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Κυριακή, 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

Nuclear accident consequence assessment in Hong Kong using JRODOS

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Publication date: March 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 183
Author(s): W.H. Leung, W.M. Ma, Philip K.Y. Chan
The JRODOS (Java-based Real-time Online DecisiOn Support) is a decision support system for off-site emergency management for releases of radioactive material into the environment. This paper documents the application of JRODOS by the Hong Kong Observatory in accident consequence assessment and emergency preparedness studies. For operational considerations, the most computational efficient dispersion model in JRODOS, ATSTEP, is adopted. Verification studies for JRODOS's ATSTEP model have been conducted. Comparison with tracer experiment results showed that under neutral atmospheric conditions and distances up to 50 km, the JRODOS simulation outputs were in general of the same order of magnitude with the tracer data. To further evaluate the capability of JRODOS in short-range simulation, a case study on the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was also carried out. JRODOS was able to produce realistic simulation results which were comparable to the actual airborne monitoring data of the Cs-137 ground deposition from the Fukushima accident.Furthermore, the results of a comprehensive study to assess the potential consequences of accidents at a nearby nuclear power station are presented. Simulation using the French S3 source term for the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station at Daya Bay showed that the projected effective doses within Hong Kong remain far below the IAEA generic criteria of projected dose for urgent protective actions in sheltering/evacuation, while the projected equivalent dose in thyroid may meet the IAEA generic criteria for use of thyroid blocking agent at some areas in the northeastern part of Hong Kong, at distances of up to about 40 km from Daya Bay depending on the prevailing weather conditions in different seasons.



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Continuous generation of hydroxyl radicals for highly efficient elimination of chlorophenols and phenols catalyzed by heterogeneous Fenton-like catalysts yolk/shell Pd@Fe3O4@metal organic frameworks.

Continuous generation of hydroxyl radicals for highly efficient elimination of chlorophenols and phenols catalyzed by heterogeneous Fenton-like catalysts yolk/shell Pd@Fe3O4@metal organic frameworks.

J Hazard Mater. 2017 Dec 16;346:174-183

Authors: Niu H, Zheng Y, Wang S, Zhao L, Yang S, Cai Y

Abstract
Core/shell Fe3O4-decorated Pd nanoparticles (NPs) hybrids (Pd@Fe3O4) are prepared through a "green", and one-pot chemical process. The Pd@Fe3O4 hybrids consisted of faceted quasi-spherical Pd nanoparticles (NPs) cores (∼20 nm) surrounded by close-packed Fe3O4 NPs (∼7 nm). To improve the stability and avoid aggregation of Pd@Fe3O4 hybrids in water, hollow Fe-metal organic frameworks (Fe-MOFs) were applied to enwrap Pd@Fe3O4 to obtain yolk/shell structured composites. Sub-10 nm Fe3O4 and Pd NPs close to each other were distributed evenly in the MOFs shell of Pd@Fe3O4@MOFs. The yolk/shell Pd@Fe3O4@MOFs can catalyze the oxidative degradation of chlorophenols and phenols by hydroxyl radicals (OH) decomposed from H2O2. With low molar ratio of H2O2/pollutants, the pollutants are degraded and mineralized efficiently and rapidly. The outstanding catalytic efficiency of Pd@Fe3O4@MOFs is contributed by the fast and continuous generation of OH radicals in Pd@Fe3O4@MOFs suspension which is detected with the electron spin resonance spin-trap technique and a continuous-flow chemiluminescence system. Lack of consumption of hydroperoxyl radicals/superoxide radicals (HO2/O2-) in the Pd@Fe3O4@MOFs-H2O2 system might suggest that the production of OH radicals results from the electron transferring from Pd to Fe3O4 component both in the inner Pd@Fe3O4 and MOF shell, which facilitates fast Fe(III)/Fe(II) redox cycle.

PMID: 29274511 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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A preliminary analysis of the effects of bisphenol A on the plant root growth via changes in endogenous plant hormones.

A preliminary analysis of the effects of bisphenol A on the plant root growth via changes in endogenous plant hormones.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Dec 20;150:152-158

Authors: Li X, Wang L, Wang S, Yang Q, Zhou Q, Huang X

Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is ubiquitous in the environment worldwide, affecting plant growth and development. Endogenous plant hormones serve as switches that regulate plant growth and development. However, plants have different physiological requirements and environmental adaptive capacities during the different growth stages. Here, we investigated the effects of BPA on soybean (Glycine max L.) root growth at the three growth stages and analyzed the mechanisms underlying the effects of BPA on the root growth by assessing changes in endogenous hormone. The results showed that low concentration of BPA (1.5mgL-1) improved root growth (except at the seed-filling stage), increased indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) content at the first two growth stages, and increased zeatin (ZT) content and decreased gibberellic acid (GA3) content at the seedling stage. But low concentration of BPA caused decreased ethylene (ETH) contents and constant abscisic acid (ABA) content at all three stages. However, BPA at moderate and high concentrations (6.0 and 12.0mgL-1) inhibited root growth, causing the decreased IAA, GA3 and ETH contents and increased ABA content at all three growth stages. The change degrees of above indices were weakened with prolonging the growth stages. After BPA withdrawal, both the root growth and the hormone contents recovered (with the exception of ZT and ETH), and the recovery degrees had negative correlation with the BPA exposure concentration and had positive correlation with the growth stage. Changes in residual BPA content in the roots were also observed at different BPA concentrations and different growth stages. Our results demonstrated the effects of BPA on root growth were related to BPA-induced changes in hormone, which performed differently at various growth stages.

PMID: 29274504 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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A mouse model of DEPDC5-related epilepsy: Neuronal loss of Depdc5 causes dysplastic and ectopic neurons, increased mTOR signaling, and seizure susceptibility.

A mouse model of DEPDC5-related epilepsy: Neuronal loss of Depdc5 causes dysplastic and ectopic neurons, increased mTOR signaling, and seizure susceptibility.

Neurobiol Dis. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Yuskaitis CJ, Jones BM, Wolfson RL, Super CE, Dhamne SC, Rotenberg A, Sabatini DM, Sahin M, Poduri A

Abstract
DEPDC5 is a newly identified epilepsy-related gene implicated in focal epilepsy, brain malformations, and Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). In vitro, DEPDC5 negatively regulates amino acid sensing by the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway, but the role of DEPDC5 in neurodevelopment and epilepsy has not been described. No animal model of DEPDC5-related epilepsy has recapitulated the neurological phenotypes seen in patients, and germline knockout rodent models are embryonic lethal. Here, we establish a neuron-specific Depdc5 conditional knockout mouse by cre-recombination under the Synapsin1 promotor. Depdc5flox/flox-Syn1Cre (Depdc5cc+) mice survive to adulthood with a progressive neurologic phenotype that includes motor abnormalities (i.e., hind limb clasping) and reduced survival compared to littermate control mice. Depdc5cc+ mice have larger brains with increased cortical neuron size and dysplastic neurons throughout the cortex, comparable to the abnormal neurons seen in human focal cortical dysplasia specimens. Depdc5 results in constitutive mTORC1 hyperactivation exclusively in neurons as measured by the increased phosphorylation of the downstream ribosomal protein S6. Despite a lack of increased mTORC1 signaling within astrocytes, Depdc5cc+ brains show reactive astrogliosis. We observed two Depdc5cc+ mice to have spontaneous seizures, including a terminal seizure. We demonstrate that as a group Depdc5cc+ mice have lowered seizure thresholds, as evidenced by decreased latency to seizures after chemoconvulsant injection and increased mortality from pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures. In summary, our neuron-specific Depdc5 knockout mouse model recapitulates clinical, pathological, and biochemical features of human DEPDC5-related epilepsy and brain malformations. We thereby present an important model in which to study targeted therapeutic strategies for DEPDC5-related conditions.

PMID: 29274432 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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HO-1 mediates BAY 11-7085 induced ferroptosis.

HO-1 mediates BAY 11-7085 induced ferroptosis.

Cancer Lett. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Chang LC, Chiang SK, Chen SE, Yu YL, Chou RH, Chang WC

Abstract
Ferroptosis is a form of oxidative cell death and has become a chemotherapeutic target for cancer treatment. BAY 11-7085 (BAY), which is a well-known IκBα inhibitor, suppressed viability in cancer cells via induction of ferroptotic death in a NF-κB-independent manner. Reactive oxygen species scavenging, relief of lipid peroxidation, replenishment of glutathione and thiol-containing agents, as well as iron chelation, rescued BAY-induced cell death. BAY upregulated a variety of Nrf2 target genes related to redox regulation, particularly heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Studies with specific inhibitors and shRNA interventions suggested that the hierarchy of induction is Nrf2-SLC7A11-HO-1. SLC7A11 inhibition by erastin, sulfasalazine, or shRNA interference sensitizes BAY-induced cell death. Overexperession of SLC7A11 attenuated BAY-inhibited cell viability. The ferroptotic process induced by hHO-1 overexpression further indicated that HO-1 is a key mediator of BAY-induced ferroptosis that operates through cellular redox regulation and iron accumulation. BAY causes compartmentalization of HO-1 into the nucleus and mitochondrion, and followed mitochondrial dysfunctions, leading to lysosome targeting for mitophagy. In this study, we first discovered that BAY induced ferroptosis via Nrf2-SLC7A11-HO-1 pathway and HO-1 is a key mediator by responding to the cellular redox status.

PMID: 29274359 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Genome-wide association study of Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes at prediagnosis stages.

Genome-wide association study of Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes at prediagnosis stages.

Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Chung J, Wang X, Maruyama T, Ma Y, Zhang X, Mez J, Sherva R, Takeyama H, Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Lunetta KL, Farrer LA, Jun GR

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Genetic associations for endophenotypes of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in cognitive stages preceding AD have not been thoroughly evaluated.
METHODS: We conducted genome-wide association studies for AD-related endophenotypes including hippocampal volume, logical memory scores, and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ42 and total/phosphorylated tau in cognitively normal (CN), mild cognitive impairment, and AD dementia subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study.
RESULTS: In CN subjects, study-wide significant (P < 8.3 × 10-9) loci were identified for total tau near SRRM4 and C14orf79 and for hippocampal volume near MTUS1. In mild cognitive impairment subjects, study-wide significant association was found with SNPs near ZNF804B for logical memory test of delayed recall scores. We found consistent expression patterns of C14orf40 and MTUS1 in carriers with risk alleles of expression SNPs and in brains of AD patients, compared with in the noncarriers and in brains of controls.
DISCUSSION: Our findings for AD-related brain changes before AD provide insight about early AD-related biological processes.

PMID: 29274321 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Development of hafnium metal and titanium-hafnium alloys having apatite-forming ability by chemical surface modification.

Development of hafnium metal and titanium-hafnium alloys having apatite-forming ability by chemical surface modification.

J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Miyazaki T, Sueoka M, Shirosaki Y, Shinozaki N, Shiraishi T

Abstract
Hafnium (Hf) has attracted considerable attention as a component of biomedical titanium (Ti) alloys with low Young's moduli and/or shape-memory functionalities, because its cytotoxicity is as low as that of Ti. The drawback of metals is that their bone-bonding ability is generally low. It is known that apatite formation in the body is a prerequisite for bone-bonding. Although several chemical treatments have been proposed for preparing Ti for bone-bonding, there have been no similar investigations for Hf. In the present study, NaOH- and heat-treatments were applied to pure Hf and Ti-Hf alloys and their bone-bonding ability was assessed in vitro with the use of simulated body fluid (SBF). After NaOH- and heat-treatments, anatase formed on alloys with low Hf content (20-40% (atom%) Hf); mixtures of sodium titanate and hafnium titanate formed on alloys with similar Ti and Hf content (60% Hf); and hafnium oxide formed on alloys with high Hf content (80% Hf and pure Hf). Precipitates of apatite were observed on all the metals in SBF, except for the alloy with 60% Hf. We speculated that the hafnium titanate formed on this alloy had a low apatite-forming ability owing to its high negative surface charge, which inhibited P adsorption. The apatite-forming abilities of the Ti-Hf alloys strongly depended on their Hf content. The present results indicate that Hf-based materials have good potential for bone-bonding. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2017.

PMID: 29274252 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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What Is Bending the Cost Curve? An Exploration of Possible Drivers and Unintended Consequences.

What Is Bending the Cost Curve? An Exploration of Possible Drivers and Unintended Consequences.

Healthc Policy. 2017 Nov;13(2):20-30

Authors: McGrail K, Ahuja M

Abstract
Health expenditures in most OECD countries have increased at a slower rate since 2008/2009. Potential drivers of this bending of the cost curve include: (1) changes in pharmaceuticals and technology innovations; (2) healthcare reforms, and specifically those focusing on care for complex and high-user patients and (3) government expenditure controls resulting from general economic conditions. We use publicly available National Health Expenditure data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information to assess the merits of each of these drivers, with a focus on British Columbia. We find some evidence for the effects of changes in pharmaceuticals and technology, but the dominant effect is government spending controls, which are greatest for non-Medicare-covered services. These changes suggest potential unintended consequences on access and equity that should be understood before declaring victory for healthcare expenditure control.

PMID: 29274224 [PubMed - in process]



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Screening for problem gambling within mental health services: A comparison of the classification accuracy of brief instruments.

Screening for problem gambling within mental health services: A comparison of the classification accuracy of brief instruments.

Addiction. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Dowling NA, Merkouris SS, Manning V, Volberg R, Lee SJ, Rodda SN, Lubman DI

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Despite the over-representation of people with gambling problems in mental health populations, there is limited information available to guide the selection of brief screening instruments within mental health services. The primary aim was therefore to compare the classification accuracy of nine brief problem gambling screening instruments (2-5 items) with a reference standard among patients accessing mental health services.
DESIGN: The classification accuracy of nine brief screening instruments was compared with multiple cut-off scores on a reference standard.
SETTING: Eight mental health services in Victoria, Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: 837 patients were consecutively recruited between June 2015 and January 2016.
MEASUREMENTS: The brief screening instruments were the Lie/Bet Questionnaire, Brief Problem Gambling Screen [BPGS] [2-5-item versions], NODS-CLiP, NODS-CLiP2, Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen [BBGS], and NODS-PERC. The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) was the reference standard.
FINDINGS: The 5-item BPGS was the only instrument displaying satisfactory classification accuracy in detecting any level of gambling problem (low-risk, moderate-risk, or problem gambling) [sensitivity=0.803, specificity=0.982, diagnostic efficiency=0.943]. Several shorter instruments adequately detected both problem and moderate-risk, but not low-risk, gambling: two 3-item instruments (NODS-CLiP, 3-item BPGS) and two 4-item instruments (NODS-PERC, 4-item BPGS) [sensitivity=0.854-0.966, specificity=0.901-0.954, diagnostic efficiency=0.908-0.941]. The 4-item instruments, however, did not provide any considerable advantage over the 3-item instruments. The very brief (2-item) instruments (Lie/Bet and 2-item BPGS) similarly adequately detected problem gambling [sensitivity=0.811-0.868, specificity=0.938-0.943, diagnostic efficiency=0.933-0.934], but not moderate-risk or low-risk gambling.
CONCLUSIONS: The optimal brief screening instrument for mental health services wanting to screen for any level of gambling problem is the 5-item Brief Problem Gambling Screen (BPGS). Services wanting to employ a shorter instrument or to screen only for more severe gambling problems (moderate-risk/problem gambling) can employ the NODS-CLiP or the 3-item BPGS. Services that are only able to accommodate a very brief instrument can employ the Lie/Bet Questionnaire or the 2-item BPGS.

PMID: 29274182 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Child health care nurses' experiences of asking new mothers about intimate partner violence.

Child health care nurses' experiences of asking new mothers about intimate partner violence.

J Clin Nurs. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Anderzen-Carlsson A, Gillå C, Lind M, Almqvist K, Fändriks AL, Källström Å

Abstract
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate child health care nurses' experiences of asking mothers of 8-month-old children about intimate partner violence using a two-step questionnaire.
BACKGROUND: Exposure to intimate partner violence is detrimental to women and to their children, and its early detection is vital. Child health care is a promising setting for detecting intimate partner violence.
DESIGN: The overall project had a quasi-experimental design, and was employed in 2015 at 12 child health care centers in Sweden. The project aimed to test a two-step method for talking about intimate partner violence with mothers (n = 198) at the child health care center. In this paper we disclose the experiences of the intervention from the perspective of the nurses (n = 13) who were educated and involved in the intervention.
METHODS: Data were collected by semi-structured interviews, analyzed by thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Five categories emerged: Using the two-step questionnaire method, Asking about IPV as an important issue, Being comfortable in the professional role and with asking about IPV, The importance of time and place in asking about IPV, and Spill-over effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Asking mothers visiting the child health clinic about their experiences of intimate partner violence was seen as an important task. Using a questionnaire could facilitate asking, but the questionnaire must be short and easy to use. Furthermore, the time and place for initiating a talk about this sensitive topic must be carefully chosen. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 29274181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Brief telephone interventions for problem gambling: A randomised controlled trial.

Brief telephone interventions for problem gambling: A randomised controlled trial.

Addiction. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Abbott M, Hodgins DC, Bellringer M, Vandal AC, Du Preez KP, Landon J, Sullivan S, Rodda S, Feigin V

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Problem gambling is a significant public health issue worldwide. There is substantial investment in publicly funded intervention services, but limited evaluation of effectiveness. This study investigated three brief telephone interventions to determine whether they were more effective than standard helpline treatment in helping people reduce gambling.
DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial.
SETTING: National gambling helpline in New Zealand.
PARTICIPANTS: 462 adults with problem gambling. INTERVENTIONS AND COMPARATOR: (1) Single motivational interview (MI), (2) single motivational interview plus cognitive-behavioural self-help workbook (MI+W) and (3) single motivational interview plus workbook plus four follow-up telephone interviews (MI+W+B). Comparator was helpline standard care (TAU). Blinded follow-up was at 3, 6 and 12 months.
MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcomes were days gambled, dollars lost per day and treatment goal success.
FINDINGS: There were no differences across treatment arms although participants showed large reductions in gambling over the 12-month follow-up period (mean reduction of 5.5 days, CI (4.8, 6.2); $38NZD lost ($32, $44; 80.6% improved (77.2%, 84.0%)). Subgroup analysis revealed improved days gambled and dollars lost for MI+W+B over MI or MI+W for a goal of reduction of gambling (vs quitting) and improvement in dollars lost by ethnicity, gambling severity and psychological distress (all p < .01). MI+W+B was associated with greater treatment goal success for higher gambling severity than TAU or MI at 12 months and also better for those with higher psychological distress and lower self-efficacy to MI (all p < .01). TAU and MI were found to be equivalent in terms of dollars lost.
CONCLUSIONS: In treatment of problem gambling in New Zealand, brief telephone interventions are associated with changes in days gambling and dollars lost similar to more intensive interventions suggesting that more treatment is not necessarily better than less. Some client subgroups, in particular those with greater problem severity and greater distress, achieve better outcomes when they receive more intensive treatment.

PMID: 29274179 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Prophylactic Supplement with Melatonin Successfully Suppresses the Pathogenesis of Periodontitis through Normalizing RANKL/OPG Ratio and Depressing the TLR4/MyD88 Signaling Pathway.

