418 research outputs found

    Decoding spatial location of attended audio-visual stimulus with EEG and fNIRS

    Get PDF
    When analyzing complex scenes, humans often focus their attention on an object at a particular spatial location in the presence of background noises and irrelevant visual objects. The ability to decode the attended spatial location would facilitate brain computer interfaces (BCI) for complex scene analysis. Here, we tested two different neuroimaging technologies and investigated their capability to decode audio-visual spatial attention in the presence of competing stimuli from multiple locations. For functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we targeted dorsal frontoparietal network including frontal eye field (FEF) and intra-parietal sulcus (IPS) as well as superior temporal gyrus/planum temporal (STG/PT). They all were shown in previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies to be activated by auditory, visual, or audio-visual spatial tasks. We found that fNIRS provides robust decoding of attended spatial locations for most participants and correlates with behavioral performance. Moreover, we found that FEF makes a large contribution to decoding performance. Surprisingly, the performance was significantly above chance level 1s after cue onset, which is well before the peak of the fNIRS response. For electroencephalography (EEG), while there are several successful EEG-based algorithms, to date, all of them focused exclusively on auditory modality where eye-related artifacts are minimized or controlled. Successful integration into a more ecological typical usage requires careful consideration for eye-related artifacts which are inevitable. We showed that fast and reliable decoding can be done with or without ocular-removal algorithm. Our results show that EEG and fNIRS are promising platforms for compact, wearable technologies that could be applied to decode attended spatial location and reveal contributions of specific brain regions during complex scene analysis

    (e,2e) Ionization Studies of N₂ at Low to Intermediate Energies from a Coplanar Geometry to the Perpendicular Plane

    Get PDF
    Synopsis. The progress of experimental and theoretical measurements for (e,2e) ionization cross sections from Nitrogen molecules is presented. Results are given for energies from ~10 eV above the ionization potential (IP) through to ~100 eV above the IP for the 3σg, 1πu and 2σg states

    Therapeutic strategies for spinal muscular atrophy: SMN and beyond

    Get PDF
    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating neuromuscular disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy, generally presenting in childhood. SMA is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron protein (SMN) due to inactivating mutations in the encoding gene SMN1 A second duplicated gene, SMN2, produces very little but sufficient functional protein for survival. Therapeutic strategies to increase SMN are in clinical trials, and the first SMN2-directed antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy has recently been licensed. However, several factors suggest that complementary strategies may be needed for the long-term maintenance of neuromuscular and other functions in SMA patients. Pre-clinical SMA models demonstrate that the requirement for SMN protein is highest when the structural connections of the neuromuscular system are being established, from late fetal life throughout infancy. Augmenting SMN may not address the slow neurodegenerative process underlying progressive functional decline beyond childhood in less severe types of SMA. Furthermore, individuals receiving SMN-based treatments may be vulnerable to delayed symptoms if rescue of the neuromuscular system is incomplete. Finally, a large number of older patients living with SMA do not fulfill the present criteria for inclusion in gene therapy and ASO clinical trials, and may not benefit from SMN-inducing treatments. Therefore, a comprehensive whole-lifespan approach to SMA therapy is required that includes both SMN-dependent and SMN-independent strategies that treat the CNS and periphery. Here, we review the range of non-SMN pathways implicated in SMA pathophysiology and discuss how various model systems can serve as valuable tools for SMA drug discovery

    PTEN Depletion Decreases Disease Severity and Modestly Prolongs Survival in a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    Get PDF
    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the second most common genetic cause of death in childhood. However, no effective treatment is available to halt disease progression. SMA is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. We previously reported that PTEN depletion leads to an increase in survival of SMN-deficient motor neurons. Here, we aimed to establish the impact of PTEN modulation in an SMA mouse model in vivo. Initial experiments using intramuscular delivery of adeno-associated vector serotype 6 (AAV6) expressing shRNA against PTEN in an established mouse model of severe SMA (SMNΔ7) demonstrated the ability to ameliorate the severity of neuromuscular junction pathology. Subsequently, we developed self-complementary AAV9 expressing siPTEN (scAAV9-siPTEN) to allow evaluation of the effect of systemic suppression of PTEN on the disease course of SMA in vivo. Treatment with a single injection of scAAV9-siPTEN at postnatal day 1 resulted in a modest threefold extension of the lifespan of SMNΔ7 mice, increasing mean survival to 30 days, compared to 10 days in untreated mice. Our data revealed that systemic PTEN depletion is an important disease modifier in SMNΔ7 mice, and therapies aimed at lowering PTEN expression may therefore offer a potential therapeutic strategy for SMA

