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stroke - Top 30 Publications

Beware of the origin of numbers: Standard scoring of the SF-12 and SF-36 summary measures distorts measurement and score interpretations.

The 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) is a generic health rating scale developed to reproduce the Physical and Mental Component Summary scores (PCS and MCS, respectively) of a longer survey, the SF-36. The standard PCS/MCS scoring algorithm has been criticized because its expected dimensionality often lacks empirical support, scoring is based on the assumption that physical and mental health are uncorrelated, and because scores on physical health items influence MCS scores, and vice versa. In this paper, we review the standard PCS/MCS scoring algorithm for the SF-12 and consider alternative scoring procedures: the RAND-12 Health Status Inventory (HSI) and raw sum scores. We corroborate that the SF-12 reproduces SF-36 scores but also inherits its problems. In simulations, good physical health scores reduce mental health scores, and vice versa. This may explain results of clinical studies in which, for example, poor physical health scores result in good MCS scores despite compromised mental health. When applied to empirical data from people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and stroke, standard SF-12 scores suggest a weak correlation between physical and mental health (rs .16), whereas RAND-12 HSI and raw sum scores show a much stronger correlation (rs .67-.68). Furthermore, standard PCS scores yield a different statistical conclusion regarding the association between physical health and age than do RAND-12 HSI and raw sum scores. We recommend that the standard SF-12 scoring algorithm be abandoned in favor of alternatives that provide more valid representations of physical and mental health, of which raw sum scores appear the simplest.

Early life exposure to Chinese famine modifies the association between hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that famine exposure during early life may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, and diabetes during adulthood. We aimed to assess whether exposure to the Chinese famine (1959-1961) modifies the association between hypertension and CVD.

Quinolinyl nitrone RP19 induces neuroprotection after transient brain ischemia.

There is a need to develop additional effective therapies for ischemic stroke. Nitrones, which were first developed as reactive oxygen species (ROS)-trapping compounds, have been proposed as neuroprotective agents for ischemic stroke, a ROS-related disorder. The previous reported ROS-trapping compound, quinolyl nitrone RP19, is here being assayed to induce neuroprotection to ischemia-reperfusion injury in three experimental ischemia models: (i), oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on primary neuronal cultures; (ii), transient global cerebral ischemia in four-vessel occlusion model; and (iii), transient focal cerebral ischemia in middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) model. RP19 (50 M) induced long term neuroprotection at 5 days of recovery after OGD in primary neuronal cultures, evaluated by cell viability assay, and decreased both ROS formation and lipid peroxidation upon recovery after OGD. Furthermore, treatment of animals with RP19 at the onset of reperfusion after either global or focal ischemia, at the dose range that was demonstrated to be neuroprotective in neuronal cultures, decreased neuronal death and apoptosis induction, reduced the size of infarct, and improved the neurological deficit scores after 48 h or 5 days of reperfusion after ischemia. The molecule proposed, quinolyl nitrone RP19, induced substantial neuroprotection on experimental ischemia in neuronal cells, and against ischemic injury following transient brain ischemia in treated animals. This molecule may have potential therapeutic interest in ischemic stroke and to reduce the reoxygenation-induced injury after induced reperfusion.

Mesoderm lineage 3D tissue constructs are produced at large-scale in a 3D stem cell bioprocess.