Prophylactic Supplement with Melatonin Successfully Suppresses the Pathogenesis of Periodontitis through Normalizing RANKL/OPG Ratio and Depressing the TLR4/MyD88 Signaling Pathway.

J Pineal Res. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Renn TY, Huang YK, Feng SW, Wang HW, Lee WF, Lin CT, Burnouf T, Chen LY, Kao PF, Chang HM

Abstract
Periodontitis (PD) is an inflammatory disease characterized by gingival inflammation and resorption of alveolar bone. Impaired receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand/osteoprotegerin (RANKL/OPG) signaling caused by enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of PD. Considering melatonin possesses significant anti-inflammatory property, present study aims to determine whether prophylactic treatment with melatonin would effectively normalize RANKL/OPG signaling, depress toll-like receptor 4/myeloid differentiation factor 88 (TLR4/MyD88) mediated pro-inflammatory cytokine activation, and successfully suppress the pathogenesis of PD. PD was induced in adult rats by placing the ligature at molar subgingival regions. Fourteen days before PD induction, 10, 50, or 100 mg/kg of melatonin were intraperitoneally injected for consecutive 28 days. Biochemical and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to detect TLR4/MyD88 activity, RANKL, OPG, interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor-α levels, respectively. The extent of bone loss, bone mineral intensity, and calcium intensity were further evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, micro-computed tomography and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Results indicated that high RANKL/OPG ratio, TLR4/MyD88 activity and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels were detected following PD. Impaired biochemical findings paralleled well with severe bone loss and reduced calcium intensity. However, in rats pre-treated with melatonin, all above parameters were successfully returned to nearly normal levels with maximal change observed in rats receiving 100 mg/kg. As prophylactic treatment with melatonin effectively normalizes RANKL/OPG signaling by depressing TLR4/MyD88 mediated pro-inflammatory cytokine production, dietary supplement with melatonin may serve as an advanced strategy to strengthen oral health to counteract PD-induced destructive damage. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 29274168 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Usefulness of hard X-ray microscope using synchrotron radiation for the structure analysis of insects.

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Usefulness of hard X-ray microscope using synchrotron radiation for the structure analysis of insects.

Microsc Res Tech. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Lee J, Lee O

Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology has the advantage of enabling specific visualization of creative ideas. Since synchrotron based images can provide high sensitivity and high resolution, they are a very useful technology to identify the 3D anatomy of microscale samples. X-ray images using such synchrotron radiation are grafted to 3D printing technology. We can be obtained 3D images and modeling data of an ant using synchrotron radiation, and then, it were outputted with the 3D printer. A new way to identify the usefulness of the structure analysis is then found by visualizing the micro-internal structure of diverse biomedical samples and creating an enlarged model. This study suggests methods of utilizing a 3D printed model produced through synchrotron radiation imaging in various fields such as bioengineering, medical, and education.

PMID: 29274108 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Neural predictors of sensorimotor adaptation rate and savings.

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Neural predictors of sensorimotor adaptation rate and savings.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Cassady K, Ruitenberg M, Koppelmans V, Reuter-Lorenz P, De Dios Y, Gadd N, Wood S, Riascos Castenada R, Kofman I, Bloomberg J, Mulavara A, Seidler R

Abstract
In this study, we investigate whether individual variability in the rate of visuomotor adaptation and multiday savings is associated with differences in regional gray matter volume and resting-state functional connectivity. Thirty-four participants performed a manual adaptation task during two separate test sessions, on average 9 days apart. Functional connectivity strength between sensorimotor, dorsal cingulate, and temporoparietal regions of the brain was found to predict the rate of learning during the early phase of the adaptation task. In contrast, default mode network connectivity strength was found to predict both the rate of learning during the late adaptation phase and savings. As for structural predictors, greater gray matter volume in temporoparietal and occipital regions predicted faster early learning, whereas greater gray matter volume in superior posterior regions of the cerebellum predicted faster late learning. These findings suggest that the offline neural predictors of early adaptation may facilitate the cognitive aspects of sensorimotor adaptation, supported by the involvement of temporoparietal and cingulate networks. The offline neural predictors of late adaptation and savings, including the default mode network and the cerebellum, likely support the storage and modification of newly acquired sensorimotor representations.

PMID: 29274105 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Printing Inks of Electroactive Polymer PEDOT:PSS: The Study of Biocompatibility, Stability and Electrical Properties.

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Printing Inks of Electroactive Polymer PEDOT:PSS: The Study of Biocompatibility, Stability and Electrical Properties.

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Stříteský S, Marková A, Víteček J, Šafaříková E, Hrabal M, Kubáč L, Kubala L, Weiter M, Vala M

Abstract
Biocompatibility tests and a study of the electrical properties of thin films prepared from six electroactive polymer ink formulations based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) were performed. The aim was to find a suitable formulation of PEDOT:PSS and conditions for preparing thin films in order to construct printed bioelectronic devices for biomedical applications. The stability and electrical properties of such films were tested on organic electrochemical transistor (OECT)-based sensor platforms and their biocompatibility was evaluated in assays with 3T3 fibroblasts and murine cardiomyocytes. It was found that the thin films prepared from inks without an additive or any thin film post-treatment provide limited conductivity and stability for use in biomedical applications. These properties were greatly improved by using ethylene glycol and thermal annealing. Addition or post-treatment by ethylene glycol in combination with thermal annealing provided thin films with electrical resistance and a stability sufficient to be used in sensing of animal cell physiology. These films coated with collagen IV showed good biocompatibility in the assay with 3T3 fibroblasts when compared to standard cell culture plastics. Selected films were then used in assays with murine cardiomyocytes. We observed that these cells were able to attach to the PEDOT:PSS films and form an active sensor element. Spontaneously beating clusters were formed, indicating a good physiological status for the cardiomyocyte cells. These results open the door to construction of cheap printed electronic devices for biointerfacing in biomedical applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 29274101 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Prevalence and risk factors of mycobacterial infections in farm and trade cattle in southwestern Nigeria.

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Prevalence and risk factors of mycobacterial infections in farm and trade cattle in southwestern Nigeria.

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Akinseye VO, Adebayo MD, Genesis OO, Adelakun OD, Cadmus SIB

Abstract
We evaluated the prevalence of mycobacterial infections (i.e., Mycobacterium bovis and non-tuberculous mycobacteria [NTM]) and their associated risk factors among cattle herds and trade cattle in southwestern Nigeria. Through cross-sectional study design, cattle herds from three locations were screened using the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin test based on two diagnostic standards; more than 4 mm (˃ 4 mm) and more than 2 mm (˃ 2 mm) cut-off points. Abattoir study involved screening trade cattle for tuberculous lesions. Overall, 515 cattle from 45 herds were screened. Using > 4 mm, animal level and herd prevalence of 11.7 and 46.7% were recorded, respectively. Applying the ˃ 2 mm cut-off, animal level and herd prevalence increased to 31.1 and 60.0%, respectively. Significantly, using the ˃ 2 mm cut-off, cattle in medium size herds/extensive management system (OR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.1-2.5) and Sokoto Gudali (OR = 2.3; 95% CI 1.4-3.8) were more at risk of being positive reactors, while Rahaji (OR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.1-0.7) breeds of cattle and cows in the peri-urban area (OR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.2-0.9) were less at risk of being positive reactors. Again, M. avium reactor of 21.7% was observed. In the abattoir, 1797 cattle were examined with 126 lesions suggestive of tuberculosis (TB). Culture/molecular analyses confirmed 2.2% M. bovis and 0.9% NTM infections. Risk factors associated with bovine TB among trade cattle were sex (OR = 4.0; 95% CI 1.2-13.5) and age (OR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.1-0.9). We confirm 11.7% prevalence of mycobacterial infections among populations of cattle screened with breed and herd size being major risk factors.

PMID: 29274054 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Depicting the pterygopalatine ganglion on 3 Tesla magnetic resonance images.

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Depicting the pterygopalatine ganglion on 3 Tesla magnetic resonance images.

Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Bratbak DF, Folvik M, Nordgård S, Stovner LJ, Dodick DW, Matharu M, Tronvik E

Abstract
PURPOSE: The pterygopalatine ganglion has yet not been identified on medical images in living humans. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the pterygopalatine ganglion could be identified on 3 T MR imaging.
METHODS: This study was performed on medical images of 20 Caucasian subjects on both sides (n = 40 ganglia) with an exploratory design. 3 T MR images were assessed by two physicians for the presence and size of the pterygopalatine ganglion. The distance from the pterygopalatine ganglion to four bony landmarks was registered from fused MR and CT images. In an equivalence analysis, the distances were compared to those obtained in an anatomical cadaveric study serving as historical controls (n = 50).
RESULTS: A structure assumed to be the pterygopalatine ganglion was identified on MR images in all patients on both sides by both physicians. The mean size was depth 2.1 ± 0.5 mm, width 4.2 ± 1.1 mm and height 5.1 ± 1.4 mm, which is in accordance with formerly published data. Equivalence of the measurements on MR images and the historical controls was established, suggesting that the structure identified on the MR images is the pterygopalatine ganglion.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the pterygopalatine ganglion can be detected on 3 T MR images. Identification of the pterygopalatine ganglion may be important for image-guided interventions targeting the pterygopalatine ganglion, and has the potential to increase the efficacy, safety and reliability for these treatments.

PMID: 29274037 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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quality of care; +32 new citations

32 new pubmed citations were retrieved for your search. Click on the search hyperlink below to display the complete search results:

quality of care

These pubmed results were generated on 2017/12/24

PubMed comprises more than millions of citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.



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The activation and function of IL-36γ in neutrophilic inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis.

