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There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
This study compared the plan dosimetry between the intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and field-in-field (FIF) technique for head-and-neck cancer using the Elekta Monaco treatment planning system (TPS).
Materials and methods:
A total of 20 head-and-neck cancer patients were selected in this study. IMRT and FIF plans for the patients were created on the Monaco TPS (ver. 5.11.02) using the 6-MV photon beam generated by the Elekta Synergy linear accelerator. The dose–volume histograms, maximum doses, minimum doses, mean doses of the target volumes and organs-at-risk (OARs), conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI) and monitor units (MUs) were determined for each IMRT and FIF plan. All IMRT plans passed the patient-specific quality assurance tests from the 2D diode array measurements (MatriXX Evolution System, IBA Dosimetry, Germany).
The results showed that the dose distribution to the target volumes of IMRT plans was better than FIF plans, while the dose (mean or max dose) to the OAR was significantly lower than FIF plan, respectively. IMRT and FIF resulted in planning target volume coverage with mean dose of 71·32 ± 0·76 and 73·12 ± 0·62 Gy, respectively, and HI values of 0·08 ± 0·01 (IMRT) and 0·19 ± 0·06 (FIF). The CI for IMRT was 0·98 ± 0·01 and FIF was 0·97 ± 0·01. For the spinal cord tolerance (maximum dose < 45 Gy), IMRT resulted in 39·85 ± 2·04 Gy compared to 41·37 ± 2·42 Gy for FIF. In addition, the mean doses to the parotid grand were 27·27 ± 7·48 and 48·68 ± 1·62 Gy for the IMRT and FIF plans, respectively. Significantly more MUs were required in IMRT plans than FIF plans (on average, 846 ± 100 MU in IMRT and 467 ± 41 MU in FIF).
It is concluded that the IMRT technique could provide a better plan dosimetry than the FIF technique for head-and-neck patients.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Adherence problems are an inherent issue with any bio-psycho-social-spiritual prescription for any disease or behvaioural entity. It is all the more important in a patient with severe mental illness like Schizophrenia with limited insight. In several countries various interventions have been studied to address adherence problems in psychosis. Such as compliance therapy, family and psycho educational interventions, telephonic prompting and also legislative measures like Community Treatment Orders (CTO) have to date shown inconsistent and only modest benefits. Incentives based interventions have been tested for both preventive measures and also for adherence problems in chronic diseases. The Institute of Mental Health, Singapore has implemented a Pilot Supervision Programme (PSP) that incentivise patient engagement through quarterly vouchers as well as minimising barriers to accessing service by waiving off certain treatment fees whilst also offering them intensive intervention for one year. Our Pilot Programme, that focused on high risk patients with diagnosis of severe mental illness needing involuntary admission with history of either prolonged or repeated admissions, has begun recruiting patients since October 2012. The comparison was done between pre and post intervention phase. Total of 58 patients (95% suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder) accepted into the treatment programme and of that nearly half of them have completed 6 months interventions. The results are promising with more than 50% improvemnt in length of stay, number of admissions and psychiatric emergency room visits, making significant impact on our high risk patients with severe mental illness.
Despite the magnitude and protracted nature of the Rohingya refugee situation, there is limited information on the culture, mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of this group. This paper, drawing on a report commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the literature on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Rohingya refugees, including an examination of associated cultural factors. The ultimate objective is to assist humanitarian actors and agencies in providing culturally relevant Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for Rohingya refugees displaced to Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.
We conducted a systematic search across multiple sources of information with reference to the contextual, social, economic, cultural, mental health and health-related factors amongst Rohingya refugees living in the Asia-Pacific and other regions. The search covered online databases of diverse disciplines (e.g. medicine, psychology, anthropology), grey literature, as well as unpublished reports from non-profit organisations and United Nations agencies published until 2018.
The legacy of prolonged exposure to conflict and persecution compounded by protracted conditions of deprivations and displacement is likely to increase the refugees' vulnerability to wide array of mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. High rates of sexual and gender-based violence, lack of privacy and safe spaces and limited access to integrated psychosocial and mental health support remain issues of concern within the emergency operation in Bangladesh. Another challenge is the limited understanding amongst the MHPSS personnel in Bangladesh and elsewhere of the language, culture and help-seeking behaviour of Rohingya refugees. While the Rohingya language has a considerable vocabulary for emotional and behavioural problems, there is limited correspondence between these Rohingya terms and western concepts of mental disorders. This hampers the provision of culturally sensitive and contextually relevant MHPSS services to these refugees.