Various studies have presented different approaches to direct pluripotent stem cell differentiation such as applying defined sets of exogenous biochemical signals and genetic/epigenetic modifications. Although differentiation to target lineages was successfully regulated, such conventional methods are often complicated, laborious, and not cost-effective to be employed to the large-scale production of 3D stem cell-based tissue constructs. In this study, we developed a 3D-culture platform that could realize the large-scale production of mesoderm lineage tissue constructs from embryonic stem cells (ESCs). ESCs were cultured using our previously established 3D-bioprocess platform which was amenable to mass-production of 3D ESC-based tissue constructs. Hepatocarcinoma cell line conditioned medium was introduced to the large-scale 3D culture to provide a specific biotolecular microenvironment to mimic in vivo mesoderm formation process. After 5 days of spontaneous differentiation period, the resulting 3D tissue constructs were composed of multipotent mesodermal progenitor cells verified by gene and molecular expression profiles. We subsequently found the optimal time points to trigger terminal differentiation towards cardiomyogenesis or osteogenesis from the mesodermal tissue constructs. Our study demonstrated a simple and affordable 3D ESC-bioprocess that could reach the scalable production of mesoderm origin tissues with significantly improved correspondent tissue properties.

Mapping neuronal density in peri-infarct cortex with PET.

Left Frontal Hub Connectivity during Memory Performance Supports Reserve in Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Reserve in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) is defined as maintaining cognition at a relatively high level in the presence of neurodegeneration, an ability often associated with higher education among other life factors. Recent evidence suggests that higher resting-state functional connectivity within the frontoparietal control network, specifically the left frontal cortex (LFC) hub, contributes to higher reserve. Following up these previous resting-state fMRI findings, we probed memory-task related functional connectivity of the LFC hub as a neural substrate of reserve. In elderly controls (CN, n = 37) and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 17), we assessed global connectivity of the LFC hub during successful face-name association learning, using generalized psychophysiological interaction analyses. Reserve was quantified as residualized memory performance, accounted for gender and proxies of neurodegeneration (age, hippocampus atrophy, and APOE genotype). We found that greater education was associated with higher LFC-connectivity in both CN and MCI during successful memory. Furthermore, higher LFC-connectivity predicted higher residualized memory (i.e., reserve). These results suggest that higher LFC-connectivity contributes to reserve in both healthy and pathological aging.

Antihypertensive Treatment is associated with MRI-Derived Markers of Neurodegeneration and Impaired Cognition: A Propensity-Weighted Cohort Study.

Hypertension is an important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebral small vessel disease. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are common anti-hypertensive treatments, but have differential effects on cortical amyloid.

Reperfusion after ischemic stroke is associated with reduced brain edema.

Rapid revascularization is highly effective for acute stroke, but animal studies suggest that reperfusion edema may attenuate its beneficial effects. We investigated the relationship between reperfusion and edema in patients from the Echoplanar Imaging Thrombolysis Evaluation Trial (EPITHET) and Mechanical Retrieval and Recanalization of Stroke Clots Using Embolectomy (MR RESCUE) cohorts. Reperfusion percentage was measured as the difference in perfusion-weighted imaging lesion volume between baseline and follow-up (day 3-5 for EPITHET; day 6-8 for MR RESCUE). Midline shift (MLS) and swelling volume were quantified on follow-up MRI. We found that reperfusion was associated with less MLS (EPITHET: Spearman ρ = -0.46; P < 0.001, and MR RESCUE: Spearman ρ = -0.49; P < 0.001) and lower swelling volume (EPITHET: Spearman ρ = -0.56; P < 0.001, and MR RESCUE: Spearman ρ = -0.27; P = 0.026). Multivariable analyses performed in EPITHET and MR RESCUE demonstrated that reperfusion independently predicted both less MLS (ß coefficient = -0.056; P = 0.025, and ß coefficient = -0.38; P = 0.028, respectively) and lower swelling volumes (ß coefficient = -4.7; P = 0.007, and ß coefficient = -10.7; P = 0.009, respectively), after adjusting for age, sex, NIHSS, admission glucose and follow-up lesion size. Taken together, our data suggest that even modest improvement in perfusion is associated with less brain edema in EPITHET and MR RESCUE.

Glycaemic control and the risk of hospitalisation for infection in patients with type 2 diabetes: Hong Kong Diabetes Registry.

Infection occurs more commonly in diabetic compared to general population and is an under-recognised but important morbidity in patients with diabetes. We examined the impact of glycaemic control on hospitalisation for infection in a large prospective cohort of Chinese adults with type 2 diabetes.

