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As demonstrated by neuroimaging data, the human brain contains systems that control responses to threat. The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality predicts that individual differences in the reactivity of these brain systems produce anxiety and fear-related personality traits. Here we discuss some of the challenges in testing this theory and, as an example, present a pilot study that aimed to dissociate brain activity during pursuit by threat and goal conflict. We did this by translating the Mouse Defense Test Battery for human fMRI use. In this version, dubbed the Joystick Operated Runway Task (JORT), we repeatedly exposed 24 participants to pursuit and goal conflict, with and without threat of electric shock. The runway design of JORT allowed the effect of threat distance on brain activation to be evaluated independently of context. Goal conflict plus threat of electric shock caused deactivation in a network of brain areas that included the fusiform and middle temporal gyri, as well as the default mode network core, including medial frontal regions, precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus, and laterally the inferior parietal and angular gyri. Consistent with earlier research, we also found that imminent threat activated the midbrain and that this effect was significantly stronger during the simple pursuit condition than during goal conflict. Also consistent with earlier research, we found significantly greater hippocampal activation during goal conflict than pursuit by imminent threat. In conclusion, our results contribute knowledge to theories linking anxiety disorders to altered functioning in defensive brain systems and also highlight challenges in this research domain.
Acute tonsillitis represents a significant proportion of admissions to ENT departments nationally. Given current hospital pressures, it is vital to look for safe alternatives to admission. This study explores the safe management of patients in an ambulatory medical unit, without the need for admission.
A retrospective review of 48 patients’ notes was carried out. Following the development and implementation of a guideline for acute tonsillitis, a prospective re-audit of 41 patients was carried out, measuring length of stay, overnight admissions and re-admissions.
The rate of overnight admission following implementation of the guideline fell from 0.75 to 0.29, and average length of stay dropped from 19.2 to 9.5 hours. There were two re-admissions in each cycle of the audit, which represents a non-significant increase.
The tonsillitis guideline has significantly reduced admissions and length of stay. Re-admissions remain low, demonstrating that this is a safe and cost-effective intervention.
Water exposures in healthcare settings and during healthcare delivery can place patients at risk for infection with water-related organisms and can potentially lead to outbreaks. We aimed to describe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consultations involving water-related organisms leading to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Retrospective observational study.
We reviewed internal CDC records from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017, using water-related terms and organisms, excluding Legionella, to identify consultations that involved potential or confirmed transmission of water-related organisms in healthcare. We determined plausible exposure pathways and routes of transmission when possible.
Of 620 consultations during the study period, we identified 134 consultations (21.6%), with 1,380 patients, that involved the investigation of potential water-related HAIs or infection control lapses with the potential for water-related HAIs. Nontuberculous mycobacteria were involved in the greatest number of investigations (n = 40, 29.9%). Most frequently, investigations involved medical products (n = 48, 35.8%), and most of these products were medical devices (n = 40, 83.3%). We identified a variety of plausible water-exposure pathways, including medication preparation near water splash zones and water contamination at the manufacturing sites of medications and medical devices.
Water-related investigations represent a substantial proportion of CDC HAI consultations and likely represent only a fraction of all water-related HAI investigations and outbreaks occurring in US healthcare facilities. Water-related HAI investigations should consider all potential pathways of water exposure. Finally, healthcare facilities should develop and implement water management programs to limit the growth and spread of water-related organisms.
Following an extensive contact tracing exercise at a school in a London borough with one of highest tuberculosis (TB) rates in England, we estimated the background prevalence of latent TB infection to be significantly less than the widely accepted 10%. We screened 271 pupils aged 14–15 years in two groups: 96 pupils in group 1 had significant exposure (>8 h/week in the same room) to a case of infectious TB and 175 in group 2 who had minimal exposure. In group 1, 26% were diagnosed with latent or active TB, compared to 6.3% in group 2. Risk factors for TB infection (e.g. previous exposure or link to high-prevalence communities) were analysed using a cohort study design. In the univariable analysis only being in contact group 1 was statistically significantly associated with being a case (OR 5.25, 95%, P < 0.001). In the multivariable model contact group 1 remained significantly associated with being a case (adjusted OR 4.40, P = 0.001). We concluded that the 6.3% yield of TB infection in contact group 2 is either similar to or higher than the background prevalence rate of latent TB infection (LTBI) in this high TB prevalence London borough. Other parts of England with lower TB prevalence are likely to have even lower LTBI rates.
