Publications by authors named "Andrew Harrison"

351 Publications

A review of acquired blepharoptosis: prevalence, diagnosis, and current treatment options.

Eye (Lond) 2021 Apr 29. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester, MA, USA.

Blepharoptosis (ptosis) is among the most common disorders of the upper eyelid encountered in both optometric and ophthalmic practice. The unilateral or bilateral drooping of the upper eyelid that characterises ptosis can affect appearance and impair visual function, both of which can negatively impact quality of life. While there are several known forms of congenital ptosis, acquired ptosis (appearing later in life, due to a variety of causes) is the predominant form of the condition. This review summarises the prevalence, causes, identification, differential diagnosis, and treatment of acquired ptosis. Particular attention is paid to the differential diagnosis of acquired ptosis and emerging treatment options, including surgical and pharmacologic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01547-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Novel technology in sports biomechanics: some words of caution.

Sports Biomech 2021 Apr 26:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Science, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2020.1869453DOI Listing
April 2021

Onset detection in surface electromyographic signals across isometric explosive and ramped contractions: a comparison of computer-based methods.

Physiol Meas 2021 Apr 12;42(3). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Biomechanics Research Unit, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

. Accurate identification of surface electromyography (EMG) muscle onset is vital when examining short temporal parameters such as electromechanical delay. The visual method is considered the 'gold standard' in onset detection. Automatic detection methods are commonly employed to increase objectivity and reduce analysis time, but it is unclear if they are sensitive enough to accurately detect EMG onset when relating them to short-duration motor events.. This study aimed to determine: (1) if automatic detection methods could be used interchangeably with visual methods in detecting EMG onsets (2) if the Teager-Kaiser energy operator (TKEO) as a conditioning step would improve the accuracy of popular EMG onset detection methods. The accuracy of three automatic onset detection methods: approximated generalized likelihood ratio (AGLR), TKEO, and threshold-based method were examined against the visual method. EMG signals from fast, explosive, and slow, ramped isometric plantarflexor contractions were evaluated using each technique.. For fast, explosive contractions, the TKEO was the best-performing automatic detection method, with a low bias level (4.7 ± 5.6 ms) and excellent intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.993, however with wide limits of agreement (LoA) (-6.2 to +15.7 ms). For slow, ramped contractions, the AGLR with TKEO conditioning was the best-performing automatic detection method with the smallest bias (11.3 ± 32.9 ms) and excellent ICC (0.983) but produced wide LoA (-53.2 to +75.8 ms). For visual detection, the inclusion of TKEO conditioning improved inter-rater and intra-rater reliability across contraction types compared with visual detection without TKEO conditioning.. In conclusion, the examined automatic detection methods are not sensitive enough to be applied when relating EMG onset to a motor event of short duration. To attain the accuracy needed, visual detection is recommended. The inclusion of TKEO as a conditioning step before visual detection of EMG onsets is recommended to improve visual detection reliability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6579/abef56DOI Listing
April 2021

Bioinformatics helping to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 - Editorial.

Brief Bioinform 2021 03;22(2):613-615

Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Essex, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbab063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989617PMC
March 2021

Injury Trends in Irish Amateur Rugby: An Epidemiological Comparison of Men and Women.

Sports Health 2021 Mar 3:1941738121997145. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

Background: Rugby union is a physically demanding sport that carries an inherent risk of injury. Despite being a popular and widely played team sport, little is known about injuries occurring across the male and female amateur game.

Purpose: To establish and compare injury incidence, nature, and severity in male and female Irish amateur rugby union.

Study Design: Prospective cohort study.

Level Of Evidence: Level 3.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively from 25 male teams (959 players) and 8 female teams (234 players) over 2 full seasons. Both time-loss (24-hour time-loss injury definition) and non-time-loss match injury reports were collected, alongside match exposure data.

Results: Time-loss match injury incidence rates were 49.1/1000 and 35.6/1000 player-hours for male and female players, respectively. Concussion and ankle ligament sprains were the most common diagnoses for male (5.6/1000 and 4.4/1000 player-hours, respectively) and female players (5.5/1000 and 3.9/1000 player-hours, respectively). Anterior cruciate ligament injuries presented the highest injury burden for male and female players with 200.3 and 307.2 days of absence per 1000 player-hours, respectively. In female players, 83% of noncontact injuries occurred in the fourth quarter of match play.

