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In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
To assess the effect of topical betahistine on Eustachian tube function in subjectively abnormal subjects in a hyperbaric chamber.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was examined using tympanometry in a pressure chamber.
Active Eustachian tube function was tested against the negative middle ear pressure induced by increasing the chamber pressure to +3 kPa. One voluntary swallow decreased middle-ear pressure by a mean of 1.36 kPa. Passive Eustachian tube function was tested by measuring spontaneous Eustachian tube openings as the chamber pressure dropped from +10 kPa to ambient. Four distinct patterns of Eustachian tube behaviour were seen, three of which indicated Eustachian tube dysfunction. Betahistine had no positive effect on Eustachian tube opening, although previous animal studies had suggested a beneficial effect.
Topical betahistine had no effect on Eustachian tube function. Combining a hyperbaric chamber with tympanometry proved ideal for evaluating Eustachian tube function.
Introduction: Opioid overdoses (OODs) have become a public health emergency, yet little is known about their long-term outcomes following an OD. We determined the one-year all-cause mortality and associated risk factors in a cohort of patients treated in an urban emergency department (ED) for an OOD. Methods: We reviewed records of all patients who visited St. Paul's Hospital ED from January 2013 to August 2017 and had a discharge diagnosis of OOD or had received naloxone in the ED as per pharmacy records. Patients with a suspected OOD were identified on structured chart review. A patient's first visit for an OOD during the study period was used as the index visit, with subsequent visits excluded. The primary outcome was mortality during the year after the index visit. Mortality was assessed by linking patient electronic medical records with Vital Statistics data. Deaths that occurred in the ED on the index visit were excluded. Patients admitted to hospital following ED treatment were included in this study. We described patient characteristics, calculated mortality rates, and used Cox regression to identify risk factors. Results: A total of 2239 patients visited the ED for an OOD during the study period, with a median patient age of 37 years (IQR 29, 49). Males comprised 73% of patients, while 28% had no fixed address, and 21% received take-home naloxone at the index visit. In total, 137 patients (6.1%) died within 1 year of the index visit. Eighty-one deaths (3.6%) occurred within 6 months, including 24 deaths (1.1%) that occurred within 1 month. The highest mortality rate occurred in 2017, with 8.0% of patients entering the cohort that year dying within 1 year. Gender did not significantly impact mortality risk. A Cox regression analysis controlled for gender, housing status, and whether take-home naloxone was provided at the index visit indicated that advancing age (adjusted hazards ratio [AHR] 1.03; 95%CI: 1.01-1.04 for each year increase in age) and the index visit calendar year (AHR 1.30; 95%CI: 1.10-1.54 for each yearly increase in the study period) were significant factors for mortality within 1 year. Conclusion: The mortality rate following an opioid OD treated in the ED is high, with over 6% of patients in our study dying within 1 year. The rising mortality risk with increasing calendar year may reflect the growing harms of fentanyl-related OODs. Patients visiting the ED for an OOD should be considered high risk and offered preventative treatment and referrals prior to discharge.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in schizophrenia and are significantly associated with premature death. The objective of this meta-analysis study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of suicide-related behaviours in schizophrenia patients in China.
The relevant literature was searched systematically via the relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Databases and Chinese Biological Medical Literature Database) from their inception until 14 September 2016. Only original studies that reported the prevalence of suicide-related behaviours including suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plan, suicide attempt (SA) and completed suicide were selected.
Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. The pooled lifetime prevalence of SI and SA were 25.8% (95% CI 14.7–41.1%) and 14.6% (95% CI 9.1–22.8%), respectively. The 1-month prevalence of SI was 22.0% (95% CI 18.2–26.4%). Subgroup analyses of lifetime SI and SA showed that gender, sample size, survey year, study location and source of patients have no significant mediating effects on the results.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Due to the high mortality risk, regular screening and effective suicide prevention programmes are warranted.
To evaluate the clinicopathological and mycological manifestations of fungal rhinosinusitis occurring in the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, in Klang, Malaysia, which has a tropical climate.
