Inflammatory Markers in the Blood and Chronic Periodontitis

Background: Plasma levels of inflammatory markers are the expression of the infectious wastes of existing periodontitis, as well as of existing inflammation everywhere in the body. Materials and Methods: The study consists of the clinical part of the measurement of inflammatory markers of 23 patients diagnosed with chronic periodontitis and the recording of parental periodontal parameters of patient periodontal status: hemorrhage index and probe values, before and 7-10 days after non-surgical periodontal treatment. Results: The level of fibrinogen drops according to the categorization of disease progression, active and passive, with the biggest % (18%-30%) at the fluctuation 10-20 mg/d. Fluctuations in fibrinogen level according to the age of patients in the range 0-10 mg/dL under 40 years and over 40 years was 13%-26%, in the range 10-20 mg/dL was 26%-22%, in the 20-40 mg/dL was 9%-4%. Conclusions: Non-surgical periodontal treatment significantly reduces the level of non-inflammatory markers in the blood. Oral health significantly reduces the potential source for periodontal bacteria, with the potential of promoting thromboembolism, through interaction between thrombocytes.

Design of Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Fractured Distal Femur

In the present study, a methodology has been proposed to treat fracture in the distal part of the femur bone. Initially, bone model has been developed using the computed tomography scan data of the fractured bone. This information has been further used to create polyether ether ketone (PEEK) implant for this fractured bone. Damaged bone and implant models have been assembled. This assembled model has been further analyzed for stress distribution. Moreover, deformation developed was also measured. It has been observed that the stress and deformation developed was not so appreciable. Thus, it proves that the aforementioned procedure can be suitably adopted for the treatment of fractured distal femur bone.

Corrosion Study of Magnetically Driven Components in Spinal Implants by Immersion Testing in Simulated Body Fluids

Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) have been used to stabilise and correct spinal curvature in children to support non-invasive scoliosis adjustment. Although the encapsulated driving components are intended to be isolated from body fluid contact, in vivo corrosion was observed on these components due to sealing mechanism damage. Consequently, a corrosion circuit is created with the body fluids, resulting in malfunction of the lengthening mechanism. Particularly, the chloride ions in blood plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may corrode the MCGR alloys, possibly resulting in metal ion release in long-term use. However, there is no data available on the corrosion resistance of spinal implant alloys in CSF. In this study, an in vitro immersion configuration was designed to simulate in vivo corrosion of 440C SS-Ti6Al4V couples. The 440C stainless steel (SS) was heat-treated to investigate the effect of tempering temperature on intergranular corrosion (IGC), while crevice and galvanic corrosion were studied by limiting the clearance of dissimilar couples. Tests were carried out in a neutral artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) under aeration and deaeration for 2 months. The composition of the passive films and metal ion release were analysed. The effect of galvanic coupling, pH, dissolved oxygen and anion species on corrosion rates and corrosion mechanisms are discussed based on quantitative and qualitative measurements. The results suggest that ACSF is more aggressive than PBS due to the combination of aggressive chlorides and sulphate anions, while phosphate in PBS acts as an inhibitor to delay corrosion. The presence of Vivianite on the SS surface in PBS lowered the corrosion rate (CR) more than 5 times for aeration and nearly 2 times for deaeration, compared with ACSF. The CR of 440C is dependent on passive film properties varied by tempering temperature and anion species. Although the CR of Ti6Al4V is insignificant, it tends to release more Ti ions in deaerated ACSF than under aeration, about 6 µg/L. It seems the crevice-like design has more effect on macroscopic corrosion than combining the dissimilar couple, whereas IGC is dominantly observed on sensitized microstructure.

Robotic Assistance in Nursing Care: Survey on Challenges and Scenarios

Robotic assistance in nursing care is an increasingly important area of research and development. Facing a shortage of labor and an increasing number of people in need of care, the German Nursing Care Innovation Center (Pflegeinnovationszentrum, PIZ) aims to address these challenges from the side of technology. Little is known about nurses experiences with existing robotic assistance systems. Especially nurses perspectives on starting points for the development of robotic solutions, that target recurring burdensome tasks in everyday nursing care, are of interest. This paper presents findings focusing on robotics resulting from an explanatory mixed-methods study on nurses experiences with and their expectations for innovative technologies in nursing care in stationary and ambulant care facilities and hospitals in Germany. Based on the findings, eight scenarios for robotic assistance are identified based on the real needs of practitioners. An initial system addressing a single use-case is described to show perspectives for the use of robots in nursing care.

