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Patients with neurologic symptoms are frequently seen in the emergency department and require rapid and thorough evaluation. Appropriate assessment with tailored history-taking, localization of the neurological problem, differential diagnosis, focused testing, and urgent treatment when indicated are essential to prevent patient morbidity. Neurological examination and testing of patients are covered in-depth, along with common neurological presentations using a symptom-based approach, such as coma, dizziness and gait disturbance. Specific neurological disorders are also explored, including traumatic brain injury, ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack and neurotoxicology. Chapters follow a basic outline, including an introduction and a pearls and pitfalls section, providing a succinct overview and key takeaway points for the busy clinician. This well organized handbook will serve as a concise, valued reference for the clinician to use in assisting the evaluation of the most common neurology related emergency department visits.
Recent cannabis exposure has been associated with lower rates of neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV (PWH). Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties may underlie this relationship by reducing chronic neuroinflammation in PWH. This study examined relations between cannabis use and inflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, and cognitive correlates of these biomarkers within a community-based sample of PWH.
263 individuals were categorized into four groups: HIV− non-cannabis users (n = 65), HIV+ non-cannabis users (n = 105), HIV+ moderate cannabis users (n = 62), and HIV+ daily cannabis users (n = 31). Differences in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, sCD14, sTNFR-II, TNF-α) by study group were determined by Kruskal–Wallis tests. Multivariable linear regressions examined relationships between biomarkers and seven cognitive domains, adjusting for age, sex/gender, race, education, and current CD4 count.
HIV+ daily cannabis users showed lower MCP-1 and IP-10 levels in CSF compared to HIV+ non-cannabis users (p = .015; p = .039) and were similar to HIV− non-cannabis users. Plasma biomarkers showed no differences by cannabis use. Among PWH, lower CSF MCP-1 and lower CSF IP-10 were associated with better learning performance (all ps < .05).
Current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis and these chemokines were linked to the cognitive domain of learning which is commonly impaired in PWH. Cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.
In response to advancing clinical practice guidelines regarding concussion management, service members, like athletes, complete a baseline assessment prior to participating in high-risk activities. While several studies have established test stability in athletes, no investigation to date has examined the stability of baseline assessment scores in military cadets. The objective of this study was to assess the test–retest reliability of a baseline concussion test battery in cadets at U.S. Service Academies.
All cadets participating in the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium investigation completed a standard baseline battery that included memory, balance, symptom, and neurocognitive assessments. Annual baseline testing was completed during the first 3 years of the study. A two-way mixed-model analysis of variance (intraclass correlation coefficent (ICC)3,1) and Kappa statistics were used to assess the stability of the metrics at 1-year and 2-year time intervals.
ICC values for the 1-year test interval ranged from 0.28 to 0.67 and from 0.15 to 0.57 for the 2-year interval. Kappa values ranged from 0.16 to 0.21 for the 1-year interval and from 0.29 to 0.31 for the 2-year test interval. Across all measures, the observed effects were small, ranging from 0.01 to 0.44.
This investigation noted less than optimal reliability for the most common concussion baseline assessments. While none of the assessments met or exceeded the accepted clinical threshold, the effect sizes were relatively small suggesting an overlap in performance from year-to-year. As such, baseline assessments beyond the initial evaluation in cadets are not essential but could aid concussion diagnosis.
Guidelines recommend empowering patients and families to remind healthcare workers (HCWs) to perform hand hygiene (HH). The effectiveness of empowerment tools for patients and their families in Southeast Asia is unknown.
We performed a prospective study in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a Vietnamese pediatric referral hospital. With family and HCW input, we developed a visual tool for families to prompt HCW HH. We used direct observation to collect baseline HH data. We then enrolled families to receive the visual tool and education on its use while continuing prospective collection of HH data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of HH in baseline and implementation periods.
In total, 2,014 baseline and 2,498 implementation-period HH opportunities were observed. During the implementation period, 73 families were enrolled. Overall, HCW HH was 46% preimplementation, which increased to 73% in the implementation period (P < .001). The lowest HH adherence in both periods occurred after HCW contact with patient surroundings: 16% at baseline increased to 24% after implementation. In multivariable analyses, the odds of HCW HH during the implementation period were significantly higher than baseline (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.54–3.41; P < .001) after adjusting for observation room, HCW type, time of observation (weekday business hours vs evening or weekend), and HH moment.
The introduction of a visual empowerment tool was associated with significant improvement in HH adherence among HCWs in a Vietnamese PICU. Future research should explore acceptability and barriers to use of similar tools in low- and middle-income settings.
