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Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) refractory to conventional therapy can lead to marked disability and represents a therapeutic challenge.
To report five cases of treatment-refractory disabling CIDP treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT).
This was a retrospective cohort study from a tertiary care referral center for both neuromuscular disease and AHSCT. Patients with CIDP treated with AHSCT between 2008 and 2020 were included. All patients had major persistent and disabling neuropathic deficits despite combinations of intensive immunosuppressive therapy. The primary outcome measures were: Medical Research Council sum score, Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale and requirement for ongoing CIDP immunotherapy after transplantation. We also analyzed safety outcomes by documenting all severe AHSCT-related complications.
Five patients with refractory CIDP underwent AHSCT. Three were classified as manifesting a typical syndrome, two were classified as the multifocal Lewis Sumner variant. The mean age at time of CIDP diagnosis was 33.4 years (range 24–46 years), with a median delay of 46 months (range 21–135 months) between diagnosis and AHSCT. The median follow-up period was 41 months. All five patients were able to wean off CIDP-related immunotherapy. Marked improvements in Medical Research Council scale and overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale were noted in 4/5 patients. One patient with longstanding neurogenic atrophy showed no improvement in disability scales. There were no treatment-related deaths or critical illnesses.
AHSCT can achieve marked sustained clinical improvement of refractory CIDP and may allow for weaning off long-term complex immunotherapies.
A simple and facile stereolithography 3D printing technique was utilized to fabricate piezoelectric photopolymer-based polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) blends. Different process variables, such as solvent (N,N-dimethylformamide, DMF) to PVDF ratio and PVDF solution to photopolymer resin (PR) ratio, were engineered to enhance the dispersion of the PVDF into the PR so as to achieve the maximum piezoelectric coupling coefficient. Our results demonstrate that a ratio of 1:10 (PVDF:DMF) and 2 wt%-PVDF/PR was optimal for the best dissolution of the PVDF, 3D printability, and piezoelectric properties. Under these conditions, the blend generated ±0.121 nA under 80 N dynamic loading excitation. We believe that the findings of this work would promote many further studies on the mass production of flexible piezoelectric polymer blends with higher quality finished surface and design flexibility.
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series is one the entertainment industry's most popular titles set in the past. With a new game released on an annual basis—each full of distinct historical places, events, and people—the series has unfolded across post-classical history, from the Levant during the Third Crusade to Victorian-era London. The 2017 release of Assassin's Creed: Origins, which entailed a massive reconstruction of Hellenistic Egypt, pushed the series even further back in time. With it, Ubisoft also launched its Discovery Tour, allowing players to explore the game's setting at their leisure and without combat. These trends continued in 2018's Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, set in Greece during the Peloponnesian War. This review discusses the narrative, world, and gameplay of the latest Assassin's Creed within the series more broadly. We provide a critical appraisal of the experience that Odyssey offers and link it to this question: in the Assassin's Creed series, do we engage in meaningful play with the past, or are we simply assassinating our way through history?
Objectives: Insomnia is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction. Evidence points to the role of nocturnal light exposure in disrupted sleep patterns, particularly blue light emitted through smartphones and computers used before bedtime. This study aimed to test whether blocking nocturnal blue light improves neuropsychological function in individuals with insomnia symptoms. Methods: This study used a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. Participants were randomly assigned to a 1-week intervention with amber lenses worn in wrap-around frames (to block blue light) or a 1-week intervention with clear lenses (control) and switched conditions after a 4-week washout period. Neuropsychological function was evaluated with tests from the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery at three time points: (1) baseline (BL), (2) following the amber lenses intervention, and (3) following the clear lenses intervention. Within-subjects general linear models contrasted neuropsychological test performance following the amber lenses and clear lenses conditions with BL performance. Results: Fourteen participants (mean(standard deviation, SD): age = 46.5(11.4)) with symptoms of insomnia completed the protocol. Compared with BL, individuals performed better on the List Sorting Working Memory task after the amber lenses intervention, but similarly after the clear lenses intervention (F = 5.16; p = .014; η2 = 0.301). A similar pattern emerged on the Pattern Comparison Processing Speed test (F = 7.65; p = 0.002; η2 = 0.370). Consideration of intellectual ability indicated that treatment with amber lenses “normalized” performance on each test from approximately 1 SD below expected performance to expected performance. Conclusions: Using a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design, we demonstrated improvement in processing speed and working memory with a nocturnal blue light blocking intervention among individuals with insomnia symptoms. (JINS, 2019, 25, 668–677)
