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Early life stress (ELS) is a risk factor for the development of depression in adolescence; the mediating neurobiological mechanisms, however, are unknown. In this study, we examined in early pubertal youth the associations among ELS, cortisol stress responsivity, and white matter microstructure of the uncinate fasciculus and the fornix, two key frontolimbic tracts; we also tested whether and how these variables predicted depressive symptoms in later puberty. A total of 208 participants (117 females; M age = 11.37 years; M Tanner stage = 2.03) provided data across two or more assessment modalities: ELS; salivary cortisol levels during a psychosocial stress task; diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; and depressive symptoms. In early puberty there were significant associations between higher ELS and decreased cortisol production, and between decreased cortisol production and increased fractional anisotropy in the uncinate fasciculus. Further, increased fractional anisotropy in the uncinate fasciculus predicted higher depressive symptoms in later puberty, above and beyond earlier symptoms. In post hoc analyses, we found that sex moderated several additional associations. We discuss these findings within a broader conceptual model linking ELS, emotion dysregulation, and depression across the transition through puberty, and contend that brain circuits implicated in the control of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function should be a focus of continued research.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
Introduction: In many rural and remote communities in BC, family physicians who are providing excellent primary and emergency care would like to access useful, timely, and collegial support to ensure the highest quality of health services for their patients. We undertook a real-time virtual support project in Robson Valley, located in northern BC, to evaluate the use of digital technologies such as videoconferencing for on demand consultation between family physicians at rural sites and emergency physicians at a regional site. Telehealth consults also occurred between rural sites with nurses at community emergency rooms consulting with local on-call physicians. Our aim was to use telehealth to facilitate timely access to high quality, comprehensive, coordinated team-based care. An evaluation framework, based on the Triple Aim sought to: 1) Identify telehealth use cases and assess impact on patient outcomes, patient and health professional experience, and cost of health care delivery; and 2) Assess the role of relationships among care team members in progressing from uptake to normalization of telehealth into routine usage. Methods: Using a participatory approach, all members of the pilot project were involved in shaping the pilot including the co-development of the evaluation itself. Evaluation was used iteratively throughout implementation for ongoing quality improvement via regular team meetings, sharing and reflecting on findings, and adjusting processes as required. Mixed methods were used including: interviews with family physicians, nurses, and patients at rural sites, and emergency physicians at regional site; review of records such as technology use statistics; and stakeholder focus groups. Results: From November 2016 to July 2017, 26 cases of telehealth use were captured and evaluated. Findings indicate that telehealth has positively impacted care team, patients, and health system. Benefits for care team at the rural sites included confidence in diagnoses through timely access to advice and support, while emergency physicians at the regional site gained deeper understanding of the practice settings of rural colleagues. Nevertheless, telehealth has complicated the emergency department work flow and increased physician workload. Findings demonstrated efficiencies for the health system, including reducing the need for patient transfer. Patients expressed confidence in the physicians and telehealth system; by receiving care closer to home, they experienced personal cost savings. Implementation saw a move away from scheduled telehealth visits to real use of technology for timely access. Conclusion: Evidence of the benefits of telehealth in emergency settings is needed to support stakeholder engagement to address issues of workflow and capacity. This pilot has early indications of significant local impact and will inform the expansion of emergency telehealth in all emergency settings in BC.
Introduction: Patients with Heart failure (HF) experience frequent decompensation necessitating multiple emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. If patients are able to receive timely interventions and optimize self-management, recurrent ED visits may be reduced. In this feasibility study, we piloted the application of home telemonitoring to support the discharge of HF patients from hospital to home. We hypothesized that TEC4Home would decrease ED revisits and hospital admissions and improve patient health outcomes. Methods: Upon discharge from the ED or hospital, patients with HF received a blood pressure cuff, weight scale, pulse oximeter, and a touchscreen tablet. Participants submitted measurements and answered questions on the tablet about their HF symptoms daily for 60 days. Data were reviewed by a monitoring nurse. From November 2016 to July 2017, 69 participants were recruited from Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), St. Pauls Hospital (SPH) and Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). Participants completed pre-surveys at enrollement and post-surveys 30 days after monitoring finished. Administrative data related to ED visits and hospital admissions were reviewed. Interviews were conducted with the monitoring nurses to assess the impact of monitoring on patient health outcomes. Results: A preliminary analysis was conducted on a subsample of participants (n=22) enrolled across all 3 sites by March 31, 2017. At VGH and SPH (n=14), 25% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to pre-survey. During the monitoring period, the monitoring nurse observed seven likely avoided ED admissions due to early intervention. In total, admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 69%. At KGH (n=8), 43% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to the pre-survey. Hospital admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 50%. Overall, TEC4Home participants from all sites showed a significant improvement in health-related quality of life and in self-care behaviour pre- to 90 days post-monitoring. A full analysis of the 69 patients will be complete in February 2018. Conclusion: Preliminary findings indicate that home telemonitoring for HF patients can decrease ED revisits and improve patient experience. The length of stay data may also suggest the potential for early discharge of ED patients with home telemonitoring to avoid or reduce hospitalization. A stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial of TEC4Home in 22 BC communities will be conducted in 2018 to generate evidence and scale up the service in urban, regional and rural communities. This work is submitted on behalf of the TEC4Home Healthcare Innovation Community.