The activation and function of IL-36γ in neutrophilic inflammation in chronic rhinosinusitis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Wang H, Li ZY, Jiang WX, Liao B, Zhai GT, Wang N, Zhen Z, Ruan JW, Long XB, Wang H, Liu WH, Liang GT, Xu WM, Kato A, Liu Z

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Although increased accumulation of neutrophils has been noted in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), the function and regulation of neutrophils in CRS are largely unknown. IL-36 family cytokines may play an important role in neutrophilic inflammation.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression and function of IL-36 cytokines in CRS.
METHODS: Quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and ELISA were used to investigate the expression of IL-36 cytokines and IL-36 receptor (IL-36R) in sinonasal mucosa. The expression of IL-36R on neutrophils in polyps and blood was measured by flow cytometry. Purified blood neutrophils were cultured to investigate the regulation of IL-36R expression. The cleavage of IL-36γ was detected by Western blotting. Dispersed nasal polyp cells (DNPCs) were treated with IL-36γ with or without elastase inhibitor and dexamethasone.
RESULTS: Neutrophil infiltration and expression of IL-36 cytokines and IL-36R were up-regulated in both CRS with and without nasal polyps. IL-36γ was the most abundant isoform and mainly expressed by epithelial cells in CRS. Neutrophils were the principal IL-36R+ cell type in polyps. IL-36R expression was almost absent in blood neutrophils and up-regulated by IL-6, IL-1β, and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 1. Elastase activity was increased in polyps and degraded full-length IL-36γ. Consistently, the levels of cleaved IL-36γ were increased in polyps. Full-length IL-36γ promoted the production of MMP-9, IL-17A, CXCL1, CXCL2 and CXCL8 from DNPCs, which was abolished by elastase inhibitor. The pro-inflammatory effect of IL-36γ was not suppressed by dexamethasone.
CONCLUSION: Increased production and activation of IL-36γ may act on neutrophils and further exaggerate neutrophilic inflammation in CRS.

PMID: 29274415 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Estradiol Receptor Profile and Estrogen Responsiveness in Laryngeal Cancer and Clinical Outcomes.

Estradiol Receptor Profile and Estrogen Responsiveness in Laryngeal Cancer and Clinical Outcomes.

Steroids. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Schwartz N, Verma A, Muktipaty C, Bivens C, Schwartz Z, Boyan BD

Abstract
There is growing evidence that laryngeal cancers are responsive to sex hormones, specifically 17β-estradiol (E2), despite controversy regarding the presence and characterization of E2 receptors (ER). Determination of sex hormone responsiveness impacts the prognosis of laryngeal cancer patients and the treatment modalities implemented by their clinicians. Discovery of membrane-associated steroid hormone receptors and rapid membrane signaling opened the possibility that cancers previously labeled 'non-hormone dependent' and 'ER negative' might in fact be susceptible to the effects of E2 via these membrane receptors. ERα66 and ERβ, the classical nuclear receptors, are present in the membranes of different cancer cells via a mechanism referred to as trafficking. Novel splice variants of these traditional receptors, a key example being ERα36, have also been found in the caveolae of cancer cells. Previous work demonstrated that ERα36 has a role in the tumorigenesis of laryngeal cancer, enhancing both proliferation and the anti-apoptotic effect of E2 against chemotherapeutics. The present study showed that expression of different membrane ERs in laryngeal cancer is not uniform, which may result in differential and even antagonistic responses to E2. E2 had protective or deleterious effects in different cancer cell lines, stimulating proliferation and conferring anti-apoptotic potential to the cancer cells according to their receptor profile. These findings stress the importance of establishing the molecular and clinical characterization of the specific laryngeal tumor in order to tailor treatment accordingly, thus optimizing care while reducing adverse effects for individual patients.

PMID: 29274403 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Subpopulations of cancer stem cells found in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Subpopulations of cancer stem cells found in papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Exp Cell Res. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Mirshahidi S, Simental A, Lee S, De Andrade Filho PA, Peterson NR, Cao W, Necochea-Campion R, Yang H, Duerksen-Hughes P, Yuan X

Abstract
Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common form of thyroid cancer and while it has a generally good prognosis, tumor recurrence remains a major clinical challenge. Studying laboratory cell lines as well as clinical specimens indicate that PTC may follow the cancer stem cell (CSC) model. However, CSC characteristics relevant in PTC initiation and progression remain largely unknown. Here we studied a population of sphere-growing tumor cells isolated from primary cultures of clinical PTC. These sphere-growing cells consisted of aldehyde dehydrogenase positive (ALDH+) and ALDH negative (ALDH-) cell subpopulations and demonstrated a hierarchical pattern of cell division. Using combinations of selective depletion, specific inhibition and cell sorting, we found that both subpopulations of the sphere cells were able to self-renew and initiate xenograft tumors independently, and fulfilled the definition of CSC. Importantly, when the subpopulations functioned together, the cancer-initiation efficiency and the xenograft tumor progression were significantly enhanced compared to either subpopulation alone. These data revealed crucial roles of ALDH- CSC in PTC biology and suggested that CSC subpopulations function cooperatively to control PTC initiation and progression. Together, our study indicates that CSC subpopulations isolated from clinical specimens offer unprecedented opportunities for investigating PTC pathogenesis and developing effective therapies.

PMID: 29274322 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Lower lip squamous cell carcinoma in patients with photosensitive disorders: Analysis of cases treated at the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA) from 1999 to 2012.

Lower lip squamous cell carcinoma in patients with photosensitive disorders: Analysis of cases treated at the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA) from 1999 to 2012.

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Borges JF, Lanaro N, Bernardo V, Albano R, Dias F, de Faria P, Pinto L, Lourenco SQ

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Lower lip squamous cell carcinoma (LLSCC) is a common malignancy of the head and neck, being mainly a consequence of a chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light solar radiation. Here, we evaluated the clinicopathological profile of patients with photosensitive disorders (xeroderma pigmentosum, lupus erythematosus and albinism) that developed LLSCC.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from patients who had a diagnosed LLSCC with a prior xeroderma pigmentosum, lupus erythematosus or albinism diagnosis that were treated at INCA from 1999 to 2012 were collected from patients medical records (n=16). The control group was composed of 68 patients with LLSCC without a medical history of photosensitivity. The clinicopathological data of this study population were collected and the association between these variables was analyzed by Fisher's exact test. Survival curves were constructed using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by log-rank test. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS statistics package.
RESULTS: The mean age of patients in the photosensitive and non-photosensitive groups was 42 years and 67 years, respectively (p<0.0001). A previous history of malignant diseases was more common in the photosensitive group (p=0.001). In both groups, most tumors showed a pathological stage I/II disease. Overall and cancer-specific survival were not statistically different. However, disease-free interval showed a significant difference (p=0.01) between the photosensitive and non-photosensitive patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Photosensitive patients presented LLSCC at earlier age but it usually was not the primary tumor in these patients. Furthermore, a more aggressive pathological behavior was not seen when compared with tumors from non-photosensitive patients. The disease-free interval was lower in photosensitive patients, as expected.

PMID: 29274161 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Evolution of oral neoplasm in an andalusian population (Spain).

Evolution of oral neoplasm in an andalusian population (Spain).

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Flores-Ruiz R, Castellanos-Cosano L, Serrera-Figallo MA, Gutierrez-Corrales A, Castillo-Oyague R, Gutierrez-Pere JL, Torres-Lagares D

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Head and neck cancer are one of the most common neoplasm pathologies in humans. The aim of this study was to analyze the type, characteristics, treatment and evolution of oral neoplasm or precancerous lesion in a sample of Andalusian population (Spain) derived from the Oncology Rehabilitation Hospital Unit during a period of 20 years.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A retrospective descriptive study was carried out during the years 1991 and 2011 analyzing the type, characteristics, treatment and follow-up of oral neoplasm in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit of the Universitary Hospital Virgen del Rocio. The inclusion criteria were patients whose underlying pathology was any type of benign or malignant neoplasm or presence of precancerous lesion that, after treatment, had been referred to the Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit.
RESULTS: Of the initial analyzed sample of 60 patients, only 45 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of the final sample analyzed, 31 subjects were men (68.9%) and 14 women (31.1%) (p = 0.0169). The mean age of the sample was 57 years ± 13.83, been more frequently in older people with more than 50 years (73.3%) (p = 0.0169). The most common type of neoplasm was epidermoid carcinoma (64.4%). The site most frequently found in squamous cell carcinoma was the floor of the mouth (31%). The most frequent treatment modality was surgery with postoperative radiotherapy (42.2%). All patients had a minimum follow-up of 5 years, and a recurrence in this period was identified in 11.1% of the sample. Multivariate logistic regression showed a statistically significant association for the variables age (p = 0.0063) and smoking (p = 0.0434).
CONCLUSIONS: Epidermoid carcinoma is the most frequent tumor in the oral cavity, where increase age and smoking are confirmed as associated risk factors.

PMID: 29274149 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Normative Values for Tonsils in Pediatric Populations Based on Ultrasonography.

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Normative Values for Tonsils in Pediatric Populations Based on Ultrasonography.

J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Hong HS, Lee JY, Jeong SH

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Pediatric tonsillar infections are common, particularly in adolescents. Ultrasonography (US) has high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing peritonsillar abscesses and can diagnose tonsillitis by enlargement of the gland. In this study, we established normal tonsillar measurements and volumes according to age in pediatric populations.
METHODS: Transcervical US of the peritonsillar region to measure tonsillar size and volume was performed in patients who had undergone neck US without throat symptoms from October 2016 to May 2017. Transverse and anteroposterior diameters, length, and volume were measured.
RESULTS: In total, 161 patients (age range, 1 month-18 years) were enrolled in the study. The mean tonsillar volumes ± SD were 1.58 ± 1.26 (total), 0.30 ± 0.14 (<1 year), 1.27 ± 0.57 (1-<5 years), 2.06 ± 1.09 (5-<10 years), and 2.19 ± 1.48 (>10 years) cm3 . Mean measurements for the sums of both tonsils for the transverse diameter, anteroposterior diameter, and length were 1.98 ± 0.61, 2.17 ± 0.66, and 2.28 ± 0.69 cm, respectively. Tonsillar size and volume increased according to age. Simplified models for volume estimation showed that anteroposterior diameters had the highest coefficients of determination (R2  = 0.71 and 0.74). Regression models for the tonsillar volume of 6 measurements in the multiple linear regression models showed an R2 of 0.89. Regression models for log(volume) showed an improved coefficient of determination (R2  = 0.96).
CONCLUSIONS: These normal tonsillar sizes on transcervical ultrasound in pediatric patients can be used to diagnose tonsillar lesions.

