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Every four years leading researchers gather to survey the latest developments in all aspects of group theory. Initially held in St Andrews, these meetings have become the premier forum for group theory across the whole of the UK. Since 1981, the proceedings of 'Groups St Andrews' have provided a regular snapshot of the state-of-the-art in group theory and helped to shape the direction of research in the field. This volume contains papers from the 2017 meeting held in Birmingham. It includes expository articles from the invited speakers, and further surveys contributed by the participants. Topics include: generation of finite simple groups, block theory, fusion systems, algebraic groups, one-relator groups, geometric group theory, and Beauville groups.
Cognitive remediation (CR) training has emerged as a promising approach to improving cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychosis. The limited availability of psychological services for psychosis is a major barrier to accessing this intervention however. This study investigated the effectiveness of a low support, remotely accessible, computerised working memory (WM) training programme in patients with psychosis.
Ninety patients were enrolled into a single blind randomised controlled trial of CR. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of neuropsychological performance, social and occupational function, and functional MRI 2 weeks post-intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed 3–6 months post-treatment.
Patients who completed the intervention showed significant gains in both neuropsychological function (measured using both untrained WM and episodic task performance, and a measure of performance IQ), and social function at both 2-week follow-up and 3–6-month follow-up timepoints. Furthermore, patients who completed MRI scanning showed improved resting state functional connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition.
CR training has already been shown to improve cognitive and social function in patient with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable with those reported for CR delivered entirely on a 1:1 basis. We conclude that CR has potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited.
Research shows that cognitive rehabilitation (CR) has the potential to improve goal performance and enhance well-being for people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This single subject, multiple baseline design (MBD) research investigated the clinical efficacy of an 8-week individualised CR intervention for individuals with early stage AD.
Three participants with early stage AD were recruited to take part in the study. The intervention consisted of eight sessions of 60–90 minutes of CR. Outcomes included goal performance and satisfaction, quality of life, cognitive and everyday functioning, mood, and memory self-efficacy for participants with AD; and carer burden, general mental health, quality of life, and mood of carers.
Visual analysis of MBD data demonstrated a functional relationship between CR and improvements in participants’ goal performance. Subjective ratings of goal performance and satisfaction increased from baseline to post-test for three participants and were maintained at follow-up for two. Baseline to post-test quality of life scores improved for three participants, whereas cognitive function and memory self-efficacy scores improved for two.
Our findings demonstrate that CR can improve goal performance, and is a socially acceptable intervention that can be implemented by practitioners with assistance from carers between sessions. This study represents one of the promising first step towards filling a practice gap in this area. Further research and randomised-controlled trials are required.
In precision agriculture, the selection and use of appropriate sensors determine the type and quality of information that will feed decision-support models. A wide variety of sensors, spectral ranges, data collection and processing approaches are used, sometimes leading to confusion. Whether in transmission or reflectance mode, multispectral or hyperspectral, laboratory or field-based or even satellite-borne, in order to achieve meaningful and accurate measurements it is essential to have a clear understanding of which part of the electromagnetic spectrum the sensors relate to and how the corresponding radiation interacts with the substrate (e.g. soils, crops, livestock products). Sensors in the visible range (390-700 nm) use colour to identify certain properties of the substrate (e.g. chlorophyll and pigments in crops, organic matter contents in soil) and can be used to detect and quantify colour changes that could, in turn, be correlated with changes in those properties. Alternatively, radiation in the near (NIR, 750-2500 nm) and mid infrared (MIR, 2500-25 000 nm) interacts with the molecular bonds that constitute organic and inorganic matter and, therefore, sensors with detectors in these ranges provide different but interrelated information on the chemical composition of the substrate. Shorter wavelength radiation in the form of X-Rays (0.1-10 nm) induces fluorescence in the substrate and XRF sensors provide elemental atomic information that is highly applicable to the study of soils, sediments and fluids. At the James Hutton Institute, we have expertise in the use of all these types of sensors and are developing practical applications based on a thorough understanding of the processes involved. In this paper we provide an overview of the capabilities and applications of the different sensors used in precision agriculture, not only with a theoretical understanding, but also with an awareness of the practicalities involved.
