Beggs, Clive B.; Chung, C.P.; Bergsland, N.; Wang, P.N.; Shepherd, Simon J.; Cheng, C.Y.; Dwyer, Michael G.; Hu, H.H.; Zivadinov, R. (2013)
To determine whether or not jugular venous reflux (JVR) is associated with structural brain parenchyma changes in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). 16 AD patients (mean (SD): 81.9 (5.8) years), 33 MCI patients (mean (SD): 81.4 (6.1) years) and 18 healthy elderly controls (mean (SD): 81.5 (3.4) years) underwent duplex ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging scans to quantify structural brain parenchyma changes. Normalized whole brain (WB), gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were collected, together with CSF volume. JVR was strongly associated with increased normalized WB (p = 0.014) and GM (p = 0.002) volumes across all three subject groups. There was a trend towards increased WB and GM volumes, which was accompanied by decreased CSF volume, in the JVR-positive subjects in both the MCI and AD groups. When the MCI and AD subjects were aggregated together significant increases were observed in both normalized WB (p = 0.009) and GM (p = 0.003) volumes for the JVR-positive group. No corresponding increases were observed for the JVR-positive subjects in the control group. Through receiver operating characteristic analysis of the brain volumetric data it was possible to discriminate between the JVR-positive and negative AD subjects with reasonable accuracy (sensitivity = 71.4%; specificity = 88.9%; p = 0.007). JVR is associated with intracranial structural changes in MCI and AD patients, which result in increased WB and GM volumes. The neuropathology of this unexpected and counterintuitive finding requires further investigation, but may suggest that JVR retrogradely transmits venous hypertension into the brain and leads to brain tissues swelling due to vasogenic edema.
Timmis, Matthew A.; Johnson, Louise; Elliott, David B.; Buckley, John G. (2010)
PURPOSE: Epidemiologic research has shown that multifocal spectacle wearers (bifocal and progressive addition lenses [PALs]) are more than twice as likely to fall than are nonmultifocal spectacle wearers, with this risk further increasing when negotiating stairs. The present study investigated whether step and stair descent safety is improved by using single-vision distance lenses. METHODS: From a stationary standing position on top of a block, 20 long-term multifocal wearers stepped down (from different block heights) onto a lower level wearing bifocal, progressive addition, or single-vision distance lenses. RESULTS: Use of single-vision distance spectacles led to an increased single-limb support time, a reduced ankle and knee angle and vertical center-of-mass velocity at contact with the lower level, and a reduced ankle angular velocity and vertical center-of-mass velocity during initial landing (P < 0.03). These findings indicate that landing occurred in a more controlled manner when the subjects wore single-vision distance spectacles, rather than tending to "drop" onto the lower level as occurred when wearing bifocals or PALs. CONCLUSIONS: Use of single-vision distance spectacles led to improvements in landing control, consistent with individuals' being more certain regarding the precise height of the lower floor level. This enhanced control was attributed to having a view of the foot, step edge, and immediate floor area that was not blurred, magnified, or doubled and that did not suffer from image jump or peripheral distortions. These findings provide further evidence that use of single-vision distance lenses in everyday locomotion may be advantageous for elderly multifocal wearers who have a high risk of falling.
