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Pilot randomized double-blind-controlled trial of repetitive paired associative stimulation (rPAS), a paradigm that combines transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) with peripheral median nerve stimulation.
To study the impact of rPAS on DLPFC plasticity and working memory performance in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Thirty-two patients with AD (females = 16), mean (SD) age = 76.4 (6.3) years were randomized 1:1 to receive a 2-week (5 days/week) course of active or control rPAS. DLPFC plasticity was assessed using single session PAS combined with electroencephalography (EEG) at baseline and on days 1, 7, and 14 post-rPAS. Working memory and theta–gamma coupling were assessed at the same time points using the N-back task and EEG.
There were no significant differences between the active and control rPAS groups on DLPFC plasticity or working memory performance after the rPAS intervention. There were significant main effects of time on DLPFC plasticity, working memory, and theta–gamma coupling, only for the active rPAS group. Further, on post hoc within-group analyses done to generate hypotheses for future research, as compared to baseline, only the rPAS group improved on post-rPAS day 1 on all three indices. Finally, there was a positive correlation between working memory performance and theta–gamma coupling.
This study did not show a beneficial effect of rPAS for DLPFC plasticity or working memory in AD. However, post hoc analyses showed promising results favoring rPAS and supporting further research on this topic. (Clinicaltrials.gov-NCT01847586)
In this paper, a novel design of ultra-wide stop-band single-side single-layer frequency selective surface (FSS) is presented. The unit cell of the proposed FSS is designed using the combination of conventional square loop and cross (CSLC). To enhance the bandwidth of this structure, an additional cross is inserted in all the four quadrants of CSLC. The stop-band transmission bandwidth assuming −10 dB threshold is found to be 128.94% (2.16–10 GHz) which is 34.33% more as compared to the bandwidth of CSLC. The unit cell with a dimension of 16 × 16 mm2 is printed on one side of an FR4 substrate. The design is fabricated and the measured results are found to be in good agreement with the simulated results. The design provides excellent stability for both transverse magnetic and transverse electric polarizations. The design is very flexible, where any resonant frequency can be achieved by changing the length of unit cell. The design is useful in many applications such as antenna gain enhancement, electromagnetic wave shielding for Wi-Fi/5G systems, and other Internet of Things-based applications.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian nationals evacuated from Iran were quarantined at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. We wished to study the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in this closed population.
Basic SEIR compartmental model was developed using daily stepwise approach in Microsoft Excel. Advanced model using standard differential equations in Python software version 3.6 was used to estimate R0 based on model fit to actual data.
Forty-eight SARS-CoV-2 infections were found among the 474 quarantined individuals. Out of them, 44 (92%) were asymptomatic. R0 for the overall duration was found to be 2.29 (95% CI 1.84 – 2.78). Male gender and age ≥ 60 years were associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (RR = 4.33, 95% CI 2.07 – 9.05 and 5.32, 95% CI 3.13 – 9.04, respectively). Isolation of infected individuals and stricter quarantine of remaining individuals reduced the R0 from 2.41 initially to 1.17 subsequently.
R0 value was found comparable to the earlier studies indicating similar transmission dynamics among quarantined individuals in India. Universal testing and prompt isolation of infected individuals reduced the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Smaller group sizes should be preferred to large groups during facility-based quarantine in evacuation situations. Role of asymptomatic individuals appears to be strong in SARS-CoV-2 transmission within closed populations.
Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a major global threat to patient safety. Systematic surveillance is crucial for understanding HAI rates and antimicrobial resistance trends and to guide infection prevention and control (IPC) activities based on local epidemiology. In India, no standardized national HAI surveillance system was in place before 2017. Methods: Public and private hospitals from across 21 states in India were recruited to participate in an HAI surveillance network. Baseline assessments followed by trainings ensured that basic microbiology and IPC implementation capacity existed at all sites. Standardized surveillance protocols for central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) were modified from the NHSN for the Indian context. IPC nurses were trained to implement surveillance protocols. Data were reported through a locally developed web portal. Standardized external data quality checks were performed to assure data quality. Results: Between May 2017 and April 2019, 109 ICUs from 37 hospitals (29 public and 8 private) enrolled in the network, of which 33 were teaching hospitals with >500 beds. The network recorded 679,109 patient days, 212,081 central-line days, and 387,092 urinary catheter days. Overall, 4,301 bloodstream infection (BSI) events and 1,402 urinary tract infection (UTI) events were reported. The network CLABSI rate was 9.4 per 1,000 central-line days and the CAUTI rate was 3.4 per 1,000 catheter days. The central-line utilization ratio was 0.31 and the urinary catheter utilization ratio was 0.57. Moreover, 3,542 (73%) of 4,742 pathogens reported from BSIs and 868 (53%) of 1,644 pathogens reported from UTIs were gram negative. Also, 1,680 (26.3%) of all 6,386 pathogens reported were Enterobacteriaceae. Of 1,486 Enterobacteriaceae with complete antibiotic susceptibility testing data reported, 832 (57%) were carbapenem resistant. Of 951 Enterobacteriaceae subjected to colistin broth microdilution testing, 62 (7%) were colistin resistant. The surveillance platform identified 2 separate hospital-level HAI outbreaks; one caused by colistin-resistant K. pneumoniae and another due to Burkholderia cepacia. Phased expansion of surveillance to additional hospitals continues. Conclusions: HAI surveillance was successfully implemented across a national network of diverse hospitals using modified NHSN protocols. Surveillance data are being used to understand HAI burden and trends at the facility and national levels, to inform public policy, and to direct efforts to implement effective hospital IPC activities. This network approach to HAI surveillance may provide lessons to other countries or contexts with limited surveillance capacity.
This study assessed the tobacco smoking-associated risk for tuberculous pleural effusion (TPE) in India. Ninety-two patients with TPE and 184 controls were randomly selected and assessed regarding their tobacco-smoking status and type, quantity and duration of tobacco used. Odds ratios (ORs) for the association of smoking cigarette, beedi and cigarette or beedi with TPE were 19.22 (p < 0.0001), 2.89 (p = 0.0006) and 4.57 (p < 0.0001) respectively. ORs for developing TPE increased with an increase in beedi/cigarette consumption, duration and pack years of smoking (p < 0.001 each). TPE was significantly associated with confounding risk factors viz., regular alcohol use (OR = 1.89, p = 0.019), history of contact with tuberculosis (TB) patient (OR = 8.07, p < 0.0001), past history of TB (OR = 22.31, p < 0.0001), family history of TB (OR = 9.05, p = 0.0002) and underweight (OR = 3.73, p = 0.0009). Smoking (OR = 3.07, p < 0.001), regular alcohol use (OR = 2.10, p = 0.018), history of contact with TB patient (OR = 4.01, p = 0.040), family history of TB (OR = 10.80, p = 0.001) and underweight (OR = 5.04, p < 0.001) were independently associated with TPE. Thus, both cigarette- and beedi-smoking have a significant association with TPE. The risk for TPE in tobacco smokers is dose- and duration-dependent.
Data mining is a process of finding correlations and collecting and analysing a huge amount of data in a database to discover patterns or relationships. Flight delay creates significant problems in the present aviation system. Data mining techniques are desired for analysing the performance in which micro-level causes propagate to make system-level patterns of delay. Analysing flight delays is very difficult – both when looking from a historical view as well as when estimating delays with forecast demand. This paper proposes using Decision Tree (DT), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Naive Bayesian (NB), K-nearest neighbour (KNN) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to study and analyse delays among aircrafts. The performance of different data mining methods is found in the different regions of the updated datasets on these classifiers. Finally, the result shows a significant variation in the performance of different data mining methods and feature selection for this problem. This paper aims to deal with how data mining techniques can be used to understand difficult aircraft system delays in aviation. Our aim is to develop a classification model for studying and reducing delay using different data mining methods and, in this manner, to show that DT has a greater classification accuracy. The different feature selectors are used in this study in order to reduce the number of initial attributes. Our results clearly demonstrate the value of DT for analysing and visualising how system-level effects happen from subsystem-level causes.
