ResearchPad - hands https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Adaptation to unstable coordination patterns in individual and joint actions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7665 Previous research on interlimb coordination has shown that some coordination patterns are more stable than others, and function as attractors in the space of possible phase relations between different rhythmic movements. The canonical coordination patterns, i.e. the two most stable phase relations, are in-phase (0 degree) and anti-phase (180 degrees). Yet, musicians are able to perform other coordination patterns in intrapersonal as well as in interpersonal coordination with remarkable precision. This raises the question of how music experts manage to produce these unstable patterns of movement coordination. In the current study, we invited participants with at least five years of training on a musical instrument. We used an adaptation paradigm to address two factors that may facilitate producing unstable coordination patterns. First, we investigated adaptation in different coordination settings, to test the hypothesis that the lower coupling strength between individuals during joint performance makes it easier to achieve stability outside of the canonical patterns than the stronger coupling during individual bimanual performance. Second, we investigated whether adding to the structure of action effects may support achieving unstable coordination patterns, both intra- and inter-individually. The structure of action effects was strengthened by adding a melodic contour to the action effects, a measure that has been shown to improve the acquisition of bimanual coordination skills. Adaptation performance was measured both in terms of asynchrony and variability thereof. As predicted, we found that producing unstable patterns benefitted from the weaker coupling during joint performance. Surprisingly, the structure of action effects did not help with achieving unstable coordination patterns.

]]>
<![CDATA[The impact of body posture on intrinsic brain activity: The role of beta power at rest]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65f7a4e6-ac5f-46ef-91d2-3d4de84bb5d0

Tying the hands behind the back has detrimental effects on sensorimotor perceptual tasks. Here we provide evidence that beta band oscillatory activity in a resting state condition might play a crucial role in such detrimental effects. EEG activity at rest was measured from thirty young participants (mean age = 24.03) in two different body posture conditions. In one condition participants were required to keep their hands freely resting on the table. In the other condition, participants’ hands were tied behind their back. Increased beta power was observed in the left inferior frontal gyrus during the tied hands condition compared to the free hands condition. A control experiment ruled out alternative explanations for observed change in beta power, including muscle tension. Our findings provide new insights on how body postural manipulations impact on perceptual tasks and brain activity.

]]>
<![CDATA[The faster, the better? Relationships between run-up speed, the degree of difficulty (D-score), height and length of flight on vault in artistic gymnastics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99030dd5eed0c484b98b90

On vault in artistic gymnastics, a high run-up speed is thought to be important when performing difficult vaults. To test this assumption in a large cohort of elite athletes, we calculated the correlations between the run-up speed, scores, height and length of flight for handspring-, Tsukahara- and Yurchenko-style vaults and compared the performances of male and female elite and junior athletes (n = 407) during the 2016 European Championships. In females, run-up speed correlated significantly with the difficulty (D-) score and height of flight for all vaulting styles (r ≤ 0.80). In males, run-up speed correlated significantly with the D-score, height and length of flight of Tsukahara (r ≤ 0.69) and Yurchenko vaults only (r ≤ 0.65). Males reached 8–9% higher run-up speeds performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults than did females, but similar run-up speeds performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite females achieved higher run-up speeds than junior females performing Yurchenko vaults. Elite males displayed higher run-up speeds than junior males performing handspring and Tsukahara vaults. We conclude that, in females, more difficult vaults require higher run-up speeds than vaults with lower D-scores and thus, within the measured range of speeds, the faster the run-up, the better, regardless of vaulting style. Males, on the other hand, may not need to exhaust their sprinting capacity, even for the most difficult vaults. Finally, the knowledge of the required run-up speed for each vault helps coaches to estimate each athlete’s potential and/or to focus the training on developing the required physical qualities.

