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Past research has only studied genetic panel scores and feedlot performance. This research combines impacts of genetic panel scores on a cow-calf operation with previously estimated feedlot impacts to evaluate the potential for misaligned economic incentives in the beef industry. Calves that were higher genetic scores for two carcass traits, marbling and tenderness, had lower weaning weights and lower net returns. Correlations between genetic traits and cow size were small and mostly insignificant. The sum of the effects on feedlot and cow-calf sectors of a one-unit higher panel score totaled $-2.83 per cow year for marbling and $-4.93 per cow year for tenderness.
Management of lateral cystic neck masses with no apparent upper aerodigestive tract primary tumour in adults is controversial. Imaging modalities and fine needle aspiration cytology often struggle to distinguish the presence of malignancy.
This study entailed a multicentre retrospective review of all patients with isolated lateral cystic neck masses from 2012 to 2018 in three Welsh health boards, utilising demographic data and first-line investigations (ultrasound scanning and fine needle aspiration cytology) to develop an evidence-based predictive tool for risk of malignancy.
It was found that 29.1 per cent of cystic lesions were malignant on final histology. Age, male gender, non-benign ultrasound scan findings and fine needle aspiration cytology were significant risk factors on univariate analysis. The final multivariate analysis predicted a risk of malignancy ranging from 2.1 to 65.0 per cent depending on the covariate pattern. Smoking status was non-significant.
A rigorous, risk-stratified approach to the management of these patients should aid the clinician in minimising morbidity and optimising resources.
People with neuropsychiatric symptoms often experience delay in accurate diagnosis. Although cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light (CSF NfL) shows promise in distinguishing neurodegenerative disorders (ND) from psychiatric disorders (PSY), its accuracy in a diagnostically challenging cohort longitudinally is unknown.
We collected longitudinal diagnostic information (mean = 36 months) from patients assessed at a neuropsychiatry service, categorising diagnoses as ND/mild cognitive impairment/other neurological disorders (ND/MCI/other) and PSY. We pre-specified NfL > 582 pg/mL as indicative of ND/MCI/other.
Diagnostic category changed from initial to final diagnosis for 23% (49/212) of patients. NfL predicted the final diagnostic category for 92% (22/24) of these and predicted final diagnostic category overall (ND/MCI/other vs. PSY) in 88% (187/212), compared to 77% (163/212) with clinical assessment alone.
CSF NfL improved diagnostic accuracy, with potential to have led to earlier, accurate diagnosis in a real-world setting using a pre-specified cut-off, adding weight to translation of NfL into clinical practice.
Vascular dementia (VD) is one of the more common types of dementia. Much is known about VD in older adults in terms of survival and associated risk factors, but comparatively less is known about VD in a younger population. This study aimed to investigate survival in people with young-onset VD (YO-VD) compared to those with late-onset VD (LO-VD) and to investigate predictors of mortality.
Retrospective file review from 1992 to 2014.
The inpatient unit of a tertiary neuropsychiatry service in Victoria, Australia.
Inpatients with a diagnosis of VD.
Measurements and methods:
Mortality information was obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Clinical variables included age of onset, sex, vascular risk factors, structural neuroimaging, and Hachinksi scores. Statistical analyses used were Kaplan–Meier curves for median survival and Cox regression for predictors of mortality.
Eighty-four participants were included with few clinical differences between the LO-VD and YO-VD groups. Sixty-eight (81%) had died. Median survival was 9.9 years (95% confidence interval 7.9, 11.7), with those with LO-VD having significantly shorter survival compared to those with YO-VD (6.1 years and 12.8 years, respectively) and proportionally more with LO-VD had died (94.6%) compared to those with YO-VD (67.5%), χ2(1) = 9.16, p = 0.002. The only significant predictor of mortality was increasing age (p = 0.001).
While there were few clinical differences, and older age was the only factor associated with survival, further research into the effects of managing cardiovascular risk factors and their impact on survival are recommended.
Carer burden is common in younger-onset dementia (YOD), often due to the difficulty of navigating services often designed for older people with dementia. Compared to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the burden is reported to be higher in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). However, there is little literature comparing carer burden specifically in YOD. This study hypothesized that carer burden in bvFTD would be higher than in AD.
Retrospective cross-sectional study.
Tertiary neuropsychiatry service in Victoria, Australia.
Patient-carer dyads with YOD.
We collected patient data, including behaviors using the Cambridge Behavioral Inventory-Revised (CBI-R). Carer burden was rated using the Zarit Burden Inventory-short version (ZBI-12). Descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to analyze the data.
Carers reported high burden (ZBI-12 mean score = 17.2, SD = 10.5), with no significant difference in burden between younger-onset AD and bvFTD. CBI-R stereotypic and motor behaviors, CBI-R everyday skills, and total NUCOG scores differed between the two groups. There was no significant difference in the rest of the CBI-R subcategories, including the behavior-related domains.