Stroke in women - from evidence to inequalities.

Stroke is the second largest cause of disability-adjusted life-years lost worldwide. The prevalence of stroke in women is predicted to rise rapidly, owing to the increasing average age of the global female population. Vascular risk factors differ between women and men in terms of prevalence, and evidence increasingly supports the clinical importance of sex differences in stroke. The influence of some risk factors for stroke - including diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation - are stronger in women, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy also affect the risk of stroke decades after pregnancy. However, in an era of evidence-based medicine, women are notably under-represented in clinical trials - despite governmental actions highlighting the need to include both men and women in clinical trials - resulting in a reduced generalizability of study results to women. The aim of this Review is to highlight new insights into specificities of stroke in women, to plan future research priorities, and to influence public health policies to decrease the worldwide burden of stroke in women.


Penumbra and re-canalization acute computed tomography in ischemic stroke evaluation: PRACTISE study protocol.

Rationale Multimodal imaging, including computed tomography angiography and computed tomography perfusion imaging, yields additional information on intracranial vessels and brain perfusion and can differentiate between ischemic core and penumbra which may affect patient selection for intravenous thrombolysis. Hypothesis The use of multimodal imaging will increase the number of patients receiving intravenous thrombolysis and lead to better treatment outcomes. Sample size 400 patients. Methods and design PRACTISE is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial in which patients presenting within 4.5 h of symptom onset are randomized to either the current evidence-based imaging (NCCT alone) or additional multimodal computed tomography imaging (NCCT + computed tomography angiography + computed tomography perfusion). Clinical decisions on intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator are documented. Total imaging time in both arms and time to initiation of treatment delivery in those treated with intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, is recorded. Follow-up will include brain imaging at 24 h to document infarct size, the presence of edema and the presence of intra-cerebral hemorrhage. Clinical evaluations include NIHSS score at baseline, 24 h and day 7 ± 2, and mRS at day 90 to define functional outcomes. Study outcomes The primary outcome is the proportion of patients receiving intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. Secondary end-points evaluate times to decision-making, comparison of different image processing software and clinical outcomes at three months. Discussion Multimodal computed tomography is a widely available tool for patient selection for revascularization therapy, but it is currently unknown whether the use of additional imaging in all stroke patients is beneficial. The study opened for recruitment in March 2015 and will provide data on the value of multimodal imaging in treatment decisions for acute stroke.

Statistical analysis plan for the Head Position in Stroke Trial (HeadPoST): An international cluster cross-over randomized trial.

Background There is evidence to indicate that the lying flat head position increases cerebral blood flow and oxygenation in patients with acute ischemic stroke, but how these physiological effects translate into clinical outcomes is uncertain. The Head Position in Stroke Trial aims to determine the comparative effectiveness of lying flat (0°) compared to sitting up (≥30°) head positioning, initiated within 24 h of hospital admission for patients with acute stroke. Design An international, pragmatic, cluster-randomized, crossover, open, blinded outcome assessed clinical trial. Each hospital with an established acute stroke unit (cluster) site was required to recruit up to 140 consecutive cases of acute stroke (one phase of head positioning before immediately crossing over to the other phase of head positioning), including both acute ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage, in each randomized head position as a 'business as usual' policy. Objective To outline in detail the predetermined statistical analysis plan for the study. Methods All accumulated data will be reviewed and formally assessed. Information regarding baseline characteristics of patients, their process of care and management will be outlined, and for each item, statistically relevant descriptive elements will be described. For the trial outcomes, the most appropriate statistical comparisons are described. Results A statistical analysis plan was developed that is transparent, verifiable, and predetermined before completion of data collection. Conclusions We developed a predetermined statistical analysis plan for Head Position in Stroke Trial to avoid analysis bias arising from prior knowledge of the findings, in order to reliably quantify the benefits and harms of lying flat versus sitting up early after the onset of acute stroke. Trial registration identifier NCT02162017; ANZCTR identifier ACTRN12614000483651.