Conclusion: While female players had a lower overall injury incidence rate compared with male players, concussion and ankle ligament injuries were the most common injuries in both cohorts. In female players, a high rate of noncontact injuries in the second half points to the need for strength and conditioning training programs to reduce fatigue-related injuries.

Clinical Relevance: Establishing the incidence and burden of rugby-related injuries is an essential step in minimizing injury risk. This epidemiological information will aid the development of future reduction strategies, including education and coaching strategies and strength and conditioning programs, informed by the most common injuries observed and the mechanism of injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1941738121997145DOI Listing
March 2021

Tetra-arylborate lipophilic anions as targeting groups.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Mar 26;57(25):3147-3150. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK.

Tetraphenylborate (TPB) anions traverse membranes but are excluded from mitochondria by the membrane potential (Δψ). TPB-conjugates also distributed across membranes in response to Δψ, but surprisingly, they rapidly entered cells. They accumulated within lysosomes following endocystosis. This pH-independent targeting of lysosomes makes possible new classes of probe and bioactive molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc07924cDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062962PMC
March 2021

Improving the delivery of palliative care through predictive modeling and healthcare informatics.

J Am Med Inform Assoc 2021 Feb 21. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Objective: Access to palliative care (PC) is important for many patients with uncontrolled symptom burden from serious or complex illness. However, many patients who could benefit from PC do not receive it early enough or at all. We sought to address this problem by building a predictive model into a comprehensive clinical framework with the aims to (i) identify in-hospital patients likely to benefit from a PC consult, and (ii) intervene on such patients by contacting their care team.

Materials And Methods: Electronic health record data for 68 349 inpatient encounters in 2017 at a large hospital were used to train a model to predict the need for PC consult. This model was published as a web service, connected to institutional data pipelines, and consumed by a downstream display application monitored by the PC team. For those patients that the PC team deems appropriate, a team member then contacts the patient's corresponding care team.

Results: Training performance AUC based on a 20% holdout validation set was 0.90. The most influential variables were previous palliative care, hospital unit, Albumin, Troponin, and metastatic cancer. The model has been successfully integrated into the clinical workflow making real-time predictions on hundreds of patients per day. The model had an "in-production" AUC of 0.91. A clinical trial is currently underway to assess the effect on clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: A machine learning model can effectively predict the need for an inpatient PC consult and has been successfully integrated into practice to refer new patients to PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocaa211DOI Listing
February 2021

Differential roles of RIG-I-like receptors in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

bioRxiv 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

The retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 (MDA5) are the major viral RNA sensors that are essential for activation of antiviral immune responses. However, their roles in severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-causing coronavirus (CoV) infection are largely unknown. Herein we investigate their functions in human epithelial cells, the primary and initial target of SARS-CoV-2, and the first line of host defense. A deficiency in MDA5 ( ), RIG-I or mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) greatly enhanced viral replication. Expression of the type I/III interferons (IFN) was upregulated following infection in wild-type cells, while this upregulation was severely abolished in and , but not in cells. Of note, ACE2 expression was ~2.5 fold higher in than WT cells. These data demonstrate a dominant role of MDA5 in activating the type I/III IFN response to SARS-CoV-2, and an IFN-independent anti-SARS-CoV-2 role of RIG-I.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.10.430677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885922PMC
February 2021

A patient-centered knowledge translation tool for treat-to-target strategy in rheumatoid arthritis: Patient and rheumatologist perspectives.

Int J Rheum Dis 2021 Mar 19;24(3):355-363. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Aim: Implementation of treat-to-target (T2T) for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) presents many challenges and an evidence-practice gap has emerged. This study assessed clinician and patient barriers to the implementation of an RA-T2T strategy and developed a knowledge translation (KT) tool for use in "real-life" clinical settings.

Methods: Surveys of patients and rheumatologists measured agreement with RA-T2T recommendations and use in daily practice. Patient knowledge and perceptions were assessed as was clinician willingness to alter practice and barriers to RA-T2T using visual analog scales. An electronic KT-tool was developed and a two-phase usability trial undertaken to assess use in clinical interactions.

