategies for the prevention, detection and management of AMR, and to support the sustainable use of antimicrobials in healthcare.
In this work, we propose a multi-sensor platform where sensors are stacked over one another (3D stacked) each offering a unique functionality. The technique involves the use of Polyurethane (PU) sponge and PVDF/graphene (Gr) /ZnO composites for various sensing applications. The sponge was made conductive by dipping it in different weight percentages of pencil lead dispersed in ethanol through ultrasonication. Large area Gr/PVDF films were fabricated by simple solution mixing and casting method which also served as a substrate for the 3D stacked sensor. ZnO was grown hydrothermally over Gr/PVDF film by masking a portion of Gr/PVDF film to form a p-n junction. Silver paste and copper tape were used as contact pads. All the three fabricated devices were stacked with PU sponge sandwiched between Gr/PVDF/ZnO (top) and large area Gr/PVDF (bottom) as substrate. Performance of individual sensors and 3D stacked sensor was compared and no notable change was observed. The 3D stacked sensor array platform with its multifunctionality would be a step ahead in wearable electronics which can be integrated on human and can function as an e-skin for burn and acid victims, robotics and human-machine interactions.
The development of DSM-III through DSM-5 has relied heavily on expert consensus. In this essay, we provide an historical and critical perspective on this process. Over the last 40 years, medicine has struggled to find appropriate methods for summarizing research results and making clinical recommendations. When such recommendations are issued by authorized organizations, they can have widespread influence (i.e. DSM-III and its successors). In the 1970s, expert consensus conferences, led by the NIH, reviewed research about controversial medical issues and successfully disseminated results. However, these consensus conferences struggled with aggregating the complex available evidence. In the 1990s, the rise of evidence-based medicine cast doubt on the reliability of expert consensus. Since then, medicine has increasingly relied on systematic reviews, as developed by the evidence-based medicine movement, and advocated for their early incorporation in expert consensus efforts. With the partial exception of DSM-IV, such systematic evidence-based reviews have not been consistently integrated into the development of the DSMs, leaving their development out of step with the larger medical field. Like the recommendations made for the NIH consensus conferences, we argue that the DSM process should be modified to require systematic evidence-based reviews before Work Groups make their assessments. Our suggestions – which would require leadership and additional resources to set standards for appropriate evidence hierarchies, carry out systematic reviews, and upgrade the group process – should improve the objectivity of the DSM, increase the validity of its results, and improve the reception of any changes in nosology.
Digital tonometry is designed to non-invasively screen for endothelial dysfunction by the detection of impaired flow-induced reactive hyperaemia in the fingertip. We determined whether digital reactive hyperaemia correlated with risk factors for atherosclerosis in two groups of children at increased risk for endothelial dysfunction.
A total of 15 obese children and 23 non-obese, dyslipidaemic children, 8–21 years of age, were enrolled, and their medical histories, anthropometric measurements, carotid wall thickness by means of ultrasonography, and fasting blood samples for cardiovascular risk factors were obtained. The standard endoPAT index of digital reactive hyperaemia was modified to reflect the true peak response or the integrated response of the entire post-occlusion period. In each group, age, sex, pubertal status, carotid wall thickness, and multiple cardiovascular risk factors were tested as predictors of endothelial dysfunction.
In the non-obese, dyslipidaemic group, but not in the obese group, both indices strongly correlated with height (r=0.55, p=0.007, by peak response) followed by weight, waist circumference, and age. In both groups, neither index of reactive hyperaemia significantly correlated with any other cardiovascular risk factor.
Contrary to the known age-related increase in atherosclerosis, digital reactive hyperaemia increased with age and its correlates in non-obese, dyslipidaemic children and was not related to other cardiovascular risk factors in either group. The reason for the lack of this relationship with age in obese children is unknown. The age-dependent physiology of digital microvascular reactivity and the endothelium-independent factors controlling the peak hyperaemic response need further study in children with a wide age range.
Restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) are hallmark symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); however, it has proven difficult to understand the mechanisms underlying these behaviors. One hypothesis suggests that RRBs are the result of a core deficit in attention. Alternatively, abnormalities of the motor system may constitute the central mechanism underlying RRBs, given motor deficits observed in ASDs. In this experiment, we investigated the etiology of RRBs and the relationship between attention and motor deficits. Movement impairments (a) may be indirectly related to attention deficits, (b) may result from a shared compromised process, or (c) may be independent. Twenty-two adolescents with ASD and 20 typically developing participants performed a spatial attention task. Movement impairments were assessed with a rhythmic tapping task. Attentional orienting and motor control were found to be related and supported the hypothesis that these impairments in ASD arise from a shared process. In contrast, measures of attention switching and motor control were found to be independent. Stereotyped behaviors, as assessed by parental ratings, were related more to the degree of motor impairment than to deficits of attention. These results suggest that both attentional orienting deficits and stereotyped RRBs are related to a compromised motor system.