ERic Acute StrokE Recanalization: A study using predictive analytics to assess a new device for mechanical thrombectomy.

Aim and hypothesis Using a new study design, we investigate whether next-generation mechanical thrombectomy devices improve clinical outcomes in ischemic stroke patients. We hypothesize that this new methodology is superior to intravenous tissue plasminogen activator therapy alone. Methods and design ERic Acute StrokE Recanalization is an investigator-initiated prospective single-arm, multicenter, controlled, open label study to compare the safety and effectiveness of a new recanalization device and distal access catheter in acute ischemic stroke patients with symptoms attributable to acute ischemic stroke and vessel occlusion of the internal cerebral artery or middle cerebral artery. Study outcome The primary effectiveness endpoint is the volume of saved tissue. Volume of saved tissue is defined as difference of the actual infarct volume and the brain volume that is predicted to develop infarction by using an optimized high-level machine learning model that is trained on data from a historical cohort treated with IV tissue plasminogen activator. Sample size estimates Based on own preliminary data, 45 patients fulfilling all inclusion criteria need to complete the study to show an efficacy >38% with a power of 80% and a one-sided alpha error risk of 0.05 (based on a one sample t-test). Discussion ERic Acute StrokE Recanalization is the first prospective study in interventional stroke therapy to use predictive analytics as primary and secondary endpoint. Such trial design cannot replace randomized controlled trials with clinical endpoints. However, ERic Acute StrokE Recanalization could serve as an exemplary trial design for evaluating nonpivotal neurovascular interventions.

Nonvitamin-K-antagonist oral anticoagulants versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation and previous stroke or transient ischemic attack: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Background In a previous systematic review and meta-analysis, we assessed the efficacy and safety of nonvitamin-K antagonist oral anticoagulants versus warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation and stroke or transient ischemic attack. Since then, new information became available. Aim The aim of the present work was to update the results of the previous systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods We searched PubMed until 24 August 2016 for randomized controlled trials using the following search items: "atrial fibrillation" and "anticoagulation" and "warfarin" and "previous stroke or transient ischemic attack." Eligible studies had to be phase III trials in patients with atrial fibrillation comparing warfarin with nonvitamin-K antagonist oral anticoagulants currently on the market or with the intention to be brought to the market in North America or Europe. The outcomes assessed in the efficacy analysis included stroke or systemic embolism, stroke, ischemic or unknown stroke, disabling or fatal stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, cardiovascular death, death from any cause, and myocardial infarction. The outcomes assessed in the safety analysis included major bleeding, intracranial bleeding, and major gastrointestinal bleeding. We performed fixed effects analyses on intention-to-treat basis. Results Among 183 potentially eligible articles, four were included in the meta-analysis. In 20,500 patients, compared to warfarin, nonvitamin-K antagonist oral anticoagulants were associated with a significant reduction of stroke/systemic embolism (relative risk reduction: 13.7%, absolute risk reduction: 0.78%, number needed to treat to prevent one event: 127), hemorrhagic stroke (relative risk reduction: 50.0%, absolute risk reduction: 0.63%, number needed to treat: 157), any stroke (relative risk reduction: 13.1%, absolute risk reduction: 0.7%, number needed to treat: 142), and intracranial hemorrhage (relative risk reduction: 46.1%, absolute risk reduction: 0.88%, number needed to treat: 113) over 1.8-2.8 years. Conclusions This updated meta-analysis in 20,500 atrial fibrillation patients with previous stroke or transient ischemic attack shows that compared to warfarin non-vitamin-K antagonist oral anticoagulants are associated with a significant reduction of stroke, stroke or systemic embolism, hemorrhagic stroke, and intracranial bleeding.

Drug delivery to the brain: how can nanoencapsulated statins be used in the clinic?