    Are we advancing universal health coverage through cataract services? Protocol for a scoping review.

    Get PDF
    INTRODUCTION: Universal health coverage (UHC) includes the dimensions of equity in access, quality services that improve health and protection against financial hardship. Cataract continues to be the leading cause of blindness globally, despite cataract surgery being an efficacious intervention. The aim of this scoping review is to map the nature, extent and global distribution of data on cataract services for UHC in terms of equity, access, quality and financial protection. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The search will be constructed by an Information Specialist and undertaken in MEDLINE, Embase and Global Health databases. We will include all published non-interventional primary research studies and systematic reviews that report a quantitative assessment of access, equity, quality or financial protection of cataract surgical services for adults at the subnational, national, regional or global level from population-based surveys or routinely collected health service data since 1 January 2000 and published through to February 2020.Screening and data charting will be undertaken using Covidence systematic review software. Titles and abstracts of identified studies will be screened by two authors independently. Full-text articles of potentially relevant studies will be obtained and reviewed independently by two authors against the inclusion criteria. Any discrepancies between the authors will be resolved by discussion, and with a third author as necessary. A data charting form will be developed and piloted on three studies by three authors and amendments made as necessary. Data will be extracted by two reviewers independently and summarised narratively and using maps. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was not sought as the scoping review will only use published and publicly accessible data. The review will be published in an open access peer-reviewed journal. A summary of the results will be developed for website posting, stakeholder meetings and inclusion in the ongoing Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health

    Development and characterisation of novel electrospun polylactic acid/tubular clay nanocomposites

    Get PDF
    A novel material formulation method of polylactic acid /tubular clay nanocomposites via electrospinning was introduced and the important processing parameters such as solution concentration, clay loading, material feed rate were particularly investigated. The hybrid fibre diameter, the clay dispersability and the thermal properties of such nanocomposites were then characterised by using the scanning electron microscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry, respectively, to establish a fundamental structure–property relationship for the future application

    Association between vision impairment and mortality: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Get PDF
    Funder: Christian Blind MissionFunder: Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee TrustFunder: Seva FoundationFunder: NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research CentreFunder: British Council for the Prevention of BlindnessFunder: Sightsavers International; FundRef: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100004324Funder: Fred Hollows Foundation; FundRef: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100014445INTRODUCTION: Due to growth and ageing of the world's population, the number of individuals worldwide with vision impairment (VI) and blindness is projected to increase rapidly over the coming decades. VI and blindness are an important cause of years lived with disability. However, the association of VI and blindness with mortality, including the risk of bias in published studies and certainty of the evidence, has not been adequately studied in an up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The planned systematic review and meta-analysis will adhere to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Databases, including MEDLINE Ovid, Embase Ovid and Global Health, will be searched for relevant studies. Two reviewers will then screen studies and review full texts to identify studies for inclusion. Data extraction will be performed, and for included studies, the risk of bias and certainty of the evidence will be assessed using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach. The prognostic factor in this study is visual function, which must have been measured using a standard objective ophthalmic clinical or research instrument. We will use standard criteria from WHO to categorise VI and blindness. All-cause mortality may be assessed by any method one or more years after baseline assessment of vision. Results from included studies will be meta-analysed according to relevant sections of the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review will only include published data; therefore, ethics approval will not be sought. The findings of this review and meta-analysis will be published in an open-access, peer-reviewed journal and will be included in the ongoing Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health
    corecore