23 research outputs found

    Dying from acute stroke: orchestrating an autoethnographic sonata of care

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    A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Health and Wellbeing.This authoethnographic study draws together the experiences of the researcher and bereaved family members of patients who died in hospital following an acute stroke. It takes the form of a Sonata Framework that mirrors the author’s narrative around the duration and onset of his mother’s stroke, hospital care and ultimate discharge home to die. Although symptoms experienced by individuals with malignant and non-malignant disease are similar, evidence suggests the transition from acute to palliative care remains problematic for patients following an acute stroke, not least when seeking to identify when someone is nearing end of life. A qualitative interview study aimed to explore the personal experiences of family members whose relative had died following admission to an acute stroke ward. In order to do this, six adult relatives of patients who died in hospital following an acute stroke were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. Data were inductively analysed to produce basic, organising and global themes, and presented in the form of thematic networks: The Family Experience and Dying & Death. Further findings were deductively derived through the lens of the Sonata Framework. Findings suggested shortfalls in the provision of palliative and end of life care following acute stroke, although areas of good practice were identified. Overall, participants were complimentary of the care provided to their family member although the transition from acute to palliative was variable. The quality of communication between patients, relatives and staff was patchy, with no evidence of engagement with the hospital palliative care team, nor any discussions instigated by staff relating to preferred place of death. This study provided evidence of some improvement in local palliative and end of life care provision when compared with previous research, although gaps in such provision still exist. Staff should receive palliative and end of life care training, including communication skills training to identify individuals who may be nearing the end of life and to instigate timely conversations with their family members. Further research relating to the provision of palliative and end of life care for individuals following an acute stroke is recommended

    Microevolution during the emergence of a monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium epidemic in the United Kingdom

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    Microevolutionary events associated with the emergence and clonal expansion of new 27 epidemic clones of bacterial pathogens hold the key to understanding the drivers of 28 epidemiological success. We describe a comparative whole genome sequence and 29 phylogenomic analysis of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium isolates from the UK 30 and Italy from 2005-2012. Monophasic isolates from this time formed a single clade 31 distinct from recent monophasic epidemic clones described previously from North 32 America and Spain. The current UK monophasic epidemic clones encode a novel 33 genomic island encoding resistance to heavy metals (SGI-3), and composite transposon 34 encoding antibiotic resistance genes not present in other Typhimurium isolates, that 35 may have contributed to the epidemiological success. We also report a remarkable 36 degree of genotypic variation that accumulated during clonal expansion of a UK 37 epidemic including multiple independent acquisitions of a novel prophage carrying the 38 sopE gene and multiple deletion events affecting the phase II flagellin locus

    The clock gene <i>Bmal1</i> inhibits macrophage motility, phagocytosis, and impairs defense against pneumonia

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    The circadian clock regulates many aspects of immunity. Bacterial infections are affected by time of day, but the mechanisms involved remain undefined. Here we show that loss of the core clock protein BMAL1 in macrophages confers protection against pneumococcal pneumonia. Infected mice show both reduced weight loss and lower bacterial burden in circulating blood. In vivo studies of macrophage phagocytosis reveal increased bacterial ingestion following Bmal1 deletion, which was also seen in vitro. BMAL1−/− macrophages exhibited marked differences in actin cytoskeletal organization, a phosphoproteome enriched for cytoskeletal changes, with reduced phosphocofilin and increased active RhoA. Further analysis of the BMAL1−/− macrophages identified altered cell morphology and increased motility. Mechanistically, BMAL1 regulated a network of cell movement genes, 148 of which were within 100 kb of high-confidence BMAL1 binding sites. Links to RhoA function were identified, with 29 genes impacting RhoA expression or activation. RhoA inhibition restored the phagocytic phenotype to that seen in control macrophages. In summary, we identify a surprising gain of antibacterial function due to loss of BMAL1 in macrophages, associated with a RhoA-dependent cytoskeletal change, an increase in cell motility, and gain of phagocytic function