The knowledge about the culture, context, migration history, idioms of distress, help-seeking behaviour and traditional healing methods, obtained from diverse sources can be applied in the design and delivery of culturally appropriate interventions. Attention to past exposure to traumatic events and losses need to be paired with attention for ongoing stressors and issues related to worries about the future. It is important to design MHPSS interventions in ways that mobilise the individual and collective strengths of Rohingya refugees and build on their resilience.
Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a pest species complex that causes widespread damage to cassava, a staple food crop for millions of households in East Africa. Species in the complex cause direct feeding damage to cassava and are the vectors of multiple plant viruses. Whilst significant work has gone into developing virus-resistant cassava cultivars, there has been little research effort aimed at understanding the ecology of these insect vectors. Here we assess critically the knowledge base relating to factors that may lead to high population densities of sub-Saharan African (SSA) B. tabaci species in cassava production landscapes of East Africa. We focus first on empirical studies that have examined biotic or abiotic factors that may lead to high populations. We then identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled to deliver sustainable management solutions. We found that whilst many hypotheses have been put forward to explain the increases in abundance witnessed since the early 1990s, there are little published data and these tend to have been collected in a piecemeal manner. The most critical knowledge gaps identified were: (i) understanding how cassava cultivars and alternative host plants impact population dynamics and natural enemies; (ii) the impact of natural enemies in terms of reducing the frequency of outbreaks and (iii) the use and management of insecticides to delay the development of resistance. In addition, there are several fundamental methodologies that need to be developed and deployed in East Africa to address some of the more challenging knowledge gaps.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) is a regulator of human growth during infancy and childhood, known to promote bone and muscle growth as well as lipid accumulation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of formula milk with or without IGF1 supplementation (in the form of pure IGF1 or bovine colostrum) on growth and body composition in infant cynomolgus macaques during the first 6 months of life. Three groups of infants were nursery-reared and received formula milk with or without IGF1 or bovine colostrum supplementation for 4 months, and a fourth group consisting of breast-fed infants was included for comparison (n=6 for each group). Ranked-based analysis of covariance was used to detect differences between adjusted means for sex. No differences in weight, height, fat mass, and fat-free mass could be detected between groups. However, bone mineral density (BMD) was significantly different between groups at the end of formula feeding. Infants that received bovine colostrum supplementation displayed higher mean BMD than infants of all other groups, with no differences between the latter three groups. In conclusion, our results suggest that supplementation with bovine colostrum can enhance BMD in formula-fed infants, an effect that apparently does not depend on IGF1. Bovine colostrum supplementation could be beneficial for long-term bone health in infants with suboptimal bone growth.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.
We report the pharmacological activity of organoruthenium complexes containing chloroquine (CQ) as a chelating ligand. The complexes displayed intraerythrocytic activity against CQ-sensitive 3D7 and CQ-resistant W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with potency and selectivity indexes similar to those of CQ. Complexes displayed activity against all intraerythrocytic stages, but moderate activity against Plasmodium berghei liver stages. However, unlike CQ, organoruthenium complexes impaired gametocyte viability and exhibited fast parasiticidal activity against trophozoites for P. falciparum. This functional property results from the ability of complexes to quickly induce oxidative stress. The parasitaemia of P. berghei-infected mice was reduced by treatment with the complex. Our findings demonstrated that using chloroquine for the synthesis of organoruthenium complexes retains potency and selectivity while leading to an increase in the spectrum of action and parasite killing rate relative to CQ.
A number of thin silicon films are prepared through ultra-high-vacuum evaporation on optical quality fused quartz substrates with different growth temperatures. Through an analysis of grazing incidence X-ray diffraction results, a phase transition, from amorphous-to-crystalline, is found corresponding to increases in the growth temperature. The corresponding Raman spectra are also observed to change their form as the films go through this phase transition. Using a Raman peak decomposition process, this phase transition is then quantitatively characterized through the determination of the amount of intermediate-range order and the crystalline volume fraction for the various growth temperatures considered in this analysis. The possible device consequences of these results are then commented upon.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
The present study is to investigate the pressure-driven gas flow in microchannel at no-uniform wall temperature. DSMC is employed to generate the flow field details which are then used in analysis of the slip flow characteristics. The major concern is the influences of thermal creep effect on the pressure-driven slip flow. Thermal creep is resulted from tangential wall temperature gradient. In this work, two kinds of thermal boundary condition are considered. One is the linearly varied temperature (LVT) applied to both walls, the other is that has the bottom wall at a thermal condition combined LVT and adiabatic (AD) wall, i.e. LVT-AD-LVT condition. The present DSMC results reveal that the fluid slip is weakened (enhanced) in the case with a negative (positive) wall temperature gradient. Relatively, thermal creep effect on fluid slip over the adiabatic wall is more pronounced in the presence of negative wall temperature gradient. The mass flowrate is a strong function of the wall temperature gradient. However, there is only little difference between the mass flowrates predicted under the two kinds of thermal conditions studied in the present work.