Zamboni, P.; Menegatti, E.; Conforti, P.; Shepherd, Simon J.; Tessari, M.; Beggs, Clive B. (2012)
BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging and echo color Doppler (ECD) scan techniques do not accurately assess the cerebral venous return. This generated considerable scientific controversy linked with the diagnosis of a vascular syndrome known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) characterized by restricted venous outflow from the brain. The purpose of this study was to assess the cerebral venous return in relation to the change in position by means of a novel cervical plethysmography method. METHODS: This was a single-center, cross-sectional, blinded case-control study conducted at the Vascular Diseases Center, University of Ferrara, Italy. The study involved 40 healthy controls (HCs; 18 women and 22 men) with a mean age of 41.5 +/- 14.4 years, and 44 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS; 25 women and 19 men) with a mean age of 41.0 +/- 12.1 years. All participants were previously scanned using ECD sonography, and further subset in HC (CCSVI negative at ECD) and CCSVI groups. Subjects blindly underwent cervical plethysmography, tipping them from the upright (90 degrees ) to supine position (0 degrees ) in a chair. Once the blood volume stabilized, they were returned to the upright position, allowing blood to drain from the neck. We measured venous volume (VV), filling time (FT), filling gradient (FG) required to achieve 90% of VV, residual volume (RV), emptying time (ET), and emptying gradient (EG) required to achieve 90% of emptying volume (EV) where EV = VV - RV, also analyzing the considered parameters by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and principal component mathematical analysis. RESULTS: The rate at which venous blood discharged in the vertical position (EG) was significantly faster in the controls (2.73 mL/second +/- 1.63) compared with the patients with CCSVI (1.73 mL/second +/- 0.94; P = .001). In addition, respectively, in controls and in patients with CCSVI, the following parameters were highly significantly different: FT 5.81 +/- 1.99 seconds vs 4.45 +/- 2.16 seconds (P = .003); FG 0.92 +/- 0.45 mL/second vs 1.50 +/- 0.85 mL/second (P < .001); RV 0.54 +/- 1.31 mL vs 1.37 +/- 1.34 mL (P = .005); ET 1.84 +/- 0.54 seconds vs 2.66 +/- 0.95 seconds (P < .001). Mathematical analysis demonstrated a higher variability of the dynamic process of cerebral venous return in CCSVI. Finally, ROC analysis demonstrated a good sensitivity of the proposed test with a percent concordant 83.8, discordant 16.0, tied 0.2 (C = 0.839). CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral venous return characteristics of the patients with CCSVI were markedly different from those of the controls. In addition, our results suggest that cervical plethysmography has great potential as an inexpensive screening device and as a postoperative monitoring tool.
Beggs, Clive B.; Shepherd, Simon J.; Zamboni, P. (2014)
PURPOSE: To investigate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics in the aqueduct of Sylvius (AoS) in chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)-positive and -negative healthy individuals using cine phase contrast imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-one healthy individuals (32 CCSVI-negative and 19 age-matched CCSVI-positive subjects) were examined using Doppler sonography (DS). Diagnosis of CCSVI was established if subjects fulfilled >/=2 venous hemodynamic criteria on DS. CSF flow and velocity measures were quantified using a semiautomated method and compared with clinical and routine 3T MRI outcomes. RESULTS: CCSVI was associated with increased CSF pulsatility in the AoS. Net positive CSF flow was 32% greater in the CCSVI-positive group compared with the CCSVI-negative group (P = 0.008). This was accompanied by a 28% increase in the mean aqueductal characteristic signal (ie, the AoS cross-sectional area over the cardiac cycle) in the CCSVI-positive group compared with the CCSVI-negative group (P = 0.021). CONCLUSION: CSF dynamics are altered in CCSVI-positive healthy individuals, as demonstrated by increased pulsatility. This is accompanied by enlargement of the AoS, suggesting that structural changes may be occurring in the brain parenchyma of CCSVI-positive healthy individuals.
Herbison, N.; Cobb, S.; Gregson, R.; Ash, I.; Eastgate, R.; Purdy, J.; Hepburn, T.; MacKeith, D.; Foss, A.; I. BiT study group (2013)
PURPOSE: A computer-based interactive binocular treatment system (I-BiT) for amblyopia has been developed, which utilises commercially available 3D 'shutter glasses'. The purpose of this pilot study was to report the effect of treatment on visual acuity (VA) in children with amblyopia. METHODS: Thirty minutes of I-BiT treatment was given once weekly for 6 weeks. Treatment sessions consisted of playing a computer game and watching a DVD through the I-BiT system. VA was assessed at baseline, mid-treatment, at the end of treatment, and at 4 weeks post treatment. Standard summary statistics and an exploratory one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed. RESULTS: Ten patients were enrolled with strabismic, anisometropic, or mixed amblyopia. The mean age was 5.4 years. Nine patients (90%) completed the full course of I-BiT treatment with a mean improvement of 0.18 (SD=0.143). Six out of nine patients (67%) who completed the treatment showed a clinically significant improvement of 0.125 LogMAR units or more at follow-up. The exploratory one-way ANOVA showed an overall effect over time (F=7.95, P=0.01). No adverse effects were reported. CONCLUSION: This small, uncontrolled study has shown VA gains with 3 hours of I-BiT treatment. Although it is recognised that this pilot study had significant limitations-it was unblinded, uncontrolled, and too small to permit formal statistical analysis-these results suggest that further investigation of I-BiT treatment is worthwhile.