Carers of YOD face high burden and are managing significant challenging behaviors. We found no difference in carer burden between younger-onset AD and bvFTD. This could be due to similarities in the two subtypes in terms of abnormal behavior, motivation, and self-care as measured on CBI-R, contrary to previous literature. Clinicians should screen for carer burden and associated factors including behavioral symptoms in YOD syndromes, as they may contribute to carer burden regardless of the type.
This research examines maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk for poorer executive function in siblings discordant for exposure. Data (N = 173 families) were drawn from the Missouri Mothers and Their Children study, a sample, identified using birth records (years 1998–2005), in which mothers changed smoking behavior between two pregnancies (Child 1 [older sibling]: Mage = 12.99; Child 2 [younger sibling]: Mage = 10.19). A sibling comparison approach was used, providing a robust test for the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and different aspects of executive function in early-mid adolescence. Results suggested within-family (i.e., potentially causal) associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy and one working memory task (visual working memory) and one response inhibition task (color-word interference), with increased exposure associated with decreased performance. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was not associated with stop-signal reaction time, cognitive flexibility/set-shifting, or auditory working memory. Initial within-family associations between maternal smoking during pregnancy and visual working memory as well as color-word interference were fully attenuated in a model including child and familial covariates. These findings indicate that exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy may be associated with poorer performance on some, but not all skills assessed; however, familial transmission of risk for low executive function appears more important.
Supplemental food from anthropogenic sources is a source of conflict with humans for many wildlife species. Food-seeking behaviours by black bears Ursus americanus and brown bears Ursus arctos can lead to property damage, human injury and mortality of the offending bears. Such conflicts are a well-known conservation management issue wherever people live in bear habitats. In contrast, the use of anthropogenic foods by the polar bear Ursus maritimus is less common historically but is a growing conservation and management issue across the Arctic. Here we present six case studies that illustrate how negative food-related interactions between humans and polar bears can become either chronic or ephemeral and unpredictable. Our examination suggests that attractants are an increasing problem, exacerbated by climate change-driven sea-ice losses that cause increased use of terrestrial habitats by bears. Growing human populations and increased human visitation increase the likelihood of human–polar bear conflict. Efforts to reduce food conditioning in polar bears include attractant management, proactive planning and adequate resources for northern communities to reduce conflicts and improve human safety. Permanent removal of unsecured sources of nutrition, to reduce food conditioning, should begin immediately at the local level as this will help to reduce polar bear mortality.
Younger-onset dementia (YOD) is a dementia of which symptom onset occurs at 65 years or less. There are approximately 27000 people in Australia with a YOD and the causes can range from Alzheimer’s dementia (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), metabolic and genetic disorders. It is crucial to obtain a definitive diagnosis as soon as possible in order for appropriate treatment to take place and future planning. Previous research has reported 4-5 years to get a diagnosis (Draper et al. 2016) and factors associated with delay include younger age (van Vliet et al. 2013) and psychiatric comorbidity (Draper et al. 2016). We report on our experience of diagnostic delay.
This was a retrospective file review of 10 years of inpatients from Neuropsychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia. Neuropsychiatry is a tertiar service which provides assessment of people with cognitive, psychiatric, neurological and behavioural symptoms. Factors such as age of onset, number of services/specialists seen were extracted and analysed using multivariate regression.
Of the 306 individual patients who had a YOD, these were grouped into the major dementia groups (such as AD, FTD, Huntington’s disease, vascular dementia, alcohol-related dementia). The most commonly occurring dementia was AD (24.2%), followed by FTD (23%). There was an average of 3.7 years (SD=2.6), range 0.5-15 years, of delay to diagnosis. Cognitive impairment, as measured using the Neuropsychiatry Unit Cognitive Assessment (NUCOG) was moderate, with a mean score of 68.9 (SD=17.9). Within the groups of dementia, patients with Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) had the longest delay to diagnosis F(11,272)=3.677, p<0.0001, with 6.3 years delay. Age of symptom onset and number of specialists/services seen were the significant predictors of delay to diagnosis F(7, 212)=3.975, p<0.001, R211.6.
Discussion and conclusions:
This was an eclectic group of people with YOD. The results of regression suggests that there are other factors which contribute to the delay, which are not just demographic related. Rarer disorders, such as NPC which present at an early age, and present with symptoms that are not cognitive in nature, can contribute to diagnostic delay.