PMID: 29274081 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Sclerosing Epithelioid Fibrosarcoma of the Jaw: Late Recurrence from a Low Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma.

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Sclerosing Epithelioid Fibrosarcoma of the Jaw: Late Recurrence from a Low Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma.

Head Neck Pathol. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Laliberte C, Leong IT, Holmes H, Monteiro EA, O'Sullivan B, Dickson BC

Abstract
Sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma (SEF) is an uncommon variant of fibrosarcoma that is characterized by a distinct morphology. It most frequently presents in the deep soft tissues of the lower extremities, often in intimate association with fascia and periosteum, although reports of the head and neck involvement have been reported. A minority of cases show morphological, immunohistochemical and molecular overlap with low grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (LG-FMS). Herein, we describe a case of a bland spindle cell neoplasm presenting in the jaw that was initially incompletely excised. Over the course of 20 years the tumor subsequently recurred with a SEF morphology. Molecular testing performed on both specimens subsequently confirmed the presence of an EWSR1-CREB3L1 gene fusion. This report highlights the diagnostic difficulty with LG-FMS, particularly in unusual anatomic locations; reiterates the potential for the uncommon EWSR1-CREB3L1 fusion product in LG-FMS; and, reaffirms the potential for progression and/or overlap between LG-FMS to SEF over time.

PMID: 29274042 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Early hearing loss detection in rheumatoid arthritis and primary Sjögren syndrome using extended high frequency audiometry.

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Early hearing loss detection in rheumatoid arthritis and primary Sjögren syndrome using extended high frequency audiometry.

Clin Rheumatol. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Galarza-Delgado DA, Villegas Gonzalez MJ, Riega Torres J, Soto-Galindo GA, Mendoza Flores L, Treviño González JL

Abstract
The aim of this study is to evaluate the hearing behavior of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and primary Sjögren syndrome (PSS) patients and compare them with a healthy control group and with each other. A comparative cross-sectional study was performed with a group of 117 female RA patients, a group of 60 female PSS patients, and a 251 female healthy control group. Every subject underwent a series of studies including high-frequency audiometry, speech audiometry, and tympanometry. The high-frequency audiometry measured 250 to 16,000 Hz. The 117 patients with RA and the 60 with PSS were diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria / ACR 2010, and the validated classification of the American-European Consensus Group. Hearing loss was present in 36.8% of the RA group in 500-3000 Hz, 68.4% in 4000-8000 Hz, and 94.9% in 10,000-16,000 Hz. Hearing loss was present in 60% of the PSS group in 500-3000 Hz, 70% in 4000-8000 Hz, and 100% in 10,000-16,000 Hz. The hearing impairment prevalence of both groups was significantly different (p < 0.05) when compared with the healthy control group. We also compared the hearing thresholds between RA and PSS patients, finding a significant hearing threshold increase in 500-3000 Hz of the PSS group. This study consolidates the association between RA and PSS with hearing impairment. A deeper hearing loss was reported in PSS than in RA patients, demonstrating a greater auditory and speech recognition repercussion.

PMID: 29273832 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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MRI screening of the internal auditory canal: Is gadolinium necessary to detect intralabyrinthine schwannomas?

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MRI screening of the internal auditory canal: Is gadolinium necessary to detect intralabyrinthine schwannomas?

Am J Otolaryngol. 2017 Dec 13;:

Authors: Valesano JC, Carr CM, Eckel LJ, Carlson ML, Lane JI

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Non-contrast MRI of the internal auditory canal (IAC) using high-resolution T2WI (T2 weighted image) has been proposed as the primary screening study in patients with sudden or asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss (ASNHL). However, there are concerns that non-contrast MRI may not detect labyrinthine pathology, specifically intralabyrinthine schwannomas (ILSs). The purpose of this study was to determine if non-contrast high-resolution T2WI alone are adequate to exclude these uncommon intralabyrinthine tumors.
METHODS: 31 patients with ILSs and 36 patients without inner ear pathology that had dedicated MRI of the IAC performed with both non-contrast T2WI and post-contrast T1WI (T1 weighted image) were identified. Three board-certified neuroradiologists reviewed only the T2WI from these 67 cases. When an ILS was identified, its location and size were recorded. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were calculated using the post-contrast T1WI as the "gold standard." A consensus review of cases with discordant results was conducted.
RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 1.0, 1.0, and 1.0 for Observer 1; 0.84, 1.0, and 0.96 for Observer 2; 0.90, 1.0, and 0.98 for Observer 3. The 5 ILSs with discordant results were correctly identified upon consensus review. The median size of the ILSs was 4.4mm (±2.9mm) and most (18/31) were intracochlear in location.
CONCLUSION: Non-contrast high-resolution T2WI alone can detect ILSs with 84-100% sensitivity, suggesting that gadolinium may be unnecessary to exclude ILSs on screening MRI. These findings have implications for reducing cost, time, and adverse events associated with gadolinium administration in patients presenting with sudden or ASNHL.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.

PMID: 29273441 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Hispanic and African American adult brain tumor patients treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center compared to Los Angeles County and Torrance, California.

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Hispanic and African American adult brain tumor patients treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center compared to Los Angeles County and Torrance, California.

J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Dec 19;:

Authors: Lagman C, Nagasawa DT, Mukherjee D, Patil CG, Duong DH, McBride DQ, Yang I

Abstract
The objective of this study is to shed light on racial disparities among Hispanic and African American adult brain tumor patients treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center compared to the general populations of Los Angeles County (LAC) and Torrance, California (CA). A retrospective review of patients admitted to the neurosurgery service at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center during years 2006 through 2010 was performed. Government census data was queried and pertinent national statistics were retrieved. Brain tumor patients at Harbor-UCLA were compared to the general populations of LAC and Torrance. A total of 271 patients were included in the study. The mean age was 46.9 years. Hispanics comprised the majority of neurosurgical patients (n = 151, 55.7%), followed by African Americans (n = 35, 12.9%). A greater percentage of Hispanic patients were treated at Harbor-UCLA relative to the general Hispanic populations of LAC and Torrance (p < .001). A greater percentage of African American patients were treated at Harbor-UCLA relative to the general African American populations of LAC and Torrance (p = .035 and p < .001, respectively). Our data revealed significant racial disparities amid the Harbor-UCLA Hispanic and African American patient populations compared to the general Angeleno populations of LAC and Torrance.

PMID: 29273423 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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The Danish Head and Neck Cancer fast-track program: a tertiary cancer centre experience.

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The Danish Head and Neck Cancer fast-track program: a tertiary cancer centre experience.

Eur J Cancer. 2017 Dec 19;:

Authors: Roennegaard AB, Rosenberg T, Bjørndal K, Sørensen JA, Johansen J, Godballe C

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: During the 1990s, all Nordic countries except for Denmark experienced a general increase in 5-year survival rates for cancer patients. In 2007, the Danish National Board of Health in collaboration with national multidisciplinary cancer groups and the Danish regions initiated fast-track clinical pathway solutions.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were 1) to present the setup of the head and neck cancer (HNC) fast-track program at Odense University Hospital (OUH) as an example of the Danish model and 2) to present patient characteristics, diagnostic outcome, cancer detection rate, and duration of the fast-track patient courses.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1st July 2012 to 1st September 2015, all patients referred to the HNC fast-track program at OUH for diagnostics and treatment were consecutively included in the study resulting in 3165 patient courses.
RESULTS: The overall malignancy detection rate was 40.6% and for HNC it was 29.2%. The overall median fast-track course duration was 12 days (range 0-74). Overall 2990 (94.5%) of 3165 patients completed their fast-track course within the maximally permitted course duration.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Based on our findings, it was concluded that: 1) a HNC fast-track program build on pre-booked slots for diagnostics and treatment is feasible and can secure acceptable course durations for more than 90% of patient courses, 2) by using private ENT specialists as a 'filter-function', an acceptable detection rate can be achieved.

PMID: 29273285 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Predicting hypoxia status using a combination of contrast-enhanced computed tomography and [18F]-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography radiomics features.

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Predicting hypoxia status using a combination of contrast-enhanced computed tomography and [18F]-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography radiomics features.

Radiother Oncol. 2017 Dec 19;:

Authors: Crispin-Ortuzar M, Apte A, Grkovski M, Oh JH, Lee NY, Schöder H, Humm JL, Deasy JO

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hypoxia is a known prognostic factor in head and neck cancer. Hypoxia imaging PET radiotracers such as 18F-FMISO are promising but not widely available. The aim of this study was therefore to design a surrogate for 18F-FMISO TBRmax based on 18F-FDG PET and contrast-enhanced CT radiomics features, and to study its performance in the context of hypoxia-based patient stratification.
METHODS: 121 lesions from 75 head and neck cancer patients were used in the analysis. Patients received pre-treatment 18F-FDG and 18F-FMISO PET/CT scans. 79 lesions were used to train a cross-validated LASSO regression model based on radiomics features, while the remaining 42 were held out as an internal test subset.
RESULTS: In the training subset, the highest AUC (0.873±0.008) was obtained from a signature combining CT and 18F-FDG PET features. The best performance on the unseen test subset was also obtained from the combined signature, with an AUC of 0.833, while the model based on the 90th percentile of 18F-FDG uptake had a test AUC of 0.756.
CONCLUSION: A radiomics signature built from 18F-FDG PET and contrast-enhanced CT features correlates with 18F-FMISO TBRmax in head and neck cancer patients, providing significantly better performance with respect to models based on 18F-FDG PET only. Such a biomarker could potentially be useful to personalize head and neck cancer treatment at centers for which dedicated hypoxia imaging PET radiotracers are unavailable.

