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  • Leikos, Susanna; Tokariev, Anton; Koolen, Ninah; Nevalainen, Päivi; Vanhatalo, Sampsa (2020)
    Abstract The conventional assessment of preterm somatosensory functions using averaged cortical responses to electrical stimulation ignores the characteristic components of preterm somatosensory evoked responses (SERs). Our study aimed to systematically evaluate the occurrence and development of SERs after tactile stimulus in preterm infants. We analysed SERs performed during 45 electroencephalograms (EEGs) from 29 infants at the mean post-menstrual age of 30.7 weeks. Altogether 2,087 SERs were identified visually at single trial level from unfiltered signals capturing also their slowest components. We observed salient SERs with a high amplitude slow component at a high success rate after hand (95%) and foot (83%) stimuli. There was a clear developmental change in both the slow wave and the higher frequency components of the SERs. Infants with intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH; eleven infants) had initially normal SERs, but those with bilateral IVH later showed a developmental decrease in the ipsilateral SER occurrence after 30 weeks of post-menstrual age. Our study shows that tactile stimulus applied at bedside elicits salient SERs with a large slow component and an overriding fast oscillation, which are specific to the preterm period. Prior experimental research indicates that such SERs allow studying both subplate and cortical functions. Our present findings further suggest that they might offer a window to the emergence of neurodevelopmental sequalae after major structural brain lesions and, hence, an additional tool for both research and clinical neurophysiological evaluation of infants before term age.
  • Korsun, Olesia; Renvall, Hanna; Nurminen, Jussi; Mäkelä, Jyrki P.; Pekkonen, Eero (2022)
    Despite optimal oral drug treatment, about 90% of patients with Parkinson's disease develop motor fluctuation and dyskinesia within 5-10 years from the diagnosis. Moreover, the patients show non-motor symptoms in different sensory domains. Bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) applied to the subthalamic nucleus is considered the most effective treatment in advanced Parkinson's disease, and it has been suggested to affect sensorimotor modulation and relate to motor improvement in patients. However, observations on the relationship between sensorimotor activity and clinical improvement have remained sparse. Here, we studied the somatosensory evoked magnetic fields in 13 right-handed patients with advanced Parkinson's disease before and 7 months after stimulator implantation. Somatosensory processing was addressed with magnetoencephalography during alternated median nerve stimulation at both wrists. The strengths and the latencies of the similar to 60-ms responses at the contralateral primary somatosensory cortices were highly variable but detectable and reliably localized in all patients. The response strengths did not differ between preoperative and postoperative DBSON measurements. The change in the response strength between preoperative and postoperative condition in the dominant left hemisphere of our right-handed patients correlated with the alleviation of their motor symptoms (p = .04). However, the result did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. Magnetoencephalography appears an effective tool to explore non-motor effects in patients with Parkinson's disease, and it may help in understanding the neurophysiological basis of DBS. However, the high interindividual variability in the somatosensory responses and poor tolerability of DBSOFF condition warrants larger patient groups and measurements also in non-medicated patients.
  • EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW); Nielsen, Søren Saxmose; Alvarez, Julio; Bicout, Dominique Joseph (2019)
    The killing of poultry for human consumption (slaughtering) can take place in a slaughterhouse or during on-farm slaughter. The processes of slaughtering that were assessed, from the arrival of birds in containers until their death, were grouped into three main phases: pre-stunning (including arrival, unloading of containers from the truck, lairage, handling/removing of birds from containers); stunning (including restraint); and bleeding (including bleeding following stunning and bleeding during slaughter without stunning). Stunning methods were grouped into three categories: electrical, controlled modified atmosphere and mechanical. In total, 35 hazards were identified and characterised, most of them related to stunning and bleeding. Staff were identified as the origin of 29 hazards, and 28 hazards were attributed to the lack of appropriate skill sets needed to perform tasks or to fatigue. Corrective and preventive measures were assessed: measures to correct hazards were identified for 11 hazards, with management shown to have a crucial role in prevention. Ten welfare consequences, the birds can be exposed to during slaughter, were identified: consciousness, heat stress, cold stress, prolonged thirst, prolonged hunger, restriction of movements, pain, fear, distress and respiratory distress. Welfare consequences and relevant animal-based measures were described. Outcome tables linking hazards, welfare consequences, animal-based measures, origins, and preventive and corrective measures were developed for each process. Mitigation measures to minimise welfare consequences were also proposed. (C) 2019 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.