Introduction: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that high-quality, evidence-based guidelines be developed for emergency medical services (EMS). The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has outlined a strategy that will see this task fulfilled, consisting of multiple working groups focused on all aspects of guideline development and implementation. A first step, and our objective, was a cataloguing and appraisal of the current guidelines targeting EMS providers. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE (1175), EMBASE (519), PubMed (14), Trip (416), and guidelines.gov (64) through May 1, 2016. Two independent reviewers screened titles for relevance to prehospital care, and then abstracts for essential guideline features, including a systematic review, a grading system, and an association between level of evidence and strength of recommendation. All disagreements were moderated by a third party. Citations meeting inclusion criteria were appraised with the AGREE II tool, which looks at six different domains of guideline quality, containing a total of 23 items rated from 1 to 7. Each guideline was appraised by three separate reviewers, and composite scores were calculated by averaging the scaled domain totals. Results: After primary (kappa 97%) and secondary (kappa 93%) screening, 49 guidelines were retained for full review. Only three guidelines obtained a score of >90%, the topics of which included aeromedical transport, analgesia in trauma, and resuscitation of avalanche victims. Only two guidelines scored between 80% and 90%, the topics of which included stroke and pediatric seizure management. One guideline, splinting in an austere environment, scored between 70% and 80%. Nine guidelines scored between 60% and 70%, the topics of which included ischemic stroke, cardiovascular life support, hemorrhage control, intubation, triage, hypothermia, and fibrinolytic use. Of the remaining guidelines, 14 scored between 50% and 60%, and 20 obtained a score of <50%. Conclusion: There are few high-quality, evidence-based guidelines in EMS. Of those that are published, the majority fail to meet established quality measures. Although a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in the prehospital field continues to limit guideline development, suboptimal methodology is also commonplace within the existing literature.
Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been suggested as an initial investigation in the management of renal colic. Our objectives were: 1) to determine the accuracy of POCUS for the diagnosis of nephrolithiasis, and 2) to assess its prognostic value in the management of renal colic (PROSPERO: 42016035331). Methods: An electronic database search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed was conducted utilizing subject headings, keywords, and synonyms that address our research question. Bibliographies of included studies and narrative reviews were manually examined. Studies of adult emergency department patients with renal colic symptoms were included. Any degree of hydronephrosis was considered a positive POCUS finding. Accepted criterion standards were CT evidence of renal stone or hydronephrosis, direct stone visualization, or surgical findings. Screening of abstracts, quality assessment with the QUADAS-2 instrument, and data extraction were performed by two reviewers, with discrepancies resolved by conference with a third reviewer.Test performance was assessed by pooled sensitivity and specificity, calculated likelihood ratios, and a summary receiver operator curve (SROC). The secondary outcome of prognostic value was reported as a narrative summary. Results: The electronic search yielded 627 unique titles. After relevance screening, 25 papers underwent full-text review, and 8 articles met all inclusion criteria. Of these, 5 high-quality studies (N=1773) were included in the meta-analysis for diagnostic accuracy, and three yielded data on prognostic value. The pooled results for sensitivity and specificity were 70.2% (95% CI=67.1% to 73.2%) and 75.4% (95% CI=72.5% to 78.2%), respectively. The calculated positive and negative likelihood ratios were 2.85 and 0.39. The SROC generated did not show evidence of a threshold effect.Three studies examining prognostic value noted a higher likelihood of a large stone or surgical intervention with positive POCUS findings. The largest randomized trial showed lower cumulative radiation exposure and no increase in adverse events in those who received POCUS investigation as the initial renal colic investigation. Conclusion: Point-of-care ultrasound is of modest accuracy for the diagnosis of nephrolithiasis. While positive POCUS findings are associated with larger stones and greater likelihood for intervention, the clinical importance of this is unclear.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Epidemiology formed the basis of ‘the Barker hypothesis’, the concept of ‘developmental programming’ and today’s discipline of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Animal experimentation provided proof of the underlying concepts, and continues to generate knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Interventions in humans, based on DOHaD principles, will be informed by experiments in animals. As knowledge in this discipline has accumulated, from studies of humans and other animals, the complexity of interactions between genome, environment and epigenetics, has been revealed. The vast nature of programming stimuli and breadth of effects is becoming known. As a result of our accumulating knowledge we now appreciate the impact of many variables that contribute to programmed outcomes. To guide further animal research in this field, the Australia and New Zealand DOHaD society (ANZ DOHaD) Animals Models of DOHaD Research Working Group convened at the 2nd Annual ANZ DOHaD Congress in Melbourne, Australia in April 2015. This review summarizes the contributions of animal research to the understanding of DOHaD, and makes recommendations for the design and conduct of animal experiments to maximize relevance, reproducibility and translation of knowledge into improving health and well-being.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST), which at present images a fully synthesised 70′ field in 12 h, is being converted to enable observing modes which extend the field size to 160′. The new observing modes will allow the MOST to survey completely the sky south of δ = −30° to a (5σ) sensitivity limit of about 5 mJy. The result will be a catalogue of over 400,000 radio sources with a spatial density of less than 1 source per 100 beam areas, providing the foundation for a number of novel astronomical and cosmological investigations. The conversion involves construction of 352 low-noise HEMT preamplifiers, 88 digitally controlled UHF quad phase shifters, 88 mixers and IF sections, a new communication and control system, and several other new sub-systems. The project has been funded and developments are well advanced.
We present preliminary results from a programme designed to produce deep images of radio source fields drawn from the Parkes 2700 MHz and Molongolo 408 MHz catalogues using the charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera system built at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. The programme is directed at a search both for faint extensions and nebulosity around radio QSOs and BL Lac objects and for faint objects in otherwise empty radio source fields; a detailed examination of the morphology of selected radio galaxies is also included.