Results: Ninety-one percent of patients had no prior knowledge of RA-T2T but agreed with the recommendations showing mean level agreement scores (8.39-9.54, SD 2.37-1.54). Ninety percent were willing to try RA-T2T, 49% felt their treatment could be improved and 28% wanted more involvement in treatment decisions. Rheumatologists agreed with RA-T2T recommendations (7.30-9.27, SD 2.59-0.91). Barriers to implementation identified by rheumatologists included time, appointment availability and perceived patient reluctance to escalate medications. Usability experiences with the KT-tool were tracked and clinicians reported it was easy to use (100%), resulted in a discussion of RA-T2T (73%) and a target being set for 63% of consults. Patients reported they read (92%) and understood (87%) the information in the KT-tool, and that a target was set in 62% of interactions.

Conclusions: RA-T2T uptake in clinical practice may be improved through understanding local clinician and patient barriers and an implementation strategy utilizing a patient-driven KT-tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.14051DOI Listing
March 2021

PCA of waveforms and functional PCA: A primer for biomechanics.

J Biomech 2021 Feb 31;116:110106. Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Department of Statistics and Data Science, Department of Computational Biology, Cornell University, United States; Research School of Finance, Actuarial Science and Statistics, Australian National University, Australia.

Principal components analysis (PCA) of waveforms and functional PCA (fPCA) are statistical approaches used to explore patterns of variability in biomechanical curve data, with fPCA being an accepted statistical method grounded within the functional data analysis (FDA) statistical framework. This technical note demonstrates that PCA of waveforms is the most rudimentary form of FDA, and consequently can be rationalised within the FDA framework of statistical processes. Mathematical proofing applied demonstrations of both techniques, and an example of when fPCA may be of greater benefit to control over smoothing of functional principal components is provided using an open access motion sickness dataset. Finally, open access software is provided with this paper as means of priming the biomechanics community for using these methods as a part of future functional data explorations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2020.110106DOI Listing
February 2021

A nationwide assessment of perceptions of research-intense academic careers among predoctoral MD and MD-PhD trainees.

J Clin Transl Sci 2020 Mar 4;4(4):307-316. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

American Physician Scientists Association (APSA), Westford, MA, USA.

Introduction: While previous studies have described career outcomes of physician-scientist trainees after graduation, trainee perceptions of research-intensive career pathways remain unclear. This study sought to identify the perceived interests, factors, and challenges associated with academic and research careers among predoctoral MD trainees, MD trainees with research-intense (>50%) career intentions (MD-RI), and MD-PhD trainees.

Methods: A 70-question survey was administered to 16,418 trainees at 32 academic medical centers from September 2012 to December 2014. MD vs. MD-RI (>50% research intentions) vs. MD-PhD trainee responses were compared by chi-square tests. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify variables associated with academic and research career intentions.

Results: There were 4433 respondents (27% response rate), including 2625 MD (64%), 653 MD-RI (15%), and 856 MD-PhD (21%) trainees. MD-PhDs were most interested in pursuing academia (85.8%), followed by MD-RIs (57.3%) and MDs (31.2%). Translational research was the primary career intention for MD-PhD trainees (42.9%). Clinical duties were the primary career intention for MD-RIs (51.9%) and MDs (84.2%). While 39.8% of MD-PhD respondents identified opportunities for research as the most important career selection factor, only 12.9% of MD-RI and 0.5% of MD respondents shared this perspective. Interest in basic research, translational research, clinical research, education, and the ability to identify a mentor were each independently associated with academic career intentions by multivariate regression.

Conclusions: Predoctoral MD, MD-RI, and MD-PhD trainees are unique cohorts with different perceptions and interests toward academic and research careers. Understanding these differences may help to guide efforts to mentor the next generation of physician-scientists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/cts.2020.18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7681110PMC
March 2020

Codevelopment of Patient Self-Examination Methods and Joint Count Reporting for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2020 Dec 17;2(12):705-709. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Objective: To determine whether training increases accuracy of self-reported joint counts in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and describe the knowledge and techniques for self-examination of joints for reporting of RA disease activity.

Methods: This mixed-methods study included 10 patients with RA and four rheumatologists. A rheumatologist presented about joint inflammation and disease monitoring in RA. Patients then self-examined and reported 28-tender joint count (28-TJC) and 28-swollen joint count (28-SJC). Next, two paired rheumatologists examined patients and reported 28-TJC and 28-SJC. After watching a joint examination video for training physicians, patients discussed their training needs for self-examination, with discussion analyzed using thematic analysis. Self-examination techniques were determined by consensus. Finally, patients self-examined and reported 28-TJC and 28-SJC. Reliability between the first and second patient-reported 28-TJCs and 28-SJCs and rheumatologist pair-reported 28-TJC and 28-SJC was determined with the intraclass coefficient.