Physiological Effects during Aerobatic Flights on Science Astronaut Candidates

Spaceflight is considered the last frontier in terms of science, technology, and engineering. But it is also the next frontier in terms of human physiology and performance. After more than 200,000 years humans have evolved under earth’s gravity and atmospheric conditions, spaceflight poses environmental stresses for which human physiology is not adapted. Hypoxia, accelerations, and radiation are among such stressors, our research involves suborbital flights aiming to develop effective countermeasures in order to assure sustainable human space presence. The physiologic baseline of spaceflight participants is subject to great variability driven by age, gender, fitness, and metabolic reserve. The objective of the present study is to characterize different physiologic variables in a population of STEM practitioners during an aerobatic flight. Cardiovascular and pulmonary responses were determined in Science Astronaut Candidates (SACs) during unusual attitude aerobatic flight indoctrination. Physiologic data recordings from 20 subjects participating in high-G flight training were analyzed. These recordings were registered by wearable sensor-vest that monitored electrocardiographic tracings (ECGs), signs of dysrhythmias or other electric disturbances during all the flight. The same cardiovascular parameters were also collected approximately 10 min pre-flight, during each high-G/unusual attitude maneuver and 10 min after the flights. The ratio (pre-flight/in-flight/post-flight) of the cardiovascular responses was calculated for comparison of inter-individual differences. The resulting tracings depicting the cardiovascular responses of the subjects were compared against the G-loads (Gs) during the aerobatic flights to analyze cardiovascular variability aspects and fluid/pressure shifts due to the high Gs. In-flight ECG revealed cardiac variability patterns associated with rapid Gs onset in terms of reduced heart rate (HR) and some scattered dysrhythmic patterns (15% premature ventricular contractions-type) that were considered as triggered physiological responses to high-G/unusual attitude training and some were considered as instrument artifact. Variation events were observed in subjects during the +Gz and –Gz maneuvers and these may be due to preload and afterload, sudden shift. Our data reveal that aerobatic flight influenced the breathing rate of the subject, due in part by the various levels of energy expenditure due to the increased use of muscle work during these aerobatic maneuvers. Noteworthy was the high heterogeneity in the different physiological responses among a relatively small group of SACs exposed to similar aerobatic flights with similar Gs exposures. The cardiovascular responses clearly demonstrated that SACs were subjected to significant flight stress. Routine ECG monitoring during high-G/unusual attitude flight training is recommended to capture pathology underlying dangerous dysrhythmias in suborbital flight safety. More research is currently being conducted to further facilitate the development of robust medical screening, medical risk assessment approaches, and suborbital flight training in the context of the evolving commercial human suborbital spaceflight industry. A more mature and integrative medical assessment method is required to understand the physiology state and response variability among highly diverse populations of prospective suborbital flight participants.

Exoskeleton for Hemiplegic Patients: Mechatronic Approach to Move One Disabled Lower Limb

The number of people suffering from hemiplegia is growing each year. This lower limb disability affects all the aspects of their lives by taking away their autonomy. This implicates their close relatives, as well as the health system to provide the necessary care they need. The integration of exoskeletons in the medical field became a promising solution to resolve this issue. This paper presents an exoskeleton designed to help hemiplegic people get back the sensation and ability of normal walking. For this purpose, three step models have been created. The first step allows a simple forward movement of the leg. The second method is designed to overcome some obstacles in the patient path, and finally the third step model gives the patient total control over the device. Each of the control methods was designed to offer a solution to the challenges that the patients may face during the walking process.

Body Mass Index, Components of Metabolic Syndrome and Hyperuricemia among Women in Postmenopausal Period

In recent years, the problem of hyperuricemia is getting a particular importance due to its increased incidence in the world population. The aim of this study was to determine uriс acid level in blood serum, incidence of hyperuricemia among women in postmenopausal period and their association with body mass index and some components of metabolic syndrome (triglyceride, cholesterol, systolic and diastolic pressure). We examined 412 women in postmenopausal period. They were divided in to the following groups: I group (BMI = 18,5-24,9), II group (BMI = 25,0-29,9), III group (BMI = 30,0-34,9), IV group (BMI > 35). We determined uric acid level among women during postmenopausal period depending on their body mass index. The higher level of uric acid was found in patients with the maximal body mass index (BMI > 35). In the I group it was 277,52 ± 8,40; in the II group – 286,81 ± 7,79; in the III group – 291,81 ± 7,56; in the IV group – 327,17 ± 12,17. Incidence of hyperuricemia among women in the I group was 10,2%, in the II group – 15,9%; in the III group – 21,2%, in the IV group – 34,2%. We found an interdependence between an uric acid level and BMI in the examined women (r = 0,21, p < 0,05). We determined that the highest level of triglyceride (F = 18,62, p < 0,05), cholesterol (F = 3,64, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (F = 22,64, p < 0,05), systolic (F = 10,5, p < 0,05) and diastolic pressure (F = 4,30, p < 0,05) was among women with hyperuricemia. It was an interdependence between an uric acid level and triglyceride (r = 0,26, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (r = 0,24, p < 0,05) among women in postmenopausal period.