Early life stress (ELS) is a significant risk factor for the emergence of internalizing problems in adolescence. Beginning in adolescence, females are twice as likely as males to experience internalizing disorders. The present study was designed to examine sex differences in the association between ELS and internalizing problems in early pubertal adolescents, and whether and how corticolimbic function and connectivity may underlie these associations. Fifty-nine early pubertal males and 78 early pubertal females, ages 9–13 years (all Tanner Stage 3 or below) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging as they performed an emotion label task that robustly interrogates corticolimbic function. Participants were also interviewed about their experience of ELS. Females exhibited a positive association between ELS and internalizing problems, whereas males exhibited no such association. Whole-brain and amygdala region of interest analyses indicated that whereas females exhibited a positive association between ELS and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during implicit emotion regulation, males showed no such association. Activation in these regions was positively associated with internalizing problems in females but not males; however, activation in these regions did not mediate the association between ELS and internalizing problems. Finally, both boys and girls exhibited an association between ELS and increased negative connectivity between the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala. Using a carefully characterized sample of early pubertal adolescents, the current study highlights important sex differences in the development of corticolimbic circuitry during a critical period of brain development. These sex differences may play a significant role in subsequent risk for internalizing problems.
To characterize contacts in general wards, a prospective survey of healthcare workers (HCWs), patients and visitors was conducted using self-reported diary, direct observation and telephone interviews. Nurses, doctors and assorted HCWs reported a median of 14, 18 and 15 contact persons over one work shift, respectively. Within 1 h, we observed 3·5 episodes with 25·6 min of cumulative contact time for nurses, 2·9 episodes and 22·1 min for doctors and 5·0 episodes with 44·3 min for assorted-HCWs. In interactions with patients, nurses had multiple brief episodes of contact; doctors had fewer episodes and less cumulative contact time; assorted-HCWs had fewer contact episodes of longer durations (than for nurses and doctors). Assortative mixing occurred amongst HCWs: those of the same HCW type were the next most frequent class of contact after patients. Over 24-h, patients contacted 14 persons with 23 episodes and 314·5 min of contact time. Patient-to-patient contact episodes were rare, but a maximum of five were documented from one patient participant. 22·9% of visitors reported contact with patients other than the one they visited. Our study revealed differences in the characteristics of contacts among different HCW types and potential transmission routes from patients to others within the ward environment.
We report the temperature dependence of Er optical centers in GaN epilayers prepared by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition under the resonant excitation (4I15/2 → 4I9/2) excitation using a Ti:Sapphire laser (λexc = 809 nm). High resolution infrared spectroscopy and temperature dependence measurements of photoluminescence intensity from Er ions in GaN have been performed to identify the crystal filed splitting of the first excited state, 4I13/2. Here, we have employed a simple approach to determine activation energies which are related to the thermal population of electrons from the lowest level to the higher level of the crystal field splitting of the first excited state.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Singapore has enhanced its national surveillance system to detect the potential importation of this novel pathogen. Using the guidelines from the Singapore Ministry of Health, a suspect case was defined as a person with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness, and with an epidemiological link to countries where MERS-CoV cases had been reported within the preceding 14 days. This report describes a retrospective review of 851 suspected MERS-CoV cases assessed at the adult tertiary-care hospital in Singapore between September 2012 and December 2015. In total, 262 patients (31%) were hospitalized. All had MERS-CoV infection ruled out by RT–PCR or clinical assessment. Two hundred and thirty (88%) of the hospitalized patients were also investigated for influenza virus by RT–PCR. Of these, 62 (27%) tested positive for seasonal influenza. None of the patients with positive influenza results had been vaccinated in the year prior to hospital admission. Ninety-three (36%) out of the 262 hospitalized patients had clinical and/or radiological evidence of pneumonia. This study demonstrates the potential benefits of pre-travel vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal disease.
