7 research outputs found

    Investigating the impact of visual perspective in a motor imagery-based brain-robot interaction: A pilot study with healthy participants

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    IntroductionMotor Imagery (MI)-based Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) have raised gained attention for their use in rehabilitation therapies since they allow controlling an external device by using brain activity, in this way promoting brain plasticity mechanisms that could lead to motor recovery. Specifically, rehabilitation robotics can provide precision and consistency for movement exercises, while embodied robotics could provide sensory feedback that can help patients improve their motor skills and coordination. However, it is still not clear whether different types of visual feedback may affect the elicited brain response and hence the effectiveness of MI-BCI for rehabilitation.MethodsIn this paper, we compare two visual feedback strategies based on controlling the movement of robotic arms through a MI-BCI system: 1) first-person perspective, with visual information that the user receives when they view the robot arms from their own perspective; and 2) third-person perspective, whereby the subjects observe the robot from an external perspective. We studied 10 healthy subjects over three consecutive sessions. The electroencephalographic (EEG) signals were recorded and evaluated in terms of the power of the sensorimotor rhythms, as well as their lateralization, and spatial distribution.ResultsOur results show that both feedback perspectives can elicit motor-related brain responses, but without any significant differences between them. Moreover, the evoked responses remained consistent across all sessions, showing no significant differences between the first and the last session.DiscussionOverall, these results suggest that the type of perspective may not influence the brain responses during a MI- BCI task based on a robotic feedback, although, due to the limited sample size, more evidence is required. Finally, this study resulted into the production of 180 labeled MI EEG datasets, publicly available for research purposes

    Impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular testing in the United States versus the rest of the world

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    Objectives: This study sought to quantify and compare the decline in volumes of cardiovascular procedures between the United States and non-US institutions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the care of many non-COVID-19 illnesses. Reductions in diagnostic cardiovascular testing around the world have led to concerns over the implications of reduced testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Methods: Data were submitted to the INCAPS-COVID (International Atomic Energy Agency Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocols Study of COVID-19), a multinational registry comprising 909 institutions in 108 countries (including 155 facilities in 40 U.S. states), assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of diagnostic cardiovascular procedures. Data were obtained for April 2020 and compared with volumes of baseline procedures from March 2019. We compared laboratory characteristics, practices, and procedure volumes between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities and between U.S. geographic regions and identified factors associated with volume reduction in the United States. Results: Reductions in the volumes of procedures in the United States were similar to those in non-U.S. facilities (68% vs. 63%, respectively; p = 0.237), although U.S. facilities reported greater reductions in invasive coronary angiography (69% vs. 53%, respectively; p < 0.001). Significantly more U.S. facilities reported increased use of telehealth and patient screening measures than non-U.S. facilities, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Reductions in volumes of procedures differed between U.S. regions, with larger declines observed in the Northeast (76%) and Midwest (74%) than in the South (62%) and West (44%). Prevalence of COVID-19, staff redeployments, outpatient centers, and urban centers were associated with greater reductions in volume in U.S. facilities in a multivariable analysis. Conclusions: We observed marked reductions in U.S. cardiovascular testing in the early phase of the pandemic and significant variability between U.S. regions. The association between reductions of volumes and COVID-19 prevalence in the United States highlighted the need for proactive efforts to maintain access to cardiovascular testing in areas most affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 infection

    Neotropical freshwater fisheries : A dataset of occurrence and abundance of freshwater fishes in the Neotropics

