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This study aimed to describe the microscopic over-under cartilage tympanoplasty technique, provide hearing results and detail clinically significant complications.
This was a retrospective case series chart review study of over-under cartilage tympanoplasty procedures performed by the senior author between January 2015 and January 2019 at three tertiary care centres. Cases were excluded for previous or intra-operative cholesteatoma, if a mastoidectomy was performed during the procedure or if ossiculoplasty was performed. Hearing results and complications were obtained.
Sixty-eight tympanoplasty procedures met the inclusion criteria. The median age was 13 years (range, 3–71 years). The mean improvement in pure tone average was 6 dB (95 per cent confidence interval 4–9 dB; p < 0.0001). The overall perforation closure rate was 97 per cent (n = 66). Revision surgery was recommended for a total of 6 cases (9 per cent) including 2 post-operative perforations, 1 case of middle-ear cholesteatoma and 3 cases of external auditory canal scarring.
Over-under cartilage tympanoplasty is effective at improving clinically meaningful hearing with a low rate of post-operative complications.
Competing theories on the aetiology of eating disorders originate from a diverse set of disciplines. One such discipline is Evolutionary Psychology which assumes that the human mind has been shaped by natural and sexual selection. Most evolutionary theories on eating disorders limit themselves to the causation of anorexia nervosa only. The Sexual Competition Hypothesis (SCH), based on the Darwinian theory of sexual selection, provides an explanatory framework for the whole spectrum of eating disorders. It contends that intense female intrasexual competition (ISC) is the ultimate cause of eating disorders. The SCH explains the phenomenon of the pursuit of thinness as an adaptation to ISC in the modern environment. It argues that eating disorders are pathological phenomena that arise from the mismatch between the modern environment and the inherited female adaptations for ISC.
To test predictions from a novel evolutionary hypothesis for eating disorders.
i) To examine the relationship between disordered eating behaviour (DEB) and ISC in a sample of female undergraduates.
ii) To establish whether there is any relationship between DEB and Life History (LH) strategy.
A group of 206 female undergraduates were recruited. A structural equation model was constructed to analyse the data.
ISC for mates was significantly associated with DEB, as predicted by the SCH. DEB was found to be predicted by fast LH strategy, which was only partially mediated by the SCH.
The results of this study are supportive of the SCH and justify research on a clinical sample.
Psychological stress is associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for aging-related diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
We examined the effect of stress on a DNA methylation age predictor that was shown to correlate strongly with chronological age across human tissues (Horvath 2013). Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured in peripheral blood using the 450K Illumina array in three independent cohorts: the Grady Trauma Project/GTP (N=366); a panic disorder case/control sample recruited at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry/MPI-P (N=318); and the Conte Center for the Psychobiology of Early-Life Trauma/Conte (N=42). Age acceleration was calculated by subtracting chronological age from age predicted by DNA methylation. Psychiatric symptomatology and stressors were assessed using standard questionnaires.
DNA methylation age strongly correlated with chronological age in all samples (r=0.9, p=2.5x10<sup>-133</sup>). Cumulative lifetime stress but not childhood or current stress predicted age acceleration in GTP (p=0.012) and MPI-P (p=0.021). Moreover, epigenetic age acceleration predicted depression (GTP: p=0.002; Conte: p=0.014) and panic disorder (p=0.007). In secondary analyses, we examined the effect of lifetime stress on individual CpGs of the DNA methylation age predictor. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we identified in both GTP and MPI-P a stress-regulated CpG near MCAM, a gene implicated in aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Cumulative lifetime stress, but not childhood or current stress, and psychiatric phenotypes are associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Our findings may explain the accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk associated with chronic stress and psychiatric disorders.
Association between leptin and ghrelin plasma levels and alcohol craving have been found in few studies but they have failed to differentiate this correlation with alcohol withdrawal state.
To research this correlation in a different population and to study this correlation with respect to hyper-excitable state of alcohol withdrawal.