Early nutrition of the neonatal pig has a major impact on its survival and subsequent development (Cieslak et al., 1983). The success of maternal nutrition trials has been limited in improving the survival and growth performance of piglets. Milk yield and composition has been altered (Jackson et al., 1995; Averette et al., 1999), which subsequently enhanced piglet health and growth performance but feeding supplemental fat had little or no effect on the birth weight of piglets. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing palm and/or soya oil directly to the piglet on its subsequent growth performance.
A substantial and continual economic loss within the pig industry is the 5-20% pre-weaning mortality rate that occurs during the neonatal period (MLC, 2002). The principal causes of piglet death are low birth weight in conjunction with insufficient amounts of body fat reserves (Herpin et al., 1993; Varley, 1995). Studies by Rooke et al. (2000) have demonstrated that the fatty acid profiles of the sows diet during late pregnancy and lactation is an important factor influencing piglet performance. The benefits of dietary manipulations aimed at improving piglet survival, however, remain controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing the maternal diet with palm and/or soya oil during late gestation on piglet growth performance.
To assess the association between food insecurity and depression symptom severity stratified by sex, and test for evidence of effect modification by social network characteristics.
A population-based cross-sectional study. The nine-item Household Food Insecurity Access Scale captured food insecurity. Five name generator questions elicited network ties. A sixteen-item version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist for Depression captured depression symptom severity. Linear regression was used to estimate the association between food insecurity and depression symptom severity while adjusting for potential confounders and to test for potential network moderators.
In-home survey interviews in south-western Uganda.
All adult residents across eight rural villages; 96 % response rate (n 1669).
Severe food insecurity was associated with greater depression symptom severity (b=0·4, 95 % CI 0·3, 0·5, P<0·001 for women; b=0·3, 95 % CI 0·2, 0·4, P<0·001 for men). There was no evidence of effect modification by social network factors for women. However, for men who are highly embedded within in their village social network, and (separately) for men who have few poor contacts in their personal network, the relationship between severe food insecurity and depression symptoms was stronger than for men on the periphery of their village social network, and for men with many poor personal network contacts, respectively.
In this population-based study from rural Uganda, food insecurity was associated with mental health for both men and women. Future research is needed on networks and food insecurity-related shame in relation to depression symptoms among food-insecure men.
When Abdul Halim Sharar (1860-1926) set sail for England to ensure the Eton College-bound son of Viqar-ul Omrah (Prime Minister of the Nizam of Hyderabad, 1894–1901) received an Indo-Islamic education, it was Sharar's first foray outside of India. Like many previous Indian travelers he found his experiences to be eye opening. Inspired by his sojourns in England, Italy, France, and Spain, he serially published his travelogues upon his return to India in 1896. Providing examples of the failures and successes of industrialization, such accounts were evocative in their detail. They provided middle class Indians with global and historical perspectives of the changes brought by colonialism, industrialization, and urbanization in European and Indian cities. Drawing from Sharar's and other travelers’ accounts of the period, this essay examines the use of literature to humanize Lucknow's urban landscape, not only to transform the city, but also the relationship between the city and its inhabitants into one of sympathy and affection.
School attendance rates in sub-Saharan Africa are among the lowest worldwide, placing children at heightened risk for poor educational and economic outcomes. One understudied risk factor for missed schooling is household water insecurity, which is linked to depression among women and may increase children's water-fetching burden at the expense of educational activities, particularly among children of depressed caregivers. In this study conducted in rural Uganda, we assessed the association between household water insecurity and child school participation and the mediating pathways behind these associations.
We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study of female household heads (N = 257) and their children ages 5–17 (N = 551) in the rural regions surrounding the town of Mbarara, in southwestern Uganda. We used multivariable linear regressions to estimate the association between water insecurity and missed schooling. We then assessed the extent to which the association was mediated by caregiver depression.
Among children, water insecurity had a statistically significant association with the number of missed school days (a standard deviation increase in water insecurity resulted in 0.30 more missed school days in the last week). The estimated association was partially mediated by caregiver depression. When stratified by sex, this mediating pathway remained significant for boys, but not among girls.
Water insecurity is a risk factor for missed schooling among children in rural Uganda. Caregiver depression partially mediated this relationship. Also addressing caregiver mental health in water insecure families may more fully address the needs of sub-Saharan African families and promote educational participation among youth.
The soil bacterium Alcaligenes eutrophus is able to degrade phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid]. It has been shown that several degradative genes are located on a large plasmid harbored by this organism. We have demonstrated by HPLC and gas chromatography that 2,4-dichlorophenol is a major metabolite resulting from 2,4-D degradation by A. eutrophus. A portion of the large plasmid carrying the 2,4-D catabolic genes has been cloned and mapped by restriction endonuclease digestion. Overlapping subclones have been produced and were used in conjugation experiments in order to identify the first gene involved in 2,4-D detoxification. Once sequenced, this gene will be transferred to dicotyledonous plant cells using available vector systems.
