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Background: SMA is a neurodegenerative disease caused by biallelic deletion/mutation of the survival motor neuron (SMN1) gene. In the phase 1 trial (NCT02122952), SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of 15 symptomatic SMA1 patients (3 at a lower dose [cohort 1] and 12 at the proposed therapeutic dose [cohort 2]). This report describes long-term follow-up study design and data from the phase 1 study. Methods: Patients in the phase 1 study could rollover into a long-term follow-up study (NCT03421977). The primary objective is to collect long-term safety data (serious adverse events, hospitalizations, and adverse events of special interest). Annual follow-up will occur for 15 years. Additionally, patient record transfers from local clinician(s) will be requested. Safety assessments include medical history and record review, physical examination, clinical laboratory evaluation, and pulmonary assessments. Efficacy assessments include physical examination to assess developmental milestones. Results: As of September 27, 2018, the oldest patients are 59.2 (cohort 1) and 52.1 (cohort 2) months old and free of permanent ventilation. Preliminary data, including survival and developmental milestones, will be presented. Conclusions: Patients treated with a one-time dose of AVXS-101 continue to gain strength, develop, and achieve new milestones, demonstrating a long-term, durable response.
Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Most cases are functional and no therapy has proven effective. Our objective was to determine if hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) (BuscopanTM) is effective for children who present to the ED with functional abdominal pain. Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, superiority trial comparing HBB 10 mg plus acetaminophen placebo to oral acetaminophen 15 mg/kg (max 975 mg) plus HBB placebo using a double-dummy approach. We included children 8-17 years presenting to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre with colicky abdominal pain rated >40 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS). The primary outcome was VAS pain score at 80 minutes post-administration. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects; caregiver satisfaction with pain management using a five-item Likert scale; recidivism and missed surgical diagnoses within 24-hours of discharge. Analysis was based on intention to treat. Results: We analyzed 225 participants (112 acetaminophen; 113 HBB). The mean (SD) age was 12.4 (3.0) years and 148/225 (65.8%) were females. Prior to enrollment, the median (IQR) duration of pain prior was 2 (4.5) hours and analgesia was provided to 101/225 (44.9%) of participants. The mean (SD) pre-intervention pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 62.7 (15.9) mm and 60.3 (17.3) mm, respectively. At 80 minutes, the mean (SD) pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 30.1 (28.8) mm and 29.4 (26.4) mm, respectively and there were no significant differences adjusting for pre-intervention scores (p = 0.96). The median (IQR) caregiver satisfaction was high in the acetaminophen [5 (2)] and HBB [5 (1)] groups (p = 0.79). The median (IQR) length of stay between acetaminophen [235 (101)] and HBB [234 (103)] was not significantly different (p = 0.53). The proportion of participants with a return visit for abdominal pain was 4/112 (3.5%) in the acetaminophen group and 6/113 (5.3%) in the HBB group. The most common adverse effect was nausea (9% in each group) and there were no significant differences in adverse effects between acetaminophen (26/112, 23.2%) and HBB (31/113, 27.4%) (p = 0.52). There were no missed surgical diagnoses. Conclusion: For children with presumed functional abdominal pain who present to the ED, both acetaminophen and HBB produce a clinically important (VAS < 30 mm) reduction in pain and should be routinely considered in this clinical setting.
Numerous studies have been conducted into the microstructural origin of the instability and unpredictability of various energetic materials. Some of these materials are RDX/HMX, Ammonium Perchlorate, Aluminum, etc. Many techniques both destructive and non-destructive have so far been utilized in an attempt to quatify the energetic properties of their composites. These composites may contain one or more energetic constituents in an elastomeric binder. Non-destructive X-ray characterization techniques have been successfully employed to measure several microstructural parameters. Previous studies have shown considerable differences among various production grade RDX. These studies reveal marked differences in the amounts of residual elastic strain and the distribution of dislocations (residual plastic strain) in the constituent RDX phase.
The focus of this study is to develop a technique for quantitative constituent phase analysis of solid-propellant (fuel) composites using conventional diffractometry. The use of a Curved Position Sensitive Detector (CPSD) greatly enhances the technique and allows real time applications in production environments. Through the use of computer based Systems and "user friendly" software the required Operator, skill and training have been considerably reduced. The CPSD System has been successfully used to quantify constituent phases (peak heights) and the amounts of residual elastic strain (peak shifts) in these molecular crystal powder mixtures.