To study levels of leptin and ghrelin in relation with alcohol withdrawal and craving.
Twenty-five indoor patients fulfilling the alcohol dependence criteria were assessed for alcohol withdrawal symptoms and craving. Leptin and ghrelin levels were measured on 1st day, @ the end of 1st week, @ the end of 3rd week of stopping alcohol. Withdrawal was assessed using CIWA-A at day 1 and day 7, craving was assessed using PENN's scale of craving at the end of week 1 and week 3. Control group consisted of 15 first-degree relatives not taking alcohol.
It was found that leptin [t (38) = 2.95, P = 0.005] and ghrelin [t (38) = 2.56, P = 0.015] were significantly higher in alcohol-dependent patients. Levels of hormones had no significant correlation with alcohol withdrawal scores but had positive correlation with craving scores after abstinence.
Leptin and ghrelin, known for balancing the energy homeostasis of body, also seem to play a role in pathways of drug dependence and craving. This relation is independent of stress hormone axis as leptin and ghrelin levels are not correlated with withdrawal scores, which is an indicator of stress hormone axis activation during alcohol withdrawal.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Cortical inhibition (CI) is a neurophysiological outcome of the interaction between GABA inhibitory interneurons and other excitatory neurons. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) measures of CI deficits have been documented in both symptomatic and remitted bipolar disorder (BD) suggesting it could be a trait marker. The effects of medications and duration of illness may contribute to these findings.
To study CI in BD.
To compare CI across early-course medication-naive BD-mania, remitted first episode mania (FEM) and healthy subjects (HS).
Symptomatic BD subjects having < 3 episodes, currently in mania and medication-naive (n = 27), remitted FEM (n = 27; YMRS < 12 and HDRS < 8) and 45 HS, matched for age and gender, were investigated. Resting motor threshold (RMT) and 1-millivolt motor threshold (MT1) were estimated from the right first dorsal interosseous muscle. Paired-pulse TMS measures of short (SICI; 3ms) and long interval intracortical inhibition (LICI; 100ms) were acquired. Group differences in measures of CI were examined using ANOVA.
Symptomatic mania patients had the highest motor thresholds and the maximum LICI indicating a state of an excessive GABA-B neurotransmitter tone. Remitted mania patients had deficits in SICI indicating reduced GABA-A neurotransmitter tone. Putative changes in GABA-A neurotransmitter system activity with treatment may be investigated in future studies. CI has received less attention in BD as compared to schizophrenia and is a potential avenue for future research in this area.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with a relatively high toll on the quality of life of the patient and caregiver. It has a high financial, emotional and psychosocial burden. Surprisingly, optimum academic and educational outcomes in individuals with schizophrenia have been a neglected area of research and service provision.
Development of an interview schedule assessing the helpful and hindering factors affecting the educational attainment in persons with schizophrenia.
Twenty-one participant were recruited (11 patients and 10 caregivers) from August 2014 to 2015 using purposive sampling and interviewed in a semi-structured qualitative fashion. Patients were between 16–25 years of age. Data collection and interpretation continued iteratively till saturation of factors was achieved. The list of factors (hindering/helping) was compiled and sent to a panel of 14 experts. They rated the schedule and the individual factors on a Likert scale. Reliability and validity parameters were tested and the final schedule was formulated.
The final schedule contained 17 hindering and 18 helping factors. Detailed instructions to the interviewer for administration of the schedule are included. The factors have been further subdivided into illness related and illness unrelated. Some of the major hindering factors were symptoms of illness, medication side effects, delay in treatment initiation, perceived conflict in parents, lack of motivation. The major helpful factors were adequate symptom control, withholding inpatient care, spirituality, and peer group acceptance.
Service provisions for ensuring optimal educational achievement can be formulated by assessing the felt needs and hindrances of patients and their caregivers.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Short-term peripheral venous catheter–related bloodstream infection (PVCR-BSI) rates have not been systematically studied in resource-limited countries, and data on their incidence by number of device days are not available.
