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1.  Biomechanical risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome: a pooled study of 2474 workers 
Background
Between 2001 and 2010, five research groups conducted coordinated prospective studies of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) incidence among US workers from various industries and collected detailed subject-level exposure information with follow-up of symptoms, electrophysiological measures and job changes.
Objective
This analysis examined the associations between workplace biomechanical factors and incidence of dominant-hand CTS, adjusting for personal risk factors.
Methods
2474 participants, without CTS or possible polyneuropathy at enrolment, were followed up to 6.5 years (5102 person-years). Individual workplace exposure measures of the dominant hand were collected for each task and included force, repetition, duty cycle and posture. Task exposures were combined across the workweek using time-weighted averaging to estimate job-level exposures. CTS case-criteria were based on symptoms and results of electrophysiological testing. HRs were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models.
Results
After adjustment for covariates, analyst (HR=2.17; 95% CI 1.38 to 3.43) and worker (HR=2.08; 95% CI 1.31 to 3.39) estimated peak hand force, forceful repetition rate (HR=1.84; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.86) and per cent time spent (eg, duty cycle) in forceful hand exertions (HR=2.05; 95% CI 1.34 to 3.15) were associated with increased risk of incident CTS. Associations were not observed between total hand repetition rate, per cent duration of all hand exertions, or wrist posture and incident CTS.
Conclusions
In this prospective multicentre study of production and service workers, measures of exposure to forceful hand exertion were associated with incident CTS after controlling for important covariates. These findings may influence the design of workplace safety programmes for preventing work-related CTS.
doi:10.1136/oemed-2014-102378
PMCID: PMC4270859  PMID: 25324489
2.  Exposure–response relationships for the ACGIH threshold limit value for hand-activity level: results from a pooled data study of carpal tunnel syndrome 
Objective
This paper aimed to quantify exposure–response relationships between the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists’ (ACGIH) threshold limit value (TLV) for hand-activity level (HAL) and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
Methods
Manufacturing and service workers previously studied by six research institutions had their data combined and re-analyzed. CTS cases were defined by symptoms and abnormal nerve conduction. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using proportional hazards regression after adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and CTS predisposing conditions.
Results
The longitudinal study comprised 2751 incident-eligible workers, followed prospectively for up to 6.4 years and contributing 6243 person-years of data. Associations were found between CTS and TLV for HAL both as a continuous variable [HR 1.32 per unit, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.11–1.57] and when categorized using the ACGIH action limit (AL) and TLV. Those between the AL and TLV and above the TLV had HR of 1.7 (95% CI 1.2–2.5) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.0–2.1), respectively. As independent variables (in the same adjusted model) the HR for peak force (PF) and HAL were 1.14 per unit (95% CI 1.05–1.25), and 1.04 per unit (95% CI 0.93–1.15), respectively.
Conclusion
Those with exposures above the AL were at increased risk of CTS, but there was no further increase in risk for workers above the TLV. This suggests that the current AL may not be sufficiently protective of workers. Combinations of PF and HAL are useful for predicting risk of CTS.
doi:10.5271/sjweh.3456
PMCID: PMC4251712  PMID: 25266844
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists; biomechanical overload; CTS; epidemiology; HAL; hand force; MSD; musculoskeletal disorder; peak force; physical exposure; repetition; threshold limit value; upper extremity
3.  Prevalence of low back pain by anatomic location and intensity in an occupational population 
Background
Low Back Pain (LBP) is a common and costly problem, with variation in prevalence. Epidemiological reports of rating of pain intensity and location within the low back area are rare. The objective is to describe LBP in a large, multi-center, occupational cohort detailing both point and 1-month period prevalence of LBP by location and intensity measures at baseline.
Methods
In this cross-sectional report from a prospective cohort study, 828 participants were workers enrolled from 30 facilities performing a variety of manual material handling tasks. All participants underwent a structured interview detailing pain rating and location. Symptoms in the lower extremities, demographic and other data were collected. Body mass indices were measured. Outcomes are pain rating (0–10) in five defined lumbar back areas (i) LBP in the past month and (ii) LBP on the day of enrollment. Pain ratings were reported on a 0–10 scale and subsequently collapsed with ratings of 1–3, 4–6 and 7–10 classified as low, medium and high respectively.