It is envisioned that rapid, automated, non-destructive X-ray characterization techniques will greatly facilitate production based propellant quality control. A thorough understanding of the relationship between the energetics and microstructural parameters can also he obtained.
Nutritional strategies to mitigate the negative effects of heat stress on animal welfare and productivity often involve changes in ration formulation. However, cattle commonly sort their ration in favour of certain components, and it is not clear how feed sorting responds to heat stress. This study investigated the association between heat stress and feed sorting behaviour. Lactating Holstein dairy cows (n = 32; parity = 2.8±1.2; mean±SD) were housed in a free stall barn and milked 3×/day. Cows were fed individually using the Calan Broadbent Feeding System and offered ad libitum access to a total mixed ration (containing on a dry matter basis: 3.3% ryegrass hay, 16.5% ryegrass baleage, 24.7% corn silage, 11.1% brewers grains, 19.7% ground corn, 19.8% concentrate and 4.9% protein/mineral supplement), provided 1×/day. Beginning at 186±60 days in milk, cows were exposed to either: heat stress conditions (HT; n = 15) (average temperature–humidity index: 77.6), or evaporative cooling (CL; n = 17), consisting of misters and fans over the freestall and feed bunks. Data were collected during a 4-day baseline period, and two 4-day experimental periods: starting at 10 days after implementing treatments (defined as acute heat stress for HT cows), and at 62 days after implementing treatments (defined as chronic heat stress for HT cows). Daily feed intake and physiological responses to heat stress (body temperature, respiration rate) were recorded. Samples of fresh and refused feed were collected daily from individual cows for particle size analysis. The particle size separator had three screens (19, 8 and 1.18 mm) and a bottom pan, resulting in 4 fractions (long, medium, short and fine particles). Feed sorting was calculated as the actual intake of each particle size fraction expressed as a percentage of the predicted intake of that fraction. During both heat stress periods, HT cows sorted for long particles more than CL cows (105.0% v. 100.6%; SE = 1.1). During acute heat stress, HT cows sorted to a greater extent than CL cows against medium and short particles, whereas sorting of these fractions did not differ during chronic heat stress. Body temperature and respiration rate were associated across treatments with the extent of sorting for long particles and against short particles during acute heat stress. These results suggest that feed sorting is particularly influenced during acute heat stress, and that sorting for longer particles may increase in heat stress.
Social stratification is an important mechanism of human organization that helps to explain health differences between demographic groups commonly associated with socioeconomic gradients. Individuals, or group of individuals, with similar health profiles may have had different stratification experiences. This is particularly true as social stratification is a significant non-measurable source of systematic unobservable differences in both SES indicators and health statuses of disadvantage. The goal of the present study was to expand the bulk of research that has traditionally treated socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as independent, additive influences on health by examining data from the United States. It is hypothesized that variation in an index of multi-system physiological dysregulation – allostatic load – is associated with social differentiation factors, sorting individuals with similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics into mutually exclusive econo-demographic classes. The data were from the Longitudinal and Biomarker samples of the national Study of Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) conducted in 1995 and 2004/2006. Latent class analyses and regression analyses revealed that physiological dysregulation linked to socioeconomic variation among black people, females and older adults are associated with forces of stratification that confound socioeconomic and demographic indicators. In the United States, racial stratification of health is intrinsically related to the degree to which black people in general, and black females in particular, as a group, share an isolated status in society. Findings present evidence that disparities in health emerge from group-differentiation processes to the degree that individuals are distinctly exposed to the ecological, political, social, economic and historical contexts in which social stratification is ingrained. Given that health policies and programmes emanate from said legal and political environments, interventions should target the structural conditions that expose different subgroups to different stress risks in the first place.