PMID: 29273260 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT and MR imaging in patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma.

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Diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET/CT and MR imaging in patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma.

BMC Cancer. 2017 Dec 22;17(1):887

Authors: Ruhlmann V, Poeppel TD, Veit J, Nagarajah J, Umutlu L, Hoffmann TK, Bockisch A, Herrmann K, Sauerwein W

Abstract
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the value of 18F-FDG PET/CT (PET/CT) and MRI for local and/or whole-body restaging of adenoid cystic carcinoma of the head and neck (ACC).
METHODS: Thirty-six patients with ACC underwent conventional MRI of the head and neck and a whole-body PET/CT and were analysed with regards to detection of a local tumor recurrence, lymph node or distant metastases. A consensus interpretation of all available imaging data was used as reference standard. Sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy, positive and negative predictive values were calculated for MRI and PET/CT.
RESULTS: The sensitivity of PET/CT and MRI was 96% (89%), specificity 89% (89%), PPV 96% (96%), NPV 89% (73%) and accuracy 94% (89%) for detection of local tumors. Additionally, PET/CT revealed lymph node metastases in one patient and distant metastases in 9/36 patients. In three patients secondary primaries were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Whole-body PET/CT in addition to MRI of the head and neck improves detection of local tumour and metastastic spread in ACC.

PMID: 29273015 [PubMed - in process]



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Impaired Th1 responses in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD are improved with PD-1 blockade.

Impaired Th1 responses in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD are improved with PD-1 blockade.

Clin Immunol. 2017 Dec 20;:

Authors: Tan DBA, Teo TH, Setiawan AM, Ong NE, Zimmermann M, Hsu AC, Wark PAB, Moodley YP

PMID: 29274389 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Oral appliance therapy in obstructive sleep apnea: Long-term adherence and patients experiences.

Oral appliance therapy in obstructive sleep apnea: Long-term adherence and patients experiences.

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2017 Dec 23;:

Authors: Saglam-Aydinatay B, Taner T

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Despite the advances in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with mandibular advancement appliances (MAA), their effectiveness is dependent on the patients compliance. Our aims were to evaluate the long-term adherence to MAA therapy and patients experiences of the treatment in OSA.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-nine patients (52 males, 17 females; Mean age: 54.4±10.8 years) were included in the study. The subjects were mild (56%) and moderate (44%) OSA patients who had been treated using MAA at least 4 years prior to the study. A phone survey was used to determine the demographic characteristics of the patients, as well as to assess self-reported adherence to therapy, subjective long-term effectiveness, and patient experiences with the appliance. Descriptive statistics, Pearson Chi-square test, and independent samples t-test were used for data analysis.
RESULTS: Only 22 (32%) patients reported using the appliance regularly. Most of the non-adherent patients had stopped using their appliances in the first year (55%). The mean duration of appliance use was 33.5 months (Median: 12 months). No significant differences in appliance type, OSA severity, educational level, gender, marital status, income status, employment status or place of residence existed between adherent and non-adherent subjects. Adherent subjects were significantly younger than non-adherent subjects (Age: 50.6 ± 11.9 versus 56.1 ± 9.9, p < 0.05). The most common reasons reported by patients were inability to adapt to the appliance (62%) and pain in the temporomandibular joint (38%). The most common factors associated with continued usage were effectiveness (100%) and ease of use (64%).
CONCLUSIONS: The overall long-term nonadherence to MAA therapy in mild-to moderate OSA patients was high suggesting that barriers to MAA therapy adherence should be prevented to increase the efficiency of oral appliance treatment in OSA and achieve better outcomes for this disease.

PMID: 29274155 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Overwork accelerates thrombotic reaction: implications for the pathogenesis of Karoshi.

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Overwork accelerates thrombotic reaction: implications for the pathogenesis of Karoshi.

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2017 Dec 22;:

Authors: Otsui K, Yamamoto J, Inoue N

Abstract
Work-related stressors are potential causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and stroke; however, the pathophysiological mechanisms by which occupational stress induces and exacerbates CVDs remain unclear. The global thrombosis test (GTT) is a novel in vitro assay for evaluating both thrombotic reactions and subsequent thrombolysis. The time required to form an occlusive thrombus with the GTT, called as the occlusion time (OT), and the time to lyse the thrombus, the lysis time (LT), are markers of thrombotic and thrombolytic reactions, respectively. We investigated the impact of work-related stress on the thrombotic and thrombolytic reactions in 46 healthy medical residents. Off-duty or on-duty blood samples were collected on the mornings of non-work days or after the night duty on the emergent room respectively. The duration of sleep was significantly shorter during night duty than during off-duty nights [2.25 (1.0, 3.0) h vs. 6.0 (5.0, 7.0) h; p < 0.001]. Baseline OT was 310.3 (260.9, 437.7) s. whereas the on-duty OT was significantly shortened [284.2 (230.5, 355.8) s; p < 0.01]. LT was significantly prolonged during overwork conditions compared with off-duty conditions [1547 (1346, 1908) s vs. 1470 (1219, 1692) s; p < 0.05]. Overwork accelerates the thrombotic reactions. These reactions might explain the pathogenesis of overwork-related CVDs. The GTT is a good tool for evaluating of the level of fatigue.

PMID: 29274045 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Multiancestry association study identifies new asthma risk loci that colocalize with immune-cell enhancer marks.

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Multiancestry association study identifies new asthma risk loci that colocalize with immune-cell enhancer marks.

Nat Genet. 2018 Jan;50(1):42-53

Authors: Demenais F, Margaritte-Jeannin P, Barnes KC, Cookson WOC, Altmüller J, Ang W, Barr RG, Beaty TH, Becker AB, Beilby J, Bisgaard H, Bjornsdottir US, Bleecker E, Bønnelykke K, Boomsma DI, Bouzigon E, Brightling CE, Brossard M, Brusselle GG, Burchard E, Burkart KM, Bush A, Chan-Yeung M, Chung KF, Couto Alves A, Curtin JA, Custovic A, Daley D, de Jongste JC, Del-Rio-Navarro BE, Donohue KM, Duijts L, Eng C, Eriksson JG, Farrall M, Fedorova Y, Feenstra B, Ferreira MA, Australian Asthma Genetics Consortium (AAGC) collaborators, Freidin MB, Gajdos Z, Gauderman J, Gehring U, Geller F, Genuneit J, Gharib SA, Gilliland F, Granell R, Graves PE, Gudbjartsson DF, Haahtela T, Heckbert SR, Heederik D, Heinrich J, Heliövaara M, Henderson J, Himes BE, Hirose H, Hirschhorn JN, Hofman A, Holt P, Hottenga J, Hudson TJ, Hui J, Imboden M, Ivanov V, Jaddoe VWV, James A, Janson C, Jarvelin MR, Jarvis D, Jones G, Jonsdottir I, Jousilahti P, Kabesch M, Kähönen M, Kantor DB, Karunas AS, Khusnutdinova E, Koppelman GH, Kozyrskyj AL, Kreiner E, Kubo M, Kumar R, Kumar A, Kuokkanen M, Lahousse L, Laitinen T, Laprise C, Lathrop M, Lau S, Lee YA, Lehtimäki T, Letort S, Levin AM, Li G, Liang L, Loehr LR, London SJ, Loth DW, Manichaikul A, Marenholz I, Martinez FJ, Matheson MC, Mathias RA, Matsumoto K, Mbarek H, McArdle WL, Melbye M, Melén E, Meyers D, Michel S, Mohamdi H, Musk AW, Myers RA, Nieuwenhuis MAE, Noguchi E, O'Connor GT, Ogorodova LM, Palmer CD, Palotie A, Park JE, Pennell CE, Pershagen G, Polonikov A, Postma DS, Probst-Hensch N, Puzyrev VP, Raby BA, Raitakari OT, Ramasamy A, Rich SS, Robertson CF, Romieu I, Salam MT, Salomaa V, Schlünssen V, Scott R, Selivanova PA, Sigsgaard T, Simpson A, Siroux V, Smith LJ, Solodilova M, Standl M, Stefansson K, Strachan DP, Stricker BH, Takahashi A, Thompson PJ, Thorleifsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Tiesler CMT, Torgerson DG, Tsunoda T, Uitterlinden AG, van der Valk RJP, Vaysse A, Vedantam S, von Berg A, von Mutius E, Vonk JM, Waage J, Wareham NJ, Weiss ST, White WB, Wickman M, Widén E, Willemsen G, Williams LK, Wouters IM, Yang JJ, Zhao JH, Moffatt MF, Ober C, Nicolae DL

Abstract
We examined common variation in asthma risk by conducting a meta-analysis of worldwide asthma genome-wide association studies (23,948 asthma cases, 118,538 controls) of individuals from ethnically diverse populations. We identified five new asthma loci, found two new associations at two known asthma loci, established asthma associations at two loci previously implicated in the comorbidity of asthma plus hay fever, and confirmed nine known loci. Investigation of pleiotropy showed large overlaps in genetic variants with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The enrichment in enhancer marks at asthma risk loci, especially in immune cells, suggested a major role of these loci in the regulation of immunologically related mechanisms.