]]>
<![CDATA[Implementation of a practical and effective pilot intervention against transmission of Taenia solium by pigs in the Banke district of Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95d7d5eed0c484734daa

Taenia solium is a zoonotic cestode parasite which causes human neurocysticercosis. Pigs transmit the parasite by acting as the intermediate host. An intervention was implemented to control transmission of T. solium by pigs in Dalit communities of Banke District, Nepal. Every 3 months, pigs were vaccinated with the TSOL18 recombinant vaccine (Cysvax, IIL, India)) and, at the same time, given an oral treatment with 30mg/kg oxfendazole (Paranthic 10% MCI, Morocco). The prevalence of porcine cysticercosis was determined in both an intervention area as well as a similar no intervention control area, among randomly selected, slaughter-age pigs. Post mortem assessments were undertaken both at the start and at the end of the intervention. Participants conducting the post mortem assessments were blinded as to the source of the animals being assessed. At the start of the intervention the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis was 23.6% and 34.5% in the control and intervention areas, respectively. Following the intervention, the prevalence of cysticercosis in pigs from the control area was 16.7% (no significant change), whereas no infection was detected after complete slicing of all muscle tissue and brain in animals from the intervention area (P = 0.004). These findings are discussed in relation to the feasibility and sustainability of T. solium control. The 3-monthly vaccination and drug treatment intervention in pigs used here is suggested as an effective and practical method for reducing T. solium transmission by pigs. The results suggest that applying the intervention over a period of years may ultimately reduce the number of tapeworm carriers and thereby the incidence of NCC.

]]>
<![CDATA[Comparing the diagnostic performance of radiation dose-equivalent radiography, multi-detector computed tomography and cone beam computed tomography for finger fractures – A phantom study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e0d5eed0c4846391da

Purpose

To compare the diagnostic performance and raters´confidence of radiography, radiography equivalent dose multi-detector computed tomography (RED-MDCT) and radiography equivalent dose cone beam computed tomography (RED-CBCT) for finger fractures.

Methods

Fractures were inflicted artificially and randomly to 10 cadaveric hands of body donors. Radiography as well as RED-MDCT and RED-CBCT imaging were performed at dose settings equivalent to radiography. Images were de-identified and analyzed by three radiologists regarding finger fractures, joint involvement and confidence with their findings. Reference standard was consensus reading by two radiologists of the fracturing protocol and high-dose multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) images. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated and compared with Cochrane´s Q and post hoc analysis. Rater´s confidence was calculated with Friedman Test and post hoc Nemenyi Test.

Results

Rater´s confidence, inter-rater correlation, specificity for fractures and joint involvement were higher in RED-MDCT and RED-CBCT compared to radiography. No differences between the modalities were found regarding sensitivity.

Conclusion

In this phantom study, radiography equivalent dose computed tomography (RED-CT) demonstrates a partly higher diagnostic accuracy than radiography. Implementing RED-CT in the diagnostic work-up of finger fractures could improve diagnostics, support correct classification and adequate treatment. Clinical studies should be performed to confirm these preliminary results.

]]>
<![CDATA[Is there an accurate relationship between simple self-reported functional limitations and the assessment of physical capacity in early old age?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c194dd5eed0c484b4d398

Study design

Observational study.

Objective

To assess the relationship between individual self-reports and measurements of physical condition in early old age.

Background

The use of self-reported questions assessing physical limitations remains questionable in large epidemiological studies. We aimed to test whether there is an accurate relationship between objective measures of physical capabilities and answers given to questions asked of general early old age populations.

Methods

20,335 subjects (45 to 69 years old) performed two gait speed tests at usual and at rapid speeds, and a hand grip strength test. They also completed an interview which included questions about general and specific limitations on their ability to walk one kilometer, climb stairs, and carry 5 kg over a distance of 10 meters. The questions were coded by the patients on a 4-point scale according to the severity of the limitation. Analyses were performed using description of distributions and related tests were carried out.

Results

A fair association was found between individual self-reports and measurements of physical state: limitations on walking one kilometer and climbing stairs were more closely related to rapid than to usual gait speed and to carrying a 5 kg load. For general limitations, the strength of these associations was weaker than the other scores. The association between hand grip strength and the reported score for carrying a mass was better than that for gait speed tests.