Results
172 (20.8%) and 364 (44.0%) of the 828 participants reported pain on the day of enrollment or within the past month, respectively. The most common area of LBP was in the immediate paraspinal area with 130 (75.6%) participants with point prevalence LBP and 278 (77.4%) with 1-month period prevalence reported having LBP in the immediate paraspinal area. Among those 364 reporting 1-month period prevalence pain, ratings varied widely with 116 (31.9%) reporting ratings classified as low, 170 (46.7%) medium and 78 (21.4%) providing high pain ratings in any location. Among the 278 reporting 1-month period prevalence pain in the immediate paraspinal area, 89 (32.0%) reported ratings classified as low, 129 (46.4%), medium and 60 (21.6%) high pain ratings.
Conclusions
Pain ratings varied widely, however less variability was seen in pain location, with immediate paraspinal region being the most common. Variations may suggest different etiological factors related to LBP. Aggregation of different locations of pain or different intensities of pain into one binary classification of LBP may result in loss of information which may potentially be useful in prevention or treatment of LBP.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-283
PMCID: PMC4153910  PMID: 25146722
Low back pain; Point prevalence; 1-month period prevalence; Intensity; Location; Epidemiological; Cross-sectional analysis
4.  Prevalence and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in US working populations: pooled analysis of six prospective studies 
Objectives
Most studies of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) incidence and prevalence among workers have been limited by small sample sizes or restricted to a small subset of jobs. We established a common CTS case definition and then pooled CTS prevalence and incidence data across six prospective studies of musculoskeletal outcomes to measure CTS frequency and allow better studies of etiology.
Methods
Six research groups collected prospective data at >50 workplaces including symptoms characteristic of CTS and electrodiagnostic studies (EDS) of the median and ulnar nerves across the dominant wrist. While study designs and the timing of data collection varied across groups, we were able to create a common CTS case definition incorporating both symptoms and EDS results from data that were collected in all studies.
Results
At the time of enrollment, 7.8% of 4321 subjects met our case definition and were considered prevalent cases of CTS. During 8833 person-years of follow-up, an additional 204 subjects met the CTS case definition for an overall incidence rate of 2.3 CTS cases per 100 person-years.
Conclusions
Both prevalent and incident CTS were common in data pooled across multiple studies and sites. The large number of incident cases in this prospective study provides adequate power for future exposure– response analyses to identify work- and non-work-related risk factors for CTS. The prospective nature allows determination of the temporal relations necessary for causal inference.
doi:10.5271/sjweh.3351
PMCID: PMC4042862  PMID: 23423472
CTS; epidemiology; industry; longitudinal study; median nerve; MSD; musculoskeletal disorder; nerve compression; occupational injury; surveillance; work-related injury
5.  Paraplegia during coronary artery bypass graft surgery caused by bilateral anterior cerebral artery territory infarction 
Paraplegia is a rare complication after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery mostly caused by spinal cord ischemia. Even rarer is the paraplegia following infarction involving both anterior cerebral artery (ACA) territories caused by embolism during coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This case has become even more interesting as cerebral vasculature involving internal carotid and anterior cerebral arteries was absolutely normal.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2014.05.05
PMCID: PMC4200684  PMID: 25333024
Anterior cerebral artery (ACA); coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery; cardio-embolic stroke; paraplegia
6.  Study protocol title: a prospective cohort study of low back pain 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of workplace low back pain (LBP) with quantified job physical exposure have been performed. There are few prospective epidemiological studies for LBP occupational risk factors and reported data generally have few adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study has been incepted to quantify risk factors for LBP and potentially develop improved methods for designing and analyzing jobs. Due to the subjectivity of LBP, six measures of LBP are captured: 1) any LBP, 2) LBP ≥ 5/10 pain rating, 3) LBP with medication use, 4) LBP with healthcare provider visits, 5) LBP necessitating modified work duties and 6) LBP with lost work time. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 30 different employment settings in 4 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop-administered questionnaires, structured interviews, and two standardized physical examinations to ascertain demographics, medical history, psychosocial factors, hobbies and physical activities, and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of low back pain. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. The lifetime cumulative incidence of low back pain will also include those with a past history of low back pain. Incident cases will exclude prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
Data analysis of a prospective cohort study of low back pain is underway and has successfully enrolled over 800 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-84
PMCID: PMC3599364  PMID: 23497211
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Low back pain; NIOSH lifting equation
7.  The WISTAH hand study: A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been performed. Past studies have provided somewhat conflicting evidence for occupational risk factors and have largely reported data without adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study was incepted to quantify risk factors for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and potentially develop improved methods for analyzing jobs. Disorders to analyze included carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylalgia, medial epicondylalgia, trigger digit, deQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis and other tendinoses. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 17 different employment settings in 3 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop administered questionnaires, structured interviews, two standardized physical examinations and nerve conduction studies to ascertain demographic, medical history, psychosocial factors and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Repeat nerve conduction studies are performed for those with symptoms of tingling and numbness in the prior six months. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. Case definitions have been established. Point prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of paraesthesias in at least two median nerve-served digits plus an abnormal nerve conduction study at baseline. The lifetime cumulative incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome will also include those with a past history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Incident cases will exclude those with either a past history or prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders is underway and has successfully enrolled over 1,000 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-90
PMCID: PMC3476983  PMID: 22672216
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Strain index; TLV for HAL
8.  Functional Brain Network Modularity Captures Inter- and Intra-Individual Variation in Working Memory Capacity 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30468.
