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This study describes a procedural blank assessment of the ultraviolet photochemical oxidation (UV oxidation) method that is used to measure carbon isotopes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS). A retrospective compilation of Fm and δ13C results for secondary standards (OX-II, glycine) between 2009 and 2018 indicated that a revised blank correction was required to bring results in line with accepted values. The application of a best-fit mass-balance correction yielded a procedural blank of 22.0 ± 6.0 µg C with Fm of 0.30 ± 0.20 and δ13C of –32.0 ± 3.0‰ for this period, which was notably higher and more variable than previously reported. Changes to the procedure, specifically elimination of higher organic carbon reagents and improved sample and reactor handling, reduced the blank to 11.0 ± 2.75 µg C, with Fm of 0.14 ± 0.10 and δ13C of –31.0 ± 5.5‰. A thorough determination of the entire sample processing blank is required to ensure accurate isotopic compositions of seawater DOC using the UV oxidation method. Additional efforts are needed to further reduce the procedural blank so that smaller DOC samples can be analyzed, and to increase sample throughput.
Depression, anxiety, and apathy are the most commonly reported neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Understanding their prevalence in rarer dementias such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), primary progressive aphasia (PPA), posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), young-onset AD (YOAD), and inherited dementias has implications for both clinical practice and research. In this study, we aimed to examine the current state of knowledge of the prevalence of these three NPS in less prevalent dementias.
We conducted a systematic review based on searches of EMBASE, PsycINFO, and PubMed up to September 2019.
47 articles meeting inclusion criteria were identified. Depression, anxiety, and apathy were commonly reported across the phenotypes studied but their prevalence showed large variation between studies. Apathy showed the highest reported frequency in FTD (50–100% across studies), behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) (73–100%), and YOAD (44–100%). Anxiety was frequently reported in FTD (0–100%) and bvFTD (19–63%). Depression showed the highest prevalence in FTD (7–69%) and YOAD (11–55%). Among the three variants of PPA, sv-PPA is the one most investigated (seven articles). Three or fewer articles were identified examining NPS in the remaining PPA variants, PCA, familial AD, and familial FTD. Inconsistency in the tools used to measure symptoms and small sample sizes were common methodological limitations.
Future studies should consider the inclusion of larger sample sizes (e.g. through multicenter collaborations) and the use of harmonized protocols that include the combination of caregiver and patient-derived measures and symptom-specific questionnaires. More research is needed on the phenotype-specific barriers and facilitators for people living with dementia to successfully engage in self-reports of NPS.
Prematurity impacts myocardial development and may determine long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that preterm neonates develop right ventricle dysfunction and adaptive remodelling by 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age.
Materials and Methods:
A subset of 80 preterm infants (born <29 weeks) was selected retrospectively from a prospectively enrolled cohort and measures of right ventricle systolic function and morphology by two-dimensional echocardiography were assessed at 32 weeks post-menstrual age and at 1 year of corrected age. Comparisons were made to 50 term infants at 1 month and 1 year of age. Sub-analyses were performed in preterm-born infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension.
In both term and preterm infants, right ventricle function and morphology increased over the first year (p < 0.01). The magnitudes of right ventricle function measures were lower in preterm-born infants at each time period (p < 0.01 for all) and right ventricle morphology indices were wider in all preterm infants by 1 year corrected age, irrespective of lung disease. Measures of a) right ventricle function were further decreased and b) morphology increased through 1 year in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension (p < 0.01).
Preterm infants exhibit abnormal right ventricle performance with remodelling at 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age, suggesting a less developed intrinsic myocardial function response following preterm birth. The development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension leave a further negative impact on right ventricle mechanics over the first year of age.
Introduction: Emergency hospital admissions are a growing concern for patients and health systems, globally. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence for diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions that reduce emergency hospital admissions. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews by searching MEDLINE, PubMED, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Google Scholar, and grey literature. Systematic reviews of any diagnostic, surgical, or medical interventions examining the effect on emergency hospital admissions among adults were included. The quality of reviews was assessed using AMSTAR and the quality of evidence was assessed using GRADE. The subsequent analysis was restricted to interventions with moderate or high-quality evidence only. Results: 13 051 titles and abstracts and 1 791 full-text articles were screened from which 42 systematic reviews were included. The reviews included an underlying evidence base of 215 randomized controlled trials with 135 282 patients. Of 20 unique diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions identified, four had moderate (n = 4) or high (n = 0) quality evidence for significant reductions in hospital admissions in five patient populations. These were: cardiac resynchronization therapy for heart failure and atrial fibrillation, percutaneous aspiration for pneumothorax, early/routine coronary angiography for acute coronary syndrome (alone or comorbid with chronic kidney disease), and natriuretic peptide guided therapy for heart failure. Conclusion: We identified four interventions across five populations that when optimized, may lead to reductions in emergency hospital admissions. These finding can therefore help guide the development of quality indicators, standards, or practice guidelines.