Conclusion

Such simple self-assessment questions on physical performance might be useful tools for evaluating functional limitations across a large early old age population in epidemiological research.

]]>
<![CDATA[Interventions to improve the quality of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9b8d5eed0c48452a083

Background

Performing high-quality bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the clinical outcomes of victims with sudden cardiac arrest. Thus far, no systematic review has been performed to identify interventions associated with improved bystander CPR quality.

Methods

We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, EBSCO CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo, Thomson Reuters SCI-EXPANDED, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to retrieve studies published from 1 January 1966 to 5 October 2018 associated with interventions that could improve the quality of bystander CPR. Data regarding participant characteristics, interventions, and design and outcomes of included studies were extracted.

Results

Of the initially identified 2,703 studies, 42 were included. Of these, 32 were randomized controlled trials. Participants included adults, high school students, and university students with non-medical professional majors. Interventions improving bystander CPR quality included telephone dispatcher-assisted CPR (DA-CPR) with simplified or more concrete instructions, compression-only CPR, and other on-scene interventions, such as four-hand CPR for elderly rescuers, kneel on opposite sides for two-person CPR, and CPR with heels for a tired rescuer. Devices providing real-time feedback and mobile devices containing CPR applications or software were also found to be beneficial in improving the quality of bystander CPR. However, using mobile devices for improving CPR quality or for assisting DA-CPR might cause rescuers to delay starting CPR.

Conclusions

To further improve the clinical outcomes of victims with cardiac arrest, these effective interventions may be included in the guidelines for bystander CPR.

]]>
<![CDATA[Minimal force transmission between human thumb and index finger muscles under passive conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706784d5eed0c4847c7163

It has been hypothesized that force can be transmitted between adjacent muscles. Intermuscle force transmission violates the assumption that muscles act in mechanical isolation, and implies that predictions from biomechanical models are in error due to mechanical interactions between muscles, but the functional relevance of intermuscle force transmission is unclear. To investigate intermuscle force transmission between human flexor pollicis longus and the index finger part of flexor digitorum profundus, we compared finger flexion force produced by passive thumb flexion after one of three conditioning protocols: passive thumb flexion-extension cycling, thumb flexion maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), and thumb extension stretch. Finger flexion force increased after all three conditions. Compared to passive thumb flexion-extension cycling, change in finger flexion force was less after thumb extension stretch (mean difference 0.028 N, 95% CI 0.005 to 0.051 N), but not after thumb flexion MVC (0.007 N, 95% CI -0.020 to 0.033 N). As muscle conditioning changed finger flexion force produced by passive thumb flexion, the change in force is likely due to intermuscle force transmission. Thus, intermuscle force transmission resulting from passive stretch of an adjacent muscle is probably small enough to be ignored.

]]>
<![CDATA[Very severe tungiasis in Amerindians in the Amazon lowland of Colombia: A case series]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dce5d5eed0c484dec4b0

Background

Tungiasis is a parasitic skin disease caused by penetrating female sand fleas. By nature, tungiasis is a self-limiting infection. However, in endemic settings re-infection is the rule and parasite load gradually accumulates over time. Intensity of infection and degree of morbidity are closely related.

Methodology/principal findings

This case series describes the medical history, the clinical pathology, the socio-economic and the environmental characteristics of very severe tungiasis in five patients living in traditional Amerindian communities in the Amazon lowland of Colombia. Patients had between 400 and 1,300 penetrated sand fleas. The feet were predominantly affected, but clusters of embedded sand fleas also occurred at the ankles, the knees, the elbows, the hands, the fingers and around the anus. The patients were partially or totally immobile. Patients 1 and 3 were cachectic, patient 2 presented severe malnutrition. Patient 3 needed a blood transfusion due to severe anemia. All patients showed a characteristic pattern of pre-existing medical conditions and culture-dependent behavior facilitating continuous re-infection. In all cases intradomiciliary transmission was very likely.

Conclusion/significance

Although completely ignored in the literature, very severe tungiasis occurs in settings where patients do not have access to health care and are stricken in a web of pre-existing illness, poverty and neglect. If not treated, very severe tungiasis may end in a fatal disease course.

