305 research outputs found

    Intraperitoneal Rupture of Ectopic Varices—a Rare Complication of Portal Hypertension

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    A 50 year old man presented with sudden abdominal pain, abdominal distension and shock. At emergency laparotomy a large amount of blood was found in the peritoneal cavity. There was micronodular cirrhosis of the liver and the spleen was enlarged. The bleeding was traced to distended veins in the right paracolic gutter which were oversewn and the abdomen closed. A coagulopathy was diagnosed and treatment including high dose aprotinin commenced. However, he continued to bleed and at a second laparotomy the area of previous haemorrhage was packed. Further deterioration continued until death 12 hours later. Intraperitoneal haemorrhage from ectopic varices is a rare occurrence. There is a high mortality rate usually due to an advanced coagulopathy. This is the first report of aprotinin being used in an attempt to treat this. On the basis of this report aprotinin would not seem to be of benefit for this condition

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    Composition and luminescence studies of InGaN epilayers grown at different hydrogen flow rates

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    Indium gallium nitride (In(x)Ga(1-x)N) is a technologically important material for many optoelectronic devices, including LEDs and solar cells, but it remains a challenge to incorporate high levels of InN into the alloy while maintaining sample quality. A series of InGaN epilayers was grown with different hydrogen flow rates (0-200 sccm) and growth temperatures (680-750 °C) to obtain various InN fractions and bright emission in the range 390-480 nm. These 160-nm thick epilayers were characterized through several compositional techniques (wavelength dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry) and cathodoluminescence hyperspectral imaging. The compositional analysis with the different techniques shows good agreement when taking into account compositional gradients evidenced in these layers. The addition of small amounts of hydrogen to the gas flow at lower growth temperatures is shown to maintain a high surface quality and luminescence homogeneity. This allowed InN fractions of up to ~16% to be incorporated with minimal peak energy variations over a mapped area while keeping a high material quality

    A cluster randomised controlled trial of a web based decision aid to support parents' decisions about their child's Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination.

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    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a web based decision aid versus a leaflet versus, usual practice in reducing parents' decisional conflict for the first dose MMR vaccination decision. The, impact on MMR vaccine uptake was also explored. DESIGN: Three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Fifty GP practices in the north of, England. PARTICIPANTS: 220 first time parents making a first dose MMR decision. INTERVENTIONS: Web, based MMR decision aid plus usual practice, MMR leaflet plus usual practice versus usual practice only, (control). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Decisional conflict was the primary outcome and used as the, measure of parents' levels of informed decision-making. MMR uptake was a secondary outcome. RESULTS: Decisional conflict decreased post-intervention for both intervention arms to a level where, parents could make an informed MMR decision (decision aid: effect estimate=1.09, 95% CI -1.36 to -0.82; information leaflet: effect estimate=-0.67, 95% CI -0.88 to -0.46). Trial arm was significantly, associated (p<0.001) with decisional conflict at post-intervention. Vaccination uptake was 100%, 91%, and 99% in the decision aid, leaflet and control arms, respectively (χ(2) (1, N=203)=8.69; p=0.017). Post-hoc tests revealed a statistically significant difference in uptake between the information leaflet, and the usual practice arms (p=0.04), and a near statistically significant difference between the, decision aid and leaflet arms (p=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Parents' decisional conflict was reduced in both, the decision aid and leaflet arms. The decision aid also prompted parents to act upon that decision and, vaccinate their child. Achieving both outcomes is fundamental to the integration of immunisation, decision aids within routine practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN72521372

    Fine-tuning language models to find agreement among humans with diverse preferences

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    Recent work in large language modeling (LLMs) has used fine-tuning to align outputs with the preferences of a prototypical user. This work assumes that human preferences are static and homogeneous across individuals, so that aligning to a a single "generic" user will confer more general alignment. Here, we embrace the heterogeneity of human preferences to consider a different challenge: how might a machine help people with diverse views find agreement? We fine-tune a 70 billion parameter LLM to generate statements that maximize the expected approval for a group of people with potentially diverse opinions. Human participants provide written opinions on thousands of questions touching on moral and political issues (e.g., "should we raise taxes on the rich?"), and rate the LLM's generated candidate consensus statements for agreement and quality. A reward model is then trained to predict individual preferences, enabling it to quantify and rank consensus statements in terms of their appeal to the overall group, defined according to different aggregation (social welfare) functions. The model produces consensus statements that are preferred by human users over those from prompted LLMs (>70%) and significantly outperforms a tight fine-tuned baseline that lacks the final ranking step. Further, our best model's consensus statements are preferred over the best human-generated opinions (>65%). We find that when we silently constructed consensus statements from only a subset of group members, those who were excluded were more likely to dissent, revealing the sensitivity of the consensus to individual contributions. These results highlight the potential to use LLMs to help groups of humans align their values with one another

    Evaluation of the impact of a school gardening intervention on children's fruit and vegetable intake: a randomised controlled trial.

