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We have found a class of circular radio objects in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The objects appear in radio images as circular edge-brightened discs, about one arcmin diameter, that are unlike other objects previously reported in the literature. We explore several possible mechanisms that might cause these objects, but none seems to be a compelling explanation.
We performed a cross-sectional survey of infection preventionists in 60 US community hospitals between April 22 and May 8, 2020. Several differences in hospital preparedness for SARS-CoV-2 emerged with respect to personal protective equipment conservation strategies, protocols related to testing, universal masking, and restarting elective procedures.
Many studies document cognitive decline following specific types of acute illness hospitalizations (AIH) such as surgery, critical care, or those complicated by delirium. However, cognitive decline may be a complication following all types of AIH. This systematic review will summarize longitudinal observational studies documenting cognitive changes following AIH in the majority admitted population and conduct meta-analysis (MA) to assess the quantitative effect of AIH on post-hospitalization cognitive decline (PHCD).
We followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Selection criteria were defined to identify studies of older age adults exposed to AIH with cognitive measures. 6566 titles were screened. 46 reports were reviewed qualitatively, of which seven contributed data to the MA. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale.
The qualitative review suggested increased cognitive decline following AIH, but several reports were particularly vulnerable to bias. Domain-specific outcomes following AIH included declines in memory and processing speed. Increasing age and the severity of illness were the most consistent risk factors for PHCD. PHCD was supported by MA of seven eligible studies with 41,453 participants (Cohen’s d = −0.25, 95% CI [−0.02, −0.49] I2 35%).
There is preliminary evidence that AIH exposure accelerates or triggers cognitive decline in the elderly patient. PHCD reported in specific contexts could be subsets of a larger phenomenon and caused by overlapping mechanisms. Future research must clarify the trajectory, clinical significance, and etiology of PHCD: a priority in the face of an aging population with increasing rates of both cognitive impairment and hospitalization.
The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria with a view of generating evidence to enhance planning and response strategies. A national surveillance dataset between 27 February and 6 June 2020 was retrospectively analysed, with confirmatory testing for COVID-19 done by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The primary outcomes were cumulative incidence (CI) and case fatality (CF). A total of 40 926 persons (67% of total 60 839) had complete records of RT-PCR test across 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 12 289 (30.0%) of whom were confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those confirmed cases, 3467 (28.2%) had complete records of clinical outcome (alive or dead), 342 (9.9%) of which died. The overall CI and CF were 5.6 per 100 000 population and 2.8%, respectively. The highest proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths were recorded in persons aged 31–40 years (25.5%) and 61–70 years (26.6%), respectively; and males accounted for a higher proportion of confirmed cases (65.8%) and deaths (79.0%). Sixty-six per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic at diagnosis. In conclusion, this paper has provided an insight into the early epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria, which could be useful for contextualising public health planning.
Health anxiety is an under-recognised but a frequent cause of distress. It is particularly common in general hospitals.
We carried out an 8-year follow-up of medical out-patients with health anxiety (hypochondriasis) enrolled in a randomised-controlled trial in five general hospitals in London, Middlesex and Nottinghamshire. Randomisation was to a mean of six sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy adapted for health anxiety (CBT-HA) or to standard care in the clinics. The primary outcome was a change in score on the Short Health Anxiety Inventory, with generalised anxiety and depression as secondary outcomes. Of 444 patients aged 16–75 years seen in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology and respiratory medicine clinics, 306 (68.9%) were followed-up 8 years after randomisation, including 36 who had died. The study is registered with controlled-trials.com, ISRCTN14565822.
There was a significant difference in the HAI score in favour of CBT-HA over standard care after 8 years [1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25–3.40, p = 0.023], between group differences in generalised anxiety were less (0.54, 95% CI −0.29 to 1.36), p = 0.20, ns), but those for depression were greater at 8 years (1.22, 95% CI 0.42–2.01, p < 0.003) in CBT-HA than in standard care, most in standard care satisfying the criteria for clinical depression. Those seen by nurse therapists and in cardiology and gastrointestinal clinics achieved the greatest gains with CBT-HA, with greater improvement in both symptoms and social function.