PMID: 29273806 [PubMed - in process]



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The sleep EEG spectrum is a sexually dimorphic marker of general intelligence.

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The sleep EEG spectrum is a sexually dimorphic marker of general intelligence.

Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 22;7(1):18070

Authors: Ujma PP, Konrad BN, Gombos F, Simor P, Pótári A, Genzel L, Pawlowski M, Steiger A, Bódizs R, Dresler M

Abstract
The shape of the EEG spectrum in sleep relies on genetic and anatomical factors and forms an individual "EEG fingerprint". Spectral components of EEG were shown to be connected to mental ability both in sleep and wakefulness. EEG sleep spindle correlates of intelligence, however, exhibit a sexual dimorphism, with a more pronounced association to intelligence in females than males. In a sample of 151 healthy individuals, we investigated how intelligence is related to spectral components of full-night sleep EEG, while controlling for the effects of age. A positive linear association between intelligence and REM anterior beta power was found in females but not males. Transient, spindle-like "REM beta tufts" are described in the EEG of healthy subjects, which may reflect the functioning of a recently described cingular-prefrontal emotion and motor regulation network. REM sleep frontal high delta power was a negative correlate of intelligence. NREM alpha and sigma spectral power correlations with intelligence did not unequivocally remain significant after multiple comparisons correction, but exhibited a similar sexual dimorphism. These results suggest that the neural oscillatory correlates of intelligence in sleep are sexually dimorphic, and they are not restricted to either sleep spindles or NREM sleep.

PMID: 29273758 [PubMed - in process]



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Nasal versus oronasal CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea treatment: a meta-analysis.

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Nasal versus oronasal CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea treatment: a meta-analysis.

Chest. 2017 Dec 19;:

Authors: Andrade RGS, Viana FM, Nascimento JA, Drager LF, Moffa A, Brunoni AR, Genta PR, Lorenzi-Filho G

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, oronasal masks are frequently used in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of all randomized and non-randomized trials that compared nasal versus oronasal masks on CPAP level, residual apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and CPAP adherence to treat OSA.
METHODS: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline and Web of Science were searched for relevant studies in any language with the following terms: "sleep apnea" AND "CPAP" OR "sleep apnea" AND "oronasal mask" OR "OSA" AND "oronasal CPAP" OR "oronasal mask" AND "adherence". Studies on CPAP treatment for OSA were included based on the following criteria: (1) original article; (2) randomized or non-randomized trials; (3) comparison between nasal and oronasal CPAP included pressure level, and/or residual AHI, and/or CPAP adherence.
RESULTS: We identified 5 randomized and 8 non-randomized trials (4,563 patients) that reported CPAP level and/or residual AHI and/or CPAP adherence. Overall, the random-effects meta-analysis revealed that as compared to nasal, oronasal masks were associated with a significantly higher CPAP level (Hedges' g= -0.59, 95% CI -0.82 to -0.37, p<0.001) (on average + 1.5 cmH2O), higher residual AHI (Hedges' g= -0.34, 95% CI -0.52 to -0.17, p<0.001) (+ 2.8 events/h) and a poorer adherence (Hedges' g= 0.50, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.79, p=0.001) (- 48 minutes/night).
CONCLUSIONS: Oronasal masks are associated with a higher CPAP level, higher residual AHI and a poorer adherence than nasal masks.

PMID: 29273515 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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[Pain in children with neurological impairment: A review from the French Pediatric Neurology Society].

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[Pain in children with neurological impairment: A review from the French Pediatric Neurology Society].

Arch Pediatr. 2017 Dec 19;:

Authors: Avez-Couturier J, Joriot S, Peudenier S, Juzeau D

Abstract
Management of pain is one of the major expectations of children with neurological impairment and their families. The medical literature is poor on this topic accounting for approximately 0.15 % of the publications on pain in general. The objective of the French Pediatric Neurology Society was to review the current knowledge on this topic. Bibliographic research was conducted with PubMed and RefDoc for publications between 1994 and 2014 in French or English. A total of 925 articles were retrieved and 92 were selected for review. Pain is common in this population: a 2-week survey indicated that pain occurs in 50-75 % of children. Pain negatively impacts the quality of life of children and their parents. Children with neurological impairment express their pain with pain expression patterns and specific patterns common to children (change of tone, abnormal movements, spasticity, paradoxical reactions, such as laughter, self-injury or vasomotor dysfunction). Some children with neurological impairment are able to use self-report pain scales. If not, observational measures should be used. Behavioral rating scales specifically designed for this population are more sensitive than others. Scales must be selected according to children's communication skills, type of pain, and the context. Sometimes behavioral changes are the only expression of pain: any change in sleep, tone, feeding, or mood must suggest pain in this population. Management of pain remains difficult. There are no specific guidelines. Procedural pain management guidelines and the usual analgesic drugs can be used in children with neurological impairment with specific concerns regarding tolerance and side effects. These children are particularly at risk for neuropathic pain. A multidisciplinary approach is helpful, involving physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and parents.

PMID: 29273448 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Role of behavioral health in management of pediatric atopic dermatitis.

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Role of behavioral health in management of pediatric atopic dermatitis.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jan;120(1):42-48.e8

Authors: Klinnert MD, Booster G, Copeland M, Darr JM, Meltzer LJ, Miller M, Oland A, Perry S, Wise BK, Bender BG

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To describe the behavioral components and complications in treating pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and the critical role of behavioral health professionals in addressing disease impact and behavioral aspects of disease management for these patients and families.
DATA SOURCES: Studies and review articles were selected from medical and psychology databases for relevance to pertinent topics.
RESULTS: AD has significant negative effects in affected individuals and their families on quality of life, behavioral, emotional, and sleep disturbances, and family functioning. Effective treatment strategies for AD are available, but the challenges for children and parents in coping with disease-related concerns and in following through with the multiple aspects of treatment are considerable. A biopsychosocial model, which incorporates the interplay among biological, psychological, and social dimensions of medical care, can be implemented in various treatment settings to achieve an integrated medical and behavioral health care approach. By sharing a family orientation, using a stress and coping model, and taking into account children's developmental capabilities and concerns, medical and behavioral health care providers are equipped to bring an in-depth understanding and different evidence-based therapeutic tools to address emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal challenges imposed by moderate to severe AD in children and families.
CONCLUSION: Behavioral health and medical providers working together to provide integrated care play a critical role in helping children and families cope with the burdens imposed by AD, successfully manage the disease, and achieve optimal quality of life for affected children and their families.

PMID: 29273127 [PubMed - in process]



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A role for B cells in organic dust induced lung inflammation.

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A role for B cells in organic dust induced lung inflammation.

Respir Res. 2017 Dec 22;18(1):214

Authors: Poole JA, Mikuls TR, Duryee MJ, Warren KJ, Wyatt TA, Nelson AJ, Romberger DJ, West WW, Thiele GM

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Agriculture organic dust exposures induce lung disease with lymphoid aggregates comprised of both T and B cells. The precise role of B cells in mediating lung inflammation is unknown, yet might be relevant given the emerging role of B cells in obstructive pulmonary disease and associated autoimmunity.
METHODS: Using an established animal model, C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and B-cell receptor (BCR) knock-out (KO) mice were repetitively treated with intranasal inhalation of swine confinement organic dust extract (ODE) daily for 3 weeks and lavage fluid, lung tissues, and serum were collected.
RESULTS: ODE-induced neutrophil influx in lavage fluid was not reduced in BCR KO animals, but there was reduction in TNF-α, IL-6, CXCL1, and CXCL2 release. ODE-induced lymphoid aggregates failed to develop in BCR KO mice. There was a decrease in ODE-induced lung tissue CD11c+CD11b+ exudative macrophages and compensatory increase in CD8+ T cells in lavage fluid of BCR KO animals. Compared to saline, there was an expansion of conventional B2-, innate B1 (CD19+CD11b+CD5+/-)-, and memory (CD19+CD273+/-CD73+/-) B cells following ODE exposure in WT mice. Autoreactive responses including serum IgG anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) and anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) autoantibodies were increased in ODE treated WT mice as compared to saline control. B cells and serum immunoglobulins were not detected in BCR KO animals.
CONCLUSIONS: Lung tissue staining for citrullinated and MAA modified proteins were increased in ODE-treated WT animals, but not BCR KO mice. These studies show that agriculture organic dust induced lung inflammation is dependent upon B cells, and dust exposure induces an autoreactive response.

PMID: 29273051 [PubMed - in process]



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Adaptive Sliding-Mode Control in Bus Voltage for an Islanded DC Microgrid

The control of bus voltage is a crucial task for the stable operation of islanded DC microgrids. To improve the DC bus voltage control dynamics and stability, this paper proposes an adaptive sliding-mode control method based on large-signal model. The sliding-mode control, adaptive observation, and fix-frequency pulse width modulation technology are adopted and combined efficiently, which guarantee stable bus voltage and the constant switching frequency of closed-loop system, regardless of how the parameters vary with the variable constant-power loads and uncertainties. In addition, the reference values can be quickly tracked by the state variables using the proposed method without any additional sensors/hardware circuits. Therefore, this method is beneficial for the scalability and plug-play of the distributed generators and loads within the DC microgrids. The performance of the proposed control method has been successfully verified in simulation.