Background
Cognitive abilities, such as working memory, differ among people; however, individuals also vary in their own day-to-day cognitive performance. One potential source of cognitive variability may be fluctuations in the functional organization of neural systems. The degree to which the organization of these functional networks is optimized may relate to the effective cognitive functioning of the individual. Here we specifically examine how changes in the organization of large-scale networks measured via resting state functional connectivity MRI and graph theory track changes in working memory capacity.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Twenty-two participants performed a test of working memory capacity and then underwent resting-state fMRI. Seventeen subjects repeated the protocol three weeks later. We applied graph theoretic techniques to measure network organization on 34 brain regions of interest (ROI). Network modularity, which measures the level of integration and segregation across sub-networks, and small-worldness, which measures global network connection efficiency, both predicted individual differences in memory capacity; however, only modularity predicted intra-individual variation across the two sessions. Partial correlations controlling for the component of working memory that was stable across sessions revealed that modularity was almost entirely associated with the variability of working memory at each session. Analyses of specific sub-networks and individual circuits were unable to consistently account for working memory capacity variability.
Conclusions/Significance
The results suggest that the intrinsic functional organization of an a priori defined cognitive control network measured at rest provides substantial information about actual cognitive performance. The association of network modularity to the variability in an individual's working memory capacity suggests that the organization of this network into high connectivity within modules and sparse connections between modules may reflect effective signaling across brain regions, perhaps through the modulation of signal or the suppression of the propagation of noise.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030468
PMCID: PMC3262818  PMID: 22276205
9.  Mycosporine and mycosporine-like amino acids: A paramount tool against ultra violet irradiation 
Pharmacognosy Reviews  2011;5(10):138-146.
Various facts demonstrated that UVB is harmful to organisms. Sunscreen compounds are usually used to prevent the excessive damage caused by UVB. However, certain photosynthetic organisms have evolved mechanisms to counteract the toxicity of ultraviolet radiation by synthesizing UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). MAAs provide UV protection to primary and secondary consumers through food chain and to non-biological materials by photostabilizing action. Information related to the ecological consequence of MAAs and their spatial distribution from a wide range of organisms is accumulating. Hence, our studies seek a potent class of natural sun protective compounds to understand their relationship with environment and to develop a protocol for large-scale industrial production of these compounds so that they can find application as UV-protecting cosmetics.
doi:10.4103/0973-7847.91107
PMCID: PMC3263047  PMID: 22279371
Mycosporines; sunprotectants; ultraviolet rays; UV irradiation
10.  Cardiovascular disease among South Asians 
doi:10.1503/cmaj.110-2097
PMCID: PMC2934811  PMID: 20823191
11.  An interim, fixed prosthesis using natural tooth crown as a pontic 
Contemporary Clinical Dentistry  2010;1(2):130-132.
doi:10.4103/0976-237X.68587
PMCID: PMC3220086  PMID: 22114400
12.  Diagnostic dilemma: Altered sensorium while taking hot water bath 
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.48870
PMCID: PMC2811986  PMID: 20151018
13.  Orienting Auditory Spatial Attention Engages Frontal Eye Fields and Medial Occipital Cortex in Congenitally Blind Humans 
Neuropsychologia  2007;45(10):2307-2321.
What happens in vision related cortical areas when congenitally blind (CB) individuals orient attention to spatial locations? Previous neuroimaging of sighted individuals has found overlapping activation in a network of frontoparietal areas including frontal eye-fields (FEF), during both overt (with eye movement) and covert (without eye movement) shifts of spatial attention. Since voluntary eye movement planning seems irrelevant in CB, their FEF neurons should be recruited for alternative functions if their attentional role in sighted individuals is only due to eye movement planning.