Among contemporary scholars who write about classical Greece, Josiah Ober and Paul Rahe are especially adept at navigating the territory shared by history and political theory and illuminating the relevance of Greek history for our time. The historical approach each takes in the works under review does not easily fall into the categories—monumental, antiquarian, and critical history— delineated by Nietzsche in the essay to which my subtitle alludes. Yet, in treating these works together, I am guided by a question that Nietzsche raises at the conclusion of his “untimely meditation” in recalling the Delphic injunction Gnōthi seauton, “Know thyself.” The Greeks’ cultural inheritance, he argues, was a chaos of foreign ideas—Semitic, Babylonian, Lydian, and Egyptian—and gods, and it was only when the Greeks began to organize this chaos in accordance with the Delphic injunction that they were prevented from being swamped by their own history and became the model for all civilized peoples. The works under review are extraordinarily rich, and I will not do justice to their many arguments. Rather, I organize my consideration of them by focusing on this question: What is the relation between the study of Greek history and the search for self-knowledge at the core of Greek political philosophy?
Clostridium difficile, the most common cause of hospital-associated diarrhoea in developed countries, presents major public health challenges. The high clinical and economic burden from C. difficile infection (CDI) relates to the high frequency of recurrent infections caused by either the same or different strains of C. difficile. An interval of 8 weeks after index infection is commonly used to classify recurrent CDI episodes. We assessed strains of C. difficile in a sample of patients with recurrent CDI in Western Australia from October 2011 to July 2017. The performance of different intervals between initial and subsequent episodes of CDI was investigated. Of 4612 patients with CDI, 1471 (32%) were identified with recurrence. PCR ribotyping data were available for initial and recurrent episodes for 551 patients. Relapse (recurrence with same ribotype (RT) as index episode) was found in 350 (64%) patients and reinfection (recurrence with new RT) in 201 (36%) patients. Our analysis indicates that 8- and 20-week intervals failed to adequately distinguish reinfection from relapse. In addition, living in a non-metropolitan area modified the effect of age on the risk of relapse. Where molecular epidemiological data are not available, we suggest that applying an 8-week interval to define recurrent CDI requires more consideration.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Objectives: Youth and young adults with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (MS) are vulnerable to executive dysfunction; however, some patients do not demonstrate functional deficits despite showing abnormalities on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Cognitively intact adults with MS have shown enhanced activation patterns relative to healthy controls on working memory tasks. We aim to evaluate whether cognitively preserved pediatric-onset MS patients engage compensatory recruitment strategies to facilitate age-normative performance on a task of working memory. Methods: Twenty cognitively preserved patients (mean age=18.7±2.7 years; 15 female) and 20 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age=18.5±2.9 years; 15 female) underwent neuropsychological testing and 3.0 Tesla MRI, including structural and functional acquisitions. Patterns of activation during the Alphaspan task, a working memory paradigm with two levels of executive control demand, were examined via whole-brain and region of interest (ROI) analyses. Results: Across all participants, lower accuracy and greater activation of regions implicated in working memory were observed during the high demand condition. MS patients demonstrated 0.21 s longer response time than controls. ROI analyses revealed enhanced activation for pediatric-onset MS patients relative to controls in the right middle frontal, left paracingulate, right supramarginal, and left superior parietal gyri during the low executive demand condition, over and above differences in response time. MS patients also demonstrated heightened activation in the right supramarginal gyrus in the high executive demand condition. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that pediatric-onset MS patients may engage compensatory recruitment strategies during working memory processing. (JINS, 2019, 25, 432–442)
The strong, long-range electrostatic forces described by Coulomb's law disappear for ions in water, and the behavior of these ions is instead controlled by their water affinity – a weak, short-range force which arises from their charge density. This was established experimentally in the mid-1980s by size-exclusion chromatography on carefully calibrated Sephadex® G-10 (which measures the effective volume and thus the water affinity of an ion) and by neutron diffraction with isotopic substitution (which measures the density and orientation of water molecules near the diffracting ion and thus its water affinity). These conclusions have been confirmed more recently by molecular dynamics simulations, which explicitly model each individual water molecule. This surprising change in force regime occurs because the oppositely charged ions in aqueous salt solutions exist functionally as ion pairs (separated by 0, 1 or 2 water molecules) as has now been shown by dielectric relaxation spectroscopy; this cancels out the strong long-range electrostatic forces and allows the weak, short-range water affinity effects to come to the fore. This microscopic structure of aqueous salt solutions is not captured by models utilizing a macroscopic dielectric constant. Additionally, the Law of Matching Water Affinity, first described in 1997 and 2004, establishes that contact ion pair formation is controlled by water affinity and is a major determinant of the solubility of charged species since only a net neutral species can change phases.
