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Intervention time (IT) in response to seizures and adverse events (AEs) have emerged as key elements in epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) management. We performed an audit of our EMU, focusing on IT and AEs.
We performed a retrospective study on all clinical seizures of admissions over a 1-year period at our Canadian academic tertiary care center’s EMU. This EMU was divided in two subunits: a daytime three-bed epilepsy department subunit (EDU) supervised by EEG technicians and a three-bed neurology ward subunit (NWU) equipped with video-EEG where patients were transferred to for nights and weekends, under nursing supervision. Among 124 admissions, 58 were analyzed. A total of 1293 seizures were reviewed to determine intervention occurrence, IT, and AE occurrence. Seizures occurring when the staff was present at bedside at seizure onset were analyzed separately.
Median IT was 21.0 (11.0–40.8) s. The EDU, bilateral tonic–clonic seizures (BTCS), and the presence of a warning signal were associated with increased odds of an intervention taking place. The NWU, BTCS, and seizure rank (seizures were chronologically ordered by the patient for each subunit) were associated with longer ITs. Bedside staff presence rate was higher in the EDU than in the NWU (p < 0.001). AEs occurred in 19% of admissions, with no difference between subunits. AEs were more frequent in BTCS than in other seizure types (p = 0.001).
This study suggests that close monitoring by trained staff members dedicated to EMU patients is key to optimize safety. AE rate was high, warranting corrective measures.
In the treatment of psychosis, agitation and aggression in Alzheimer's disease, guidelines emphasise the need to ‘use the lowest possible dose’ of antipsychotic drugs, but provide no information on optimal dosing.
This analysis investigated the pharmacokinetic profiles of risperidone and 9-hydroxy (OH)-risperidone, and how these related to treatment-emergent extrapyramidal side-effects (EPS), using data from The Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness in Alzheimer's Disease study (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00015548).
A statistical model, which described the concentration–time course of risperidone and 9-OH-risperidone, was used to predict peak, trough and average concentrations of risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone and ‘active moiety’ (combined concentrations) (n = 108 participants). Logistic regression was used to investigate the associations of pharmacokinetic biomarkers with EPS. Model-based predictions were used to simulate the dose adjustments needed to avoid EPS.
The model showed an age-related reduction in risperidone clearance (P < 0.0001), reduced renal elimination of 9-OH-risperidone (elimination half-life 27 h), and slower active moiety clearance in 22% of patients, (concentration-to-dose ratio: 20.2 (s.d. = 7.2) v. 7.6 (s.d. = 4.9) ng/mL per mg/day, Mann–Whitney U-test, P < 0.0001). Higher trough 9-OH-risperidone and active moiety concentrations (P < 0.0001) and lower Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (P < 0.0001), were associated with EPS. Model-based predictions suggest the optimum dose ranged from 0.25 mg/day (85 years, MMSE of 5), to 1 mg/day (75 years, MMSE of 15), with alternate day dosing required for those with slower drug clearance.
Our findings argue for age- and MMSE-related dose adjustments and suggest that a single measure of the concentration-to-dose ratio could be used to identify those with slower drug clearance.
Prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure is associated with increased risk of hormonally mediated cancers and other medical conditions. We evaluated the association between DES and risk of pancreatic cancer and pancreatic disorders, type 2 diabetes, and gallbladder disease, which may be involved with this malignancy. Our analyses used follow-up data from the US National Cancer Institute DES Combined Cohort Study. Cox proportional hazards models estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for age, sex, cohort, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol for the association between prenatal DES exposure and type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease (mainly cholelithiasis), pancreatic disorders (mainly pancreatitis), and pancreatic cancer among 5667 exposed and 3315 unexposed individuals followed from 1990 to 2017. Standardized incidence rate (SIR) ratios for pancreatic cancer were based on age-, race-, and calendar year-specific general population cancer incidence rates. In women and men combined, the hazards for total pancreatic disorders and pancreatitis were greater in the prenatally DES exposed than the unexposed (HR = 11, 95% CI 2.6–51 and HR = 7.0, 95% CI 1.5–33, respectively). DES was not associated overall with gallbladder disease (HR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.88–1.5) or diabetes (HR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.9–1.2). In women, but not in men, DES exposure was associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with the unexposed (HR: 4.1, 95% CI 0.84–20) or general population (SIR: 1.9, 95% CI 1.0–3.2). Prenatal DES exposure may increase the risk of pancreatic disorders, including pancreatitis in women and men. The data suggested elevated pancreatic cancer risk in DES-exposed women, but not in exposed men.