Results: The reliability for patient self-reported joint counts was higher for the 28-TJC than for the 28-SJC. Reliability improved following rheumatologist examination and training. Patients identified a preference for practical information rather than detailed information on joint anatomy and pathophysiology. Clear definitions of "swollen" and "tender" were important; patients found the concept of "tenderness" difficult. Techniques for self-examination and reporting of joint counts were agreed on and demonstrated in an instructional video.

Conclusion: Training increased reliability of patient-reported joint counts. Patients with RA identified important aspects of training for self-examination and reporting of joint counts. An 8-minute instructional video was codeveloped; the next step is the evaluation of the video's impact on patient-reported joint counts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738803PMC
December 2020

A critical role for STING signaling in limiting pathogenesis of Chikungunya virus.

J Infect Dis 2020 Nov 8. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.

The stimulator-of-interferon-gene (STING) pathway controls both DNA and RNA virus infection. STING is essential for induction of innate immune responses during DNA virus infection, while its mechanism against RNA virus remains largely elusive. We show that STING signaling is crucial for restricting Chikungunya virus infection and arthritis pathogenesis. Sting-deficient mice (Sting  gt/gt) had elevated viremia throughout the viremic stage and viral burden in the feet transiently, along with a normal type I IFN response. Sting  gt/gt mice presented much greater foot swelling, joint damage and immune cell infiltration than WT mice. Intriguingly, expression of interferon gamma and Cxcl10 was continuously upregulated by ~7-10-fold, and further elevated in Sting  gt/gt mice synchronously with arthritis progression. However, expression of chemoattractants for and activators of neutrophils, Cxcl5, Cxcl7 and Cxcr2 was suppressed in Sting  gt/gt joints. These results demonstrate that STING deficiency leads to an aberrant chemokine response that promotes pathogenesis of CHIKV arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiaa694DOI Listing
November 2020

CXCL10 Signaling Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Arthritogenic Alphaviruses.

Viruses 2020 11 2;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.

Emerging and re-emerging arthritogenic alphaviruses, such as Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and O'nyong nyong virus, cause acute and chronic crippling arthralgia associated with inflammatory immune responses. Approximately 50% of CHIKV-infected patients suffer from rheumatic manifestations that last 6 months to years. However, the physiological functions of individual immune signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of alphaviral arthritis remain poorly understood. Here, we report that a deficiency in CXCL10, which is a chemoattractant for monocytes/macrophages/T cells, led to the same viremia as wild-type animals, but fewer immune infiltrates and lower viral loads in footpads at the peak of arthritic disease (6-8 days post infection). Macrophages constituted the largest immune cell population in footpads following infection, and were significantly reduced in mice. The viral RNA loads in neutrophils and macrophages were reduced in compared to wild-type mice. In summary, our results demonstrate that CXCL10 signaling promotes the pathogenesis of alphaviral disease and suggest that CXCL10 may be a therapeutic target for mitigating alphaviral arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12111252DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692144PMC
November 2020

Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Pathogenesis.

Trends Immunol 2020 12 14;41(12):1100-1115. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA. Electronic address:

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) marks the third highly pathogenic coronavirus to spill over into the human population. SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible with a broad tissue tropism that is likely perpetuating the pandemic. However, important questions remain regarding its transmissibility and pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize current SARS-CoV-2 research, with an emphasis on transmission, tissue tropism, viral pathogenesis, and immune antagonism. We further present advances in animal models that are important for understanding the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, vaccine development, and therapeutic testing. When necessary, comparisons are made from studies with SARS to provide further perspectives on coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as draw inferences for future investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.it.2020.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556779PMC
December 2020

Sprint Start Regulation in Athletics: A Critical Review.