Oats can be processed in a variety of ways ranging from minimally processed such as steel-cut oats (SCO), to mildly processed such as large-flake oats (old fashioned oats, OFO), moderately processed such as instant oats (IO) or highly processed in ready-to-eat oat cereals such as Honey Nut Cheerios (HNC). Although processing is believed to increase glycaemic and insulinaemic responses, the effect of oat processing in these respects is unclear. Thus, we compared the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses elicited by 628 kJ portions of SCO, OFO, IO and HNC and a portion of Cream of Rice cereal (CR) containing the same amount of available-carbohydrate (23 g) as the oatmeals. Healthy males (n 18) and females (n 12) completed this randomised, cross-over trial. Blood was taken fasting and at intervals for 3 h following test-meal consumption. Glucose and insulin peak-rises and incremental AUC (iAUC) were subjected to repeated-measures ANOVA using Tukey’s test (two-sided P<0·05) to compare individual means. Glucose peak-rise (primary endpoint, mean (sem) mmol/l) after OFO, 2·19 (sem 0·11), was significantly less than after CR, 2·61 (sem 0·13); and glucose peak-rise after SCO, 1·93 (sem 0·13), was significantly less than after CR, HNC, 2·49 (sem 0·13) and IO 2·47 (sem 0·13). Glucose iAUC was significantly lower after SCO than CR and HNC. Insulin peak rise was similar among the test meals, but insulin iAUC was significantly less after SCO than IO. Thus, the results show that oat processing affects glycaemic and insulinaemic responses with lower responses associated with less processing.
We analyzed the recent (< 25 yr) spread in New Hampshire, USA, of the exotic tree Kalopanax septemlobus, native to Asia. The invasion was likely initiated by a single tree planted ca. 1972. Our objective was to assess the viability of the invasion, especially in light of the small propagule size. We tallied, mapped, aged, and measured the height and growth of K. septemlobus individuals at two sites, the University of New Hampshire campus (UC) and Thompson Farm (TF), both in Durham. We found over 3,800 plants at UC and 270 at TF in < 120 ha (296 ac) total area. Plant age ranged from 0 to 22 yr, and UC plants were as far as 775 m (2,543 ft) from the purported parent tree. Annual height growth was comparable to midtolerant native trees. Plants occurred in both open and forested habitats, and the mean level of photosynthetically active radiation incident on understory plants was 4 to 6% of full sun. The large population size, shade tolerance, rapid height growth, and ability to sprout from damaged stems suggest potential for K. septemlobus to invade and persist in forests, the most common natural ecosystem in the northeastern United States. We further suggest that small propagule size, likely a single tree, has not prevented K. septemlobus from initiating a spatially extensive and vigorous population. Kalopanax septemlobus has been planted as an ornamental in the northeastern United States, and prevention of region-wide invasion might depend on removal of these trees, even when they occur as single individuals.
Background: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) aims to teach people skills to help them self-manage their depression. Trial evidence shows that CBT is an effective treatment for depression and individuals may experience benefits long-term. However, there is little research about individuals’ continued use of CBT skills once treatment has finished. Aims: To explore whether individuals who had attended at least 12 sessions of CBT continued to use and value the CBT skills they had learnt during therapy. Method: Semi-structured interviews were held with participants from the CoBalT trial who had received CBT, approximately 4 years earlier. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: 20 participants were interviewed. Analysis of the interviews suggested that individuals who viewed CBT as a learning process, at the time of treatment, recalled and used specific skills to manage their depression once treatment had finished. In contrast, individuals who viewed CBT only as an opportunity to talk about their problems did not appear to utilize any of the CBT skills they had been taught and reported struggling to manage their depression once treatment had ended. Conclusions: Our findings suggest individuals may value and use CBT skills if they engage with CBT as a learning opportunity at the time of treatment. Our findings underline the importance of the educational model in CBT and the need to emphasize this to individuals receiving treatment.
Fontan survivors have depressed cardiac index that worsens over time. Serum biomarker measurement is minimally invasive, rapid, widely available, and may be useful for serial monitoring. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers that correlate with lower cardiac index in Fontan patients.
Methods and results
This study was a multi-centre case series assessing the correlations between biomarkers and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived cardiac index in Fontan patients ⩾6 years of age with biochemical and haematopoietic biomarkers obtained ±12 months from cardiac magnetic resonance. Medical history and biomarker values were obtained by chart review. Spearman’s Rank correlation assessed associations between biomarker z-scores and cardiac index. Biomarkers with significant correlations had receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve estimated. In total, 97 cardiac magnetic resonances in 87 patients met inclusion criteria: median age at cardiac magnetic resonance was 15 (6–33) years. Significant correlations were found between cardiac index and total alkaline phosphatase (−0.26, p=0.04), estimated creatinine clearance (0.26, p=0.02), and mean corpuscular volume (−0.32, p<0.01). Area under the curve for the three individual biomarkers was 0.63–0.69. Area under the curve for the three-biomarker panel was 0.75. Comparison of cardiac index above and below the receiver operating characteristic curve-identified cut-off points revealed significant differences for each biomarker (p<0.01) and for the composite panel [median cardiac index for higher-risk group=2.17 L/minute/m2 versus lower-risk group=2.96 L/minute/m2, (p<0.01)].
Higher total alkaline phosphatase and mean corpuscular volume as well as lower estimated creatinine clearance identify Fontan patients with lower cardiac index. Using biomarkers to monitor haemodynamics and organ-specific effects warrants prospective investigation.