The paper presents a new coplanar waveguide (CPW)-fed rectangular patch antenna with a square-shaped ground plane that can be employed in modern advanced navigation systems. For realizing broad impedance bandwidth in the proposed antenna, a wide slot is introduced in the square ground plane and the rectangular patch is shifted toward the left edge of the ground surface. In addition, by means of introducing square-shaped stubs near the left and right edge of the ground plane, the circular polarization is achieved at L1, L2, and L5 satellite bands. As per the simulation results, the proposed antenna provides a wide impedance bandwidth (S11<−10 dB) of 123% (1.12–4.72 GHz) and 3 dB axial ratio bandwidth of 11% (1.15–1.29 GHz) and 18% (1.5–1.8 GHz) suitable for multipurpose wireless applications. The designed single feed circularly polarized antenna is low profile, small size, light weight and easily integrable with other high-frequency communication devices. To validate radiation performance of the proposed structure, the antenna is fabricated and integrated with the commercially available Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and it is found that the measured values are in close agreement with the desired results.
In this work, we focus on the task of open-type relation argument extraction (ORAE): given a corpus, a query entity Q, and a knowledge base relation (e.g., “Q authored notable work with title X”), the model has to extract an argument of non-standard entity type (entities that cannot be extracted by a standard named entity tagger, for example, X: the title of a book or a work of art) from the corpus. We develop and compare a wide range of neural models for this task yielding large improvements over a strong baseline obtained with a neural question answering system. The impact of different sentence encoding architectures and answer extraction methods is systematically compared. An encoder based on gated recurrent units combined with a conditional random fields tagger yields the best results. We release a data set to train and evaluate ORAE, based on Wikidata and obtained by distant supervision.
Background: Recent advances in neurophysiological techniques have contributed to our understanding of the pathophysiology of Huntington’s disease (HD). Studies of the motor cortical excitability and central motor pathways have shown variable results. Objectives: Our aims were to evaluate the cortical excitability changes in HD using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and correlate the changes with cognitive impairment. Methods: The study included 32 HD patients and 30 age- and gender-matched controls. The demographic and clinical profiles of the patients were recorded. All subjects were evaluated by TMS and resting motor threshold (RMT), central motor conduction time (CMCT), silent period (SP), short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), and intracortical facilitation were determined. A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to all subjects. Results: The mean age of the patients was 42.1±14.1 years, and that of controls 39.4±12.4 years (p=0.61). There was no significant difference in RMT and CMCT between the two groups. There was a mild prolongation of the contralateral SP in HD, but it was not significant. SICI was significantly reduced in HD (p<0.0001). A significant impairment in attention, verbal fluency, executive function, visuospatial function, learning, and memory was observed in HD patients. However, there was no correlation between cortical excitability changes and cognitive impairment. Conclusions: TMS is a valuable method of evaluating cortical excitability changes in HD. These patients have reduced SICI and significant impairment of cognition in multiple domains.
To report the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium surveillance data from 40 hospitals (20 cities) in India 2004–2013.
Surveillance using US National Healthcare Safety Network’s criteria and definitions, and International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium methodology.
We collected data from 236,700 ICU patients for 970,713 bed-days
Pooled device-associated healthcare-associated infection rates for adult and pediatric ICUs were 5.1 central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)/1,000 central line–days, 9.4 cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAPs)/1,000 mechanical ventilator–days, and 2.1 catheter-associated urinary tract infections/1,000 urinary catheter–days
In neonatal ICUs (NICUs) pooled rates were 36.2 CLABSIs/1,000 central line–days and 1.9 VAPs/1,000 mechanical ventilator–days
Extra length of stay in adult and pediatric ICUs was 9.5 for CLABSI, 9.1 for VAP, and 10.0 for catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Extra length of stay in NICUs was 14.7 for CLABSI and 38.7 for VAP
Crude extra mortality was 16.3% for CLABSI, 22.7% for VAP, and 6.6% for catheter-associated urinary tract infections in adult and pediatric ICUs, and 1.2% for CLABSI and 8.3% for VAP in NICUs
Pooled device use ratios were 0.21 for mechanical ventilator, 0.39 for central line, and 0.53 for urinary catheter in adult and pediatric ICUs; and 0.07 for mechanical ventilator and 0.06 for central line in NICUs.