The epidemic of prescription and non-prescription opioid misuse is of particular importance in pregnancy. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada currently recommends opioid replacement therapy with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid-dependent women during pregnancy. This vulnerable segment of the population has been shown to be at increased risk of blood-borne infectious diseases, nutritional insecurity and stress. The objective of this study was to describe an urban cohort of pregnant women on opioid replacement therapy and to evaluate potential effects on the fetus. A retrospective chart review of all women on opioid replacement therapy and their infants who delivered at The Ottawa Hospital General and Civic campuses between January 1, 2013 and March 24, 2017 was conducted. Data were collected on maternal characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, neonatal outcomes and corresponding placental pathology. Maternal comorbidities identified included high rates of infection, tobacco use and illicit substance use, as well as increased rates of placental abruption compared with national averages. Compared with national baseline averages, the mean neonatal birth weight was low, and the incidence of small for gestational age infants and congenital anomalies was high. The incidence of NAS was comparable with estimates from other studies of similar cohorts. Findings support existing literature that calls for a comprehensive interdisciplinary risk reduction approach including dietary, social, domestic, psychological and other supports to care for opioid-dependent women in pregnancy.
The links between low socioeconomic status and poor health are well established, yet despite adversity, some individuals with low socioeconomic status appear to avoid these negative consequences through adaptive coping. Previous research found a set of strategies, called shift-and-persist (shifting the self to stressors while persisting by finding meaning), to be particularly adaptive for individuals with low socioeconomic status, who typically face more uncontrollable stressors. This study tested (a) whether perceived social status, similar to objective socioeconomic status, would moderate the link between shift-and-persist and health, and (b) whether a specific uncontrollable stressor, unfair treatment, would similarly moderate the health correlates of shift-and-persist. A sample of 308 youth (Meanage = 13.0, range 8–17), physician diagnosed with asthma, completed measures of shift-and-persist, unfair treatment, asthma control, and quality of life in the lab, and 2 weeks of daily diaries about their asthma symptoms. Parents reported on perceived family social status. Results indicated that shift-and-persist was associated with better asthma profiles, only among youth from families with lower (vs. higher) parent-reported perceived social status. Shift-and-persist was also associated with better asthma profiles, only among youth who experienced more (vs. less) unfair treatment. These findings suggest that the adaptive values of coping strategies for youth with asthma depend on the family's perceived social status and on the stressor experienced.
There is controversy in the literature concerning the effect of amino acid (AA) and peptide nitrogen on microbial activity in ruminants fed diets high in structural carbohydrates. Microbial protein is the most variable and uncertain element of current systems of evaluating protein requirements for ruminants (ARC, 1984). Some of the variability is attributed to the multiplicity of techniques for estimating microbial yield, some of which are both imprecise and cumbersome. This study investigates the effects of different forms of nitrogen on microbial activity in sheep fed a rapidly degraded fibrous basal diet and attempts to validate the recently developed purine derivative (PD) technique by comparing it to other procedures used to estimate microbial protein synthesis under the same conditions.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stress/trauma exposure are cross-sectionally associated with advanced DNA methylation age relative to chronological age. However, longitudinal inquiry and examination of associations between advanced DNA methylation age and a broader range of psychiatric disorders is lacking. The aim of this study was to examine if PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety, and alcohol-use disorders predicted acceleration of DNA methylation age over time (i.e. an increasing pace, or rate of advancement, of the epigenetic clock).
Genome-wide DNA methylation and a comprehensive set of psychiatric symptoms and diagnoses were assessed in 179 Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans who completed two assessments over the course of approximately 2 years. Two DNA methylation age indices (Horvath and Hannum), each a weighted index of an array of genome-wide DNA methylation probes, were quantified. The pace of the epigenetic clock was operationalized as change in DNA methylation age as a function of time between assessments.
Analyses revealed that alcohol-use disorders (p = 0.001) and PTSD avoidance and numbing symptoms (p = 0.02) at Time 1 were associated with an increasing pace of the epigenetic clock over time, per the Horvath (but not the Hannum) index of cellular aging.
This is the first study to suggest that posttraumatic psychopathology is longitudinally associated with a quickened pace of the epigenetic clock. Results raise the possibility that accelerated cellular aging is a common biological consequence of stress-related psychopathology, which carries implications for identifying mechanisms of stress-related cellular aging and developing interventions to slow its pace.
While previous work showed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention toolkit for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) can reduce spread regionally, these interventions are costly, and decisions makers want to know whether and when economic benefits occur.
