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Deep learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, has shown great potential in several recent applications to pathology. These have mainly involved the use of classifiers to diagnose disease, while generative modelling techniques have been less frequently used. Generative adversarial networks (GANs) are a type of deep learning model that has been used to synthesize realistic images in a range of domains, both general purpose and medical. In the GAN framework, a generator network is trained to synthesize fake images, while a dueling discriminator network aims to distinguish between the fake images and a set of real training images. As GAN training progresses, the generator network ideally learns the important features of a dataset, allowing it to create images that the discriminator cannot distinguish from the real ones. We report on our use of GANs to synthesize high resolution, realistic histopathology images of gliomas. The well- known Progressive GAN framework was trained on a set of image patches extracted from digital slides in the Cancer Genome Atlas repository, and was able to generate fake images that were visually indistinguishable from the real training images. Generative modelling in pathology has numerous potential applications, including dataset augmentation for training deep learning classifiers, image processing, and expanding educational material.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1. Explain basic principles of generative modelling in deep learning.
2. Discuss applications of deep learning to neuropathology image synthesis.
Central to Siemerling’s impressive study of black Canadian writing is an optimism about the recuperative potential of historical knowledge. My contribution to the forum acknowledges that potential, while raising questions about the limits of such knowledge for addressing the persistence of racist ideologies and practices. My test case is Siemerling’s fine reading of Lawrence Hill’s novels.
Typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (tEPEC) infection is a major cause of diarrhoea and contributor to mortality in children <5 years old in developing countries. Data were analysed from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study examining children <5 years old seeking care for moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) in Kenya. Stool specimens were tested for enteric pathogens, including by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for gene targets of tEPEC. Demographic, clinical and anthropometric data were collected at enrolment and ~60-days later; multivariable logistic regressions were constructed. Of 1778 MSD cases enrolled from 2008 to 2012, 135 (7.6%) children tested positive for tEPEC. In a case-to-case comparison among MSD cases, tEPEC was independently associated with presentation at enrolment with a loss of skin turgor (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37–3.17), and convulsions (aOR 2.83, 95% CI 1.12–7.14). At follow-up, infants with tEPEC compared to those without were associated with being underweight (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.6) and wasted (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3–4.6). Among MSD cases, tEPEC was associated with mortality (aOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.47–5.55). This study suggests that tEPEC contributes to morbidity and mortality in children. Interventions aimed at defining and reducing the burden of tEPEC and its sequelae should be urgently investigated, prioritised and implemented.
Cumulative evidence suggests that health-related risk factors during midlife and old-age are associated with cognitive impairment. However, studies are needed to clarify the association between early-life risk factors and impaired cognitive functioning to increment existing knowledge.
To examine the association between childhood infectious diseases and late-life cognitive functioning in a nationally representative sample of older adults.
Eligible respondents were 2994 community-dwelling individuals aged 65–85.
Cognitive functioning was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Childhood infectious diseases (i.e. chicken pox, measles, and mumps) were self-reported. The study covariates were age, sex, highest educational level achieved, smoking status, body mass index, and depression. The primary statistical analysis examined the association between the number of childhood infectious diseases and total MMSE scores, accounting for all study covariates. Regression models of progressive complexity were examined for parsimony. The robustness of the primary results was tested in 17 sensitivity analyses.
The most parsimonious model was a linear adjusted model (Bayesian Information Criterion = 12646.09). Late-life cognitive functioning significantly improved as the number of childhood infectious diseases increased (β = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.11, 0.26; p < 0.001). This effect was not significantly attenuated in all sensitivity analyses.
The current study results are consistent with prior ecological findings indicating that some childhood infectious diseases are associated with better cognitive functioning in old-age. This points to an early-life modifiable risk factor associated with older-life cognitive functioning. Our results may reflect selective mortality and/or beneficial effects via hormetic processes.
To present our data evaluating the feasibility of simultaneous cochlear implantation with resection of acoustic neuroma.