Prospective, surveillance study on PVCR-BSI conducted from September 1, 2013, to May 31, 2019, in 727 intensive care units (ICUs), by members of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC), from 268 hospitals in 141 cities of 42 countries of Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South East Asia, and Western Pacific regions. For this research, we applied definition and criteria of the CDC NHSN, methodology of the INICC, and software named INICC Surveillance Online System.
We followed 149,609 ICU patients for 731,135 bed days and 743,508 short-term peripheral venous catheter (PVC) days. We identified 1,789 PVCR-BSIs for an overall rate of 2.41 per 1,000 PVC days. Mortality in patients with PVC but without PVCR-BSI was 6.67%, and mortality was 18% in patients with PVC and PVCR-BSI. The length of stay of patients with PVC but without PVCR-BSI was 4.83 days, and the length of stay was 9.85 days in patients with PVC and PVCR-BSI. Among these infections, the microorganism profile showed 58% gram-negative bacteria: Escherichia coli (16%), Klebsiella spp (11%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (6%), Enterobacter spp (4%), and others (20%) including Serratia marcescens. Staphylococcus aureus were the predominant gram-positive bacteria (12%).
PVCR-BSI rates in INICC ICUs were much higher than rates published from industrialized countries. Infection prevention programs must be implemented to reduce the incidence of PVCR-BSIs in resource-limited countries.
Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a severe postpartum disorder. While working memory and emotional processing-related brain function are consistently impaired in psychoses unrelated to the puerperium, no studies have investigated them in PP.
Twenty-four women at risk of developing PP (11 developed an episode – PE; 13 remained well – NPE) and 20 healthy postpartum women completed two functional magnetic resonance imaging tasks within a year of delivery: working memory (n-back) and emotional face recognition (fearful faces). We compared women at-risk of PP to controls, as well as NPE, PE, and controls to test for potential effects of a PP episode occurrence.
Women at-risk of PP and PE showed hyperactivation of lateral visual areas, precuneus, and posterior cingulate during the n-back task. The at-risk group as a whole, as well as the PE and NPE groups, showed hyperconnectivity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) with various parieto-occipito-temporo-cerebellar regions compared to controls during several n-back conditions. Increases in connectivity between the right DLPFC and ipsilateral middle temporal gyrus were observed in the PE group compared to NPE during 2-back. During the fearful faces task, at-risk women as a group showed hyperactivation of fronto-cingulo-subcortical regions, and hypoconnectivity between the left amygdala and ipsilateral occipito-parietal regions compared to controls. No significant performance differences were observed.
These results present preliminary evidence of a differential nature of functional brain abnormalities in PP compared to the typically observed reduced connectivity with the DLPFC in psychoses unrelated to puerperium, such as bipolar disorder.
A primary barrier to translation of clinical research discoveries into care delivery and population health is the lack of sustainable infrastructure bringing researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and communities together to reduce silos in knowledge and action. As National Institutes of Healthʼs (NIH) mechanism to advance translational research, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) awardees are uniquely positioned to bridge this gap. Delivering on this promise requires sustained collaboration and alignment between research institutions and public health and healthcare programs and services. We describe the collaboration of seven CTSA hubs with city, county, and state healthcare and public health organizations striving to realize this vision together. Partnership representatives convened monthly to identify key components, common and unique themes, and barriers in academic–public collaborations. All partnerships aligned the activities of the CTSA programs with the needs of the city/county/state partners, by sharing resources, responding to real-time policy questions and training needs, promoting best practices, and advancing community-engaged research, and dissemination and implementation science to narrow the knowledge-to-practice gap. Barriers included competing priorities, differing timelines, bureaucratic hurdles, and unstable funding. Academic–public health/health system partnerships represent a unique and underutilized model with potential to enhance community and population health.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
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.