To assess the effectiveness of infection control preparedness for human infection with influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong.
A descriptive study of responses to the emergence of influenza A H7N9.
A university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure (not wearing N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedure) to a patient with influenza A H7N9.
A bundle approach including active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive contact tracing for HCWs with unprotected exposure was implemented. Seventy HCWs with unprotected exposure to an index case were interviewed especially regarding their patient care activities.
From April 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014, a total of 126 (0.08%) of 163,456 admitted patients were tested for the H7 gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction per protocol. Two confirmed cases were identified. Seventy (53.8%) of 130 HCWs had unprotected exposure to an index case, whereas 41 (58.6%) and 58 (82.9%) of 70 HCWs wore surgical masks and practiced hand hygiene after patient care, respectively. Sixteen (22.9%) of 70 HCWs were involved in high-risk patient contacts. More HCWs with high-risk patient contacts received oseltamivir prophylaxis (P=0.088) and significantly more had paired sera collected for H7 antibody testing (P<0.001). Ten (14.3%) of 70 HCWs developed influenza-like illness during medical surveillance, but none had positive results by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Paired sera was available from 33 of 70 HCWs with unprotected exposure, and none showed seroconversion against H7N9.
Despite the delay in airborne precautions implementation, no patient-to-HCW transmission of influenza A H7N9 was demonstrated.
Multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD) is a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of lysosomal metabolism. The clinical phenotypic spectrum encompasses overlapping features of variable severity and is suggestive of individual single sulfatase deficiencies (i.e., metachromatic leukodystrophy, mucopolysaccharidosis, and X-linked ichthyosis).
We describe a 3-year-old male with severe hypotonia, developmental regression and progressive neurodegeneration, coarse facial features, nystagmus (from ocular albinism), and dysmyelinating motor sensory neuropathy. Ethics approval was obtained from the Western University Ontario.
Extensive investigative work-up identified deficiencies of multiple sulfatases: heparan sulfate sulfamidase: 6.5 nmoles/mg/protein/17 hour (reference 25.0-75.0), iduronate-2-sulfate sulfatase: 9 nmol/mg/protein/4 hour (reference 31-110), and arylsulfatase A: 3.8 nmoles/hr/mg protein (reference 22-50). The identification of compound heterozygous pathogenic mutations in the SUMF1 gene c.836 C>T (p.A279V) and c.1045C>T (p.R349W) confirmed the diagnosis of MSD.
The complex clinical manifestations of MSD and the unrelated coexistence of ocular albinism as in our case can delay diagnosis. Genetic counselling should be provided to all affected families.
the maternally inherited MTTL1 A3243G mutation in the mitochondrial genome causes MelaS (Mitochondrial encephalopathy lactic acidosis with Stroke-like episodes), a condition that is multisystemic but affects primarily the nervous system. Significant intra-familial variation in phenotype and severity of disease is well recognized.
retrospective and ongoing study of an extended family carrying the MTTL1 A3243G mutation with multiple symptomatic individuals. tissue heteroplasmy is reviewed based on the clinical presentations, imaging studies, laboratory findings in affected individuals and pathological material obtained at autopsy in two of the family members.
there were seven affected individuals out of thirteen members in this three generation family who each carried the MTTL1 A3243G mutation. the clinical presentations were varied with symptoms ranging from hearing loss, migraines, dementia, seizures, diabetes, visual manifestations, and stroke like episodes. three of the family members are deceased from MelaS or to complications related to MelaS.
the results of the clinical, pathological and radiological findings in this family provide strong support to the current concepts of maternal inheritance, tissue heteroplasmy and molecular pathogenesis in MelaS. neurologists (both adult and paediatric) are the most likely to encounter patients with MelaS in their practice. genetic counselling is complex in view of maternal inheritance and heteroplasmy. newer therapeutic options such as arginine are being used for acute and preventative management of stroke like episodes.