A Taxonomy of Behavior for a Medical Coordinator by Utlizing Leadership Styles

This paper presents a taxonomy of non-technical skills, communicative intentions, and behavior for an individual acting as a medical coordinator. In medical emergency situations, a leader among the group is imperative to both patient health and team emotional and mental health. Situational Leadership is used to make clear and easy-to-follow guidelines for behavior depending on circumstantial factors. Low-level leadership behaviors belonging to two different styles, directive and supporting, are identified from literature and are included in the proposed taxonomy. The high-level information in the taxonomy consists of the necessary non-technical skills belonging to a medical coordinator: situation awareness, decision making, task management, and teamwork. Finally, communicative intentions, dimensions, and functions are included. Thus this work brings high-level and low-level information - medical non-technical skills, communication capabilities, and leadership behavior - into a single versatile taxonomy of behavior.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis of Primary Progressive Aphasia in a Younger Middle Aged Patient

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative disease similar to frontotemporal and semantic dementia, while having a different clinical image and anatomic pathology topography. Nonetheless, they are often included under an umbrella term: frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). In the study, examples of diagnosing PPA are presented through the multidisciplinary lens of specialists from different fields (neurologists, psychiatrists, clinical speech therapists, clinical neuropsychologists and others) using a variety of diagnostic tools such as MR, PET/CT, genetic screening and neuropsychological and logopedic methods. Thanks to that, specialists can get a better and clearer understanding of PPA diagnosis. The study summarizes the concrete procedures and results of different specialists while diagnosing PPA in a patient of younger middle age and illustrates the importance of multidisciplinary approach to differential diagnosis of PPA.

Information System for Early Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnostics Based on Multiscale Texture Gradient Method

Structures of eye bottom were extracted using multiscale texture gradient method and color characteristics of macular zone and vessels were verified in CIELAB scale. The difference of average values of L*, a* and b* coordinates of CIE (International Commision of Illumination) scale in patients with diabetes and healthy volunteers was compared. The average value of L* in diabetic patients exceeded such one in the group of practically healthy persons by 2.71 times (P 

Obesity and Bone Mineral Density in Patients with Large Joint Osteoarthritis

Along with the global aging of population, the number of people with somatic diseases is increasing, including such interrelated pathologies as obesity, osteoarthritis (OA) and osteoporosis (OP). The objective of the study is to examine the connection between body mass index (BMI), OA and bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, femoral neck and trabecular bone score (TBS) in postmenopausal women with OA. We have observed 359 postmenopausal women (50-89 years old) and divided them into four groups by age: 50-59 yrs, 60-69 yrs, 70-79 yrs and over 80 years old. In addition, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Clinical classification criteria for knee and hip OA, we divided them into 2 groups: group I – 117 females with symptomatic OA (including 89 patients with knee OA, 28 patients with hip OA) and group II –242 women with a normal functional activity of large joints. Analysis of data was performed taking into account their BMI, classified by World Health Organization (WHO). Diagnosis of obesity was established when BMI was above 30 kg/m2. In woman with obesity, a symptomatic OA was detected in 44 postmenopausal women (41.1%), a normal functional activity of large joints - in 63 women (58.9%). However, in women with normal BMI – 73 women, who account for 29.0% of cases, a symptomatic OA was detected. According to a chi-squared (χ2) test, a significantly higher level of BMI was detected in postmenopausal women with OA (χ2 = 5.05, p = 0.02). Women with a symptomatic OA had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine compared with women who had a normal functional activity of large joints. No significant differences of BMD of femoral necks or TBS were detected in either the group with OA or with a normal functional activity of large joints.

