901 research outputs found

    Anorectal motility in patients with achalasia of the esophagus: recognition of an esophago-rectal syndrome

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    BACKGROUND: During my study of constipation, I encountered patients who had achalasia of the esophagus (AE) as well. The possibility of an existing relationship between the 2 conditions was studied. METHOD: Investigations to study the anorectal motility in 9 AE patients included: the intestinal transit time, anorectal manometry, rectoanal inhibitory reflex, defecography and electromyography (EMG) of external anal sphincter and levator ani muscle. Anorectal biopsy was done. The study comprised 8 healthy volunteers as controls. RESULTS: 6/9 AE patients had constipation presenting as strainodynia (excessive prolonged straining at stool). Rectocele was present in 4 of them. The 6 constipated patients showed significantly high rectal neck pressure (p < 0.05), absent rectoanal inhibitory reflex and aganglionosis in the anorectal biopsy. The EMG revealed diminished activity in 4 of the 6 constipated patients. The remaining 3 patients with AE had normal anorectal function. Heller's myotomy with Nissen's fundoplication improved the dysphagia, but not the constipation which was, however, relieved after performance of anorectal myectomy. CONCLUSION: The high incidence of constipation with AE postulates a relationship between the 2 conditions. Both have the same pathologic lesion which is aganglionosis. This study is preliminary and requires further studies on a larger number of patients

    A vibration measurement system for deaf people’s emergency apparatus

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    A vibration measurement system for deaf people’s emergency warning equipment is presented in this paper. Deaf alarm devices are among the most supportive products that help to alert deaf people in various emergency circumstances. Applicable British standards recommend that acceptable working parameters for such products are frequency: 25 to 150 Hz, enough vibration strength, intensity and stable performance against lifetime. This paper presents research that has been conducted to test and validate the performance of a variety of alerting devices using the proposed vibration measurement system. It introduces the laboratory arrangements, practical measurements carried out and its compliance with the British standards. The products investigated were the Mk I, Mk II Deaf Alerters, the Deafgard alerting device and the C-TEC 24V Pillow Pad. Measurements were taken using an ADXL335 accelerometer, to determine the vibration strength. Other parameters considered were temperature variation, efficiency and lifetime of the products

    The hypoactive corpora cavernosa with degenerative erectile dysfunction: a new syndrome

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    BACKGROUND: In a group of 22 patients with erectile dysfunction, vasculogenic, neurogenic, endocrinologic or psychogenic investigations failed to find a cause for their erectile dysfunction. The electro-cavernosograms of these patients recorded a diminished activity. We investigated the hypothesis that diminished corpus cavernosum electromyography activity was the cause of erectile dysfunction in these patients. METHODS: The study comprised the above mentioned 22 patients (study group, 43.8 ± 5.9 SD years) and 15 healthy volunteers (control group, 41.8 ± 5.1 SD years). The electro-cavernosograms were recorded in the flaccid, erectile and detumescent phases by 2 electrodes inserted into the corpus cavernosum. RESULTS: The electro-cavernosogram of the healthy volunteers registered in the flaccid phase regular slow waves and random action potentials. The wave variables declined significantly in the erectile phase (p < 0.01). In the study group, the slow wave variables in the flaccid phase exhibited a significant decrease (p < 0.05) compared to the healthy volunteers, and the rhythm was irregular. Erection did not occur with sildenafil administration or intracavernosal papaverine injection, and penile implant was performed. Biopsy examination showed degenerated muscle fibers, and fragmented collagen and elastic fibers with areas of fibrosis. CONCLUSION: A novel concept of the cause of erectile dysfunction was presented. Corpora cavernosa showed degenerative changes on histopathologic examination and exhibited diminished electromyography activity. They did not respond to sildenafil administration or intracavernosal papaverine injection. Penile implants were the only treatment. The condition is given the name 'hypoactive corpus cavernosum'. The cause of corpus cavernosum degenerative changes needs further study

    Impact of nitrogen regime on fatty acid profiles of Desmodesmus quadricaudatus and Chlorella sp. and ability to produce biofuel