Statins are used for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Statins have also noncholesterol-related effects, called pleiotropic effects, which arise from statins' anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties. These effects are especially attractive for the treatment of various brain diseases ranging from stroke to neurodegenerative diseases. Still, low brain concentrations after oral drug administration hinder the clinical application of statins in these pathologies. Pharmaceutical nanotechnologies may offer a solution to this problem, as local or targeted delivery of nanoencapsulated statins may increase brain availability. This special report rapidly summarizes the potential of statins in the treatment of brain diseases and the pharmaceutical nanotechnologies that could provide a viable approach to enable these indications.

Incidence, treatment strategies and outcomes of acute coronary syndrome with and without ongoing myocardial ischaemia: results from the CZECH-3 registry.

Patients with acute coronary syndrome with signs of ongoing myocardial ischaemia at first medical contact should be indicated for immediate invasive treatment.

Treadmill training to improve mobility for people with sub-acute stroke: a phase II feasibility randomized controlled trial.

This phase II study investigated the feasibility and potential effectiveness of treadmill training versus normal gait re-education for ambulant and non-ambulant people with sub-acute stroke delivered as part of normal clinical practice.

Men Experience Higher Risk of Pneumonia and Death After Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Infectious complications worsen outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We investigated the impact of sex on post-ICH infections and mortality.

Efficacy, safety, and clinical outcome of modern mechanical thrombectomy in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke.

The average life expectancy is increasing worldwide, surpassing 80 years in some countries. Recently, mechanical thrombectomy (MT) using modern devices and techniques has led to improved clinical outcomes following acute ischemic stroke. However, thus far, it remains uncertain whether MT is effective in elderly patients aged over 80 years.

Transcranial color Doppler in stroke-free adult patients with sickle cell disease.

The threshold velocity ≥200 cm/s at transcranial Doppler (TCD) evaluation is a useful cut-off for preventing the stroke (STOP trial) in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), term including different types of sickle genotypes. Scanty data are available for adult SCD patients. We compared intracranial blood flow velocities between adult SCD patients and controls using transcranial color Doppler (TCCD), measuring the peak of systolic velocity (PSV) with the insonation angle correction and the pulsatility index (PI), an indicator of endothelial elasticity. Fifty-three adult SCD patients (aged >18 years) were enrolled (15 sickle cell anemia, 26 sickle cell thalassemia, and 12 HbS/HbC). None of the patients presented neurological signs. PSVs in middle cerebral artery (MCA) were higher in SCD patients than in controls (p = 0.001). In sickle cell anemia patients, PSVs were higher when compared to HbS/βThal (p < 0.0060) and HbS/HbC patients (p < 0.0139). PI was within the lower range of normality in SCD patients compared to controls. Moreover, MCA-PSV was higher with lower Hb levels and higher HbS%; PI did not change with variation of Hb levels and HbS%.PSV and PI in SCD adult patients could be a relevant index to indicate the abnormal cerebral blood flow and to detect the sickle endothelial damage, in order to prevent cerebrovascular accidents.

Venous thromboembolism: thrombosis, inflammation, and immunothrombosis for clinicians.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a worldwide disease related with mortality, cardiovascular disability, impaired quality of life and, cause major long-term complications. Clinicians related to the acute and long-term patients care must be involved in the molecular mechanisms of thrombosis. The vessel wall and its inner lining of the endothelium are critical to the maintenance of a patent vasculature. After endothelial disruption, collagen (first line of endothelial defense) and intravascular tissue factor (second line of endothelial defense) are exposed to blood flow, starting the formation of a thrombus. Anticoagulant endovascular proteins and endogenous fibrinolysis have an active role in hemostasis. Currently, the process of coagulation is a cell surface-based model that includes three overlapping phases: initiation, amplification, and propagation. From a simple view, inflammation is one of the first responses of the immune system to infection; inflammation is driven by eicosanoids and cytokines, which are released by injured or infected cells. Common cytokines, which regulate inflammatory response, include interleukins (mainly interleukin-6) that are responsible for communication among white blood cells, chemokines that promote chemotaxis, and interferons that have anti-viral effects. Acute infections have been associated with a transient increase in the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and recently with venous thrombosis, supporting the notion that systemic and respiratory infections increase the risk of thromboembolic events. Recently, immunothrombosis, another thrombosis mechanism that includes innate immune mechanisms, the neutrophil extracellular genetic traps, and the immunothrombosis dysregulation, could explain some cases of "unprovoked" VTE especially in elderly, a high-risk population for thrombosis.