The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
An academic makerspace, home to tools and people dedicated to facilitating and inspiring a making culture, is characterized by openness, creativity, learning, design, and community. This nontraditional learning environment has found an immense increase in popularity and investment in the last decade. Further, makerspaces have been shown to be highly gendered, privileging men's and masculine understandings of making. The spike in popularity warrants deeper analysis, examining the value of these spaces for women and if learning is occurring in these spaces, specifically at higher education institutions. We implemented a phenomenologically based interviewing process to capture the making experiences of 20 women students, recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. By eliciting the narratives of women students, we captured how making, designing, and creating evolved through gendered experiences in the university makerspace. Each interview was transcribed and resulted in around 868 pages of single-spaced text transcriptions. The data were analyzed through multiple cycles of open and axial coding for common themes and patterns, where makerspaces create a culture of learning, facilitate students’ design journey, and form a laboratory for creativity. These themes forwarded the creation of a learning model that showcases how design and learning interact in the makerspace. This work demonstrates that women students are engaging learning and inspiration; developing confidence and resilience; and learning how to work with others and collaborate.
We investigated whether neurobehavioral markers of risk for emotion dysregulation were evident among newborns, as well as whether the identified markers were associated with prenatal exposure to maternal emotion dysregulation. Pregnant women (N = 162) reported on their emotion dysregulation prior to a laboratory assessment. The women were then invited to the laboratory to assess baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and RSA in response to an infant cry. Newborns were assessed after birth via the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale. We identified two newborn neurobehavioral factors—arousal and attention—via exploratory factor analysis. Low arousal was characterized by less irritability, excitability, and motor agitation, while low attention was related to a lower threshold for auditory and visual stimulation, less sustained attention, and poorer visual tracking abilities. Pregnant women who reported higher levels of emotion dysregulation had newborns with low arousal levels and less attention. Larger decreases in maternal RSA in response to cry were also related to lower newborn arousal. We provide the first evidence that a woman's emotion dysregulation while pregnant is associated with risks for dysregulation in her newborn. Implications for intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation are discussed.
Objectives: Craniopharyngioma survivors experience cognitive deficits that negatively impact quality of life. Aerobic fitness is associated with cognitive benefits in typically developing children and physical exercise promotes recovery following brain injury. Accordingly, we investigated cognitive and neural correlates of aerobic fitness in a sample of craniopharyngioma patients. Methods: Patients treated for craniopharyngioma [N=104, 10.0±4.6 years, 48% male] participated in fitness, cognitive and fMRI (n=51) assessments following surgery but before proton radiation therapy. Results: Patients demonstrated impaired aerobic fitness [peak oxygen uptake (PKVO2)=23.9±7.1, 41% impaired (i.e., 1.5 SD<normative mean)], motor proficiency [Bruininks-Oseretsky (BOT2)=38.6±9.0, 28% impaired], and executive functions (e.g., WISC-IV Working Memory Index (WMI)=96.0±15.3, 11% impaired). PKVO2 correlated with better executive functions (e.g., WISC-IV WMI r=.27, p=.02) and academic performance (WJ-III Calculation r=.24, p=.04). BOT2 correlated with better attention (e.g., CPT-II omissions r=.26, p=.04) and executive functions (e.g., WISC-IV WMI r=.32, p=.01). Areas of robust neural activation during an n-back task included superior parietal lobule, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and middle and superior frontal gyri (p<.05, corrected). Higher network activation was associated with better working memory task performance and better BOT2 (p<.001). Conclusions: Before adjuvant therapy, children with craniopharyngioma demonstrate significantly reduced aerobic fitness, motor proficiency, and working memory. Better aerobic fitness and motor proficiency are associated with better attention and executive functions, as well as greater activation of a well-established working memory network. These findings may help explain differential risk/resiliency with respect to acute cognitive changes that may portend cognitive late effects. (JINS, 2019, 25, 413–425)
Meaningful participant engagement has been identified as a key contributor to the success of efforts to share data via a “Medical Information Commons” (MIC). We present findings from expert stakeholder interviews aimed at understanding barriers to engagement and the appropriate role of MIC participants. Although most interviewees supported engagement, they distinguished between individual versus collective forms. They also noted challenges including representation and perceived inefficiency, prompting reflection on political aspects of engagement and efficiency concerns.