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High Rates of Tramadol Use among Treatment-Seeking Adolescents in Malmö, Sweden: A Study of Hair Analysis of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use

Background. Nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) is a growing problem and tramadol has been suggested as an emerging problem in young treatment-seeking individuals. The aim of the present study was to investigate, through hair analysis, NMPOU in this group and, specifically, tramadol use. Methods. In a study including 73 treatment-seeking adolescents and young adults at an outpatient facility for young substance users, hair specimens could be obtained from 59 subjects. Data were extracted on sociodemographic background variables and psychiatric diagnoses through MINI interviews. Results. In hair analysis, tramadol was by far the most prevalent opioid detected. Thirty-two percent screened positive for opioids, and of those, all but one were positive for tramadol. Ninety-eight percent reported problematic cannabis use. Significantly more opioid-positive patients also screened positive for other (noncannabis) drugs, compared to nonopioid users. Sixty-four percent fulfilled criteria of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders, other than substance use disorders according to MINI. Fifty-three percent met the symptom criteria count of ADHD above cut-off level. Conclusion. In the present setting, tramadol, along with high rates of cannabis use, may represent a novel pattern of substance use among young treatment-seeking subjects with problematic substance use and high rates of concurrent psychiatric problems.

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Structural Modulation of Gut Microbiota during Alleviation of Suckling Piglets Diarrhoea with Herbal Formula

To determine whether the traditional Chinese herbal formula of Shen Ling Baizhu (SLB) could modulate the composition of the gut microbiota and alleviate diarrhoea in suckling piglets, twenty-four newly born piglets (Large White × Landrace × Duroc) were selected and allocated to 4 groups (control group and experimental groups I, II, and III) randomly. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA gene 454-pyrosequencing. The result indicated that experimental groups I and II exhibited significantly different gut microbiota from the control group. Most notably, the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly elevated in experimental group II compared with the control group (). Collinsella and Faecalibacterium were also enhanced in experimental group II compared with the control group (). The results showed that SLB treatment could modulate the gut microbiota composition of suckling piglets, enriching the amount of beneficial bacteria in particular. The observed changes in the gut microbiota could provide the basis for further research on the pharmacological mechanism of the tested Chinese herbal formula.

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Efficient Data Forwarding for Machine Type Communications in Internet of Things Networks

The MTC (Machine Type Communications) system is one of the most promising technologies to provide IoT (Internet of Things) applications. The MTC system suffers from congestion due to limited data transmission capacity and burst traffic. The congestion disturbs data delivery, results in an increase of energy consumption due to data retransmission, and finally poses a threat to the providers of IoT applications. In this paper, we focus on the congestion problem and present an efficient data forwarding mechanism to regulate the burst channel access from a large number of MTC devices. To regulate the communication channel access from the devices, we predict the number of devices by separating traffic load into the prediction of the number of devices that newly attempt to have access and the prediction of the number of devices that retry to access the channel. Through simulations, we show that our mechanism improves access success probability and reduces collision probability and access delay.

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A Privacy Protection User Authentication and Key Agreement Scheme Tailored for the Internet of Things Environment: PriAuth

In a wearable sensor-based deployment, sensors are placed over the patient to monitor their body health parameters. Continuous physiological information monitored by wearable sensors helps doctors have a better diagnostic and a suitable treatment. When doctors want to access the patient’s sensor data remotely via network, the patient will authenticate the identity of the doctor first, and then they will negotiate a key for further communication. Many lightweight schemes have been proposed to enable a mutual authentication and key establishment between the two parties with the help of a gateway node, but most of these schemes cannot enable identity confidentiality. Besides, the shared key is also known by the gateway, which means the patient’s sensor data could be leaked to the gateway. In PriAuth, identities are encrypted to guarantee confidentiality. Additionally, Elliptic Curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH) key exchange protocol has been adopted to ensure the secrecy of the key, avoiding the gateway access to it. Besides, only hash and XOR computations are adopted because of the computability and power constraints of the wearable sensors. The proposed scheme has been validated by BAN logic and AVISPA, and the results show the scheme has been proven as secure.

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Selection of the Optimal Algorithm for Real-Time Estimation of Beta Band Power during DBS Surgeries in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure for the treatment of motor disorders in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). DBS involves the application of controlled electrical stimuli to a given brain structure. The implantation of the electrodes for DBS is performed by a minimally invasive stereotactic surgery where neuroimaging and microelectrode recordings (MER) are used to locate the target brain structure. The Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) is often chosen for the implantation of stimulation electrodes in DBS therapy. During the surgery, an intraoperative validation is performed to locate the dorsolateral region of STN. Patients with PD reveal a high power in the band (frequencies between 13 Hz and 35 Hz) in MER signal, mainly in the dorsolateral region of STN. In this work, different power spectrum density methods were analyzed with the aim of selecting one that minimizes the calculation time to be used in real time during DBS surgery. In particular, the results of three nonparametric and one parametric methods were compared, each with different sets of parameters. It was concluded that the optimum method to perform the real-time spectral estimation of beta band from MER signal is Welch with Hamming windows of 1.5 seconds and 50% overlap.

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Developing a Model for Chloride Ions Transport in Cement Concrete under Dynamic Flexural Loading and Dry-Wet Cycles

Chloride ions attack is the main factor leading to the degradation of concrete durability, while the diffusion process would be significantly aggravated under the dynamic flexural loading and dry-wet cycles. In this paper, the influence coefficients of dynamic flexural loading on chloride/water diffusion coefficients were established, based on the relationship between the dynamic flexural loading and the chloride ions diffusion coefficient of concrete. Based on the model of chloride ions transporting in dry-wet cycle environment, the transport model of chloride ions in concrete under the dynamic flexural loading and dry-wet cycles was established. The effects of different factors on the chloride ions transport law in concrete were analyzed through laboratory test. The results showed that the model was in good agreement with the experimental results. The theory and assumptions proposed applied in the model of chloride ions transport in concrete under the dynamic flexural loading and dry-wet cycles had certain rationality and scientificity.

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Energy-Momentum for a Charged Nonsingular Black Hole Solution with a Nonlinear Mass Function

The energy-momentum of a new four-dimensional, charged, spherically symmetric, and nonsingular black hole solution constructed in the context of general relativity coupled to a theory of nonlinear electrodynamics is investigated, whereby the nonlinear mass function is inspired by the probability density function of the continuous logistic distribution. The energy and momentum distributions are calculated by use of the Einstein, Landau-Lifshitz, Weinberg, and Møller energy-momentum complexes. In all these prescriptions, it is found that the energy distribution depends on the mass and the charge of the black hole, an additional parameter coming from the gravitational background considered, and the radial coordinate . Further, the Landau-Lifshitz and Weinberg prescriptions yield the same result for the energy, while, in all the aforesaid prescriptions, all the momenta vanish. We also focus on the study of the limiting behavior of the energy for different values of the radial coordinate, the parameter , and the charge . Finally, it is pointed out that, for and , all the energy-momentum complexes yield the same expression for the energy distribution as in the case of the Schwarzschild black hole solution.

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Design and Implementation of a Mobile Voting System Using a Novel Oblivious and Proxy Signature

Electronic voting systems can make the voting process much more convenient. However, in such systems, if a server signs blank votes before users vote, it may cause undue multivoting. Furthermore, if users vote before the signing of the server, voting information will be leaked to the server and may be compromised. Blind signatures could be used to prevent leaking voting information from the server; however, malicious users could produce noncandidate signatures for illegal usage at that time or in the future. To overcome these problems, this paper proposes a novel oblivious signature scheme with a proxy signature function to satisfy security requirements such as information protection, personal privacy, and message verification and to ensure that no one can cheat other users (including the server). We propose an electronic voting system based on the proposed oblivious and proxy signature scheme and implement this scheme in a smartphone application to allow users to vote securely and conveniently. Security analyses and performance comparisons are provided to show the capability and efficiency of the proposed scheme.

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Electrolyte Composition for Distinguishing Corrosion Mechanisms in Steel Alloy Screening

The formation and breakdown of passive layers due to pitting corrosion are a major cause of failure of metal structures. The investigation of passivation and pitting corrosion requires two different electrochemical measurements and is therefore a time consuming process. To reduce time in material characterization and to study the interactions of both mechanisms, here, a combined experiment addressing both phenomena is introduced. In the presented electrolyte the different corrosion mechanisms are distinguished and investigated by cyclic voltammograms and polarization scans. The measurements show a passive area, metastable pit growth, and pitting corrosion as well as repassivation. The pitting corrosion is separated from additional dissolution processes and the standard deviation of the corrosion potential is smaller than in other electrolytes. Both passivation and pitting corrosion can be observed in one measurement without additional corrosion attacks. The deviation between different measurements of the same steel is small; this is helpful for the screening of similar materials.

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Synthesis and Bioevaluation of Iodine-131 Directly Labeled Cyclic RGD-PEGylated Gold Nanorods for Tumor-Targeted Imaging

Introduction. Radiolabeled gold nanoparticles play an important role in biomedical application. The aim of this study was to prepare iodine-131 (131I)-labeled gold nanorods (GNRs) conjugated with cyclic RGD and evaluate its biological characteristics for targeted imaging of integrin β3-expressing tumors. Methods. HS-PEG(5000)-COOH molecules were applied to replace CTAB covering the surface of bare GNRs for better biocompatibility, and c(RGDfK) peptides were conjugated onto the carboxyl terminal of GNR-PEG-COOH via EDC/NHS coupling reactions. The nanoconjugate was characterized, and 131I was directly tagged on the surface of GNRs via AuI bonds for SPECT/CT imaging. We preliminarily studied the characteristics of the probe and its feasibility for tumor-targeting SPECT/CT imaging. Results. The 131IGNR-PEG-cRGD probe was prepared in a simple and rapid manner and was stable in both PBS and fetal bovine serum. It targeted selectively and could be taken up by tumor cells mainly via integrin β3-receptor-mediated endocytosis. In vivo imaging, biodistribution, and autoradiography results showed evident tumor uptake in integrin β3-expressing tumors. Conclusions. These promising results showed that this smart nanoprobe can be used for angiogenesis-targeted SPECT/CT imaging. Furthermore, the nanoprobe possesses a remarkable capacity for highly efficient photothermal conversion in the near-infrared region, suggesting its potential as a multifunctional theranostic agent.

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