A compact planar ultra-wideband (UWB) antenna with WiMAX and WLAN notched band is presented in this paper. The presented antenna consists of a rectangular patch and slotted partial ground plane and fed by a microstrip feed line. The volumetric size of the antenna is 30 mm × 22 mm × 1.6 mm. Method of moment-based simulation technology is used to simulate and analyze the characteristics of the antenna. To generate two notch bands at WiMAX and WLAN, a pair of parasitic resonator is placed beneath the radiating patch. The presented antenna achieves an operating band (VSWR ≤2) ranging from 2.98 to 12 GHz with an average gain of 3.95 dBi along with considerable efficiency and symmetric radiation patterns. Moreover, the antenna exhibits two notch bands at 3.5 and 5.45 GHz and is able to avoid possible interference with pre-existing narrow band services. The proposed antenna is low cost and low profile and is modeled to be used as a transceiver in UWB communication applications.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging cause of viral hepatitis worldwide. Recently, HEV-7 has been shown to infect camels and humans. We studied HEV seroprevalence in dromedary camels and among Bedouins, Arabs (Muslims, none-Bedouins) and Jews and assessed factors associated with anti-HEV seropositivity. Serum samples from dromedary camels (n = 86) were used to determine camel anti-HEV IgG and HEV RNA positivity. Human samples collected between 2009 and 2016 from >20 years old Bedouins (n = 305), non-Bedouin Arabs (n = 320) and Jews (n = 195), were randomly selected using an age-stratified sampling design. Human HEV IgG levels were determined using Wantai IgG ELISA assay. Of the samples obtained from camels, 68.6% were anti-HEV positive. Among the human populations, Bedouins and non-Bedouin Arabs had a significantly higher prevalence of HEV antibodies (21.6% and 15.0%, respectively) compared with the Jewish population (3.1%). Seropositivity increased significantly with age in all human populations, reaching 47.6% and 34.8% among ⩾40 years old, in Bedouins and non-Bedouin Arabs, respectively. The high seropositivity in camels and in ⩾40 years old Bedouins and non-Bedouin Arabs suggests that HEV is endemic in Israel. The low HEV seroprevalence in Jews could be attributed to higher socio-economic status.
Lumbar puncture (LP) performed with the assistance of ultrasound (US) may improve success rate, with fewer puncture attempts and less pain.
To explore the utility of US-assisted LP in a neuromuscular clinic.
We performed a prospective, randomized, open-label study between May 2016 and January 2017. The primary outcome measure was LP success rate, and the secondary outcome measures included procedure time, number of attempts, and the levels of pain, anxiety, and satisfaction.
Lumbar puncture was performed in 40 consecutive patients. Ultrasound-assisted LP had a 100% success rate, compared with 85% (95% confidence interval: 58%-96%) without US assistance, although this difference failed to reach statistical significance. Ultrasound-assisted LP was associated with less pain and, also in patients >60 years of age, with fewer needle insertions. Both groups reported high satisfaction rates, regardless of the use of US.
Ultrasound-assisted LP has a high success rate and less pain than unassisted LP, and can be accomplished easily in the outpatient neuromuscular clinic setting equipped with US.
Using a measure of political risk, relative to the United States, that captures unexpected political conditions, we show that political risk is priced in the cross section of currency momentum and contains information beyond other risk factors. Our results are robust after controlling for transaction costs, reversals, and alternative limits to arbitrage. The global political environment affects the profitability of the momentum strategy in the foreign exchange market; investors following such strategies are compensated for the exposure to the global political risk of those currencies they hold, that is, the past winners, and exploit the lower returns of loser portfolios. The risk compensation is mainly justified by the different exposures of foreign currencies in the momentum portfolio to U.S. political shocks, which is the main component of global political risk.
Studies indicate that the healthy Nordic diet may improve heart health, but its relation to weight change is less clear. We studied the association between the adherence to the healthy Nordic diet and long-term changes in weight, BMI and waist circumference. Furthermore, the agreement between self-reported and measured body anthropometrics was examined. The population-based DIetary, Lifestyle and Genetic Determinants of Obesity and Metabolic syndrome Study in 2007 included 5024 Finns aged 25–75 years. The follow-up was conducted in 2014 (n 3735). One-third of the participants were invited to a health examination. The rest were sent measuring tape and written instructions along with questionnaires. The Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS) was used to measure adherence to the healthy Nordic diet. Association of the baseline BSDS and changes in BSDS during the follow-up with changes in body anthropometrics were examined using linear regression analysis. The agreement between self-reported and nurse-measured anthropometrics was determined with Bland–Altman analysis. Intra-class correlation coefficients between self-reported and nurse-measured anthropometrics exceeded 0·95. The baseline BSDS associated with lower weight (β=−0·056, P=0·043) and BMI (β=−0·021, P=0·031) over the follow-up. This association was especially evident among those who had increased their BSDS. In conclusion, both high initial and improved adherence to the healthy Nordic diet may promote long-term weight maintenance. The self-reported/measured anthropometrics were shown to have high agreement with nurse-measured values which adds the credibility of our results.