Survey on Awareness, Knowledge and Practices: Managing Osteoporosis among Practitioners in a Tertiary Hospital, Malaysia

This study evaluates the management of osteoporosis in a tertiary care government hospital in Malaysia. As the number of admitted patients having osteoporotic fractures is on the rise, osteoporotic medications are an increasing financial burden to government hospitals because they account for half of the orthopedic budget and expenditure. Comprehensive knowledge among practitioners is important to detect early and avoid this preventable disease and its serious complications. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the awareness, knowledge, and practices in managing osteoporosis among practitioners in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), Klang. A questionnaire from an overseas study in managing osteoporosis among primary care physicians is adapted to Malaysia’s Clinical Practice Guideline of Osteoporosis 2012 (revised 2015) and international guidelines were distributed to all orthopedic practitioners in HTAR Klang (including surgeons, orthopedic medical officers), endocrinologists, rheumatologists and geriatricians. The participants were evaluated on their expertise in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment decision and medications for osteoporosis. Collected data were analyzed for all descriptive and statistical analyses as appropriate. All 45 participants responded to the questionnaire. Participants scored highest on expertise in prevention, followed by diagnosis, treatment decision and lastly, medication. Most practitioners stated that own-initiated continuing professional education from articles and books was the most effective way to update their knowledge, followed by attendance in conferences on osteoporosis. This study confirms the importance of comprehensive training and education regarding osteoporosis among tertiary care physicians and surgeons, predominantly in pharmacotherapy, to deliver wholesome care for osteoporotic patients.

Attention Based Fully Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Detection and Segmentation of Optic Disc in Retinal Fundus Images

Accurate segmentation of the optic disc is very important for computer-aided diagnosis of several ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy. The paper presents an accurate and fast optic disc detection and segmentation method using an attention based fully convolutional network. The network is trained from scratch using the fundus images of extended MESSIDOR database and the trained model is used for segmentation of optic disc. The false positives are removed based on morphological operation and shape features. The result is evaluated using three-fold cross-validation on six public fundus image databases such as DIARETDB0, DIARETDB1, DRIVE, AV-INSPIRE, CHASE DB1 and MESSIDOR. The attention based fully convolutional network is robust and effective for detection and segmentation of optic disc in the images affected by diabetic retinopathy and it outperforms existing techniques.

Low Cost Microcontroller Based ECG Machine

Electrocardiographic (ECG) machine is an important equipment to diagnose heart problems. Besides, the ECG signals are used to detect many other features of human body and behavior. But it is not so cheap and simple in operation to be used in the countries like Bangladesh, where most of the people are very low income earners. Therefore, in this paper, we have tried to implement a simple and portable ECG machine. Since Arduino Uno microcontroller is very cheap, we have used it in our system to minimize the cost. Our designed system is powered by a 2-voltage level DC power supply. It provides wireless connectivity to have ECG data either in smartphone having android operating system or a PC/laptop having Windows operating system. To get the data, a graphic user interface has been designed. Android application has also been made using IDE for Android 2.3 and API 10. Since it requires no USB host API, almost 98% Android smartphones, available in the country, will be able to use it. We have calculated the heart rate from the measured ECG by our designed machine and by an ECG machine of a reputed diagnostic center in Dhaka city for the same people at the same time on same day. Then we calculated the percentage of errors between the readings of two machines and computed its average. From this computation, we have found out that the average percentage of error is within an acceptable limit.

An Exploratory Survey Questionnaire to Understand What Emotions Are Important and Difficult to Communicate for People with Dysarthria and Their Methodology of Communicating

People with speech disorders may rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies to help them communicate. However, the limitations of the current AAC technologies act as barriers to the optimal use of these technologies in daily communication settings. The ability to communicate effectively relies on a number of factors that are not limited to the intelligibility of the spoken words. In fact, non-verbal cues play a critical role in the correct comprehension of messages and having to rely on verbal communication only, as is the case with current AAC technology, may contribute to problems in communication. This is especially true for people’s ability to express their feelings and emotions, which are communicated to a large part through non-verbal cues. This paper focuses on understanding more about the non-verbal communication ability of people with dysarthria, with the overarching aim of this research being to improve AAC technology by allowing people with dysarthria to better communicate emotions. Preliminary survey results are presented that gives an understanding of how people with dysarthria convey emotions, what emotions that are important for them to get across, what emotions that are difficult for them to convey, and whether there is a difference in communicating emotions when speaking to familiar versus unfamiliar people.