CBT-HA is a highly long-term effective treatment for pathological health anxiety with long-term benefits. Standard care for health anxiety in medical clinics promotes depression. Nurse therapists are effective practitioners.
Early-life stress (ELS) has previously been identified as a risk factor for cognitive decline, but this work has predominantly focused on clinical groups and indexed traditional cognitive domains. It, therefore, remains unclear whether ELS is related to cognitive function in healthy community-dwelling older adults, as well as whether any effects of ELS also extend to social cognition. To test each of these questions, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) was administered to 484 older adults along with a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and a well-validated test of social cognitive function. The results revealed no differences in global cognition according to overall experiences of ELS. However, a closer examination into the different ELS subscales showed that global cognition was poorer in those who had experienced physical neglect (relative to those who had not). Social cognitive function did not differ according to experiences to ELS. These results indicate that the relationship between ELS and cognition in older age may be dependent on the nature of the trauma experienced.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
Background: EMBRACE (NCT02462759) Part 1 is a randomized, double-blind, sham-procedure controlled study assessing safety/tolerability of intrathecal nusinersen (12-mg equivalent dose) in symptomatic infants/children with SMA who were not eligible to participate in ENDEAR or CHERISH. Methods: Eligible participants had onset of SMA symptoms at ≤6 months with 3 SMN2 copies; onset at ≤6 months, age >7 months and 2 copies; or onset at >6 months, age ≤18 months, and 2/3 copies. Safety/tolerability was the primary endpoint. Exploratory endpoints included Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination Section 2 (HINE-2) motor milestone attainment, change in ventilator use, and growth. Results: EMBRACE Part 1 was terminated early based on positive results from ENDEAR. Safety/tolerability was similar to previous trials. More nusinersen-treated (11/14;79%) vs. sham–treated individuals (2/7;29%) were HINE-2 motor milestone responders. Between Day 183 and 302, mean (SD) hours of ventilator use changed by +1.236 (3.712) hours in nusinersen-treated (n=12) and +2.123 (3.023) hours in sham–treated individuals (n=7). Similar increases in weight and body length were observed in nusinersen-treated and sham–treated individuals by Day 183. Conclusions: In EMBRACE Part 1, nusinersen demonstrated a favorable benefit-risk profile. These results add to the aggregated efficacy, safety/tolerability data of nusinersen in SMA.
Psychosocial and health-related risk factors for depressive symptoms are known. It is unclear if these are associated with depressive symptom patterns over time. We identified trajectories of depressive symptoms and their risk factors among midlife women followed over 15 years.
Participants were 3300 multiracial/ethnic women enrolled in a multisite longitudinal menopause and aging study, Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Biological, psychosocial, and depressive symptom data were collected approximately annually. Group-based trajectory modeling identified women with similar longitudinal patterns of depressive symptoms. Trajectory groups were compared on time-invariant and varying characteristics using multivariable multinomial analyses and pairwise comparisons.
Five symptom trajectories were compared (50% very low; 29% low; 5% increasing; 11% decreasing; 5% high). Relative to whites, blacks were less likely to be in the increasing trajectory and more likely to be in the decreasing symptom trajectory and Hispanics were more likely to have a high symptom trajectory than an increasing trajectory. Psychosocial/health factors varied between groups. A rise in sleep problems was associated with higher odds of having an increasing trajectory and a rise in social support was associated with lower odds. Women with low role functioning for 50% or more visits had three times the odds of being in the increasing symptom group.
Changes in psychosocial and health characteristics were related to changing depressive symptom trajectories. Health care providers need to evaluate women's sleep quality, social support, life events, and role functioning repeatedly during midlife to monitor changes in these and depressive symptoms.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
Many women experience both vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) and depressed mood at midlife, but little is known regarding the prospective bi-directional relationships between VMS and depressed mood and the role of sleep difficulties in both directions.
