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The Effects of EMA Sensors on Speech in Individuals With and Without Dysarthria

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the impact of electromagnetic articulography (EMA) sensor placement on acoustic and perceptual speech outcomes for speakers with and without dysarthria secondary to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Additionally, post-adaptation effects after removing EMA sensors were also examined in both speaker groups.Methods: A total of 34 speakers (21 Controls and 13 PD) completed three readings of the Caterpillar Passage: (1) Before Sensors, (2) With Sensors, and (3) After Sensors. Changes in acoustic (articulation rate, vowel space area, first and second spectral moment coefficients for fricatives) and perceptual (speech intelligibility, naturalness) measures were compared across the three time points (Before Sensors, With Sensors, and After Sensors). Results: Linear mixed-effects models indicated sensor placement effects for the spectral moment coefficients (M1 and M2) and both perceptual measures for both speaker groups. No significant post-adaptation effects were seen across all the acoustic and perceptual measures. Additionally, group differences in spectral and perceptual measures were seen, but the changes in these measures between the three time points were similar for both speaker groups.Conclusion: The results suggest that M1 and M2 and perceptual speech measures are sensitive to sensor placement and that sensor placement impacted these measures similarly for both control and PD speakers. However, limited evidence of post-adaptation effects was seen after the removal of sensors.

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Personality traits and polypharmacy: meta-analysis of five samples

Objective The present study examined the prospective relationship between personality traits and the risk of polypharmacy. Methods and Measures Participants (age range: 16–101 years; N > 15,000) were from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study of Aging (WLS), and the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS). In each sample, personality traits and demographic factors were assessed at baseline. Number of medications was obtained from 2 to 20 years later. Results Random-effect meta-analyses revealed that higher neuroticism was related to a higher risk of polypharmacy (Odd Ratio = 1.30; 95% CI 1.17–1.46) and excessive polypharmacy (Odd Ratio = 1.44; 95% CI 1.18–1.77) whereas higher conscientiousness (Odd Ratio = 0.84; 95% CI 0.74–0.95) and extraversion (Odd Ratio = 0.85; 95% CI 0.73–0.98) were associated with a lower risk of polypharmacy. Openness and agreeableness were unrelated to polypharmacy. Body mass index, number of chronic conditions, and depressive symptoms partially mediated the association between personality and the number of medications. Conclusion The present study provides replicable and robust evidence that neuroticism is a risk factor for simultaneous use of multiple medications, whereas conscientiousness and extraversion may play a protective role.

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Esophageal cancer in Hispanics: a demographic analysis of the National Cancer Database

BackgroundHispanics are the fastest-growing minority and the second largest ethnic group in the United States, accounting for 18% of the national population. The American Cancer Society estimated 18,440 new cases of esophageal cancer (EC) in the United States in 2020. Hispanics are reported to be at high risk of EC. We sought to interrogate the demographic patterns of EC in Hispanics. Secondary objective was to examine evidence of socioeconomic disparities and differential therapy. MethodsWe identified Hispanic vs non-Hispanic patients with EC in the National Cancer Database between 2005 and 2015. Groups were statistically equated through propensity score-matched analysis. ResultsA total of 3205 Hispanics (3.8%) were identified among 85,004 patients with EC. We identified significant disparities between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups. Disparities among Hispanics included higher prevalence of squamous EC, higher likelihood of stage IV cancer diagnosis, younger age, uninsured status, and income< $38,000. Hispanics were less likely to have surgical intervention or any type of treatment when compared to non-Hispanics. Multivariate analysis showed that age, ethnicity, treatment, histology, grade, stage, and Charlson–Deyo scores were independent predictors of survival. Treated Hispanics survived longer than non-Hispanics. ConclusionDespite the lower prevalence of EC, there is a disproportionately higher prevalence of metastatic and untreated cases among Hispanics. This disparity may be explained by Hispanics' limited access to medical care, exacerbated by their socioeconomic and insurance status. Further study is warranted to examine these health disparities among Hispanics.

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LMFE: Learning-Based Multiscale Feature Engineering in Partial Discharge Detection.

The partial discharge (PD) detection is of critical importance in the stability and continuity of power distribution operations. Although several feature engineering methods have been developed to refine and improve PD detection accuracy, they can be suboptimal due to several major issues: 1) failure in identifying fault-related pulses; 2) the lack of inner-phase temporal representation; and 3) multiscale feature integration. The aim of this article is to develop a learning-based multiscale feature engineering (LMFE) framework for PD detection of each signal in a three-phase power system, while addressing the above issues. The three-phase measurements are first preprocessed to identify the pulses together with the surrounded waveforms. Next, our feature engineering is conducted to extract the global-scale features, i.e., phase-level and measurement-level aggregations of the pulse-level information, and the local-scale features focusing on waveforms and their inner-phase temporal information. A recurrent neural network (RNN) model is trained, and intermediate features are extracted from this trained RNN model. Furthermore, these multiscale features are merged and fed into a classifier to distinguish the different patterns between faulty and nonfaulty signals. Finally, our LMFE is evaluated by analyzing the VSB ENET dataset, which shows that LMFE outperforms existing approaches and provides the state-of-the-art solution in PD detection.

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Contributors to post-operative venous thromboembolism risk after breast cancer surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis

IntroductionVenous thromboembolism (VTE) events are a preventable complication for patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer. However, there is a lack of consistency in the existing literature regarding the potential risk factors affecting these individuals. MethodsThis study aimed to investigate the potential risk factors associated with an increased risk of VTE following surgery for breast cancer. Data on patient characteristics such as age, body mass index (BMI), existing comorbidities, smoking history, surgical interventions, duration of hospitalization, and post-operative complications were recorded and analyzed. ResultsThirty-one studies investigating the incidence of VTE following surgical interventions for breast cancer were included. This study included 22,155 female patients with a mean age of 50.8 ± 2.9 years. The weighted mean length of surgery and hospital stay were 382.1 ± 170.0 min and 4.5 ± 2.7 days, respectively. The patients were followed-up for a weighted mean duration of 13.8 ± 21.2 months. The total incidence of VTE events was 2.2% (n = 489). Meta-analysis showed that patients with post-operative VTE had a significantly higher mean age and BMI, as well as longer mean length of surgery (P < 0.05). Comparing the techniques of autologous breast reconstruction showed that the risk of post-operative VTE is significantly higher with deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps, compared with the transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous and latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps (P < 0.05). Compared with delayed reconstruction, immediate reconstruction was associated with a significantly higher incidence of VTE (P < 0.05). Smoking history, length of hospital stay, and Caprini score did not correlate with increased incidence of post-operative VTE. ConclusionThe incidence rate of VTE events in patients receiving surgical treatment for breast cancer is 2.2%. Risk factors for developing post-operative VTE in this patient population were found to be older age, increased BMI, extended length of surgical procedures, and DIEP flap reconstruction.

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