It is increasingly essential for medical researchers to be literate in statistics, but the requisite degree of literacy is not the same for every statistical competency in translational research. Statistical competency can range from ‘fundamental’ (necessary for all) to ‘specialized’ (necessary for only some). In this study, we determine the degree to which each competency is fundamental or specialized.
We surveyed members of 4 professional organizations, targeting doctorally trained biostatisticians and epidemiologists who taught statistics to medical research learners in the past 5 years. Respondents rated 24 educational competencies on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by ‘fundamental’ and ‘specialized.’
There were 112 responses. Nineteen of 24 competencies were fundamental. The competencies considered most fundamental were assessing sources of bias and variation (95%), recognizing one’s own limits with regard to statistics (93%), identifying the strengths, and limitations of study designs (93%). The least endorsed items were meta-analysis (34%) and stopping rules (18%).
We have identified the statistical competencies needed by all medical researchers. These competencies should be considered when designing statistical curricula for medical researchers and should inform which topics are taught in graduate programs and evidence-based medicine courses where learners need to read and understand the medical research literature.
Introduction: The current study examined the level of agreement in expired-air carbon monoxide (CO) values, focusing especially on those confirming abstinence, between the two most commonly used CO monitors, the Vitalograph BreathCO and the Bedfont piCO+ Smokerlyzer.
Methods: Expired-air samples were collected via both monitors from adult dependent smokers (44 M, 34 F) participating in studies using CO values to confirm abstinence durations of: 24 hours, 12 hours, or no abstinence. All met DSM-IV nicotine dependence criteria and had a mean (SD) Fagerström Test of Cigarette Dependence score of 5.1 (1.8). Paired data collected across multiple visits were analyzed by regression-based Bland–Altman method of Limits of Agreement (LoA).
Findings: Analysis indicated a lack of agreement in CO measurement between monitors. Overall, the Bedfont monitor gave mean (±SEM) readings 3.83 (±0.23) ppm higher than the Vitalograph monitor. Mean differences between monitors were larger for those ad lib smoking (5.65 ± 0.38 ppm) than those abstaining 12–24 hours (1.71 ± 0.13 ppm). Yet, there also was not consistent agreement in classification of 24-hour abstinence between monitors.
Conclusions: Systematic differences in CO readings demonstrate these two very common monitors may not result in interchangeable values, and reported outcomes in smoking research based on CO values may depend on the monitor used.
Concern has been expressed recently that Se may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but this has not been tested in a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) in pregnant women. We took advantage of having stored plasma samples from the Se in Pregnancy Intervention (SPRINT) RCT of Se supplementation in pregnancy to test the effect of Se supplementation on a marker of insulin resistance in UK pregnant women. Because our blood samples were not fasted, we measured plasma adiponectin concentration, a recognised marker of insulin resistance that gives valid measurements in non-fasted samples, as diurnal variability is minor and there is no noticeable effect of food intake. In SPRINT, 230 primiparous UK women were randomised to treatment with Se (60 μg/d) or placebo from 12 weeks of gestation until delivery. We hypothesised that supplementation with Se at a nutritional level would not exacerbate the fall in adiponectin concentration that occurs in normal pregnancy, indicating the lack of an adverse effect on insulin resistance. Indeed, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the change in adiponectin from 12 to 35 weeks (P=0·938), nor when the analysis was restricted to the bottom or top quartiles of baseline whole-blood Se (P=0·515 and 0·858, respectively). Cross-sectionally, adiponectin concentration was not associated with any parameter of Se status, either at 12 or 35 weeks. It is reassuring that a nutritional dose of Se had no adverse effect on the concentration of adiponectin, a biomarker of insulin resistance, in pregnant women of modest Se status.
To describe key characteristics of the dietary habits of Samoans residing in Logan, Queensland and to compare these characteristics with comparable populations.
Dietary intake was measured using a self-administered structured questionnaire between December 2012 and March 2013. Demographic characteristics included age and sex. Questionnaire results were compared with data from samples of Brisbane residents of similar social and economic characteristics and Pacific Islanders in New Zealand. The association between demographic characteristics and diet was investigated.
Logan, Queensland, Australia.
Samoans aged 16 years and older.