The purpose of this article is to investigate characteristics of cine phase contrast-calculated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow and velocity measures in patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) receiving standard medical treatment who had been diagnosed with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and underwent percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA). This case-controlled, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-blinded study included 15 patients with RR MS who presented with significant stenoses (>/=50% lumen reduction on catheter venography) in the azygous or internal jugular veins. Eight patients underwent PTA in addition to medical therapy immediately following baseline assessments (case group) and seven had delayed PTA after 6 months of medical therapy alone (control group). CSF flow and velocity measures were quantified over 32 phases of the cardiac cycle by a semiautomated method. Outcomes were compared between groups at baseline and at 6 and 12 months of the study by mixed-effect model analysis. At baseline, no significant differences in CSF flow or velocity measures were detected between groups. At month 6, significant improvement in flow (P<.001) and velocity (P = .013) outcomes were detected in the immediate versus the delayed group, and persisted to month 12 (P = .001 and P = .021, respectively). Within-group flow comparisons from baseline to follow-up showed a significant increase in the immediate group (P = .033) but a decrease in the delayed group (P = .024). Altered CSF flow and velocity measures were associated with worsening of clinical and MR outcomes in the delayed group. PTA in patients with MS with CCSVI increased CSF flow and decreased CSF velocity, which are indicative of improved venous parenchyma drainage.
Xue, J.; He, M.; Niu, Y.; Liu, H.; Crawford, A.; Coates, Philip D.; Chen, D.; Shi, R.; Zhang, L. (2014)
Infection is the major reason of GTR/GBR membrane failure in clinical application. In this work, we developed GTR/GBR nanofiber membranes with localized drug delivery function to prevent infection. Metronidazole (MNA), an antibiotic, was successfully incorporated into electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers at different concentrations (0, 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 wt% polymer). To obtain the optimum anti-infection membrane, we systematically investigated the physical-chemical and mechanical properties of the nanofiber membranes with different drug contents. The interaction between PCL and MNA was identified by molecular dynamics simulation. MNA released in a controlled, sustained manner over 2 weeks and the antibacterial activity of the released MNA remained. The incorporation of MNA improved the hydrophilicity and in vitro biodegradation rate of PCL nanofibers. The nanofiber membranes allowed cells to adhere to and proliferate on them and showed excellent barrier function. The membrane loaded with 30% MNA had the best comprehensive properties. Analysis of subcutaneous implants demonstrated that MNA-loaded nanofibers evoked a less severe inflammatory response than pure PCL nanofibers. These results demonstrate the potential of MNA-loaded nanofiber membranes as GTR/GBR membrane with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory function for extensive biomedical applications.