Sports Med 2021 Jan;51(1):21-31

Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

The sprint start in athletics is strictly controlled to ensure the fairness of competition. World athletics (WA)-certified start information systems (SIS) record athletes' response times in competition to ensure that no athletes gain an unfair advantage by responding in < 100 ms after the start signal. This critical review examines the legitimacy of the 100 ms rule, the factors that affect response times and the technologies and rules that support the regulation of the start in competition. The review shows that several SIS use different technologies to deliver the start signal and record response time (RT). The lack of scientific evidence about the definition of the 100 ms false start threshold by the WA is criticized in the literature and the 100 ms rule is challenged. SIS technologies, expertise and sex appear to affect the RT detected in competition. A lack of standardization in event detection has led to validity and reliability problems in RT determination. The onset of the foot response on the blocks is currently used to assess RT in athletics via block-mounted sensors; however, research shows that the onset of arm force reaction is the first detectable biomechanical event in the start. Further research and development should consider whether the onset of arm force can be used to improve the false start detection in competition. Further research is also needed to develop a precise understanding of the event sequence and motor control of the start to improve the SIS technology and rigorously determine the minimum limit of RT in the sprint start.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01350-4DOI Listing
January 2021

PDK2-enhanced glycolysis promotes fibroblast proliferation in thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy.

J Mol Endocrinol 2020 11;65(4):163-174

Department of Ophthalmology, Fudan Eye & ENT Hospital, Shanghai, China.

The study aimed to investigate the role of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) in regulating glycolysis and proliferation of perimysial orbital fibroblasts (pOFs) during the pathogenesis of thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO). EdU and BrdU incorporation assays were performed to examine cell proliferation. Lactate production and oxygen consumption assays were conducted to evaluate glycolysis. Real-time PCR was adapted to quantify PDK mRNA levels. Capillary Western immunoassay was adapted to quantify PDK2, Akt, pAkt308 and GAPDH in protein samples. The TAO pOFs exhibited stronger proliferation activity, higher intracellular lactate concentration, and lower oxygen consumption rate than the control pOFs. The PDK inhibitor dichloroacetic acid (DCA) dose-dependently suppressed the proliferation of both TAO and control pOFs. DCA reduced lactate production and promoted oxygen consumption in the TAO pOFs but showed no significant effects on glycolysis in the control pOFs. Among four PDK isotypes, PDK2 was overexpressed in the TAO pOFs. The potential PDK signaling mediator, cytoplasmic Akt, was more abundant in TAO pOFs than control pOFs. Knockdown of PDK2 resulted in lower lactate production, stronger oxygen consumption, weaker proliferation activity, and less cytoplasmic Akt in the TAO pOFs but showed no significant effects in the control pOFs. The Akt inhibitor MK2206 suppressed proliferation in both TAO and control pOFs, and lactate production was inhibited by MK2206 in the TAO OFs but not the control pOFs. To conclude, PDK2 overexpression enhances glycolysis and promotes proliferation via Akt signaling in the TAO pOFs. These findings yield insights that PDK2 is a potential therapeutic target for TAO treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JME-20-0143DOI Listing
November 2020

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on paediatric orthopaedic trauma workload in central London: a multi-centre longitudinal observational study over the "golden weeks".

Acta Orthop 2020 Dec 24;91(6):633-638. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London.

Background and purpose - The COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised as an unprecedented global health crisis. This study assesses the impact on a large acute paediatric hospital service in London, evaluating the trends in the acute paediatric orthopaedic trauma referral caseload and operative casemix before (2019) and during (2020) COVID-19 lockdown. Patients and methods - A longitudinal retrospective observational prevalence study of both acute paediatric orthopaedic trauma referrals and operative caseload was performed for the first 6 "golden weeks" of lockdown. These data were compared with the same period in 2019. Statistical analyses included median (± median absolute deviation), risk and odds ratios as well as Fisher's exact test to calculate the statistical significance, set at p ≤ 0.05. Results - Acute paediatric trauma referrals in 2020 were reduced by two-thirds compared with 2019 (n = 302 vs. 97) with a halving risk (RR 0.55) and odds ratios (OR 0.43) of sporting-related mechanism of injuries (p = 0.002). There was a greater use of outpatient telemedicine in the COVID-19 period with more Virtual Fracture Clinic use (OR 97, RR 84, p < 0.001), and fewer patients being seen for consultation and followed up face to face (OR 0.55, RR 0.05, p < 0.001). Interpretation - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in the number of acute paediatric trauma referrals, admissions, and operations during the COVID period. There has also been a significant change in the patient pathway with more being reviewed via the means of telemedicine to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and exposure. More work is required to observe for similar trends nationwide and globally as the pandemic has permanently affected the entire healthcare infrastructure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17453674.2020.1807092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023947PMC
December 2020

Accelerated Reaction Rates within Self-Assembled Polymer Nanoreactors with Tunable Hydrophobic Microenvironments.