A total of 207 Samoans participated, ninety-six (46 %) of whom were male. Of the participants, seventy-nine (38 %) were aged 16–29 years, sixty-three (30 %) were aged 30–49 years and sixty-five (31 %) were aged ≥50 years. Younger adults were significantly more likely to eat hamburgers, pizza, cakes, savoury pastries, potato crisps, sweets and soft drinks (all variables P<0·001). Among Samoans, 44·7 % consumed two or more pieces of fruit daily, compared with 43·8 % of comparable Brisbane residents (relative risk=1·0; 95 % CI 0·8, 1·2). Three or more servings of vegetables each day were consumed by 9·2 % of Samoans compared with 36·6 % of comparable Brisbane residents (relative risk=3·8; 95 % CI 2·5, 6·0).
Samoans are consuming significantly fewer vegetables and more discretionary foods than other populations. Socio-economic factors, length of stay in Australia and cultural practices may impact upon Samoans’ diets. Further comprehensive studies on Samoans’ dietary habits in Australia are recommended.
In the second half of the nineteenth century an increasing number of Indians entered the world of volunteerism and public activism. One such individual was the prolific Urdu writer Abdul Halim Sharar (1860–1926), who served as the secretary for a short-lived voluntary association, the Anjuman-e Dar-us-Salam, during the late 1880s in Lucknow, India. Using readers’ letters as printed in Sharar's widely circulating monthly periodical, Dil Gudāz, this article seeks to understand the reasons behind the increasing role of volunteerism as part and parcel of a modern sharīf Muslim identity in the post-1857 period. Having adopted the role of a community activist, Sharar began using his periodical, soon after its inception, to mobilize and recruit his readers to participate in what he described as a passionate movement sweeping through the ‘Islami pablik’. Both rhetorical and descriptive, such an idea provided hope for a divided and struggling community to overcome the divisions that were central to their many challenges in a post-1857 world. Through the study of the vicissitudes and challenges faced by Sharar and his fellow activists, this article underscores the ways in which public activism and volunteerism simultaneously represented the possibility for Muslims to use their own resources to bring about real social and political change, and also reminded them of their shortcomings and the limits of an informal activism. This article seeks to show that ultimately, even such ‘failed’ and ephemeral attempts were foundational for more effective mass mobilization efforts in the following decades and into the twentieth century.
This is a summary account, based on a detailed report first published in Libya Antiqua, of the so-called ‘Market Theatre’ complex. This complex comprises a number of closely linked structures situated near the heart of ancient Cyrene and was excavated by the late R. G. Goodchild in the 1950s. After his death, it was resurveyed for publication in 1971. The various component structures (the ‘Market’, the Stepped Street, the ‘Forehall’, the Valley Street frontage, the Propylon, the Building with the Windswept Capitals and the Theatre) are described in the context of three broad periods of construction observed in this area.
Goodchild's original interpretation of the main porticoed building as a market, rather than as a temple precinct is defended, as is his belief that the late Roman theatre exhibited only one period of construction. The single closely datable structure is the Severan propylon, but, from observed structural relationships and architectural similarities, some suggestions are made as to the chronology of development in this quarter of Cyrene.
This summary presents the main results of three seasons of survey and limited excavation work carried out by the Society at Ptolemais in Eastern Libya. The survey concentrated on two major town houses which had been partially excavated by Richard Goodchild (House G and House T), whilst excavation was carried out on the adjacent site known as the North-east Quadrant. All of the sites revealed complex structural histories and it is evident that in this quarter of Ptolemais, at least, life within the town continued well into the Islamic period.
A series of research reports has indicated that the use of substances such as cannabis, alcohol and tobacco are higher in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing psychosis than in controls. Little is known about the longitudinal trajectory of substance use, and findings on the relationship between substance use and later transition to psychosis in CHR individuals are mixed.
At baseline and 6- and 12-month follow-ups, 735 CHR and 278 control participants completed the Alcohol and Drug Use Scale and a cannabis use questionnaire. The longitudinal trajectory of substance use was evaluated with linear mixed models.
CHR participants endorsed significantly higher cannabis and tobacco use severity, and lower alcohol use severity, at baseline and over a 1-year period compared with controls. CHR youth had higher lifetime prevalence and frequency of cannabis, and were significantly younger upon first use, and were more likely to use alone and during the day. Baseline substance use did not differentiate participants who later transitioned to psychosis (n = 90) from those who did not transition (n = 272). Controls had lower tobacco use than CHR participants with a prodromal progression clinical outcome and lower cannabis use than those with a psychotic clinical outcome at the 2-year assessment.
In CHR individuals cannabis and tobacco use is higher than in controls and this pattern persists across 1 year. Evaluation of clinical outcome may provide additional information on the longitudinal impact of substance use that cannot be detected through evaluation of transition/non-transition to psychosis alone.