Detection of vessel wall calcifications in vertebral arteries using susceptibility weighted imaging.

Calcification of the brain supplying arteries has been linked to an increased risk for cerebrovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to test the potential of susceptibility weighted MR imaging (SWMR) for the detection of vertebral artery calcifications, based on CT as a reference standard.

Phantom-based standardization of CT angiography images for spot sign detection.

The CT angiography (CTA) spot sign is a strong predictor of hematoma expansion in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). However, CTA parameters vary widely across centers and may negatively impact spot sign accuracy in predicting ICH expansion. We developed a CT iodine calibration phantom that was scanned at different institutions in a large multicenter ICH clinical trial to determine the effect of image standardization on spot sign detection and performance.

Clinical manifestations and morphological changes in one case with post-stroke Klüver-Bucy syndrome.

We present the case of a 71-year-old right-handed male, admitted to the Department of Neurology, Emergency County Hospital of Arad, Romania, on November 2015, with a rare case of Klüver-Bucy syndrome (KBS), following an ischemic stroke of the right temporal lobe, which was previously diagnosed in December 2014 and was treated accordingly. At the moment of second hospital admission, the patient was found somnolent and confused at home, with traumatic signs of biting of the tongue and urine emission. A couple days after admission, our patient became alert and presented hypersexuality, hypermetamorphosis, increased oral tendency, behavior changes including apathy with loss of anger and fear, and a very increased appetite, transient visual agnosia and right-left disorientation. In the initial phase, the patient could not recognize any members of his family, but he had a tendency to touch everything within his reach and place it into his mouth. The KBS presented in this case, following an ischemic stroke of the right temporal lobe provides distinct and intriguing insights into the possible pathophysiology of this syndrome. Often disruption of consciousness during recovery period may hide the clinical manifestation of the syndrome.

Brain Strokes Related to Aortic Aneurysma - the Analysis of three Cases.

Brain stroke connected with aortic blood flow disturbances is a rare disease and its incidence is difficult to assume. Nevertheless, 10-50% of patients with aortic dissection may not experience any pain. In case of 18-30% patients with aortic dissection neurological signs are first disease presentation and among them ischemic stroke is the most common. The most popular aortic dissection classification is with use of Stanford system. Type A involves the ascending aorta and type B is occurring distal to the subclavian artery. Aortic dissection risk factors include hypertension, cystic medionecrosis, bicuspid aortic valve and Marfan's or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Stroke survivors' levels of community reintegration, quality of life, satisfaction with the physiotherapy services and the level of caregiver strain at community health centres within the Johannesburg area.

Stroke survivors are discharged home before they are functionally independent and return home with activity limitations that would not be manageable without a caregiver.

Autophagy, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and the Unfolded Protein Response in Intracerebral Hemorrhage.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a subtype of stroke that is followed by primary and secondary brain injury. As a result of the injury, cell metabolism is disrupted and a series of stress responses are activated, such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR), leading to the re-establishment of cell homeostasis or cell death. As an important mechanism of cell homeostasis, autophagy has been widely studied, and the associations between autophagy, ER stress, and the UPR have also been demonstrated. Whether these mechanisms are beneficial or detrimental remains a matter of controversy, but there is no doubt as to their vital functions. An understanding of the mechanisms of injury and recovery after ICH is crucial to develop therapeutic strategies. In this review, we summarize the related studies and highlight the roles of autophagy, ER stress, and the UPR in disease, especially in ICH. We also provide an overview of therapeutic approaches that target autophagy, and we discuss the prospects for modulating autophagy, ER stress, and UPR mechanisms in ICH therapy.