Despite a lower device use ratio in our ICUs, our device-associated healthcare-associated infection rates are higher than National Healthcare Safety Network, but lower than International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium Report.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):172–181
Vitamin D has been recognised as a potent immunomodulator and its deficiency is common in different population groups including patients with diabetic foot infection. Diabetic foot infection reflects the altered immune status of the host. As cytokine regulation plays a significant role in infection and wound-healing processes, the present study aimed to evaluate the association between vitamin D status and inflammatory cytokine profiles in patients with diabetic foot infection. The serum concentrations of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D), IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) were measured in 112 diabetic foot infection cases and 109 diabetic controls. Severe vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration < 25 nmol/l) was more common in cases than in controls (48·2 v. 20·5 %). Although age, duration of diabetes, HbA1C (glycosylated Hb) concentration and BMI were similar, cases had significantly higher concentrations of IL-6 (P≤ 0·001), IL-1β (P≤ 0·02) and TNF-α (P≤ 0·006) than controls. A significant negative correlation was also observed between 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and circulating concentrations of IL-1β (r − 0·323; P≤ 0·001) as well as IL-6 (r − 0·154; P≤ 0·04), but not between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and TNF-α and IFN-γ concentrations. Furthermore, a significant difference in IL-1β (P≤ 0·007) and IL-6 (P≤ 0·02) concentrations was observed in patients with severe 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency compared with patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration ≥ 25 nmol/l, and this difference was remarkable for TNF-α. In conclusion, severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with elevated inflammatory cytokine concentrations in diabetic patients, particularly in those with foot infection. A 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration value < 25 nmol/l is suggested as the ‘cut-off’ for such immunological alterations in patients with diabetes mellitus.
The effect of Al doping on the reflective properties of TiO2 nanoparticles, synthesized by sol–gel method, has been investigated. It has been observed that with Al doping, the phase transition temperature for anatase to rutile phase increases; however, no change in morphology has been observed. No additional absorption edge was found in the absorption spectra, but a weak luminescent peak was noticed in the photoluminescence spectra. TiO2nanoparticles with 0.1% Al doping show higher photostability with practically no change in reflectance. A coating material has been prepared by dispersing these synthesized nanoparticles in water solution of organic binder. Coating material parameters such as pigment to binder weight ratio, solvent ratio, pH of solution have been taken into care to make the coating material flowable with good ability to adhere. Their coating was applied on a plastic substrate with different coating thicknesses to design light reflectors. These reflectors have been found to have diffuse reflectance of 98.17–98.29% for the 0.25-mm-thick coating.
The mass concentration of uranium in water samples collected from the Bathinda district
of Punjab state, India, was estimated using the laser fluorimetric technique. The study
region has shown a pronounced number of cancer cases in the recent period. The study aims
to calculate the human radiological risk and chemical toxicity associated with uranium
consumption through drinking water. The mass concentration of uranium was found to vary
from 0.48 to 571.7 μg/l with a mean value of 84.70 μg/l. The radiological risk due to
consumption of uranium through contaminated drinking water was observed to be in the range
of 1.34 × 10-6 to 1.60 × 10-3 with a mean value of
2.37 × 10-4. The chemical toxicity was found to vary from 0.04–43.11
µg.kg-1.day-1 with a mean value of 6.38
The aim of the present research was to study the prevalence and severity of vitamin D deficiency in patients with diabetic foot infection. Patients were enrolled in two groups: diabetic patients with foot infection (n 125) as cases and diabetic patients without the infection as controls (n 164). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured by RIA. Data were presented as means and standard deviations unless otherwise indicated and were analysed by SPSS. Results revealed that 25(OH)D (nmol/l) was significantly lower (40·25 (sd 38·35) v. 50·75 (sd 33·00); P < 0·001) in cases than in controls. Vitamin D inadequacy (25(OH)D < 75 nmol/l) was equally common in cases and controls (OR 1·45, 95 % CI 0·8, 3·0; P = 0·32), but cases had a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l) than controls (OR 1·8, 95 % CI 1·1, 3·0; P = 0·02). Risk of severe vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 25 nmol/l) was significantly higher in cases than in controls (OR 4·0, 95 % CI 2·4, 6·9; P < 0·0001). Age, duration of diabetes and HbA1c were significantly higher in cases than in controls and therefore adjusted to nullify the effect of these variables, if any, on study outcome. The study concluded that vitamin D deficiency was more prevalent and severe in patients with diabetic foot infection. This study opens up the issue of recognising severe vitamin D deficiency ( < 25 nmol/l) as a possible risk factor for diabetic foot infections and the need for vitamin D supplementation in such patients for a better clinical outcome. This could be substantiated by similar data from future studies.