Polymers (Basel) 2020 Aug 7;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 7.

College of Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3028, USA.

Performing reactions in the presence of self-assembled hierarchical structures of amphiphilic macromolecules can accelerate reactions while using water as the bulk solvent due to the hydrophobic effect. We leveraged non-covalent interactions to self-assemble filled-polymer micelle nanoreactors (NR) incorporating gold nanoparticle catalysts into various amphiphilic polymer nanostructures with comparable hydrodynamic nanoreactor size and gold concentration in the nanoreactor dispersion. We systematically studied the effect of the hydrophobic co-precipitant on self-assembly and catalytic performance. We observed that co-precipitants that interact with gold are beneficial for improving incorporation efficiency of the gold nanoparticles into the nanocomposite nanoreactor during self-assembly but decrease catalytic performance. Hierarchical assemblies with co-precipitants that leverage noncovalent interactions could enhance catalytic performance. For the co-precipitants that do not interact strongly with gold, the catalytic performance was strongly affected by the hydrophobic microenvironment of the co-precipitant. Specifically, the apparent reaction rate per surface area using castor oil (CO) was over 8-fold greater than polystyrene (750 g/mol, PS 750); the turnover frequency was higher than previously reported self-assembled polymer systems. The increase in apparent catalytic performance could be attributed to differences in reactant solubility rather than differences in mass transfer or intrinsic kinetics; higher reactant solubility enhances apparent reaction rates. Full conversion of 4-nitrophenol was achieved within three minutes for at least 10 sequential reactions demonstrating that the nanoreactors could be used for multiple reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym12081774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463608PMC
August 2020

Recommendations for statistical analysis involving null hypothesis significance testing.

Sports Biomech 2020 10 16;19(5):561-568. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University , Loughborough, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2020.1782555DOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of task difficulty on centre of pressure excursion and its inter-trial variability in acrobatic gymnastics pyramid performance.

Sports Biomech 2020 Jun 22:1-16. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Physical Performance & Sports Research Center, Pablo de Olavide University , Seville, Spain.

Despite the importance of balance in Acrobatic Gymnastic Pyramid performance, there is limited biomechanical analysis of balance during this activity. The aims of this study were to analyse the effect of pyramid difficulty on the centre of pressure (COP) excursion and its inter-trial variability, and determine which parameters had strongest relationship with performance. Forty-seven acrobatic gymnasts performed five trials of back and front pyramids and a third more difficult, handstand pyramid on a force platform. Pyramids were held for 7 seconds and surface area, range, mediolateral amplitude and anteroposterior amplitude of the CoP were examined to analyse balance. The pyramid scores were obtained from qualified judges to assess the performance. Results showed higher CoP excursions and inter-trial variability during the execution of the high difficulty pyramid. Higher judges' scores were associated with lower CoP excursions in all the pyramids regardless of the difficulty. Similarly, correlation between inter-trial variability and pyramid performance was observed, although these coefficients were lower than those reported for the relationship between CoP excursion and performance. These results suggested that CoP monitoring could help coaches and gymnasts to assess the pyramid instability more accurately.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2020.1770322DOI Listing
June 2020

Vaccination mitigates influenza-induced muscular declines in aged mice.

Geroscience 2020 12 29;42(6):1593-1608. Epub 2020 May 29.

UConn Center on Aging, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT, 06030, USA.

Influenza (flu) infection increases the risk for disability, falls, and broken bones in older adults. We have employed a preclinical model to examine the impact of flu on muscle function, which has a direct impact on fall risk. In mice, flu causes mobility and strength impairments with induction of inflammatory and muscle degradation genes that are increased and prolonged with aging. To determine if vaccination could reduce flu-induced muscle decrements, mice were vaccinated with flu nucleoprotein, infected, and muscle parameters were measured. Vaccination of aged mice resulted in significant protection from functional decrements, muscle gene expressions alterations, and morphological damage. Vaccination also improved protection from lung localized and systemic inflammation in aged mice. Despite documented decreased vaccine efficacy with aging, vaccination still provided partial protection to aged mice and represents a potential strategy to prevent flu-induced disability. These findings provide translational insight on ways to reduce flu-induced disability with aging. Graphical abstract .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-020-00206-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732952PMC
December 2020

Understanding fatigue-related disability in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis: The importance of daily correlates.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 Apr 27. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Psychology, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Objectives: Fatigue is common among people with inflammatory arthritis but is hard to manage. The aim of this study was to investigate how daily fluctuations in psychological variables correspond with changes in fatigue-related disability in the daily lives of people with inflammatory arthritis to identify factors to target in psychological interventions and routine clinical practice.