A pooled analysis was conducted using data from 21 312 women (median: 50 years, interquartile range 49−51) in eight studies from the InterLACE consortium. The degree of VMS, sleep difficulties, and depressed mood was self-reported and categorised as never, rarely, sometimes, and often (if reporting frequency) or never, mild, moderate, and severe (if reporting severity). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the bi-directional associations adjusted for within-study correlation.
At baseline, the prevalence of VMS (40%, range 13–62%) and depressed mood (26%, 8–41%) varied substantially across studies, and a strong dose-dependent association between VMS and likelihood of depressed mood was found. Over 3 years of follow-up, women with often/severe VMS at baseline were more likely to have subsequent depressed mood compared with those without VMS (odds ratios (OR) 1.56, 1.27–1.92). Women with often/severe depressed mood at baseline were also more likely to have subsequent VMS than those without depressed mood (OR 1.89, 1.47–2.44). With further adjustment for the degree of sleep difficulties at baseline, the OR of having a subsequent depressed mood associated with often/severe VMS was attenuated and no longer significant (OR 1.13, 0.90–1.40). Conversely, often/severe depressed mood remained significantly associated with subsequent VMS (OR 1.80, 1.38–2.34).
Difficulty in sleeping largely explained the relationship between VMS and subsequent depressed mood, but it had little impact on the relationship between depressed mood and subsequent VMS.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Efforts to assess and improve the quality of mental health services are often hampered by a lack of information on patient outcomes. Most mental health services in England have been routinely collecting Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) data for some time. In this article we illustrate how clinical teams have used HoNOS data to identify areas where performance could be improved. HoNOS data have the potential to give clinical teams the information they need to assess the quality of care they deliver, as well as develop and test initiatives aimed at improving the services they provide.
Introduction: Data regarding adverse events (AEs) (unintended harm to the patient from health care provided) among children seen in the emergency department (ED) are scarce despite the high risk setting and population. The objective of our study was to estimate the risk and type of AEs, and their preventability and severity, among children treated in pediatric EDs. Methods: Our prospective cohort study enrolled children <18 years of age presenting for care during 21 randomized 8 hr-shifts at 9 pediatric EDs from Nov 2014 to October 2015. Exclusion criteria included unavailability for follow-up or insurmountable language barrier. RAs collected demographic, medical history, ED course, and systems level data. At day 7, 14, and 21 a RA administered a structured telephone interview to all patients to identify flagged outcomes (e.g. repeat ED visits, worsening/new symptoms, etc). A validated trigger tool was used to screen admitted patients’ health records. For any patients with a flagged outcome or trigger, 3 ED physicians independently determined if an AE occurred. Primary outcome was the proportion of patients with an AE related to ED care within 3 weeks of their ED visit. Results: We enrolled 6377 (72.0%) of 8855 eligible patients; 545 (8.5%) were lost to follow-up. Median age was 4.4 years (range 3 months to 17.9 yrs). Eight hundred and seventy seven (13.8%) were triaged as CTAS 1 or 2, 2638 (41.4%) as CTAS 3, and 2839 (44.7%) as CTAS 4 or 5. Top entrance complaints were fever (11.2%) and cough (8.8%). Flagged outcomes/triggers were identified for 2047 (32.1%) patients. While 252 (4.0%) patients suffered at least one AE within 3 weeks of ED visit, 163 (2.6%) suffered an AE related to ED care. In total, patients suffered 286 AEs, most (67.9%) being preventable. The most common AE types were management issues (32.5%) and procedural complications (21.9%). The need for a medical intervention (33.9%) and another ED visit (33.9%) were the most frequent clinical consequences. In univariate analysis, older age, chronic conditions, hospital admission, initial location in high acuity area of the ED, having >1 ED MD or a consultant involved in care, (all p<0.001) and longer length of stay (p<0.01) were associated with AEs. Conclusion: While our multicentre study found a lower risk of AEs among pediatric ED patients than reported among pediatric inpatients and adult ED patients, a high proportion of these AEs were preventable.