Recent neuroimaging of the blind has also reported activation in medial occipital areas, normally associated with visual processing, during a diverse set of non-visual tasks, but their response to attentional shifts remains poorly understood.
Here, we used event-related fMRI to explore FEF and medial occipital areas in CB individuals and sighted controls with eyes closed (SC) performing a covert attention orienting task, using endogenous verbal cues and spatialized auditory targets. We found robust stimulus-locked FEF activation of all CB subjects, similar but stronger than in SC, suggesting that FEF plays a role in endogenous orienting of covert spatial attention even in individuals in whom voluntary eye movements are irrelevant. We also found robust activation in bilateral medial occipital cortex in CB but not in SC subjects. The response decreased below baseline following endogenous verbal cues but increased following auditory targets, suggesting that the medial occipital area in CB does not directly engage during cued orienting of attention but may be recruited for processing of spatialized auditory targets.
doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.02.015
PMCID: PMC1941615  PMID: 17397882
fMRI; endogenous; cue; covert; reorganization; plasticity
14.  Effect of vitamin A supplementation on hematopoiesis in children with anemia 
Fifty children (1–4 years age) presenting with microcytic hypochromic anemia (hemoglobin less than 10g/dl) were studied in two groups of 25 each. Group I was supplemented with iron (ferrous sulphate 6 mg/kg/d) while group II in addition to iron was also supplemented with vitamin A (5000 IU/d). Hemoglobin concentration was found to be significantly increased after 4 weeks of iron supplementation. Rise in hemoglobin was comparatively more in-group II, as compared to group I, after 8 and 12 weeks. Serum iron was significantly higher after 4 weeks in both the groups. Packed cell volume (PCV) and retinol levels increased significantly in-group II only. The data suggests that supplementation of vitamin A improves hematopoiesis.
doi:10.1007/BF02893048
PMCID: PMC3454151  PMID: 23105500
Vitamin A; Hematopoiesis; Anemia
16.  Who Is A Diabetic? 
Canadian Family Physician  1978;24:687-690.
The question ‘who is a diabetic?’ involves those individuals who present with classical symptoms of diabetes mellitus, those who have no symptoms but glucose intolerance with or without fasting hyperglycemia and those who are sought by investigators searching for diabetes associated with other diseases or disease ‘markers’ such as particular HLA antigens. Classical juvenile onset diabetics (JODs) have hyperglycemia and acid-base disturbance to a degree which necessitates insulin therapy. Maturity-onset diabetics (MODs) can often control their hyperglycemia by weight reduction. Oral hyperglycemic agents have only a minor role in their management. Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) can also be treated by dietary manipulation. When the oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose diabetes three zones should be recognized: normal, gray zone, and diabetic. Criteria for each are presented.
PMCID: PMC2379296  PMID: 21301512
17.  Biomechanical risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome: a pooled study of 2474 workers 
Background
Between 2001 and 2010, five research groups conducted coordinated prospective studies of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) incidence among US workers from various industries and collected detailed subject-level exposure information with follow-up of symptoms, electrophysiological measures and job changes.
Objective
This analysis examined the associations between workplace biomechanical factors and incidence of dominant-hand CTS, adjusting for personal risk factors.
Methods
2474 participants, without CTS or possible polyneuropathy at enrolment, were followed up to 6.5 years (5102 person-years). Individual workplace exposure measures of the dominant hand were collected for each task and included force, repetition, duty cycle and posture. Task exposures were combined across the workweek using time-weighted averaging to estimate job-level exposures. CTS case-criteria were based on symptoms and results of electrophysiological testing. HRs were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models.
Results
After adjustment for covariates, analyst (HR=2.17; 95% CI 1.38 to 3.43) and worker (HR=2.08; 95% CI 1.31 to 3.39) estimated peak hand force, forceful repetition rate (HR=1.84; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.86) and per cent time spent (eg, duty cycle) in forceful hand exertions (HR=2.05; 95% CI 1.34 to 3.15) were associated with increased risk of incident CTS. Associations were not observed between total hand repetition rate, per cent duration of all hand exertions, or wrist posture and incident CTS.
Conclusions
In this prospective multicentre study of production and service workers, measures of exposure to forceful hand exertion were associated with incident CTS after controlling for important covariates. These findings may influence the design of workplace safety programmes for preventing work-related CTS.
doi:10.1136/oemed-2014-102378
PMCID: PMC4270859  PMID: 25324489
entrapment neuropathy; prospective; upper extremity; physical exposure

Results 1-17 (17)