    The circadian clock protein REVERBα inhibits pulmonary fibrosis development

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    Pulmonary inflammatory responses lie under circadian control; however, the importance of circadian mechanisms in the underlying fibrotic phenotype is not understood. Here, we identify a striking change to these mechanisms resulting in a gain of amplitude and lack of synchrony within pulmonary fibrotic tissue. These changes result from an infiltration of mesenchymal cells, an important cell type in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Mutation of the core clock protein REVERBα in these cells exacerbated the development of bleomycin-induced fibrosis, whereas mutation of REVERBα in club or myeloid cells had no effect on the bleomycin phenotype. Knockdown of REVERBα revealed regulation of the little-understood transcription factor TBPL1. Both REVERBα and TBPL1 altered integrinβ1 focal-adhesion formation, resulting in increased myofibroblast activation. The translational importance of our findings was established through analysis of 2 human cohorts. In the UK Biobank, circadian strain markers (sleep length, chronotype, and shift work) are associated with pulmonary fibrosis, making them risk factors. In a separate cohort, REVERBα expression was increased in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) lung tissue. Pharmacological targeting of REVERBα inhibited myofibroblast activation in IPF fibroblasts and collagen secretion in organotypic cultures from IPF patients, thus suggesting that targeting of REVERBα could be a viable therapeutic approach

    Automatic nystagmus detection and quantification in long-term continuous eye-movement data

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    Symptoms of dizziness or imbalance are frequently reported by people over 65. Dizziness is usually episodic and can have many causes, making diagnosis problematic. When it is due to inner-ear malfunctions, it is usually accompanied by abnormal eye-movements called nystagmus. The CAVA (Continuous Ambulatory Vestibular Assessment) device has been developed to provide continuous monitoring of eye-movements to gain insight into the physiological parameters present during a dizziness attack. In this paper, we describe novel algorithms for detecting short periods of artificially induced nystagmus from the long-term eye movement data collected by the CAVA device. In a blinded trial involving 17 healthy subjects, each participant induced nystagmus artificially on up to eight occasions by watching a short video on a VR headset. Our algorithms detected these short periods with an accuracy of 98.77%. Additionally, data relating to vestibular induced nystagmus was collected, analysed and then compared to a conventional technique for assessing nystagmus during caloric testing. The results show that a range of nystagmus can be identified and quantified using computational methods applied to long-term eye-movement data captured by the CAVA device

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy on stroke risk by brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases: subgroup analyses of the RESTART randomised, open-label trial

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    Background Findings from the RESTART trial suggest that starting antiplatelet therapy might reduce the risk of recurrent symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage compared with avoiding antiplatelet therapy. Brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases (such as cerebral microbleeds) are associated with greater risks of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage. We did subgroup analyses of the RESTART trial to explore whether these brain imaging features modify the effects of antiplatelet therapy

    Carbon-sensitive pedotransfer functions for plant available water

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    Currently accepted pedotransfer functions show negligible effect of management-induced changes to soil organic carbon (SOC) on plant available water holding capacity (θAWHC), while some studies show the ability to substantially increase θAWHC through management. The Soil Health Institute\u27s North America Project to Evaluate Soil Health Measurements measured water content at field capacity using intact soil cores across 124 long-term research sites that contained increases in SOC as a result of management treatments such as reduced tillage and cover cropping. Pedotransfer functions were created for volumetric water content at field capacity (θFC) and permanent wilting point (θPWP). New pedotransfer functions had predictions of θAWHC that were similarly accurate compared with Saxton and Rawls when tested on samples from the National Soil Characterization database. Further, the new pedotransfer functions showed substantial effects of soil calcareousness and SOC on θAWHC. For an increase in SOC of 10 g kg–1 (1%) in noncalcareous soils, an average increase in θAWHC of 3.0 mm 100 mm–1 soil (0.03 m3 m–3) on average across all soil texture classes was found. This SOC related increase in θAWHC is about double previous estimates. Calcareous soils had an increase in θAWHC of 1.2 mm 100 mm–1 soil associated with a 10 g kg–1 increase in SOC, across all soil texture classes. New equations can aid in quantifying benefits of soil management practices that increase SOC and can be used to model the effect of changes in management on drought resilience

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy after stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage (RESTART): a randomised, open-label trial