For efficient utilisation of available farm resources and to increase the income per unit of land, seven integrated farming systems were developed and different combinations of crop, animal, fish and bird were evaluated at three locations of Eastern India, viz. Patna, Vaishali and Munger districts, to sustain productivity, profitability, employment generation and nutrient recycling for lowland situations from 2007–2008 to 2009–2010. Among the tested different Integrated Farming System (IFS) models, viz. (i) crop + fish + poultry, (ii) crop + fish + duck, (iii) crop + fish + goat, (iv) crop + fish + duck + goat, (v) crop + fish + cattle, (vi) crop + fish + mushroom and (vii) crop alone, crop + fish + cattle model recorded higher rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain equivalent yield (RGEY) (18.76 t/ha) than any other combinations, but in terms of economics, crop + fish + duck + goat model supersedes over all other combinations. The highest average net returns (USD 2655/yr) were recorded from crop + fish + duck + goat system over all other systems tested here. Higher average employment of 656 man-days/year were also recorded from crop + fish + duck + goat system because of better involvement of farm family labours throughout the year. Based on a sustainability index (SI) derived from different models, crop + fish + duck + goat system was found superior with a maximum sustainability for net returns (73.1%), apart from the addition of appreciable quantity of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium into the system in the form of recycled animal and plant wastes. The wastes/by-products of crop/animals were used as input for another component to increase the nutrient efficiency at the farm level through nutrient recycling. Results on integration of different components with crop depending upon suitability and preferences were found encouraging, and to enhance the productivity, economic returns, generating employment for farm families and maintaining soil health of the farm, the crop + fish + duck + goat combination could be adopted in the eastern part of India than cultivating the crop alone on the same piece of land under irrigated condition. Addition of organic residues in the form of animal and plant wastes could also help in improving the soil-health and thereby productivity over a longer period of time with lesser environmental hazards. The livelihoods of small and marginal farmers could be improved by their adoption of IFS technologies on a larger scale, as they provide scope to employ more labour year-round.
Design innovations in India’s fashion products result from a fusion of modern technologies and traditional craft skills. This paper highlights the role of the National Resource Centre and the network of resource centres of the National Institute of Fashion Technology in collecting and preserving heritage resources using computer technology. Plans for a National Design Repository and for Shilpakala Jnana Kosha, a digital repository for the tacit craft knowledge of artisans, share the objectives of preserving endangered traditional skills, supporting a process of revival and optimising the use of traditional crafts in contemporary fashion design.
The frequency response of a 37 MHz bulk LiNbO3 surface acoustic wave (SAW) filter with a 200-nm-thick ZnO overlayer exhibited a downshift in the frequency with ultraviolet (UV) light due to acoustoelectric interactions between the photo-generated carriers in the semiconducting ZnO and the surface acoustic waves. In contrast, a 36 MHz ZnO thin film SAW delay-line with insulating ZnO films exhibited an upshift in the frequency. The response was more pronounced at higher harmonics (130–315 MHz) and was attributed to changes in the elastic/dielectric properties in the upper surface layer of ZnO. A linear change in the frequency with UV intensity shows immense applicability for wireless ultraviolet sensor applications.