Entamoeba histolytica is an enteric parasite that infects approximately 50 million people worldwide. Although E. histolytica is a zoonotic parasite that has the potential to infect nonhuman primates, such transmission is poorly understood. Consequently, this study examined whether E. histolytica is present among humans, chimpanzees and baboons living in the Greater Gombe Ecosystem (GGE), Tanzania. The primary aims were to determine patterns of E. histolytica infection in a system with human-nonhuman primate overlap and to test associations between infection status and potential risk factors of disease. Entamoeba spp. occurred in 60.3% of human, 65.6% of chimpanzee and 88.6% of baboon samples. Entamoeba histolytica occurred in 12.1% of human, 34.1% of chimpanzee and 10.9% of baboon samples. Human E. histolytica infection was associated with gastrointestinal symptoms. This was the first study to confirm the presence of E. histolytica in the GGE. The high sample prevalence of E. histolytica in three sympatric primates suggests that zoonotic transmission is possible and stresses the need for further phylogenetic studies. Interventions targeting better sanitation and hygiene practices for humans living in the GGE can help prevent E. histolytica infection in humans, while also protecting the endangered chimpanzees and other primates in this region.
A total of 592 people reported gastrointestinal illness following attendance at Street Spice, a food festival held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East England in February/March 2013. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were undertaken to identify the source and prevent further cases. Several epidemiological analyses were conducted; a cohort study; a follow-up survey of cases and capture re-capture to estimate the true burden of cases. Indistinguishable isolates of Salmonella Agona phage type 40 were identified in cases and on fresh curry leaves used in one of the accompaniments served at the event. Molecular testing indicated entero-aggregative Escherichia coli and Shigella also contributed to the burden of illness. Analytical studies found strong associations between illness and eating food from a particular stall and with food items including coconut chutney which contained fresh curry leaves. Further investigation of the food supply chain and food preparation techniques identified a lack of clear instruction on the use of fresh uncooked curry leaves in finished dishes and uncertainty about their status as a ready-to-eat product. We describe the investigation of one of the largest outbreaks of food poisoning in England, involving several gastrointestinal pathogens including a strain of Salmonella Agona not previously seen in the UK.
An emerging recombinant norovirus GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain caused a gastroenteritis outbreak amongst attendees at a large health function in regional New South Wales, Australia. This was the third outbreak caused by the recombinant GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain in this region in 2017, which appears to be emerging as a common strain in the Hunter New England region.
The aim of the present paper is to summarise current and future applications of dietary assessment technologies in nutrition surveys in developed countries. It includes the discussion of key points and highlights of subsequent developments from a panel discussion to address strengths and weaknesses of traditional dietary assessment methods (food records, FFQ, 24 h recalls, diet history with interviewer-assisted data collection) v. new technology-based dietary assessment methods (web-based and mobile device applications). The panel discussion ‘Traditional methods v. new technologies: dilemmas for dietary assessment in population surveys’, was held at the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), Brisbane, September 2015. Despite respondent and researcher burden, traditional methods have been most commonly used in nutrition surveys. However, dietary assessment technologies offer potential advantages including faster data processing and better data quality. This is a fast-moving field and there is evidence of increasing demand for the use of new technologies amongst the general public and researchers. There is a need for research and investment to support efforts being made to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies for rapid, accurate and representative data.