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    Abstract Microalgae have emerged as one of the most promising sources for fatty acid production. Since the various fatty acid profiles (chain length, degree of unsaturation, and branching of the chain) of the different sources influence biodiesel fuel properties, it is important to possess data on how the presence of NaNO3 as nitrogen source can influence the profile of produced fatty acids from algae. The fatty acid profiles of Desmodesmus quadricaudatus and Chlorella sp. were detected in pure batch cultures experiments. BG-11 nitrogen free medium and the medium contained 1.5 g NaNO3 l−1 were used in this investigation. At late stationary growth phase in nitrogen free medium, Chlorella sp. produced 58.39% saturated fatty acids and 41.60% unsaturated fatty acids. While in medium contained 1.5 g NaNO3 l−1Chlorella sp. produced 62.08% saturated fatty acids and 37.92% unsaturated fatty acids. In nitrogen free medium D. quadricaudatus produced 66.92% saturated fatty acids and 33.07% unsaturated fatty acids. While in cultures contained 1.5 g NaNO3 l−1D. quadricaudatus produced 51.62% saturated fatty acids and 48.37% unsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of Chlorella sp. and D. quadricaudatus that isolated from Egyptian water body and grown in nitrogen free medium may be suitable for biodiesel production. The results discussed and compared to fatty acid profiles produced by other algal species

    Pudendal nerve decompression in perineology : a case series

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    BACKGROUND: Perineodynia (vulvodynia, perineal pain, proctalgia), anal and urinary incontinence are the main symptoms of the pudendal canal syndrome (PCS) or entrapment of the pudendal nerve. The first aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of bilateral pudendal nerve decompression (PND) on the symptoms of the PCS, on three clinical signs (abnormal sensibility, painful Alcock's canal, painful "skin rolling test") and on two neurophysiological tests: electromyography (EMG) and pudendal nerve terminal motor latencies (PNTML). The second aim was to study the clinical value of the aforementioned clinical signs in the diagnosis of PCS. METHODS: In this retrospective analysis, the studied sample comprised 74 female patients who underwent a bilateral PND between 1995 and 2002. To accomplish the first aim, the patients sample was compared before and at least one year after surgery by means of descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. The second aim was achieved by means of a statistical comparison between the patient's group before the operation and a control group of 82 women without any of the following signs: prolapse, anal incontinence, perineodynia, dyschesia and history of pelvi-perineal surgery. RESULTS: When bilateral PND was the only procedure done to treat the symptoms, the cure rates of perineodynia, anal incontinence and urinary incontinence were 8/14, 4/5 and 3/5, respectively. The frequency of the three clinical signs was significantly reduced. There was a significant reduction of anal and perineal PNTML and a significant increase of anal richness on EMG. The Odd Ratio of the three clinical signs in the diagnosis of PCS was 16,97 (95% CI = 4,68 – 61,51). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that bilateral PND can treat perineodynia, anal and urinary incontinence. The three clinical signs of PCS seem to be efficient to suspect this diagnosis. There is a need for further studies to confirm these preliminary results

    Electroesophagogram in gastroesophageal reflux disease with a new theory on the pathogenesis of its electric changes