This analysis was conducted to evaluate the evidence of the efficacy of iron biofortification interventions on iron status and functional outcomes. Iron deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide, with a disproportionate impact on women and young children, particularly those living in resource-limited settings. Biofortification, or the enhancing of micronutrient content in staple crops, is a promising and sustainable agriculture-based approach to improve nutritional status. Previous randomised efficacy trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated that iron-biofortification interventions improved iron biomarkers; however, no systematic reviews to date have examined the efficacy of biofortification interventions on health outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the efficacy of iron-biofortified staple crops on iron status and functional outcomes: cognitive function (e.g. attention, memory) and physical performance. Five studies from three randomised efficacy trials (i.e. rice, pearl millet, beans) conducted in the Philippines, India and Rwanda were identified for inclusion in this review. Iron status (Hb, serum ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor, total body iron, α-1-acid glycoprotein) was measured at baseline and endline in each trial; two studies reported cognitive outcomes, and no studies reported other functional outcomes. Meta-analyses were conducted using DerSimonian and Laird random-effects methods. Iron-biofortified crop interventions significantly improved cognitive performance in attention and memory domains, compared with conventional crops. There were no significant effects on categorical outcomes such as iron deficiency or anaemia. Further studies are needed to determine the efficacy of iron-biofortified staple crops on human health, including additional functional outcomes and other high-risk populations.
Aberrations in reward and penalty processing are implicated in depression and putatively reflect altered dopamine signalling. This study exploits the advantages of a placebo-controlled design to examine how a novel D2 antagonist with adjunctive antidepressant properties modifies activity in the brain's reward network in depression.
We recruited 43 medication-naïve subjects across the range of depression severity (Beck's Depression Inventory-II score range: 0–43), including healthy volunteers, as well as people meeting full-criteria for major depressive disorder. In a double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over design, all subjects received either placebo or lurasidone (20 mg) across two visits separated by 1 week. Functional magnetic resonance imaging with the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task assessed reward functions via neural responses during anticipation and receipt of gains and losses. Arterial spin labelling measured cerebral blood flow (CBF) at rest.
Lurasidone altered fronto-striatal activity during anticipation and outcome phases of the MID task. A significant three-way Medication-by-Depression severity-by-Outcome interaction emerged in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) after correction for multiple comparisons. Follow-up analyses revealed significantly higher ACC activation to losses in high- v. low depression participants in the placebo condition, with a normalisation by lurasidone. This effect could not be accounted for by shifts in resting CBF.
Lurasidone acutely normalises reward processing signals in individuals with depressive symptoms. Lurasidone's antidepressant effects may arise from reducing responses to penalty outcomes in individuals with depressive symptoms.
Mixing matrices quantify how people with similar or different characteristics make contact with each other, creating potential for disease transmission. Little empirical data on mixing patterns among persons who inject drugs (PWID) are available to inform models of blood-borne disease such as HIV and hepatitis C virus. Egocentric drug network data provided by PWID in Baltimore, Maryland between 2005 and 2007 were used to characterise drug equipment-sharing patterns according to age, race and gender. Black PWID and PWID who were single (i.e. no stable sexual partner) self-reported larger equipment-sharing networks than their white and non-single counterparts. We also found evidence of assortative mixing according to age, gender and race, though to a slightly lesser degree in the case of gender. Highly assortative mixing according to race and gender highlights the existence of demographically isolated clusters, for whom generalised treatment interventions may have limited benefits unless targeted directly. These findings provide novel insights into mixing patterns of PWID for which little empirical data are available. The age-specific assortativity we observed is also significant in light of its role as a key driver of transmission for other pathogens such as influenza and tuberculosis.
Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is an intervention that strives to end the practice of open defaecation. This study measured the effectiveness of CLTS in Nyando District by examining the association between community open defaecation-free (ODF) status and childhood diarrhoeal illness. A cross-sectional study design was used among households with children ⩽5 years old to ascertain information on acute diarrhoea in the past year (outcome), sanitation and health behaviours. Water testing was conducted to determine Escherichia coli and turbidity levels for 55 water sources. Data were obtained from 210 parents or caregivers from an ODF community and 216 parents or caregivers in a non-ODF community. The non-ODF participants reported a non-significant 16% increased risk of diarrhoea compared with the participants from the ODF community. Children's HIV positivity (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 2.29; 95% CI 2.07–2.53), unsafe child stool disposal (aPR = 1.92; 95% CI 1.74–2.12) and low household income (aPR = 1.93; 95% CI 1.46–2.56) were associated with diarrhoea, in the non-ODF community. The ODF location had a higher percentage of E. coli in the drinking water compared with the non-ODF location (76.7% vs. 60%). Diarrhoeal disease rates in children ⩽5 years old did not differ by whether a latrine intervention was implemented. Water sampling findings suggest water safety may have decreased the effectiveness of the CLTS’ improvement of childhood diarrhoea. Improved water treatment practices, safe stool disposal and education may improve the CLTS intervention in ODF communities and therefore reduced the risk of childhood diarrhoea.
To assess antimicrobial prescriber knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding antimicrobial stewardship (AS) and associated barriers to optimal prescribing.
A convenience sample of 2,900 US antimicrobial prescribers at 5 acute-care hospitals within a hospital network.
The following characteristics were assessed with an anonymous, online survey in February 2015: attitudes and practices related to antimicrobial resistance, AS programs, and institutional AS resources; antimicrobial prescribing and AS knowledge; and practices and confidence related to antimicrobial prescribing.
In total, 402 respondents completed the survey. Knowledge gaps were identified through case-based questions. Some respondents sometimes selected overly broad therapy for the susceptibilities given (29%) and some “usually” or “always” preferred using the most broad-spectrum empiric antimicrobials possible (32%). Nearly all (99%) reported reviewing antimicrobial appropriateness at 48–72 hours, but only 55% reported “always” doing so. Furthermore, 45% of respondents felt that they had not received adequate training regarding antimicrobial prescribing. Some respondents lacked confidence selecting empiric therapy using antibiograms (30%), interpreting susceptibility results (24%), de-escalating therapy (18%), and determining duration of therapy (31%). Postprescription review and feedback (PPRF) was the most commonly cited AS intervention (79%) with potential to improve patient care.
Barriers to appropriate antimicrobial selection and de-escalation of antimicrobial therapy were identified among front-line prescribers in acute-care hospitals. Prescribers desired more AS-related education and identified PPRF as the most helpful AS intervention to improve patient care. Educational interventions should be preceded by and tailored to local assessment of educational needs.
Propagation of a strong incident shock through a bed of particles results in complex wave dynamics such as a reflected shock, a transmitted shock, and highly unsteady flow inside the particle bed. In this paper we present three-dimensional numerical simulations of shock propagation in air over a random bed of particles. We assume the flow is inviscid and governed by the Euler equations of gas dynamics. Simulations are carried out by varying the volume fraction of the particle bed at a fixed shock Mach number. We compute the unsteady inviscid streamwise and transverse drag coefficients as a function of time for each particle in the random bed for different volume fractions. We show that (i) there are significant variations in the peak drag for the particles in the bed, (ii) the mean peak drag as a function of streamwise distance through the bed decreases with a slope that increases as the volume fraction increases, and (iii) the deviation from the mean peak drag does not correlate with local volume fraction. We also present the local Mach number and pressure contours for the different volume fractions to explain the various observed complex physical mechanisms occurring during the shock–particle interactions. Since the shock interaction with the random bed of particles leads to transmitted and reflected waves, we compute the average flow properties to characterize the strength of the transmitted and reflected shock waves and quantify the energy dissipation inside the particle bed. Finally, to better understand the complex wave dynamics in a random bed, we consider a simpler approximation of a planar shock propagating in a duct with a sudden area change. We obtain Riemann solutions to this problem, which are used to compare with fully resolved numerical simulations.