We present the data and initial results from the first pilot survey of the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU), observed at 944 MHz with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The survey covers
of an area covered by the Dark Energy Survey, reaching a depth of 25–30
rms at a spatial resolution of
11–18 arcsec, resulting in a catalogue of
220 000 sources, of which
180 000 are single-component sources. Here we present the catalogue of single-component sources, together with (where available) optical and infrared cross-identifications, classifications, and redshifts. This survey explores a new region of parameter space compared to previous surveys. Specifically, the EMU Pilot Survey has a high density of sources, and also a high sensitivity to low surface brightness emission. These properties result in the detection of types of sources that were rarely seen in or absent from previous surveys. We present some of these new results here.
We describe the glacial geomorphology and initial geochronology of two ice-free valley systems within the Neptune Range of the Pensacola Mountains, Antarctica. These valleys are characterized by landforms associated with formerly more expanded ice sheet(s) that were at least 200 m thicker than at present. The most conspicuous features are areas of supraglacial debris, discrete debris accumulations separated from modern-day ice and curvilinear ridges and mounds. The landsystem bears similarities to debris-rich cold-based glacial landsystems described elsewhere in Antarctica and the Arctic where buried ice is prevalent. Geochronological data demonstrate multiple phases of ice expansion. The oldest, occurring > 3 Ma, overtopped much of the landscape. Subsequent, less expansive advances into the valleys occurred > 2 Ma and > ~1 Ma. An expansion of some local glaciers occurred < 250 ka. This sequence of glacial stages is similar to that described from the northernmost massif of the Pensacola Mountains (Dufek Massif), suggesting that it represents a regional signal of ice-sheet evolution over the Plio-Pleistocene. The geomorphological record and its evolution over millions of years makes the Neptune Range valleys an area worthy of future research and we highlight potential avenues for this.
Background: The association between antimicrobial use (AMU) and emergence of antimicrobial resistance is well documented. The Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) has conducted sentinel surveillance of AMU at participating Canadian hospitals since 2009 resulting in the largest pan-Canadian hospital database of dispensed antimicrobials. Objectives: Describe interhospital variability of AMU across Canada. Methods: Hospitals submit annual AMU data based on patient days (PD). Antimicrobials were measured in defined daily doses (DDD) for adults using the WHO Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) system. The AMU data among pediatric patients have been available since 2017 using days of therapy (DOT). Surveillance includes systemic antibacterial agents (J01 ATC codes), oral metronidazole, and oral vancomycin. AMU was assessed using quintiles, interquartile ranges (IQR), and relative IQRs (upper- and lower-quartile values divided by the median). Results: Between 2009 and 2018, 20–26 hospitals participated in adult surveillance each year (35 teaching hospitals and 3 nonteaching hospitals participated in ≥1 year). Over this period, overall AMU decreased by 13% at participating adult hospitals from 645 to 560 DDD per 1,000 PD. AMU varied substantially between hospitals, but this variability decreased over time (Fig. 1). In 2009, the IQRs for overall AMU spanned 309 DDD per 1,000 PD, and in 2018 it spanned only 103 DDD per 1,000 PD. This decrease in variability was due to large decreases in use among hospitals with high use in 2009–2010. Among hospitals in the highest use quintile in 2009–2010, AMU decreased, on average, 44 DDD per 1,000 PD each year. Among hospitals in the lowest use quintile in 2009–2010, AMU increased, on average, 6 DDD per 1,000 PD each year. In 2018, antibiotics with the largest absolute IQR variability were cefazolin (61–113 DDD per 1,000 PD), piperacillin-tazobactam (32–64 DDD per 1,000 PD), and vancomycin (24–49 DDD per 1,000 PD). Among antibiotics with ≥1 DDD per 1,000 PD, antibiotics with the largest relative IQR variability were tobramycin (0.3–6 DDD per 1,000 PD), cefadroxil (0.08–9 DDD per 1,000 PD), and linezolid (0.2–3 DDD per 1,000 PD). In 2018, the IQR for overall pediatric AMU (n = 7 teaching hospitals) was 426–581 DOT per 1,000 PD. Antibiotics with the largest IQRs were vancomycin (0.6–58 DOT per 1,000 PD), cefazolin (33–88 DOT per 1,000 PD), and tobramycin (3–57 DOT per 1,000 PD). Among antibiotics with ≥1 DOT per 1,000 PD in 2018, antibiotics with the largest relative IQRs were tobramycin (3–57 DOT per 1,000 PD), cefuroxime (1–6 DOT per 1,000 PD), and amoxicillin (8–42 DOT per 1,000 PD). Conclusions: There is wide variation in overall antibiotic use across hospitals. Variation between AMU at adult hospitals has decreased between 2009 and 2018; in 2018, antibiotics with the largest IQRs were cefazolin and piperacillin-tazobactam. Benchmarking AMU is crucial for informing antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
Funding: CNISP is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Disclosures: Allison McGeer reports funds to her institution from Pfizer and Merck for projects for which she is the principal investigator. She also reports consulting fees from Sanofi-Pasteur, Sunovion, GSK, Pfizer, and Cidara.