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    The Neotropical region hosts 4225 freshwater fish species, ranking first among the world's most diverse regions for freshwater fishes. Our NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set is the first to produce a large-scale Neotropical freshwater fish inventory, covering the entire Neotropical region from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to the southern limits in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Uruguay. We compiled 185,787 distribution records, with unique georeferenced coordinates, for the 4225 species, represented by occurrence and abundance data. The number of species for the most numerous orders are as follows: Characiformes (1289), Siluriformes (1384), Cichliformes (354), Cyprinodontiformes (245), and Gymnotiformes (135). The most recorded species was the characid Astyanax fasciatus (4696 records). We registered 116,802 distribution records for native species, compared to 1802 distribution records for nonnative species. The main aim of the NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set was to make these occurrence and abundance data accessible for international researchers to develop ecological and macroecological studies, from local to regional scales, with focal fish species, families, or orders. We anticipate that the NEOTROPICAL FRESHWATER FISHES data set will be valuable for studies on a wide range of ecological processes, such as trophic cascades, fishery pressure, the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation, and the impacts of species invasion and climate change. There are no copyright restrictions on the data, and please cite this data paper when using the data in publications

    Reduction of cardiac imaging tests during the COVID-19 pandemic: The case of Italy. Findings from the IAEA Non-invasive Cardiology Protocol Survey on COVID-19 (INCAPS COVID)

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    Background: In early 2020, COVID-19 massively hit Italy, earlier and harder than any other European country. This caused a series of strict containment measures, aimed at blocking the spread of the pandemic. Healthcare delivery was also affected when resources were diverted towards care of COVID-19 patients, including intensive care wards. Aim of the study: The aim is assessing the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac imaging in Italy, compare to the Rest of Europe (RoE) and the World (RoW). Methods: A global survey was conducted in May‚ÄďJune 2020 worldwide, through a questionnaire distributed online. The survey covered three periods: March and April 2020, and March 2019. Data from 52 Italian centres, a subset of the 909 participating centres from 108 countries, were analyzed. Results: In Italy, volumes decreased by 67% in March 2020, compared to March 2019, as opposed to a significantly lower decrease (p &lt; 0.001) in RoE and RoW (41% and 40%, respectively). A further decrease from March 2020 to April 2020 summed up to 76% for the North, 77% for the Centre and 86% for the South. When compared to the RoE and RoW, this further decrease from March 2020 to April 2020 in Italy was significantly less (p = 0.005), most likely reflecting the earlier effects of the containment measures in Italy, taken earlier than anywhere else in the West. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic massively hit Italy and caused a disruption of healthcare services, including cardiac imaging studies. This raises concern about the medium- and long-term consequences for the high number of patients who were denied timely diagnoses and the subsequent lifesaving therapies and procedures

    Impact of COVID-19 on Diagnostic Cardiac Procedural Volume in Oceania: The IAEA Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocol Survey on COVID-19 (INCAPS COVID)

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    Objectives: The INCAPS COVID Oceania study aimed to assess the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on cardiac procedure volume provided in the Oceania region. Methods: A retrospective survey was performed comparing procedure volumes within March 2019 (pre-COVID-19) with April 2020 (during first wave of COVID-19 pandemic). Sixty-three (63) health care facilities within Oceania that perform cardiac diagnostic procedures were surveyed, including a mixture of metropolitan and regional, hospital and outpatient, public and private sites, and 846 facilities outside of Oceania. The percentage change in procedure volume was measured between March 2019 and April 2020, compared by test type and by facility. Results: In Oceania, the total cardiac diagnostic procedure volume was reduced by 52.2% from March 2019 to April 2020, compared to a reduction of 75.9% seen in the rest of the world (p&lt;0.001). Within Oceania sites, this reduction varied significantly between procedure types, but not between types of health care facility. All procedure types (other than stress cardiac magnetic resonance [CMR] and positron emission tomography [PET]) saw significant reductions in volume over this time period (p&lt;0.001). In Oceania, transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) decreased by 51.6%, transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) by 74.0%, and stress tests by 65% overall, which was more pronounced for stress electrocardiograph (ECG) (81.8%) and stress echocardiography (76.7%) compared to stress single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT) (44.3%). Invasive coronary angiography decreased by 36.7% in Oceania. Conclusion: A significant reduction in cardiac diagnostic procedure volume was seen across all facility types in Oceania and was likely a function of recommendations from cardiac societies and directives from government to minimise spread of COVID-19 amongst patients and staff. Longer term evaluation is important to assess for negative patient outcomes which may relate to deferral of usual models of care within cardiology