Vision-Based Daily Routine Recognition for Healthcare with Transfer Learning

We propose to record Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people using a vision-based system so as to provide better assistive and personalization technologies. Current ADL-related research is based on data collected with help from non-elderly subjects in laboratory environments and the activities performed are predetermined for the sole purpose of data collection. To obtain more realistic datasets for the application, we recorded ADLs for the elderly with data collected from real-world environment involving real elderly subjects. Motivated by the need to collect data for more effective research related to elderly care, we chose to collect data in the room of an elderly person. Specifically, we installed Kinect, a vision-based sensor on the ceiling, to capture the activities that the elderly subject performs in the morning every day. Based on the data, we identified 12 morning activities that the elderly person performs daily. To recognize these activities, we created a HARELCARE framework to investigate into the effectiveness of existing Human Activity Recognition (HAR) algorithms and propose the use of a transfer learning algorithm for HAR. We compared the performance, in terms of accuracy, and training progress. Although the collected dataset is relatively small, the proposed algorithm has a good potential to be applied to all daily routine activities for healthcare purposes such as evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.

Design of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Diaphysis Femur Fracture

In this study, scanned data of a damaged femur diaphysis are used to generate three dimensional model of the bone. Further, customized implant of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone (HA-PEEK) material for this damaged bone is prepared using CAD modeling. Damaged bone and implant have been assembled to prepare the intact bone. This assembled model has been analyzed to evaluate the stresses and deformation developed during the static loading. It has been observed that these stresses and deformation are very less thus imply that the proposed method of preparing implant is appropriate.

Analysis of Career Support Programs for Olympic Athletes in Japan with Fifteen Conceptual Categories

The Japan Sports Agency has made efforts to unify several career support programs for Olympic athletes prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. One of the programs, the Japan Olympic Committee Career Academy (JCA) was established in 2008 for Olympic athletes at their retirement. Research focusing on the service content of sport career support programs can help athletes experience a more positive transition. This study was designed to investigate the service content of the JCA program in relation to athletes’ career transition needs, including any differences of the reasons for retirement between Summer/Winter and Male/Female Olympic athletes, and to suggest the directions of how to unify the career support programs in Japan after hosting the Olympic Games using sport career transition models. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed the JCA director who started and managed the program since its inception, and a total of 15 conceptual categories were generated by the analysis. Four conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA situation”, 4 conceptual categories were in the result of “Athletes using JCA”, and 7 conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA current difficulties”. Through the analysis it was revealed that: the JCA had occupational supports for both current and retired Olympic athletes; other supports such as psychological support were unclear due to the lack of psychological professionals in JCA and the difficulties collaborating with other sports organizations; and there are differences in tendencies of visiting JCA, financial situations, and career choices depending on Summer/Winter and Male/Female athletes.

Impact of Preksha Meditation on Academic Anxiety of Female Teenagers

The pressure of scoring higher marks to be able to get admission in a higher ranked institution has become a social stigma for school students. It leads to various social and academic pressures on them, causing psychological anxiety. This undue stress on students sometimes may even steer to aggressive behavior or suicidal tendencies. Human mind is always surrounded by the some desires, emotions and passions, which usually disturbs our mental peace. In such a scenario, we look for a solution that helps in removing all the obstacles of mind and make us mentally peaceful and strong enough to be able to deal with all kind of pressure. Preksha meditation is one such technique which aims at bringing the positive changes for overall transformation of personality. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the impact of Preksha Meditation on the academic anxiety on female teenagers. The study was conducted on 120 high school students from the capital city of India. All students were in the age group of 13-15 years. They also belonged to similar social as well as economic status. The sample was equally divided into two groups i.e. experimental group (N = 60) and control group (N = 60). Subjects of the experimental group were given the intervention of Preksha Meditation practice by the trained instructor for one hour per day, six days a week, for three months for the first experimental stage and another three months for the second experimental stage. The subjects of the control group were not assigned any specific type of activity rather they continued doing their normal official activities as usual. The Academic Anxiety Scale was used to collect data during multi-level stages i.e. pre-experimental stage, post-experimental stage phase-I, and post-experimental stage phase-II. The data were statistically analyzed by computing the two-tailed-‘t’ test for inter group comparison and Sandler’s ‘A’ test with alpha = or p < 0.05 for intra-group comparisons. The study concluded that the practice for longer duration of Preksha Meditation practice brings about very significant and beneficial changes in the pattern of academic anxiety.

Electroencephalography Activity during Sensory Organization Balance Test

Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.