This paper describes a case series of eight adult patients with a radiologically suspected acoustic neuroma, treated at a tertiary referral centre in Newcastle, Australia, between 2012 and 2015. Patients underwent cochlear implantation concurrently with removal of an acoustic neuroma. The approach was translabyrinthine, with facial nerve monitoring and electrically evoked auditory brainstem response testing. Standard post-implant rehabilitation was employed, with three and six months’ follow-up data collected. The main outcome measures were: hearing, subjective benefit of implant, operative complications and tumour recurrence.
Eight patients underwent simultaneous cochlear implantation with resection of acoustic neuroma over a 3-year period, and had 25–63 months’ follow up. There were no major complications. All patients except one gained usable hearing and were daily implant users.
Simultaneous cochlear implantation with resection of acoustic neuroma has been shown to be a safe treatment option, which will be applicable in a wide range of clinical scenarios as the indications for cochlear implantation continue to expand.
The Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Working Group has updated its treatment optimization recommendations (TORs) on the optimal use of disease-modifying therapies for patients with all forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recommendations provide guidance on initiating effective treatment early in the course of disease, monitoring response to therapy, and modifying or switching therapies to optimize disease control. The current TORs also address the treatment of pediatric MS, progressive MS and the identification and treatment of aggressive forms of the disease. Newer therapies offer improved efficacy, but also have potential safety concerns that must be adequately balanced, notably when treatment sequencing is considered. There are added discussions regarding the management of pregnancy, the future potential of biomarkers and consideration as to when it may be prudent to stop therapy. These TORs are meant to be used and interpreted by all neurologists with a special interest in the management of MS.
Impairments in social behavior and cognition, such as the ability to identify others’ emotional state, are important features in schizophrenia. Arginine vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) and are nonapeptides that influence social cognition and behavior. Previous studies have shown that the administration of intranasal AVP or OXT may affect the ability to recognize facial emotions. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effects of a single dose of AVP or OXT on social cognition in patients with schizophrenia. The secondary objective of the study was to test for sex-specific effects of intranasal AVP and OXT administration on social cognition.
In this double-blind, placebo-control, cross-over study, 34 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder, received a dose of AVP, OXT or placebo in three separate meetings. Forty-five minutes after administration, subjects performed facial emotion recognition tasks.
There were no significant main effects of hormone administration on the ability to recognize facial emotions between treatment conditions. However, AVP administration resulted in sex-specific differences in emotion recognition. Specifically, in men, AVP administration reduced the ability to recognize angry faces. In women, AVP administration reduced the ability to recognize sad faces and improved the ability to recognize fearful faces.
These findings indicate that intranasal AVP may affect the recognition of facial emotions differently in men and women. Thus, AVP may increase the differences between men and women on social cognition.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Risperidone is a common psychopharmacological treatment for irritability in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is not well-established how effective risperidone is across the initial symptom severity range. This study aims to examine the influence of baseline severity on the efficacy of risperidone in the treatment of ASD.
Participants were from the NIMH funded RUPP multisite, randomized, double-blind trial that compared risperidone to placebo to treat autistic disorder with severe tantrums, aggression, or self-injury. Participants were aged 5 to 17, and randomly assigned to risperidone (n = 49) or placebo (n = 52). Baseline and change scores were computed with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) parent assessed scales with irritability as the primary outcome, as well as the clinician assessed ABC Irritability subscale, and Clinical Global Impression Scale.
The relationship between baseline severity and change scores for the risperdone and placebo groups was examined with eight competing three-level mixed-effects models for repeated measure models. Significant (P < 0.01) interactions between treatment and baseline severity were observed for parent ABC ratings of irritability and lethargy only. Greater magnitudes of the differences between risperidone and placebo were observed from moderate to very severe baseline severity on irritability and lethargy. Initial severity values over approximately 30 had a strong effect on symptom change [irritability: effect size (ES) = 1.9, number needed to treat (NNT) = 2, lethargy ES = 0.9, NNT = 5].
Parents may expect benefits of risperidone on irritability and lethargy with moderate to severe symptoms of ASD.
