Researchers from the UPF Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) propose a new method to differentiate signals from the epileptic focus from those recorded in other parts of the brain without the presence of an epileptic seizure.
Newswise — Researchers from the UPF Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) propose a new method to differentiate signals from the epileptic focus from those recorded in other parts of the brain without the presence of an epileptic seizure. This technique may help detect epilepsy-induced features from these signals much quicker than conventional analysis techniques. The results have been published in the journal Physical Review E.
Around 1% of the world’s population suffers from epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes epileptic seizures. In these seizures, a group of neurons displays abnormal excessive neuronal activity in the brain.
But 9% of all epileptic patients suffer from what is known as pharmacoresistant focal-onset epilepsy. In these patients, epileptic seizures cannot be controlled by medication. For them, one potential therapy is the neurosurgical resection of the brain area where seizures start.
Nevertheless, various diagnostic techniques must be performed to try to locate this focus. The brain’s electrical activity is measured by means of electroencephalography, a technique that uses electrodes to collect the electroencephalographic signals (EEG signals). In this work, signals were used recorded using intracranial electrodes (see photo), directly connected to the surface of the brain, to record the patient’s electrical activity and thus locate the focus.
But, does this study seek to pinpoint exactly where in the brain the epileptic seizure begins? Anaïs Espinoso, a PhD researcher with the “Nonlinear Time Series Analysis” (NTSA) research group at UPF and first author of the publication, explains that “this is not the goal of the work, the signals of the epileptic focus have a different dynamic from those that do not come directly from the focus. We study these dynamics and we want to achieve the technique that can best accentuate the differences between the two types of signals”.
For this reason, they studied the signals produced by five patients suffering from pharmacoresistant focal-onset epilepsy. They applied EEG signal analysis techniques to see various aspects such as phase synchronization and irregularity, a conceptually simple and effective approach to characterize electroencephalographic recordings of patients with epilepsy. Espinoso explains that “many studies of electroencephalographic signals apply complex techniques that encourage the analysis of a large number of patients. These studies, moreover, analyse the signal directly, but this can be altered by physiological artefacts or during the signal acquisition process”.
“It is a simple and effective method that allows analysing various signals very quickly, and you also don’t have to wait for the person to suffer an epileptic fit to get results. Suffering a fit can lead to a number of problems for the patient, such as seizures, involuntary muscle movements, loss of consciousness, etc. Thus, signals without epileptic fits gain in importance when it comes to supplementing the diagnosis”
For this reason, in this study the authors obtain the instantaneous phase of the signals. “Obtaining the phase is nothing more than considering that the dynamic of the signal oscillates in a circle every certain amount of time and indicating its position in this circle at every point of time”, explains Ralph Gregor Andrzejak, director of the NTSA group and co-author of the publication. “Hence, signal analysis techniques to try to differentiate the signals of the epileptic focus (focal signals) from others recorded in different parts of the brain (non-focal signals) directly analyse this phase”.
The results showed that focal signals are more synchronized than non-focal signals. As for phase irregularity, this technique also enables differentiating both types of signals, “focal signals have fewer irregularities than the non-focal ones, the absence of these irregularities is induced by the epileptic process itself”, Espinoso continues. “In highly simplified terms, the brain signals involved in the seizure tend to synchronize more easily and be more regular”.
The technique in question, the authors point out, is to quantify the irregularity of the phase obtained from the signal. Espinoso explains that “irregularity can be due to several reasons: the noise, non-linearity, stochasticity and non-stationarity of the signal phase”.
Andrzejak comments that they had previously studied these signals with other analysis techniques and had not achieved such a high level of difference as in this article.
This technique has several advantages. “It is a simple and effective method that allows analysing various signals very quickly, and you also don’t have to wait for the person to suffer an epileptic fit to get results. Suffering a fit can lead to a number of problems for the patient, such as seizures, involuntary muscle movements, loss of consciousness, etc. Thus, signals without epileptic seizures gain importance when it comes to supplementing the diagnosis”, they conclude.