Methods: A cohort of 143 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n=97) or ankylosing spondylitis (n=46) participated in a 10-day online diary study. Each evening participants completed a diary questionnaire assessing their fatigue, pain, fatigue-related disability, and four components of psychological flexibility (valued activity, mindfulness, cognitive fusion, and fatigue avoidance).

Results: On days when participants were more engaged in valued activities or more mindful, they reported less disability due to fatigue, even when controlling for levels of fatigue and pain that day. The daily psychological flexibility variables explained a total of 15.6% of the variance in daily fatigue-related disability.

Conclusion: Psychological flexibility variables are directly associated with fatigue-related disability in the daily lives of inflammatory arthritis patients. Further research is needed to investigate whether interventions that target psychological flexibility are effective at reducing fatigue-related disability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24224DOI Listing
April 2020

Injury surveillance and prevention practices across Rugby schools in Ireland.

Phys Ther Sport 2020 May 26;43:134-142. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; Health Research Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

Objectives: To ascertain the extent of injury surveillance and prevention practices currently in operation and the availability of qualified personnel across Rugby playing schools in the Republic of Ireland.

Design: Cross-sectional survey design.

Setting: Rugby playing schools across Ireland.

Participants: The Rugby games master, head Rugby coach or teacher/coach with knowledge of all Rugby activities in the school.

Results: Ninety-three Rugby playing schools responded and reported 356 (97% male, 3% female) school Rugby teams. Rugby injuries were formally monitored in 86% of schools. Injury recorders were primarily coaches (61%). Physiotherapy provision was available in 28% of schools, 14% of schools provided access to a medical doctor and 44% of schools provided access to an S&C coach. Structured warm-ups were undertaken in 66% of schools, weekly gym sessions in 49% of schools and 31% of schools did not implement any formal injury prevention measures.

Conclusions: Injury monitoring practices, medical personnel accessibility and the frequency of injury prevention practices varies considerably across Rugby playing schools in Ireland. Future injury surveillance and prevention systems should be suitable for use by non-medical personnel and reflect the structural organisation of the school Rugby game so that data are not solely representative of the elite, well-resourced schools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ptsp.2020.02.006DOI Listing
May 2020

Febuxostat as a Renoprotective Agent for Treatment of Hyperuricemia: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Intern Med J 2020 Mar 9. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, 39216, USA.

Background: The objective of this meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) was to evaluate the effects of febuxostat on kidney function in patients with hyperuricemia.

Methods: We conducted electronic searches in PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from January 1960 to July 2019 to identify RCTs that examined the effects of febuxostat in adult patients with hyperuricemia on serum creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), albuminuria, blood pressure parameters, major cardiovascular events, diarrhea, joint pain, stroke, and arrhythmia.

Results: Nine RCTs with 2141 participants were included in this meta-analysis. Compared to placebo, the febuxostat group showed a higher eGFR at 6 months with a weighted mean difference (WMD) of 2.86 mL/min/1.73 m2 (p < 0.001), as well as the end of studies (eGFR WMD 2.69 mL/min/1.73m , p < 0.001). There was also lower serum creatinine (SrCr WMD = -0.04 mg/dL p < 0.001), reduction in systolic blood pressure (SBP WMD = -1.18 mmHg, p < 0.001), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP WMD = -1.14 mmHg, p = 0.04). There was no statistical difference between febuxostat and placebo in major cardiovascular events, diarrhea, joint symptoms, stroke events, and arrhythmia. Subgroup analysis among chronic kidney disease showed the febuxostat group had higher eGFR than the placebo group (eGFR WMD = 2.69 mL/min/1.73m , p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Treating hyperuricemia with febuxostat may slow the progression of CKD irrespective of baseline renal function without significantly associated increased risks of major cardiovascular events, diarrhea, joint symptoms, arrhythmia, and stroke, compared to placebo. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14814DOI Listing
March 2020

Spontaneous Globe Luxation-Induced Optic Neuropathy.

J Neuroophthalmol 2021 Mar;41(1):e54-e56

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WNO.0000000000000912DOI Listing
March 2021

Rate of kidney function decline and factors predicting progression of kidney disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with reduced kidney function: A nationwide retrospective cohort study.