We report first results from a multiwavelength campaign to measure the simultaneous spectrum of Sgr A* from cm to mm wavelengths. The observations confirm that the previously detected submm-excess is not due to variability; the presence of an ultracompact component with a size of a few Schwarzschild radii is inferred. In a VLA survey of LINER galaxies, we found Sgr A*-like nuclei in one quarter of the galaxies searched, suggesting a link between those low-power AGN and the Galactic Center.
During the early stage of an epidemic, timely and reliable estimation of the severity of infections are important for predicting the impact that the influenza viruses will have in the population. We obtained age-specific deaths and hospitalizations for patients with laboratory-confirmed H1N1pdm09 infections from June 2009 to December 2009 in Hong Kong. We retrospectively obtained the real-time estimates of the hospitalization fatality risk (HFR), using crude estimation or allowing for right-censoring for final status in some patients. Models accounting for right-censoring performed better than models without adjustments. The risk of deaths in hospitalized patients with confirmed H1N1pdm09 increased with age. Reliable estimates of the HFR could be obtained before the peak of the first wave of H1N1pdm09 in young and middle-aged adults but after the peak in the elderly. In the next influenza pandemic, timely estimation of the HFR will contribute to risk assessment and disease control.
Reporting of percutaneous injuries (PIs) to the Chinese Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet) became mandatory for all public and tertiary referral hospitals in Taiwan in 2011. We have estimated the number of microbially contaminated PIs and the national PI incidence using a retrospective secondary data analysis approach to analyse 2011 data from the Chinese EPINet to determine the types of PI, mechanisms of occurrence and associated risks. The results revealed a national estimate of PIs between 6710 and 8319 in 2011. The most common incidents for physicians were disposable syringes, suture needles, and disposable scalpels; while for nurses they were disposable syringes, intravenous catheters, and lancets. About 13·0% of the source patients were seropositive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen, 13·8% were seropositive for hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 1·1% seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). From these results we estimate that annually 970 full-time healthcare workers (HCWs) would be exposed to HBV, 1094 to HCV, and 99 to HIV. This study improves our understanding of the mechanisms and risks of PIs and informs the development of more efficient preventive measures to protect HCWs from such injuries.
A cross-linked copolymer was designed and synthesized bythe imidation of poly(oxyethylene)-diamine and 4,4’-oxydiphthalic anhydride, and followed by a late-stage curing to generate the cross-linked gels. The copolymers consisting of crosslinking sites and multiple functionalities such aspoly(oxyethylene)-segments, amido-acids, imides, and amine termini, characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. After the self-curing at 80 °C, the gel-like material enabled to absorb liquid form of electrolytesin the medium of propylene carbonate(PC), dimethylformamide(DMF),and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone(NMP).By using a field emission scanning electronic microscope, we observed a 3D interconnected nanochannel microstructure, within which, the liquid electrolytes were absorbed. When the novel polymer gel electrolyte (PGE) was fabricated into a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), an extremely high photovoltaic performance was demonstrated. The PGE, absorbed 76.7 wt% of the liquid electrolyte (soaking in the PC solution) based on the polymer’s weight gave rise to a power conversion efficiency of 8.31%, superior to that (7.89%) of the DSSC with liquid electrolytes. It was further demonstrated that the cell had a long-term stabilityduring the test of 1000hat-rest at room temperature or only slightly decreasing in efficiency of 5%.This is the first time demonstration for a PGE exhibiting a higher performance than its liquid counterpart cell. The observation is ascribed to the suppression of the back electron transfer through the unique morphology of the polymer microstructures.
In this paper, we have studied the energy transport properties of two porphyrincontaining metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for light-harvesting applications. The photoinduced singlet exciton migration is investigated using fluorescence quenching experiments, whereas details on exciton transport anisotropy and net displacements are obtained using a Förster theory analysis. The striking difference in the energy-transport properties for the two MOFs, albeit for similar molecular organization, is attributed to dissimilar spatial expanse and difference in the electronic structure of their porphyrin struts. The observed exciton displacements, of up to 60 nm, provides motivation to explore new MOF materials. Several new linkers are considered, leading to predictions of MOF structures, which provide both broadwavelength harvesting and unidirectional energy transporting MOFs with selected examples.
The pixel cross-talk is investigated in two-dimensional amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) imager arrays based on the new high fill factor design. In this configuration a continuous a-Si:H sensor extends over the whole surface of the imager, and a buried insulator material with low dielectric constant is used to separate the sensor from the underlying active matrix readout circuit. We find that the lateral conduction between neighboring pixels is mainly determined by the quality of the buried insulator-sensor interface, rather than the specific buried material itself. Minimum cross-talk values below 1% are obtained for different insulator materials including silicon oxynitride and thicker polymer based resins. The quality of this interface also affects trapping and recombination of the photogenerated carriers, influencing important imager properties such as sensitivity and image lag.