Records of patients treated from 2009 to 2016 were analysed retrospectively. Data from the records were indexed based on age, gender, clinical presentations, symptom duration, clinical signs and mycological growth.
Of 80 samples, 27 (33.75 per cent) had fungal growth. Sixteen patients were classified as having non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and 11 as having invasive fungal rhinosinusitis. The commonest clinical presentation was nasal polyposis in non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis patients (p < 0.05) and ocular symptoms in invasive fungal rhinosinusitis patients (p < 0.05). The commonest organism was aspergillus sp. (p < 0.05) in non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and mucorales in invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
There is an almost equal distribution of both invasive and non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, as seen in some Asian countries. Invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, while slightly uncommon when compared to non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, is potentially life threatening, and may require early and extensive surgical debridement. The clinical presentation of nasal polyposis was often associated with non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, whereas ocular symptoms were more likely to be associated with invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
Dysfunction of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted to examine the efficacy and safety of memantine, a non-competitive NMDAR antagonist, in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Standardized/weighted mean differences (SMDs/WMDs), risk ratio (RR), and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and analyzed.
Included in the meta-analysis were eight RCTs (n = 452) of 11.5 ± 2.6 weeks duration, with 229 patients on memantine (20 mg/day) and 223 patients on placebo. Adjunctive memantine outperformed placebo in the measures of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale negative symptoms [SMD: −0.63 (95% CI −1.10 to −0.16), p = 0.009, I2 = 77%], but not in the total, positive and general symptoms [SMD: −0.46 to −0.08 (95% CI −0.93 to 0.22), p = 0.06–0.60, I2 = 0–74%] or the Clinical Global Impression Severity Scale [WMD: 0.04 (95% CI −0.24 to 0.32), p = 0.78]. The negative symptoms remained significant after excluding one outlying RCT [SMD: −0.41 (95% CI −0.72 to −0.11), p = 0.008, I2 = 47%]. Compared with the placebo group, adjunctive memantine was associated with significant improvement in neurocognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) [WMD: 3.09, (95% CI 1.77–4.42), p < 0.00001, I2 = 22%]. There was no significant difference in the discontinuation rate [RR: 1.34 (95% CI 0.76–2.37), p = 0.31, I2 = 0%] and adverse drug reactions between the two groups.
This meta-analysis showed that adjunctive memantine appears to be an efficacious and safe treatment for improving negative symptoms and neurocognitive performance in schizophrenia. Higher quality RCTs with larger samples are warranted to confirm these findings.
Microdeletion syndrome is an important topic in intellectual disability, associated with various psychiatric symptoms, such as autism, attention deficit, hyperactivity, obsession and compulsion, and psychosis. In this article, we provide a clinical update on the following syndromes and their associated psychiatric disorders: Prader–Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Williams syndrome, Wolf–Hirschhorn syndrome, cri du chat syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome and Rubinstein–Taybi syndrome.
• Gain an up-to-date understanding of the microdeletion syndromes commonly seen in daily practice
• Appreciate the association between underlying chromosomal abnormalities and the resultant intellectual disabilities in microdeletion syndromes
• Gain up-to-date knowledge about the treatment options for the various microdeletion syndromes commonly seen in daily practice
Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking.
Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level. Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics.
The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries (53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries. Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed.
PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.
Supernova remnants (SNRs) are powerful particle accelerators. As a supernova (SN) blast wave propagates through the circumstellar medium (CSM), electrons and protons scatter across the shock and gain energy by entrapment in the magnetic field. The accelerated particles generate further magnetic field fluctuations and local amplification, leading to cosmic ray production. The wealth of data from Supernova 1987A is providing a template of the SN-CSM interaction, and an important guide to the radio detection and identification of core-collapse SNe based on their spectral properties. Thirty years after the explosion, radio observations of SNR 1987A span from 70 MHz to 700 GHz. We review extensive observing campaigns with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and follow-ups with other radio telescopes. Observations across the radio spectrum indicate rapid changes in the remnant morphology, while current ATCA and ALMA observations show that the SNR has entered a new evolutionary phase.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Following the genocide, millions of Rwandans are likely living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Le Centre Psychothérapeutique Icyizere provides the only specialized treatment for PTSD in the Rwandan healthcare system.
