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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.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether significant difference exists on radiation dose delivered to organs at risks in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) verification using three predefined scanning modes, namely fine (2 mm), normal (4 mm) and coarse (6 mm). This will provide information for the imaging protocol of tomotherapy for the left breast.
Materials and methods
Organ doses were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) placed within a female Rando phantom for MVCT imaging. Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted with p<0·05 to evaluate the significant difference between the three MVCT scanning modes.
Statistically significant difference existed in organ absorbed dose between different scan mode selections (p<0·001). Relative to the normal scan selection (4 mm), the absorbed dose to the organs of interests can be scaled down by 0·7 and scaled up by 2·1 for coarse (6 mm) and fine scans (2 mm) respectively.
Optimisation of imaging protocols is of paramount importance to keep the radiation exposure ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. The recommendation of undergoing daily coarse mode for MVCT verification in breast tomotherapy not only mitigates the radiation exposure to normal tissues, but also trims the scan-acquisition time.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
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.
The pathophysiological entity of a persisting left-sided superior caval vein draining into the roof of the left atrium represents an extreme form of coronary sinus de-roofing. This is an uncommon, but well-documented condition associated with systemic desaturation due to a right-to-left shunt. Depending on the size of the coronary ostium, the defect may also present with right-sided volume loading. We describe two patients, both of whom presented with desaturation, and highlight the important anatomical features underscoring management.
Methods and Results
Both patients were managed interventionally with previous assessment of the size of the coronary sinus ostium through cross-sectional imaging. This revealed a restrictive interatrial communication at the right atrial mouth of the coronary sinus in both patients, which permitted an interventional approach, as the residual left-to-right shunt subsequent to closure of the aberrant vessel would be negligible. At intervention, test occlusion of the left superior caval vein allowed assessment of decompressing vessels before successful occlusion using an Amplatzer Vascular Plug.
Persistence of a left superior caval vein draining to the left atrium may be associated with an interatrial communication at the mouth of the unroofed coronary sinus. The ostium of the de-roofed coronary sinus can be atretic, restrictive, normally sized, or enlarged. Careful assessment of the size of this defect is required before treatment. In view of its importance, which has received little attention in the literature to date, we suggest an additional consideration to the classification of unroofed coronary sinus.
A Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) for assessing the potential risk of dengue virus emergence and distribution in Western Australia (WA) is presented and used to identify possible hotspots of dengue outbreaks in summer and winter. The model assesses the probabilities of two kinds of events which must take place before an outbreak can occur: (1) introduction of the virus and mosquito vectors to places where human population densities are high; and (2) vector population growth rates as influenced by climatic factors. The results showed that if either Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus were to become established in WA, three centres in the northern part of the State (Kununurra, Fitzroy Crossing, Broome) would be at particular risk of experiencing an outbreak. The model can also be readily extended to predict the risk of introduction of other viruses carried by Aedes mosquitoes, such as yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
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.
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.
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.
We investigated lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in the cyst fluid of auricular pseudocysts and autogenous blood, to assist the diagnosis of auricular pseudocyst.
Twenty patients with auricular pseudocysts participated in this study conducted in Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between February 2007 and June 2010. Patterns of lactate dehydrogenase in cyst fluid and autogenous blood were analysed.
Levels of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 were lower in auricular pseudocysts than in autogenous blood, whereas levels of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 were higher; this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in auricular pseudocyst fluid indicated higher percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 and lower percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2. An effective laboratory method of evaluating the different lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme components was developed; this method may improve the accuracy of auricular pseudocyst diagnosis.
Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Endothelial cell dysfunctions are early events in atherosclerosis, resulting in the recruitment of circulating monocytes. The immune system can elicit an inflammatory response toward the atherosclerotic lesion, thereby accelerating lesion growth. Risk factors for atherosclerosis include hypertension, smoking, stress perception or low birth weight. As prenatal stress challenge decreases the birth weight and affects the offspring's postnatal immune response, we aimed to investigate whether prenatal stress contributes to the development of atherosclerosis in mice. Syngenic pregnant apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) dams were exposed to sound stress on gestation days 12.5 and 14.5. The presence and size of atherosclerotic plaques in the offspring at the age of 15 weeks was evaluated by histomorphology, accompanied by flow cytometric analysis of the frequency and phenotype of monocytes/macrophages and regulatory T (Treg) cells in the blood. Further, cytokine secretion of peripheral blood lymphocytes was analyzed. In response to prenatal stress challenge, an increased frequency of large atherosclerotic plaques was detectable in apoE−/− offspring, which was particularly profound in females. Prenatal stress also resulted in alterations of the offspring's immune response, such as a decreased frequency of Treg cells in blood, alterations of macrophage populations in blood and an increased secretion of inflammatory cytokines. We provide novel evidence that prenatally stressed adult offspring show an increased severity of atherosclerosis. As Treg cells are key players in dampening inflammation, the observed increase in atherosclerosis may be due to the lack of Treg cell frequency. Future interdisciplinary research is urgently required to understand the developmental origin of prenatal stress-induced atherosclerosis. The availability of our model may facilitate and foster such research endeavors.
To determine the implications of a functional approach to vestibular schwannoma surgery, with facial nerve function prioritised higher than total tumour excision.
A case–control study in a tertiary referral neurotology clinic.
A ‘functional’ surgical group treated after April 2007 (n = 44, mean cerebellopontine angle dimension 27 mm), and an ‘excisional’ surgical group matched for tumour size, treated from 1997 to April 2007 (n = 115).
Facial nerve preservation: 77 per cent House–Brackmann grade I–II in functional group at 12 months, versus 57 per cent grade I–II in excisional group (p = 0.027). Tumour recurrence: 1 per cent in total excision group, 2 per cent in near-total group and 40 per cent in sub-total group.
A functional approach to vestibular schwannoma surgery improves facial nerve preservation outcomes and reduces the requirement for facial nerve rehabilitative interventions. Tumour recurrence rates are low in near-totally excised lesions but significant if only sub-total excision is achieved.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.