Orange County, California
Using our Regional Healthcare Ecosystem Analyst (RHEA)-generated agent-based model of all inpatient healthcare facilities, we simulated the implementation of the CRE toolkit (active screening of interfacility transfers) in different ways and estimated their economic impacts under various circumstances.
Compared to routine control measures, screening generated cost savings by year 1 when hospitals implemented screening after identifying ≤20 CRE cases (saving $2,000–$9,000) and by year 7 if all hospitals implemented in a regional coordinated manner after 1 hospital identified a CRE case (hospital perspective). Cost savings was achieved only if hospitals independently screened after identifying 10 cases (year 1, third-party payer perspective). Cost savings was achieved by year 1 if hospitals independently screened after identifying 1 CRE case and by year 3 if all hospitals coordinated and screened after 1 hospital identified 1 case (societal perspective). After a few years, all strategies cost less and have positive health effects compared to routine control measures; most strategies generate a positive cost-benefit each year.
Active screening of interfacility transfers garnered cost savings in year 1 of implementation when hospitals acted independently and by year 3 if all hospitals collectively implemented the toolkit in a coordinated manner. Despite taking longer to manifest, coordinated regional control resulted in greater savings over time.
We present early results from the first near-IR imaging of the weak X-ray sources discovered in the recent Chandra/ACIS-I survey towards the Galactic Centre (GC) (Wang et al. 2002). These ~800 discrete sources, which contribute significantly to the GC X-ray emission, represent an important and previously unknown population within the Galaxy. From our VLT observations we will identify likely IR counterparts to a sample of the hardest sources, which are most likely X-ray binaries. With these data we can place constraints on the nature of the discrete weak X-ray source population of the GC. Once the data analysis is complete we will discuss our results in the context of binary population synthesis models.
The History, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Age, Risk Factors, and Troponin (HEART) score is a decision aid designed to risk stratify emergency department (ED) patients with acute chest pain. It has been validated for ED use, but it has yet to be evaluated in a prehospital setting.
A prehospital modified HEART score can predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) among undifferentiated chest pain patients transported to the ED.
A retrospective cohort study of patients with chest pain transported by two county-based Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies to a tertiary care center was conducted. Adults without ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were included. Inter-facility transfers and those without a prehospital 12-lead ECG or an ED troponin measurement were excluded. Modified HEART scores were calculated by study investigators using a standardized data collection tool for each patient. All MACE (death, myocardial infarction [MI], or coronary revascularization) were determined by record review at 30 days. The sensitivity and negative predictive values (NPVs) for MACE at 30 days were calculated.
Over the study period, 794 patients met inclusion criteria. A MACE at 30 days was present in 10.7% (85/794) of patients with 12 deaths (1.5%), 66 MIs (8.3%), and 12 coronary revascularizations without MI (1.5%). The modified HEART score identified 33.2% (264/794) of patients as low risk. Among low-risk patients, 1.9% (5/264) had MACE (two MIs and three revascularizations without MI). The sensitivity and NPV for 30-day MACE was 94.1% (95% CI, 86.8-98.1) and 98.1% (95% CI, 95.6-99.4), respectively.
Prehospital modified HEART scores have a high NPV for MACE at 30 days. A study in which prehospital providers prospectively apply this decision aid is warranted.