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    Background: Current academic literature suggests that school gardening programmes can provide an interactive environment with the potential to change children’s fruit and vegetable intake. This is the first cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) designed to evaluate whether a school gardening programme can have an effect on children’s fruit and vegetable intake. Methods: The trial included children from 23 schools; these schools were randomised into two groups, one to receive the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)-led intervention and the other to receive the less involved Teacher-led intervention. A 24-hour food diary (CADET) was used to collect baseline and follow-up dietary intake 18 months apart. Questionnaires were also administered to evaluate the intervention implementation. Results: A total of 641 children completed the trial with a mean age of 8.1 years (95% CI: 8.0, 8.4). The unadjusted results from multilevel regression analysis revealed that for combined daily fruit and vegetable intake the Teacher-led group had a higher daily mean change of 8 g (95% CI: −19, 36) compared to the RHS-led group -32 g (95% CI: −60, −3). However, after adjusting for possible confounders this difference was not significant (intervention effect: −40 g, 95% CI: −88, 1; p = 0.06). The adjusted analysis of process measures identified that if schools improved their gardening score by 3 levels (a measure of school gardening involvement - the scale has 6 levels from 0 ‘no garden’ to 5 ‘community involvement’), irrespective of group allocation, children had, on average, a daily increase of 81 g of fruit and vegetable intake (95% CI: 0, 163; p = 0.05) compared to schools that had no change in gardening score. Conclusions: This study is the first cluster randomised controlled trial designed to evaluate a school gardening intervention. The results have found very little evidence to support the claims that school gardening alone can improve children’s daily fruit and vegetable intake. However, when a gardening intervention is implemented at a high level within the school it may improve children’s daily fruit and vegetable intake by a portion. Improving children’s fruit and vegetable intake remains a challenging task

    What is new in vascular dementia?

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    Neuropathological consensus criteria for the evaluation of Lewy pathology in post-mortem brains: a multi-centre study

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    Currently, the neuropathological diagnosis of Lewy body disease (LBD) may be stated according to several staging systems, which include the Braak Lewy body stages (Braak), the consensus criteria by McKeith and colleagues (McKeith), the modified McKeith system by Leverenz and colleagues (Leverenz), and the Unified Staging System by Beach and colleagues (Beach). All of these systems use semi-quantitative scoring (4- or 5-tier scales) of Lewy pathology (LP; i.e., Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites) in defined cortical and subcortical areas. While these systems are widely used, some suffer from low inter-rater reliability and/or an inability to unequivocally classify all cases with LP. To address these limitations, we devised a new system, the LP consensus criteria (LPC), which is based on the McKeith system, but applies a dichotomous approach for the scoring of LP (i.e., “absent” vs. “present”) and includes amygdala-predominant and olfactory-only stages. α-Synuclein-stained slides from brainstem, limbic system, neocortex, and olfactory bulb from a total of 34 cases with LP provided by the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource (NBTR) and the University of Pennsylvania brain bank (UPBB) were scanned and assessed by 16 raters, who provided diagnostic categories for each case according to Braak, McKeith, Leverenz, Beach, and LPC systems. In addition, using LP scores available from neuropathological reports of LP cases from UPBB (n = 202) and NBTR (n = 134), JT (UPBB) and JA (NBTR) assigned categories according to all staging systems to these cases. McKeith, Leverenz, and LPC systems reached good (Krippendorff’s α ≈ 0.6), while both Braak and Beach systems had lower (Krippendorff’s α ≈ 0.4) inter-rater reliability, respectively. Using the LPC system, all cases could be unequivocally classified by the majority of raters, which was also seen for 97.1% when the Beach system was used. However, a considerable proportion of cases could not be classified when using Leverenz (11.8%), McKeith (26.5%), or Braak (29.4%) systems. The category of neocortical LP according to the LPC system was associated with a 5.9 OR (p < 0.0001) of dementia in the 134 NBTR cases and a 3.14 OR (p = 0.0001) in the 202 UPBB cases. We established that the LPC system has good reproducibility and allows classification of all cases into distinct categories. We expect that it will be reliable and useful in routine diagnostic practice and, therefore, suggest that it should be the standard future approach for the basic post-mortem evaluation of LP
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