We describe the case of an 11-month-old girl with a rare cerebellar glioblastoma driven by a NACC2-NTRK2 (Nucleus Accumbens Associated Protein 2-Neurotrophic Receptor Tyrosine Kinase 2) fusion. Initial workup of our case demonstrated homozygous CDKN2A deletion, but immunohistochemistry for other driver mutations, including IDH1 R132H, BRAF V600E, and H3F3A K27M were negative, and ATRX was retained. Tissue was subsequently submitted for personalized oncogenomic analysis, including whole genome and whole transcriptome sequencing, which demonstrated an activating NTRK2 fusion, as well as high PD-L1 expression, which was subsequently confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, H3 and IDH demonstrated wildtype status. These findings suggested the possibility of treatment with either NTRK- or immune checkpoint- inhibitors through active clinical trials. Ultimately, the family pursued standard treatment that involved Head Start III chemotherapy and proton radiotherapy. Notably, at most recent follow upapproximately two years from initial diagnosis, the patient is in disease remission and thriving, suggesting favorable biology despite histologic malignancy. This case illustrates the value of personalized oncogenomics, as the molecular profiling revealed two actionable changes that would not have been apparent through routine diagnostics. NTRK fusions are known oncogenic drivers in a range of cancer types, but this is the first report of a NACC2-NTRK2 fusion in a glioblastoma.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1. Explore the current molecular landscape of pediatric high grade gliomas
2. Recognize the value of personalized oncogenomic analysis, particularly in rare and/or aggressive tumors
3. Discuss the current status of NTRK inhibitor clinical trials
There have been significant changes in the diagnostic criteria for diffuse gliomas in the 2016 WHO CNS tumor classification, with the incorporation of molecular criteria into a number of definitions. This has placed a greater emphasis on the availability of key immunohistochemical and molecular tests. In order to determine the effect that these changes have had on neuropathology practice and the access of different centres to these tests, we designed a survey that was sent to all members of the Canadian Association of Neuropathology member list in the fall of 2017. This survey asked a number of questions relating to the approach to glioma diagnosis, immunohistochemical/molecular test ordering patterns, in-house test availability, and need to send out for testing. In this presentation we will present preliminary results from this survey, with a focus on institutional testing capabilities. This provides a valuable resource that could ultimately need to a national database of immunohistochemical and molecular test availability for each neuropathology centre.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1. Review the key molecular markers in the diagnosis of adult gliomas and methods of testing for them
2. Discuss the effect that the 2016 WHO CNS tumor update has had on clinical practice in Canada
Introduction: Although oral rehydration therapy is recommended for children with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) with none to some dehydration, intravenous (IV) rehydration is still commonly administered to these children in high-income countries. IV rehydration is associated with pain, anxiety, and emergency department (ED) revisits in children with AGE. A better understanding of the factors associated with IV rehydration is needed to inform knowledge translation strategies. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) and Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) randomized, controlled trials of oral probiotics in children with AGE-associated diarrhea. Eligible children were aged 3-48 months and reported > 3 watery stools in a 24-hour period. The primary outcome was administration of IV rehydration at the index ED visit. We used mixed-effects logistic regression model to explore univariable and multivariable relationships between IV rehydration and a priori risk factors. Results: From the parent study sample of 1848 participants, 1846 had data available for analysis: mean (SD) age of 19.1 ± 11.4 months, 45.4% females. 70.2% (1292/1840) vomited within 24 hours of the index ED visit and 34.1% (629/1846) received ondansetron in the ED. 13.0% (240/1846) were administered IV rehydration at the index ED visit, and 3.6% (67/1842) were hospitalized. Multivariable predictors of IV rehydration were Clinical Dehydration Scale (CDS) score [compared to none: mild to moderate (OR: 8.1, CI: 5.5-11.8); severe (OR: 45.9, 95% CI: 20.1-104.7), P < 0.001], ondansetron in the ED (OR: 1.8, CI: 1.2-2.6, P = 0.003), previous healthcare visit for the same illness [compared to no prior visit: prior visit with no IV (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.3-2.9); prior visit with IV (OR: 10.5, 95% CI: 3.2-34.8), P < 0.001], and country [compared to Canada: US (OR: 4.1, CI: 2.3-7.4, P < 0.001]. Significantly more participants returned to the ED with symptoms of AGE within 3 days if IV fluids were administered at the index visit [30/224 (13.4%) versus 88/1453 (6.1%), P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Higher CDS scores, antiemetic use, previous healthcare visits and country were independent predictors of IV rehydration which was also associated with increased ED revisits. Knowledge translation focused on optimizing the use of antiemetics (i.e. for those with dehydration) and reducing the geographic variation in IV rehydration use may improve the ED experience and reduce ED-revisits.