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    Background: Antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of major vascular events for people with occlusive vascular disease, although it might increase the risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Patients surviving the commonest subtype of intracranial haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage, are at risk of both haemorrhagic and occlusive vascular events, but whether antiplatelet therapy can be used safely is unclear. We aimed to estimate the relative and absolute effects of antiplatelet therapy on recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage and whether this risk might exceed any reduction of occlusive vascular events. Methods: The REstart or STop Antithrombotics Randomised Trial (RESTART) was a prospective, randomised, open-label, blinded endpoint, parallel-group trial at 122 hospitals in the UK. We recruited adults (≥18 years) who were taking antithrombotic (antiplatelet or anticoagulant) therapy for the prevention of occlusive vascular disease when they developed intracerebral haemorrhage, discontinued antithrombotic therapy, and survived for 24 h. Computerised randomisation incorporating minimisation allocated participants (1:1) to start or avoid antiplatelet therapy. We followed participants for the primary outcome (recurrent symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage) for up to 5 years. We analysed data from all randomised participants using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for minimisation covariates. This trial is registered with ISRCTN (number ISRCTN71907627). Findings: Between May 22, 2013, and May 31, 2018, 537 participants were recruited a median of 76 days (IQR 29–146) after intracerebral haemorrhage onset: 268 were assigned to start and 269 (one withdrew) to avoid antiplatelet therapy. Participants were followed for a median of 2·0 years (IQR [1·0– 3·0]; completeness 99·3%). 12 (4%) of 268 participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy had recurrence of intracerebral haemorrhage compared with 23 (9%) of 268 participants allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (adjusted hazard ratio 0·51 [95% CI 0·25–1·03]; p=0·060). 18 (7%) participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy experienced major haemorrhagic events compared with 25 (9%) participants allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (0·71 [0·39–1·30]; p=0·27), and 39 [15%] participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy had major occlusive vascular events compared with 38 [14%] allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (1·02 [0·65–1·60]; p=0·92). Interpretation: These results exclude all but a very modest increase in the risk of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage with antiplatelet therapy for patients on antithrombotic therapy for the prevention of occlusive vascular disease when they developed intracerebral haemorrhage. The risk of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage is probably too small to exceed the established benefits of antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy after stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage (RESTART): a randomised, open-label trial

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    Background: Antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of major vascular events for people with occlusive vascular disease, although it might increase the risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Patients surviving the commonest subtype of intracranial haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage, are at risk of both haemorrhagic and occlusive vascular events, but whether antiplatelet therapy can be used safely is unclear. We aimed to estimate the relative and absolute effects of antiplatelet therapy on recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage and whether this risk might exceed any reduction of occlusive vascular events. Methods: The REstart or STop Antithrombotics Randomised Trial (RESTART) was a prospective, randomised, open-label, blinded endpoint, parallel-group trial at 122 hospitals in the UK. We recruited adults (≥18 years) who were taking antithrombotic (antiplatelet or anticoagulant) therapy for the prevention of occlusive vascular disease when they developed intracerebral haemorrhage, discontinued antithrombotic therapy, and survived for 24 h. Computerised randomisation incorporating minimisation allocated participants (1:1) to start or avoid antiplatelet therapy. We followed participants for the primary outcome (recurrent symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage) for up to 5 years. We analysed data from all randomised participants using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for minimisation covariates. This trial is registered with ISRCTN (number ISRCTN71907627). Findings: Between May 22, 2013, and May 31, 2018, 537 participants were recruited a median of 76 days (IQR 29–146) after intracerebral haemorrhage onset: 268 were assigned to start and 269 (one withdrew) to avoid antiplatelet therapy. Participants were followed for a median of 2·0 years (IQR [1·0– 3·0]; completeness 99·3%). 12 (4%) of 268 participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy had recurrence of intracerebral haemorrhage compared with 23 (9%) of 268 participants allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (adjusted hazard ratio 0·51 [95% CI 0·25–1·03]; p=0·060). 18 (7%) participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy experienced major haemorrhagic events compared with 25 (9%) participants allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (0·71 [0·39–1·30]; p=0·27), and 39 [15%] participants allocated to antiplatelet therapy had major occlusive vascular events compared with 38 [14%] allocated to avoid antiplatelet therapy (1·02 [0·65–1·60]; p=0·92). Interpretation: These results exclude all but a very modest increase in the risk of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage with antiplatelet therapy for patients on antithrombotic therapy for the prevention of occlusive vascular disease when they developed intracerebral haemorrhage. The risk of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage is probably too small to exceed the established benefits of antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention
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