]]>
<![CDATA[The benefits of sensation on the experience of a hand: A qualitative case series]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2abd5eed0c48441e844

Background

The experience of upper limb loss involves loss of both functional capabilities and the sensory connection of a hand. Research studies to restore sensation to persons with upper limb loss with neural interfaces typically measure outcomes through standardized functional tests or quantitative surveys. However, these types of metrics cannot fully capture the personal experience of living with limb loss or the impact of sensory restoration on this experience. Qualitative studies can demonstrate the viewpoints and priorities of specific persons or groups and reveal the underlying conceptual structure of various aspects of their experiences.

Methods and findings

Following a home use trial of a neural-connected, sensory-enabled prosthesis, two persons with upper limb loss were interviewed about their experiences using the sensory restoration system in unsupervised, unconstrained settings. We used grounded theory methodology to examine their experiences, perspectives, and opinions about the sensory restoration system. We then developed a model to describe the impact of sensation on the experience of a hand for persons with upper limb loss.

Conclusions

The experience of sensation was complex and included concepts such as the naturalness of the experience, sensation modality, and the usefulness of the sensory information. Sensation was critical for outcome acceptance, and contributed to prosthesis embodiment, confidence, reduced focus and attention for using the prosthesis, and social interactions. Embodiment, confidence, and social interactions were also key determinants of outcome acceptance. This model provides a unified framework to study and understand the impact of sensation on the experience of limb loss and to understand outcome acceptance following upper limb loss more broadly.

]]>
<![CDATA[Hand grip strength: Reference values for adults and elderly people of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2b2d5eed0c48441e8f3

Hand grip strength (HGS) is recognized as an important health indicator, but validated reference values that can be applied to the evaluation of individuals in different populations are still lacking. This work aimed to identify correlations between HGS and anthropometric variables and to establish HGS reference values for adult and elderly populations. This is a population-based cross-sectional study considering the subsets of individuals with healthy right or left upper limbs from a sample of 1,609 adults and elderly residents in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Descriptive statistics of anthropometric measures and HGS values at maximum performance based on three measurements of the two hands were obtained, and Pearson correlations between these variables were applied. Percentile distributions were estimated for right and left HGS by sex and age group. Men presented, in general, a maximum HGS 57% higher than women (43.4 kg vs. 27.6 kg), and also higher HGS levels in the different age groups. In both sexes, the highest HGS values were observed in the age group of 30 to 39 years (men, 46.9 kg; women, 29.4 kg), with a subsequent decline. HGS presented a negative correlation with age and a weak to moderate positive correlation with anthropometric variables, among men and women. The median HGS of men was reduced by about 46% between the ages of 30 and 39 years and 80 years and over (right hand, 46.4 to 23.7 kg; left hand, 42.2 to 23.5 kg) and by about 44% in women (right hand, 29.0 to 16.4 kg, left hand, 27.3 to 15.2 kg). The values identified are a reference for HGS behavior among healthy adults and seniors, although they do not discriminate individuals with specific health conditions. They can be used in rehabilitation programs and subsidize future studies aimed at exploring their potential application in the evaluation of the health condition of adults and elderly individuals.

]]>
<![CDATA[Robotic hand illusion with tactile feedback: Unravelling the relative contribution of visuotactile and visuomotor input to the representation of body parts in space]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521842d5eed0c484797949