To study the frequency of laboratory test abnormalities, and electrophysiological correlations, we performed a retrospective chart review of 226 patients with polyneuropathy. The frequency of laboratory test abnormalities, and correlations with electrophysiological findings were explored. Abnormal glucose handling tests were the most common findings (54%), followed by paraproteinemia (21%) and anemia (21%). The frequencies of paraproteinemia and anemia in our cohort were significantly higher than previously reported. In addition, several laboratory abnormalities correlated with electrophysiological findings of median neuropathy at the wrist, expanding current knowledge about the deleterious effects of various metabolic and hematologic derangements at this site.
Previous studies suggest that Ramadan exposure during pregnancy might affect the health of women and their babies, particularly through the effect of fasting. This study aimed to evaluate the association between Ramadan exposure and fasting during pregnancy on the birth weight of newborns. This study concerned 1351 pregnant women from a prospective cohort in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ramadan exposure was based on the actual overlap between Ramadan and pregnancy. Women's fasting behaviour was recorded among 139 women who came for antenatal care between 10 July 2013 and 7 August 2013, and those who had fasted for at least 1 d (n 110) were classified as exposed to Ramadan fasting. Furthermore, a 24 h dietary recall was performed and repeated 1 month later. Birth weight of newborns who were exposed to Ramadan during pregnancy did not significantly differ from those who were not, both in the total and trimester-specific analysis. Maternal fasting did not seem to affect the birth weight of newborns (−72 (95 % CI −258, 114) g; P = 0·44), although there was a non-significant trend towards lower birth weight with fasting in the second and third trimester. Women who fasted had significantly lower total energy, macronutrient and water intake as compared with women who did not. Women's intake was also lower during Ramadan (regardless of their fasting behaviour) as compared with 1 month later. Lifestyle changes that occur with Ramadan and fasting during pregnancy are associated with lower reported energy intake. We cannot conclude on the effect of fasting on birth weight due to low statistical power.
Video games are one of today's quintessential media and cultural forms, but they also have a surprising and many-sided relation with the past (Morgan 2016). This certainly holds true for Sid Meier's Civilization (MicroProse & Firaxis Games 1991–2016), which is a series of turn-based, strategy video games in which you lead a historic civilization “from the Stone Age to the Information Age” (Civilization ca. 2016). Sid Meier's Civilization VI, the newest iteration of the series developed by Firaxis and released on October 21, 2016, allows players to step into the shoes of idealized political figures such as Gilgamesh, Montezuma, Teddy Roosevelt, and Gandhi. Via these and other leaders, you aim to achieve supremacy over all other civilizations. This is done through founding cities, creating infrastructure, building armies, conducting diplomacy, spreading culture and religion, and choosing “technologies” and “civics”—philosophical or ideological breakthroughs—for your civilization to focus on.
The aims of this study were to develop and validate a prediction equation of fat-free mass (FFM) based on bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and anthropometry using air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) as a reference in Asian neonates and to test the applicability of the prediction equations in an independent Western cohort. A total of 173 neonates at birth and 140 at two weeks of age were included. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to develop the prediction equations in a two-third randomly selected subset and validated on the remaining one-third subset at each time point and in an independent Queensland cohort. FFM measured by ADP was the dependent variable, and anthropometric measures, sex and impedance quotient (L2/R50) were independent variables in the model. Accuracy of prediction equations was assessed using intra-class correlation and Bland–Altman analyses. L2/R50 was the significant predictor of FFM at week two but not at birth. Compared with the model using weight, sex and length, including L2/R50 slightly improved the prediction with a bias of 0·01 kg with 2 sd limits of agreement (LOA) (0·18, −0·20). Prediction explained 88·9 % of variation but not beyond that of anthropometry. Applying these equations to the Queensland cohort provided similar performance at the appropriate age. However, when the Queensland equations were applied to our cohort, the bias increased slightly but with similar LOA. BIA appears to have limited use in predicting FFM in the first few weeks of life compared with simple anthropometry in Asian populations. There is a need for population- and age-appropriate FFM prediction equations.
Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 became the predominant circulating strain in the United States during the 2013–2014 influenza season. Little is known about the epidemiology of severe influenza during this season.
A retrospective cohort study of severely ill patients with influenza infection in intensive care units in 33 US hospitals from September 1, 2013, through April 1, 2014, was conducted to determine risk factors for mortality present on intensive care unit admission and to describe patient characteristics, spectrum of disease, management, and outcomes.
A total of 444 adults and 63 children were admitted to an intensive care unit in a study hospital; 93 adults (20.9%) and 4 children (6.3%) died. By logistic regression analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with mortality among adult patients: older age (>65 years, odds ratio, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.4–6.9], P=.006 and 50–64 years, 2.5 [1.3–4.9], P=.007; reference age 18–49 years), male sex (1.9 [1.1–3.3], P=.031), history of malignant tumor with chemotherapy administered within the prior 6 months (12.1 [3.9–37.0], P<.001), and a higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (for each increase by 1 in score, 1.3 [1.2–1.4], P<.001).
Risk factors for death among US patients with severe influenza during the 2013–2014 season, when influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 was the predominant circulating strain type, shifted in the first postpandemic season in which it predominated toward those of a more typical epidemic influenza season.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1251–1260
Lane et al. view the process of memory reconsolidation as a main ingredient of psychotherapeutic change. They ascertain that in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) high priority is given to the “semantic structure.” We argue that memory-related mechanisms of change in CBT are more nuanced than the target article presents. Furthermore, we propose to partially shift the focus from the process of reconsolidation to the retrieval operations.
Many Muslim women worldwide are pregnant during Ramadan and adhere to Ramadan fasting during pregnancy. In the present study, we determined whether maternal adherence to Ramadan fasting during pregnancy has an impact on the birth weight of the newborn, and whether the effects differed according to trimester in which Ramadan fasting took place. A prospective cohort study was conducted in 130 pregnant Muslim women who attended antenatal care in Amsterdam and Zaanstad, The Netherlands. Data on adherence to Ramadan fasting during pregnancy and demographics were self-reported by pregnant women, and the outcome of the newborn was retrieved from medical records after delivery. The results showed that half of all the women adhered to Ramadan fasting. With strict adherence to Ramadan fasting in pregnancy, the birth weight of newborns tended to be lower than that of newborns of non-fasting mothers, although this was not statistically significant ( − 198 g, 95 % CI − 447, 51, P= 0·12). Children of mothers who fasted in the first trimester of pregnancy were lighter at birth than those whose mothers had not fasted ( − 272 g, 95 % CI − 547, 3, P= 0·05). There were no differences in birth weight between children whose mothers had or had not fasted if Ramadan fasting had taken place later in pregnancy. Ramadan fasting during early pregnancy may lead to lower birth weight of newborns. These findings call for further confirmation in larger studies that should also investigate potential implications for perinatal and long-term morbidity and mortality.
The importance of small ruminants to the dairy industry has increased in recent years, especially in developing countries, where it has a high economic and social impact. Interestingly and despite the fact that the mammary gland is the specialised milk production organ, very few authors studied the modifications occurring in the mammary gland through the lactation period in production animals, particularly in the small ruminants, sheep (Ovis aries) and goat (Capra hircus). Nevertheless, understanding the different mammary gland patterns throughout lactation is essential to improve dairy production. In addition, associating these patterns with different milking frequencies, lactation number or different diets is also of high importance, directly affecting the dairy industry. The mammary gland is commonly composed of parenchyma and stroma, which includes the ductal system, with individual proportions of each changing during the different periods and yields in a lactation cycle. Indeed, during late gestation, as well as during early to mid-lactation, mammary gland expansion occurs, with an increase in the number of epithelial cells and lumen area, which leads to increment of the parenchyma tissue, as well as a reduction of stroma, corresponding macroscopically to the increase in mammary gland volume. Throughout late lactation, the mammary gland volume decreases owing to the regression of the secretory structure. In general, common mammary gland patterns have been shown for both goats and sheep throughout the several lactation stages, although the number of studies is limited. The main objective of this manuscript is to review the colostrogenesis and lactogenesis processes as well as to highlight the mammary gland morphological patterns underlying milk production during the lactation cycle for small ruminants, and to describe potential differences between goats and sheep, hence contributing to a better description of mammary gland development during lactation for these two poorly studied species.