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    BACKGROUND: In view of the disturbed esophageal peristaltic activity and abnormal esophageal motility in gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD), we investigated the hypothesis that these changes result from a disordered myoelectric activity of the esophagus. METHODS: The electric activity of the esophagus (electroesophagogram, EEG) was studied in 27 patients with GERD (16 men, 11 women, mean age 42.6 ± 5.2 years) and 10 healthy volunteers as controls (6 men, 4 women, mean age 41.4 ± 4.9 years). According to the Feussner scoring system, 7 patients had a mild (score 1), 10 a moderate (score 2) and 10 a severe (score 3) stage of the disease. One electrode was applied to the upper third and a second to the lower third of the esophagus, and the electric activity was recorded. The test was repeated after the upper electrode had been moved to the mid-esophagus. RESULTS: The EEG of the healthy volunteers showed slow waves and exhibited the same frequency, amplitude and conduction velocity from the 2 electrodes of the individual subject, regardless of their location in the upper, middle or lower esophagus. Action potentials occurred randomly. In GERD patients, score 1 exhibited electric waves' variables similar to those of the healthy volunteers. In score 2, the waves recorded irregular rhythm and lower variables than the controls. Score 3 showed a "silent" EEG without waves. CONCLUSION: The electric activity in GERD exhibited 3 different patterns depending on the stages of GERD. Score 1 exhibited a normal EEG which apparently denotes normal esophageal motility. Score 2 recorded irregular electric waves variables which are presumably indicative of decreased esophageal motility and reflux clearance. In score 3, a "silent" EEG was recorded with probably no acid clearance. It is postulated that the interstitial cells of Cajal which are the electric activity generators, are involved in the inflammatory process of GERD. Destruction of these cells appears to occur in grades that are in accordance with GERD scores. The EEG seems to have the potential to act as an investigative tool in the diagnosis of GERD stages

    Comparative analysis of the efficacy of astigmatic correction after wavefront-guided and wavefront-optimized LASIK in low and moderate myopic eyes

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    AIM: To evaluate and compare the efficacy of the astigmatic correction achieved with laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) in eyes with myopic astigmatism using wavefront-guided (WFG) and wavefront-optimized (WFO) ablation profiles. METHODS: Prospective study included 221 eyes undergoing LASIK: 99 and 122 eyes with low and moderate myopic astigmatism (low and moderate myopia groups). Two subgroups were differentiated in each group according to the ablation profile: WFG subgroup, 109 eyes (45/64, low/moderate myopia groups) treated using the Advanced CustomVue platform (Abbott Medical Optics Inc.), and WFO subgroup, 112 eyes (54/58, low/moderate myopia groups) treated using the EX-500 platform (Alcon). Clinical outcomes were evaluated during a 6-month follow-up, including a vector analysis of astigmatic changes. RESULTS: Significantly better postoperative uncorrected visual acuity and efficacy index was found in the WFG subgroups of each group (P≤0.041). Postoperative spherical equivalent and cylinder were significantly higher in WFO subgroups (P≤0.003). In moderate myopia group, a higher percentage of eyes with a postoperative cylinder ≤0.25 D was found in the WFG subgroup (90.6% vs 65.5%, P=0.002). In low and moderate myopia groups, the difference vector was significantly higher in the WFO subgroup compared to WFG (P<0.001). In moderate myopia group, the magnitude (P=0.008) and angle of error (P<0.001) were also significantly higher in the WFO subgroup. Significantly less induction of high order aberrations were found with WFG treatments in both low and moderate myopia groups (P≤0.006). CONCLUSION: A more efficacious correction of myopic astigmatism providing a better visual outcome is achieved with WFG LASIK compared to WFO LASIK.Partially supported by a grant from Abbott Medical Optics

    Treadmill Platform for Quadrupedal Robots

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    Cal Poly Legged Robots, led by Professor Refvem and Professor Xing, has been leading Cal Poly’s attempts to simulate, produce, and test their legged robots. The initial testing of the locomotion of these robots can be dangerous to the robot since any bugs in the code could cause the robot to fall over and harm itself. Our responsibility as a team was to deliver a portable platform for testing the locomotion capabilities containing a fall prevention mechanism. In short, we have designed a platform for this purpose that consists of a treadmill surrounded by a wheeled chassis with a system of ropes, pulleys, and a winch for a fall prevention mechanism. Our method of lifting the robot is a success in two ways. First, our method only requires the addition of four eyebolts to the robot, a rather minor modification. Second, our method does not impede the motion of the robot when it is running normally. However, it was found that our method requires 1-1.7 seconds to lift the robot (depending on where the robot is located on the treadmill) – a rather crippling amount of time to lift a robot, seeing as how it is desired for the robot to run at 8 mph on the treadmill. Regardless, our design provides a great starting point for future Senior Project teams to improve upon it. It is our hope that our design will allow Cal Poly Legged Robots to further the development of legged robots and to generate interest, both at Cal Poly and hopefully around the world, in this area of study
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