The rubber hand illusion describes a phenomenon in which participants experience a rubber hand as being part of their body by the synchronous application of visuotactile stimulation to the real and the artificial limb. In the recently introduced robotic hand illusion (RobHI), a robotic hand is incorporated into one’s body representation due to the integration of synchronous visuomotor information. However, there are no setups so far that combine visuotactile and visuomotor feedback, which is expected to unravel mechanisms that cannot be detected in experimental designs applying this information in isolation. We developed a robotic hand, controlled by a sensor glove and equipped with pressure sensors, and varied systematically and separately the synchrony for motor feedback (MF) and tactile feedback (TF). In Experiment 1, we implemented a ball-grasping task and assessed the perceived proprioceptive drift of one’s own hand as a behavioral measure of the spatial calibration of body coordinates as well as explicit embodiment experiences by a questionnaire. Results revealed significant main effects of both MF and TF for proprioceptive drift data, but we only observed main effects for MF on perceived embodiment. Furthermore, for the proprioceptive drift we found that synchronous feedback in one factor compensates for asynchronous feedback in the other. In Experiment 2, including a new sample of naïve participants, we further explored this finding by adding unimodal conditions, in which we manipulated the presence or absence of MF and/or TF. These findings replicated the results from Experiment 1 and we further found evidence for a supper-additive multisensory effect on spatial body representation caused by the presence of both factors. Results on conscious body perception were less consistent across both experiments. The findings indicate that sensory and motor input equally contribute to the representation of spatial body coordinates which for their part are subject to multisensory enhancing effects. The results outline the potential of human-in-the-loop approaches and might have important implications for clinical applications such as for the future design of robotic prostheses.

]]>
<![CDATA[Associations between cervical disc degeneration and muscle strength in a cross-sectional population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6dbd5eed0c484ef3f9e

The physical and biochemical factors related to cervical disc degeneration (CDD), which is involved in several spinal disorders, remain uncertain. We investigated associations between CDD and muscle strength in a general Japanese population. We used mid-sagittal-plane MRIs to assess CDD in 344 subjects recruited from participants in our community health-check project, and measured body mass index (BMI), skeletal muscle index (SMI), and muscle strength in the neck, trunk, hands, and legs. CDD was scored based on the prevalence and severity of intravertebral disc degeneration. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to evaluate whether the SMI or muscle-strength values were correlated with the disc degenerative score. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were then conducted with the CDD score as the dependent variable, and age, sex, BMI, and muscle strength as independent variables, for each gender. These analyses used the muscle-strength parameters that were found to be correlated with the CDD scores in the single correlation analyses. The CDD scores were similar in men and women. Men had significantly more muscle strength in the neck, trunk, hands, and legs. There was a significant negative corelation between the CDD score and the trunk strength in both sexes, handgrip in men, and leg strength in women in the single-variable correlation analysis. Including age and the limb- or trunk-muscle strength comprehensively, multiple linear regression analyses showed that age was the strongest factor that was independently associated with CDD in both sexes, and that the effects were attenuated by limb and trunk muscle strength.

]]>
<![CDATA[The influence of prosocial priming on visual perspective taking and automatic imitation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521859d5eed0c484797d2c

Imitation and perspective taking are core features of non-verbal social interactions. We imitate one another to signal a desire to affiliate and consider others’ points of view to better understand their perspective. Prior research suggests that a relationship exists between prosocial behaviour and imitation. For example, priming prosocial behaviours has been shown to increase imitative tendencies in automatic imitation tasks. Despite its importance during social interactions, far less is known about how perspective taking might relate to either prosociality or imitation. The current study investigates the relationship between automatic imitation and perspective taking by testing the extent to which these skills are similarly modulated by prosocial priming. Across all experimental groups, a surprising ceiling effect emerged in the perspective taking task (the Director’s Task), which prevented the investigation of prosocial priming on perspective taking. A comparison of other studies using the Director’s Task shows wide variability in accuracy scores across studies and is suggestive of low task reliability. In addition, despite using a high-power design, and contrary to three previous studies, no effect of prosocial prime on imitation was observed. Meta-analysing all studies to date suggests that the effects of prosocial primes on imitation are variable and could be small. The current study, therefore, offers caution when using the computerised Director’s Task as a measure of perspective taking with adult populations, as it shows high variability across studies and may suffer from a ceiling effect. In addition, the results question the size and robustness of prosocial priming effects on automatic imitation. More generally, by reporting null results we hope to minimise publication bias and by meta-analysing results as studies emerge and making data freely available, we hope to move towards a more cumulative science of social cognition.