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons (MIC). We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
Accessing BRCA1/2 data facilitates the detection of disease-associated variants, which is critical to informing clinical management of risks. BRCA1/2 data sharing is complex and many practices exist. We describe current BRCA1/2 data-sharing practices, in the United States and globally, and discuss obstacles and incentives to sharing, based on 28 interviews with personnel at U.S. and non-U.S. clinical laboratories and databases. Our examination of the BRCA1/2 data-sharing landscape demonstrates strong support for and robust sharing of BRCA1/2 data around the world, increasing global accesses to diverse data sets.
A 2011 National Academies of Sciences report called for an “Information Commons” and a “Knowledge Network” to revolutionize biomedical research and clinical care. We interviewed 41 expert stakeholders to examine governance, access, data collection, and privacy in the context of a medical information commons. Stakeholders' attitudes about MICs align with the NAS vision of an Information Commons; however, differences of opinion regarding clinical use and access warrant further research to explore policy and technological solutions.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of psychological variables to cognitive performance validity test (PVT) results in mixed forensic and nonforensic clinical samples. Methods: Participants included 183 adults who underwent comprehensive neuropsychological examination. Criterion groups were formed, that is, Credible Group or Noncredible Group, based upon their performance on the Word Memory Test and other stand-alone and embedded PVT measures. Results: Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified three significant predictors of cognitive performance validity. These included two psychological constructs, for example, Cogniphobia (perception that cognitive effort will exacerbate neurological symptoms), and Symptom Identity (perception that current symptoms are the result of illness or injury), and one contextual factor (forensic). While there was no interaction between these factors, elevated scores were most often observed in the forensic sample, suggesting that these independently contributing intrinsic psychological factors are more likely to occur in a forensic environment. Conclusions: Illness perceptions were significant predictors of cognitive performance validity particularly when they reached very elevated levels. Extreme elevations were more common among participants in the forensic sample, and potential reasons for this pattern are explored. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–11)
Surgical site infections (SSIs) following colorectal surgery (CRS) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Reduction in colorectal SSI rates is an important goal for surgical quality improvement.
To examine rates of SSI in patients with and without cancer and to identify potential predictors of SSI risk following CRS
American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) data files for 2011–2013 from a sample of 12 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions were combined. Pooled SSI rates for colorectal procedures were calculated and risk was evaluated. The independent importance of potential risk factors was assessed using logistic regression.
Of 22 invited NCCN centers, 11 participated (50%). Colorectal procedures were selected by principal procedure current procedural technology (CPT) code. Cancer was defined by International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes.
The primary outcome of interest was 30-day SSI rate.
A total of 652 SSIs (11.06%) were reported among 5,893 CRSs. Risk of SSI was similar for patients with and without cancer. Among CRS patients with underlying cancer, disseminated cancer (SSI rate, 17.5%; odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23–2.26; P=.001), ASA score ≥3 (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09–1.83; P=.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.06–2.53; P=.02), and longer duration of procedure were associated with development of SSI.
Patients with disseminated cancer are at a higher risk for developing SSI. ASA score >3, COPD, and longer duration of surgery predict SSI risk. Disseminated cancer should be further evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in generating risk-adjusted outcomes.