Reduced pre-operative cognitive functioning in older adults is a risk factor for postoperative complications, but it is unknown if preoperative digitally-acquired clock drawing test (CDT) cognitive screening variables, which allow for more nuanced examination of patient performance, may predict lengthier hospital stay and greater cost of hospital care. This issue is particularly relevant for older adults undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), as this surgical procedure is chosen for intermediate-risk older adults needing aortic replacement. This proof of concept research explored if specific latency and graphomotor variables indicative of planning from digitally-acquired command and copy clock drawing would predict post-TAVR duration and cost of hospitalization, over and above age, education, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification score, and frailty.
Form January 2018 to December 2019, 162 out of 190 individuals electing TAVR completed digital clock drawing as part of a hospital wide cognitive screening program. Separate hierarchical regressions were computed for the command and copy conditions of the CDT and assessed how a-priori selected clock drawing metrics (total time to completion, ideal digit placement difference, and hour hand distance from center; included within the same block) incrementally predicted outcome, as measured by R2 change significance values.
Above and beyond age, education, ASA physical status classification score, and frailty, only digitally-acquired CDT copy performance explained significant variance for length of hospital stay (9.5%) and cost of care (8.9%).
Digital variables from clock copy condition provided predictive value over common demographic and comorbidity variables. We hypothesize this is due to the sensitivity of the copy condition to executive dysfunction, as has been shown in previous studies for subtypes of cognitive impairment. Individuals undergoing TAVR procedures are often frail and executively compromised due to their cerebrovascular disease. We encourage additional research on the value of digitally-acquired clock drawing within different surgery types. Type of cognitive impairment and the value of digitally-acquired CDT command and copy parameters in other surgeries remain unknown.
In recent years, cancer immunotherapy has received unprecedented attention due to the clinical achievements. The applications of biomedical engineering and materials science to cancer immunotherapy have solved the challenges caused by immunotherapy to a certain extent. Among them, cell-derived vesicles are natural biomaterials chosen as carriers or immune-engineering in view of their many unique advantages. This review will briefly introduce the recent applications of cell-derived vesicles for cancer immunotherapy.
Substance use disorders (SUD) result in substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. Opioids, and to a lesser extent cocaine, contribute to a large percentage of this health burden. Despite their high heritability, few genetic risk loci have been identified for either opioid or cocaine dependence (OD or CD, respectively). A genome-wide association study of OD and CD related phenotypes reflecting the time between first self-reported use of these substances and a first DSM-IV dependence diagnosis was conducted.
Cox proportional hazards regression in a discovery sample of 6,188 African-Americans (AAs) and 6,835 European-Americans (EAs) participants in a genetic study of multiple substance dependence phenotypes were used to test for association between genetic variants and these outcomes. The top findings were tested for replication in two independent cohorts.
In the discovery sample, three independent regions containing variants associated with time to dependence at P < 5 × 10−8 were identified, one (rs61835088 = 1.03 × 10−8) for cocaine in the combined EA-AA meta-analysis in the gene FAM78B on chromosome 1, and two for opioids in the AA portion of the sample in intergenic regions of chromosomes 4 (rs4860439, P = 1.37 × 10−8) and 9 (rs7032521, P = 3.30 × 10−8). After meta-analysis with data from the replication cohorts, the signal at rs61835088 improved (HR = 0.87, P = 3.71 × 10−9 and an intergenic SNP on chromosome 21 (rs2825295, HR = 1.14, P = 2.57 × 10−8) that missed the significance threshold in the AA discovery sample became genome-wide significant (GWS) for CD.
Although the two GWS variants are not in genes with obvious links to SUD biology and have modest effect sizes, they are statistically robust and show evidence for association in independent samples. These results may point to novel pathways contributing to disease progression and highlight the utility of related phenotypes to better understand the genetics of SUDs.
Popularity of electronic cigarettes (i.e. e-cigarettes) is soaring in Canada. Understanding person-level correlates of current e-cigarette use (vaping) is crucial to guide tobacco policy, but prior studies have not fully identified these correlates due to model overfitting caused by multicollinearity. This study addressed this issue by using classification tree, a machine learning algorithm.
This population-based cross-sectional study used the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey (CTADS) from 2017 that targeted residents aged 15 or older. Forty-six person-level characteristics were first screened in a logistic mixed-effects regression procedure for their strength in predicting vaper type (current vs. former vaper) among people who reported to have ever vaped. A 9:1 ratio was used to randomly split the data into a training set and a validation set. A classification tree model was developed using the cross-validation method on the training set using the selected predictors and assessed on the validation set using sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.