Demographics, diagnosis, treatment, outcomes, and scores on assessments of functioning and PTSD were recorded from clinical charts of all patients receiving care between October 2013 and 2014. Descriptive statistics and within-group t tests comparing functional impairment and PTSD symptoms at intake to discharge and follow-up were calculated.
A total of 719 patients (55.08% male) received care. Patients were more educated, more likely to live in the capital, and less likely to be married than the general population. Patients reported high desire for, and strong satisfaction with, care. Most patients (55.60%) were still in care by the end of the program evaluation. Functioning improved from intake to discharge (p < 0.001), and improvements were sustained at follow-up (p < 0.001). Most adults were diagnosed with psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, or depression. Only 20 patients were diagnosed with PTSD, and symptoms were improved at discharge (p = 0.003).
This program evaluation demonstrated the utility of a low-resource information management system to provide clarity about the patient population and outcomes. Results suggest that services are effective and sustainable, although people with PTSD were not the primary recipients of care. Disparities in care by diagnosis, education, marital status, and geography are discussed. Results have contributed to changes in service delivery and care and efforts to increase access to care.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Extensively drug resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter baumannii infections are increasing. Knowledge of risk factors can help to prevent these infections.
We designed a 1: 1: 1 case-case-control study to identify risk factors for XDR A. baumannii bacteremia in Singapore and Thailand. Case group 1 was defined as having infection due to XDR A. baumannii, and case group 2 was defined as having infection due to non-XDR A. baumannii. The control group comprised patients with blood cultures obtained to determine possible infection.
There were 93 patients in each group. Pitt bacteremia score (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.570 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.528–4.322]), central venous catheters (CVCs; aOR, 12.644 [95% CI, 2.143–74.620]), use of carbapenems (aOR, 54.391 [95% CI, 3.869–764.674]), and piperacillin-tazobactam (aOR, 55.035 [95% CI, 4.803–630.613]) were independently associated with XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. In case group 2, Pitt bacteremia score (aOR, 1.667 [95% CI, 1.265–2.196]) and third-generation cephalosporins (aOR, 2.965 [95% CI, 1.224–7.182]) were independently associated with non-XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. Concurrent infections (aOR, 3.527 [95% CI, 1.479–8.411]), cancer (aOR, 3.172 [95% CI, 1.135–8.865]), and respiratory source (aOR, 2.690 [95% CI, 1.160–6.239]) were associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality. Survivors received more active empirical therapy (16.7% vs 9.6%; P = .157), had fewer cases of XDR bacteremia (45.8% vs 52.6%; P = .452), and received higher median definitive polymyxin B doses (840,000 units vs 700,000 units; P = .339)
Use of CVC and broad spectrum antibiotics were unique risk factors of XDR A. baumannii bacteremia. Effective antimicrobial stewardship together with use of a CVC bundle may reduce the incidence of these infections. Risk factors of acquisition and mortality may help identify patients for early initiation of polymyxin B therapy.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop a decision support tool to assess the potential benefits and costs of new healthcare interventions.
Methods: The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) commissioned the development of a Cancer Risk Management Model (CRMM)—a computer microsimulation model that simulates individual lives one at a time, from birth to death, taking account of Canadian demographic and labor force characteristics, risk factor exposures, and health histories. Information from all the simulated lives is combined to produce aggregate measures of health outcomes for the population or for particular subpopulations.