Snowpit samples collected at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide location in January 2013 were analysed to investigate the levels and variations of perchlorate concentrations in Antarctic snow. During 2008–12, the perchlorate concentration in WAIS Divide snow ranged between 6–180 ng l–1 and followed a seasonal cycle. The highest concentrations appeared in the autumn, and the lowest in winter and spring. No apparent correlation was observed between perchlorate and nitrate or chloride concentrations in snow. Since perchlorate is believed to form in the atmosphere when chlorine species are oxidized in reactions involving ozone, perchlorate concentrations were hypothesized to be high during the spring, based on the assumption that stratospheric ozone depletion enhances tropospheric perchlorate production. The data show that perchlorate concentrations in snow were sharply reduced during stratospheric ozone depletion events; the evidence, therefore, does not support the hypothesis. Instead, the results suggest a stratospheric origin of perchlorate in Antarctic snow.
Background: There is limited data regarding the development of persistent or recurrent symptoms, and the implications of revision posterior surgery in the setting of previous cervical arthroplasty (CA). The purpose of this study was to analyze segmental kinematics in human cadaveric specimens with and without CA, in the context of graded posterior resection. Methods: Fourteen human cadaveric cervical spines were divided into arthroplasty (ProDisc-C) and control (intact disc) groups. Both groups underwent sequential posterior element resections: unilateral foraminotomy, laminoplasty, and finally laminectomy. Specimens were studied sequentially in two different loading apparatuses during induction of flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation. Results: Range of motion (ROM) after CA was reduced relative to the control group during axial rotation and lateral bending, but was similar during flexion and extension. With sequential resections, ROM increased by a similar magnitude following foraminotomy and laminoplasty. Laminectomy had a much greater effect following CA compared to the control group, with the largest magnitude of increase in flexion and extension. Conclusions: Foraminotomy and laminoplasty do not seem to induce greater instability in the setting of CA, compared to controls. Laminectomy alone would not be recommended for use with arthroplasty due to the significant change in kinematics, especially in flexion and extension.
It has been recently suggested (Crawford 1979) that there is an interaction between a photon and curved space-time that can be observed as a redshift of the photon frequency. Since the amount of the redshift is a function of the curvature it may be used to discriminate between gravitational theories. This is easily done using the parametrized post-Newtonian (PPN) limit fully described in the review article by Will (1972).
To examine associations between dietary intakes of fathers and their children at child age 20 months, 3·5 years and 5 years, and to determine if fathers’ intake predicts change in children’s intake between 20 months and 3·5 and 5 years of age.
The diets of fathers and their first-born children participating in the longitudinal Melbourne Infant Feeding Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program were assessed using FFQ and three 24 h recalls, respectively.
Sixty-two pre-existing first-time parent groups were selected from fourteen local government areas within a 60 km radius of Deakin University Burwood, Victoria, Australia.
Fathers and their first-born children at 20 months (n 317), 3·5 years (n 214) and 5 years of age (n 208).
Positive associations were found between fathers’ and children’s intakes of fruit and sweet snacks at 20 months (P=0·001) and 5 years of age (P=0·012). Fathers’ intake at child age 20 months was associated with change in children’s intake for fruit, sweet snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages between child age 20 months and 3·5 years, and for sweet snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages between child age 20 months and 5 years (all P<0·05). After adjustment for maternal intake, fathers’ intake of sweet snacks remained a predictor of change in children’s sweet snack intake between 20 months and 3·5 years of age (P=0·03).
Associations between the dietary intakes of fathers and their children commence at a young age and continue through early childhood. Fathers should be included in future interventions aimed at improving children’s diets.