]]>
<![CDATA[Proprioceptive measurements of perceived hand position using pointing and verbal localisation tasks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a69d5eed0c4847ccf8a

Previous studies revealed that healthy individuals consistently misjudge the size and shape of their hidden hand during a localisation task. Specifically, they overestimate the width of their hand and underestimate the length of their fingers. This would also imply that the same individuals misjudge the actual location of at least some parts of their hand during the task. Therefore, the primary aim of the current study was to determine whether healthy individuals could accurately locate the actual position of their hand when hidden from view, and whether accuracy depends on the type of localisation task used, the orientation of the hidden hand, and whether the left or right hand is tested. Sixteen healthy right-handed participants performed a hand localisation task that involved both pointing to and verbally indicating the perceived position of landmarks on their hidden hand. Hand position was consistently misjudged as closer to the wrist (proximal bias) and, to a lesser extent, away from the thumb (ulnar bias). The magnitude of these biases depended on the localisation task (pointing vs. verbal), the orientation of the hand (straight vs. rotated), and the hand tested (left vs. right). Furthermore, the proximal location bias increased in size as the duration of the experiment increased, while the magnitude of ulnar bias remained stable through the experiment. Finally, the resultant maps of perceived hand location appear to replicate the previously reported overestimation of hand width and underestimation of finger length. Once again, the magnitude of these distortions is dependent on the task, orientation, and hand tested. These findings underscore the need to control and standardise each component of the hand localisation task in future studies.

]]>
<![CDATA[Defining displacement thresholds for surgical intervention for distal radius fractures – A Delphi study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f09d5eed0c484d70d2b

Distal radius fractures are very common yet controversy exists regarding which require treatment and is reflected by significant variation in surgical intervention rate. Evidence regarding which fractures would benefit from intervention is varied and largely poor quality. This study had three aims; identify which radiographic parameters are clinically important; quantify the threshold of displacement at which intervention should occur and investigate which patient factors influence the decision to intervene. A modified three round Delphi study was carried out and responses were qualitatively analysed. The Delphi panel was composed of three groups of national and international expert surgeons: hand and wrist surgeons, trauma surgeons, and international researchers. 46 participants initially agreed to take part. 43 completed the first round and all then completed three rounds. Participants were asked questions based around case vignettes in patients of three ages (38, 58, 75 years). For all age groups ulnar variance was ranked as the most important extra-articular parameter, step was ranked as the most important intra-articular parameter. Agreed thresholds were the same for all parameters for patients aged 38 and 58. Surgeons would intervene with +2 mm ulnar variance, 10 degrees dorsal tilt, 2mm step and 3mm gap. In patients aged 75 the agreed thresholds were 20 degrees dorsal tilt, 3mm step and 4mm gap, consensus was not achieved for ulnar variance.

Mental capacity, pre-injury functional level and medical co-morbidities were ranked as the most important factors influencing the decision to intervene. Qualitative analysis suggested that pre-injury function was the main theme within these factors. Our findings provide useful advice about which parameters should be measured and radiographic thresholds for intervention. These thresholds may then be modified depending on important patient factors. This information can help guide clinicians with management decisions and reduce variation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Body ownership increases the interference between observed and executed movements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b79bd5eed0c48449062f

When we successfully achieve willed actions, the feeling that our moving body parts belong to the self (i.e., body ownership) is barely required. However, how and to what extent the awareness of our own body contributes to the neurocognitive processes subserving actions is still debated. Here we capitalized on immersive virtual reality in order to examine whether and how body ownership influences motor performance (and, secondly, if it modulates the feeling of voluntariness). Healthy participants saw a virtual body either from a first or a third person perspective. In both conditions, they had to draw continuously straight vertical lines while seeing the virtual arm doing the same action (i.e., drawing lines) or deviating from them (i.e., drawing ellipses). Results showed that when there was a mismatch between the intended and the seen movements (i.e., participants had to draw lines but the avatar drew ellipses), motor performance was strongly “attracted” towards the seen (rather than the performed) movement when the avatar’s body part was perceived as own (i.e., first person perspective). In support of previous studies, here we provide direct behavioral evidence that the feeling of body ownership modulates the interference of seen movements to the performed movements.