Results: The CRMM can project the population health and economic impacts of cancer control programs in Canada and the impacts of major risk factors, cancer prevention, and screening programs and new cancer treatments on population health and costs to the healthcare system. It estimates both the direct costs of medical care, as well as lost earnings and impacts on tax revenues. The lung and colorectal modules are available through the CPAC Web site (www.cancerview.ca/cancerrriskmanagement) to registered users where structured scenarios can be explored for their projected impacts. Advanced users will be able to specify new scenarios or change existing modules by varying input parameters or by accessing open source code. Model development is now being extended to cervical and breast cancers.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20·4% and 24·8%, respectively. From 151 trunk-wash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces.
As the remnant of Supernova (SN) 1987A has been getting brighter over time, new observations at high frequencies have allowed imaging of the radio emission at unprecedented detail. We present a new radio image at 44 GHz of the supernova remnant (SNR), derived from observations performed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in 2011. The diffraction-limited image has a resolution of 349×225 mas, which is the highest achieved to date in high-dynamic range images of the SNR. We also present a new image at 18 GHz, also derived from ATCA observations performed in 2011, which is super-resolved to 0″.25. The new 44 and 18 GHz images yield the first high-resolution spectral index map of the remnant. The comparison of the 44 GHz image with contemporaneous X-ray and Hα observations allows further investigations of the nature of the remnant asymmetry and sheds more light into the progenitor hypotheses and SN explosion. In light of simple free-free absorption models, we discuss the likelihood of detecting at 44 GHz the possible emission originating from a pulsar wind nebula (PWN) or a compact source in the centre of the remnant.
Supernovae and their remnants are believed to be prodigious sources of Galactic cosmic rays and interstellar dust. Understanding the mechanisms behind their surprisingly high production rate is helped by the study of nearby young supernova remnants. There has been none better in modern times than SN1987A, for which radio observations have been made for over a quarter of a century. We review extensive observations made with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at centimetre wavelengths. Emission at frequencies from 1 to 100 GHz is dominated by synchrotron radiation from an outer shock front which has been growing exponentially in strength from day 3000, and is currently sweeping around the circumstellar ring at about 4000 km s−1. Three dimensional models of the propagation of the shock into the circumstellar medium are able to reproduce the main observational features of the remnant, and their evolution. We find that up to 4% of the electrons encountered by the shock are accelerated to relativistic energies. High-frequency ALMA observations will break new ground in the understanding of dust and molecule production.
Although usually thought of as external environmental stressors, a significant heritable component has been reported for measures of stressful life events (SLEs) in twin studies.
We examined the variance in SLEs captured by common genetic variants from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 2578 individuals. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) was used to estimate the phenotypic variance tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We also performed a GWAS on the number of SLEs, and looked at correlations between siblings.
A significant proportion of variance in SLEs was captured by SNPs (30%, p = 0.04). When events were divided into those considered to be dependent or independent, an equal amount of variance was explained for both. This ‘heritability’ was in part confounded by personality measures of neuroticism and psychoticism. A GWAS for the total number of SLEs revealed one SNP that reached genome-wide significance (p = 4 × 10−8), although this association was not replicated in separate samples. Using available sibling data for 744 individuals, we also found a significant positive correlation of R2 = 0.08 in SLEs (p = 0.03).
These results provide independent validation from molecular data for the heritability of reporting environmental measures, and show that this heritability is in part due to both common variants and the confounding effect of personality.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) based on p-GaN/ZnO heterojunction were fabricated. GaN was deposited on sapphire using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), and two kinds of ZnO i.e. ZnO thin film deposited by sputtering and ZnO nanorods (NRs) grown by hydrothermal method were used as n-type layer respectively. MgO film with the thickness around 10 nm was deposited by electron-beam deposition to act as an interlayer between GaN and ZnO. Photoluminescence, electroluminescence and I-V curves were measured to compare the properties of GaN based heterojunction LEDs with different architectures. The existence of MgO interlayer as well as the morphology of ZnO obviously influenced the electrical and optical properties of GaN based LEDs. The effect of MgO interlayer on ZnO growth, properties and I-V curves and emission spectra of LEDs is discussed in detail.