While early diagnosis of younger-onset dementia (YOD) is crucial in terms of accessing appropriate services and future planning, diagnostic delays are common. This study aims to identify predictors of delay to diagnosis in a large sample of people with YOD and to investigate the impact of a specialist YOD service on this time to diagnosis.
A retrospective cross-sectional study.
The inpatient unit of a tertiary neuropsychiatry service in metropolitan Victoria, Australia.
People diagnosed with a YOD.
Measurements and methods:
We investigated the following predictors using general linear modeling: demographics including sex and location, age at onset, dementia type, cognition, psychiatric diagnosis, and number of services consulted with prior to diagnosis.
A total of 242 inpatients were included. The mean time to diagnosis was 3.4 years. Significant predictors of delay included younger age at onset, dementia type other than Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), and increased number of services consulted. These predictors individually led to an increased diagnostic delay of approximately 19 days, 5 months, and 6 months, respectively. A specialized YOD service reduced time to diagnosis by 12 months.
We found that younger age at onset, having a dementia which was not the most commonly occurring AD or bvFTD, and increasing number of services were significant predictors of diagnostic delay. A novel result was that a specialist YOD service may decrease diagnostic delay, highlighting the importance of such as service in reducing time to diagnosis as well as providing post-diagnostic support.
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
This chapter focuses on the forms of regulation that shape food habits in ways that we are often unaware of. Invisible rules comprise the forms of regulation that influence food production and consumption at levels that we may be unable to control, such as globalising economic processes, labour processes, dynamics of supply and demand, advertising, and marketing. However, they also comprise the ‘cultural’ rules that – often in implicit ways – dictate who can use which spaces, how it is appropriate to shop or cook, and who may associate with whom. The invisibility of both sets of rules within urban spaces lead many people to answer, in the first instance, that they are the ones who get to decide what is in their fridge. However, through collective reflection, we unearthed the ways in which: labelling misleads us; work and life rhythms combine with street design to influence where we shop; and advertising affects what our children want us to buy. Consequently, the agenda to transform the invisible rules that shape urban food spaces is strongly grounded in the need to render these rules more visible as part of a ‘re-regulation’ (as opposed to a deregulation) of the forces that overdetermine and enclose our food habits, driven by the experience of people whose concerns have been marginalised.
Here, we present some of the results of our co-produced research project that explored how people experience the regulation of food habits in their communities. We draw on multiple sources produced through the project (audio recordings, visual mapping, photography, workshop notes, focus groups and interviews with participants) to explore three key ideas. We begin by exploring the notion of food justice, which seeks to embed discussion of food regulation in attention to the spatial dimensions of food access. Here, we point to the ways in which the project sought to make visible invisible rules and to develop processes of ‘commoning’ in order to address the spatial inequalities of urban food spaces. In the second section, we challenge notions of ‘cheapness’ and instead present ideas of food affordability, following Michael Carolan's (2013) argument that cheap food is part of the problem of unequal food access.
The Institute of Health Economics offers a suite of analyses that provide developers an understanding of the expected commercial viability of an early stage health technology. In combination, these analyses form the Value-Engineered Translation framework. These methods incorporate innovative methods to manage uncertainty in early economic evaluations, in particular, moving beyond current stochastic assessments of headroom to account for inter-market variability in value hurdles, as well as incorporating social value premia considerations. An illustration of these methods is demonstrated using the example of a non-invasive diagnostic test (called DCRSHP) at an early stage of development, compared to current practice of cystoscopy in the diagnosis of bladder cancer.
Competing technologies were identified to inform the headroom assessment based on price and effectiveness. Then, a model-based cost-effectiveness analysis was undertaken incorporating headroom analysis, stochastic one-way sensitivity analysis, and value of information analysis using data from secondary sources.
Currently there are a number of non-invasive tests available, but none have sufficient test accuracy to be suitable for bladder cancer diagnosis alone. From the headroom analysis, DCRSHP can be priced at up to CAD 790 (i.e. USD 588) and still be cost-effective compared to the current practice of cystoscopy. Interestingly this price can be increased for patient groups that have lower levels of bladder cancer prevalence.
The requirements of economic evaluations depend on the stage of technology development, and analysis approaches must reflect this. The results here indicate that DCRSHP clears the value hurdle in terms of being cost-effective, and thus provides the opportunity to make a commercial return on future investment. Future analysis of DCRSHP could consider the cost drivers for development of the technology, including the regulatory pathways, costs associated with the intellectual asset management for the technology, and alternative manufacturing costs. All of which contribute to the research-to-practice continuum.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.