Given the challenges in accurately identifying unexposed controls in case–control studies of diarrhoea, we examined diarrhoea incidence, subclinical enteric infections and growth stunting within a reference population in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, Kenya site. Within ‘control’ children (0–59 months old without diarrhoea in the 7 days before enrolment, n = 2384), we examined surveys at enrolment and 60-day follow-up, stool at enrolment and a 14-day post-enrolment memory aid for diarrhoea incidence. At enrolment, 19% of controls had ⩾1 enteric pathogen associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (‘MSD pathogens’) in stool; following enrolment, many reported diarrhoea (27% in 7 days, 39% in 14 days). Controls with and without reported diarrhoea had similar carriage of MSD pathogens at enrolment; however, controls reporting diarrhoea were more likely to report visiting a health facility for diarrhoea (27% vs. 7%) or fever (23% vs. 16%) at follow-up than controls without diarrhoea. Odds of stunting differed by both MSD and ‘any’ (including non-MSD pathogens) enteric pathogen carriage, but not diarrhoea, suggesting control classification may warrant modification when assessing long-term outcomes. High diarrhoea incidence following enrolment and prevalent carriage of enteric pathogens have implications for sequelae associated with subclinical enteric infections and for design and interpretation of case–control studies examining diarrhoea.
We give the first polynomial upper bound on the mixing time of the edge-flip Markov chain for unbiased dyadic tilings, resolving an open problem originally posed by Janson, Randall and Spencer in 2002 . A dyadic tiling of size n is a tiling of the unit square by n non-overlapping dyadic rectangles, each of area 1/n, where a dyadic rectangle is any rectangle that can be written in the form [a2−s, (a + 1)2−s] × [b2−t, (b + 1)2−t] for a, b, s, t ∈ ℤ⩾ 0. The edge-flip Markov chain selects a random edge of the tiling and replaces it with its perpendicular bisector if doing so yields a valid dyadic tiling. Specifically, we show that the relaxation time of the edge-flip Markov chain for dyadic tilings is at most O(n4.09), which implies that the mixing time is at most O(n5.09). We complement this by showing that the relaxation time is at least Ω(n1.38), improving upon the previously best lower bound of Ω(n log n) coming from the diameter of the chain.
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.
‘The truth is under attack’, I wrote earlier this decade (Levine, 2012). As the replication crisis became apparent, the alarm was timely. But now, a counter-attack is raging. In its arsenal are replications, open data, shared instruments, pre-registration of hypotheses and now – data visualizations.
Brain tumor behavior is driven by aberrations in the genome and epigenome. Many of these changes, such as IDH mutations in diffuse low-grade glioma (DLGG), are common amongst the same class of tumour and can be incorporated into the diagnostic criteria. However, any given tumor may have other, less common genomic aberrations that are essential for its biological behavior and may inform on underlying aberrant cellular pathways, and potential therapeutic agents. Precision oncology is a genomics-based approach which profiles these alterations to better manage cancer patients and has established itself within the practice of oncology and is slowly making its way into neuro-oncology. The BC Cancer’s Personalized OncoGenomics (POG) program has profiled 16 adult tumours originating from the central nervous system using whole genome and transcriptome analysis (WGTA), for the first time, within a meaningful clinical timeframe/setting. As expected, primary genomic drivers were consistent with their respective diagnoses, though secondary drivers were found to be unique to each tumour. Although these analyses did not result in altered clinical management for these patients, primarily due to availability of drug or clinical trials, they highlight the heterogeneity of secondary drivers in cancers and provide clinicians with meaningful biological information. Lastly, the data generated by POG has highlighted the frequency and complexity of novel driver fusions which are predicted to behave similarly to canonical driver events in their respective tumours. The information available to clinicians through POG has provided paramount knowledge into the biology of each unique tumour.