Extinction is the complete loss of a species, but the accuracy of that status depends on the overall information about the species. Dracaena umbraculifera was described in 1797 from a cultivated plant attributed to Mauritius, but repeated surveys failed to relocate it and it was categorized as Extinct on the IUCN Red List. However, several individuals labelled as D. umbraculifera grow in botanical gardens, suggesting that the species’ IUCN status may be inaccurate. The goal of this study was to understand (1) where D. umbraculifera originated, (2) which species are its close relatives, (3) whether it is extinct, and (4) the identity of the botanical garden accessions and whether they have conservation value. We sequenced a cpDNA region of Dracaena from Mauritius, botanical garden accessions labelled as D. umbraculifera, and individuals confirmed to be D. umbraculifera based on morphology, one of which is a living plant in a private garden. We included GenBank accessions of Dracaena from Madagascar and other locations and reconstructed the phylogeny using Bayesian and parsimony approaches. Phylogenies indicated that D. umbraculifera is more closely related to Dracaena reflexa from Madagascar than to Mauritian Dracaena. As anecdotal information indicated that the living D. umbraculifera originated from Madagascar, we conducted field expeditions there and located five wild populations; the species’ IUCN status should therefore be Critically Endangered because < 50 wild individuals remain. Although the identity of many botanical garden samples remains unresolved, this study highlights the importance of living collections for facilitating new discoveries and the importance of documenting and conserving the flora of Madagascar.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas. The ensuing unprecedented flooding throughout the Texas coastal region affected millions of individuals.1 The statewide response in Texas included the sheltering of thousands of individuals at considerable distances from their homes. The Dallas area established large-scale general population sheltering as the number of evacuees to the area began to amass. Historically, the Dallas area is one familiar with “mega-sheltering,” beginning with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.2 Through continued efforts and development, the Dallas area had been readying a plan for the largest general population shelter in Texas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:33–37)
A lot of controversy in literature still surrounds the way in which free amino acids (AA), peptides and true protein nitrogen influence fibre digestion and the activity of bacteria which ferment structural carbohydrates in the rumen. One of the major impediments in the understanding of ruminal microbial protein synthesis is the lack of a simple and accurate procedure for measuring its yield. The aim of this study was two fold: firstly, to make further investigations into the effects of feeding different forms of supplementary nitrogen to a rapidly fermented high fibre diet on microbial activity, and secondly, to compare three different procedures of estimating microbial protein synthesis under the same conditions in continuous culture (CC).
Microbial protein is the most variable and uncertain element of current systems of evaluating protein requirements for ruminants. The variability is partly a result of the multiplicity of techniques used to quantify microbial nitrogen (MN) yield and partly due to unrepresentative sampling of microbial cells. In a number of studies in the literature it is tacitly assumed that marker:N ratios in rumen liquid associated bacteria (LAB), solid associated bacteria (SAB) and duodenal digesta bacteria (DDB) are identical. Under ordinary feeding conditions ruminal SAB are numerically predominant and may comprise 50-75% of the total microbiota (Mitsumori and Minato, 1997). This study highlights the variations in chemical composition in LAB, SAB and DDB and their implications in estimating microbial growth. The study also simultaneously compares four microbial markers in vivo.
The acanthocephalan fauna of Australian freshwater fishes was documented from field surveys, a literature survey and examination of specimens registered in Australian museums. From the 4030 fishes, representing 78 of the 354 Australian freshwater fish species (22%), examined for infection seven species of acanthocephalan were recovered. These species comprised five endemic species, three in endemic genera, two species in cosmopolitan genera, one species not fully identified and 1 putative exotic species recovered from eight species of fish. Of these Edmonsacanthus blairi from Melanotaenia splendida, was the only acanthocephalan found at a relatively high prevalence of 38·6%. These findings are indicative of a highly endemic and possibly depauperate acanthocephalan fauna. Species richness was higher in the tropical regions than the temperate regions of the country. Exotic acanthocephalan species have either not been introduced with their exotic hosts or have been unable to establish their life cycles in Australian conditions. Consequently, acanthocephalans have not yet invaded endemic Australian fish hosts.
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and preterm birth are frequent co-morbidities, both are independent risks for brain injury. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which preterm FGR increases the risk of adverse neurological outcomes. We aimed to determine the effects of prematurity and mechanical ventilation (VENT) on the brain of FGR and appropriately grown (AG, control) lambs. We hypothesized that FGR preterm lambs are more vulnerable to ventilation-induced acute brain injury. FGR was surgically induced in fetal sheep (0.7 gestation) by ligation of a single umbilical artery. After 4 weeks, preterm lambs were euthanized at delivery or delivered and ventilated for 2 h before euthanasia. Brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected for analysis of molecular and structural indices of early brain injury. FGRVENT lambs had increased oxidative cell damage and brain injury marker S100B levels compared with all other groups. Mechanical ventilation increased inflammatory marker IL-8 within the brain of FGRVENT and AGVENT lambs. Abnormalities in the neurovascular unit and increased blood–brain barrier permeability were observed in FGRVENT lambs, as well as an altered density of vascular tight junctions markers. FGR and AG preterm lambs have different responses to acute injurious mechanical ventilation, changes which appear to have been developmentally programmed in utero.