The concept of open science is the idea that scientific research should be accessible to everyone, free of charge. For this reason, the authors of this article have published in public repositories the results and codes obtained in the study. Thus, Espinoso clarifies, “it will be possible to advance in the study of epilepsy more quickly with the help of other researchers”. An unformatted version of the article can be found in the UPF e-Repository. This research is part of Espinoso’s doctoral thesis and was carried out with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the State Research Agency.
Salmonella Outbreak: Cantaloupe Recall Investigation
Salmonella outbreak: Cantaloupes recalled. Ongoing investigation. Stay informed for updates on the recall.
In recent weeks, an outbreak of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes has raised concerns across the United States and parts of Canada. The outbreak, which began in early November 2023, has resulted in numerous cases of illness reported from various states. Health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are diligently investigating this outbreak to identify the source of contamination and prevent further illnesses. This blog post aims to provide an overview of the outbreak investigation, affected products and stores, symptoms of Salmonella infection, and recommendations for consumers and businesses.
On November 22, 2023, Crown Jewels Produce, Sofia Produce, and CF Dallas initiated a recall of fresh cantaloupes and related products due to potential Salmonella contamination. As of November 24, CDC reported a total of 99 cases from 32 states, with the latest onset date being November 10, 2023. The investigation is still ongoing, as authorities are working to determine if additional products are linked to the illnesses. The FDA will provide updates on this situation as more information becomes available.
Affected Products and Stores:
The following brands of whole fresh cantaloupes have been recalled:
- Cantaloupes labeled “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the numbers “4050” and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”
- These cantaloupes were sold in retail stores located in Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, and Canada. It is important to note that this list may not include all states, as the cantaloupes could have reached consumers through further retail distribution.
Recalled cut cantaloupe and products made from the recalled whole cantaloupes include:
- ALDI’s cantaloupe, cut cantaloupe, and pineapple spears in clamshell packaging with Best-by dates between October 27 and October 31.
- Vinyard’s cantaloupe chunks and cubes, fruit mixes, melon medleys, and fruit cups containing cantaloupe. Most of these products have a “Vinyard” label, and some have a red label with “Fresh” sold between October 30 and November 10 in Oklahoma stores.
- Freshness Guaranteed seasonal blend, melon trio, melon mix, fruit blend, fruit bowl, seasonal fruit tray, fruit mix, and cantaloupe chunks. RaceTrac fruit medley sold in clear square or round plastic containers at select retail stores in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection:
Salmonella infection typically manifests within 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food and typically lasts for four to seven days. Common symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. It is important to note that severe infections are more likely to occur in children younger than five, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Status and Recommendations:
The investigation into the cantaloupe-related Salmonella outbreak is still ongoing. Authorities will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available. In the meantime, the following recommendations are crucial:
- Consumers, restaurants, retailers, and wholesalers should refrain from consuming, selling, or serving recalled cantaloupes or products containing cantaloupe.
- Those who have frozen cantaloupes for later use should check their freezers and discard any recalled fresh or cut cantaloupes.
- If you are unsure whether your cantaloupe is part of the recall, it is best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it.
- Retailers and wholesalers who received recalled whole melons should identify the boxes labeled “Malachita/Z Farms” or “Malichita” or “Rudy” from Crown Jewels Produce and Sofia Produce (TruFresh) and remove them from their inventory.
- It is crucial to follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice, ensuring that any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the recalled products are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination.
- If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection after consuming recalled cantaloupes, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.
The outbreak investigation of Salmonella linked to cantaloupes is a matter of concern, and authorities are actively working to protect public health. By staying informed, following the recommendations, and taking necessary precautions, we can collectively mitigate the risks associated with this outbreak. Stay tuned for updates and adhere to the guidance provided by health authorities to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones.
