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Preterm birth is a global health problem and associated with increased risk of long-term developmental impairments, but findings on the adverse outcomes of prematurity have been inconsistent.
Data were obtained from the baseline session of the ongoing longitudinal Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. We identified 1706 preterm children and 1865 matched individuals as Control group and compared brain structure (MRI data), cognitive function and mental health symptoms.
Results showed that preterm children had higher psychopathological risk and lower cognitive function scores compared to controls. Structural MRI analysis indicated that preterm children had higher cortical thickness in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, temporal and occipital gyrus; smaller volumes in the temporal and parietal gyrus, cerebellum, insula and thalamus; and smaller fiber tract volumes in the fornix and parahippocampal-cingulum bundle. Partial correlation analyses showed that gestational age and birth weight were associated with ADHD symptoms, picvocab, flanker, reading, fluid cognition composite, crystallized cognition composite and total cognition composite scores, and measures of brain structure in regions involved with emotional regulation, attention and cognition.
These findings suggest a complex interplay between psychopathological risk and cognitive deficits in preterm children that is associated with changes in regional brain volumes, cortical thickness, and structural connectivity among cortical and limbic brain regions critical for cognition and emotional well-being.
In recent years, soft robotics is widely considered as the most promising field for both research and application. First of all, the actuator is fundamental for designing, modeling, and controlling of soft robots. This paper presents a new type of pneumatic trunk-like soft actuator, which contains a chamber for stiffness adjustment in addition to three chambers for driving. Thus, the salient feature of the proposed actuator is the ability of stiffness self-regulation. The structure of the proposed actuator is described in detail. Then the theoretical models for elongation and bending motion of the actuator are established. The elongation as well as single-chamber and multi-chamber driving bending of the actuator were tested to verify the mathematical models. Finally, a dual-segment soft robot based on the proposed trunk-like soft actuator was developed and tested by experiments, which implies its potential application in practice.
The aim of the present study was to explore the predictive value of red cell distribution width as a means to differentiate between neurally mediated syncope and arrhythmic syncope in children.
Patients were divided into a neurally mediated syncope group (n=72) and an arrhythmic syncope group (n=21) on the basis of clinical history, results of the head-up tilt test, electrocardiography, and 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography. As controls, we recruited 55 healthy children. Red cell distribution width was determined for children in all groups. A receiver operating characteristic curve was drawn to study the predictive effect of red cell distribution width to differentiate between neurally mediated syncope and arrhythmic syncope.
Red cell distribution width was significantly higher in children with neurally mediated syncope than in children with arrhythmic syncope and the control group. A receiver operating characteristic curve on the predictive value of red cell distribution width in differentiating neurally mediated syncope from arrhythmic syncope showed that the area under the curve was 0.841 (95% confidence interval: 0.737–0.945, p<0.05). A red cell distribution width value of 12.8% as the cut-off value yielded a sensitivity of 80.6% and a specificity of 76.2% in discriminating between patients with neurally mediated syncope and arrhythmic syncope.
Red cell distribution width value of ⩾12.8% might be a useful adjunct for primary-care physicians to differentiate neurally mediated syncope from arrhythmic syncope in children.
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