Effects of Intensive Crew Training on Individual and Collective Characteristics of Oar Movement in Rowing as a Coxless Pair.

This case study examined how two rowers adapted their rowing patterns following crew training as a newly formed coxless pair. The two participants were expert (double-oar) single scull-boat rowers. Performing as a crew in the coxless-pair's sweep-boat, where each rower operates a single oar, on-the-water data were collected before and after a 6-week intensive team-training program. Rowing patterns were characterized by the horizontal oar angle, oar angular velocity and linear oar-water velocity profiles during the catch (minimal oar angle) to finish (maximal oar angle) half-cycles of the propulsive water phase. After crew training, rowers demonstrated a tighter synchronization and a closer correspondence in oar angle at the moment of catch, together with a closer matching of the evolution over time of their subsequent oar movements. Most likely due to the inherent asymmetries involved in sweep-boat rowing, the stroke rower also developed a somewhat longer-duration larger-amplitude oar movement than the bow rower. Remarkably, both rowers revealed changes in the inter-cycle variability of their individual patterns of rowing. While the initially more variable stroke rower improved the consistency of his rowing pattern over practice, the initially highly consistent bow rower on the contrary relaxed his tendency to always perform in the same way. We discuss how the crew performance changed over training and to what extent it was associated with changes in individual behaviors. Along the way we demonstrate that the often-used measure of average continuous relative phase does not adequately capture the particularities of the coordination pattern observed. Overall, the results obtained at the individual level of analysis suggest that team benefits were obtained through distinct adaptations of the rowers' individual rowing patterns.

Altered Neuronal Activity Topography Markers in the Elderly with Increased Atherosclerosis.

Background: Previously, we reported on vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) templates, consisting of patients with VCI associated with carotid stenosis (>60%) using a quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG) technique called neuronal activity topography (NAT). Here using the VCI templates, we investigated the hypothesis that internal carotid artery-intima-media thickness (ICA-IMT) is associated with EEG spectrum intensity (sNAT) and spectrum steepness (vNAT). Methods: A total of 221 community-dwelling elderly subjects were recruited. Four groups were classified according to quartiles of ICA-IMT as assessed by ultrasonography: control group A, normal (≤0.9 mm); group B, mild atherosclerosis (1-1.1 mm); group C, moderate atherosclerosis (1.2-1.8 mm); and group D, severe atherosclerosis (≥1.9 mm). EEG markers of power ratio index (PRI), and the binary likelihood of being in the VCI group vs. the that of being in control group A (sL x:VCI-A , vL x:VCI-A ) were assessed, respectively. Differences in mean total scores for PRI, sL x:VCI-A , vL x:VCI-A , between control group A and the other groups were compared using Dunnett's test, respectively. Results: The mean total scores of the PRI were 3.25, 3.00, 2.77, and 2.26 for groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. There was a significant decrease in the PRI in group D compared with group A (P = 0.0066). The mean total scores of the sL x:VCI-A were -0.14, -0.11, -0.1, and -0.03 for groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. The sL x:VCI-A in group D was significantly higher compared to that in group A (P < 0.0001). The mean total scores of the vL x:VCI-A were -0.04,-0.01, 0.01, and 0.06 for group A, B, C, and D, respectively. The vL x:VCI-A in group D and group C was significantly higher compared to that in group A, respectively (P < 0.0001, P = 0.02). Conclusion: Community-dwelling elderly subjects in the increased carotid atherosclerosis of ICA-IMT (≥1.9 mm) were at greatest risk of an EEG change as assessed by NAT.