Canada’s First Egg Bank Launches, Recruiting Ethnically Diverse Donors for Enhanced Donor Conceived Outcomes
TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Egg Bank Canada (EBC) proudly announces its official launch as Canada’s first egg bank, dedicated to providing immediate access to donor eggs while prioritizing the best outcomes for donor-conceived individuals, their parents, and the donors themselves. With a focus on diversity and a unique known donation option, EBC aims to revolutionize the landscape of assisted reproductive services.
Led by renowned fertility experts Dr. Clifford Librach and Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, EBC has completed numerous donor cycles, solidifying its commitment to exceptional patient care and fulfilling the urgent need for accessible donor eggs in Canada. One of the cornerstones of EBC’s mission is to recruit ethnically diverse donors, recognizing the importance of offering a wide range of options to prospective parents seeking genetic diversity. By actively seeking donors from various ethnic backgrounds, EBC ensures that more individuals and couples can find a suitable match, increasing the chances of successful outcomes and fulfilling their dreams of parenthood.
EBC distinguishes itself through its commitment to empowered decision-making. The egg bank offers multiple options for donor-recipient relationships, including known, semi-known, and open ID arrangements. This enables donors and recipients to choose the level of contact and involvement they are comfortable with, fostering a sense of choice and control throughout the process.
However, what truly sets EBC apart is its additional legal agreement between all parties involved. By ensuring that patients and their donors fully understand their legal rights and obligations, EBC creates a supportive and transparent environment that safeguards the interests of all individuals involved in the donation process.
Dr. Clifford Librach, a pioneer in the field of fertility, expresses his excitement about the launch, stating, “Egg Bank Canada is dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to our patients while prioritizing the well-being of the donor-conceived individuals and their families. We firmly believe that we can help more individuals and couples achieve their dreams of building a family through our innovative approach and commitment to diversity.”
Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, the IVF Scientific Director of EBC, adds, “Our team is thrilled to bring Canada’s first egg bank to life. We are committed to advancing the field of assisted reproductive services and ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care. With our emphasis on diversity and known donation options, we are confident that EBC will make a lasting impact on the lives of many.”
Egg Bank Canada invites individuals and couples seeking donor eggs and those interested in becoming donors to connect with them to learn more about their innovative approach to assisted reproductive services.
416-586-1648 ext. #5
Source: Egg Bank Canada
Wine Stain Off Announces Release of New Red Wine Stain Remover
With this release, Wine Stain Off aims to help wine lovers recover from spills quickly and easily
DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES /EINPresswire.com/ — Wine Stain Off, a new Denver Colorado based company, announced today the full nationwide launch of its Red Wine Stain Remover. Wine Stain Off, www.winestainoff.com, allows customers to quickly and easily remove new and old red wine stains from carpets, upholstery, furniture, fabrics and laundry. Wine Stain Off comes in a 24 oz spray bottle and ships nationwide within the United States.
Wine Stain Off is specially formulated to remove red wine stains without any rubbing, scrubbing or blotting. “There are two things I know about wine lovers, they are passionate about their wine, and they spill,” said the Founder of Wine Stain Off. “Spilling is bad enough, but having to get on your hands and knees to clean and scrub is even worse. After continually spilling red wine on a light colored couch with white pillows, the idea for Wine Stain Off was born.” Wine Stain Off is formulated and designed to be easy to use- identify the stain, saturate it with Wine Stain Off, and the powerful formula does the work in removing the stain. Wine Stain Off can be applied to freshly spilled wine, or on old red wine stains.
Wine Stain Off is available for purchase on their website for $29.99, with free shipping nationwide.
About Wine Stain Off
Wine Stain Off is a direct-to-consumer brand focused on making the removal of red wine stains easy and painless. Based in Denver Colorado, Wine Stain Off ships nationwide and helps customers everywhere remove those unwanted red wine stains, without the hard work.
Source: Wine Stain Off
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