Of the 3,059 people with an experience of vaping, the average age was 24.4 years (standard deviation = 11.0), with 41.9% of them being female and 8.5% of them being aboriginal. There were 556 (18.2%) current vapers. The classification tree model performed relatively well and suggested attraction to e-cigarette flavors was the most important correlate of current vaping, followed by young age (< 18) and believing vaping to be less harmful to oneself than cigarette smoking.
People who vape due to flavors are associated with very high risk of becoming current vapers. The findings of this study provide evidence that supports the ongoing ban on flavored vaping products in the US and suggests a similar regulatory intervention may be effective in Canada.
Prior research employing a standard backward digit span test has been successful in operationally defining neurocognitive constructs associated with the Fuster’s model of executive attention. The current research sought to test if similar behavior could be obtained using a cross-modal mental manipulation test.
Memory clinic patients were studied. Using Jak-Bondi criteria, 24 patients were classified with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 33 memory clinic patients did not meet criteria for MCI (i.e. non-MCI). All patients were assessed with the digital version of the WRAML-2 Symbolic Working Memory Test-Part 1, a cross-modal mental manipulation task where patients hear digits, but respond by touching digits from lowest to highest on an answer key. Only 4 and 5-span trials were analyzed. Using an iPad, all test stimuli were played; and, all responses were obtained with a touch key. Only correct trials were analyzed. Average time to complete trials and latency for each digit was recorded.
Groups did not differ when average time to complete 4-span trials was calculated. MCI patients displayed slower latency, or required more time to re-order the 1st and 3rd digits. Regression analyses, primarily involving initial and latter response latencies, were associated with better, but different underlying neuropsychological abilities. Almost no 5-span analyses were significant.
This cross-modal test paradigm found no difference for total average time. MCI patients generated slower 1st and 3rd response latency, suggesting differences in time allocation to achieve correct serial order recall. Moreover, different neuropsychological abilities were associated with different time-based test components. These data extend prior findings using a standard backward digit span test. Differences in time epochs are consistent with constructs underlying the model of executive attention and help explain mental manipulation deficits in MCI. These latency measures could constitute neurocognitive biomarkers that track emergent disease.
Diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) is a complication of diabetes in which the presence of infections, ulceration and/or destruction of deep tissue associated with neuropathy, peripheral atherosclerosis and comorbidity affect the prognosis, the need for limb amputation and quality of life. Purpose of the present study is to report the features of patients with acute DFS admitted to our Diabetic Foot Unit tertiary Center in 2019.
In all patients admitted, the approach was performed through a multidisciplinary team (Diabetic Foot Care Team) and described in a specific diagnostic-therapeutic-assistance program. Criteria of inclusion were presence of sepsis and/or suspected osteomyelitis and/or critical limb ischemia. Clinical features and interventions performed were registered. Primary endpoints were mortality and amputation (major, minor). Secondary endpoints were length of hospitalization, type of revascularization and duration of antibiotic therapy.
Among 75 consecutive patients (mean age 70.9 years) enrolled, prevalence of acute DFS was higher among men (M/F 3:1). Poor glycemic control [mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 67.9 ± 22.3 mmol/mol], long duration of diabetes (mean 19 ± 16.3 years), high low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (mean 89.5 ± 45.1 mg/ dL) and obesity (mean Body Mass Index 30.2 ± 7.6 kg/m2) were common. Diabetes-related complications as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (76%), ischemic heart disease (48%), retinopathy (40.5%), hepatic steatosis (50%), heart failure (17.8%) were present. During hospitalization, 21 subjects (28.4%) underwent lower limb amputations (overall rate of major amputation 4%), and 41.3% underwent percutaneous angioplasty. Long period of hospitalization (18.4 ± 7.9 days) and prolonged antibiotic therapy (23.9 ± 15.9 days) were observed. Major amputation was associated with C-reactive protein > 6.5 mg/dL (P = 0.03), osteomyelitis (P = 0.001), prior insulin therapy (P = 0.015).
Male sex, co-morbidity, PAD, systemic inflammation and poor glycemic control are major features of acute hospitalized DFS. An approach through a multidisciplinary team is recommended in order to treat vascular and extra-vascular complications aimed at reducing mortality and at improving quality of life.
Dr. Amedeo Lonardo
Submission Deadline: June 10, 2021
Published Articles: 0
Dr. Kathleen G. Morgan
Submission Deadline: May 31, 2021
Published Articles: 0
Dr. Haijun Yu Dr. Yang Shi
Submission Deadline: July 31, 2021
Published Articles: 1
Dr. Carlos M. Ferrario Dr. Leanne Groban
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2020
Published Articles: 0
Dr. Rhoda Au
Submission Deadline: June 20, 2020
Published Articles: 7
Dr. Amedeo Lonardo Dr. Giovanni Targher
Submission Deadline: June 01, 2020
Published Articles: 10
Dr. Richard M. Sherva
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2021
Published Articles: 4