Buckley, John G.; Cooper, G.; Maganaris, C.N.; Reeves, N.D. (2013-02)
When descending stairs bodyweight becomes supported on a single limb while the forwards-reaching contralateral limb is lowered in order to make contact with the step below. This is associated with lowering of the centre of mass (CoM), which in order to occur in a controlled manner, requires increased ankle and knee joint torque production relative to that in overground walking. We have previously shown that when descending steps or stairs older people operate at a higher proportion of their maximum eccentric capacity and at, or in excess of the maximum passive reference joint range of motion. This suggests they have reduced and/or altered control over their CoM and we hypothesised that this would be associated with alterations in muscle activity patterns and in the CoM vertical acceleration and velocity profiles during both the lowering and landing phases of stair descent. 15 older (mean age 75 years) and 17 young (mean age 25 years) healthy adults descended a 4-step staircase, leading with the right limb on each stair, during which CoM dynamics and electromyographic activity patterns for key lower-limb muscles were assessed. Maximum voluntary eccentric torque generation ability at the knee and ankle was also assessed. Older participants compared to young participants increased muscle co-contraction relative duration at the knee and ankle of the trailing limb so that the limb was stiffened for longer during descent. As a result older participants contacted the step below with a reduced downwards CoM velocity when compared to young participants. Peak downwards and peak upwards CoM acceleration during the descent and landing phases respectively, were also reduced in older adults compared to those in young participants. In contrast, young participants descended quickly onto the step below but arrested their downward CoM velocity sooner following landing; a strategy that was associated with longer relative duration lead-limb plantar flexor activity, increased peak upwards CoM acceleration, and a reduced landing duration. These results suggest that a reduced ability to generate high eccentric torque at the ankle in the forward reaching limb is a major factor for older participants adopting a cautious movement control strategy when descending stairs. The implications of this CoM control strategy on the incidences of falling on stairs are discussed.
Theunissen, K.; Hoebe, C.; Kok, G.; Crutzen, R.; Kara-Zaitri, Chakib; de Vries, N.; van Bergen, J.; Hamilton, R.; van der Sande, M.; Dukers-Muijrers, N. (2015)
With the aim of targeting high-risk hidden heterosexual young people for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) testing, an innovative web-based screening strategy using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) and home-based CT testing, was developed, piloted and evaluated. Two STI clinic nurses encouraged 37 CT positive heterosexual young people (aged 16-25 years), called index clients, to recruit peers from their social and sexual networks using the web-based screening strategy. Eligible peers (young, living in the study area) could request a home-based CT test and recruit other peers. Twelve (40%) index clients recruited 35 peers. Two of these peers recruited other peers (n = 7). In total, 35 recruited peers were eligible for participation; ten of them (29%) requested a test and eight tested. Seven tested for the first time and one (13%) was positive. Most peers were female friends (80%). Nurses were positive about using the strategy. The screening strategy is feasible for targeting the hidden social network. However, uptake among men and recruitment of sex-partners is low and RDS stopped early. Future studies are needed to explore the sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and impact of strategies that target people at risk who are not effectively reached by regular health care.
De Asha, Alan R.; Munjal, R.; Kulkarni, J.; Buckley, John G. (2013)
Passive prosthetic devices are set up to provide optimal function at customary walking speed and thus may function less effectively at other speeds. This partly explains why joint kinetic adaptations become more apparent in lower-limb amputees when walking at speeds other than customary. The present study determined whether a trans-tibial prosthesis incorporating a dynamic-response foot that was attached to the shank via an articulating hydraulic device (hyA-F) lessened speed-related adaptations in joint kinetics compared to when the foot was attached via a rigid, non-articulating attachment (rigF). Eight active unilateral trans-tibial amputees completed walking trials at their customary walking speed, and at speeds they deemed to be slow-comfortable and fast-comfortable whilst using each type of foot attachment. Moments and powers at the distal end of the prosthetic shank and at the intact joints of both limbs were compared between attachment conditions. There was no change in the amount of intact-limb ankle work across speed or attachment conditions. As speed level increased there was an increase on both limbs in the amount of hip and knee joint work done, and increases on the prosthetic side were greater when using the hyA-F. However, because all walking speed levels were higher when using the hyA-F, the intact-limb ankle and combined joints work per meter travelled were significantly lower; particularly so at the customary speed level. This was the case despite the hyA-F dissipating more energy during stance. In addition, the amount of eccentric work done per meter travelled became increased at the residual knee when using the hyA-F, with increases again greatest at customary speed. Findings indicate that a trans-tibial prosthesis incorporating a dynamic-response foot reduced speed-related changes in compensatory intact-limb joint kinetics when the foot was attached via an articulating hydraulic device compared to rigid attachment. As differences between attachment conditions were greatest at customary speed, findings indicate a hydraulic ankle-foot device is most effectual at the speed it is set-up for.
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