Ther Apher Dial 2020 Dec 6;24(6):677-687. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.

Currently, the data on independent risk factors for the progression of kidney disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with CKD are limited. This study aimed to investigate CKD progression in T2DM patients who have reduced kidney function with baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRs) between 15 and 59 mL/min/1.73 m . This study was composed of a nationwide retrospective cohort of adult T2DM patients from 831 public hospitals in Thailand during the year 2015. T2DM patients with CKD stages 3 and 4 were followed up, until development of CKD stage 5, requirement of chronic dialysis, loss to follow-up, death, or 31 May 2018, whichever came first. Cox proportional hazard regression was utilized for analysis. A total of 8464 participants were included; 30.4% were male. The mean age was 69 ± 10 years. The mean eGFR was 45 ± 11 mL/min/1.73 m . The incidence of CKD stage 5 or the need for chronic dialysis was 16.4 per 1000 person-years. The annual rate of eGFR decline during a mean follow-up of 29 months was -2.3 mL/min/1.73 m ; 14.4% had a rapid decline in eGFR. The risk factors associated with progression to CKD stage 5 or the need for chronic dialysis were diabetes duration, systolic blood pressure, serum uric acid, albuminuria, and baseline eGFR. Conversely, older age and the use of renin-angiotensin aldosterone system blockade were associated with decreased risks for rapid CKD progression and incidence CKD stage 5 or dialysis. This study identifies multiple predictive risk factors that support a multifaceted approach to prevent progression of advanced CKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-9987.13480DOI Listing
December 2020

Intraorbital Graphite Foreign Body With a Delayed Presentation of Optic Neuropathy.

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2020 Jul/Aug;36(4):e86-e87

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Traumatic penetrating injuries to the orbit from pencils, while uncommon, have a plethora of presentations, both acute and delayed. With the most incidents occurring in the pediatric population where obtaining a detailed history is difficult, the ability to effectively evaluate and diagnose these injuries is cumbersome, yet important. The authors report a patient who presented with optic neuropathy, blepharoptosis, and strabismus 10 months after an orbital injury with pencil graphite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/IOP.0000000000001593DOI Listing
March 2021

A Report of Intracranial Meningioma Recurring as Ectopic Orbital Meningioma Associated With Basal Encephalocele.

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg 2020 Jan/Feb;36(1):e19-e21

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota.

The authors describe a rare case of recurrent ectopic meningioma associated with sphenoid encephalocele in the medial anterior orbit of a 52-year-old man with a history of a resected intracranial meningioma. Typical features of ectopic meningioma are reviewed as well as potential etiologies of this very rare recurrence of intracranial meningioma in the orbit. Treatment is typically surgical excision.The authors report a rare case of recurrent orbital ectopic meningioma in the right medial canthus of a 52-year-old man.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/IOP.0000000000001508DOI Listing
March 2021

Rice Stress-Resistant SNP Database.

Rice (N Y) 2019 Dec 23;12(1):97. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

College of Life Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002, China.

Background: Rice (Oryza sativa L.) yield is limited inherently by environmental stresses, including biotic and abiotic stresses. Thus, it is of great importance to perform in-depth explorations on the genes that are closely associated with the stress-resistant traits in rice. The existing rice SNP databases have made considerable contributions to rice genomic variation information but none of them have a particular focus on integrating stress-resistant variation and related phenotype data into one web resource.

Results: Rice Stress-Resistant SNP database (http://bioinformatics.fafu.edu.cn/RSRS) mainly focuses on SNPs specific to biotic and abiotic stress-resistant ability in rice, and presents them in a unified web resource platform. The Rice Stress-Resistant SNP (RSRS) database contains over 9.5 million stress-resistant SNPs and 797 stress-resistant candidate genes in rice, which were detected from more than 400 stress-resistant rice varieties. We incorporated the SNPs function, genome annotation and phenotype information into this database. Besides, the database has a user-friendly web interface for users to query, browse and visualize a specific SNP efficiently. RSRS database allows users to query the SNP information and their relevant annotations for individual variety or more varieties. The search results can be visualized graphically in a genome browser or displayed in formatted tables. Users can also align SNPs between two or more rice accessions.

Conclusion: RSRS database shows great utility for scientists to further characterize the function of variants related to environmental stress-resistant ability in rice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12284-019-0356-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6928182PMC
December 2019