]]>
<![CDATA[Exploration of a simplified clinical examination for scabies to support public health decision-making]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7fd7d5eed0c48451ba74

Introduction

In most settings, the diagnosis of scabies is reliant on time-consuming and potentially intrusive clinical examination of all accesible regions of skin. With the recent recognition of scabies as a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization there is a need for standardised approaches to disease mapping to define populations likely to benefit from intervention, and to measure the impact of interventions. Development and validation of simplified approaches to diagnose scabies would facilitate these efforts.

Methods

We utilised data from three population-based surveys of scabies. We classified each individual as having scabies absent or present overall, based on whole body assessment, and in each of 9 regions of the body. We calculated the sensitivity of diagnosing the presence of scabies based on each individual body region compared to the reference standard based on whole body examination and identified combinations of regions which provided greater than 90% sensitivity. We assessed the sensitivity according to gender, age group, severity of scabies and the presence or absence of impetigo.

Results

We included 1,373 individuals with scabies. The body regions with highest yield were the hands (sensitivity compared to whole body examination 51.2%), feet (49.7%), and lower legs (48.3%). Examination of the exposed components of both limbs provided a sensitivity of 93.2% (95% CI 91.2–94.4%). The sensitivity of this more limited examination was greater than 90% regardless of scabies severity or the presence or absence of secondary impetigo.

Discussion

We found that examination limited to hands, feet and lower legs was close to 90% for detecting scabies compared to a full body examination. A simplified and less intrusive diagnostic process for scabies will allow expansion of mapping and improved decision-making about public health interventions. Further studies in other settings are needed to prospectively validate this simplified approach.

]]>
<![CDATA[Asymptomatic carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae detected by qPCR on the palm of hands of populations in rural Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813a3d5eed0c4847756bf

Aside from malaria, infectious diseases are an important cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and continue to pose major public health problems in African countries, notably pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae remains the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia in all age groups. The skin is one of the main infection sites followed by the oropharynx. The skin carriage of certain pathogenic bacteria such as S. pneumoniae is often ignored or under-diagnosed. Finally, the mode of transmission of these infections remains uncertain. Here, we hypothesized that skin could play a role in the transmission of these infections. We collected 649 cotton swabs from a healthy population in Dielmo and Ndiop, rural Senegal. The sampling was carried out on the palm of the hands. After DNA extraction and actin control, qPCR targeting eight different bacteria was performed on 614 skin samples. We detected Streptococcus pneumoniae in 33.06% (203/614), Staphylococcus aureus in 18.08% (111/614) and Streptococcus pyogenes in 1.95% (12/614) of samples. A skin S. pneumoniae carriage was detected in more than a third of a rural population in rural Africa, highlighting the need to develop hand disinfection programs in order to reduce the burden of infections.

]]>
<![CDATA[The relationship between behavioral language laterality, face laterality and language performance in left-handers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c26976bd5eed0c48470f7a6

Left-handers provide unique information about the relationship between cognitive functions because of their larger variability in hemispheric dominance. This study presents the laterality distribution of, correlations between and test-retest reliability of behavioral lateralized language tasks (speech production, reading and speech perception), face recognition tasks, handedness measures and language performance tests based on data from 98 left-handers. The results show that a behavioral test battery leads to percentages of (a)typical dominance that are similar to those found in neuropsychological studies even though the incidence of clear atypical lateralization (about 20%) may be overestimated at the group level. Significant correlations were found between the language tasks for both reaction time and accuracy lateralization indices. The degree of language laterality could however not be linked to face laterality, handedness or language performance. Finally, individuals were classified less consistently than expected as being typical, bilateral or atypical across all tasks. This may be due to the often good (speech production and perception tasks) but sometimes weak (reading and face tasks) test-retest reliabilities. The lack of highly reliable and valid test protocols for functions unrelated to speech remains one of the largest impediments for individual analysis and cross-task investigations in laterality research.

]]>